Parting and Reunion
A few hours after the sun began to rise in the east, in a city northwest from the Viscount Fouche’s territory, Falsa exchanged a temporary farewell greeting with Julia and others.
「Well then, we will meet next week after you reach the imperial capital. Julia, Zenobia, and Palmina, if it’s you guys then I don’t have to worry, but still, be careful on the way. 」
Falsa, who tells the three people in the carriage and sees them off, is going to separate from Julia’s group for around a week or so.
There, of course, was a reason for that, from here they just have to take the shortest route towards the Imperial Capital, that was on Falsa’s part as being Julia’s instructor, but his work as one of the 4 heavenly kings Mirage was still left.
Falsa, who wanted at least a few days’ worths of time, had to review and coordinate Julia’s training plan to free up time, as he and Astarte were going to negotiate with Wolf Demons soon.
For that reason, he decided that it would be more difficult to adjust the situation if he missed the timing, even though he would be heavily burdened after returning to the capital, this was how he decided to deal with the situation.
「Yeah, Fal-Ani, you also be careful…But I was surprised that there was an audit team in this city. It’s a little scary how far the Fal-Ani and the Princess have read the situation ahead of time. 」
The Audit team is a mixed team directly under the royal family, consisting of a wide range of people, from wizards, knights, spies, civil servants, lawyers, to doctors.
They are the so-called jack-of-all-trades, their main role is to capture the corrupt nobles and temporarily manage and maintain public order of these noble’s territory.
After Falsa got the evidence, he began to act to Capture Viscount Fouche and the nobles colluding with him at the same time, but he didn’t send a fast horse to contact them from the imperial capital.
It is clear that no matter how fast it may be, it can’t make it in less than a day which takes a week in a carriage, moreover, the audit team will not be able to travel here in this short time.
The truth is that the first princess, who had been informed of the plans of the journey, had arranged her troops in advance, thinking that Falsa could obtain evidence of the crimes in less than a day.
It was also the first princess who recognized the powers of Falsa at a glance when they first met 5 years ago and recommended him to the be a court mage, she also was the one who directed him to investigate the scandal involving Viscount Fouche.
Moreover, she is one of the members of the royal family whose abilities are recognized both inside and outside of the kingdom, to the extent that she was involved in the selection of Julia’s instructor.
「Umm yea, I think it will be alright if its Falsa-Dono, but you must be careful, as you are traveling alone. However, thanks to her Royal highness and Falsa-Dono, there is no need for us to worry about capturing them. The Viscount and his son will most probably be sent to the mines. 」
Being sent to the mines is a very heavy punishment among those imposed on the criminals and this is so harsh that sometimes people wish to be directly given the death penalty.
Also, they are made to carry heavy physical labor from the morning till night, and the meals given are kept at a bare minimum to not leave them with the strength to escape, and there is constant conflict between the prisoners behind the scene.
Many of the criminals are quite violent, such as former bandits and mercenaries, so if the nobles, who are luxurious and arrogant, are sent to mines, they are surely going to be a good target of the prisoner’s resentment.
「Falsa-Kun, I am looking forward to going out to the Imperial capital. ………Being sent to the mines is a somewhat harsh punishment, but they cannot be defended either. 」
The actions of Viscount were so intolerable that even the Saint Palmina, was forced to admonish it.
Especially, the female victims will be given a certain amount of compensation, but even if the trauma of their body can be cured by magic, their mental wounds will not be healed easily.
While the Auditing team is skilled at dealing with victims, but they need a reasonable amount of time and there is no guarantee that they will be completely cured.
Even though she has not shown it in words or expressions, but it is certain that inside Palmina, like Julia and Zenobia, there was a lot of anger.
「If it was only for bribery and tax evasion, it would have been different…Well then, See you again in the imperial capital. 」
It was highly likely that he would be heavily fined and his ranked would have been lowered if he was just charged with financial fraud, as has been the case with the nobles who have been exposed by Falsa’s group in the past.
However, since this time crimes were so vicious, that it was without doubt that appropriate punishments will be given to them.
Thus, after seeing them off, Falsa began to move towards the inn where he had reserved a room in advance.
For the past few days, he has not been able to take a nap, but due to a tight schedule, he will have to act as Mirage of the 4 Heavenly Kings, as soon as he finishes changing his clothes.
Julia and her companion were taking a nap in the constantly rocking carriage which was moving away from the regional capital, but it was not possible for Falsa, who had to work as a coach driver to know that.
As he was moving in the middle of the night, it was most effective and less time consuming for Falsa, who was a half-demon and half-human and had better night vision than a human to act as a coach driver, but as a backlash of that, his body began to slump.
He pretended not to let Julia and others know, but the steps of Falsa after he had parted away with the were heavy.
However, he managed to get to the inn and after changing his clothes quickly, he once again began to move using Transfer magic.
Mirage transferred to his office in the Shadow castle but felt his headache become more intense when he saw the girl in front of him.
「Hey you, aren’t you very late. You have got some nerve to keep me waiting. 」
With a large green wing on his back, a girl with burning red hair approaches Mirage reproachfully.
It is a red color peculiar to Demons, signifying her unyielding character and those high-up pair of eyes, are glaring at Falsa.
「Yo Rafa, you look as healthy as ever. Now, will you tell me why you are here?」
A girl called Rafa glares even more intensely at Mirage’s questions.
「What you ask, you are going to the Wolf demon’s territory after this, which is close to my territory! Of course, it is natural for me as one of the 4 Heavenly Kings and the Head of the Dragon Demons to show my face. 」
「…….. I checked with Mao-Sama and she said that she didn’t mind it and found this interesting. So once Mao-Sama gave permission I couldn’t do anything. 」
When Mirage turned his eyes to Astarte, he got nothing but a merciless answer.
Mirage let out a big sigh and thought that it is going to be more troublesome with Rafa involved in this.
The girl from the Dragon demon tribe who rules the northern part of the demon territory, The swift wind, Rafa.
She is the young head of the Dragon Demon tribe and also is one of the 4 Heavenly Kings, which has the highest authority in the Demon King’s army.
Basically, the 4 Heavenly Kings are selected from the demon tribes which have a large population and they only hold the top position of the tribe i.e. the head of the tribe in most cases.
Except for Mirage, it is a kind of a custom for the Head of a tribe to become the 4 Heavenly Kings, as it needed for the unification of the army and the obedience of the Demons of that tribe.
Most of the heads of a demon tribe are determined by their strength, so Rafa is the one who is the most powerful among the members of the Dragon demon tribe.
Although the Dragon-Demon tribe is not large in number as compared to other Demon tribes, a 4 Heavenly King is selected from among them as they have an overwhelming fighting power and any individual from them can threaten any tribe.
「We don’t have to fight the Wolf Demons; we are going to negotiate ……ha」
「 I know you don’t have to tell me that! Most of the time, Mao-Sama entrusts the negotiations to you, but understand that there’s nothing you can do that I can’t do! This time I will let you witness that with your own eyes. 」
「…… it may seem presumptuous, but I think Rafa-Sama and Mirage-Sama are both unfit for this mission. I think both me and Mirage-Sama together are the right people to negotiate this deal since Mao-Sama has also given out such orders in her Imperial command. 」
Mirage thought that he and Astarte were already good enough in terms of fighting strength, adding Rafa, another one of the 4 Heavenly Kings, will lead to other party thinking that they have come to eradicate them.
Originally, many of the Dragon-Demons are both intelligent and strong, they are both thoughtful and have gentle character despite their strength, but Rafa is like this and because of this Mirage couldn’t help having a predomination that there was going to be a conflict in this negotiation.
And then, she has unusually bad chemistry with Astarte who likes quietness, so when they meet each other the atmosphere is usually very bad.
「Hold on a sec Tart, don’t call me Rafa-Sama, it feels so bad. Just calling me Rafa as you used to is good enough. Oh, I forgot, we are different now you are just an Adjutant and I am one of the 4 Heavenly Kings. So, we don’t need cry-baby Tart needlessly butting in.」
「hu! It was Rafa who used to be a cry-baby! Did you forget that time when you broke the Dragon Demon tribe’s valuable treasure and went crying with me to apologize to your father? Generally, I play the second fiddle because of this masked man without any sense or else if I want, I can behead him anytime and be promoted to one of the 4 Heavenly Kings. 」
「Did you forgot the time when I helped you wash your bedsheet when you had wet your bed and were crying about it the other day. Besides, you are not required to take action, as I will send this strange black-cloaked man to the yellow river myself. My pride doesn’t permit me that I lost to him.」
Both their fathers were part of the former 4 Heavenly Kings, and although they were of a different tribe, they were good friends, as a result of that Astarte and Rafa who were of the same age, were acquainted with each other since their childhood.
Each of them was trained by their father, who were the 4 Heavenly Kings at that time, and thus became rivals who continued to rise and stand out even after joining the Demon Kings army.
There was a time when they under their parent’s influence used to ridicule each other, but they have overcome that and now are splendidly performing their professional duties, and what is unfolding here now is a children quarrel.
And it was normal for Falsa to be drawn in the crossfire and for the two of them to reveal their embarrassing childhood memories.
The black cloak and the mask were to hide his identity, but Mirage regretted his choice of selection and felt hurt secretly at a time like this.
「umm-, both of you, we are going to leave now, right?」
Mirage’s bitter appeal did not reach the two heated people and for a while, the quarreling of the girls resounded in the office.
Mirage, on the other hand, had given up quite a while ago and sat down on his chair for a nap, and it is about 30 minutes later that he was woken up by the two when they noticed that he was sleeping.