Chapter 169 – There Were Two Crowns!?
We arrived at the royal capital, just at the breaking of the dawn.
In the palace, they were still debating over whether they should fight or welcome the old king.
Amidst the noise, I called Ylis away from the throne, to the back of a pillar, where no one would see us.
And then Ylis asked me with a serious expression,
“Joshua… You look…”
“Aye. I was able to get it.”
And then I took out the crown from magic workshop, and handed it to Ylis.
Ylis inspected the crown and said,
“It is indeed the real one… But how did you do it?”
“Don’t ask me how. And I would appreciate it if you kept our involvement a secret.”
“Very well. I shall keep my promise.”
Ylis put the crown on her head and walked out from the shadows.
The surrounding nobles noticed it and exclaimed in surprise.
“Surely, it is not the real one?”
It seemed that none who were present were able to believe it. After all, it had suddenly appeared on Ylis’s head.
“It is real… See?”
After sitting on the throne, Ylis made a light appear on her hand.
And in the blink of an eye, the light spread to every corner of the throne room.
“Ohh! So it is real!”
“Bu-but, how did…”
“I had friends on the other side, and they took it from my brother and sent it to me.”
However, as the nobles could not think of any other explanation, they believed it readily.
And they also seemed relieved to know that they had allies on the other side.
To some, this method might look cunning and dirty. However, it also suggested that Ylis was capable of being strategic.
Just then, a messenger entered the hall.
“His Majesty’s army is marching towards the city from Rodeshia!”
“I see. We are already prepared to face them from the walls. Now, the only thing to do is to speak with my brother.”
Ylis said, as she headed to the north wall of the city.
I also rushed to Mette and the others, who I had told to wait on the walls.
As I made my way to them, I saw that the sun had already risen in the sky.
“Does he intend to attack us without his crown?”
“Perhaps he prioritized returning to the city, even without the crown.”
There should have only been two options open to him.
The first was to hurry and return to the capital, like he originally planned.
The other was to wait until he could craft a fake crown.
So he must have decided that there was no point in making a fake one. As it would be natural to assume that Ylis now had the real one.
And if that were to be known, then some of the nobles and soldiers might move away…
Such fears could have caused him to rush to the city, according to plan.
“I wonder if the nobles and soldiers will attack, if the king commands it…”
That being said, they would surely not be able to get through the great walls of the city.
Besides, I had Mette and the others make preparations, in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
And so I walked down the busy battlements, and reunited with Mette.
Mette turned to me and asked,
“Oh, Joshua! Is everything alright?”
“It all went well for us. How about you?”
“We are fully prepared.”
“I see. Thank you… You must have all stayed up during the night. I’m sorry.”
“No, we took turns sleeping. We just got up because of all of the noise. So I suppose, that is our enemy?”
Mette said as she pointed at the army in the north.
“That’s right. The king’s army.”
“I see. Well, they can come whenever they like. As you can see, the trebuchets are installed. There are also more in three other locations.”
“But make sure that you don’t hit them… In any case, we must wait for Ylis and the king to negotiate.”
And so we waited. About half an hour later, the king’s soldiers reached the northern wall, and spread out so they were parallel with it.
And then a group of about twenty riders approached the gate.
It was the king, a few nobles, and the royal guards.
However, I then noticed something very strange.
On the head of the king, was the crown that we had taken from him.
Iria was also astonished when she saw this.
“Did they allow us to take the fake one…? No, but the one I gave to Ylis had magic in it. It even made light…”
Could he have had a spare… In any case, Ylis’s one should be real.
Besides, the king had a very anxious expression. It was clear that he had been affected by the loss of the crown.
Also, upon seeing Ylis’s head, he seemed more angry than shocked.
It was then that Melk muttered something.
“That crown… It smells strange.”
“Melk cannot say. But it has a bad smell.”
“So it could be fake… Monica. Prepare to snipe at the king.”
I said, and Monica bowed, and relayed the message to the other elves.
Eventually, the king and his men arrived at the north gate.
“Can you not see the king’s banner!? The king of Toria is now in your presence! Open the gate!”
Shouted one of the royal guards.
However, the gate did not open.
Instead, Ylis shouted from atop the battlements.
“The person that I see before me is no king! He who abandons his city and people cannot be called king! This is no home for you to return to, brother!”
At this, the king’s army seemed stunned.
They had also now realized that Ylis was wearing the royal crown.
The king saw the effect it had on his men, and he shouted frantically.
“Y-you bastard! I see that you’ve fashioned yourself a crown! Everyone, that one is a fake!”
The king shouted. But Ylis replied calmly.
“There is no doubt that I have the real crown.”
And then Ylis raised a hand into the air.
And in the blink of an eye, a blinding light spread out in the sky.
The king’s army gasped upon seeing this. They now believed it as well.
“N-no. It is some trickery!”
Declared the king. And then all eyes turned quietly to him.
In that case, you make a light appear. They seemed to say.
And so the king raised a hand in the air.
However, there was no light.
“…!? Wh-what!? Why is there no light!?”
His panic did not look like it was from acting.
It was as if he believed that he really did have the real crown…
In any case, it was now clear that it was his crown that was fake.
“It is you who wears a false crown, brother!”
“No! No, no! I am the rightful king!! Soldiers! I command you to kill every last one of these traitors!”
The king shouted, and the royal guard blew his trumpet.
And then the army began to rush forward to the city walls.
But there was no power in their steps.
It could not be helped, as they were not ready.
They had no trebuchets or ballistas prepared. All they had were quickly built siege turrets and ladders. They were in no condition to attack a city.
“Good. Here they come… Mette.”
Mette raised a flag, and then four of the trebuchets began to throw all at once.
They were spheres with a fuse.
When they landed in front of the enemy, they exploded, creating great walls of fire.
“Ahh! Ahhh!!? The stone exploded!?”
“Th-there won’t be anything left of us if we’re hit by that!”
Chaos took over the enemy, as they had never seen such a weapon.
They would have all seen explosions before. Just not explosions of this size.
“Hmm. It is burning very well.”
Ymir said with a look of pride.
They had been crafted by Ymir. And while they lacked power, they used oil that made the fire spread rapidly.
Furthermore, the flatlands around the north gate had been covered in oil and other things that burned quickly.
And once the charge of the king’s army slowed down, Asuha used wind magic to blow the fires in their direction.
“Ah!! Ahhh! Run!”
As the flames moved towards them, the king’s army began to crumble, with many turning around and fleeing to the north.
At the same time, cheers erupted on the battlements.
Now, the only ones who remained were the king, attendants, and his royal guards… No, even some of them were starting to run.
At this point, the king had no fighting force to speak of.
Everyone would have assumed that the king would also retreat to Rodeshia… However, it was then that a strange purple light began to shine around the king.