Chapter 356: The Valuable Bloodline
Even though it was extremely cold because of the death snow, the room felt slightly warm due to the fireplace. Sweat was licking my neck since I was wearing thick clothes.
In a private room in Philos, the designation which named the city, I finally took off my cloak. There was some chill, but it was still comfortable.
In the meantime, Caria said while using my room as if it were her own room.
「Hey, it’s a big deal, isn’t it? You’ve become the leader of the magical beast disaster’s subjugation.」
Caria continued her words, letting her silver hair bounce, and saying that it was not surprising at all. Beside her stood Filaret, who narrowed her black eyes as if agreeing to Caria’s words.
So rude. That made me feel like I had been acting without thinking, even though I was always thinking about something ahead.
Still, it was certainly odd that everything went smoothly.
Now, I began twisting what I had in my head in order to find a way to put it into words. On this occasion.
The door opened lightly without knocking. The person who showed up at the door stared at me with her white eye wide open.
Philos Trait. The former ruler of the puppet city of Philos, and one of the current Heraldic allies.
It was not uncommon for her to visit me, but it was the first time I’d seen such a rough visit.
Actually, she did say she had something to ask me. However, I didn’t expect her to visit me so quickly.
C’mon, if she could at least bring me a new barrel of ale, that would be welcome.
As if trampling on my feelings, Philos stepped into my room with a servant. She glanced at Caria and Filaret, but she turned her gaze back to me without hesitation.
Then she spoke with a sharp tongue.
「…You set me up, didn’t you? Lugis Vrilligant. What did you say to the feudal lords?」
Her relatively small body trembled greatly, causing her shadow to flicker dramatically. It was as if she was tormented by the fiery emotions that had been gathered in her viscera.
I could tell that Philos, who was glaring at me from up close, let out a hot breath.
I see. I finally understood why she wanted to visit me, and what she wanted to ask me.
…In fact, I wrote letters in her real name to fellow lords. I did that without letting her know the contents of the letters.
After all, the human named Philos was someone who avoided to blame other people. Rather, she was the kind of person who, even when something terrible happened, took everything as her responsibility.
At least, back when the city of Philos was about to be overthrown by Roseau, she didn’t utter a single grudge against him until the very last minute. She was a person of an undeniable, noble dignity.
So if she was glaring at me with such hatred, there must be only one reason that made her feel that way. I unavoidably trapped her with those letters.
I heard Caria’s annoyed voice beside me, wondering if I did something suspicious again. I pressed my cheeks and bit the chewing tobacco that I took from my pocket.
「I kind of recall doing that. So does that mean you’ve received a gift from the feudal lords, Philos?」
I kept my chewing tobacco on my lips as I said those words. I caught the gaze of Philos’ spear-looking white eye. She used to stare at a single city with that gaze. It felt terrifying.
Philos stiffened her neck and shoulders and distorted her cheeks. Even so, she still gave orders to the servant in a soothing voice. Her servant’s movements were somewhat awkward, perhaps due to her anger.
The servant was instructed to carry the platter of parchments into the room. One after another, the servant placed the parchments on the table, until it became like a small mountain.
I see. This was it.
「…Look at this. Your letter created this mess. What excuse do you have? 」
I changed my gaze from the pile of parchments to Philos’ enraged gaze.
「Aren’t those who feel guilt in their hearts the ones that make excuses?」
Upon saying that question, I could see Philos’ expression becoming more terrifying.
I was arrogant to say such a thing. I knew there was nothing for me to be blamed for, still I forced her to a point where there was no way back. It was greedy of me to want to strangle both of our necks together.
After receiving Philos’ gaze of disapproval, Filaret looked over the contents of the parchments. Then, she twisted her eyes suspiciously and opened her lips.
「This is a strangely thoughtful way to say what you want to those noblemen. Besides, it says you have something to discuss, what does this mean, Lugis?」
The black-haired girl asked while stroking the hollow.
What did I want to discuss? No, right now it was more important to know what Philos herself was thinking about this move.
Was she understanding everything and questioning me? Or was she not there yet?
From now on, I needed Philos to wield her slender arms a lot.
However, if she didn’t feel that way, everything would start from the beginning again. Therefore, the true meaning of my actions should be questioned in order to be accepted.
「It seems they’ve sent polite greetings through messengers…I guess you infused something into the feudal lords’ minds. Lugis Vrilligant. 」
After dismissing the messengers, Philos’ hatred grew. I sensed so from her heated voice.
It was probably the anger that came when someone was taking advantage of you. She was a proud person. If she thought I swayed her and treated her like a tool, then her feelings were justified.
Ahh, even so. Didn’t she notice? Didn’t she see what this pile of parchments represents?
No, maybe she could feel it to some extent. However, the truth was so far away that it felt like being covered with a thick cloth. It didn’t allow her to think properly.
If it were common, she wouldn’t even imagine such a thing. So, it was easier to understand after knowing that I instilled something in the feudal lords’ minds.
Whatever she did now was useless. Things were already in motion. Whether she wanted it or not.
She alone did not know everything and couldn’t undo what was done. It was impossible now.
The curtain was now up.
I took the chewing tobacco away from my lips and said the following.
「…No, I didn’t say anything in particular. They were just paying tribute to the letters I’ve sent. Actually, to the letters you’ve sent.」
It was true that I injected several words into the noblemen’s minds. Philos showed her tense expression for a moment but didn’t try to hide her sharp gaze.
I continued to speak to Philos.
「A long time ago, a certain nobleman fell in love with a young woman who became his mistress and had a child with her.」
It was ridiculous. As a noble himself, he had the right to create many heirs, but instead, for him, it became an undeniable seed of conflict. The person who ruled a country shouldn’t create any factors that could divide the nation.
It even grew conflict between his close subjects and his mistress.
Therefore, it was expected of him to murder his illegitimate child. That would be an obvious judgment. Humans sometimes killed the small to save the big. Only then would he be the strongest ruler of his nation.
But he couldn’t do it. Was it because of his love for his child? Or was his faith? I didn’t know if it was his faith for the doctrine of the Great Holy Church or something else that clouded his judgment. But as a result the child survived.
But just because he couldn’t kill the child, didn’t mean he would raise the child as his own. Raising the child could become the source of chaos. It was unacceptable no matter what.
Therefore, the child was abandoned and raised as an adopted child of a countryside lord. Most likely, the nobles were not informed of the situation either. Perhaps, all they knew was that the child was the illegitimate offspring of some random noble in the city.
Anyway, I didn’t know the details or the circumstances. All I knew was the cause and effect. I continued my words while chewing them to Philos.
「Who do you think that is? It seems that person is more noble than anyone, and more precious than anyone would ever be.」
When I asked that question, Philos said with rage.
「…What are you trying to say? Are you making fun of my origins? 」
I could see that Philos’ white eye was starting to show a pale color instead of a vivid color. It showed suspicious, then curious and then puzzled feelings. Her emotions were mixed with her reasoning and changed her expression.
「Of course not. First of all, I was born in a ditch, so I can’t make fun of anyone’s birth. I’m only telling the truth. Look, Philos. The feudal lords that replied to your letters also believe in that truth.」
I said while looking straight into her eyes. Her eyes were swirling with emotions that I had never seen before, and those emotions were about to burst.
I opened my lips slowly.
「…Ameraitz Gharast. That’s your father, and you’re his daughter, the illegitimate princess. That’s what they think. And I’ll be working hard to make it real because I, too, believe that’s the truth.」
At that moment, I saw Philos raise her hand in a great momentum.
Oh he’s going to use Philos to change the ruler of the Gharast Kingdom …but first, he needs to convince Philos…’cause right now she seems very angry.