This is the story of the Prime Minister.
Please note that the viewpoint in Chapter 3 will often change.
Prime Minister Eclair had his head in his hands.
I feel like I’m always holding my head these days.
My gray hair has increased a lot.
「How could there be so few soldiers…. 」
On the day the Imperial Ant was discovered in the Eld Desert, Eclair had asked from each country for help to defeat it. He knew they would ask something in return, but he didn’t expect that the troops sent will be so few.
The paper in my hand is the report on the number of troops and commanders sent from each country.
The assembled allied forces were roughly a tenth of the original plan.
The commanders and knights gathered are not particularly well-known for their skill.
To say that it was too much would be an understatement.
It’s no different from being told to fight alone.
Only the Magic City Endymion, which Eclair visited during his diplomacy, contribute a lot with magic tools.
It wasn’t an army, but the presence of the Repel Magic Stone given by them means a lot.
If we’re attacked by the Accurate Crow or White Wyvern on our way, we can never stand a chance.
Therefore, getting a reasonable amount is crucial.
He had received most of the Repel Magic Stones that were currently being produced from the magic guild that he’s familiar with.
But that still doesn’t solve his troop problem.
If he was his usual calm self, he might have questioned the response he got from other countries being too different from what requested and suspected someone else of intervening, but his lack of composure right now did not allow him to think that far.
In the first place, there were too many unforeseen events going on, starting with the stagnation in the purity of magic stones, which was the main industry, the exports of magic stone with various countries, the financial reinforcement, the outbreak of Imperial Ant, earth dragon and golems.
It is impossible for him to stay calm.
「What am I going to do? How are we going to get through this dungeon with only this much?」
A knock on the door sounded in Eclair’s ears as he was struggling to decide.
Who’s here during this time?, Eclair wondered.
The secretary wouldn’t come in unless he called her.
And shortly after that, the person who knocked enters.
「Oh, it’s been a while, Prime Minister.」
Eclair raised an eyebrow when he saw the person.
Red eyes, blue hair, and fancy clothes that could only be described as a splash of primary color paint that made his eyes hurt. Not to mention the orange holy sword.
It was the brave, Wald Nored the Dragon Slayer, who is one of the S-rank adventurers.
Behind him is a silver-haired, one-eyed woman carrying a red spear, another S-rank adventurer, Beldi Raven the World Piercer.
There are only three S-rank adventurers in the country, and two of them are now gathering here.
To those in the know, it would be a breathtaking sight.
But for Eclair, he only thought of it as another headache.
My head hurts.
Maybe it’s time to consult my personal doctor.
「Just as I thought…. 」
Eclair looks at Wald in frustration.
「Huh, how did you know?」
「…the only people who will enter my office before I answer them will either be you or the assassin.」
「Is that so…….. But what if it’s the king? Does that mean he can’t enter without your permission?」
Said Wald jokingly.
「That’s not what I mean…. Who let you in? What about the guards?」
「If I had to get permission for each one, that would be six months of work. The guards are doing their job well. I came here secretly without being noticed.」
We must review the guard system of the royal palace later.
Wald sits down, again without permission.
Beldi, however, leans against a nearby wall.
「Hey, can I have some tea? Oh, I brought snacks with me, so can I have a cup of tea?」
Wald says, taking a yellow-green candy from his pocket.
It smelled sweet.
「…..What are you here for?」
It really makes my head hurt.
I heard the news about the two of them coming back to this country, but honestly, I didn’t want them to come now.
It’s hard to deal with these two in this situation while physically and mentally exhausted.
「You’re tired……… Well, don’t get so uptight. We’re just here to check up on you.」
「Is that all?」
And in the next moment, the air in the room changed.
A chill ran down Eclair’s spine, as if he was amid freezing ice.
「Say, what happened to Paldi?」
Squinting like a raptor, Wald looked at Eclair.
I knew it, Eclair thought.
Wald was the one who had endorsed Paldi at Eclair, while Beldi is her sister.
It’s easy to imagine why they are here.
It’s easy to imagine why.
「So, about Paldi, you knew what was coming, and you just let her die? Or was this going beyond what you expected?」
An icy voice.
A feeling of pressure. It is as if his heart was being squeezed.
A cold sweat ran down Eclair’s cheeks.
After a brief silence, he let out a loud sigh.
「…..Ah, this time it was a complete misjudgment on my part. I really thought they were just a Killer Ant…….」
Eclair shook his head.
「No, to be honest, I have a weird feeling about it. You know that, for a long time, my instinct has always been right. To further prove it, I sent Paldi for investigation.」
If you lie, they will kill you.
Eclair decided to tell them the truth.
「And… the results were terrible. The monster I thought is just a killer ant was a disaster-designated species, Imperial Ant. There were a series of impossible abnormalities in that dungeon. We lost her and her party members.」
Then he suddenly got interrupted by Beldi.
「How did you know that? You bastard, you gave my sister the memory transmission bracelet, didn’t you?!」
She mustered all strength into the spear in her hand, and her eyes, which were only on one side, were oozing with unfulfilled anger.
「Yes, in case of emergency.」
Eclair did not deny it.
「But if she returned safely, it should be nothing more than a useless bracelet. In the first place, even if they encountered an Accurate Crow or White Wyvern in that Eld Desert, she and the Silver Crow members are more than capable enough of escaping from it…. Therefore, this matter had completely exceeded my expectations. It was my fault, without a doubt. What are you going to do, Beldi? Do you intend to kill me?」
I’m sure it’ll be easy for you to do so, says Eclair.
Beldi didn’t move her spear.
Eventually, she slowly brings the spear in her hand down.
「It was the Imperial Ant that killed my sister. Not you.」
She squeezed out a reply.
Then Wald clapped his hands.
「Well, now that Beldi is convinced. Eclair, if it’s okay with you, can I ask you one more question?」
The sharp look in his eyes from earlier has gone, and Wald said in a delayed tone of voice.
He put the yellow-green candy in his hand into his mouth.
The tense air from before dissipated as if it was a lie.
「What is it?」
「When are we going to the Eld Desert?」
It’s an intrusive question.
Eclair also pondered silently on how to respond to this.
「As soon as we have our forces in place.」
「How long will that be? You want us to wait for another month?」
I can’t wait any longer, said Wald, spreading his arms open.
Although she didn’t say a word, Beldi seems to share the same opinion.
Eclair however remains silent.
I couldn’t answer.
Indeed, it’s hard to deny that.
The original plan was to have the troops already marched towards the Eld Desert.
However, since the relief from the various countries was less than expected, he tried to figure out how to make up for it.
Eclair is a person who takes everything into consideration.
Just like how he gave the bracelet to Paldi and sent a liaison officer to the two of them, he would crush every single unforeseen event, even if it was a minor thing.
If you ask him, this expedition is full of uncertainties.
Besides being a designated disaster species, there are even golems that we have never seen before.
It’s a battle that can never fail.
No matter how well-prepared we are, there’s no such thing as too much.
But that’s why it would require more time.
And his estimated deadline is already approaching.
If you look at the Imperial Ant breeding cycle in the records, it’s already just barely overdue.
The next generation of the queen breed could’ve already been born.
It’s true that we are in a hurry.
We expect as much, Wald chuckled.
「Well then, how about listening to the plan I’ve come up with?」
What is he saying, Eclair thought.
To begin with, he always says outrageous things.
I’ve known him since before I became the prime minister, and I understand him well since he always pushed me around.
Eclair was once upset before when he had suddenly come with Paldi and said ‘Make this girl your secretary’.
Fortunately, she was actually very good at it.
「So, in order to take out the Imperial Ant, we have to capture the dungeon first, am I right?」
「Yes, what about it?」
Wald made a sinister smile.
I see, that’s the look you got when you’re planning something bad, Eclair is sure of it
「Then there’s a better way.」
「What do you mean?」
I’ll listen to what you have to say, just for reference, Eclair said.
Wald continues after making a wide back swing.
「If the dungeon is too difficult to capture… then you shouldn’t capture it!」
Eclair didn’t understand what he was saying.
What is this guy talking about, he thought.
「Just to be sure, we already know the location of the dungeon from Paldi’s memory and everything, don’t we?」
Hearing that, Wald laughed.
「Then, why the worry?」
And what came out from his mouth was an amazing plan.
For a moment, only Wald’s voice echoed in the office.
Both Eclair and Beldi listened to his words in silence.
And after hearing everything, Eclair couldn’t help but ask.
「……..Is it really possible?」
He just muttered one word.
Wald nodded without hesitation.
If what he said is true, then it is possible to solve this problem ourselves.
We won’t even need relief from other countries.
「If you really can do that, why didn’t you tell me earlier? What a bad timing you have….」
「I’m sorry, okay~」
Said Wald apologetically.
I’ve always been slow to act, he said. And it was a bad time, too.
He was aware of that.
「So, yeah. Let’s get on with it and go to the Eld Desert. You also want to avenge Paldi, right Eclair?」
He stared at the view outside the window.
It was toward the Eld Desert.
His eyes resembling a raptor were staring straight at the Eld Desert.
「A designated disaster species, Imperial Ant………and……..」
Apart from the fact that this expedition was to defeat Paldi’s killer, there’s another thing that captured his attention.
It was a rumor of an earth dragon in the Eld Desert.
Something he got not from Eclair, but from someone else.
And although he didn’t say it, Wald is sure of it.
Although he didn’t say it out loud, he is certain that they would encounter it on this expedition.
Ah, I’m looking forward to it.
After all, he, the ‘Dragon Slayer’, has a close connection with dragons.
Ten days later, they march towards the Eld Desert.