Round Table Discussion Part 2
Veena’s demands were two-fold.
First, everything would be kept secret. The fact the two of them were in Takrath wouldn’t be told to anyone. They shouldn’t be spoken of at all.
Another is to temporarily join forces with Aria Squad.
They would work together to subjugate the rebels in Beirut.
Those were here demands.
Aria listened to her difficult conditions in silence.
(Join forces? Certainly, we’re currently having difficulties with the rebel army, but to have to rely on this woman’s help?)
She prides herself as a knight. Protecting the nation, the king and the people. That loyalty was what the strength in her sword was honed for.
So, to join forces with a villainous woman who committed murder and treason?
To Aria, it’s unthinkable.
But, every second she sits here debating it, the rebel army gains more and more traction.
Someone powerful enough to defeat a dragon… Saying she had the strength of an army was not an exaggeration.
Whilst Aria remained silent, the voice of one of her subordinates suddenly sounded in her head.
(Captain Aria, what are we going to do?)
(What do you think?)
(Let me see. I think it should be fine to ‘temporarily’ join forces.)
The subordinate replied, emphasizing the word temporarily.
Aria understood where he was coming from.
(Is that so? She did say that our alliance would be temporary, not permanent. If we can join forces until the rebels in Beirut are crushed, and then arrest her after that…)
Aria puts a plan together in her head. She glanced at Veena, the person giving her so much trouble, and sighed.
(Frankly, I hate it. The idea of joining forces with that person. She probably doesn’t even need us at all anyway, so why…)
Veena closed her eyes for a second, then opened them again. The sun seemed to gleam in her eyes.
Then, Eizen spoke.
“It does not matter to me, but I would like to hear it all the same. You were reluctant before to fight the rebels in Beirut, what suddenly changed your mind?”
Veena looked at the letter she had hidden between her breasts.
Leena had handed it to her not long after she got out of the bath yesterday, it was from her mother.
There was nothing written on it.
Just a piece of blank paper. Yua had looked confused when she saw it, but Veena understood the meaning immediately.
It’s not like the magic used to conceal Sylph. There wasn’t any special means of magical communication either. Still, Veena understood everything the moment she received the letter.
Exhaling a breath, Veena thought to herself.
This is an order.
An order from her mother to subjugate Beirut.
Even though Veena is no longer a member of the Lilyfall house, and shouldn’t have to follow her mother’s orders, that isn’t the case right now.
Veena is in a bad position. That’s why she cannot refuse.
Veena had been pondering it for some time now.
Why had she not become a well-known enemy of the people? She had apparently scorned the fiancée of the future king, kidnapped a princess and also caused a murderous uproar at the school. Even if she doesn’t know anything about the latter crime, it doesn’t matter. What the kingdom thinks is the issue.
Even if there was the calamitous dragon to deal with, normally there should still be a lot of people chasing a fugitive like her.
The fact that she had been able to live in relative peace now meant that someone was controlling things behind the scenes.
But, that wasn’t necessarily done out of motherly love. That much she can say for sure.
Rather, she wants Veena to remain free so that she can continue to use her.
Veena had gripped the letter tightly when she realized it.
Her mother intends to have her dance on the end of her strings until the very end.
And that cold-hearted mother’s strings are closer to thick steel wires.
Veena sighed and responded to Eizen properly.
“I simply changed my mind.”
Of course, she won’t tell the truth.
Eizen stroked his beard as if saying ‘Is that so?’, then turned towards the knight.
“And so, Miss Knight. What say you?”
“…I agree to it. So long as it’s only temporary, we don’t mind.”
Aria spoke on behalf of her squad.
“I understand. Then, I look forward to working for you.”
Veena rose and cancelled the magic she had cast on Aria.
This way, as instructed by her mother, she had joined forces with the knights to retake Beirut.
All they need to do now is to defeat the rebels.
Veena bowed to Eizen, then took Yua’s hand as they left.
Leena wanted to go too but was stopped by Aria. Apparently, it seems like the knights need to have a discussion.
As they walked, Veena tried to think about the rebel army, but in truth, she didn’t have much information. All she knew about were the people who attacked the castle in the past.
(I wonder if the two of them from back then are still in with the rebels?)
The two people from then being Misha and the woman with one eye.
(Well, even if they are still with them, it’s not like they’re much of a threat.)
Veena thought. Then, from beside her, she heard Yua whisper “Veena-sama” in her ear.
“What is it?”
Veena answered back with a whisper.
“Veena-sama, you’re going to Beirut?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean to do. But, Yua, you should stay here. I’ll be back soon.”
But, Yua shook her head.
“No. I’m coming with you. It’s not because I want revenge on the rebels, I just don’t want to leave Veena-sama’s side.”
“…I see. But, I’ll be fine, you know? I can deal with it quickly, it won’t be too hard.”
“…Quickly? Is it really something you can settle so easily?”
Yua stopped walking. Is she worried about something?
“After all, it’s just a bunch of amateur magicians.”
“I really hope that’s true, but…”
“What do you mean?”
“Veena-sama, Beirut is the greatest city in the east.”
“Yes, I know that. But, what does that have to do with…”
Finally, Veena understands what Yua was worried about.
“Oh, so that’s it.”
“Yes. That city is not something that would have fallen easily into the hands of some poorly trained magic users. Besides the regular forces, there are many nobles that live in Beirut. What happened to them?”
Whilst walking past Veena again, Yua continued talking.
“Veena-sama. It might be a good idea to prepare more cautiously before heading to Beirut. It is better that you don’t think of the rebels as the same group you fought ten years ago.”
Veena nodded and began to reflect.
She didn’t realize it at all until Yua said it. No, if anything she simply wasn’t paying any heed to the rebels before now.
It wasn’t the rebel army that had been worrying her, it was her mother.
She didn’t even consider that the rebels might not be so easy to exterminate this time. But, that was a mistake.
She would have understood that if she thought about it just a little bit, but she overlooked it completely. Veena reflects seriously on her thoughtlessness.
There is no reason to believe that the force that occupied Beirut would be a pushover.
As Yua said, she shouldn’t think of the rebel army as the same one she fought ten years ago.
“You’re right. Then, shall we do some ‘processing’ tonight?”
Veena asked, and Yua nodded.