BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 17 (WN)
Chapter 17 – Conspiracies on All Sides
“ — now Lady Rossellia’s safety is secured.”
“Excellent. Sorry I had you report this late at night.”
It was well into the night when Sakuya approached me as I was laying in bed. I praised her and the other Fangs for following my orders to the letter and nodded, satisfied.
“We do not deserve such words, Milord: acting during the night is our specialty.”
Sakuya bowed politely, then raised her head.
“By the way, may I ask what could have been the motive behind today’s assassination attempt? Lady Rossellia has no claim to the throne. What would Lars Baal gain from her death?”
The man who gave the orders behind this particular attempt was already captured. Thanks to Shana’s testimony, it was also confirmed that he belonged to the First Imperial Army, under Lars’ command.
I would still find it believable if they tried to murder me after the political marriage plan failed. But to kill your own sister? That was madness to my ears.
“Lars Baal, or maybe one of his retainers, probably planned to pin the assassination on me, I guess.”
I answered Sakuya’s question with my conjecture. If Rossellia was killed immediately after our negotiations failed, all suspicion would fall on House Maxwell, first and foremost.
“If Rossellia died at my hands, they have just cause to declare war on the kingdom. They can gather volunteers more easily, and maybe even involve the Imperial Knights and the other imperial armies in the war, since it’d be meant to avenge the princess’ death.”
Both outcomes would have probably worked for Lars.
If the political marriage between Rossellia and me went through, House Maxwell would become their ally.
If it failed, they would have Rossellia assassinated, to raise their own troops’ morale and boost their military strength, too.
(To use your own sister’s death in a plot is pretty far-fetched for the kind of person I knew Lars as…maybe this plan came from his strategist, or something?)
“How cruel…to be used as a tool, regardless of being alive or dead…I cannot help but feel pity for the princess.”
The compassionate words for Rossellia were spoken by the woman lying next to me. My personal maid and first lover, Eliza.
We had been making love until Sakuya arrived. Eliza now joined in the conversation, her naked body concealed by the bedsheets. Sakuya looked at her with a glint of dissatisfaction, despite her expressionless face.
“Lord Dyngir? While I was outside working for your sake, what was Eliza doing?”
I felt like Sakuya was accusing me of cheating, tensed up and squirmed a bit.
To delve in carnal pleasures while your subordinates are out there, risking their lives for you, was quite a scummy move indeed.
“Well…you know. After meeting Rossellia, I was kind of excited, in more ways than one, so…I couldn’t hold back.”
“Oh? So, I am just a replacement for Lady Rossellia?”
Another unexpected attack, from the opposite side. Eliza buried her face in the sheets and pretended to cry.
“Aaah, you horrible, horrible man. Is it because my hair is not blonde? Is it because I’m not a pretty angel like your Lady Rossellia?”
“No, no, no!! You have your own charms, Eliza, you’re no one’s replacement…your body is a lot more motherly than hers too…”
“Should I take that as an insult towards my physique as well, Lord Dyngir?”
I tried consoling Eliza, but was backstabbed by Sakuya.
“I-I wasn’t talking about you, Sakuya…”
“…I’m sorry. It’s all my fault. Please forgive me.”
When women band together like this, I know I have no chance of winning. I quickly resigned and raised my hands in surrender.
Eliza and Sakuya looked at my defeated figure, pleased, then exchanged a high five, for some reason.
“We won. You owe us one now, Milord.”
“You better be prepared, Young Master.”
“What do I owe you now…?”
What were they going to do to me? The atmosphere was too awkward to endure, so I scratched my head and returned to the main topic.
“Okay, whatever, now please continue with your report. Was Rossellia the only survivor?”
I urged Sakuya to go on and she nodded, her expression serious again.
“No, her maid and one of her personal knights are alive as well. The same two women who came to today’s meeting.”
“Ah, those two.”
The maid with glasses and the stern-looking knight. I was taken by Rossellia during the meeting, but they were both pretty easy on the eyes, too.
“It’s a blessing that they’re still alive. A beautiful woman’s death is a loss for the whole world, after all.”
“The maid named Luna was found tied up in the room next to the princess’. The knight was fed poison, like the other knights, but, because she ingested less, she managed to survive, just barely. We have given her the antidote already, so she should wake up in a few days.”
“The maid was probably left alive to communicate Rossellia’s death to the empire…but the knight was just lucky.”
“The princess barely ate dinner, so she ate little as well, out of respect, apparently. Her sense of duty saved her.”
“I see…in any case, it’s an ideal result for me.”
I voiced my honest opinion. If I wanted to keep Rossellia at my side, her entourage would just get in the way.
“We’re also lucky that those two women survived. If necessary, they can be used as hostages against Rossellia.”
Judging from how they acted during the meeting and the events that just transpired, Rossellia and her two subordinates were connected by rather firm bonds. If I used those two as hostages, Rossellia would have a harder time refusing my requests.
I was going to negotiate with Rossellia, to turn her into a card to use against the empire.
Depending on how my opponent moved, she could become an important ally and let me deliver a critical hit against Baal.
“The war against the empire will start, sooner or later. If we have to fight anyway, I want to have as many advantages as possible. The goddess of victory fell onto our lap tonight, it’d be a shame not to make the best use of her.”
“Everything is as you wish, Lord Dyngir. This country and the empire too. Of course, my body too.”
“You’ve just finished working, but you’ve still got energy to spare, huh…”
I watched Sakuya take off her clothes and slip into my bed, a wry smile on my lips.