The moment she crossed the drawbridge, Lunas smiled boldly.
“How daring. Even after seeing the state of the castle town, they haven’t closed off the castle?” (Lunas)
Reiner takes in the view, speculating quietly,
“Perhaps they ran away and failed to close it in their haste? It’s too clumsy.” (Reiner)
“That might also be true.” (Lunas)
Reasoning that it’s better to go ahead with fewer people, she took no one except for her two maids and Reiner along.
There’s a single reason for this. This place is, beyond any doubt, the enemy’s stronghold. If we were to be challenged by Edelweiss, a common knight – no matter how elite – would die in vain. Even the front yard, from the castle gate to the castle, is infested with the same types of monsters as the town, just as that boy said.
How about inside the castle then?
“It’s a complete freak show around here.” (Lunas)
Lunas only managed to hold in her laughter because of the shock of seeing the entrance hall. *Crunch**crunch* on the right. *Thud**thud* on the left. *Slice**slice* on the floor. *Zap**zap* at the walls. Automatic devices. A monster-corpse-production factory.
Lunas inhales sharply.
“How irritating. I leave it to you.” (Lunas)
The two maids acknowledge their orders with a bob of their heads. They depart at a swift pace.
Reiner was doubtful. To deal with those traps, we should have called several knights from outside. However, the maids simply go ahead.
“It’s a good opportunity, Reiner. Watch closely.” (Lunas)
The stoic-looking one pulls throwing knives from her sleeves. Four in each hand, eight in total. She swung her arms out.
Women from the imperial capital are said to be strong, but that technique prompts even Lunas to praise it. That sound is not one normally associated with a knife. With destructive power similar to that of a cannon ball, the traps are noisily destroyed.
At that time, the other one, the maid that seemed much gentler compared to the first, concentrated magic power to her palms. A chantless spell. The beam of light she fired ricochets multiple times, leaving spider webbing lines behind. All the monster bodies in the hall have been annihilated and even the rubble created by the previous maid was cleared away.
The two maids bobbed their heads again and quietly returned to their usual place behind Lunas.
Impressed, Reiner asks,
“Princess. The one called Edelweiss is stronger than these two?” (Reiner)
“At least as far as I know. In the first place, the one who trained these two is Edelweiss. It seems they were chided very much.” (Lunas)
The two nodded while casting their eyes down.
“How about it, Reiner? Are there any knights among those outside that surpass these two?” (Lunas)
“The only thing I could say is that it depends on the situation.” (Reiner)
If we’re caught in the psychological blind spot that they reside in, being maids…or if they just use an advantageous position from within this huge castle…it’s unlikely that we’d be able to put up a good fight against them.
He finally grasps Lunas’ intention. In the end, she was right about their battle prowess.
“Now then, what are we going to do? Once the castle is cleared out…hmm. There’s no need to hurry, but well, I guess we should at least go see the throne.” (Lunas)
From there on, the party was able to proceed forward smoothly. There were several simple traps, but ones that might pose a threat like those in the entrance hall did not appear again, the remainder being equivalent to a child’s tricks. Of course the maids quickly dispose of these without Lunas’ input.
Even so, Lunas remained alert as she asked,
“What do you think?” (Lunas)
“Including monsters in the plan signifies a departure from all established tactics. As expected, they must have escaped in fear in this unexpected situation.” (Reiner)
“…True. Even if they had the courage to use monsters in their plan, I don’t understand the level of traps in the castle. How about you guys?” (Lunas)
Once Lunas brought up the matter, the stoic-looking maid answered,
“Assuming what I heard from you, Princess Lunas, was true, using monsters in battle is unprecedented.”
Meaning, it wouldn’t be strange if something unexpected happened.
“I see. For example, the monsters overran the castle because they couldn’t completely control the magic…huh? Or maybe they didn’t think that the monsters could even get into the castle?” (Reiner)
“I guess General Reiner’s conjectures are also reasonable in that sense.”
The stoic-looking maid lowered her head swiftly, thanking him for his additional input. Following that, the gentle-looking maid said,
“But, Princess, the boy you met said that the monsters inside the castle were his work as well, didn’t he?”
“He did. …However, now that I think about it, I don’t understand. If it was just to drive us away, it would have been fine to just deploy monsters in the land near the castle…” (Lunas)
And then, as if hit by a realization,
“If the monsters inside the castle were the black market boy’s own work, it would be simple. That boy probably intended to curry favor and ingratiate himself with us. In that case Prince Mahiro is just trash that ran away after being defeated by his own plan.” (Lunas)
“I see. You are saying he was betrayed.” (Reiner)
Reiner and the maids unanimously agreed.
They ascend up to the fourth floor. Finally, on the way through the hallway leading to the throne, they encountered people. Reiner reflexively places a hand on the longsword on his back, one second faster than Lunas.
Three enemies. One of them a man wearing a monocle and his hair knotted in the back, with guns in his hands. One is an icy beauty of a maid who doesn’t seem inferior in any way to the two behind Lunas. And the other one is…
“You are, if I remember correctly…it was Pariel, wasn’t it?” (Lunas)
A joyous expression broke out on Lunas’ face.
Pariel is shocked. Unintentionally she loosened her grip on her sword. This princess not only marched into the castle town, but also into the castle in the middle of enemy territory with just those troops. And seemingly without any sense of danger at that, as if she was just in town to sightsee.
“And…it’s been a while, Edelweiss.” (Lunas)
Lunas amiably greeted.
“It has been a long time, Your Highness. I’m happy that you seem to be healthy.” (Edelweiss)
“Lilith, Francois, are you serving her Highness properly?” (Edelweiss)
The stern maid scowled at Edelweiss’ words.
“Stop with this nonsense. We aren’t your subordinates anymore. No, right now we are enemies to each other. Is there any reason to be worried about us? Stick to your own business.”
The gentle maid stuck out her tongue adorably.
“Yeeeah. There’s nooo need to listen to teacher’s scolding anymore.”
*glare* Edelweiss’ expression sank.
While they managed to remain in position, the two maids visibly trembled and appeared to inch further behind Lunas, belying their calm appearance.
“Lady Edelweiss, they are…your acquaintances?” (Kaien)
“Students from my time in the Empire.” (Edelweiss)
“Moving on,” the princess laughed, looking fed up.
“This is just the usual exchange. So, who are those two?” (Lunas)
“Over here is Mismarca Kingdom’s Prime Minister Kaien Gremnam. This is the Royal Knight Pariel Karlreisel.” (Edelweiss)
“I see. That girl, she was one of your subordinates after all, eh?” (Lunas)
Well, given the circumstances, I guess I understand why she would ask that. Pariel sneaks a peek at Edelweiss, who responded to Lunas,
“It is just as you have guessed. It looks like she was rude to you some time ago, so allow me to extend an apology in place of my subordinate.” (Edelweiss)
“No, don’t worry. After all, I had quite a bit of fun. So, is Mahimahi here as well?” (Lunas)
“Who knows. There is no one with such a name amongst my subordinates. The one who acted as driver in the previous incident isn’t my subordinate.” (Edelweiss)
“Hmm…then I suppose it was true that he’s no civilian in military employ. Edelweiss, how much of this whole situation was your plan?” (Lunas)
The grand chamberlain blinks, looking surprised.
“How much, you ask. What exactly?” (Edelweiss)
“Don’t play the fool. First you had that girl forcefully scout our encampment with a relic of the ancient civilization. Then you pretended to lure us into a trap by keeping the castle gates wide open. And lastly…the current state of the castle town. Well, I think that last one isn’t your work though.” (Lunas)
“All of those were carried out by none other than Prince Mahiro.” (Edelweiss)
“Hoo…how interesting. Though I heard that he’s quite the coward in rumors.” (Lunas)
“He is a coward and a fool, but his brain seems to function well.” (Edelweiss)
“Prince Mahiro is behind you, right? I’d like to meet him by all means.” (Lunas)
“With all due respect, Your Highness. Prince Mahiro is not beyond this corridor.” (Edelweiss)
Hearing that, Lunas suddenly shows a disappointed expression.
“Is that so? How regrettable. I guess he escaped himself and left his retainers to protect the throne. Then there’s no need to meet him. If it’s trash like that, I have met countless already…” (Lunas)
“He’s not trash!!” (Pariel)
Pariel shouted on reflex.
If he was mere trash, he wouldn’t be adored by everyone. It would be impossible for him to persist in his pacifism.
“Pariel, keep your words in check.” (Edelweiss)
“What are you saying, Lady Edelweiss!? Even if she’s an imperial princess or whatever, isn’t she the enemy?” (Pariel)
Pariel immediately readjusts her sword stance.
“Stop it.” (Edelweiss)
“There’s no way that I, as a knight, can allow my lord to ridiculed like this when she doesn’t know anything about him!” (Pariel)
She glares at the other party.
“The prince is nonsensical, but he’s a kind person! Because he didn’t want to sacrifice a single soldier, let alone any of the citizens, he gave up the city and the castle! You don’t even have the slightest idea…!” (Pariel)
Unexpectedly, Lunas makes a complete turnaround and smiles.
“Then I shall apologize.” (Lunas)
“What, if there’s even a single retainer willingly sacrificing their life for him like you, then he’s a good ruler. Even if the country will perish as consequence.” (Lunas)
That single word. Perish. That reality stabs at Pariel’s chest.
“I don’t dislike such person.” (Lunas)
Lunas shifted to a calm look.
“The prime minister over there, are you going for it as well? That kind of gun won’t make a single scratch on my armor.” (Lunas)
Kaien takes a single breath and then,
“…I guess I have no choice but to stop.” (Kaien)
He lowers his beloved guns. He can’t be blamed for that. In the first place, he isn’t a soldier, and guns are at an overwhelming disadvantage.
“Edelweiss, how about you?” (Lunas)
“You must be joking. I haven’t been ordered by His Majesty to go as far as throwing away my life.” (Edelweiss)
Mahiro only told her to buy time, and to not do anything unreasonable or die. If she follows those orders, then there’s no option but to surrender…but if I just backed down here and now despite her insults, then it would have been better if I had refused the post of Royal Knight from the beginning.
“Sir Kaien, Lady Edelweiss, please fall back.” (Pariel)
Pariel swung her sword in preparation, and aimed it at Lunas.
“…Hoo. I see.” (Lunas)
“Reiner, keep her company.” (Lunas)
The one called by her is the young general who only wore a coat and no armor on this battlefield. His calm demeanor that lacks any eagerness gives one the impression as though he is a faithful hunting dog.
Expressionless, the silver-haired general drew the bizarre longsword on his back. It was completely black – from the hilt to the point of the sword’s point. It looked as if it had been forged from one piece of obsidian.
Pariel’s eyes widened, and she shivered.
“Reiner… Black, sword…? You mean, the Silver-haired Ogre…!?” (Pariel)
A cold, quiet presence that she hadn’t taken note of up until now, due to Lunas’ overbearing presence. However, he is definitely one of the Three Swords of the Empire, along with Lunas, the Sword of the Gleaming Light. The Hunting Sword. Reiner Langbalt.
He’s a genius in swordsmanship, the youngest champion in the Empire’s Fighting Tournament which is held several times a year. Because of his extraordinary achievements, he was granted one of the three legendary, sacred treasures that were used in the ancient conflict of the gods…『Black Sword』.
Pariel adjusts her hold on her sword, which was slipping from her clammy hands.
I mean, I was chosen to work in the castle because of my swordsmanship, and that wasn’t for show. Besides, those are just the rumors about him. There aren’t any legends of his military prowess like Lunas. In that case the story of him being the youngest winner in the Fighting Tournament might just be an exaggeration. It’s a story from the Empire, a far away, foreign country.
If it’s such a big longsword, there will be a discrepancy in the stress on destructive force. Since I won’t be able to lock it down as if using a dagger, the style will be naturally the deciding factor. I can’t just charge into a showdown against an opponent with such a large sword whose strength I don’t know. I will wait for hm to make the first move. The fastest strike without showing any gaps. If luck is on my side, I will cut him down with that. Otherwise I will defend immediately. I should approach with a nimble move like that. To begin with I have a slender sword putting importance on speed.
There should be a gap I can take advantage of…
However, while Pariel was frantically strategizing, as if he were tired of waiting, Reiner emotionlessly muttered,
“If you aren’t coming, I will.” (Reiner)
Pariel is taken aback.
The silver-haired swordsman walks towards her, calm. Without measuring the distance between them, or even falling into a sword stance, he just walks up to her, the sword dangling in his hand. That’s his sword style? No, it must be confidence in his skills?
In that case that composure comes from overconfidence-
She almost didn’t see it at all.
Just one overhead swing, as if swatting a fly. That’s all it took to cleave Pariel’s sword in two.
He sheathed his sword in the same way he drew it – without a single expression. And he goes back in the same way he had come.
Only the broken stub of a sword is left in her hands.
“I’m done, princess.” (Reiner)
The third imperial princess who, for the first time, seemed to be having fun, muttered with a fed-up expression,
“…That’s why you are a boring man.” (Lunas)
And then she turns to Pariel, who is still dumbfounded,
“Pariel, that’s enough to prove our victory, right?” (Lunas)
It’s not a matter of being enough or not…
Pariel responded feebly. They never took her seriously at all. If he felt like it, he could have bisected her just like that. Just remembering that moment and what could have happened is enough to cause her to be soaked in cold sweat.
“Prime Minister. And Edelweiss. I will have you become our prisoners as well. We won’t do anything bad to you if you stay obedient.” (Lunas)
Kaien’s heavy sigh probably signifies his compliance. Edelweiss opens the path towards the throne hall.
“Let’s go then. Come to think of it, a bloodless victory is a first for me as well. Well, not having to deal with the stench of blood is certainly a good thing.” (Lunas)
The princess is in a rather good mood. She’s walking ahead as if it was already her castle.
“Come on, let’s go.”
Pariel, still sitting on the floor, is pulled up by one of the maids following the princess. She’s not bound by a rope either. After all they know that she doesn’t have the will or the means to resist any longer.
“A Majin?” (Reiner)
The one who asks is Reiner. Pariel looks at him dejectedly.
“…What about it?” (Pariel)
“No, I was just a little bit curious.” (Reiner)
Saying that, Reiner hurries after Lunas.
Mahiro, who vanished after declaring that he was preparing for negotiations, still hadn’t appeared.
The throne room.
A huge hall that had once welcomed several hundred vassals in the golden age of the old Mismarca Dynasty. The solemn, golden throne that was placed in front of the thick curtain at the innermost area lacked a legitimate master for the first time in several hundred years of history…as if inviting a new master.
“I see. That’s a really imposing throne. Even my father’s throne cannot be compared to this.” (Lunas)
Observing in the same manner, Reiner says,
“His Majesty has said that he will relocate the capital to this strife area at the dawn of His conquest of the continent.” (Reiner)
“So it seems. Then I guess it’ll be this place. There’s no need to change anything here. I think the land near the castle needs to be expanded in the future, but…well, that’s a long way off.” (Lunas)
Lunas joked in good fun and lightly jerked her chin in the direction of the throne.
“How about it, Reiner? Want to take a seat?” (Lunas)
“No, with my social status…” (Reiner)
“Maaan,” Lunas sighed.
“For heaven’s sake, you are truly a man who can’t take a joke.” (Lunas)
She doesn’t have to talk in such frisky manner in front her retainers. But, no matter how frustrating it might be, I’m the one who lost. That’s an undeniable truth.
“Well, I guess I will sit on it first then.” (Lunas)
Just as Lunas began to walk towards the throne, a strange schlicking sound was heard.
The sound originated from the throne. Eyes wide, they all look around, wondering what’s going on. Suddenly, there’s a loud scraping sound and the throne slides to the back. Just under where it used to stand, there’s a gaping hole, and from within,
Pariel shouted reflexively upon seeing the figure.
“H-Huh…? You’re already here? Uhh…that’s a rather fast arrival. Excuse me for appearing from such a place.” (Mahiro)
With a “Heave-ho”, Mahiro crawls rather pathetically out of the hole.
“At any rate, it was my first time putting it on all by myself, so it took some time…” (Mahiro)
Standing up, he dusts himself off. He was no longer in his normal royal garb.
Instead he had on a deep crimson military uniform with a stiff collar and gold threads. A black mantle covered his back. He is also wearing a sash, a crown, several medals on his chest and the Mismarca Royal Family’s crest. It’s a uniform only seen at ceremonies, rituals and state receptions.
The throne automatically slides back to its original position.
Mahiro turned around to Lunas and bowed in a gesture of the highest courtesy towards one’s superior. When he stood up again, Pariel no longer recognized him.
A royal. A calm look comparable to those of the past kings. That was his bearing.
“Please allow me to welcome you, Your Highness Lunas, and thank you for making the long trip from the Imperial Capital to visit. However, I certainly did not expect for Your Highness to be the one to come, ex…” (Mahiro)
Loud laughter echoed through the throne hall.
“Haha! Ahahahahaha…! I see, it was you…!?” (Lunas)
Seeing is believing. However, even more than that, Lunas was completely satisfied with having her predictions betrayed in such an unexpected way, and smiles.
Smiling back, Mahiro bends his waist and bows once more.
“Excuse my previous discourtesy. Allow me to introduce myself once more…I’m called Mahiro Jukilnisk Edenfahrt, the one who has currently been entrusted with this country in place of the King, who is unfortunately absent.” (Mahiro)
He says that as if nothing was wrong, smiling as if this were a pleasant social call rather than an invasion.
“Yeah, I completely understand. In that case, I’m sorry for the other day as well. I truly never expected that…” (Lunas)
“Will you believe in my words this time?” (Mahiro)
“Yes, of course. Looking at the expressions of the prime minister and your retainers, there’s no room for doubt. …But.” (Lunas)
She pauses. Her otherwise bright expression becomes sharper.
“What do you intend, appearing before me so late in the game? I told you before: When we invade, I will take your head. Did you stay behind expressly for that?” (Lunas)
None of the soldiers, who ought to be protecting the castle, remain. Only a single powerless and unarmed boy stands next to the throne. Even if it hadn’t been Lunas, anyone would have thought the same.
“So late in the game? Oh my, you must be joking. On the contrary, Princess Lunas, it begins now.” (Mahiro)
“Originally it would be unsuitable to speak while standing, but…well, the circumstances are what they are. If you would kindly set Edelweiss free, we could have her brew us some tea though.” (Mahiro)
Lunas snickered. There’s no way that she would take the risk of allowing a hostile maid free just to make tea.
“Don’t worry about that. Speak.” (Lunas)
“Thank you for your understanding. First I would like to ask you something…what is to be found in this castle?” (Mahiro)
“What is to be found, you ask?” (Lunas)
“It might have been different in the past, but objectively speaking, there are many other countries that are equally worth taking in this strife area. So, why the Kingdom of Mismarca?” (Mahiro)
Lunas tilts her head to the side as though saying, “What about it?”
“What else could it be? If you look at this strife area as a whole, this country is still a leader-like state. If this place surrenders, the unity of the other small countries will fall apart. The Empire will even gain a border with the Republic.” (Lunas)
“That’s true. But…considering that, it lies too deep in the strife zone. Even though Mismarca is located in the center, several countries located further south are still in perfect condition. The Lazurka Kingdom in particular has been directly confronting the Empire’s domain as buffer zone. It’s one of the strife area’s military states, but to disregard them, I wonder why that might be?” (Mahiro)
While Lunas remained silent, Mahiro raised his index finger, adding “And one more thing.”
“It’s not like I ascertained this, and it’s only my conjecture, but…assuming I’m right, you didn’t have any intention of occupying this country from the very start, did you?” (Mahiro)
“Hoo. Your reason?” (Lunas)
“I don’t know if it’s a few hundred or a thousand, but there’s a limit to how many soldiers you can slip past the guard of Lazurka. If you were going to gain total control of this country, you would need at least 3,000. However, to move such numbers, your first priority would be to take Lazurka. Otherwise, assuming you were to force several thousand knights through, they would become scattered. There would be no meaning in that for an army. They would become isolated.” (Mahiro)
Even while stating his conjecture, he dons an expression as if challenging her. Until now Pariel had never seen such a confident Mahiro.
“Your Highness Lunas, Mismarca is too remote an area for you to come here. Once you consider this, there’s only one more possible conclusion left…” (Mahiro)
Mahiro turned to the side and took a few steps.
“The strongest elite unit, that rivals even a whole army, led by you, an Imperial Princess. The fastest possible, forced march. Just what is it that you want to obtain so much that you go this far?” (Mahiro)
“Did you empty the castle and stay behind only to ask me that?” (Lunas)
Mahiro nods at Lunas’ question.
“Yes. Since I’m a fool, my retainers, if they had remained, would have stopped me from doing something stupid like this under any circumstances.” (Mahiro)
“Isn’t that only natural!?” (Pariel)
“Prince, just as you say that you don’t want to sacrifice anyone, we don’t want to sacrifice you either! Why can’t you…!?” (Pariel)
“That’s it,” Mahiro says.
“You keep asking why, why, but I have told you from the beginning that I will somehow work it out by negotiation.” (Mahiro)
Just like usual, Mahiro laughed at Pariel and the other two, who each lament in their own way.
“But, what about now? It should be impossible to stop me at this point. Now that we’ve come this far, you guys can’t use any excuses either. If you do have any, I’d like you to tell me. Give me a plan that would work in this situation other than negotiation.” (Mahiro)
Pariel was speechless and somewhat infuriated. Not only did this prince insist on avoiding sacrifices at all costs, he also demanded a plan of attack in this situation, where anything but negotiation was impossible.
Now that I think about it, he did say so from the start. That he wants to negotiate. But, at that time everyone dismissed it as his usual nonsense. Even when he stood on the balcony, going on about running away, it was still possible to call the soldiers back. Even if we had no chance of winning, we could have fought to the bitter end.
However, right now there are no soldiers and in front of us is a being we have no way of overpowering. Indeed, even though we should stop him, there is no other option.
Mahiro turns to Lunas.
“Besides, I hate violence. I dislike staining this castle and this land, where I was raised, with the blood of people. I emptied the castle for precisely this reason.” (Mahiro)
“So the monsters outside were your doing after all, weren’t they?” (Lunas)
“I asked my friend for a big favor. The citizens will follow what the soldiers say, but the same cannot be easily said about soldiers…even if they marched in ranks, they would quickly be drawn into battle. However if I remained here by myself, I believed that it would pique your interest enough for me to talk to you. ” (Mahiro)
“Now I see. It seems that you have managed to trick us successfully.” (Lunas)
Lunas narrows her eyes and smirks.
“Very well. If you have this much resolve, I will tell you. It’s just as you say. We don’t really have any particular interest in this country. I was given only one mission by my father; to bring back the Holy Devil Cup1 handed down the Mismarcan royal line.” (Lunas)
It looks like it wasn’t just a secret from us. Apparently it had been kept an absolute secret – even the maids behind Lunas are shocked.
“The Holy Devil Cup, that legendary…vessel said to control this world!? Something like that exists in this country!?”
“Seems so. I don’t know the details either. Besides, even if I say Holy Devil Cup, it appears that only the empty vessel is to be found in this country.” (Lunas)
“The powers of the Holy Devil Cup itself have been printed into several crests, scattered and ultimately lost. Unless you gather those as well, it’s meaningless, but…” (Lunas)
No, that’s not right. Even Pariel understood that much.
Even if it’s empty right now, it’s still a legendary, holy relic. By obtaining that legend, the emperor will probably gain much more support by the Majin in the form of an almost religious fervor. It should be possible to gather the scattered powers one way or another later on…
At that moment, Mahiro – looking as though all of that has nothing to do with him – says,
“I see, so this was your target after all, huh?” (Mahiro)
He produced a rather worn-out-looking silver cup with a wide opening, a shallow bottom and complex engravings from his mantle.
“Is this the trump card the prince mentioned before…!?”
Kaien gasps in admiration. Pariel also widened her eyes upon seeing the world-renowned legendary treasure whose whereabouts were lost to the mists of time.
“Then, in order to locate this, Prince you…”
“Yeah, guess so. Certainly, if it’s an item like that…but…” (Mahiro)
However he keeps mumbling. There must be something.
But, what is he going to do now?
At this rate it will simply be stolen by Lunas and her people.
“That makes things easy. I’d like you to hand that over to us.” (Lunas)
As expected. Lunas holds out her hand to Mahiro as if it’s natural.
“I don’t mind, Princess. But I have a condition.” (Mahiro)
The corners of Luna’s mouth quirked up, guessing his condition already.
“You will probably tell me to pull back the soldiers if I don’t plan to occupy the country anyway.” (Lunas)
“Yes. Everything will be over with that.” (Mahiro)
“Please wait.” (Edelweiss)
Edelweiss states, calm and commanding as usual,
“Certainly, this place might survive like this. But, have you considered what will happen after that? If this falls into the hands of the Empire, it won’t be a problem concerning just Mismarca any longer. Not only the strife zone, but also the entire continent…” (Edelweiss)
“Even if I don’t hand it over here, it would have been the same if they had tracked it down on their own accord. Besides, I’d like them to go back, since father and the others will return soon. Father never told me to protect the Holy Devil Cup, after all.” (Mahiro)
“Such a…! How irresponsible…!” (Pariel)
As if she had just seen an excellent comedy, the Third Imperial Princess could no longer hold back her laughter, interrupting Pariel’s distress.
“…How regrettable, Prince Mahiro. Let me make one correction to your previous conjecture.” (Lunas)
Sobering suddenly, a dreadful promise appeared in her eyes.
“Don’t look down on the Empire, you big simpleton. If struck by our First Front Army, a state at the level of Lazurka will surrender in 3 or 4 days. And, as long as we have such a splendid castle, it will be an easy task for us to hole up in here for one or two months. If you like, I can let you watch the annihilation of Mismarca’s army as a prisoner from here.” (Lunas)
Pariel couldn’t help but to drop her shoulders.
At this rate this country and this castle will be lost alongside the Holy Devil Cup. There are no more cards to play. However, even in her despair, from the corner of her eye she saw Mahiro…
…laughing. His shoulders shook with the effort of stifling his laughter.
“What’s so funny, Prince?” (Lunas)
“N-No, no, Princess. Let’s see. As expected, I think the ideas of a fool like me are worse than none at all…” (Mahiro)
Mahiro lifts up the cup high into the air and shatters it on the floor.