Shieldbro is kind of an ass to Firo……
I am observing the situation behind a bush.
Its been several hours since we picked up the second princess. Since there is a village nearby we must be cautious.
Nearby is the village that was plagued by the dragon corpse a while ago.
It seems what the knight said was true.
“Devil of the shield Iwatani Naofumi slaughtered imperial guard knights and kidnapped the second princess while escaping. Wanted dead or alive. The prize-”
On the notice board within the village, there piece of paper that has quite a large amount of price money declared on it by the soldiers of the castle.
Is this seriously only a few hours after? They seemed too prepared for this.
I knew this was a set up since the beginning.
For some reason they also assumed I killed off those knights that I caught.
I heard it.
If you strap a bomb on yourself and charge you will go to heaven.
These guys are putting similar insane thoughts to practice.
“The Imperial guardsmen knights have memorized an image of the criminal! The Imperial guardsmen knight who brought the crystal ball to the castle also died after duty was completed.”
Furthermore. It seems that a hologram of me is being projected by the crystal ball.
My face was twisted with wickedness and,I am strangling the second princess by her neck, which also appears to be bleeding.
……Is that amount of fabrication even possible?
Should I make a habit of avoiding crystal balls at all costs in the future?
Though she looks pretty healthy despite being on the verge of death……
When I look closely at the second princess’s face, despite the fact that she is being strangled, her expression is more shocked than painful.
By the way, the country of Silt Welt is located south east of Shirudo Furiden which is north east of our current location.
It seems that it’s for us necessary to cross two countries.
That is considerably further than before.
We will somehow have to advance without being found.
“If you see the devil that has a strange bird pulling his carriage. Contact the Country immediately.”
The crystal ball then shows Firo’s image, and her expression is that of a bird of prey spitting poison from the mouth.
That’s good. I can use poison since they put that in the forgery.
This is going to be a problem though, since Firo is our main means of transportation.
We might have to leave Firo somewhere.
“So, Firo you understand right?”
As I finished scouting the village, I went to Firo and to let her know.
If we continue letting Firo pull the carriage to refuge she will attract a lot of attention.
If it comes down to it Firo could just abandon the carriage and run off with her superior speed.
They would have a hard time catching her but we would lose everything.
So, I have to explain the situation.
“We can’t help it. Because you stand out.”
In the sense that she’s an unusual demon.
She is the reason I am known as the saint of the holy bird after all.
“Can’t Firo just change into a different form before anything happens? Firo will work hard!”
“How are you-”
Firo’s body shines and starts transforming.
She will probably pull the carriage in her human form anyway.
Her neck and feet started extending.
Firo has transformed into a normal Philo Rial that resembles an ostrich.
Well, the size is considerably bigger than average I guess.
“Can you maintain this figure?”
“Can you only chirp in that form?”
I guess we will be fine if she can keep this appearance.
“Firo-chan is amazing!”
The second princess’s eyes sparkles as she begins playing with Firo.
This high pitched screeching is better than her toxic mouth anyway.
“When you’re in that form be quiet.”
My head was gripped by her foot.
Naturally since Raphtalia and Firo rarely attack me they forget that it violates the slave mark.
The demon crest appears on her chest and she rolls over in pain.
“Seriously, what is it you don’t like?”
“Don’t use violence on Firo-chan!”
“I didn’t. The demon crest only activated because she attacked me.”
Though she is still sort of cute in this form, although her communication is lacking.
But like this I don’t know what Firo is saying.
It seems that this could be from my inner thoughts of “it would be nice if I had a pet that will unconditionally listen to me and not be noisy.”
Firo returns to her human forms and starts whining like a child.
“You asked for it. Even you understand. Demons can’t attack their masters.”
The second princess is strangely worried about Firo.
Is it because they are friends?
“For the time being, I’m assuming you are fine with disguising ourselves.”
Up until now we were fine staying hidden as a saint, so it should work out somehow.
“Raphtalia…… can you make yourself look a little shabby, and wear a hat?”
So like this, the princess and I hid ourselves within the carriage while the transformed Firo and disguised Raphtalia took care of passing the village.
Raphtalia meets the villager’s eyes.
We pass silently.
The metal carriage passes the village as the soldiers watch.
We were halted.
I begin preparing for being found out, we should be able to deal with the people in this village.
“O-okay. What’s wrong?”
“The other side of your carriage has a wing mark. It resembles the one on that devil bird……”
“N-no. I’m just a merchant.
“Hou……May I confirm what is inside?”
This is dangerous.
The soldier puts hand on the door of the carriage.
What to do. I may be fine since I am wearing common clothing and my shield is in the form of a book, but the princess will be recognized immediately.
The villager who made eye contact with Raphtalia suddenly spoke.
The soldier turns around to face the villager.
“I heard that someone spotted the demon of the shield a while ago over there.”
The villager nods his head.
The soldier starts running towards the direction indicated by the villager.
The villager knocks on the carriage.
“Hurry, before it’s too late.”
It seems he’s going to provide a hiding place for us.
What to do…… the deceived soldier will come back soon and that will be disastrous.
“Please go. I’ll stall them here.”
Raphtalia senses my hesitation and decides for me.
“I planned to do this since the beginning.”
Is that so?
The second princess and I get off the carriage when we arrive at the house, I cover her with a mantle as the villager guides us.
“There is nothing.”
“Huh? Was I wrong?”
“No, you reported as ordered and even gave details, he just got away.”
The villager finishes deceiving the solder and he checks the carriage.
“Hmmm……there are only miscellaneous goods. Is this medicine?”
“Yeah, an adventurer asked me to transport it. hahaha”
While in disguise Raphtalia answers with a wry smile.
“I see, well sorry I bothered you.”
“No it’s fine.”
The soldier leaves to patrol somewhere else.
The villager points Raphtalia in the direction of the inn and she responds obediently.
We were peeping from the window of the private house.
I was very nervous.
That was pretty dangerous. If that villager choose not to help us there would have been an uproar.
“Saint-sama are you all right?”
“After saint-sama saved the village we noticed you were actually the Hero of the shield-sama.”
“And you guys don’t condemn me?”
“Condemn!? No way. The saint saved the people of this village. There is no way we will repay kindness with enmity.”
“……Are we safe?”
The second princess anxiously asks.
“You’re going to side with the devil?”
“We received various things from the Three Heroes church. But, the devil of the shield kindly saved us from the disaster that the god of the sword caused.”
The fight here was harsh. I also learned various things from this village.
It seems that the village is still recovering from after-effects of the plague.
“Although you might be called a devil,under these circumstances we would be even worse than devils if we do not repay our favour.”
The villager points at the second princess is about to ask.
“This is just a little conspiracy.”
“Well it’s fine if the princess went willingly.”
The princess nods at the villager’s words.
“Currently there are those within the country aiming for my life. The Hero of the Shield-sama saved me……”
The villager nods in understanding at the princess’s answer.
“I get it. Some of us might be ungrateful though.So you should quickly escape.”
“There is a cart in the back that is fully loaded with straw. Please hid in it, and several villagers will carry you to your companion who is at the inn.”
“I am grateful.”
Thanks to the villagers who carried the cart of hay and distracted the soldier, we rejoined Raphtalia.
“As I thought we are in considerable danger in this carriage. Let’s ditch it for something else.”
Transformed Firo informs me of her displeasure.
Her neck is shaking back and forth.
“We can’t help it! Do you want to be found and caught? The second princess, Mel-chan will be killed.”
Firo reluctantly falls silent at the mention of the second princess’s life being in danger.
It seems she has become quite an important friend for her to care this much……
“You’re great, Firo. You can let go of important things for your friend.”
I pat her kindly.
Even if I don’t understand what she is saying, she choose correctly.
“After this is over we’ll certainly take it back.”
Absolutely. I understand.
“Sorry. Would you mind looking after the carriage here?”
The villager seems to understand the situation and accepts it.
“I will be very grateful.”
“You’ve already done enough for us.”
“I see. alright, second princess,come here. Change your clothes, we’ll be discovered instantly with what you’re wearing now.”
The second princess doesn’t seem very happy about the idea of wearing cheap clothing but given the situation she has no choice.
It seems that the apprentice’s clothing from villager barely fits.
It’s probably due to the villager having no children.
Compared to the second princess’s usual clothing, now she looks like a shabby little villager.
Albeit a well-bred one since blue hair is only asserted with noble born children.
Well I can worry about that as we travel. There is no reason to discard her old clothes.
It will be a little awkward to bring it around though.
“Fill the bags with miscellaneous goods.”
I put the more valuable things inside the straw cart and cover it.
Anything bulky was given to the villagers.
We should be fine going for two weeks like this. This stuff will be useful for the revival of the village.
“Alright, let’s go.”
We leave the village quietly and while the villagers see us off.
Well, we were still seen by another villager.
After this, our best bet would be to avoid towns and villages as much as possible.
The wagon made a rumbling sound as we began to run north east.
If possible I hope the village won’t be punished for helping us.