19.1 Daughter and Sister
Balakirev glared at the three of us.
“This was Anastasia’s idea, wasn’t it?”
Towards his words, Anastasia trembled and nodded.
“Because… His Highness and Lady Alisa haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Hence, you decided to use His Highness to kill George.”
Balakirev seemed to have seen through Anastasia’s plan.
Instead of escaping, we appeared in front of George’s bedroom on the second floor.
Hence, Balakirev must have concluded that we were attempting to solve the problem by defeating George.
Frightened, Anastasia looked up at me with her golden eyes.
I smiled and grabbed Anastasia’s small hand.
As if relieved, Anastasia nodded. Her silver hair swayed softly.
Then, she stared straight at Balakirev.
“Balakirev, why are you on his side? Because of that person, our territory is now in chaos. Surely, you’re aware of that?”
“Even so, the former viscount entrusted this territory to Anastasia and George. The former viscount was my benefactor. He took me in as his vassal despite my being exiled. How could I bear to disobey his last will? It’s unthinkable. Therefore, until Anastasia has matured, I’ll obey George.”
“Then, you’ll just let me marry George? Once that happens, even if I grow up, wouldn’t this territory, me, and Balakirev forever remain under George’s control!?”
Towards Anastasia’s cry, Balakirev’s eyebrows rose slightly. Albeit faintly, he had faltered.
…We might be able to convince him.
However, that expectation was fleeting.
All traces of emotion vanished from Balakirev’s face. He proceeded to unsheathe the large blade on his waist.
What a mysterious sword. It had a large blade, and a bent back. It was different from the standard military sword.
Said large sword gave off a dull glow.
Balakirev spoke quietly.
“Then, how is His Highness Alexander different from George? He isn’t even your relative. He might take advantage of Anastasia and plunder the viscount’s territory as he desires.”
His Highness replied fiercely, but Balakirev’s eyes remained cold.
“Even if His Highness is a good person, he’s still a dangerous person. Even his own kingdom deems him such. There are also those aiming for his life. I can’t entrust the fate of Anastasia to such a person.”
“That still won’t change the fact that the current situation isn’t good!”
Balakirev ignored His Highness’ words and held out his sword.
Words were no longer needed.
His Highness nervously unsheathed his sword. It was the holy sword of that land, bestowed upon him by Anastasia.
His Highness looked back at me. His blue eyes were shaking with anxiety.
“Let’s return to our territory together.”
I grabbed the hem of His Highness’ clothes as I said those words.
With a slightly relaxed expression, His Highness nodded and turned to face Balakirev.
Unless His Highness defeat Balakirev there, he wouldn’t be able to defeat George. In other words, he wouldn’t be able to free Anastasia, and we wouldn’t be able to return to the territory.
Balakirev quickly stepped forward and swept his large sword horizontally. His Highness deflected it, and sparks scattered.
Balakirev laughed fearlessly.
“I’m a nobody. I’m not an heir of some noble family, let alone a member of the royal family. But if there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s my title as the ‘Strongest Swordsman’ East of the great mountains!”
The Kingdom of Rushie was divided by a large mountain range crossing from North to South. The land was divided into East and West. The climate was harsher in the Eastern side while the royal capital was located in the West. Moreover, it had also been enduring the clashes of different races.
If one acquired a title of the ‘Strongest Swordsman’ in the Eastern side, then that person must be a master of swordsmanship.
Back in the academy, His Highness was one of the few considered the best with swordsmanship.
However, it might not be possible for him to defeat a real warrior such as Balakirev.
Still, His Highness put up a good fight.
Nevertheless, he was gradually being pushed back…
Every time Balakirev swung his sword down, His Highness barely managed to intercept it.
…Something has to be done.
After all, it wasn’t a duel.
His Highness didn’t have to fight alone.
Anastasia anxiously stared at me.
“It’s okay. There’s no need to be afraid. Stay where you are.”
I took out a dagger meant for self-defense from the pocket of my maid outfit. I usually carried it with me, and after I had a change my clothes, I still kept it.
I knew it was reckless…
…But I wanted to help His Highness.
When His Highness was cornered against a wall, I stepped forward and charged Balakirev with the dagger.
Of course, because the opponent was a master swordsman, I missed.
Nevertheless, for a moment, Balakirev wavered.
His Highness didn’t miss that opportunity. His sword sharply struck Balakirev’s sword, flicking it away.
A loud noise could be heard.
Balakirev’s sword fell to the floor.
Balakirev, stunned, was immediately cornered by His Highness with a sword to his nape.
“…That’s true, Your Highness.”
Surprisingly, Balakirev was clam.
He might not be loyal to George from the bottom of his heart, or his defeat might had burdened him.
At that moment, the door to George’s room opened.
Perhaps he hadn’t changed, yet. George, still wearing his military uniform, paled.
“What is the meaning of this…?”
“As the first prince, I came to judge George Prokofieva, this viscount’s usurper. I advise you to surrender quietly.”
His Highness straightforwardly told him.
George groaned and glared at Anastasia. His face was red with anger.
“You put them to this didn’t you, Anastasia!? Had you stay quiet, I’d have let you do whatever you wanted. When I killed your predecessor, I should’ve gotten rid of you as well!”
“…Did you kill your predecessor?”
I instinctively listened.
It seemed to have been a slip of mouth. The next second, George smiled and decided to just be frank about it.
“The former viscount died because I poisoned him.”
***T/N: *Gasp* Nooo way!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!