The Round Table Meeting
There was a conference room in Lemdria’s court. Different from the council room used for ordinary meetings, this was used for the sake of heated disputes and was a secret room defended by magic. In its center was a huge, round table.
Right now, the person sitting the furthest inside was Lemdria’s King, Ryuke Hollyn. His body was clad by dignity of someone whose years exceeded seventy. Behind him was the crown prince and Prince Ryuke Sion.
Just as Hollyn muttered that, there was a knock at the door. An escort knight entered the room.
“Please excuse me. His Majesty, Casalia’s King Ryuke Neyas has arrived!”
Together with Hollyn’s nod, the large door was opened as Neyas entered the room. Following behind him were civil officials and a half-elf knight that was known as the king’s sword.
Hollyn stood up to receive him and greeted him with a light embrace.
“For us to meet face to face like this, I never thought it would happen.”
Neyas sat down immediately next to Hollyn.
The next person to enter the room was Istria’s youthful Prince Ryuke Kanon. He was followed by his attendant, Parro, following him both as a truce bearer and as the prime minister.
Kanon bowed to his seniors. Hollyn and Neyas stood to welcome him.
The person to arrive next was a male elf.
His body was considered exceptionally muscular compared to the usual thin elf physique, yet his face was engraved with deep wrinkles despite the eternal youth held by their race.
He was the High Elf of Oomori Woods, Corfus.
From then on, the humans’ leaders arrived lead by knights.
Sacred Mountain’s Sage Azelford.
From the southern part of the continent, leader of the great house that protects Labra, Zah.
From the southeastern part of the continent, the leader of the Urban Coalition, Oslo.
And then a man who had a smile on his face.
Hearing Azel’s mutter, the humans’ expressions all firmed.
“Hello, I’m Demon King Ars.”
Ars raised his hand and greeted everyone. Leading a dark elf girl and a young human girl, he sat down in the seat furthest from Hollyn.
Receiving gazes mixed with both interest and fear, Ars looked somewhat uncomfortable, but that only lasted until his acquaintance arrived.
“Ogress’ Archduke, Ryuke Riana-sama has arrived.”
Wearing a jet black mantle, Ria entered the room and bowed to those present.
Ars waved his hand, motioning for her to sit next to him.
“I don’t think there’ll be any humans that want to sit next to me.”
Smiling back at him wryly, Ria sat next to Ars. Behind her was a girl wearing orichalcum armor and the silver-haired Dragonslayer.
“There are still seats left to be filled, but who…?”
Hollyn spoke. Although he was the one who prepared the venue, he was not informed of everyone who would be attending.
The only person who knew who would be filling the remaining eight seats was Ars.
But his question would soon be resolved.
In that area that should have been thoroughly isolated through magic, four men and women appeared.
“I see, so it’s a round table…”
A man whose eyes held no light muttered in admiration.
He sat down in a seat.
“He is the secret society Black Cat’s Company Director, Yamato.”
The person to introduce the famous person with a simple name wasn’t the person himself, but the Demon King.
“His true identity is Saint Emperor Ryuke Shifaka-san though~”
A great stir spread amongst the humans. Despite being stared at intently, Shifaka placed his elbows on the table, interwove his fingers, and placed his chin on them.
“I’m Thor. I was summoned as a Hero two thousand years ago, I was called the Black Knight.”
When the gigantic man introduced himself, the noise increased again.
“I’m Shana Milgrid. You should know my name as the Witch.”
The girl with scarlet hair gave the name she used when she was a comrade of the legendary Hero from one thousand years ago.
“I’m Alvis. I was once referred to as a Great Sage on another continent.”
The young man with ordinary features bowed his head.
“Those four and Azel are Black Cat’s leaders.”
The one to explain was Ars. The human leaders were astonished with their mouths open, unable to speak.
“So who do the other four seats belong to?”
Although she was surprised to some extent, the person who asked the question with an interested expression on was, as expected, Ria.
“I’d told them the time, but those girls are pretty careless…”
Ars shrugged. But as soon as that movement was finished, a giant vibration shook the castle.
The magic barrier was broken by force and a person teleported into the room.
It was a girl who had fire-like red hair, golden eyes, and a casually wrapped red cloth dressing her.
“Ooh, I made it in time?”
She looked around the room. Her strangely colored eyes would intimidate the average human.
“You’re the first of the God Dragons to arrive, Ohma-san.”
“Really? Well, I was a bit hasty.”
God Dragon Ohma. Her dragon eyes saw Ria and Carla.
“There are two people with the dragon bloodline here? How rare.”
Saying that, she sat down next to Ars.
“A God Dragon…”
Hollyn muttered, virtually lost for words. Contrasting him, Ars explained politely.
“The power of a God Dragon is essential to make it through a Great Collapse. I invited other ones as well.”
Before he finished talking, three more women showed up.
A raven-haired, golden-eyed woman that looked remarkably like Ria—Valis.
A silver-haired, blue-eyed woman that looked vaguely like Carla—Terrew.
A blue-haired, green-eyed woman with a graceful appearance—Lanna.
These four pillars made up the God Dragons that were the world’s guardians.
Most of those attending the meeting had been so intimidated they couldn’t speak.
The God Dragons sat next to each other, all looking at Ars.
“You said that you would stop the Great Collapse.”
The one to open her mouth was Valis. In response, Ars stood up and quickly bowed his head.
“To be precise, I said that I would prevent the world from being ruined by the Great Collapse.”
With that, Ars produced an image in midair through magic.
“Well then, I’ll begin my explanation.”
“For everyone who does not yet understand the situation concerning humans, allow me to explain from the beginning. The world is like this tree here.”
A tree appeared in the image. It would better be called a gigantic tree.
“Although the world grows, pruning is necessary. What happens at this time is a Great Collapse. In exchange for ruining one of two worlds, the other will be able to extend its branches further.”
With that, one of the branches was cut away, allowing the other to grow further.
“However, we can forcibly change the direction the branch is growing in to prevent this impact. Many, many sacrifices are needed in order for this to happen and is what we know as the Millennium. The previous two Millenniums succeeded in this with two massive wars occuring even on the other continents, allowing this world’s branch to grow.”
The branch swerved as it grew.
“However, it is not as though we can repeat this Millennium over and over. By breaking a neighboring branch, we can become a world that does not need a Millennium for tens, no, hundreds of thousands of years. That is the purpose of this upcoming Great Collapse.”
How many people could understand the meaning behind Ars’ words? A silence filled the room.
“… You’re saying for us to destroy a world, for that?”
The person to open his mouth in this silent pressure was Hollyn.
“This is not war. It is a struggle for our very existence. Fortunately or not, there are practically no humans living on the other continents anymore. The defeated world will have somewhere between 600,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 survivors on the remaining world.”
It sounded like something absurd, but it had actually happened like that three thousand years ago, bringing humans to this world.
“It’s not a definite that we will come out the victor in the fight between our worlds. Perhaps I should have began with that…”
The one to speak such heavy words was Shifaka. The voice of this man that had made it through two Millenniums held a persuasiveness to it. Above all, he was a native from the defeated world.
However, Ars smiled as though he was waiting for that to be said.
“Correct. I would’ve also thought much the same if it were a thousand years ago. But that is no longer the case. We know who our enemies are and can make preparations as well.”
Still carrying on with his theatrics, Ars looked towards Valis.
Valis looked up, her gaze seeming to say that he was being a bother.
“Ars’ words are accurate. I know which world we will be fighting and have even finished analyzing their strengths. We will not be defeated.”
“What kind of world is their world? Are you sure of your analysis?”
Not overawed in the least, Ria inquired. It was a natural question given that they would be wagering their world in this war.
Valis’ answer to her was clear—
“The world’s name is Earth.”
“Your old birthplace.”