Chapter 17 – A town slated for destruction
So we added Elyc the slime to our group.
Thanks to people barely being around anymore, we kept proceeding forward on the highway using 《Teleport》.
Perhaps because of that, we barely came across any monsters either.
We kept fulfilling various hauling missions as well, earning some money in the process.
Our third and fourth night we managed to spend at proper inns within a town.
As for Elyc, it could apparently understand speech, seeing how Elysia was able to order it to help move some stuff. Although it can’t speak, it’s quite soft and cute, so it’s perfect for using it as a pillow or even a hug pillow.
Though I’m somewhat curious that it didn’t really seem to change after becoming my Servant….
Then the fifth day after leaving the capital came.
As we kept riding down the highway along the seashore, a town with high walls came into view.
Seeing the town Elysia raised her voice in surprise.
“The town of Lobrion. The capital of Count Lobria’s territory.”
“These are the highest walls I’ve seen so far for a town.”
“Yeah. There are no more settlements further south than this. This town serves as the front line for the Monster Kingdom and the monster territories. That’s why the walls are that high.”
South-east of here is Tialus.
Also, the continent only one day away by ship is ruled by the Monster King.
The Monster Kingdom was a country created by the more social monsters and was led by the king of monsters called the Monster King.
In the Monster Kingdom, humans are treated as slaves. The demons that are born to a human and a monster are also treated as slaves, or heavily discriminated against at best.
In other words, it’s a country that’s the polar opposite of the empire. That’s why the two are in a constant state of war.
You could see the opposite shore belonging to the Monster Kingdom continent from here with the naked eye.
Since this place is so close to it, it periodically gets attacked by the Monster Kingdom.
Also, wild monsters that don’t belong to the Monster Kingdom frequently attack from the monster territory.
To defend against those, the town walls became very high in turn.
“The Guild doesn’t have a presence further south either, so our hauling missions are at an end as well.”
“Tialus is next then.”
“We should think things through first….well, let’s decide whether to go based on what information we can gather here in Lobrion.”
The Tialus region is full of monsters. Perhaps it would be best to turn back here.
We could most likely return to the capital in but a single moment, since we were able to get back yesterday and before that as well….
But, Lobrion huh.
I know I’ve never been to it before, but it still rings a bell for some reason.
“…..let’s just enter for the time being.”
So we went through the north gate of Lobrion.
Seeing the lively crowd in the town Elysia noticed something.
“This is a very large town…. also….”
“Yeah. There are a lot of demons.”
The farther you get from the capital, the more demons and tamed monsters you see in towns.
That’s because the Order of the Most Holy Church has the most power near the capital, so the demons and monsters are heavily discriminated against. Even more so nowadays, with the Order’s influence on the rise.
This Lobrion was full of demons with no access to proper employment as well.
“Hey! Move faster! If you don’t hurry the hell up you won’t be getting any food!”
A soldier shouted while cracking his whip on the ground.
“Yes yes…..don’t be so grouchy. I’m on it.”
Hearing that, the one eyed giant pulling the cart started walking faster.
On that cart there was a giant metal object. Its weight was obviously far above what a normal human could move.
The giant had a bald head, blue skin, and a single horn protruding from his forehead. His appearance was just like a cyclops, but…. he was still too small for that. He must be a half-cyclops, a demon.
However, just as he was pushed to go faster he tripped on the cobblestone road.
I sneakily used Wind Magic to gently catch the demon who was about to fall with a wind wall.
Elysia stopped the cart from moving and Elyc pulled on the demon’s leg.
“Woah! T-thanks…. f-for the help.”
“No problem. It’s good that you didn’t fall.”
As I said that, the nearby soldiers had a disgruntled expression on their faces.
“Don’t get in the way! Just keep pulling!”
“Yes yes…..I’m really grateful, travelers. If you have another destination in mind, then you should leave as soon as possible. This place can be quite dangerous.”
Leaving those words, the demon once again started pulling the cart.
Similar scenes were common all over the empire.
Demons are heavily exploited by humans.
Seeing that Elysia was unexpectedly composed.
Perhaps because she was treated just like that before.
Without saying anything about it she turned towards me.
“We should get the reward for the hauling mission first.”
“Ah….yeah, I guess.”
So we went to the Guild and handed over the item we were asked to deliver to the receptionist girl.
“This fast!? Even faster than ship delivery….this will really be a huge help.”
The receptionist girl nodded to Elysia’s question.
“Yes. It seems there were movements on the other coast, so the army of the Monster Kingdom might launch an attack anytime. So the Guild received a request from the Lord to procure high-class potions.”
Apparently, the package contained potions for the battle to come.
The danger the demon spoke about before must’ve been about the Monster Kingdom.
Elysia spoke while receiving the reward from the receptionist girl.
“So there is a high chance that a large battle will happen here in the near future, right?”
“Yes. But the town walls are high and the harbor is protected by chains, so it will be fine. We’ll beat them back this time as well.”
The receptionist girl said with a proud face.
Protected by chains, huh.
Chains can be lowered when you want ships to pass and bring them up to the waterline to prevent them from doing so. You can control naval traffic that way.
Lobrion’s harbor is at the innermost point of an inlet.
The entrance to the inlet could most likely be sealed by such a gigantic chain.
In other words, the town is perfectly protected from both naval and land based attacks….
I can vaguely remember something similar.
Not long after I received my Crest, something happened that caused a stir in the palace.
The Fall of Lobrion.
Lobrion was famous for being the most well defended place in the whole empire.
Despite that the city still fell, so the empire was in an uproar.
That’s right, this Lobrion is about to fall. The common people will be massacred and even Count Lobrion will be killed in battle.
“This is bad….”
Elysia tilted her head in confusion when she heard the words I spoke without thinking.
“What is it, Alec-sama?”
“It’s nothing….I just thought I should go and meet the Lord for a bit.”
“….? I understand!”
Elysia had a strange expression on her face, but then she nodded.
I turned to the direction of the stronghold in the center of Lobrion.
At times like these, it’s useful being a prince. Nobles kind of have to put aside everything and meet me. Even if I have a Dark Crest.
A guard led us to a meeting room within the stronghold right away.
In the meeting room, a man of advanced age was kneeling towards me.
“Prince Alec, I welcome you to my humble abode. I’m sorry for not being able to welcome you more appropriately.”
This man was Count Lobria.
“Sorry for this sudden visit, Count Lobria.”
“There is no problem at all, however…..could I ask what brought you here?”
“I’ve received the territory of Tialus south of here from His Majesty.”
He spoke as if trying to refrain from laughing.
It’s an abandoned territory, with nothing worth mentioning within its borders.
Getting a noble rank from being in charge of that region must sound exceedingly funny to him.
It seems he’s also aware of the fact that I received a Dark Crest.
“Indeed. Therefore, I came to inspect the area.”
“That is….a very admirable thing to do. However, your highness, I’m terribly sorry to say this, but with the movements of the Monster Kingdom we don’t have any manpower to spare.”
“I don’t need a protection detail to begin with. Rather, I would like to lend a hand for the defense instead.”
“You, your highness? Puh-”
Count Lobria did not manage to prevent a laugh escaping.
Elysia opened her mouth without a moment’s delay.
“…..aren’t you being rude?”
“I-I’m terribly sorry. I was just admiring how commendable his highness is, despite his young age. I will make sure to report this to the emperor when I return to the capital.”
“Then can I move freely within Lobrion?”
“But of course. You are free to make use of even my private room if you so wish, your highness. However, you will need to protect yourselves if it comes to it.”
“I understand. Then I will do just that.”
When I stood up, Count Lobria bowed his head again.
After leaving the room, Elysia spoke up.
“You intend to lend a hand to a person like that?”
“I won’t be helping him exactly. Only….”
The Monster Kingdom is exceedingly cruel in treating humans.
Though the Empire is similarly harsh towards monsters.
However, demons are hated by both humans and monsters alike. Since they are neither of those in the end.
If monsters came pouring into Lobrion, even demons would get massacred….
That being said, I can’t tell even Elysia what’s about to occur here.
However, it seems Elysia noticed something because she started shaking her head.
“…..I will obey your every command, Your Highness.”
At this rate it will not only turn bad for the demons here, but traveling further towards Tialus would become exceedingly difficult as well if this place falls.
So I decided to protect Lobrion.