039 The burning capital? (Final) p.2

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“Heave-ho...ah, ouch...”

As I pulled myself up with the aid of a walking stick, a sharp pain in my chest caused me to stumble. Although my wounds had closed, I was by no means fully recovered. It appeared that I would have to get used to walking with the pain for some time.

No matter how much healing magic or potion we had access to, some injuries still required time to heal. Surface-level cuts and contusions could be regenerated relatively quickly, but damage to internal organs or particularly deep wounds would require more time. To fully recover in a single day from such injuries would necessitate high-level healing from an arch-priest or a horrifically expensive potion. It was possible for me to have my injury operated on and have healing magic applied directly after, but we lacked the specialized facilities to conduct such a surgery. After all, I had destroyed my old lab when I fled for Marlan...

“Lord Tullius, are you alright?”

Miss Simone’s concern was audible in her voice. To think she would show sympathy for one such as I. Elder brother was clearly unworthy of her.

To preserve her peace of mind, I smiled widely.

“Please, do not worry yourself over my condition. I have closed the injury with magic, so a little time for recovery is all I need. I am quite fine.”

Although I would have to endure the carriage ride, there was only another week or so left before I could relax comfortably in Marlan. I was finally being released from the long stay in the capital.

The marriage ceremony I had originally come to the capital to attend was long over, and Uni had returned to my side. I no longer had any reason to stay, and an assassination attempt had even been made on my life.

Avoiding the danger in the capital was a convenient excuse to use at this time. Also, by the time I reach Marlan, it would be harvest season so it was really convenient in this way too.

“Rather than worry for me...hm, how should I put this...Please stay strong, sister-in-law.”

I spoke with some guilt. She tilted her head ever so slightly in apparent confusion. A veil shrouding her face prevented me from clearly seeing her expression.

“It’s alright. Ever since my marriage was decided upon, I did nothing but worry them constantly. In a way, they have found their peace.”

Her black mourning dress was a stark contrast to her recent white marriage gown. After bidding me goodbye, she would probably be attending a funeral. Her parents’, that is.

“...I offer my deepest condolences.”

The family of Baron Pontauban was met with tragedy when the thugs attacked. Since it wasn’t their custom to exploit the common folk, their wealth was lower than that of other nobles. As such, they made for easy pickings when thugs came knocking.

Sister-in-law attempted a feeble smile.

“My thanks. Well, I suppose we should get going.”


I walked out while borrowing her shoulder. Requiring the help of a woman to stand did make me somewhat embarrassed, more so if she was facing a difficult time now. However, it looked like she wanted to do it. In difficult, sad and bitter times, there were many people who wanted to cry and or lose their tempers. I, too, am one of those people. The bleaker the situation, the harder she would try to bring the light of hope to others.

This wasn’t a matter of if one way was better than the other. But I believe that by shedding tears, one is able to pour out their emotions and let others understand you better. Conversely, if one tries to keep a strong face, the pain and suffering inside would stay bottled up and only worsen.

Well, I was honestly grateful and happy for her kindness. If at all possible, I hoped she would find joy in her life.

“...What are you doing?”

From a distance away, a hostile voice called out. Of course, it was none other than my elder brother. Whenever he happened to see me, his face would always twist into a grimace. This time, however, his gaze carried an unmistakable hostility.

That was to be expected. His brother, who he hated more than anyone else, was leaning on the shoulder of his newlywed wife. No man alive would be comfortable with their partner being in such intimate contact with their nemesis.

However, I was heavily injured. This one was a free pass, in my opinion.

“Can you not tell? I am boarding the carriage.”

“It’s just a short distance from the gate to the carriage. Walk by yourself.”

How petty of him. Now that nobody was watching, unlike the marriage ceremony, he was showing his true colors. My skin crawled in embarrassment.

“And what about your precious alchemy skills? Couldn’t you make a pill to heal your wounds and ―”


Miss Simone interrupted.

“Please, don’t make me hate you any further than this.”


She stared blankly at my elder brother. It was such a shock that I couldn’t look away from her.

Once again, her expression was covered by the veil. However, from her strong gaze, we could tell that she was completely serious.

“From the night of our wedding to the morning of my parents’ funeral. How long are you going to continue with this attitude? Give me a break. Or, would you rather allow your brother, who was injured by an assassination attempt, walk alone? If somebody were to witness such a disgrace, the baseless rumors already swirling around this family would only continue to worsen.”

“...My apologies. I lost my composure for a moment.”

Elder brother looked down at his feet, unsatisfied.

What Miss Simone said was right. It was not appropriate to have this kind of conversation before her parents’ funeral. Having this kind of argument before her parent’s funeral was wholly inappropriate. Also, forcing me, an injured person, to walk out of the residence without a helper would only add to the gossip if somebody saw it. The nobles in the capital should have already gotten wind of the fact that there was an assassination attempt on me. It would not be strange for rumours to claim that the perpetrator was my elder brother if he was seen treating me coldly. Perhaps, such rumors might already exist..

As her husband, he should have taken her feelings into account. Failing to do so, he instead spoke boorishly without thinking, leading to their current standoff. For one so prone to nitpicking, he could be surprisingly dense in that aspect.

“Well, this must be my elder brother’s way of encouragement. I have gotten used to it, so please pay no heed. Please, sister-in-law,do not worry yourself over me.”

As I had no desire to sow the seeds of discord between the couple, I tried to mediate the situation. At best I could only offer my consolation, but it was better than doing nothing.

It seemed that Miss Simone understood my intentions.

“Lord Tullius...If you say so, then I do not mind.”

Mm, good. I would be extremely guilty if I were to leave the residence while leaving behind this atmosphere. And, I was finally leaving the damnable capital too. If at all possible, I wanted to end this disaster on a high note.

In due time, we opened the front doors and stepped outside. The traces of destruction caused by the rebellion still marred the courtyard. Bits of destroyed stone and rubble were everywhere. A destroyed tall-looking statue laid sideways. There were patches of upturned soil where there should have been grass. I have the feeling that Due caused more of the damage rather than the rioters though. Elder brother seemed like he wanted to rebuke me every time he saw this scenery, but whatever, I am ignoring it.

There were two carriages waiting outside the gates. Unfortunately, the carriage for the slaves living in the inn were destroyed by thugs. And so, these carriages were either newly bought or borrowed. Thus, these carriages have not been modified and the journey home was going to be bumpy. Ahh, how depressing.

“...I have come to welcome you. Master.”

Uni came down from the carriage to welcome me. Uni and my other retainers were busy procuring supplies necessary for the return. That was why I had to rely on sister-in-law now. I could have waited for Uni, but I really wanted to leave without a moment to lose, so here we are.

Now that the capital was in chaos, procuring supplies was a difficult task. If all hands were not on deck, who knows how many more days would be needed?

“I am deeply ashamed to trouble Madam.”

“It is good. I am doing it because I wanted to.”

Uni lowered her head apologetically, while Miss Simone smiled unbothered. Truly a wonderful woman. Not only did she treat me kindly, she was treating somebody else’s slave kindly. It was rare for anybody in this world. From this, it was easy to imagine how virtuous her deceased parents must be.

Miss Simone passed the role of helping me stand to Uni.

“Thank you for the favours you have done for me, sister-in-law. ...Please forgive me for being unable to attend the funeral. Please do take care yourself at these times.”

“Yes. Lord Tullius must also take care of yourself. I await the day I am treated to your tea once more.”

Hm? I was sure elder brother possessed more exquisite leaves for tea. Was elder brother scrimping on tea for his wife?

Perhaps knowing or not knowing the strange doubts I was harbouring, elder brother unpleasantly snorted.

“...Hurry up and leave. Make sure to stay focused on your job.”

Finally, he said leave. I was sure he wanted to say that I have no place in this family.

“Yes, alright. I will be sure to show you the fruits of my labour, Lord Count. Elder brother should also remember to not always leave the job of managing the territory to the substitute, and should once in a while return to the territory.”

I accidentally made some snide remarks. I had no intentions of calling this place my home. My home is the lab and the hometown which brings back nostalgia is the island country that does not exist in this world. So this was probably none of my concern.

At this rate, staying in the capital and doing all these pointless things would bring shame to the Oubeniels. Letting somebody else handle the territory would surely lead to terrible outcomes, won’t it? Compared to the predecessor, Linus had studied governance, yet he had never stepped foot in Volden ever since becoming the head of family.

...Even the Marlan that I was governing was part of the territory of Volden. Well, whatever. I am just going to accept the chance to leave. Ignoring the cringy voice of elder brother and controlling the pain coursing through my chest, I boarded the carriage with the help of Uni.

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