9.1 The Decisions of the Two
After staring at each other, His Highness and I immediately separated ourselves.
Originally, we came to that warehouse to look for evidence of embezzlement and bribery against the former governor, Trepov, who had ruled Arkhangelsk.
We had let our guard down because Trepov wasn’t supposed to come to his office that day…
Apparently, his schedule had changed.
Trepov was a middle-aged man who at the very least fit the description of a gentleman. He was of medium height and looked a little nervous.
To me, he looked just like any other bureaucrats of the kingdom. Moreover, he was wearing a bureaucratic uniform.
Why were Trepov and Felix together?
After all, Felix had been stationed at the entrance of the building to report any strange movements.
At that time, Trepov probably showed up.
From the security of the building, Trepov would find out that we were inside the building. There was also no way for Felix to intercept him. As such, he acted as Trepov’s guide, instead.
Felix put his hands together to make a sorry pose while smiling regretfully.
He was a beautiful boy, so even that smile looked adorable.
Felix’s wasn’t at fault in the slightest.
However, we were indeed in trouble, now…
Anyway, the source of conflict was Trepov. Trepov also came while His Highness and I were trying to uncover his injustice.
…Besides, there was another problem.
His Highness Alexander received Trepov’s greeting proudly like a prince.
At first glance, it was a polite greeting between the prince of the kingdom and the governor-general…
Then, His Highness asked Trepov and Felix in a serious manner.
“So, how long have you been watching?”
“…How long, you ask?”
Trepov’s smile broke. On the other hand, it didn’t seem like Felix was going to attempt to cover up anything.
“I’ve been watching His Highness and Alisa flirting with each other from the beginning. You shouldn’t have showed such a sensitive sight to me, what innocent youth! Just as Alisa was about to fall, His Highness caught her! His Excellency Trepov and I watched the two of you with bated breath!”
His Highness was flushed, and I could also feel my cheeks flushing…
…We had been discovered.
Now that I thought about it, it was nothing but a series of embarrassing scenes—such as hugging, stroking shoulders, and my requesting His Highness to, to…
Felix smiled and spoke to Trepov.
“Your Excellency was also watching, wasn’t he? After all, we entered the warehouse just before Alisa was about to fall.”
Trepov averted his eyes towards the distant window.
“…I missed the chance to call out to you.”
Then, Felix winked at me.
I was surprised.
Felix was trying to clue us in about their time of arrival.
It seemed that they arrived right when I was about to fall—
—which meant, Trepov hadn’t seen us discussing his infamy.
Therefore, the trump card of the information obtained there remained in the hands of His Highness and I.
Based on that, His Highness could decide how far to pursue Trepov.
If we were to adhere to principle, His Highness could allow Trepov to return to the royal capital without charging him.
Nevertheless, His Highness had promised the mayor that he’d deal with the former governor’s misdeeds and regain the Iron Crown of the Holy King.
His Highness took a deep breath, and said slowly.
“Trepov, I’d like to be straightforward with you—did you abuse your authority to amass your own wealth?”
“What are you talking about?”
“We have evidence.”
With those words, His Highness slammed a bunch of books before Trepov.
Trepov proceeded to stare at His Highness with an undiscernible look on his face.
His Highness resumed.
“—I also want to talk to you regarding the saint’s Iron Crown. Word have reached me that you’re trying to take the saint’s relic and bring it back to the royal capital.”
“The monastery voluntarily offered said relic to me. It was a sign of gratitude for my achievements so far. The property I’ve amassed is but a sign of goodwill from the city and the village.”
For the first time, Trepov showed a smile.
We both knew that he was lying. We had investigated it and gathered some evidence.
However, Trepov denied the claims.
His Highness was glaring at Trepov with a strong will within his beautiful blue eyes.
“Trepov, return the ‘Iron Crown of the Holy King’ and everything you’ve stole from the people of the city. If you voluntarily admit to your wrongdoings, I also won’t bring this matter to the royal capital. As such, your penalty for committing this crime of corruption will also be lightened.”
“…Does Your Highness not understand his own position?”
Trepov began to walk around the place.
What does he mean?
“Allow me enlighten you about what kind of peril you’re in. For those who support the second prince, Mikhail, His Highness Alexander can be seen as the head of a potential rebellion. As such, there are those who wish for your death. They’re searching for an opportunity to prove your guilt.”
Involuntarily, I stared at His Highness Alexander.
Certainly, it was only natural for such a possibility to exist. To ensure that Mikhail was crowned, killing His Highness Alexander was certainly an effective method.
However, His Highness hadn’t committed any crimes. His Majesty the King was also still alive, so there was no way such a barbaric act would be tolerated…
When he heard Trepov’s words, His Highness didn’t move at all. On the other hand, Trepov didn’t seem to care and continued.
“The second prince should want to eliminate His Highness Alexander altogether. However, due to the fact that His Highness Alexander is innocent, the best that could be done was reducing you to a margrave. But what if I, a high-ranking official, insist to the court of officials that His Highness Alexander is staging a rebellion? …Surely, Your Highness’ position will be put at an even greater disadvantage.”
***T/N: Ahahaha the snake resorted to malicious threats now.