Chapter 565-2: Inner Palace Turmoil Part 1
「……you are in a good mood, mother-in-law.」
When I arrive at Lucy’s room, I hear Nonna’s voice for some reason.
「Yes. It is a nice night……umm, Nonna-san was it? I remember.」
I sneakily peek in the room and see Nonna squaring off against Lucy.
Her determination is shown in the two maids accompanying her on either side and her formal dress.
「Legal wife Nonna! Nonna is the legal wife, mother-in-law!」
The exchange makes it seem like bullying of the wife, but Lucy probably doesn’t have any ill will.
It’s not that she can’t stand Nonna.
She is the same as Brynhildr and just doesn’t have any particular interest in humans outside of those she is close with.
「I’m sorry. I only have a faint impression of humans who are not Aegir……because your behavior was interesting, I somewhat remembered you.」
It appears to me that Lucy is trying to lighten the atmosphere, but Nonna doesn’t see it that way.
She misunderstands that as teasing and her face turns bright red.
「Ahem, let’s cut to the chase, mother-in-law! I don’t know what makes you a mother at that age, but I’m sure you’re having fun with that so let’s set it aside!!」
「Fufu, well it’s for sex.」
Nonna turns redder, if that’s even possible, but her words have more of an effect on me.
My dick is swelling and about to poke its head through the gap in the door.
「A-anyways, if you’re Aegir-sama’s mother, then as the legal wife, you are also my mother. I will also respect and honor you! I won’t speak rudely either! That’s why――」
“I want you to take a step back and watch over us. Don’t influence the life between husband and wife.”
That’s likely what Nonna wanted to say, but Lucy put a hand on her cheek before she could get the words out.
「I don’t remember becoming your mother, human.」
Lucy’s eyes become as sharp as a razor and her face turns emotionless like a block of ice.
I get ready to step in, putting weight in my back leg.
But Lucy’s expression softened before Nonna’s legs could give out.
「Although it was you girls who nurtured Aegir’s heart.」
Lucy releases Nonna and reaches below the window frame.
Carla is grabbed by the collar and pulled into the room.
Lucy’s grip doesn’t budge no matter how much Carla struggles.
「Aegir is very different from the time we parted. In a good way of course.」
Lucy opens the wardrobe and extracts Celia who skillfully squeezed herself in the space.
She must have grabbed her perfectly on the joint since the curled-up Celia rolls out like a toy.
「You were saved by Aegir, right? You can’t live without him? Isn’t that why you challenged me despite your trembling legs?」
Lucy casually leaps up to the ceiling, and drags Casie down from the roof.
（Why can you see me!? How can you grab me!? Hiiiin!）
Maybe because she’s a ghost, Casie is thrown roughly to the floor and disfigures into a weird shape after landing head-first.
With everyone who was hiding to protect Nonna pulled out, Nonna becomes totally frightened.
「I’m sorry to say that I haven’t developed any interest in you girls yet.」
Lucy moves slowly, but fast enough that my eyes are barely able to keep up, and opens the closet.
Her eyebrows furrow when Irijina is discovered, then she proceeds to close the closet before standing in front of Nonna again.
「However you girls have changed this perverted and needy boy into a man. And I am quite interested about that. That’s why I want you girls to tell me your story. The path you walked with him, and what changed him.」
The need for me to jump in disappeared.
I did promise to meet, but the correct thing to do here is to be several hours late, and so I distance myself from the door.
「Is the farce over?」
I’m forbidden to be late.
Crushing the atmosphere which was going to end peacefully was a less-than-pleased Brynhildr.
「I see this girl around Aegir sometimes――fugya!」
Carla is sent flying to the bed.
「Ah, I’m sorry. I forgot that I also called Brynhildr.」
Brynhildr snatches a vase from the mini table and hurls it.
This is an act which may frequently occur when sibling fights, even between humans, escalate.
But the one happening before my eyes is on a different level.
The vase, which Celia instinctively ducks, flies past with wind strong enough to cause her hair to flutter and leaves afterimages behind as it grazes Lucy’s face and crashes straight into the wall made of stone.
The sound of impact was closer to that of a cannon ball landing than porcelain shattering.
「There you go again, breaking things. Try growing up a little……why don’t you?」
「It’s your fault!」
Brynhildr charges forward in a blur, utilizing her small stature to aim a punch at Lucy’s face from below.
But her fist is easily caught and stopped, the shockwave created from the contact of hands knocking nearby small articles to the floor.
Nonna hides behind her attendants, Maruru and Sally.
A gust of wind blows their skirts up, revealing Sally’s black lace underwear and Maruru’s……hey now.
「You’re always so quick to resort to violence that big sis is sad we don’t get to argue.」
「Don’t call yourself my sis――」
Distracted by the verbal taunt, Brynhildr’s legs are swept from under her and Lucy lands a punch on her unbalanced torso.
Her tiny body is flung like it was fired from a catapult right into the chandelier hanging from the ceiling, which pierces her and draws blood.
「She killed her sister!?」
「Aegir-samaaaaa!! She’s a murderer!!」
Carla shouts in horror at the scene in which it’s hard to believe Brynhildr can possibly be alive, and Nonna lets out a shrill scream.
I even hear auditory hallucinations of strange voices coming from all over the room.
Of course, Brynhildr isn’t dead.
She bares her fangs and growls, pulling herself off the chandelier and then letting herself fall toward Lucy for a retaliation strike to the head.
Glass shards and blood of an unknown owner sprays out.
It was at this point where I finally decided it was time to interfere, then it happened.
「Enough! This is Aegir-sama’s royal palace! Everyone, get them!!」
Celia yells, prompting the ignored Irijina to burst out from the closet.
In her hands are the aforementioned wild garlic.
Tons of garlic rain down on the jostling duo.
Both of them instantly jump away, and Brynhildr directs tremendous bloodlust toward Irijina.
「How dare this gargantuan woman look down on me.」
Brynhildr bares her claws, ready to pounce on Irijina, but stops at the last second.
「Wahahaha!! I knew it, you don’t like garlic!!」
Irijina’s mouth is moving.
She’s chewing the crunchy raw garlic.
The pungent odor can even be smelled from the other side of the door.
Brynhildr takes a few steps back, not wanting to get close.
「Don’t order me, cheeky brat.」
Sekrit jumps in nimbly from the window.
She must have used Carla, who was caught in the beginning, as a decoy.
「Attacking with garlic is the height of stupidity, but there’s no choice when the opponent is a monster.」
A small bottle was thrown precisely at Lucy with seemingly lethal momentum.
Nevertheless, to her it was probably as slow as a snail and easy for her to deflect.
「Geez……I’m sure there’s garlic inside, right? Better change the room then.」
Lucy evades with the slightest of movements like the attack was predicted.
The bottle hits the wall and smashes apart, but no smell emitted from the contents.
It was only water.
「Your movements are extremely quick, but you’re an amateur.」
The last bottle hits the ceiling and breaks above Lucy’s head.
It was thrown up while being disguised as a misfire.
Raining down from the bottle was……as anticipated mashed garlic.
Lucy, bathed in the garlic, crouches down and covers her face.
Celia used the same tactic and similarly hurled garlic paste at Brynhildr.
Brynhildr hunches over and falls to the floor on her knees.
Celia and Sekrit high-five each other, while Irijina stuffs her face with the remaining garlic in both hands.
Looking back, Celia was there to listen to Lucy and I, so she knows the true identity of the vampires.
She must have thought that it wasn’t appropriate to point a silver blade at someone I declared as my mother, and decided to use the safer garlic instead.
At this time, I stepped into the room before the three of them got turned into mincemeat.
Then someone blows a high-pitched whistle with their fingers.
Suddenly, the carpet bulges and men barge into the room from the floor.
There are three of them, who seem to have come from a secret tunnel in the floor that I caught a glimpse of.
A hidden passage……one that I don’t know.
Celia reacts instantly except she isn’t carrying a weapon.
I fumble around my waist too, however my Dual Crater has been entrusted to Flantica for cleaning.
Nonna shrieks, prompting her attendants to keep her low to the ground and shield her with their bodies.
Carla and Celia also position themselves in front of the panicking Nonna.
「Don’t mistake the target.」
The men act in that split second.
One stands in front of me, the other two brandish swords at the dazed Lucy and Brynhildr.
As I lean my body forward to put myself in the path of the blade pointed at Lucy, the man who appears to be the leader steps forth.
「Calm down, Your Majesty. With your martial prowess, you can bury the three of us even unarmed. But we are not good-for-nothings, and we can kill your mother and her sister before losing our lives.」
Lucy won’t die if her throat is slit.
Still, I can’t choose an option that will bring harm to her.
I relax my stance.
「What’s your goal?」
「We want Your Majesty to stand down.」
I see, simple enough.
Not wanting to say anything more beyond what’s necessary, the man slowly backs up toward the window.
「I will borrow your mother. If you value her life――」
He could not complete his sentence.
「Every last one of you…」
To have a sword pointed at her on top of losing to Lucy and getting garlic poured on her head, Brynhildr seems to have reached her limit.
「How dare mere servants……mere humans……monsters like you-!」
「Calm down. You are also a monster.」
Lucy’s interjection hits a nerve and Brynhildr angrily grabs the man pointing the sword at her by the collar.
She threw him――no, it was closer to launching.
The man crashed against the window frame, his half-destroyed body sent flying with pieces of broken wood and stone debris.
「Gosh, I can’t stay in this room now. Such a shame, so much furniture was placed in here too.」
Lucy comments unhappily, appearing composed but probably quite indignant.
The man sticks his sword into the side of her torso.
Lucy exclaims as blood flows.
Nonna lets out an ear-piercing scream.
I know she won’t die.
Her injury will also be healed in about ten seconds.
But what man can stay calm when the most beloved woman, his mother, is stabbed in front of him.
My vision dyes red as anger takes over my entire being.
Nonna tosses a glass.
Her aim is nowhere close, but the shattering of the glass is enough to draw the assailants’ attention.
Carla utilizes that opening to act.
However, her opponent is an assailant who was able to sneak into the palace, and react to Carla immediately by pointing his swords at her.
That opening becomes an opening itself though.
Sekrit kicks up her leg, knocking the blade out of the man’s hand.
Unfortunately, Sekrit is also unarmed and can’t kill the enemy in a single strike.
The man retrieves another knife from his waist and turns to Sekrit.
I grab the shoulders of that man.
Lucy stands up, the knife still stabbed in her side.
Seeing her pull the blade out like a splinter, the two assailants freeze.
「Calm down. She is a monster who won’t die from just being stabbed――」
Sekrit’s words don’t register.
I pull the man’s shoulders in opposite directions, grab his head, and twist it around three times.
The final man, the leader, throws his sword at me.
If I dodge, the trajectory is in line to hit Lucy.
The blade flies straight at my face.
Well, that saves me the trouble of having to block.
Vibrations spread through my mouth as I catch the sword in my teeth, and bite down, cracking the blade.
「……h-he’s a monster……so err-」
The assailant charges at Celia, ignoring her feeble remark.
「It stands out, but I don’t have a choice!」
The man takes out a wooden tube from the inside of his shirt and throws it.
「An explosive! Don’t touch it!!」
But if I dodge, shards will fly everywhere and the enemy will flee in the smoke.
I can’t let the person who injured Lucy escape unscathed.
I scoop the tube that fell at my feet into my tunic.
「What are you, stupid!?」
Sekrit’s voice overlaps with the assailant’s.
An impact shoots down through my abdomen with a boom, shaking my internal organs and making my ears ring.
But that’s it.
My abs endured the explosion and my stomach wasn’t torn open. My arms and legs aren’t broken either.
Smoke rises when I open up my shirt, but it’s not enough to provide a smokescreen cover.
I can still see the assailant.
I thrust my arm into the dumbfounded man’s torso with all my might.
My arm tears through the thin spy clothes, and punctures his skin, going into his stomach until my arm is halfway embedded.
He coughs out blood from the punch, and I plunge my hand deeper until I find his spine and snap it from the inside of his body.
The man leans back like he is straightening his body, but as he literally lost his backbone, he continues leaning back until his body breaks in two.
I feel like Sekrit said that to me, but that’s not important right now.
I pull out my blood-covered hand and leap toward the door.
A needle shoots out of the bamboo tube protruding through the gap in the door. It’s a blowpipe.
I repel the needle with the bone in the back of my hand, crush the tube, and drag out the woman who blew it by the hair.
「Flantica, it’s you?」
「Y-your Majesty……this isn’t what it looks like!」
I close both my hands around her throat as she tries to construct an excuse.