Time for a Decision 3
Feeling the fact that my spell had lost all its power, I took a deep breath inside my helmet.
This place was outside the royal castle. His Majesty had already been caught and control of the castle had more or less been accomplished. Emilia’s magic was a problem, but we also had to figure out how to deal with the reinforcement knights that would certainly be coming. We solved that problem by controlling the flow of information and selectively dealing with them as they came.
When one of the city lords had noticed the unusual state of the castle, he was naturally confused, but since he was captured shortly after arriving, there was nothing that any of his men could do. For the knights as well, by the time they noticed anything was amiss, they were already in checkmate.
Most of the credit for this was due to Ordo’s subordinates who were able to carry out his orders to the letter using swift and effective methods.
The movement of the outfield had been equally advantageous as Gina’s magic had successfully kept any curious onlookers away, and anyone trying to send word out to the crowds had been completely stifled by Percival. We had made our move in the early morning and attacked. We had gone to action with only the best possible conditions for us, but it was still a miracle that we were finishing with a result of almost zero damage to our side.
…….However the biggest problem with this assault has always been the threat of a witch’s curse. That’s why no one could rest easily until Emilia had been secured.
That’s why everything was supposed to be finished with me, but with the collapse of my spell, there was nothing for me to do but pick up my parchment and put it back in my pouch.
Percival who was overlooking the situation noticed my movement and asked, “Are you finished?” There was a small bit of worry dyed into his voice, but I was currently only capable of looking up at him and giving a small nod in reply.
I had to make sure to look at him from the side of my helmet in order to block the sight of my eyes from his view, but I was still able to see him narrow his eyes slightly.
“It must be tiring to use magic with an unfamiliar helmet.”
I halfheartedly responded to Percival’s musings.
Indeed I am currently wearing a suit of armor that I am all around unfamiliar with, and I have been using magic to remotely manipulate the armor I usually wear–fatigue has naturally been building up. Of course, it was not physical, but mental fatigue which was wearing me down.
But I cannot complain about that right now, and Percival must have understood my feelings because he said no more on the subject. As I picked myself up from my seat on the floor, I tried to return to a more joking mood saying, “More than anything this new armor gives me extremely stiff shoulders,” and he gave me a bitter smile in return.
I wonder if my voice had sounded a little brighter, but as expected it is impossible for me to hide the shadow in my facial expression…even if I am wearing a helmet that covers my face.
While thinking about that, Gina, who was watching over me the whole time I was controlling my armor, spoke to the familiar resting in her arms.
“Please go pick up Robertson, Concetta.”
Please, and after listening to Gina’s request and jumping out of her arms with a small *plop*, he sang out a “Nya” before walking off.
I was a little uneasy to see Concetta walk off alone in all this confusion, but his back as me moved forward exuded dignity. Red blotches marked his fur and cute little feet, leaving behind red footprints as he left. How dependable he is.
I decided to entrust Robertson to such a Concetta.
I held down my chest with the back of my hand. An unpleasant feeling like a whirlpool barreling around in my chest remained no matter how much I tried to joke things off. Emilia’s voice heard through my magic was as if she were right in front of me, and the pained look on her face continued to etch itself in my mind causing my heart to burst.
I took a deep breath out as if to expel some of these worries while Ordo, who had finished giving out follow up instructions to his subordinates, walked up to us.
“Difficulties Monette. What happened to your armor?”
“It was knocked down, and the helmet probably fell off.”
“How did that happen?”
“…..Rodel. Emilia tried to come with me, but Rodel found it hard to accept the situation.”
“Ah, so now both of my nephews have caused you undue difficulties. I am sorry.”
“No, I do not mind.”
I responded with a smile hidden underneath my helmet as Ordo exaggeratedly shrugged his shoulders and berated Alexis. It was a wonderful apology on his part, and presented in typical Ordo fashion.
However, he did not seem too keen on the joke as it was not long before he returned to a sour mood and spat out a small, “Idiot,” underneath his breath. I narrowed my eyes slightly inside my helmet, and even Alexis and Percival who overheard him raised an eyebrow at the serious frustration inside that one word.
But there was nothing that could be done. Even after listening to me explain everything, Rodel escaped with Emilia without acknowledging anything. He pushed over the suit of armor that was reaching out towards him………
Without knowing that it was moving due to a witch’s spell.
“The armor collapsed, the helmet fell away, and the magic the armor was basking in faded away. Right now Rodel is being manipulated by a witch’s curse…….”
Hearing my mutterings, Ordo nodded his head as he had a clear understanding of the situation.
Prior to this expedition starting, I put a curse on the armor I normally wear.
I put on a suit of armor that was normally lined up in the hallways of Ordo’s mansion, and from this place I moved my normal armor away as if there was someone inside. Both Emilia and Rodel’s voices were clearly transmitted to me through Robertson who was inside the armor.
But I never tried to indiscriminately curse them.
If Emilia had taken my hand and Rodel followed suit, I planned to guide them to where Ordo was waiting without resorting to magic. At the time I would have even apologized for talking to them through an empty suit of armor.
However, the end result was Rodel giving in to anger and knocking down that armor.
The helmet was detached from the impact along with Robertson who was mediating the magic from inside………and the curse that was basking in there was released.
“But what are you going to do about the cursed Rodel? Why are we waiting here?”
Or so Ordo asked.
We have already captured His Majesty, and we can say that we had been victorious in our original rebellion. But, as Emilia was with Rodel, you cannot say that things are finished.
No matter in what way Rodel is cursed, saying, “Let’s finish up with this,” would be out of the question. Still, Ordo was being more impatient than I would have thought. Of course considering the strength of Emilia’s magic, I suppose it is natural that he would be worried until things had completely ended.
In response to such an Ordo, I tried to calm him down by saying, “It’s all right.”
“If we wait here, the two of them will come to us.”
“Yes, they will try to escape here.”
“There are a countless number of escape routes in the royal palace.”
There was on way to be sure, was what Ordo was trying to argue, but his gaze still turned towards the door of the decayed hut we were stationed in.
There were a countless number of escape routes in the royal palace, and there was a different exit for each one of them. There were also various roads that lead to houses and shelters for them to rest in.
There was one worn-out path that had received minimal care which went underground and connected to a road that led to this old cabin. It was just one of the many escape routes Alexis had learned from his father.
Rodel should choose the safest path among the escape routes that he knows. Choosing a random one or whichever one leads to a cozier shelter……it is nothing like that.
So Ordo argued, but I responded by shaking my head.
Indeed normally it would be impossible to know if he would come here. But Rodel and Emilia would appear here.
I spoke with certainty, and everyone’s gazes fell on me.
“Rodel and Emilia will definitely come here. They will choose to come here…..they have no other choice.”
“What do you mean?”
“Rodel’s curse is not part of the magic that makes him want to turn Emilia into a ‘sparkling princess’. It is a curse that a witch purposely threw on him. Rodel has been cursed with some bad luck, and now no matter what he does, he will be moving to his own ruin.”
Rodel cannot help but to choose this escape path because of the curse I placed on him. Perhaps he will unconsciously choose it, maybe he will think he is going one way and choose this one by mistake, perhaps he will choose a different escape route and then run to this hut, perhaps he will be joined by a guard and the guard will rush him here, perhaps Emilia will make a choice and have him come this way……
Now that he has been cursed, bad luck will chase him, and his final destination will be his ruin.
“That is the witch’s curse.”
So I told all of them with a deep breath.
Emilia’s secret desires had accidentally brought about a curse, but I had used the same curse on purpose to put an end to everything.
It was ironic……and a painful smile spread underneath my helmet as I suddenly heard a loud noise a little ways away.
The door shook. It opened slowly with a loud creak from its rusted hinges, and the face that appeared once it was fully open…….