In Another World With Just Monika Chapter 82
But most important things first, as soon as word could be given that the King was awake, the Queen and the Crown Princess rushed to his side. They had originally wanted to stay in the room to watch over him, but [Homo Stasis] meant he could neither wake up nor get better. Now they both flung themselves into his arms and hugged him for all their worth.
There was real warmth with them, this was not a royal family that saw each other merely as tools for prestige. King Tristwin stroked at his wife's hair as she cried into his arms, his own eyes barely able to hold back his tears.
"Oh my dear, I thought for sure that this time, I had lost you"
"That's what I should be saying, you silly man!"
The Queen Yuel Ernea Belfast was a tall woman who looked far younger tha her years. Her blonde hair was a much lighter shade compared to the King's, the sides tied back and up to a bun, and the rest reached down in a wave past her hips. Her pale skin blushed red over her shoulders. Her pale purple bodice was cut scandalously low exposing the luscious swell of her back and breasts. She had green eyes.
The Crown Princess Yumina Ernea Belfast hugged her father's waist from the other side. She smiled in relief, taking in his warmth, and then looked up towards me. Her blond hair was much like her mother's a lighter platinum blond instead of Sue's deep corn-yellow. She was a teenager a bit older than Sue, and wore a frilly white dress with green accents. Her eyes were very noticeable, heterochromic blue in the right and green in the left.
Her gaze passed through the other people entering the room, following the huge whiskered man in the deep blue medaled military uniform. This man tromped over to me and asked "So you are the mysterious doctor that saved His Majesty?! I am Leon Blitz, general of the Army. Please accept my thanks!" He put a fist to his chest and bowed deeply. "You need only to ask, I will do anything in my power to repay you for this great favor!"
I copied the gesture. "It is my honor to help. Don't worry about it. I am Zah Playa von Chara, and it's only lucky that the people I just so happened to be acquainted with decided to look to me first before any other solution."
He looked at the epaulets of my own outfit and its faintly military style as well. "Might I know to what order you belong, Sir Chara?"
"None. Not anymore, at least. I am an adventurer."
His thick brows narrowed in confusion. "Truly? How odd. How would you like to become a named officer instead? We could start you off with a cavalry command. Or ah! Perhaps it is not respectful of me to talk about rewards ahead of what His Majesty might grant. But do know that I am ready to assist in addition to that, just let me know."
I smiled thinly. "Thank you. Titles and such, I'm not interested. But it's always good to speak with other soldiers now and then. Politics is such a messy business."
"Hah! True enough, true enough." General Blitz nodded. "Very well then, please excuse me. I also need to speak to His Majesty about the state of the castle's security." He bowed again and moved away.
Exposing that the Princess, now seated with her father, was still staring at me. She was certainly a beautiful girl, with her mother's slim and delicate build. Her slender face and sharp features made her seem like a crystal sculpture, too unbearably precious to touch. She was the very definition of the flower of the nobility.
Well a white crystal flower, compared to Sue who was more like a fluffy pink marshmallow. She was beautiful, but Sue was cute with these squishy cheeks that you couldn't help but to pinch and hug and protect her foreverrr!
Huh. The Princess' gaze sharpened all of a sudden.
That intense silent stare you dare challenge me? Leaving aside how my eyes were covered and as such it would be difficult to prove that I blinked, this was an unfair stare-off. Linze had been giving me yandere eyes. Monika had been watching me sleep. I was no stranger to weird looks.
I leaned against the wall and jutted out my chin. Bring it on!
Princess Yumina's eyes narrowed slightly, and she almost blinked. Then she resumed staring.
Girl, I had a white cat with heterochromic eyes exactly like yours! I loved the heck out of that cat. Then we gave away her kittens and she ran away and never came back...
... Aw, now I just have a sad.
I blinked in surprise at the sudden shout. The King stood up, grinning, and beckoned to introduce me to his family. The Princess raised a gloved hand to hide her lips. Her eyes glittered with merry satisfaction.
The King's hands were shaking slightly as he poured himself a new safe glass of brandy. It was not fear. It was rage that shook him so. "It's not every day" he began to whisper. "It's not every day a man gets a second chance at life." He stared powerfully at me and then at his brother. "When I heard about this young man who saved my niece's life, and then hired on as a tutor for medicine never did I expect this.
"You have done more than just save my life. You have saved this kingdom from eating itself alive. I owe you a debt gratitude that I can't even begin to describe. Tell me what you want, and if it is at all in my power, I shall have it done. Do you want a title? There shall shortly be some titles and lands that will soon be open for assignment."
"Ahaha" I scratched at my cheeks, embarrassed. "Saving the kingdom twice in one day is certainly not how I expected this to go"
"What was that?" Duke Alfred asked.
"Um. Nothing. I mean I'm quite comfortable right now. There's really not much in my life I'd really want, you know?" I opened my arms out in a helpless shrug. "I'm already getting all the research I need with Charlotte, there's not much that can be done on that front. Adding more manpower or budget would only confuse the issue."
The King quirked an eyebrow at his brother, who merely shrugged too in answer. "Sir Zah Playa von Chara values his independence. Titles and land would just tie him down."
"And yet for such a free person, he was in the right place at the right time to save us all. This is almost a miracle." The king sighed and gestured with his wine glass. "Mere money would be an insulting way to repay this service. An open-ended favor for later is not enough to show my appreciation right now. You see my problem here, Alfred?"
"Wait, pardon me, it's not actually MY power that healed you, you know? There's someone else you should be thanking."
/"If Player did not wish for it to happen, no one would be healed. And I have even LESS need for any riches or acclaim. Player, go accept everything in my stead."/ Monika's voice came out of the walls.
"A young man bonded to a spirit of knowledge." The King took a quick shot from his glass. "Miraculous indeed." Then he stared at me very carefully over the rim of the glass. "Showering you with gifts and my patronage that might not be a good thing at this point, this I have just realized."
I nodded and leaned back on the chair. "It's not over after all. There's still the guilty party to punish. If they can get at you, certainly they can get at other people around you. If they dare to do this now then they can try and try again. They only need to succeed once."
The King of Belfast grumbled like a lion. "Those bastards! They take me too lightly! If they want war, they'll have it! I won't let me try anything that will harm my family any more. Alfred! We'll mobilize the troops! It's time to carve the rot out of this country!"
The Duke Ortlinde held out his hands, almost ashamed."Ahh. Tristwin while I was quite ready to do that when it looked like you were about to die, now that I think about it, we can't just attack everyone who has ever disagreed with us, you know?"
Nobility had its privileges but then also the duty to raise troops. A kingdom like Belfast could not afford a professional national army. Regulus was large enough to field Legions, but Belfast did not have a Napoleon to reorganize its forces.
"I have done my best to deal fairly with these people! I have tried hard to continue our father's reforms without being called Tristwin the Tyrant, as enough nobles and common folk still feared what he needed to do after seizing power from his father, and what he had to do to win the war against Regulus. These people have grown fat off my kindness, and arrogant! Examples must be made!"
He sat down and roughly exhaled. "After what they tried to do to Sushie Alfred, just give me a name. Any name."
"Your Highness" I spoke up slowly. "It is not the fear of intense penalty that inhibits criminals. For of course no matter the severity, criminals do not think they would ever be caught. It is the guarantee of being discovered, it is the swiftness of being punished. That is what prevents malfeasance."
"That is just what I said. I can't afford to sit on this."
A small smile crossed my lips. "You need to have this done today. By tonight, you should raid the perpertrator before anyone has the time to destroy evidence or flee with their riches."
"Yes. What is your point, Sir Zah Playa?"
"I'll be honest here, I don't care much about your political situation. But you are good people, and kidnapping children and attempted regicide crosses the line. I have a name." I raised my own little glass of amber liquid. "Count Balza."
The brothers turned to me and I explained "That's the name of the person that accosted us on the way here."
The Duke nodded. "How fortuitous. I was about to say that name as well."
I smirked as Monika replayed the conversation.
-- "Heh heh heh. That Duke is far too sympathetic to the likes of things like a
-- beastman. If word of this gets out, and the beast doesn't get her head
-- chopped off and sent back to Mismede, I wonder what the other nobles
-- will think?"
-- "Oh, wait. It's not him that's next in line for the throne, isn't it? It's our
-- poor sweet little Princess Yumina. Heh heh heh. I wonder what that
-- sweet young thing will have to do to get the support of the nobles
-- behind her. A good war needs a strong leader a real man!"
The brothers looked at me, and then at each other. "All right. Just from that, he has to die," said the King.
"I suppose knowing that no conversation with you can ever be truly confidential should be discomfiting, but right now I just don't really care," said the Duke. "I trust you. A more guilty person I have never seen."
And Monika whispered /"Player, consigning someone to death just because he has a loathsome personality, are you really mentally prepared for that?"/
My conscience would never be bothered by helping certain people achieve the Darwin Awards they're so moronically working so hard to claim.
"I agree, it should be largely an open and shut case." I shrugged. "He's just a mere Count though. Isn't he a little too low to benefit from this? It's so stupid to be here in the middle of the assassination plot that even I'm feeling that it's too damn obvious that I almost can't believe it.
"Can anyone REALLY be that stupid and so needy with instant gratification that'd he would risk being caught out just to see it happen with his own eyes. And then TAUNT the bereaved with 'nya nyah, you can't prove anything!'"
"Yes," said the King.
"Sure," said the Duke. "Happens all the time."
"There are a lot of cretins in the nobility," King Tristwin added.
I sighed. "What is known about Count Balza?"
"Mmm. As far as I know, he has no wife nor children. His relatives are all vigorously opposed to letting demi-humans integrate into our society" said the Duke. His eyes narrowed as he realized the implications.
I nodded. "He's just too disposable. Looks like he's also being set up to be killed off in glorious revenge."
"But if you were not around, he they would have succeeded!" the king roared. "They do not test me. If after my death Alfred decided to destroy him, the other nobles would rally together rather than feel they're next. Whatever confessions we would be able to get from him, no one would trust it.
King Tristwin then sighed. "I will still destroy him though, do not doubt me on that."
Duke Ortlinde began to laugh. "In hindsight, the whole scheme is just that easy to figure out; if it's not in the wine, obvious it's in the glass. But no one will fully believe the ambassador's guilt. War will happen, if not immediately then as a response to my actions.
"If I choose not to execute the ambassador, the nobles will rebel, as they have been planning. If I do, we will have war with Mismede. Ahahaha! All of this plotting Useless! USELESS! No one could have expected you to just appear and make everything they worked for all for nothing. Thank you again, Sir Playa. If you hadn't by chance been traveling the road at that time ah, truly, the gods still have mercy."
I nodded, accepting the praise like a stone upon a deep pool with barely a ripple to mark its passing. "But now as you have survived, this has become a test for Your Highness. His guilt must be beyond doubt. You could use this to rally support to you instead."
"And you have an idea as to how, I suppose?" the King asked with a quirked eyebrow.
I chuckled darkly as I swirled the brandy in my wine glass. I raised it high again in a silent toast, drank deep, and then explained.
The King laughed. Then he slammed his fist upon the table and hissed "I approve! Let us try that, then!"