98. Side Story: Serid
I am Serid Dinias, chamberlain to the Kingdom of Fyrias.
The current task to which I have been assigned is to oversee Prince Flut and Princess Satia as they develop towards maturity. I have been with them since the earliest years of their childhood, but as of recent, I have started to feel the distance between us gradually begin to grow.
The emotional rift of which I had just discussed was caused but by a single man, Salrut O’Randy, former knight to the Kingdom of Reidos. Despite his former status, Salrut had earned himself a position within the Royal palace. He had obtained his otherwise unjustified position through the act of rescue Her Majesty from a group of insurgents.
He claimed to be a knight without a kingdom, one that had abandoned the Reidosian ways. His origin appeared dubious, and I therefore immediately assumed him to be a spy.
However, despite my suspicions, both His and Her Majesty both came to trust him. I could not fathom as to why, but neither of the two had placed even the slightest bit of doubt within the man. I understood that he saved Her Majesty from an otherwise dangerous situation, but she had conferred far too much faith in him for little reason.
I will admit that the Fryias Kingdom’s royal family did possess the tendency to be overly naive. The family’s members were rather open and held an extreme lack of caution when compared to royals from other nations. But even then, I felt their choices to be strange and out of scope. They were far too trusting and unwary when it came to matters relating to the former Reidosian knight.
I had suspected that the man had manipulated Their Majesties minds with magic, and thus, I had my men conduct a series of investigations. Most notably, I requested men check as to whether Their Majesties had been charmed or brainwashed. I was almost certain that my suspicions had been correct, however, none of my examinations had ever returned positive results. Moreover, Their Majesties possessed barriers that would repel any weaker attempts, and I doubted that he was capable of casting the most complicated of spells.
I attempted to warn Their Majesties of my suspicions, but they claimed that they trusted him. My continued persistence led them to drive me from their sides in annoyance. Their choices and actions had left me feeling as mortified as a single individual possibly could.
However, I remained undissuaded from attempting to uncover Salrut’s actions regardless. In fact, I did precisely the opposite and furthered my efforts. I began publicly voicing my suspicions despite knowing that Their Majesties would only meet me with greater alienation. Thus was the extent of my resolve.
Salrut truly did well to deserve his title as a Reidosian spy. I was unable to find evidence that would allow me to incriminate him despite my many efforts. However, I did learn of his motifs.
His target was the Fyrias Kingdom’s Godblade. He wished to obtain Diabolos, The Demon Lord’s Blade.
Godblades were swords told spoken of in legend, but despite their existences being akin to common knowledge, their whereabouts were largely unknown. Many had even been completely forgotten as a result of the passage of time.
At the moment, there were only five Godblades with theirs names and wielders known to the world: Alpha, The Blade of Origin, Berserk, The Blade of Madness, Ignius, The Brilliant Flameblade, Gaia, The Earth’s Edge, and last but not least was our country’s prided treasure, Diabolos, The Demon Lord’s Blade.
Diabolos was said to have an ancient Demon Lord sealed within it, and he who wielded the blade was to be granted said Demon Lord’s power. That is, the Godblade’s ability was to summon subservient demons, and it was precisely that ability that has allowed our small, fragile nation to survive throughout the ages.
The blade’s weakness is said to be its relative inefficacy in single combat. The records show that a thousand years ago, the blade’s successor, one of our Kingdom’s crown princes, had challenged the wielder of Crystalos, the Sacred Blade of Water to a duel. He and Diabolos had lost despite Crystalos not being a Godblade. That said, Diabolos more than made up for its deficiencies with its unique trait. Its ability to summon demons has allowed the Fyrias Kingdom to turn the tides of war time and time again.
Another one of Diabolos’ unique traits was that it could not be wielded but by a select few. Specifically, only those that had the Fyrias Kingdom’s royal blood flowing through their veins could even so much as touch the sword without losing their souls to it. If an unqualified individual attempted to wield the blade, they would lose their life on the spot.
Many other countries knew of the blade’s abilities to force demons into one’s service, but the rest of its traits were carefully kept hidden except from those qualified to know the Kingdom’s national secrets. Members of the royal family would be told of the sword’s properties upon their tenth birthdays. They, however, were not the only individuals informed. The king would also inform the Grand Chamberlain and six of his handpicked subordinates of the Godblade’s details. The blade would also be described to the Prime Minister and the four men that headed the nation’s army.
All individuals exposed to the country’s secrets were also granted demons. Naturally, I have one within myself as well. If my life is put in danger, then it will appear and protect me from harm. It is registered as a D level threat, so it is in fact quite powerful. However, I myself am a mere chamberlain. I lack royal blood, and therefore, I cannot control the demon’s actions.
While having a demon by one’s side may sound convenient, I can assure that it is not necessarily so. The demon contains another feature in that it simultaneously acts as a sort of shackle. Those that attempt to inform the unknowing of the Godblade’s properties will immediately be robbed of their voices and transformed into mutes, all for the purpose of preserving secrecy. The demon’s final unique trait functioned to much the same purpose. That is, the summoned demons possess the ability to hide themselves from those that are capable of appraisal. While appraisal is indeed a rare skill, it is not one that completely fails to manifest, and thus, this final ability can be said to be mission critical in the preservation of our country’s secrets.
Those that bear royal blood are naturally granted demons of a higher quality, C level threats. They serve to function as excellent guardians. They are even capable of healing injuries and eliminating any abnormal status. They so powerful that they can even reverse the deadliest of wounds in a matter of moments.
This, however, leads to its own fair share of complications. The demon’s power allows members of the royal family to escape most dangerous situations. Thus, they typically tend not to be very cautious; they fail to develop a true sense of danger.
And that is precisely what led to the incident that we had just experienced. Prince Flut and Princess Satia prepared for their trip to Kranzel with only the most minimal number of escorts. It appeared that Salrut had stated that he would protect the two of them on their journey, and thus, the King himself approved their plans.
Their Highnesses both had demons by their sides, and said demons would undoubtedly protect them from harm. However, it remained a fact that they were but children. It was always possible for them to fall into a sort of trap, and thus, I decided that it would be best for me to accompany them. I had hoped that I would be able to use the dangers that occurred throughout the trip to enlighten them so that they would better understand the risks that awaited them in the future.
And then, Salrut acted. One night, he brought back with him not only Their Highnesses, but also a group of children that I could only find to be suspicious. I admit that they were but mere children, and that they were unlikely to inflict harm on Their Highnesses’ persons. However, I was well aware that many assassins began work from a tender age, and thus, I practiced caution. I intentionally sharpened my tongue when addressing them; I tested each child’s reactions in turn in order to gauge their purposes.
My probing had led me to believe that one of the children was far more suspicious than the rest. The individual that I had chosen to keep my eye on was a young, cat eared lass by the name of Fran. I was unable to see a respectable person in her regardless of how hard I looked. Moreover, I noticed her sneak around the building in order to converse with Salrut.
Both the Prince and Princess had seemed to take a liking to her. I, however, refused to be fooled. I decided then that I would expose the core of her character and thus, I attempted to get in her way. I secretly hoped for her judge me an obstacle, for she would be subject to a demon’s power should she have attempted to attack me.
All in all, I had presumed that I was still in control of the situation, but it soon spiraled far beyond even my wildest fantasies.
We were attacked by pirates as we traversed the seas. Fran defeated the enemy fleet and even went as far as to bring back their captain, and that was when the twist occurred. The aforementioned captain immediately began accusing me of plotting to assassinate the Prince and Princess.
I had been caught in a trap. I was subject to a form of attack of which I had completely failed to anticipate.
I was knocked unconscious when I attempted to protest the situation. Much to my misfortune, my demon had not been summoned as there had been no danger to my life.
When I awoke, I found myself on the floor. One of my most trusted subordinates, Naymario, had betrayed me for the enemy. Their Highnesses proceeded to stare at me, their eyes filled with doubt and suspicion. I had been driven into a corner, and my heart had been filled but with despair.
But then, she assisted me. Fran had activated a peculiar item that went by the name “The Sword of Truth.” Much to my surprise, she used the blade to prove my innocence. Witnessing the the item she possessed immediately led me to understand that it was one of extraordinary value. Its functionality was so incredible that I felt the urge to ask her whether she felt open to negotiation over its ownership.
In the end, I concluded that she too had merely been manipulated by Salrut. She was not on of his collaborators, nor was she another Reidosian spy. She was simply a child that happened to possess exceptional skill in the art of combat, and that was all.
Salrut truly was a fool. He attempted to assassinate Their Highnesses without even the slightest bit of knowledge of the demons that protected them. It appeared that he attempted to turn them into slaves as well, but even that would have been meaningless. The collars that induced slavery meant nothing before the demons that protected Their Highnesses.
Contemplating Salrut’s circumstances had led me to further develop my speculations. I arrived at the conclusion that he had likely discovered that only members of the royal family could touch the Godblade. Thus, he attempted to use one of our country’s royals to fulfill his ambitions. However, that planned had ultimately ended in failure, and hence, he instead redirected his efforts into reducing the number of potential wielders. If we arrived in Barbra, then the prince and princess would’ve had eyes all over them. Moreover, Kranzel had its own information network, one that would make it difficult for him to many any sort of move. Hence, he had chosen to eliminate Their Highnesses before he lost the opportunity.
Such a plan would indeed have caused our country damage had it suceeded. The Godblade’s potential wielders were surprisingly low in number. The second prince was sickly, his body was unable to handle the burden that came with wielding Diabolos’ power. The third and fourth princes had both perished in the process of subjugating magic beasts. Most of our princesses had already been been wed, and thus, they no longer resided within the country. Moreover, it appeared that the Godblade itself had a sort of finicky nature. I cannot explain the reason for which this phenomenon occurs, but the Godblade refused to acknowledge those that had been married off as potential wielders. The same applied to their children despite the fact that Fyrias’ royal blood ran through their veins.
In other words, the Godblade had very few potential wielders. There were only six different people could potentially put its power on display: His Majesty the King, the Crown Prince, the Fifth Princess, Prince Flut, Princess Satia, and the Seventh Princess. If Prince Flut and Princess Satia were to fall, then the Godblade would lose two of its six potential bearers. In other words, the Kingdom of Fyrias would suffer a heavy blow.
The mention of Prince Flut and Princess Satia reminded me of their current circumstances. Both were currently within the ship’s cabin. Their highnesses are still in shock as a result of Salrut’s sudden betrayal. I’ve no idea as to how I could improve their moods, so I’ve no choice but to await their recoveries.
I do hope that they will be able to calm themselves in time for our arrival, as they must attend the ceremonies held in Barbra in a manner befitting representatives of the Fyrias Kingdom. Our country is small one. The sea lies to our west, but each our other three borders leads to contact with another country. To our south is the hostile Kingdom of Reidos. To our north and east lies Kranzel, one of our greatest allies. Our relationship with the Kingdom of Kranzel is excellent, and therefore it is imperative for the Prince and Princess to appear to be in good spirits.
It was very fortunate that we were able to eliminate the Reidosian spy before arriving in Kranzel, for it would have been possible for him to attempt to damage the relationship between our countries. I cannot thank Miss Fran enough for her actions; she even managed to identify and seize one of his magic items, a ring that would make those around him less wary of his actions.
Our voyage across the ocean had truly been one filled with twists and turns. Salrut’s meddling had added danger and drama, but not even that was meant to be the end of it all. Fate reared its head once more as the pirate onslaught was immediately followed by the appearance of an enormous magic beast. The creature that threatened to end our lives was incredibly powerful. Its classification was that of an A level threat. It was far beyond anything our demons could protect us from, and so once again, I was assaulted by despair. My only hope at the time was that Their Highnesses would keep their lives.
However, it appeared that not all was lost. Miss Fran had somehow once again managed to save us. She immediately used a skill the likes of which I had never seen before and assaulted the approaching Midgard Wyrm with a series of fierce blows. Each had such strength that I could even tell from afar that she had managed to leave massive holes within the beast’s flesh.
Her power lay beyond the very realm of my comprehension. Witnessing it led me to think back on the attitude with which I had approached her. Needless to say, I immediately regretted my actions. My back had become drenched with ice cold sweat before I had even realized it.
I could not help but sigh in relief. I was grateful that she had tolerated my overly antagonizing actions.
She recalled her sword after her first stream of attacks and drew another. I witnessed her as she manipulated both weapons and barraged the magic beast with yet another glorious onslaught. It seemed that her second blade had the ability to instantly kill its foes, however, the wrym she was pitted against had multiple hearts, and therefore, multiple lives. Her second blade’s effect had failed her. The battle’s ultimate outcome appeared unpredictable; I had no idea as to how it would end, and so, I had no choice but to watch her every action as the scene unfolded before me.
The final attack she used involved plunging one of her swords through the beast’s mouth. It dove inside the wyrm’s stomach and performed a series of actions unknown to me. Whatever the sword did appeared effective, for the beast’s movements seemed to dull as it let out a pained shriek.
The ship’s captain rejoiced, for the young lady’s actions had allowed us to escape the beast.
She then retrieved her blade with what appeared to be magic, sheathed it, and moved towards the pirate. The young miss instructed him to guide the ship to his base with a nonchalant expression. She looked as if she hadn’t even broken a sweat despite her many efforts. And so, once again, I was made to acknowledge her strength, and again, I was made to break out in cold sweat.
She then asked (threatened) for the individuals present not to reveal her abilities going forward. The same request applied to The Sword of Truth. No one present dared to defy her, we all nodded in obedience respect. Specifically, the line she uttered was as follows.
「Don’t tell. Likely will lead to regret.」
It was only natural for us to agree given what we had witnessed. Our inclination towards the provision of a positive response was only furthered by the wolf that stood behind us whilst growling in a low, threatening tone.
There was, however, one matter that I found important to note. Only her longsword had returned to her. I had no idea as to the other blade’s fate, but I presumed that she had lost it as a result of the battle. Her second blade had appeared to be of a considerable quality as it even had the ability to instantly slay its foes. I felt it to be a shame that she had lost it.
Further consideration led me to understand that the sword had only departed her because she had used it to protect us. It would not do for us not to compensate her for it. Salrut, the man technically responsible for her employment, was now being held in captivity, so it went without saying that the matter of her payment would also now fall upon our shoulders.
That, however, is but secondary. Her payment was a matter of great importance, but not one that took precedence over the acknowledgement and expression of my own wrongdoings. The manner in which I had treated was not but unfair and rude. I know not if she will forgive my actions, but I feel that I must offer her my most sincere and heartfelt apologies regardless.
「Excuse me, Miss Fran. Would you happen to have a spare moment?」