On one side of the forest was a highway, it was a long, straight road, and one carriage was running on it at full speed.
Compared to a normal horse, the Sleipnir that is pulling this carriage surpasses them in endurance, speed, and strength, even if they’re pulling this large carriage, as long as they go at this speed, the Imperial knights won’t catch up to us.
Inside the carriage was Kail’s party of four, and the princess, together with the young maid Ninos, the six of them were sitting face to face.
Since it’s a big carriage, there isn’t any problem, even if the six of us are sitting in it, as expected of a carriage of the royal family, even though we’re travelling at this speed, there are almost no sounds or vibrations coming through.
“First of all, once again, I want to thank you for what you have done. If all of you weren’t there at that time, then I would not be alive right now.”
Princess Mirena deeply bowed her head.
The maid Ninos, who was beside her, refrained saying anything about her master bowing her head to others, though she felt dissatisfied, since she also got her life saved by them, she also bowed her head to them.
It wasn’t much, but Kail and the others have already introduced themselves, and explained the situation.
But they only told them their names, and that they met them coincidentally at that place.
“Are you sure that Ze…… were you speaking the truth, when you said that the second knight captain was the one that planned this?”
“Yes, it is like that. And the one that ordered him to do it, was my half brother, prince Kalnas.”
“Pr-Prince Kalnas you say!?”
Kail was speechless once again.
Certainly, after the princess’s death, there was hostility within the country behind the scenes, there were all kinds of rumors saying that prince Kalnas, who was younger but was lower in the line to the throne, because he was a half blood, assassinated her, or that the demon race was involved with it, such rumors were spread everywhere.
However, rumors are just rumors, it calmed down after a while, and the princess’s death was treated as an unfortunate accident, Kail also believed that they were just rumors.
“Umm, in other words, this is the so called family feud over the throne….. is it not?”
“Yes, it is exactly that.”
Receiving an unexpected answer to her question, Lize’s head began to hurt.
“Are you…… absolutely certain that it is no mistake?”
“Yes, since I heard it from the person himself last night.”
“Eh? Was prince Kalnas here, in Acken? Because if he was, then the rumor certainly didn’t spread around the town.”
“Yes, he came. But I think it’s only natural he didn’t stand out. After all I’m here.”
Princess Mileina who said it as if it were only natural.
“Last night, after Zentos gave me some medicine, which made me a little hazy, my brother explained what he was planning to do in full detail.”
This is what the scenario was.
Hearing that a village close to this one, was attacked by a Hydra, the princess wanted to pay a consolatory visit, naturally the Imperial guards were against it, since the danger of magic beasts appearing was high.
However, without giving up, the princess took a few guards of the town, and left before dawn, when the Imperial guards went after her, they were already too late, since she had an unfortunate meeting with magic beasts, and thus lost her life…..Is the kind of scheme he made up.
“I see….. even if princess Mirena changes her plans, you made use of your plans to reach out to the heart of the citizens.
Like at the orphanage yesterday, and when Kail said this, Seran who was quiet until now, as if he was thinking about something, spoke up.
“I remember now. I thought I saw her somewhere, but that kid is the one that was trying to give a flower yesterday, at the orphanage, right?”
Seran pointed at the maid Ninos, who made a surprised face.
“Oh, so you were watching that? I have my maid change her clothes for that.”
But I’m surprised you were able to notice that, is what princess Mileina said, a little shocked.
“Since she was a cute child, I was certain she’d be a beauty in the future, so I paid extra attention.”
Seran said it to Ninos, with a smile, but she made a disgusted face and hid her body.
“In other words……that was planned.”
Helping a little girl who fell down up, it may be simple, but it has a great effect.
So if it was planned from the beginning, then that means it wasn’t an accident, but something done on purpose.
“In order to gain popularity, such deceit is needed.”
Seeing princess Mirena laughing in a classy manner with her hand in front of her mouth, Kail thought of an old proverb: ‘Like a devil smiling as an angel’
TL note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffiiYPg5qSc “Hohohohohohoho~” -Tensaiz
“Hey, she just said gaining popularity.”
I have the feeling, that the more we know, the more we don’t want to know more….”
[Well, for those with a political position, popularity is important.]
TL note: Sildonia says this. -Tensaiz
“……. It seems like there is more about human politics, than I thought.”
The sword Sildonia, Seran, and the others began to whisper to each other.
Of course, since we’re inside the carriage, we could hear everything clearly, but princess Mirena went on with her explanation, without minding it.
“I already knew that my brother possessed such desires. But I left him be, since I judged that he didn’t have the power to actually put his word into action.”
“Ummm…. does that mean he isn’t outstanding?”
“Yes, getting straight to the point, he is incompetent. It is alright to call him useless, for not being able to even fulfill his duties as royalty.”
Princess Mirena ignored Kail’s concern about the royal family without hesitation.
“However, the second Zentos sided with him, the situation changed drastically. He is outstanding, and also well respected.”
“But how could such a useless piece of…… I mean, how could prince Kalnas gain captain Zentos and the other knights as his comrades?”
To Kail’s question, princess Mirena shakes her head.
“No, the ones following my brother, are probably only Zentos, or at most, a small fraction of the second knight squad.
“Then does that mean that most of the Imperial knights are just following their superior’s orders?”
Seran said, surprised.
“Yes, I do not know whether they are doubting something, or not. But just that would be enough.”
“Just think a little more for yourselves….”
Seran complains, but it was none other than princess Mirena that denied him.
“If the soldiers were to think for themselves, the army would not function and fall apart. they who listen to their captain’s orders and move for the country’s sake as Imperial knights, it is the right thing to do. Putting your personal feelings before your mission, is absolutely not allowed within the Imperial knights, it may never happen.”
“However, does that mean they would listen? Being ordered to kill the current princess…..”
“They will. If the captain tells them it is a secret mission from the king, they would have no choice, but to accept it.”
They were probably told that the princess has sinned greatly, even though she may be royalty, by revolting or that she is dealing with another country, but having the princess, who is popular with the whole country, being executed would lead to a revolt, so they had monsters do the work, so it was just a matter of passing the order along to the subordinate Imperial knights.
If the captain, who receives orders directly from the king, were to order them, no matter what it may be, the knights have no other choice but to accept.
“……. That’s why, except for the captain himself, the other knights do not have any reason to know of it, only the truly loyal get chosen for this position. The second commander of the Imperial knights Zentos Orudi, was supposed to be a knight that was worthy enough…..”
Even now, princess Mirena is still shaking her head, not accepting the situation.
“In the first place, Zentos was placed as my brother’s knight, to oversee his actions, so he wouldn’t do anything stupid, that’s why he became his direct subordinate. Thus, I did not suspect Zentos of anything in the least. The moment he became his comrade, I had already lost….. in other words I made a grave mistake in reading the situation.”
Princess Mirena, seemed to be heartbroken, but without showing it on his face, Kail was feeling the same thing.
Kail had met both prince Kalnas and Zentos in his previous life, and the two of them were exactly as princess Mirena described them.
An assassination for the throne, in a way, the death of the princess was such a simple thing, but Kail had totally let the idea slip past him.
Kalnas and Zentos, since he knew the two of them, he kept filling his head that there was no way he could do it, and that there was no way he would do it.
(A failure upon knowing it, I guess….)
The princess’s death was because of an accident with magic beasts, it was a failure not doubting it at all.
“Of course, it is not as if I didn’t have a plan, I had a proper plan before this happened. I was planning to stay at Acken for two more days, in that time, the Imperial guards fifth platoon was supposed to arrive and I was planning to return to the capital with them.”
The Imperial guards fifth platoon is traditionally an imperial knight platoon, made up of only women, in Jirgs they are called the most cheerful platoon and having the most tales told about them, it was so famous that there were many plays about this platoon.
“The captain of the fifth platoon, Kiruren, is a direct attendant of my mother, so I have trust in her. Whenever I leave the capital, they are always with me, but they are very popular so, they are recalled to their base many times.”
Then princess Mirena let out out a small sigh.
“This time too, they got recalled in order to receive an important guest. So as their replacement, the second platoon and their captain Zentos, were sent. Since after Kiruren, I trusted Zentos the most….. now that I think about it, I found it strange that my brother tagged along without reason.”
“I see, I understand most of the current situation….. so the question is what we’ll be doing from now on.”
“Having the other side giving up since they failed….. Is impossible, as expected right.”
When Seran said that, Kail answers, that it was out of the question.
“Since the plan, ‘using magic beasts’ failed, they have no choice but to think of other ways. It’d probably be something like, ‘princess Mirena being kidnapped by an unknown group’. Then when they eliminate the thugs that kidnapped the princess, she was already dead….. is what they would think of.”
“Yes, I also think it’ll be like that. The second knight platoon, is probably going after the kidnapped me, in order save me…… Is what they will say.”
Princess Mirena agrees with Kail’s idea.
“Kidnappers? Who are you talking about……. wait could it be?”
When Seran pointed at himself, he made a face, as if he had eaten something bitter, and Kail nodded.
“Then is it that? We suddenly became evil villains that kidnapped the princess all of a sudden?”
“Yes, it’s like that, and just the kind of evil the guards will slaughter, when they find it.”
Then, as if suddenly realizing it, Kail looked at princess Mirena.
“So it’s like that….. by explaining the situation like this, you’ve given us nowhere to run, haven’t you?”
Princess Mirena said it without an inch of guilt,.
“Running away for a day, until the fifth platoon finds us, would be impossible for only the three of us. Earnestly said, the only ones I can depend on, are Kail-sama and the others.
The reason why princess Mirena explained the whole situation like that about the royal family, was in order to have Kail and the others understand the whole situation.
Not explaining a way for prince Kalnas to let Kail and the others live, but rather not that they know the whole situation they have to be killed is what it means.
For example ditching the princess and running away, if we did that we would be blamed for the assassination and wanted posters would be spread everywhere, only an endless chase can be imagined after that.
In other words, for Kail and the others to be saved, would mean they have to safely bring princess Mirena back to the capital, and prove their innocence.
“We are already on a way road. Let us do our best and survive.”
Princess Mirena, made a smile that was said to even captivate demons.
Apparently, she wasn’t just clever, but also had some mental toughness.
Kail thought, that he had to think she was reliable at times like these.
“Well, in the first place, abandoning the princess and the others wasn’t an option for me…..”
“Oh, what do you mean by that?”
“Actually, the attendant and coachman, were probably Imperial knights in disguise, I was planning to interrogate them for later, and let them live however….. well, I forgot to take them along.”
It may be because that was how much the thing about Zentos shocked him, but they have probably told the others about Kail so he can’t escape now.
“Well, this just means that all of you cannot abandon us and run away on your own.”
Princess Mirena put her hands together, and happily said that, Kail could only bring about some dry laughter.
“Of course, if we safely arrive at the capital I promise to reward all of you. If you wish for it then status or becoming a knight will be…..”
“No, I want neither gold nor fame. If possible I would like HONOR“
“……. What a strange wish, is it not.”