It has been a little over an hour since the [City Isolation Barrier] disappeared.
The battle was finally over, but Arcazam was in a state of turmoil everywhere, including the administrative district.
A wall of light suddenly appeared. The repeated explosions and flashes of light were more than enough to cause anxiety and fear among all the inhabitants of the academic city.
While the guards were scrambling in all four districts of Arcazam. In a corner of the central park, two figures, a man and a woman, stood side by side, their eyes fixed on the administrative district where the battle had taken place.
"It’s over, isn’t it? I never thought he would win..."
Among the two figures, the woman was Mekria.
The woman was showing a look of deep surprise while exposing her purple hair and her voluptuous body wrapped in a dress.
"Of course, for you, Mekria-chan, that would be completely unexpected. Well, I'm happy for you. So, did you get what you wanted?"
The other figure. A man who was known as the Corpse Raven turned his sickly pale face, which reflected even in the darkness of the night, toward Mekria and held out his hand as if urging her.
"Yes, it was in his room."
What Mekria took out of her pocket was a small bag. Corpse Raven opened the bag, which made a hard metallic sound, and spread the contents on his palm.
Out of the bag came a broken piece of jet-black metal.
Corpse Raven smiled as he looked at the broken pieces, which reflected beautiful ripples on the surface.
"I see, there is no doubt about it. This is the blade that killed Tiamat. These fragments are..."
He picked up the fragments on his palm, put them back in the bag one by one, and put them into his pocket with great care.
"Sealing of the White Dragon King is finished. The rest should be done as planned..."
"Yeah, yeah. Well then..."
Corpse Raven's figure seemed to fade away as if melting into the darkness of the night.
Eventually, when the pale man had completely vanished from the place, Mekria exhaled as if to release the pent-up emotions in her chest.
"With this, my long-cherished wish will finally be fulfilled. At last..."
As her breath faded away in the night breeze, she slowly turned her eyes to look behind her.
She smiled and opened her mouth to meet a familiar gaze from behind the bushes.
"What can I do for you, Egrod-sama?"
As if in response to her call, a man dressed in aristocratic garb emerged from behind a bush.
Egrod Fabran. He is the head of a large family in the Kingdom of Forsina, which is the master of Mekria and a political enemy of the Francilt family.
Mekria smiled with a seductive smile as she put her finger over her mouth.
She is a mature woman, and her s.e.x appeal is so strong that even women, let alone men, would be seduced by her.
However, despite receiving such a seduction, Egrod slowly raised his right hand without changing his expression at all.
The next moment, soldiers clad in black armor jumped out from behind Egrod and surrounded her.
They were Egrod's henchmen, the Knights of the Iron Body.
Berdych, the leader of the Knights, pointed a dull, shiny blade at Mekria.
"Well, well, Berdych-dono. It is not the proper manner for a n.o.bleman of the kingdom to thrust his blade into the face of a helpless woman, is it?"
"Even if you are a woman, if we are dealing with a witch, there would be no other choice."
"I see, so you are handling this out of fear that our involvement would be leaked from the mouth of the Vampire Princess..."
"No, that's wrong. Those are the things I had agreed to do. The reason for this is to confirm and stop you from acting arbitrarily. If you resist, we will have to kill you..."
In the first place, providing information about Nozomu to Vitora was something that Egrod had approved of. He did not intend to blame her for that.
The problem was her other actions.
She had been acting in an obviously suspicious manner with a mercenary who was both a skilled and a madman. What on earth was she trying to do? Egrod wanted to find out.
The battle between the Dragon Slayer, the Dhampir, and the Vampire Princess. With all of this going on, Arcazam was like poking a hornet's nest.
Even something that would have been a matter of a severe warning or even an eviction from the city in normal times could have been met with an exaggerated reaction.
And it would only be a matter of time before Arcazam would learn about the information exchange between Vitora and Mekria.
That was why Egrod had to make a move. And he was not going to accuse her, but he was not going to resort to any means either.
"What are you saying now? After all this, it would be unbelievable to say that you won't do me any harm..."
"No. It all depends on you. If you are truly loyal to me, tell me everything you are doing with that Corpse Raven right now."
"Are you willing to believe what I say?"
"I'll decide after I hear what you have to say. You see, despite all this, I value your accomplishments. Therefore, I am rewarding you for your achievements and giving you this opportunity to explain yourself."
If it became known that there was an intervention by Mekria in Vitora's matter, Egrod would have to hand her over to the authorities for his own innocence.
If she could be trusted, there would be no problem in handing her over to Arcazam as it is. Of course, he would do everything in his power to ensure her early release.
However, if she was not trustworthy or was clearly acting in a manner akin to treason, then he was going to dispose of her.
He could pretend that the death was an accident or missing during this battle.
But before Mekria could give the answer, Egrod's time was up.
A voice, lower than Egrod's, and accompanied by a sense of intimidation, echoed around the area.
"However, that's your reason. I would like you to leave her to me. Egrod Fabran-dono."
Jihad Raundel, an imposing figure clad in silver and white armor, appeared with his giant sword, the [Jaw Drop] on his back.
The appearance of one of the strongest swordsmen on the continent caused the Knights to let out a stifled cry.
Behind him, there was also the figure of Inda.
Furthermore, dozens of shadows clad in black robes appeared as if to surround the Knights.
"Jihad Raundel. And the starlight huh..."
Egrod waved his hand as he said so, and the Knights backed down and faced Jihad and the others.
While Inda and Starlight were on guard, Jihad confronted Egrod with a question.
"We have suspicions that the Fabran family may have intervened in the negotiations between the Waziart and Francilt families, and may even have been involved in the attempt to provoke a civil war. Would you mind telling us a little bit about it?"
"That disturbance was caused by the Vampire Princess's personal interests. There is no reason for us to be held responsible."
"We would like to hear your story, including that one."
In front of the hero who played an active role in the Great Invasion, Egrod wouldn't back down, and his voice was loud and clear.
However, Jihad showed no signs of backing down either.
The originally tense atmosphere became even more tense.
Just a little bit of force would be enough to make the atmosphere burst. The surrounding Knights and members of the Starlight also gasped at the pressure of the two men.
However, in the midst of such atmosphere, a relaxed voice suddenly flowed through.
"Well, I guess I'm done here."
The one who spoke up was Mekria, the very cause of this atmosphere.
She glanced over at Jihad and Egrod, and at the Knights and the Starlight surrounding them, and then pulled out a small, black, ragged, sharp piece of iron from her chest.
"What are you going to do with that? If you resist, I'll have to resort to rough mean."
"There is no need for that. It is true that I provided information to the Vampire Princess about the existence of the Dragon Slayer, Nozomu Bountis. It was all done through my own selfishness. Therefore, I shall take the blame for it with my own judgment."
Egrod and the others, sensing what she was going to do, tried to stop her, but before they could, Mekria had slit her own neck with the piece of iron she had taken out.
Blood gushed out, and her body fell to the ground as she lost her strength.
Berdych rushed over and held the wound, and Inda tried to heal it with recovery magic.
However, the blood pouring out of her neck was unceasing, and soon the light was gone from her eyes.
"... She's gone."
While the Knights were stunned by Mekria's death, Egrod involuntarily bit his lip.
In the midst of this, a powerful rush of Qi erupted from beside him.
"Egrod-dono, now that she is dead, I have no choice but to get the details from you. You will have to come with me this very instant."
I will never let you escape. Firm determination and unparalleled pressure.
Egrod let out a sigh at the hero's eyes, which did not allow him to say whether or not he was willing to do so, and he was forced to accept himself to be restrained by the Starlight.
A few days after the battle with Vitora, Arcazam had regained some semblance of normalcy.
However, the damage was enormous, and it was clear to all that a quick recovery would be difficult.
To put it simply, the damage affected one-third of the administrative district. The area within the [City Isolation Barrier] was completely destroyed. Let alone the buildings, even a single small piece of furniture was all reduced to dust.
And the main culprits behind this damage. Vitora and the Francilt family would surely be held accountable for their actions. Everyone thought so.
However, things took an unexpected turn. There were those who were against the pursuit of responsibility for this matter.
The first to speak out was the Sumahya Union, which had been receiving support from Francilt until now. And then there was the Cremazzone Empire, which was supposed to be in potential conflict with the Kingdom of Forsina.
Dizzard Empire is a country that had cut off ties with all of these countries due to its historical background, even though it had single-handedly repelled the hordes of monsters that had invaded during the Great Invasion.
There was one more factor that complicated the situation.
It was the existence of Nozomu Bountis, the legendary Dragon Slayer, and Irisdina Francilt, who had awakened as a new race.
Dragon Slayer. A presence that was synonymous with the strongest, recited in legends, and disappeared into history.
Today, there are only a few traces left in the royal bloodline of the Cremazzone Empire, and even he is strong enough to fight head-on with the monster-like Vitora.
And Irisdina Francilt has awakened to an extremely foreign magical characteristic that unilaterally eradicates the power of the Vampire Princess, and her ability has also greatly improved.
Furthermore, she is a member of the Francilt family who put together the trade negotiations with the Waziart family, and she is also particularly close to Nozomu Bountis.
Thanks to their efforts, the trade negotiations between the Francilt and Waziart families were officially concluded. At the same time, the Kingdom of Forsina and Dizard Empire formally established their diplomatic relations.
Their loss was enormous. But there were also great achievements.
Of course, there had been some grievances that had not been expressed, but on the surface, the situation was calm, and no one was shouting loudly in condemnation of the situation. The fact that there were no human casualties also contributed to the calmness of the situation.
As for the matter of Nozomu and Irisdina, they are now living on the premises of the Solminati Academy, and are under the protection of Arcazam.
In addition, cla.s.ses at the academy have been temporarily suspended.
The school is expected to resume cla.s.ses in a few days, but the school's teachers and other staff are working hard all night long.
In the meantime, what Nozomu, who has been publicly identified as a Dragon Slayer, is doing now is undergoing an examination in a room at the Gloaurum Inst.i.tution.
Its purpose is to collect data on his body after his awakening as a Dragon Slayer.
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In the examination room, there is a huge black box that occupies 60% of the room, with several tubes extending from the box.
As Nozomu's shoulders slumped in disappointment, the chief examiner also let out a long sigh as he looked at the broken device.
"It would be impossible to repair it if it breaks like this. This device is so expensive..."
"How much exactly?"
"Let's see. Including the research expenses, it would probably bankrupt a few families of the lower n.o.bility."
The device was more expensive than he expected.
Even if he became a Dragon Slayer, he would still have the same financial sense ingrained in him as an ordinary commoner.
Nozomu involuntarily burst out and looked up at the ceiling as if to escape reality. Please, don't charge me for repairs or anything, he pleaded so in his mind.
"Well, it seems we can't even measure it, so I guess the conclusion will remain the same: the power of Tiamat, the elements that Nozomu possesses, is impossible for us to control at the moment. I'll summarize the results for the time being, and you can go home for the day."
(Thank G.o.d, I wasn't being charged.)
With a strange sense of relief, Nozomu prepared to change.
At that moment, the chief examiner pointed at Lisa, who was pa.s.sed out.
"Ah right. Your childhood friend who is sleeping over there, please take her home with you. Okay?"
Seeing the skin peeking out from the somewhat worn-out clothes and the soft touch peculiar to girls, he tried his best to keep his composure as he held his childhood friend's body in his arms.
"Well then, excuse me..."
After a quick glance at the chief examiner's back, who was looking sorrowful in front of the device emitting black smoke, Nozomu left the examination room.
As he stepped out into the hallway, he gently shook Lisa who was in his arms.
"Lisa, wake up..."
"U~n, ha~!? Who is this!? Where am I!?"
"Are you alright? If you're in pain, maybe I should let you sleep for a little longer..."
"Sleep!? Here!? It's a little embarra.s.sing, but if Nozomu wants it then..."
"That's not what I meant and I ain't sleeping with you! Don't lift up your leg! Or rather, Lisa, you weren't pa.s.sed out in the first place, weren't you?"
"Oh, you knew?"
As Lisa stuck her tongue out at him, Nozomu let out a sigh and tried to get her to stand up. Lisa whispered in his ear, "Hold me more..." but of course he ignored her.
Reluctantly getting to her feet, Lisa approached Nozomu and smiled as if to show off the white coat she was wearing once more. And of course, she didn't forget to show off her bosom.
"So, Nozomu. Did this appearance of mine make your heart pound?"
"Stop being so immodest. Good grief..."
"Because if I don't go this aggressive, I'm going to lose."
"In fact, it's already been discussed and decided. Well, I'm not going to give up..."
"Never mind! More importantly, Nozomu, why don't we take a little rest? There seems to be a resting room nearby."
Suddenly, Lisa, who had entwined her arms around him, pointed to a sign for a certain room. She began to pull Nozomu toward it, trying to get him into the room marked as a resting room.
"Ah, there's a bed in there, too. I made sure of that before I examined you, Nozomu. I don't have to tell you the rest, do I?"
You even making sure of that? Nozomu shouted so in his mind.
At that moment, a shadow came out of the examination room and grabbed Lisa by the neck.
"Alright, let's stop there. As I said, improper behavior is not allowed in the laboratory."
Norn, who was a.s.sisting the chief examiner, was the one who stopped Lisa.
Perhaps still recovering from her fainting state, the focus of her eyes, which could be seen behind her gla.s.ses, was still wavering.
"Sensei. This is not an improper act. I was being serious!"
Nevertheless, even after being stopped by Norn, Lisa didn't seem to stop at all.
(Seriously, how did my childhood friend become like this? She used to be a bit more modest in the past...)
Perhaps sensing Nozomu's feelings, or perhaps due to the effects of her pa.s.sing out, Norn shook her head as if she was enduring a headache.
"I wonder if she's just thick headed... Anyway, Nozomu-kun. I need to talk to her, so I'll borrow her for a moment."
"Yes, I don't mind. Rather, please. I have no idea how it came to this..."
"I think it's Nozomu's fault! As a punishment, take a break in that room over there with me..."
"Sure, sure, I'll keep you company, let's just go together for a bit."
"No, no, I'm sure Norn-sensei is busy, so I will respectfully decline ... Ah, Nozomu~~, help me~~."
In no time, Lisa was dragged to the resting room by Norn.
The door to the resting room slammed shut. Nozomu, now alone, heaved the biggest sigh of the day.
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