“I’m afraid His Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince, ordered me to impersonate Princess Esterize. He asked Grose Baehr to make sure that if anyone asks, I would confess to the crime. . .”
Those who had not yet grasped the situation began to murmur as they finally understood. Some may have already suspected it. It was a well-known fact that I was against Acardi and had tried to kill Diark several times, although I never spoke of it. However, there was no evidence to prove it.
I couldn’t let Grose Baehr kill Diark because he was too important of a pawn. Not killing Diark was the reason why Grose Baehr never realized the connection between us. Of course, even now, Bella’s words wouldn’t reveal that connection.
“. . .Clovis, what does this mean?”
“. . .It’s just the delusions of this woman.”
I know that my older brother cannot be fooled, but now I can only hope that the remaining five will launch a surprise attack before resorting to the final option.
As expected, my brother looked at me suspiciously and asked,
“So, where is the real Esterize? We haven’t received any notice of her absence.”
“I have no idea.”
“You expect me to believe that a mere maid could hide the princess somewhere? Even someone like her who can use teleportation magic?”
“Since she is the daughter of Marquis Hanawald, it might be his doing.”
It is impossible to connect me and Grose Baehr with just the testimony of a mere maid. Hanawald was a good ally, but he is not worth keeping. Someday, he will understand if it means putting Acardi under our control.
“Besides, isn’t it said that Grose Baehr doesn’t accept requests from proxies? In any case, it wouldn’t matter if this woman made the request.”
At that moment, as I was about to ignore her and leave. . .
“You created Grose Baehr. . .as the boss, you can’t be unrelated to this.”
Dorothea said with a sneer. I had only talked to her about my requests as a client, but she seemed to know more than that.
“Not only that, but you also kidnapped and imprisoned the princess of Acardi. . .even if you are the emperor’s younger brother, you can’t be exempt from punishment.”
“What are you talking about, Dorothea?”
“What else? You did it. The evidence is already there, so give up already.”
If there was already evidence. . .it seemed that Bella had not suddenly betrayed me, but had been working with them for a long time. Why? Was it because she hoped for the healing magic of the princess? Even though it was uncertain whether the magic could cure her mother without the antidote, it was uncertain whether the princess could find her mother’s location under surveillance, and it was uncertain whether such a proposal would be accepted in the first place.
Dorothea turned away from me, who was speechless, and faced Fia and Zechs.
“Where do you think the other five are, including you and your companions, Faird and Kelby?”
Why did she use those names? Faird and Kelby are Fia and Zechs’ real names. Bella shouldn’t know their names. Only the two of them and the other five know.
Zechs understood the meaning and became furious.
“What did you do to our companions!”
He shouted and tried to stand up, but was slammed to the ground by the boy with an unimaginable speed.
“I don’t remember saying you could move.”
The boy, who had eyes that could kill with just a glance, restrained Zechs again. The difference in strength was too great. Even if all seven of them attacked together, the result would have been the same, with only a little more time. If they had known there was such a difference in strength, they would never have let Dorothea become their partner.
I gritted my teeth. Was it because she realized she could have been killed? I couldn’t help but wonder why Dorothea, who had only seen them as simple and easy-to-handle pawns, had such a cold look in her eyes.
“If you confess your connection to the Crown Prince, I won’t do anything bad to you.”
“. . .I understand. I’m sorry, Null.”
Dorothea told Fia and Zechs in a cold voice, causing them to hang their heads in resignation. I had been concerned about the budding sense of camaraderie between them, and now that it had come to this, it was only a matter of time before they confessed. After all, I was only human too. I couldn’t kill them and silence them completely, especially since they had some feelings.
“Take them away.”
“Well, Clovis, there are many things I want to ask you too, but. . .”
I messed up. Did I become too arrogant? Oh well.
“. . .Hahaha! If possible, I wanted to blame Acardi’s mistake. . .but it can’t be helped.”
I don’t really want to become the emperor. I just want to make Verde an absolute existence. That’s why I want to invade Acardi.
So, at this point, any reason for war will do.
“Shall we kill that princess?”
Even though the people of Acardi hoped that the next queen would not be a spineless person who would remain silent after being killed, the boy who should have been obsessed with the next queen showed no signs of agitation.
“. . .What, are the people of Acardi heartless after all?”
I said sarcastically, but for some reason, Dorothea stood in front of me and glared at me.
“It’s impossible to kill the princess of Acardi.”
“Hmph, it seems like you’re getting too comfortable after bringing in Bella, but it’s a different group of people who have captured the princess. Or did you manage to turn them over too?”
“No, there was no need for that.”
“. . .Dorothea, what’s wrong with you since earlier?”
“Didn’t you also hold a grudge against the princess? Didn’t you say you wanted to make that young boy yours? When did you also defect to Acardi?”
Unable to keep the questions in her heart any longer, Bella asked. Dorothea smiled and took off her face veil.
“No way. . .!”
With a practiced hand, Dorothea put on the face veil and hid the face that I should have known well. When I opened my eyes wide, the magic was released like particles of light ascending to the sky.
“I’m right here, you know.”
Standing there was not Dorothea, but the princess who was supposed to be held captive in a distant location.