A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 220

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 220. Divide (9)



It was finally the day that the Great Council was scheduled to begin.




Desir looked through the window of his carriage, as it slowly made its way to the Royal Palace.




Dark-colored buildings lined the streets, placed systematically and without variation.




There was one structure in particular that stood out amongst those buildings.




A huge tower.




Seeing it in person, it was clear that the tower had something to do with the true purpose behind the Outsiders infiltrating Divide.




‘She must be doing well, right?’



Swan wasn’t part of their group headed for the palace. She had left to investigate the gigantic tower along with some of the Side Guard operatives.




The plan was simple.




With the Great Council beginning, the number of troops guarding the tower was going to be at its lowest due to them prioritising security detail for it. During that time, the Side Guard and Swan would infiltrate and investigate the tower.




If the tower was related to the Outsiders, and the circumstantial evidence strongly suggested it was, they should be able to discover the Outsiders’ goal based on what they managed to gather during their expedition.




* * *




“… Isn’t this too much?”




Desir felt something unusual while walking down the palace corridor.





He expected that there would be a large number of troops for guarding the Great Council, but the number present exceeded his expectation by far.




The sounds of wyverns crying while gliding through the sky echoed non-stop: it was the Flying Dragon Division that Divide was so proud of. And there wasn’t just one member; practically the whole division was there.




As if they weren’t enough, several knights were patrolling the palace in small formations, and an immense number of soldiers were stationed in anything that so much as resembled a guard post.




“Did they bring all of the troops guarding Pittsburgh?”




Desir nodded in agreement with Zod’s assessment.




“That seems to be the case.”




The military force present was more than enough to display


their strength as a nation. While it could almost be construed as a threatening gesture by the guests attending the Great Council, nobody complained. It was justified after what happened in the previous year.




Desir did not expect Divide would be able to muster such a big military force. It was a truly prodigious number.




However, it didn’t matter.




‘I don’t know what they’re thinking, but this won’t go as planned.’




Desir said mentally while thinking of someone in particular.




“It’s been a while, Desir.”




A lady strode towards him. It was Saint Priscilla.




He hadn’t seen her in a while, especially since she hadn’t attended the previous night’s banquet.



Behind Priscilla were numerous knights wearing full suits of armor, on which a moon pattern was engraved.




Holy paladins of the Artemis Church.




Nominally, they were a group formed to fight against the infidels that refused the teachings of their Goddess.




There were surprisingly few holy paladins, considering the number of believers the Church of Artemis had, but their individual ability was excellent. To disregard their power because of their size could be a fatal mistake. Above all, some amongst their ranks had unique powers, such as Priscilla’s healing capabilities.




“I brought them here as you mentioned. Will this be enough?”




“Of course.”




Right after Desir contacted Zod, he also asked Priscilla for more armed escorts.


“Looks like they came prepared too.”




Looking out the window at what Zod pointed to, they could make out Kings of the Western Kingdom Union arriving.




Each one of them was escorted by elite forces representing their own country. This was in stark contrast to the minimal personal security from the previous year. There was a fair number of elite soldiers gathered now.




“It was good that we heeded your advice and planned in advance.”




As everyone who was attending the Great Council had brought a fair number of elite troops, the forces gathered were now sufficient to hold off against any military assault that Divide prepared.




“With all of this, we will be fully able to cope with the Outsiders, no matter what they do.”




No, with these elite forces from the Western Kingdom Union included, they had far better troops in terms of quality. They


were likely evenly matched in terms of sheer number of soldiers with Divide, but vastly better off quality wise, so even if a battle occured, there should be no problem.




“Everyone is quite prepared.”




A deep and dignified voice sounded. Desir and company turned their gaze to where the voice came from.




‘Clora Ars F. Baldershu… !’




At the end of their line of sight was the King of Divide, Clora Baldershu.




“I salute the King of Divide.”




They politely saluted Clora.




Clora greeted them all with a light nod.




“Zod Exarion, I heard you suggested this to other kings.”





“Yes, Your Majesty.”




“Very splendid. I appreciate your forethought on behalf of the Western Kingdom Union.”




As Zod bowed his head, Clora had a pleasant smile.




The sight made Desir contemplate.




‘Is the King working directly with the Outsiders… ?’




Although he didn’t know much about him, he didn’t seem suspicious based on what Desir had heard and the information he had.




It was a fact that the Outsiders had infiltrated Divide, but he hadn’t figured out how exactly they made that first in-road into placing that advisor at the King’s ear.




There was no doubt that the Advisor was directly related to


the Outsiders, but he was unsure of whether the King was directly cooperating with him and aware of his identity.




This situation paralleled what Desir saw happen in the Magic Kingdom with their leader, Kuma Merilson. Skull Mask manipulated their king while working under the pseudonym of “The Prophet”, eventually destroying the country. However, the major difference here was that as those events unfolded, the King ended up disagreeing with Skull Mask’s aim and was taken out of the equation as a result. He was completely taken advantage of.




“But having the military force just stand by like this isn’t going to be sufficient.”




Clora’s eyes widened at Desir’s sudden suggestion.




“What are you talking about?”




“All this military strength can easily repel an attack from outside, but if there is an attack from the inside, they’d collapse instantly.”


“Elaborate.”




“The Outsiders managed to infiltrate the Hebrion Academy a long time ago. They had operatives working as professors with no one the wiser. It was impossible for us to figure out who could be trusted among the staff and guards at the academy.”




He used the metaphor to explain the current situation Divide found itself in.




Desir believed he didn’t need to hide that he had figured out that the Outsiders were hidden in Divide. Announcing this knowledge wouldn’t make a difference after all.




Seeing as that was the case, he decided to gauge the reaction of the King after making such a bold move.




“I have heard rumour of such, however there is no indication of any Outsider activity in Divide. I appreciate your concern though.”




Clora’s behavior was too natural. His intonation and look didn’t seem as if he were acting at all.





‘I had better step back at this point.’




Desir realized it wouldn’t be helpful to press him too much further.




If he was just acting, it was pointless. If he wasn’t acting, continuing to sound him out wasn’t a good move in terms of maintaining a good relationship.




“Glad to hear it. If you need help with anything, please let me know whenever.”




“Thank you. Let’s start the Great Council.”




As Clora took the lead, Desir and company followed suit.




Just before they could enter the room where the Great Council would take place, there was yet another inspection. People entered after relinquishing hazardous objects and passing an identity check.


Desir and company managed to clear the inspection and enter the room.




“Desir Arman, do you have a moment?”




Clora pulled Desir aside all of a sudden. He had a grim look on his face. Then, he whispered very quietly.




“Actually, there is a serious problem in Divide.”




“What is it?”




Clora looked out the window with quite a serious face. The weather seemed to have read the mood, as rain started to pour down.




“Those bastards work more often on gray days like this. I try my best to manage it on my own, but it’s hard to deal with them.”




“… Are you talking about the Outsiders?”



Desir’s expectations were lifted at the unexpected possibility of getting information about the Outsiders.




If the King of Divide was hostile to the Outsiders, he could solve the issue easily by simply cooperating with him.




“It’s not the Outsiders, it’s mice.”




Desir squinted at Clora’s unexpected words.




“Yesterday, today, there are a lot of mice in Divide. They’re all around the capital you see. So we’re having a hard time.”




“That… is a big problem indeed.”




Desir didn’t know what to say in response, but he continued the conversation while nodding in agreement.




“But truly, this rain is a relief. Even if I don’t see them, I know the mice are hidden somewhere. It’s not easy to get rid of mice when they’re hiding.”




“Yes. You’re right.”




“So, isn’t this a great chance to remove them if they appear? I don’t need to worry about not being able to see them if I handle them all now. All the mice pouring out of their dens, thinking that they won’t be seen in the bad weather.”




Clora stared out the window. The rain had truly set in.




‘This man perhaps… ’




Desir found the conversation suspect.




“Today the mice will not survive, not even one.”




Clora’s eyes gleamed for a second.




Desir gulped.


“I hope things go your way, Your Majesty.”




“Thank you, Desir.”




Clora smiled at Desir. Desir also replied with a smile.




‘One thing is certain.’




Desir’s face cooled off icily.




‘Clora Baldershu is working with the Outsiders.’




Desir had shown his hand, using his story about the Hebrion Academy as an allusion to the Outsider’s infiltration of Divide.




The King had then pulled Desir aside and used a metaphor of his own to tell Desir that he was well aware of the Side Guard’s infiltration and rummaging in Divide under Desir’s command.




Desir had revealed himself in order to gauge the King’s reaction, to get a feel for how much control the Outsiders had


over the country. In the end he hadn’t confirmed much, but he hadn’t given away much either; he was fairly certain the Outsiders were already aware. But for the King to freely confirm his association with the Outsiders?




Desir couldn’t figure out their angle. Why would he expose himself?




However, Desir could not afford to think about his intentions any longer.




If the Outsiders found out what Desir was doing, the people busy investigating could be in danger.




Desir started agonizing over what to do. He looked at his communication pad.




‘I can stop it all now.’




The operation hadn’t started yet. They still had time until the Great Council commenced.


It was possible to cancel the operation by contacting Swan now.




But Desir hesitated.




‘If I miss this chance, it’ll become impossible to figure out the Outsider’s true objective.’




The Outsiders were the biggest obstacle in his way to clearing the Shadow Labyrinth. Without removing them from the picture, there was the very likely possibility of them continually causing problems and wasting valuable resources.




He could not miss the opportunity to get such a rare clue.




‘I will trust in Swan’s ability.’




[-The Outsiders seem to be aware of our movement. When you think it’s dangerous, escape immediately.]




After agonizing for so long, he finally decided to commence the operation as planned.





As soon as he sent Swan the message, everyone had finally gathered to convene the Great Council.




The chair of this Great Council, Clora, opened his mouth after taking in the whole assembly.




“Thank you everyone for your patience. Let’s get this Great Council under way.”






==========================
==========================
Previous Post Next Post