Violet was briefing the Darkness God Corps members, clad in their new uniforms, about their current daily duties.
“How do I say this, aren’t we looking a bit shady?”
Upon returning from their mission, Yuusuke was informed that the knights under him were promoted to official members. Because he was not a knight, Sorzak was only given a mantle, signifying his position in the corps. Wearing their new uniforms together, everyone looked like a mass of darkness, giving off a slightly eerie feeling, making Sun needlessly stand out with her white attendant clothes.
“I have to say that the uniform really fits you, Isotta.”
“Hmm, I think it is slightly too big. Well, it will be fine once Yuusuke adjusts it later.”
The uniform was covering half of Isotta’s face. The girl seemed to be happy, as along with the status change their wages had risen as well.
“This means that we will be marching along the great Palace Corps during the Birth Festival.”
“Aaah~, that’s true, the clothes you were wearing before would’ve been embarrassing to wear during it.”
The military parade was one of the festivities of the Birth Festival, an event that was held on the first day of the Fire Calendar, which was also the start of the new year.
This was a rare chance for the ordinary people to witness the famous palace corps. The palace knights would be walking in a line, wearing splendid, beautiful uniforms. It would be painful enough to imagine the Darkness God Corps marching in the festival, wearing their shabby mismatched clothes. Yuusuke would even have to consider requesting that he be the only person from the corps to be participating in the parade.
“From now on, all of you have the right to order the Knights. However Yuusuke will still be held liable for your actions. I hope you all understand that.”
Vermeer, Shaheed, and Aisha were experienced with commanding and supporting duties so their responsibilities in the chain of command had barely changed. Fonke and Isotta had belonged to the wind users – the lowest arts users caste, meaning that they had little to no experience in commanding others and their new responsibilities were slightly different from what they were used to.
“Well, this seems to be fun, I think I’ll manage somehow.”
“M-me? Commanding others… W-what should I do?”
“It’ll be alright, Isotta, I’ll teach you.”
Afterwards Krielov briefed everyone on the scope of their authority, and the first meeting of the newly remade Darkness God Corps had ended. For the time being, members gave their uniforms to Yuusuke so that the captain could customize them, endowing the uniforms with strengthening and protective buffs.
“Then, I think this is enough for today. Ah, I forgot! Isotta, could you come with me to my room so that I could adjust your clothes?”
“Eh? Ah, yes!”
“Can you help me carry everyone’s uniforms?”
Yuusuke had to carry the uniforms of five people, totalling up to 15 pieces of clothing to his room, so he also asked Sun to help him. Isotta, slightly nervous after being called to Yuusuke’s private room in the palace for the first time, followed lagging slightly behind them.
“You shouldn’t play pranks on your subordinates.”
“I’d be strangled by Sun if I did it…”
Answering to Violet’s teasing, Yuusuke left the room. With this, the Darkness God Corps duties were done for today.
Just like that, a few days later the Darkness God Corps became widely known as a newly reestablished group which found itself in between the palace knights corps and the knights. On this day, the corps’ new status was finalized and they could resume their duties. Yuusuke visited Violet’s private room to brief her in, amongst other things, about the current status of the solar moss research.
“Oh, is that so. This means that the expedition to Trent Rietta was not a failure in the end.”
“The properties of the soil and water are the key. It seems that the tree that it grows on also has some effect over the moss.”
“So, how long do you think it would take to replace all the lamps in the city with riinlamps?”
“If I would have to say it, I think in the worst case it should take us around six more months.”
Hearing this, Violet heaved a slightly disappointed sigh. The riinlamp in her room was also using moss that was grown in Yuusuke’s mansion’s basement. This laboratory was sufficient to produce small quantities of the moss, but it was nowhere near capable of producing the amount that was required for these laps to become common place amongst the populace.
“Once we perfect the cultivation process, I think we can use the undercity to grow the sun moss.”
“Hmm, I see. Krielov, are there any obstacles to using the ruins?”
“I think that’s a good idea. It has been used as a hiding place for fugitives for a long time so there’s more than enough space in there.”
After Krielov confirmed that this plan was possible, the cultivation planning for the solar moss were temporarily abandoned after deciding to secure the necessary location as soon as possible.
Rashanasha’s connections were used to gain cooperation from various scientists, capable of processing the medicinal research data from the evil beasts’ research institute, however it would still be a while before any results would be obtained. Since the solar moss cultivation was proceeding according to schedule, it was decided to shift Razshia towards the new medicinal research.
“By the way, Sorzak’s gearbox model seems to be complete so I think we can begin development of the functional small scale autonomous vehicles.”
“So you plan on equipping your corps with it? Does that mean that mine is still not finished?”
“I mean to finish yours along the way.”
Since the first concept of an autonomous vehicle, Yuusuke had been reviewing the fundamental system. He employed an approach to create a well-designed base instead of the haphazard approach that he had been using before.
Firstly he separated the engine from the passenger compartment and made the latter modifiable while preserving the power of the vehicle. This allowed the building of carriages with a simple, composed interiors as well as ones with flashy, luxuriously decorated interiors.
“Since the base is now complete, I will focus on creating various useful accessories for the carriage.”
“Uhm! That sounds really exciting. I can’t wait to see them!”
These new carriages had to be able to reach fairly high speeds if they were to be useful as the equipment for the corps. Violet already enjoyed riding the trial model around the indoor training halls, and shivered, thinking about such a carriage, capable of running around the city.
Contrary to Violet’s huge smile, Krielov showed no enthusiasm about this invention – he already had a very hard time chasing Violet around the training halls.
“Don’t worry, I’ll install emergency switches in easily reachable places.”
“If only that would be sufficient for me to catch the Princess…”
The Princess’ personal guard and tutor stared at Yuusuke, his eyes begging for salvation. In the meantime the person in question was whistling while enjoying the exchange and dreaming about the day after tomorrow.
The knights resting room took the seventh and eighth floors of the palace. The lower floor was mostly used by the knights while the upper floor was reserved for their captains and also doubled as a place to hold meetings. A green haired man left this room, followed by an entourage of fire arts users.
“You know that digging around is my kind of preference.”
“Thank you for warning us, however don’t forget to watch yourself.”
Reifold was showing his usual smile while talking to Hivodir, leading the fiancé candidate group, one of the most powerful cliques of the palace corps.
Part of Hivodir’s intention in interacting with them was to make sure that none of them had any intentions of approaching the newly promoted captain. While it could not be said about every Evil God that had appeared in Kaltcio, at the very least, the current one held the key to grasping the entire world within one’s hands. Therefore, it was necessary to pluck any potential sprouts who threatened the strength that could allow Fonclanc to obtain the entire world.
There was no proof, but it seemed that even the leaders of Nossentes, a country that boasted about its five – six thousand years history, failed to prepare their last generation of rulers regarding how to deal with the Evil God.
Reifold believed that it was the fault of these leaders and their mistreatment of the Evil God that had led to their demise.
[“Well then, the lower class district is up next.”]
After separating with Hivodir and leaving the palace, Reifold threaded through the upper class district’s alleys as he proceeded towards the slums in the lowest district. His next mission was to obtain information regarding the black market traders. When he had accompanied Yuusuke’s corps on their mission to Trent Rietta, he had investigated the trader’s movements on a different passage, leading towards the institute.
Worried whether Yuusuke had been involved in the institute incident by the Trent Rietta, he had emerged at the slums, and started seeking out information dealers within its streets.
— That reminds me, that trader was also speaking with a Trent Riettaian accent, just like you—
Former Supreme Commander Izapnar had told him that in Paula’s dungeons. This time it reminded him of a certain Trent Rietta clan.
At first he believed that man to be worthless. However, contrary to the pacifist nature of most of the Trent Rietta’s ruling families, one of them was openly ambitious – the Elfdras clan.
The majority of Trent’s population consisted of peaceful folk. From time to time the Elfdras were elected to become kings, and tried to express their wish to gather the strength of the country and push Trent Rietta to become a major country in the world. However the people had the power to oppose the kings, and had a different opinion – that such a rule would eventually bring their country to its ruin. These kings eventually lost all of their support and eventually the clan had disappeared from the palace. However it did not mean that they had been defeated.
Upon visiting Rinvaal, Reifold could not find a trace of the black market traders as if these people had disappeared. The fact that even this person could not find any signs of them, ringed a warning bell in Izapnar’s mind.
[“For even me to not find a trace of them?”] — That meant that they had taken a lot of measures to remain hidden.
However, during his investigation, Reifold had found a link between the black traders and the Elfdras clan. The Institute guard’s helmets were destroyed, but the remains had shown that they belonged to the Elfdras affiliated clan. This clan’s main purpose was to be their ruling clan’s guards.
It was not particularly strange that the members of the clan were absorbed by the mercenary groups after their head had disappeared, but it was definitely unusual for an entire clan to vanish like this.
It was also really strange for a clan that was this close to the Elfdras to be guarding the institute. This information was enough to deduce that the facility’s scale was big enough for it to be controlled by several prominent groups.
[“The Elfdras clan is pulling the strings behind the black market traders. Their real purpose is to overthrow Trent Rietta’s government… no, aren’t they aiming to rule the entire world?”
Reifold believed that his guesses were not far away from the truth.
It wouldn’t be strange if the entire clan disappeared one day to bide their time gathering strength to overthrow the throne and turn their country into an empire.
The Elfdras was fully aware that the Evil God was the key to taking the control of the entire world, and sent the black market traders to other countries to gather information about the Evil God.
Blue Garden and Nossentes had opposed Fonclanc, which was sheltering the Evil God, and had destroyed themselves… Gazzetta is currently too strong for them, which means that Elfdras next target should be Trent Rietta.
In truth, Gazzetta’s King, Shinha, had also been captured in front of Paula’s main fortress, however he had one key difference from the former Supreme Commander Izapnar and the Divine Parliament – he didn’t antagonize the Evil God.
Gazzetta seemed to know a lot about the Evil God and had even tried to lure him over to their side.
[“After all, being friendly with Yuusuke allows one to benefit from the power of the Evil God.”]
The Elfdras clan should have been thinking something along these lines, and although it was just one underground group, it was not an opponent to be trifled with. Because of this very reason, Reifold had to destroy the black market traders in Fonclanc, along with quelling the potential threats from inside of the country.