The King's royal chamber, Capital Fortress City of Shyaraya.
A man around 40 years old stood out from the couch within the king's chamber. He's the Prime Minister. The name was Ime Inis.
Despite being the prime minister, and despite being in possession of rather a cute name, his body was nothing but a bundle of manliness.
His bulking muscle could still be seen even under his elegant clothes. His face is stern, yet also seems kind. He's bald. If Willa were to see this prime minister, she might say "what is The Rock doing here? Is he got isekai'ed too?"
The Walking Fortress Minister. That's what Ime Inis was called.
He's the second person after the king which never been seen bleeding. His magic arts that specialized in defense even made King Arexé feels troubled when they were sparring even with the intention to kill.
His martial might was proven by the king himself. But how about his diplomacy skill? It was pretty normal, just like other prime minister in general. Sly and cunning. But there's another factor that makes him different than other prime ministers. He might squashed the other negotiator by squashing their heads if they were to try to scam him in negotiation. Ime Inis' might and the force backing him was what makes the diplomacy smooth sailing.
There was in fact such incident where Ime killed his opponent in negotiation. It was the newly appointed prime minister of the empire a few years back when the old prime minister had become too old to do his duty. That prime minister was the epitome of a stuck up noble with a pride so high he basically had nothing on him aside from that.
Emperor Majh sent that prime minister and order him to negotiate with politeness. But while his negotiation with Ime was in session, besides trying to scam and threaten Shyaraya's side to get more benefit, he insulted Ime and the King. Ime immediately crushed the minister head. Right after that he dragged the corpse until he reached guard post of the capital of the empire. Thankfully, the guards knew who's Ime was so they didn't point their weapon on him, although it's because they're scared.
The prime minister family protested, yet Emperor Majh just brushed it off because it was indeed sins worthy of executive.
Emperor Majh did not REQUEST the prime minister to be polite, he ORDERED him to do so. And yet, that prime minister was threatening, even tried to scam the other party and insulting a King. The crime of disobeying direct order, fraud, lesse majeste against the king of other nation, these were his sins. In fact his noble family got demolished too after being investigated and proven of fraud, embezzlement, and many other things.
"My Liege, are you okay?"
Ime with worried expression helped Arexé who was trying to get up.
"How long was I out?"
King Arexé nodded at One's worried question and threw out his own question instead.
"It was three full days"
"Three full days?"
For some reason King Arexé was smiling, Ime who saw that feels confused and thought my king is smiling?
But before Ime even had the chance to ask about it, his king's expression return to his usual.
"What is the situation?"
"All the materials, and personnel to wall our farms, ranches, orchards and others which are necessary for the continued survival of every humanoid had arrived a day ago, your majesty"
King Arexé gave a nod without saying anything while he listened to the report.
"We also asked for another addition of thousand soldiers to reinforce our troops to guard the construction sites better after the attack by the unknown assailant"
Once again, King Arexé just nodded.
"I ordered Sece to check what's missing in the library after the attack, and he found out that all of the maps in there were gone"
This time, King Arexé responded with word and gazed at Ime.
"That map is also taken?"
"Yes, THAT map too, your majesty"
Both of them became silence.
That map. It was a map of a hidden city own by Shyaraya. It was located under the great plain side which was near the sole of Himaseru. Built around 150 years ago, and still continued being expand even until now. It was a city which size is now as big as the entire territories of Shyaraya which was inhabited by its citizen. It lays 200m under the ground and continued deeper.
The silence was broken by Ime.
"Your majesty, what happened?"
"I put gag order to every witness. There are only a few who knows that his majesty has lost. What happened, your majesty? I heard it, but I still couldn't believe it"
"I lost. Against a woman. Just as you have heard"
"How, your majesty? No one could defeat you unless they were an army or multiple warriors almost as best as you. How come you are defeated by a woman? Is she actually an avatar of a dragon?"
"No. A human female. Whose beauty will never be rivalled"
Huh? His majesty commented on his opponent's figure instead of ability?
Ime thought it was odd, his king, who never speak or judge others' looks, is actually praising other's beauty sincerely?
Ime had a rude thought that his King's preference might be out of this world. In a bad way.
Seeing Ime's being confused how to response to him, King Arexé took out a Memory Bead and gave it to Ime. It was a mana stone that could record images but only for a few minutes at best.
"Excuse me, your majesty"
Ime took it from King Arexé's palm and he grasped it while injecting mana into it.
Then, moving images were flowing into his mind while he closed his eyes.
King Arexé saw Ime's expression and smiled. Ime's brows were frowning.
After a moment, Ime opened his eyes, and exhaled a big sigh.
Although it was a rude behaviour in the presence of a king, King Arexé did not say anything about it.
"How is it?"
"..............it is just as you said, your majesty......I couldn't believe that there's such a woman in this world...."
"I told you. Her beauty would never be rivalled"
That's not what I meant though...
What Ime had meant was about the woman's strength, but King Arexé thought that what Ime's saying is about the woman's beauty.
Well...she is indeed breath taking. In fact, I might really stopped breathing while I experienced the memory.
"I wonder who is she? Or what is she to be exact...."
"She easily handled me, someone who could go toes to toes with the mightiest ancient dragon, and defeated a group of dragons, easily as if she was handling a child throwing tantrums and I did not feel any sign of mana movements at all. She handled me without any strengthening magic or any magic at all. No, I did not even feel any mana from her"
"Your majesty, but that is!?"
"Yes, it is impossible"
"Every living being naturally and automatically oozes mana, and absorbs mana from the the atmosphere. Judging from what your majesty has said, does that mean she didn't even do that? Is she...a humanoid magic tool!?"
Magic tools were also doing that but it has somekind of on and off switch.
"Do not run wild with your imagination, Ime"
"But your majesty...what else could she be!?"
"Someone, or something, who could handled me like that could only be one of two"
"One of two...of what? Your majesty"
"She is either the Goddess herself, or her avatar. But if she needed maps, it is highly possible she is an avatar instead"
That strength, that beauty, beside a Goddess what else could she be?
"If it is indeed like that, then it's our fault for attacking her without questioning her properly, your majesty"
"She flew away towards Merchant City. Order our spies over there to investigate it if they find an unbelievably beautiful woman"
"As you have commanded, your majesty"
Ime bowed to King Arexé, ready to do what he was being ordered to do.
"Have you found the reason of what's happening a while ago"
"The atmosphere that stirred?"
"No, we haven't found any conclusive reason, but we found out where's the source. It came from the Himaseru. And, we were guessing that it was the Demon King doing"
"I see. Keep investigating that too"
"Yes, your majesty. I shall be excuse"
Ime bowed once again before he truly gets out and begun to do his duty.
Once King Arexé was alone, he was talking to himself out loud.
"How scary could the Demon King be if his aura alone killed someone with weak heart, made all the animals scared and even made some monsters died immediately? Is the robed figure reported to me was the demon king? Why did he withdrew instead of immediately attack us humanoids when he was that close to human civilization already?"
With so many unanswered questions, King Arexé laid his body back.
He touched his chest which got punched by the beautiful woman, no, the goddess.
"I should have ask her name....."
Said King Arexé in regret, yet with a lovestruck expression.
King Arexé, 33 years old, falling in love at first sight.
Willa who never set any kind of love flags would be troubled by this king later. But that's another story.
The day Willa flew off from Shyaraya.
It only took Willa around 25 minutes to travel from Shyaraya to Merchant City, where usually it took a full month by walking.
Naturally, she didn't land in the vicinity of the city, instead she landed 24 km away from the city, then she continued her journey by land.
It took a few hours before she reached the City's gate.
It seems it needed an entrance fee.
Okay, I am such a dummy. How can I get in when I do not have money? No, I guess money is fine if they accept goods instead of money. But what if they ask my background? Such as where I came from? I do not think it would be wise to say that I came from Shyaraya which is basically abandoned. On noes! It is going to be my turn soon! Let just wing it! If it does not work, I could just flee like rabbit!
The guard was stuttering, and he seems to be nervous.
"Show your ID and pay 5 Roop for entrance fee..."
The guard who usually always stared at the entrées' face to intimidate, kept glancing on and off of Willa.
"U-um...I am sorry I lost my belonging while I ran away from monsters I could not defeat...I do not have any penny and my ID is also lost..."
With a crestfallen expression, sad way of talking, and her voice which was as calming as a wind chime, Willa made the guard didn't know what he should do.
"O-oh...yes...no! I-I mean, sorry to hear that, yes..."
Willa took out a silver ring from her storage, but she camouflaged it by taking it from her pocket.
"Um...I only have this silver ring on me, can I pay with this?"
"You can, but...that ring's value is more than 5 Roop..."
"Then I cannot go in?"
At this point, Willa eyes were watery with tears. She's acting though.
"Y-you can! Please don't cry!"
The poor guard was panicking from all the stares he was receiving. Although it was a curious gazes instead of patronising gazes which says "how could you make a girl cry?". But the panicked guard didn't realize that.
"How about this, you can pay with that, and I will sell it and give you the change later? Meet me at the Dancing Horse Tavern by the park"
Willa eyes sparkled with joy. The other guard who didn't say anything, or more like he didn't even move or even breathe, made a loud gulping sound. Meanwhile, the guard who questioned Willa could only nods his head in affirmative.
"Yay~ thank you, Mr. Guard!"
"You may pass now"
Willa with cheerful gait passed the gate.
Haaah...I don't think I need air, foods, or drink so long I could see that smile...
The guards were lovestruck, they didn't realize that the queue has begun to shout at them to hurry it up.
Inside Merchant City.
Wow, what is with this city? I thought, because it is a Merchant City where merchant's caravans are coming and going, the street would have many horse dung, but it is surprisingly clean.
Oh? I see, so that was why there is not any horse dung. The horse's bottom is covered with somekind of a pants? with a hose-like thing so that the dung fall down into that sealed container under the carriage or cart? But what if the horse does not pull any of them? Hmm~ interesting.
Willa looked around, she was observing the buildings, which mostly built from wood, the paved street, the horses which were pulling carriages or carts, and the people.
The people's fashion would not be weird even if they were in the modern era huh~
The way Willa was gawking at everything made her seems like a bumpkin.
But, people passed by her didn't stare or glanced at her because they thought "what a country bumpkin". They were mesmerized by her beauty.
None of them thought that Willa is a child because of her short height. After all, no child have such a mature charm like Willa does. Some of them did think that she might be a halfling though.
Willa didn't feel anything from those states. To her (her setting created by William at least), it was natural that a beauty is the object of awe, worship, envy, and wretched lust. She didn't mind, even if the whole citizen were to come for her with lustful behaviour, it's still easy to escape.
"Excuse me. May I know the way to the Dancing Horse Tavern?"
Willa asked an old man who tended his fruit cart.
But he didn't not respond, the old man merely stared at her.
"Ummm...excuse me? Halo~~~?"
"Oh! Pardon me young lady. I thought an angel was visiting me to tell that it's my time to go"
Said the old man, after he awoke from his daze.
"Oh my, you are very much still a healthy old man, what are you saying"
"Fafafafa! I wouldn't mind dying now if the angel who visits me as pretty as you lady!"
"My! I am flattered"
Willa bow slightly while she put her left hand on her chest.
"So lady, what did you ask me?"
"I apologise to bother you, this is my first time in this city, may I ask where is the Dancing Horse Tavern?"
"That's easy, just head straight away from here! You'll find the park, and the taver you're searching for is on the left!"
"Oh my oh my, so it can be found easily. Once again, sorry to have bothered you"
"Fafafa, don't worry lady. Having a conversation with a pretty one like you gonna brighten my day! So I should be thanking you instead! Fafafa!"
"Oh you smooth old man! Are you teasing me?"
Willa covered her face with her palms as if she was feeling embarrassed.
"Oh lady! You sure know how to play around!"
Both of them were laughing cheerfully.
"Here lady, take this fruit"
"Thank you. I promise I shall buy more tomorrow once I have money on me"
Will took the apple she was offered.
"Oh? You don't have money?"
"No, I currently do not have any single coin on me because I dropped my belonging while I got chased by monsters"
"Are you sure you can earn money soon? It would be bad for everybody's heart if such a pretty one like you would starve!"
"Thank you for your concern, I had some things left that could be exchanged for money thankfully, and I gave it to the guard so be could sell it and give the money back after it got reduced with the entrance fee"
"Aaah, that's a relief. If you have problem, you can ask me for help. Though I doubt I could help you with something big"
"Small help is still help. Any help should be appreciated and repaid"
"Ufufufu, okay then, I shall be excused. Thank you for the help"
"You're welcome! Be safe, pretty one!"
Willa continued walking down the main street towards the park.
It took 10 minutes, and on the way, many touted what they're selling on her, she politely decline, but for some reason, being declined put satisfied expressions on the men who tried to sell their stuff.
She finally arrived at the Dancing Horse tavern. A three stories building, with a wooden board hanging toward the street. It had a horse in a tutu picture on it.