|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
On behalf of her speechless husband, Simonetta urged him to continue on.
“Yes. They are C to F rank adventurers who recently registered with our guild. They were working in Tenebrae Nemus when they discovered an aristocratic carriage bearing this insignia. Our guild sent someone to the area as soon as possible upon the report, and sure enough, we found the carriage in the location reported.”
“So, what about my princess…what about Syltianna?” The words ‘found in Tenebrae Nemus,’ an area most hostile to man, made the frontier count gasp, as if he knew the answer half-expecting.
The one who likewise knew the answer, Simonetta, continued to chuckle inward as she waited for the words to be pronounced. After hesitating with a somber expression, Egmond opened his mouth heavily.
“We found her. She was badly injured and is now bedridden. Fortunately, she is in stable condition.”
“Oooh!! Is that… true?!”
Paled, Simonetta’s exclamation echoed throughout the hall as if to swathe frontier count’s joyful expression.
Being directed stunned and daunt gazes by the people around her, Simonetta quickly came to her senses and hurriedly corrected her manners. “Forgive me, I was rude,” she apologized to her husband, then glared at Egmond’s intelligent face with a fire in her eyes. There was no such thing in the original scenario.
“Was it true what you said? To be honest, I find it hard to believe. She went missing all alone in Tenebrae Nemus for a month, and she came up safe? Is this really Princess Syltianna herself?”
To which, Egmond responded with a composed look. “I am sure you are right to be skeptical, but I heard that an adventurer that happened to pass by right after the incident had rescued her. And I wouldn’t use the word safe, either, as I was about to say that the princess was attacked by a demon beast in the forest and suffered deep wounds all over her body. We did our best to treat her, but the wound was so deep that, to be honest, I am sure that even her birth mother wouldn’t be able to recognize her. Not to mention, she appeared to have lost all her memories, possibly by the mental shock she went through, so we didn’t really have any substantial proof that she is the princess until now.”
Simonetta bit her teeth as she stared into the face of the man who was so brazenly stating he had no proof. “So, you don’t have any hard evidence to back her identity?”
“Far from it. We have the proof with us.”
Simonetta’s eyes widened to their limits when she saw that Egmond so brazenly produced out of his pocket.
“This is the ring that has the Aulanthia household’s crest that Princess Sylthianna always wore on her finger.”
As if to show it off, he opened a painfully familiar ring case and held it up so the frontier count and his legal wife could see its content.
“Ooh! This is indeed Syltianna’s! Thank you… Thank you for saving my princess! You have my gratitude!” Frontier Count Corrad, in tears, got down from his elevated seat and personally received the ring in its case.
Simonetta, however, didn’t move a step from her spot. She glared at Egmond even if it was the last thing she’d do before she died.
(Curse you! You prepared an impostor to create your own power base in Cultura!!)
For that moment, Simonetta’s glare intertwined with Egmond’s mocking gaze, as if to spit on her face. He had expected this to be an easy task when he heard the proposal the first time, but…this was a piece of cake.1
Unable to stand it any longer, Simonetta, in a fit of rage, left the hall without saying a single word.
“You’ve done an excellent job, all of you! Thanks to you, I didn’t lose my precious jewel…a few injuries and wounds would not be a problem. I will do my utmost to help the Adventurers’ Guild in the future, so don’t hesitate to ask should you need anything!”
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The guild members, including Egmond, bowed their heads in unison at the words of the frontier count, the man was moved to tears.
“On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank you for your kind words. We in the Adventurers’ Guild will do our utmost to ensure that we do not betray your lordship’s trust in the future.”
“Yes. I’m counting on you.” Perhaps because he was deeply moved, he personally took the hands of the adventurers and shook them to express his gratitude.
Jesse Arland, the last person the frontier count shook hands with, was the youngest of the group, a rookie adventurer boy at the age of 14, and he was almost completely blanked out throughout the whole process. What he did remember, was the frontier count’s jade green eyes and gentle smile, and when she recalled back the eyes of the bandage-covered girl he had only met once in the guild’s healing ward, he thought to himself.
(…the same jade green, but they’re a bit different)
In his private room, completely shut with an armored door, relying on nothing but a dim light, the frontier count Corrad sighed, still seated at his office desk.
“Well, I’ve thrown a rock on their three-way power play… how will they play it out?”
“Are you sure about this? That guild chief is an ambitious man. I gave him the ring as you asked, but now he even prepared an impostor, fully intending to run the whole town for himself.” Spoke the voice from the darkness.
“That’s part of the fun. Everything started because that animal had been on the loose for too long. I’ll let her have fun cleaning up her own mess. Well, if they’re starting to become a nuisance, we’ll just get rid of both.”
“You don’t look too disturbed about it.”
“Hmph. The compromise wasn’t too bad. That animal ran out of luck, that’s all. She seems to make light of the suspicion that would come at her if the people knew that both the mother and the daughter died a similar death. In the end, she’s just another ignorant, idiot noblewoman…nothing like the intelligent and beautiful Clara.”
“Won’t it be a problem if you’re dropping out of the power struggle right now?”
“The time is not right. The empire is in a mess over their own throne succession. We don’t want their conflict to spread to us. If I purged that animal’s pro-empire faction at this time, the fire would surely come down on us too.”
“Which means our status is bulwark for the time being.”
“Yes. Let’s see them struggle in vain.”
“Good grief. In the end, you used your own daughter as a pawn for this.”
“Obviously, as is normal for aristocrats. Well, to be honest, I always wanted her to spread her wings, seeing how constrained her mother had been under mine, but… In actuality, did my daughter…” The frontier count cut off his own question, and wordlessly shook his head, “…Syltianna is alive. Now that there is evidence of it, I shouldn’t be the one to deny it.”
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After confirming that there was no reply from the voice in the darkness, the frontier count closed his eyes and sighed deeply.
- Mab: have to improvise here coz I don’t have the foggiest what the hell does this refer to, who is the subject of this sentence, and even what the fark it supposed to mean.