Chapter 25 “Circumstances”

 There's no point in lamenting, so let's think of a positive solution.

 The number of them…15 armored ones and 5 dogs, totaling 20.

The dogs are hanging around the gate, threatening to attack me if I come this way.


 The armored men are carrying long spears on their shoulders and pointing them at me.

 I don't see any of them moving.

I don't know how she is controlling them, but I assume they are all under her control.


 And the rest…
oh? He's putting something out.

 The armor is emitting steam from its body, and the dog is emitting steam from its mouth at intervals.

 What is that? Is it breathing?


 ”I'm glad you're so surprised, it was worth it.”


 Fatima gives a small laugh.

 She's been in a good mood since I arrived, hasn't she?

 Or does it make you feel good to have a bunch of idiots walking into your trap?


 ”Are you sure that you are controlling these guys?”

 ”Yes, that's right; it's pretty hard to control 20 of them at the same time, isn't it?”


You're kidding, right? Look at Fatima's face.

doesn't look like she's lying.
I don't think she knows about hypotheticals either….

 Can I do this hypothetically?


 The answer is yes, it is possible.

 But since it would have to be controlled by multiple brains, it is highly likely that others would be neglected.

 Yes, I can't do it alone.
First of all, there's the ambush.


 Sneakily activate the magic.

 I use Thermal Detection III Flame Sonar, a flame-based detection magic that probes the temperature of a certain area.

 Thanks to those ice cubes, the ambient temperature has dropped considerably.


 Body temperature should be noticeable.

 Of course, I used it seriously so I could cover the whole premises and its surroundings.

 Now, let's see how many will come out…



Excluding the lights…
that's close to body temperature…
that's a lot.
29 in all…

 Strange, what is this distribution?


 First, 2 in the mansion.

 One of them must be Heidi, seeing as how she is moving around so energetically.

The other one has not moved since I entered the mansion.


 Is it Zubel? It's a good thing he's hiding behind a woman, isn't it?

 And 5 around the perimeter of the mansion.

 There are evenly spaced reactions inside the walls.
Is it someone guarding the compound…
or is it just a lookout?


 No sign of movement.

 The rest are 20 minus me and Fatima….

 From the position, I'm getting a reaction from the ice packs around us.


 What's this all about?

 Are they carrying an engine or something? I look closely at the body of the armor.

 I can definitely see something faintly like a shadow.


 For the time being, the mystery of the reaction has been solved.
But now I'm even more confused.

 Except for those on the outer edge of the property, there is almost no one here.

 What's going on?


 ”Are you finished with your thoughts? Or may I favorably interpret this as you being willing to listen to me…?”


might be something to think about.

I guess I'll go along with the conversation, even if it means buying some time.


let's hear your side of the story, shall we?”


 Fatima made a deliberate gesture of relief when I said that.

I don't know why it looks so innocent when she does it….


 ”So, where shall we start?”

 ”Start from the beginning, please.”



 Fatima began to tell me what was going on.

 I listened to her and observed the block of ice.


 Fatima's story was a bit different from what I had expected.

 She said that her goal was to restore the Oratorium and restore Rothfeld's status.

 What does that mean?


 According to Fatima, the Oratorium was not in particular trouble on the surface.

 Zubel was behind the scenes, making it appear from the outside that there was no problem.

What he was good at was that right after the death of the previous lord, he told all the relevant parties that he was the nominal representative of the lord.


 This forced the outsiders to believe his word.

 As long as Zubel was in between the two of them, it was no problem for him to confirm or make direct contact with them.

 I heard that he also switched out inconvenient letters.


 He was also said to have paid the taxes that the lords regularly levied on the country.

 He was the one who brought this on in the first place.

 All the missing money was going into his pocket, wasn't it?

 He should have been able to handle that much.


 Zubel's goal was to drive Rothfeldt into a corner mentally.

 He had caused it, but as an incapacitated lord, he was too busy putting out fires in his own people to pay attention to anything else.

 And when he had him reasonably cornered, he went to report to Liard that the Oratorium family was being cornered.


His intention was to get Liard agreed to support him and get him out of the crisis.

 After that, he pointed out that there were problems with Rothfeldt's rule and temporarily deposed him under the guise of mental fatigue or to gain experience as a lord, and then he took his place as a surrogate.


 It seems that he planned to kill Rothfeldt and take his place once he had achieved some success.

 The human nations of this world are quite proper, and the system of auditing organizations can be summed up in one word: sloppy.

 In short, as long as you pay what you owe, they don't say anything.


 Wary of cut-offs from other countries?

 Unfortunately, this country is located in a remote part of the Vasary continent, with demon territory between it and its neighbors, and as long as they are wary of non-humans, there are no problems.


 …This country is a complete enclave when you look at it on a map.


 What I'm trying to say is that the country doesn't care who the lord is as long as he pays the money.

 What is that? I was surprised when I first learned about it.

 How can a country be sustained by such a thing?


 Let's get back to the story.

 It seems that Zubel was not going to tame me, but was going to physically kill Rothfeldt once the arrangements were made.

 He was going to do it because he couldn't take the title of “deputy” as long as Rothfeldt was there.


 There was one thing that would get in the way of that.


The Lord of Liard was very angry with Rothfeldt for not coming in person, but he didn't want to treat his daughter's fiancée with disrespect, and with the advice of Fatima, he hesitated.


In the end, he agreed to let Fatima go to the Oratorium as a condition to help.

Zubel heard this and decided to persuade Fatima to join him.

 He told her about the situation and asked her to be his collaborator.


 Ah, so Fatima is his deputy.


I heard the story up to this point at that time.


…Zubel has got some nerve, doesn't he? Asking his fiancée to help him lose his job…


 Then Fatima thought.

She could kill this man, but what damage would Rothfeld suffer if she did so?

 First of all, the whereabouts of the hidden money would be lost.


 With Liard's support, there would be no problem, but the amount of money is so large that it cannot be left untouched.

 Then there is Zubel's reputation in the territory.

He uses people to manipulate his reputation, and as a result, his position in the territory is high, although it cannot be said to be rock solid.


 If he were to be eliminated out of the blue, it would bring unwanted suspicion on Rothfeldt.

 If it is not done properly, a riot will break out.

 She also thought about thinning out the rowdies.

 They would grow back later, but reducing them all at once would affect the collection of taxes.


 …You're talking out of your ass, aren't you?


While protecting Rothfeld, Zubel had to be eliminated.

But if he is allowed to do as he pleases, Rothfeldt may be killed.

 Therefore, Fatima chose to demand Rothfeldt's custody as a condition for cooperation.


It seems that the plan was to protect Rothfeldt while looking for an opportunity to unseat Zubel.


But then Zubel went out of control and tried to get rid of Rothfeldt.


 ”After that, I did everything I could to find Mr.
Rothfeldt, but…”


 Fatima's eyes are downcast with sadness.




 ”I understand your story.”


 Fatima's face brightens.


 ”I am glad that you understand.
I have no intention of harming Mr.

 ”I wouldn't say that!”


 I slammed the Explosion III into the nearest humanoid.

 Aimed at a suspicious heat source, I don't know if it really has an engine, but it's something important, right?


 ”Protect me? Don't make me laugh. If you're so serious about protecting me, why didn't you make a move when you were approached?”


 As far as I'm concerned, there must have been plenty of times to make a move.

It's not that hard to protect him.

 Even I could have thought of that.
It's hard to believe that this woman didn't think of it.


 ”I'm sure.
What you're saying may be mostly true, but there are some lies mixed in.”


 I strain my gaze.


 ”You've been saying a lot of nice things, but what you're saying stinks.
Let's be clear.
I can't trust you, so I'm done with you.
I'm going to kill you and then I'm going to kill Zubel.
That's the end of it.”

 ”What are you going to do with your lands?”

 ”I don't care.
If I leave it alone, a replacement will come from the country.
Let him do it.”


 There are plenty of people who want to be a Lord.


Don't worry, after I kill you, I plan to throw Heidi into a masquerade marriage or something.

Besides…you reek of a person who says the right things and tries to get people to do what they want.

 And it's weird because I can't read what you're thinking.




 Fatima lets out a laugh as if she can't stand it and lightly raises one hand.

Two armored men slammed two spears into me from the top.

I quickly jumped backwards to avoid them.
The place where I was is caved in greatly.


In the end, this woman was going to kill me too, wasn't she?


 They really are a bunch of assholes, aren't they? What's there to protect? They think I'm an idiot.

 The people of this world are a bunch of assholes!

 They all want to kill me, what the hell is wrong with them?


“I'm sorry you can't listen to me, but it can't be helped.
Now that it's come to this…
let's just cut your limbs off and let you grow up.”


 Hey, you're leaking laughter.


 ”I really don't want to…fufu…
But you don't need to worry, okay? I will take care of you for the rest of your life.
Morning and night…ugh…”


 I thought I had a high tolerance, but if I talk to this woman any longer, I'm going to go crazy.

 Let's kill her as soon as possible.

 I hold up my makana and sword with both hands.


 I run into the armor that just took an Explosion III.

 I don't want to be surrounded and beaten up by them.

The armor has melted down to its torso, and the contents…what is that? A barrel? …was exposed.


 I don't know what's inside, but smashing it will stop it or at worst slow it down.

I hit it with the makana.
The barrel exploded and the contents scattered.

 I was totally covered by it.


 Wow, what the ……
is this, blood?

 It smells and tastes like human blood. 


 Was it human?

 That makes sense.

 Was it really breath that leaked out?


So, they were maintaining and operating it from inside.


 In short, a manned robot.

 Manned robots in fantasy…novel…isn't it?

 But how do they see what's going on?


 There's something more to it….


 By the way, was a human being something that could fit in a barrel that size?

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