33. The Returnee Noble Lady (32)
Even though some measures had been taken to ensure that he wouldn’t be able to commit suicide, Marquis Veil died by strangling his neck using both of his hands while inside the prison.
But, the guard testified that at the same time, Marquis Veil had also cried for help—‘save me—!’
Rather than suicide, it would be more precise to say that he died mysteriously.
A gag order had been issued, but rumors still spread quickly. The death of Marquis Veil had become known not only throughout the entire castle, but also the town. There were many suspects pertaining to who had spread the rumors.
Jill had heard about the current state of affairs from Camila, who had gone to town to seek info.
She sighed greatly inside her room. “…Everyone keeps saying that it’s because of the Cursed Emperor…”
“The atmosphere is really bad. This is the territory of Marquis Veil, it’s only natural for the townspeople to exaggerate—after all, they’re scared.”
“The Northern Division—I spoke to Hugo earlier. It seems that there were quite a number of instigators in town.”
“Must be the guys brought by Prince Geraldo.” Jill scratched her head at Camila’s remark.
“…Why would Prince Geraldo…~? Well, I do think the way his visit overlaps with this ridiculous happening isn’t just some mere coincidence, but…”
“Rather, it wouldn’t be weird for Prince Geraldo to have connections with those who rebelled against His Majesty.”
It was clear that Marquis Veil was involved in a faction that rebelled against Hadith. However, before anything could be traced back, Marquis Veil died. It happened right after he had spewed something regarding Hadith’s curse, too, which everyone thought had subsided.
The enemy of your enemy is an ally. It wasn’t at all unnatural for Geraldo to have some links with those rebels.
“In the first place, the reason why His Majesty, who has no backing, could ascend to the throne at such a young age was because everyone thought it would diminish the curse. If said belief breaks down, surely, some people will try to eliminate His Majesty, thinking that would ultimately end the curse.”
“…That Crown Prince has started moving, huh~? So, Jill-chan, you suspect that Prince Geraldo is supporting the Crown Prince?”
In fact, Jill knew that Geraldo had been fueling the Anti-Imperialism, extracting information and exploiting it.
Geraldo was a warrior, but he was also a politician.
“But, regarding the current circumstances… is the curse a real thing, after all?”
Zeke went straight to the point. Camila nodded along.
“Certainly, Marquis Veil’s manner of death was unusual. He died in a way that makes it hard to deny the existence of the curse.”
“But His Majesty told me, as long as I’m there, the curse would subside.”
—ah, I better tell them about that.
She briefly explained about Rave and his blessings. She also showed them the Dragon Princess Ring.
Camila folded her arms—creases appeared between her eyebrows.
“That’s, …hard to believe, but~ I certainly heard talk about the Emperor’s ‘mysterious inquiry’ that he always asked of his fiancée candidate, about ‘can you see it’, or something along that line. If by ‘it’, he meant Rave, then that explains the mysterious inquiry…”
“I don’t really get magic stuff, but if Captain says so, then I believe in you. …Therefore, the curse exists?”
“Before anything else, we need to confirm what this curse really entails~”
Towards Camila’s inquiry, Jill lifted her face as she sat on a chair.
“What the curse… really entails?”
“Yes~ all this time, we’ve been talking endlessly about the Emperor’s curse, but what is it, actually~? Why would it diminish once the Dragon Emperor finds a bride~? How does this curse work~? In addition, since it’s a curse, there must be someone behind it~”
“…Assuming the myth is true, it’s the curse of the Goddess of Kratos.”
Towards Zeke’s utterance, Jill was surprised.
Camila entwined a finger with her side hair while frowning.
“…There’s also that, isn’t there~ Beside The Dragon God Rave, there’s also that existence… although until just before, I believed they were all myths~!”
“Doesn’t the part that mentions the bride being the Shield of Dragon also coincide with the current situation? Isn’t everything too similar?”
“Eh? Wait a minute? What are you guys talking about?”
At Jill’s question, Zeke and Camila stared. It seemed that it was common knowledge for them.
“Speaking of which, Jill-chan is from the Kingdom of Kratos. Oh, was perhaps the legend told differently there~?”
“More like, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Supposedly in the past, the Goddess and the Dragon God had conflicting opinions regarding the treatment of humans. That was also how one continent ended up being divided into two kingdoms.”
To protect people with love, or to lead them with reason?
The teachings appear in the form of blessing in each kingdom. The earth of Kratos, which was protected by love of the god of magic, could produce almost everything. Meanwhile, the sky of Rave, where the dragons danced, was protected by the knowledge of reason.
“Rather than scripture, we are talking about folklore, though…”
“What I heard back there at Kratos was—Kratos and Rave were originally supposed to marry each other and rule over the earth and the sky.”
“Yes, yes~ that’s the one~ Because of the conflict with the goddess, the blessing of the earth transformed into a curse. There seems to have been a time when nothing could grow in the land of Rave. However, the Dragon Emperor acquired a bride with an abundant amount of magic—the Dragon Princess. Then, on the summit of the Rakia Mountains, he conjured up a magical barrier to dispel the Goddess’ curse on the earth. It’s said that the magical barrier also established as the border.”
The curse of the Goddess would be diminished by the presence of a Dragon Princess—which was the same situation as now.
“The Goddess then got angry because the curse was repelled. Therefore, she transformed herself into a black spear—because if she’s in her original form, she isn’t able to pass the magical barrier. It was said that she would be carried by humans and would cross the sea and come all the way here.”
“Umm… that spear… is it the ‘Holy Spear of the Goddess’? The on that has been handed down to the Royal Family of Kratos for generations…?”
“So the ‘Holy Spear of the Goddess’ is actually real, and it resides in Kratos…? All this time, I thought it was nothing but a legend!” Zeke was impressed.
It seemed that there was a discordance of information between Kratos and Rave, after all…
“Everything is so different, here, huh~ well, what happened next was, the wonderful spear that was actually the Goddess was presented to the Dragon Couple—at the next moment, it stabbed the Princess. The Princess who realized the real identity of the spear locked the Goddess in her shadow in exchange for her own life. As a result, the magical barrier disappeared. At the same time, the Goddess would never be able to return to her original form, and the curse disappeared along with it. It’s a tale of a Dragon Princess who fulfilled her duty till the end.”
It was a folklore—a myth.
According to the myth, the ‘Holy Spear of the Goddess’ was real.
In fact, six years later, Geraldo attacked Jill with the same spear.
…indeed, as of now, Prince Geraldo is already able to summon the Holy Spear of the Goddess…
Did that cause the Goddess’ curse to recur?
Zeke pondered with his arms folded.
“It’s nothing but a myth. How could I believe in such things? The curse is another story. The repeated deaths of the Crown Princes merely seem to have inadvertently helped His Majesty to ascend the throne.”
“—there is also another possibility. A mere prince without such a curse, but also without the opportunity to ever become the Emperor is isolated with such ‘curse’ to ensure his gaining the throne.”
Rave had said something similar—even without the deaths of the princes, Hadith would still become the Emperor—that was his destiny. Therefore, the series of deaths was entirely intentional.
“That’s right, after everything is said and done… all those repeated deaths did was harm the Emperor’s reputation over and over~”
“But, at the same time, is the ultimate purpose of the curse the Dragon Princess—our Captain’s life?”
“But I don’t remember ever conjuring a magical barrier. Even if I die, I doubt it would affect the Kingdom of Kratos and the Rave Empire… and that part about isolating the Emperor…”
What would Geraldo achieve by doing that? It would help the Crown Prince, but that might as well amount to nothing—think, think…
…come to think of it, it should be happening now, shouldn’t it? The ‘Veilburg Murder Suicide’…
According to history, the punishment that Hadith wrought instilled fear in people. Not only was Hadith isolated, he also had conflict with the Crown Prince.
Now, albeit the process was different, Marquis Veil had died.
The same outcome might be born because it supposedly came from Hadith’s curse.
Why? For what?
No, most importantly—the person alleged to have caused the Veilburg’s mass murders…
“…where’s Lady Sufia?”
“Eh? Oh, right, she went with His Majesty to identify Marquis Veil, shouldn’t she be returning soon~?”
“She still thinks of such a father even after he has died, huh? It would be better if she just leaves him alone…”
What Zeke said was reasonable—then, a strange noise.
“I’m going to look for her.”
“Eh? Jill-chan, wait, …ara.”
When she jumped out of the chair, she heard the sound of knocking on the door.
Coming inside after excusing themselves was none other than the person Jill was looking for—Sufia.
***T/N: The Veilburg fire incident is rly the main event that changed everything. Here I thought just like any other isekai, the plots gonna be like:
>Jill returned to the past!
>Saved Veilburg in one fell swoop!
>ok onward to the next journey, that city shall never be mentioned again.