I Fell into the Game with Instant Kill - Chapter 135
Chapter 135: Decision
I looked down at the bustling people moving around.
Inside the fortress, the able-bodied were moving the wounded, while outside, the King of Earth Hill was taking his soldiers to subdue the surrendering Kajor army.
The Black Sea Empress seemed to have disappeared without a trace, leaving behind countless insect carcasses on the ground.
Ti-Yong wandered around here and there, rummaging through the insect corpses. Perhaps it didn’t think they were edible, as it eventually returned to my side.
With the situation somewhat cleared up, I stood side by side on the ramparts with the King of Earth Hill.
“What do you plan to do with the King of Kajor?”
He spoke cautiously. “We’ll see how things play out and then decide.”
No matter how the war started by the King of Kajor, he was still the ruler of a nation, so it was only natural to be cautious.
Whether to execute him or capture him as a prisoner and negotiate compensation from Kajor, it was his responsibility to decide.
“The Eight Lord will not interfere further in the affairs of both countries. Don’t worry and do as you please.”
“Yes, thank you very much, my lord.”
I looked around and spoke to Asher.
“Just in case, stay here until the cleanup is complete, Asher.”
The King of Earth Hill seemed surprised.
“We are unworthy of such meticulous care.”
“No, it’s not over until it’s over. I will leave my escort knight in the fortress until you return to the capital.”
If the Kajor Army, who had failed to assess the situation, were to gather and attack, it could cause unnecessary trouble.
I could see the First Prince’s expression brightened as he stood beside Longford and heard what I said.
I exchanged glances with Tair, then turned away.
Asher asked, “Are you leaving right now?”
“Yeah. I have to return to the mountains.”
I couldn’t stay here until everything was settled.
Especially since I had left the heir behind in a hurry. It should be fine since the hero was there, but…
When I hopped on the Ti-Yong’s back, the King of Earth Hill bowed deeply.
“We have received great grace from the Seventh Lord. I will never forget the kindness you have shown today. If the day comes when I have the opportunity, I will definitely repay the favor.”
Tair and the first prince also belatedly lowered their heads.
I called out to Tair, “Tair.”
“You ignored what I said. I clearly told you to ask for help if you encounter difficulties.”
“Yes? Ah, no! I meant to ask for help, but by the time I realized it, it was already too late…”
Tair was greatly flustered by my joking remark.
I smirked and asked, “So you’ll continue staying in the royal palace from now on?”
“Yes, I plan to do so.”
I looked at the King of Earth Hill and the first prince in turn, then lightly tapped Ti-Yong’s neck.
“I’ll see you again when I get a chance. I’ll treat you to a cup of tea, or you can come to my territory.”
With a powerful flap of its wings, Ti-Yong soared into the sky. Asher and the three of them quickly shrank to a speck.
As I flew toward the mountain range where the hero and the heir were, I thought to myself.
How will the Overlord react?
However, I didn’t worry too much about that.
This was clearly a fight the Black Sea Empress had brought to me first.
Despite clearly expressing my intentions during the previous meeting, she disregarded them and attacked Earth Hill.
The Overlord had also made it clear that she would not interfere in the war between the two nations.
That’s probably why the Black Sea Empress had been able to support Kajor so casually.
Therefore, it was also my freedom to stop her.
If the Overlord questioned me about it, she should hold the Black Sea Empress responsible for her involvement in this war from the start. Otherwise, no party could be held accountable.
Of course, even so, I couldn’t be completely at ease.
For the Black Sea Empress, someone equivalent to a single army, to lose almost all of her queen bodies was quite a significant loss of power for Calderic.
The Overlord could reprimand what I did as an excessive response.
However, even in such a case, there was one hidden card. The hero.
This time, Kajor was only able to do what they did because of the absence of the hero.
Anyway, the hero had also mentioned that she would soon reappear officially in the world.
While she was in retreat, there would have been various actions taking place in the royal palace, and there would be many things to sort out.
If the Overlord held me accountable, I could simply sacrifice her a little.
It could be said that I had no choice but to prevent the insane actions of the Black Sea Empress because I had prior information about the hero.
Wiping out an entire nation while the hero just came out of her retreat, it would be a detrimental act for Calderic.
The only thing I had to hide was my relationship with the hero, so there was no reason I couldn’t talk about her.
After organizing my thoughts, I moved on to other worries.
There were more important things than the Overlord right now.
So, how should the heir be handled?
By now, the hero probably hasn’t convinced her yet…
I put aside my unlikely expectations.
I hope the story progressed even a little.
Kaen took a step forward and brought her sword down.
It wasn’t very fast, but the rock it struck snapped in half with a loud crack.
She asked the woman standing beside her, still in the same stance, and the other nodded.
“Excellent. You’re quickly getting the hang of it.”
The hero, Aindel, looked at Kaen with bright eyes.
Right now, she was teaching Kaen a bit of the basics of how to manipulate her magic.
What she had just done was just a simple movement, but a flow of complex energy accompanied it within her body.
She already had a strong foundation, and with her talent, it seemed like she would grow quickly no matter what she taught her.
Was she this good because she was the heir to the Holy Sword, or was she chosen as the heir because of her exceptional qualities?
Aindel pondered these thoughts and let out a small sigh.
Rodiven had left a long time ago, and the Seventh Lord had suddenly encountered urgent matters and returned to Enrock.
The only ones currently present here were her and Kaen.
Aindel had also talked to Ben in an attempt to persuade him, but the answer he returned was simple.
“If my daughter truly wants to go outside, I have no intention of interfering. Talk to her directly.”
I thought there would surely be conflict, but surprisingly, he didn’t oppose it.
However, even though the issue on the father’s side was resolved, it was still difficult to persuade Kaen by herself.
Continuing to subtly bring up the topic, Kaen only showed ambiguous reactions.
Since Aindel wasn’t particularly eloquent, this kind of situation didn’t suit her well. It would have been much better to deal with archdemons instead.
Kaen, who had been repeatedly swinging her sword, seemed exhausted and collapsed onto the ground.
She, who had been absentmindedly gazing at the sky, suddenly started laughing.
Curious about what was funny, Aindel asked, “What’s wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing, really. I mentioned before that no one has ever come to visit from outside. That’s why I find it enjoyable to do this.”
“It’s almost lunchtime. Shall we go hunting together again, Del? If we go deep into the forest, there’s a pink rabbit that comes out. It’s a bit difficult to find, but its taste is out of this world.”
While Aindel was about to bring up the topic of the outside world again, she gave up.
Kaen was an innocent girl.
She approached unfamiliar people with kindness and curiosity instead of caution, finding genuine joy in the small things of everyday life.
The reason why Aindel wanted to take Kaen outside the mountains was not to show her a broader world.
Even if that was not a lie, it ultimately became an excuse.
To create a new hero, to take her place and stop the demons before her time was up.
To put the heaviest burden of all on an innocent child who had lived her whole life in the mountains.
Suddenly, Aindel felt a sense of unease.
Was this truly the right thing to do?
The inheritance of the Holy Sword, even if it was considered the will of the gods, it was not her own will.
The Holy Sword had given her transcendent power, but she had always acted of her own volition.
From the beginning, the Holy Sword only granted power; it never dictated a direction. Fighting against the demons and sealing the Demon King, all of it was her own choice.
Perhaps that’s why she’s still so unsure.
For the first time, the Holy Sword, which had never commanded anything, revealed its intention. Find the heir.
Of course, Aindel didn’t have much time left.
If she was to die like this, with the power of the Holy Sword disappearing and the Demon King resurrecting, the future would be bleak.
She knew the power of the Demon King better than anyone else. Without the divine power of the Holy Sword, nothing would be able to stop the incarnation of that evil. But…
Kaen looked at Aindel with a puzzled expression as she stood there in silence.
Aindel shook her head and pondered.
If Kaen’s heart didn’t change until the Seventh Lord returned, then it would be necessary to think deeply about her course of action once again.
Life has been pretty good for Kaen lately.
It was because there was a change in the repetitive daily life. The people who came from beyond the mountain range brought vitality to her.
Although everyone else had left, leaving only one person now, Kaen found it quite enjoyable to be with her. They would talk about the outside world, learn swordsmanship together, or go hunting together.
Ben, who was sipping tea at the table, wrinkled his nose and asked when she entered the cabin.
“Did you grill meat outside?”
“Yeah, I ate it with Del.”
“But you didn’t even bring a single piece for Dad, tsk tsk.”
“Well, if you wanted to eat, you could have come out, though there wasn’t enough for the three of us.”
Kaen, who was sitting across from Ben, sipped her tea from the cup.
While she quietly drank her tea for a moment, Ben casually asked her.
“Daughter, do you want to go outside the mountains?”
Kaen raised her eyebrows at the sudden question.
“What’s with Dad again?”
“That woman named Del asked me. She wanted to know what you think about going outside.”
“Um… What did you say?”
“It doesn’t matter to me. What’s important is your own will.”
Kaen looked at him suspiciously and asked.
“Is it really okay?”
“Yeah. Well, until when were you planning to live confined to the mountains? When the time comes, you should go out.”
Kaen felt a little perplexed.
Until now, he had always subtly avoided talking about the outside world whenever she asked about it.
But now, he was suddenly asking until when she was planning to live in the mountains.
“Well, anyway, do as you please. You can go to the Academy and make friends your age, or you can wander the world and have adventures. You’ve been taught enough, so wherever you go, you won’t starve due to lack of skills, as long as you don’t act recklessly.”
Kaen stroked the handle of her cup with her finger and asked.
“I never really thought deeply about it before, but now that we’re talking about the outside world, I suddenly have a curious question.”
“What is it?”
“Why don’t I have any childhood memories? How did you and I end up living here?”
Ben remained silent for a moment, then responded briefly while looking into the distance.
“Generally, people don’t have memories from when they were young.”
“I’m not asking about when I was a baby. I mean, I don’t have any memories around the age of five or six.”
“Well, then. Did you perhaps get a major head injury?”
“Seriously? Don’t twist the conversation like that.”
“Daughter, don’t bother people with unnecessary questions. I already told you that there wasn’t much during your early years. Your mother and I lived a normal life in the city until she was alive, and then we moved to this mountain range.”
“In this mountain where there’s no one but monsters roaming?”
“…Isn’t the air clean and nice here? I had my personal preferences, too.”
Kaen was bewildered and gave up on asking further.
Ben casually changed the topic.
“Anyway, follow your heart and do as you please. If it doesn’t concern me, there’s no need for you to worry.”
“It’s not like I’m particularly concerned about what Father thinks.”
“Tsk, you stubborn child. Finish your drink quickly and get up. Stop indulging in contemplation on your own.”
Kaen snorted, finished the remaining tea, and stood up from her seat.
The day grew dark, and night arrived.
Lying on the bed, Kaen stared at the ceiling, lost in thought.
The outside world…
Outside the mountains, meeting new people, experiencing new things.
It was undoubtedly an attractive story.
But there was something nagging in the back of her mind that made her hesitate.
It wasn’t just the anxiety and fear of leaving the familiar daily routine and the place where she had lived her whole life.
She couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was.
But it was also true that she was drawn to Del’s stories more than anything else.
She was one of the first people she had met who came from the outside world. Moreover, she could tell that Del was a good person.
If she missed this opportunity because of that hesitation, she would surely regret it later.
After tossing and turning for a while, Kaen got out of bed and went outside the cabin.
It was a bright moonlit night, and she looked up at the full moon in the sky as she walked across the yard.
When she reached the place where the fire was visible in the distance, she saw Aindel sitting in front of the bonfire.
Aindel asked her.
“What brings you out in the middle of the night?”
“May I sit for a while?”
“Of course. Do you want some tea?”
As Kaen sat across from her, Aindel took out a cup and put tea, leaves and water in it.
There was no need to heat it over the fire. The tea inside the cup started bubbling and steaming directly in her hands.
Kaen hesitated as she held the tea and then spoke.
“Del hopes that I could go beyond the mountain range and enroll in that academy, right?”
Aindel looked at her with a slightly surprised expression.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t asked you until now. Why?”
“That’s because… your talent is too precious to waste.”
Aindel hesitated for a moment and then spoke.
“The aptitude you possess is considered a genius by the world. Anyone would find it a waste to let it rot away in these mountains.”
“Hmm… Is that really the only reason?”
“It feels like there’s a more serious reason behind it for Del. It’s not because if I become stronger, Del wants to pass on her sword to me?”
She was momentarily taken aback, but quickly understood Kaen’s words and let out a small sigh.
Come to think of it, she made up that excuse when Kaen held the Holy Sword. She said that the sword was a sacred weapon that chose its master.
Kean unintentionally hit the nail on the head.
“Well, it doesn’t matter what it is. I don’t care about my talent or anything like that. I just…”
Kaen hesitated for a moment, then spoke decisively.
“I think I want to go outside, Del.”
After a few days of traveling through the mountain range, I could finally see the figures of the hero and the heir from a distance.
“Let’s go down, Ti-Yong.”
I dismounted in front of the two of them and climbed off Ti-Yong’s back.
The heir swung her sword, and the hero stood beside her, seemingly guiding her in swordsmanship.
The heir, lowering his sword, looked at me with surprised eyes.
“You’ve returned? I thought you had left.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I raised my hand once in greeting.
When I shifted my gaze to the hero, she spoke up.
“Have you resolved the matter and returned?”
“Can you explain what happened?”
It felt somewhat awkward to explain in front of the heir, so I glanced briefly at her and she seemed to understand.
“Oh, my father will be preparing the meal, so I’ll go and tell him to make enough for four. I’ll head back to the cabin first, so you two can take your time, and you can teach me after we’ve eaten, Del.”
With those words, she dashed off towards the cabin.
As I watched her retreating figure, I turned my gaze back to the hero and asked again.
“Ah, that’s the name I told her.”
She mentioned that she had given the heir an alias instead of her real name. Her original name was Aindel, so perhaps Del was short for that.
I was about to ask if they had become closer or made any progress with the heir, but I decided to answer her question first.
“Kajor invaded Earth’s Hill territory, and I stopped it.”
I explained the situation slowly to the astonished hero, starting from the incidents at the neutral country conference to the involvement of the Black Sea Empress.
After hearing the entire explanation, she fell into a contemplative silence.
She seemed to blame herself for not realizing such events were taking place while she was unaware.
“So, such a thing happened. I’m sincerely grateful to you for preventing a war, Seventh Lord.”
“I only did what needed to be done.”
The hero glanced at me with a somewhat new look and spoke.
“Wasn’t it a burden for you to clash with the same Lord?”
“No need to worry. But speaking of the heir, did you have any progress?”
I redirected the conversation towards the heir.
I asked, not expecting much, but the warrior paused, then gave a surprising answer.
“Kaen has made up her mind. She’s going outside the mountains.”
“What? Did you succeed in convincing her?”
“I’m not sure if I can say I succeeded in convincing her. She just suddenly changed her mind.”
I was momentarily surprised and unable to continue speaking.
If we succeeded in persuading the heir, it meant we had overcome the first major obstacle.
“How about her father’s side?”
“He didn’t show a negative response. He said he would let her do as she pleased.”
After a moment of silence, I asked.
“So, are you really going to proceed as we discussed before? Enrolling her in the Academy?”
“I did tell her that already, but…”
The warrior trailed off, then nodded.
“I suppose I should. I’ve been thinking about it while you were gone, but I can’t think of anything else.”
I let out a small sigh, questioning if this was truly the right decision.
“However, if we enroll her in the Academy, we’ll need to keep an eye on her nearby.”
“That’s true. We can’t just admit her and then leave her alone.”
“I have thought about that as well.”
“What is it?”
“I could either enroll as a student with her, or become a part of the Academy’s teaching staff. That way, I’d be able to watch from the sidelines without too much trouble.”
“What? Is that possible—— ah.”
As I was speaking, I realized something.
With the Holy Sword’s Polymorph ability, she shouldn’t have any trouble doing what she just said.
Hmm? Hold on a moment.
A sudden thought flashed through my mind.
Lost in thought for a moment, I asked the hero.
“Can the polymorph ability of the Holy Sword work on others?”
“It can. Why do you ask?”
The hero looked at me with a puzzled expression.
…Now that I thought about it, this might be a good opportunity.
I quickly organized my thoughts and spoke to the hero.
“If you plan to enroll the heir in the academy, how about I, instead of you, accompany her as a guardian?”
Inheriting the Holy Sword. The four conditions for it.
The death of a loved one. Betrayal. Human depravity. Doubt about justice.
The hero was not a person who could forcibly impose the fulfillment of those conditions onto the heir, and she would never allow it. She had said so herself.
In other words, if I entrusted the issue of succession to the hero… honestly, I couldn’t expect any progress.
But I was different.
As someone who knew the future that would unfold better than anyone else, I was determined for the heir to succeed in the inheritance of the Holy Sword by any means necessary.
Of course, I was not capable of resorting to any means or methods solely for the sake of achieving my goals.
However, if necessary, I was willing to artificially create a situation within certain limits.
Suppose, for example, after getting as close as possible to the heir, I deliberately fake my own death.
To ensure the succession of the Holy Sword, I was willing to go that far.
No, if I couldn’t even do something like that, then I should just give up on the succession.
I reached the point of considering such thoughts, and I concluded that the Academy was a suitable stage in many ways.
What if I were to enter the Academy with the heir?
I could take control of the situation while blocking the hero’s perspective and interference.
It would be much easier and more natural to approach the heir as a friend.
“You instead of me? Why…?”
I answered the hero’s question.
“Because you don’t have the luxury to do so. You have to find the demon seeds, suppress the demons, and solve the problems that have arisen during your disappearance. There will be a lot to do. Isn’t that right?”
“You can’t afford to let go of all those things just because the issue of succession is important.”
She didn’t deny it.
She simply let out a faint sigh and said.
“But it’s also not my place to irresponsibly burden you with everything. You, as a Lord, must also have many tasks at hand.”
I shook my head.
“You may think so, but the truth is different. I have time to spare. The monarchy runs itself while I’m away, and I don’t have any specific responsibilities that I need to take care of unless it’s an order from the Overlord.”
It sounded very pathetic when I said it, but it was all true.
The hero looked at me with a somewhat ambiguous gaze.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. So why don’t you leave the matter of the heir to me, it’s something that either you or I will have to do. We cannot speak to anyone else about the succession of the Holy Sword anyway.”
The hero couldn’t easily respond to that.
I could sense her thoughts and spoke.
“Although we have a cooperative relationship, we haven’t built enough trust between us yet.”
“It is not that. I do not doubt you, Seventh Lord. I just…”
“No, I understand your feelings. So, I will make a firm oath here.”
I looked straight into the hero’s eyes and said;
“I will always prioritize the safety of the heir. I will do my best for the succession of the Holy Sword, but I have no intention of manipulating or trampling on the will and personality of the heir.”
The hero sighed with a complex expression and replied,
“I repeat, I no longer doubt you. So, for now…”
“Will you follow my proposal?”
“Yes. Once the admission is confirmed, I will follow your intentions. We can discuss the details at that time.”
Good, I successfully persuaded her.
I nodded and asked, “But what’s your plan for admission? Do you have a method?”
I wasn’t familiar with that side of things.
Even in the game, the Elphon Academy had little significance, so I hadn’t paid much attention to the details. Did they have to take an entrance exam or something?
The hero answered.
“I have an acquaintance in the Academy. If we ask them, there shouldn’t be any problem with admission.”
“I see. Is it a high-ranking official?”
“He is the headmaster of the Academy.”
That was unexpected, so I wondered what kind of connection it was.
Perhaps noticing my puzzled expression, the hero spoke with a slightly bitter face.
“He was a comrade with whom I experienced life and death during the war against the demons. Now he is retired and dedicated to nurturing talents.”