Chapter 139: Things lost and things gained
I fished on my own at the harbor.
Ruti and Ririnrara should be attending the Zoltan parliament.
Looking at the river, preparations for Ririnrara’s warship to leave port was being rushed.
If the pursuing ships were under Leonor’s instructions, Zoltan shouldn’t be involved.
Ririnrara and the others had no intention of holing up in Zoltan to fight and even then, they had no chance of winning.
Hence, Ririnrara and the others only probable plan would be to leave Zoltan.
“Demon Lord’s ship huh?”
A steel ship that runs across the sea using coal rather than wind.
In addition, it was accompanied by a fleet of the latest large galleon sailing ships.
Ririnrara’s soldiers were all well-trained but the ship was an old galley designed more than 50 years ago.
The ship designed in Veronia supported a deck higher than the other warships 50 years ago and was vastly popular as it could rain down arrows on their opponents from above.
However, great progress has been made in sailing shipbuilding technology.
The newest galleon had a deck that was a great deal taller than Ririnrara’s galley, didn’t require a large number of rowers and had huge transportation capacity.
The fighting style of pirates changed too.
When Ririnrara was actively leading the Fairy Pirates, the power of the pirates overwhelmed the power of the country’s naval strength. The pirates could boldly attack national naval ships and they directly confronted the navy that came to subjugate them.
It was different now. Pirates attacked transport and merchant ships using medium-sized fast sailing ships and would flee in all directions using their mobility when the naval warships come.
They would flee to various sea regions, plunder from the weak and flee when they were on alert.
Ririnrara still appeared to be at the prime of her age but she probably was, just like her ship, an existence left behind by the times.
Such thoughts swirled in my mind.
“Well, isn’t Wendy Dart a ship more than 50 years old as well?”
I shook my head and erased my thoughts.
This won’t do, I’ve become too sentimental.
In any case, it was certainly a severe situation for Ririnrara and Prince Sarius.
The problem was how should I act.
I had a goal directly connected to our lives here, to protect Zoltan in which we live in.
However, the crisis to Zoltan was gone.
Mistome-shi would probably go with Prince Sarius.
She no longer had any reason to hide her identity to Prince Sarius and Leonor might attack Zoltan if she remained.
Once Ririnrara, Prince Sarius, and Mistome-shi leaves, it should no longer concern Zoltan.
Even if Mistome-shi was Zoltan’s hero … even if the entire Zoltan army becomes Mistome-shi’s ally, the result probably wouldn’t change.
But if it was us …
When I pulled the fishing line up, there was a small fish caught on the hook.
“So a fishing rod like this can still fish up something occasionally … I guess I can use it for soup.”
I took the fish off the hook and placed it in a water bag.
I was killing time in a fashion that you wouldn’t think a Veronian fleet was approaching.
“That said, what more should I do?”
Well, I don’t dislike Mistome-shi, Prince Sarius or Ririnrara.
If you ask if I feel ok to watch them die, I would say I would feel so bad that I would feel sick.
However, the opponent was the Kingdom of Veronia connected to the Demon Lord Army and Queen Leonor.
It was as though the world prepared a battle right in front of us despite our choice to stop fighting the Demon Lord Army … I couldn’t dispel such a notion.
It was as though if we fought here, we would be dragged back to the battle to save the world …
I heard Lit’s call.
Looking back, I saw Lit with steaming milk cocoa in both her hands.
“Did you catch anything?”
“One small fish.”
Lit sat beside me.
The milk cocoa she passed to me was warm thanks to Lit’s magic and the warmth gradually spread across my body as I fished beside the winter river.
“Is it good?”
“Yup, it’s delicious.”
“Right? I’ve been training all this time.”
“Although the tea and cocoa Red makes are delicious, there are times that Red probably wants to have a drink made by someone else. I want to make them for Red for those times.”
I took another sip of the milk cocoa.
The gentle sweetness wrapped around the cold and warmed my body.
I felt the tensed facial expression muscles around my mouth relax.
Lit and I sat together as we watched the river and Ririnrara’s ship a distance away.
“What is it?”
“Just like you told me before, a slow life is not a binding way of life.”
“During the Shisandan incident huh?”
“This time I will say it to you. Our slow life is not meant to put up with something. Isn’t the slow life we wish for a pace we enjoy the most and to live a life with no regrets?”
Lit’s shoulder touched mine.
Her sky-blue pupils looked into mine and she smiled with her cute lips.
“Let’s think about it when it happens. If the battle chases after us, we can beat it up, or we can escape or ignore it if it is troublesome. When the time comes, just do what you want to do. Wouldn’t you feel bad if you leave regrets behind while living a slow life?”
” … That’s right, you’re right, Lit.”
I pulled up the hook from the river.
I removed the bait from the hook and tossed it into the river.
The fish that didn’t even look at the bait when it was on the hook quickly chomped on the free bait.
What a clever fish.
“Nevertheless, you sure know what troubles me.”
“Of course. You are my Red after all.”
Lit smiled, showing her white teeth.
“Moreover, personally I’m fuming for what Leonor did. It would be a shame if I can’t directly beat her up!”
“I see … Thank you, Lit.”
I recalled the time when I stared at maps and thought of battle plans on my own when I was in the hero party.
At that time, I had a ton of magic items, the title of the Knights of Bahamut, and heroic companions who could move nations.
I no longer had any of those.
Now, I only had a cheap copper sword in hand, a lover to snuggle with, a loveable younger sister and a reliable friend.
Hey, aren’t my options even more reliable now?
I stood up with a sword on my waist.
“Let’s go to Ruti.”
Lit and I walked side by side as we headed toward the Central District where the Zoltan parliamant was held.
When we arrived at the parliament, the guards let us pass smoothly without dispute.
Well, that was natural.
Hero Lit was here after all.
“Red-san. I watched you fight with Albert. Please teach me the sword one day.”
A young guard saluted in my direction.
“Everyone knows about your good qualities.”
Lit said and smiled happily.