Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi - Chapter 566.2
「Resent……aah I resent……so so much.」
Flantica……or rather, the ones possessing her are sitting on the floor uttering their grudges.
They were women who lived during the long history of the inner palace, and died after being caught up in conspiracies over succession and the king’s favor.
If I can inquire about their stories, it would likely produce clues regarding the hidden mechanisms in the palace.
However, the fact that they remain in this world after such a long period indicates that their grudge is quite strong. They must have died in a very cruel and painful way. I don’t think they will obediently talk about their experiences if I simply ask them.
「Nevertheless, aren’t you talking kind of differently only with me?」
「Aah, I don’t know. I don’t remember anything. How regrettable, how regrettable.」
The ghosts are covering Flantica’s face and muttering but before the handsome men were called, they were rotating her head and opening her eyes to the left and right, sticking out her tongue like a lamia. Additionally, her speech was more broken.
Occasionally, her fingers would spread slightly to confirm the handsome men’s faces before she cried again, which made me smirk.
If they were total balls of hatred I’d be out of luck, but I think I can manage if they are intelligent enough to be conscious of men.
「You, get closer and peek at her face.」
I gesture and order one of the men. He is a stocky, knightly man who serves as a royal guard.
As usual, I can’t help using a strict tone with handsome guys. I’m sure I’ll be forgiven since I’m the king.
「B-but Your Majesty. This girl doesn’t seem normal, perhaps she is possessed by some kind of evil spirit……」
「Hoh, are you scared of spirits? More than me?」
The handsome man stumbles forward and hugs Flantica’s shoulder.
I’m sure these guys fuck girls at random and enjoy themselves anyways, so there’s no need to be lenient.
「Gu……ah……a knight type……refreshingly handsome……ooooh.」
Flantica’s mouth opens and several black wisps fly out.
The knight falls on his bum as soon as the wisps come out and start coiling around him.
Flantica’s head trembles and the tone of her voice changes. I guess another ghost took over.
「I won’t be fooled, I won’t be fooled! You can’t trust a knight! A royal knight tricked me to an untimely death, so I won’t be seduced!」
「Alright, you’re next.」
The one forcibly sent out was a newly appointed bureaucrat.
His stature is inferior compared to the knight, and he has a grim expression on his face like he never encountered a monster before.
「A nervous type……introverted handsome……his frightened expression is so……oooh.」
Several more wisps pop out.
「Hmph! Bureaucrats are just gloomy people who want to slander me to His Majesty――a gardener who looks reserved but is actually the manly type! OOoooh!」
A lecherous knight who is wearing a cool mask, a serious-looking but timid civil official, a young servant acting reserved but looking to pick up girls, a fashionable middle-aged merchant with a nice beard, a lean androgynous performer……every time the type of handsome man changes, more wisps fly out.
For how long they’ve been holding their grudges, they’re pretty easy.
The wisps which have flown out don’t scatter and simply circle the area, sometimes coiling around the men.
Each time it happens, the handsome men let out a pathetic scream……fufufu, is that the extent of courage good-looking men have?
Now then, with so many of them out, there should only be a few left.
「My grudge is deeper than any valley. I will never leave until this possessed body is killed. That is, unless you show me a man with bulging muscles.」
I quietly put a hand on my shirt in preparation to take it off.
But I was a bit too late.
「Then have a look at this body of mine and the muscles of a man of Aless!!」
Knocking aside the line of men, Gildress jumps in and stands imposingly.
This guy, he doesn’t just have his shirt taken off, he’s naked to begin with. There’s no evidence he took off any clothes.
「How did this pervert sneak in?」
Men are normally prohibited from entering the inner palace.
Today is an exception, but no matter how necessary it is, calling this sex beast can’t be a good idea.
「A real man does not need to hide. I just walked through the front door! Hah hahahaha!!」
He puts his hands on his hips and laughs proudly.
Not giving a damn about the possessed girl behind him or the spirits dancing around, he swings the disgusting thing hanging between his legs like a pendulum.
He is truly formidable, unlike the handsome men hugging each other in fear in the center of the room.
「Anyways, you’re not needed. I am here.」
I grab Gildress’s waist and get ready to toss him out the window……except he doesn’t budge.
「Hah hah ha! You think you can move me with such half-hearted strength!?」
Something in my head snaps.
Damn this muscle-head, even though I have something important to do here.
I’m not going to throw him out.
I lower my shoulder and build up power to ram him against the window frame.
「Nuu brute strength! That’s what a real man is! Let’s see who’s stronger!」
Gildress lifts his feet up, adjusts his body to face me head-on and lowers his hips.
「Here I come!」
「Bring it on!」
Gildress’s large body charges at the speed of lightning.
I also lower my hips to catch him――nay, that would send me flying.
I respond with a tackle of my own and the collision makes it appear like I stopped his attack.
Our bodies make a dull thud and we both grunt.
Our arms wrap around each other’s waist as neither of us move a single step.
This isn’t us holding back. We’re not moving because both of us are giving it our all.
「E-evenly-matched with His Majesty――!?」
「What a fight! Despite being just a grappling contest, it feels like the air will explode at any moment!」
「The atmosphere in the room has also changed……the temperature is rising!」
I can’t let the handsome men distract me.
My muscles flex to their limit and I hear my joints creak.
Seconds pass in this battle where my shoulder will be crushed if I relax for a second, and sweat is already dripping from all the pores on my body.
（A clash of muscles, we can’t even get close.）
（Such rich breaths of life. If I’m careless and get caught in it, it’ll send me to heaven!）
I can’t let my eyes wander toward the whispering wisps.
My foot slides backward.
I slip even though I reposition my hips.
I’m being pushed back even though I’m exerting myself more than usual?
Am I outmatched?
I glance at Gildress as he clenches his teeth.
I thought he was smiling annoyingly, but his expression was dyed with anger.
「Don’t be conceited!」
An unexpected headbutt breaks up our wrestling.
「Bastard, you dare to sully a match between men by holding back!!?」
I don’t know what he’s talking about.
At the very least, I’m not willingly holding back.
「You can’t fight like a real man with those fetters binding your body.」
He points to my shirt.
「Oh I forgot. It wasn’t on purpose.」
I remove my shirt which is on the verge of tearing from my expanding muscles.
And when I stamp my foot down, my bulging muscles also tear my pants.
「Alright, let’s resume.」
At the same time I spoke, I charged in.
「Let’s go, friend!!」
Similarly, Gildress answers with a charge of his own.
Our positions switch as our bodies collide harder than they did earlier.
Sweat disperses from us as we slam against each other.
Gildress tilts his center of gravity as he grabs me.
He’s trying to throw me.
「I won’t let you.」
I resist by standing firm with the leg I’m leaning on.
The muscles in my arms and legs, neck, chest, and stomach are all supporting me.
If any of them are not giving enough effort, I would be manhandled.
I can tell that blood is rushing through my body rapidly, supplying my body with nutrients.
At this point, my sweat is evaporating and turning into steam.
「Such pressure. It feels more like a deathmatch!」
「Look at those muscles. It makes me feel sorry for my weak self.」
（I should get further away. If I’m too close, I won’t be able to recover from the intense smell.）
（But my body is moving on its own. Although I don’t have a body anymore, my soul is telling me to get closer.）
The two of us fight while the living and dead watch on.
Why are we fighting again? I forgot because I don’t have the luxury to use my brain.
In the next instant, Gildress lets out a shout and unleashes a powerful throw.
As I’m being thrown, I hang onto Gildress’s arm, reducing the force by half and allowing me to circle behind.
「This will decide it.」
I grab his waist from behind and arch my back to throw his entire body to my rear.
No matter if it’s Gildress or whoever, their head will hit the floor and split open.
Or so I thought.
「A man doesn’t put his head on the ground!!」
Somehow Gildress extends his hands to stop his fall, almost like he’s performing a handstand.
This makes it tougher on me to maintain the arched position.
I, the thrower, have to strain the hips and spine, while he, the one being thrown, has to strain the chest and arm muscles.
Our echoing yells are not for the sake of motivating ourselves or intimidating the other.
They are more like the by-products of our bodies trying to manifest as much power as possible.
「Both of them have white eyes. Are they alright?」
「I don’t know, but it’s not a fight we can do anything about. We can only watch.」
（You think they can be drawn in if they die?）
（I think we’ll be the ones who get absorbed.）
I suddenly realize that Flantica is below us.
She must have gotten tangled in our melee.
Our sweat and body oil drips onto her body.
「Urg, it stinks……stinks of men……I can’t……take it.」
Wisps immediately burst out from her mouth and from somewhere under her skirt, causing her body to convulse.
「Nnnh……where am I……t-that’s right, spirits entered my body and……wait, th-this is- gyaaaaah!!」
Coming to her senses, Flantica screams in terror.
I don’t blame her, seeing as how the first thing she sees when waking up is us doing a bridge over her head and her face and body are covered in our liquids.
We separate from each other and stare at each other from a few meters away.
I can explain the situation to Flantica, who is crying in confusion, later.
Both of us are physically exhausted.
Our muscles are overworked and we can’t fight much longer.
The next grapple will be the last.
Everyone, aside from Flantica who is wiping her face, is focused on our breathing.
The wisps are also lined up tightly and not moving.
This is our third head-on charge.
Neither of us worry about offense or defense, we simply bash our heads against each other.
The dull thud of our bodies colliding follows the crack of our skulls striking. Then comes the sound of wet flesh as our arms grab each other.
I no longer know the goal of the fight.
It didn’t matter.
This is the same as a king mobilizing the entire nation to fight.
As king, I mobilize my entire body to surpass the opponent in front of me.
Dozens of seconds turn to several minutes――neither of us budge.
It might seem like we are hugging each other.
But upon closer inspection, one would see the flexing muscles and the trickling sweat and hear the creaking floor, and know that there is a tremendous struggle for supremacy going on that is in a stalemate.
Eventually, the both of us collapsed on the spot in the same position.
Everything in our bodies was used up and our muscles were rendered immobile from exerting themselves past their limits.
「It’s a tie.」
「So it seems.」
We prop ourselves up like elderly men.
However, Gildress points at me and shakes his head.
「Because of that one little shackle, this is my loss.」
He pointed to my underwear.
「I see. But I fought with it in mind. I don’t count this as a win. Next time, I’ll win completely.」
I don’t know why he thinks the prerequisite to fight is to take off our underwear, but I’m so fatigued that I can’t think right now.
「Bring it. I’ll train myself while you rot on the throne. And next time I’ll defeat you and take your woman.」
Gildress grins and exits the room.
Part of my processing ability returns as my body recovers a little, but what did that guy come for anyways?
He just walked in naked to challenge me to a wrestling match and left.
Then I hear a voice from the hallway.
Is it Catherine and Antonio?
「M-mother, please stop! This should be done at night in the bedroom……」
「Aah, please forgive this indecent mother. Without His Majesty, I can’t hold back……and also, the thick scent of a man has been filling the inner palace.」
Things go quiet for a few seconds.
「Hey boy, I’m not suspicious. Could you tell me where the exit is? Mu pretty lady, would you like to sleep with me?」
「Noo, a naked macho man! A-are you trying to seduce me!? Don’t come near me!!」
Where did I put my Dual Crater?
「Die, you ruffian.」
I hear a firm slap sound of flesh being hit.
When I opened the door, I found Antonio had landed a roundhouse kick to Gildress’s shin.
For some reason, Gildress is smiling from ear to ear after being kicked.
「I admire your courage to protect your mother! And it was a fine decision to aim for my blindspot! But you are too weak for a child!! If only you were blessed with more muscle……nuun how regrettable. Pretty lady, if destiny permits, I will call you again!」
Gildress bows to Catherine and then picks Antonio up.
Antonio takes out a hidden weapon from his pocket, but his resistance is ineffective against the wall of flesh.
「Starting now, you will train with me! Not to worry, I will make you full-fledged man!」
Catherine’s jaw drops, and Rose, who came late, mutters.
「Antonio is going to get drilled?」
No, I’m sure he’s only going to exercise.
Well, he’s a man, and I’m sure a different kind of discipline will be fine.
At any rate, he’s not in danger so let’s return inside the room.
「Now then, I have something to ask you.」
I address the wisps lined up neatly in a row.
「Of course it won’t be fair if I’m the only one asking for a favor. I also want to save all of you who became spirits due to misfortune. So let’s talk, you’ll listen to what I want and I’ll listen to your grudges and regrets.」
The frenzied spirits are quite obedient now.
The only one still complaining is Flantica, who can’t seem to wipe the sweat and oil from her body.