BBYW Vol. 3 Chapter 33 (WN)
Chapter 33 – The Man who Fled and the Insolent Messenger
In a small town located to the north of Brutos…
The governor put in charge of the port town of Brutos, who had abandoned the city out of fear of the pirates’ attack — a man named Baraquemo Lant — was positively delighted by the good news.
“Ooh! Really, is that so! The pirates’ attack has been successfully thwarted?”
“Yes, all the pirates who landed were either beaten back or captured. The rest fled back to the seas.”
Governor Lant gleefully slapped his knees and stood up with eager momentum.
As soon as he learned that the pirates had started attacking, Baraquemo had used his relatives’ connections to take refuge in this city.
He then fervently sent letters and bribes to the royal functionaries belonging to his faction, all for the sake of bearing as little responsibility as possible for the incident.
He was naturally aware that he would not be fully pardoned — bu,t now that Brutos’ security guards had prevailed against the pirates, everything had changed.
There was no responsibility for him to bear: on the contrary, he deserved praise and honor for the victory. Baraquemo felt that the goddess of fate was smiling at him.
“As expected of my security guards! Mettle as precious as the finest gold! I never doubted your victory!”
“We do not deserve such glorious words of praise, Milord, but I am sure everyone will be overjoyed to hear them.”
Baraquemo smiled widely, giddily smacking the shoulders of the man sent as messenger.
The latter, sporting a smile despite the rather painful smacking, was contemplating the hypocrisy of such praise from the man who had fled the town at the first signs of danger.
“I must hurry on my return to Brutos, then! Without the governor to take the lead, the town’s reconstruction cannot proceed!”
The governor, twiddling his curated mustache, nodded eagerly.
The port had suffered severe destruction, but after such an incident, the royal palace could not refuse to provide aid.
The reconstruction of the port and its facilities would require the employment of many craftsmen, as well as a great amount of supplies.
The governor, naturally, would have to decide which guild will be in charge of the works. A decision that, if made wisely, would result in personal “incentives” and “benefits” for the governor himself.
(As soon as news of this victory spread to the capital, my ascent in the ranks of court is assured! I should be grateful to those pirates, even!)
Baraquemo was picturing a rosy future, a blissful smile on his lips — completely unaware of the messenger’s cold gaze.
“With all due respect, Milord…there is no need for that.”
“Hmm…? Whatever do you mean?”
“There is no need for you to return to Brutos…that is what I mean.”
The messenger plainly rejected the governor’s plan, also pushing away the overly familiar hand on his shoulder.
“What…what is the meaning of this!?”
“Would you mind taking a look at this, Lord Governor?”
The messenger ignored Baraquemo’s protests and handed him a stack of papers.
The governor took them, suspicious, rolled open the parchments and looked through them.
“How…this cannot be!!”
Eventually, he shouted in disbelief, his eyes wide open.
The stack of papers was actually a letter of indictment: it accused Governor Lant of being in collusion with the Lion Kingdom and having staged the pirates’ attack on Brutos.
The letter even included confessions neatly signed by the pirates caught prisoner: the governor’s betrayal was described in extensive detail, page after page.
“Me, a traitor!? This is absolute nonsense!!”
“The names of the accusers are listed on the bottom. All of them.”
“W-What in the…”
The accusers were Maios Sephonne, chief of the Brutos merchant guild, other leaders of prominent trading companies, and lastly Glen Boyle, head of the mercenary guild.
“Hogwash!! I have no connection with any pirates!!”
“That might be true. However…these men are famous enough to be known in the capital, and they all claim you do. Do you think their word will be doubted?”
Baraquemo finally realized what the messenger was hinting at.
The whole town of Brutos was conspiring to accuse him of crimes he had never committed.
“Do not think you can get away with this!! Once the truth is found out, you will all be executed!!”
“Hahaha, that is troubling indeed. The leader of the merchant guild, the mercenary guild’s master, as well as many well-known traders…all executed. Will Brutos be able to function, I wonder? In any case, what will you do? Bring the matter to the courts?”
Baraquemo’s words choked in his throat.
If Brutos, half destroyed by pirates, had its leaders all sent away for judgment, the whole town risked becoming a lawless area.
Something like that would put Baraquemo’s own position at risk as well.
“I-I am supported by House Maynast of the royal capital!! I can make this letter disappear with a flick of my finger!!”
“Oh dear, that House Maynast? One of the two greatest influences in the royal court? That is terrifying indeed.”
The messenger spread his arms wide, dramatically, with affected surprise.
Though he realized the balance of power may have shifted, his behavior retained none of its former politeness.
The man’s clown-like mannerism irritated Baraquemo to no end.
“I am thoroughly terrified, so I will send this letter to House Asbart — the royal court’s famed clan, on par with House Maynast.”
The name uttered by the messenger left Baraquemo frozen where he stood.