|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 1050 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 951 words|
Seeking Magna’s help was the correct choice as the next day there was a change. The knights stationed in front of my room to prevent them from escaping were gone, and another servant approached us saying that the charges were lifted.
“Under Prince Magna’s orders, all suspicion has been lifted. You can move freely again.”
The servant was smiling widely as he informed us of that, almost as if he was the one being freed. He was probably someone working directly under my brother, so he was happy we were able to strike such a blow against Stied. I did not care about those things though, as long as my friends were free again. Though I was curious to know exactly what Magna did to achieve this.
“I’m glad to hear that, but what happened to the noble that placed the complaint? I’d like to know how that was handled.”
“Under charges of slander in an attempt to disrupt the judicial system, he was stripped of his title and exiled from the capital. He was lucky to get away with only that, given he was merely a baron and had made up huge accusations, usually someone like that would be punished more harshly.”
That sounded like the type of discardable scapegoat Stied would use for his ploys. He let all the blame fall on that noble and then banished the noble from the capital to cut any ties linking back to him. I doubt my brother would ever kill someone for that, but he probably held the noble’s family in the capital as hostages or took hold of his savings to silence him.
“How was it proven his claims were slander though?”
“It was easy enough to not require the Sword of Truth. Every time he gave his testimony it was different from the first time, so his story did not line up. The final nail in the coffin came from a group of maids who assured they were with the Princess’ party members at the same time the noble claimed they assaulted him. And since it was the word of many maids against his own, he was unable to keep faking and admitted to making everything up.”
I was surprised to hear it was done in such a lawful way. Since I had asked Magna for help, I had assumed he would use some forceful or underhanded way just to be able to strike back against Stied, but that was not the case. Knowing how thorough he liked to do things, I could imagine him questioning every little thing with the investigators of the case. Either way, he helped us. I had stayed in the capital for long enough and was neglecting training by staying here. I still felt like I had been of little help during the battle with Behemoth, so I wanted to keep getting stronger to be able to protect my friends better, though I still felt it was impossible for me to get on the same level as my Master. I really wanted to train more under her.
“Should we go back then, you three? I’m sure Master is waiting for us.”
“We ended up staying here for longer than we planned, huh.”
“The beds here are much better than those at home, but I still couldn’t rest well. Nothing beats home.”
“We should buy something for Lapis and those back home at least.”
Even if it was just for one day, they had been locked up in the palace so I felt it was a good idea to let them loosen up by wandering through the city before leaving. Either way, the trip back could be done really quickly with Ciel’s Flight Magic. Since we were already a day late, using some time to buy things for Lapis and Maria’s family did not sound like a bad idea. I began thinking about which stores I could take them to as we walked out of the palace when I saw a rider galloping towards us.
“I don’t know.”
It was common to see horses coming and going from the palace to the city, but they all went slowly and carefully, to avoid accidents with the citizens. But this rider was going at full speed, anyone who stood in their way jumping away for their lives. Usually, that alone was a reason to detain someone, but as they were headed straight towards the palace, the guards all assumed a defensive formation in case it was an attack.
The large palace gates were closed, and the drawbridge was lifted. A movable fence to stop horses was readied on the city side of the moat, knights with spears ready lined in front of it. If the rider did not stop, they would surely be impaled before they got close to the bridge. But the rider actually slowed down and stopped right before the barricade, making it finally clear that a knight was the one controlling the horse. From his armor, I could tell he was one of our knights who were stationed in the country’s borders.
“What do you want?!”
A harsh voice asked as the spears were all pointed towards him, but he lifted his hands showing he meant no harm. But his face showed immense distress, which I doubted was caused by the weapons pointed towards him.
“I-I’ve got an urgent message from the Strom border patrol! Early in the morning yesterday a large army from the Haunted Lands pushed their way into Strom and are attacking everywhere! Strom’s army is currently trying to fend them off! Please relay that to the King!”