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Chapter 49: An Enemy’s Enemy
The truth I spoke of, made a stir run through the nobles gathered in the audience room.
Some surreptitiously knit their eyebrows, others were stunned into silence, and yet there were
still a few that were visibly delighted.
Morino, who had forgotten to raise his head all this while, looked up at me in astonishment, still crouching. His lips parted, questioning my actions, but I did not answer.
“What, was there such a place!? It’s no wonder I couldn’t find them, no matter how hard I searched beneath the castle!”
“It is a duty passed down by generations of Prime Ministers. It’s natural that the Royal Prince isn’t aware of it.”
“Hm… Hey, one of you head to that mansion and arrest Vikram. Bring him here.”
The noble who raised their hand first at Borzeff’s order was a young man who, at my words earlier, had appeared thoughtful.
“Your Highness Borzeff, I shall go. I was born and brought up in the capital, the complicated alleys and streets are but a walk in the park for me.
“Oh, you seem confident. Then, I’ll leave it to…”
“…You intend to choose paths devoid of prying eyes to helpHis Highness Vikram escape the capital, don’t you? Viscount Klaren.”
I interrupted Borzeff, who had chosen Viscount Klaren to chase down Vikram without much thought. His intentions seen through, the young man flinched. Looking at him, I laughed at his naive plans.
“You’re close to His Highness Vikram, aren’t you? By ingratiating yourself into His Highness Borzeff’s camp, you were planning on observing his movements
“W-What proof do you have of that…!? I only want to be of use to His Highness Borzeff…! “
“I don’t particularly have any proof. But if you say so, on the contrary, isn’t proof unnecessary? You only have to bring the Crown Prince to the castle. Even if you, or an acquaintance goes, no matter who goes to pick him up, it doesn’t matter.
As Viscount Klaren grit his teeth, he was taken away by the soldiers on Borzeff’s order. After seeing off Viscount Klaren, who was dragged away from the audience room, I once again bowed to Borzeff.
“I apologize for my impertinence.”
“What are you saying? You were of great help, Anderheim.”
“I am humbled. It is of great honor to be of assistance to Your Highness.”
“Yeah… you’re much too humble. Well, then. Are there any others who wish to go arrest Vikram?”
At Borzeff’s call, the noble who raised his hand was a man in his prime with an unpleasant smile on his face, Baron Suey. Baron Suey had been raised as a hunter, and having rounded up and suppressed the monkey troupe that laid waste to the outskirts of the capital, he was given the life peerage of a Baron in recognition of his achievements.
The territory granted to him had many forests and Baron Suey, rather than carrying out his duties as a noble, single-mindedly devoted himself to hunting. On top of that, because of his excessive hunts, the wild animals had fled into the neighboring territories leading to an increase in the amount of damage by wild animals. While I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, His Highness Vikram who went to inspect the territory upon hearing the rumors had called Baron Suey to the castle and strongly reprimanded him.
Indeed, this man was suitable.
“Baron Suey, I see… Your Highness Borzeff. There is no problem if it is him.”
“If you think so, there is no doubting it. Alright, you Suey fellow.”
His name called out, Suey walked up to the throne and kneeled. Borzeff pointed at him with his finger, chubby like a caterpillar.
Tightly crammed onto his finger was a gold signet ring. Carved in it was not the likeness of the Ancient Dragon Kharis, which signified the Palcemith royal family, but the twin-headed dragons with their necks entwined.
Giving a satisfied look at Baron Suey who placed his lips reverently on the ring, Borzeff acted as if he already had all the qualifications to be king, and ordered the game-loving Baron.
“Go. Bring that annoying nephew of mine to me.”
“Ahh, Baron Suey!”
I stopped Baron Suey who rushed to leave after a quick bow.
“It would be difficult to open the doors of the basement that the Crown Prince has locked himself in without the key. That is why, you should call out to them, “If you don’t come out, I cannot guarantee what will happen to Prime Minister Morino” …or something to that effect.”
“…I am grateful for your advice.”
Ignoring Morino, who turned stiff, Suey sent a provocative gaze at me and turned heel, rushing from the audience room and into the corridor. Even if he rushed from the castle to the Asbal mansion and smoothly dragged Vikram out from where he was hiding in the basement, it would still take nearly two hours.
Well then, I’ll guide him around the place in the meantime.
In the audience room that had once again begun to clamor with the departure of Baron Suey, I let out an exaggerated “Shit!” and rushed towards the throne where Borzeff was sitting, seemingly in panic.
“Ahh, this is bad, Your Highness Borzeff! I forgot to tell Baron Suey something important! “
At my distracted appearance, the gazes of the nobles and vassals gathered in the audience room concentrated on me.
Well, then, how many enemies and adversaries do I have here?
As expected, even my preparations weren’t up to par. I could not perfectly grasp what camp they belonged to.
The enemies I had here were largely of three kinds.
The first was the traitor who had ushered Borzeff into the castle and his allies. Naturally, he felt a new future with the royal prince at its helm was here and decided to lend his support… not. His actions were done only in the name of self-interest.
. Anyone could guess that Borzeff was an easily swayed man. It was precisely because Borzeff was the bigger fool that he had value over Vikram. Sometimes showing too much excellence can be the very thing that holds you back.
And then, the second kind were those who had become fed up with the behavior shown by the Crown Prince and Nasha in the past half-year. They didn’t know what would happen if they left the fate of Palcemith in the two’s hands. But their opponent was royalty, and they could not interfere. Just as they could no longer endure their anxiety and wished for someone to do something, this Royal Prince appeared. That was why they had become his allies for the time being, and adopted a wait-and-see approach.
Finally, the third kind were the ones who had interacted with the Crown Prince and were concerned about him. Viscount Klaren just now was a prime example. One might think that shaking the beliefs of these kinds of people might be the hardest, but they were in fact, the easiest to sway. In any case, if I showed the slightest hint of being the Crown Prince’s ally, they would later judge me as a friend of their own will and share information I didn’t even ask for.
“Your Highness Borzeff. The truth is, there is a secret in the basement the Crown Prince is hiding in.”
When Borzeff repeated my question, I nodded back to him with extravagant motions.
“In that basement, beside the shelter for the royal family, lies a secret treasury. The Asbals have been storing gold bars there for generations in case the kingdom falls into crisis.”
It wasn’t just Borzeff, even the ears of Peragine, who clung to Borzeff’s back, and the people around perked up as they raised voices of astonishment.
“I thought it would be highly improbable with Baron Suey… but it isn’t completely impossible for him to be enamored by the golden sheen. …I believe it’s best to increase the number of pursuers.”
At my proposal, self-recommendations from the ones who couldn’t hide their excitement, filled the room.
Their eyes lighting up, the nobles quarreled, saying “Me”, “No, me”, “No, it should be me”. Without waiting for Borzeff’s permission, they rushed out of the audience room. Before anyone knew what was happening, the number of people in the room halved.
I felt a little pity seeing Borzeff’s flabbergasted face, but, well, it is what it is.
I said so to the people here, but in truth, Baron Suey was more likely to choose to bring Vikram back here than fall to the temptation of the gold. The story about the gold bars was bait to make a certain kind of enemy rush out of the audience room.
With this, the first kind of enemy had left the place.
Now only two kinds remain.
Hasr: Some Jolga and Anderheim times in c53 hehe