039 The burning capital? (Final) p.4

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“He is gone?”

“Yes, he is gone.”

After seeing off Marquis Lavallee’s carriage, Laubert and Tullius spoke to one another. They took a quick look through the window and saw the elderly noble stern looking eyes, as though he was trying to suppress his emotions. Laubert could not help but break out in a cold sweat as he remembered those eyes.

“Those were most like eyes of doubt from his Excellency.”

“Perhaps. If he was trying to suppress his emotions, then he must have private thoughts which he does not want to reveal.”

Tullius rested his chin on his hands as he spoke. This means Lavallee had mostly realised the truth of the incident.

“This old gramps really has a great imagination. Normally, nobody would suspect this. That I would go as far as to brainwash commonfolk to commit arson and stage my own failed assassination to escape the capital.”

Of course, thought Laubert as he nodded. When he first heard of the plan, the first thing that came to his mind was whether the other party was still sane. Ah, but he had no doubts that he was deranged from the very beginning. Putting that aside, that old man must have an equally deranged mind to be capable of seeing through the scheme.

There were three passengers in the carriage. Tullius, Laubert and Uni, who acted as a bodyguard and a caregiver. Compared to when they were going towards the capital, Due and the other retainers were on a separate carriage. It was because their carriage was destroyed in the riots and the carriage they were on were hurriedly obtained in Broussonne. Compared to their original carriage, this one was inferior in both height and length, making it much more cramped. Supposing Due was seated on the same carriage as Tullius, he would take up too much space because of his large build and his two-handed sword.

That was the superficial reason. In truth, Due could not think favourably of the scheme and disliked the idea of being seated together with the culprit.

“My Excellency, how is the experiment this time?”

“It was a complete failure.”

Tullius responded immediately.

“The experiment to save manpower for the formation of the faction...The plan was to use only the brainwashing scent and magic eye, without relying on brain surgery, to convert people into members of the organisation. If it was effective, we would be able to get human resources without individually operating on each person. Well, nothing goes so smoothly in the world.”

“To begin with, high ranking nobles usually carry a magic protection amulet. But from this incident, we can see that it is still very effective in inciting the populace to revolt―”

Uni added.

“―That being said, it won’t be good to use it multiple times. Especially so if the enemy starts to understand how it works.”

“Mm. I understand. Additionally, we cannot control when the brainwashing might lose effect. To think that the man would say, ‘Use your own heads!’, when he was pushed into a corner and panicking.”

A member of the devils who burned the capital to the ground murmured. Basically, he was one who prepared everything. The activists and the organisation that protested against the evil governance of the nobles. They did not naturally transform into rioters. Their leader was first brainwashed by Tullius and sent to the capital. He was set to arbitrarily go on a rampage.

Needless to say, if they gradually prepared for a violent uprising, there was a chance for security personnels to discover their plans. This was why they started out by making it appear that they were idealistic and harmless. When the time came for them to rise up, Drei would use her magic eye or the scent to rapidly increase the number of revolters. They would ultimately rely on the element of surprise and go for human-wave attacks to make up for their lack of weapons.

Nevertheless, there were elites amongst the imperial guards or adventurers who could single-handedly crush the mobs. For such enemies, the mobs would be used as a feint while the Opus series struck from behind. That was why it was necessary to call not just Drei, who was responsible for brainwashing people, but also Charl and Fem. Luckily, they did not have to clash with the imperial guards, though they were useful in dealing with the private guards of some nobles. Their involvement meant that there were some who died abnormally, but since the dead bodies were burnt by the fire set by the rioters, it could be covered up.

With the finishing touches, Plan D, the escape from the capital by starting a revolution and an assassination plan was complete. So long as his life was being targeted, even if he returned back to his territory, the city’s public safety would continue deteriorating and the nobles would continue to be afraid of the commoners.

Broussonne was burned for this reason.

“Surprisingly, there were many casualties.”

Laubert spoke as he took a fleeting glance outside.

They were crossing the Amon River which separates the noble district and the commoner’s street. There were smoldering spots within the townscape facing the river. It was so bad that they could smell the burning of wood and flesh from the gaps of the windows.

“Well, it was because the order given was to minimally, riot violently. To think it would result in such extremes.”

“After all, the imperial guards that were tasked to deal with it had argued over their course of action and decided to prioritise the nobles.”

“Approximately more than 6000 died. I expected less than 1000 though.”

Tullius bragged but as he had said, those were terrible numbers. Ever since the massacre to capture the elves, Laubert was worried that he would become desensitised to the slaughter. Well, this man was not a person who he could expect any normal emotions from.

“There were many people that decided to join in for the fun of destruction...Herd mentality probably.”

“Yes, that huh? The voice of a single person in a crowd of ten cannot be heard. But if it is 10 people in a crowd of 100, then more sympathisers would appear.”

“Indeed. The more people that join, the easier it is for them to entice others to join. It seems to have had a greater effect than expected.”

There were people who jumped on the bandwagon to run around doing crazy things. Tullius was somewhat troubled by these people because this meant that it did not go according to the plans.

“The biggest miscalculation was that the Pontauban Baron family would be part of the casualties. If there were any further mistakes, we would have been forced to attend the funeral as well.”

“Luckily, sister-in-law was magnanimous. We were able to leave early today because of her thoughtfulness too.”

They were able to discuss matters like this because it was just Simone’s family that met with mishap. It could have easily been Laubert’s own family. If that happened, they would have to prepare the funeral on their own and then leave.

Thankfully, they did not have to do such troublesome things. Even though he should be worried for the safety of his family instead, this was the fullest extent of his thoughts about his family. Part of the reason he was like this was the brainwashing, though he had always been a cold person. In any case, he was the perfect retainer for Tullius Oubeniel.

Hence he could continue joking like this.

“To think both of you were so capable in acting.”

“Acting? What is that?”

“You don’t have to feign ignorance. I’m talking about how you ran into the room that time. Wasn’t it amazing? Especially when chief maif shuddered violently.”

While saying in jest, Laubert pretended to shiver.

When Uni appeared with Tullius, who was bleeding from the chest, she had put on a dreadful expression. At that moment, he forgot that it was an act.

The person in question replied.

“Excuse me, Sir Laubert.”


“That night, I had lost my composure. I apologise for any rudeness on my part.”

Uni’s head sank. Laubert was taken aback.

“Uni was not acting. She was really angered and crying.”

Tullius explained.

“By the way, I was not acting too. The pain and suffering I was going through really made me think that I was dying. And I was stabbed by a sharp weapon without anesthesia too.”

“I thought there was a way to stab that was less painful―”

“No, we couldn’t do that. If we did it half-heartedly, it would look like an act right? It would be problematic to have hesitations and make multiple wounds. With that in mind, I thought a real stab was better. That’s why I made a strong stab at a good place.”

“...If possible, I do not want to do that ever again. I felt like my heart could have stopped then..”

Laubert regretted asking the pair of master and servant. In short, after she stabbed her own master, she became angry at her surroundings for real. It was difficult to think about the logical leaps that must have gone through her head. He would have felt more at ease if he was told it was all an act. At the very least, a swindler was easier to deal with than a lunatic.

“Yes, I do not want to go through that again too. Even if I trust Uni’s skills, having a near-death experience is kinda...well, my motivations have always been to avoid death so this is really not for me.”

And this man who puts his trust and relies heavily on the lunatic was also abnormal. He wanted to avoid death so he was going all out on finding ways to live longer. It looks quite simple on paper but he had gone as far as to burn the capital and have his retainer stab him.

“It was a stroke of luck that Marquis Lavallee had planted spies in the mansion. Now the gramps is made the scapegoat.”

“We had only planned to use the attempted assassination as an excuse to return but managed to get an additional benefit from it.”

“Without that, elder brother’s suspicions would be placed on me, though now that it is the gramps that is being suspected, it is convenient for us. I am also anticipating instability in the centralist faction. Hahaha, spying on me has backfired for him. This feels great.”

There were definitely many suspicions against the Marquis in the centralist faction currently. Rather than Tullius’ assassination as the talking point, it was about the capital becoming a burnt wasteland. The lords that were involved would have to be penalised, and the capital would need rebuilding. Much time would be needed. And time was the ally of the alchemist. He was building a faction and doing another experiment...if those were complete, his power would only grow.

“Good grief, his Excellency is really a terrifying enemy.”

Laubert said and laughed.

Terrifying. This man was the real terrifying one. But his brains and powers and his god knows where luck were all real. While he was merely a viscount, furthermore an outcast of the noble society, he was able to outmaneuver the greatest noble in the kingdom for his goal of immortality. There was a charm to his powers.

The kingdom would continue to change. The capital was burned to the ground while the royal family and nobles remained idle, hurting their reputation. The commoners would have a real grudge against them now and the nobles themselves would likely crackdown on them harder. It was going to end up in destruction no matter what.

How would Tullius perform in the coming destruction and how would they carry out the kingdom’s rejuvenation? Laubert’s curiosity was insatiable. He wanted to be part of it too.

The birth of a new order after the old order collapses. For a person like him who had confidence in his abilities as a governmental official, nothing more fascinated him.

Was the brain surgery causing him to think this way? The scary thought of that being so was quickly forgotten as excitement overwhelmed him.

Tullius did not reply to Laubert and looked outside.

“I want to go home...it is almost harvest time.”

The scenery outside was caused by him and yet he could indifferently say that.

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