―――We rewind time a bit to just before Jibru left Earth’s dungeon.
Inside the dungeon, as Jibru and Earth are having a heated exchange — 「You should live with mom at our family home if you’re going to be alone! It’s too worrisome otherwise!」 「No way! I absolutely refuse to live with my parents!」— just moments before this, Una and Dos find themselves in the imperial castle of the Hà Giang Empire.
Inside the main hall of the Hà Giang Empire’s imperial castle―――
「Omnomnom… gulp. The food here is amazing.」
Una raves as she devours the dish before her.
During the Continental Congress, representatives and related personnel from each nation are free to enjoy meals in a standing buffet format within the castle hall.
It’s a moment for international bonding. But for Una, who’s on guard duty, that’s beside the point.
The food’s just too good.
Of course, I’m doing my job properly.
For father’s sake.
So yummy. Omnomnom
While it might seem unladylike for such a beauty to be gobbling food without any table manners, Una couldn’t care less.
「Who’s that adventurer eating so much?」「But she’s so pretty…」「I think she’s from the Holy Kingdom on guard duty…」「Hmm, adventurers from the Holy Kingdom sure lack manners, don’t they?」
These whispers and curious glances come her way, but Una isn’t the type to let it bother her.
Food’s great. Omnomnomnom
「….Una, you have to eat a bit gracefully.」
Her brother Dos gently suggests. It doesn’t really work.
Instead, she responds, “Dos, you need to eat more!” and heaps a mound of food onto his plate.
Big sis can be such a handful.
Dos thinks, visibly overwhelmed.
He always has his work cut out for him.
「Giggle. You two are so close, it’s adorable.」
Says the blind Saint Orion Karla, their current charge.
Known as the 『Holy Ark』, she’s one of the eight saints in the Holy Kingdom and a representative at this congress.
It’s evident, even beneath her nun’s attire, that she’s quite voluptuous.
Walking confidently, her blindness undetectable, Orion approaches the duo.
「….Orion, you shouldn’t walk alone」
「Omnomnomnom…」（That’s right, Ms. Saint.）
「It’s alright. Isn’t that why I have you both here?」
「….still, anything can happen. Like that time, with the griffon.」
「Omnomnomnom….」（That’s right, Ms. Saint.）
Why is she like this….
「Dos, you’re such a serious young man. Oh! You should come to my church sometime. We grow some really tasty vegetables in the back―――」
Even while listening to Dos’s warning, Orion lightly laughs.
Furthermore, she often goes off on tangents in her conversations.
Completely in an unrelated direction.
She’s like a grandma from the countryside.
「We have homemade sausages and smoked meats too.」
「Omnom…. Gulp. Alright. Once this mission’s done, I promise we’ll visit.」
My own sister is in line with her desires.
What happened to the impressive sister I once knew?
The dedication to the mission, gathering info for the dungeon?
And how is she able to have a conversation, with food in her mouth?
….I want to go home.
This is stressing me out.
But I have to do my best for my Papa.
With that single-minded determination, Dos endures taking care of these two and does his best.
The diligent ones always have it tough.
Suddenly, another figure approaches the trio.
「My, my, my. Look who’s here. If it isn’t Lady Orion. Fufufu」
A slimy voice oozes from behind.
They turn to find a short, portly man resembling a pig, dressed in flashy attire adorned with gold and silver embroidery.
His oily face is covered in acne.
Two knights, probably his guards, stand behind him.
「Oh, that voice… Is that you, Sir Schwein? So you’re representing the Seldland this time」
Turning to where the voice came from, Orion flashes a slight smile.
「Yep, that’s right. Fufufu. Everyone else is just too busy… So here I am, with some free time, coming over to chat.」
Seldland… That’s the name of the neighboring country to the Holy Kingdom, Dos recalls.
He wonders to himself, “Is this man a noble from that place?”
「Oh my, what are you saying? Who could be better at diplomacy than Sir Schwein?」
「Fufufu, even if you flatter me, Ms Orion, it won’t get you anywhere.」
Dos takes another look at the man.
He’s incredibly off-putting.
Every time the man laughs, his chubby cheeks jiggle and sweat drips down.
Meanwhile, Una doesn’t even seem to acknowledge his presence.
She’s just silently stuffing her face with food.
The food’s delicious. Omnomnomnom
「And speaking of, how is the orphanage you run doing? I hope there hasn’t been any… unfortunate incidents. Like thieves sneaking in while you’re away, perhaps? Nufufu」
Schwein shoots a thick, heavy gaze at Orion.
One that instantly gives Dos an uncomfortable feeling.
He can’t help but flinch.
「It’s all good. We’ve put up barriers, and we’ve also hired adventurers for protection. Oh, and thanks to the recent donation from Sir Schwein, we were able to finish repairing the walls.」
「Hmm, that’s wonderful, children are the treasures of the future, after all. Hahaha. If you ever need, I’d be happy to take care of them. I adore cute children.」
「Oh, I couldn’t possibly impose on you any further, Sir Schwein.」
「Well then, maybe I’ll visit soon, bringing along some delicious fruits from Rahnland… Nufufu.」
「Oh, I’m sure the children would love that.」
「Nufufu, then I’ll be on my way. We should aim to make tomorrow’s continental congress fruitful… for the future.」
With that eerie smile on his face, Sir Schwein and his entourage depart.
What a disturbing person.
Dos asks Orion.
Finding it hard to believe that the virtuous figure before him could know someone so visibly malevolent.
He can’t help but speculate if Orion is being blackmailed in some way.
「Yes, Sir Schwein―――He governs the Rahnland region of Seldland and is one of their Ministers of Internal Affairs. He has achieved a lot: from the liberation of slaves in the country, granting rights to the Orc tribes, establishing orphanages and schools with his personal wealth, and negotiating peace with other nations. He’s one of the people I deeply respect.」
What a surprise! He’s actually a good person!
Orion nods affirmatively.
Why would such a good person look so wicked?
It’s truly baffling. Dos finds himself re-evaluating his beliefs about people.
By the way, throughout this conversation, Una continued to indulge in her meal, seemingly indifferent.
The food’s so good. Omnomnom
Suddenly, Dos spots a familiar silhouette at the edge of the hall.
The figure weaves through the crowd like a shadow, swiftly exiting the hall.
Without hesitation, Dos heads out of the hall to follow.
Of course, he made sure to ask Una, through thought transmission, to guard the saint in his absence. He also instructed a bird-shaped golem named Mei to monitor Una. In addition, he deployed dozens of Wraiths and insect-shaped golems to surveil the venue, ensuring Una’s safety.
Don’t slack off, and don’t forget your duty.
It might seem excessive, but it can’t be helped.
Dos is the second son and Una is the eldest daughter.
As the younger brother, Dos feels an inherent need to protect and look after Una, his elder sister.
With that thought, Dos continues chasing the mysterious figure outside the hall.
In a corner of the Hà Giang Empire―――
Wald and Beldi are in a room at an inn.
The two of them are chatting casually on the bed provided.
「Man, it’s so boring.」
「Can’t be helped. Only Master was selected for the representative’s escort duty. Even if we were pardoned, it’d just cause unnecessary chaos if we strutted out in public.」
「I get that, but still. Sitting still just isn’t me.」
As he speaks, Wald fidgets with the twin swords in his hand.
Beldi lets out an exasperated sigh.
「Then why not maintain your weapons? At the very least, Master predicts that ‘something’ will occur during this continental congress. I believe so, too. It wouldn’t hurt to be prepared.」
「Well, both yours and Master’s instincts usually turn out right.」
Maybe I should take care of my weapon then.
Just as he’s considering doing so, there’s a knock on the door.
The door opens, and a redhead woman with messy hair walks in.
「Just got back, you two.」
「Oh, Farley! Welcome back!」
Wald greets with a bright smile, waving nonchalantly.
Their visitor is Farley, an acquaintance and a former adventurer.
She’s carrying a bag filled with food.
「Brought some food.」
「Sorry we always make you do the shopping.」
「It’s fine. I enjoy doing it.」
Farley says with a dismissive wave.
Once upon a time, she had been mentored by Beldi’s younger sister, Paldi, in the ways of adventuring. She had admired Beldi and Wald since then, albeit mostly one-sidedly.
About a year ago, during the nightmarish Eld Desert Large-Scale Subjugation Battle, Farley had barely escaped with her life. She sought asylum in the Hà Giang Empire.
Now, she was making ends meet by working at the inn and assisting adventurers. It was here that the trio reunited.
Upon their reunion, she learned of the deaths of Paldi and other members of the Silver Crow, which deeply saddened her.
Nonetheless, she eagerly took on the role of looking after the two during their stay.
Though initially reluctant, they eventually accepted her help due to her strong insistence.
「I’ve heard quite a bit about your recent exploits. I’m quite shocked, to be honest.」
「Well, a lot has happened」
The pair begin to rummage through the food, engaging in light banter.
When there’s another knock on the door.
「Could that be the innkeeper? Excuse me, I’ll check.」
But as she moves towards the door, Wald grabs her arm.
「Hold on, Farley.」
「Eh? What’s wrong?」
Wald’s face is dead serious, eyes full of suspicion.
Both he and Beldi draw their weapons, eyes fixed on the door.
「I think you’ve been followed, Farley….」
「It seems so… And not by just anyone」
The door opens, revealing a man dressed like a priest, half his face obscured by a white mask.
However, the large blue sword, as tall as he is, strapped to his back is anything but holy.
「And who might you be?」
「Wald Nored, the Dragon Slayer, and Beldi Raven, the World Piercer….」
The man observes without answering the question.
「Yes, and I’m asking. Who are you?」
「I have been ordered by my master to kill both of you.」
The man states in a monotone.
It’s a one-sided remark that ignored the listener without even giving a concise explanation.
「I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to die today.」
Saying that, the man draws the large sword he’s carrying on his back.
「Wow… that’s a big sword, you have there.」
Wald laughs, taking a stance with his twin swords.
It’s clear just from looking.
The man in front of him is a formidable opponent.
「Eh? What’s… what’s going on here?」
Farley is just confused, unable to grasp the situation.
Next to her, standing ready with a spear, is Beldi.
「Beldi, take care of her for me.」
Immediately after―――a fierce shock ripples through the room.
At the Imperial Palace Hall of the Hà Giang Empire―――
「Oh, it’s starting.」
From a corner of the hall, picking at some food, Léna-Lloyd looks out at the scene beyond.
「I wonder how long ‘Dragon Slayer’ and ‘World Piercer’ will last against that Rugios… Oh, this dish is tasty」
She mutters, nonchalantly picking at her food.
No one hears the casual comment of this seemingly ordinary-looking woman.
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