TL: I’ll be returning on 27 August in order to finish up 2 critical assignments (Finally the nightmare of drawing animals are going to end, probably). In the mean time I might have the chance to do an illustration of Brendel’s squire card (Ciel).
Chapter 60 – The last night in Bruglas (2)
———————— Princess POV ———————
The heavy gilded door was slowly pushed open. The air currents gathered and rushed out as a low rumble pierced through eardrums, as if a dignified kingdom was welcoming the visitors with open arms behind the doors.
The light from the corridors were becoming visible, and there was a young girl with an angry expression standing behind the door.
The half Elven princess wore a long full silvery-white dress, and the hems of her dress reached to the bright marble floor. Her head was raised while she stood with her back straight. Her long silver hair extended past her shoulders, while her hands were placed on the crinoline of her dress. In this dark hall with deeply marbled flooring was a blooming lily.
She glared coldly at the few people who walked out from the dim corridors—
“My lady.” marquis Kluge who was at the front displayed a faint surprised smile. The senior minister who had worked for the Corvado royal family for decades, placed his right on his chest and bowed deeply.
He then regained his posture and curled his lips upwards. His smile on his gaunt face seemed to always carry a subtle condescension in it.
“Enough with the pleasantries, marquis Kluge,” The young girl stared in front of her without looking back at Kluge. “Is my Father King in there?”
“My sincere apologies, my lady, His majesty is currently receiving the Madara’s ambassador, and I’m afraid he would not be able to see you for the time being.” Kluge replied with a slight smile.
The princess’s brows frowned slightly, but they quickly disappeared.
“Then I’ll wait here,” She held her head up as she answered: “It’s already midnight, I believe that Madara’s ambassador wouldn’t take too long.”
“My lady, please take care of yourself—” marquis Kluge looked at her back with admiration in his eyes, but his tone did not change.
“I thank you for your concern.”
“Then I shall take my leave.”
The young girl’s faint silver-colored eyes did not move, and simply waited for the group of people to walk past her. But after marquis Kluge took a few steps in front of her, she suddenly said quietly:
“Minister Kluge, you should be careful from playing with fire—“
marquis Kluge was slightly surprised from the the princess’s warning. He stopped as he thought of something, and gave a gloomy smile.
“My lady, what are you talking about?” He asked.
“You know clearly what I’m talking about. I cannot stop the things that are happening in Bruglas and Fortress Cruke. But do not forget whose side the Holy Cathedral of Fire is standing on in Aouine.” The princess replied dispassionately.
Kluge’s expression changed slightly but he quickly recovered himself. The old cunning minister took a deep breath and answered indifferently: “Thank you for the reminder, my lady.”
The two of them did not wish to talk any longer, and marquis Kluge quickly left with his men behind him.
A young man who was in the marquis’s group asked: “My lord, what did the princess mean?”
“This royal flower cannot be underestimated, Welmar.” Kluge answered with a dark expression: “Even though our positions are in a good position, she is not idling either. The news from the outside points to the princess gathering funds by using Church Havel’s name. Even though I don’t know what she’s thinking, but she’s definitely going to take action.”
Kluge glanced at the sky through the arched windows in the corridor: “She gave us a warning today, but in doing so tells us that the princess still has her reservations in taking action—“
“She’s afraid to strike because she fears that her actions will damage the surroundings.”
He sighed and rubbed the ring on his finger. The ouroboros looked as if it was alive on the ring, and reflected a green light to its surroundings.
Everyone around him turned silent.
The Elven princess did not utter any noise after Kluge left. When she turned her head back, she saw Benninger walking out from one of the pillar’s shadow.
“How is it?” The young girl asked immediately when he was close enough.
The young man shook his head bitterly: “It’s no good, my lady. I did not see his majesty either—“
The princess composed herself.
“I’m going back to my territory tonight. Ser Benninger, please bring Hasel along.” She looked calmly in front of her: “Be careful not to alert them.”
“My lady, do we really have no other solutions?” Benninger asked in a wry expression.
He was Seifer’s son and his status was very prominent, but ever since he met princess Gryphine, he was impressed and submitted to her charm, and was willing to even lead her horse on foot to serve her.
To the world he had overstayed his duration for a traveling noble youth, and his father had sent letter after letter to urge him to go back and inherit his position, but the youth was still lingering beside her.
It was clear to people around them that it was the princess that held onto the youth’s heart.
Gryphine had turned sixteen on the seventh month, and was at an age for marriage discussion. However, Oberg the seventh was very fond of her and wanted her to stay by his side, and he was knew that his son Hasel had a weak personality and required her sister’s help.
It was good news for Benninger. Even though he understood there was no possibility for him and the princess, he would stay by her side as long as she stayed by the king’s side. Still, it was not as if he lamented over his position. If he was the eldest son and not the youngest, then there would be another situation altogether.
The princess’s words made his heart beat faster.
[This is a huge turnaround if the princess says she’s returning to her territory. It is rare for the royal family’s direct descendants in history to go back to their own territory, but something really big happens whenever it does.]
Benninger looked at the princess intently and showed uncertainty. His heart was a little expectant and fearful of the future, and felt that once they left, it would not be a simple political fight in Aouine.
The princess’s determined eyes fell onto the youth’s hesitant expression under the dim light of the hall’s candles. There was nothing but silence for a while.
“What are you afraid of, Ser Benninger?”
“I’m a little worried about his majesty’s……” The youth did not know how to describe his current feelings.
[Ever since the sixth month, or more accurately, the time when the Madara’s ambassador came here, only minister Kluge saw him. The king’s trusted ministers did not even meet up with him even once. Even the princess and prince were forced to stay within the capital.
People are gossiping about how the king is under house arrest, but yet the nobles do not have any reaction to it. Ever since Kluge became the prime minister, the king’s trust in him keeps growing and it’s a know fact that Kluge’s party is controlling most of the government.
But the party don’t have any interactions with the locals and received the king’s trust. The royal family’s faction also trusts them. Kluge’s administrations and plans don’t have any problems with them too. People are even describing him as the greatest politician since King Ansen’s rule…]
The situation changed during May, and Kluge appeared like he intended to vie for more power. Along with the Black Rose War, it seemed like a storm was brewing in Aouine’s internal political situation.
Admidst the suspicions and guesses that kept growing in the nobles’ higher echelons, the core people from the royal faction, Oberbeck and Everton went out to settle issus with Madara. The only remaining giant faction was the leader of the Church Havel who kept out of the political situation.
[This situation within the capital is appearing even more bleak. But at this point of time, princess Gryphine actually wants to go back to her territory. Ignoring the part where we’re literally under house arrest, is the princess really going to leave her father behind?]
It was public knowledge that the king and the princess relationship was good, and Benninger understood that fact even more.
The princess answered after a moment, without any change to her expression.
“Based on my father’s personality, I’m certain that he wouldn’t agree to Madara’s ridiculous proposal. Even though I don’t know what that bastard Kluge has in mind for his goals, but I know that we’re useless here.”
“The first thing I want to do is to send my younger brother out of here. I have to take this step for the sake of the royal family in case something untoward happens to my father. I believe that he will understand my actions as this is my responsibility.”
“My lady……” The youth looked blankly at the girl in front of him. He felt that she was a young girl of sixteen summers, but a brilliant and mature politician.
“Don’t worry, Ser Benninger. It’s not as if I’m not prepared. With the aid from my teacher’s social links, we can set down our own pieces on the chessboard. I have never trusted that despicable bastard Kluge, and they won’t harm my father with Aouine’s eyes on them.”
The princess suddenly stopped talking, as the Madara ambassador came out from a door with a somber expression.
At that moment, the living and the dead, exchanged glances, and their bodies passed by each other.
—————- Brendel’s POV —————
As the storm brewed in Aouine’s capital, Brendel was sitting leisurely in the ‘Crossed Star bar’ in Bruglas mulling over the capital’s situation. He then asked the barkeeper for the news about the ‘Golden Wine’, and glanced at the clock on the inn’s wall from time to time.
[It’s nearly twelve.]
Brendel did not expect to receive the mission’s hints and complete it within a night. He was merely waiting for someone and wanted to find something to pass the time with.
When the clock finally rang twelve times, the door to the bar was pushed open.
A girl with a long ponytail wearing a deep blue military uniform entered the bar, and she looked at him with light brown eyes with a slightly flushed face.
[It looks like Freya is a knight now.]
She wore a formal knight’s uniform with ribbons, and there was a longsword distributed by the church worn on her waist belt, and she wore boots that was highly polished.
She gave the impression of a heroic knight.
But her concerned eyes betrayed her. She glanced at the people in the bar and found Brendel. She took a deep breath, walked over and immediately asked:
“Are all of you leaving? Brendel?”
Freya became silent.