Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 75
Chapter 75: 044. Imperial Prince is Enjoying the Hunt -2 (Part One)
Before they could reach the mine, Hilda and Archbishop Raphael had to stop their horses in the middle of the road.
Because the dwarves they planned to rescue were standing right there. Except, they were also being accompanied by several unwelcome guests as well.
The claws and fangs belonging to the lycans were only millimetres away from the dwarves’ throats. Meanwhile, their limbs were bound by shackles and their mouths were gagged by rags.
Hilda’s mouth clamped shut at that sight. She could more or less guess what the lycans were going for here.
This was a ‘hostage’ situation.
-To the noble Imperial Princess of the Theocratic Empire, Hilda Olfolse, I offer you my greetings.
Among the growling lycans, a half-man, half-beast monster at least three metres tall, stepped forward. It had the head of a wolf while its whole body was covered in black fur. It even wore armour and a helm adorned its crown.
This creature swept its gaze over the other lycans before spreading open its arms wide, introducing itself.
-I’m the leader of these beings, Redmoon. I wish to negotiate with you, princess.
Hilda furrowed her brows after hearing that. Redmoon, on the other hand, was arching the corner of its lips upwards.
-What we want is you. A detailed discussion will take place between only you and me. As you humans say, I want to have a more ‘intimate and private’ discussion with you.
-If you agree to this demand, we shall release these short ones.
The gagged dwarves tried resisting. However, even if they were renowned for their strength, there was little they could do to win against the lycans when their hands were rigidly bound like this.
Hilda raised her arm and extended her hand.
The members of the Verdant Cross all raised and pointed their crossbows, bows, and spears. Raphael got ready to offer his prayers in order to activate his magic.
“Why should we trust your word?”
Redmoon glanced at one of the lycans. It released a dwarf and shoved him forward.
The dwarf grunted and struggled with his bound limbs until he finally managed to get to where Hilda was.
-We are different from the likes of the Vampires. Even if we’re beasts, we still have honour.
-As long as you come with me, the other short ones will be released.
Archbishop Raphael stood next to Hilda and whispered urgently to her. “Your highness, you mustn’t fall for that thing’s words. This is clearly a trap. The moment you go with them, they’ll immediately start attacking us.”
Because the lycans possessed excellent hearing, Redmoon could hear what Raphael said. It spoke up once more.
-If you come with us, then we shall release our other captured short ones too.
Hilda’s eyes opened even wider at its words.
-Deep below the surface of the forest of the red moon lies an underground graveyard. That’s where we keep our slaves. Did you really think we merely went around mindlessly killing the dwarves?
Redmoon was implying that there were more dwarves being held hostage. Indeed, the armour currently worn by the lycan had to be crafted by the dwarves, seeing as it matched the creature’s hulking physique. The mere fact that it wore that armour was proof in and of itself.
Hilda’s previously-cold expression crumbled. Her eyes trembled as if unrest stirred up in her mind.
Redmoon didn’t miss those tiny movements on her face.
-How about it? As long as you come with us, we shall free them all.
Redmoon continued staring at Hilda, its eyes arching in a grin.
-What we wish for is ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’.
Now those were rather novel words to come out of a lycan’s mouth.
-Our enemies are the Vampires. We are not their pets and we want to be freed from them. The Imperial Princess of the Theocratic Empire, what do you think about forming an alliance with us and enjoy the subsequent peace?
Hilda’s eyes narrowed down to slits at Redmoon’s offer.
(TL: In 1st person POV.)
Ashes scattered and danced around in the air everywhere.
While waving my hand in front of my face, I looked around my vicinity.
The knights of the Crimson Cross were mopping up the undead still crawling around or wiggling like worms on the ground.
It seemed that our surroundings were more or less taken care of.
But just then, loud battle roars suddenly resounded out.
Platoons of dwarves kitted out in armour from the top of their heads all the way to their toes began dashing in and out of the city’s streets.
A dude who looked like their commander walked up to me and bowed his head in a dignified greeting. “I offer my sincerest gratitude for your help, your highness. Your actions ensured the safe evacuation of the fiefdom’s subjects.”
“Nah, I should be the one thanking you.” I lightly waved the musket rifle before his eyes. “I mean, I got my hands on weapons with such amazing performance for free after all. Holy cow, how can people think of such powerful weapons as nothing more than decorations or diet tools? It’s totally absurd, I tell ya.”
The dwarves exchanged flustered looks with each other.
“Your highness, did you really use the muskets we manufactured?”
“Mm? Yeah, I did. What’s the matter?”
“Well, uh, the firepower was just too great, that’s why. So much that we thought someone else must’ve manufactured those weapons.”
The dwarves were studying my mood before cautiously speaking up.
“If it’s alright with you, your highness…”
The light in their eyes began gleaming rather brightly in the very next moment.
“May we be permitted to analyse your Divine Aura the next time you use a musket rifle?”
I couldn’t help but furrow my brows at those words. The dwarf asking me hurriedly waved his hands around, as if to say I shouldn’t misunderstand his intentions.
“Your highness, you just need to shoot the musket. It won’t be a sparring session or a duel to the death.”
“…Well, as long as we keep it to a level where I don’t break a sweat.”
I acquired all the weapons in the drill hall, plus the musket rifles with such excellent performance specs. So I figured I could at least do that much for them.
In any case, it looked like the situation on this side was now more or less sorted out. The only thing which remained was to wait for Hilda and her troops to come home.
Not too long afterwards, the Verdant Cross came back to the citadel.
They seemed to have rescued the dwarves. And seeing how none of them were injured, the mission must’ve been a success, but…
“We apologise. Because we got captured, Lady Hilda had to…”
…The end result wasn’t as successful as it turned out.
Hilda willingly went with the lycans – that revelation caused many stupefied expressions and widened eyes to show up on the faces of the dwarves.
However, their dazed state lasted only for a short while. Their expressions soon became rather belligerent next.
“What was that?! Bloody hell, you call yourselves dwarves even after that?!”
The dwarves angrily pounced on the returning hostages. A big fight broke out all of a sudden.
I furrowed my brows and watched this spectacle unfold before shifting my gaze over to the Verdant Cross members. Weirdly enough, none of them looked injured. Maybe they didn’t even fight the lycans?
Not only that, but I also couldn’t see Archbishop Raphael anywhere near them either.
“Did his eminence accompany my older sister?”
I asked, and the Verdant Cross members nodded their heads in response.
They seemed to be too unconcerned, even emotionless, though. Despite the fact that the Imperial Princess they were supposed to be guarding was currently in the enemy’s hands, they were acting way too calm for my liking.
“Let’s go and rescue Lady Hilda!”
The dwarves finished fighting among themselves and roared out.
They then shook their heads almost immediately.
To the dwarven race, the lycans were basically their sworn enemies.
Several attempts have already been made to exterminate every single one of these undead beasts, but finding out where they were hiding proved to be frustratingly difficult.
The lycanthropes were the spectres of the forest. One would never be able to discover their footprints or even traces of them within the forest itself.
It was then, one of the Verdant Cross members spoke in a dry voice. “If it’s Lady Hilda’s location, then we know where she is.”
The dwarves’ gazes quickly landed on that specific Verdant Cross member.
“It was precisely the reason why her highness personally stepped up after all.”
The reason why she stepped up, is it?
“Let us head out. Her highness should be waiting for us.”
This was quite puzzling.
These guys were one of the five forces that belonged to the Imperial Family, assembled for the purpose of serving and assisting Hilda.
And yet, their reactions were rather flat despite their Imperial Princess seemingly in grave danger.
While frowning deeply, I threw a question in their way, “You guys seem to be unexpectedly calm even in this situation. How come?”
Because of their loyalty towards the Imperial Family, they would never have handed Hilda over to the enemies even if doing that cost the lives of the dwarves.
Yet, not one trace of battle could be seen on them, and that was making me quite suspicious here.
One of the Verdant Cross members still wearing their trademark balaclava responded back to me. “We are indeed worried about her highness. However, she’s none other than Lady Hilda. We believe in her temperament, her talent, and most of all, her skillset.”
The Verdant Cross might be full of taciturn dudes, but when it came to the topic of their master, a chain of praises began gushing out endlessly.
“If her highness had been born as a man, then it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she will be next in line to inherit the throne from his majesty, your highness. We also have her highness’s orders to follow as well… Finally, his eminence, Archbishop Raphael, is currently accompanying her highness, therefore we do not envisage any harm will come to her.”
“Sure, that old man is an archbishop, but aren’t you guys placing too much faith in him? I mean, aren’t those lycans good in close-quarter combat? So, like…”
It was the Verdant Cross members’ turn to look surprised. The eyes beyond the balaclavas opened wider, but then, the one speaking to me must’ve remembered something and quickly replied, “Ah, that’s right. Your highness Lord Saint lost your memories, did you not? In addition, the dwarves don’t really care much about the outside world’s news, so they wouldn’t know about it either.”
Even before anyone noticed it, the Verdant Cross was now calling me the Saint.
“His eminence, Raphael Astoria, was one of the heroes who fought against the Necromancer King alongside his majesty.”
I abruptly recalled something after hearing that – the reason why I left the monastery in the north hoping to speak to Raphael.
I remember now! This whole episode was written in the history book, wasn’t it?
“To his eminence, these lycans are…”
That Raphael dude, he was there along with Kelt Olfolse in the fight against the Necromancer King Amon. In other words…
“…Nothing more than some newly-born puppies.”
…He was a great hero.
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