The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 5
“My apologies, Your Holiness, for the sudden visit.” Sir Osmond came, just as the palatial gardens were about to close for the long sleep. With him was a convoy of Arles militia members, all fully armed.
Maddie, though she was tired and was about to retreat to her private chambers, got up and took the time to meet with him. After all, Arles had a close relationship with Holy Palatial Gardens, “Yes, what brings you here this time, Sir Osmond?”
Sir Osmond took a glance at me before continuing, “Your Holiness, may we ask your help regarding some prisoners?”
“Prisoners? You encountered some Imperial refugees once again?”
“Uhh…it’s better if you see them for yourselves.” Sir Osmond gestured for his assistant to bring the men they captured, “We couldn’t keep them inside the dungeon at Arles’ militia office. The townsfolk threatened to swarm the prison and kill them personally.”
“Huh?” I exclaimed, “They were that bigshots?”
“Yes, Mister Kur—I mean, Sir Kuro.”
Soon, men with sackcloth on their heads were brought forward. Sir Osmond told us that one of their companions was killed in the ensuing pursuit when they tried to escape the Arles’ cavalry scouts.
“Well, I could take them in. But first, I need to learn about their identities.” Maddie told him.
Sir Osmond then asked his assistant to remove the sackcloth from the prisoners’ heads, and lo-and-behold…
“You’re…” Maddie almost turned pale in horror when she realized the identities of the two prisoners, “His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Jean Durres III Henrici!”
The Emperor gave Maddie the respect she deserved before speaking, “Greetings, Your Holiness! I believe you wanted me to appear here, and now, here I am!”
“W-Well…yes, I-I believe w-we have s-something to talk about.” Maddie tried to appear calm; however, I could tell that she was shaken by the intimidating presence of the emperor, “Sir Kuro, please pay Sir Osmond our dues for keeping his prisoners well.”
I nodded and handed to Sir Osmond a bag of coins. The other paladins and some of the militia escorted the royal prisoners inside the Saint’s Chambers palace. I guess Maddie’s going to have a talk with them.
“Hey, Kuro!” he whispered.
“I heard how badass you are in the battles you fought against the Imperials.” Sir Osmond winked at me, “I wanted to visit you sometime later and tell me those stories.”
“Sure thing, Sir!”
“Stop with the ‘Sir’ now.” he chuckled, “You and I have the same ranks…possibly, you’re even higher since you’re a paladin.”
“I don’t know about that though…”
We both laughed and said goodbyes after that. And then, once the Arles militia was gone, I went into the Saint’s Chambers palace.
I think this ‘long sleep’ would be a really long one…
Emperor Jean Durres III Henrici, the current ruler of the Empire of Chersea. A veteran warrior of the old wars in Chersea, and a well-known ‘sly fox’ on the battlefield. However, age has caught up with him, and advanced seasons dulled his senses for a bit. His dignity as a royal never vanished, however, and his head was still raised in captivity like when he was free.
The air inside the room that was formerly the Holy Congress venue was suffocating. Awkward silence ruled between the two parties, one that was led by the Human Saint, Madelaine Ann Rubinforth, and the other, by the Emperor of Chersea, Jean Durres III Henrici.
Lily came in with cups and a pot of tea, which she served on the table in front of them. I stood beside Maddie, as I am her paladin, ready to defend her should the prisoners did something. She ordered them freed, after all.
“This is the strangest reception for someone like me…” it was the Emperor who broke the ice, “I come as a prisoner and yet, here you are, serving me your finest tea.”
“Enemies we may be, Your Imperial Majesty, I know how to treat my prisoners well.” Maddie replied, “Don’t worry, it’s not poisoned.”
“So what do you want to talk about?” the Emperor asked, “I’m sure you won’t free a man for nothing.”
“You know what I want, Your Imperial Majesty.” Maddie answered, her eyes never wavered this time, “End the conflict at once.”
“Even if I wanted to, as of now, I’m powerless.” the Imperial monarch shrugged, “My army was decimated by the undead, my heir was dead, and my plans for Chersea gone to the trash.”
“Yes. That accursed saint, Seirna. She cast a spell that cursed my legions.” I could feel the indignation from the Emperor’s voice, “I saw them with my own eyes; how they were killed, bitten and torn apart by their friends…as if betrayed.”
Maddie fell silent as the old monarch narrated the horrors that he saw. Lily and I stared at one another as we heard the violent descriptions of his soldiers’ deaths.
“I couldn’t do anything but to kill those that were cursed. Your Holiness, I’ve killed a lot of men from the wars way back, but this is the hardest thing to do: to kill those who believed and fought for me! Can you imagine how would I tell their deaths to their families back home?”
From his words, the Emperor seemed to be concerned with his men like they were his own family. Though he was my enemy, my respect for him suddenly surged.
“Your Imperial Majesty, I…I’m sorry for your loss…” Maddie told him, confirming my thoughts that he’s someone respectable.
“Your Holiness!” the Emperor’s eyes were burning with rage, “I may be an old man now and age has eroded my cunning, but I can still fight! If you’re willing to forgive my sins, I’ll rededicate my faith unto you. Only, I wanted to have my vengeance on that accursed saint, Seirna!”
Maddie was hesitant to trust him after what she experienced.
“Your Holiness, while he may be an enemy, I guess we should cooperate with the emperor for now.” I proposed.
“And you are?” he asked me.
“Your Imperial Majesty, I’m Kuro, captain of the Paladin Corps of Her Holiness the Saint of Chersea.”
“Oh! So you’re that man who defeated my legions!”
“My apologies, Sir, but I’m only fighting for my liege.”
“It’s all fine, brave sir!” the Emperor reassured me, “At least, you gave them an honorable death, unlike what Seirna did. It’s what we, the men, strive for on the battlefield, anyway.”
“Anyway, Sir Kuro…” Maddie re-inserted herself in the conversation, “You say that we should cooperate with him, why would I do that? He lost my trust in him!”
“Your Holiness, I believe that now is not the time that we fight against each other. A graver threat was at hand, and the last thing that we need is a dagger on each other’s throats.”
“Well, you are right. But I can’t see the merit in including a man who’s virtually powerless to my fight.”
Uh…for a Saint, you sure say some nasty insults, Maddie…
“He may be powerless, but it’s only for now.” I countered Maddie’s point, “The Emperor is still the ruler of the Empire, and even if we don’t like it, in the eyes of his people, he’s still their leader. Once this war ends, we’ll need every support we could gather to rebuild Chersea, and the Empire could be a source of this help.”
“Yes, Your Holiness!” the Emperor backed me up, “I will help to rebuild this realm; only grant me my wish for vengeance.”
“Besides…” I added further, whispering to Maddie, “…it would also help you in getting support for your cause. Think of this, since you convinced your greatest enemy in supporting you, what would prevent the other kings from doing it?”
Maddie pondered on the points we raised for a moment. Lily and the emperor both looked tense, while his other companions had pleading expressions written on their faces.
“Is that all that you would offer, Your Imperial Majesty?” Maddie suddenly asked, “It’s only a vague promise. What I wanted is something concrete.”
The Emperor was taken aback by Maddie’s question. He then consulted his men, who stood behind him, “Err…what would be your direst need, Your Holiness?”
“Let’s see…” the Saint then brought out a list and presented it before the monarch, “First, I wanted proper compensation for these nobles on my list who contributed to my cause, to be answered by your treasury, of course.”
“Hmm…I think we could do that.”
“Second, is that you will allow your legionnaires to be commanded by my generals. Let me be clear that this will be temporary, just for the duration of the conflict against Seirna. The men that would die will receive my blessing.”
“H-Hold on, Your Holiness…I have to consult this with my people.”
“Please do. But regardless of your talk, I won’t accept any other answer than ‘yes’.”
“I-Is there a third condition, Your Holiness?”
“I wanted a lasting peace for this realm, Your Imperial Majesty. I wanted you to sign an agreement with me that, together with the other kings, we’ll form an inter-kingdom army to ensure the enforcement of my vision for Chersea.” Maddie had a resolute face as she laid down her demands, “This army would swear no fealty to anyone, except to the mechanisms I would lay down to guarantee the ‘Saint’s Peace’. I am not exempt, as well.”
“Your Holiness…I believe we should study these proposals—”
“Your Imperial Majesty, I also believe that beggars can’t be choosers.” Maddie reiterated, “You heard me; I won’t accept any other answer than ‘yes’, and since you’re my prisoner, do you think you have any other choice?”
“You’re only forcing me to do this!”
“Well, it’s your decision, Your Imperial Majesty. I’m giving you the chance to avenge your people and keep safe those who could still survive. Or, you may pick Seirna, who betrayed you. You still have your wits before you, Sire. I think you could still decide rationally.”
The emperor and his men were silent as they weighed their options. Basically, what Maddie did was to demand, knowing full well that she held the cards in this conversation. If the emperor wasn’t a prisoner, I doubt this would happen.
However, as this man won my respect, I guess I’ll have to ‘help’ him decide…
“Your Imperial Majesty…” I began, “I know that in your heart, you put the welfare of your people first, as a proof of your sympathy for your men’s deaths. It truly saddens us you have to witness such carnage, enough to wish vengeance on the culprit of that monstrosity.”
“Indeed, Sir Kuro…”
“Yes, it’s a tragedy. And please, I also plead that you understand my liege, Sire. Your deeds in the past had caused her to suspect that you would renege on your promises later, that’s why she spoke like that to you.” It’s good that the emperor agreed with me. Now I’ll just push on a little, “But Sire, between Her Holiness Lady Madelaine, and the accursed saint, Lady Seirna, who do you think is more trustworthy?”
The Emperor was silent. He knew full well the answer to my question.
“Your Imperial Majesty, we want to work with you to change this land for the better, is what my liege is saying.” I pushed the final button on my offensive to convince him, “And a better land means better living conditions for your people, and better conditions would lead to your popularity as their emperor. Don’t you want this, Sire? You might’ve lost your heir, but your name would be remembered for generations to come!”
“Hmm…such a good offer.” the emperor quipped, “I guess it’s worth a try then.”
“Yes, Your Imperial Majesty!” one of his men told him, “They only wanted temporary control of your men for something that is potentially long-lasting in the result!”
“I’d say we accept it, Sire!” said another.
The Emperor then reached out his hand to the Saint, “Alright, Your Holiness, I guess I’d take up your demands then.”
“Alright.” Maddie finally declared, reciprocating his gesture, “As the Saint, I would forgive your trespasses, Your Imperial Majesty. But let me warn you that this would be the last time I would do that. It’s for the welfare of your people.”
“Thank you, Your Holiness.” The emperor bowed before her as a sign of his humble submission to her will.
“Whoo…” I couldn’t help but whistle in admiration of my fiancé. Not only because of her strong will to force her demands to the Emperor; she also founded a peacekeeping-like force to ensure her peace in Chersea.
Maddie’s so ‘future’-minded, she had thought of that possibility!
“Well, I saw it in your memories, the ‘U.N. Blue Helmets’.” Maddie admitted to me while we took a break after that conversation with the Emperor, “If one wanted peace, then one must prepare for war. It’s not like I could stop these people from getting into conflicts with each other, but at least, I tried.”
“But those guys were also full of flaws.” By the way, Lily led the captured Imperial and his companions to their own quarters, as per Maddie’s orders to treat them as the royals and nobles they were. We plan to release them tomorrow after signing Maddie’s agreement to go back to their own land.
“Indeed, they are. That’s why we’ll create rules to make my ‘peacekeepers’ as impartial as possible.” Maddie explained, “But you know, we’re still humans, and we’re imperfect.”
“You know what, hearing those from you makes me admire you even more!” I told her.
“Hmph! L-Like you’re one to talk!” Maddie was blushing, “I was flabbergasted when you talked to the Emperor and convinced him to agree with me. Not everyone could do that.”
“I only applied what I know in negotiations.” I explained, “You sympathize with your target, ask him his demands or needs, then subtly insert your own demands.”
“And again, not everyone could do that.”
“Honestly though, Chersean diplomacy would cause wars in my world. You guys talk too tough.”
“I guess I couldn’t help it considering we grew up in a violent world.”
“Don’t worry Maddie, just as I told you before, I’ll make sure I’ll do everything to realize your dreams.” I winked at her.
“Thank you, Kuro!” Maddie smiled, “So that’s what is Natasha is telling me about your ‘powers’! Your mind is your mightiest skill!”