Chapter 40: The Truth Revealed
Viscount Eckart Rattleyer went into the Crown Prince’s office with Kingsguards.
He is much younger than I remember, but his face is unforgettable: he is the father of Eliana.
But why is Viscount Rattleyer here?
“Viscount Rattleyer. Thank you for coming.”
Does Bern know what Viscount Rattleyer looks like?
As the Crown Prince of the Cryptarion Empire, he would know the faces of the enemy nobility, but if they were high-ranking nobles or military men, Viscount Latreia would be a trader, I believe.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Crown Prince Bernhardt; my name is Eckart Rattleyer, head of the family of Viscount Rattleyer of the Kingdom of Kalkstein.”
Viscount Rattleyer knelt down in front of his desk and gave Bern a formal greeting, but you could tell he was nervous because his shoulders were shaking slightly.
“Well, Viscount Rattleyer. The reason I asked you to come here today is…
“I sincerely apologize!”
Bern is about to bring up the topic when Viscount Rattleyer cuts him off and apologizes out of the blue.
“Huh? I haven’t said anything yet.”
“But you summoned me all the way to the Imperial Palace because of my daughter, whom you have never met, right??”
Did he call Viscount Rattleyer to tell him that Eliana was in the Crown Prince’s Palace without permission?
No. Somehow I don’t think so.
If he just wanted to warn him, he could have sent a messenger.
“Your daughter is very bold. Her parents should warn her to stay away from the palace. Don’t ever let this happen again.”
“Yes. I’ll remind her. I’m very sorry for any trouble my daughter has caused you.”
Bern’s attitude is cold toward Viscount Rattleyer, who bows his head like a grasshopper with rice.
When Bern does not say another word, Viscount Rattrayer looks up fearfully from his kneeling position.
“Um… May I leave now? I left my daughter at the inn.
“No, the subject is yet to come. Viscount Rattleyer. You know Marquis Aschenbach, don’t you?”
I’ve only recently learned that name. I believe he was a major figure in the Criterion Empire?
“Y-Yes, the honey from the Marquess Aschenbach’s estate is traded by our trading house.”
Ara? Viscount Rattleyer’s eyes are moving around. He looks suspicious.
“The other day, we captured Marquis Aschenbach for treason.”
Treason?! Now it’s getting serious! Am I allowed to be here?
“…I-I didn’t know that. I came to the Crotalion Empire to discuss an important matter with the Marquis, but I came without success.”
“It was not a futile journey. By the way, do you recognize this?”
Bern spreads a rolled-up piece of parchment on the desk.
It can’t be seen clearly from here. But I could see that Viscount Rattleyer had changed color.
“This is the contract you signed with the Marquis of Aschenbach. I don’t need to tell you what it says.
“No way… The contents of the document can’t be known unless the person who signed it poured his magic power into it…”
Viscount Rattrayer clamps his mouth shut, but it is already too late. Bern lifts the edge of his mouth.
“There are people in our country who have the magic to decipher these secret documents.”
Bern casts a sidelong glance at Alois.
So Alois is the one with the magic.
“Bern. No. Crown Prince Bernhardt. What does this contract say?”
I was curious about the contents of the contract and couldn’t resist interrupting.
Viscount Rattleyer, who has just noticed my presence, turns to me.
“As a concerned party, you have the right to know. In short, he wants to start a war between the Kingdom of Kalkstein and our country. For a start, assassinate the Grand Dukes of Rosenstone and make it look like a conspiracy against us. It’s really stupid.”
What did you say?!
I stand up and stagger over to Viscount Rattleyer.
“So the men in black were sent by you and the Marquis of Aschenbach?”
Viscount Rattleyer is silent, but that’s the answer.
I shake my fist and glare at Viscount Rattleyer.
“You are a fool.”