034 Dad who can't shut his mouth and his unsmiling daughter (Part 2) p.5

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“Before we begin, please remove Madame Anna Marie.”

“Do you have a reason?”

“I am going to ask Madame Josephine about the events of eleven years ago.”

The audience looked around at each other. Some knew what had happened on that fateful day when Anna Marie was driven from the Count’s house. However, few knew the full extent of what had occurred. Their curiosity was aroused.

Uni turned around. Josephine looked up at Uni as if the end of the world had come. As for Tullius, he was interested to see what Uni had in store. Of course, it was the latter that gave her the momentum she needed.

(This time, I shall live up to your expectations.)

Uni gathered herself, then began interrogating Josephine.

“Please stand and describe what you did to Miss Anrietta Pola Cartan.”

“T-that is…”

“This is the perfect opportunity, Madame. If you are planning to secure the future of the successor, now is the time to find your courage.”

“Y-yes, I understand…”

There was some resistance, but if pressed, she would crack. However, if not hounded after, she would never speak. Even though she was a strong and brutal woman, she seemed reluctant to confess her role in that vile event.

Thusly, Madame Josephine began to speak. It was a long confession, interrupted by short pauses and halts.

It was a record of foulest sin, a monster who repeatedly crushed the face of a six-year-old girl, then distorted the bones so they would never heal straight.

Count Cartan, in all his wildest dreams, had never imagined his wife capable of such a thing. Anna Marie, who had in the end stayed in the court, grew more and more frenzied with each passing word. In contrast, the Marquis listened quietly.

Uni felt nothing. She had little connection to Anrietta’s memories anymore. However, she thought the sight of the grieving Anna Marie slightly pitiful.

“That… is all.”

After finishing her speech, Josephine appeared haggard. She had announced her crimes to the world. Her complexion appeared little different from that of Anna Marie.

“Thank you, Madame.”

“You… how could you listen to such a thing so calmly?”

“What are you talking about? I am Uni, not Miss Anrietta. I have no compassion toward someone I merely mimicked.”

“What does this mean, in regard to the trial?”

“You will soon understand.”

Uni turned once again to the defendant’s seat.

“Now, what did you think of the story?”

“In my opinion, you increasingly appear to be Miss Anrietta.”

Lavallee spoke warily.

“I heard that you were heavily injured when you were bought by Sir Tullius eleven years ago.”

“Yes, you are correct.”

To the Marquis, he cannot help but see this as being to Uni’s disadvantage. It was a well-known fact at the House of Oubeniel that Uni’s face had been crushed. It could be heard from Linus, or from the servants who remember that occasion. And because they remembered so well, Marquis Lavallee used it in his scheme.

“Both had facial injuries, a sure sign to me.”


Uni immediately denies the Marquis.

“Did you forget, Marquis? Miss Anrietta’s face was magically healed so that it could never be returned to its original shape.”


A tinge of frustration clouds the old Marquis’ face.

Uni strikes up once again, spinning her narrative.

“Those here that have experienced military service will know that recovery magic is inalterable. If a fracture is hastily mended without regard for its original shape, the bone will heal crooked. Once this occurs, the bone can no longer be restored. However, a cure was recently discovered in Sankt Gallen.”

“Oh, I’m the one who published that paper. Incidentally, the first successful case was a student injured in a duel by me.”

Tullius offered his opinion airily.

“Thank you, master. By the way, master, how old were you eleven years ago, if you do not mind my inquiring?”

“I’m nineteen now, so I was eight then.”

“I have bothered you again, master. My apologies. Well then, my lord may be a skilled alchemist now, but could he have possibly carried out such a treatment at the age of eight?”

In truth, that operation was entirely successful. That’s why Uni was standing here today. No one in their right mind would believe an eight-year-old capable of such a feat. Even in the House of Oubeniel, no one could have accurately diagnosed the depth of her injuries at that time.

The only exception was the knight assigned to Tullius’ side when he first purchased her, but he no longer stood amongst the living. When he was named in the investigation over the matter of succession, the lord gifted him a bottle of alcohol that allowed its drinkers to truly find heaven, so he must have been happy.

“In other words, not even my lord could have healed such a wound when he was only eight.”

“…If it was Tullius, I wouldn’t be surprised. He did write the paper, after all.”

Marquis Lavallee was surely caught. Of course, there were many possible counterarguments.

“This is but an auxiliary argument, Marquis. I was my lord’s first servant. Before I, there were no human experimental subjects.”

In truth, the operation had been designed after trials on captive mice. Even so, the lord’s talent for medicinal and biological alchemy was so great that he had no need for human subjects before the first application.

Marquis Lavallee already knew that. He had been careful to have the slave market records checked during his investigations.

In those records, there was no evidence that Uni was Anrietta. Records of identity were rarely kept for slaves purchasable by even children. The record of sale remained, but no one had bothered to learn who the slave had been.

“If you still have doubts, there should be a magical expert here. Why not ask them?”

“Ah! Yes. That way, we can stop this farce.”

Immediately understanding her intention, the lord stood up. Turning to him, Tullius asked his question.

“I would like to ask you. As a former court magician, Count Pierre Simon Cartan, could you please deign to answer whether an eight-year-old child could perform such a feat? Please, bequeath your knowledge as a renowned mage!”

Pierre Simon Cartan had gained his current station through his dedication to the magical arts and mastery of the arcane. In terms of expert witnesses, there were none more qualified than he.

And, by his account,

“Impossible. It would be meaningless to even think of it.”

Count Cartan answered truthfully.

“Thank you for your valuable testimony.”


The count realized what he had said and turned his face to the side.

The count must surely wonder why she was so apparently light-hearted, although she was barely repressing her churning emotions.

However, they were nearly done.

Uni bowed deeply to the presiding judge.

“What transpired previously has been my evidence. It was the statement of the defendant himself, and I take great pride in its credibility.”

“Understood. Then, I shall recognize the usefulness of this evidence.”

Then, the wooden gavel sounded once again.

The final sound to mark the close of an eleven-year journey.

In tandem with the crack of wood, Count Cartan fell to his knees. He appeared to have lost all energy and was unable to reseat himself. A hollow shell of a man, broken by the lost chance to regain a daughter. His wax-like countenance was feverishly flushed with blood.

“Then, we shall move to the verdict.”

x            x            x

The trial ended with a resounding victory for the plaintiff.

Witness to the plaintiff Madame Josephine was separately accused of a previous crime from eleven years ago and was to be transferred for a separate trial. Count Pierre Simon Cartan resigned his peerage, and his son inherited both titles and estates. All in all, a complete success.

As Uni was recognized as a separate entity from Anrietta Pola Cartan, she returned happily to slavery. Her values were incomprehensible to others, and perhaps it was all well and good that Simone did not know of them. Although a woman of not yet twenty, she was a slave, and pleased with the massive upset delivered to Marquis Lavallee.

“Shit, that old bastard, what was he thinking?!”

Linus fumed without hiding his frustration. Though he did exhibit some self-control by doing so softly. Even so, the incredibly pissed off face he made as though he cursed the entire world after Tullius’ side won did draw some attention from the others he passed by while on the way home.

“I must say, Count Cartan’s showing was disgraceful, to say the least.”

“Indeed. Does he hold no respect for the rules of the kingdom? To think he was considered an accomplished person.”

“Also, it seems Marquis Lavallee was no match for his own reputation.”


Linus’ teeth ground together audibly.

“I-I misspoke. Were you listening too, my lord?”

“No, my ears become incredibly irritating when hearing about the ruckus my brother caused.”

Leaving the audience behind in their awkward laughter, Linus walked away after giving minimum acknowledgements.

(In the end, it is more than just about hating his brother, huh.)

Simone seemed to have understood him. One could always tell when the root of Linus’ vexation came from his inferiority complex towards Tullius.

For that reason alone, he had joined the Central Faction and surrendered himself to Marquis Lavallee’s schemes……If he had not done so, he should have been able to live an easy life by ignoring what his brother was doing.

If she advised him like this, he would surely reply with, “Much easier with him dead!”.

What an irksome personality.

She had to live until her dying days with or divorce such a man, and the thought alone depressed her greatly. To distract herself, she looked towards the court again. Marquis Lavallee had left immediately, after all was said and done. Perhaps, they were only seeing the first stages of his master plan. It seemed the old man will never be tired of scheming.

Count Cartan was leaving with an unsteady gait. As a noble, he would be unable to show himself in public as long as his scandal was remembered. Would he give up and go to Lavallee, or visit Anna Marie? Nobody knew.

Josephine was half-carried away by a legal attaché, face as pale as death. Perhaps she would be under house arrest until her next trial.

Tullius and Uni, however,

“Uni, it’s alright. Raise your head.”

“No. Because of my foolishness, I have greatly inconvenienced you.”

“And I’m saying, because you’ve been such an inconvenience, stand up already!”

 As one could see, Tullius was trying to pull an uncooperative Uni up off the floor. It was a behavior unbefitting of the two incredible actors who performed at the trial. At this ridiculous sight, Simone broke into an unexpected smile.

“…I am deeply grateful for your help. However, there is much more I have yet to atone for.”

“Don’t be stupid. You’re fine, Uni.”

(Well, at least he has his favorite tea-brewing girl back.)

Simone thought to herself while leaning on the fence of the audience section.

Tullius had scolded her while enduring a bitter taste from the tea before the trial. It seemed to her that his face, seen through the steam, had been waiting for her return.

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