The Knights Templar were religious armed forces not under the control of the Empire. Therefore, the reason for their actions had nothing to do with the national interest of the Empire and was only based on their religious beliefs.
The fact that we were dealing with demons that were supposed to get completely destroyed would cause a huge conflict between those two groups. And the citizens would be on the same side as the Knights Templar.
“If the Knights Templar started to interfere, there would be a huge commotion, and eventually, the black market, the forces behind it and the auction’s participants would have no means to object against them. In the end, they would have no choice but to hand the prisoners over to the Knights Templar.”
The Empire would have to take a step back. They wouldn’t oppose the Knights Templar just to make some money by selling demons.
There was no justification for the Empire to intervene with the Knights Templar, so it would naturally result in that, no matter what actual power they wielded.
It wasn’t enough for them to just capture and kill them, no, they had to go ahead and actually sell the demons secretly. For the Knights Templar, who considered the Demon World War a sacred war, the actions of the Empire were already seen as an enormous betrayal. Religion was, of course, spreading throughout the Empire and its Principalities. Religion was, after all, a power that controlled people’s minds. Antagonizing them was an option the Empire would never choose.
Eventually, they would admit to their mistake or cut off their tail. Then the prisoners of war would be taken by the Knights Templar.
In other words, my proposal was to destroy the whole black market in and of itself. Not using our own power, but somebody else’s.
Eleris nodded at my words.“Your Highness, that will certainly deter the selling of demon prisoners on the black market. However, if we do it like that…. All the prisoners would get executed without exception.”
This operation would just make the demons change hands from those who want to enslave them to the ones who want to kill them.
“And yet you’re trying to get the Knights Templar to come, who’d block any way for us to take the prisoners away?”
I slowly began to explain my plan. In the end, this was just another type of gambling.
“Obviously, the Knights Templar would take the prisoners, and they will surely be used as a tool for coercion. However, they would never expect someone trying to mass teleport the prisoners away. I’m sure they’d be very angry. Of course, they may come in and slaughter the prisoners held in the auction house on the spot. However, as long as the prisoners are alive, they themselves were the living proof of the Empire’s betrayal. They won’t try to deal with them right away. They would use them as evidence to force an apology out of the Imperial Family.”
Even if they would eventually kill them, they wouldn’t want to deal with the prisoners immediately. At the very least, they will keep them alive for a few days, while they had some talks with the Empire. Although it might be more like a type of crusade than a regular chat though.
“Of course, you might be concerned that the market organizers decide to change their location after they heard rumors about the Knights Templar planning on raiding the place. Actually, that would be even better. The substitute venue would probably just be a hurriedly built place. They wouldn’t have had time to apply anti magic measures. The substitute venue would most definitely get announced to the auction participants. So, we really need a ticket.”
There would be a high possibility that they wouldn’t be able to prepare countermeasures against magic as they had to change venues as fast as possible. In that case, it would be easier to infiltrate the auction and Eleris would be able to use Mass Teleport to get everyone out.
“If the Knights Templar take the prisoners, they will insist on holding on to them themselves, not the Empire. It wouldn’t be any different in that case. We would have to infiltrate their place.”
In the end, it was Eleris who had to use the Mass Teleport Spell.
“Or, well, there’s another method. After figuring out the prisoner transport routes, Eleris could use her Mass Teleport Spell in a place we have surveyed before. So when the prisoner’s convoy passes by, we could teleport them away and then run.”
We could prepare the spell at a fixed place where the prisoners are supposed to pass by and wait, then intercept the convoy by teleporting the prisoners away. In the end, it all depended on Eleris’ Mass Teleport Spell.
There was a precondition to all this. Namely that the Knights Templar will take over the prisoners, but I believed that there was quite the high chance of that happening.
“Regarding the second option, it would be rather difficult to infiltrate the Knights Templar’s headquarters. Other than possessing anti-magic barriers, they probably would realize that I’m an undead right after I set foot in their building.”
“As I thought.”
“The third option seems more feasible at the moment.”
The black market changing venue would be beyond our control, so we could only react as things were happening.
For now, it would be best to find out the location of the black market, predict the route which the Knights Templar would take to escort the prisoners away and wait for Eleris to finish casting the spell while on the move.
“But in the end, we would only be able to rescue 20 people. The rest of the prisoners would die….”
If there were less than 20 demons getting auctioned off at the black market, we’d be able to rescue all of them, but if there were more, we’d end up leaving the rest to die. Loyar, who had been silent up until now, opened her mouth.
“Your Highness, how about we use Warp Gates instead of Mass Teleport?”
“Yes, it would seem that we’d just have to somehow make the Knights Templar lose control of the prisoners for a bit after they took them from the black market. Like that we could save everyone by using Warp Gates, not just a few by using Mass Teleport.”
“But wouldn’t that only be possible if there was a Warp Gate in the transportation route of the Knights Templar?”
It wasn’t like I didn’t think of that either. However, Warp Gates were only located in fixed places, so, as we didn’t know the black market’s accurate location at this stage, we wouldn’t be able to come up with a detailed strategy.
“There are a great many Warp Gates in the Capital, Your Highness.”
Since Loyar was running an intelligence organization, she couldn’t help but know a lot more about the Capital than the three of us.
“Even in front of the Knights Templar headquarters, one of the major facilities of the Capital, was a Warp Gate.”
No matter which way they went, they’d eventually pass one of these fixed places with the convoy. There’d inevitably be some Warp Gate on their route.
“Yes, I see, that’s plausible.”
If we used a Warp Gate, we could save as many prisoners as we needed.
“So when the convoy arrives before the Knights Templar headquarters we’d just have to make a commotion and make the prisoners somehow run over to the Warp Gates. We wouldn’t have to worry about them chasing after us through the gate. Eleris could just destroy the gate after we went through it.”
Eleris nodded while seeming slightly nervous.
Warp Gates were two-way. If one of the gates were broken one couldn’t warp to either of those places anymore.
“Okay. But we need to make a very thorough plan well in advance. Not everything would go as we think. First, we need to make sure the Knights Templar know exactly where the black market is so that they can find it. We can only hope that they don’t immediately slaughter all the prisoners. We also would have to neutralize the troops stationed at the Warp Gates. We should also think of a way to distract the Knights Templar long enough for the prisoners to escape.”
“I’ll take care of the disturbance.”
It seemed like Loyar would take on that role.
“Will you be fine? You could die.”
“I won’t have to fight against them, I just have to cause a disturbance. I might get hurt, but I don’t think I’ll die.”
“I’ll also help cause a disturbance with my magic.”
It wasn’t just Loyar, Eleris would support her with her magic.
“I will disguise myself as a soldier stationed by the Gate.”
In a way, Sarkegaar played the most important role. Completely taking over the Warp Gate.
After sending the prisoners away through the Warp Gate, Loyar, Eleris and Sarkegaar would all jump into the gate and proceed to destroy the other gate to prevent pursuers to come after them. To return they could just use the Mass Teleport Spell.
If we were able to pull that off, it would be perfect. However, since there were so many prerequisites, we couldn’t know if some variable would occur to mess everything up.
I didn’t really have a part in this, but I’d keep an eye on the situation and how everything was unfolding.
Getting ready to use ‘Revise’ in the event of a crisis.
The three of them, except for me, tried not to do anything dangerous because of me, but, in the end, they would carry out that operation to rescue the demons under my instructions.
It would cause a great commotion in the Capital. This was never a secret and safe task. Even if they succeeded, the Empire would be on high alert for some time after. I mean, there would be powerful high ranking demons having a fight with a someone in the middle of the Capital after all.
Even if things went as planned, we would have to live in danger for a while, but if things didn’t go as planned, one of the three of them had to be sacrificed. Everyone agreed.
If any of the three were to get caught or it failed, they had to expect to die, and if my identity was in danger of being discovered they told me to use Sarkegaar’s ring to escape.
I didn’t know if the captured demons were even worth this much or not.
However, those three just couldn’t bear seeing the prisoners, who were from the same country as them, live such miserable lives without even being able to die properly. So those three risked their lives for them. Even if I wasn’t directly risking my life, as the prince of that ruined country, I was trying my hardest for them.
It was something I shouldn’t even have considered.
However, just by deciding that we should rescue them and giving them detailed instructions, it seemed like Loyar, Eleris and Sarkegaar had already gained unbreakable trust in me.
I had no idea if it was just because they were demons or because they were directly in the service of the country that they respected me as their monarch.
They already acknowledged my absoluteness only because I was an Arcdemon, but from the moment I decided to rescue the prisoners they seemed to give me even more respect than before.
“Your Highness, thank you.”
So that night, while I was lying in bed, Eleris thanked me over and over.
“It’s you guys who’ll do most of the work, so why are you thanking me?”
That was the truth. All I had to do was to use the Revise function to stop certain events from happening and realize events that shouldn’t have happened in case of danger.
“I’m thanking you for allowing us to do something as dangerous as that.”
In the end, even if I wouldn’t actually do much, I still allowed them to take action.
Perhaps compassion wasn’t something that belonged to the qualities of a king. If one viewed it as such, Eleris seemed to appreciate what I tried to do for them. If I cold-heartedly told them to just leave the prisoners alone, they would have understood, but they would have also been very sad about this.
The funny thing was, seeing me allowing them to take such reckless actions and even coming up with a plan for them, seemed to have impressed even Sarkegaar who had a completely different stance from Eleris. Perhaps Sarkegaar viewed my actions as part of my attitude as a monarch who cherished all the demons of the Demon Realm.
I still didn’t know what stance Loyar had, but, in the end, she also desired to save the other demons. And there I was, coming up with a detailed plan, so it seemed like she was also impressed by that.
“Anyway, are you really okay with this? No matter what we do, someone might get hurt.”
Eleris didn’t like violence. However, she had no other choice but to use her magic to distract the Knights Templar. Just as those three were risking their lives to make this plan successful, of course, there was also the possibility that someone, whether they or the Knights Templar, would die or get injured.
She might hesitate or make a mistake. That was my concern.
“……I have taken away the lives of so many people already.”
Eleris seemed dazed, her eyes closed. She looked endlessly sad.
“I’m so used to it, that I’m sick and tired of it.”
It wasn’t that she couldn’t do it, she did it too often and much too well.
I couldn’t say anything to this sad Eleris, who told me that I had no need to worry.
The Festival started on Monday and Sarkegaar would also get the tickets for the auction then. That way we could pinpoint the location of the black market. They cost a huge amount, 40 gold coins, but it wasn’t an impossible amount for us. I mean, we didn’t even use the money we prepared for Temple’s entrance fee yet. In addition to that, as Sarkegaar lived the life of a noble, he should have kept some emergency funds so that it wouldn’t be completely impossible for him to maintain his lifestyle without the organization.
That long Festival, which started on Monday, would run for an entire month.
We were facing the streets of the Imperial Capital, already buzzing with a festive atmosphere.
-Long live the Allied Forces!
-Hurray for Atorius!
People cheered as the soldiers arrived from the large Warp Gate located in the Temtoan District, north of the Al Ligar District. An endless procession of soldiers kept on coming out of the Gate.
A steady stream of them left the blue Portal and were marching towards the Imperial Castle.
If we were to use the map of Seoul, then they started in the Jung District and went on to the Jongno District and people stood close to them cheering the endless parade of soldiers.
The Knights and Cavalry on horseback arrived first, followed by the Infantry and other soldiers. They were all cheered for equally.
Everyone sent endless cheers towards the Allied Forces, which achieved this miraculous victory in the Demon World War.
Ludwig must be watching this scene from somewhere. There was also a high chance that Delphine Izadra was getting kidnapped by someone while watching the festive people celebrating everywhere and eating good food.
If it didn’t happen, well, that would be good then.
A huge number of soldiers were walking at the same pace. A huge number of countries and groups participated in this War as the Allied Forces.
They each carried a flag symbolizing their origin.
The procession of this triumphal army would go on for an incredibly long time. They would be able to enjoy the honor of entering the Imperial Palace accompanied by the cheers of the citizens, as well as being treated with utmost respect inside of it. Those who earned merit would receive their due rewards.
Among the cheers of this huge crowd, we chatted while keeping our distance from them.
“The prisoners of war might arrive through a different Gate than the Victory Procession.”“Maybe so.”
We weren’t just here to watch this spectacle. It was a sight that made me lose my appetite anyway.
The reason for me coming all the way here was to check whether the prisoners of war would be led through the same gate as the triumphal army. If they did, we could try taking them away at that moment.
Even if we didn’t do that, we could at least ascertain the amount of prisoners that got transported here. However, no matter how long we kept on watching, there was no convoy or procession that seemed to contain the prisoners of war.
Since this was where the triumphal army passed through there might be a high chance that they would make the prisoners, who would cause people to frown, enter through a different Gate.
“Even if we succeeded, the only ones we’d be able to safe were the ones getting taken to the black market, right?”
The only ones we could save were the demons who had a certain market value and got sent to that black market.