Volume 1 Chapter 5 Part 2
Siluca was prepared for something like that to happen, and so she made Aishela promise that she would not start acting violently if anything did happen to her. She also told Irvin that if she died, she wanted him to find a new master whom he could serve.
With her tragic determination, Siluca entered the Earl of Artuk’s castle. Irvin and Aishela had to wait in the carriage, since Siluca decided to carry out the negotiations alone.
The one who greeted Siluca was Margret, the Mage who was currently contracted with the Earl of Artuk. As for the Earl himself, Siluca could not see him anywhere.
「The Earl wanted me to tell you that he has no intention of meeting with you right now.」
Margaret said quietly when she noticed that Siluca was looking at her questioningly. Then, in a sudden turn, her tone became intense,
「You made a definite mistake in the order of negotiations!」
She continued. Siluca recalled that when she was enrolled at the Magic University, she earned herself a nickname of 「Hellfire Margaret」. She is a Shaman hailing from one of the frontier tribes of Fire Worshippers. Shamans are the type of Mages who create a system of magic based on their own unique view of nature. The Mages Association was first established by gathering the most talented Shamans from all over the continent.
Most of the Shamans have nothing to do with the Mages Association, but Margaret’s frontier tribe had contacts with the Magician’s Association. She entered the Magic University directly as an exchange student. Therefore, she does not belong to any clan or family. Her name is simply Margaret.
Despite having no prior education at the Magic Academy, she was nothing short of a natural-born genius
She’s particularly good at elemental magic, and Siluca heard that she was even able to master the ultimate fire elemental magic. Originally, she was supposed to return to her hometown and become a Mage for her tribe, however, she caught the attention of the Earl of Artuk and was made to make a contract with him, so her circumstances were not much different from those of Siluca, but she accepted her fate and became the Head Mage of The Earl of Artuk instead.
She will soon be twenty-five years old, which means that the time for her to end her contract with the Earl is nearing ever closer. Maybe Siluca was chosen by the Earl to become her replacement?
「You went to Waldrind and offered to join the Factory Alliance, didn’t you?」
Margaret threw those words violently against Siluca.
There was no use denying it now, so Siluca nodded.
「Originally, you were supposed to make a contract with the Earl of Artuk. You broke that promise and served a wandering Lord, causing war in this region. I doubt that was what your Lord intended to do, right? 」
「I made a proposal to Lord Theo…」
「Did you not learn at Magic University that a Mage should be nothing more than an adviser to their Lord?」
「I have heard this more than a hundred times from Headmaster Sembros.」
It was not a joke. He was telling that to Siluca practically every time when the two of them were meeting.
「If you were hearing that more than a hundred times and still were unable to implement that rule in practice, then that means that you are nothing more than a hopeless fool. And since you are a hopeless fool, then you have no choice but to accept the punishment for your foolishness without complaints. 」
「I am prepared for that. I don’t care what happens to me now. However, I want to save my Lord, Theo Cornero. 」
「Whatever happens to your monarch, I do not care about it. I think that the only suitable punishment for what you did would be for you to be burned at the stake. If possible, I could even burn you to cinders right here and now. 」
「If it’s Margret-senpai, it seems like I will turn it into beautiful ashes, at the very least.」
「It is a pity that nothing like that will be happening, because I will roast you slowly over low heat.」
It was one of the most painful ways to die imaginable, Siluca thought to herself. However, such a punishment may be the most suitable one for her for what she did.
「I can’t forgive you because you publicly embarrassed the Earl like that . On top of that, if you had joined forces with the Factory Alliance, you would have plotted to destroy the Earl, next, am I right? 」
「If it was a condition needed for the Factory Alliance to achieve absolute victory.」
「Then how dare you show up here even though that plan of yours failed?!」
「Because since the best plan failed, we had no choice but to take the next best plan…」
Siluca imitated her adoptive father’s mannerisms and responded with an indifferent tone of voice.
「As things stand now, my Lord has no chances of winning. If Lord Theo is defeated and all the other Lords of Selvis are subordinated to Waldrind, the surrounding allied nations will have no choice but to follow suit, and the entire Factory Alliance will become united under the banner of the Kraische family. If that happens, there is no way that Fantasia Union, being divided and uncooperative as it is, will be able to stand up to them, and there is no doubt in my mind that Artuk is going to be the first target against which they are going to strike. 」
「That’s what we’ve known and anticipated ever since 「The Tragedy of the Grand Cathedral」.」
Margret raises her head and directs a burning gaze at Siluca.
「However, if Lord Theo survives, Kraische family’s unification of the Factory Alliance is going to be delayed. And if that happens and we take advantage of this opportunity to conquer their allied nations in this region and connect these territories to Ismeia in the west, then it will be Waldrind those who rule it who are going to be in trouble. 」
Siluca raised a point.
「Are you trying to say that helping your Lord is going to help the Earl in turn?」
Siluca narrowed her eyes until they were no wider than the pieces of thread.
「I am saying that otherwise, the Earl is going to perish.」
「Insolent brat! Are you trying to threaten the Earl in his own castle?!」
「I am not trying to threaten anyone. I am merely sharing a speculation of mine. 」
「Artuk will not lose so easily to anyone. The Factory Alliance has tried to attack this country many times, even before we inherited it from our predecessors, and every time they were forced to withdraw without achieving their goals. It is a mixture of forests and lakes, the villages are well fortified, and if there will ever be a need for it, its people are also going to take up arms in order to protect the safety of their homeland. We also have many witches and superhumans, such as the immortal Werewolf Queen. Above all, our ruler, Lord Villar, is the descendant of the Iron-Blooded Earl Jürgen Kraische and a master of the art of warfare. He was the one who took the lead during the conquest of Regalia. 」
「No way, the Lustful…」
Siluca began to speak, but swallowed her words immediately.
「I know what Lord Villar is called at the Magic University. I used to call him with that nickname myself as well. However, what I learned when I came here was that since ancient times, Artuk has had a thriving witch faith, and the belief that magic is something that women are supposed to use. So, in order to make it easier for the people of his territories to understand him, it was decided that the Earl would contract only with female Mages. He chooses young ladies and cancels the contracts at the age of twenty-five because he is considerate of our lives, because he thinks that not being able to get married or have children for the rest of our lives would be such a waste. In fact, many magicians end their lives unmarried without having children because they are too busy serving their Lords all the time. 」
「Because we don’t even have time to be in love. It seems that sometimes the Lords with whom we have contracts can get in the way of that. 」
Since he was called the Lustful Earl, Siluca believed that if she made a contract with him, he would surely do the same thing with her.
「I understand what you are trying to say, but that is not the case with Lord Villar. The Earl has his own ideals for marriage. He is kind to every woman, but he is not forcing them to do anything against their will. 」
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