To speak from conclusions, Faunbeux was to shoulder one corner of Bahnseim’s encirclement.
A condition you could call extraordinary: it would become the center of putting the surrounding nations to work and getting together the continent’s west.
The reason for their motivation was the territory governed by the Margrave of Resno… the return of former Faunbeux land, and for a reason even greater than that…
The woman with disheveled hair was on top of me while I was lying on the floor of Porter’s loading tray. Both our clothes were a mess, and our breaths were out of order.
Having heard that much, it’s not like I don’t see how it could sound like a spicy story, but the fact she was on me was by my judgement.
“How dare you… how dare you disrupt my plans!”
A bloodcurdling expression. On top of that, looking up at her form from below made her face even more terrifying. I’m sure this will come back in my dreams someday. Or rather, her extended arm… her hand was strangling my neck.
“Hey, get off of Lyle!”
Aria hurriedly tried to tear her away, but even she who trained on a daily basis was hard-pressed. Monica put away the tools in her hands, leapt towards me, and tried to separate us.
But her nails were digging in, so it hurt. Blood was coming out.
“C-chicken, you’re bleeding!”
Shannon to Monica.
“Don’t go wild in such a narrow space/ Would you like some medicine?”
Shannon lifted the seat of Porter’s sofa area and took out some medicine. Having seen the actions of this ghastly woman, the grandson of the Margrave of Resno, Blaeubeigh, clung to his mother Parselena-san in fear.
Porter came to a sudden stop, and Clara showed her face down below.
“Um, you’re being noisy… uwah.”
Clara inferred the situation, looked at Lianne and I, and approached. She took the medicine box from Shannon, took out some ointment, soaked it into a cloth, and pressed it against my neck. While my wound was sealed, the rampaging Lianne before my eyes looked like she would leap at me at any moment.
… To summarize. When Lianne who’d taken over Faunbeux castle was pushed onto me, they promised their cooperation with glee. They stuck various reasons onto the surface, but they were definitely rejoicing that they were free of her curse.
Lianne had lost all the authority she gained in Faunbeux to me and my family.
The Fifth seemed worried for the cowering Blaeubeigh-kun.
『This will become a trauma. Third, can mind seal memories, or…』
The Third laughed.
『Hahaha, no way. My Skill isn’t that powerful, and with some trigger, it’ll all come back to him eventually, so I can’t recommend it. If he remembers it at an important point in his future, he’ll go into a panic. But it’s that, you know… this is worse than I thought.』
It’s true Lianne was a more problematic woman than I had thought. Accepting her like that were the final words LYLE had left behind. And in all actuality, Faunbeux had promised their cooperation, and having seen the Seventh’s phantom, the country’s authorities and even the king had relapsed into their own traumas.
With that, I doubt they’ll lay hands on our side too soon.
Clara finished wrapping my neck, and touched it.
“Are you in any pain?”
“I’m fine, thank you. Could you take care of Aria too?”
Saying that and standing, I went over to Lianne, her hair all ruffled up in Monica’s Nelson hold. Aria had also been victim to those nails; blood was flowing from her hand.
As for Lianne, her nails had split, and they were bleeding. Even so, that she still tried to leap at me, it was as if she were a beast.
There, Parselena-san parted from Blaeubreigh and stood. She went in front of Lianne and slapped her.
“… What am I to…”
When I panicked, Milleia-san from the Jewel, and Parselena-san spoke to me.
『Lyle, shut up and watch.』
“I may have been too forward. But I cannot keep watching. So just look on for a while. Princess of Faunbeux, Princess Lianne, correct? I am Parselena… Parselena Resno.”
Before Parselena-san’s self-introduction, the pinned Lianne looked away to hide her face.
“What’s with your conduct? Because you can’t accept what’s been decided, you go into a frenzy? Your body should be that of a princess… learn already that you cannot defy the verdict of your country.”
That gentle and quiet woman stood boldly in front of her. Aria, Monica, Shannon and Clara kept quiet.
From the gaps in the hair covering Lianne’s face, I could see violet eyes. They were the same violet as Novem’s, but they didn’t hold a fragment of kindness.
“The wife of the Margrave’s heir sure speaks proudly to me…”
Pinned down, Lianne tried snapping with her right hand. It was an action to use her Skill…
The Third spoke.
『Lyle, those sorts of Skills won’t activate as long as you can throw them out of order a bit. Anything is fine, just use your Skills to interfere.』
… I hurriedly deployed the Second’s Skill… Field… and with that interference, Lianne’s Skill didn’t activate.
With nothing happening but the snap of a finger, Lianne looked at her hand. And she looked at me.
“Getting in my way again… I believed in you… I believed we were avengers all the same!”
I don’t need that sort of trust, I thought, as I felt relief that I had sealed her Skill. Parselena-san spoke to Lianne.
“The matter of the crown prince has entered my ears. It was an important matter to the Resno House, after all. But the current you is mistaken.”
Lianne glared at her.
“I won’t say not to get revenge. And I haven’t the right to say it. But attaching yourself to it to such an extent, aren’t you still in love?”
Burning with vengeance for the crown prince… Rufus. Parselena-san didn’t have any special eyes like Shannnon, or any special Skills, yet she could see Lianne was carrying something in her heart.
Lianne shut her mouth. She let some tears drip down.
“That’s wrong… I’m…”
“You weren’t abandoned. You’re alive. And you haven’t been charmed by Celes… how about thinking of it like this? It’s precisely because you were loved, that you were sent away?”
Lianne didn’t say anything. Though her expression said she didn’t accept it.
But hearing Parselena-san’s words, I recalled the words of our founder. That while my parents were under Celes’ rule, yet I was alive, it was either because I was ridiculously lucky or because my parents had desperately resisted.
I had no way to find out. But that’s the truth I wanted to believe.
Parselena-san sent more words to the silent Lianne.
“Find happiness. Even if for revenge… or for love, it’s what’s best for your sake.”
To me, it felt as if those words were directed my way.
Stopping Porter, and preparing to camp, I sensed May’s presence. Going outside, a package-laden May made her appearance. Holding up a bag, she.
“Package for you!”
Said and laughed. Seeing her approach with a smile, I recalled the events of the day…
“Please stay like that. Really, never change…”
May tilted her head.
Seeing that gesture, I got the feeling the Fifth in the Jewel smiled a bit.
『Fool, May is a good girl. Way too good a girl for you… and for me.』
She handed the bag to me.
“This letter is the type you’re supposed to give Shannon. And this one is Djanpear’s letter, and this one’s…”
Looking inside, May began to explain. Confirming each item, I went over our future plans with her.
“So what are you going to do now?”
“I’m tired, so I’d like some rest. To eat a lot, and take it easy a few days. Novem and the others will enter Bahnseim from Djanpear, and make their way from south to west, perhaps? They did say they’d go southwest.”
There. The Seventh let his voice from the Jewel.
『Bahnseim’s southwest… the Walt House’s territory, eh? Well, if it’s Novem’s party, I don’t think you need to worry too much…』
The Lords with the greatest territory in Bahnseim, next to the King, was the Walt House. Their land expanded each generation had now gotten them first in Bahnseim. Because of that, if you said southwest, it had to mean the Walt house’s territory. They had vassaled houses around… no, the Forxuz House’s territory was there too.
“From the start, they planned to go if they found the time. I’ll have to hope they do alright, is how it is.”
“Oh right. The King of Djanpear, you see. Said he wanted to drink with you, Lyle. Just the two of you.”
I was opening the letter, but hearing that, my hands stopped. I slowly raised my face, and spoke.
“… I’m no good with ale.”
“I know, right! But Novem already agreed to it, so do your best.”
Anxious over a drink with Djanpear’s king, I opened out the letter, and looked over it. It detailed their results in the country, and the amount of troops they were able to send out.
Miranda’s view on the matter, and the information Eva had collected from her brethren elves were detailed as well.
“… Even if there isn’t a problem with the quality of Djanpear’s soldiers, there is some worry when it comes to fighting on level ground, huh. They were strong in mountains and forests from the start, so I’ll have to make the best of that…”
After thinking a while, I heard the sound of a stomach growl. It was May.
Giving a smile, I returned to Porter, and told Monica to prepare a meal.
The morning of the next day.
Shannon stood before Monica, holding the letter with a strained expression on her face.
“Um~, here it says the weather was nice in Djanpear, and stuff like that, here it says the fruit was tasty, and something like that…”
As she read the letter and said some vague things, Monica lowered her hammer. It was a hammer, but its material wasn’t iron, but something lighter. It wasn’t paper either, but when it hit, it made an interesting, ‘meep’ sound.
“I want one.”
When I said that, Blaeubreigh-kun’s eyes were also shining as he looked at the hammer, with its yellow shaft, and red head that sunk down on impact, but instantly reverted to its original shape.
Monica addressed Shannon.
“Yes, you’re wrong. Make sure not to throw some random crap out. The message comparison has failed, so your allowance for the next month has been halfed. Now if you keep failing, it will only get worse for you.”
“Hey! I did my best! And wait, tell them to write in bigger and neater letters next time! They’re all scrunched together and I can barely make it out!”
As Shannon looked on the verge of tears, Clara sent a lifeboat.
“Well, picture books are written quite easy to understand. Perhaps a normal letter is still too difficult for her.”
With help sent her way, Shannon smiled at Clara. But Aria spoke.
“But if you can’t read that, it will be harsh. Do your best, Shannon.”
It really was the case we would be troubled if she couldn’t give a precise reading of them. I’m going to have to plan her further education.
In Porter’s loading tray.
Seeing Lianne sitting in a corner, I hesitated over what words to use to call out to her. While everyone was gathered around Shannon, Lianne alone was sitting separate from everyone else.
There, Parselena-san spoke to me.
“Just leave her be for now. She’s properly eating, so watching over her is plenty. She’s a strong girl. I’m sure she can get back up alone.”
Seeing Parselena-san keep Blaeubreigh-kun by her side, I felt just a bit of what a mother was.
“Understood. I’ll do just that… we’ll soon be back in the Margrave’s territory. You’ll be with us a while longer, but you will be released after that, so please put up with it.”
She made a bit of a troubled face.
“… When you’re using me as a hostage for negotiations, you sure are kind.”
I made a serious face.
“It’s exactly because you’re negotiation hostages, that I’m treating you so dearly. Well, I’ve some personal thoughts on the matter, and to each his own.”
Having earned Faunbeux’s cooperation, we were on the way back to Margrave Resno’s territory.
Shannon was teary eyed as she read the last letter. There, her hands suddenly stopped. And she looked at Monica.
“… Tell my sister I understand.”
Monica passed the message to the Valkyries. The response that came back indicated there wasn’t a problem, it seems.
“Miranda says there isn’t a problem. Now then, today’s evaluation is… no dessert for two days. Your monthly allowance halfed. Good for you, if you had failed in every letter, you would’ve lost a week of dessert, and your allowance would be cancelled entirely.”
Shannon looked mortified at Monica’s refreshing smile. But she was holding the letters preciously.
“Just you watch. I’ll get back at you someday!”
At Shannon’s line, Monica scoffed.
“Struggle as you will. It will be a splendid spectacle to see how you crawl in the few months remaining.”
May looked on the two of them from the side.
“Monica isn’t honest. And I’m sure Miranda wanted Shannon to…”
After she said that much, Clara stopped her statement.
“Please don’t say it. Let’s just leave it at a sister’s sentiment.”
… I’m sure Miranda had posed Shannon an easy-to-understand problem.