Volume 6 Chapter 1 Part 1
Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
The king is dead.
After defeating Cardinal Georgis and destroying the system that oppressed those with inferior classes, we received shocking news.
The king is dead.
It was clearly unnatural. Something was off about it. People eventually die. Kings are no exception. However, if it happened right after Cardinal Georgis was overthrown and the political situation in the country had changed dramatically, it made you wonder if it was really a normal death.
In fact, it would be more likely that it wasn’t.
“Do we know the cause of death?” Marquis Maiar asked the messenger who brought the news.
Perhaps he had the same suspicions as I did. The cause of death could determine whether the death was natural or not.
“I’m told that he died of an illness!”
“Hmm. As far as I know, His Majesty had no chronic illnesses.”
There seemed to be a high chance that the king was killed. It was entirely possible that the Garden of Despair had begun acting without a care in the world now that their cover, Cardinal Georgis, had been defeated. But then again, it was too early to jump to conclusions.
For now, we should consider a number of possibilities before making a move. If we made rash decisions, we might commit fatal mistakes once something unexpected happened.
“Who will be the next king?”
“The Crown Prince has ascended to the throne.”
Hmm. I would have considered it a conspiracy if even the crown prince was dead, but he seemed to be safe.
Everyone knew that if the king died, the crown prince would be the next king. We can’t rule the possibility that the prince has been turned into a puppet, brainwashed, or even replaced by an impostor.
The new king’s movements will have to be carefully watched. However, Marquis Maiar and Count Meigis are just nobles, and I am but a mere commoner, so I can’t really take any effective strategy against the king himself.
“Has there been any movement from the new king?”
“Actually… He ordered the rewards for Count Meigis and Eld to be put on hold. That is, the domain, funds, and the Count’s promotion to Marquis as well.”
“That’s rather fast.”
The new king’s declaration itself is understandable. If the king was replaced, the political situation in the country would change, and it meant that Cardinal Georgis’ territory that was supposed to be given to Count Meigis might have to be handed over to someone else, someone from the new king’s faction, for example.
It’s not strange for there to be factions in the royal family, and if there was a large domain whose owner had just perished, I can understand why they would want to use it for their own agenda.
However, taking all that into consideration, it’s still a rather bold move. The late king attempted to hand over Cardinal Georgis’ domain to Count Meigis in order to win him over. Cancelling it is like saying “I don’t want you.” This is all too blatant a move for even the Garden of Despair, if we assume that they’re manipulating the new king.
The timing is also strange. Normally, once a king died, they would have their hands full with dealing with the aftermath and would not have time to think about the issue of territorial distribution. It’s only natural that the procedure for granting the domain will be postponed. It wouldn’t be a problem to announce the cancellation at a later time either. This would make it a little less unusual.
So the fact that the king announced it now meant there had to be a reason behind it.
“What does he mean by put on hold? What happens afterwards?”
“His Majesty said that he would like to consider this reward together. He will send a messenger at a later time to discuss the details.”
A king wouldn’t normally give an order to nobles this way. He would usually attach some kind of condition. If he doesn’t want to hand over the domain, he can just say so from the start. He’s the ruler after all. He has that much power.
If he’s not doing that, then there has to be a reason behind it. Things are really getting interesting.
Several days later. As promised, the king’s emissary arrived.
“Hmm, so it’s come to this,” I muttered as I studied the letter that the messenger brought with him.
The letter says to come to the royal palace to discuss the reward. Me and Count Meigis only.
Of course, it doesn’t exactly say to come alone, so we will have guards accompany us, but we can’t enter the royal palace with guards, and we’ll be the only two people attending the negotiations.
If the people backing the new king wanted to dispose of us, there’d be no better opportunity than this. They could fill all four sides of the waiting room with explosives and detonate them as we entered, killing us both easily.
If they didn’t want to destroy the palace, they would have to find another way, but in any case, it shouldn’t be difficult. After all, they have many days to prepare, and it’s guaranteed that we’ll go there anyway.
“This letter is fake,” Marquis Maiar said as he regarded the letter. “It’s most likely the prince himself who wrote it, but not on his own volition at the very least.”
Anyone can assume that the letter is fake, but the Marquis seems to be sure about it.
“How do you know that?”
“Me and the prince had considered the possibility of this happening. That is, the king being murdered and the prince turned into a puppet ruler. So His Highness came up with a way to transmit information about himself.”
Marquis Maiar pointed at the signature at the end of the letter. It looked like a completely ordinary signature, but there seemed to be some hidden info there.
“The Crown Prince said that after his accession, he would convey his situation by the direction of the signature. If it’s going down to the right side, there’s no problem, but if it’s rising, then it means he’s being forced to sign by someone.”
“I see. It’s certainly hard to get noticed.”
A person who would lock up the Crown Prince and make him write a letter for himself would naturally monitor the letter closely to see if it contained any marks for help or anything else. Simple methods such as writing a mark somewhere on the letter would be more likely to be noticed.