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Teisou Gyakuten Sekai no Doutei Henkyou Ryoushu Kishi ch 10


10. The First Campaign’s Ceremony

“That girl, seems to have prepared her heart for the first campaign.”

After removing her lips from the cup of tea, Riesenlotte told this.

Right now, two people sat facing each other, separated by the garden table in the garden of the royal palace.
In front of her sat her first daughter, Anastasia.

Anastasia was also drinking tea and staring at her mother with her usual snake-like eyes.

“Where did you get that conclusion from? Mother.”

“It was from Valliere herself. The other day, I talked to her before leaving. And I felt that from her.”

Putting her mouth on the cup again, Riesenlotte took a sip.

Then, she opened her mouth again.

“Our conversation, was spread by the boy attendants, and it has become a topic of conversation among the court nobles. “Does the First Princess Anastasia even care in the least for her sister?”, they said.”

“How rude. Of course, I am.”

Said Anastasia with her usual brazen attitude.

“Although, I don’t know why I have these feelings. But I hate that girl.”

“Ara…”

It was rare for Anastasia to speak frankly about her feelings, her likes and dislikes.

Perhaps today she was a little emotional.

“When we were young, she was always frightened by me and always hid in Father’s shadow. Even after Father passed away, she always looked at my face strangely… Right, so let me say this. I hate her.”

Riesenlotte’s second daughter, Valliere, grew up to be an ordinary person.
It was as if Anastasia, who was born earlier, had left no talent for her sister.

When Valliere was 10 years old, Riesenlotte gave up on her to be in line for the throne, because she was no longer suited for it; even calling her a spare was too much.

In case something happened to Anastasia―― in other words, if she died, Riesenlotte planned to let Duchess Astarte, the third heir to the throne, inherit the position of Queen of the Kingdom of Anhalt.

Now that Anastasia had turned 16, this only caused Riesenlotte unnecessary worries.

“Come to think of it, that girl used to crawl into my bed when she was little. How nostalgic. She would sleep while clinging to him…”

Thanks to that, since the birth of that child, my nighttime activities with him decreased a little.

――Now, I resent her a little.

Of course, had he not been poisoned, there would have been no resentment.

…And yet, the culprit has yet to be found.

No matter what, I can’t give up, but the investigation also requires personnel and money.

……Is it time to give up?

Riesenlotte heaved a melancholy sigh.

Then she opened her mouth again.

“You, really hate Valliere, don’t you?”

At that, Anastasia gave an answer after a short silence.

“……I don’t want her to die. After all, she’s still my biological sister from the same father.”

Anastasia seemed to have mixed feelings.

Was it because of her loyalty to her father who loved Valliere, or was it familial love for her sister?

Riesenlotte didn’t know it either.

Though, she didn’t think of not understanding this as pathetic.

Before she was a mother, she was Queen Riesenlotte of the Kingdom of Anhalt, an elector. Emotions could be a real hindrance for her, the Queen.

As a ruler, what I need as a ruler isn’t emotion.

Rather, being too emotional could sometimes even be a hindrance.

…Valliere’s abilities are mediocre, but more than that, she’s too empathetic. So, I don’t think it’s bad to dismiss her as a spare.

……If I make a mistake in judgment, it is a betrayal to my subjects.

Someone in my position must be infinitely stronger and smarter than anyone else.

…Well, that’s fine.

Let’s change the topic a little.

It’s about the future of this country after all.

“……Bard. It was good to have the bard guild sing Anastasia for strategy and Astarte for military power. With this, the order will be naturally decided.”

“That, so that was Mother’s doing?”

Riesenlotte made the bard guild hold the money and made them sing this.

First Princess Anastasia should be the future leader of the nation, and Duchess Astarte should be her hands and feet.

Judging from the abilities each of them possessed, that was the correct order.

So, in this way, Riesenlotte guided public opinion.

In truth, in the Kingdom of Anhalt, instead of having no Second Princess faction, there used to be the Duchess faction.

Rather than the First Princess Anastasia, Duchess Astarte should be the Queen, said the local rulers who were indebted to the Duchess’s strong standing army.

A faction that certainly existed before the Willendorf campaign.

Now, it no longer existed.

After the Willendorf campaign, it was completely absorbed into the First Princess faction.

It was strongly influenced by the fact that Duchess Astarte herself didn’t want to take the throne.

……If Valliere were to take the throne, I’m sure――

“Hey, Anastasia. If Valliere were to take the throne instead of you, do you think Astarte would obey?”

“I don’t think so. If she ever, probably because it’s for the sake of the country and her territory. If she found it annoying, even though reluctant, she would usurp the throne. I don’t think Valliere would even be a match for her.”

…That’s right.

Riesenlotte’s thoughts were affirmed by Anastasia, and she was convinced that her judgment wasn’t wrong.

To put it bluntly, Duchess Astarte even looked down on Valliere. After all, she hated mediocrity.

Nevertheless, even Riesenlotte couldn’t understand how Duchess Astarte could stand by someone who, like Faust of Polidoro, possessed a radiant talent without a hint of jealousy.

In fact, Duchess Astarte had long been fond of Anastasia, with whom she should be competing for the throne.

She had even asked to become the First Princess’s counselor herself.

In short, she was a free person. If someone had to describe Duchess Astarte in one word, they would say this.

…She lives freely as she pleases, even if she is a little out of rank and ties.

I envy her a little.

Sometimes I would like to be free too.

――Faust von Polidoro.

Sometimes I even get the illusion that he’s the reincarnation of my late husband.

Even when Valliere brought Faust to the royal palace, to tell me that she had found a counselor. I had this illusion.

Considering my age, I shouldn’t be like this, but…

… I want.

That man, I want him. Just that.

“……”

Riesenlotte drank the cold tea until there was nothing left.

It calmed her restless head.

…I can’t have him.

My daughter, Anastasia, is obsessed with that man.

……Did she see the shadow of my late husband in the same way I did, or did she genuinely love him?

…No, there’s no reason to know that.

“Anastasia.”

Riesenlotte called her daughter’s name.

“Yes?”

In response, Anastasia looked at her mother with her snake-like eyes.

“When Valliere returns from her first campaign ――I will decide when to hand over the throne to you. Pobably, it’ll be at the same time as when you get a husband. The one you want is… Faust von Polidoro? You know I can’t accept him as your official husband, don’t you?”

“Yes. I have given up on making him my official husband. And, looks like I’ll have to share him with Astarte.”

Anastasia took Riesenlotte’s words as if it were a matter of course.

※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※※

“In the end, no one came to see me off, huh…”

Valliere’s sister, Anastasia―― When the First Princess Anastasia departed for her first campaign, the citizens were almost overflowing to see off the First Princess and the guards who followed her.

This time, it did not happen.

It was as if Valliere had secretly left the royal capital for her first campaign, as if she was hiding from the public.

…Well, it’s different from the war against the barbarian from Willendorf.

There’s no way people would see me off.

I’m just going to exterminate bandits.

And all 15 members of my bodyguard were abandoned by their families. So, no family visits either.

It’s only natural that there is no one who came to see-off, at all. Right, it’s natural…

“Did you have a conversation with Queen Riesenlotte before the departure? Ah, I’ve also heard the First Princess Anastasia, gave you some lessons for the preparation.”

As if to comfort Valliere, Faust, who was nearby, said this to her.

The conversation she had with her mother was just a regular conversation.

She hadn’t received a single encouragement for the first campaign.

Older Sister? ―― To be honest, Valliere didn’t really know how to summarize it.

The conversation they had was too brief.

In the end, the conversation was cut off as if her older sister had grown tired of talking.

But, in any case, she didn’t want to disappoint Faust.

“Yeah, That’s right.”

Valliere put a smile on her face, quite contrary to her heart.

However, even though she felt that way, she couldn’t help but complain about Zabine.

“How can you be slower than Lord Polidoro’s people, Zabine!”

“The equipment is heavy! Especially the chainmail!”

“If it’s chainmail, Lord Polidoro’s squires are also equipped with it!”

The excuse of Zabine, the captain of Valliere’s bodyguard, was cut off and thrown away.

Slow, so slow!!

Zabine and the rest of the bodyguards were laying on the ground as they were currently taking an unscheduled break.

All of you…

Inside your brain are only muscles and more muscles, right?

What happened to your usual spirits?

Wait… If you take the energy out of chimpanzees, there will be nothing left.

Nothing.

Only nothing is there…

“Marching, is something you get used to. It’s also their first time, after all, getting tired isn’t that unusual. Don’t worry, I’m sure they will get used to this soon.”

Faust’s squire commander, Helga, said this to comfort Valliere.

Pathetic.

So pathetic.

Valliere’s face was about to turn bright red.

“Well, it’s the first campaign.”

Faust’s comforting words sounded empty.

Even if the man who cut down 20 people in his first campaign said so, it would be no comfort to Valliere.

Hah, seriously.

That said, Valliere was also slightly tired while riding the horse.

It was the first time in her life that she left the royal capital.

What made it so stressful and tiring?

Well, in her mind,

Would there be bandits lurking in the tall trees along the way?

Would a stray bear suddenly attack?

Right. That was all she could think about.

She was a coward, by nature.

Ever since she was a child, she couldn’t even face that terrifying older sister of hers.

She always hid in her father’s shadow and grabbed the hem of his pants to avoid her older sister’s gaze.

… Huff, Father… I miss you.

Then, Valliere looked at Faust’s face.

“……? Valliere-sama?”

Faust raised a questioning voice.

Valliere ignored his words and just, kept staring at his face.

So soothing…

Faust’s face reminded Valliere of her father and it calmed her down.

Reminded her of her forever lost childhood.

――A childhood, which was lost forever with the poisoning of her father.

Right…

I wonder why my father died.

Why?

Who was the one who killed him?

He was loved by everyone.

Even among the court nobles, well, there were those who ridiculed his appearance, but deep down they were fine with him.

So, why?

The culprit and the cause, which couldn’t be found even if Mother, the Queen of the kingdom went insane, couldn’t be found no matter how many personnel or how much the cost has been spent.

I’m also very disappointed with it.

But, anyway, if I meet the killer— even I can become a demon.

I think so.

I could then rip off a piece of this timid skin. This helpless, timid thin skin that has been stuck with me since little.

“…Valliere-sama, what’s wrong?”

Hearing Faust’s words, Valliere regained her composure.

Well, there’s nothing I can do.

I’ve already given up.

And soon, even Mother will call off the search for the culprit.

If she has calmed down, she’ll surely do that.

Even an ordinary person like me could understand that much.

“…Nothing. Nothing, Faust.”

The world won’t move as you wish.

I’ve known it since I was born.

Right. An ordinary person like me, who’s been ridiculed by the court nobles for having no talents, should have known it since born in this world.

But still, before I die, I want to peel off this timid thin skin that sticks to me, even just once.

――If this first campaign goes well, I wonder if it can be peeled off.

While thinking about such things, Vallière quietly closed her eyes to give her body some rest.


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