Chapter 155.2 : Aftermath of The Battle
「Are you sure? 」
Rio widened his eyes, not expecting how easy Duran let him get away with Flora. Even if Rio wasn’t aware of the implications that action would bring to the relationship between the Bertram Kingdom and the Paladia Kingdom, he was still sure that Flora had some kind of value that Duran could use. That’s why, to be honest, he expected him to at least put up a fight.
「…. Fuuh. Well, even if I wanted to hold you back, I have nothing on my end, whether it be power or ability, that could stop you. Beside, originally I only thought that it was going to be fun if I held the princess of the hostile nation hostage, you know, to amuse myself, but I’m not interested in that anymore. Lucius, the one who invited me here, is dead as well, so there’s really nothing for me to do here anymore.」
Snorting, Duran said with a nonchalant tone, not caring for Rio’s reaction.
「…if you’re sure. I’ll just take her away before you change your mind. This…」
With a curious smile, Rio left Flora behind, and walked towards Duran. Then, he took out a wooden bottle from his bosom pocket and offer it to him.
「What is this? 」
Duran looked at the wooden bottle curiously, wondering why it was being offered to him.
「This is a healing potion to cure your internal wounds. It’s not a fast acting potion, but as long as you drink it, it’ll improve the natural healing speed of your body. Please use this on them.」
Saying that, Rio looked at the knights who were wounded in their vicinity.
「…I don’t need it. This is like rubbing salt on the wounds of the defeated warrior, it’ll only become a shame for them.」
Duran rejected Rio’s gift, snorting with displeasure at the perceived slight against his knights.
「I don’t mean it that way. I only offered this because while I really was going easy on them, I still beat them up. I try not to kill people as much as possible, the only exception to that being my revenge. Fortunately no one is dead, but I’m not sure they’ll be fine if they are left like this. If you don’t want to accept this potion, do you have a healing magic user to take care of their wounds?」
Smiling wryly, Rio is offering the wooden bottle to Duran.
「Humph, you look like a completely different person right now, unlike when you were facing Lucius. So you’re being merciful to my knights after you fought them, huh? What a strange fellow you are… Fine then. I’ll take this potion, but in exchange, let me treat you to a feast if we happen to meet again in the future.」
Sneering, Duran took the wooden bottle from Rio’s hand.
「…A feast? 」
Rio tilted his head, curious look etched on his face.
「At that time, I’m going to welcome you as a guest. And if you have a change of heart, feel free to lend your power to me.」 [TL : Starting from this point Duran is calling Rio with “Kisama” instead of the previous formal form, on that regard he referred to Lucius in the same way]
It seemed that he is not giving up on roping Rio in to work for him. Using any opportunity given to try, really a cunning fellow.
「…Let me think about it.」
Smiling wryly, Rio went back to Flora and lifted her in princess carry. To be honest, he didn’t want to stay for too long in this place. Before he could fly away though, someone’s voice called out to him.
「W-WAIT! No, I mean, Please wait a minute! 」
Will panicked and called out to Rio.
「What’s the matter? 」
Stopping his feet, Rio turned around and faced the one who called him.
「Uhm, That, I mean………….. It’s about Flora-sama………….」
「I-I don’t want to part with her just like this! 」
Donner took advantage of the moment Will was at a loss for words to speak out about his feelings.
「…Excuse me for asking this, but what is your relationship with this girl? 」
Rio asked with a composed voice.
「S-She lived in our village! We sheltered her when she lost her way! 」
Will explained the situation, readying himself to be interrogated.
「I see…then you should know about her lineage too.」
Looking at the young men, Rio somehow understood what they meant. Before he could respond, though, Duran did.
「Oi, I already allowed that man to go back. What the hell are you bastard trying to do, huh? Do you want me to sew your lips? And, just now, did you really admit to sheltering her in your village? Previously, when we asked, you did not say that. Besides, I’m sure that you guys abandoned her in the end, right? 」
He asked with a dangerous voice, eyeing Will and Donner like a tiger, ready to strike.
Which further frightened Will and Donner. Donner and Duran might have similar builds, but he never, even for a moment, thought that he could match his strength after seeing the brief fight between Duran and Rio.
「She has a place to return to, and unfortunately, I have no time to wait for her to wake up, just so you could say your farewells to her.」
Rio put up a tough act against Donner and Will in order to appease Duran’s anger so he would let the villagers go.
Even though they originally looked like they want to say something, in the end they remained silent, especially after hearing his words.
「I’ll tell her about you two later on. May I ask for your names? 」
Giving them some leeway, Rio asked their names.
Timidly, they introduced themselves.
「Understood, I have heard, and will remember your names. Well then…Here.」
Rio took a small pouch from his pocket, handed it to Will, and then turned around to leave, intending to close the conversation right then and there.
「What is…This? 」
「Remuneration for her. There’s money inside.」
「W-We didn’t do that for money! 」
Will shouted in panic, unwilling to have their original intention be misunderstood.
「Nevertheless, you need a reward for the troubles she brought to you. Take this as a sign for her gratitude since I am afraid that she will be worried to death for missing the change to give you a reward.」
Rio told them patiently.
Will couldn’t retort, falling silent. However, someone else did.
「I-In that case, take me along with you! 」
Donner suddenly made such request, surprising everyone there with the absurdity.
「THIS FOOL, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! ? 」
Dumbfounded, the village chief shouted at him, angered beyond belief.
「Ku-KUHAHAHA. What a foolish three man drama, but you got some guts with you there.」
Duran, who was observing their exchange from the side, laughed happily.
「…I can’t take you along.」
Rio could only suppressed his sigh, wondering how much trouble he’ll have to face before he could go away, and curtly rejected Donner.
「Besides, Bertram is located to the southwest of this country and she is its princess. Therefore, she needs to return back to her country, and the closest stronghold of its kingdom is a city called Rodania, under the marquis Rodan’s household. But, it’ll be a long and dangerous journey where one would need quite a sum of money.」
He added that explanation so that Donner would give up, for now, with the implication that he’d be free to go after her at a later time. Naturally there was no guarantee that he would be able to meet her even if he chose to chase after her, but he was not about to tell him that. Basically he just let Donner do as he pleased. As long as he had the guts to do so and without bothering him.
Will and Donner looked shocked.
He understood what Rio implied, so with a smile, Duran bid Rio farewell.
「I’ll take my leave then.」
Leaving those words behind, he ran towards the highway, holding on to Flora as if she was weightless. His movements seemed as light as ever, but in the blink of an eye, his figure vanished from everyone’s line of sight.
All the while, Duran kept looking at Rio’s retreating figure, his thoughts hidden from everyone’s eyes.
「…Fuuh. Both my hands are still numb, and I only received one of his attacks, but the recoil of it is…」
He muttered to himself, snorting.
In the end, I have yet to find out whether he really is affiliated to Bertram kingdom or not. But if I had a choice, I wouldn’t fight a country defended by a fighting god like him.
Duran had gone through many battles in his life, but if he had to be honest to himself, he didn’t want to face someone like Rio in battle. He didn’t feel that there was a way to win against Rio in a direct confrontation.
It’s just the right time to settle this down after a skirmish. Though I don’t know when the great war, that Lucius talking about, is going to happen, I will collect information on the trend inside every big nation for the time being. Through that, I might be able to find out about him and his affiliation.
Duran pondered with a sharp look in his eyes, then he turned around and ordered the three villagers there.
「Oi, you guys. Go back to your village and bring some men to this place. Tell them they need to carry the unconscious knights. Also, don’t forget to tell them to prepare a lodging house for us as well.」
Unlike the dumbfounded young men there, the village chief was astute enough to immediately comply with Duran’s order, so he turned around to drag the other two towards the village.
「Y-Yes！ At once! You two, move! 」
「O-OI! POP! 」
Despite being bewildered by his action, Will and Donner immediately followed along. Duran who was left alone in that place was looking at the unconscious knights around him and muttered.
「What disappointing fellows. It seems I need to beat more training into them.」
After muttering so, he started treating the knights using the potion that he was given just now.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the other hand, around the time the battle had concluded between Rio and Lucius.
One kilometer away from the spot of Rio’s fight, deep inside the forest, Reis was standing still by himself, holding the sword that was used by Lucius in one of his hands.
「His body was vaporized all at once, huh? Even this sword might have been destroyed if I collected it just a second later. Geez, such an absurd amount of power.」
Reis muttered with a rarely seen frown on his face.
Things have become a little more troublesome for me… Even though I wanted to use that man for various things after this……………..
Pondering for a while, Reis then cast his gaze to the sword in his hand.
「Well I guess it’s time to use all the available piece in my hands.」
Speaking to no one, he heaved a sigh and released his grip on the sword, letting it fall in accordance to the law of gravity. However, it did not pierced the earth as one would expect. Instead, it was suddenly absorbed by the bottomless darkness that spread from Reis feets.
Nevertheless, a Black Haired Spirit Arts user huh. Although they have different hair color, somehow, he reminded me of a person. Furthermore, I can’t feel the sign of his spirit as well.
Reis thought, standing still on that spot with a pensive look, still wondering about Rio, especially since he couldn’t take a closer look at him due to the distance between them
But then, if the identity of that Black Haired spirit arts user is one and the same with the one that I know, things will get really troublesome from now on. Far more troublesome than I expected……..
For a while, he stood there, deep in his thoughts.
But then, if I leave things as they are, princess Flora will ended up returning to Restoration. If that happens, what will become of my efforts until now? I went as far as using the Evil Black Wyvern to attack the magic vessel. Good grief…all this trouble caused by one capricious fellow.
Stifling his anger, Reis lips stretched, a mad smile floating on his face.
It was just a miscalculation. Originally, everything went as he predicted, the only reason it veered off course…was that guy. The one who caused this miscalculation was that Black Haired spirit arts user.
It didn’t go as I predicted…my plan to leave a little scar on her heart failed.
Although he could foresee that going into the battle with half-baked preparations would result in the tables being turned on them, there was no way he would withdraw just like that without even trying to fight back.
Therefore, after considering for a while, he decided.
「…….I guess I should use those two princess knights and the captured hero for this.」
Thus, he chose an alternative plan that involved the disposable pieces on hand.