By the way...
I didn't touch the voice in my mind, but I visited Ricardo.
'Can I see Diedrich?'
Yes. Of course. But I have an important guest to receive today, and I am out. I expect them to be back before nightfall, but would you be willing to wait until then?
Ricardo will be sacrificed in a week's time, and there is still time to spare.
I'm not even sure about the culture here. I'm afraid there's no time for that.
Well, we'll see you this evening.
Ricardo bowed his head politely and said.
'On a different note, what does the term "king dragon" you were referring to earlier mean in Agaha?
When asked, Ricardo replied with a serious look on his face.
'The king dragon is one of the teachings handed down in the prophecy of the Agaha. By sacrificing many dragons to that dragon, they will unite their roots and give birth to a hero, a child dragon who will save the country.
Sacrifice is not a very gentle thing to do.
Ricardo nodded in agreement.
''I suppose you are right. However, the sacrifice of the King's Dragon is a hope for those without a future. A short-lived person like me, or a sick person with an incurable disease, or a sinner who has committed a sin that cannot be atoned for, qualifies to be sacrificed to the King's Dragon. I will not prioritize the king dragon and take people's lives unnecessarily.
''You said that a child dragon born of a king dragon would be a hero who would save the country, but do you mean one with the title of dragon knight?''
I looked at Sylvia, who was sleeping in her bed.
'Yes. The Dragon Knights of Agaha are the never-breakable swords that support the nation. It is said that they will protect the country with their indomitable power in the day of disaster that will eventually come.
'You mean the Agaha prophecy, or did Diedrich say that?
No, it was uttered by the first sword emperor who founded the Agaha before King Diedrich, and it has been passed down from generation to generation. It is the guiding principle for the people of this land and for our knights.
Slowly Ricardo walks to the bed and looks down at his daughter who is sleeping there.
'If heroes protect their country, we, the knights, must protect them. If we can do that, the Agaha will be safe.
What do you mean by bad luck day?
This is also the prophecy of the Agaha, which says: "This is not a specific day. It does not refer to a specific day, but to the entire crisis of the nation. Or perhaps King Diedrich can see that day, but we don't know.
He clenched his fists tightly and looked at me with strong eyes.
But since this is not a world of peace, we knights of the Agaha must always be prepared for it. No matter what kind of hardship, no matter what kind of challenge strikes my body or my country, I will dispel it with the sword of life.
Ricardo, who states this clearly, exudes a certainty of conviction throughout his body.
'As knights, as the sword of this country, we do what we must do. One of those teachings is the Dragon Knight of Agaha, spawned by the King Dragon.
Ricardo gently strokes Sylvia's head as she continues to sleep.
'Therefore, I may have been a little too hard on my daughter, but she used to complain a lot when she was a little girl, too. Or maybe she didn't want to be a hero.
As if he had just realized it, Ricardo lowered his head.
''........I said something unnecessary. Please forget it.''
Do you regret it?
Thinking for a moment, Ricardo shook his head.
'Because it is my role to raise her to be a fine knight. Otherwise, I wouldn't have even been able to be her parent. I have no regrets. It's just........
Staring at his daughter's face, he spilled the words.
'I don't know how my daughter feels.'
It will do you no good to die. You were raised to be strong and strict, and your love is not wrong. When you have a chance, talk it over in good spirit.
'....Yes. I suppose. If I had the chance, I would....
Somewhat forcefully, Ricardo said.
It was as if he knew that the opportunity would never come.
'You're sick. Take it easy and get some rest.'
Yes, sir. Thank you again for that.
Deeply Ricardo bows his head.
Turning on his heel, we left the Sword Emperor Royal Palace.
We turn back the way we came and walk towards the dragon landing.
''Do you mind?''
Misha looked at me and said.
''Somewhat. ＜Just before deactivating the Realm of Thought (Ryknos), I heard Ricardo's mind's voice. ''With this, you can become a sacrifice of the royal dragon.''
Sasha said in surprise.
''Because you said that only people with no future can be sacrificed to the king dragon. You don't have to be a sacrifice when you're cured of your senile disease, do you?
There may be some circumstances that cannot be told to outsiders. I'm not sure if there are two dragon knights in Agaha right now. Or it is possible that another dragon knight is needed.
As he uttered this, Arcana said.
'Maybe there was a prophecy.
'Does that mean that this Ricardo guy is going to be sacrificed to save a lot of other people or something?
''Yes. A life sword and one wish, he is willing to risk his life for what he wants to save. If he can see that future, then it's probably worth the sacrifice.
Misha nodded her head.
'Does the Sword Emperor understand that too?'
"Naftah, the god of the future, would see it all. That's why it doesn't make sense to me. Diedrich said that an unchallenged prophecy is useless.
Kill the small and let the big live.
It's right in theory, but to do it by breaking the rule of sacrificing only those who have no future is going to be a fragile country when you get right down to it, though.
It is conceivable that Ricardo wants to be sacrificed, but Diedrich won't let him do it.
'Somehow, the way Anos talks, the Sword Emperor of Agaha sounds like a decent guy.
Well, Ahide was just trying to seduce the royal family of Azation and Gorloana was about to annihilate the earth. 'You won't have a very good impression of the underground dragonmen.
''You can't know everything after meeting him once, but he was quite a fine king, quite somehow.
'Hmm. If you say so, then it must be true. So, is there a situation with Ricardo?
Well, well. We still don't know anything about it. You'd be better off asking him yourself.
And Diedrich will be back at the palace at night.
We don't need to jump to conclusions.
"I've had a thought.
Arcana said as she noticed.
'The Prophet liked the child of the Demon King's Choir. Maybe that's what it means to meet an important guest.
''Sure, if you can know the future, it would be easy to find out where the Fan Union is, but then, I'm sure they'll come to see Anos first. He's the king of a country, and that kind of lack of decorum--what?
Misha was pointing quickly.
When Sasha turned in that direction, there was a circular stage.
They were on the same path, but it certainly wasn't there when they came.
Faintly, a familiar music sounded in her ears.
''Hey I've got a bad feeling about this...''
The accompaniment was the Demon King's Hymn No. 6, "Neighbor". With a solemn tune, the students of the Demon King's Academy all went up on the stage at once.
''Wha........what are they doing, what are they doing.......?''
The dragon people who were passing by began to look at the stage to see what was going on.
''What... what is this... entertainment?''
You put that thing in the middle of the street...
You don't suppose this is a bunch of Geordars with music?
Oh, man. I don't think they have any idea where they are. They wouldn't come to the capital city of Agaha to proselytize and get away with it for free, would they? The knights of the palace should be rushing here soon.
As expected, it seems to be too much of a badge of honor, and the people of Agaha are all staring at the stage in displeasure.
A dragon's cry rang out and a group of about thirty white dragons appeared in the sky.
On their backs are knights in red knight's uniforms and armor.
''Speak of the devil,''
Well, it's the Dragon Knights led by Master Nate! Geordal, you're going to hurt me!
As a flock of white dragons flew low over the traffic, the knights jumped down from there.
All of them were thirty-six in number.
They were in unbroken ranks, even lining up to walk.
''All units, halt!''
The man walking in front of him quickly raised his hand, and the Dragon Knights stopped with their feet together in a flash.
So that's him, Nate.
His hair is trimmed into an all-back and he has sharp eyes.
''His magic is strong...''
It's suppressed, but it's enough power to make it obvious at first glance.
''It's not just magic.......what's this, what is it? Something that feels like it's about to be cut down right now, even though we're this far apart.......
If he leads the Dragon Knights, then he must be the other little dragon, or dragon knight.
''Do you have permission to hold any entertainment in the street today?
'Ha! Entertainment is not permitted! I don't think there was even an application!
A man who looked like a deputy answered Nate's question.
'Would you like me to take it down immediately?'
'Don't be in a hurry. The chant is Geordal's teaching, and if they are members of the Order, there's no telling what they'll come after. We'll see how they fare. We'll see if they come out. Listen up! Don't just sing, don't miss a single move!
The Dragon Knights watch the Demon King Choir.
Unaware of this, the girls began to sing.
''Ah, God...'' ''This... na... I didn't know there was a world~~''
"'Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick-woo!'
With a twitch, Nate's eyebrows went up and down.
'Don't open it...'
The students of the Demon King's Academy all choreographed perfectly to the choir's song.
''Don't open it!''
The practice is more than enough to make the difference." ""Se!" And a loving fist thrust is being performed.
"Don't open it, it's a forbidden gate!
The dragon knights are listening to the choir's song with an expression that says they are truly gobsmacked, and their eyes are glued to the choreography that the students are performing.
I don't feel any magic power from what I see. It's just song and dance. It seems that these are not missionary work of Geordal, but just traveling entertainers. If that's the case, I'll take a stern warning.
Nate analyzed that.
For a while they listened to the Demon King's Choir singing.
Leadership to perfection.
Even though they were just waiting, the ranks never broke down, and not a single knight made the slightest movement.
However, soon, something strange happened to them.
Nate turns around and looks at his men.
'Who just spoke up?'
A pointed question, but no one offered.
'You're going to cut the syllables. Now surely there was one that said, 'Woo-woo'. A knight, 'woo-woo'? How can you protect your country in an emergency situation by doing that?
Nate looks at the knights with a look of indignation.
'If you're proud of your knighthood, come forward.
Then one of the men raised his hand.
It was his lieutenant from earlier.
"It was you, Gordo.
...and I'm sorry, Commander Nate.
Why would you do that?
His second-in-command Gordeau kept his mouth shut and hesitated in reply.
'Why, you ask, did you utter the word 'woo-woo'? Answer me.
I don't know what's going on. I don't know what's wrong with me either. When I was listening to the melody of that song, which seemed to be thrusting upward, I naturally found myself singing it.
"Taiko. What's with the slow, thrusting melody? You'll ruin your reputation as a knight in shining armor.
'Ha! I'm sorry!
Nate clenched his fists.
'Grit your teeth. I'll purge you.'
'Ha! Best regards!
The second-in-command snapped upright.
Oh, God, I didn't know there was this world~~
"'Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick-woo!'
The students of the Demon King's Academy and Nate's fists were unleashed simultaneously.
That dragon knight said.
The deputy's cheek is struck by Nate's fist.
The deputy who was purged, Nate who was purged. And all the knights who were there.
Everyone had an expression of disbelief on their faces.
'Seki!' Did you say...?
Wawa Nate shook his strong face.
''Nonsense ... what in the world am I doing ...?''
With his hands behind his back, Nate assumes an upright, immobile position.
The second in command punched Nate in the face.
He immediately looked towards the Demon King's Choir.
Nate's body trembles as he tingles.
No, he wasn't the only one. All the knights were beginning to shake their bodies in an itchy manner, unable to stand upright and immobile.
'I am a dragon knight, a hero who will defend Agaha on the day of calamity! And yet, what is this surging urge? What is this song? The more I try to control myself, the more I can't stop crying on the contrary...!
The next thing you know, Nate found himself in tears for no reason.
''Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I thought it didn't have any magic power, but this is a demon's song to demoralize our knights. We'll catch those guys! We, the knights, cannot succumb to a song like that!
The Dragon Knights all aligned their gait and headed straight for the stage.
''Wait, hey, that's not good, no matter what you think! If you don't stop and apologize soon, you won't have time to make a scene!
I control Sasha with my hand as she tries to run off in a hurry.
'Hmm. You're an unreadable man.
What do you mean you can't read it...? You'd better stop it sooner than that!
I'm not worried about that.
'Well ... why?'
As the Demon King's Choir split into two groups to the music, a man walked briskly from between them.
A crimson knight's uniform and armor.
His long hair and fine, trimmed beard are impressive.
His appearance conveys the weight characteristic of someone who has lived through the ages.
He opened his legs and opened his mouth wide, as if he were putting strength into his tanden.
Then he sang out cheerfully in a reluctant voice.
''Ah, God, I didn't know there was a world~~''
"'Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick, Ku-ick-woo!'
The Demon King's Choir and the students of the Demon King's Academy gave K'ick a fitting response.
''That's the Sword Emperor of Agaha--''
Instantly, Diedrich thrusts his fist out.
'Don't let me in...'
The left as soon as the right is pulled.
A tremendous true fist thrust that seems to echo through the earth is released with a reluctant singing voice.
'Don't let me in!'
With both fists superimposed together, the Sword Emperor thrust it out like a beast biting its prey.
''Don't let me in, that's a forbidden key♪''
''Seki, Seki, Seki!''
With a grin, he smiled a stiff, reluctant, bold smile and looked at his people and the dragon knights under his immediate control.
''-- Prophet Diedrich Kreitzen Agaha.
I'm loving this guy.
Stamping his feet, Diedrich decided to pose forcefully.
''That ... that ... that ... that really is the weird ... that ... that ... ...?
Sasha looks at Diedrich, who is enthusiastically singing in the original choreography, with a puzzled look in his eyes.
In Sasha's eyes, the that she should have been able to control comes to mind.
It was that much doubt, that much suspicion.
"That's King Diedrich........
With an astonished look in his eyes, Nate, the dragon knight, mutters.
''It's true........there's no doubt about it, Master Diedrich.......''
So this is a Sword King event?
"He's as bad as the rest of us and you could have told us that...
But what's the intention...?
The knights unsheathed their swords at their waists and bowed their heads on the spot, as if to show respect.
'Listen up! By the people of Agaha!
In the middle of the pause, Diedrich uttered a rigid voice.
'These men have come from the earth. This is the choir that the Demon King of Dirheid has used to keep his promise to me. I will speak frankly.
Taking a big step forward, Diedrich points with his thumb at the choir behind him.
'I can't get enough of this song, man.
The Demon King's Choir began to sing, and a number of lyrics such as 'That's by the hand of a demon...' and 'Ahhhh... That's where it's unholy...' echoed through Agallofione.
And to that, Diedrich was performing a perfect straight fist thrust.
He was far more skilled than the students of the Demon King Academy.
Looking to the future, he must have practiced a great deal for this day.
'There is a way of life in the bosom of the enemy! The song is not to be feared, not to be drunk, but to be mine. Is that what the Sword Emperor is trying to teach you?
With a gulp, Dragon Knight Nate's eyes sharpened.
''That's the honor of a knight! As expected of the Diedrich Sword Emperor, this is a true knight of the Agaha!
"...No, no, Commander Nate. I'm not so sure about that...
The deputy complains bitterly, as if he has trouble saying it.
'Fool! Are you doubting what the Sword Emperor is doing? If King Diedrich were a prophet, his every move would not be in vain! Can't you see the truth and make our lord a mere clown?
Ha, ha...! I'm sorry ... what you did with me...
Nate shouts out a loud command.
'All units, follow me! Diedrich the Swordsman has shown us the way. He is the true knight, and what he does leads to chivalry and honour! Dance and sing! Our chivalry is here!
Seeing Nate rushing onto the stage with a raw and serious face, his subordinates gave him a look like he had no choice.
''........King Diedrich's shenanigans and Commander Nate's f*cking seriousness are mind-boggling, but, well, we can't let the Commander alone embarrass us, can we?''
Haha, I bet. It's nice to have some chivalry like that from time to time.
'And it's not like Geordal's song. A song about not only praying to God, but reaching out to ourselves and getting to know our neighbors...
'Oh, it's haunting. I didn't know this world existed. It's just like our teachings. We don't just take prophecy as truth, one day we'll get over it. That's the kind of song you're singing.
'Haha, in a word, King Diedrich was right. I can't get enough of this guy! I don't think there's a song and choreography more appropriate for us, the knights, than this!
The dragon knights unite and improvise a choreography and are intoxicated by the singing of the Demon Lord's Choir.
Attracted by their joyful voices, the dragons gather one by one on the street.
People of Agaha, let's call it a day of rude behavior. Put down the sword and make a fist. Let's poke, prod and prod as our hearts desire!