Perhaps because of the credibility that came with these clothes I wore or my urgent look, the unknown officer immediately put me on a horse without saying anything.
Initially, this was a garrison, so it was far from the Demon King’s Castle.
How did it come to this? I had worked so hard to get out of there not too long ago and now I was already rushing back to the castle.
I’ve never sat on a horse before, however the officer sitting behind me held my body tightly, so I was able to endure the shaking somehow.
“Can’t you tell me the details? The castle has already been captured, so why is a knight’s life in danger!?”
I didn’t know if this person was one of Bertus’ minions or not, but this guy was pretty young.
Did Bertus reach out his grubby fingers even down to the level of junior officers?
I thought about that for a little while, but this guy was helping me for now.
“I’ll tell you when we find Sir Francis!”
I didn’t need to persuade him any more, as he was still helping me right now. Maybe because this was my first time riding on a horse, my hip felt like it was about to break, but this wasn’t the time to care about something like that.
The Demon King’s Castle was a mess as a result of this war and on the surrounding plains, demons who seemed to have been taken captive were being dragged along looking like dried corvinas.
Not all of them were dead. Some of the Demons surrendered and became prisoners.
I felt relieved that not all of them died, however, at the same time I felt guilty for betraying them in the end despite being their prince.
“What will happen to those Demons?”
Despite the urgency of the situation, I posed such a random question.
“If it were a war between humans, we’d take a ransom for them, but they’re demons.”
He talked as if I asked something strange.
“We’ve taken them prisoner for now, but what else would we do other than kill them?”
Negotiations were meaningless as their races were different. This was inevitable, because this was originally a war of annihilation. It was only natural that they were trying to destroy all seeds before they grow.
It made my heart heavy. Even though I was an ordinary man who just suddenly entered the body of the demon prince, I couldn’t easily shake off this dirty feeling.
The officer and I dashed past the endless procession of prisoners.
The wide, open walls were destroyed everywhere and filled with numerous bodies. It felt terrible just seeing the sight of demon and human corpses being lined up next to each other.
“It’s not something a kid should see.”
He showed my kindness by covering my eyes while he rode the horse as he considered me as a child.
I couldn’t tell just how many humans and demons had died. We passed through the destroyed gates. Numerous carriages were lined up before it.
They continued to load them with materials they found in the Demon King’s Castle.
The Demon Realm was destroyed in this Demon World War, and this long-standing conflict was finally resolved by the humans..
But the most important was still the material aspect.
All countries that participated in the Demon World War would gain enormous wealth from selling the goods of the Demon Realm. So it was set up that a long golden age would start for the land of humans. It’s said that they gained a long peaceful period in exchange for all the blood.
However, I would have never imagined I’d get to see this scene from the perspective of the demons. In the end, as if they were treating war as just a simple reason to plunder, numerous military forces swept up all of the Demon King’s Castle’s wealth.
Wagons filled to the brim with supplies continued to leave the area and empty wagons kept replacing them. The officer took me to the command post inside the castle where they conducted the transport and search operation.
The officer gave a salute to what appeared to be the commander.
“Lieutenant Dyrus, commander of the 3rd Platoon, 11th Company, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Imperial Corps!”
He shouted his official name with a stiff face. Lieutenant Dyrus. I somehow found out his name. He was in the cavalry, so that’s why he could ride so well even with me being there.
The commander opposite of him didn’t seem to have any idea who he was. That’s to be expected. Going by his title he was probably way below the commander.
“What is it?”
The officer, who seemed to be a very high-ranking officer, frowned while he looked alternately between me and the junior officer. He seemed like he would severely reprimand him if he couldn’t give a proper explanation why he brought someone who wasn’t even a soldier to this place.
“I brought this boy here because he said he had to deliver an urgent message from the Commander-in-chief to Sir Francis. I presumed it to be confidential, so I didn’t ask him what it was.”
Seeing my small lie growing bigger, I felt a chill run down my spine. However, he didn’t ask him why the commander had sent an urgent message through someone like me.
His face slightly stiffened. He seemed to know something.
“Sir Francis…. I just received a report that he was killed in an altercation with one of the demon remnants during the search of the Castle..”
Bertus was the first to use his hand. Not only my, but also Lieutenant Daryus’ expression hardened.
“Is the message something I should know about?”
“N, no! I was meant to deliver it to Sir Francis directly!”
“What a pity. Those damn demons should just curl up and die.”
The commander’s expression was grim, perhaps because he thought that he lost a great knight to the demons.
No, well, he was definitely killed by humans and not demons though.
“Sir, this is not a place for a boy such as him. Hurry back.”
Fortunately, the commander didn’t interrogate me about the message or my identity. It seemed like he was too preoccupied with conducting this full-scale search of the castle.
After leaving the command post, Lieutenant Dyrus grabbed my shoulder.
“How did this happen? How did the Commander-in-chief know that Sir Francis was in danger?”
I said Sir Francis’ life was in danger, and he actually died. I looked at the lieutenant in front of me. It was clear that he had very little authority here.
However, now that Sir Francis got already killed, I needed someone else to help me.
“It wasn’t the Commander-in-chief.”
Hoping that it wasn’t a mistake to bring this person in.
“Her Highness sent me.”
I told him the truth.
I explained the whole story to him in a secluded area of the castle where soldiers didn’t pass by. I started from the point where the princess was still imprisoned and got rescued.
“So Sir Francis was killed by someone from our army and not the demons?”
“Shit. I can’t even imagine how painful it must have been, but they were even trying to harm Her Highness the Princess as soon as she got rescued?”
He clenched his teeth, seeming shocked to hear that there were people who planned such things.
“Then you’re trying to rescue the Princess, right?”
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“Alright, I admire your courage.”
He patted me on the shoulder as if he was proud of me, who tried to save the princess even though I was powerless. Then he seemed amazed by the fact that there were hidden battles going on on their side, just as they claimed victory.
“I can’t let that happen. I also want to become the Princess’ power.”
Even in this place with so many eyes, somehow an ally got killed by another. That would mean that Bertus’ minions were spread out throughout the whole Imperial Army.
“I have to get to her as soon as possible. I’m not as skilled as Sir Francis, but just having one more pair of eyes should be meaningful enough.”
“Yes, it is.”
Fortunately, Dyrus seemed to have a strong sense of justice and couldn’t let this slide. I didn’t tell him anything like he had to risk his life. He seemed to think that it was only natural to give up his life if that meant he could protect her.
Just when he was about to leave as fast as he could, I had a thought pass through my head.
“What is it? I have to go back quickly.”
I pointed at the lot of carts.
“There’s a way to protect the princess right now.”
Yes, I dared to return to the Demon King’s Castle.
“This is the Demon King’s Castle.”
“Right. What about it?”
“I saw that there was a storage room for magic items there when I got rescued.”
I’ve come this far, so I couldn’t just go back empty-handed.
“Why don’t we look for a teleport scroll there?”
Spaceshifting scrolls couldn’t be used here, but they’d obviously work in the garrison.
Using that spell, the princess could be taken out of this dangerous place right away. I hoped that the scroll vault hadn’t been plundered yet.
If so, then the teleport scroll I was trying to use was obviously still there.
We couldn’t attempt asking a wizard to teleport us. They’d surely trap us.
Dyrus seemed hesitant. He looked doubtful whether it was the right choice to go look for some teleport scroll that may or may not exist.
However, I knew the location of the teleport scroll. Once I confirmed that it had been stolen, we could leave immediately.
“Damn it, alright. It’s clear that I wouldn’t be much help even if I stuck to the princess ….”
He nodded as if he acknowledged the limits of his abilities. I still wasn’t clear on the layout of the Demon King’s Castle, however I had remembered some things when I came out of the prison. There was no one to stop us, as many soldiers were going in and out of the Castle.
“It’s this way.”
Some people seemed puzzled about me walking around unarmed, but I couldn’t explain this to each one of them.
Fortunately, I was able to trace my steps back to roughly where it was.
The Demon King’s Castle was very spacious and the prison I was in and the magic item storage were located deep inside, so there was a very good chance that it hadn’t been plundered yet.
“This is ridiculously huge!”
Eventually I got tired and ended up riding his back. I rummaged through my memory and pointed out the directions I remembered. Fortunately, we were able to reach it without getting lost.
“It’s still fine!”
Fortunately, it was still in good condition. It looked like no one had come here yet.
“…It doesn’t look that fine to me though. I think someone was here already, you know?”
That was me.
“Ah, tha, that…… I, I meant that the scrolls were still looking fine!”
“Okay. Let’s look for it.”
I immediately picked up the teleport scroll that was spread out on the floor.
“I found it!”
The name of the magic contained in the scroll was written on it in common language, so he didn’t ask me how I was able to find it right away. If it had been written in the Demon language, he would have suspected me for sure. I already knew two languages I had no previous knowledge of. It was like the staple cheats people get when they get sent to another world.
I resealed the scroll that hadn’t been triggered yet. Of course, the teleportation would only work on one person. I didn’t know if there were mass teleportation scrolls, but I had to find more scrolls.
Not only Charlotte, I had to get myself out of here as well and maybe Dyrus as well, as he’d also be in danger.
“I’ll need a few more. We don’t know what might happen. We should also get some scrolls that might help us as well.”
“Little boy, take this.”
“Thi, this is…?”
“A Scroll Book, is this the first time you’ve seen one? It was over there.”
He handed me an empty book.
“N, no, that’s not it. I know what this is.”
“Good then. Let’s use it.”
I knew what a scroll book was. It wasn’t even a magic item, just a book one could put scrolls into and organize it in a way that one could rip out the pages one needed whenever one wanted.
It was an object used by people who weren’t wizards, but still needed to use magic in battle. Since it was an item I came up with, there was no way I wouldn’t know about it. However, it felt really really strange actually holding this item I only imagined in my hands.
It was good that I didn’t have to crumble these scrolls into my pocket. I started filling the scroll book with useful magic spells, while Dyrus found another scroll book, filling it with magic as well.
“The Demon King’s Castle sure is amazing. I heard that even low-level scrolls were more expensive than my salary.”
He seemed to genuinely admire the vast stock of scrolls.
“I heard they’ve almost used up all the scrolls in this war, but if we’d take all the ones here it would be more than enough to make up for the lower level scrolls we’ve used.”
Dyrus rummaged through the scrolls while saying things like that.
There were no aoe attack spells, but we’ve swept up all the scrolls that might be helpful to us. I couldn’t take them with me earlier because I had to throw everything away, but now I could actually pack them up.
Useful Scrolls GET. Go, me.
Then I opened my eyes wide at a sudden discovery.
Multi-person space movement order.
There was no more need to find more teleportation scrolls.
“Let’s go Lieutenant!”
“Yes. Let’s hurry.”
Then, as soon as we stepped out the door, we couldn’t help but stiffen.
Our eyes met with a soldier who was carrying some bundles.
No, if you think about it, wouldn’t we be seen as people who just arbitrarily took the spoils that should belong to the military? It was, of course, a felony to snatch loot without permission.
What if they won’t let us go?
Dyrus, I and the soldier were looking at each other in silence.
He clenched his teeth. Perhaps he was prepared for this extreme situation.
In the face of his new mission to protect the princess, he seemed prepared to do anything. Even if it meant having to subdue his own allies right on the spot.
The soldier cautiously opened his mouth after checking Dyrus rank.
“How about we’ll just turn a blind eye on each other?”
…..… You too?