Chapter 96 - State Guests of Elvenheim (2)
'State guests!' They were only two words, but everyone's complexion changed significantly.
So far, Elvenheim had accepted other the delegates countries, but it was nothing more than a procedure for trading with outsiders. In a true sense, Elvenheim had never treated the delegates of even one country as state guests.
Kurt III was the only one who maintained a calm composure. "Hrmm, state guests."
No, that was just on the surface. He didn't know Elvenheim would do this. At best, he thought that the number of trade items or the range of activities in the Great Forest would increase. Was Edwin saying that they would be allowed into Elvenheim's borders, where no one else had been let into? That, more than anything else, was worth considering.
"Sir Edwin, can I take your words to mean that Elvenheim is accepting a delegation?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Is it on the outskirts of the Great Forest again?"
Edwin shook his head with a wry smile. "No. We can't treat guests like that. The meeting will take a little longer, but Elvenheim has decided to welcome Theodore's companions in front of the world tree."
"The world tree at the heart of the Great Forest..."
"Yes, our parent tree."
After hearing this confirmed, Kurt II raised the value of this mission by three stages.
Elves couldn't tell lies. It wasn't due to beliefs or superstition. Those who danced and sung with nature would lose their power when they lied. Consequently, elves who lost their affinities due to lying were regarded as sinners in their society and expelled from the clan.
As a master, Edwin's binding was several times stronger. He might lose all his power just from speaking a few words of lies. So, Edwin's assertion was, in itself, evidence.
"How many people can accompany Theodore?" Kurt III asked calmly as he envisioned a few ambassadors.
"The fewer the better. If there is an attacker like last time, the escort will be difficult with a large number of people."
"Well, that is definitely tricky."
"Ah! There is one thing I forgot to tell you." Edwin's next words made his complex thoughts more disturbed. "The closer it is to the world tree in the center of the Great Forest, the higher the concentration of mana. A body that isn't properly trained won't be able to endure it."
"What is the level?"
"On the basis of a magician... they must be at least the 5th Circle."
"Then most of the court are eliminated," Kurt III muttered quietly and looked around.
Some of the court officials could use magic, but none of them had reached beyond the 'wall' of the 5th Circle. Some were busy with their duties, others regarded magic as self-defense or a hobby, and the rest spent years or decades hitting against the wall. If they needed five circles, it looked like a minimum of Superior ranked magicians could be sent on the mission.
"...It is hard since the staff is too scarce."
This needed more than just a magician but a political magician. If he dispatched fighters from the magic towers, it was clear they would return empty handed with chicken or fruits they had been given, or they might just go sightseeing. Half of those who met the criteria had died in the last convoy. However, if he sent the rest, there wouldn't be enough left in the kingdom.
If possible, he wanted to send a tower master, but... "Veronica."
Edwin's complexion subtly changed at the name. "Y-Your Majesty!"
"...As expected, she can't?"
"I'm sorry, but please refrain from allowing her to join the delegation."
It was funny to see a master so freaked out, but he had a reason to be. Meltor and Elvenheim were close enough to have a history of commerce and trade, among which Veronica had visited the Great Forest with a delegation. Her combat power was a surefire safeguard, so the danger level would be like the front yard of a mansion. However, that caused a problem when she approached Elvenheim.
There were elementals guarding the exterior of Elvenheim and the boundaries of the world tree, which amplified the power of the elementals. However, they started to burn as soon as Veronica's power reached them.
"It wasn't a deliberate destruction, so we let it go at the time. However, we can't endure a second time." Edwin started sweating at the memory of that day.
However, Veronica was offended by the cautious refusal and shouted at him, "Hey! Why are you blaming me when your grass is poor?"
"T-That isn't it..."
"Then what is it? I will use a breath on top of the world tree!"
Edwin knew the real nature of her words, so he turned pale. If that happened, both countries were likely to suffer catastrophic damage.
Kurt III forgot about maintaining his expressions and tried to stop her, but Theo was one beat quicker. It was better to call her by something which would catch her attention. "Calm down, Sister."
"I will burn down the world tree and everything... Huh?"
When Veronica paused for a moment at the magic word, Theo pulled her into his arms and held her in place. The sight of the Red Tower Master, the god of destruction in Meltor, being defeated was met with applause.
While she tried to get Theo to call her that again, Kurt III quickly changed the topic. Inwardly, he decided to give Theo a few more rewards.
Unexpectedly, one of the interior ministers stood up and recommended someone, "Your Majesty, what about the Blue Tower Master?"
"I want to do that but..." However, Kurt III shook his head. "Blundell is currently heading to stop the flooding in the eastern rice fields. For the time being, he can't return to the capital."
"Then how about the elders of the magic towers?"
"We have to hurry to fill in the lacking manpower. There are a few elders who are being treated for old age, but we can't send them." Kurt III could recall a few people from missions, but he didn't want to see the possible harm that would occur in those areas as a result.
After that, a light debate started. Disputes arose between nobles who wanted their magicians to join and those who didn't care. At this rate, it wouldn't come to a conclusion in a few days.
Kurt III decided to take some damage and opened his mouth to speak.
However, a man suddenly appeared in the room. "If you don't have the right person, I will go Your Majesty."
It was a masked man wearing white robes. Mouths dropped open as the people in the room realized his arrival.
"White Tower Master?!"
Unlike the Yellow Tower Master who didn't reveal his identity, the name of the White Tower Master was well known. The best space magician was floating in the air. Orta, the White Tower Master, slowly descended to the ground and fell to one knee.
Kurt III beckoned for him to rise and said, "You've just returned from Genga, Orta."
"I thought you would take two more days, but you were much faster. This is a happy miscalculation."
It was as Kurt III said.
As one of Meltor's strongest magicians, he could believe in the skills of the tower masters. The each of them might have flaws in their personality, but he could overlook such minor things as part of their charm. The White Tower Master was the most active tower master when it came to missions, and he handled everything with utmost care.
"Good, this mission will be entrusted to Orta. Gather applicants from each magic tower. They have to be magicians of at least the 5th Circle. Don't go beyond 10 people."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"And Theodore Miller."
Theodore, who held Veronica in his arms with half resignation, responded to the call as he escaped from the dangerous embrace with a regretful feeling. Kurt III looked Theo up and down and asked a question which didn't make sense, "How is your body?"
"Huh? Oh, it is good. Your Majesty."
"Is that so? I heard that your condition wasn't good. It was around a month ago, so I don't know about these days."
Theo realized the meaning of the question after hearing 'a month ago.'
'The side effects from the Sensitivity Amplifier, His Majesty was aware of them.'
However, the presence of the Sensitivity Amplifier was a secret, so the king had to ask in a roundabout way. Theo was already planning to give his all in the mission, but he became more motivated by such care.
Fortunately, his ability to use no-casting had already passed the minimum point where it could be used in a fight. If he wanted to aim for more than this, he would have to polish it off in a fight, not in practice.
'Elvenheim, the Great Forest and the world tree.'
For Theo who needed a new opportunity to cross the wall of the 6th Circle, this invitation was a great opportunity.
"There are no problems, your Majesty. Please don't hesitate to send me."
"...I see." Kurt III smiled at the confident answer and nodded. Theo was someone who never let Kurt III down. If so, it was the king's role to trust him.
Kurt III understood that the story was now completed and got up from the throne, with everyone standing up after him.
Before everyone, the Meltor king declared, "Today is the moment when I declare that new possibilities have opened in the relations between Meltor and Elvenheim! There will be a delegation centered around the hero, Theodore Miller, and I will only allow you to discuss it once diplomatic relations have been re-established!"
"Yes! Your Majesty!" The people responded.
"And this mission's representative, Theodore Miller!"
'Isn't the White Tower Master the representative?'
"Yes, Your Majesty!" Theodore barely maintained his expressionless face as he waited for his king on one knee. He was inwardly nervous, but they were personal words. It was toward Theodore and no one else.
"At a young age, you will bear honour as well as a heavy burden. However, I believe that you will be Meltor's light. Please remember that you are the main character of this diplomatic mission to Elvenheim."
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
"On this mission, I will grant you the same authority as the White Tower Master. Don't hesitate to speak what you think!"
Theo bowed and answered as firmly as possible, "I, Theodore Miller, will do as Your Majesty commands!"
He had become more familiar with the increasing burden on his shoulders.
Someone had said this, 'A person's footsteps is as deep as the weight of the load they are carrying on their back. If the person doesn't fall along the way, they will be strongly conditioned. It is a hundred times better to be overwhelmed than to not receive any expectations.'
Before all the influential people of the magic kingdom of Meltor, Theo embraced his task in a dignified manner.