Chapter 129: Ruti resolves the case
“You can’t be serious.”
Mistome-shi entered Ruti’s mansion accompanied by the Adventurers Guild Executive Garadin and the Holy Church Bishop Cien.
Garadin still had a face full of dissatisfaction.
“This is like dragging a goat in front of a wolf.”
“Ruti and Lit are here. And the two of you will be attending as well.”
“But still … !”
Garadin raised his voice, seemingly to voice his complaints but Mistome-shi raised her hand to stop him.
“It’s okay, Garadin. I have to settle this myself after all.”
Tap, tap, Mistome-shi’s staff struck the floor.
“Being an 『Archmage』 is not good. My legs are already weak.”
“The stairs underground is steep. Do you need a hand?”
Mistome-shi shook her head to my offer.
“Is Ririnrara still the same as before?”
Judging from the recreation from Mistome-shi’s memories, the Ririnrara I met in real life had aged a little but she certainly hadn’t changed much as compared to the elderly Mistome.
“We’ve not met for 50 years, I will have to resolve myself as well. The pirate business is a business of face.”
“Is that so?”
Mistome-shi seemed somewhat excited.
“Are you not afraid?”
“Afraid? I am already an old lady. Nothing much moves my heart at this point.”
“But Ririnrara might be angry.”
The members present all looked at Ruti. Ruti tilted her head, unsure of why everyone was looking at her.
Ruti’s words were off to everyone around her.
Mistome-shi was about to face her fated opponent who was aiming for her life. A general of the Veronia Kingdom.
However, Ruti’s words might actually capture the essence of the situation … I thought to myself as I noticed Mistome-shi’s expression change.
” … That’s true, Ririnrara is most probably angry. Reuniting with a best friend carrying anger for the past 50 years … fufu, I certainly feel afraid now.”
Mistome-shi, or rather Misufia, abandoned Ririnrara and Prince Sarius 50 years ago and fled.
That was caused by Leonor’s machinations but what kind of thoughts did the two of them have the past 50 years as they remained in the Veronia Kingdom.
Misufia’s back view became smaller as she slowly descended down the stairs one step at a time.
Misufia exhaled deeply after arriving in front of the door to the basement.
“Ririnrara is behind this door?”
“Yes. I did not tell her that you will be meeting her. But I separated her from the other prisoners.”
I transferred the other three prisoners to another room on the first floor and had Tise and Ugeuge-san watch them.
Unlike the basement, there were many routes of escape on the first floor but I didn’t have to worry with those two on watch.
“Are you all right? You can still turn back here.”
Lit asked Misufia worriedly.
Misufia’s expression clouded for a split second but she shook her head as if to drive away her hesitation and smiled.
“Thank you, but I must meet her.”
Misufia replied as she touched the door and slowly opened it.
In the room, the handcuffed Ririnrara was sitting on the floor without utilizing the chair.
” … Wha.”
Ririnrara’s eyes opened wide upon seeing Misufia enter.
“No way …”
“It’s been a long time, Ririnrara.”
Reunion after 50 years.
Misufia with an awkward smile and Ririnrara with teeth clenched as she glared with murderous intent, were complete opposites.
“You have the nerve to show up in front of my eyes.”
“I’m sorry. But I am glad that I get to see you once again.”
The facial expression of a Veronia Kingdom general that Ririnrara was keeping up disappeared.
She spat on the floor and turned into the pirate we saw in the illusion.
“Are you aware of just how much suffering Geyserik and Sarius went through because your selfish decision to leave! That’s right! I am elated to see you too! Because I have been looking forward to the day I kill you with these hands!!”
Lit stood in front of Misufia to shield her from the powerful murderous intent. Her hand was on the grip of her shotel and she was ready to draw it at any moment.
“Lit, it’s okay. The opponent is restrained.”
“I moved unconsciously … that was tremendous amounts of murderous intent.”
Lit awkwardly released her grip after hearing my words.
I certainly felt the same from the current Ririnrara. The emotion she displayed was far more intense compared to when she was fighting me.
“Why Misufia! Why did you run!”
“You should already know? I lost to Leonor.”
“Yes, I know! But why did you not come discuss the matter with me!? Leonor didn’t hold any evidence! With her personality, if she had evidence, she would have crushed you instead of just threatening you!”
” … I was afraid. Of lying to that person and I was even more afraid of being hated by him.”
“Geyserik will never hate you! Do you not trust him!?”
“I trust him! But we were the first to betray him!”
“That … no!”
Ririnrara wanted to say something but she exclaimed forcefully as if to assert herself.
I felt something was off from her expression.
Since she replaced the prince with a child that was not from Geyserik, even if it was to secure Geyserik’s position and for the stability of the Veronia Kingdom, she shouldn’t be able to completely deny the accusation that they betrayed him.
But there was an adamant will behind Ririnrara’s words.
That reminded me of the time when I misunderstood Ruti with Ares.
What was going on?
” … Ririnrara. Why did you come to Zoltan now, after all this time? You probably knew that I was in this town all this while?”
“Yeah I knew, I know what happens on the ocean better than any other. And I have an information network of High-Elves on the continent. It took some time but it wasn’t impossible to find you … I thought of chopping you into shark food countless times!”
“But you didn’t.”
” … That’s right. Leonor had already planted her roots in the palace. There was no longer any value in killing you.”
For the Veronia citizens who fear Geyserik, Leonor becoming queen was a lot more reassuring compared to Misufia who was a pirate alongside Geyserik.
Utilizing the mentality of the citizens and aristocrats, Leonor created a situation whereby it was the best choice for Geyserik to marry her.
Even killing Misufia and bringing her back would become a chance for Leonor to utilize through her thorough control of the system. Ririnrara was defeated politically so it was hard for her to protect Prince Sarius.
“But Geyserik’s death is approaching and it is finally time to consider the issue of inheritance to the throne of Veronia.”
Ririnrara responded to my words with a death glare.
” … But this situation is nothing more than an unpleasant necessity for you? Since Prince Sarius and Misufia-san are not tied by blood. If it could be resolved by calling Misufia back, you would have done that a long time ago.”
“Misufia … you even told them that much!!”
“The people here are all trustworthy heroes.”
Misufia answered as a-matter-of-factly but Ririnrara gripped her fist until her fingers turned white and trembled.
“If anyone leaks it, Sarius and I will be destroyed … that.”
“This is not a situation I can solve alone. If I want to be trusted by someone, I have to first trust the other party. Isn’t that right?”
Ririnrara was at a loss for words. She showed a pained expression for just a splitting moment.
Hmm, isn’t that an excessive reaction to logical reasoning?
Lit who was beside me seemed to have noticed as well. We signaled to each other with our eyes and carefully observed Ririnrara’s expression as she conversed with Misufia.
Ririnrara should be hiding something.
“This conversation could only happen because I told Ruru-san and the others about us.”
“That’s enough of this topic? And so … you wanted to kill me to prevent me from making contact with Sarius. At first, you hired assassins but you failed. You came to Zoltan with Sarius because you used Sarius’ aim of finding me as a front to directly kill me but you couldn’t find me because I left Zoltan and hid. Am I correct up to this point?”
“Hmph, that’s right.”
“Then, I’m guessing that it was Leonor’s party that told Sarius I was in Zoltan?”
” … Yes, I let my guard down. I didn’t expect her to make that move. She probably noticed when I was gathering information on Zoltan.”
“Leonor only excels in political tactics after all.”
“I am well aware of that, to the point of disgust.”
Ririnrara and Misufia showed a bitter smile at the same time. Just like how the two of them looked in the past that we saw in the illusion.
“The situation has changed. Misufia, if you meet Sarius and return to Veronia, the scholars hired by Leonor will find evidence that you and Sarius are not related by blood in no time. I don’t know how they will do it but Leonor will only tell Sarius your location if she has found a way to ruin Sarius once you return.”
“As I had suspected.”
So that was the circumstance on Ririnrara’s side.
“In that case, isn’t it fine if you report that Young Lady Misufia had died or had gone missing?”
Ririnrara shook her head to Garadin’s naive question.
“If I know Misufia’s location, Leonor should as well. If I try to deceive her, Leonor will send her underlings to capture Misufia next. She will never ignore such a vital character.”
“But Prince Silverio, Leonor’s son, will inherit the throne regardless of my life or death circumstance? There should be no reason for her to spend the effort to hunt me down. Isn’t she using me as a bluff to distance you away from Veronia?”
“There is certainly truth in that … but there should still remain the possibility that Geyserik will nominate Sarius as the king at this moment.”
“It is impossible to change the succession order without following the legitimate steps. Leonor will claim that the will was written not in a sane mind and is unfair. More importantly, now, even after Prince Silverio becomes the King of Veronia, Sarius should still maintain his power as royalty and wait for Silverio to take a misstep.”
“Don’t talk as if you know how things are, Misfua. I have already taken such steps. The pirates who became aristocrats and the anti-Demon Lord Army aristocrats all support Sarius. Even if Leonor snatches the throne, Sarius shouldn’t be left with nothing.”
“That can be said to be gathering all the people hostile toward Leonor in one place. She might crush everyone in one fell swoop. You should make allies with the people who support Leonor’s policy.”
“Don’t say it as though it is easy …”
The two were discussing in strong tones.
Ruti nodded after observing that.
Ruti’s abrupt words stunned both Misufia and Ririnrara.
I didn’t know what she meant and looked at Ruti as well. Naturally, Lit, Garadin and the others were in the same boat.
“Your goals have become the same. So it is all right now.”
Ruti said with a face full of satisfaction.
I ended up having an out-of-place thought that it was a shame how others could not understand such a cute expression.