Chapter 0296 Baudelin
“Have you heard, Niels? Apparently, the government of any country through which the Mission passes always collapses. The people are calling us the Mission from Hell.”
“…Well, last I checked, they’re not wrong.”
Niels replied, shaking his head slightly.
Indeed, the governments collapsed in ‘Ayteke-Bo’ and ‘Schulz’ where the delegations from the Central Nations passed through.
Of course, the missions didn’t do this intentionally, and they were not involved at all… or could at least make a strong case that they were hardly involved….
((So, Abel, the lesson this time is not to extend boundary lines unnecessarily. Please keep that in mind.))
((Yeah, why call me out so suddenly?))
Ryo was advising His Majesty the King, who was on the other side of the Soul Resonance, as the premier duke of the Kingdom, for the sake of the country.
Despite appearances, Ryo was also thinking about various things.
((So basically only alchemy and food…))
((Please stop lumping curry and crepes together as something as broad as food! Curry is a kind of drink, and crepe is a kind of drink…huh?))
((Yup, I guess it’s different from the curry I know alright, for you to call it some kind of drink.))
Ryo and Abel’s opinions were at odds again today.
But then Abel asked about the part that was bothering him.
((Earlier, you said something about extending boundary lines?))
((Oh, yeah. It’s about what transpired in Schulz. In the last incident, the king of the equestrian tribes…))
((You mean King Hahn.))
((Yeah him, King Hahn, didn’t he basically make enemies out of the three central powers?))
((Well, I guess so. They attacked the delegations after all.))
((Sure, they had their own compelling reasons which was understandable, but even so, it had nothing to do with us whom they attacked…))
It was nothing but a real nuisance to those caught in the middle of it.
((What we do is the absolute right thing… many people adopt that mindset when they are trying to achieve something of note. Now, putting aside whether it’s right or not…. It doesn’t justify doing whatever you want. If you go about it the wrong way, you can turn even those who may have become your allies against you. So, please be careful, Abel))
((In this incident, the wrong way would be burning down the audience hall without a second thought.))
((Yeah. If they hadn’t done that, or roped us into it, I think the Central Nations would have been at least favorably neutral, even if not on their side, since the equestrian tribes who were about to be ethnically cleansed had already taken up arms. But even that is no longer possible. And this whole thing started with Schulz hunting the children of the equestrian tribes. Which goes to show that doing things the proper way is for the best.)
Ryo shook his head slightly in his mind.
((…If it were you, Ryo, how would you go about it in a proper way like you said?))
((If I were the equestrian tribes, you mean? Well, simple. I’ll just assassinate the King of Schulz!))
The King of the Kingdom of Knightley was immensely shocked by Ryo’s not-so-subtle approach.
((If after assassinating him, the new king also continues the ethnic cleansing, I’ll assassinate him as well. If the next king continues, off he goes. You do that enough times, believe me, even the Schulz key figures will start to come around. Even if it wasn’t the king himself but those around him were the ones leading the ethnic cleansing, they’d probably back off. Since they’d think that they might be the next to be assassinated instead of the king if it came to light that they were the ones actually spearheading the ethnic cleansing. Problem solved!))
((Well… assassination is a bit extreme…))
((Purging a great evil with the sacrifice of only three people. I can’t think of any way more just!))
A completely terrorist mindset and approach….
((Or so, some people might come up with. Since It’s efficient.))
((…I guess you have a different opinion then.))
Abel was a little relieved.
((Duh! What do you take me for…))
((What a thing to say! But honestly speaking, I don’t see any clever solution to it.))
((To begin with, Schulz’s crazy method of trying to eradicate the equestrian tribes by ethnic cleansing was preposterous, to say the least. A bloodless revolution would have been nice, but that’s easier said than done. At the end of the day, strong-arm tactics will be needed down the line…. Talk about a single deplorable policy leading to so many misfortunes…though if you study history, you will come across such cases to a sickening degree.))
After Ryo said that, a thought occurred to him.
He wondered if this incident surrounding the equestrian tribes would also lead to another set of misfortunes.
Hopefully, the Central Nations won’t be implicated….
The premier duke was also done giving his advice to His Majesty the King.
Ryo and the others were in the rear of the Kingdom delegation.
And the Kingdom delegation was currently at the tail end of the missions to the west.
They were proceeding according to the order of advancement that had been initially decided between the Central Nations.
That was, the Imperial delegation, the Union delegation, the smaller countries delegations, and the Kingdom delegation, in that order.
However, since the distance between the delegations was sometimes quite wide, they didn’t particularly communicate with each other as they advanced.
Hence, it was very unusual for a liaison from the Imperial delegation to come to Hugh McGrath, the leader of the Kingdom delegation.
“You mean to say that the next country we’re passing through, ‘Baudelin’, is no more? What do you mean no more?”
“Yeah. When we, the Imperial delegation, got there, the gates were open and the building that was supposed to be the castle was half destroyed. And as at the time I was ordered to deliver this report, no one had been found alive.”
The Imperial liaison officer’s answer to Hugh’s question was astounding.
The nation was no longer in existence.
And not the demise of a regime, but even the people were all gone, which was remarkably rare.
Hugh turned to Delong, the leader of ‘Coffee Maker’, who was listening beside him.
Delong must have thought the same thing as Hugh.
He nodded and opened his mouth.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but something very out of the ordinary must have transpired. I think it would be best not to go into the city.”
Hugh nodded and agreed with Delong’s opinion.
He had endless questions and concerns about how long the country had been gone and why it perished, but the situation wouldn’t permit personal curiosity to take precedence.
That said, it was a straight road.
They had no choice but to follow the road until they reached ‘Baudelin’.
When they got there, they wouldn’t enter Baudelin, but pass through the side of the city walls and proceed ahead….
“I suppose we should pass the information amongst ourselves.”
Hugh said and ordered the scouts to pass the information to the rear.
The Kingdom delegation formed a group that could be called a scout party, centered on Lasrino, the ‘Coffee Maker’ scout.
When the Kingdom delegation was leading the way, these scouts were constantly gathering information as they advanced.
But now, there was no need for that.
Since they were simply taking the same path that the other three delegations took earlier, a few days or even hours later.
Of course, they were still collecting information as they move, but much less frequently than in the beginning.
That in turn gave the scout party some leeway.
Hugh personally went to the second carriage to consult and report to chief negotiator Ignis, while the scouts went to the other carriages to report.
“The Mission from Hell indeed…”
The members of ‘Room 10’ and ‘Room 11’ in the rear heard the report from Scout Lasrino.
And the one who made the last comment needs no mention obviously.
It was none other than the magician of the attribute that commands water….
“Surely, it’s not our fault that the country is no more before we arrive, right?”
“Still, weird shit keeps happening, every time.”
“All these troubles just to get to the Western Countries.”
Niels, Etho, and Amon each expressed their thoughts.
Harold, Zeke, and Gowan, the three of ‘Room 11’, didn’t open their mouths, but when they looked at each other, they gave a small shake of their heads.
Then, Ryo suddenly had an idea.
“Etho, in a ruined city like this, won’t you usually find zombies or wraiths or something?”
Ryo’s question was based on his usual fantasy knowledge.
“You could find zombies if there are dead bodies. Wraiths too, probably. But even in a large city, you can only find a few wraiths at most…”
Etho seemed to answer while recalling his memories.
“Oh, so a single dose of Turn Undead from either Etho or Zeke would clean them up nicely.”
Niels said with a nod.
“Well, you’re not wrong…. Wraiths found in ruined cities and villages are those who died with regret…. The city or village itself is like their graves. If push comes to shove I’ll do what I have to, but honestly, I’d rather leave them be.”
Etho looked a little sad as he said this.
As a priest, he must have had many opportunities to come in contact with such departed souls.
He looked like someone with quite the extraordinary tale with such spirits to Ryo and the others.
“When the time comes, let’s offer Niels as a sacrifice to appease their spirits.”
“Like hell! ”
Ryo’s proposal was rejected by Niels himself….
It was three days after receiving the report that the Kingdom delegation arrived at a place where the walls of the ruined city-state of ‘Baudelin’ were visible.
“So we are more than two full days away from the leading Imperial delegation, huh.”
Hugh McGrath, the leader of the delegation, muttered to himself.
They were further ahead than he thought they would be.
“From tomorrow, I’ll have a few more scouts ahead.”
He may or may not have heard the cries of the scouts in his head….
It took about an hour from the time the walls came into view until they arrived in front of them, during which time Hugh’s expression grew grim.
And sure enough, Delong, the swordsman beside him, noticed this as well.
“Hm? Oh… Sorry, it’s just, the smaller countries delegations that are ahead of us…I’m not seeing them, do you?”
The order of the mission was: the Empire, the Union, the smaller countries, and the Kingdom.
The sun was setting and they ought to be preparing to setup camp….
“The scouts reported a few hours ago that they weren’t too far ahead, right?”
“That’s right. A few hundred meters, if I recall correctly.”
“I thought they would be in front of the city walls, getting ready for the night, so it’s a little odd that they aren’t here. I hope they simply picked up their pace and joined the Union delegation further ahead…”
“You don’t think they went into the city…or something?”
Hugh’s concern finally occurred to Delong.
It was only natural that it took Delong a while to reach such an alarming conclusion.
Since no adventurer would dare to enter a city like this at night, as a matter of course.
Much less think of passing through it.
And the last thing they would do is think of spending the night inside it.
“Well, I doubt they would want to camp here at night. I just hope they’re moving along the side of the city walls to the other side…”
Hugh, too, thought that they wouldn’t actually set up camp in the city.
The smaller countries’ delegations also had adventurers among their escorts.
They would’ve probably stopped them.
“Well, I can’t ask the scouts to go take a look inside at this hour…”
“Nope…Lasrino would just break into tears.”
Delong is the party leader.
And Lasrino, the scout of the party ‘Coffee Maker’, was undoubtedly one of the best scouts in the Kingdom, but even he wouldn’t want to enter a ruined city when it was almost nightfall.
So, the more experienced they were, the more they would be against it….
And for some reason, Delong was beginning to feel that he didn’t want to enter this city, either.