A bit of a trigger warning, block the next line if you feel you have one
There’s a rape ahead, though not that explicit
Chapter XI – An Afternoon in Broussonne
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It was on a certain day when the young head of the count family of Oubeniel, Linus Streinn Oubeniel, had an unexpected visitor.
“Pardon me for the sudden visit, Count.”
TL Note: Since this’ll be lost in translation, I’ll just say it here. The marquis speaks in a way I’d call “an old man’s grammar”. If you’re familiar with contemporary animanga, if I were to give an example, Shinobu Oshino of the monogatari series speaks this way.
“Not at all, humble as I am, I still have the honour of being one of the kingdom’s noble. And as someone like me have generously been granted the post of a Count, to prepare for sudden arrivals is among my routine obligations——- Marquis-sama.”
While hiding his reservations in his softly-wrapped words, Linus generously bowed to that person.
The guest’s name was Marquis Lavallée. He was an old man whose face had already wrinkled and whose pony had already turned completely grey. Despite being a great noble who boasted a large fief, he had been preaching the threats of foreign countries and had been appealing for unity under the royal family. So to speak, he was the distinguished head figure of a faction known as the centralists.
TL Note: Original word for pony was 総髪, a peculiar hairstyle in medieval Japan.
—- ‘Who are the centralists?’ you might ask. They were those who believe that in order to keep the stability of their appointed territories, safeguarding the royal family should be the first priority of the nobility.
In regard to that belief, Linus himself was a thorough opposition.
But whatever thoughts he had inside his belly, the other party was a rank higher than him. For the young Linus who was lower in position, he couldn’t help but to humble himself before him.
“Just so happens, I’ve gotten quite the fine tea. If it pleases you, please have some.”
“Oh, aren’t you kind. Let us have some then.”
Linus somehow managed to hold the sound of his clicking tongue from leaking.
Truthfully, he had wanted to enjoy the prime tea for himself. Even if he couldn’t, at least he wanted to drink it with a person his heart would permit. He didn’t want to give the ghastly geezer, who was attempting to repress the lords by using the influence of the royal family, a drop of his premium tea at all. But in the unlikely event that if a story of him hogging quality tea from his visitor were to leak out, and when people learn of it, it’d be inevitable that he’d get to be the laughing stock of the noble society. And his reputation, which is already low due to that idiotic little brother of his, would fall even further.
‘Thanks to that monster, even that I’m the head of a Count family now, I can’t even enjoy a cup of tea freely…’
Holding his abashed inner thoughts in secret, he ordered the butler to prepare the tea.
Linus guided the marquis to a terrace that faced the streets. There were still cremated traces of the experimental bodies that his brother incinerated in his gardens. He didn’t want the marquis to see that.
“Oh, we’re having tea while gazing the capital’s cityscape, huh?”
“… I humbly thought you’d prefer so.”
As he felt like he was being pried as to why they didn’t go to the gardens instead, he went as far as speaking unnecessary words to the marquis.
‘I don’t suppose you’d be interested in gardens which boast the glory of the feudal lords, do you? Since you frantically scrape our territories and present them to the royal family, at most, you’d take comfort in gazing at this city’s scenery—- your owner, the king’s own backyard.’
It was a remark that may be interpreted as so. To put it in a remark that doesn’t put the fault on anyone else, it was, in other words, a slip of the tongue.
TL Note: original words of the second sentence is揚げ足を取られかねない発言とは、即ち失言である。I’m not too familiar with the form of the first half of that sentence, so I might have mistranslated it. If you’re a fellow translator, feel free to correct me here.
As he gave Linus, who realised such and covered his mouth with his hand, a sideward glance, Marquis Lavallée graciously brought the black tea to his mouth. Did he fail to realise it, or did he turn a blind eye to it? When he thought of how many years the other party had dabbled in the world of politics, he felt that it must’ve been the latter.
The marquis savoured two, three sips of the ruby-coloured liquid without a sound, and raised his face.
“It has the flavour of the southern lands. These leaves had been planted in a place with plenty of sun. Did it come from Omnia? And, it was picked during the early days of summer… you have quite the fine taste, Count.”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
As annoying as it was, it was the correct reply. Had he gave an absurd reply here, as he remarked before, he’d be made a laughing stock later.
With his eyes bent to the shape of a smile, Linus veiled his hostility. Before him, the marquis was leisurely grabbing sweets and enjoying his black tea.
“Hmmm, you thought of these things that’d go well with the tea too, huh? You’re still young, but you’re well versed in hospitality. Well then, I’ve had the treat to my heart’s content. Shall I go to the main issue behind my visit today, then?
“Yes, let me hear so.”
Linus gave a resolute reply to the smiling good-natured old man as he put his cup. The marquis had completely taken control of the pace. The marquis’ approach was thoroughly gentle, but he couldn’t explain this stiffness he was feeling. It was as if the youngster was being twisted around the old politician’s fingers.
So what, he thought.
In the first place, for him to be dragged away by the flow that this middle-aged schemer had created was a mistake from the very beginning. For a greenhorn like him, of course no matter what he does he’d be swept away anyway. So he daringly steeled himself. At any rate he hardened his defenses, for now he could only hope he didn’t end up completely in the other party’s control.
To him who was steeling his thoughts, the marquis showed him a paper as he spread it on the table.
“The other day, there was this notification that arrived in the court. The sender is your brother.”
“This is….. a petition for open recruitment in the royal capital in order to employ new vassals, huh.”
He thought his brother would do that. His brother was sent out without even a decent assistant in order to ensure that he would take that step. He had intended to take advantage of this and send people he had taken a hold on to conduct secret investigations and seize something that could choke the life out of Tullius.
But of all things, to think that it’d cross over to someone like Marquis Lavallée.
‘That fool….! Don’t you realise this geezer is an enemy to you too!?’
A bloodthirsty old wolf that had been doing literally everything in his capacity to shave away the other nobles’ territory. Such was the true identity of the marquis. A newly appointed viscount that was sent to a newly established territory was nothing but an easy prey. But why must Linus’ weakness be exposed in the process as well?
…… He was truly behaving like a moron.
If he did this without any intention whatsoever, then this was truly preposterous. If Tullius managed to figure out Linus’ plan then planned to hand Linus over to his political opponent as a response, then he could only think that Tullius had a poor sense in politics. Once more, the old nobleman is not only a potential enemy to Linus, but to Tullius too.
Successfully turning an enemy of an enemy as an ally is just a temporary thing. Perhaps, it only exists in the dramas of fabricated heroic tales. In reality, the most it’ll go is to follow the parable that the hunting dog would be cooked after the nimble rabbit is dead. In this case, it was like Tullius was attacking Linus with fire, and in the process lit the fire that’d actually boil himself in the stove later.
Still, this was about that mad alchemist. There was also the possibility that he just casually sent the petition to the royal capital while knowing nothing about politics. Either way, he was just beyond help. Linus didn’t plan to help him from the beginning, but if Tullius wished for ruin, Linus wished that it’d be for Tullius alone.
“This is truly embarrassing. I’m sorry that the shame of this house has stained your ears.”
“I suggest you stop referring it as such. This was out of your hatred against your little brother, yes?”
‘What audacious words’, he thought to himself. If he were to affirm those words, it’d mean that he admitted that he did not do enough for the territory that was bestowed by the king out of his personal feelings. Although that was indeed a fact, it wasn’t a fact Linus could honestly confirm in front of the opponent before him.
In front of his biggest enemy in this city, he had no choice but to suffer the pains of praising the man he hated the most in the world.
“E, even I’m dazzled with my brother’s ingenuity… I wondered if, with that talent, even with this sort of vassals, it’d still be sufficient for him to manage his territory. Ha, hahaha…. ha.”
The corner of his mouth formed an amiable smile, but he could feel that it was now convulsing as it cramped. It was as if his mouth was rotting.
The marquis laughed pleasantly.
“Hohohohoh! Is that so, is that so? Well, people management is indeed a hard thing, it’s usual to try and get used to it, Count.”
“…. Yes, it’s as you say.”
‘I’ll kill him. I’ll definitely kill this man after I’m done with Tullius.’
While strengthening such intention in secret, he tried to look normal and asked.
“Then, it’s my idiotic brother’s petition but, what are you planning to do with it?”
Did he take the trouble to bring this here personally just to say that he was going to kill the petition? Or was he planning to let Linus send his men to Tullius and settle the recruitment at Linus’ initiative? That way he could sell his favour to the young member of the opposing faction, and plan to estrange him from his faction then. That seemed to be possible, but,
“What do you mean, what am I planning to do with it?”
To Linus whose eyes and mouth went round at that unexpected answer, the old noble leaked out a terrible smile,
“The approval has already been issued.”
The young count finally couldn’t keep his appearance and sprung up.
To him, the old marquis pointed at the spread document.
“Take a closer look, this document is a copy. The original document has already been approved, and the open recruitment will commence in no time. In the near days, the news will arrive to you too in some way. I’m actually here today to tell you beforehand so that it won’t needlessly embarrass you later on.”
“Wh, wh, wha….!?”
Now that he mentioned it, the ink smelt like new, and there was no sign that the paper had endured rain or wind. The contents had been written recently on a brand-new paper.
It the first place, how come did he not realise that it was written on paper? As the kingdom’s nobility valued tradition and formalities, formal documents would usually be parchments. No matter how Tullius treat the common sense of the nobility with disdain, he would at least adhere to that, and even if he didn’t the geezer didn’t comment on it.
The fact that he couldn’t even notice that, Linus couldn’t stop his face from going red.
Marquis Lavallée gently said,
“I coincidentally happened to know about the open recruitment before the announcement. As so, I’ve put forward the children of some of my acquaintances.”
“What, did you say?”
While he put a question mark on his words, as expected his thoughts were stiff. At the same time as Linus had exposed his weak point to the centralist, it’d be inevitable that the marquis would send his protégé,s whom he had taken a hold on, to Tullius as well. As he thought, the old man would not casually do things like leaving Tullius to his own devices.
Then why were he telling Linus all this?
“Don’t you have to choose talents for your little brother, too? Make early response to the open recruitment.”
“Let us bring the lovely brothers together, shall we, Count?”
‘Ah, so that’s it’. Linus finally understood.
The discord between Linus and Tullius, and Tullius’ de facto expulsion from the royal capital to Marlin—- The marquis, who saw the full picture, had also predicted that Linus would take advantage of the employee procurement and send a spy to investigate Tullius. And by showing that their movements were in sync, he aimed so that other people thought that he had joined hands with Linus.
That way, people would see that the house of Count Oubeniel had given in to the centralist faction. Not only that the house would completely lose its influence on the faction hostile to the marquis, he would also forfeit Linus’ authority by branding him as a defector. Then won’t Linus, who was to be incorporated unwillingly to the faction, be a treacherous ally to the centralists? It ought to be so.
However, if things were to proceed according to this scenario, the established fact would remain that Linus, as much as he didn’t want to, had borrowed the help of the marquis and conspired against his brother. It’d be an enormous debt to the centralists. If he were to ignore this debt, it would mean that he ignored a debt so large the other house would never associate with him out of his ingratitude. From here on after, the house of Oubeniel was about to be forced into a situation that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with. And should he fail to keep up, no one would help him. The centralists would see him as a tossed-over newcomer and the lords who oppose the centralists would see him as an irredeemable traitor. And even when someone were to grant him a hand, they’d just use the new debt as a pretext in order to devour him whole. If he didn’t want things to go that way, he had no choice but to obey this old politician….
Linus was stunned as he realised those facts.
The marquis gave him a sidelong glance, and then steadily stood up.
“Excuse me, apparently I have stayed for a little too long, I have an appointment to meet with others after this too, let us end it here for today.”
His words and deeds implied the association between them from there on, as expected, Linus didn’t guess wrong. However, he couldn’t do anything about it nonetheless.
‘Please wait for a moment, Your Excellency!”
To Linus who stood up discourteously as he kicked up the chair when he stood up, Marquis Lavallée smiled.
“I’ll introduce you plenty to a friend I’ll meet later. ‘He’s a bit of a late bloomer, but he’s clever young man’, like that.”
The meaning of those words were actually like these,
—— You’re not stupid, but against conspiracies you’re too passive. You’re not diligent enough, youngster.
—— I’ll give you a passing mark for noticing the plan at the very, very end, but other than that there are a lot of shortages. Especially against this gimmick, as you couldn’t come up with an effective method right away, and such is unsatisfactory.
That sort of harsh evaluation.
‘I’ve been had….!’
On top of completely being swayed by the other party, his caliber was also seen through as well. Perhaps the spread copied paper before him was also a test as well. The fact that Linus could see through him in the end wasn’t at all a big blow. After all, the old man had set a likely winning plan long before he visited the mansion.
“Ah, that’s right, ‘his tastes, when it comes to tea, was good’, I’ll tell him that too.”
In the end, with that declaration of victory, the marquis left the terrce.
Linus didn’t follow him. He couldn’t even figure out what to do after this.
It was a complete defeat.
A little after Lavallée’s figure disappeared,
There was a loud sound as the teaware on the table was broken.
Cups, saucers, pots that the hands of master craftsmen have fashioned, everything was broken.
He stomped on the broken pieces with the heel of his shoes, over and over again.
Until everything was broken into small fragments, his anger won’t be settled. It won’t be sorted out.
Suddenly, he turned to the voice from behind him in reflex.
There stood a shabby looking woman, though not to the extent of looking filthy, barely.
The housekeeping slave screamed at the appearance of Linus who furiously damned the wares.
The slave, who appeared there to tidy up, was looking at him as if she was looking at a monster.
“What’s with those eyes….?”
“N, no, err….”
As he stared back, the slave shivered as she retreated.
‘What’s with that?’
‘Why are you looking at me with those eyes?’
‘… Is it because this mansion had that ‘Slave Murderer’ monster once?’
‘… And because of that, you’re looking at me with that same eye as if you’re looking at that monster?’
“’Don’t look at me with those eyes!’”
He reflexively casted the obedience magic and caught the slave’s body.
As his magic force came into effect, her eyelids were forcibly shut tight.
“Ple, please stop, Master!”
While being confused by the sudden closed sight, the slave prostrated and begged for forgiveness.
Her pitiable voice was making him grow in irritation.
In the past, this kind of voice used to came from this mansion’s basement.
The man who should’ve been expelled to the far lands of Marlin at this time, the second son, Tullius.
It was the same voice they raised as he tortured the slaves.
“You’re noisy, shut up! Why must I listen to such a voice right now!? Why must I look at such a face right now!?”
While screaming, he straddled the woman and hit her cheeks.
He hit her over, over, over, and over.
Every time he hit her, the slave would beg forgiveness with her pathetic voice. In the midst of the beating, as she wasn’t being heard, her voice went blur in resignation.
‘This slave is unpleasant in every sense of the word. As I keep her around me she should’ve been chosen because her looks were good, but the sycophantic face she’s giving me right now is just nauseating. Her swollen up face after I hit her, it reminds me of that first slave my brother picked up.’
‘… I seemed to have gone insane.’
‘This frustration, this anger, this revulsion, I must discharge them at once.’
As if he were diligently following something similar to an obligation, Linus grabbed the slave’s clothes.
“Stop…. ah, what are….? Stop, st——“
Even she forbade him to see, she had already instinctively realised what was going to happen to her. The slave was just attempting a vain refusal.
As in worn-out stories, the sound of her clothes ripping resembled a certain shriek somewhere.
“Haaaah….. haaaah…. haaaaaaaah…..”
When he realised it, it was already nighttime.
The anger in his belly had greatly subsided. The stewards seemed to be in an awkward state, it was actually fine if they want to speak.
As he thought so, Linus realised.
Given the condition, a person with tact would hesitate from talking to him right now.
The slave that was the object to vent his anger stretched the remains of her clothes to the utmost so as to cover her body though barely. She was crying. She was crying as if she couldn’t believe her lord could so something so cruel to her.
Now that he thought it, even as a slave, he had treated the woman well. Even though in the old days the house would go as far as killing slaves guilty of misconduct.
This, too, was also because of Tullius. Because he killed slaves often, his father and he had ceased to raise our hands against the slaves out of fear of our image in public.
And yet, this woman did not distinguish him from that devil.
He hadn’t raised his hands against her until this very day, and yet she still looked at him with those eyes.
“You look unsightly, slave.”
“I’m done with you. Get lost.”
As she was coldly threatened, the slave tremblingly crawled away from her spot and left. Probably she couldn’t feel her waist and thus couldn’t stand. It was truly an ugly sight. The handprints that were still vivid even in the moonlight on her pathetically exposed butt were probably from him. The memory when he did it was vague.
“…. Kuh, what on earth am I doing!?”
Out of humility and sense of defeat after the marquis had gotten him good, his conducts were utterly unspeakable as a head of a Count family, like destroying expensive teaware or hitting slaves after his anger couldn’t be settled.
Worst of it all was that he had crossed the final line. If things were to go awry, it may result in Linus’ first child. The child would be a bastard with slave blood mixed in them. And if that happens, it’d be the choice between the purity of blood that the noble society put an emphasis of value on, or the taboo of killing slaves.
‘… Should I kill her?’
The thought ran in Linus’ mind at this time.
But, that was no good for him. To kill a slave after treating it arbitrarily,
It was as if—-
“… Won’t it make me the same as Tullius…?!”
‘The fact that we shared the same blood is a heresy I couldn’t bear to think of. Besides, I don’t want to fall to his level…’. His perception was warped, but in the end Linus was able to keep his decency.
But still, Tullius had been such an annoying brother. The cause of the issue this time too was stemmed from the fact that he sent the petition in a way that was most likely to be perceived by Marquis Lavallée. No matter how much he didn’t want to hand the petition over to Linus, he should’ve given it to any other party but him. He could’ve handed it over to a member of the opposing decentralist faction, or even if he chose to hand it over to a member of the centralists, the person on their lowest seat could handle his case too. Had he simply wanted to harass his older brother, he could’ve chosen plenty of people that are more reasonable. But why of all people would he choose the worst among them?
Again, Linus reaffirmed that that thing was indeed a demon, ‘Tullius Shernan Oubeniel… That man, as long as he exists in the world, he’ll continue to be the cause that inclines this house of Oubeniel into disaster’, like that.
Now that he thought about it, ever since he was born, he was always like that. When Tullius was born, his mother passed away. From what he could recall, his mother was a timid woman. When it came to their father, she couldn’t take the high hand. She always had this face that as if she had wanted to say something to him. However, she was always kind to Linus. While he didn’t have a particular drawback, he was rather the mediocre child, and so he was severely disciplined by his father whom had been impatient to produce an excellent heir. While it was thanks to him that he was in his position now, his father, who ignored his own foolishness while forcing unreasonable things to him even when he was a child, was no favourite of his. Linus believed he could endure those days because his mother in her two-facedness had protected him and comforted him. It was Tullius who killed his mother. Although she passed away during her postpartum recovery, it still didn’t change the fact that his mother was gone for the sake of the existence of that thing.
As father grew older, he began to favour Tullius who had been shrewd even during his childhood. He treated Linus coldly and abandoned him like a toy he had gotten tired of, as he spent most of his childhood and grow up watching his little brother getting spoiled by his father. Now that he recalled those times, his brother had been abnormal since then. Although he learned his words late, by the time when he was four year old he had begun to use speech that could put adults to shame, and in the blink of an eye he mastered elementary magic. Their father applauded him as a prodigy and a genius, but Tullius himself had always had this cold face. Rather than calling him a child, he was like a young devil with an adult’s eyes.
His father, who had casted away his firstborn son out of disappointment, would had the expectation that he had on his little brother betrayed too. Alchemy, something that even lowly tricksters would steer clear from. For some reason he had become engrossed in it. Their father, who tried to divert my brother’s interest away from alchemy, allowed him to buy a slave for him to learn about people management, but the one he chose was a dying child with a crushed face. Linus thought he was insane. His father thought so as well. But the most insane thing out of it was his abilities. By self-taught alchemy and simple recovery magic, he had perfect restored someone who was half-dead to life. His father, though with a stiff face, rewarded Tullius, then took a distance and let him do whatever he wanted for a while. It was probably done out of the balance between his revulsion and his concern of his child’s talent as a father. Although, it turned out to be the biggest mistake ever.
He probably took his father’s tacit approval of alchemy into consideration. From then on, Tullius began to be completely absorbed in erratic research. He skillfully charged his first slave as his assistant, and then he began to sell original potions and with that he obtained a source of funding independent of the house. With those funds, he started to buy one slave after another, then he killed them under the pretext of experiment. At the time when everything was discovered, just how many had he killed? To his father, who lost his complexion as he inquired Tullius, he impudently replied,
(“Father, doesn’t the law state, ‘the master is allowed to anything to their slave’? If that’s the case, then I suppose there’s no problem here.” )
(“Also, most noblemen kill their slaves out of their tantrum, but here they were dead because of a promising experiment. Oh, and as an additional remark, it’s not like they were dead because I wanted to kill them. It’s just that most of them die when I conduct my experiment. There’s plenty of slaves that are still alive too, like Uni, see?”)
He thought that it was the very words of the devil. His father probably thought so too, as his face went green while he grabbed Tullius’ hand, and then dragged him to the shrine and cried to the priest, ‘please expel the devil from my child!’.
However, unbelievably, the devil didn’t possess him. Neither the detection magic nor the sacred relics were able to find the presence of evil from him. The shocking thing was when Tullius, as if he was making sure himself, began to recite the words of the scripture from his memory, and in turn won the favour of the priest. That dog of a priest must’ve been a sham, and until now Linus still thought so. If that wasn’t a trick of the devil, then where in the world does the devil reside? No, the priest judged that he ‘wasn’t possessed’. That probably meant Tullius himself was the devil.
And since then, every day was hell for the house of Oubeniel. Experiments using the slaves in the basement continued, and the dead slaves were frequently cremated in the gardens. The putrid smell of dead bodies, along with the smell of burning flesh stuck here and there, vassals found their minds deteriorating, and later there was no end to people who elected to resign and leave.
Not once or twice had Linus himself heard young low-ranked nobles who were supposed to be lower than him in rank sneering, ‘the surroundings of that Oubeniel’s mansion always smell”. When doing transactions with the merchants in town, he’d hear people disparagingly begin their words with ‘that Oubeniel house……’. The tradition and dignity of the count house of Oubeniel were ruined by the existence of Tullius alone.
When their father fell ill and a number of slaves that survived the experiments began to imitate the mansion’s housekeeping servants, Linus, who could no longer contain himself, drove his brother out to the neighbouring country. His destination was the magic academy. ‘If you want to research things, then feel free to do so as much as you want. But at least, do it far away from our sight’————– but that was a vain wish. the fiend came back to the mansion in just a year. He made this fuss about dueling, and smeared the name of his house yet again.
Shortly after Tullius returned home, their father died. Their father, who was frightened of Tullius up until then, couldn’t even leave an articulate will. Linus hated his father, but more so, he pitied him. No, it was terrible. With their father gone, that would mean that slave murderer who went insane because of alchemy would be his only immediate family.
And now, Tullius was running upon the path of ruin, and dragged Linus to accompany him in the process. They were completely caught in spider web weaved by Marquis Lavallée.
“….. AAAAAH, SHIT! AGAIN AND AGAIN, THAT DEVIL!”
As he shouted to himself, he scratched his head with both of his hands.
After he recalled half of his lifetime, he was convinced. The cause of all the mess in Linus Streinn Oubeniel’s life was none other but his little brother, Tullius. Had he not existed, the conflict between him and his father would be inevitable, but it’d be more peaceful than what he was having now, at the very least the other noble houses would perceive them properly as a noble. And had that fiend wasn’t harboured in his mother’s womb, she’d be still alive right now.
“As I thought, I have to kill him.”
Otherwise, this house couldn’t be saved. Now it would perhaps be hard to avoid the house of Oubeniel from being incorporated into the centralist faction of Marquis Lavallée. Some of the house’s territory might be taken away as well.
But in exchange, Tullius will be killed. He had been the root of evil in the family. If he didn’t cut that off, there’ll be no survival nor a damned thing for the house. Since it had come to this, be it the marquis or anyone else, if they could help him then he’d take their help. He couldn’t choose the method. Of course, if he were to refuse the offer out of solicitude, then the centralist factions would crush him as well. After Tullius is crushed, the faction would use him until he’s crushed as well, and thus either way the end would still be the same.
Still, until he could get rid of that helplessly idiotic brother, he had no choice but join his hands with theirs.
“Ah, yes indeed. To turn the devil himself into an enemy…. If it wasn’t him, I’d be gladly to join my hands with anyone.”
Even monsters like Lavallée would be better than the devil.
When he thought so, he felt his mind cleared up a bit.
If Tullius was to be killed, he thought that the current situation was not a pessimistic one. He could increase his pieces, as he could now use the talents in the marquis’ camp.
…. Of course, he’ll rack up quite the severe debt. But, fortunately Linus was still young. That old fox of a marquis, old fox as he was, have piled up quite the months and years. As if he was to die young, as long as he wasn’t a real monster, he’d definitely die sooner than him. If he can endure until then, it’ll be Linus’ victory.
“What is it that made me so disarrayed…”
Had his accumulated anger been completely cleared away? Somehow, he felt strangely jolly. Now that he thought of what happened before, he felt a little sorry for that slave. ‘But, well, isn’t it fine. At most, let’s just pay her a sum for some time as an apology later’. More or less, if he were to think about, the fact that the Count had joined hands with others wouldn’t be spread too far to the public.
Rather than such a thing, Linus couldn’t bear to wait until he could quickly grab a hold on his brother’s secret, and kill him.
Suddenly, the night wind stroked his cheek.
As he gazed outside the window, there was crescent hanging on the sky. The young count’s lips was distorted as if to follow that shape.
“Tullius. You are, after all, a mere naked king attended by those slaves. Before the ploy of true nobility, I’ll let you and your lowly slaves know how helpless you are—-”
‘—– Aaaand, that’s what my brother is thinking about at this time, probably.”