First Posted at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu
Chapter 52: Courier
Returning triumphantly to the castle, Baron Suey tossed the apprehended Crown Prince to the ground in front of the large entrance gate where I was waiting to greet him.
“Baron Suey, you’ve returned safely. Seems like everything went smoothly.”
Baron Suey, who had ridden across the drawbridge straight to the castle gate, was pleased upon hearing my words.
“Oh, Lord Anderheim. There were some hindrances along the way… but as you can see-! “
As he spoke, the trussed-up Crown Prince Vikram let out a muffled moan from where he laid after being dropped onto the cobblestones.
Casting a quick glance at the Crown Prince, I promptly directed my attention back to the Baron with a disinterested expression. The horse Baron Suey was seated astride nudged me in a spoiled manner, so I gently stroked the tip of its nose. And as if I’d just noticed, I opened my eyes wide in surprise.
“Oh my, isn’t this the Knight Commander’s horse? “
Jolga’s horse was a beautiful chestnut thoroughbred, with a white star on its forehead. It was a warhorse that Jolga had personally raised since it was a foal, and was so outstanding that there had been offers to buy it for large sums of money.
In response to my question, Baron Sway nodded, unable to hide his excitement, and opened the coat he was wearing for me to see.
The sword he wore under the slate grey coat was [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons].
Once wielded by the hero Palcemith, it’s now an heirloom inherited by each generation of Knight Commander, and its current owner should be the Royal Knights’ Knight Commander Jolga.
“The Knight Commander’s horse was at the mansion His Highness was hiding in. Furthermore, this sword was carefully hidden there too. …This is surely a divine revelation that I’m the next owner of this [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons].”
“Lord Anderheim. Once Prince Borzeff ascends the throne, won’t you recommend me for Knight Commander? Let’s completely reform the Knights and gather loyal knights befitting our new country.”
With a complete opposite attitude from the passionate Baron Sway.
I slumped my shoulders and let out a sound expressing deep disappointment.
“…You’re a classic example of what happens when you give privilege to the ignorant.”
“Lord Anderheim…? “
“Well, you have my gratitude for safely carrying it over. His Highness as well…”
A shadowed figure hidden in a blind spot created by the pillars, pulled a bow taut and released an arrow.
Baron Suey might not have comprehended what had happened up until the moment he perished. Shot through the neck, his body bending backwards with his eyes rolling back into his head, the man fell from the saddle.
Turning over Baron Sway’s corpse with my foot, I pulled the [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons] from his belt.
“…Jolga’s precious sword and beloved horse.”
I knew that if this kind of attention seeker saw the [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons] or Jolga’s beloved horse, he would surely claim them as his own. And that he would definitely bring it to the castle in order to show it off.
Had I brought them myself, both the horse and the sword would have been confiscated. In order to prevent this, I had given instructions to move the horse, with the sword still hidden, to the Asbal mansion in advance. Thus, I dispatched Baron Suey, whom I felt was suitable for the task.
“Though I didn’t expect him to subdue the Crown Prince so quickly…”
Upon confirming Jolga’s release, the knights had moved like fish in water, swiftly overpowering the mercenaries in the castle. In the end, wasn’t it just a normal delivery of Jolga’s horse and sword, with the Crown Prince tacked on?
As if answering my complaints, the figure hidden in the pillar’s shadow came running over.
“Father! Your Highness! “
“Sigurd, well done.”
While I supported the Crown Prince, who had somehow managed to rise into a sitting position, Sigurd carefully untied the rope.
After the scene in the audience hall.
While I was struggling with the lock on Jolga’s shackles, Sigurd, who had returned to the audience hall after freeing the knights in the guardroom, released it with a single blow of his hilt.
Deprived of my fun, I grumbled darkly, but upon hearing my complaints Jolga stooped down to whisper in my ear, and I quickly regained my good mood.
I patted Jolga’s head while ignoring the suspicious Sigurd, and headed to the castle entrance to welcome the ignorant Baron Suey.
“…Your Highness, please be at ease. The rebel forces within the castle have already been subdued.”
At my words, the Crown Prince’s blue eyes were blurred with relief and emotion. His blond hair, covered in dust, slowly lowered in our direction. Even before Sigurd, who was flustered at his intention, I stopped the Prince from lowering his head and smiled gently while shaking my head.
“Such an action is unnecessary. Rather, Lord Morino has begun preparations to deal with the aftermath. First, please show your vassals in the audience hall that you’re unharmed. Everyone has been worried for your safety.”
“Father is right, Your Highness. We did what was expected of us as your vassals… Your Highness does not need to make a fuss about it.”
“Sigurd… Anderheim… Thanks.”
Smiling through his tears, Vikram wiped the corner of his eyes with the back of his hand, and entered the large gate accompanied by Sigurd. The gate he had escaped through just a few days ago, now welcomed him back.
Towards the softly sniffling Vikram’s back, I spoke again.
“If I may be so presumptuous, there is something I must say, Your Highness.”
Vikram turned back to look at me, and I adjusted my glasses before leisurely crossing my arms.
“This rebellion… With all due respect, was partially caused by Your Highness and Lady Nasha’s behavior.”
“…As expected, it seems that way.”
“Yes. There were sufficient reasons why your disgruntled vassals sided with His Royal Highness. However, there is still the Dragon God Festival coming in about a month. I believe it’s best that you figure out how to handle this rebellion without aggravating the situation.”
This was where we could make use of Borzeff’s wife, Peragene, and their daughter, Vanellope.
Especially the daughter, who could become a key person in the future. Since Lutora is pursuing them, I believe there’s nothing to worry about, but in the unlikely event that Count Lowe took drastic action, her safety may be in danger. Though mainly, it’s her chastity at risk.
“Do you have a plan, Anderheim?”
“I have one I’m thinking of… But that can only be proposed after we’ve invited Lady Peragene’s daughter, Lady Vanellope, to the castle, so there’s nothing we can do for now. First, as I mentioned earlier, we should head over and congratulate the loyal vassals who were truly worried for Your Highness.”
Facing the nodding Crown Prince.
I confirmed another question I had.
“By the way, Your Highness, what happened to Lady Nasha? Was she not together with you in the basement? “
In order to capture someone like Vikram, it’s common for the weaker companion to be used as a hostage.
Looking troubled by my question, and after some hesitation, Vikram replied as if he had made up his mind.
“Actually… last night while we were hiding. We discovered a secret passageway for royalty in the back of the shelter. I had heard of its existence from Father before, but to think it truly existed.”
“Ah… Indeed, it’s there, a dark underground passageway. Do you mean to say, Lady Nasha…? “
“Yes… I tried to warn her that it was dangerous, and to patiently wait for rescue… But she said she’d go and call for help… and then I didn’t have time to stop her.”
In other words, she’s missing in action.
“Your Highness, how much time has passed since Nasha entered that secret passage?”
At Sigurd’s question, Vikram put his hand to his forehead and counted the hours with his fingers.
“I’m not sure… when we discovered the passage, it should’ve been the day after the night we went into hiding… so it’s been over half a day since she disappeared.”
“Even if she had wanted to call in reinforcements from somewhere, an official letter signed by me or something similar would be required… Nasha can be somewhat reckless, so it’s worrying.”
If she managed to escape the country, that would be quite the problem too.
Also, she can’t be summed up as just ‘reckless’.
“…Let’s start by searching nearby. We can assign some of the knights. Starting from the surroundings of the Asbal estate, we’ll slowly increase the search radius and track down Lady Nasha.”
“Thanks, Anderheim… I’ll be troubling you.”
“Naturally… Please do not worry, Your Highness.”
Truly, there’s no need to worry.
After all, I knew exactly where she was headed.
Following what Jolga had told her in secret, and believing that the Crown Prince’s acquaintance, Ringmaster Ducali, would be able to help.
Towards the south of the capital.
Towards the grassland where the circus tents are spread out.
Unaware of the hatred festering there.
Hasr: Next Chapter is smut~