Extra chapter thanks to AK and JM!
Chapter 0123 Development
The day after the explosion in the royal capital.
The Kingdom Second Highway.
It was a highway that runs from the royal capital Crystal Palace through Wingston, the largest city in the east, to the city of Red Post on the eastern border.
The eastern border borders the Inbury Duchy and the Handal Union.
Ryo and His Royal Highness Willy, Rodrigo-dono, four escorts, and six adventurers led by Cohn, a total of thirteen, were heading west on the second highway toward the royal capital.
The carriage on which His Royal Highness Willy and his subordinates were riding was relatively large and fairly well made.
There were many towns along the second highway, and there were plenty of accommodation facilities, so basically they would stay in town at night.
Everyone was grateful that there was no need to keep watch over the camp.
Instead, they had to gain a good distance during the day.
Cohn was acting as the coachman.
It was the result of Cohn’s suggestion that it would be better that way compared to hiring a bad coachman.
The party was not attacked since the destruction of the Order of Assassins’ village.
Given that His Highness Willy was targeted by the Chief in search of eternal life in the first place, there was no reason to be targeted now that the Chief had died.
That said, there was a possibility that they would attack to avenge their chief so they could never relax while they were on the move.
Perhaps that’s why Cohn noticed the sound of sword fighting carried by the wind and the neighing of horses.
“Hey, something is happening in the forest to the north.”
Cohn opened the partition for the coachman and called out to the three inside.
The escorts and adventurers also increased their vigilance, especially focused on the carriage.
“I can certainly hear the sounds. It smells like trouble. Your Highness, what should we do?”
Ryo could somewhat imagine what Prince Willy would say, but he asked just in case.
“If someone is being attacked, I’d like to help …”
No one came to help when they were attacked.
That was normal. No one wants to get involved in trouble.
Or maybe at that time, just no one was passing through the highway …
But if there were people who were being attacked, like them a few days ago, he would like to reach out … His Highness Willy thought to himself.
As a result, someone could get injured or even lose their life … but perhaps he didn’t think that far.
Still, the adults around him felt that the prince had a wonderful heart.
Despite being a prince, they didn’t want him to grow up to be a person who naturally thinks that he is to be served.
“Okay, the six of us adventurers will check it out. Ryo and the escorts are to stand by His Royal Highness’s side.”
Cohn gave out instructions.
There was already absolute trust in Ryo.
At present, the most important thing was the safety of His Highness Willy.
And Ryo could ensure that.
So he put Ryo next to the prince and led the others to check on the situation.
“I understand. I will protect His Highness.”
Ryo promised Cohn.
When Ryo searched again with <Passive Sonar>, he found that about ten people were moving around.
About 400 meters away.
In a place with many trees such as a forest, that distance was the limit of passive sonar.
Furthermore, because he was in the carriage, Cohn may have noticed them first.
Cohn’s auditory acuity was scary!
He told Cohn the distance and the numbers, and after nodding once, the adventurers ran off.
For the time being, the carriage was parked in the shade of a tree along the highway.
Ryo waited on the roof of the wagon, and His Highness Willy and Rodrigo waited in the wagon.
As Ryo was watching with Passive Sonar, Cohn and the others, who seemed to have been watching for a while, plunged into the fray.
However, that wasn’t what concerned Ryo.
(These five people keeping a delicate distance … who are they?)
Five people had moved to a place about 200 meters away from the conflict.
But the five had not strayed from that position.
They might be watching the situation for the moment.
(Did people unrelated to the conflict stumble upon the site? Are they just waiting for it to pass? It’s possible. Some people wouldn’t want to stick their necks in trouble.)
While Ryo was monitoring them, the conflict seemed to have been settled.
All six adventurers were safe. Apart from them, two others were alive.
“Your Highness, everyone is coming back. Besides that, it seems that they will bring two survivors.”
“Is that so! I’m glad everyone is safe. And they rescued …”
At that point, His Highness Willy’s voice became very quiet.
“Ryo. Was my judgment wrong?”
It endangered the lives of his subordinates, albeit they managed to save people.
He was worried about that.
“Your Highness, there is no right answer to this question. In certain situations, it would be correct while in another situation, it would be criticized. But once you make a decision, you must be responsible for the outcome. And you have to be prepared for the worst and the actions to take if it happens.”
“Yes. In this case, what would you do if Cohn and his party died? What would happen to the bereaved families in the country? Or, what if they were seriously injured? There may be situations where you have to leave them and flee to the royal capital depending on how injured they are, or … what would you do if there are pursuers … like how Your Highness experienced previously.”
When he heard that, His Highness Willy’s body tensed slightly.
Ryo explained why His Highness Willy was targeted after he was recovered.
The leader of the Order of Assassins wanted his blood.
He wasn’t frightened, but the shock of being clearly targeted wasn’t so easy to get rid of.
Ryo understood that and chose to mention that experience.
That was because His Highness Willy had to overcome it.
“What would you do if you were chased? You could defeat those who chased you, but what if you continue to be targeted after that? There are many things to think about. I hope you can make decisions with that in mind in the future.”
“It sounds difficult …”
“Of course it’s hard. It’s not something possible to do right away, so I think it’s a good idea to start little by little.”
Make decisions after anticipating possible outcomes.
No matter what world, situation, or position, a person must experience it.
His Highness Willy was only 16 years old, but it was not a bad idea to have that experience from a young age.
When the six adventurers led by Cohn and the two survivors were about to appear in front of Ryo and his group, the five who had stopped and waited until then started to move.
They moved to follow Cohn’s party of eight.
Ryo stood on the carriage and caught the eight people in sight.
The two survivors were injured and were unlikely to be able to run quickly.
“<Ice Wall 8>”
The ice wall ensured that they would not die even if they were attacked by the five pursuers.
In the woods, whether it was by bow and arrow or magic, long-range attacks were very difficult … but not impossible.
Prevention was better than cure.
Taking action first was always better.
And, as expected, two arrows were shot from where the five people were.
The arrows drew a trajectory to the necks of the two rescued people …
They struck the ice wall before piercing them.
The two who were targeted were surprised.
Because they heard a high-pitched sound of something hitting a hard object directly behind them.
They turned around in a hurry and saw arrows that had fallen to the ground.
Ryo, who stood on the carriage, shouted.
The two headed toward the carriage without showing any hesitation.
Almost at the same time, Cohn and his party arrived in front of the carriage.
“Five people from a different group from the ones who were annihilated were still lurking.”
Ryo answered Cohn’s question.
Ryo’s answer surprised Cohn and the adventurers, the two survivors, and Prince Willy and Rodrigo in the carriage.
“The arrows that were shot earlier were on course to precisely strike their necks from a distance of 200 meters. They are terrifyingly skilled.”
“Aiming for the necks from 200 meters away … That’s the level of top-rank archers in the country …”
Cohn shook his head and commented. It was a fairly difficult feat.
The enemy moved.
“They have split into groups of two to the left and right. They are approaching. Only one person has not moved from the previous point. I will intercept them with ice wall. Everyone, stick around the carriage.”
When Ryo said that, all eight of them stood with their backs to the carriage.
His Highness Willy showed only his face from the window of the carriage.
“Cohn, I will support you. Others are to remain on defense. <Ice Wall 10-layer package>”
The ice wall surrounded the carriage and all members in all directions except for Cohn.
“Protect them, you lot.”
Cohn instructed the rest of the adventurers.
He was willing to deal with those who followed them on his own.
The protection was perfect.
“I will stop the two people coming from the right, so Cohn, please deal with the people coming from the left.”
Cohn answered Ryo’s instructions.
(There are two strangers with us so magic that isn’t very flashy would be good. Then, that’s it! First of all, stall. <Ice Wall>)
“What? An invisible wall …”
A confused voice could be heard from the right side.
It seems that he was successful in surrounding them with an ice wall and stopping them.
Next, the two on the left.
“Here they come!”
At Ryo’s signal, Cohn readied himself and Ryo set up something special.
The two pursuers rushed in with battle cries.
“Oraaaaaa … wha”
However, they slipped slightly before Cohn.
“Uryaaaa … Buhe”
The other person who charged in … slipped and fell.
Cohn couldn’t understand what had happened for a moment, but when he saw the men on the ground, he moved almost reflexively.
He got closer and kicked their heads to knock them unconscious.
The other person who was about to get up received a kick to his head and lost consciousness.
“Next, two from the right are coming!”
Instructions from Ryo flew in without a break.
“Oh, leave it to me!”
Cohn moved to the right of the carriage and held his sword again.
(<Ice wall release>)
At the same time, the two pursuers rushed in.
“Shaa … Nua”
In the same way, they slipped and fell in front of Cohn.
There, Cohn’s kick exploded out as if waiting for this moment.
“Oryaaa … Wa-”
The last one also slipped, fell, and was kicked … the battle was over.
(Oh, the one remaining … is gone before I knew it.)
They were no longer within Ryo’s <Passive Sonar> range.
“The four people who rushed in are all equipped for close combat, but … that means the remaining one was an archer, and they fired high-speed continuous shooting, with both being precision shots …”
“O-oh … if that’s the case, that archer has terrifying skill with the bow.”
Ryo looked at the equipment of the four and commented, and Cohn replied.
The four pursuers were bound by rope equipped on the carriage.
Meanwhile, Ryo gave the potion he had bought in the city to the two who were being chased.
Words of gratitude from the two survivors.
Meanwhile, His Highness Willy and Rodrigo also came down from the carriage.
First, Rodrigo opened his mouth, introducing His Highness Willy.
“This is Prince Willy, Prince of the Kingdom of Ju.”
Upon hearing that, the two people who were saved were surprised with their eyes wide open.
They thought that he was the son of an aristocrat because of his good appearance, but he was a prince … that’s the look on their faces.
“Oh, I’m Matthew, this is Luca.”
They introduced themselves and bowed to His Highness Willy.
In response, Rodrigo introduced the escorts and adventurers, including Ryo.
For the time being, self-introduction was over.
Then, of course, the next question was ‘Why were you fighting?’.
When asked, Matthew turned to Luca.
In response to that gaze, Luca nodded once. Confirming that, Matthew began his explanation.
“Actually, we were troops sent to rescue Luca, who was held captive in the Handal Union.”
‘Held captivity’ and ‘rescue’. Ryo sighed inwardly as it sounded like they were involved in something that was dreadfully troublesome.
Rodrigo, Cohn, and the others may have felt that way too but they were really well trained because they didn’t show any expressions.
“I was heading to the royal capital but I was pursued and in the end, I was captured alone …”
(The royal capital … in that case, he was probably not a criminal from the perspective of the Kingdom.)
Ryo thought so in his heart.
He may be a criminal in the Handal Union … but in for the Kingdom of Knightley, he was at least a person who can enter the royal capital.
“Can I have a minute, Rodrigo-dono.”
With that, Cohn started talking to Rodrigo at a distance.
It was likely a consultation about what to do with these two people.
If they take it as an escort request, it was not a big deal.
The attacks from the Order of Assassins were gone, but that order was not the only assassins.
However, it was also true that they were people pursued by foreigners.
It could be trouble if they housed them.
Heading toward the royal capital from here for about two hours would bring them to the next town, Stone Lake.
It was a two-day journey from there to the royal capital Crystal Palace.
(In either case, considering His Highness Willy’s heart, it was likely that they would be brought with us.)
And Rodrigo and Cohn suggested that they should accompany them to the royal capital.
“Of course, we are grateful for that but …”
“We are being chased. There is a possibility that we will continue to be chased …”
Matthew and Luca said they were grateful for the proposal, but were concerned.
“We’ll cross that bridge when it happens.”
Rodrigo suggested and His Highness Willy nodded happily.
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Thanks for the chapter.
Luca? Ryo going into the thick of politic power struggle
Thanks for the chapter