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Naraka’s War God
Onis are bad.
That was the impression that had stayed in my mind ever since I was a child.
Our kind didn’t even do anything, yet they were somehow prejudiced towards us and would even try to make troubles for us from time to time.
They are certainly a problem to the elves, and I dislike them for that.
But even so…
I do not wish to harm them like how they might wish to harm us.
That’d make us be the same as them.
I only wish that there will come a day where they no longer bother us. To live without having to face each other unless necessary.
That was still the same mindset I had in my mind when I went to Yoakura town, a small town at the border of Naraka empire with the neutral land. In that small town, an incident happened, and the ones blamed as the perpetrator were the elves.
I just knew that it couldn’t be true, and as the crown princess of Cielle kingdom, I intended on solving this matter.
The Naraka Empire hadn’t decided on the next heir yet, and obviously the emperor won’t be personally coming. Just like how my queen mother wouldn’t be personally coming for this matter, but she let me come to gain experiences that would be necessary as the future ruler.
I was wondering which child would the Naraka emperor send, but apparently, the one that was sent was the emperor’s trusted aide instead, the great general of Naraka empire.
The great general of Naraka empire, Nagare Sesshouseki, was well-known in both his own country and mine, as the ‘War God of Naraka’.
During the last big battle that almost escalated into a war—that happened when I was still a child—I was told that the Naraka empire’s troops that was led by the great general became the dark horse of the battle, the troop that held their country’s whole army the most, playing a key point in their successes.
They were that capable and feared by my kingdom’s army.
Thankfully, the great battle from that time stopped as both countries agreed to call a truce.
I didn’t know the details, but probably Queen Mother had found or done something that could force the hot-blooded Naraka emperor to stop. As far as I knew, the emperor was very ambitious and despised us so much.
As for the great general of Naraka… I only knew little about him. I heard that he was a frightening, cold-blooded person.
Can I really negotiate peace with this kind of person or are we going to fight right away…?
This was the first time I felt so much uncertainty.
But Queen Mother sent me instead of Deus, that meant Queen Mother believed that I’d be able to negotiate peace with the other party instead of turning it into a battle.
I better try and do my best.
When I arrived and saw the great general in person, my first impression of him was…
He has an intimidating air and his expression is menacing.
…Can I really talk sense with him?
But as the crown princess who will lead the kingdom soon, I shouldn’t be scared here!
“Great general, this is a misunderstanding. Our folks will definitely never try to mess with—”
“Where’s your proof?”
I was in the middle of trying to have the peace talk after our introduction when he cut my words.
Irritated, I didn’t answer but asked back, “Likewise, where’s yours?”
“Nonsense. How can our own kin murder and damage themselves just to blame the elves?” The great general said as he gazed at the surrounding.
The town looked pretty damaged and they even suffered some casualties.
“Well, there’s that possibility…,” I muttered, unsure of to what extent would the Onis go just to frame the elves and wage war against us.
“What will we even gain by that?” The great general asked.
That was a question I couldn’t really answer.
A chance for another battle?
Nah, I probably shouldn’t say that out loud.
“Since we are unsure about it, we should investigate first, very carefully. Let us investigate—”
“What’s there to investigate when it’s clear already?”
Again, he cut off my words without any politeness.
I can’t stand him. He can get on my nerves somehow.
“You want to fight, little girl?” The great general replied mockingly.
“…kh!” I reflexively tightened my grasp on my magical staff.
“Crown princess, you mustn’t!”
When I heard Fideline—my close aide’s voice—I realized that he had such a smug smirk on his face. This detestable geezer was purposely taunting me…!
Is this how the Onis taunt the elves?
My hope for a smooth peace talk with the Onis just crumbled bit by bit. I could feel doubt in my heart. Doubt whether or not we’d be able to talk everything out instead of doing the talk by fighting.
But I came to understand a bit why Deus and our late father detested the Onis and looked down on them.
They are indeed hateful!
Looking at my agitated self, the great general chuckled and said, “You’re still green. You should’ve learned more before coming here.”
“Curse you!” I said in a low voice that only a few people closest to where we were standing could hear us.
That included Fideline who gasped, and hearing her gasp, I realized that I had unintentionally leaked out my real thoughts and even lost my composure.
Thus, my first impression of this great general of Naraka was really bad. He immediately entered the category of people I would prefer to avoid at all cost, whenever possible.
But after that, we reached an agreement to observe the situation first. Their army would be checking the condition and mitigating the damage. Meanwhile, my army would try to investigate and find evidence that’d help defending the elves… under the watchful eyes of the Onis, obviously. I could understand why they wouldn’t trust us and let us examine things without any monitoring.
In the middle of trying to solve this puzzling case…
“Curse you elves!!”
One of the Onis who couldn’t hold it back went to attack one of the elves.
With that as provocation, the hotblooded members of Onis and elves went into a brawl, and some of the Onis even tried to go straight at me.
“Oriel-sama!” Fideline quickly protected me from the ambush, but with this, I had no choice but to fight too. At least to defend myself and to quell this turmoil.
“How dare you!!”
To my surprise, one of my soldiers were provoked by their reckless act of targeting me and went aggressively at the other party’s leader, the great general himself.
“Stop!!” I shouted, but my voice was drowned by the hustle and bustle of the battle around me.
Since both parties’ leaders were targeted and dragged into the battle, what started as a single provocation had broken out into a battle between two groups.
I don’t want to fight, but is it true that some fights are unavoidable, and some things require solving through violence?
How should I stop this battle before it gets too far…?
Should I try to get to where the other party’s leader is and talk amidst the battle, to ask for his help to stop his group while I stop mine?
But there were just too many fighting people I had to go through to reach where he was…
And just when the battle was getting more heated…
“W-what is happening?!”
An earthquake suddenly occurred—a considerably big one, at that.
The earthquake didn’t happen gradually, from a weak tremor to a bigger one. It started off big.
The ground shook so hard that none of us could continue our fight.
Seeing how the earthquake didn’t subside even after waiting for a while, I commanded my group to prioritize saving themselves.
“Withdraw and prioritize your safety!”
Almost at the same time as my shouting could be heard, the great general also commanded his party.
Before we could evacuate though, a mysterious crack opened in the air, right in the middle of us.
“What is that?”
A ruckus happened and all of us had our attention focused on that crack.
Incidentally, the big earthquake that caused us to panic suddenly stopped with the appearance of that mysterious crack.
The mysterious crack that happened out of nowhere just got bigger and bigger that it opened a hole in the air—and from the hole, a swirling unknown dark matter could be seen. It emitted an eerie and ominous presence…
“What the hell is happening?”
Just as we questioned that, the hole in the air suddenly grew so much bigger in an instant that people started fleeing out of fright.
But alas, we were too slow.
The dark hole suddenly expanded into a circle that engulfed us, who were in the surrounding.
Screams could be heard as we were sucked into the hole without being able to resist. The weird sensation of one’s body being warped and this unknown phenomenon that gave us so much uncertainty due to how nobody knew what was happening—was so scary that no wonder people got frightened over it. That included me.
Not knowing whether or not we’d lose our life was so frightening, but we couldn’t do anything as our consciousness drifted away…
And when I opened my eyes again, I found myself in an unknown, strange place with an otherworldly vibe.