Chapter 182 – We took a hostage!
Cheers rose from the walls as we watched the fleeing soldiers of the holy place.
It was the voice of the civilians and soldiers.
I even heard a few people saying that we should follow them into the holy place. In fact, some had even taken out ropes and were trying to climb down the wall.
While many had kept silent, the Arancian people were furious about the holy place.
“It’s no use! Their walls are protected by magic power. If you go near, they will kill you without question. We cannot break through.”
Alyssa said. And those who tried to go down stopped what they were doing.
Even they knew that the walls protecting the holy place were strong.
“I doubt they will come out for a while. Let’s leave them for now. More importantly, we should prepare the supplies that are to be sent to the people of Sheorl. We cannot allow them to help us without doing something in return.”
Alyssa said. The people and soldiers agreed, and so they descended from the wall.
They always followed her orders.
I turned to Alyssa.
“The people truly seem to love you.”
Alyssa shook her head with a look of embarrassment.
“Su-surely not. They just want to do something to show their gratitude. Of course, we really can’t give you anything that could be sufficient…”
“Don’t worry about that. More importantly…”
I looked to the holy place.
From between the fences, I could see guards looking at us with fearful expressions.
Judging by how quickly they ran after seeing the Golem, I doubted many of them would risk their lives in order to fight.
The only threat to us was their equipment and magic.
But if I was being honest, their magic and equipment weren’t particularly impressive either.
Of course, as the Arancia people did not have much strength, the people of the holy place would be underestimating them. And while we had appeared as allies, we were small in number. So they wouldn’t have thought that their fighting force was insufficient.
On the other hand, quite a few who were experienced fighters had sided with Alyssa. Once the Golems were put in position, then there was no doubt that the difference in strength between them and the holy place would become very clear.
Alyssa look at the holy place as she muttered,
“I said that it was impenetrable in order to make them calm down. But I’m sure that you and your men would have no trouble tearing through it.”
They were no longer a threat–no, it might be too early to think like that. If they had a wall with that much magic energy, what else might they have? It was very likely that they had powerful magic weapons hidden away.
Besides, it went against my style to make people listen by force. And so I shook my head.
“We didn’t come here to launch an invasion. Well, unless they take more hostages or do something else that is diabolical. But right now, we have to deal with the undead.”
The bigger problem was the attacks of the undead, not the holy place. The holy place was a secondary problem.
That being said, I doubted the people of the holy place were just going to sit back quietly.
They had been humiliated, and so it was only natural for them to want revenge.
Alyssa nodded and continued.
“Indeed. They are but a small problem in the grand scheme of things. Besides, I’m sure they will remain there quietly for some time.”
“You don’t think they will do something?”
“Aye. They fear death more than anything. No matter what their prime minister says, the nobles will not agree to it if it puts their lives in danger. Also…”
Alyssa turned towards Rulat. He had been crying for help as the others cheered. His trousers were completely wet and he was curled up in a ball as he shivered.
I too watched him.
“He is the son of their chief… If they want to take hostages, we will be able to use him.”
“Yes. While the other nobles may not care, his father, Grand Duke Bilene will not be able to ignore this. He will not be able to do anything rash. If anything, he might agree to negotiate with us in order to free his son.”
According to Alyssa, the holy place may change its tune. It was a very good thing that we had been able to capture Rulat.
Right now, Erevan was standing right in front of him.
As Erevan glared, Rulat bowed with tears in his eyes.
“Pl-please! Don’t kill me! I have money! My father will pay anything you want!”
“Tsk. I was going to strike you, but you’re not even worth the effort… Well, it’s a good thing that it’s not my job to deal with you.”
Erevan turned to me and Alyssa.
“Alyssa. It’s your decision.”
“Are you certain? But he is your captive.”
“It happened on your lands, so you people should decide. We just lent you a hand.”
“I see… Well, for now, we’ll have someone guard him. And he can help gather mushrooms underground.”
Upon hearing this, Rulat wailed loudly.
“Y-you want me to pick mushrooms!? Wh-why should I have to do something like that! You should just ask for ransom money and food!”
“Lord Heal is already supporting us with food supplies. And we do not want your money.”
“Y-you may say that, Your Highness. But I’m sure the men over there think differently. He-hey, you. If you had gold and precious gems, you could get anything you want…I know.”
Rulat frantically removed the necklace and rings that he was wearing.
After that, he continued to remove accessories that were made of precious stones and metals and gathered them together. Once his hands were full, he offered them to me.
“F-first, take this! There is much more in the holy lands! You can have them as well! And I will make the others promise to leave you all alone! N-now, please release me! …Huh?”
Fule showed him the necklace around her neck. Taran, Ashton and the others also showed their swords and rings.
“Unfortunately, we aren’t exactly low on precious stones and metals. And we don’t really use money.”
Rulat’s eyes widened as he saw all of this.
Besides, what they had was far bigger and more beautiful than Rulat’s.
“Y-you’re dressed like that, but you have such great…”
“In any case, you don’t have anything to negotiate with.”
Fule said, and Rulat’s shoulders slumped.
Precious metals and stones did not mean much to us.
However, the promise of leaving the people alone was quite tantalizing. Of course, there was no guarantee that this man would keep his promise. After all, he was the kind of person to bring out a hostage and make threats.
Alyssa saw that I did not reply, and so she turned to Rulat.
“…In any case, we will have to talk with your father. Until then, you will help pick mushrooms.”
Then she turned to me.
“Is that alright, Lord Heal?”
“Aye. I have no objection. And there is no need to rush with these negotiations.”
Upon hearing this, Alyssa gave the order to Ogus.
“Ogus. Take Rulat away.”
“Yes. We guardians will take turns watching him.”
Ogus nodded, and then the guardians and soldiers escorted Rulat away.
And like that, a momentary peace came to Arancia.