Chapter 119.1: Discussion in the Basement
… … …
After entering the dining room, Rio is taking the initiative to come to use the service and headed toward the kitchen. He’s persistently taking the stand of a third party.
Nevertheless, since the simple kitchen and the dining room is in the same room, he can still hear their conversation.
「Sensei, if you want to meet your father above, you should wait since he will go down to this basement by tomorrow morning. It seems that everyone of the searching group is lodging in this mansion, that’s why it’s hard to move around」
So Christina told the information that Celia wanted to hear the most first.
「I see. Fortunately I felt that visiting the royal capital will end as a fool’s errand. In that case, father has been waiting for me to come to my home」
「Yes. Since we have a lot of time till he comes down, please fill me with your stories till that time」
After the conversation reached this point, the two of them are looking at each other.
「M-May I ask what kind of discussion it is？ 」
Celia is saying so to probe Christina’s reaction.
「That’s right. Maybe the matter both of us most worried about is how both of us sneaked out of the castle right？ As far as I know, there’s a rumor saying that sensei is kidnapped inside the castle」
「I’m not kidnapped. I left the castle on my own will」
「May I implore the reason？ 」
Christina who is asking that question was looking right into Celia’s eye.
As their line of sight meet, Celia’s eye become gloomy.
「……….. Though it’s embarrassing, the reason why I left the castle is because I want to escape from the duty that is imposed to me as a noble」
「That should be from political marriage with Charles Albo right？ 」
「Yes. Sometime we have to marry someone who we don’t love. That is the mission imposed to the woman of a noble family. But then, I couldn’t bring myself to agree to a political marriage with him」
Looking down, Celia said those words with a emotional voice.
「Well, that’s natural right. I think you made the right judgement」
Christina is readily supporting Celia’s choice.
Celia’s eyes opened wide as if she just heard unexpected words. Christina is unintentionally letting out a chuckling sound as she continued her words.
「Certainly, we were in the position where we can’t choose our own husband. But, that is not only for the house, it’s also for the kingdom. That kind of political marriage isn’t justified―― No, political marriage which will only cause a harm isn’t worth at all」
「Your highness, will my marriage with him cause harm to the kingdom？ 」
Celia asked that question in hearing Christina going as far as saying that her political marriage is harmful for the kingdom.
「Depending on the situation, that man is an existence that is currently harming the kingdom. The reason sensei left the castle is also because you’re thinking the same thing right？ 」
「…………. Yeah, no doubt about it. Me leaving is the result is down to their overly coercive way to do things」
「You’re not confident in yourself？ 」
「The one who decided whether I’m doing the right thing or not isn’t me」
Celia is showing an ambigous expression.
「Then, have you regretted your action？ of leaving the castle」
「No, my only regret is if I’m not doing it」
Now, Celia is shaking her head to show her answer. Thereupon, Christina is smiling at her.
「In that case, it’s okay right」
So she said.
「Naturally people who deny Celia-sensei’s decision also exist amongst the nobilities. But, I felt that the way duke Albo is doing things is wrong. I thought that leaving the castle is the correct choice. Keep that will. And do not regret it」
Saying so, Christina’s deep purple eyes is looking straight into Celia’s eyes.
Celia also stared back at Christina.
「In that case, whether that decision of yours is correct will be decided after this. And, the one who decided it is us who live in this kingdom……… At least I’m supporting your decision」
「I’m really happy if there’s someone who says so but………….」
Celia is showing a slightly troubled smile.
「In other words, the most important thing is what Celia-sensei wanted to do after this right？ That is to say that you came back to this mansion since you can’t leave it behind as the noble of our kingdom right？ 」
「Does the current me………….. Have that kind of qualification………..」
Celia replied so to Christina with a troubled face.
「Oops, I think you have that qualification you know. My future is also hidden with my escape but I never thought of abandoning the matter of me being a royalty. Everything that will happen to this kingdom or what will left from it―― I’ve been thinking about everything that might happen 」
「…………. I see」
Celia is groaning in a low voice in hearing Christina say those words with a resolute tone.
Though Celia is thinking the same things as her, she didn’t have Christina’s confidence.
She can feel a powerful determination when she is looking at Christina.
It doesn’t mean that she might not be worried. There’s no way for her, who slipped out from the castle even while fully aware of her standing as a princess not worrying about anything.
As someone who is ignorant in the way of the world, maybe she’ll just become carefree and almost reckless person if she were not worrying about anything.
And, Celia knows that Christina isn’t that kind of a person.
Thus, Celia wanted to know―― Why Christina escaped from the castle.
「May I ask a question, Christina-sama？ 」
「Yes, you may」
Christina readily consented to Celia request.
「I wonder why your highness escaped from the castle？ 」
「Because I became a hindrance to duke Albo―― No, it’s because I lost my utility value. I sneaked out from the castle since I felt that my life is in danger」
Celia’s face slightly stiffened in hearing her not so calm voice.
「Don’t tell me, duke Albo is going to dispose you？ 」
「Yeah, the current him might do so. He is winning over the summoned hero while losing his constraint toward royalty」
「But, the only reason for duke Albo to aim for your highnesses life is…….」
「That man is full of ambition. Except for the current royalty, he should be planning to make the next king to come from the house of duke Albo」
「Is that why he’s planning to kill your highness？ Doesn’t he know that doing such things won’t amount to anything？ 」
The throne of Bertram kingdom is passed down by heredity.
There’s a qualification for the right to inherit the throne from the highest person, a direct descendant of the king is an absolute requirement, the legitimate birth and male descendant is decided with national law with higher ordered one taking the priority.
When the rightful inheritor is lost with reason such as revocation of status, renunciation or death, as long as there’s no new legitimate male heir born in the situation where no one but legitimate female heir left, the order of throne inheritance right can’t be overturned.
Currently, the rightful heir of the throne is the 1st princess Christina and the 2nd princess Flora who was born between the lawful wife Beatrice and king Phillip the 3rd, and the concubine born children raked below them.
Though the youngest daughter of duke Albo also married king Phillip the 3rd, the order of inheritance right of the throne for the children who was born between them are extremely low.
Even so, as long as someone with higher order for inheritance right is having a new child, the lower order of throne inheritance right must step back, so killing just one or two person of higher order is meaningless.
Though it doesn’t mean that assasination attempt never happened in the past, the people who directly gained a rise in their order from the assassination definitely became the suspect, it’s a double-edged sword that will sow more trouble later on.
In addition, since the authority of Bertram kingdom royal family is backed by the six wise gods, harming the royal family is similar to a rebellion against god.
No matter how much real power they wield, also for the sake of guarantee the legitimacy of the reign, they have no choice but to disregard social appearance and show minimum courtesy.
That’s why duke Albo ―― Despite his high background as a military officer―― have to adopt peaceful method of transfering the real power from king Phillip the 3rd, going by usurpation of the throne is a no no.
And yet, here the situation, duke Albo is going as far as overstepping the line when things turned unfavorable to him, simply not a calming story,
「Yeah, it’s as Celia-sensei said. It was difficult to realize that man’s ambition up till now」
Christina is is saying so while heaving a deep sigh.
「But, what has happened to cause such change？ 」
When Celia is gulping, Christina nodded to her.
「It’s vexing but, the summoned hero made that man’s ambition become possible. That man is trying to make his grand daughter to marry the hero as his legal wife. By doing so he is planning to support the child born between them as the next king of Bertram kingdom」
When Christina is saying so, Celia’s face is showing a great change.
「The grand daughter of duke Albo is, Loris-sama right？ Certainly such things is possible…………. But, the kingdom will split into two. For him to overturn the order of throne inheritance by ignoring the national law」
Honestly speaking, the proper path should be to make the 1st princess Christina or the 2nd princess Flora as second in-line to marry the hero to raise the royal family authority even higher.
The hero is the apostle of six wise god, that’s why they have more or equal authority with the king, even when they were to accidentally marry someone of lower order of throne inheritance, the child born between those couple can contend the throne for the next king with the first-in-line.
It won’t do any real harm if they were to marry someone without any status or authority but, it’s different story when they were engaged with someone who have both status and authority, it’ll turn into an unbelieveably messly situation.
And then, if it’s as Christina said, the current duke Albo have no mind to consider such situation and in full support to engaging his grand daughter to the hero and supporting the child born between them as the next king――
In that case, even saying that he is definitely an existence that will harm the country won’t interfere his intention―― So, Celia thought in that instant.
「Bertram kingdom already divided. That must be why duke Albo doesn’t dare to let me to approach the hero. That’s why I almost have no freedom to act after the hero is summoned」
A smile that is mixed between anger and surprise showed on Christina’s face as she said those words.
「The situation already progressed this far while I’m in the escape right. Being keep in the dark makes me more ashamed of myself」
Celia’s face is frowned due to her feeling ashamed of herself.
「My deepest apologies for interrupting in the middle of conversation. I prepared a warm beverage. Here you go」
Thereupon, Rio returned from the simple kitchen.
The sweet and fragrant aroma that is drifting from the 4 porcelain tea cups on top of the tray is―― The aroma of citrus of tachibana variety.
Celia is taking a deep breath and managed to calm her mind.
「Thank you, Haruto. This is…………」
「Hot lemonade. I also mixed grated apple and honey in it」
「It’s delicious. My deepest gratitude for this beverage」
Celia showed a gentle smile to him. It’s a soothing smile that will heal anyone who sees it.
「You’re welcome, please be careful not to burn your tongue since it’s hot」
Rio is smiling back at her as he proceeded to place the tea cups to everyone.
「Thank you very much. If you’re okay with it, please have a seat too. Lord Amakawa」
Christina said those words to Rio.
After saying those words, Rio then sat on the seat next to Celia.
「I can assure you that there’s no poison in it but, feel free to do poison tasting first. I won’t take that as an offence」
Adding on, Rio asked to Christina and Vanessa who sat in front of him whether they want to do a poison test first.
The necessity to do poison test inside the tea that is made by Rio who they met for the first time for Christina who is royalty is taking the highest priority.
Though Christina-tachi doesn’t even think to consider that poison will put in the tea, maybe because such action is so cliche to the point of it is almost like formal ceremony.
Therefore, with such proposal coming from himself, Rio decided to make an atmosphere to ease the poison tasting.
「I’m truly obliged by your consideration. In that case, let me to――」
「It’s okay. Let me to drink it」
Christina is drinking the tea without any kind of hestitation while ignoring Vanessa who about to perform poison test.
「Ara, it’s delicious」
Christina is telling her impression with a surprised face.
「Y-Your highness！ 」
Vanessa who was taken aback by her action protested to her lord with a panicked voice.
「I don’t mind. If he really wants to kill us, he would already done so long time ago. He could do that during the combat when we first met him」
「You’re…………. Right about it」
Vanessa who’s pressing Christina who is talking with such a calm tone is at a loss for words.
「I trust Celia-sensei. I also trust someone who got her trust」
Maybe due to her being tolerant, or she simply just resigned to her fate, Christina readily said those words.
Vanessa is giving in while heaving a sigh. After she sipped her tea, the unexpected sweetness is spreading in her mouth made her perplexed.
「By the way, lord Amakawa. May I ask few questions？ 」
Christina is looking at Rio as she asked that.
「Naturally. But, only within the scope that I’m allowed to answer」
Rio readily gave his consent while shrugging his shoulder.
「My gratitude. Well then, first is regarding your relationship with Celia-sensei. You’re escorting her all the way to this place, could it be that Celia-sensei’s break-out from royal castle have something to do with you？ 」
「Yeah, Celia-sama is my benefactor. I helped her to escape from the royal castle to return my gratitude」
「I’m the one who asked Haruto to do so. Christina-sama」
When Rio is speaking as if he is the one who is responsible to let Celia escape from the royal castle, Celia added her added her own words to his explanation. Maybe because she wanted to bear the responsibility of escaping from the royal castle to be her alone.
「…… I see. Then is Galwark kingdom not involved in the matter of Celia-sensei’s escape？ 」
Christina is asking that question with her eyes locking at his face.
「Yes. Or rather they were completely unrelated to that matter, since my investiture as the honorary knight of Galwark kingdom is happened just few days ago」
Rio is readily answering her question.
「You became honorary knight just a few days ago？ 」
Christina showed a slightly perplexed face. But, she received even more shock in hearing Rio’s next words.
「Yeah, just a few days ago. Before that I’m just a wanderer, and commoner on top of that」
「…………… A commoner？But in regard to that, your action is brimming with an extremely refined elegance. Not in the least inferior to a young noble at all」