356 Thoughts at an Intersection
A guide walked me through the castle's exit. I kept walking on the road ahead of the gate.
The guide man was no longer behind me. He must have gone back to the castle.
"Yup! I can finally leave this country for good now~... Just gotta hope there's no more trouble cropping up in this kingdom today~."
Of course, it's too late for that. My biggest slip up was getting into that event with the princess before even reaching the kingdom in the beginning. There's just no way to overturn that.
"Would have been nice if I could find some nice corner deep in the forest where I could live alone."
Nobody could find that spy lurking until I came in the picture. If only I could stay in that forest, things would have been perfect.
Yes, that place simply checks all the marks.
But I just can't bring myself to after coming across that incident.
"Federation huh~... Uh, they're not giving me a good impression? What's up with that country anyway..."
My memory once again lapsed here. I thought that the spy I let go would go back to his army and reported the plan's failure.
And with that, they would withdraw the entire army.
However, that was but one plan among many they had.
They were brewing three simultaneous plans intended to sow chaos in the kingdom.
Only the plan using the children failed, the other two were still active.
Of which one of these two plans is now in motion.
"It's a fire!! Firemen! Get ready to sortie and evacuate the area! Go! Go! Goo!"
I was walking on the main street heading toward the gate that leads to the old federation road.
That was when it took place. Around a hundred big and burly rugby players-like men showed up on the main street, leaving behind dust of cloud as they ran.
"...What? A fire? ...Nothing to do with me..."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Oy! We're under attack by a bandit gang! There's a lot of them! Call the guards! Send a messenger! Request a knight reinforcement from the castle! We have no clear picture on their scale yet! Many civilians are still outside the gate! Rescue them and defend the gate! Keep casualty at a minimum!"
The second plan was also here, soldiers ran to the opposite direction of the fire to deal with that.
"...Oy, it can't be... I've got nothing but bad feelings about all this, dammit."
I got anxious. Specifically at the timing.
(I just got done taking care of the children, you know? And you telling me a fire break out right after? ...Followed by a bandit gang... at the same time? Like hell it's all a coincidence!)
No, it might be. But not this time.
After all, it's happening now, baseless as it may sound.
(Federation's ploy huh... So they went ahead with their plan huh... I see...)
An event preceding war. I'll surely get dragged into it with no way out. My experience so far tells me as much.
(Don't seem like... I can avoid this? Then what if I just run away... No, won't it just end up like that time with 'White Fang'?)
I got lost in my thoughts at a corner of the main street.
"Think... There must be a way to dodge this... But doing that is definitely gonna cause more troublesome events in the future..."
Finding myself at an impasse, I calm down.
(...No matter how annoying or troublesome these events are, doing what I think is my best course action is pretty much the most optimal way to avoid them, isn't it?)
Doesn't look like I can escape with how big scale this event seems to be, then might as well going hard at it.
(I don't want to make a show out of my 'power' to the public. That'll attract all the annoying people trying to exploit it.)
What do I wanna do? I've gotta find the best compromise to draw the line at.
(I can just keep my identity a secret. Easy. Just gotta put on a mask. Then time my entrance right somewhere that'll minimize casualty.)
At this point, my thought process had transitioned to 'If I can't escape, I might as well smash it.'
Maybe there were other ways. Even 'do nothing' was an option.
I myself had no idea why didn't I think of those.
Perhaps I pushed the wrong button in my head?
"What was it again? Wisdom of Zen? 'Those who are ignorant cannot prevail against those who know, those who know cannot prevail against those who enjoy' or something? Let's be positive... Alright! Let's just enjoy this!"
Thus, using a mismatched idiom as my justification, I ran out to do something I'm not obliged to do.