First Posted at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu
Chapter 46: Secret Manoeuvres
The Butterfly Effect.
According to chaos theory, it’s a metaphor to express the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, but in summary, it is commonly used to convey the notion that “a small choice can bring about great change”.
A butterfly in Brazil flapping its wings will cause a tornado in Texas. If the height of Cleopatra’s nose was just a little lower, history would change. If a strong wind blows, the bucket maker will profit. 1
Only gods would be able to control all of the alterations, and this was nothing more than one of those changes.
It started with an urgent message from the royal castle.
While the Crown Prince and Nasha were enjoying the circus, Sigurd and Julieta went to locate the circlet and secretly move it to a secure, yet inconspicuous, spot in the treasury before returning to the safety of the Oswein mansion. Meanwhile, Jolga and I spent an intimate day at the hostel, resulting in my inability to stand for the first time in a while. Once again, Jolga carried me back to the mansion on the hill. It was a small mercy that only Thomas came out to greet us.
Malacia, who had encountered the slave trader with Lutora, developed a high fever the day after he returned to the mansion.
Chasing the flustered Lutora to the shrine for errands, and entrusting Julieta to the Oswein mansion, I sat at the feverish Malacia’s bedside and together with Thomas looked after him. Malacia’s fever was probably psychogenic… In other words, it is what could be called an adult’s teething fever. When a person suffers from sudden stress and they are unable to cope, it’s not uncommon to fall ill.
“…I wonder why…”
After several days, Malacia’s condition stabilized and he laid on his back, holding out and staring at the back of his still-pale despite being held in the sun. Tracing with his eyes the translucent blue veins in a daze.
“Even without falling for someone like me… There are so many other possible options.”
Well-educated and beautiful noble ladies. Daughters of wealthy merchants who are more fashion-conscious than nobility.
Lutora could have chosen anyone of them.
However, the one who seized him was Head Priest Malacia, who harbored a gruesome past.
“That’s just your self-deceit, Malacia.”
I smiled, tracing Malacia’s haggard face, drained from his extended fever.
“The one who chose was Lutora himself. However, the one who made him choose… was you, Malacia.”
“Choices are a curse. Once a choice has been made, it can’t be overturned. …Thus, isn’t it fine even if you were chosen? If you had completely rejected Lutora and moaned under a man in front of the children as you had requested from Demesteca, you could have probably ended things cleanly. However, you did not carry that out, and instead gave Lutora the choice.”
“At that point, you lost. Nevertheless, don’t try to justify that choice. You’re not that easy of a man.”
Apart from my daughter Julieta, Malacia was the only accomplice I had from the beginning.
Currently, he may have been moved by his new feelings for Lutora, but the true worth of the manipulative skills he had cultivated wouldn’t waver easily.
“…For now, rest a while. And once you become accustomed to the change, you can have fun and play. Spread rumors throughout the capital of the puppy that has become the mate of the Poisonous Silver Butterfly. The curious nobility with spare time will barge into the shrine together.”
I slowly stroked Malacia’s head, who seemed to be amused at the imagery my words evoked.
Dropping an affectionate kiss onto his forehead and entrusting the drowsy Malacia’s care to Thomas, I returned to my study-cum-bedroom on the second floor of the mansion.
Unlike the mansion within the capital, this mansion only had a few rooms. The view from my room’s window was only a small portion of the narrow road surrounded by the greenery that led from the mansion’s gate to the capital, but…
On that road, a familiar horse was galloping at great speed.
Even when I strained my eyes to look, there was no sign of my mate Jolga atop the horse that stopped at the gate.
I ran down the stairs I had just gone up and rushed out to the entrance. I checked Jolga’s horse, which immediately drew close to me, whinnying softly, but I didn’t find anything amiss. However.
Under a cloth, as if hidden deliberately, was a single sword including the sheath, tucked within a leather holder attached to the saddle.
Jolga’s sword, said to be used by the hero Palcemith and handed down through generations of Knight Captains.
Why would this sword be in this kind of place? Jolga would carry this sword around his waist at all times, apart from when he’s in the bedroom.
And yet, why?
And what was the significance of him being nowhere in sight, and with only his horse running to my mansion?
“Father…! The captain, he…!”
Before I could brood over the reason.
A few minutes after Jolga’s horse arrived, the three youngsters who rushed over with pale faces, informed me of the shocking news.
“Calm down… What happened?”
“…It’s terrible, Lord Anderheim.”
Unaccustomed to horse riding, Morino dismounted his horse and stood before me with trembling legs, and spread the folded cloth he had draped over his arm.
“What is this?”
At a glance, the crest on the cloth belonged to the Palcemith royal family. It was the national flag that was often used for parades. A cheap and popular decoration that could be easily obtained by commoners.
However, the [crest] on the cloth had a slight difference that was apparent even to the untrained eye.
“A double-headed dragon…”
“Oi, that is surely…”
Even I could do nothing but widen my eyes.
The Palcemith royal family’s crest was a beautiful one that used the Ancient Dragon Kharis and what was cut off from his soul, the Quistasis, That which Controls Dragons as a motif. However, the dragon drawn on the cloth that Morino obtained wasn’t Kharis, but a double-headed dragon with its necks intertwined.
“Yes, that’s right.”
Morino bit his lips.
“A few hours ago… early this morning. Formerly banished from Palcemith Kingdom, Royal Prince Borjeff… His Royal Highness and his wife returned without warning.” 2
“As soon as he returned to the country, His Royal Highness sought an audience with the Crown Prince and gathered the nobility and vassals together. He also investigated the rumors surrounding His Highness and Nasha, and immediately appealed for His Highness to be disinherited in front of all the retainers. It seems that he had already laid down the groundwork… Not only did the nobles who allowed the audience, but the vassals as well, voiced their approval.”
“…Hm. He has some skills.”
I am honestly impressed by that.
“His Highness ended up fighting back against Royal Prince Borjeff’s subordinates when they tried to restrain him, and Sir Jolga, who was guarding Crown Prince Vikram, covered for him and gave His Highness, Nasha and I time to escape from the castle.”
“For now, His Highness and Nasha are both taking refuge in the Asbal’s family’s basement. As for Sir Jolga’s safety… I’m sorry, it’s uncertain.”
When the despondent Mornio finished his report.
I closed my eyes, and pondered for a while with my arms crossed.
Julieta, who dismounted from the horse with Sigurd’s help, as well as Sigurd, who hugged Julieta around her shoulders, both looked uneasy.
“Hmph… Royal Prince Borjeff, huh. He’s a fool despite having been banished once before.”
Unconsciously I cursed.
Pushing back the bangs that I had recently been wearing down and retrieving them from my waistcoat pocket, I put on a pair of silver-rimmed glasses.
I thought I wouldn’t have to act out the role on stage anymore, but the situation calls for it.
This development was likely the bad end in the Crown Prince’s route that wasn’t touched on much in the main game; the Coup D’état End.
If this continues, His Highness and Nasha would eventually be caught by the ringleader, the Royal Prince, and they would both be executed.
I feel sorry for His Royal Highness who had deliberately come onto the stage, but that wouldn’t be the least bit interesting.
It can’t be helped.
For the first time in a long while, it’s time to act as the Evil Prime Minister.
Above all else, what happens to the likes of some ousted royalty who laid his hand on my Jolga…
I shall personally teach them a lesson
“Come with me, Morino. It’s time to prepare.”