As I stepped off the boat and onto the beach, I looked up at the sun shining down on me.
This is an entirely other continent.
An unknown land where our common sense does not apply.
I heard a voice in the distance. I turned in its direction and saw Luna running toward me.
I dropped my luggage and hugged her.
"I thought I'd never see you again!"
"I'm so glad you're safe and sound... I'm so happy I could cry."
"Toru saved my life. I was lost in some unexplored ruins. I have so much to tell you, Marianne."
"Yes. I have a lot to talk about with you too."
Thank you, God, for letting me see my friend again.
I feel as if a weight has been removed from my shoulders.
Two more figures standing on the beach approached us. They are probably the ones in charge of this place.
"Welcome, Miss Marianne. I am Luvue Nonturk, the leader of the research team, and this is the vice captain. I hope your journey across the open sea wasn't too exhausting."
"It's a pleasure to meet you both."
I bowed to the two of them.
Luvue is part of a powerful duke's family in Lastoria, I have to be careful how I act in front of these people.
She's also a pawn being used by King Lastoria to get close to Toru.
"By the way, what kind of relationship do you and Toru-Dono have? Do you get along very well?"
"Yes. The truth is we are engaged to be married."
"Ugh. Is this what people call jealousy? It's so frustrating. I didn't expect my love for Toru-Dono to grow so much during this trip. Vice Captain, make note in the log that this is my first time feeling jealous."
"With all due respect, Luvue-Sama, don't get carried away with your imagination. Now, we have a lot of work to do. Why don't we go back to base?"
"Vice Captain! How dare you say that I'm delusional! Toru-Dono and I-- Ugh!"
The vice captain starts dragging Luvue-San around the place.
Luna laughs at the sight before us.
"Luvue-San is always like that. She seems to like Toru-Kun a lot, even though she has little to no self-control... But she's a good person deep down."
"Is that so? And where is Toru-Sama?"
"That's the thing, I don't know where he is either. But I can assure you that he is continuing his journey and looking for the other lost girls throughout the continent."
Thank goodness. I'm deeply relieved to hear those words.
However, it wouldn't make sense for me to come to this continent and just leave everything to Toru-Sama.
There's also this key that was left to me by Toru-Sama's uncle. I must hand it over to him.
"What are you going to do now, Luna?"
"I'll go back for the time being. My father must be very worried sick. I will do everything I can to help once I get there."
A few days later, Luna-San returned to the island.
The research team's job was to gather information about the mainland.
More specifically, it was to conduct research into things that would be beneficial to Lastoria.
There are some regions that have already interacted with the research team, and I have often talked to Monica-san, the representative of the research group.
"Marianne-san, are you there?"
"Yes. Please come in."
Monica-San enters my room.
I can't help but smile at her bright eyes and adorable face.
There are some elves who don't feel comfortable around humans, but she's the only one who doesn't mind that we're of different races.
But to be honest, I shuddered at the thought of a new rival appearing. This girl has all the qualities to be another wife candidate and fight for Toru-Sama's love.
Although knowing Toru-Sama, he probably hasn't realized the feelings Monica-San has for him.
As for me, the ring on my finger shows the clear advantage I have.
I am grateful to Soara-San for what she did. But if possible, I want to win Toru-Sama's love with my own strength.
"I want you to meet someone downstairs. They have something important to tell you."
I left my room and went to the conference room on the second floor.
"This is Elohim-Sama, the Spirit Queen."
Before me stood a gorgeous woman, radiating beauty from head to toe.
The whole place fell silent.
"The reason I have come here and requested a meeting is to rescue the Manyu Brigade from danger."
Toru-Sama is in danger?
What do you mean by that?
"Demon King Rudra has embarked on a mission to assassinate the members of the Manyu Brigade."
"Is there a demon king here too?"
"There are many, everywhere. However, the problem now is Rudra, the current Demon King. This being has come from afar and rapidly expanded his power. He has finally reached Petardaus, and at one point, he was even able to contain me, the Wind Spirit Queen."
Rudra used the evil dragon and succeeded in sealing the spirit queen.
If the blessing of the Spirit Queen is completely lost, this land will be dominated by the demon race in the blink of an eye.
Elohim continues to speak.
Rudra's real goal is to overthrow the ancient Demon King, Roswell.
The ancient Demon King has a huge amount of experience points.
If defeated, even Rudra, who has lived for hundreds of years, can manage to surpass Roswell's power.
However, Roswell's power is gigantic. And it is said that Rudra cannot cope with it.
So Rudra took the time to gather a force loyal to him.
He even recruited several nations to join his forces, hoping to bridge the gap in strength with numbers.
All of his plans were going well, but... The Manyu Brigade was getting in his way every time.
In Petardaus, they planned to contain the Spirit Queen and take over the country.
In Jornen, they planned to use the three demon generals as a distraction to attack the city.
And in Galbaran, they were planning to assassinate the king to build a base of operations that would form the core of the assault on Roswell.
"They are absolutely wonderful people. I'm sure the Demon King was foaming at the mouth as each of his plans began to fail one after the other."
Elohim continued speaking.
"The Manyu Brigade will soon arrive in the country where Rudra is. And as it was a matter of time, Rudra already recognized them as the biggest threat he must destroy, and began a full-scale search."
Now that Rudra is after Toru-Sama, an inevitable battle is about to begin.
"Toru-Sama is a very strong man. Even if Rudra is a Demon King, he doesn't stand a chance against him. He is also the same one who defeated the Demon King from where we came from."
"The Manyuu Brigade is very strong, I'll give you that. But, you are not contemplating the shedding of tens of thousands of the blood of the innocent that will happen along the way during this war. Many of Rudra's soldiers are forced to work and fight as slaves."
Elohim continued speaking.
"Can you truly accept that countless innocent people will die if this goes on? Do you even realize how heartbroken they will be after this?"
"Rudra is cunning, and will use any means necessary as long as he wins."
I was speechless.
What a terrible thing I was thinking.
I assumed on my own that Toru-Sama would be able to overcome any predicament because he was strong.
And it was normal for me to think that way, since I'm not the one getting my hands dirty to solve the problems at hand.
I was so focused on his kindness and personality, that I never stopped to think of all the bad things Toru-Sama might have to do to save us.
"I see what you mean, you want me to follow your orders to save Toru-Sama?"
"Yes. I'm going to ask you to do something very difficult as soon as you arrive, but please help them. And please give us a chance to give those who live here their lives back."
I nodded my head as I said; "I will."