Even if it was nearly impossible, wasn’t it worth a try instead of waiting here to die?

Such opinions were growing strong within the resistance.

If they were able to negotiate with the city, regardless of the outcome, it would at least put an end to these debates.

And of course—

If the city was not willing to give in, even an inch, then they would have to take from them by force—that would be the result.

“Kahahahahaha! Well said! Yes, yes. It is always best to act first.”

Veldora nodded with satisfaction. Zaza sent him a cold look.

This is all your fault! His eyes said accusingly.

“When you do attack the city, I shall accompany you. For that is Lord Ramiris’s wish.”

Beretta said. Karman couldn’t help but enter a fighting stance because of this sudden appearance.

“Be-Beretta!?”

“Karman, I think it was. Do not fear. I am no longer angry. Lord Ramiris has repaired the mask for me.”

He said as he looked at Karman and his men.

And then he looked back at Karman and said in a whisper.

“…However, had you not said that one thing, I would have killed you all. You were very lucky.”

Karman could give no answer except for a nod.

Yes, Karman had been lucky.

Beretta had regained his cool when Karman had praised the face that Rimuru had made.

He felt as if it had been Rimuru who was praised, and not himself. And he was happy.

Without that word, Beretta would have gone wild and put an end to Karman and his men.

Beretta told Karman this and then turned towards Veldora and Ramiris.

“As you commanded, I have repaired everything except for the hole in the ceiling.”

“Oh, yes. Thank you! By the way, master. Why didn’t you have the hole sealed?”

“Hm? Ah, that is because we will have visitors soon.”

“Visitors?”

Ramiris and Beretta looked at him with confusion.

And then Sharma and the others did the same.

Karman alone looked at him with an expression of surprise and with suspicion in his heart.

“There is an airship in the sky, isn’t there? It’s been spying on us all of this time. But it’s finally starting to move. It would be most annoying if they used nuclear attack magic again, and so I decided to leave the door open for them.”

“An airship? Do you mean like a reconnaissance aircraft!?”

“You say someone is spying on us?”

“Mmm. Zaza. It was up there even while you were fighting with those dogs.”

“What!?”

Zaza was horrified.

Veldora saw this and laughed happily.

It looked like people were going to finally start seeing him differently.

“But, what do you mean by magic…?”

Sharma ignored Zaza and asked.

“Hmm? It was magic that tore through the ceiling, wasn’t it? They changed Nuclear Flame into penetrative energy, which is quite impressive. It was very powerful. Does that not mean there are very strong sorcerers in this world?”

Veldora’s words threw them into further confusion.

Among them, Ramiris and Beretta alone were calm.

“I see. So it was my fault that Karman and his men found this place. But if you knew about it, why didn’t you say so sooner!?”

“Why? Because this is all according to my plan! We now have hostages for our negotiation! Everything is just great!”

“Really? I knew it, master!”

“Are you stupid!! The Empire does not care about hostages!”

“Yes, I can assure you of that. We don’t have any value as hostages.”

“Indeed!?”

Zaza shouted at the smug Veldora.

It was well known that the Empire did not care about hostages.

And so it was not just Zaza, but Karman and his men were also shocked at Veldora’s ignorance.

They all fell silent.

“What are you going to do, master? Didn’t I tell you? This plan was never going to work!”

Ramiris—changed her tune immediately and betrayed him.

Veldora was taken aback.

“No, but… I thought it was a great idea…”

He tried desperately to make an excuse. Zaza just sighed.

This had happened just as Zaza was starting to gain a sense of respect for him, because of his highly capable sensors. But all of that went out the window now.

Zaza thought.

Someone who could run Karman’s unit and was good at gathering information.

This person had used ‘nuclear weapons’ on them without hesitation during their fight. The person that was feared as the ‘Master of the Mad Dogs’—First lieutenant Hiragi.

It was rumored that he and Karman were close, so it must be him.

“—Is it first lieutenant Hiragi?”

Karman remained silent.

While he was currently feeling conflicted about his way of life, he still felt no obligation to answer.

“Is he dangerous, Zaza?”

“Very… However, first lieutenant Hiragi likes to annhilate his prey with Murder Dogs, so as long as Beretta is here…”

Just as Zaza was answering Sharma’s question, a dramatic change took place.

“What!!”

“No way!?”

“…I cannot believe it. Can it be an Awakened Demon Lord class!? And with energy that surpasses ours…”

Veldora, Ramiris and Beretta reacted at the same time as they stared at the entrance that led to the upper floors.

After a while, there was the sound of footsteps.

The person who arrived was a beautiful woman who did not look a day over twenty.

She had blue eyes and light blonde hair that was cut at her shoulders.

The surprising guest was none other than lieutenant general Michelle.

Her icy glare scanned the room. She was so overpowering that the very air seemed to warp.

And then her cherry blossom hued lips opened and her beautiful voice sounded.

“Hello, everyone. I am Michelle. I am the Supreme Commander of the Southern Security Force and Governer General of South City.”

Silence.

And—

“It-it’s Bakusenhime Michelle!!”

Someone said.

“…No… Why would the Mercenary Four be in a place like this!?”

Once it was recognized as the reality, a sense of despair and defeat came over the room.

And in that situation, eyes met.

Veldora continued to smile as he stood there calmly.

Michelle considered him with interest.

—And that was how Veldora met the most powerful being in this world.

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