The information we got from Viscount Cottnes suggested that the Duke is in league with Remrest. This information alone was already beyond our control, we had to inform the right people.
Hence, I decided to fly to the capital, the royal castle, to be specific. After dropping me off here, Ryuu was to fly to Ashbaton with Patrick in tow. We decided that his family, who lived along the border of the neighboring country should be informed.
I never thought the day would come where I had to visit the royal castle on my own. Though I didn’t expect to have an audience with His Majesty immediately, I still told the minister’s secretary that I wanted to meet him.
I thought I would have to wait at least a few days and would have to stay at my residence until everything was ready, but the secretary immediately returned.
“Count Dolknes, this way. His Majesty would like to see you now.”
Seriously, isn’t this too quick? Is it really this easy to have an audience with His Majesty? Maybe next time I’ll shout, “Your Majesty, let’s play together,” in front of the castle.
The secretary walked me to His Majesty’s office while I imagined things I would never do.
The office was crammed with neatly organized papers and there was no sign of any decoration. He was sitting alone in a room full of paperwork, looking over his papers.
When he heard the door open, he looked up and set the papers aside with a serious expression.
“I never thought I’d see the day when Miss Yumiela would come to see me voluntarily. Should I be happy or sad? I suppose you brought some bad news.”
He knew that I wouldn’t come to the castle unless something serious had happened. He knew her all too well.
“It’s been a while, Your Majesty, but I have something to share with you today regarding Duke Hillrose.”
I explained what the Viscount had told me about the Duke schemes. About how the extremist had banded together to remove the King’s faction and Remrest was involved.
I thought it was quite dangerous, but His Majesty didn’t even bat an eye. Eh? Did he already know about this?
After I had finished my explanation, he was silent. He just closed his eyes. Like he was reminiscing about someone.
His Majesty sighed, opened his eyes slowly and said.
“The only one that knows about Remrest’s involvement is Hillrose, is there any question about this?”
“That was what Viscount Cottnes had said. He also said it was an unusual move by the duke.”
“In that case, it’s not a problem.”
I believe it’s full of problems.
Despite His Majesty not knowing the information beforehand, he showed no signs of being upset at all. Normally, this information could cause a major uproar throughout the country, but he showed no sense of urgency.
Although I had no intention of interfering with His Majesty’s policy, I couldn’t help but voice my concerns.
“Is Ronald-san okay? I understand that he is the Duke’s son. Right now, he is His Majesty’s close aide, but there is a possibility that he will side with the Duke in this debacle.”
“That won’t be a problem.”
“Then why would the duke send his son away?”
“It was for the sake of his son. You forget that he can see the future.”
The Duke’s future predictions were brought up once again. Ronald and the queen mentioned it before, but I had no idea what that meant.
Perhaps my dissatisfaction was reflected in my attitude, as His Majesty began to speak first.
“See, Hillrose was my close friend. He foresaw that, even if the Demon King’s problems were solved, the unrest in the kingdom would never end.”
“Is that what the Duke saw? I don’t think that’s a good reason to distance Ronald-san.”
“Both of us had a different solution. Now we have no choice but to confront each other and to avoid being caught up in it, he has entrusted his son to me.”
It would seem like the Duke is moving under the assumption that he will lose in the confrontation with the King. I wonder why he would risk a losing battle and if he were to drag other countries into the fray, he knew he wouldn’t be spared.
His Majesty’s speech, which I had expected to continue, ended there.
“I can’t divulge any more than that. Forgive me, but I’m not about to break a promise to my friend.”
“What does the Duke have in mind? What is his goal?”
“Duke Hillrose leading his faction attempts to seize control of the kingdom by enlisting Remrest’s help. That’s it. And I will make sure that his schemes are thwarted.”
When His Majesty said that his former best friend was an enemy and the bad guy, I couldn’t ask him any more questions.
He looked sad.
◆ ◆ ◆
I was absorbed in my thoughts while taking a break.
Afterward, we were sent home and were told that all the problems would be taken care of as long as we quietly stayed in the territory.
I get the feeling that His Majesty is not worried about the kingdom being tipped by the Duke’s schemes. But I don’t think he has taken all possible measures against the Duke. He didn’t seem to know about the neighboring country’s involvement until I told him.
As I wondered about these things, I heard a boisterous voice coming from the doorway. There she was.
“Yumiela-san, I’m here!!”
“You’ve arrived early.”
“You said you wouldn’t be coming to the capital for a while, so I was thinking of coming to meet you myself.”
I wish she would quit coming uninvited. But, we’re friends, right? I think it’s okay once in a while?
Eleanora showed up as usual, just in time. Let’s ask her about her father.
“I will invite you to the Dolknes territory soon, just wait for a little while.”
“Really?! Yes, yes, yes, I’ll wait for you!”
If I don’t invite her, she’s likely to come unannounced at some point. I subtly brought up the topic about the Duke.
“Doesn’t the Duke say anything when you go out so much?”
“Father says that all the time, he’s too overprotective.”
“He must be very fond of you.”
Eleanora, who was in an obviously good mood, started to grin. She said, swaying her body happily.
“But father loves this kingdom too, you know.”
“Yup, he also likes to clean. He said that he likes to gather all the things he doesn’t need in one place then get rid of them together.”
I don’t care about the Duke’s decluttering hobby.
However, I didn’t know that Duke Hillrose loves this kingdom. Maybe he’s lying in front of his daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder.
Judging from Eleanora’s attitude, it appears that she has been kept in the dark regarding any information related to the coup. There was no point in learning about the Duke’s unexpected side when he was with his family.
A knock was heard and Patrick’s voice came through from the other side. He’s already back from the frontier, that was fast.
“I’m home. Did Eleanora-sama come to visit?”
“Pardon for the intrusion.”
“You’re home early.”
“I asked Ryuu to rush. Anyway, I’m a little tired from the journey, so I’m going to rest now.”
His steps were a bit shaky. He wasn’t good with heights. Patrick was about to leave the room when Eleanora abruptly called him out in a loud voice.
“Oh! What about that? What happened to it?”
“What are you talking about?”
She grabbed my left hand and looked at it intently. Was there something wrong with my hand?
Patrick then turned and looked at us with a reluctant look on his face.
“Eleanora-sama, I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention anything about that yet.”
“It’s been too long! Are you sure you want to go through with it?”
“Sorry, I haven’t got the chance to do it.”
“Oh no! While romantic places are nice, don’t rely on them too much! Just like any other day, all of a sudden! That would still work perfectly.”
While Patrick looked unhappy, Eleanora put her hands together and started sparkling. I was left out of their conversation.
After he left the room to rest, I asked Eleanora.
“What was that about?”
“I’m not going to talk about it.”
She said, turning away with a pouty face.
Eleanora has a strange stubbornness about her that makes her unwilling to talk, though she can be tricked through indirect questions.
Back to what I was saying earlier, I brought up the topic of family. She seems to love her father and brother, so I don’t think it’s a surprise.
“I don’t want to pry but, what kind of person is your mother?”
“My mother, she died due to illness when I was young.”
Uh-oh, that was a landmine. I was unsure of what to say, but she continued.
“But I’m happy! I have a kind father, a wonderful brother even though he doesn’t live with Yumiela-san and me, so I won’t be lonely!”
If the Duke is going to stage a coup d’etat, what would happen to her? It was well-known that Eleanora, unlike her brother, was a member of the Duke’s family.
In the back of my mind, I kept seeing the Duke’s face when he asked me to take care of his daughter.
Is he a patriot or a traitor?