The door opened.
The one that came in was, a tall woman.
Bodywise, she was altogether thin, and her limbs were slender and long.
Her red colored hair grew down to her waist.
Having small edged glasses on, she gave an intellectual impression.
She wore lightweight armor that let her shoulders come out and looked easy to move in, and a mantle. Diablo had a recollection of that armor’s design.
The moment he was seen, he felt a chilling look, but with a smile, it became such a friendly atmosphere it made even them want to smile with relief.
That young lady hit her right hand to her chest and saluted.
「This is the first time we have met. I am called Alicia Cristela, a state knight. Including the matter with the Greenwood Kingdom, I have been bestowed the honorable order of trying to reach a solution to the problem by His Majesty the King. Although I may be inexperienced, since I will do my best with all my might to be of help to everyone, I’m pleased to meet you and hope that you will treat me well.」
She was considerably polite.
——So she’s a state knight.
In the game, there were times where they would appear as NPCs.
According to the settings, only those with pedigree and true strength could become one, and they were knights under direct control of the king.
They possessed a role and authority similar to the police. Protecting the nation’s people from criminals that go from town to town staying outside of town and from monsters of the fields was their duty.
However, unlike the army, they did not attack enemy territory. They were different from the cavalry of the army, and were instead closer to being “military police”.
As for the world view’s treatment of them, it was pretty much “the elegant Knight-sama that the commoners yearned after”.
Rem talked sounding surprised.
「……To be a state knight as a woman……That’s extremely rare.」
Shera also seemed to be of the same opinion.
「I know right~. Generally, the state knights have an image of being nothing but Human men.」
——Nothing but Human men, huh.
There were various problems with there being sexism in the game’s settings. Even though it wanted to represent a worldview similar to that of the Middle Ages, it made the misunderstanding that the creators were advocates of discrimination.
Because of that, in the MMORPG Cross Reverie, there was no difference in parameters or equipment due to the distinction of sex of the Player character. Even in regards to the settings of the outlook on the world, there was no passage that explicitly stated that “females are discriminated against”.
However, in the scenarios, expressions that said “female State Knights are rare” or “it’s hard for females to be appointed” would sometimes be seen.
Guessing from the girls’ words——
Most likely, in this world, the male’s position was strong, and the ones that were appointed to posts that had prestige and responsibility were nothing but males, while females were probably unfairly dealt with.
Because Sylvie, the Adventurer’s Guild Guildmaster was “a Demi-human and a woman”, the discrimination awareness among the Adventurers seemed thin. Discrimination wasn’t felt in the livelihood of the citizens of the town either.
This was probably due to the values of the influential people of this country.
——Well, if it were the game’s scenarios, nothing but those “rare female State Knights” would make their appearance.
In cases where State Knights would make an appearance, a majority of them were in a pattern where Players who were Adventurers would be commissioned a quest.
Even if they were told 『work for the sake of my merit』 by a male State Knight, in that kind of shitty scenario, they wouldn’t feel too eager about it.
A majority of the Players were male. Though about half of the characters were female (since this area is the darkness of MMORPGs, we’ll leave it alone).
This meant that rather than an Ossan that acted high and mighty, a cute girl would make the motivation towards a quest become higher. It also increased the number of Players that would go “let’s clear it within the time limit even if we have to make money charges”.
Come to think of it, there was also an NPC known as “the devilish State Knight, Miyuri-sama” that would commission super high difficulty quests. She was a big breasted, bobbed haired, timid character, and would always make commissions with a voice that sounded like she would cry.
By being moved by affection, accepting the quest, and going to the targeted dungeon, a large amount of Demonic Beasts would be waiting.
He did not know how many beginners had become prey to Demonic Beasts due to that girl’s commission.
——I wonder if she is also in this world?
Alicia talked with a gentle tone of voice.
「It certainly is rare, isn’t it. I was lucky enough to be employed as a State Knight while being a woman.」
「……That really is a splendid thing. I’m sure that you put in great effort for it.」
Since Rem also carried troubles that shouldn’t be shared with people, that’s how she might have felt.
「Thank you very much. That’s true……I also have my own troubles as a woman……However, someone like me still has a long way to go. Same to you, Rem-sama. Don’t you seem like you have your own worries about something?」
「……Why, would you think that?」
Rem became vigilant and shrank away.
Alicia waved both hands left and right.
「I’m sorry, that was a conjecture. According to the documents, there were things like Rem-sama having seven Summoned Beasts and being a capable Summoner. And yet, without joining the Magician’s Guild and also not working for Feudal Lord-sama, I just thought that there was probably some kind of reason for it.」
「……I see. That logic does connect.」
「I have no intention of investigating things about you, Rem-sama. My objective is to resolve the problem that is occurring in Faltra City after all.」
「But, Rem-sama, you are also a citizen of Faltra City. If there’s anything that would require strength, please consult me without reserve. Though it is also my duty as a State Knight, I get especially worried about people that carry “hidden hardships” like yourself, Rem-sama. It’s fine even if you don’t force yourself to talk about your secret.」
「……Is that so……For now, I will just accept your feelings.」
Rem looked like she refused, but she didn’t deny that she had a secret. She probably trusted her a fair bit.
Alicia next shifted her eyes towards Shera.
「Shera-sama, I’m sure that this case has brought you various hardships, but let’s do our best together so that we can make everyone happy!」
「Yeah! That’s right, let’s do our best together!」
Shera expressed a whole faced smile.
After that, she handed over a hemp bag to Sylvie and said 「This is a consolatory present of money from His Majesty」. Listening to it, gold coins were in it. It was probably because several Adventurers had died due to the Demonic Being Gregor.
Although he endeavored to not let it show on his face, Diablo was in admiration.
——This girl, her communication ability, is amazing!
She wasn’t just kind.
In regards to Rem, although she didn’t know her circumstances, she theoretically offered her cooperation.
Then in contrast, she chose simple words that were easy to understand for Shera.
For Sylvie, she brought goods that matched her position.
She might have been listening to the conversation from the next room but, even though they were people she had met for the first time, to think that she would change the way she interacted with each person.
Alicia fixed her eyes on Diablo.
She was quite a beautiful person. He felt like he would be sucked up by those eyes within those glasses.
However, he felt a different kind of nervousness from the time he confronted Galford.
So as to deceive her, he snorted his nose.
「Hmph……Do you have something that you wish to say to me?」
「By all means, please allow me to say my gratitude to you, Diablo-sama.」
「Gratitude, you say?」
「It is for having exterminated the Demonic Being called Gregor that appeared in Faltra City and for saving the Magician’s Guild Guildmaster Celestine Bordorel-sama. Also, for repelling the 1〇〇 Demonic Beings that raided Fort Bridge Ulg……As a member of the state knights that have been entrusted with the safety of the nation’s people, my feelings of gratitude and respect are insuppressible. I truly do thank you.」
Having been told words of gratitude directly to him in this manner, he couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable.
「Ah~……That was……That was only because the Demonic Beings opposed me that I destroyed them. Something like the lives of the Races mattered not to me.」
——Ah, I guess I went too far in saying “something like lives don’t matter to me”.
Reflecting on the words he said after they had been said, happened often. Diablo was bad at conversations.
However, Alicia didn’t seem to mind it.
「That’s true. Although I do believe that you do not require something like assistance, Diablo-sama, but I have the duty to report the details to His Majesty. By all means, please allow me to close.」
「……Do as you like.」
When he was told that, he had nothing else to say back.
The state knights were the elite. In both pedigree and ability, they were probably much higher than the average person of the Races.
And yet, for her to express gratitude even to Diablo who was a Demon and an Adventurer……
So this is what it means to have “strong communication skills”.
If he were to lower his guard, wouldn’t she be able to see that Diablo’s Demon King role play was nothing more than an act?
She might be the most formidable enemy up until now.
Let’s firmly threaten her and make it so that she doesn’t try to talk to me that much, is what he thought.
He spoke with a deliberately low voice.
「If you do not wish to die, be sure not to carelessly talk to me.」
Alicia opened her eyes wide looking surprised.
Contrary to his expectation that she would be afraid with this, she deeply nodded her head.
「I will resolve myself……Diablo-sama, since you are a person that protected the populace from a nation-scale threat, if it is to appease your anger, I do not believe that this life is too good for it.」
Diablo couldn’t find words to speak.
Rem and Shera looked at each other looking dumbfounded.
Sylvia shrugged her shoulders.
Galford cleared his throat.
「I would be troubled if you were to die so easily……I will be scolded by His Highness. Alicia Cristela is a daughter of a duke house, a talented woman that graduated at the top of her class at knight school, and a favorite of His Majesty the King. By all rights, I would absolutely not allow her to travel together with the likes of Adventurers…….But, unfortunately, I do not possess the authority to give orders to the State Knights.」
「I’m sorry for having given you such trouble.」
Alicia lowered her head.
——So that means that she’s not just some State Knight.
Galford rung a small bell that was on his desk. .
「Since it’s about time for a conference, I’ll have to excuse you.」
The door of the entrance opened, and the butler that guided them when they came once again bowed his head.
So “Leave” is what he was trying to say.
This should already be plenty.
The Elves’ whereabouts and scale, and the quest deadline. Also, the Feudal Lord’s thoughts. For intelligence gathering, this was close to a perfect score.
Only if the problem of “not having decided on a definite counter-measure” is excluded.