BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 13 (WN)
Chapter 13 – Foreboding News
On the veranda of a cafe facing the avenue, Sakuya and I sat across from each other.
Her maid outfit would sometimes attract curious glances, but Sakuya paid them no mind, her posture straight and proper.
A cheerful waitress soon came to take our order and then laid fruit juice topped with lemon slices in front of us.
“Sorry you had to come all the way here, Sakuya.”
“Not a problem, my Lord. I am sure you have had a more difficult time.”
Sakuya patiently waited for me to drink my fruit juice, then brought the glass to her lips.
The juice, made with freshly drawn well water, was pleasantly cool. The refreshing sourness was a balm under the tropical heat.
I waited for Sakuya to drink about half of her glass and take a breather, then started talking.
“So, how are things over at House Maxwell?”
After Grace caught me, I asked Sakuya to move on her own and investigate several things in my stead. One of them was the present condition of House Maxwell.
I hadn’t returned home yet after the whole commotion with the Baal Empire. I was naturally concerned with what was going on, especially considering the aftermath of the Fort Bryden battle.
“I contacted my brethren in the province, but there does not appear to be anything out of the ordinary going on. The matters related to the war are being dealt with, so your absence does not seem to be an issue at the moment, Lord Dyngir.”
“…is that so. Should I…be satisfied with that?”
I was honestly conflicted, as my reply reflected.
I was of course glad that the Maxwell domain was not in trouble, but if they could take care of themselves even without me, I felt like I was being treated as unnecessary — and I did not like that one bit.
“Well…the old man is still alive and kicking, and I’ve got excellent subordinates and vassals…yeah, let’s put it that way.”
“I have reported to His Excellency the Margrave about your Lady Mother’s kidnap…ahem, abduct…no…seizure…I can say that, yes? In any case, I was given this message to relay: “Make sure you listen to your mother”.”
“The old man is insane, after all…what makes him trust that shitty hag so much? Did she suck the soul out of him, or something?”
I grumbled, then downed the rest of my drink to cleanse my palate.
I asked a waitress nearby for one more glass, and then listened to the rest of Sakuya’s report.
“Next, regarding the Southern Archipelago…there seem to be suspicious movements recently.”
“Suspicious, huh…just the fact that that shitty hag resides in the area is suspicious enough, if you ask me…”
I poured the new glass of juice down my throat and shrugged.
“Actually, other than the pirate crew led by your Lady Mother…by Lady Grace, the White Demons, there is another pirate crew that is expanding its influence in the southern seas.”
“Really. What crew?”
“The Lion King crew. A Pirate crew supported by the Lion Kingdom, a country that sustains itself by raiding and pillaging the seas.”
I tapped my temple, leafing through my memories.
“I’ve heard that name before…weren’t they crushed by the shitty hag a long time ago?”
“Yes, 20 years ago their leader fell in battle, in a dispute with the White Demons. The crew too seemed to have disbanded at the time, but apparently, the former leader’s younger brother took over and the crew quietly survived.”
“So this half-dead, ghost of a crew made its grand revival at this time?”
That mother of mine would never have mercy on her enemies: the Lion King crew should have been crushed to bits. If they survived something like that, I had to give it to them.
“So, is their new leader worth much?”
“I have no information about the current leader. However, in the last few years the Lion King crew has been absorbing pirates unaffiliated with the White Demons, steadily growing its forces. Recently, several island countries have been invaded and taken over by them.”
“I see…now I know what’s going on…”
The Snakebone pirates, the crew I destroyed, probably belonged to the Lion King crew.
The old hag dragged me all the way to the southern seas in order to get me involved with this conflict among pirates.
“By the way, Lord Dyngir…I have questions too, if I may?”
“What exactly is that woman to you, Lord Dyngir?”
Sakuya looked towards Sue, who was touring the avenue’s street stalls, with the kids in tow. I let her go about freely, with Gourd as guide.
“She’s…my slave. For a limited time, at least.”
Sakuya narrowed her eyes and scowled slightly.
I looked at my maid’s unconvinced expression and cocked my head to the side.
“You’re jealous? How many women do I have already?”
“I am well aware of your womanizing habits, Lord Dyngir. Even so, every time you pick up a new woman without my knowledge, I cannot help but feel irritated.”
I wasn’t sure I understood her reasoning.
Unable to sustain Sakuya’s accusing gaze, I turned towards Sue.
Her first visit to a port town made her visibly excited: she was now munching on grilled squid, bought with the pocket money I gave her.
The squid was too big to fit in her mouth, so Sue was nibbling on it, like a squirrel. I couldn’t help but smile at such an adorable sight.
“…well, how long is she going to be with you, Lord Dyngir?”
“I promised to take her back to her homeland, you see. We’re going to the Garnet Kingdom.”
Sakuya opened her eyes wide.
The usually expressionless maid now clearly showed signs of surprise.
“…Lord Dyngir, I’m afraid that it is not possible to take her to the Garnet Kingdom at the moment.”
“…what do you mean by that?”
Sakuya’s grave expression gave me a terrible feeling.
I put back my glass on the table and urged her to continue.
“The Garnet Kingdom has been annihilated. At the hands of the Lion King crew.”