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Chapter 11
Volume 06 Chapter 11

Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax

「Those Who Smile」

Soulia, the capital of Nozan Kingdom.

Two days ago the capital had been surrounded by an unidentified undead force.

The tens of thousands of undead would attack in irregular intervals, but the kingdom’s comparatively small forces were able to fend them off using the city’s massive walls and barely survive the grinding battle.

The clashing of the soldiers and other fighters against the spider monsters and undead would occasionally make its way to the royal palace in the center of the city.

The fact that the royal palace was separated from the main battlefront by an internal wall and its minimalistic appearance were an indicator for this region’s long history of conflict.

However, such a simplistic looking palace also contained a lot of furnishings and decorations that showcased the country’s prestige.

In fact, the guest rooms for foreign diplomats was by no means inferior to the accommodations provided by other countries.

In on such room, two people sat opposite to one another on some of the room’s sofas.

One of them was a strict-looking, middle-aged man that wore clothes whose quality, despite not being all that extravagant, gave away their actual value.

In this case, the person wearing said clothes was this country’s highest authority, King Asparuf Nozan Soulia.

However, his usual dignified Kingly manner was not present as he sat in front of a person leisurely drinking tea. Instead, he did his best it while he spoke in a more modest tone.

“Palermo-sama, so you attend to stay here of your own volition?”

The man sitting opposite to King Asparuf paused for a moment before slowly nodding his head.

The person in question wore an extravagantte version of the canonical robes of a Hiruku priest and smiled as he set his tea cup aside.

His black hair had been slicked back and he appeared to be a bit nervous.

Excluding the pope, this man was one of the seven most powerful people of Nozan’s neighboring country, the Hiruku Theocracy.

Cardinal Palermo Avaritia Liberalitas gave the king a friendly smile as he answered his question.

“I preach the word of god, to turn my back on the flock simply because tens of thousands of undead appeared…… If I were to leave, not only would my faith be called into question, I would also lose any kind of credibility in the eyes of the local congregation. If I were to do that, the populace of the royal capital would be thrown into disorder..”

Palermo let out a large sigh when he finished speaking and directed a serious look at the king.

“God watches the actions of men. The people need to be united to face the tribulations of God. I have no doubt that should this country overcome in these trying times, it shall receive a great blessing.”

The king gave Palermo an ambiguous nod as the cardinal spoke a quiet prayer.

“…… Disaster has befallen this country, overcoming it should deepen the bonds between the capital’s populace…… But, it can also be weathered away……”

The king’s eyes narrowed as he directed his gaze out of a nearby window, trying to see beyond his sight.

“How many reinforcements can my children gather? How many days must we endure…… Are all of God’s trails as difficult as this one……”

The king’s eyes became clouded as he feebly lowered his head.

While the king looked away a deviant pleasure began to fill Palemo’s eyes.

However, since he had lowered his head early, his expression was reflected in the table.

“God never ignores the yearning of the heart. Therefore, I believe that God’s guidance has led me here.”

The King’s cleared his eyes when he heard Palermo’s words.

“……Th-That’s right.”

Cardinal Liberalitas cheerfully smiled as he listened to the King’s hopeful words.

“Even the people of the faith are humans, like the people of this country. The purpose of our order is to extend a hand to those who’ve faced great hardship in their lives. I have already sent a few subordinates to contact the Pope.”

The man sitting in front of him looked like the face of God for a split second.

However, rising doubts caused the king to speak out.

“Y-You were able to get a messenger through the blockade?”

Palermo’s brow slightly moved at the king’s question.

“My subordinates are highly skilled holy knights, I sent a few of them out in the middle of the night. They shall not fall to the faithless undead.”

The King cautiously nodded his head at the smiling Palermo.

“Oh, I see. A recent report I received did mention that those things lose their leadership at night. It’s a rather strange characteristic the soldiers discovered.”

Palermo’s fingertips twitched at the king’s comment but his smiling expression remained intact.

“Even so, I am merely cleric, therefore I do not fully understand the behavior of the undead. We must weather this storm to keep the flame of hope alight.”

A determined light ignited within the King’s eyes as he listened to Palermo’s words. However, an unexpected sensation caused Palermo to unintentionally turn away.

“? Is there something wrong Lord Palermo?”

Palermo lightly cleared his throat before replying to the King’s question.

“No, don’t worry. It’s just your imagination.”

Palermo said so, but unrest began to emerge in the deeps of his eyes.

However, before the king could pursue the matter any further a knock on the door called the king away.

After seeing King Asparuf off, Palermo looked in a certain direction again, wrinkles forming his between his eyebrows.

“Two of the Ghost Knights I sent out…… I guess the guards were more talented than I initially thought. Still, I’ve felt something like this before…… a bad omen perhaps.”

After saying that he took a deep breath and sighed.

“There’s no way. I don’t know if I can send them right now, but four additional Ghost Knights should suffice. Still the cost of creating four of them……”

Palermo’s eye traveled in the direction the King went as he spoke to himself.

His face twisted into a sadistic smile.

“Well, I need to work hard and enlighten the people. To watch in person as the hope rots away in their hearts, it’s a pleasure I don’t experience all that often.”

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