The only place that comes to mind when people say ‘outside the town’ is the meadows near Dolknes town. Coincidentally, it was the same place where Patrick brought me when we went drinking.
I walked there by myself to the meeting place fully equipped with a sword with dark attributes and an all-attribute staff.
When I turned around, I could see the town and the Lord’s residence in the center.
I hope the meeting place would allow me to have a clear view of the town and my wish was granted. Duke Hillrose was standing in a place where he had an entire view of the town.
His eyes never left the town view.
“Hmm, it’s a town without any good value. It’s not a big town nor an industrial town. It’s just a plain and ordinary town.”
“But I like this town.”
“I suppose you’re right. You’re essentially a good person, you shouldn’t have an attachment to the town you managed.”
The duke said with a nasty smile on his face, which started to piss me off for all the troubles he caused.
The early bird gets the worm. Let’s get a head start and capture him. We can talk about the details and what to do with him later. I may have strengthened my fist, which is charming.
Tossing aside the sword and staff in my hand, I ran in a straight line towards the duke. Will I hit him with my right hand, left hand, or both?
The Duke doesn’t seem to react to my movements, and I wonder if I should use my right hand.
Just before I make a preliminary move for a punch, I feel a shock on my forehead.
“I didn’t expect that to activate suddenly.”
I crouched unconsciously, holding my forehead where I felt the pain. It was as if I had run into an invisible wall, yet the one who got hurt was me…
“Oh! It’s the church barrier!”
“This is the church magic barrier tool. By using it in a smaller area, the strength is multiplied several times, maybe even a dozen times—”
“I never thought I’d see it again….”
“Not only can it hold off against dark attributes but physical strength also… hey, are you listening to me?!”
Duke Hillrose was talking about something that fell on my deaf ears.
I found my nemesis! When I thought I would never see them again after being stolen, they appeared right before my eyes. We are fated nemesis. After all, we had matters to settle. No wonder we are drawn to each other.
The first thing I tried was a roundhouse kick, but the barrier didn’t falter. However, compared to last time, I could see a thin outline of the barrier. This thin, shiny cube was a formidable enemy I had to defeat. It is also smaller than the previous one, enough to shield five people.
“Hahaha, you’re getting stronger.”
“Hey, listen when I speak! I’ll tell you what—”
Using all my strength, I punched it with my right hand!
Then I heard a cracking sound.
Did I do it? When I looked at my hand, my right wrist was bent in an impossible direction. It was flailing around with no power.
“The fact that the wrist was broken instead of my arm is a sign that I’m losing strength. I need to concentrate more.”
“Your hand! Are you okay?! Does it hurt?!”
I concentrated my mind while healing my wrist using recovery magic—time to unleash the full power of my special punch.
However, a third-party voice distracted my concentration. This person has been nagging me for a while now.
“Listen when I talk!”
“What do you want? Rather, who are you? You’re getting in the way. Please get lost.”
“Yumiela Dolknes! You’re here because I summoned you!”
Huh? Wasn’t it the world that guided me to reunite with my nemesis?
I tried my best to recall who he is by digging out my memory. And then I remembered that he is Duke Hillrose. It’s been a while since I thought about him.
“Ah, I remember. You’re Duke Hillrose. What can I do for you?”
“Finally! I’ve been trying to talk to you for a while!”
The Duke punctuated his words, shouting frantically. He’s not this kind of person, right?
“Uhh… oh! You were trying to stage a coup, weren’t you?”
“That’s right! I’m going to let you in on a little old tale.”
Can we not? I can’t wait to continue my fight against the barrier.
When he knew he got my attention, he started talking a little faster.
“It will be over quickly, okay?”
“Alright, please hurry.”
“Where do we start… Do you know how the Duke house originated? I know you’re probably not interested. The younger brother of the first generation King, who was hailed as a hero, founded the Duke house.”
I know that. Don’t underestimate me, I had a lot of free time during my school days and spent reading all the books in the library.
However, the story that followed was one I had never heard before. I couldn’t help but pay attention and listen to his story.
“The first Duke thought about how he could protect the kingdom that his brother had established. He put the kingdom’s wellbeing first, not his house. That value has been passed down from generation to generation.”
He claimed to put the kingdom’s wellbeing first, but I heard that the Duke house has conflicted with the royal family since a long time ago. When I looked at him with a doubtful expression because the story didn’t add up, he grinned and said.
“Exactly, we have been at odds with the royal family for generations. It’s all about the kingdom.”
“I don’t understand.”
“There are many noble families in this kingdom. The number has increased throughout the kingdom’s long history. Naturally, there would be those who would attempt to oppose the royal family. It would be dangerous if we could not recognize the dangerous elements.”
Some noblemen don’t like the royal family. Those who have fallen from the main faction have joined the Duke, and people called them the extremist… No way, don’t tell me the Duke was gathering all the people who had a conflict with the royal family in one place?
“Then, you are—”
“You see, we have been dealing with those who oppose the royal family from behind the scenes. Once in a while, we admonished them not to do anything flashy, and sometimes we dragged the royal faction down to settle their grievances.”
If that’s the case, then why didn’t he admonish them for the recent commotion surrounding Prince Edwin? He could’ve warned them now wasn’t the right time to make a move and that they should keep a low profile, or else they would get crushed.
Then again, the Duke took it upon himself to lead in planning the coup.
His smile twisted as he continued.
“I’m at my limit. This kingdom has accumulated too much pus. The time had come to gather the harmful people in one place and dispose of them all at once. I knew that doing things the Duke’s house way won’t be enough. I decided to do a major cleanup before and after the Demon King’s fiasco. Which is also the reason why I sent my son away.”
He’s planning an execution. He’s going to take all the nobles who are rebelling against the royal family down with him.
“How could you do that?”
“How could I?”
“How could you sacrifice so much of yourself for His Majesty?”
“I think you got the wrong idea. I don’t care about him. But I love this kingdom. I don’t care about the spoiled royals who found out about our duties and tried to stop us.”
He seemed inexplicably happy as he spoke ill of His Majesty despite being someone who used to be his best friend.
All this time, he has been lying to deepen the conflict with the royal family, and I’m sure he’s lying now.
Finally, I understand his goal. He’s going to commit double suicide with the extremist and clean up the kingdom.
But what did it have to do with me?
“I understand what you’re trying to say. But why did you seek me out?”
“There are two reasons. I want to let people know that my intention to rebel is real. The written plan is probably in Ronald’s hand now with instruction to keep ourselves safe inside the barrier while the monsters attack the capital. The situation would be dangerous, so I wanted to do it in a place with the least danger.”
“I’ve tried to get you to join my camp, but you refused. I will have monsters attack Dolknes territory as a practice for the capital.”
Oh, the plans for the coup are at my house and not in Ronald-san’s hand. I guess I missed the right time to mention it.
Something else is bothering me. He claims that he can make monsters attract specific places, but only the Demon King has that kind of ability. I don’t think humans have the necessary skills to control monsters.
“Isn’t your plan a bit too unrealistic?”
“Hmm, you can’t order them to go to a certain place. But, don’t you know it’s possible to call them to a specific place? It’s about time.”
Right when Duke Hillrose said that, I heard a familiar sound coming from the town behind me.
The sound came from a monster summoning flute, which had been helpful when I was trying to raise my level. And the sound was amplified many times over.
He proudly said.
“You know what that is, right? I’ve prepared a monster summoning flute, and it’s a rare and extra-large one at that.”
“Oh! That’s mine! I was going to buy it. Please hand it over, and I’ll pay any amount!”
“Soon, all the monsters will gather in that town. When they do—”
“Your men blew it, right? Where are they? Oh, you don’t plan to abandon it and retreat or something? If I pick it up, it’s mine, okay?”
“Hey! Listen. When. I. Talk. To. You.”
Talk? There’s nothing more important to talk about than an extra-large monster summoning flute!
It was frustrating when I wasn’t able to get it. I even did something embarrassing over it.
“I’m sorry for losing my composure.”
Recalling the tantrum I have over it helped me regain my composure. The Duke sighed heavily and said.
“Haa, you’re something else.”
That’s what Patrick has been telling me. It’s not worth mentioning now.
Still, it’s a monster summoning flute.
“I can feel a large crowd of them.”
“That’s not what I mean.”
My chaperone is coming. While at it, I should probably prepare an explanation for Patrick as I need to make it clear that I wasn’t the one who blew the flute.