Chapter 26 Audience At Night (Intelligence Gathering 5)
I walked in the night town.
The sounds of Getta hitting the stone pavement rattled on.
And then I arrived before the royal castle in the center of the town.
Of course the huge double gate is shut tight.
I talk to a middle-aged gatekeeper standing beside the gate.
"Good evening. I'd like to ask something."
"Who.... Wait, you're Hero-sama. Good evening."
"Do you know where the king's bedroom is?"
"If I'm not mistaken His Majesty's bedroom is on the top floor facing the courtyard at the south.... But why do you ask?"
"Oh it's nothing, I'm just curious. Thanks."
I left the puzzled gate-keeper and the gate.
I sneaked around the outer wall of the castle.
Stopping at the wall on the south side.
I call forth wind that abides me and then kicks off the ground.
I fly in the sky, drawing an arc.
And then I got on the roof of the castle.
I use <<Senrigan>> to see rooms at the south side. There's a lot of rooms.
The king is reading a book in one of those rooms. He's wearing nightclothes with a nightcap.
Illuminated by a lamp on the table side.
"This place huh."
I flew in the sky again, jumping down to the room's balcony.
I open the terrace's window, entering the room. It's not locked.
The king moves his face away from the book when I enter the room.
"Hm? Aren't you the new hero. Was it Keika.... Hero is permitted to meet me anywhere anytime, but couldn't you think about the time? I'm about to take a rest here."
"Sorry for visiting this late. However, I had to ask your maesty something no matter what."
"Hou. What is it?"
"Do your majesty wish to defeat the demon king?"
"Mu? You ask some strange thing. Of course I do."
I didn't feel any lie in his words.
I straighten myself and ask again.
"Then, are you aware how far the demon king's influence reach in this country?"
And then the king deeply furrowed his brow.
He seems to know something.
He squeezes his words bitterly.
"I see. I understand the reason you sneaked in the middle of the night. You didn't want to let someone else hear it did you."
"Yes, that's right."
"As expected of Hero. What you're looking at is different.... I do feel that there is something wrong somewhere in this country. And that has been for quite sometime. I've vaguely realized that the demon king has influenced this kingdom."
"As expected of your majesty."
"However, there is no evidence. I couldn't do anything but nod at what they told me to do. Since I could be erased like my father if I did something careless."
"I see. A wise decision."
"Just how long have I been waiting for a hero who could defeat the demon king..... However, I will advise you one thing. You are also one of those who cannot defeat the demon king."
I went to the bedside.
"Even with this?"
I stare at the king.
While looking puzzled, the king stare at my eyes like seeing through my depth.
And then his lips shake.
"Y-you! You're a true hero bearing the power of light! I don't believe it! Back then I didn't see the light."
--As I thought, the king has the power of a Shepherd to see status.
I powerfully nodded.
"Yes, I needed to hide it a bit in order to pass through the Holy Gate."
"Wha...! You could do that....! Wait?"
"Yes, that's right. The Sinner System is a system to kill people who have the potential to become a true hero."
The king sighs out a long long breath. His beard shakes weakly.
"Is that right.... I had an inkling of that too. Then that young one also holds the light.... My incompetency is pathetic."
"Please don't be discouraged, your majesty. I really appreciate that you can be reasoned with."
"Did you come here just for that?"
"Could you abolish the Sinner System if I defeat the demon king? Along with an apology and a revision explaining that it was the demon king's scheme."
"Umu. I can promise you anything if you defeat the demon king."
Alright. Now Celica can [live on] as a true princess after regaining her kingdom. Then I just need to defeat the demon king.
"Also, could you inform me every time you find a sinner?"
"Umu. The church manages everything related to Sinners. That'd be difficult."
"Vanus Belief is it."
I guess it won't be easy to intervene if the church holds huge power.
And there's no mistake that it's been contaminated by the demon king.
I should purge the top people of the church when I have free time.
I should ask it just in case.
Thinking of that, I ask the king
"Right. What would you like to do to the people who've become the underlings of the demon king?"
"U~mu. That's a difficult problem. We have to think about the possibility of them being forced to obey or threatened after all."
"That's true. Then I'll only remove people who seem malignant."
"Umu. I'll leave that to Hero Keika to decide."
The king calmly nodded. His nightcap shook.
I bowed to him.
"Thank you. Then I'll take my leave."
"Do your best. Please take care of this country, this world. We can only rely on you."
The king surprisingly bowed his head to me.
I didn't expect him to bow to someone who's younger (in appearance) than him.
"Leave it to me your majesty."
I thought that I'd be fine working hard for this king.
I bowed once again and left the castle.
When I went back to the inn, Celica was sleeping in nude with Lapisia on her side.
Lapisia's dress was also rolled up, her childish underwear and flat stomach could be seen. Her face is on Celica's breast. Buried in them like a baby.
Celica is frowning painfully.
I separate the two, take out the 【Emblem of Hero】 and fiddle with it.
『Choose the person you'd like to add to the party.』
The arrow appeared and I turned it toward Lapisia.
She entered the party. I looked at the 【Emblem of Hero】's back just in case, confirming her name engraved on it.
I sighed once, put myself in the vacant space, and went to sleep.