389 – As Expected, You Two Really are Siblings!
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“It looks like…… I don’t have to explain much about myself huh?”
“Yeah. We even have a passionate fan right he- Gufuu!?”
Elma’s elbow strike with record-breaking speed cleanly landed on my ribs. It hurts so much that it ain’t even funny. My ribs weren’t cracked, were they?
“Oh, I’m not exactly clear on the details, but I’m aware of just what kind of position you were in before. Mimi is too. But Mimi only found out about it when we came to the imperial capital.”
Mimi was looking at her grandmother, Serestia, with a complicated gaze.
“I remember now. I met you only once when I was little. I think you said you were my distantly related aunt back then.”
“As you can see, my physical appearance doesn’t really match my actual age. That’s why I introduced myself as your aunt when you were a kid, Mimi. I also didn’t wanna meddle too much in Fort’s life.”
Fort should be the name of Mimi’s father. Mimi sometimes talks about her past, and I remember hearing her dad’s name at one point.
Eh? When exactly was this? Of course, it was during one of our pillow talks in bed. We sometimes share our pasts with one another during those times.
“I think what we’re gonna talk about from here on out will be private matters. Will it be okay to talk about such topics here?”
“I’m gonna be leaving the empire again anyway, so I don’t particularly care. Well, it might cause you guys some inconvenience though…… How about going to your room?”
“There won’t be any problems there, I think. But……”
The problem was what to do with the Igasek and Kouga Service guys who were currently keeping one another in check, and whether or not it was really okay to invite people who weren’t the hotel’s guests to our room in the first place.
“Mei, can you check with the front desk?”
After instructing Mei, I called Igasek’s Ohta over.
“Just as you heard, we would like to talk in private.”
“We won’t take responsibility for anything that happens while we’re unable to provide adequate security.”
“I don’t have any intention of blaming you guys if that happens, so don’t worry. They don’t seem to be that hostile anyway…… Though we still can’t afford to let our guards down around them.”
I still don’t get why Serestia-san was hostile toward me in the first place. However, if the presence of others will get in the way of our discussion, I have no choice but to enter the tiger’s den.
Well, it looks like only Serestia is adept in close combat among the three. Mei and Elma will also be present anyway, so we can probably deal with it if things turn out violent.
It took a while, but we were able to get consent from both security companies and the hotel, so we left the security service personnel of both firms in the lounge and headed to our room with Serestia-san and company in tow.
“Hm. It isn’t so different from a room in a noble’s mansion.”
“I-Is this really okay? I-It looks really expensive……”
“Man, it sure is a nice room. I also wanna stay inside a room like this with a beautiful girl someday.”
As soon as we got off the elevator, Serestia-san and her crew members immediately gave their impressions regarding our room. Serestia-san and her crew members somehow all gave the impression of being closer to commoners. Was that her policy?
“Just go ahead and make yourselves comfortable. Mei, please prepare some drinks.”
We all sat down on the sofa and chairs in the living room and started our talk soon after.
“So, where were we again?”
“We only just found out that the mysterious watcher was actually Mimi’s grandmother.”
“Oh, right. So, the reason why she kept asking about my background is probably that. She suspected me of approaching Mimi because I was eyeing her bloodline or something like that.”
In order to talk about Mimi’s ancestry, we have to first talk about her grandmother, Serestia…… But things really weren’t that complicated. Mimi’s grandmother, Serestia, was a tomboy who ran away from the Graccan empire royal family in the past, and her older brother was actually the current ruling emperor.
She’s the little sister of that damn emperor, and Mimi was her granddaughter. In other words, Mimi was actually the emperor’s grandniece. This means Mimi is able to barely call herself a direct blood relative of the Graccan empire’s royal family.
“I see…… I’ve also seen Her Highness Princess Luciada in holo-vids, but she does certainly resemble Mimi-kun. There were even some rumors regarding her being the illegitimate child of His Imperial Majesty. So this is actually what’s going on huh?”
First, we shared information in order to get Dr. Shouko, who was our newest member, up to speed. Grandma Serestia didn’t deny anything in particular, so the accuracy of our info should be quite high. Or rather, they should be all but confirmed. Well, we’ve already confirmed Mimi’s case when she took that genome analysis in the imperial capital though.
“So, let’s get back on topic. Why did you emit such vicious killing intent toward me last time? It was as if you were gonna kill me no matter what.”
“When I came to see how Fort and his family were doing for the first time in three years, I suddenly found out that he and my daughter-in-law died in an accident. Mimi had gone missing. When I gathered more info, I found out that Mimi was actually brought away by a shady mercenary, and to top it all off, that mercenary made some waves in the imperial capital. I thought you were trash who used Mimi in order to get close to the emperor.”
“……Well, info about me should be lacking even if you directly inquired with the Mercenary Guild. And it’s not like I’m a saint or anything myself.”
I suppose it did make sense that she came to such a conclusion. It’s kinda irritating to be thought of as a bastard who took Mimi in for my own gain, but the truth of the matter is only known by those of us who were directly involved after all. Moreover, no matter how they investigated my origins, they should have found nothing about me from before I appeared in the Termaine system. From Grandma Serestia’s point of view, someone who was in a position powerful enough to erase such traces – In other words, a high-ranking imperial noble who possibly was under the influence of the emperor – conspired to murder Mimi’s parents and banished Mimi out to the streets. That’s why I can’t exactly blame her for thinking I took in Mimi with a shady goal in mind.
“Also, I was simply too irritated. A damn bastard laid his hands on Fort and Maina, and even made Mimi cry, but that bastard was already dealt with before I even got my hands on him. I had no one else to vent all my anger but you.”
“So that ended up leading to all this fuss huh? Gimme a break……”
Maina was the name of Mimi’s mother. Fort-san, Mimi’s father, was the biological son of Granny Serestia.
“You’re way too sensitive to danger. Normally, one wouldn’t notice any killing intent at that distance.”
“So you’re saying it’s my fault……?”
I made a dumbfounded expression, and Mimi suddenly opened her mouth to speak.
“Um…… Serestia– sama.”
“What is it? It feels weird to be called ‘sama’ by my own granddaughter.”
“Uh, yes. Um…… Why?”
Confusion, anxiety, and a little anger. Mimi directed a gaze at Grandma Serestia filled with such complex emotions as she asked ‘Why?’
“Why, huh? In a nutshell, Fort was already a full-fledged man with his own life to live, and I merely respected that. That’s it. It’s just that Fort wasn’t so lucky. That goes for Maina, and you as well.”
“He wasn’t so lucky huh……?”
“Right. He was just unlucky. I was unlucky too. If I had gone to that colony before Fort and Maina died…… No, even if I only made it there right after they died, then you wouldn’t have had to experience such grief. Unfortunately, I was thousands of light years away back then, between the borders of three countries. It was only a month ago that I received news of your parents’ deaths.”
After saying so, Grandma Serestia shrugged her shoulders. The fact that obituaries were delivered even if the recipient was located so far away means that there is a system in place for getting in touch with those related whenever such incidents happen. Due to her circumstances, granny can’t openly work within the empire, and Mimi’s father Fort-san must have left his mother’s protection due to his own reasons and settled down in the Termaine Prime colony…… Based on that, Grandma Serestia saying they were all just unlucky was actually somewhat on point.
“That’s how it is. That’s just how the world works, dear. Unfortunately. In instances like this, there ain’t a lot that those who were left behind can do. Other than finishing things off and making those responsible pay, there’s really nothing much one can do.”
“Finishing things off and making them pay.”
“Finishing things off means accepting the burden of those who have left. Making them pay means taking revenge.”
“Wow. Things sure took a violent turn there, granny.”
Grandma glared at me after I teased her. I wasn’t really that scared, but her glare sure had quite the impact.
“In any case, it looks like His Imperial Majesty has already put those responsible out of their miseries. It looks like a strict purge was enforced before we even managed to set foot in the Termaine Prime colony. Including the bastard who laid his filthy hands on Fort and Maina, it looks like quite a few government officials and the like were sent to prison colonies and punished accordingly. It seems that the baron who was entrusted with ruling that star system at the behest of the earl in charge of the entire area was also punished severely and was deposed from the lord’s seat. As a result, the public order and safety of that colony seem to have improved considerably.”
“……But ain’t that an abuse of authority?”
“It was done at the emperor’s will after all. No one would be able to afford to raise any complaint.”
Granny shrugged her shoulders again. Well, that makes sense, I suppose. Nothing would come out of it if there really was nothing wrong in the first place. But since a lot of folks were sent to prison and punished, then it means illegal stuff really was occurring behind the scenes.
Actually, that slum-like place – the third block, I believe? – had little to no public order. A lot of people in that colony lacked proper jobs and were just scraping by. So the dismissal and reshuffling of those in charge of that place did make a lot of sense. That place was practically located in one of the empire’s borders after all.
“So after confirming that, we set up a surveillance net in this colony, and then you guys showed up.”
“And then, just after the emperor made his move, leaving Boss with no way to lower her raised fist, Hiro-san appeared flirting with her granddaughter without a care.”
“Ain’t that just venting her anger on someone unrelated!?”
“Like I said, I was really irritated back then, okay? I’m satisfied that I got to see some of your skills though.”
The old hag displayed a teasing grin and gracefully sipped the tea Mei had prepared.
This damn old hag really is the little sister of that damn emperor!