Chapter 8 – Bell of Requiem

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mado English Source: MadoSpicy TL
Editor(s): Crash, Doom, DeeDee

―And then the prince and the princess lived happily ever after.

◆◇◆◇

The bell of requiem chimed in the royal capital of Cheadia.

Every resident, regardless of age, bowed their heads down in sadness. Once in a while, they looked towards the royal palace, earnestly hoping for the soul they respected to be safely guided to heaven.

The altar in front of the royal palace became host to numerous visitors from both inside and outside of the country. They came to offer their condolences and gathered, making a long line. Each person presented a bouquet of flowers.

Some people shed tears, others silently closed their eyes, and others sincerely prayed to their gods. All the people shared an underlying sentiment of sadness, regardless of what they did.

◆◇◆◇

“Seems it didn’t end like a fairy tale, eh. ―What a pity. Nevertheless, I hate this irritating situation. What I’m trying to say is, what the hell is he doing? Next to the person who silently closed their eyes, that man recited various jumbled prayers such as, ‘O God Aeon, I hope you accept this unclean soul to your side.’ If there really was such a graceful god in this world, this kind of tragedy wouldn’t have happened.”

“Who knows? The only god that we have faith in is you, princess―solely Lady Hiyuki.”

“…Uuh. Come to think of it, in a sense, there are the same kinds of cults on our side too.”

The girl seems finished with her flower offering. She wore a black mourning dress which utilized a white crepe along the neckline. Other than her, an older woman wearing a thin colored dress is accompanying her―Or rather, they have a master-attendant relationship since the girl took the lead and the woman followed her thereafter.

Both wore veiled hats which made it so that their faces couldn’t be seen through it. However, their whiteness and freshness were entirely emitted from their majestic appearance, their atmosphere radiated hidden elegance and beauty completely unlike an ordinary person.

“Nonetheless, now that the present situation has turned out like this, the arms of the clock for revolution that the foolish prince talked about will be moved back by a lot. Perhaps we also need to change a few points in our plan.”

“Shall we overthrow this country?”

The attendant expressed it trivially like choosing a midnight snack. The girl lightly shrugs her shoulders and replies. “Overthrowing will be an easy task. But our policy is basically to reign, not govern, isn’t it? When it comes down to it, in the distant future it would be very likely that this country would be snatched up by a neighboring country and I don’t really like things that are mine being stolen from me. If I can, I want to entrust this country to a useful and capable person.”

“Someone like that prince?”

“Ah, that prince is no good. If you want to talk about capable people, then Guild master Collard is a hundred-times better. At least the guild master carried himself like a leader and always paid attention to his surroundings. That prince didn’t notice that his own abilities didn’t match with the scale of his surroundings.”

‘That’s why I told him to watch his feet,’ the girl added, then she suddenly stopped.

In front of the pair, a black haired young noble named Sir Carlos revealed himself from behind the roadside trees. He kneeled and greeted them.

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◆◇◆◇

“My! How surprisingly energetic you are.”

After being greeted by those words, the third prince of Amitia Kingdom, Acyl Claude Amitia felt so good that he smiled after a long time.

“…The only one who would tell me that is you, Princess Hiyuki. Everyone else just gave comforting words, worried about the sensitive mood.”

“That’s because of your awful face―Well, it’s not quite different from your usual one―but that worn out face like you were at the point of death will make people want to say at least one comforting word to you.”

“…Oh dear, was my original face that awful?”

“There’s nothing in my memories other than your foolish smile or that dirty look, like you were licking peoples’ bodies. ―Ah sorry, for my discourtesy.”

While shrugging her shoulders, Hiyuki sat down on the sofa opposite Prince Acyl. Standing behind each person as a matter of course was Mikoto and Sir Carlos, respectively.

Her words made Prince Acyl’s smile wryer, but he suddenly realizes the costume which Hiyuki is wearing, and perplexedly asked,

“That mourning dress is for…?”

Usually, a mourning dress is a dress that’s worn by close relatives at a funeral service.

“Ah, sorry if I did it arbitrarily. However, it’s my condolences for my ‘little sister’ since she once called me ‘big sister’ even if only for an instant; therefore excuse me for having worn it. Is it bothering you?”

Slowly flooded with emotions, Prince Acyl shook his head.

“Absolutely not. If Angelica heard that, I wonder how delighted she would be.”

It was the first time Angelica’s name appeared, Hiyuki’s smile disappeared from her face.

“That time was very unfortunate.”

Simply no more than that. It was your usual condolence words, but they were filled with a deep sense of sympathy that a million words could not suffice to express.

At her back, Mikoto deeply lowered her head, substituting for her lady.

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“No…It was all my responsibility. It could have been prevented if I had verified the guards…In any case, the culprits were the guys from the youth association I asked to guard the resting villa!”

Each of his words were so bitter like him vomiting blood, Hiyuki knitted her eyebrows.

“Was it an underhanded attack by the nobles behind the scenes?”

“…If that had been the case, then my anger would be irrepressible. But they were chosen by us, four youths between the age of 15-18 belonging to the youth association that supports our political movement. There was nobody behind it, it’s simply the motive of money.”

“That’s really sad…”

“Even though they were in charge of guarding the inside of the villa, they said things like ‘You are royalty, aristocrats indulging themselves in luxury!’, ‘Feel our suffering!’, ‘This is justified retribution!’, and pillaging the villa’s belongings, and even more they assaulted Angelica… At the time when the guards outside noticed the uproar and arrested those guys, my sister already drank the poison to protect herself.”

Hiyuki shook her head with a grave expression and remained silent.

“Since the royal family cannot afford to make such scandals public, perhaps I had to say it was fortunate. It was officially announced that…Angelica had gone to the resting villa at Fulvia Lake to perform medical treatment for her named illness, and at the villa her condition became critical.”

“Hmm, well that’s good. As for those bad guys who attacked Angelica, they got what they deserved, right?”

“…Well, they were judged informally and it seems like they’re going to be executed in a few days…”

Those words made Hiyuki’s eyes express a dangerous look.

“…that was surprisingly slow, eh. Why don’t you personally deliver the punishment instead?”

Hearing her words, Prince Acyl silently hung his head down as if to endure something, and soon raised his face with a mixture of sadness and anger.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t be satisfied even if I tore their limbs off!! So many times I wanted to hold my sword and settle it with my own hands! ….But, even if I kill them Angelica won’t come back. Besides, I was the one who told their colleagues to not wash blood with blood. Revenge won’t produce anything―”

“It’s fine even if revenge won’t produce anything. At least your feelings will become a bit better.”

Hearing that, Prince Acyl bit his lips tightly.

“Well, in the end it’s your own feelings, so I won’t say any more than this, but do you still want to continue your democracy movement? There’s no more of your sister to show a better world to though.”

“…I will continue. Angelica is going to see it from heaven.”

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Hearing those words, Hiyuki shrugged her shoulders.

“You’ll hear nothing from me if you’re that stubborn. But, although I’ve said this before, I hope that you watch your feet.”

“…Yes. This time I will engrave it in my heart for sure.”

Seeing that Prince Acyl agreed with her, Hiyuki gets up from the sofa.

“Returning so soon? Come to think of it, I had promised a rematch during our next meeting, is now fine with you?”

“I’ll pass. I am not in the mood for swordplay. And first of all, I’m not interested to help you take part in suicide anyway.”

On the word ‘suicide’, Prince Acyl’s face was colored in surprise. Although he pretended to not understand it, his surprise showed that he was hit with a bullseye.

“Which reminds me, I wonder if I could see Angelica’s remains?”

“No, she’s already being transferred to the royal family graveyard. Therefore no one except royalty can visit her, but her face is really pretty.”

Recalling his little sister, the princess’ remains which were prettied-up, Prince Acyl showed a sad smile.

“Is that so? I had come since Sir Carlos thought that perhaps I could give a final farewell to her but that’s too bad.”

As she continued, she presented a shining red flower from her chest.

“If it doesn’t bother you, next time when you go to meet Angelica, would you give this to her?”

The moment Hiyuki said that, it felt like a red light emitted from her eyes.

“―I understand. For sure.”

Prince Acyl nodded and accepted it.

◆◇◆◇

After Prince Acyl showed the two people out by ordering the maid to lead them outside ―in his own room at a separate building in the royal palace― he spun the rose flower he got from Hiyuki in his hand. While doing so, he noticed that his closed heart became surprisingly better.

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―It appears his heart was really charmed by that eccentric princess.

He believed that his heart was frozen as he lost his dear one, but it appears there remains someone in his heart that he could love.

That honestly made him happy.

“―Well then, Carlos. We will get busy again from tomorrow onward!”

Prince Acyl said towards Sir Carlos who stood behind him, but then as the prince stood, a thick stabbing sound rang from the pointed end of a sword that grew from his chest.

“…Ca-Carlos…?”

Rather than surprise, as Prince Acyl turned his face around, he instead had a look of disbelief on his face. There, reflected in his eyes, was a young man who looked like a kid who had lost his way. He remained standing, piercing Acyl with the sword, the young man who is his foster brother, his most trusted retainer, and his close friend.

“…why…?”

“…It is I who should ask why, your highness. Why would you still continue your political movement even though Angelica is dead!? All of my efforts were in order to make you abandon your plan so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen!”

“…Do-don’t tell me…Angelica…by you…too…”

Replying to the question he made in despair, Carlos nodded.

“I wasn’t directly involved in it; however I was the one who arranged the plan.”

“…Why? You’re…with the noble faction….”

As for that question, he shook his head.

“No, ever since I was born I had sworn my allegiance to the royal family.”

“……” Prince Acyl made a puzzled face, but then suddenly he opened his eyes wide, surprised. “…is that so, then father is..”

“……”

Carlos did not respond to the question, but his silence gave the answer.

It seems Acyl’s father, the king, was wagging his tail for the House of Nobles and decided to kill his hindrance of a son.

Perhaps Carlos was also troubled, being ordered like that. So as to not attack Acyl directly, he prepared the attack on Angelica, hoping that Acyl would withdraw from his political movement after taking the blow.

But, contrary to his belief, Acyl declared that he was going to continue the movement. That’s why; he can’t do anything but this.

‘I hope that you watch your feet.’

Hiyuki’s words from not long ago resounded in Acyl’s mind.

Ahh. I didn’t really take her word seriously…

While his view gradually went hazy, Prince Acyl said toward the red rose within his hand.

“….I am sorry, princess. I can’t keep…both…of the promises…”

The prince heard the requiem bell chime in the distance just as his consciousness melted into darkness.

◆◇◆◇

The third prince of the Amitia Kingdom, Acyl Claude Amitia had been assassinated.

From the items left on the scene, a magic sword and a rose flower, it was concluded that the offender was not human but a demon.

―On the same day, the Amitia Kingdom performed the declaration of war toward the demon kingdom, the Imperial Crimson.

Yet, there were none who noticed that three days later, the corpse of Prince Acyl which was enshrined at the tomb of the royal family was suddenly gone.



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