|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
In the parlor of Brandmüller mansion (a three-story brick building standing on a street corner), the madam of the house, Ms. Christy is sitting on the sofa, looking worn out.
Luke sat across the table, he looked morose, perhaps he had been explaining the events of the day. I sat next to him, just as exhausted from the barrage of Healing Art I recently performed. The three of us looked at each other.
There’s a heavy atmosphere in the room. Royce, the Steward, was stationed behind his master Ms. Christy, while Monika, my lady attendant, was standing by the wall near the doorway.
Lastly, Lana the fox beastfolk, who was, in a sense, in the center of this mess. She was peeking from behind the sofa I was sitting on.
When I first arrived in the drawing room, I tried to guide Lana to sit on the sofa with me, but,
“Not you, you can’t.”
Ms. Christy instantly denied her.
I almost stood back up reflexively when I saw Lana become teary-eyed and shrink to hide behind the sofa, but Ms. Christy’s judgmental eyes were staring a hole at us.
“Teach her about her position. Ultimately, that is for her own good too.”
Without condemning nor condoning, Ms. Christy stated. Luke also took my hand, a look of concern in his eyes as he called my name as if pleading; “—Jill.” I grit my teeth and sat back down.
However, the fact that I was glaring at Ms. Christy with a bit more hostility was…well, let’s just say it’s an unavoidable discourtesy.
After a brief stare-down, the lady of the house sighed, to which Luke raised an eyebrow.
“You look exhausted, Miss Brandmüller.”
“I am. A lot happened in the Imperial Palace.”
“The Imperial Palace? What happened?”
Luke leaned forward, biting the hook. Well, that’s genuine aristocrats for you. His antenna picked up certain topics and his mindset towards them was different from mine, he’s someone with blue blood flowing in his veins after all.
(—Yikes. Come to think of it, I was also a member of a major noble family from the Imperial Kingdom, which now turned into an Imperial noble somehow.)
That sounded rough…so I thought at first, thinking that it was none of my business, but when I recalled my previous and current standings, I felt dejected.
Well, I’m lucky I’m just a lower-class aristocrat. For now, let’s avoid getting into trouble by keeping a distance from the higher-class nobility or worse, the royal family…Well, I don’t think it’s possible for me to meet either one for the rest of my life, but still, I need to keep in mind to not do anything that might get me mingled with either a high noble or a royal family member.
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I looked at Luke’s hand that was firmly holding mine and made my firm decision.
“On the occasion of the funeral of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, Her Divine Majesty the God-Emperor of the Cardinal Rose Superempire, The Exalted Prime Minister of the Superempire, and various other super-top dignitaries visited to offer their condolences.”
Luke blinked at Ms. Christy’s words.
“The Exalted Prime Minister visited as well? Wouldn’t that be an expression that the matter with the Old-Domiziano Fief was of no further issue? If so, then as its new governor, it should be good news for you.”
“Well, it is how it is, I suppose. In fact, the exalted Prime Minister directly warned me in person, saying ‘Don’t repeat the same mistake.’”
The lady of the house endorsed, seeming like she was bearing the burden of the world.
As for me, who had been trying to be in the background as if none of what they talked about had anything to do with me, my ears perked the moment I heard the Old-Domiziano Fief was mentioned, and I couldn’t keep myself from stepping forward.
“I’m sorry, I am ignorant of various parts of the topic, but is it alright if I take it that this is a confirmation of the safety surrounding the pioneer village where Eren and everyone else are located?”
“Yes, that is the long and short of it.”
Indeed, that is good news. …Ms. Christy’s expression didn’t look very bright for that part, however.
“I wish that was all, though. The conversation between Her Divine Majesty the God Emperor and the previous Empress of two generations past…the Great Founder, who was in charge of the situation, reached our ears.”
At that, Ms. Christy sighed once again. The weary expression on her face had been a constant.
I see, so the legendary God-Emperor of the Superempire and the historical Great Founder of the Empire; Neither of them have anything to do with me1 , but I suppose it is inevitable to be exhausted after encountering such highly revered people.
“Huh? If I recall it correctly, didn’t the Great Founder lose her life in the Attack of the Dragon King 35…no, 36 years ago?”
When I voiced the question that suddenly popped up in my mind, that somehow invited a strange look from both Ms. Christy and Luke at the same time.
H-, huh? Did I say something weird? Was the question wrong?
“Umm…what is it?”
“No, it’s nothing. Err…about the Grand Founder, while the public believes she has passed away, she is in fact alive and well today.”
Revealed Luke, to which Ms. Christy added.
“For better or worse, that person is rather hard to die.”
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For some reason, I felt like she was speaking from the heart.
The conversation between the God-Emperor and the Great Founder leaked out from behind the curtain. While it was solemn at first, it gradually turned into a more pleasant conversation, attracting the attention of not only the Imperial aristocrats, but also the monarchs of other states as well as their representatives.
“You have it hard too, don’t you? I know this is your grandson’s funeral, but you are practically driven out of your retirement for this.”
“Ho-ho-ho, I would rather enjoy a cup of tea with my cat on my porch if I could help it.”
I’m just a baroness, why in the world am I in a place like this? Just shoo me away already, don’t involve me in this, you s̲h̲i̲t̲t̲y mentor… Such self-assertion was fuming out from the body of the Baroness who sat in the lowest seat, and yet the Grand Founder Oliana, who was behind the blinds, pretended not to notice her and was enjoying her small chat.
Meanwhile, the monarchs and heads of governments of various countries that gathered in attendance were listening in to the stories of myths and legends with the attention of an eagle toward its prey, as if every single word that they uttered in their casual chat might shape the future fate of the entire continent.
“By the way,” after a break in the conversation, Her Divine Majesty the God-Emperor asked the Grand Founder. “Who’s going to be the next Emperor?”
The imperial aristocrats — mainly the heirs to the throne and their supporters — all blurted an inaudible voice. Perhaps everyone present was of one mind: “She went straight without any preamble?!” Such was the fright, nay, the astonishment, they suffered.
How will she answer?! How will the Grand Founder herself answer it?!
Within the completely new, more suffocating tension than before, the Grand Founder lightly shrugged her head.
“Oh well, I’m just an old, retired woman. I’ve left the rest to these people here, so it is not a matter I will trouble myself with.”
You just want to swivel yourself out of trouble, you irresponsible hag! A silent protest was raised, but nobody spoke a single word.
“Is that so? Well, I just hope it doesn’t turn into too much of an ugly power struggle or a civil war that could split the country. I have a tendency to blow away unsightly things, after all.”
“Ho-ho-ho. So the 1000 year history of the Empire can just go in a poof?”
“Long standing doesn’t equate to good. It’s about time to lower the curtain, don’t you think? Or I can just pick out a new emperor for you, what do you say?”
“If there’s someone who can meet Your Majesty’s expectations, then what can I say?”
““HA HA HA HA HA HA!””
They were merely jesting, but consider the people who spoke those words. Every single person who was in the venue lost their color…it was as if they were attending their own funeral.
Jest means joke, but she’s serious lol