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???: [How much time does it take just to bring one foolish commoner back? Do you think that the value of the time that flows by is the same between you and I?]
???: [No, that’s why I’m apologizing to you…]
Greeted by his master’s frigid gaze, Al bowed his head in a sullen manner.
As soon as he returned to the conference hall with Subaru, the aforementioned reprimand awaited him.
The original purpose of his mission was to bring Subaru back to the meeting hall, so it was not unreasonable for him to be scolded for having an unplanned conversation. Not unreasonable, but――,
Subaru: [Priscilla, please don’t blame Al too much. It’s not Al who’s at fault, it’s me.]
Priscilla: [Hmm. I’m sure you two clowns were consoling each other over some trivial anguish. Your forehead is red, did you bash it against the wall or something?]
Subaru: [Do you have Clairvoyance? You’re so spot on it’s scary.]
Priscilla shot back at Subaru, who had come to Al’s defense, with a comment as if she had seen it before.
The scene was not supposed to be so common as to come to mind easily, but he couldn’t help shudder at Priscilla’s insight.
Subaru: [It’s like the conversation didn’t continue without us…]
Priscilla: [It is not facile to arrive at a conclusion. After all, are you not Abel’s military strategist?]
Subaru: [Well, um…]
Being pierced by Priscilla’s narrowed gaze, Subaru glanced at Abel. In response to his gaze, Abel, sitting on his seat, arms still crossed, paid no heed to Subaru’s questioning look.
Abel must have been reluctant to treat Subaru as a military strategist, but since he had stated such directly to Priscilla, it could be that he was unable to retract it.
As a result, they could not conclude the meeting without Subaru.
Subaru: [Aren’t you shooting yourself in the foot by acting without thinking?]
Abel: [You are the one who needs to regard the value of your words. Any great strategy can be treated as either wise or foolish, depending on how you choose your words.]
Subaru: [You’re regretting treating me as a military strategist, that’s some nerve…]
Frowning at Abel’s officious answer, Subaru sighed deeply.
He then looked around at the people in the meeting room―― Abel, Priscilla, Zikr, and Taritta, who had taken over as Chieftain, and then closed one eye.
Without Subaru and Al, they didn’t think they could have reached a conclusion.――,
Subaru: [The conclusion you haven’t reached is about cooperating with Priscilla? What was said before, was that Priscilla had a collaborator.]
Abel: [You seem to have the brains to keep up. Of course, I am talking about that. ――The one who gathers the most members of the Nine Divine Generals wins, remember?]
Subaru: [Yeah, we got to the part where the First’s a pain in the ass for being useless.]
If he went unrecruited and became an assassin, there would be nothing they could do. On the other hand, if he were recruited, he would not contribute much to the situation. If this were a simulation game, he would be a troublesome unit.
Someone that lacked charm even if turned an ally, all while becoming deadly poisonous if left to their enemies.
Subaru: [But it’s about the final victory. It’s not about Priscilla and the support of her collaborators. Right?]
Priscilla made a small sound in her throat as Subaru summarized the story deftly.
For an instant, Priscilla’s crimson eyes flashed with a look of curiosity that seemed unusual in Subaru’s own eyes―― a reaction that suggested that she was interested in someone else, and in addition to that, it was Subaru.
I haven’t done anything special, Subaru contemplated.
Priscilla: [No, I thought you looked deflated in that guise, but you have made your return with a new look on your face and a new light in your eyes. On top of that, your blood circulation is a little better, so your appearance is slightly different.]
Subaru: […Are you, complimenting me?]
Priscilla: [You may jump in jubilance if such is your wish.]
Subaru: [I won’t go that far.]
The fact that she had not denied it, must be a compliment in Priscilla’s own way.
Replying with a snort, Subaru accepted the praise for his change of heart.
From Rem’s own mouth, the words that had supported Natsuki Subaru had been repudiated.
However, he was encouraged that this was not the time for his knees to buckle because of it.
Subaru: [Well, if that’s the case, then it was worth being late for the meeting.]
Priscilla: [I see, the result of a conversation between clowns is superb. You are being so uncharacteristically friendly, Al.]
Al: [Oi, oi, it’s not unusual for a nice guy like me to be friendly to someone, Princess.]
Priscilla derided him, and Al shrugged his shoulders as he replied.
Subaru could not decide whose words were correct, Priscilla’s or Al’s.
For Subaru, Al was the only person from his homeland, the one who patted him on the back and pushed him out of a dead-end situation. It was true that his image was not without its unsympathetic side, as he had been harsh to him elsewhere, and he treated any situation as someone else’s problem.
Subaru: [I can forgive it if I consider it as an after-effect of spending so much time in a different world.]
Al: [Didn’t you just say something really upsetting? Maybe I’m imagining things.]
Al tilted his head as if he couldn’t make any sense of it, but Subaru let it slide.
Neither the fact that Priscilla had changed her mind about Subaru, nor the fact that Al had contributed to that change of heart, were what was important.
Subaru: [What we need to do is settle the debate… and see how Priscilla’s willing to deal with us in the future. Let’s not go off-topic.]
Abel: [Oh, I am sorry. That someone who gets side-tracked so easily became a military strategist.]
To Abel, who narrowed his eyes in displeasure and retorted sarcastically, Subaru stuck his tongue out and ignored him. Then, turning to Priscilla once again, he urged her to continue the conversation.
Subaru: [So, what are you going to do? With or without the support of Priscilla and her collaborators, I’m sure Abel’s still going to raise an assault on the Imperial Capital…]
Al: [With or without the Princess’s support, the extent of the assault will be the same.]
Priscilla: [It is that you clowns are so in tune with each other. Anyway, your assessment is correct. Therefore, for us to assist you in the future… I have raised a condition to Abel to serve as proof that he is worthy of the support.]
Priscilla: [It is simple. ――One of the Nine Divine Generals must be on your side.]
To Subaru’s frowning face, Priscilla presented the requirement as a matter-of-fact.
Upon hearing that prerequisite, Subaru muttered “Nine Divine Generals…”.
It was not an absurd condition, definitely.
In the first place, if one wished to mount a challenge in the battle to regain the throne, the acquisition of many Divine Generals was required beforehand. Priscilla was merely looking for that first step.
In fact, it would be a very fortunate condition if they could get Priscilla on their side just by fulfilling the prerequisites for victory, right――
Subaru: [It’s not exactly a condition to be jumping up and down about, is it?]
Abel: [Of course. As long as I remain unknowing of Goz’s safety, there are no Divine Generals among the Nine who would follow me unconditionally. Additionally, there are not many eccentrics with an inclination to trouble themselves to fight a losing battle.]
Subaru: […If they can’t see even a small chance of winning, no one will come on board.]
As Abel described the tragic situation, Subaru also wrinkled his brow with a difficult expression.
Abel’s sad self-awareness―― if the Emperor’s prestige was not enough for the Nine Divine Generals, he desired to get as much support as possible from Priscilla and her collaborators.
At the very least, the presence of such a collaborator would have been a bargaining chip to persuade the Nine Divine Generals.
At this point, Abel had only a few things to go on: his big claim that he was the true Emperor, the People of Shudraq, and the military strength of the Fortress City of Guaral.
Subaru: [I wonder if they’ll listen to us when we say we’ll fight the Empire with one city and one tribe.]
Abel: [Those working with Priscilla… If they rank as mid-level Counts or higher, their names shall pose as good bargaining chips.]
Priscilla: [I tell you, do not expect mercy from me. I possess a certain amount of generosity, but it is not meant for beggars.]
Priscilla, with her chin resting on her hand, easily trampled their feeble hopes.
As they were already aware, there was no way she was going to change her opinion. Then, all they had to do was to directly challenge the conditions presented to them.
Zikr: [With all due respect, Your Excellency, perhaps we should turn to General First-Class Cecilus for help?]
Subaru: [Zikr-san, what are the odds of success?]
Expectations were placed on Zikr after those words, as heavy silence fell over the room. However, in response to Subaru’s expectant gaze, Zikr shook his head and said, “No”.
Zikr: [As Your Excellency stated earlier, given the current balance in strength, anyone who considers cooperating with us is not thinking straight. Therefore…]
Zikr: [I am afraid we can only rely on people who don’t think straight, such as General First-Class Cecilus…]
Subaru: [Ah, so Zikr-san thinks that person’s nuts, too.]
Cecilus, who had only a dismal reputation, was hardcore enough that Zikr thought he could be brought to their side due to his craziness.
However, if they really had no other choice, they may have to go for the first troublesome unit they could think of bringing over to their side at some point.
Subaru: [The question is, where is he? Where does that person usually live?]
Abel: [That one usually lives in Arakiya’s house in the Imperial Capital.]
Subaru: [I see, Arakiya’s… wait, why?]
It was said flatly, and Subaru’s understanding of Abel’s words was delayed for a few seconds.
Even Priscilla scowled in displeasure at the outlandishness of the content.
From what he had heard, Cecilus was the First, and Arakiya was the Second.
Subaru: [Does that mean that this Cecilus guy and Arakiya are lovers or something?]
If that were the case, the impression left by Subaru and the others who had repelled Arakiya could not have been worse.
Subaru and his team had successfully made enemies of both the First and Second.
However, Abel shook his head in response to Subaru’s question.
Abel: [No, that is not so. Arakiya is looking for an opportunity to kill Cecilus, but she cannot achieve such a thing if people around him are harmed every time she attempts to murder him. That is why I ordered Cecilus to do it.]
Subaru: [Ordered what?]
Abel: [If it was going to happen anyway, he should stay in places where it’s easy for Arakiya to go after him.]
Subaru: […I see?]
Even with a concrete explanation, their relationship was difficult for Subaru to understand.
He did not understand the mentality of letting his own Generals kill one another, and he also did not comprehend the idea of living in the house of someone who would try to kill oneself.
First of all――,
Subaru: [How can you live with someone who wants to kill you…?]
After he asked that, he felt as if he had spoken something strange, but he was incapable of finding the answer to that odd feeling, and Subaru quickly forgot his question.
Anyway, the fact that Cecilus usually lived in the Imperial Capital was now known.
Subaru: [So, the only way to get Cecilus on our side is to head to the Imperial Capital… Hey, you sure you’re okay to go all the way to the Imperial Capital?]
Abel: [Of course not. With the current status quo, if I were to get close to the Imperial Capital, it would be no different than advancing toward my own execution. More than that, I do not even know if Cecilus is in the Imperial Capital after all.]
Subaru: [Then we’re out of luck…]
When it came to matters of the Vollachian Empire, and even military matters, Subaru’s knowledge was useless.
Though, since Zikr, who was also a commissioned officer, had been the first to suggest it, it could be considered to be one of the better ideas they could come up with.
If that idea was rejected, Abel’s path would be bleak.
Subaru: […Yet this isn’t the time to be in a stalemate.]
A dark and heavy feeling began to assert itself in Subaru’s chest.
It was like a bittersweet stagnation, a lump of helplessness that would not vanish even if he banged his head against a wall, something like an aftereffect of Rem giving up on Subaru.
Because of it, Subaru had lost Rem’s trust.
He had to get rid of this stagnation as soon as possible and regain her trust. In order to do so, every second of time spent at a standstill was regrettable.
Abel: [――There is a way.]
However, the gnashing of Subaru’s teeth was halted due to these words of response from Abel.
One eye closed, Abel turned to face Subaru, the latter looking upwards as if he had been struck, and spoke――,
Abel: [Cease with that pathetic face, I am sick of seeing it. I have an idea.]
Subaru: [Sorry, but my face’s at the limit of what I can do with the character maker, without whaling for it. I don’t care about the inequality between such faces. What do you mean you have an idea?]
Abel: [It was part of Zikr’s idea. I shall adopt some of it.]
Zikr: [Some of my idea? I would be honored, but that is…?]
With furrowed thick eyebrows, Zikr displayed confusion upon hearing that his opinion would be utilized.
Subaru was just as confused as Zikr. In the first place, Zikr’s idea had been to recruit Cecilus, the First.
As long as they could not go to the Imperial Capital, they would be forced to reject that idea, and he thought that there were no other parts that could be used, outside of that.
To Subaru, who thought so, Abel exhaled via his nose, “Hmm.”
Abel: [I do not possess a chance to talk to Cecilus, but Zikr also stated. ――If there is someone else who does not think straight, there is a possibility.]
Zikr: [――Hk! Impossible… Your Excellency, that is dangerous! Please reconsider!]
Subaru: [Eh? Eh? Eh?]
Abel’s bold words were met with fierce opposition by a pale-faced Zikr.
Zikr’s fierce determination made Subaru’s eyes dart back and forth, and he was surprised to see what was going on.
Zikr seemed to have an idea of what was going on, but this seemed illogical to Subaru. From the way the conversation was flowing, it seemed as if he were going to talk to someone crazy――,
Subaru: [Is there anyone crazier than that General First-Class Cecilus no one likes?]
Zikr: [I would not label them crazy! But that person is too dangerous…!]
Al: […Well, I get what you’re saying Afro General, but from the way the conversation’s going, it’s one of the Nine Divine Generals, right? If you leave them out, is there anyone else you can count on? It’s not a situation in which you can be picky.] 
Zikr: [That is true, but…]
Subaru and Al spoke to him from both sides, and Zikr quieted down with a reluctant face.
Having seen the good-natured Zikr in suffering made Subaru feel as if they had done something wrong.
Rather, the problem lay with Abel’s personnel management, which had placed people in key positions that Zikr could not help but anguish over.
This was an example of how appointing people based on their abilities alone could lead to such tragedies.
Subaru: [In that respect, Lugunica was run pretty well… Basically, I’ve never come across a big shot who was a jerk… No, there was that old man who said bad things about Emilia-tan, but…]
In hindsight, that was also part of a statement born out of excessive fear of the Witch of Envy.
At the time, Subaru was a foolish hero who did not understand such circumstances and took on the challenge, equipped only with recklessness. Now, were he to encounter an identical situation, he would be better equipped to challenge it.
Of course, the option of not challenging someone over Emilia because of her bad reputation was not present for him.
Subaru: [So just who’s the cause of Zikr-san’s suffering?]
Abel: [What is with that foolish wording?]
Abel responded to Subaru’s question with a resentful look on his face.
Abel: [To answer your question, it is Yorna Mishigure, based in Chaosflame, the Demon City.]
Subaru: [Yorna Mishigure…]
Despite the unfamiliar name of the city, the person’s name was familiar to Subaru.
Yorna Mishigure was one of the Nine Divine Generals mentioned in the list, and he believed her nickname to be――,
Subaru: [She’s called the Flamboyant, something like that, right?]
Al: [You’re good, bro. I don’t know how you managed to learn it in one shot.]
Subaru: [I like to memorize the nicknames of executive-level characters in manga and such. That said, this Yorna person is Zikr-san’s…]
As he said this, he glanced at Zikr, and Subaru became speechless.
Because Zikr’s face had gone pale, now covered by his hands.
Zikr: [The Seventh of the Nine Divine Generals, General First-Class Yorna Mishigure…]
Subaru: [Is she that dangerous? I thought the name was feminine, but…]
If his impression was correct, she would be a woman feared even by Zikr, renowned as the Womanizer, who acted like a gentleman even towards a Subaru only dressed as a woman.
He could not even envision what kind of spectacle was going to come out of her, but――,
Zikr: [She is beautiful. I am sure everyone can agree on that, not just me. However, General First-Class Yorna has a small… no, not a small, rather, an inexcusable problem.]
Subaru: [Well, what’s the problem?]
Zikr: [――It’s insurrection.]
Subaru & Al: [Eh?]
Subaru’s and Al’s voices overlapped with Zikr’s, as the words spilled from his mouth.
To Subaru’s dismay, who was suspecting that his ears had heard that wrong, Zikr covered his face with his hands and continued in a trembling voice.
Zikr: [General First-Class Yorna Mishigure has rebelled many times and threatened the reign of Emperor Vincent Vollachia.]
Subaru: [You can’t put someone like that in the position of army general!]
Subaru’s angry voice echoed through the conference hall for a second time.
Priscilla: [――This affair seems to have been settled.]
After a while of listening to the ridiculous information about the Nine Divine Generals, and after Subaru’s angry shout, Priscilla adjudged that she had witnessed the conclusion of the discussion, and opened her fan with a snap.
Honestly, it was a conclusion Subaru wanted to object to, but――,
Abel: [There is no other option. As of now, the only one among the Nine Divine Generals who might join us is Yorna Mishigure.]
Subaru: [Didn’t she rebel against you because she didn’t like you in the first place…?]
Zikr: [No, actually, that would not be entirely true… It is impossible for me, at least, to know what she is thinking.]
Subaru: [If Zikr-san says as much, then it must be true…]
At the words of the trustworthy Zikr, Subaru had no choice but to retract his doubts.
And Abel, having heard this, sniffed disapprovingly and spoke.
Abel: [What is it with you and your willingness to listen to Zikr’s opinion?]
Subaru: [Even if the opinion’s the same, who said it is important. Do you think you have more credibility in my mind than Zikr-san does?]
Abel: [I see. But what happens if Zikr dies?]
Subaru: [Even though it’s a thought experiment, I’m going to kill you!]
He cursed at Abel for saying something so disturbing.
Taking Zikr’s loyalty into account, if Abel ordered him to do it, he may seriously commit suicide. Subaru was doing everything in his power to prevent such an incident from happening.
Subaru: [Silly stuff aside, Chaosflame… where is it? Is it far from Guaral?]
Abel: [Not in terms of location. That is another reason as to why it is an appropriate place to head towards. It is located southeast of here… and south of the Buddheim Jungle.]
Subaru: [I see, indeed…]
Having been shown the location on the map on the desk, Subaru was convinced by Abel’s explanation.
The location of Chaosflame lay south of the jungle where the People of Shudraq lived―― the distance was larger than that between Jungle and Guaral, but it was a destination far more realistic than the one till the Imperial Capital or the land further west.
Subaru: [And then there’s why it’s called the Demon City…]
Priscilla: [Rest assured, foolish commoner. It is not because of a reason that shall crush your minute heart. It is a city where many races have lived in chaos since ancient times. Vollachia is home to a much wider variety of races in comparison to Lugunica, but Chaosflame is a particularly eclectic mix.]
Subaru: [In chaos… and it’s the Demon City.]
Once that was said, the fact that the word “chaos” was connected to the city said to be “in chaos” made a lot of sense. 
Given that this was another world, it was probably just a coincidence.
Abel: [――In the Demon City, I shall add Yorna Mishigure, the Seventh of the Nine Divine Generals, to my army. I am certain you shall be able to open your heart… when that comes to pass, Priscilla.]
Priscilla: [That is fine. I am quite magnanimous. I shan’t add conditions afterwards.]
Subaru: [I thought you said something about generosity being out of stock earlier… No, never mind.]
With Priscilla’s glare falling on him, Subaru immediately withdrew his unnecessary remark.
And so, once the plan was properly settled upon――,
???: [――Abel, please take me with you.]
Suddenly, Taritta stood up and pleaded with Abel.
Taritta had been seated in place of Kuna during the meeting, but she had never spoken up before this moment.
She was probably confused by the fact that she had to suddenly take over as Chieftain, but even now, her face had a deep sense of urgency plastered on it as she stared at Abel.
In response to her plea, Abel’s dark eyes narrowed.
Abel: [What shall you do? You have inherited the title of Shudraqian Chieftain from your sister. Regardless of your confidence, that will not change.]
Taritta: [I know, I know. I can’t refuse the position that my older sister has given to me. But I’m not strong enough to lead the Shudraq…]
Taritta looked downward, as she bit her lip and stared at her hands.
In her empty hands, what she clutched was probably the same thing that Subaru held in his heart―― that was, the sense of helplessness that tormented her.
Taritta: [Because I need… a chance to carry the position of Chieftain with pride.]
Abel: [――. Is that what you are looking for in travelling to Chaosflame?]
Taritta: [Yes, it is… is it no good?]
Taritta’s voice lost some of its power, as if she had lost confidence in herself after saying that.
However, Subaru could understand the anxiety that Taritta was feeling, and what it really was.
After the sudden change in Chieftains, Taritta had been forced to play a major role, but she was not sure that she held the power befitting said role.
So, what she sought was a successful experience. With her own hands, she would seek results sufficient to convince herself, and a success story that would let her deem herself worthy.
――It was the same thing that Subaru was looking for right now.
Subaru: [Abel, I agree with her. Even if she succeeded Mizelda-san with such a mindset, I think Taritta-san wouldn’t be able to fulfill her potential…]
Subaru: [Besides, we’re going to need an escort or ally along the way anyway, right? We know what Taritta-san’s capable of. We’re friends who rode into… town together in women’s clothing.]
He had rephrased it somewhere in the middle of it, but he declared what he wanted to.
Taritta appeared to be very impressed by Subaru’s decision to side with her. He was painfully aware of her hard work. Therefore, he wanted to be on her side.
Abel: [What shall the Shudraq do while you are gone?]
Taritta: [I will let my sister take over for a while. Kuna and Holly will be assisting her a lot. To protect Guaral we can’t move too many people.]
Abel: [So you thought about that much, whilst keeping quiet?]
Having listened to Taritta’s unrestrained answer, Abel assessed her thoughts.
Then Abel tapped his temple lightly with his finger,
Abel: [Only a few are heading for Chaosflame. Of course, as long as I am meeting with Yorna Mishigure, my presence is essential. But we shall not mount an attack.]
Subaru: [At most we can only take one escort…]
Abel: [Then I shall add you, Taritta. The rest――]
???: [――I’ve been listening!]
In the middle of Abel’s sentence, the door was thrown open with great force, and a figure stepped in with vigor.
It was Flop O’Connell, the good merchant who had unabashedly referred to the Emperor as his new friend, and who had no fear of the impertinence of interrupting said Emperor’s words.
Flop snorted, as he held the gaze of everyone in the room to himself.
Flop: [Miss Taritta, I’m very impressed with your spirit in volunteering for such a difficult role! I think it’s great that you’re finding your own way to tackle a big role out of the blue…!]
Taritta: [Ah, thank you, thank you very much, Flop…]
Flop: [I’d like to make a suggestion to keep you and Mr. Chief safe on the road. ――I think it’d be a good idea to take my sister, Medium, with you!]
Finger held high, Flop asserted forcefully.
Subaru almost unintentionally nodded in agreement because of his vigor, but upon examining what he had stated, it was a rather abrupt suggestion.
Subaru: [So, what’s on your mind?]
Flop: [Yeah, yeah, I guess that’s the question. Now let me give y’all my reasons for recommending Medium! First of all, she’s skilled, and then she’s charming. On top of that, she’s a smooth talker!]
Subaru: [Smooth talker…!]
Flop: [She speaks pleasantly and clearly, so your chats while traveling won’t be lonesome. She’s not shy, so she can get along with anyone. What do you think, isn’t she a gem?]
Flop, white teeth on display, praised his sister, but two-thirds of his confident selling points referred to Medium’s people-pleasing nature, and the only real selling point was that she was “skilled”.
In fact, Subaru had confirmed that this one point was accurate, however――,
Subaru: [But, have you talked to Medium-san about it?]
Flop: [No, I haven’t! But I’m going to tell her now, so it’s okay!]
Subaru: […Is this okay?]
It was no travel consultation nor a promise of fun.
Although she would be thrown into a role where her life would be on the line, would discussing it with her later work out? If this were to cause a rift in the relationship between the siblings, it would indeed be painful for Subaru.
However, he was afraid that he could picture them laughing and being okay with it.
Subaru: [Assuming that Medium-san’s okay with it, Abel, what about you?]
Abel: [――. I have witnessed that she possesses the right skills. If she performs her role, I have no objection.]
Flop: [Then you can rest assured! My sister’s one who basically gives her all to whatever she’s told to do! But be careful, she doesn’t get too worked up if she’s not told to.]
Putting his hands on his hips, Flop laughed gaily, “Hahahaha!”.
It could be inferred from the way he’d stated that, and from Abel’s attitude. ――This time, Flop would not included in the group that would accompany them to Chaosflame.
Subaru: [But… Medium-san, doesn’t have to go with us, you know.]
Flop: [Don’t be silly, Mister, I have a goal. There’s some revenge that must be done, that must be served.]
Subaru: […Oh, right.]
Those were the dangerous words that spilled out of Flop’s mouth, but he knew that they were by no means dangerous thoughts, but rather directed towards an outrageous absurdity even the cheerful Flop could not forgive.
Flop’s goodness, which had gone unheard of by Subaru in this world―― that was the reason why Subaru trusted him and had been able to spend time with him until today.
Flop: [It’s the same for my sister. My sister and I have the same goal, and the same path to walk. If I abandon you, the Missus, and Mr. Chief here, I wouldn’t be able to hold my head high anymore.]
Subaru: [――. I’m going to cry. I’m going to fall in love with you.]
Flop: [Hahaha, that’s a gut-wrenching thing to hear from you Mister, in that outfit! But you can’t do that, because it’d be bad for the Missus. But I’ll take your feelings!]
Even the way he dealt with it was cool, and Subaru could only admire it.
Perhaps Medium would be willing to follow Flop’s words. In other words, one of their companions in the trip to Chaosflame would be Medium.
Flop: [Miss Taritta, be good to my sister. Hey, you got along well with me, so I’m sure you’ll get along well with my sister.]
Taritta: [Y-yes… Please take care of yourself too…]
Flop: [Hm? Yes, I’ll do my best with Zikr-san and the rest of the Shudraqians!]
Flop slapped himself on the chest as Taritta fidgeted and looked down.
With a smile on his face, Subaru cleared his throat.
Subaru: [By the way, I’m…]
Abel: [I shall be leaving you behind.]
Abel: [Did you really believe I would say such a thing?]
When Subaru tried to confirm, Abel threw a feint in bad taste at him.
Even though he was enraged by it, he reacted as if he wanted to be take along, so Subaru did his best to hold back and kept silent by clenching his teeth.
Snickering at Subaru, Abel prefaced his remarks with, “Unfortunately, though,”.
Abel: [You are already a bargaining chip. As long as it is imperative for us to append Yorna Mishigure, no talks can be held without your presence.]
Subaru: [I’ll definitely punch you in the side of the head when all’s done and dusted, but… I’m a bargaining chip?]
Abel: [The fall of Guaral was of your design. Those circumstances shall soon be known. I shall make sure that happens.]
Not grasping the meaning of Abel’s words, Subaru was bewildered.
There was no doubt that the fall of the Fortress City had been Subaru’s plan, but he did not understand the advantage of going through the trouble of making it known.
Basically, being underestimated was Natsuki Subaru’s starting point.
Priscilla: [―― That there is someone else who can be utilized besides Abel, we must make her think so.]
It was Priscilla who answered Subaru’s question in a straightforward manner.
Hearing her words, comprehension slowly seeped into Subaru’s mind.
Priscilla: [Of course, that encompasses not only this foolish commoner. The People of Shudraq from the Buddheim Jungle, and the defender of the Fortress City of Guaral, General Second-Class Zikr Osman, are likewise material for negotiations. But the best one would be…]
Abel: [The military strategist who assisted in bringing the city down… As I had stated. In the Empire, the strong are respected. It is not merely about brute force, but intelligence as well.]
That was why Natsuki Subaru had value, Abel and Priscilla assured this.
Honestly, from Subaru’s point of view, it was a very complicated assessment.
On one hand, he was bothered to be so highly praised.
But on the other hand, it also seemed to be an overestimation. In fact, in spite of this high evaluation, Subaru had lost the trust of Rem, and felt the ground under him collapse.
No matter how highly he was regarded in the Empire, it was nothing compared against Rem’s trust.
For this reason, Subaru’s heart was not moved by Abel and Priscilla’s evaluation.
Subaru: [If I’m useful, that’s fine. Use me well. In return…]
Abel: [In return?]
Subaru: [You’ll definitely get the throne of the Emperor back. And you’ll get us back home safely.]
Subaru firmly stated that this was the only thing he would not compromise on.
Having heard this, Abel’s eyes widened slightly, and then he let out a long breath.
Abel: [Being told that is needless. ――That is what I am supposed to do.]
And so he answered.
 This isn’t translation flair or anything, Al literally calls Zikr “アフロの将”, Afro General.
 “Chaosflame” is composed by two English words, “chaos” (カオス) and “flame” (フレーム) (or possibly frame). That is what Subaru is alluding to here.