Chapter 0124 Interrogation
For the time being, the guidelines for the next steps to take have been decided.
The remaining was what to do with the four captives.
“They don’t look like adventurers, do they?”
Ryo muttered to nobody in particular.
“Hm? Is that so?”
His Highness Willy tilted his head and said.
Their equipment seemed to be used by adventurers who mainly engaged in close quarters combat…
“Somehow … I don’t get the crude feeling that adventurers have from these people.”
Then Ryo glanced at Cohn.
“Oi, Ryo. Why did you glance at me after saying that?”
Cohn snapped at Ryo.
“No, it’s nothing …”
Ryo looked away quickly.
Then, Rodrigo murmured, comparing the four with Cohn.
“Rodrigo, that isn’t where you agree, right?!”
Cohn lamented the ruthlessness of the world.
“The difference is their stubble.”
Rodrigo said, looking at the four.
“Oh … I see. Like Cohn, I think many adventurers are not clean-shaven. Comparatively, these four people are nicely clean-shaven. It’s like a knight’s shave……”
The members of the Knights of Rune were all well-groomed.
Ryo, who often appeared at the Knights’ Training Ground for mock combat with Sera, replied with the faces of the knights he knew.
“A group of knights dressing like a bunch of adventurers … this is pretty shady.”
Cohn gave an honest impression.
Ryo and his group had parked the carriage beside the highway.
Naturally, the people who passed them moved off without saying anything while looking sideways at the four people tied up with ropes.
Meanwhile, one of the four captives woke up.
“Ah, good morning.”
Cohn called out to the man.
The man bit his lips when he confirmed that his limbs were tied and the other three were in the same condition.
“You seem to understand the situation. So? Who are you guys?”
Of course, he didn’t answer Cohn’s question.
“Well, I’m not good at this kind of thing … Hey, Ryo, aren’t you great at it?”
Cohn addressed Ryo in the same tone as if it was a friendly drinking session.
“I don’t know why you’re pushing the task to me but … You’re asking what should we do in this case? Well, if we stick a thin ice needle in their eyes or take out their frozen heart and show them, they should feel the threat?”
“No, Ryo, that’s overkill …”
Cohn asked Ryo how to torture them but the answer caused Cohn to draw a line.
The complexion of the man who was listening paled.
“I guess the heart is overkill but stabbing the eye can work? I heard stabbing the eye won’t cause any pain. But those who are stabbed will be traumatized and will never forget …”
When he heard that, the man’s teeth clattered and his facial expression froze.
“Hey. I wouldn’t like to hurt you either. Why don’t you just tell me who you are and whom you’re working for? Just say that. And I think I can prevent that … eye stab he’s talking about ….”
Bringing his face to the same height as the man sitting on the ground, Cohn asked gently.
“I-I can’t say …”
The man, who had maintained silence until then, squeezed out those words and answered.
Thin ice needles formed and dissipated, formed and dissipated from Ryo’s fingertips, which may have had some effect.
“I see, that’s a shame. Ryo!”
The man shouted as Cohn called Ryo and Ryo took one step closer to him.
“Hmm? What’s wrong? There’s not much time until he comes over.”
“I-I want to talk but I can’t … please wait until capt … leader wakes up.”
(He almost said captain … So they really are Knights …?)
Ryo decided to stay silent because of warrior’s compassion.
“You’re a knight, not an adventurer.”
Cohn didn’t …
The man became speechless.
At the same time, the second man, who seems to be the captain or leader, woke up.
It was Prince Willy who noticed a group of horsemen coming from the west of the highway.
“A group of horsemen from the other side.”
From a distance, they seemed to be guards.
Did someone who reached the city report after seeing their situation?
(Or were they called by the archer who had escaped … If so, enemy guards … or they could even have been bribed, as was the case with Slanzewi).
Ryo and his group were attacked in Slanzewi where they stayed during the Gecko caravan request.
It was a bitter memory where the Vice-Captain of the Knights was bought by the Order of Assassins and robbed them of the captured assassins.
“We are the Guards of Stonelake. We were informed that there was a dispute on the highway.”
Eight horse-riding guards called out to Ryo and his group.
“Insolence! This is Prince Willy, Prince of the Kingdom of Ju. It is outrageous to ask from horseback! Is that the courtesy of the Kingdom of Knightley!”
A sharp rebuke.
Rodrigo’s voice struck down the guards who asked from horseback.
Saying so, the eight guards dismounted.
“Our sincere apologies. I did not know that the prince of the Kingdom of Ju was present. Could you please offer something that proves the prince’s identity?”
A person who seemed to be the captain asked politely, unlike previously.
Then, His Highness Willy gave the captain a necklace that had been hung around his neck.
The captain who received it turned it over and held a business card-sized plate, which seems to be an alchemy tool, taken out of his pocket over the necklace.
After checking something for a while …
“I have confirmed it. I am very sorry for our previous actions.”
Then, he returned the necklace.
“No, it is okay as long as you understand.”
His Highness Willy answered with composure.
As expected, growing up as a prince, he was imposing in such situations.
Ryo was strangely impressed.
“In other words, these people raised their hands against a foreign prince.”
The captain said, looking down at the four prisoners sitting on the ground.
“No … wait a minute. We did not have that intention …”
The man who seemed to be the leader who just woke up shouted his reply in a hurry.
Even though it was a small country, harming a foreign prince, you cannot escape the death penalty.
In some cases, even their families would be punished.
“Even if you didn’t have the intention, it’s true that you attacked.”
Cohn rejected the man’s plea.
The complexions of the two conscious people were completely pale.
“Wa-wait. Please look at this scabbard emblem.”
The leader desperately appealed to the Captain of the Guard.
When the captain jerked his chin, his subordinate pulled out the scabbard and brought it to the captain.
“Th-this emblem is the Duke’s …”
The captain suddenly stopped speaking.
(Duke? They were Knights of a certain Duke?)
Ryo thought in his heart.
Of course, he didn’t know which Duke. He was confident that he wouldn’t know at all even if he heard their name.
“Yeah, yeah, we’re not suspicious individuals. This was also some misunderstanding. If you’re a Stonelake guard, you should know what the emblem implies?”
The captive man seemed to be quite persuasive.
The captain’s expression was clearly now more concerned with the Duke’s coat of arms.
That was to be expected too.
Although His Highness Willy was a prince, the Kingdom of Ju was a small country and did not border the Kingdom of Knightley.
It may be unavoidable to weigh the prince of such a distant country with those who probably have the coat of arms of the Duke of his own country.
“Captain. Could you show me that emblem?”
His Highness Willy politely called out to the captain of the guard.
“Eh … oh yes, here.”
The captain of the guard handed the scabbard of the captive man to His Highness Willy.
His Highness Willy glanced at it and immediately returned it to the captain of the guard.
“I understand why Captain is conflicted. It is unavoidable if they are members of the Duke of Flitwick.”
“Th-that’s right … Your Highness recognize this coat of arms?”
The captain of the guard replied, sweating a lot.
He might not have expected the prince of a distant country to know the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Knightley, albeit that of a duke’s.
“Yes. It’s the coat of arms of Raymond, the younger brother of His Majesty.”
Those words shocked many present.
Among them, the one who was the most upset was Luca.
Was his expression closer to anger than fear?
(Knowing that they were being targeted by the younger brother of the King, will they still head for the royal capital?)
Ryo wanted to confirm that, but the situation didn’t give him that much room to ask.
“Even if he is a prince, those two are criminals. We need to bring them to the Duke’s city of Carlyle.”
The assailant leader said to the captain of the guard.
The two of them he was referring to were, of course, Matthew and Luca.
His Highness Willy’s reaction to his words was fast and fierce.
“I will not accept that. They are already my attendants. As Prince of the Kingdom of Ju, I formally reject that request.”
His Highness Willy’s anger was like a raging fire.
Both Ryo and Cohn had expressions of surprise.
However, it may be natural in a sense.
If he abandoned the two who Cohn and the others risked their lives to rescue, what would that action be for?
His Highness Willy could not accept that.
“Prince, I understand where you are coming from but …”
The captain of the guard continued to be swayed by the captive man, the people affiliated with the Duke.
(This kind of person is swayed by power or violence. Well, both sides, in this case, have power … I hope I get to know someone who has power and can help me but … I don’t know anybody from Stonelake and the royal capital in the first place.)
Ryo lamented his lack of connections.
(No, if it’s the royal capital, there is!?)
Ryo approached the Captain of the Guard and whispered softly.
“Guard Captain, shouldn’t it be better to call someone who is higher ranked and let that person make the decision?”
Many would leap at the chance to escape the difficult decisions and the responsibilities that arise from them.
“It’s a problem involving princes and dukes. A decision made lightly may have difficult consequences later.”
“I-I see. Certainly, that may be the case.”
The Guard Captain was on board with his suggestion.
“Hey, wait. That’s not …”
“Assailants have no say in this. <Ice Coffin 4>”
The captive man was about to speak out, so Ryo put all four of them in ice coffins.
“In case the assailants escape. It’s okay. They are alive.”
“I-I see …”
The Captain of the Guard was completely overwhelmed by Ryo’s 『violence』.
(The last factor is authority …)
“Well then, to make a decision, it will probably be difficult unless the person has strong authority in the Kingdom?”
“Y-yes … but all of them are busy individuals …”
“Although presumptuous, it might not be an issue for Arthur Verasis, the advisor to the Court Magician Group who is in the royal capital, to make decisions regarding national issues. I believe Arthur-dono should be able to come from the royal capital quickly. How about that?”
“Yo-you, you know Advisor Verasis?”
They were companions who returned together from the 40th floor of the dungeon of Rune.
“Yes. He’ll be here quickly if you say it’s Rune’s adventurer Ryo’s request.”
“I see! … But what if he is not in the royal capital?”
(I don’t know anyone else … There’s no other choice, I’ll have to utilize Abel’s connections …)
“In that case, please call Ilarion-dono. Tell him that it is Abel’s friend, Ryo’s request.”
“What! You know Ilarion-sama too? Of course, we will send the message immediately. Hey, quickly send a fast messenger to the royal capital for Advisor Verasis and Ilarion-sama.”
(Ilarion, who often exchanges letters with Abel … seems to have more influence than Arthur …)
“Then, everyone, please move to Stonelake for the time being. There, we will await the arrival of Advisor Verasis or Ilarion-sama. But, these ice-encased people …”
“Oh, leave it to me.”
Ryo replied and prepared four <Carts>.
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