Sunday, January 27, 2019

028 Ghost of 11 Years

Would likely take a week of break from translation to adjust to school workload. I'm actually falling behind so translation has to take a backseat :(
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TL: yAmi
Editor: Deathnadders


The next day. Tullius Shernan Oubeniel, who had been assigned an overly bleak-looking room, said. “Laubert. Is this enough as a script for the speech?”

    There were several sheep parchments in his hand. It was a script to address the guests as a representative of the family. He waved it in the air playfully.

    Due was hanging around the wall, not knowing what to do with his boredom. Officially, he was a military officer, but he was actually a combat weapon that cannot betray his master. And so he was stuck in this room as a bodyguard.

    However, it does not seem like his turn will be up any time soon. Before staying for the night in the room, he had thoroughly searched the room and concluded that there was no possibility of a trap. He did not feel the presence of any assassins among the bodyguards of the guests. If so, for a person like him who only knows how to hack and slash, he was useless here.

    Thus, while keeping up surveillance of the surroundings, he absentmindedly observed his master’s actions.

    Having been called by their master, Laubert adjusted his appearance while replying.

    “There are no problems with it, master. I made corrections to some trivial details, but overall, it appears to be a faultless script. …...Seriously. How are you able to write such a draft despite not acting like a noble normally.”

    The young noble remarks were rude, but Due wholeheartedly agreed with him.

    When it comes to Tullius, he is always about efficiency and about minimal effort while appearing to be entirely clueless about the formalities of a noble. Why is it then, when it comes to things like writing a wedding address, he would be able to come up with it without any grumbling?

    “I haven’t had my own wedding ceremony, though I do have much experience with them.”

    “Oh? I am poorly informed of the weddings that Your Excellency has attended. Who invited you?”

    “Even if I told you, you wouldn’t know who. It happened in my previous life.”

    Tullius ended it off with a joke.

    His joke was not funny at all and yet he was having a good laugh.

    “Previous life, huh…… is there really such a thing for a villain like you? Don’t you normally go to hell and not become reborn, for cases like yours?”

    “I am only like this now after being born into this world…...or maybe after I died once. Isn’t that so? If one doesn’t experience death, how would one know its fear?”

    For a joke, he was particularly tense. Or maybe what he is saying is the real deal. Due shook his head frantically to shake off the thought.

    It was madness. It is impossible to be reborn. Reincarnation belongs in fairy tales.

    Or maybe he found a way to create such a phenomenon after teaming up with that vampire to do experiments.

    “Let’s leave that joke aside. More importantly, Your Excellency. I think the speech will be fine as long as you do not do it ad lib, but what about the dance during the night party? Your Excellency might become the object of ridicule if Your Excellency cannot even do a simple social dance.”

    Laubert said in an attempt to change to topic.

    Indeed, that was also on Tullius’ mind. Normally, Tullius would be either stuck in his lab or attending to governmental affairs after being pestered by Victor and the others. He did not seem very good with moving his body.

    At the end, Tullius grumbled, “It is true though.”

    “Well, I do it sometimes as a hobby. Not very good at it, but I doubt it would be disgraceful either.”

    “You can dance!?”

    “Really!?”

    They openly reacted with shock to their master.

    “Excuse me? No matter how unlike a noble I am, it does not mean I am unable to do everything, you know? The only stuff I do not do are pointless things like learning how to rule or something like that. I have been taught the general stuff too. Even my table manners, is not that  bad right?”

    Thinking back on it, Tullius has never shamed himself on the dining table. He prefers to have something like a sandwich on one hand while doing work, so he rarely has to eat in a formal setting.

    “While we are at it, please do not leisurely walk in the corridors while slurping black tea.”

    “What’s wrong with it? It’s not like I am doing that in front of the guests.”

    “If you can behave tactfully in front of the guests, then I have no problem with it.”

    Tullius frowned at Laubert’s overly blunt advice.

    Due added.

    “That is somewhat remarkable, master. That you would earnestly go for something like dance practices.”

    “I know about the negative effects of lack of exercise. It is a physical activity I can easily do at home, that is why I put effort into it.”

    That was very Tullius-like. If he did not keep his body up to shape, he would not be able to live long either. He was a man, who pursued immortality, a man who feared death more than anything else. He would do some exercise if it means increasing his longevity and since it is an indoor sport, it was not unbelievable for him to show some enthusiasm for it.

    However, for Due, the picture of Tullius Oubeniel dancing in step with another lady was too difficult to imagine.

    “I would be a little embarrassed at some parts which I am unfamiliar with, though.”

    “Embarrassed? About dancing?”

    Laubert was puzzled.

    As long as he did not forget that he was a noble and did not do anything too rude, something like a social dance should not be a difficult task. So he was slightly puzzled as to why there was anything to be embarrassed about. He was not like Due, who rose from the ranks of a commoner, and the fact that a demon like him would know the concept of embarrassment was a startling fact of its own.

    “......Dancing would involve holding hands with a girl, and there may be some body contact too. Wouldn’t a normal person find it embarrassing?”

    “Master appeared to be more mature for his age. But when it comes to dancing and the like, he would actually be worried about such things?”

    Due said teasingly. Tullius frowned again.

    “That cannot be helped right? I was a normal Japanese in my previous life…...my only experience with dancing was just folk dances.”

    Tullius sounded like he was whispering to himself towards the end. It seemed like he was still continuing with the joke. Nevertheless, what was a Ja-pan-nese and a fou-ku-dance?

    “Speaking of which, who is my dance partner? I have no clue who is my dance partner even now…...”

    “Umm, since we are talking about the groom’s brother, you should be assigned a suitable lady?”

    “Does seem possible you might be assigned somebody weird to get back at you. Would it go well?”

    “Since it is the wedding of a Count, I doubt he would intentionally do something that would lose him face. Doing that would affect his name too.”

    “Oh, that is true.”

    Still, Due thought. The secret feuds must be nerve-wrecking if they have to even consider a dance partner. He would feel much at ease by settling everything by brute force.

    As Due was absorbed in his dangerous thoughts, Tullius let out a deep sigh.

    “In any case, I would not like it. I would have to pay attention to an unknown woman and match her pace. I have my hands full with myself. I would much rather have Uni dance with me, though.”

    “What are you saying? It would be a miracle for her to be able to attend already. To make things worse, you want her as a dance partner? Even if the Count does not disagree with it, it is still impossible. Right, Chief Maid?”

    Laubert invited Uni, who had remained silent, to the conversation.

    She was always by Tullius Oubeniel’s side, unless she is running an errand for none other than him.

    What weighed on Due’s mind was how quiet she had been from earlier. She was always a iron-faced woman with few words, but being silent up till now was strange. He even tried to make some risky jokes to Tullius earlier. Normally, as his loyal subject, Uni would have rebuked him right away.

    “...... Yes. I think it would be too conspicuous for me, since my social standing would be questioned...”

    “Right? Your Excellency really does not know when to give up.”

    “Right, there is nobody who doesn’t know when to give up as much as me. …...In any case, it is unfortunate since I would be most familiar with Uni as a partner.”

    “......Hold your horses. ‘Uni as a partner’? Does that mean Uni know how to dance too?”

    Due asked as soon as it dawned on him. She replied in a monotone voice.

    “Yes, I am usually the partner for master during practice.”

    “Uni is the only suitable person since she is close in age to me. The dance teacher did have a bitter-looking face though.”

    Of course. It was unpleasant to find out that a child from a Count’s family, has a maid, much less a slave, as a dance partner. It was what they would expect from Tullius, since he was really a man lacking in social common sense.

    Incidentally, an inconvenient truth rose to the surface with respects to Due.

    “Speaking of which, am I the only one here who does not have dancing as a hobby?”

    “Ahh, now that you say it.”

    “It was unthinkable for a woman to invite Due to a dance from his bodyguard-looking appearance. Well, if it comes down to it, you just need to try to avoid stepping on her foot. My reputation would not change much at this point even if people find out I have vassals who do not know how to dance.”

    What is that supposed to mean? Of all people, he was being lectured by Tullius on how to behave at a dinner party.

    Reflexively, Due put his palm to his forehead. Tullius laughed happily.

    “Why don’t you start practicing when we get back to Marlan? Don’t you have a suitable partner too?”

    “......That’s a bad joke.”

    His master was most likely referring to her. It really was a bad joke. Even now, Due did not know how to approach her, all the more he could not ask her out for a dance.

    After Due turned his head away to avoid the topic, Tullius passed the baton to Uni next.

    “So, Uni. You have been rather quiet, what are you thinking about?”

    Even considering his own uncouth standards, that was way too straightforward.

    Certainly, Uni was acting weird during the ride here, but shouldn’t he ask in a more delicate way?

    “......Have you realised?”

    “We have known each other for a long time. You would be able to to solve a trivial problem on your own, but if it has kept you thinking for a few days, surely it must be a problem beyond your capabilities?”

    No matter how you hear it, it was a dry way of speaking.

    She was a girl who was brainwashed as a slave and had accompanied him for many years. Due could not help but think that he should have been more sensitive when asking about her troubles.

    Tullius would sometimes show concern for his subjects on a whim. It was truly, sometimes. For this man, who only cares about living long, his true nature was to be kind to himself. The humane affection he randomly shows at times were probably a form of self-love. The affection was likely directed to part of his own existence. Due felt that, from a year of working under him.

    As expected, it was impossible for this man to show another sympathy. Meanwhile, Uni struggled to reply to his question.

    “......I just thought, all of sudden.”

    “About?”

    “Since master’s elder brother is having a wedding, That it is also about time for master to welcome a wife too.”

    She said as she cast her eyes downwards.

    So that was what she was thinking about. Due could sympathise with that. This iron-hearted girl was even younger than Tullius, who was not even 20 years old. It was unbelievable, but unlike the mass produced types, it seems that her emotional faculties were left untouched. He was a master, close in age, that she has served for long and whom she had sworn loyalty to. It was not far-fetched for her to have extraordinary desires because of that.

    Also, she shows the most joy whenever Tullius behaves flirtatiously. Compared to Drei, who had her emotions towards her clan altered to loyalty towards Tullius, there was a stark difference.

    Still,

    “Ah, was it because of the talk I was having with Due in the carriage?”

    Tullius continued without showing any signs of consideration for his subjects.

    “Still, it is a problem. Now that my elder brother is married, the ball is now in my court as a viscount. Since Marquis Lavallée is using the marriage as a way to bring elder brother into his faction, I wonder if I could use the same strategy too.”

    “I would think so. You would be able to take your time since you are in control of it.”

    Shockingly, Laubert agreed with Tullius.

    “The Marlan of now is quickly being revitalised. Even the mines are operational. The profits are not high as of now, but would be promising in the future. The Centralists must have planned a script, like, putting a bell on Your Excellency with a wedding, and putting Your Excellency  to death when Your Excellency is ripe and ready to be eaten.”

    “That’s nasty, Laubert. Did you pester His Excellency to dig the mines after reading that far ahead?”

    “It is the notoriety of His Excellency. I was able to see the big picture with the Count’s wedding and Chief Maid’s concern. After all, the reputation of the Oubeniel family is terrible. I did not think that the Centralists would have the Oubeniel’s family head marry so fast and try to set up a wedding scheme on His Excellency too.”

    The two of them were deeply engrossed in discussing the Marquis faction’s plans and countermeasures for it.

    “So, what shall we do when that happens?”

    “Hmm, if it comes down to it, all we need to do is to brainwash the entirety of the partner’s family…...that might be asking for too much.”

    “Yes. The Marquis is also notorious for his schemes. He should have already realised that His Excellency has a technique to capture the human’s heart. I believe he has prepared somebody from an important family living in the capital so that his spy would not have to move to Marlan.”

    “Hey, hey, doesn’t that mean he would not be giving face to His Excellency’s elder brother who was given the daughter of a Baron’s family? …...Well, Victor did say frequently that the Marquis was not the kind to give a hoot about a youngster’s face.”

    “That depends on the perspective. It can be seen in two different directions. For example, Sir Linus could ask the Marquis to find a good match for his brother. It can be argued that he wanted his brother, who lacks control, to be paired with somebody who could guide him in the right direction.”

    “Wow, that sounds like a plausible argument. Man, I am getting sick of this geezer even before we met.”

    Tullius endured his headache.

    “According to that script, if it is a partner other than my elder brother’s wife’s family, it means this family would have some flaws too. And when the Marquis wants to eliminate me, he just needs to make up some false charges on that family. It would be a disaster if he gets to restrain my movements and possibly get an excuse to kill me, free-of-charge.”

    “I would want to suggest that we leave for Marlan as soon as Your Excellency fulfils the bare minimum of showing up for the ceremony. Once we are done with creating the faction, we would have a reliable hand to play for defence…… The absolute worst scenario I can think of is the Marquis might force down a wedding while Your Excellency is staying in the capital.”

    “It is as you say. Stopping by the capital brings nothing but misfortune. I wonder if I should have prepared the plan to leave early as we have discussed earlier. Depending on the circumstances, I am prepared to execute the most dangerous plan of all.”

    Tullius changed the irrelevant discussion back to something that had to do with him instead of others.

    The plan to escape the capital in order to counter the Marquis plan’s to stop him. It was a plan that required Due and Uni to put their lives on the line.

    They made various plans but the “most dangerous plan” that Tullius was referring to was the most depressing, last-ditch attempt to escape. Frankly speaking, it was a demonic plan, no, more like pure violence, that would made Marquis Lavallée look like a child.

    Nevertheless,

    “There is no choice, I suppose.”

    Unbelievably so, Laubert endorsed the plan, though he did so half-heartedly.

    Due could not help but open his eyes wide.

    “H-Hey, Laubert…...? Did you forget what the plan is all about?”

    “I am well aware of what that plan is. It was the suggestion of His Excellency, but in any case, Victor and I both attended that meeting.”

    That was the case. The Opus Series mobilised for issues relating to alchemic research. For governmental and strategic affairs, though, Tullius would often settle things with them both.

    Still, the plan they had prepared was for escaping an unlikely danger. The plan was so vicious that Victor cautioned them to not use it unless it was for that specific danger. Why did Laubert give his consent so easily?

    “......I cannot understand. How can you feel like using such a thing, I mean even you――”

    “It is not something you can understand.”

    Laubert shrugged his shoulders. He interrupted him to prevent him from saying that he was born from the capital too.

    “In reply to that, have you forgotten? The operations that Victor and I received are in the same generation as Drei’s. The operation preserved our old personality and intelligence while changing our values to place His Excellency as our priority. That is why, compared to you who lost the ability to rebel and had obedience placed, it is natural that we have differences in thinking, right?”

    Due, who even had the nickname of ‘Double-handed Sword’ as a warrior, made a gulp. He was overwhelmed by a noble who he could kill with his finger if he so wanted to.

    …...He had forgotten. Anybody who sat beside Tullius Oubeniel Shernan was a tool. Even Laubert, who habitually nags and scolds Tullius, was nothing but a puppet. Whenever he expresses an opposing view from his master, it was because he wanted to compensate for Tullius’ mistakes or lack of knowledge. It was merely a function left behind intentionally.

    When giving long-winded explanations, Laubert’s expression and voice would not contain a trace of ill intention. He showed little restrain in doing so too. That was how fearsome the brainwashing was. Once again, Due realised the unorthodoxy and skill of the alchemist who turned him into a tool.

    “Victor’s case was somewhat unexpected, though. After I tweaked his values and placed myself higher in his system, his hostility towards the Marquis, who had oppressed him, overheated. …...Well, that is not the point, though.”

    Tullius looked at Due as though he was a teacher looking at a failing student.

    “I know you are unenthusiastic about it. I too, do not want to pull out big stunts. However, staying in the capital for long would definitely be dangerous and the Marquis and the Centralists would surely deal a blow to us in the meantime. Considering that, our best option would be this plan.”

    “......It is the most efficient method to reach your goals?”

    “Oh, so you do understand.”

    Tullius chuckled lightly.

    For Due, it was a topic that he felt far stronger on than simply “unenthusiastic”, still, it was not something he could shirk away from. It was not like he could come up with a solution that could convince his master and even if he wanted to stop the plan, he could not do so. His brain had already been altered.

    “Furthermore, I did mention, “according to the circumstances”, right? We would only use the plan after considering all other options. Right, Laubert?”

    “Yes. It is a plan that I do not wish to use as much as possible too. The risks are high and we would come up with a separate plan later as well.”

    “......tch”

    In the end, Due could only click his tongue in dissatisfaction as a form of protest. Of course, for the thick-skinned heretic, it was not something he would even feel an itch from.

    Tullius turned to face Uni in an annoyingly happy mood.

    “Hmm, something about this. Uni isn’t acting like Uni after all. It seems like you are a bit sick. Thinking too hard about an idea for my sake.”

    “......Thank you for the excessive words. What I said was nothing more than just a trigger for this discussion.”

    Uni’s face appeared to be more iron-plated than usual. It was an expression that showed that she was just a subject serving her master, nothing less and nothing more than that.

    …...Really?

    Due was doubtful. The worry that talks on Tullius’ wedding might come up. Shouldn’t what she said be actually related to something deeper than that? Even though she was able to put it into words, it was not something that would bother this girl for so many days.

    “No, no, such humility is――”

    It happened when Tullius started to speaking.

    Knock, knock.

    Light knocks could be heard from the door.

    “Excuse me. It is about time for the banquet…...”

    The voice of a servant could be heard beyond the door.

    Tullius snapped his fingers in a rare show of displeasure. He dissolve the sound barrier that ensured that their secret discussion would not be leaked.

    “Yes, we are ready. We will be going now.”

    “Is that so? Then, my apologies.”

    The sound of footsteps faded.

    “It is about time. Shall we go?”

    “Yes.”

    The maid responded to the master’s prompting.

    Meanwhile, his other subjects left the room.

    While heading for the hall that would be the venue for the banquet, Due could feel a cold sensation that made one shiver.

    Was it because of the darkness from the discussion they had, or……

    (......In any case, no matter how much I think, it isn’t something I can change)

    He shook his head, dispersing the chilly sensation.

    That was just a way to stop overthinking, but…...indeed, there was nothing he can do no matter what he thought.



※ ※ ※

    “――From the perspective of a younger brother, elder brother is a magnificent person.”

    Linus Oubeniel’s ears seemed like they would rot from listening.

    On this fine evening celebratory party, Tullius was singing the praise of Linus as the representative of the family. Tullius spoke fluently without a tinge of redness on his face as he stood on the stage in the hall. From a look, one might assume he was a good-natured young master, doing his best to congratulate his brother on this occasion.

    However, that was not the truth.

    He was a demonic child that would bide his time in the womb of his mother and would not mind destroying the family so long as it benefits himself.

    “As a member of the glorious Kingdom, he is a person who would not spare any diligence to improve himself. He was a strict brother that I was unworthy of. I could feel his relentless spirit even though I was immature.”

    Tullius sang his praises continuously just for appearances. The lies he spouted was nauseating.

    “――It is truly the blessings of the heavens that this brother of mine, under the guidance of Marquis Lavallée, can marry my sister-in-law, a beautiful bride.”

    Linus felt like shouting, ‘Ridiculous!’. The whole reason for the Marquis getting closer to him was because Tullius fooled around, leading that geezer to have his eye on him. If marrying Simone was suggested by the Marquis, then the main culprit was Tullius. And he even dared to call it ‘blessings of the heavens’. It was almost laughable.

    “――It is truly a joyous day. I wish from the bottom of my heart and believe that elder brother would build a happy family with sister-in-law and uphold the honour and traditions of the Oubeniel family. I sincerely offer my congratulations to the newlyweds once again. …...And that concludes my address. Thank you for the kind attention.”

    Linus covered half his face while enduring his dizziness. It was as though he could not hold back his tears after listening to his brother’s speech, however, if he felt like crying, it was because of how pathetic he thought the speech was.

    What in the world did his foolish brother say? Uphold the honour and traditions of the Oubeniel family’? So he means to leave the responsibility of the Oubeniel family, which he had polluted as he pleased, to this married couple?

    The audience gave a round of applause as his foolish brother stepped off the stage. Linus did not, however, overlook the bitter smiles on some of them. Ridiculous, wasn’t it? Comical, wasn’t it? They should be carrying the same emotions as he did now. After all, all of the nobles who live in the capital know of the infamous deeds committed by Tullius.

    Unintentionally, he let out the sound of teeth gnashing. Simone tugged on his sleeves to chide him.

    “......Sorry.”

    “If you are truly apologetic, please fix that expression of yours before removing that hand.”

    Linus relaxed his tensed up facial muscles while his right hand remained on his face. He could feel the rigidity and warmness from his hand. Surely he was seething malice, like that of a demon from hell. Even though the real devil was the man who just brazenly gave a hypocritical speech.

    (Just a little bit longer…...)

    With that thought in his mind, he could somewhat calm his heart.

    It will not be long before the banquet, which the Marquis had arranged for, would reveal its tricks.

    Somehow or another, he had regained an expression suitable for showing others, and shifted his line of sight to Tullius, who was returning to his seat.

    If everything is going according to the Marquis’ plans, then this was the timing when something should occur.

    “Good work, master.”

    “All I did was talk in front of some people. It is nothing impressive.”

    That was Tullius’ annoying slave that he had shamelessly brought to the wedding. Linus could clearly see that girl moving the chair for his master. He could also see the expression of the experienced adventurer, Due, though he could not decide if it was exasperation or admiration. And the fourth son of the Laubert family, who seemed to be saying something.

    Surely he must be engrossing himself in the attention from the audience. Look, the man who gave that shameless speech is taking a seat. Those gossip-loving guests should be observing Tullius, being fascinated by what kind of face he was making.

    Even if they were not gossip lovers, the Marquis, the matchmaker for the wedding, would have encouraged them to do so.

    The invited guests surely had their eyes fixed at Tullius and that girl who waited on him.

    “Ugh……!?”

    With the sound of a short shriek, the sound of a wine glass shattering on the floor could be heard.

    The guests all turned to look at the rude person who created the source of the sound.

    He could see Marquis Lavallée making an overly surprised expression while berating an ageing madam.

    “My goodness, how did this happen, Countess Cartan? You look pale though?”

    Well said. The culprit who miraculously dug out the buried truth and who set up today’s ceremony feigned kindness skillfully.

    The woman called Countess Cartan seemed to have not heard the Marquis. She froze on the spot while staring at the female slave who stood behind Tullius. It was as though she was looking at a ghost. Cold sweat was trickling down her as she shivered.

    That was natural. What she just encountered was truly a ghost of the past. Perhaps a better way to put it is that she was a demon who escaped death and returned alive.

    “It cannot be…...firstly, that girl…...”

    “What is wrong, Joséphine? You couldn’t even hear His Excellency, the Marquis…...”

    Her husband, Count Cartan, tried to take a look and became involved.

    However, the Countess herself cut him off.

    “D-Dear, you cannot! You cannot look!!”

    “W-What is it Joséphine!? That is making you so flustered!”

    Despite already making a scene, she continued making a shriek at an attempt to stop her husband. In the blink of an eye, the guests began talking among themselves.

    Tullius became aware that this was a scheme of some sort. He stiffened his usual happy-go-lucky expression and watched what became of Countess Cartan.

    However, he was too late.

    By then, the Marquis gave his final push.

    “What is the matter, Count Carten? Your wife seemed to be greatly shocked?”

    “W-Well. It is something I cannot understand myself…...”

    Being urged by a person of higher rank, surely he could not pretend to not see what was unfolding.

    The Marquis hugged the Countess to calm her down, but in fact, he was preventing her from escaping and looked at Tullius.

    And then, Countess Cartan saw.

    The cursed girl bounded by a silver collar.

    “......Anna-Marie?”

    The old lady on the Marquis arm became stiff as she murmured in shock.

    “S-Stop the jokes, dear…...T-That girl’s a-age is far too different…...”

    His shaking voice was barely audible from where Linus was, but that was likely what he said for the most part.

    What a silly excuse. Linus smiled.

    That was because it was as good as admitting that he had a good idea who that person truly was.

    “Then, could she be…...the child of her…...Anrietta……!?”

    Countess Cartan’s expression swapped between delight and astonishment.

    (I’ve won……!)

    Linus had to desperately control himself.

    His abdominal muscles cramped up and laughter pushed all the way through his diaphragm into his throat.

    Nevertheless, exploding in laughter now would only spoil the entire plan.

    He had to continue appearing like a member of the aristocracy and maintain his cool.

    “Dear”

    “I know. …...Do you know who she is?”

    He replied to Simone who sent a doubtful gaze to him and called for an attendant.

    Not long after, a bewildered manservant rushed over.

    “What is the matter?”

    “Can’t you see? Count Cartan’s wife has fallen ill. She must have lost her mind. …...Bring her to another room.”

    “Yes!”

    The manservant immediately carried out his instructions. He might think it is weird, but this was the Oubeniel residence, and Linus was the master he served.

    Linus glanced back to the spectacle after being satisfied with the correct use of his authority.

    “......And so this means you know what is going on.”

    He completely ignored the sigh of his bride.

   
※ ※ ※


    Due could not comprehend the development before his eyes.

    His master had given his address without a hitch and returned to his seat. Then came the ageing madam who made a fuss, and was escorted outside by the guards. And now, her husband approached.

    The ceremony programme order was ruined. Yet, the groom, who should be most perturbed by the incident did not seem to lose his cool, and in fact, was totally calm. It was crystal clear that this was the plot of Linus and the Marquis.

    They long knew that they were using the wedding as an excuse to execute their schemes. Nevertheless, it was completely unheard of for somebody to execute their plan right in the middle of the party.

    “......I am Tullius Shernan Oubeniel, the Viscount of Marlan. May I humbly ask for your name?”

    Tullius took the initiative to greet the hesitating old aristocrat.

    Due copied Laubert after he gave him a poke with his elbow, and bowed to the old aristocrat.

    For Uni who did not have a chair as she was a slave, she kowtowed at the same time when her master made his greeting.

    (What……?)

    Due could felt discomfort from the expression on the old aristocrat. No, more accurately put, it is from the direction he was looking at.

    The old man’s eyes went right past Tullius’ respectful bow and was completely focused on the floor behind him.

    He was staring at Uni.

    It was an unimaginable sight. A noble would ignore the greetings of another noble and focus on a slave instead? Certainly, it was rare to find a slave at such an auspicious event. However, manners should be a greater priority than curiosity. That is what it means to be a noble.

    So then, what does this exception mean?

    It was then, the old aristocrat turned to face Tullius again. His eyes were vividly coloured with revulsion and disbelief. It was as though he was looking a robber. His master had been seen with scorn by many other nobles, but his level of hatred was equal with that of Linus’.

    Finally, the old aristocrat introduced himself.

    “......I am Count Pierre Simon Cartan.”

    He introduced himself concisely without any politeness nor friendliness. Rather than having an improper upbringing as a noble, he was saying that he could not be bothered with it.

    Due could feel a cold murderous intent emanating from behind him.

    It was Uni. Even Tullius and the normally dispassionate Due were offended by his greetings. For this slave who prioritised her master over everything else, it was not absurd for her to carry this much anger.

    Nevertheless, she kept it well under control. Probably nobody else apart from Due at the party could perceive her killing intent, though. In fact, Laubert appear to be completely unaware of it and was instead, deeply thinking about the Count Carten. That was how deep she could suppress her killing intent.

    Count Cartan continued speaking without noticing the intensity escaping Uni.

    In addition, this time he looked at Uni again.

    “......You, raise your face.”

    You have a death wish? Due thought.

    Of all people and of all timings, he was calling out to the ‘Silver Wolf’ without giving face to her master and when she was already irritated. Would this not mean that because of her, her master was being trampled upon?!

    Due knows nobody else who exhibits as much loyalty as Uni. He was made to listen to commands while Drei and Charl were altered to be loyal. Fem was simply constructed to be loyal. But from what he heard, this slave went as far as offering her brains to demonstrate her loyalty. A natural lunatic. One might even think she was even crazier than Tullius. Anybody who dares to use her as an excuse to offend her master would not have a simple end. For the ‘Silver Wolf’, her master was like the reverse scale of a dragon or the cubs of a tiger.

    Of course, this was not the right place for her to show her temper. He knew she was capable of controlling herself if acting in revenge would only hurt her master’s interests. Maybe there was no change in her outward expression. But surely, he had already incurred her wrath. Probably, this noble would face a gruesome end depending on how Tullius commands it.

    “However, I am afraid this lowly self――”

    Uni replied like how she did to Simone yesterday. The emotions in it was completely different, however. There was a slight shaking in her voice.

    And then Laubert turned pale. He might not have the skill to detect her murderous intents, but he should be well aware of her personality. The only times when her voice trembles like that was either because of an auspicious event related to Tullius that made her happy or a calamity related to Tullius that angered her. Evidently, it was the latter in this case.

    Even then, Count Cartan continued to approach Uni.

    “It is fine, show your face.”

    “Um, Your Excellency, Count?”

    As expected, Tullius spoke out in a troubled voice.

    Nevertheless, Count Cartan did not respond to him. In fact, he made some hand gestures to brush him aside.
   
    He was telling Tullius to stop bothering him.

    Just imagining Uni’s expression now terrified Due.

    Finally, she raised her face.

    “Ohh……!”

    After seeing Uni’s face, Count Cartan trembled.

    So you finally realised her anger? Due thought. In any case, his behaviour changed.

    The Count was shedding tears. He was crying and smiling. They were tears of joy.

    He grabbed her shoulders with his trembling hands and raised her up.

    Unbelievable.

    How could somebody like a Count touch a lowly slave at such an event. Even Due, who was unfamiliar with etiquettes, knew that it was an unpardonable act. The only kind of noble who would do that, would only be Tullius.

    The Count said in tearful voice.

    “That voice and that face…...is an exact copy of Anne-Marie…...”

    “Count Cartan? Anne-Marie?”

    Laubert murmured in confusion.

    Speaking of which, this man likes to research on rumours surrounding nobles.

    Perhaps he had a clue what this was all about.

    Still, Due had no time to ask him and the events continue to unfold.

    “With all due respects, Count. Is there anything this one can help you with?”

    “Anrietta――”

    Uni asked in a sharp robotic voice. The Count replied by calling an unknown girl’s name.

    “――You are my long-lost daughter……!”

    He hugged her.

    “......Huh?”

    Due could not help but raise his voice.
   
    Long-lost daughter of a noble?

    Uni?

    That cold blooded girl who was a slave, a maid, an adventurer and that demon’s assistant.

    …...What on earth is he joking about.

    “What is it? Did you hear what did Count Cartan just said?”
   
    “I-If my ears serve me right, he said, ‘long-lost daughter’......”

    “Are you out of your mind? Isn’t she a slave!?”

    “K-Keep quiet…...this is a wedding, right?”

    All of a sudden, there was an uproar among the nobles.

    If he could make a fuss, Due would also want to do so. The situation was clearly beyond Due. He was a swordsman. However, there was nothing a sword could do in this situation.

    “......I am Uni.”

    The deeply moved Count could not hear Uni’s attempt at protest.

    He wept and continued to hug her.

    “I see, so this is it.”

    Tullius murmured with an annoyed expression.

    As though replying to him,

    “Oh my. This is――”

    An elderly and skinny noble appeared.

    He appeared to be rather old from his white hair and deep wrinkles.

    But Due could feel his overflowing vitality from his slim body that allows him to move freely.

    He then made a fake smile to hide the sharp glint at the corner of his eyes.

    Due immediately realised who he was.

    “Pleased to meet you…..are you Marquis Lavallée?”

    Tullius came to the same conclusion and lowered his head before the other party could.

    The old man ― Marquis Lavallée ― cackled.

    “Indeed, I am Lavallée. I would certainly like to praise your quick-wittedness. However, I cannot admire guessing the other person’s name on the first meeting. It would be rude to make a wrong guess.”

    While maintaining the smile on his lips, his eyes met with Tullius’.

    “My sincere apologies. I have embarrassed myself.”

    “Yes, yes. Humbly recognising your mistakes is a virtue. Why, most youngsters would let intelligence get ahead of them. What is most important is to measure one’s own capacity, isn’t it? Don’t you agree, Viscount Tullius Shernan Oubeniel?”

    He spoke gently, but the meaning his words were scathing.

    ――Stop trying to act smart, you are just a fledgling young lad.

    ――Recognise your own limits.

    ――It is the height of lunacy to oppose me.

    Due could understand that much.

    “Thank you very much for the kind advice and for patronising my elder brother. No, I am in fact, extremely grateful.”

    Tullius shrunk back his body and replied.

    He had a harmless smile on his face, but the ends of his lips were rigid.

    It was not the normal expression he usually puts on display. Due could tell that he was irritated.

    Regarding the ‘advice’ Lavallée gave, Tullius only said that he was ‘thankful’ and he did not mention that he agreed.

    “By the way, Your Excellency, the Marquis. It is rather crowded here, but…...are you perhaps an acquaintance to Count Cartan?”

    He said while making side glance to the noble who clung to Uni while crying.

    Lavallée made another fake smile.

    “Ah, I do have some personal connections to him, but…...to think he would be making a mess out of this wedding. Goodness gracious, I had no idea this would happen.”

    If that is the case, at least try to act a little more anxious. Due cursed him silently.

    “Still, this would be like throwing cold water on your brother’s wedding. What about it, Tullius? Why don’t we leave this place temporary and listen to what Count Cartan has to say?”

    “......Yes, indeed. I do feel bad for ruining such an auspicious event.”

    Tullius obediently agreed to Lavallée’s proposal.

    One could say that he had no other choice but to accept it. An issue potentially disrupting the flow of events for the wedding occured. Even if he was being led on by his opponent, he had no other choice but to leave this place.

    The old Marquis narrowed his eyes in a smile when Tullius agreed. It was triumphant smile.

    “Good. Let’s go then. …...Count Cartan! You come too. How can you, of all of nobles, ruin such a splendid occasion.”

    “Y-Yes! Your Excellency, the Marquis. …...This lady――”

    “Of course, she can come along too. After all, she is the person of interest to this matter――or more like, the spark for this incident?”

    Bringing along Uni and the perplexed Count, they left the venue in an orderly straight line.

    Along the way, intense glares from curious nobles rested between Tullius, Uni and Count Cartan. Most likely, this incident would spread all the nobles in the capital. Due may not be able to figure out where the Marquis plan would end, but he was sure of that in the least.

    As long as Tullius was in the capital, he had nowhere to run.

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21 comments

  1. As expected, Uni was the one they involved in the scheme.

    Good luck with schoolwork! Thanks for translating despite your busy schedule.

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  2. Thank you for your work.
    Good luck with your study.

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  3. Well, if anyone didn't see this coming, they must be blind.

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  4. I didn't saw that coming.
    Thanks for the chapter!!!

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  5. Now Uni can marry her young master with no problem.

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    1. Agreed. That would be a happy end. Well, as happy as possible within this novel, but that is better than nothing. Come to think of it, why didn't Tullius release Uni from slavery? By this point, it is just a mere formality after all.

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    2. She probably wouldn't agree to him releasing her from slavery if he brought it up. She might even think of it as her master distancing himself from her.

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  6. Just being killed by your daughter whom you've spent years looking for is probably to tame for this novel. Looking forward to see how they can escalate it.

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  7. Argh .. how should i survive this translation break.. I need mooore !!

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  8. yes, they managed to trap him in the capital and force him to use his army of monsters to rain hell upon everyone... all according to keikaku?

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    1. at this point his brother should be killed off by him or brain washed like how does he not see that keeping him alive is just going to make his dream harder and harder

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  9. of all the people to use they pick uni the slave that was found on death's door like shit did they even try with this long lost daughter bs really

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  10. Thank you very much for the chapter!

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  11. Thank You!!!!
    And Good Luck with school too!!!!

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  12. Thank you for the good work.

    As a teacher I advise you to not neglect your school.

    Good luck with your school

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  13. Thanks for the chapter.

    Good luck with your school!

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  14. Something tells me that mc will end up controlling the count.

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  15. what happened ??? it's been more than 2 weeks, is this dead??

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