BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 8 (WN)
Chapter 8 – A Gift from the Mad Matriarch
“I pretty much didn’t do anything, why do I feel so tired…?”
After discussing a few more issues, the gathering of the “Four Houses” heirs officially concluded.
It was already late at night: Echidna invited me to stay over at her mansion, but I didn’t feel it right to sleep under the same roof as her, so I went back to the lodging rented under the Maxwell name.
Incidentally, Valon went back to his lodging too: Sharon started drinking again after the meeting, so she was probably going to stay over.
“Oh, you’re really going? That’s a shame. I was thinking of paying you a little visit in your room.”
“…don’t joke about that, I might take it seriously.”
“That’s fine for me, though. I told you, I love you such that I want a child from you, Dyn.”
Hoping to get away from Echidna as quickly as possible, I got on the horse carriage I had prepared.
“Oh, wait just a second! I have a gift for you.”
“Huh? What? A package?”
Before I could leave, Echidna gave me a square box wrapped in high quality paper.
(Judging from the shape…maybe it’s sweets?)
“Ah, well, thanks a lot.”
“Take it home with you, okay? Don’t toss it from a window or anything.”
Echidna’s joke left a strange impression, but I didn’t dwell on it too long.
Back in my room, I opened the package — and regretted ever accepting it.
The wrapping revealed a wooden box normally used for sweets, as expected, but also a letter. Addressed in a very simple manner.
“To my son”
“…it’s from moth…that damn woman.”
I recalled Echidna’s smile as I left and my teeth gnashed. The “gift” was from Grace, my mother, then.
(Should I toss it anyway? No, wait, if it explodes or releases poison gas in town, it’d be a disaster. It might also cause trouble for the Maxwell house…)
Wondering why receiving a gift from my mother had to give me a headache every time, I thought I had no choice but to open it.
I removed the lid — slowly, carefully checking for any booby traps — and found rainbow-colored gems inside.
They were about the size of a piece of candy, shining in seven colors like a rainbow. Enough gems to fill the box to the brim.
“What the hell is that damn hag thinking…?”
I knew what those gems really were — and pressed my fingers against my temples.
The colorful gems — which may look pretty enough to fetch a good price on jewelry — were actually a body part of the “Sea Hydras”, carnivorous beasts that dwelled in dungeons…the common name for the ruins of the ancient magic civilization.
To be more precise, the gems were actually formed in a Sea Hydra’s gallbladder…they were essentially the monster’s gallstones.
Sea Hydras were dangerous, feral beasts, which fought by spewing poison at foes. These stones were highly venomous as well: if dissolved, just one was enough to turn a barrel of water into lethal poison.
“What kind of mother sends a box of poison to her son? That damn woman…”
I opened the letter and read the contents.
“To my son : I heard about the cancellation of the engagement.
If you want to die, drink this. If you want to kill, have them drink it.
Grace D.O. Maxwell”
In other words, if the cancellation of the engagement shocked you to the point of wishing to die, use this poison and kill yourself.
If you loathe your former fiancee or the man who took her away more, feed them this poison and kill them.
That is the message of my revered mother, I suppose.
“…just one more time, for good measure…what the hell kind of mother is this!?”
I ripped the letter to shreds and tossed it in the trash.
“Dammit, why does this get on my nerves so much…? Sakuya, are you there!?”
“At your service, Lord Dyngir.”
The maid outfit-wearing assassin responded immediately, appearing before me without the slightest noise. I closed the box of poison sent by my mother and carefully gave it to her.
“Bring this to the Maxwell manor, with extreme care. Just touching the contents with bare hands might get you poisoned. Make sure no one swallows or steals these: they look just like gems, if you don’t know any better.”
“I am used to handling poison, Lord Dyngir. Please leave it to me.”
Sakuya diligently took the box from my hands and bowed.
“By the way…might I be allowed to take one or two of these?”
“Fine by me, but what will you use them for?”
“It is a rare kind of poison, so I would like to try using it for assassination.”
Sakuya replied with flushed cheeks. The words she said were ominous at best, but her face was of a maiden in love.
“…do whatever you want. Don’t feed them to me, though.”
“I’m afraid I cannot promise that.”
“What? You gotta be joking! I don’t want to die with that shitty hag’s poison!!”
“Of course I was joking, my lord…hehehe…”
Finding such rare poison must have made Sakuya really happy: her usually expressionless face was now beaming with a smile. She headed out of the room with a little dance, but stopped in front of the door.
“…oh my, I was so taken by the poison I almost forgot. There is something I must report, Lord Dyngir.”
“I just received a message from one of the Fangs of Steel members at the Maxwell manor. It appears that a guest has come for you.”
“A guest? Who?”
I cocked my head, puzzled. The whole kingdom knew about the crowning ceremony: anyone would think that the Margrave heir was not going to be at home.
(Either it’s an emergency, or it’s someone unfamiliar with the kingdom’s state of affairs…)
I urged Sakuya to continue, and her beautiful red lips uttered an extremely surprising name.
“The First Princess of the Baal Empire, Rossellia Baal.”