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Allen's friends all saw him as their leader.

Some of them had followed him since the Academy days, eating and sleeping together.

They fought together and all of them shared the goal of defeating the Demon King's Army.

But that did not mean that all their other priorities and values were the same, some were quite different in fact.

Sophie was trying to fulfill her role as princess at the same time.

She believed the Spirit God's prophecy, holding hope for the elves.

Kiel had a strong sense of justice, but his family was even more important to him.

He had a younger sister, and servants that constantly followed him, some of which were very young but still devoted to him.

Making sure they could have a good life was his main priority.

When it came to relatives, the same applied to Merle.

Her father was a low ranking soldier.

Her older brothers had all been enlisted as soldiers as well.

She had many siblings, and both her father and brothers were out fighting.

That was reason enough for Merle to fight the Demon King's Army.

When it came to a sense of justice, no one could beat Kurena and Dogora.

And they also enjoyed fighting, just like Allen.

Dogora also wanted to become a hero very badly, Kurena almost as much.

She had always longed for becoming a knight from a young age, but that had changed into a yearning for the title of hero.

Allen did not mind if his friends came from different places or had various priorities.

He had built his party without discrimination for their values and goals.

He thought that was for the best, and that it was important to always respect the ideas of his friends.

As to why Cecile was fighting with them

That was because her dear older brother Mihai had been taken from her, and she wanted revenge.

She was the one most determined to lay her life in battle fighting the Demon King's Army.

Cecile stopped eating and stared into the flames, deep in thought.

She had asked Allen what he expected to find further east, but now she was silent and no one else spoke.

There were suspicious things going on in the east, and thinking of a Demon General made her remember her brother.

(There was that letter too after all.


Allen remembered the letter Viscount Grandvelle had shown him.

The last letter Cecile's brother Mihai sent.

That was kept secret from Cecile, but the Viscount felt like Allen should know about it, so he let him read it.

The letter said the fortress he was writing from was in the middle of a bloody battle.

It expressed Mihai's gratitude to his parents for raising him.

How he hoped Thomas could take good care of the family.

His worries for Cecile, and how he felt bad he would never come back home.

It ended with yet another plea for Allen to protect Cecile.

"This year Viscount Grandvelle might become an Earl.

Do you want to go back and visit once this is all over"

Allen spoke like he had just remembered that, and spoke of what they would do after the battle.

"Why now of all times."

Cecile looked bothered hearing that.

At least her mind had returned from the depths of her thoughts.

Dogora would always remain silent whenever that happened.

He could never understand the emotions of a noble girl.

The Grandvelle family's presence was growing in Latash.

It was the golden age of the Mithril mining industry.

Even the queen of Rosenheim, the main country in the Five Continents Alliance, had sent a handwritten letter to Latash expressing her gratitude to the Grandvelle family for sending their daughter Cecile to fight.

Kiel had done most of the work in the fight, but Cecile had been the one landing the final hit on the enemy's general.

That also formed a connection between Latash and Rosenheim, which happened only thanks to Viscount Grandvelle.

Grandvelle's contributions to Latash had been immeasurable.

So there were talks of them rising the ranks, going from Viscount to Earl.

But there was another reason on beside Granvelle's exploits for the royal family.

And because of that, Cecile frowned thinking of her position as the daughter of a noble.

That was why she sounded so annoyed.

"I think His Majesty said the same back when- Ghuhh! That hurt! Spare me milady!"

Allen pointed out that Latash's king had said something similar in a joking manner, and was granted an Iron Claw from Cecile in response.

It hurt a lot.

"Did he really N-never mind."

Cecile glared at Dogora, so he stammered and held back his words.

"Ugh whatever! You'll never understand how I feel.

Nothing can change that Thomas is my brother!!"

Cecile's breathing became more irregular as she gnawed furiously on her meat.

At least her appetite had returned.

"Well, not even the king can raise his hand against a princess though."

"Even then!"

(I guess there are pretty rowdy princesses in this world too.)

Thomas, who was Cecile's older brother by two years, was close with Princess Leirana, the king's daughter.

There had been talks to raise the Grandvelle family's status because of the difference in position between the princess and Thomas.

She had been the same prince's daughter that assigned Kiel his five years duty after knowing of his Talent as priest, sending him to join the battle.

Now that prince had become the king, and his daughter a princess.

Allen felt a bit dubious about a relationship happening between a princess and a lower ranking noble, but it was going pretty smoothly all things considered.

While Thomas was attending the Noble's School, there were balls organized regularly so the second and third year students could get accustomed to life in the royal palace and noble society.

Thomas took his studies seriously, but due to his reserved personality, he never took part in the dances, just watching from afar.

That was how the princess approached him.

Thomas himself had told that to Allen.

King Inbuel was part of the monarchy faction, which was at odds with the Academy's faction.

Many influential nobles in his faction had come out of the Noble's School, where noble children without Talents attended, so he sent his daughter there to get acquainted with them.

The princess was merely ten years old and had no interests in the balls, so she attended begrudgingly.

But somehow she gained an interest in Thomas who no one seemed to pay attention to.

Leirana was a rather free-spirited and rowdy princess, and she started getting closer to Thomas by getting him to tutor her at home, since his grades in the Noble's School were good.

Inbuel spent all his days embroiled in the conflicts between factions, then had to step up as king, face a war against the Demon King's Army that numbered more than ten million troops, establishing diplomatic contact with Rosenheim, and many more things that kept happening one after another around the king.

On top of all that happening, he then had to share a meal with Princess Leirana, Viscount Grandvelle, and Thomas.

When his exhausted eyes met the Viscount's, his first reaction was to say "Why now of all times."

Viscount Grandvelle was lost as to how to deal with the situation after that, so he asked Allen for advice.

His response was simply "Well, she's only 12 years old, so maybe she'll just change her mind eventually"

On the other hand, King Inbuel also wished to extirpate Viscount Grandvelle from the Academy's faction, so he was optimistic about ascending his rank to Earl.

As a Viscount he was still under Earl Hamilton's authority, who was the head of the Academy's faction.

After his rank was ascended, that faction would have two members with the same authority, which could lead to some internal conflict.

But there were many other nobles who had different ideas.

The king had also been notified that Allen's party had conquered the S Rank Dungeon.

Grandvelle's daughter, and other people from that house had been in the party that had accomplished that feat.

The king's ministers were fuming when they heard about that, and wanted to find an excuse to take Grandvelle down.

They were afraid that the Academy's faction would gain too much traction with that.

Apparently none of the king's advisors were against that idea either.

Having gone through so many issues in the past, Cecile harbored complex emotions for Latash's royal family.

Mihai's death had taught her something

For some reason the king would assign the sons of those in the Academy's faction to the harshest battlefields.

The then-prince had been in charge of that when Mihai was there, and as a result he had died.

In a way, Inbuel had essentially killed Mihai.

In Mihai's letter, he said he chose to save some lives by going to a dangerous place himself.

He had gone there of his own volition, to accomplish the duty of the Grandvelle family.

His wish was that no one in his family resented someone else if he happened to die.

It was hard to tell whether he had written the letter himself, or someone had written it for him.

But if it expressed his true feelings, then harboring hatred for the royal family would go against his wishes.

Then Thomas and Leirana had met under such conflicting circumstances.

Cecile tried to conceal her helpless emotions by stuffing her cheeks full of Hukama and munching ferociously.

"Thomas is also going to earn a Talent, apparently."

"And I'm supposed to help"

"Well, he's your brother."

"You're right.

Wait no!"

Cecile agreed instinctively, but stopped right after.

Considering her brother Thomas' life could be in danger, she was hesitant to approve of something like that.

It became possible to change one's Talent in April.

That procedure was available even for those who had been born without any Talent.

Talentless people could gain one now.

About Talents and changing them:

1: Those without a Talent can gain one.

But it's impossible to choose a specific Talent, instead having to opt for a random one out of different pools of Talents, which are divided into a pool for frontliners, rear guard, center, or miscellaneous.

2: Those with a Talent can undergo a change once.

Those without a Talent can conduct the change twice, to accommodate for their initial lack of one.

When changing a Talent when possessing one already, the choices are limited to similar Talents, but one can choose whichever they like best and is of a higher level.

Conditions to access the Talent change:

1: Clearing a Dungeon specific for Talent changes with a group no larger than 8.

2: Those without a Talent must be Level 60 to gain a Talent

2.5: Those with a Talent must be Level 60, and all the Skills of their current Talent must all have reached Level 6.

All conditions must be met for the Talent change.

The difficulty was balanced around 8 people whose Skills and Levels scaled in Normal Mode, and in terms of stars, they needed around 10 or twenty combined.

That also meant it was possible some members would die.

Talent changes were now available, and Princess Leirana had started attending the Academy since April, so Thomas had asked for help going through the Talent Change Quest so he could accompany her when fighting the Demon King's Army.

He sounded determined about it, or at least as much as he could.

They said they wanted to go to the same battlefield where Mihai had perished three years before.

Thomas seemed to be serious about being with Princess Leirana, who was five years her junior.

Viscount Grandvelle desperately tried to stop Thomas from going to a battlefield, as he was the family's successor, but Thomas had no intention of changing his decision.

Both the Viscount and King Inbuel were at their wits end dealing with their children.

But maybe that was the fate of a father.

(I guess she's around the same age as Mash.)

Mash had planned on attending the Academy that year as well, and from what Allen had heard, he had passed the entrance exam without issue.

"Isn't it bad that Talent changes are happening without a pope around though"

While Allen thought about Mash, Dogora brought the topic back to the Holy Land and their pope.

Cecile answered with a "Yeah..."

"The pope probably died when the execution of the cult leader happened."

The pope, the highest ruler of the Holy Land, usually resided in the capital Theomenia, but now was nowhere to be found.

He possessed a rare Talent that some said was sacred, but had not appeared again after the founder of the Evil Cult was executed.

That was the reason why the details of the Talent Change Quest which had become available in April, and the news that the God of Fire Freya's Divine Artifact had been stolen, were still not broadcasted to the world.

Maybe that was all part of the Demon King's Army's plan as well.

They had planned on telling the world about the newly opened Talent Change Dungeons on the first of April, as an oracle from God for the pope.

Even though Freya's Divine Artifact had been stolen, the world could rally together and overcome that as one.

They would announce that that was precisely why the God of Creation Elmea had opened the Talent Change Dungeons, a trial to grant people hope.

That was another reason why the execution of the Evil Cult's leader had been scheduled for the end of March.

The oracle in January had only revealed that the Talent Change Quest would start in Latash.

Things were looking tricky, and the Demon King's Army continued attacking up north, so Nicolai simply said they would keep investigating.

"Well, we don't know what awaits us, but we'll be in Clebeur by tomorrow morning.

Let's make sure we're well rested for that."



With many thoughts still swirling in their heads, Allen's group went to sleep.


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