BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 22 (WN)

Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament

Part 22 – An Immature Strike

【POV : Marquis Saverne】

“Shit….! Useless, every last one of them!!”

I smashed my fists on the table and shouted.

In the afternoon, the semifinals of the royal martial tournament began, with my son — Benamis Saverne — facing Valon Sphinx.

The results were already out: my son was defeated.

Because of this, the authority of the Saverne style, once touted as strongest in the kingdom, was run into the ground. Our ambition to wrest power back from House Rosais vanished into dust.

My son failed. The subordinates I sent on assassinations and other plots targeting House Sphinx all failed as well. The Marquis House of Saverne had been defeated, utterly and completely.

“This is unacceptable…!! I can’t…House Saverne cannot be defeated like this…!!”

House Saverne holds the duty of righting the kingdom’s wrongs. It must support the weakening authority of the royal palace and provide a military strength superior to that of the Four Houses.

In order to achieve this, failure was not an option.

“Er…excuse me…”

“WHAT NOW!?”

“I-I brought your tea, milord…”

I glared at the maid that timidly entered the room and clenched my teeth. 

I wanted to release all my anger and frustration on her. I wanted to cut her down — I felt the urge grow stronger and stronger. My hand reached for the hilt of my sword. If I struck down a subordinate that was not responsible for any kind of mistake, however, the noble blade of the sword saint would become sullied.

To let emotions or tantrums take over was not worthy of the head of House Saverne. So I told myself, as I suppressed my raging emotions.

“Leave it and get out!”

“Y-Yes! I beg your pardon!”

The maid placed the teacup on the table and quickly left, like prey escaping the lion’s glare. Further irritated by such disrespectful behavior, I took a sip of the tea.

The aroma of quality leaves tickled my nostrils. Normally, such an exquisite aroma would please my senses, but at the moment, I was not in the mood to enjoy it.

I could barely taste it, but I gulped down the tea to kill time.

Eventually, I heard a knock on the door, and a man entered the room.

“I have returned, father.”

“…I commend the guts of showing yourself before me. Benamis.”

Seeing the face of my defeated son, my expression twisted in anger.

If possible, I would have cut down that useless imbecile then and there. However, he was still my only son: my irreplaceable heir.

I desperately held back the urge to kill and spoke.

“I heard you lost to the Sphinx boy…in other words, no one in this country sees House Saverne as the strongest anymore. How will you take responsibility?”

“Responsibility, father? To be frank, I would ask the very same question to you.”

“What did you….!?”

To my sheer surprise, Benamis replied by talking back to me.

I felt the anger surging within me almost pop a blood vessel, but I exerted self control like never before in my life, and kept myself from shouting.

“Do explain what you mean.”

“I suppose you have not heard the report yet…father, it appears that your subordinates abducted someone from House Sphinx.”

“….what about it? It doesn’t seem like a poor move.”

I had ordered my subordinates to remove Valon Sphinx from the tournament, but not specified exactly how they should act.

To abduct someone from House Sphinx and force Valon Sphinx to forfeit…for those imbeciles, it wasn’t a bad plan.

“The abduction itself apparently succeeded, but the hostage was easily rescued. The abducted woman was rescued…by Dyngir Maxwell.”

“Maxwell!?”

I couldn’t suppress my emotions anymore and shouted.

In my mind appeared the figure not of Dyngir Maxwell, but his father Dietrich.

17 years prior, I faced him in the royal martial tournament, and suffered dishonor at the hands of that despicable man.

The face of the man I loathed from the bottom of my heart thus emerged.

“House Maxwell stands in my way again…!? Those damned beasts…! Filthy countryside nobles without a shred of loyalty to the royal family!! How dare they obstruct our path to glory!!”

“Setting aside your circumstances with the current Margrave Maxwell, father…the major issue here is that House Maxwell knows that the abduction was planned by House Saverne.”

Unfazed by my show of anger, Benamis continued calmly.

“House Maxwell will surely regard us as an enemy, and it is only a matter of time until House Sphinx does the same. Not as a potential rival, but as an enemy to actively remove.”

“…what about it? If they ever dare act against us, we simply have to destroy them first!”

“…that might be your answer, father…but for us, this is nothing but a nuisance.”

Benamis shrugged.

“What good would it bring us if we were to die, as martyrs of pride and glory? Even if House Saverne is annihilated by the Four Houses, nothing would change in the kingdom.”

“Don’t talk as if you know anything, boy!! How dare a useless imbecile even speak of the pride of our…”

While speaking, I was suddenly struck by some sort of vertigo.

It felt like the floor began to spin: I couldn’t stand on my feet anymore. I slumped down on the floor like that, and heard my son’s voice from behind my back.

“Since it came to this, someone has to take responsibility. In order to appease the two Margrave houses, we have to prepare a gift. In other words…proper punishment to maintain morale, as you would say, father.”

“Ben…amis…”

“I allowed myself to add a little something to your tea. How did your last sip taste?”

“Yo…u…you…”

Despite being barely able to speak, I managed to look up at my son’s face. However, I could not find any emotion in his expression.

Benamis had his usual calm smile, as he held his sword over me.

“Please die, for the sake of our house. It is quite an ideal ending for you, is it not, father? As your son, I am honored to be a witness.”

“Gah…”

Without any hesitation, Benamis swung his blade down on my neck. Ironically enough, it was a rather skilled strike, for an immature swordsman like him.


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