Royal Capital Disturbance
Hinata felt hopeless when she grasped the current situation,
However, as the supreme leader, such emotion can’t be shown in her expression.
The main church in the Ingrassia Kingdom is filled with the citizens who have taken shelter in it.
Hinata greatly understood that she couldn’t allow anxiety to be seen on her face in front of them.
Just before noon on the second day after Velda’s declaration, each of the countries’ capitals fell into chaos.
The citizens showed various reactions, there were people who ran away for their own lives, people who rioted, and people who welcome the death Velda will bring.
The Holy Knights and trained priests that were dispatched to each country worked hard to suppress the citizens’ confusion and guide them to shelter.
There’s no other word apart from splendid for their ability to suppress the people’s confusion just by one day.
It was a great achievement accomplished under the command of Hinata who is the chairwoman of the Freedom Arbitration Committee with the cooperation of Nicholas who is a cardinal of the Holy Church.
To the confused citizens, she explained that it’s impossible for Demon Lord Rimuru to be defeated which calmed down their anxiety.
The governing body of each country who knows Demon Lord Rimuru showed an immediate settling down, but it can’t earn the trust of the countries which didn’t associate with Rimuru.
Even Hinata understands that it can’t be helped.
Even if she said to believe in Demon Lord, there might be a few people who are convinced.
However, even so, there’s no choice but to believe now.
After all, if the Demon Lord Alliance was defeated, this world will be destroyed by Velda.
Therefore, Hinata didn’t waver.
The things that Hinata can do now are to prevent chaos and suppress the citizens’ anxiety even by a little.
Hinata did her best as the leader of the army to guarantee the citizens’ safety.
Rioters were unavoidable at the end of the world.
In addition to their bad character, they showed up and chose the worst decision at the worst time which became the primary factor that tormented Hinata and co.
Those people mobilized all of the country power and have Hinata and co cornered.
They denounced Hinata as a witch who deceived people’s mind, which fueled the people’s anxiety.
A witch who was charmed by the Demon Lord, the one who leads everyone to ruin―― they loudly exclaimed, the Holy Church of the Ingrassia Kingdom where Hinata is in was surrounded.
The citizens who have taken shelter inside the main church borrowed under the name of the Freedom Arbitration Committee looked at Hinata with their anxious faces.
That might be so.
After all, the one who denounces Hinata……
『My people! That witch had falsely accused me and made me lost my position in the council.
Moreover, she killed my father and brought chaos and sorrow to this country.
If you all are wise, I believe that you’ll understand whose words are correct!』
That’s right―― because it was Elrick himself, the prince of this country.
The figure of the leader of the Guard Knight Order, Reiner can be seen on his side.
The perpetrator who murdered the king and leading the Knight Order without a doubt is Reiner, Hinata thought while letting out a sigh.
He completely forestalled Hinata. He planned everything, even if she said anything right now, all of the evidence must have been destroyed.
The problem above all of it is Prince Elrick is pretty popular among the population.
Prince Elrick with his gentlemanly appearance is pretty popular with the women. His ability aside, he gained the people’s favor due to his sociable appearance.
His blunder in the council was not told to the people.
As it was the royal family’s disgrace, Elrick was just punished with house arrest for 1 year.
Taking a consideration as he is the heir of the kingdom, the house arrest was said to be a form of re-education.
Either way, Tempest has become the major power. What happens to the heir of a country is not Hinata’s concern.
So she thought, he didn’t raise any objection to that punishment, but it seems it had backfired.
His terrible and reckless actions to plan to murder his father and usurp the throne was an unexpected event for Hinata.
(I never thought that he was this foolish ――）
Hinata cursed her own carelessness inside her mind. Hinata feels the naivety that can’t be found in her previous self.
It might be said that it’s Hinata’s mistake that she failed to see that Prince Elrick was this foolish and didn’t execute him that time.
Although there’s no use in regretting it now……
It can’t be said that Holy Church’s grounds is vast.
But, even so, more than 1.000 citizens were taking shelter inside.
The former members of the Freedom Association who lives in the vicinity of the Ingrassia Kingdom have no house in the capital.
Now they were working for the committee, but as they don’t belong to the country, neither land nor house can be owned by them within the kingdom.
Apart from the people who stay in the building borrowed by the committee, most people lived in the city blocks around the capital.
It was Hinata who chose the church as a place to accept those people.
Therefore, Prince Elrick’s speech was not for the people inside the cathedral.
His speech is for the nearby citizens who look at the national army surrounding the church with their trembling eyes.
In response to this unprecedented crisis is the answer to the question of what’s happening in the kingdom for the army to move.
「Those bastards, to smooth over the blunder in the council, what an overbearing way…」
「Moreover, they killed the king and intend to charge Hinata-sama as the culprit――」
To Hinata’s mutter, Nicholas calmly throws his interjections.
It seemed Elrick intends to take advantage of this chaos to make all of his mistakes and crimes forgotten.
The annoying thing is, Elrick as the prince of this kingdom is popular.
Which one will the people believe? That’s clear as day.
「It’s because Hinata-sama can’t be said to have a good reputation……」
Fritz crack a joke, the Holy Knight Leader Leonard makes a small consent.
The two of them are the only Holy Knights left in here.
Everyone else is either dispatched to various places or assigned to the duty of defending of the Holy Capital under Arnaud, the vice-captain’s command.
In contrast to the capital that is a safe ground, there was no room to spare for additional war forces.
Although there are dozens of apprentice soldier, many of which are boys, it’s unlikely for them to be war forces.
As for the adventurers, they are guarding the refugees gathering around in each country under Hinata’s order.
There were only 4 people among Hinata and co who can actually fight.
On the other hand, the opponent is a country’s army.
Soldiers and knights, the Ingrassia Kingdom which is a large rich country boasted of
a considerable number of knights commanded by Reiner seems to have surrounded the church.
Even a regular soldier is troublesome, and Hinata and co can’t move carelessly since there are knights.
There are two Holy Knights here, but it will be difficult to protect the citizens who have taken shelter.
The refugees were just like a hostage to Hinata and co.
「Then, what will we do? It’s a matter of time before those guys break in as things are.
If it’s just us, we can break through and escape, but we will let the citizens die.
Is it impossible to protect the citizens?」
「If this is going to happen, it would be better if we moved to the Holy City……」
「No, it’s hard over there too.
The opponents over there are the angel army and Chain of Restraint Titan Army of Demon Lord Dagruel, the war seems to have intensified.
A little while ago, not only the telepathy got cut off, the gate also stopped working.
I’m certain that there’s some kind of emergency happened there.」
To Leonard and Nicholas’s information, Hinata knits her eyebrows.
In the worst case, it was planned to escape to the Holy City, but that escape path seems to have been closed.
However, there probably won’t be enough time to transfer everyone.
「What did those guys demand?」
「Yes, they said to bring out Hinata-sama from a little while ago.
That guy named Reiner seems wants to display his power.
They said, they dislike that Hinata-sama was called as the strongest.
If you want, should I be their opponent?」
Fritz answered Hinata’s question.
「In this crisis situation, how leisurely――
No way, he seriously said that?
Was Reiner is such a big fool to that extent?」
Hinata tries to laugh it away and stops moving.
And, she timidly asked Fritz
Fritz lets out a sigh and,
「That ‘No way’ indeed……」
He answered while shrugging his shoulders.
According to Fritz’s explanation, it seems Reiner want to wipe out the disgrace of wetting himself due to Shuna’s coercion at the council by all means.
For that reason, he plans to clear his name by defeating Hinata who is called as the strongest holy knight.
「Fool. I already don’t have power as I did before. I already retired you know?」
「It seems to be irrelevant.
For Reiner, he wants to overwhelm Hinata-sama in front of the masses to show off his strength.
In this regard, I could see that his ulterior motive to harass you.」
Fritz reported with his full of contempt appearance.
Nicholas who hears it, was enraged.
「He can’t be forgiven, we need to kill him. That low-life is not qualified to live!」
Immediately, Nicholas who might go to kill was stopped by Leonard from behind.
「Please wait, Cardinal. That’s what the enemy wants!」
Leonard said so and desperately restrained Nicholas.
He’s thinking about measures while waiting for Nicholas to settle down.
There’s not much time left.
「Then? If I get defeated, will the citizens survive?」
「I can’t say anything.
However, although he says defeat, it means death.
Laying the blame for the crime of killing the king is Prince Elrick’s goal.
Reiner and the prince cooperated in this coup d’état because their interests matched.
Showing your defeat is――」
Fritz stopped talking.
It doesn’t need to be said, their plan was a stupid one, and even Hinata was able to understand that.
But, there seems to be no other plan to suppress damage.
At least, if she accepted the duel, the citizens would be out of harm……
She would somehow counterattack.
However, as soon as she done it, Hinata won’t be able to wipe the stigma that accused to her.
As the witch who rebels against the country army.
Right now, as long as she has a chance for excuses, it might be possible to clear her name of that false accusation.
If thing goes well, there might be a possibility for evidence to be found that Prince Elrick and co were the ones who killed the king.
「I don’t have another choice but to go out.
In the meanwhile, strengthen the defense as much as possible.
Put a lot layer of defense barrier, turns the cathedral as an impregnable fortress.
――After all, although it might be just a temporary peace, I’ll be able to buy some time rather than doing nothing.
Don’t expect anything though…… By any chance, that something might occur――」
In this time of emergency where people should think about measures against the angel and Velda, there’re people who did a really foolish action.
Hinata issued her order to the three people while hiding her depressed and desperate mind.
Nicholas tries to stop Hinata with uneasy expression but,
「Don’t worry. I don’t intend to die.
I’ll struggle as far as I can to buy you all time.
No matter how ungraceful I’ll be, I won’t give up.」
Leaving behind those words, Hinata begins to walk.
――To stands in front of Reiner, sacrificing her body to buy time.
Nicholas and co finished putting up barriers in a rush as Hinata ordered and went outside the church.
What they saw outside was too horrible.
Hinata’s clothes were tattered and torn, black bruises are visible.
It seems she has received violent assault of punches and kicks.
Her fingers also stamped on, it was obvious that they’re broken.
What stands out are her hands and feet.
She was groveling in the ground as her tendons were cut.
Not to mention holding a sword, it’s unlikely that she can stand.
Meanwhile, there’s no wound on her face, it’s what made Hinata’s disastrous condition stand out.
Nicholas rushes over to Hinata.
「Hahaha, You’re unable to live up to your claims! What a cheeky bastard, it’s more suitable for you to rolling on the ground!」
With an irritating laugh, Reiner laughs loudly.
「You bastard! Wasn’t it’s a fair and square one on one fight!?」
To Leonard’s words who shouting angry, Reiner laughed to the nose.
「A criminal has no human rights you see. What, we’re merciful.
If she cried and begs for forgiveness, I’d think to delay the day of the death penalty a bit.
Anyway, in the meantime I’ll make you show your gratitude.」
Saying so, Reiner grins and laughs vulgarly.
「I can’t endure it any longer. As I excepted, here and now you bastard will――」
「――Wait…… Fritz………… The match…… is sti-still…… going…………」
Fritz who enraged and pulling out his sword was stopped by Hinata who is dying.
And then, she cast for a small recovery magic and connect the cut tendons.
Hinata stands up while staggering and somehow holding her sword up.
「Hyaahahahahaha! Do you still want to be cut? Are you a Masochist?!
No matter how many times you try, you seem to not able to understand that you won’t be able to win against me.
Alrighty then, I shall cut you over and over again!」
With frenzy bloodshot eyes, Reiner shouted.
Being driven by his sadistic pleasure, his reasoning starts flying.
Normally, it won’t be out of control but, due to pleasures of being able to trample someone who stronger than him, Reiner’s mind was on the verge of abnormality.
Even Reiner was aware that he was inferior to Hinata.
No, it’d be correct that their differences were clearly pointed at the moment of the confrontation.
Even though a lot of the power of Hinata’s soul has gone, the ability etched to her body was still there.
Even with only her swordsmanship, it surpassed Reiner’s slightly.
Reiner whispered, ‘Don’t resist if you don’t want to be attacked by everyone all at once’, in accordance with such unreasonable order, Hinata was doing exactly as she was told to do.
It was just as Reiner planned.
He makes sure that her face uninjured, such is his purpose to enjoy seeing her beautiful, well-featured face warped by pain.
And then, after beating her up severely, he was waiting for ‘another’ fun.
Just by imagining it, Reiner felt his own blood boiling and brimming with power.
Even if she contacts them now, it would take time for the Holy Knights to return.
Even if they stop guiding the evacuation and return, they won’t be able to return so easily.
Besides, if he felt such presences, he would only need to give the attack order quickly.
Reiner takes along with him 4.000 soldiers of the army and 300 knights of the Guard Knight Order.
There was no chance for defeat.
(He! After I finish tormenting her who made a fool of me, I’ll also make that woman named Shuna――）
At the time Reiner swung his sword downward while having such delusion――
‘Shing!’ such clear sound was heard, Reiner’s sword was stopped.
「Hinata nee-chan! I came to help!!」
It was a Hero with little light.
Following behind him are four children.
Small whispering voices begin to be heard from the people’s mouths that saw the person who appeared in front of them,
「It’s Hero-sama! Hero-sama has returned!」
「It-it’s Masayuki-sama! Masayuki-sama has returnedーーー!!」
And so, it doesn’t take a long time for it to be a grand chorus.
Bathed inside the chorus, a young man stands in front of the crowd.
Reiner with his bloodshot eyes glared at that person.
That person stands in front of Reiner.
That’s right! That person for sure is the strongest man in Ingrassia Kingdom.
He’s Hero Masayuki!
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