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“But that-”

When I suggest to go on reconnaissance alone, the Duke’s expression turns bitter.
Even Gozer didn’t have complete information regarding this day, even the next Earl wasn’t told anything about the plan until later, just so as not to let the information leak. How can he allow only us to have our way?
If I were intending to betray him, it would be when I move to the emblem with the Adventurers.
Just this is what the Duke, who isn’t an Adventurer, cannot do.

“It will be fine to initiate the operation immediately after we return. And, if we don’t, you can abandon the operation as it would mean that we failed.”
“It will be dangerous.”
“The danger is all the same. Besides, if we fail, you will be able to walk away without losing any of the Adventurer knights.”

I explain the merit to the Duke.

“I don’t plan on using Michio-dono and then throw him away.”
“I know that.”
“There is a possibility that they will be on lookout.”
“It may be possible for us to take care of it. Also, it won’t take much time to go back after I come back. Even if the Earl of Selmar found us, he wouldn’t have the time to prepare in order to intercept us.”

It means that I will be making three round trips, though, instead of two.
Won’t it take more time?
I have no choice but cheat my way through.

“If the guards find you, they will remove the emblem.”

The Duke points out something which I didn’t think about.
Because I was intending to use [Warp], I didn’t plan on moving to the drop curtain.
However, since the Duke doesn’t know that, he probably believes that I will enter through the emblem.
If the guards were on lookout and they saw someone appearing out of the Harz Duchy emblem, their first action would be removing it.

“Then, I will be the only one to return.”
“It is alright. If we go on reconnaissance first, I will be safe, too.”

Roxanne, nice cover.

“I won’t have the time to betray you or plot anything since I am just going there and coming right back. And, if I do betray you or we don’t return, you can simply abandon the operation.”

He must be concerned about my betraying him, so I have to quash his concerns.

“You are right. Then, I will send someone with you. It is just in case since we don’t know as to what is going on at the other side.”

The Duke seems to be inclined toward preliminary reconnaissance, too.
However, we have no other choice but to go alone.
I won’t be able to [Warp] with someone else.

“If something really were there, more people going there wouldn’t be a good idea. It would also put constraints on us. Therefore, it would be best for us to go alone. It would also be easier for us to cooperate if we did. The more the number of people, the more the damage. We wouldn’t be able to do our best if we were to worry about others; especially, if the others were the Duke’s capable people. It would be putting the cart before the horse.”
“I see. Err, very well. Then, I will have Michio-dono and his party go on reconnaissance.”

I have received the Duke’s permission.
What a relief.
We will now be able to go ahead safely.
After having given permission, the Duke leaves without issuing any other instruction.

Since it will only be us, I pass Roxanne and the rest their equipment.
Roxanne and the others’ equipment are inside my Item Box.
Because I expected something like this would happen.

No way.
The jackets and Platemail aren’t inside my Item Box.
Roxanne and the girls had taken them for maintenance after we left the labyrinth, so they are still in the room.
I didn’t expect something like this would happen.

Although the swords and hats are inside, the other equipment are very few.
As for the body equipment, there is only Alba inside.
I cannot put it on, though, since it is a Wizard equipment.

Roxanne is Shrine Maiden, isn’t she?
Or, should I borrow the equipment from the order of knights, perhaps?
Well, Roxanne and the girls will most likely be fine even without the equipment.

The Duke is concerned about the danger; however, I am not that worried.
Especially, since we won’t enter through the emblem.
Besides, it is equally possible for us to not get found by the guards, isn’t it?

If the room were lit with braziers like the ones here and there were a lot of people on lookout, we would most likely be discovered; however, I cannot bring myself to entertain this possibility.
I could believe it if he knew about the day of the decisive action; however, if he had capable people at his disposal, he would send them to the labyrinth rather than having them stand guard every night.

If they were focused on the emblem, they would miss when someone appeared out of a dark corner.
Even if the guards were on lookout, they wouldn’t necessarily be inside but keeping watch inside from the entrance, so I’d better [Warp] to the wall opposite the entrance.
The problem is, what to report when I return. That there were guards but I managed to slip past them when they were looking the other way?

If there were a sword pointing at the emblem, I could just kick it away and return.
The problem would be when there were guards on lookout along with the trap. I would have no choice but to deal with the guards.
However, the trap is supposed to be a substitute for the guards, so the likelihood of the set (both) isn’t much.

The problem is, what would I do if the emblem were removed?
It will be a pinch for although I can move via [Warp], it isn’t possible with [Field Walk].
If I moved the first time, it wouldn’t be possible for me to say that I cannot move again.
How would I cheat my way through that?

One solution would be to flee, never to see the Duke and the others again.
If it went well, they could just come to the conclusion that we were defeated.
However, it would differ from the testimony of the Earl of Selmar’s side.

If it would differ anyway, shouldn’t it be better to just scurry away if we were found by the guards?
Even if they removed the emblem after that, there would be no problem.
The problem is, how would I falsify the conflict in the testimony afterward?

Because someone may visit during the day, they will most likely not remove the emblem which is a symbol of trust.
If they were to remove it, they would remove it at night when no one should be coming.
However, there is a possibility that they forgot to remove it tonight.
If I insist that the contact person is lying to deceive us, the discrepancy in the testimony can be restricted to tolerable limit.

If the guards were kicked out of the way, everything would be solved even if the emblem were removed.
There would be no testimony if the guards were defeated.
The future will take care of itself.
It would be assumed that they died after removing the curtain.

In other words, if the emblem were removed but the guards were absent, there would be no choice but to catch someone from somewhere and make them out to be the guard.
My thoughts have been quite dark for a while now.
It cannot be helped.
I cannot think of any other way.

Lending a hand to a military campaign is such a thing.
The Duke, Cassia, Roxanne and the others understand that, too.
Although I am sad, this is a war.

“Everyone, take these.”

I hand everyone a weapon and hat since I have those with me.
I also prepare Durandal.

“Where we are going now, there is a room with a drop curtain. I would like to check what is going on in there. However, if someone is in there, run away. I would like to avoid the battle as much as possible. If I draw my hand, it will be the signal to retreat.”

After ensuring that no one was around, I issue instructions.
If someone heard us, they would find the instructions of moving to the emblem curtain via [Field Walk] and checking around ridiculously strange.
As for the battle, I will engage depending on the situation. If it is unavoidable, I will be the only one to engage.
If they were keeping watch on the emblem from outside, I would quietly return.

“All the preparations required should be done soon. Is everyone ready?”

Finally, the Duke stands up in the innermost part of the room where the equipment were arranged.

“It looks fine.”

Gozer, who is standing next to the Duke, says after the clatter calms down.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I will have you know the details of the operation. This operation is just; it has received the approval from the All Elven Supreme Delegate Council. Negligence and cowardice is a crime against peace and prosperity; it will never be permitted. The objective of this battle is to make amends, so don’t falter. Fight bravely and secure a noble victory. The future rests on your shoulders. For the glory of the households of the Duke of Harz and the Earl of Selmar. Ladies and gentlemen, I expect you to put earnest effort.”

The members of the order of knights shout in unison.
Is the Duke capable of delivering such a motivational speech?
It is surprising and unexpected. However, it is to be expected of a duke.

“Then, we will scout first.”

We proceed to the innermost part.
Inside is a large drop curtain.
It must be in order to use [Field Walk].

“Michio-dono, please move carefully. I would like you to think about your own safety first. I will shoulder all the responsibility no matter what happens.”

I am pretty sure he wanted to say a lot of things. I am glad he didn’t.
Having been encouraged by the Duke, I stand in front of the curtain.
There are a lot of people preparing for the operation inside the room.
Due to it being noisy inside, there won’t be any problem with chanting the skill incantation.

Using [Field Walk] incantation as a disguise, I cast [Warp].
I move to the Earl of Selmar’s castle.
It is the audience room which has the emblem.

The room I arrive at is dark.
It is different from the Bode castle. It is pitch dark with no sound.
I am grateful that there is no one standing guard; however, I cannot see a thing.
I don’t even know if the drop curtain is here or not.

“No one seems to be here.”

Roxanne reports in a low voice.
Is Roxanne able tell if someone is here or not by the smell?
Unlike contemporary Japan, there is no infrared surveillance camera or recorder microphone here.
We don’t have to worry about getting discovered if there is no one around.

“Curtain, desu.”

I hear Miria’s whisper.
Apparently, Miria can see it.

“Is there anything strange or suspicious about the curtain?”
“Not, desu.”

I am not sure whether I entered through the Harz Duchy emblem or not but there is no helping it.
Since it seems fine, I decide to head back.
I remove Durandal and disband the party.
There is no need to chant Party Formation incantation if I do it here.

There doesn’t seem to be any guard or trap in this room.
The Earl of Selmar doesn’t seem to be alert.
We were unnecessarily cautious.
He would put them to use in the labyrinth if he could afford to deploy guards.

“It looks alright.”

Once I return to Bode, I tell the Duke, relieving his worries.
At almost the same time, I receive Party Invitation.
His preparations are excellent.

“Well then.”

This time around, I chant [Field Walk] incantation and go back to the Earl of Selmar’s castle.
One of the party members is holding a lantern.
The room brightens up a bit. So, no one is here, after all.

Roxanne and the girls are safe and sound, too.
Strangely, however, they are on the side of the room, not by the drop curtain.
At this point, though, I don’t think anyone would mind it.
I head back to the Bode castle shortly after.

“Then, I will be going.”
“I am expecting a lot from you.”
“Leave it to me.”

When I come back, Cassia’s cousin, the next Earl, was ready to embark.
I change back to moving via [Field Walk].
Because he is supposed to approach from the front, he will move to the lobby.
It is his duty to instigate commotion.

“Michio-dono, I will be heading out next, please.”

As soon as the Adventurer disbands the party, the Duke calls out to me.
Five people, including the Duke, line up in front of me.


I chant Party Formation incantation and invite the people in front of me one by one.
It really takes quite some time to add five people.
Meanwhile, several other parties had moved already.
Those were the parties with Explorers.

Did the Explorer create a party beforehand and invite the Adventurer, whom I took with me, once they came back in order to transfer immediately?
Like this, the time needed for preparation can be reduced.
The tactics for the operation seem to be precise.

“Disband the party once we are there. I want you to stand by. Or, you can come back here with your party members. They should stay in this room.”

The Duke gives me the next instructions.
By party members, he probably means Roxanne and the girls.
There is no reason for them to stay at the other side.
It would get dangerous there if the Earl of Selmar launched the counterattack.

After assembling the party, I move back again to the Earl of Selmar’s castle.
The room is bright and a little noisy.
The pitch dark and quiet room, which I was in before, seems like a lie now.

After I disband the party, the Duke vigorously storms out of the room.
The other parties seem to be deploying sequentially, too.
I have no idea as to what is going on outside the room.
I don’t even know if there is a battle taking place or not.

Nevertheless, since he has deployed considerable forces, he can advance prevalently.
The mobility is overwhelming.
The Adventurers are a great power.
With this many Adventurers, the might of the order of Harz knights is absolute in this world.

For the Duke has left, I create a party with Roxanne and the girls.
The Duke’s army has already left the audience room. We are merely passersby.
There is no one paying attention to us.

Availing this lucky chance, I quickly create the party.
It gets done immediately for there was no need to chant incantation.

“I still have some work. Roxanne, everyone, you will head back and wait there. I will take you back right now.”

If I gave them a choice, Roxanne would insist to remain here with me.
So, I force them to evacuate.
It will be safer there than here.

When I return to the Bode castle, Cassia was inside the room.
She seems to want to go there as well.
Instead of a dress, she has attired herself in the battle gear.
Unfortunately, another Adventurer seems to have been assigned the task.

Cassia and her party moves.
I, too, move back to the Earl of Selmar’s castle immediately after.
I wonder as to how many times I have moved.

Cassia’s party was about to leave the audience room.
As they were about to leave the room, they suddenly stop.
The Duke enters from outside.

“Cassia, it is alright. The operation is progressing smoothly. Oh, you have made it back, Michio-dono? Thanks to you, Michio-dono, there have been no major losses to our side as well as the Earl of Selmar’s.”

The operation seems to be progressing smoothly.
This can be said to be the most crucial stage.
However, it looks fine.

The Duke has a young woman following behind him.
Her overwhelming beauty is engendering an elegant air.
Is she one of the women working at the Earl of Selmar’s castle?

She is a beauty that resembles Cassia.
Like Cassia, she is extremely beautiful even amongst the elves.
Somehow, she looks slightly younger than Cassia.


Shouts Cassia after seeing her.


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