Chapter 163 – Turned away at the gate!
“Th-this is incredible. We’re already here!”
Princess Alyssa of the Arancia Kingdom shouted as the giant spider ran through the streets, faster than any horse.
The people that we passed all look up in amazement.
Every single one of them was thin. And I did not see anyone that looked well-fed.
Also, nearly all of the civilian houses were made of stone materials alone.
It reminded me of the early days of Sheorl.
Sheorl had been an island of nothing but gray.
And so both the people and the city streets made a very depressing sight.
Rienna turned to Alyssa.
“Miss Alyssa… Is it true that there are thirty thousand people living in this city?”
“Aye. No, if I am to be precise, there are another three thousand…”
“So it’s thirty-three thousand?”
“No, it’s thirty thousand…”
Rienna tilted her head but then nodded.
“Very well. Thirty thousand.”
Thirty thousand did not seem like a whole lot considering the size of the city.
However, even Sheorl would have trouble securing enough food supplies for thirty thousand people.
Right now, Rienna was probably thinking hard on how much we could afford to give them.
As we continued down the streets, the tower that had been connected to the Temple of Silence came into view.
Alyssa looked up at it and said,
“We just have to go straight down the street behind the tower! That’s where the palace is!”
Taran ran in the direction that Alyssa pointed.
As we moved behind the tower and went down the main street, the buildings suddenly cleared away in front of us.
Rienna was stunned at the scene that spread out before her.
All the buildings we had seen up until now were incredibly sad to look at.
However, what we were looking at now was glimmering and beautiful.
It was all protected by a high iron fence. And behind it, we could see a large lake.
In this area, there were plants growing everywhere, and we could see a series of resplendent buildings with white walls as well.
The fences themselves were imbued with magic… I wondered if it was something like Shield.
“So, there is some nature here after all…”
“Aye. It’s the last place on the whole continent…”
Alyssa answered with a conflicted expression.
So this lake was like what the World Tree was for us.
But unlike in Sheorl Island, the common people were not allowed access to it.
Aside from the fence, there were so many guards standing watch as well. It seemed almost excessive.
Not only would children stay away, but it was clear that no one from the outside would be able to enter it with ease.
The World Tree of Sheorl was open to anyone who was a resident…
There was also something I noticed about these guards.
Unlike the soldiers on the walls, they were covered entirely in iron plate armor.
And there was even one, who was likely a captain, who was wearing golden armor.
Their weapons were also impressive.
Giant shields and elaborately decorated halberds.
There were even archers behind the fence.
I hadn’t known, as it was all behind the tower. But I wouldn’t have guessed that the scenery would be so different from the rest.
And so I couldn’t help but mutter.
“…Alyssa. If you have such a fighting force as this, why don’t you have them protect the walls?”
“I-I…too think it is wrong…but…”
Her voice trailed off, and the mystery only deepened.
“Then why do you do it? Oh…”
Taran stopped just as we arrived in front of the gate.
This was because all the guards had pointed their weapons towards us.
Alyssa got off of Taran and shouted at them.
“These people are our guests! They have come from the Temple of Silence! Let us through!”
“Princess Alyssa! Even though they may be your guests, we cannot let any non-humans come through! In the first place, no one who brings such monsters with them should be allowed into the holy place!”
The guards said as they pointed at Taran and Shiel.
Upon hearing this, Taran and Shiel just stared back at them without moving.
However, it did not feel right to Rienna and I. Taran and Shiel were important friends. And they weren’t going to be allowed to go through because they were monsters?
“Y-you! Such insolence! These people offered to help us! They were defending the walls just a moment ago! Apologize to them now!”
Alyssa shouted at the guards.
However, none of them listened to her. Not only that, but they looked at her with strong distaste.
It was then that a man in a fancy coat appeared from the other side of the gate.
He was a young man with long, golden hair. And his body was decorated with numerous accessories made of precious metals and stones.
“Princess Alyssa! So you finally chose to return to the holy place?”
“Rulat! These people appeared in the Temple of Silence! They have offered to help us!”
Apparently, this man was called Rulat.
“Hmm. So this is who the guardians were talking about…”
Rulat inspected us for a moment and then snorted derisively.
“All I can see are peasants. They don’t seem any different from the people outside. Not only that, but just look at these ugly creatures they brought… All of you, hurry up and get out of my sight! You have done enough, deceiving Her Highness like this!”
I was too exasperated to even be mad after hearing those words.
And so I quickly turned to Rienna and the others.
“Alright, let’s go. There is no need for us to cooperate with such people.”
They all nodded.
“A-all of you! Please wait! I swear! I’ll make these insolent fools apologize!”
Alyssa said as she bowed her head and then glared at Rulat.
“How can you be so rude! Rulat, these people saved us!”
Alyssa insisted. But Rulat answered with an irritated expression.
“You don’t need to raise your voice with me, I can hear you perfectly fine. Besides, we don’t need these people in order to protect the walls of Alanberc.”
“How can you be so sure!? More than a thousand have already died! The attacks become worse every day… Even the holy place…it will all be over if the wall behind it falls!”
“You think the holy place is in danger? Hahaha! This ancient holy land will never be penetrated! And we have plenty of food.”
“Rulat, you don’t understand anything! And even our food supplies are practically exhausted!”
“The people have plenty of mushrooms to eat. Oh, I know. You’ve grown tired of them, haven’t you, Your Highness? Well, it can’t be helped.”
Rulat said. He then produced a red apple from his pocket and showed it to Alyssa.
“See? It’s your favorite, isn’t it?”
Rulat threw the apple at Alyssa’s feet.
However, it broke in half and splattered all over the ground.
How could he do such a thing…wasting food like this.
This apple could have put a smile on at least one child’s face.
However, there was no trace of guilt on Rulat’s face.
He just smirked and continued.
“Go ahead and eat it if you want. We have plenty of other food in the holy place! So you might as well come back!”
“I don’t want it! Rulat! Apologize to them now!!”
Only a moment ago, Alyssa had been drooling by the mere mention of food. But she showed no interest at all in the apple.
Not only that, but she looked angrier than ever.
And so I pulled her by the arm.
“…Alyssa. I think I understand the situation now. It’s fine.”
“B-but, Lord Heal!”
“We have no intention of helping people like that… But don’t worry. We’ll help the people on this side.”
Alyssa looked astonished when she heard these words.
On the other hand, Rulat, who had been listening to us, burst into laughter.
“How can someone who is dressed like that help anyone? You make me laugh! Princess Alyssa! You do not live in the same world as them! You must hurry up and return to the world where you belong!!”
Said Rulat. And with that, he returned to the realm they called the holy place.