“It’s okay now. It looks like we have shaken off the pursuers.”
They were in the slums on the outskirts of Holstro, hiding in one of the rooms of what could only be described as a dilapidated multi-tenant building while holding their heads in their hands.
Actually, only Yasuo and Feigreid had their heads in their hands. Diana was able to look up despite looking haggard. And as for Shouko…
“I wonder. We might have shaken off the ground forces, but what happened back there was tantamount to rubbing the Holstro Battalion’s faces in the dirt. They might be searching for us from the skies.”
She was sitting on some rubble inside the room, acting like it had nothing to do with her and looking at Diana who spoke earlier as if mocking her.
Despite being so far away from the city, the area was still illuminated by numerous streetlights. Bathed in the light from those streetlights and the moon shining in through a window with shattered glass, the person who looked like Shouko smiled like a demon while her eye behind the flames glowed red.
“This place is called a slum, but that just means that the streets are relatively unsafe, not that it is beyond the reach of the officials. We’ll be caught for sure if we stay in the same place for too long.”
“Whose fault do you think this is… Raia Calgani-san?”
Diana used that name to refer to the Shii that was borrowing Shouko’s appearance while making shameless declarations. Seeing that, Raia’s evil smile grew even wider.
“Hmm~? It’s Yasu-kun’s fault, right? I mean, if Yasu-kun hadn’t been panicking so pathetically back there, I wouldn’t have had to make a move, you know~?”
Even Diana couldn’t stay calm after being taunted with Shouko’s usual way of talking. She frowned angrily.
“……If you weren’t inside Shouko’s body, I—!”
“What would you do~? No matter what you say~ you are someone who has been living in a clean and proper world until now, Diana-san~ Even if I wasn’t in Shouko’s body~ You’re not the type of person who would be able to torture me or anything right~?”
Diana’s face was flushed with anger, but even so she couldn’t think of any way to refute the statement made by the one inside Shouko’s body and could only tremble silently with rage.
“……Looks like you’re a lot more talkative now, completely different from back then.”
Even Yasuo couldn’t keep his cool against the one occupying Shouko’s body and glared at her angrily.
“You’re the one who told me to look at you when I was talking, Yasu-kun. I’m just doing what you asked. I’m just trying to tell you that I’m able to do this sort of thing now because Shouko and I grew a little more familiar with each other in the museum, so can you stop glaring at me like that?”
“What is it?”
The Shii inside Shouko—Raia Calgani—was exhibiting the personality from when she was still alive. In that case, there was no need to hold back against her like he normally would with Shouko.
“Back then, I wasn’t able to deceive the Holstro Battalion. Back then, I was certainly saved by you. For that, you have my thanks.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming after that gratitude though.”
“Of course. I also know you didn’t just save us out of good will. In the end, you are still a Shii.”
“You told me a lot of things in that white world. However, none of that information is immediately helpful in doing something about the current situation where the world is being attacked by the Shii. The Shii have their own objectives. You’re trying to use Tatewaki-san for the sake of those objectives, right?”
“Shouko is still lacking to become a Latch, but she is quite useful. The fighting strength of this group would be a lot higher with me in control instead of Shouko, which benefits all of you as well. So it’s better for everyone if Shouko just stays asleep like this……”
Since she had her back to the moon, her sadistic smile looked even more twisted.
Yasuo stood up and moved directly in front of Raia=Shouko.
“That’s enough. Shut your mouth.”
“Let Tatewaki-san out. I don’t need to hear anything more from you.”
“Are you sure you should be talking to me like that, Yasu-kun? There are still things all of you want to know, I could probably tell you something about……”
Raia wasn’t able to finish her sentence.
“Stop messing around while wearing Tatewaki-san’s face and using her voice. The only person who is allowed to call me by that nickname is Tatewaki-san. No matter what we hear from you, we have no way to determine if that is truth or lies. That’s why, I’m not interested in hearing anything more from you. I’m telling you once again.”
Yasuo directly hugged Shouko’s body from the front.
“Get lost. And give Tatewaki-san back.”
The next instant, the flame in her left eye shrunk in size and the evil expression rapidly receded from her face.
Raia’s voice sounded as though she truly found it boring.
“I sensed that the Latch would shut especially tight at times, so it was because of this….Haaa.”
Raia’s eyes closed, and her body suddenly grew slack.
Yasuo tried to support her body, but then…
“I-I’m okay… I’m okay, so, umm…”
The person enveloped in Yasuo’s arms spoke with the same voice as before, but the tone was clearly different.
“Umm, I’m fine. I’ve come back. Umm, Yasu-kun, thank you. I can stand on my own. I can stand on my own, so…”
Saying so, she pushed Yasuo’s chest and forcefully separated herself from him.
“Umm, I-I’m fine already.”
“Eh, y-yeah, I see.”
There was no mistaking it. It was Shouko. The one in front of Yasuo right now was not Raia, but the real Shouko.
“You really are Shouko…. Right?”
“Y-Yeah. Sorry, Diana-san and Feig-san too, for causing trouble. Umm… Diana-san, do you have a minute?”
For some reason, Shouko dragged Diana to a corner of the room and whispered something to her. Yasuo, and Feigreid who lifted his face up after Shouko returned, instinctively looked at each other, but the next instant…
Diana looked surprised as she repeatedly looked between Shouko, who was hanging her head, and Yasuo. After that, she started patting Shouko’s head while looking partly annoyed and partly pitying.
Yasuo looked at Shouko’s eyes that were shaking with uncertainty and agitation behind the flame that had shrunk down until it was barely visible, and he started to feel uneasy himself.
Had something bad happened to Shouko’s body because of how Raia’s personality asserted itself?
“Tatewaki-san, are you okay? Your face is…”
“I’m not blushing! I’m not blushing, okay!?”
“Eh!? Umm, yeah, the window is broken, so maybe you could try to keep your voice down…”
“W-Whose fault do you think…. Yeah, I understand.”
Shouko then proceeded to sink to the floor next to Diana and slumped her shoulders as though she was depressed.
Diana bent down and patted her shoulder once, then gave a slight nod before turning around and walking to Yasuo.
“She seems to be okay, so let’s leave it at that for now.”
“Let’s leave it at that for now.”
Pushed back by Diana’s unexpected intensity and the pressure of her hand on his shoulder, Yasuo also sat down on some nearby rubble.
“Let’s go over the current situation.”
Diana said that in a solemn tone, but the situation was so simple that they didn’t need to particularly go over it.
“We are being pursued by Baskelgarde’s Magitech Knights.”
“Our personal descriptions should also be ready by now, based on the testimony of those people back at the museum.”
“It sounds hopeless.”
Shouko, who had been blushing just a minute ago, now looked pale.
“I knew there would eventually be problems, but I expected a situation a little more conducive to hearing our side of the story…”
Feigreid, who was sitting next to Yasuo, let out a sigh.
“I’m sorry, Yasuo, Shouko. This is my fault.”
“T-That’s not true! You didn’t do anything wrong, Feig-san! If anything, it’s all because of me and the creature inside me….!”
Yasuo and Shouko panicked after hearing what Feigreid said, but Diana shook her head.
“He’s not wrong. In addition, it is also my fault. No, at this point it can be said that the whole of Resteria and the Gaz Commonwealth are at fault.”
“A-Aren’t you making too big a deal out of it?”
“I’m not. Both myself and Second Lieutenant Feigreid should have been more alert so that we could have responded in case anything happened to either of you. Despite that, we helplessly let ourselves get sucked into Shouko flames, and on top of that, we were disgracefully unconscious when the Holstro Battalion arrived, that is shameful behaviour unbecoming of a Magitech Knight.”
“N-No way. I mean, nobody could have predicted that……”
“If the soldiers from the Holstro Battalion had been a little more aggressive, or if Raia Calgani had not seized control of Shouko’s body, we might have all been killed on the spot back then. For soldiers like us, ‘nobody could have predicted it’ isn’t a valid excuse. If we get into such a situation, it’s the same as putting somebody’s life at risk. It happened because… both myself and the Second Lieutenant were overconfident, we believed that no matter what happened, we were stronger than the two of you.”
Stopping Shouko who tried to comfort her, Diana resolutely raised her head.
“We gained the chance to make up for our failure. Let us quickly decide on what we should do next, here and now. Yasuo.”
“What is it…”
Diana’s usual unsteadiness and cheerful expression were gone, replaced by a cold mask of resolve.
“Our original plan has failed. I propose that we prioritize leaving Baskelgarde and entering Resteria.”
“……Are you serious?”
It was obvious at a glance that this was not what Diana really wanted. Despite that, she was forcing herself to behave as a soldier.
“Yes, I am.”
“I am completely serious.”
“Mind telling me the reason?”
“That is the decision I arrived at after prioritizing the lives of all four of us.”
“What about Dad?”
Yasuo purposely asked her that, causing Diana to momentarily be at a loss for words.
“……Hideo’s strength is on a different level from ours. Even if he was thrown naked to the North Pole, Hideo would be able to safely make it back home.”
“Stop talking nonsense about my dad.”
“But the current situation is very dangerous for us, and especially for Shouko. We are being pursued not by Shii, but by people. It’s not the sort of situation where we can just fight off anyone who comes after us.”
“……In the worst case, Tatewaki-san and I can just abandon everything and go back to Japan, but that’s not the case for Feig-san, right? Considering what happened, people can’t help but think that Feig-san purposely snuck into Baskelgarde to let the Shii loose here. Won’t he be branded as a spy and get into trouble?”
“There will probably be some trouble. Of course, I don’t have any intention of abandoning Second Lieutenant Feigreid either. I will take the proper measures.”
“Mind telling me what sort of measures you’re talking about?”
Diana patted her own chest while strengthening her gaze.
“I will use the name of the Krone Family and think of a scenario where Resteria takes full responsibility for this incident. The Second Lieutenant will play the part of a ‘victim’ who was used by the Krone Family and Resteria.”
“Please wait, Major Krone! I too have my pride as a knight! Just because I stumbled upon the path that I chose for myself, I cannot accept being protected by somebody else!”
“Of course. That is why I will have you atone for your mistake in a different way.”
Diana faced Feigreid who raised an objection, and forced her haggard face into a fearless smile.
“I will have you become ‘bait’ in order to catch the Carnelian of the Coal Mine.”
“I-I understand what you are trying to say, but then what will happen to the Obaa-chan in the House of the Fireflies? And those orphan kids too…”
Diana resolutely looked at Shouko who was shaken after hearing the name, ‘Carnelian of the Coal Mine’.
“…For a while, they will be put in a difficult position…but…”
“I will protect my mother and the rest. If it is for the sake of exposing the true nature of the Carnelian of the Coal Mine and furthering the fight against the Shii in all the different countries, then it can’t be helped.”
“That’s wrong! If you do something like that, some people will definitely get ahead of themselves! There will definitely be a massive fallout!”
“……This is a problem that we, the people who live in Ante Lade, had to originally deal with. Relying on the Hero who defeated Demon King Kaul, unable to escape from the dream of clinging to the savior, Ante Lande had already lost the power to improve itself by its own power… At that time, we had already lost.”
Diana said that with a bitter smile.
“Although she was one of the Heroes, my mother had nobody left to rely on after my father died. From the start, my mother looked for salvation from somebody else. My mother, I, and everyone else believed that it was the right decision, and didn’t have any doubts at all… And because of that, Yasuo and Shouko got hurt both in mind and body and your lives are in turmoil.”
“……The Major is right. Even in the Gaz Commonwealth, there were people who were eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the Hero, but not a single person tried to become a Hero on their own.”
“During the days when I lived in Tokorozawa, there were many times when I regretted disturbing the peaceful days of Yasuo and everyone else in the Kenzaki Family. Despite that, I once again ended up hurting the two of you today……”
Diana clenched her fist with regret, and then silently bowed to Yasuo and Shouko after looking at each of them in turn.
“Yasuo, Shouko. Please allow me to keep the promise I made to Shouko’s parents. Almost five days have passed since we left Tokorozawa. The most important thing to me right now is to send the two of you back to Tokorozawa by the date we promised in advance. Of course, I will not trouble the two of you ever again until the issue with the Shii is resolve—puah!”
Diana’s speech filled with heroic resolve was cut off part way with an idiotic sound.
Shouko let out a low shout while going red in the face.
Yasuo had sandwiched Diana’s face between the palms of his hands and forced her to look up.
“You’re getting too agitated.”
“Calm down a little. I understand what you’re trying to say.”
Yasuo let go of Diana’s face, and then for some reason he looked at his hands and his face turned red.
“Sorry, I thought that would be better than holding your head or your chin, so…”
“E-Eh!? Y-Yes, that would have been bad! B-But grabbing someone by the cheeks is also a bit…!”
Diana also belatedly turned red and kept glancing towards Shouko. As for Shouko, she was just staring blankly at them while repeatedly opening and closing her mouth like a goldfish.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m just… really bad at stuff like this. It never goes well. I just can’t do stuff like that with the sensibilities of a Japanese person. Ah, geez!”
Yasuo shifted his weight from one foot to the other while wiping off the cold sweat that had formed on his forehead and the bridge of his nose. He glanced at Shouko, Feigreid, and Diana in that order as if gauging their expressions, and then he stared in a completely different direction, unable to make eye contact with any one of them before he began to speak once more.
“I completely understand what you were trying to say, Diana. For you, the most important thing is for Tatewaki-san and me to return to Japan unharmed, is that right?”
“But you see, that’s not what is most important to me.”
“To me, the most important objective of visiting Ante Lande this time is to do whatever it takes to rip that Shii out of Tatewaki-san’s body.”
“I-I understand that, but…”
“Just now, I decided that I cannot deviate from that path, no matter what happens. I mean, you saw it, right? You saw how evil her personality was.”
“Well, that’s true… But…”
“Ugh… Even though I know he’s not talking about me, it’s still depressing…”
“Until earlier, I would have been satisfied if we could at least do something about the flame in her left eye, but it’s no longer that simple. The Shii inside her is intelligent and is trying to do something using Tatewaki-san’s body. At this point, even if we drop everything and return to Japan, she definitely won’t be able to go back to her normal life.”
Diana looked as if she had something lodged in her throat.
“The safety of myself and Tatewaki-san is your primary concern. I understand that, and I am thankful you feel that way. I also understand that you are feeling crushed by the responsibility and that you’re trying your best to do something about this situation. But on the other hand, the two of us are also frustrated by how little we can achieve with our own strength even though we knowingly stuck our heads into this.”
“There’s no reason for the two of you to feel that way—!”
“Even if you feel that there is no need, we can’t help it.”
“Sure, I was just completely dragged into this mess. I haven’t done anything wrong. But it’s not like you purposely put this ill-natured creature inside me, right Diana-san?”
Shouko smiled bitterly while pointing at her left eye.
“It seems like you’re very concerned about the difference between Ante Lande and Japan, but this is basically something like me just happening to catch a disease that originated in a different country, right? Whether you catch a disease or not just depends on your luck. But if the person who is trying to cure me of that disease tries to disappear from my sight because of some incomprehensible sense of responsibility, it’ll just make me feel uneasy instead.”
“Shouko… But, I…”
“That creature might have already said something unnecessary, but you should say it again.”
He didn’t ask her what she meant.
“…..I can’t deny that I am lacking experience either.”
Yasuo’s voice was frail and unreliable.
“But I came to Ante Lande after making up my mind. In Galedeite, I got into a fight and risked my life for the first time when Diana wasn’t nearby. It made me realize once again just how powerless I am, and it was scary as hell. To be honest, even recalling it makes me start trembling. But even then, what I wanted to do didn’t change.”
Yasuo’s speech was completely incoherent and disorganized.
“I want to become a Hero and save people in need, I want to solve Tatewaki-san’s problem, and also, I want to be recognized by Diana.”
However, his resolve was the real deal. Diana should have realized that much.
“I want to fight by my own resolve, and bear the full responsibility for it.”
“Shouldn’t you just clearly declare that, ‘I am going to become a Hero!’ at a time like this?”
Shouko interrupted him to say that, but Yasuo shook his head.
“Acting cool is easy, but I can’t honestly convey that.”
Saying that, Yasuo gripped Diana’s hand.
“To me, becoming a Hero and getting you to recognize me are two different things. If people whom I’ve never met call me by some vague term like ‘Hero’, that’s still fine. But after showing my careless and pathetic side to you so many times, I want you to accept me as a person who can stand on his own feet, regardless of whatever high opinion everyone else might hold about me.”
“Aah, geez. For cripes’ sake.”
Shouko looked a little unhappy, but she continued to listen attentively to what Yasuo was saying.
“Of course, I realize that there’s no way I can be recognized by the world as a Hero when I can’t even stand by your side in battle. But I still have a lot of things that I want to achieve related to Ante Lande. That’s why, I want to respect your will, but I still hope you can understand that I have my own way of thinking, Diana.”
Yasuo turned to look at Feigreid while continuing to hold Diana’s hand.
“I want to respect the resolve that the two of you have as soldiers. But more than that, I don’t want to just leave two of my important friends behind and run away.”
“……Looking at it rationally, Major Krone’s plan is the most realistic, you know?”
Feigreid hadn’t known them for all that long. However, he was still able to understand that Yasuo wouldn’t change his mind so easily.
“Since you said ‘rationally’, that means you don’t really want things to end that way either, right Feig-san?”
“Of course. After all, I haven’t done anything noteworthy so far even after coming all the way from Galedeite. I haven’t even been able to repay you for saving my mother and siblings back in Galedeite… And besides.”
“What is it?”
“…No, that was a really selfish thought, so it doesn’t matter. Still, under such restricted conditions, the things we can do are also few in number. Yasuo, you said you wanted to fight for the sake of preserving Shouko’s peaceful future, but if she gets captured or killed, she won’t have any future left to preserve, you know? Also, if that once again triggers Raia Calgani to appear like before, what do you intend to do about that? It’s not like you will always be able to immediately hug Shouko, right?”
“……Feig-san, you probably shouldn’t bring that up again…”
After hearing the usually serious Feigreid say that in a serious tone, both Yasuo and Shouko started blushing even though they were in the middle of a serious conversation. Even so, Feigreid undeniably had a point, and it was true that even more so than before, they could only react on the spot to whatever Raia might do.
“But putting that matter aside, there are still things that you want to do, right, Feig-san?”
“Yeah, but that’s just…”
“It’s fine just hearing you say that. Tatewaki-san.”
“This is troubling for you, right?”
“Oh, it definitely is. It’s a truckload of trouble. No matter what the circumstances are, it’s so troubling that there’s no chance of sympathizing at all.”
Shouko’s thoughts had been clear since the beginning.
In the end, only Diana was left.
“What do you want to do, Diana? Just you, personally.”
“Me… just personally…”
Diana looked up at Yasuo and spoke in a trembling voice.
“I’ve never even thought about such a thing… After all…”
“Then try thinking about it now.”
Diana’s voice was choked up like she had been driven into a corner, and she shook her head like a child who had an impossible task forced upon her.
“Impossible… That’s impossible. I can’t do something like that….”
Born into the foremost noble house of the great nation of Resteria, and furthermore, as the only daughter of a married couple of Heroes, this was a choice that Diana had never experienced before in her life.
As Diana continued to stubbornly shake her head, she heard something she didn’t expect.
“In that case, do you want me to say it in your stead? What you really hoped to achieve during this journey.”
Before Diana could say anything else, Yasuo rapidly continued to talk.
“Finding a hint to discovering the true nature of the Shii. And putting that knowledge to good use for the sake of the world… How’s that?”
“What do you mean, ‘How’s that’… Any Magitech Knight in Ante Lande would want that…”
“That means you feel the same way too, right, Diana?”
“T-That… When you put it that way, that’s certainly true, but……!”
“So it’s okay even if we don’t find out the true nature of the Shii?”
“I wouldn’t say that, but we’re not talking about such things right now……!”
“I am talking about such things, you know? I already heard about what would be the rational thing to do. Right now, I’m talking about what each of us wants to do. So, what do you say? Am I right or am I wrong!?”
“Of course, when you put it that way, you’re right! But still—”
“In that case, shouldn’t we be thinking of a way that takes both our safety and our hopes into consideration? Right now, we’re just individuals. When you’re part of an organization, there are times when you have to think in terms of all or nothing, but right now we’re just individuals.”
Of course, Feigreid was here as a Magitech Knight from the Gaz Commonwealth, so there would be times when his affiliation would act as shackles and impede him.
On the other hand, it was not like Feigreid had been particularly given any mission by the Knight Division of the Gaz Commonwealth either.
In the first place, the only people in Galedeite who knew about Yasuo’s heritage were Feigreid, Catalina who had assisted them, and the old lady at the House of the Fireflies.
Looking at Feigreid’s current status from the point of view of other people, he was just acting on his own accord to guard a pair of unknown travelers while being prepared to use his identity as a Magitech Knight as a trump card as a last resort.
“We can no longer perfectly achieve everything we set out to do. But if allowing for some leeway will help us do something, then I would like to pick that option. Diana, have you really thought about everything properly to the end? Is there really no way to find out the truth about the Shii inside Tatewaki-san and still return to Japan before the time limit? I think there is still a way. I think you should have started to vaguely sense this as well, Diana.”
“It’s just that, ever since you came to Tokorazawa, you’ve been overly sensitive about not disturbing our lives more than necessary. That’s probably why you kept trying to avoid looking at that possibility. Am I right?”
Diana agreed with what Yasuo said.
“I feel that… that’s something we shouldn’t do, no matter what.”
“In that case, what if Tatewaki-san or I say that it’s okay?”
‘It can’t be done!’
“Like I’ve been saying, that’s not true!!”
Growing impatient, Yasuo grabbed Diana’s shoulder and forced her to raise her face.
“I’m telling you to think of it from that direction! But with just me, Tatewaki-san, and Feig-san, we cannot move forward in that direction. We need your help, Diana. I won’t let you say that you can’t do it. Just earlier, you were perfectly willing to cause an international incident if that’s what it took!”
Yasuo’s quick talking sealed Diana’s route of escape. And then, he asked her one last time.
“You should have arrived at some sort of answer by now, so please tell me. Diana, what do you want to achieve during this journey?”
Yasuo remembered the expression on Diana’s face in the archive room of the museum.
She had always yearned for the sort of adventures that the Hero Hideo and his companions had experienced.
All the young boys in Ante Lande would use fallen branches on the roadside as a “holy sword”, and all the girls dreamed of being a great magician standing by their side. Moreover, Diana was a “girl” who had been closest to the truth of those adventures.
In that case, Diana’s feelings on the matter were obvious.
“I want… to fight… alongside Yasuo and the others. I want to go on a journey… to find out the truth about the Shii…”
She had been holding back her emotions, but now a single tear rolled down her cheek.
It was only a single tear.
“I want to try going on a journey.”
“Finally, you’re being honest with yourself.”
Yasuo nodded while smiling, and let go of Diana’s shoulder.
“Well then, it’s finally my turn in the end. No matter what happens, I want to rip that Shii out of Tatewaki-san’s body!”
Yasuo looked at Shouko.
“After that, I want to do something to thank Feig-san. He’s been helping me out continuously ever since we were in Galedeite.”
He looked at Feigreid.
“And then, I want Diana to recognize me as someone who can stand on their own feet.”
He looked at Diana.
“Oh yeah, one more thing… While we’re at it, I want to confirm that Dad is okay. Since we were separated after being sent to Ante Lande, I’m sure Dad would also try to meet up with us. But we’ve had no word from him so far, so maybe he’s in some sort of trouble. From everything I’ve experienced so far, I understand very well that just being superhuman isn’t enough when it comes to solving trouble with the Shii.”
“But there’s only two days left until the date by which we promised to send Shouko back. No matter what, trying to achieve all of that in such a short time is…”
“Like I said before, it depends on how you go about it. The two of you were completely ready to make this an international incident and blow it out of proportion, right? In that case, instead of turning it into a tragic story, I think there’s still another way left.”
Diana looked on uneasily, and even though Yasuo’s voice wasn’t filled with vigor, it could still be said that he had more than enough determination.
“Protecting all of our lives and moving towards our objective without throwing away our immediate goals. There’s just one way left to achieve this. Of course, this plan should also allow us to just barely return to Japan by the day we promised.”
“……I didn’t interrupt because you were pushing Diana-san forward so confidently, but I still don’t understand. Does such a convenient method really exist?”
Yasuo nodded vigorously in answer to Shouko’s question.
“It’s a completely un-Hero like method that relies entirely on Diana’s popularity and the standing of her family, though.”
Despite breaking into a cold sweat, Yasuo still grinned and opened his mouth to speak.
The following day, four people made an appearance at the Magitech Knight outpost belonging to the Holstro Knights’ Division.
The four of them proclaimed themselves as the group affiliated with the Shii that had injured soldiers of the Holstro Battalion at the military museum, causing a temporary uproar.
However, the four of them were neither subjugated, nor were they arrested.
Apparently, they were placed under strict guard and surveillance, and escorted to the Federation’s Parliament building.
As soon as it was decided that the four of them would be taken to the Parliament building, rumors about their identities started to spread like wildfire among the Holstro Battalion and the numerous Magitech Knights stationed at the capital.
In the beginning, everyone just ridiculed those rumors as being obviously fake. But when definite information was released later that a meeting had been called at the Parliament building to specially conduct a hearing, those rumors instantly became more believable.
And then, if the content of those rumors were confirmed to be true, everyone believed that the fallout would be restricted to not just Baskelgarde, but it would become an international problem where even the neighboring countries would get dragged in.
After all, the rumors said that of the four people, one of them was a man who claimed to be the son of the Hero Hideo, and another was the only daughter of the Krone family, the family of Heroes belonging to Resteria.