|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mado||English Source: MadoSpicy TL|
|Editor(s): Crash, Liomad|
Guided by several military officers inside a dim, underground tunnel, a man in his prime with respectful social status and a man in his mid-twenties were breathing heavily. They kept running as fast as they could.
“Please hurry, your majesty. If we can escape from here, we will come out of a hut on the outskirts of the royal capital. Afterward, we shall hide inside Duke Baldi’s place for a short time. Then we will seek help from the empire or the holy kingdom to sweep those rebels and demons out of this country.”
“I-I know. As if I would hand this country over to those kinds of demons or rebels! I will definitely take it back with my own hands.”
The man in his prime, who doesn’t have bad looks, but somehow lacks ambition, grumbled annoyingly while carrying a small box like it was something of great importance.
“Of course, father. Let’s teach them who owns this country. At any rate, more irritating than those demons are the citizens! They kept enjoying a great life under father’s rule and yet they turned sides and changed into insurgents that blame us ―Damn those ungrateful looters!”
The young man is more brazen; dazzling flames of malice burned in his eyes.
“It’s just as his highness said. Fortunately, this passage is only known to a few people outside of the royal family. Also, earlier we blocked the exits and entrances to the castle, so, Your Majesty, please feel at ease.”
Hearing the words from the military officer, the man ―Amitia Kingdom’s current king, seemed to hesitate for a moment.
“…However, my sons, my daughters, and my empresses remain in the royal palace.”
“There’s no other way. The public would take notice and they would slow our escape. However, as long as we have father who is the current king, and myself who is the next term’s king, and above all, if we have the seal of state, then the Amitia Kingdom will still be at peace. They are also royalty, so they already should have had the resolve to sacrifice themselves, right?”
Being told with a firm tone by the young man ―the first prince, his son who was first in line for the throne, the king looked upon the small box held in his hands and sank into silence.
Then, at that moment, inside the underground tunnel where there should be no presence other than their own, cute clapping sounds like they were made by small hands echoed.
Everyone present became confused and halted their advance. They drew their swords and turned toward the direction of the clapping sounds ―the darkness where they were supposed to go.
Before long, within the range of the lantern’s light held in their hands, not using a candle but through a magical tool which by turning on the enchantment inside made it quite bright, there appeared a little girl wearing a black luxury dress arranged with roses. Her appearance still maintained her innocence and yet her face was terribly seductive. She was accompanied by a swordsman equipped with red armor who had the upper half of his face hidden by a devil mask.
Towards that very out-of-place intruder, momentarily, the question of, ‘Was that a ghost or a spirit?’ floated in everyone’s mind, but the girl didn’t even consider their bafflement and opened her mouth with a fully bright and frank tone.
“Splendid, splendid! That’s right~ Royalty must take responsibility. Naturally they have the resolve for it, you said it yourself right?”
Saying so, she folded her arms and nodded in consent.
“Who are you? Why are you here?”
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The girl sent a cold gaze toward the prince who asked the questions with a sharp light in his eyes for a moment and then she elegantly performed a curtsy.
“I am called Hiyuki, the sovereign of the demon kingdom, Imperial Crimson. It’s a pleasure to meet you for the first time. ―And, I bid you my final farewell.”
“Wh…Why are people from Imperial Crimson here…?”
Among his brethren who were speechless, the first prince could barely express his question.
“Who knows? You won’t exist anymore so it’s useless to know, don’t you agree?”
Hearing her words, the military officers remembered their duty and readied each of their swords. They came rushing toward Hiyuki.
The red knight drew his long sword and stood in their way, and they clashed with him.
Since this is a narrow underground tunnel, an attack from several directions would be too much for him, that’s why those military officers believed they had attained victory. However…
At the same time the man who was called Maroudo stepped in, his figure seemed to duplicate. Simultaneously, the military officers’ eyes opened in surprise.
“Don’t tell me, pri-”
It all happened in an instant. And then, at the same time Maroudo walked out, the military officers dropped down together with spurts of blood.
The first prince, not even gripping his sword, screamed and escaped with neither shame nor concern for his reputation. Looking upon his disgraceful act, Maroudo breathed a sigh and brandished his sword.
The sword’s flash cut through the darkness. The sound of something heavy falling could be heard.
Only one person remains… the king. Rather, the reason he remains was that he already dislocated his back and was unable to move. Hiyuki swayed her head, “Oh dear, oh dear” while approaching him until they faced each other.
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“You see, the things you said and the things you did don’t match up. In Prince Acyl’s case, it was just like that: accusing him of inviting foreign intervention and conspiring with your country? Then what are you guys saying just now? Isn’t ‘seeking help from the empire or the holy kingdom’ just the same? That sort of thing is what we call double standards.”
However, the king probably didn’t hear her words, as he prostrated himself and presented a small box,
“Sp-spare me! I carry my seal of state. With this, my country is yours. Th-that’s why, please…”
He appealed while crying.
Hiyuki is taken aback, looking at the situation. She raised both of her hands, giving up.
“I believe the country isn’t going to turn around only with this single seal. Well, if I gave this to Collard later, I wonder if I could use it for some kind of bluff? For the time being I shall accept it.”
Saying so, she lightly kicked up the small box, caught it, and stored it in her back pocket.
“…H-how about it then? Just my life.”
Having said that, the king rubbed his head on the ground. Hiyuki turned her cold yet subtly bewildered gaze toward Maroudo, but he shrugged his shoulders showing that he left the decision to her. She sighed.
“I heard that your character was a bit better, but rather than to say I’m disappointed… Nah, that miserable look, on the contrary, is refreshing once in a while. ―Well, the seal of state is a very valuable thing for sure.”
Despite being told that, the king’s body was trembling, he repeatedly begged for his life again and again, muttering incoherently. Seeing his figure, Hiyuki sent her lukewarm gaze blended with shock and contempt, and then she shrugged her shoulders.
“I understand. It seems there is no value in taking your head in this place. I and the Imperial Crimson won’t interfere with anything.”
The king glittered with hope because of those words.
“…Therefore, I shall leave everything to the citizens of this country. After this, we are going to take you to the plaza in front of the royal palace. How will the citizens judge you, I wonder? …Well, since you are managing the country well, making the people rejoice at how great their lives are, they should jump with delight in receiving you.”
As her words were the equivalent of a consecutive death sentence, the king’s face was once again dyed in despair. He shook his head in denial, backing off from that place but Maroudo seized his neck. Tears and saliva poured out, escaping from his face like a spoiled child.
Responding to that call, faint light particles flew out from Hiyuki’s chest and gathered beside her; it then transformed into a golden-colored knight.
“Yes. Did you call me, princess?”
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Hiyuki turned toward Tengai who bowed,
“Sorry, but will you throw this out into the plaza in front of the royal palace? Aah, the exit is closed so breaking out wherever suitable would be no problem. Later, explain to the gathered citizens that we gave them this thing for them to clean up.”
With a relaxed tone like she was dealing with kitchen waste, Hiyuki pointed at the king who is currently struggling.
Tengai bowed once again, then he gripped the king’s neck, taking him from Maroudo, and casually dragged him away.
“No, nooooooooooooo. Wh-what are you going to do with meee!!!”
“We won’t do anything. Therefore that’s the outcome isn’t it?”
Although the king couldn’t hear it anymore, Hiyuki replied to him after he disappeared across the underground tunnel. She turned toward Maroudo who stood still in silence.
“…Looks like the first prince and the king didn’t even notice you until their last moment. Even though their subordinates did.”
“Whether I should feel sad or delighted is a complicated thing, but this result is everything.”
Looking around at the corpses of the military officers and the first prince strewn across the ground inside the underground passage, Maroudo replied to her remark with an indifferent tone.
He swung the long sword held in his hand once, erasing the splash of blood, and returned it to his scabbard.
“Now then, I am going to give this seal to Collard. ―Well, I think he is going to hate it for sure.”
Hiyuki, suppressing her giggles, imagined the scene.
“In that case, I will finish some minor business in the meantime.”
“Hmmm. Oh well, we have finished 90% of our business here anyway so you can take it easy.”
Maroudo silently nodded. He proceeded to walk straight in the direction of the royal palace. Seeing him off, Hiyuki turned her body and returned down the way she came from.
I have been thinking, will the king afterward get executed? Or will he be accepted?
It’s unrelated to the original story so I left that out. Well, he probably got lynched.