Chapter 0275 Members of the Delegation
No one uttered a thing… not a word….
It wasn’t the same as being quiet.
For a full minute, no one opened their mouths.
Ryo couldn’t stand it anymore, so he decided to speak up.
He raised his right hand and went ahead to speak.
“I have a question, Mr. Rashata.”
“Go ahead, Mr. Ryo.”
“When you say blood of the Demon Lord, do you mean the blood of the Demon Lord, literally? Or is it a metaphor for something, like maybe a wine…”
Ryo asked in the sense of the blood of Christ.
“Yes, literally, the blood of the Demon Lord.”
Ryo was truly surprised by Rashata’s answer.
It was like some kind of role-playing game…right, like some fantasy setting.
Rashata must have thought he should probably go into the details. So, he began to explain.
“As I mentioned earlier, this ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’ is so rare in the Central Nations that there is hardly any folklore left about it. Perhaps this incident has something to do with the sealed ‘Demon from the East’.”
Ryo and the others had encountered the ‘Demon from the South’ before.
There was an uproar surrounding demon insects at that time….
“But this spirit curse is well known in the Western Countries. As it would appear that people are affected by it quite often. That being the case, it is said that the Western Church keeps the blood of the Demon Lord.”
Everyone there was absolutely stunned by Rashata’s explanation.
Demon lords are indeed born periodically.
Heroes capable of defeating said demon lords are also born periodically.
A few years ago, the Western Church announced that the Demon Lord had been defeated by the hero, Roman.
It would certainly be possible to store the blood if it was taken when it was defeated….
“I guess…we should all discuss this after Harold regains consciousness.”
Abel said, and Rashata and Ryo nodded.
Five days later.
In a special conference room in the royal castle.
Various parties were gathered there.
King Abel I.
Marquis Alexis Heinlein, the Prime Minister.
Gabriel, High Priest of the Central Temple.
Viscount Rashata Debuo, Folklore Officer of the Central Temple.
Hugh McGrath, Grand Master of the Royal Capital Adventurers’ Guild.
C-rank Adventurer Ryo.
B-rank Adventurers Niels, Etho, and Amon. Party name ‘Room 10’
And C-rank Adventurers Harold, Zeke, and Gowan. Party name ‘Room 11’
The six adventurers in the latter half of the group were tense as hell.
“We look so out of place, don’t we?”
Amon was the only one who could possibly utter such words.
Niels became stiff as a corpse in Abel’s presence.
Etho too, in the presence of Rihya.
While Harold and the others…became stiff in the presence of the lads from ‘Room 10’.
The moderator was Marquis Heinlein, the Prime Minister.
Harold’s current situation was briefly explained.
Since the matter had been previously disclosed, including to the members of ‘Room 10’, it was more of a summary.
Harold was indeed upset when he first heard about his situation, but two days have passed since then and he had now accepted the situation.
“…And that’s the current situation.”
After Marquis Heinlein finished his explanation, someone quietly raised his right hand demanding to speak.
“Go ahead, Master Zeke.”
Marquis Heinlein urged him.
“Thank you. I would like to make a request of His Majesty and Lord McGrath. Please allow ‘Room 11’ to participate in the delegation to the Western Countries.”
The request was naturally expected.
However, many thought that it would be Harold himself who would make the request, not Priest Zeke….
“Don’t, Harold. As long as there is hope, there is no shame in clinging to it! You are going to establish your own dukedom, are you not? You can’t just give up on your great aspirations, especially now. You must do your utmost to fight this damned spirit curse.”
The conversation between Harold and Zeke was in a hushed tone, but it was still heard by everyone present.
The members of ‘Room 10’, Folklore Officer Rashata, and High Priest Gabriel, all five weren’t aware of the fact that Harold was the son of late crown prince Cain, but their expressions didn’t seem to change in any way regardless.
A meeting that’s being held in the royal castle with the King in attendance… safe to say the person at the center of it all can’t be simple… anyone could guess that much.
“What do you think, Grand Master?”
Abel asked Hugh McGrath.
“Uh…well, these guys are C-rank adventurers, so they have clearance to receive escort quests out of the country. In terms of their capability… in all honesty, their combat ability is fairly decent.”
Hugh scratched his head and continued.
“Although their combat prowess is pretty decent… I’m also not one to sugarcoat things, so I’ll be frank. Harold, you have a very shitty personality. I honestly have a lot of reservations about adding you to the escort detail of this delegation, when I think about what might happen if you go out of control.”
Hugh looked Harold squarely in the eye as he said so.
Harold glared back at Hugh at first, but quickly averted his gaze.
He seemed to be self-aware ….
“But with Grand Master leading the mission, can’t you just keep him in check?”
To Abel, he’s his nephew.
Even though he has some troublesome aspects such as his personality, he’s still the child of his late brother and a direct descendant of the declining royal blood… as things stand, he’s bound to die a certain death from the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’… so, he wasn’t opposed to letting his friends defy his fate if they wanted to help him, even if he himself didn’t have the courage.
Abel may very well be an adventurer before he is a King.
“Well, I certainly could… but I won’t always be by his side, you know. Since I’ll be busy dealing with His Majesty Rupert and Roberto Pirlo, just thinking about it alone is nerve-wracking.”
Hugh shook his head as he said that.
“I’ll do it! I’ll take responsibility! I’ll take responsibility for Harold’s actions. I will make sure he doesn’t do anything that will cause trouble. So, please…”
Sure enough, it was Priest Zeke who made this proposition.
Then he bowed his head.
Following him, party member Gowan also bowed his head.
And Harold… wearing an expression that was a mixture of frustration and remorse, stared at Zeke, who was bowing his head.
Then he bowed his head as well.
Hugh watched the three of them in silence.
Hugh understood that Harold’s life will eventually end if things continued as they were.
He would also like to avoid that if at all possible.
He has a shitty personality, that’s for sure, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care if he dies.
In a way, he’s his subordinate and a fellow adventurer.
And no one would want to see their comrades die!
Thinking about this, he shifted his gaze.
And the three from ‘Room 10’ and Ryo came into his line of sight.
Hugh called out his name.
Harold saw that Hugh was not looking at him, but at other people as he called him.
Hugh was looking at the three from Room 10 and… the C-rank adventurer who had shattered his shoulder ….
“You look up to Niels and his party, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do! I look up to them.”
Harold spoke the most forcefully so far.
Hearing this, Niels in particular started getting flushed.
(Oh, so that’s why their party name is ‘Room 11’…)
Ryo seemed strangely convinced.
Moreover, he seemed to respect Niels the most among the guys from ‘Room 10’… so much so that even Ryo could tell from his enthusiastic gaze.
“Niels and the rest of ‘Room 10’ will be participating in the delegation this time. Meaning you guys of ‘Room 11’ will have to fight alongside Niels and the others, so if you act foolishly, you will be tarnishing the reputation of ‘Room 10’, which is one of the parties representing the Kingdom.”
Hearing this, Harold’s eyes widened.
He obviously had no intention of ruining Room 10’s reputation, but what surprised him was not that, but the fact that Hugh already seemed to be talking on the assumption that they would accompany the delegation.
“You understand what I’m saying? Your actions may damage the reputation of the guys from Room 10. So, always keep that in mind before you act.”
“Yes, sir. Understood!”
Harold nodded and replied.
Zeke and Gowan also looked at Hugh and then at Harold.
They, too, finally realized the connotation implying they’d be tagging along.
“So, Your Majesty, Harold and his party will be added to the adventurer escort detail of the delegation.”
“Alright. I’m counting on you, Grand Master.”
“Sure thing… although, rather than me …”
Hugh said and turned his gaze to the water-attribute magician who was sitting politely next to ‘Room 10’, pretending to be listening to what was being said.
“Also, Harold, Ryo, the C-rank adventurer over there will be accompanying us on the delegation.”
He had a hunch, but when he brought it up, Harold’s expression tensed up.
It was only natural, since he was the culprit who did those terrible things to him ….
“Yeah. The same Ryo who shattered your shoulder and pierced you with his sword.”
Hearing that, the three from ‘Room 10’ were startled and turned toward Ryo.
Exposed to their gazes, Ryo turned his in another direction, saying that he didn’t pierce him with his sword, and then tried playing dumb by whistling… which proved futile obviously.
So he decided to make an excuse.
“T-That’s because, Mont Bla… I mean, Harold, over there challenged me to a duel. It was simply the byproduct of a good old-fashioned duel. How’s that my fault? Hey, Niels, what’s with that suspicious look you’re shooting my way?”
“Nah, just thinking you probably instigated it anyway…”
“W-W-What are you talking about?”
Ryo couldn’t hide his agitation.
“Anyway, that aside. Harold, if you really admire Niels and his party, then you may have heard of this. ‘The fourth member of Room 10’.”
“Yes, of course, I have heard the rumors. About there being a magician in Room 10 who was the fourth member. Though I don’t believe those rumors.”
“It’s true. And that fourth member is Ryo.”
The impact of those words was profound.
Harold stood up involuntarily and looked at Ryo.
With eyes wide open.
Then he looked at Niels.
Niels, who was being stared at, could understand what he was trying to ask.
“It’s true. Ryo was originally a roommate of the three of us, and he helped us many times to complete our quests.”
Niels answered candidly.
“B-But then… then why isn’t this man… Ryo… a member of Room 10?”
“It’s because he’s too friggin strong.”
Etho, also the priest of Room 10, answered.
The answer surprised not only Harold but also Priest Zeke.
So, this ‘Ryo’ fellow was really the fourth member of Room 10… Harold was clearly having a hard time accepting this fact, that even a casual observer could tell.
“Well, there you have it, so you should listen to Ryo during this delegation. And Ryo, you too, please take care of these guys from ‘Room 11’.”
Hugh looked alternately at Harold and Ryo while saying that.
“I understand. That means letting them go through the same kind of training that Niels and the others went through.”
“Hey, come on, stop it.”
Ryo replied while nodding solemnly, and Niels hurriedly tried stopping him.
Etho shook his head repeatedly, and Amon chuckled.