Chapter 77: Devil Whisper
Early in the morning, at the highway in the forest near Almond which connected toward Bertram kingdom.
Alphonse Rodan was riding his horse alone toward the territory of marquis Rodan while sputting abusive language words.
Almond is the territory belonging to duke Kretia which position adjoining together to the territory of marquis Rodan in Bertram kingdom.
Though Almond is being surrounded by a wide forest and small lakes in its vicinity, from the fact that it’s a commercial city, the establishment of the highway in its vicinity is put in order, though the distance till one arrives at the territory of marquis rodan is two days even by horse, and yet the distance just to leave the city is long.
As the winter season has yet to pass, the unpleasant cold is going through piercing inside his overcoat.
But, when he raised his eyes, the vast sky is reflecting in his field of vision, though today is a extremely nice day with good weather, Alphonse’s mood is really bad and unable to even enjoy the scenery.
This and that, everything was due to yesterday’s event.
Even recalling it is wrecking his mood, Alphonse who caused trouble in Rikka firm restaurant is binded by reconciliation contract with Rio.
By the time the contract is written he’s careless due to excessive anger, Alphonse completely accepted Rio words.
The reason is due to his pride which wouldn’t allow him to take that kind of commoner as his opponent.
Stead is being depressed by himself, maybe because he’s imagining the time when his crime is exposed to his father, it seems most of the content of negotiation didn’t enter his ears.
After writing the contract, Alphonse returned to the inn along with Stead while taking along one prostitute which came with them to that place.
Though it seems Stead wasn’t in the mood to do that, Alphonse is confining himself in his own room as it is, and venting his lust to the prostitute as is to vent that anger.
Though Alphonse had fallen asleep just like that due to exhaustion, a man who introduced himself as duke Euguno’s messenger is comes to the inn when he awakens.
Though he somehow got a nasty premonition, even Alphonse couldn’t just send the messenger of duke Euguno away.
Somehow it seems Stead was also summoned along with him, that being said, he’s being called under the command of duke Euguno along with Stead.
As soon as they entered the room, Alphonse and Stead is yelled at by duke Euguno,
「A QUARREL FOR TRYING TO COAX ANOTHER WOMAN, MOREOVER, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RESTAURANT WHILE PLAYING AROUND WITH WOMEN. FINALLY, ALMOST THROWN INTO THE PRISON FOR TRYING TO ABUSE IMPOLITE STRIKE IN THE TERRITORY OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY, IS IT？ I’M EVEN MORE STUNNED THAN DISSAPOINTED！ 」
Duke Euguno’s telling the reason for his anger.
Stead and Alphonse let out a pathetic scream to the overwhelming anger.
Alphonse guessed why they’re being called to this place.
While at the same time making a conjecture for why the previous incident is transmitted to duke Euguno, and finally he’s arriving at the answer.
There’s no one but one person who can report about this matter to duke Euguno amongst the people in that place.
In the inside of Alphonse’s head is a certain ice cold-like beauty, the face of an expressionless woman surfaced.
「T-That woman. Saying that she won’t report it to the duke……」
While his body is trembling with fear, Alphonse is muttering in low voice.
That woman――, Aria has promised right.
She won’t report the previous incident to duke Euguno.
Which means that the reason for him being yelled like this is because, Aria has broken her promise, right.
Playing around when you’re a mere chamberlain, a fury is set aboil and flowing out inside Alphonse head.
「That woman you say？ Don’t tell me, do you mean miss Liselotte ？ In what position are you for calling her as THAT WOMAN？ 」
Not missing Alphonse’s voice, duke Euguno demanded an explanation with piercing cold-like tone.
It seems that somehow duke Euguno misunderstood Alphonse’s words of 「That woman」 with Liselotte.
「Ah, no. The chamberlain who heard the situation at that time’s saying 『There won’t be any report about today matter to duke Euguno from me』……」
Alphonse’s explaining in panic.
They’re extremely honest at fault for blurting that out of their mouth in a attempt to cover up their mistake.
As for duke Euguno who’s guessing their scheme to bribing into secrecy about this matter beforehand, he left astonished with their extremely sloppy modus operandi.
「That chamberlain didn’t lie at all. Because the one who reported about this matter to me is miss Liselotte」
Duke Euguno’s correcting Alphonse’s misunderstanding.
「W-What’s that mean？ 」
But, Alphonse’s failing to notice due to his own half-baked crisis management even till the end, was biting at duke Euguno with a slightly sulky state.
「She tell you figure of speech isn’t it. She keeps her words, moreover it’s not contrary to her promise. Nonetheless, though you’re overdoing in the relaxing royal academy, to seemingly noble even as a joke, you’re extremely disappointing. No, I’m even ashamed as a noble of the same country as you……」
When I think that this kind of people who have no more than this level of negotiation skill is the people who’ll carry the future of Bertram kingdom, it can’t be helped that you’re too pathetic―― As if saying that, duke Euguno’s keeping his face to facing down.
just like that, he’s sending a line of sight filled with blatant disdain toward Stead and Alphonse.
To this powerful spirit force, with their fear is surpassing even more of their disgrace, the two averting their line of sight immediately.
「Moreover, whats with that contract？」
Glaring with a fleeting glance, duke Euguno referred to the reconciliation contract written by Alphonse-tachi.
「This is the duplicate of the contract, take a look. For you to one-sidedly swallow the prohibition clause presented by your opponent, you’re not even add a prohibition clause against your opponent for releasing the information about YOU. Won’t something like that become your weak point thereafter」
So he pointed the defect of the contract written by Alphonse-tachi.
The two’s showing a doubtful face without understanding the reason for duke Euguno’s anger.
Duke Euguno sighed as if irritated by their reaction.
「When I’m reading that contract, even if I’m trying to negotiate of the prohibition from the front, a sudden contact even from me as the one whose authority is above you fools is prohibited. On the other hand, while we’re still in the same clause, if it’s coming out poorly, we’ll violate this contract. Moreover, the wording of the text have no limit of interpretation enlargement. It’s as if that person is saying “Please threaten me by all means”」 [TL : And the next thing you know, you’re dead meat]
Duke Euguno frowned his eyebrows when he recalled the content of the contract.
「Ah …….. 」
He vaguely recalling the content of the contract and comparing it with duke Euguno words, Alphonse leaked out a single word.
And Duke Euguno clicked his tongue,
「But, I’m glad. For the failure of you fools was being conferred by miss Liselotte. She’ll meet the victim later and It seems that she’ll make a request to not disclose about today’s incident. Do you understand what that means？ It means that we must request the noble of another country to take care of the failure of the nobles of our country, understand？ 」
He’s simply asking with a cold tone.
「When I heard this story from miss Liselotte, I couldn’t even lift my face due to the embarrassment. Because the careless action of you fools is the cause of it, though even in normal we’re already placed under a disadvantage situation, you made an extra debt on top of it. You just shown a disgrace of your own position. Understand now？ 」
The two are bowing their head in silence as if trying to escape from duke Euguno’s glaring line of sight.
Stead’s trembling in fear to his father’s anger.
On the other hand, Alphonse was trembling all over with with fear and darkish fury which is coming from the humiliation.
「Do you have something to say！ Stead？ 」
Stead’s replying with a shrill voice when his name was suddenly being called.
「Though you already caused a huge blunder once before, it seems that you didn’t learn anything from the past event. I’ve said that there’s no second time, am I？ 」
「Ah, no, this is…….. That…….」
Though he’s trying to make an excuse, Stead’s faltering and unable to say a good explanation.
「I won’t hear any excuse！ I said no second time. I’m depriving the right of the succession inheritance of the duke Euguno house from you」
The succession of inheritance――, namely the succession of the peerage is as long as there’s no special reason called failure in mind and body is basically the custom of the succession by the eldest son of the house.
Except for the eldest son with the exception reason is nominating as the person of the succession of the head family, which means that once given the deprivation of the inheritance right of the family head is considered as a disgrace that will last as long as the life of the noble.
Stead’s face is dyed with despair.
「Fuhn, but, doing something like official announcement for the disgrace of our house in this point of time must be avoided. Your luck is good. Though your right of the succession of inheritance being deprived keep in the inside, you’re pretty much just need to making use of it as a knight from now on」
After a short snort, duke Euguno told him that.
Small amount of life is returning to Stead’s face.
Duke Euguno wore a sneering expresssion to that reaction of his son.
「Fuhn, work for parts of money that I used to brought you up till now as much as possible. Stead, you wait for your order at the inn」
Duke Euguno said that with a expression as if he is completely seeing him as a thing.
Though Stead is flinching, he still nodded vigorously.
Duke Euguno’s line of sight is moving toward Alphonse.
「Well then, Alphonse-kun. Regarding your treatment as the noble of another house is not for me to decide. A letter was already sent from me to your father. You will return to the territory with a pretext called “my anxiety is piled-up”, prepare yourself to hear your treatment」
In a way as if not taking special interest in it, duke Euguno told him that verdict with a light tone.
Such kind of words is unbelieveable, Alphonse is left speechless with his mouth agaped.
「That’s all. Today’s matter is for you to not disclose it to anyone. Both of you leave now, I don’t want to see your appearance」
「A-Acknowledged！ E-Excuse me！ 」
Stead is taking the initiative to leave the room.
「S-Such a thing is absurd！ I’m the royal protector of your highness princess Flora！ What kind of authority you have to do that！ 」
But, Alphonse became emotional and objected the order from duke Euguno.
「I said leave」
It’s calm, but duke Euguno sent a cold line of sight to Alphonse while saying those words with a tone that pierced deep in his mind
Alphonse unintentionally lost his words.
Though that made his body tremble in vexation, anymore is impossible as he can’t even oppose duke Euguno, so he had no choice but to leave the room following Stead.
The matter of him being stared by duke Euguno at their retreating back with a profound line of sight is unknown to anyone.
And then it comes to the current situation, but.
「AAH, DAMN IT！ DAMN IT！ DAAAMN IIIT！ THAT DAMNED DUKE！ HOW DARE HE GLARE AS IF LOOKING DOWN ON PEOPLE！ 」
The above mentioned event happened, Alphonse’s mood hit rock bottom since this morning.
He keeps on ranting in frustration since some time ago, he’s grumbling about the people who caused his fury.
Though Alphonse’s voice is reverberating inside the peaceful forest, No one can be found in the surrounding.
No, even if there’s people in the vicinity, Alphonse would still be yelling in frustration.
「EVEN THOUGH I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG AT ALL！」[TL : I’m speechless, Alphonse-kun] [ED: is it really a surprise at this point]
Alphonse’s clutching the briddle with even stronger power as he cleched his teeth.
“Those who make a fool of myself is unforgivable.”
“Aria, duke Euguno, and that commoner, everyone who’s looking down on me.”
“I who achieved superior result in the royal academy.”
Shouting alone in the forest.
Alphonse’s imagining them begging for mercy in front of him as he mercilessly kills them.
No, in Aria’s case, she has another use before that, Alphonse’s showing a gloomy smile.
He won’t be able to vent his own stress with such a fruitless method.
With the inside of his head dyed with low-life desires, he might end up returning to the city right away to kill them if he didn’t vent his fury in this way.
And then, in that place.
「Good morning. Knight-sama」
A man was coming to greet Alphonse.
Alphonse is jerking his body.
For some reason, a man was standing below Alphonse before he noticed that man.
Even if he’s moving on the highway, it doesn’t lack with danger such as ferocious beast, monster, or robber.
Though it doesn’t mean that he’ll fall to a monster or bandit inhabiting this area for Alphonse is a knight, his sign was spreading in the vicinity as if he’s okay with any kind of attack.
Rather it was with expectation, he was assertively doing that to killing those guy if they came to attack him.
Though he was looking at the forest with a sidelong glance in case of sudden attack from both sides, his line of sight was neatly send to those directions just a moment ago.
Or so he thought but, Alphonse couldn’t notice this mans presence till he appeared before his eyes.
Alphonse is having a ominous feeling due to that.
What’s your business？」
He asks as he’s probing the man while keeping his vigilance.
It seems like that he’s walking on the highway alone but, the man is only wearing a black robe without carrying a significant amount of baggage.
His age is maybe somewhere around his thirties, though he has considerable pleasant features, he’s slightly pale and unhealthy.
「This is it, this is it. My name is Reis, just a humble and ordinary traveling merchant. Ok」
The man who called himself as Reis is doing a self-introduction with curteous movement.
Reis was grinning happily when his line of sight meet with Alphonse.
「Hah, a lowly and humble merchant huh. Go away. My mood is bad right now」
When he knew that Reis is nothing more than just a merchant, Alphonse said those words with a tone filled with obvious contempt.
「Oya, I wonder how did you end up like that？ Are you not feeling well？ Since you met a merchant like me, would you consider to make use of this humble one’s service？ 」
Though he spoke in a tone that was abasing himself, Reis just suddenly appeared in front of him.
Reis is smiling a frivolous smile.
「I don’t need it！ You eerie fellow. Leave！ You should leave when I said so！ 」
Alphonse yelled as he feels the eeriness in Reis.
「Naynay, don’t say that, the truth is, I have an item which is very suitable for the current you」
Without being overpowered by Alphonse’s harsh tone, Reis was cutting short the talk with a aloof state.
「How impudent. As expected of a lowly merchant…… What is, that？ 」
When Alphonse’s laughing scornfully as he’s trying to jeer at Reis, Reis took out a stone which resembled a black gem from his breast pocket.
That stone is releasing an ominous black light.
「Please, feel free to look at it slowly」
As if fitting in his brain, the sweet-drug-like resounding which say delicious, it’s so delicious permeated into his head.
When he comes too, he noticed that his consciousness is captivated by that stone as if being sucked by it.
By the dark gem which is black, and gloomy as if it’s the abyss itself.
「Hahaha. It’s a wonderful stone isn’t it」
Reis was laughing happily.
Alphonse’s pupils already lost it’s light of sanity.
「Wonderful. As I thought, this stone is suitable for you. It has received the emission of fine negative emotion. The effect could even soar this far」
Though Reis has been saying something, Alphonse’s consciousness is diminishing and those words isn’t entering his ears.
「I present this stone to you」
For what reason, that words could be understood by Alphonse.
“Giving me this.”
“You’re giving this gem to me.”
「Are you giving this to me？」
「Yeah, it might grant your current wish. But, I wish that you’ll grant my wish before that」
Alphonse’s consciousness is rapidly becoming hazy.
Despite the feeling that his five senses become even sharper.
Suddenly the smell of blood drifting in the air inciting Alphonse’s nose.
When he’s taking a closer look, the thing like a spurt of blood is permeating on the black robed man.
Whose・ Blood・ Is that・, no, that kind of thing is trivial.
That of which Alphonse is wishing for――.
「Kill. That city, those guys………. The one who looked down on me……」
To the cold and nauseating voice, Reis revealed a gloomy grin.
「That’s very simple right. But, that’s okay. Since it’s in line with my wish. The contract completed right. Here, feel free to have it. Please swallow it」
Reis’s body slowly rising in the air, gently whispering those words as he’s getting closer to Alphonse who’s riding on horseback.
And casually seizing Alphonse’s face with his rough hand.
The black gem is gripped in his other hand.
Reis forcibly thrust the gem into Alphonse’s mouth.
Though the inside of his mouth is hot, it can’t be vomitted either since Reis forcibly closed his mouth.
Breathing becoming painful, unable to endure it, Alphonse swallowed the gem before long.
Thereupon, the bottom of his stomach suddenly became hot.
Soon, that heat is spreading to his whole body, he unintentionally vomitted it.
「Hey, don’t vomit it. Please swallow it. You’ll die immediately if you vomit it. Swallow it. ………..Swallow it. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Swallow it」
Reis keeps whispering that curse-like words into Alphonse ears.
Before long, the indication of trying to vomiting foreign substance from his body is vanished from Alphonse face.
After confirming that fact, Reis is laughing in satisfaction.
Completely like a boy who’s delightfully accepting his gift.
But, for what reason.
That smiling face is just like an evil spirit toying around with human emotion.