It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (29/65), enjoy~
Everyone moved into the courtyard, and just as Duke Amur began to wonder if they should head inside the castle. Tigre tells them the reason why he has come here.
“Duke Amur. I have only come here for one reason.”
What in the world did he come for? Everyone in the room waited for him to continue.
“It has been several years since the woman who was supposed to be my wife, Krone Augusto, disappeared. And I’ve discovered that all traces of her have disappeared here in Euro.”
Hearing this, Ishtalika’s group responded, “Hmm…?”
Ain turned his attention to Warren, who was standing next to him. He smiled happily and rubbed his beard.
“The Duchy of Euro has had a formal deal with Ishtalika for several years now! In other words, you have sold out our Heim’s important figure, Archduke Graff Augusto, and his granddaughter, Krone, who was supposed to be my fiancée!”
Tigre couldn’t contain his excitement and pointed at Duke Amur. In contrast, Duke Amur, who could not help but look dumbfounded, and Edward, who had the same expression on his face, cowered next to him.
Ain wondered what to do and then whispered to Warren.
“Kukukuku… Well, pardon me. I was just having some fun.”
Ain understands how he feels. In fact, all the royal knights have loosened their cheeks under their helmets.
“I’m beginning to wonder what he’s talking about. I want to hear Warren-san’s opinion.”
“In the meantime, this situation where Euro has become a villain is hard to overlook for a friendly country. Would you like me to handle this?”
“…But do it in moderation, please.”
Ain said with a troubled look on his face, “You can add or subtract a few things.”
“Yes, we do trade with Ishtalika. However, there is no such thing as human trafficking.”
“As Duke Amur says, we are not engaged in human trafficking.”
There’s no human trafficking. But they guided them. It was just a little game of words.
“…What have you been up to? Who are you and what do you do in Ishtalika?”
“I apologize for this, Tigre-dono. I am the Prime Minister of Ishtalika.”
“You, of all people, call me ‘dono’?”
Warren did not correct himself, but continued to speak without hesitation.
“The name is Warren Lark. I’d like you to know that.”
Tigre was getting upset, but when he heard Warren was the Prime Minister, he realized.
“W-well, that’s fine! But if you are the Prime Minister, it’s just right. I’ll have you to look into Krone, who is probably in Ishtalika, right away.”
“Is that a deal?”
The biggest surprise of the day spread through everyone, without exception.
All eyes were on Warren, who stroked his white beard, looked in the sun’s direction and said that.
“D…Deal, you say…?”
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
“What a nonsense! What kind of deal is that? There is a possibility that you are doing something wrong, and justice is to correct it!”
“Certainly, if there is a possibility that we are doing something wrong, it must be corrected.”
“H-hmph! That’s pretty straightforward.”
“Then let’s investigate immediately. Oh, you there.”
He called one knight standing nearby.
“Look at what he just said. I will give you six months to find out if there is human trafficking.”
“How can I wait for that long? There’s no telling what will happen to Krone if I wait too long!”
“I see. You’re absolutely right. Then let’s contact our home country right after this.”
“You should have done that from the beginning…! Then, when you’ve finished your investigation, send it to me…”
“Don’t worry. I will contact His Majesty when I have finished my investigation.”
Tigre was somewhat pleased to see that Warren had finally listened to him obediently. However, Grint, who was standing next to him, noticed something.
“Your Highness. Do you think they will send the results of their investigation to you, Your Highness?”
Warren had not said so. The only thing he said was that he would report to Sylvird, and Tigre’s name was not mentioned for even a moment.
“Isn’t that obvious? Right, Prime Minister?”
“Hmm? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“What are you talking about? I mean, after what you’ve found out about Krone.”
And Warren looked up as if he understood what was going on. For Ain, the theatricality of this attitude almost made him smile.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to pass on any information I learn to His Majesty.”
“…No, you’ll have to contact me.”
“So that’s the deal. We’ll look into it, but whether we pass it on is another matter.”
“Hey! What the hell are you talking about?”
“Our diplomatic relations have been severed. We don’t have any relations with each other. It’s like we’re on different worlds. To put it bluntly, we don’t feel the need to inform you about it at our expense. That’s why it’s a deal.”
It was not only Tigre who was appalled, but Duke Amur as well. The only ones whose expressions did not change at all were the group of Ishtalika around Warren.
“We cannot trust the promises made to the royalty of Heim. We would like you to prepare a price first. If you can provide it… then yes, we can give you information about Lady Krone that only we know.”
Tigre’s eyes widened with conviction as he heard these words. This old man, Warren, knew about Krone. Warren’s attitude was unusually aggressive. But Tigre had already made his move.
“You’ve been fooling around with me.”
“What do you mean by fooling around? I’d like to hear more about it.”
Tigre could not take any firm stance. There is too much of a power differential to go into a debate with Warren.
He could not deny that he had been able to stay strong because of the fact that Ishtalika would not launch a preemptive attack and would not commit an act of aggression. He can’t seem to get the upper hand when he talks to this Warren guy.
“So, what do you want for the price?”
“Well, I guess. If I say I want some heads, will you prepare them for me?”
It’s not just that Warren’s keen eyesight is suddenly stronger than ever ─ it’s also that he’s got a somewhat frightening air of maturity, akin to an aged supremacy.
──It’s easy to guess who’s head he wants.
“I know it belongs to Logas and the others… but there’s no way I can do that.”
“Unfortunately. I’m afraid negotiations have broken down.”
Warren shrugged his shoulders, deliberately showing his intention not to discuss the matter further.
However, there was a boy who clasped his hands tightly as if he were trying to gather his courage. It was Grint, the boy who was guarding Tigre. Faced with Warren, the strongest enemy he has ever faced, he shows his determination because he has the power of a Holy Knight.
“You show your small capacity, just like that brother of mine when he was in the Roundheart family.”
Dill’s eyebrows went up, but he had been quiet until now.
“And what you just said is like admitting to human trafficking.”
“No, I said that we do not do that.”
“Brother, why don’t you say something too? Isn’t it embarrassing for the future king to be the crown prince who just leaves things to his subordinates?”
This time, not only his eyebrows but also Dill’s hand reached for the hilt of his sword. Ain noticed this and let out a breath in this situation that is just so deadly.
“I think I said this before, but…”
He opened his mouth to rebuke Grint again, but…
“Your repeated rudeness makes me doubt whether you are really Ain-sama’s brother.”
At last, Dill became angry.
“You may not know it, but Ain-sama is a hero. He is our hero who single-handedly defeated the dragon and saved many lives. He is not someone you can look down on.”
“Brother defeated a dragon? What kind of nonsense are you talking about?”
“I’m only telling you the truth. If you can’t accept it, then it shows your capacity.”
Ain tried to stop him, but he could not do so.
“…Well, it’s an excellent opportunity to let people know the difference.”
Warren muttered to himself. He did not stop them, but decided to take advantage of the situation.
“Brother is stronger than me who was born as a Holy Knight? It’s not possible, but if you want, you can have a mock battle with me.”
“W-wait, Grint! Grint is still a little boy…”
“Brother! You’re insulting me over a mere thing like that?”
“That’s not an insult. It’s…”
There’s more than a five-year age difference between Grint and Dill, who is less than ten years old. So, it’s natural that there is a big difference in height and strength.
(I feel as if I’m bullying him.)
It made him think like that. He wonders if he should stop it.
Then Warren told Ain.
“He seems to be an important part of Heim’s side, and I think it would be a good idea to cross swords with Dill to clarify our positions.”
It’s a kind of exchange game… In that case, Ain looked at Chris.
“Well, even if you look at me, I will not fight him, okay?”
“I just want to ask, why?”
Then she said softly in Ain’s ear.
“As expected… I would like to not fight like a bully. But it doesn’t matter if it’s someone that Ishtalika wishes to kill…”
If it’s an actual battle, she will have the will to fight, but if it’s a mock battle, the situation is different. Ain replied in a whisper, “I know,” and turned to Dill, who stood close by.