|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1249 words|
Donovan had become the lord of the Stolla Domain. Of course, being the only son of the current lord, Klein Stolla Serwa, he was bound to eventually succeed him. However, taking over at this timing when Cortina and the rest were in the middle of the investigation smelled like a contrived act.
“What do you mean?”
In order to let the mood calm down, I took one more sip from my tea and asked back. Donovan seemed to have seen my attitude as aloof and started answering with a face full of shame.
“I was already aware that there were bad rumors around my father. They reached my boarding house about one month ago. And then His Highness Elliot’s kidnapping followed. Ever since then, he was acting like he was frightened about something.”
That answer further deepened my doubt that he was that masked guy. He did not witness my fight directly, but still saw how effortlessly I seized Count Tarkashire. Moreover, Maxwell’s familiar also showed up right after. That made it obvious that one of the Six Heroes was personally involved in it.
And there were two Heroes in this city. It wouldn’t be so easy to run away from Maxwell who had mastered the Teleportation magic.
Moreover, since he was there, he still shouldn’t have managed to reach his domain as long as no teleportation was involved. Teleportation equipment was managed by the Guild, however, so be it a noble or not, he would still need permission to use it.
In that case, he would be forced to set out on foot, but doing that also required him to slip through Maxwell’s surveillance network. Besides, there was no knowing what Tarkashire, who got arrested, would let slip.
In that case, he probably remained behind to clean up after himself as much as he could. And in doing so, he became frightened, realizing that they could sniff him out any moment.
“Then, about one week ago, he disappeared. While talking all the valuables with him from our mansion.”
“What can I say… My condolences.”
Yeah, I knew that. Including the fact that he laid waste to Stolla domain as well.
His mansion was wrecked and his father disappeared. I could only offer those words to him. Still, from my perspective, it was just another criminal showing his true colors.
If I… I mean, if he lets Maxwell know later, there should be no problems. Actually… Why were those slave traders here at such weird timing? If Mateus was there just to deal with Tarkashire, the timing doesn’t line up. He should have escaped long before that.
“Could it be to save the Margrave?”
If it was that assassin, he should be able to slip through the defenses. He managed to get to Tarkashire, after all.
Moreover, he said that he was already done with this town. Did that mean that he managed to successfully lead the Margrave out of here?
He slipped out of this city, then had some magician teleport him to his hometown, and finally, he took all his funds and ran away. And then, only a short while later, our investigation had singled him out.
But because Maxwell and Maria were busy tending to our wounds, they were late by one day. That one day was enough for him to barely manage his escape.
“Let us leave the matter of my father aside. After he disappeared, we discovered his stamped will stating that he was handing over the peerage to me, so I have now formally succeeded Margrave Serwa.”
“Is that so? Quite an anticlimactic outcome, huh?”
“The problem is, the taxation certificate is nowhere to be found after his disappearance.”
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Taxation certificate. In this kingdom, when the king bestowed a territory to you, you were also given a written document for taxation rights. Putting it differently, as long as you had that document, you could collect taxes even if you weren’t a Lord, and vice versa.
“Moreover, the esteemed Six Heroes started looking for the “Lord of Stolla” at this time. This ultimately means that they are searching for me.”
“Talk about bad timing, eh?”
“I have no taxation rights, and my reputation would continue to fall. It is only a matter of time until the citizens start to leave the domain. So I thought to ask you, Lady Nicole, if you would be so kind to put in a word for me with the Six Heroes and ask them to withdraw.”
“So that’s what this is about…”
Margrave Serwa… Or should I say, former Margrave, had taken minimum required riches with him to make a comeback and fled. Leaving all the bad rumors and the mud on the reputation for his son to deal with.
If he managed to make his escape, he would use those riches to make a comeback, or otherwise use them to live comfortably in some other place.
“I more or less understand the situation. However, I can not blindly believe everything you said.”
“I suppose… That would be the case.”
It was just Donovan’s own testimony. There was a possibility that he was asking us to withdraw just to cover for his father. Either way, it needed to be confirmed first. I could not accept it at my own discretion.
“I understand the situation. But if this was the case, why didn’t you talk directly to teacher Cortina?”
“Well… Honestly, I thought they would dismiss me right away if I were to talk to them directly.”
“I don’t think she would do that, though…”
Father cast away his own son, forcing him into the position of a Lord while the situation was at its worst.
Whether Maxwell, or Lyell who had lost his cool, would believe it was up in the air. Gadius might have even given him a good beating.
However, Cortina was another matter. She would’ve been able to make a calm judgment.
“Well, trying to mitigate the situation by going through me might not be a bad idea. If a third party makes that report, they would be willing to lend an ear.”
“Yes, I was hoping that to be the case.”
“…Not bad at all.”
Donovan had to let the Six Heroes know about this to protect his standing. However, there was no guarantee that they would believe him if he went to tell them personally. Rather, most likely he would be turned away at the door.
So by making use of a ‘cushion’ like me, he hoped they would be able to make a calm judgment. That was actually quite smart and calculating of him.
“Of course, I remember how rude I was to you in the past. I believe it would be presumptuous of me to expect you to help me. But I have no choice but to beg you anyway. Please, help me out.”
Donovan put his hands on the table and bowed deeply. Towards a commoner like me. For someone as prideful as him, that was probably more humiliating than death. Still, this was not a bad outcome even for us.
My target was the previous Margrave, Klein. I had no intention of pushing his sins onto his son.
“I got it. I’ll discuss it with Cortina for now.”
“Thank you very much!”
With his expression filled with delight, he grabbed my hands and thanked me deeply.
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