43.1 The Veilburg’s Murder Suicide
The Water City of Veilburg.
Hadith arrived at the naval port, which could be called the rendezvous point with the Kingdom of Kratos.
He was greeted by the soldiers—not those from the Northern Division, but the private army of Marquis Veil who controlled the area of that territory.
Feeling the strained atmosphere tinged with intimidation, Hadith who stood on the side of the pier saw the kneeling Marquis Veil.
“Welcome home, Your Majesty the Emperor.”
“Yes, I’ve returned. Thank you for the welcome.”
“How was Kratos? Did Your Majesty’s concerns regarding the signs of war get resolved?”
“—What happened to the Northern Division?”
Regardless of how dumb the question sounded, Hadith still asked with a smile.
Originally, it should be the Northern Division who guarded the Emperor directly.
However, as of current, only Marquis Veil’s private troops could be seen. There was no sign of the Northern Division.
When his question was dismissed, Marquis Veil took it as a provocation and was displeased. He unpleasantly furrowed his eyebrows. However, he didn’t fail to reply immediately—
“—I see that Your Majesty still hasn’t received the news, yet. Bandits attacked and my daughter, Sufia, was kidnapped. The entire time, Northern Division was useless, in the end, I had no other choice but to dispatch my own army—“
“—I see, so none of the Northern Division survived?”
To Hadith, who interrupted the conversation, Marquis Veil cleared his throat, before resuming his report in a straight posture.
“There’s none, Your Majesty. All of them have been slaughtered by the bandits. I have already disposed of those who fled from the enemy. Those who didn’t go to work that day were lucky. However, as you can see, because of the lack of personnel, I had to send my own army to greet and escort Your Majesty.”
It seemed that the destruction of evidence had already been concluded.
Hadith was aware that the attack on the naval port was in fact orchestrated by Marquis Veil himself—however, there was no evidence to back his claim. The bandits had already gone, too.
In any case, if he didn’t look further into the case, then he wouldn’t be able to do anything.
He had returned late, but it was better than never.
“Then, to put it simply, there are survivors. Give me the names of those vacationers.”
“…Well, such a thing can be done…”
“Therefore, give it to me right away. I wouldn’t be able to reform the Northern Division without knowing how many remain.”
“…Unfortunately, I don’t think such a reform can be done.”
Marquis Veil said in a tone as if he was talking to a toddler.
His underestimation of Hadith was as clear as the day. It was obvious Marquis Veil saw Hadith as an Emperor who couldn’t tell his right from his left, and couldn’t grasp the situation.
That was fine for Hadith.
If Hadith wanted to do things peacefully, he had to convince someone like Marquis Veil that he was below him. Otherwise, they would be crushing each other head-on.
With joint responsibility, we also have to figure out the number of casualties…
Those still breathing were probably aristocrats related to Marquis Veil.
If he summoned them one by one and questioned them, he might be able to extort the truth from one of them.
Even though that shouldn’t be the Emperor’s job—Hadith laughed bitterly as he reminisced.
Hadith continued as planned.
“Lady Sufia seems to have been rescued, is that correct?”
“Indeed, it was possible through my aid. Luckily, the head of the bandits hadn’t killed her yet.”
“I see. I want to speak to them. Arrange for the meeting.”
“It’s unfortunate but… the head of the bandits is dead. Surrounded by my army, it seems that he finally realized he wouldn’t be able to escape—thus, he ended himself.”
He made it sounded like a heroic story, even though in truth, the head of the bandits was merely disposed of.
Hadith had no choice but to consider the next alternative;
“Then, it’s really fortunate for Lady Sufia to have survived. I shall arrange for a meeting with her later.”
“I’m afraid the incident has deeply traumatized my daughter.”
“Let me know when is the most suitable time to visit her, then.”
“…Your Majesty, I’m afraid it would only trouble you to no end…”
“What, so her condition is that bad? I can arrange a doctor for her.”
“No, in this case…”
“…Oh, rather than causing trouble for me, would it be troublesome to you if Lady Sufia and I meet?”
Hesitatingly, Marquis Veil shook his head.
Sufia and Hadith were so-called ‘tea friends’. Marquis Veil probably realized his adamant refusal would arouse Hadith’s suspicion.
Well, you can just keep looking down at me like before, not like it matters…
As Hadith passed by Marquis Veil, he showed him a smile. It was a warning.
“We shall continue this talk at a later date in the castle. I’m tired and I want to rest in my room. You shall report the rest to me later.”
“As you command.”
Hadith sighed, looking at Marquis Veil’s head. It was apparent the guy was bowing in relief.
…Goodness grief, all of this happening right after I just returned.
Marquis Veil refrained from criticizing him earlier, however, the truth remained that the Northern Division was under the direct control of the Emperor.
As such, everything could be considered as Hadith’s blunder. Those nosy people in the Imperial Capital must be actively plotting something right now.
Keep in mind that Marquis Veil might had also blabbered a lot in my absence…
At any rate, while Hadith was in Kratos, it seemed that during his leave, somebody had hatched a plan to remove him.
***T/N: Ugh, strap in, guys… this extra arcs will totally entail what happened if Jill wasn’t there… and it’s totally going to be painful fo sho, ugh, this bastard Marquis Veil doesn’t deserve this much spotlight, imo. He’s like that boss in game who got revived again and again by the power of cutscenes–BY GOD, END HIM ALREADY, LEON!!!11 (Resident Evil Franchise flasbacks)
—however, the Author promised in the latter chapter that after this arc, it’ll be the continuation of Jill and Hadith’s love! Be patient, patient is key!