TWEM Vol. 5 Chapter 14 Part 1
Chapter 14 – After the Battle
I went straight down to the cathedral.
Argh, I can’t wait to go to bed…
As I was thinking that, Finne, Iris, Suzuno, Ephyr, Asha, and Kusel came running towards me.
When did they get here?
“Why are all of you here… I thought I told you to stay at the inn…”
“And just watch and twiddle our thumbs? You know we can’t do that!”
“Besides, we knew there was no chance Haruto would lose, so we came here to pick you up.”
Iris and Finne answered, and the others nodded in agreement.
Actually, it was a close call, but…I’mma keep that bit out.
“I won in the end, so it’s all good…I guess, as long as everyone’s all right.”
And then, Ilmina, who looked as if she was about to burst into tears, called out to me.
Liebert and Gawain were also behind her.
“Um, I don’t know how to thank you…”
Oh, so that’s it.
“If you want to thank someone, thank Iris.”
“I told you, didn’t I? Iris asked me to help you, so I did. Right, Iris?”
I said and looked at Iris.
Iris smiled and nodded toward Ilmina.
“Because you’re my friend, Ilmina! You’re supposed to help your friends! Although this time, it wasn’t me, but Haruto.”
“Anyway, that’s how it is.”
After saying that, Ilmina hugged Iris and started crying.
While Ilmina was crying, Liebert and Gawain also expressed their gratitude.
“Thank you very much, Haruto.”
“Please accept my gratitude as well, Haruto.”
They both bowed deeply.
“Come on, please raise your heads. Can we talk inside instead? …That’s if there are any rooms left standing.”
“Sure. That would be great.”
Liebert chuckled and looked back at the damaged cathedral.
After a while, when Ilmina stopped crying, we headed to a room in the cathedral.
As soon as we were seated, Liebert bowed to me once again.
“Haruto, allow me to convey our sincerest gratitude for saving our holy city——or rather, the Holy State of Belifaire. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Following Liebert, Ilmina and Gawain bowed their heads to me as well.
“Come on guys. Just like I said earlier, I did it because Iris asked me to help her friend.”
“Haruto is too kind, so it’s just like him to lend a hand!”
Iris said, looking all smug.
And why is she puffing out her chest?
However, Finne, Suzuno and the others were also nodding their heads.
I was starting to feel a little embarrassed.
“Is that so? Then, about the reward…”
Liebert said and looked at me.
But I pulled a fast one on him and opened my mouth before he did.
“I don’t need a reward. Just the thought alone is enough.”
“I appreciate you saying so. However, you’re the hero who saved our country, Haruto. I would like to at least give you something in return. You can request for anything, so long as it’s within our powers.”
Even if you say it like that, I thought about it as well during the designated commission. I have more than enough money and I don’t even need status or honor.
Also I’m currently on a trip, and plan to return to my original world sooner or later.
“Okay…then, how about making it so I can move in and out of the country freely.”
“Is that what you want?”
“Yeah. Just being able to pass freely through the checkpoints is enough.”
Liebert was still not satisfied.
Then Ilmina spoke up.
“Father, I think it’s fine.”
“Remember, Haruto is an adventurer. I understand that as the ones showing our gratitude, the request seems too humble and far from enough, but since that’s the case, the only thing we can do now is to do our best to meet up with the support he requested to the best of our abilities, isn’t that right?”
Liebert nodded in response to Ilmina’s words.
“…You’re right. It’s just as you said, Ilmina. Haruto, could you give me a moment?”
Liebert asked a nearby nun to bring a piece of paper and a pen, and within seconds he wrote something and stamped it.
“——Here. You can have this, Haruto. It will serve as a form of identification. With this, you can freely enter and leave almost anywhere in the country.”
I took it from Liebert and read through the contents.
It read, ‘I, Liebert Heilig, guarantee the identity of this adventurer, Haruto’.
“I’ve confirmed it. Thank you. Does this apply to my friends as well?”
“No, it is only for you, Haruto. But not to worry. Captain Gawain, if you’d please.”
Liebert placed the object he received from Gawain on the table.
It was a simple knife in the shape of a cross.
“It’s the identification I’ll be giving the others. It doesn’t have as much recognition as the one I handed to you, but it will still allow you to move freely in the country. There’s enough for everyone.”
As Liebert said this, the nuns who had been standing by, handed Iris and the others the rest of the knives.
Everyone who received the knives thanked Liebert one by one.
Then Iris turned to me.
“If I may, Haruto?”
“What is it?”
“Who was behind this incident?”
I looked at Liebert’s expression and wondered if it’s okay to tell them.
“It’s all right. Although I can’t let the people find out about it, so I’d ask that it doesn’t leave these four walls——excuse me Sisters, and the Holy Knights, if you would please secure the perimeter around the room.”
Liebert asked the nuns and holy knights to leave the room.
I’m sure they’re also aware of who the mastermind is, but he must have had them stand guard so that no one will overhear our conversation.
When they were ready, Liebert opened his mouth.
“The people who kidnapped Ilmina were members of the satanic cult, led by Cardinal Alben and his fellow cultists. They summoned the highest-ranking devil, and the result is what we just witnessed…but, I cannot let the people find out about this.”
Well, that makes sense.
A cardinal, who was also a leading figure in the Holy State, turned out to be a devil worshiper, and was also the one responsible for this situation. If the truth were to come out, the country would surely lose its credibility.
Hearing this, Iris nodded in agreement.
“A Cardinal…huh. Then it makes sense that you would want to keep this under wraps.”
Whoa, I was expecting Iris to say something like, you shouldn’t hide the truth from the public.
“You think so too huh, Iris.”
“Of course. If the people were to become uneasy and start a riot, it would only cause unnecessary casualties, right? And that’s the last thing anyone wants.”
Iris, as a princess, really cared about the people. No wonder the people of the royal capital like her so much.
Liebert nodded and turned to Gawain.
“What do you think, Knight Captain Gawain?”
“Uh. As Princess Iris said, it could lead to a riot. So regarding this incident, I think it would be better to say that Cardinal Alben and the others were possessed by the devil.”
That’s a decent enough explanation, I’d say.
Liebert seemed to agree.
“Sounds good. Then, may I trouble you with leaking the information?”
“Got it, please leave it to me.”
While we were talking about this, for some reason, Ilmina was glancing at me and fidgeting.
“What’s the matter, Ilmina?”
“Hieek?! Oh, no, it’s nothing, nothing…”
Fidgeting restlessly, while glancing back and forth.
…Goddamn it, I can’t help being curious!!
“What’s the matter, Ilmina? You seem strangely restless.”
When Liebert asked, Ilmina finally opened her mouth while blushing.
“Um, it’s about the reward…”
“I already gave Haruto the reward, though?”
“No, that’s not what I meant…”
“Then make yourself clear.”
“O-Okay. Um, you see, as a reward for saving the holy city, well…”
Everyone present was staring at Ilmina.
“I said that I’d give everything I have as reward…! ”
Ilmina’s cheeks turned even redder, and she plopped down on the table, covering her face with both hands.