The Legitimate Successor
What Milleia-san told me; the one who defeated Agrissa… the beautiful vixen… was of the Walt House.
But the important part was blurred in a sand storm, and I couldn’t see it.
Unable to see what was going on around, and unable to understand what was going on, the scenes continued, and once everything was over the images grew vivid.
“I couldn’t see the important part…”
『Quiet down! We’re at the important part.』
Milleia-san extended her index finger to my lips to silence me. It’s true it was an important scene.
Holding the same name as me, the Hero who fought and won against Agrissa was unsteady on his feet. Before the throne… the audience chamber, the ceiling was blown off, and the walls and pillars were in a terrible state.
Beneath the unreliable light of night, the man used his sword as a walking stick to stand to his feet.
There was no way for me to know how he defeated Agrissa.
Around, those beside the young man were collapsed.
『God dammit, that hag… my comrades…』
In that terrible state, the man unsteadily walked, searching out his surviving comrades. There, a group with lights in their hands began flowing into the room.
Knowing they were allies, the young man smiled, and waved his hands.
『Yo, well aren’t you late to the party. Sorry, could you search out the survivors? Standing’s all I can…』
He seemed to know the other party. The conspicuous crest on his body, it was one I had a recollection of.
The crest of the Bahnseim monarchy.
But that man of the Bahnseim House he though an ally silently shot an arrow into the young man. Unable to avoid it, the man was pierced by arrows one after the next, and collapsed.
Approaching the youth who’d fallen face up, was the man who seemed to be the Bahnseim House’s head.
The Bahnseim Head answered his words.
『It’s because a lowly knight like you butted in that it came to this. Fret not. The Bahnseim House shall rule this continent.』
That the gold armor looked in so bad taste must be because of the Bahnseim House Head’s unsightly weight. His chubby fingers were crammed into a ring adorned with a large gemstone.
『Oy, do it.』
The vassals of the Bahnseim House stuck their spear into the youth’s collapsed comrades around. Among them, those alive raised cries.
『Che, how tenacious. Kill him too.』
The youth stabbed through by a vassal’s spear spit blood from his mouth. Once he stopped moving, the vassals returned from around.
『It’s no good. We cannot identify Agrissa’s body. Though it’s certain she’s been defeated…』
Once the Bahnseim Head received the report, he started into covering it up
『Tsk, when we’ll need Agrissa’s corpse hereon… very well! Dress it up. By the time we raced over, Agrissa had killed them all. The one who dealt the final blow was us.』
Saying that, the Bahnseim House head looked at the throne before his eyes. While the surroundings were in tatters, the throne alone remained firm.
Walking to avoid the rubble, he headed for the seat. But perhaps because it was because it was too dark to see, his feet tripped up on something, causing him to fall.
Milleia-san informed me.
『Right. Everything had already begun.』
Tripping over a blue jewel, that jewel fell towards the young man. Splashing into his pool of blood, it let off a faint light.
Having hit his nose, the Bahnseim head’s nose was bleeding. As everyone raced over, one took the blue gem in hand.
『This… doesn’t look like a gemstone. It’s man-made.』
On the retainer’s words, the head burst into rage.
『A mere marble dare trip me… toss it out!』
He said, but around, similar red, blue and yellow gems rolled around. Loads of them tumbled down, causing mass confusion.
『Please wait, we’ll gather them up at once.』
The retainer tossed the Jewel aside, causing it to mix in with the many similar gems.
And once the image turned terribly unstable, a different scene was projected.
Going on in the plaza of Centralle as a parade. The parade of Bahnseim defeating Agrissa… and it meant the birth of a new monarchy.
The one directing a sharp glare at that parade was young man Novem. He was wearing a hood, and after entering a back alley, he slipped into a street, and headed for a certain house.
Seeing the place he reached, I found myself surprised.
It was the house the First was born. The Walt House’s house, with some vestiges of the house the First had shown me.
As Novem stood before that imperial noble knight’s house, from within, a single woman came out. A woman who gave off a simple feel. Her hair was tied behind, and she carefully held her large stomach.
『Hear me out, I’ll get revenge for Lyle. The situation behind his death was plain off. There’s no way Agrissa would use a spear. There’s no doubt the wound was inflicted by the equipment of the Bahnseim House. The Feudal Lords doubting it will definitely never recognize the Bahnseim House’s rule of the continent…』
Once he had said that much, the woman shook her head.
『Please, just go away. I’ve already married in here. If I have a son, they promised to make him the heir. The second son’s already been married, so there’s little more one could ask for. Don’t get any more involved with us.』
Novem opened his eyes wide. As it wasn’t a conversation for outside the house, he tried to step in, when the woman cried out.
Novem looked as if he couldn’t believe it. But the woman shed tears as she glared at him.
『… Lyle is already dead. Just leave it that. And I shall live quietly in this house. The people of the Walt House said it was because of me the House would survive as knights, so I should treasure it. Just go away already.』
The woman seemed to be my ancestor’s wife. And not wanting any more strife, she turned her back to Novem, and entered the house.
『Lyle’s child is necessary. Otherwise… the continent will never get together. Those Bahnseims don’t have anywhere near the power to control the continent. Why can’t they understand that.』
His expression was of despair.
And the Jewel began flowing the following events by in fragments.
The Bahnseim House tried to control the continent, but there was no way they had that sort of power from the start. Not recognizing the Bahnseim House’s rise, the Provincial Nobles declared their independence one after the next. The Bahnseim House had become royalty, but they didn’t have the hands to manage their expanded territory, and lacked the leisure to attack the lords who’d declared independence.
And as if to say goodbye to that House, young Novem threw away his status, and moved to the outskirts with a pioneering brigade. The Bahnseim House had tried to hold down such a talented magician, but Novem had turned all their offers down with a smile.
By the time the lords were exhausted further in independence and war, Novem was only looking on the scene from far off.
He started up a home in the frontier with a few acquaintances, took a husband, and had a child.
“… Wait, he was a woman?”
Having stopped her crossdressing, and returning to womanhood, Novem continued gazing at the continent’s state from the sidelines. She had been of delicate features from the time she was male, but as a woman, she was even more beautiful.
『From long ago, the ones with a strong affinity for the Goddesses memories have been women. Can’t imagine why.』
With much blood flowing, it took the passage of a few decades from then for the continent to calm down.
And once that was done with, the Bahnseim Kingdom that had remained sedentary began invading its neighbors. And by the time it had reached a considerable scale, Novem already had a grandchild.
Exhausted, the people whose blood would never cease to spill.
Eventually, some country’s Labyrinth ran amuck, flooding the continent with monsters. That chaotic land wouldn’t get together even with Agrissa’s defeat, it was in a terrible state.
As an old woman, Novem’s eyes looked somewhat spaced out. And as she muttered…
『So even if you prepare them a common foe, man still remains foolish…』
… Carrying on the goddess’ memories, it looked as if her grasp on who she was, was becoming uncertain.
To that elder Novem, a great grandchild hurriedly returned.
『Even when her son had passed, Novem carried a goddess’ memories, and a portion of her power. With such a strong force within, it seems she could live longer than those around. 』
Why was a scene like this left behind? As I thought that, the grandchild pulled a young man along, and seeing him, Novem was shocked.
Setting his unkempt brown hair with a hand, a large man entered the room.
『I’ve pioneered the land next door, I’m Basil Walt. Thought I’d come to greet, for argument’s sake… Ah, here’s some meat. Got ale as well.』
The man that was her great grandchild shook his head.
『Basil, my great grandmother doesn’t really eat…』
Novem raised her upper half off the bed, corrected her posture before the First, and sat.
『I guess I’ll have some, it’s been a while. And you called yourself Basil Walt? Could it be you were born in Centralle, and you hail from an imperial noble knight house?』
On Novem’s words, the First… Basil smiled wide.
『Lady, you’re the first to ever look at me, and guess I’m an imperial noble. That’s right. Third son of the Walt House.』
At the chest of the First, who stuck in his thumb to point to himself, hung a blue gem wrapped and hung with a string. Novem looked at it, and made a bit of a serious expression, before smiling.
『Prepare a banquet. They’re our important neighbors. Make it perfect.』
The great grandson was confused. Seeing Novem so delighted, he likely didn’t have any idea what to say.
『Sorry for that. Or rather, it’s my first time pioneering, and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. Could I ask you a few things, lady?』
『I don’t see why not.』
Seeing the First’s brazen attitude, she looked even happier.
『Really! Alright! Next time I’ll bring over a bear or boar or something bigger as a gift. Shucks, it really helps that our neighbors are good people. In Centralle, I heard we’d be at each other’s throats a lot.』
Novem explained with a smile.
『Fights over water, and food supplies… it’s quite often you’ll fight with your neighbors. At times like that, are you the type to trick your surroundings, Basil-dono?』
Hearing that, the First crossed his arms, and thought. It wasn’t suited for him. And after stopping his thoughts, he grinned.
『There’s a forest nearby. A forest with plenty of monsters. I’m sure there’s a Labyrinth in there. So I’m going to cut it open, and secure some land. There’s sure to be some water somewhere. And that’s problem solved. If it’s a land no one owns, then doesn’t it belong to whoever opens it up?』
Novem looked a little troubled.
『No, I was speaking hypothetically, and I wasn’t asking about your present state. Good grief…』
As she said that, Novem looked happy. As if she was recalling her previous conversations with that young man.
『To hell with that. With so many monsters around, what’s going to happen if we humans don’t work together. Well, even like this, I’ve got some power. If a monster comes out, give me a holler. I’ll send it flying.』
Seeing the First smile, Novem looked truly delighted.
And Milleia-san spoke.
『… Lyle, to Novem. No, to those that inherited Novem’s memories, the Walt House is a meaningful House. Because they’re the strong people Novem wished for. The form of the humans who wouldn’t stop moving forward. To add onto that, they think to give the continent to its rightful successor. That is the truth of the Forxuz House who continued supporting up the Walts.』
Today, I learned the truth of the Forxuz House.
… May had parted from Lyle’s party to meet up with Novem’s unit.
From the Margrave or Resno’s land, Lyle’s party headed towards Cartaffs.
Lyle was lying asleep, and he showed no signs of waking.
Aria called out to Monica, who was humming as she worked on winter clothing.
“Once we reach Cartaffs, we’ll return to South Beim, right? Will we make it in time?”
To tease Lyle, Monica had been knitting some children’s’ clothing.
“We’ll make it, so I think it will be fine. We’ve already put things in place, so all that’s left is for Beim to do its best. Though it intrigues me the general governing that once-neighboring country was surprisingly competent. Oh, it’s perfect if I do say so myself.”
Finishing up the baby’s clothing, Monica looked satisfied, Carefully storing them away, she started into her next project.
Aria let out a sigh.
“Stop it with the baby jokes. There are plenty of people around Lyle who lack a sense of humor. Like that Tres House’s Fidel-san, it seems he really tried to assemble some baby goods.”
Monica to Aria.
“You’re mistaking something. I’m making them for real. I’ll help out, and I’ll be perfectly prepared whenever that chicken’s dear chicks poke their heads out. Good grief, it really will get busy.”
Saying it would be busy, Monica looked delightful.
Shannon was desperately studying how to read. In Porter’s loading tray, she looked at the paper Clara had prepared, and was copying down its contents.
“So you spell it like… why do those letters look so similar! That’s downright hard to understand!”
“Hah, just make a guess from the words that precede it. That’s still been written quite neatly, let me tell you.”
The one looking over Shannon was, surprisingly enough, Lianne. Having changed from a dress to something easier to move around in, she was assisting in Shannon’s education.
Aria couldn’t see the princess who leapt at Lyle in insanity a few days ago and the current Lianne as the same person.
“Um, it may be wrong for me to ask something like this, but Lianne-sama, do you…”
“Just Lianne is fine, Aria-san. I’ve got to be respectful of my seniors in the business.”
Aria hesitated as she asked Lianne.
“You were taken out of Faunbeux, but do you really plan to, you know with Lyle…”
Do you really plan on marrying him? As she posed that question, Lianne scoffed.
“I heard you were formerly the daughter of a baron, so can’t you understand? To be blunt, I don’t have the freedom to choose my partner. And this isn’t so bad a deal. I’m amazed by all the preparations your party has put in. It truly is astounding.”
Lianne turned to Aria as she spoke.
“It really looks like you’ll be able to rule the continent. But… it’s still too soft. There are plenty of gaps to take advantage of. I’m marrying in. It would be troublesome if something like failure were to come, so I won’t be sparing in my assistance.”
Aria hesitated some more at Lianne’s smile. She knew her opponent didn’t have any considerable power, but her instincts were screaming not to make an enemy of her.
“Well, love and all that shit can come later, so for now let’s work towards victory. If we don’t win, nothing will come of it, and if I don’t cooperate, I’ll never be able to overtake my seniors.”
Ignoring Lianne’s words, Aria spoke.
“More importantly, have you given up on revenge? Lyle has no intent for revenge against Celes.”
Hearing that, Lianne looked down a bit.
“… Humans don’t change so easily. It’s regretful and detestable… but it’s even more regretful not to move forward. And I’d hate not doing what I can even more.”
Having taken Parselena’s words, it seems Lianne had chosen to move forward.