BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 32 (WN)
Chapter 32 – Demons of Suspicion and Imperial Frenzy
The blade of the messenger turned assassin had been intercepted by Lars, using his own upper arm. While he had glaring faults as a commander, he was undoubtedly a first-class warrior. The training he received since childhood from the “Brave General” Bjorc Zagann bore fruit: the imperial prince managed to stop the attack with the least amount of damage.
“Get away from our Prince!!”
Seeing blood spurt from Lars’ arm, the escort knights tackled the messenger. The man — armed with the Second Imperial Army’s suit of armor and a short sword — was thrown to a corner of the tent.
“Protect the Prince!!”
The knights and retainers stepped between Lars and the messenger. They drew their swords and charged the assailant.
The man desperately defended himself with his short sword, but he was at too much of a disadvantage: soon enough, he slumped down to the floor, a sword stabbed deep into his chest.
“We did it…?”
So whispered a knight, looking at the assassin as he drew his last breaths. As life gradually left him, the man managed to whisper a few last words.
Hearing the assassin suddenly call his name, Snowe reacted with absolute shock. The young “Wise General” stood dumbfounded, as the eyes of the knights gathered on him.
“…Sir Halphas, what is the meaning of this?”
“I-I don’t know!! I know nothing about any of this!! This is…yes!! This must be a ploy by House Maxwell!!”
To send an assassin in order to trick allies into fighting each other. Snowe’s intuition was not far-fetched at all, but no one present would believe his words.
Snowe was already under suspicion of colluding with Grett: in addition, his disregard for the soldiers’ lives had earned him a fair amount of contempt from the other officials.
Even if Snowe had spoken the truth, the demons of suspicion looming over him had grown too strong.
The knights slowly approached Snowe, from all sides. Ready to apprehend him at a moment’s notice.
“Wait. We cannot assume the assassin spoke the truth.”
Lars’ words stopped the knights in their tracks. Snowe looked at his master, eyes filled with hope.
Lars, however, showed an expression as stern as the other knights, as he looked at Snowe with doubt and suspicion.
“The suspicion over you, however, is a fact. Snowe, you will be held captive for the time being.”
“T-That can’t be!!”
Snowe shouted as the knights grabbed his arms.
“You will have to let us search your tent too. If you truly did not betray me, I trust there is no problem, is there?”
Snowe grew pale. He really knew nothing about the assassin, but he did have secret ties with Grett. Documents and other proof of his exchanges with Grett could be found in his luggage.
(This is bad…!! I should have dealt with him sooner…!)
“P-Prince Lars!! I am innocent!! This is all a ploy to eliminate me and drive you to fight Prince Grett! P-Please, reconsider…!!”
“Enough shameless acting, Sir Halphas!”
One of the knights punched Snowe in the stomach. A fist charged with years of resentment interrupted the young general’s speech.
“H-How dare you…!”
“Sir Halphas. When His Highness was attacked just now, why did you not step in to defend him?”
One of the knights walked in front of Snowe and questioned him.
All the knights in the tent had rushed to Lars’ aid, standing between him and the assassin. Only Snowe, however, stood where he was, without even trying to help Lars.
Snowe could not find any words to justify himself.
When Lars was attacked by the assassin, Snowe judged he had been sent by Grett. To try to stop the assassination would mean opposing Grett’s plans: Snowe thus could not go to stop the assailant and ended up not budging from his position.
“The doubts upon you cannot be denied! Follow us without resistance!”
“Stop!! Let me go!! Prince!! Prince Lars!! Please help— ”
Lars looked at the knights drag out Snowe, silently.
Afterwards, documents apparently containing orders from Grett were found in Snowe’s luggage: his betrayal was verified.
The other assassin that had purposely made noise outside the tent in order to attract attention was also quickly found. Cornered, he took his own life: the assassination of Lars Baal was thus foiled.
“Our enemy is at the northern walls! Grett Baal must die!!”
A large-scale “civil war” broke out within the Imperial Army. The imperial rampage started, with none of the parties aware of who orchestrated it all.
The battle of Fort Bryden thus accelerated towards its conclusion…