“Well, it’s not like you’re going to die immediately.”
Vice Admiral Neil interrupted from the side, perhaps having overheard my conversation with Ceres.
“It’s just superstition, isn’t it”
“It is more accurate to say that no one has ever returned rather than to say that they have died.”
“So you’re saying that they’re missing…”
“The possibility is still there.”
“Not a single person has ever returned”
“Yes, I’ve never heard of anyone coming back from Shichirin.”
…Not good, Ceres and Vice Admiral Neil were talking seriously, and I almost laughed out loud at the meaning of Shichirin unintentionally.
Perhaps because he was chosen as a member of the expedition, Ceres did not whine when he heard the rumors about Shichirin.
Rather, he steeled himself with determination.
“I wonder if we won’t be able to go home too.”
“What, you suddenly got scared”
“No, I don’t believe the prince would hurry into battle with a strategy that had no possibility of succeeding.”
My uncle was the first to react to my words.
He laughed lightly.
Oh, he was listening to me, wasn’t he
“Well, that’s true.
His Highness is a smart man.”
Vice Admiral Neil regarded Victor with a respectful look.
He may be a bit arrogant, but he was well-liked and action-oriented.
Although it was frustrating, I had to admit that he had the temperament of a king.
Even though he didn’t know who I was, he let me join his squad because I was useful, and he also let me meet the old men.
I guess if I wasn’t good enough, he would have gotten rid of me, but I didn’t hate this kind of environment.
Ambitious people who were trying to build a country on their own, without being spoiled by the hereditary system, should be appreciated after all… At least they were appreciated around here.
“We’re almost at our destination.”
I was about to ask Vice Admiral Neil a question when a loud announcement from Captain Marius echoed in my ears.
I was going to ask Vice Admiral Neil if there was an anti-Victor faction, but I knew it would be a bad idea because he adores Victor.
Jurd, one of the soldiers, finally spoke up.
His eyes widened as he looked out at the large sludgy gray lake of unknown depth in front of him.
…I had never seen such a dirty lake before.
It was like a mud spa.
And it smelled so foul.
It was about 15 minutes by horse since we entered Shichirin.
I didn’t realize how much time had passed.
This forest had been so dark since we arrived that it was difficult to tell how much time had passed.
“It’s not pretty, is it”
“That’s because this whole lake is poisonous.”
Victor dismounted his horse into the lake, where a small, gurgling bubble was erupting, and he responded to my monologue by bringing his face close to mine.
“What type of poison is that, exactly”
“You want to try some”
I was puzzled as to why, when speaking to Captain Marius and Vice Admiral Neil, I am respectful, but when it comes to the prince, I become quite blunt.
“The poison changes depending on the person.
If you drink it, you may die, or vomit blood, or if it’s mild, you’ll just end up with a stomach ache or a headache.
Other times it makes you itch all over, or causes emotional instability.”
“You mean it makes you crazy”
“I’ve met someone like that before…”
Victor’s expression hardened a bit at my words.
“So, what are you going to do about this dirty lake anyway”
I didn’t mention much about the poisoned person and got down to business.