|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3136 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1390 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
Alucard Kingdom, the encampment near the former site of Lekrea town… Upon which, Alucard’s army, which was previously deployed on the border with Charalia, was now approaching. Reports said that Prince Weinsel, Lahti’s big brother, was taking command.
Lekrea was no longer under the threat from the Highlanders who made their base there. The city was ruined and what remained of it was taken away by the Levitation Magic Formation… Nevertheless, under the new leadership of Prince Lahti who led the liberation of the land, the entire territory was to restore the former glory of Lekrea going forward. Such was the situation.
By no means at all there was any need for any military interception, especially from one’s own country. And yet, the fact was Prince Weinsel was bringing his troops as he made his way!
Lahti sneezed grandiosely.
Within one of the temporary barracks in the encampment… Lahti, Pullum, Knight Captain Luwin, Leone, and Liselotte gathered to discuss how to respond to Prince Weinsel’s advance.
「Are you okay, Lahti? You have snot there. Here, blow it out.」
「I-, I can do it myself, dang it!」
「My Prince. Your health is paramount, please take care of yourself.」
Advised Luwin to Lahti.
「I know, but emergency calls……」
「Exactly because it is an emergency, you must be more careful. Without a doubt, their target is you. Meanwhile, we can’t afford to have anything happen to you, otherwise, it could lead to unrest for everyone!」
Luwin correctly assessed.
The time when Alucard must be wary against foreign forces had passed. The Highlanders had left, and the Charalian army near the border had begun to retreat as well. What Alucard had to face next was a fight between people… A civil war between Prince Lahti and Prince Weinsel due to the power struggle. To a casual observer, the situation unfolding could be described as such.
Lahti heaved out a deep sigh.
「For crying out loud, the heck is my brother thinking?! He wasn’t the kind of guy who’d pull off some crap like this!!」
As Leone was listening to him, Liselotte whispered to her.
「You too, Leone. You must cherish your health, okay?」
「…? Of course!」
Leone, personally, didn’t know why she would need to be reminded too, but… Seeing that it was proof of how much Liselotte cared for her, she nodded gratefully.
「See, you have been training in the forest in the middle of the night, have you not? I understand you are trying to get a better grasp on the power of the dragon—the Dragon Roar, aren’t you? I could hear the roars from quite a distance away.」
Indeed, according to Inglis, Leone’s Artifact seemed to contain the power of a dragon, Dragon Roar. It was a form of power that produced a half-tangible dragon called a Phantom Dragon which, upon use, would let out a loud roar.
But—it had been three days since the departure of Inglis and Rafinha to the rescue of Raphael in a battle against Prisma, and Leone, in particular, had never been doing any midnight training.
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She never woke up in the middle of the night, so she had no idea what was Liselotte talking about—
「Liselotte, what are you…」
Before she could ask her question, the door to the lodging swung open.
「Prince Lahti! Sir Luwin! We’ve received a letter of reply from Prince Weinsel!」
It was a Knight acting as a messenger to Prince Weinsel’s troops. At Luwin’s suggestion, Lahti sent a letter inquiring about the intention and purpose of his marching to Lekrea. At the same time, Lahti also sent a letter to the royal capital of Alucard, reporting the current situation on the brink of civil war.
「Thank you for your work. Show it to us!」
Lahti received the letter as he appreciated the Knight’s labor. As his eyes went through it, his expression clouded over. His face scrunched up as if anger and sadness all mixed into one—
「HACHEOOH!! GOD DAMN IT…!」
「Damn what? Your sneezing, or the letter?」
Spoke Pullum, as she went to wipe Lahti’s nose.
「Both! And I told you to stop! I can wipe it myself!」
「It is good to see you two are close…」
This scene brought a smile to Leone and Liselotte, so they were fine with that, but… The content of the letter made everyone curious.
「My Prince. What does it say?」
「Here. Go read it!」
Luwin took the letter from Lahti and conveyed its content out loud so that Leone and Liselotte could hear it as well.
「…I see. Currently, Lekrea is sold off to Charalia by Prince Lahti who is privy to the enemy side and thus hasn’t been truly liberated as it is merely unjustly occupied. Only my army shall bring true freedom to the land of Lekrea—is what it is written. A mixture of falsehood and fact, so it sounds believable enough.」
「No way! Leone, Liselotte, Inglis, and even Rafinha aren’t with us, they all fought with their lives on the line for everyone here! That’s cruel!」
Pullum didn’t hide her fury.
「However, it is the truth that we sneaked into Alucard with the help of you, Lahti, and Ian, so technically it is a colluded infiltration. Although calling it an unjustified occupation is a bit disheartening…」
「I suppose, on paper, our cause is as justifiable as theirs. Mister Luwin, do they have any demands?」
「Yeah. Charalia Knights are to be deported immediately. Prince Lahti is to be expulsed… and the land of Lekrea to be handed over……」
「They… sound good enough, but I wonder…」
Liselotte murmured, as though she caught something unwritten between the lines. Leone understood what she had in mind.
The demands themselves sound reasonable enough to be followed. The deportation of the Charalian Knights, in this case, Leone and Liselotte, could be fulfilled simply enough. They were scheduled to return to Charalia in the first place.
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As for the next one, the expulsion of Lahti… For this one, following the demand for once and appealing to the king of Alucard to rescind it later sounded plausible. After all, it was merely a demand from a prince, not a royal decree.
A letter explaining the situation had already been sent, and Lahti was the king’s biological son, while Prince Weinsel was adopted. When the king learned of the situation, he would rescind the demand and make arrangements for Lahti to return to Alucard.
「You’re right, it could very well be a trap……」
It was conceivable that this was a trap to catch them off guard and assassinate Lahti when they least expect it, but that was why Leone and Liselotte stayed. At worst, protecting Lahti from assassins sounded much better than fighting the approaching Alucardian army, as the former would have fewer casualties, that was how they felt.
However, the next string of words that Luwin uttered turned Leone’s and Liselotte’s thoughts upside down.
「And lastly… Lady Pullum is to be turned over… the conditions are as above.」
Pullum’s older brother, Hallim, had turned to Tiffany the Hyrule Menace, and ravaged the area around Lekrea under her command. With him previously being a promising administrator and the son of a minister. His betrayal brought a great shock, and his conduct sowed hatred of the same proportion.
Pullum herself was blameless, but the people needed someone to direct their anger. That was what this was all about. And that was why they couldn’t accept this demand.
「I take back my previous statement. I shall fight to the bitter end!」
「Me too! Their demands are outrageous!」
「B-, but… putting aside the thing about me, the demands are…!?」
「Enough! We talked about this already」
Pullum’s rebuttal was stopped when Lahti covered her mouth with his hand.
「Yes, we did.」
「Nice going, Lahti!」
Pullum perhaps wanted to say that things could end smoothly if she just handed herself over, but that wasn’t the case. Otherwise, Lahti wouldn’t have declared that Pullum was to be his queen in front of the people gathered in the encampment.
And to be honest, that earned him respect from Leone and Liselotte. That was why they both would stand by Lahti’s decision. That was all.