A Meeting at Margrave Everal’s House
Reggie had returned to the royal palace.
I had already known that he would eventually have to return, and it was probably not a good thing for the prince to be absent for so long in the first place.
But this world wasn’t like my old one, where the time was measured so accurately you couldn’t just make excuses of ‘there being no train’ or other.
There were too many natural phenomena that one couldn’t go against, and in a world where travel by horse was your only option, well, time would move very slowly.
That was why Reggie was allowed to stay so long as a whole month with Margrave Everal.
If you consider the time it took for him to come for me at the Sunday school and the time it would take for him to reach the royal capital, he would have been away from the palace for nearly two months.
It was not surprising that he could only afford to visit once a year, given the time to cross that distance.
In all honesty, I was saddened to have lost the person I got along with the most. It was very rare for someone to understand you without the need to say anything.
How can I put this into words?
I had only been thinking about how much I did not want to die, and because I had never found myself in such a situation in my past life…I was at a loss of what to do.
In my past life, this would be the kind of situation that people would tell me that I was being overly self-conscious, if I told them about it.
No, if anything people would be asking: Why would someone kiss you on the cheek if they had no inclinations towards you!?
Something like that.
In any case, ever since that day, where I admitted to the facts of the magic and the things to come, I have felt quite unnerved.
Like the kiss on the cheek, the kiss!!
Once I had stopped crying and returned to myself, I didn’t know how I should interpret it!
In my past life, I may have ignored my values and been a little expectant?
But in this world, well, it was quite western, and parents often kissed their children on the cheek.
And so I supposed that a kiss on the cheek was nothing significant.
I’ve seen it between brothers and sisters even.
Then, a kiss of affection may happen between people who you consider as your family…perhaps?
With regards to that, I think the reason that I cannot be sure of it is that I did not live a normal life with a family. My father never paid me any attention at home since I was young. My mother may have when I was a baby, but that was normal. My stepmother wouldn’t even hold my hand. And when I was adopted, well, I was treated as a subordinate or a servant.
I couldn’t do it. I had no idea of what normal family life was like in this world, I couldn’t even imagine.
Also, until Reggie and the Margrave survive the coming two years safely… When I think about the emotions that would come from that, I feel myself becoming so scared that I cannot move.
In any case, my place now was at the house of Margrave Everal. I have decided to work here and I want to do my best.
The real issue that arises now is the attack by Count Patorishiel’s men.
Margrave Vain had protested to the other party, but the reply that he had received said that the Count’s men must have found the wrong person and acted recklessly. Of course, they were a disgrace to the Count and he would allow Margrave Everal to punish them as he pleased.
Margrave Vain even prodded him a little on the fact that one of the men had been a failed magician, but the Count feigned ignorance on that account. They could not use my testimony as I was not supposed to be there, and so there was nothing to be done.
“The biggest problem now is that we have still to catch the other magicians who entered my territories and killed my men.”
Ultimately, that was the issue that remained.
I and Madame Beatrice, Alan, Sir Wentworth who was his guard, and the elderly retainer, Lawrence, who had been told about my situation, all gathered in a single room as Margrave Vain spoke in a voice merged with sighs.
“It is unthinkable for magicians and failed magicians to come out in such numbers. And so I must agree with His Highness, Prince Reginald. Clearly, Count Patorishiel has devised something.”
“Father, what do you mean by devised…?”
“This use of magicians, it far exceeds the boundaries of normalcy for a small scuffle. Even for a power struggle within the palace, one would only need to acquire a single magician to gain an advantage over the other party. If it is true that the men we captured turned into failed magicians after drinking some kind of magic drink, then it means it is possible to produce numerous magicians or failed magicians. And even if they are all failures, if they can be used as part of a temporary fighting force… The count could mean to cause such a conflict that it would throw the kingdom into upheaval.”
There was quiet gasp by everyone in the room at the word ‘conflict.’
“But, my dear. By conflict…”
“It would be Ruain, if Count Patorishiel is involved. But now that the princess is queen, surely they have no reason to act?”
Margrave Vain shook his head at Madame Beatrice and Sir Wentworth’s suspicions.
“The queen can have as many sons as she likes. But as long His Highness lives, the blood of Ruain will not enter the royal line. There is a possibility that Ruain will not be able to wait that long in their aim for that seat. Or perhaps… They will wait for the kingdom to weaken, and then strike all at once.”
As the situation would not allow the queen’s children to ascend to the throne, Margrave Vain seemed to think that she was using her kin, Count Patorishiel to induce Ruain into invading.
I nodded inwardly.
That was the reason for the start of the war within the game. In fact, Ruain had every intention of starting a war from the moment that they sent the princess out to be married. And now, the queen was able to increase the numbers of her collaborators within the kingdom, and watch vigilantly for the right moment to make a move.
Thanks to this, the Ruain invasion was carried out most successfully. The game started here, with Alan and the others in a pretty desperate situation.
Alan would win battles and save the nobles who had been pressured by the enemies influence, and through this, he was able to increase his own fighting force… More precisely, he was to get high-level characters to join him and strengthen his army.
“But if that’s the case, then they may just target His Highness alone?”
The question came from the white-haired and bearded man of near sixty-years. The retainer, Lawrence.
The first time that I saw him, I had to actually stop myself from blurting, ‘Ah, you look like Colonel Sanders!’ Because he looked very much like the fried chicken selling colonel in a medieval costume.
“Even if the prince was killed, there are other men in the family.”
“Do you mean…Lord Alan?”
As Sir Wentworth followed the Margrave’s meaning, a look of understanding appeared on the faces of the rest of the group.
Even Wentworth, who said the name had a hard-to-read but subtle expression of unease on his face.
Now that I think back on it, he was in the game as well. As a knight, he had a wide range of movement, and I so I used him occasionally. But there were quite a few other characters that were knights like him, and so the name Wentworth had been buried in my mind.