TWEM Vol. 3 Chapter 16
Chapter 16 – Status and the Princess’s Schemes
After an hour or so, the mock battle with the entire party was over.
As I expected, they were just as good as the slightly stronger adventurers.
I gathered everyone together, sat them down, and stood in front of them.
“I now know what you guys are capable of. If I were to rank you as adventurers, I’d say you’re between mid-B rank to low-A rank.”
Even the strongest among them wouldn’t stand a chance against Kusel, when I first met her.
“Well, you lot fight even better than I thought, and there were even some parties with pretty decent coordination. All you need to do now is train harder…there’s still a lot of room for you to improve and become even stronger!”
When I said that, everyone’s face lit up with motivation.
“So, who wants to go for another round? I’ll play with you some more.”
But with those words, they all instantly turned pale and shook their heads in unison.
Perhaps my strength is to be blamed…still, they didn’t have to reject me so vehemently.
“In that case, each of you can train on your own, and I’ll watch and give you pointers…sounds good?”
Just as I was about to round up, Azuma raised his hand.
When prompted, Azuma stood up and clenched his fists.
“Ms. Finne and Ms. Iris, would you please fight us?”
Hmm? What now?
When I turned around, both Finne and Iris were tilting their heads in confusion.
The two of ‘em are Yuki’s friends, right? If so, I want to know what they’re capable of! I would love to train with someone stronger, but Yuki is just too strong… So I figured, why not with some cuties since they seem pretty strong.”
Hey, dude, wanna go for another round.
“Well, if they are both cool with it, that’s fine with me…so what do you think?”
“Sure, why not.”
“I’m okay with it too.”
So, Finne and the others decided to spar with the heroes.
Fifteen minutes later…
“How, how come! How come we couldn’t win no matter what!”
“Are we that weak? Like, are we really that weak?”
“To think that we couldn’t best a couple of girls, what a crying shame on the prestigious title of a hero…!!”
The three idiots were kneeling down and lamenting.
The result was an overwhelming victory for Finne and Iris…I already saw this coming, still.
The performance of their weapons may be a factor, but combined with their unique skills, their combat prowess may reach the upper A rank, or even S rank.
Then parties other than the idiot trio also challenged the two, but none could win against Finne, who attacked with skill, and Iris, who toyed with them with overwhelming speed.
As I was taking a break after the mock battle and training, Orihara called out to me.
“Hey Yuki, what’s your current level? You can easily overpower us, and it’s true that you eradicated 10,000 monsters from the royal capital of Perdis, right?”
At these words, all of my classmates turned to me.
Everyone’s eyes were full of curiosity.
Even so, they didn’t dare use appraisal without permission, which means they’re either trying to be polite or just don’t want to get on my bad side…
“Oh! …Well, if it’s you guys, it’s cool I guess. But if you dare reveal it to anyone, then…”
“I’ll make you regret that you were ever born.”
I said while grinning, then they all turned pale and nodded with all their might.
“Good. Then I’ll show you my whole status—Open Status.”
I showed everyone the status screen that appeared in front of me…but they all froze with their mouths hanging open.
Perhaps, in response to my voice, Orihara leaks a few words.
…Is it that surprising?
I then tried looking at my status personally.
Max Skill Growth
Unique Skill User
Monarch of War
Monarch of Magic
EX Rank Adventurer
Oh, it seems I’ve leveled up again, probably from the training at the Elven Village and the battle against the Yvels.
My skills haven’t really changed since I haven’t added any recently.
Well, I guess that’s about it.
…Hmm, from a conventional standpoint, I suppose it’s an insanely outrageous status.
“Your level alone is above 350…that’s more than five times as high as ours.”
“And we were trying to beat this?”
“That’s a lot of unique skills…”
“Martial unification and magic unification?”
I answered the questions of my buzzing classmates.
“Those two were just merged into the display because there were so many skills. Magic and martial arts skills, although they’re all integrated together…I don’t know how many skills have been merged, to be honest.”
They all replied with, “No way”.
“Hey, Yuki. What’s with this ‘Demon King’ title? I’m also curious about this one, ‘Annihilator’.”
“Oh those…I don’t really want to talk about them though…”
Half the class began to grin as I explained the reason for this, which I was personally very unwilling to do.
Hey, who the hell just muttered “Chuunibyou*…” among you? (TLN: Eighth Grader Syndrome, used to refer to teens who exhibit grandiose delusions)
After the mock battle, we moved to the conference room.
Since almost everyone was present, I wanted to decide what we were going to do next.
The members were me, Finne, Iris, and my classmates who had participated in the mock battle earlier.
We were joined by Asha, Kusel, Ephyr, Aegan, and Ms. Usami.
I stood in front of everyone and looked around at everyone’s faces before opening my mouth.
“Well, I’d like to discuss our course of action going forward—first of all, I don’t intend to return to the Kingdom of Perdis or any other country for the time being, but to help rebuild this country until it’s a little bit stable. Not to mention that I still need to investigate the summoning circle.”
Finne, Iris and Asha nodded to those words.
“I will, of course, follow you, Haruto.”
“Of course I’m with you!”
“I’ll follow the Princess and Haruto anywhere of course!”
After nodding to the three of them, Ephyr called out to me in a frightened voice.
“Umm, master Haruto. Of course I’m going to follow you, but I would very much like to inform my village about the outcome of our expedition this time…”
Ephyr’s words were met with an offer from Aegan.
“Lady Ephyr, in that case, please leave it to us. Some of us have already returned to the village to report back, and half of us who participated in this mission are expected to return. The other half, including myself, will stay here to monitor the royal family.”
“Thank you Aegan. Master Haruto, I’ll be joining you then!”
“Okay, thank you, Ephyr…what about you, Kusel?”
I said, then turned to Kusel.
“Mm, of course I’m coming with you!”
“I-I see. ‘Of course’ huh…?”
That’s okay, though.
And finally, I looked towards Tendo and the others.
“What about you guys, Tendo?”
It seems like they were discussing something while I was talking to Finne and the rest, so they must have decided on some kind of objective.
Then Tendo looked straight at me.
“Haruto, you said that the four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King’s Army have a level above 100, right?”
“That’s right. The guy I defeated was at Level 137, I think. I’m sure the others are likely to be of similar levels too.”
“The Demon King…oh, you mean the real Demon King. I’m sure he must be on a higher level than that.”
Oh quit with the weird acting, it’s rather making the atmosphere feel awkward.
Tendo nodded at my answer.
“I’m sure that as we are now, we stand no chance against the Demon King or even the Four Heavenly Kings. Which is why I’m thinking of going to a dungeon, so we could grind our levels…”
I see, that’s actually well thought out.
I quickly used the map function of the God Eye to look for a suitable dungeon.
Then I found one, the Nargadia Labyrinth. I’m not sure why I can’t see any information about the boss, but… it’s probably not that dangerous considering the overall level.
“All right…there is a dungeon called Nargadia Labyrinth, go there and train. The goal is to be able to clear the dungeon as a party with ease. I’m sure you should be able to attain the might to fight the Four Heavenly Kings… It’s a little tough for you guys as you are right now, but I think you can just about make it to the middle tier. That should give you an idea of the difficulty.”
My classmates’ expressions turned grim at my words.
“Don’t worry. If anything happens, I’ll come to your aid, and in any case, we should also be there in about a week or so. I’ll also hand you a very special item.”
“That’s right, it’s an item that protects you only once from an instant death magic attack. It won’t protect you from physical attacks, so be careful.”
I said, and brought out the item.
Protects the wearer of this item once from all magical attacks that can cause certain death.
Immediately after it is used, the item will disappear.
As my classmates gasped at the sight of the national treasure class item, Ms. Usami asked me.
“Yuki, where did you obtain such an item?”
“Nah, it’s not so much obtaining it from somewhere as it is creating it, with my skills.”
As I replied thus, the teacher, who hadn’t seen my status earlier, was absolutely stunned.
After that, we decided on the location and the fact that they would have to leave in two days due to preparations, thus marking the end of the meeting.
However, just as I was about to leave the meeting room, Suzuno called out to me.
“Haruto. Am I also going with them to the labyrinth?”
“Sure, you should go, Suzuno. Otherwise, the gap between you and us will only get bigger.”
“Mmm~, I thought we were going to be together…”
Suzuno puffed out her cheeks and ran over to Tendo and the others who had left the room earlier.
Shinonome and Asakura, who seemed to have heard the conversation, turned around, glared and stuck out their tongues at me.
What the hell…
—That night. Mariana, the first princess of the Kingdom of Glicente, was burning with anger in her room.
‘Why do I have to be the one to suffer this kind of treatment? It’s all my dear father’s fault!’
She didn’t dare utter these thoughts out loud. If she’d so much as make a fuss, the elves might kill her.
‘And that Haruto Yuki! Isn’t he supposed to be dead?! The knights who I gave the orders were all loyal to me, and given the circumstances, he shouldn’t be alive. Dear father also mentioned that there was an EX rank adventurer with the same name, that it was probably just a coincidence! To think that it’s the same person…how in the world did he survive?’
But even if she thought about it, she would never know the answer.
Mariana changed her mind and decided to think of a way to escape from the prison which is her room.
The problem was that she had been inscribed with a slave crest.
At first, Mariana suspected that it was just a bluff, but after seeing how the duke was killed, she became convinced.
Slaving Arts can be lifted by a practitioner of equal or higher level, even if it is not the one who cast it. Mariana, who was unaware that Haruto’s slaving arts was at level 10, a level so high that no one else had reached, was desperately trying to figure out how to get those who could use slaving arts to cooperate and remove the slave crest.
Mariana was suddenly approached by a voice.
“—You’d better not get any funny ideas, okay?”
Mariana’s shoulders shook at the voice that came down from the ceiling.
This voice belonged to one of the elves monitoring the royal family.
Mariana understood that ‘Funny ideas’ was synonymous to ‘Defying Haruto Yuki’.
In addition to the duke, the maid had told her that two others had also been killed.
So, it was all Mariana could do to hide the trembling in her voice as she answered.
“Not to worry. I have no such thoughts.”
At Mariana’s answer, the elf Aegan, who had been monitoring her, came down off the ceiling.
“Hmph, yeah right. I know how it feels to have your king killed and to have been forced out of power. That disconcerting restlessness, I know all too well—after all, I too had my precious village attacked and my beloved chief, family and friends taken from me. Even right now, I wish I could just kill all the royals to sooth the feeling.”
Aegan’s words were eighty percent sincere.
The king, who was the original culprit, was killed by Ephyr, the orphaned child of the former village chief, and the first prince and his knights, who were his subordinates, also perished from their hands personally after they became Yvels.
Killing innocent people would have put them on the same level as the king, and to begin with, they didn’t seem to hold a grudge against people in general.
So, Aegan was almost at peace with the situation, but he had no intention of forgiving Mariana, who shared the same ideology as the king, and who had tried to get rid of and kill Haruto.
He’s letting her live because of Haruto’s orders, that’s all there is to it.
Hence the killing intent that Aegan gave off was genuine, and Mariana’s face turned pale when she sensed it.
But for whatever it’s worth, she was royalty, and she was the one who had tried to use the heroes. She said back to Aegan as calmly as she could.
“Are you really sure, it’s all right to kill me?”
She thought that she had some worth and that she would not be killed.
That was the reason for her bold statement, but that idea was easily shattered by Aegan.
“Listen carefully, my orders are to kill anyone, no matter who they are, if they exhibit any suspicious movement. And you are no exception.”
Mariana fell down on the couch in despair.
As a matter of fact, Mariana’s guess was spot on.
Haruto had ordered Aegan not to kill her, as he intended to set Mariana up as a king in name only.
Aegan, however, hadn’t bothered to mention it and had tried to break Mariana’s heart.
Mariana, on the other hand, was struggling to keep her head straight.
What’s going to happen to this country? Who will be the king? Could it be that guy?
“I-If I die, who will be king?”
Aegan did not open his mouth.
“Answer me! Who do you think I am?”
Aegan finally opened his mouth.
“Who do I think you are? That’s a funny question. You are the daughter of a foolish king, a wench who wields power only for her own personal gain with no consideration for her people or subjects whatsoever…am I wrong?”
“Dear father can certainly be called a foolish king. However, I—”
Aegan interrupted Mariana’s words and threw a knife at her.
The knife, which grazed Mariana’s cheek and smeared with blood, plunged deeply into the wall behind her.
Aegan said coldly to Mariana, who was wincing in pain for the first time.
“The foolish king’s daughter was no different from the foolish king himself. You may deny it all you want, but it’s all the same if that’s what people think of you.”
Mariana bit her lip, unable to say anything back.
The taste of blood spread in her mouth. Then there was a knock at the door, and Aegan hid himself behind a piece of furniture.
“Princess Mariana, I have a message from Master Haruto. May I come in?”
“Yes, yes. Come in.”
Asha—the maid who entered the room, conveyed to Mariana exactly what Haruto had told her.
“This is the message from Master Haruto. Please do not miss a word of it— ‘Rejoice, my dear Mariana, you’re now the queen from this day forth. But keep in mind that you have no real power. Do not interfere in any political affairs and obey the prime minister and ministers. You should also know, that the remnants of the royals and royalist nobles from around the country will be investigated and either executed, imprisoned indefinitely, or sent to the mines as criminal slaves’ is what I’ve been tasked to pass along.”
“What? That’s just too…umm, miss. Did he say anything else?”
Asha paused for a moment before answering.
“Yes. ‘If you don’t obey, I’ll just give the crown to someone else, and there’s an alternative, so you would do well not to get carried away’, I believe was it”
The alternative…he probably meant my younger brother, the young prince.
Mariana understood once again that if she made any unnecessary moves, she would be disposed of—killed, imprisoned, or reduced to slavery—just like the rest of the royal family.
“…Please tell Haruto Yuki, no, Master Haruto that I will obey everything he says.”
Asha bowed and walked out of the room.
Aegan reappeared, taking her place.
“Good for you, at least you’re not going to be executed right away. You can thank our boss for that.”
“I suppose, so…”
She replied so, but Mariana’s inner thoughts were far from that.
Even though she’s been granted a reprieve from sudden death, she was still as good as dead. At the very least, there was no way she could live the same life as before.
“Hmm, doesn’t look like you really mean that…at any rate, we’ll be watching you at all times, so do yourself a favor and try not to behave strangely. I hope you understand?”
Aegan said this as if he could see through Mariana’s inner thoughts, and disappeared again.
And truly as he said, Mariana hadn’t given up yet.
If she could make contact with the royalist nobles before the investigation reached them, she would have a chance to turn her situation around.
And so, Mariana came up with a plan.
A plan to regain her position of power.
Positive that her plan would succeed.