Settling the Affairs of an Atrocious Noble - 19
Settling the Affairs of an Atrocious Noble
Thus, my relationship with Craig was completely reset. I was no longer observed by his probing eyes, and his over-familiar attitude had eased off. Even if anything had happened, our interactions were minimal. Now that we had placed the appropriate distance between us, I got to think again and thought he was pretty reckless.
It wasn’t an exaggeration if I said that he was risking his life to take up that kind of attitude with Heinreid, and yet, he put his life on the line because he was probably trying to help me. Apart from being someone on the protagonist’s (Sieg’s) side, he was a good person with a straightforward nature, and it just oozed out.
That was why I felt a strange sense of security and ended up exposing my true self. I had been too conceited in believing that I wouldn’t be absolved from the sins I committed anyway, so I always neglected to act my part of being a villain. My recent activities aside, I should’ve had at least acted like one. If I did, then he wouldn’t have wavered between hatred and justice for nothing.
For that reason, I felt very remorseful. Having that kind of half-hearted attitude would just hurt people instead. I had to stop depending on others and act as the villain.
I had abolished the order of letting Craig be in charge of waking me up. He accepted the decision with just the words, ‘As you wish’, and didn’t ask anything. I stopped asking Karl to have the roses changed for me. The most recent rose that was put on display had withered a few days ago, so there was no vase on my desk now. I also stopped going out to the garden. The view of it spread out to my window, so I was conscious of keeping it out of sight as much as possible.
I cut back on my relaxation time, which had taken a toll on my mental health. It might’ve been fortuitous, or it might’ve been not, but my sleep had become lighter in proportion. To be honest, my body complained, but I pretended not to know, partly because the situation was getting to the point where I could afford to be reckless.
Yes. Sieg had finally begun to overthrow the nation. According to Karl, the territory of a certain insignificant nobleman, who had been buttering up the royal family and taking advantage of its fruits, was said to have fallen, being taken by surprise by a mysterious army. At the same time, I also received a report that the Kisch family had been suspected to be among the rebels; but I only bluffed, saying ‘I see. Well, they must be punished.’ and left it at that.
At this point in time in the novel, Heinreid sends Elmer’s arm to the Kisch family and causes a stir, but Elmer had already been released from Prison Two for a long while now. It wasn’t as if I would do that to him had he stayed here, but I was glad I was able to crush the chance of that happening.
I was bracing myself for some kind of contact from Eberhardt due to the rebellion, but contrary to my expectations, not a single letter, let alone a visit, came at this point. I wondered if he was going to keep an eye on Heinreid, or if he had other ideas. Both made me feel uneasy, but it was convenient enough for me if he didn’t have anything to say. I just used the quintessence of the yutori generation1 where I ‘wouldn’t do it since I wasn’t told to’.
The ones who reacted to these events were the admirers of Heinreid in the estate.
I wasn’t trying to subdue the riots at all, so they grew impatient with me to the point that they even sent a representative soldier to talk to me directly.
‘What is going on, my lord?’ ‘We will purge the traitors as soon as you give the order.’ ‘Everyone is ready to go.’ ‘My lord.’ ‘Your orders, my lord.’
“Since you’re begging for it over and over again,” I asked. “You say everyone is ready. Who is this everyone, exactly?” The man who believed that the order to kill would finally be issued, made sure that the names he had enthusiastically listed matched those of Heinreid’s admirers in his memory. I gathered them together that day and threw them into Prison One.
Fools who rudely disagreed with their lord. The charges were just appropriate. The soldiers and the others whom I ordered Craig to capture, were screaming something desperately, but I had no intention of listening to them. Because they genuinely had a lot of crimes to answer for. I felt like it was the first time I had placed a legitimate criminal in that prison.
The original prisoners from Prison One were already gone, and I might as well use the prison space. Since it seems that these admirers of Heinreid would have started moving on their own, if they were left to their own devices.
After all, I didn’t have any intention of quelling the rebellion that had started. When Sieg and the others visited my territory, I purposely made contact with him and played the villain since it was a likely key event in the story. And, it was more peaceful if Heinreid doesn’t deviate from the original pointlessly.
In the novel, all the uproar caused by Heinreid afterwards were just unnecessary additions to the damage, and didn’t really cause Sieg to awaken to new powers or learn of Eberhardt’s weaknesses… To begin with, it wasn’t a story about magic, holy swords, angels, or demon kings. Eberhardt’s weakness? Just aim at his carotid artery.
The course of the rebellion accelerated without a hitch, due to the lack of interference from the great obstacle called Heinreid. All sorts of information came in every day. Some baron of somewhere had changed sides. The territory of the said baron had fallen. And, so on and so forth. I wondered if returning the hostages ahead of time before the war broke out helped, or if the lords of the Rodvelia territory were following the Kisch family and making suspicious movements, or not.
This information was usually reported by Karl in a matter-of-fact way, but for some reason, Craig was the only one to report that the Marquis of Sekles and his family had disappeared.
I felt like it had been a while since I heard from the other side, but it was a huge relief to know that Angelica and her family were able to escape, so I wasn’t able to look at Craig’s face that time.
Tax payments from the influential people in different places who were against it were delayed, and riots had finally begun to break out at the edges of the Rodvelia territory.
I didn’t know if it was just a matter of time or if it was just his patience running out, but Karl brought me a letter.
A white envelope with a familiar gold embroidery, and a bright red amaryllis in the sealing wax.
I cut off the seal and removed the content. I reviewed the paper which went straight to the point, leaving a large amount of blank space unlike the letter that was sent before, and I closed my eyes.
Just like that, I called out to the butler, who was standing by in the room.
“I’ll leave for the Royal Palace tomorrow. Make sure the mansion is cleaned up by the time I return.”
“As you wish, my lord.”
The end is near.
- Generation of students educated under the ‘pressure-free’ system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yutori_education