I don’t know what information that team from Socina City revealed to us. I don’t know if the information is true or false. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know what the mark means, but I feel that there’s definitely meaning to us going there. We’ll get something out of it for sure, regardless of what happens. We’re just searching randomly now anyway. We’ll have to search that location sooner or later, so it matters not if we go there now. We might even find the mine once and for all.
I’m not sure what the risk is, though. However, after this battle, I’m full of confidence for my army. I trust that they can win against bandits and thugs. Even if we meet an elite, armed professional team, we’ll be able to defeat them.
I never thought I’d find a clue so soon. This might reduce the amount of time I have to spend in the desert a fair bit. I need to make sure Luna can wake up normally every day, due to her body’s condition. I don’t know how long the mana I supplied Luna with can be sustained for. I, therefore, decided to replenish her mana store every night.
It feels as if Nier is with me… But compared to Nier, Luna is more skilled. We both know that we can only do this in the desert, so Luna tries to enjoy it as much as possible every time. Similarly, I threw myself at her, releasing any restraints on myself. Nothing that takes place here in the desert will be recorded. We can only love each other here. Once we leave the desert and I get back, I’ll be Nier and Lucia’s husband, and their children’s father whether or not we find what I want. I’ll be the prince, and Luna’s master.
Only here can we witness our love. After we leave, we will return to our previous relationship.
The city ruins are still some distance away from us. We maintained a normal pace on the way there. I didn’t want us to get caught in an ambush on the way. The journey there was peaceful, but we did run into two small-scale attacks. They were after our resources in our Earth Dragon carriages. Nobody can support themselves sufficiently to live in the desert. Our assailants entered the desert before us. They’d all be dead before attacking us if they didn’t steal.
However, we defeated them. They were determined to return with supplies, but they could only relieve themselves of their suffering when faced with true power.
“Your Majesty, we will arrive the day after around roughly noon. We will be entering the area where the oasis is tomorrow, and we may encounter locals there.”
I put my bag of water down then looked at Tarak with a frown. I asked, “Didn’t you say nobody resided there? What is this about locals?”
Tarak hesitated for a second, before smiling and replying, “Strictly speaking, they cannot be considered locals but rather nomads. They have many places of residence and the oasis is one of them. As there are few lakes in the desert, this is when the water level is best during the year. As such, they will definitely go there. Of course, I cannot say for certain if they did not go there in order to avoid danger, since there are so many people present in the desert at present.”
“Whose side are they on?”
“None.” Tarak hesitated for a moment before explaining, “At least they do not belong to any side as far as I know. The nomads do not appreciate favours. Nara… erm, Lord Nara wanted to offer them a permanent home in Karnashun, but they adamantly refused. They said something about insisting that they wanted to ensure they could pass down their traditions, and therefore, refused to become part of any city. Consequently, they go back and forth between all the oases, and sell us livestock. In reality, we do not need livestock, while the prices they offer are extremely unreasonable. Nara is the only one who accepts their offers.”
I chuckled. I never imagined Nara would be a philanthropist, but I’m not convinced that she doesn’t get anything out of it. Nara isn’t that nice. In fact, I wouldn’t call her a kind person. I’d consider her a realistic person. If she didn’t stand to gain anything from them, she would never bother with them. I just don’t know what purpose they serve.
That’s Nara’s business. I’m not a resident of the desert so I don’t know the answer.
“So, they could be considered friendly then? They won’t open fire after exchanging just a few words, right?”
“I cannot say for sure. They are armed. I do not think they will be particularly happy to see us in their pastoral area. However, I do not think that they will open fire without a word. Your Majesty, if you want to guarantee our safety, please allow me to take the badge and heraldry to go ahead. They are somewhat thankful toward Nara. I think that they will not do anything to the people of Karnashun.”
I shook my head and replied “It’s not good to reveal our identity. While they may not open fire on you, if we’re noticed, the other people that are honest to themselves will swallow us whole. We must keep our identity well-hidden. I have my own plans for this journey and my plans must be kept secret. Since we’re here, we’ll need to be more careful. Tarak, have you noticed that the closer we are getting to that location, the more scouts we see returning? There are no longer just one or two teams around us anymore.”
Tarak nodded and responded, “In that case, if we see nomads, I shall head over first and talk to them. It would be for the best if we can avoid conflicts.”
“We’ll do that then. I don’t know why the number of teams around us is increasing, but I have a feeling that we will encounter them at our destination… Of course, that’s just my guess. It could also be that we’re getting deeper and deeper into enemy territory, which would explain why the number of people around us is increasing.”
“Whatever the case, please be cautious, Your Majesty.”
“Shouldn’t you all?” I smirked and then stood up. I picked my bag of water up and said, “I’m returning to my tent. Call me anytime if something comes up.”
Current time at the elven imperial capital……
Echte shouted loudly scaring Lucia. She fell onto her bottom on the ground. She quickly picked up her sword, while the soldier practicing with her stood in place, trembling as he looked at Echte, who came over like a lion. Echte, however, didn’t bother with him. He, instead, grabbed Lucia’s shoulder with one hand. He looked at her face covered in sweat and thundered, “My goodness gracious, what are you doing?! You’re pregnant with His Highness’ child and yet you still dare to spar with a sword?! How are you going to explain yourself if something happens?! How are we going to explain ourselves to Her Highness?!”
“Explain what to me?”
Echte quickly turned his head around, adjusted his expression and bowed. He respectfully greeted Vyvyan, “Your Highness…”
“Lucia is still sparring with a sword. She’s very diligent. Despite no longer being the captain of the Shadow Squad, she’s not being lax.” Vyvyan walked up to Lucia’s side with a kind smile. She then looked at Echte with a smile and said, “Echte, you don’t need to be worried. Nothing can destroy the protective barrier I created for Lucia’s child. The only two people in this world who could cause her to have a miscarriage are myself and her.”
“But… Lucia doesn’t have any self-awareness!”
“That’s true. But this level of sparring won’t harm her. Nevertheless, Lucia, do you have no other way of entertaining yourself other than sparring?”
Vyvyan stroked Lucia’s head and chuckled in a soft tone.
“Your Highness… I… I am sorry.”
Lucia apologetically lowered her head. Vyvyan pursed her lips into a smile and then said, “Let’s go Lucia… it’s time for you to head up and have your medicine… Mm, I know that it’s very bitter, but it’s very good for your child. You don’t have to be so adverse to it. Haven’t I always drunk it with you? Let’s go. You’re carrying my child’s child, after all, aren’t you?”