Perhaps it was due to the cold, or perhaps it was due to looking at the map. The immeasurable shoreline appeared as mist before me. The island wasn’t the small island I imagined it to be. The continent was about the size of Sisi’s continent. I finally understood why the explorers referred to it as a new continent instead of an island.
It was dangerous, to be frank. Even though the soldiers with me defeated their navy, their forces didn’t actually suffer anything major after losing their large number of transportation ships. I was fundamentally strutting into the enemy’s den through the front door. We couldn’t have been welcomed when we just lodged countless blades into their people not long ago.
The young girl went to the deck, flag in hand. My impression of her was a girl quite suited to leaving out on the waters. After all, you didn’t need to know any language out at sea. She waited to wave her ally flag to our hunters out for blood. As we closed in, the boy’s expression relaxed, but there was a hint of loneliness.
“What rank are you in your military?” I questioned.
“I can’t answer because we don’t have ranks,” answered the boy.
That wasn’t the answer I wanted. I didn’t know if I could earn the right to speak with them. If I didn’t, I need somebody to act as an intermediary and recommend we talk. I didn’t believe I’d be treated as an esteemed guest or be introduced in a friendly manner in enemy territory. Moreover, I didn’t look as though I came to negotiate. Instead, I resembled a spy.
“This is important. I want to know what your rank is in this nation.”
I had a suspicion that he was the son of an aristocratic family if not part of some aristocrat’s private military. If he was the former, he’d be able to help me without a doubt. He suspected I had a hidden agenda to harm his nation, but the reality was the complete opposite… I was worried they’d harm me…
I gave up and decided to play my ace: “Leah, Leah, come here.”
Leah eagerly looked at me and the awkward boy when she heard me call her. Since she felt she could finally be of help to me, she energetically asked, “Leah is present, Papa. Do you need Leah for something?”
“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. I’m a private soldier raised by a lord. I’m not usually treated as a soldier, but there are lots of legends circulating. I also failed this time, so I doubt I’ll be able to work as an assassin,” confessed the boy, before I even needed to ask a second tie.
I looked at the boy and then at Leah, who wore a bright smile. I knew succubi could win people’s trust and get them to lower their guard, but I didn’t know they could make people confess!
“This kid is dangerous. Something about his eyes makes me uneasy,” I internally noted. “I see.”
“What, you disappointed? I’m so sorry for disappointing you.”
“Oh, not at all. I was prepared for that. I didn’t expect a failure of an assassin to be some high-ranking individual.”
Like a wounded beast that was attacked in its sore spot, the angry boy ignored his injured leg to attempt to stand, so I stood up and pushed him down onto the bed. I then left with Leah without saying a word to him. By my estimations, I didn’t think his identity would provide me with any leverage. I also felt it was better to not aggravate him from that point onwards. Even if he couldn’t help me on the shore, without him, I wouldn’t even be able to set foot on the continent.
I went to the deck to check out the vast sea. The docks that we converged on also looked busier. Maybe they were conducting a deal with someone else or something. Still, they carried themselves orderly, and the goods were arranged neatly. If we weren’t at war, their land would be evaluated as quite the wealthy one.
A large fleet trained in the distance their vision on us. They were on standby and ready to blow our ship up as soon as they received the order. Fortunately, they were just observing us. The active sailors looked disgruntled. They wouldn’t be nervous if we were at our own docks, but it was reasonable for them to be tense when we were near the enemy’s socks. If they sunk our boat, we were unquestionably dead.
They lived through a brutal battle, but that only served to teach them the value of life. Belittling the lives of others as insignificant existences will render you tenser when you’re in danger. Thus, it suited them perfectly.
Leah tightly gripped my hand. “It’s all right, Papa! Leave it to Leah! Leah will protect Papa no matter what!”
The young girl came up to me and respectfully bowed to me. I’d consider the siblings to be cute if her brother was as humble as her. The girl didn’t speak, but I could see her gratitude from her gaze. I shook my head. Then, I pointed to her homeland and then myself…
“Papa, I think she can hear you…”
“Ah, yes… yes, Leah, you’re right. Uhm, you’re right.”
What am I doing…? We’re in enemy territory. Why am I letting my mind wander? Whether or not we can achieve the seemingly elusive peace rests on my shoulders. I have no time or chances to make silly mistakes.
Maybe my stupidity was funny to the girl, a judgement I made from the fact that she covered her mouth and smiled. I expressed, “If it’s possible, I’d like to enter your palace. I have to meet with your ruler to actually speak to your Queen. If it’s within your capabilities, I hope you take me to your Queen.”
Unlike her brother, she nodded after thinking it through.
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