It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (38/76), enjoy~
Once the verdict was over, a small banquet was held to celebrate.
No matter how rough the verdict was, the fact that they had defeated the Felzen remnants and defeated the Grand Duchy of Dral would not change. It’s a memorable day, for sure, and since it’s a matter of prestige for the Grantz Empire, the banquet will be held no matter what.
“So, I would like to invite you to my residence. My wife is also looking forward to meeting Your Highness Hiro Schwartz.”
“Yes, I shall be happy to visit her if the opportunity arises.”
“Well, I’ll take my leave now.”
“Yes, see you later.”
Hiro took a break from dealing with the greetings of the many noblemen and turned to Liz. She sat down on the sofa by the wall and looked depressed.
“Liz, what’s wrong?”
Hiro, concerned, called out to her.
“I couldn’t get my father to pay for his crimes in Felzen.”
Liz said regretfully.
“Don’t be so downhearted. You’ll get another chance.”
It was the person behind Hiro who threw the cheering words, and when he turned around, Rosa was standing there. There were two glasses in her hand. It seems that she had gone to get a drink.
“I think so too. And I think it’s a good job we were able to get the Krone family to take responsibility.”
“Yeah… I guess you’re right.”
“Well, have a drink and calm down.”
Rosa said, offering the water she had brought to Liz.
After thanking her, Liz sipped on the water. She took a breath and turned her head down.
“I’ll have to apologize to Skaaha later.”
“I don’t think she’ll blame you, either. Don’t get too worked up.”
Hiro nodded his head in agreement with Rosa’s words, but he could not help but understand Liz’s feelings. She had put so much energy into this. It’s no wonder she feels responsible and depressed.
It would be solved with time. First of all, she had to try not to let herself think about it too much. As Hiro tried to divert the topic, he suddenly noticed that Aura was not present.
“Speaking of which, where is Aura?”
“She was here a while ago.”
“Lady Bunadhara has gone to get some food.”
It’s too late for that. When Hiro looked around, he saw that Aura was surrounded by many nobles, as expected. The fact that she was frowning in a troublesome manner indicated that she might be invited to join a faction or something. Aura’s brilliant mind is something that every faction would love to have.
However, Aura treated the nobles poorly and came over to Hiro and the others, making cute footsteps as she walked.
Aura also drank a glass of water when Hiro offered it to her.
“It seems that even Lady Bunadhara could not easily escape from the wave of nobles.”
Rosa gave Aura a wry smile.
“It’s hard to ignore them when they call out to you since they have no malicious intent…”
Maybe it was because she had been like that last time, but Liz looked at her with sympathy.
“…..I want to go home.”
Aura started to say something like a child.
“Looks like we’re still waiting for the nobles to greet us?”
Liz said, pointing to a group of nobles who were glancing at her.
“…Enough. I’ll leave that one to Liz.”
Aura gives a disgusted look. There was even a hint of exhaustion in the blank expression.
Hiro smiled bitterly.
At that moment…
A chill ran down Hiro’s spine. A hostile gaze, an unconcealed killing intent, was directed at him. Turning to the place that caused it, the First Prince Stobel was standing there.
(…..What do you think you’re doing?)
He smiled meaningfully and walked out the door.
“I think I drank a little too much water. I’m going to go do a small errand.”
Hiro turned his back on Liz and the others and followed Stobel without waiting for a reply. He weaved his way through the crowd to the door, ducked through, and went down the hallway.
Then there was an obvious rush of blood, perhaps to let him know where he was.
Hiro’s smile deepened happily, and he pushed his way through the darkness without hesitation. There was a place with a fountain garden ― and there stood Stobel looking up at the night sky.
When Hiro deliberately stepped into the fountain garden, Stobel slowly turned to look at him.
“What do you want, kid?”
“That should be my line. I’ll have to ask you to tell me why you’ve been sending out such obvious killing intent.”
“Hmm, you’re being too self-conscious. You’re the one who came along on your own.”
Then Stobel spread his arms and opened his mouth again to Hiro.
“I’ve got a little time on my hands. Maybe I can tag along with you.”
“Hmm… time, huh?”
Hiro tried to figure out what his intentions were.
“There is nothing to be cautious about. I’m not going to set anything off yet.”
Stobel muttered, clearing his throat happily.
“I’ve been sickened by the existence of this country ever since I can remember.”
“I want to know if I am the only one who feels this way or if you also feel the same way, just like me.”
“It’s so far-fetched that I don’t understand the question.”
“Really? You actually know what it means, don’t you?”
A smile spreads across Stobel’s mouth as he basks in the moonlight.
“If you don’t deny it, then you are affirming it.”
Hiro looked at Stobel and said.
“Then what? Even if our goals were the same, I would not join forces with you.”
“Neither am I going to join forces with you.”
Stobel laughed at him.
“But there is one thing I have to tell you.”
A cold wind blew between them. The hem of the Black Princess Camellia danced and played with Hiro’s bangs.
“No matter what path you choose, you will not be able to stop the corruption in this country.”
“That may be true.”
That’s why the existence of Liz will be essential for this country.
As if reading Hiro’s inner thoughts, Stobel’s face showed a hint of amusement.
“You can keep on struggling while I go on ahead.”
“Go where you want. It’s none of my business.”
“Kukuku, stagnation is rotten. New seeds are sown, but they don’t change; they corrupt everything.”
“I don’t want to hear it from a prime example.”
Hiro shrugged his shoulders and said sarcastically.
“I don’t need to be told by a representative of that. You’re on this side too, aren’t you?”
Stobel snickered and turned his head abruptly.
“The wind is getting stronger…”
Hiro could feel on his skin that the heat of the killing intent between the two was rapidly cooling down.
“Hah, the old man’s persistence seems to have put an end to our pleasant conversation.”
Stobel turned his back on Hiro and stepped into the darkness where the moonlight did not reach.
“Let’s continue when the wind is gone.”
With that, Stobel disappeared into the darkness.
The buzzing of insects and the roaring of the wind ― the only thing that was left was an unaccountable sense of oppression. Hiro let out a small sigh and walked back to the hall where Liz and the others were waiting.
When he returned to the hall where the banquet was being held, he found a joyful atmosphere with light music.
Hiro’s head turned, and when he spotted Liz and the others, he approached them.
However, someone blocked his way.
“Hello, Hiro. It’s been a long time.”
It was the Second Prince Selene. His cheeks relaxed happily, and he put his hand on Hiro’s shoulder.
“Yeah. It’s been a while.”
When Hiro gave a curt reply.
“Geez, that’s a pretty curt response.”
Selene exhaled deeply and put his hands on his hips in frustration.
“If you just want to say hello, then excuse me.”
And Hiro tried to head down to Liz and the others.
“Well, well, maybe you should listen to me for a while.”
Selene came around in front of Hiro as he started to walk. He then grabbed Hiro by the shoulders again and put his mouth close to his ear.
“You’d better be careful. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Imperial Palace, but I didn’t realize how dangerous the situation was.”
A strong warning bled through the neutral voice. Hiro raised his eyebrows suspiciously.
“…What do you mean?”
“There are definitely people involved. You really should be careful.”
Selene said and then distanced himself from Hiro.
“Now that I’ve said what I wanted to say, I’ll take my leave. I don’t want to stay in this place too long.”
Despite his words, Selene walked past Hiro with a refreshing smile on his face.
When Hiro turned around hurriedly, he said.
“See you later.”
With a wave of his hand behind his back, he walked out of the hall with his followers.
(Warning? People? Be careful with what…?)
As Hiro pondered the meaning of Selene’s words…
“Hiro! You came back too late!”
Before he could find an answer, Liz and the others seemed to notice him and approached him.
“Anee-sama got drunk. So I think we should go back to the mansion.”
Looking next to her, Rosa, who had been leaning on Liz’s shoulder, had a flush on her cheeks.
“Ugh… I feel like biting your neck.”
“I don’t know what that means, and let’s not do that in public, shall we?”
Hiro’s cheeks twitch as Rosa gives him a disturbing look.
How is it that she likes to drink but is weak at it?
Aura complained, but the drunkard would not listen.
“Haha… Shall we go back to the mansion?”
Just before he turned on his heel, Hiro took another look at the hall. There are many noblemen left, but there is no sign of the leading noblemen.
Most of the nobles were factionless, and some were central nobles who had abandoned the Krone family. Then Hiro looked at the place where many people had gathered.
There was a man who was chatting and laughing ― the head of the Mark family, the largest factionless noble family.
Although he didn’t get a chance to greet him at this banquet, he would have to talk to him in the future. With this premonition, Hiro looked away from him.
“Hey, Anee-sama, walk properly!”
“Mmm… give me your shoulder.”
Hiro smiled at Rosa, who hugged him, and decided to take her back to the mansion.