The next day, I stopped receiving invitations to tea parties and so on. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t have any use for someone who’s being transferred to a new post, or because they know how much work it takes to get there, so they’re not interested. To be honest, I’m thankful that they’re not too noisy.
My father told me that while I was posted to Anheim… there was a foolish nobleman who wanted to take care of the family of Mazel the Brave. My father took care of it and I don’t know the rest but I’m sure there were others like that. Maybe that’s what the Royals were after too.
And I’m currently in the process of informing the officials of Lily’s recent troubles with Count Bachem and Reslatga. The Dauphin and the others are busy, though, so I’ve had officials come to my office and report to me individually.
“First of all, the Viscount has my compliments for your work on the other day.”
I thought it was a formality, but apparently not. This will give the Kingdom of Vine a diplomatic advantage. Even if they’re officials, they’ll be treated as emissaries from their own country, so they’ll address me with respect to my position and I’ll address them with respect to their role.
However, it is not an official report, but just a communication to share information, so it is a light courtesy.
“It was a diplomatic embarrassment that demons had infiltrated the interior of our royal city, but it turns out that the same is true of Reslatga.
“Oh, I see… Even in Lestradega?
I nodded at the first half of the question, but I can’t help but look surprised at the second half. My thoughts are drawn to my knowledge of the game and my position as a noble in this country, but I suppose other countries have their own ways of doing things.
“Reslatga is currently in the midst of an internal struggle between the First and Second Princes over who will succeed him.”
Is that what the Kingdom of Vine is reputed to be like in the land of the dead? Hmm. There’s no mention of it in the game. I mean, I’m pretty sure the only person who appeared in the game was the king… but there were two princes? I wonder if it’s the same as the game not showing nobles.
“It is said that a close associate of the Second Prince is a demon tribe and was behind this matter. The First Prince’s faction has expressed their gratitude unofficially.”
The ambassador to the Kingdom of Vine was a First Prince loyalist. The ambassador was about to be blamed for the abduction of Mazel’s family.
I wonder if the second prince was tempted to take his family hostage and add Mazel to his army. Maybe he’s cornered enough to try to turn the tables. I can’t help you with the details.
But if it wasn’t only the Kingdom of Vine… it’s possible that demons have infiltrated other countries besides Reslatga as well. Oh… So that’s why I said diplomatically shameful in the past tense…
The Kingdom of Vine has already eliminated the demons inside, how about you? What about you?
“It will be so. I didn’t say it out loud, but until now our country has been laughed at for allowing the demons to invade the Royal Capital. But now that they have infiltrated even the royal entourage in Reslatga, we will be able to provide them with the means to eliminate them and teach them how to do so.”
That’s a very blunt thing to say, even to an aristocrat like me. I get the impression he’s in a high diplomatic position or deals with people like that on a regular basis. He’s not just a government official. He’s a high-ranking official, maybe a close associate of one of the nobles.
We don’t know their position, so let’s not show our hand too much. I’ll try to divert the conversation a little so that it doesn’t sound unnatural.
“Is the merchant who called himself Rafed also a Second Prince?”
Yes, they will. But she cried and clung to me saying she didn’t know it was the demon tribe’s plan.
Hmm. The second prince was going to take Lily and the others hostage and add Mazel to his army. But the demons who planned it were actually trying to kidnap Mazel’s family along the way. The demons outside the walls of Reslatga were their agents…
Then the first prince will be able to consolidate his position as successor now that his rival has destroyed himself. Meanwhile, our country will have diplomatic leverage against Reslatga, whose royalty, though the second prince, has been played by a demon tribe. They’ll be negotiating over tariffs or something. And with all the other countries he’ll have to deal with… it’ll keep the diplomats and the Dauphin busy.
“What is our Count Bachem’s intention in cooperating with other countries?”
I don’t know.
He laughed at me. What’s with the subtle hint of sympathy?
“It’s somewhat complicated, but Count Bachem was originally groomed by a viscount and his current wife is his second wife.”
“I heard that he had a very good relationship with his first wife, who was the daughter of the previous count, but his relationship with his current wife, who became his second wife after his first wife’s death, is not very good.”
The second wife is the sister of the previous Count. That would make the wife much older. An older wife from a family and a younger husband from a family with a lower title. Wow… she’s in a weak position.
“Count Bachem’s eldest son was the son of his first wife, and his second son was the son of his present wife, but his present wife insisted that the next earl was her son, and she seemed to be pressing her husband daily to admit it.”
“Well… It happens all the time.”
This one’s related to the family feud too? I mean, is the second son really the Count’s biological son? There’s no such thing as DNA typing in this world.
“Count Bachem, unable to bear it any longer, left his estate and went to stay with his eldest son in the capital for a long time, hoping that his wife would die of illness or accident. Rafhed.”
He was looking for someone to help him inside the Vine Kingdom, and I think Rafed approached him. He claimed to be a merchant, but he seemed to know a lot about poisons. I remember one of his men had some kind of paralytic.
“It seems that Count Bachem’s wife was to die of illness in exchange for the handing over of your family to Lestrade.”
I’m just gonna lose it. That’s your reason? Of course His Majesty would be angry. Maybe the Count himself was being driven into a corner by the Count’s wife. Maybe she was trying to kill him and his eldest son. Noble families often have a murky underbelly.
Either way, I’m gonna tell you to stay out of this.
“I explained to His Majesty that a brave man who can fight a demon general on equal terms with him is a dangerous existence and that I was trying to drive the brave man out of the country for the sake of the country and sow the seeds of political strife in the other country.”
“What did Your Majesty say?”
Yeah, I think the poker face worked, and the voice was calm. I knew someone was gonna say something like that.
But in Count Bathem’s case it’s just an excuse and if we accept it it’s like declaring that the royal family sees the heroes that way. It’s a bad move.
“‘How can you be so angry that I’d risk my own people’s lives to join with those of another country to kidnap our own people?’ he said, ‘I’ve been told to put you in a rathole. .”
I don’t feel sorry for him, but I do pity him.
The image that comes to mind when you hear the word “prison” is probably a large room with stone walls on three sides and iron bars on the side facing the corridor. You may have an image that it is large enough to keep many people inside. In fact, they are usually like that.
On the other hand, when the nobles are imprisoned, there are special rooms with iron bars on the windows and so on, but they are almost like private rooms. On the other hand, there are of course some tight prisons where chains with manacles and shackles are embedded in the walls and floors and they are tied there all day long. But the “rat hole” is different.
It’s a place especially for felons. It’s a little over a meter high, 40 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters deep in the last century. It’s literally a cave with stone walls around it and a door or rather a thick board to block the entrance and exit.
As you can imagine from the size, an adult can’t stand up, can’t lie down. You have to sit and lean against the wall, and you have to sleep and eat in that position. There’s no light, so it’s pitch black at night, and there’s no bathroom.
Knowing what I know about past lives… you’d probably end up with PTSD. If a nobleman were thrown in there, he’d probably bang his head against the wall and die in an accident.
“My eldest son is in another prison. The queen’s wife and second son are in the service of the crown. The Earldom of Bachem is now in the Crown’s custody.”
“I see. I understand your situation… Thank you for calling and explaining.
I actually think I know what’s going on, and I don’t think I should get involved anymore. Legal or not, that’s your business. I thanked him politely and asked him to leave.
And then a breath of fresh air. I knew someone would bring that up about Mazel.
But I’m glad to see His Majesty openly reject the idea that Mazel is in danger, despite the circumstances. I’m sorry to say it, but this is a statement we could use.
Leave a Reply