-And the Bell of Fate Rings-
Reggie arrived during that same night.
It was Margrave Vayne, Madame Beatrice, who had thankfully recovered enough to walk, Alan and his knights and I and the other handmaidens who went out to greet him.
Reggie showed up on horseback, dashing through the darkness of the night. Unlike previous times, he was surrounded by a company of over twenty knights.
His men got off of their mounts, Reggie was the last whose feet touched the ground.
Soldiers who had been waiting, immediately took their horses and led them away to the stables. Then Reggie took a step forward and addressed Margrave Vayne.
“It’s been too long, Margrave. I sent a messenger ahead as soon as I could, but I’m afraid we have still inconvenienced you greatly.”
Reggie’s clothing was much more sophisticated than before. Both his height and the broadness of his shoulders were now not much different from the knights around him.
Perhaps it was because they had come by night, but he was wearing a dark cape and hood to cover himself, but strands of his silver hair were still visible as they shone a reddish gold under the torchlights.
Seeing him like that, I had to bite down on my lip to stop from crying.
I knew just why he had come here.
Monsters had started to appear much more frequently in Salehard as well, and when they had caught someone on suspicion of instigating the attacks, it was discovered that he was from Faruzia.
Salehard had immediately demanded that the matter be settled, and as Everal had been experiencing similar attacks, the King had decided to solve the case for both countries and create an opportunity to negotiate with Salehard.
And it was Reggie who had come to represent the King.
Aside from the timing and small details, this was just as it had happened in the game.
The negotiation with Salehard.
In that case, it was possible that Ruain had its troops ready to attack. And yet, we haven’t received any information yet.
…How long would it take after Reggie’s arrival for Ruain to attack?
I wanted to demand information from the man we captured as soon as possible.
As I stood there and tried to restrain the mounting panic within me, Grol, who had returned as the captain of Reggie’s guards, addressed the Margrave.
They would stay for two weeks.
Reggie, and his twenty-five knights.
He wished to borrow Margrave Everal’s castle for negotiations…
What? Right here!?
My surprised eyes met with Reggie’s. He seemed to be asking, ‘Are you surprised?’ and I almost nodded.
But why? I wanted to ask, but this was not the place for a handmaiden to interrupt them.
And so my fears were not wiped away.
What if they attacked just as the gates opened to welcome the visitors from Salehard? What if the people they had assumed were the negotiators turned out to be Ruain’s men in disguise?
Ahh, if only the prisoner would hurry and wake up and confess everything. Why it was that they controlled the monsters. If it was just a cover for Ruain, we needed to know where their army was hiding.
I decide to consult Cain about this as I follow Madame Beatrice back into the building.
Madame Beatrice was headed for the feast that was prepared to welcome Reggie, but she knew that I had been out fighting all day, and so she allowed me to rest until tomorrow.
Depending on what the prisoner said, it was possible I would have to change my focus and stop being a handmaiden for a while, she tells me.
I gratefully accept this, and immediately make my way towards the dungeons… Or I attempted to but was stopped. Cain had reached it first and blocked me.
“It is not something that someone like you should have to witness.”
He said vaguely, and at first, I did not understand the reason.
“It should be fine for you to see the interrogation, but I cannot allow you to see past that.”
I detect it through his words.
The man was now awake then. And they were likely interrogating him now. It was probably not going very well.
In all honesty, my sensibilities from my past life remained, and so I was fearful of imagining what might occur ‘after’ that. I even felt a wish for them to stop. But not willing to make this sacrifice could lead to the deaths of so many of the Margrave’s people. I couldn’t allow that.
I pretended that I did not hear, attempted to distance myself. It was all I could do.
But even as I stood there and tried not to hear anything, it was Cain who was shouldering what I could not accept. It made me feel ashamed.