Chapter 133: A story that doesn’t go as one wishes
I only wanted to be useful to him …
I noticed Geyserik’s body anomaly when Misufia’s first child was stillborn.
Accompanied by a High-Elf doctor that come from Kiramin, I stepped into the large dungeon below Veronia’s prison tower.
Opening the secret door that was known to only that doctor and a few fellow High-Elves that I trust, we were greeted by a terrible sight of a wide range of poisons lined up inside a laboratory.
And on the table laid Misufia’s baby that was supposed to have been buried.
“This is very intriguing.”
The doctor who possesses the 『Poison Master』 divine protection showed me the blood he drew from the baby.
The blood was slightly bluish.
The doctor seemed to have mixed some other drugs.
“Is it poison?”
“Yes. It is called the ‘Concealed Progeny-Severing Poison’.”
“I never heard of that poison.”
“Yes, it is the first time I have seen it as well. It is a poison used by the demons in the Dark Continent.”
“Demons from the Dark Continent? Why would they use such a poison …”
“Well, I don’t know that much in detail.”
The doctor shrugged.
“Right, it is not your job to investigate that, sorry. So, what kind of poison is it?”
“According to the encyclopedia written by Venom Demon, this is a poison used on prisoners of war.”
“Prisoners of war?”
“This poison would act as a powerful drug that will rot the organs if taken normally by drinking but … if a person continues to take it in appropriate amounts for about three months, the poison will adapt to the person’s blood.”
The High-Elf doctor’s face that remained beautiful even in his advanced age distorted as he laughed.
“The great thing about this poison is during its infection.”
“Of course, it will not show any symptoms but the blood of the infected person would become poison as well and the poison will reshape the body while producing more poison. It will then cause all body fluids to turn into poison. But the toxicity is low so it won’t affect daily life.”
“It’s your bad habit of talking about unnecessary things again. Say the main point.”
“My apologies. Then, in conclusion, human children born by those infected by this poison will always be stillborn.”
“As expected …”
“Not only that, the poison will infect the other party through sexual activities. Well, that’s if the person sleeps with the same person multiple times. That is the reason why it is a poison used on prisoners of war. Because they will destroy the fertility of their original homeland when they are returned.”
I felt my eyes darken. In that case …
“Geyserik was very careful in making sure Misufia don’t get poisoned. There should always have been High-Elf magicians protecting her.”
“However, Ririnrara-dono and your magicians probably didn’t expect Geyserik’s own blood to turn into poison.”
” … Geyserik.”
“Was it the impulse from his 『Emperor』 divine protection? Love could not make him a king. In order to secure his throne, he had to have an heir as soon as possible. Rumors of a windowless carriage coming from and going to the monastery where Leonor-sama is held have reached even this basement.”
The doctor stroked the dead fetus lovingly.
The impulses from his divine protection of 『Poison Master』 was probably influencing his excitement towards the unknown poison. Even though I knew that I could not suppress my disgust toward that doctor.
“So what do you need for the antidote.”
“An antidote is impossible to make. It is an artwork created by Venom Demon. Unless you have the legendary ‘Healing Hand’ skill that the 『Hero』 possess.”
“I don’t need to listen to such fairy tales! In that case, the king’s succession … !”
“It’s impossible to have children.”
It was a merciless statement from an excellent doctor. This time my vision really turned black.
“But if the child is not human, there is hope.”
“What do you mean?”
The doctor pointed to my lower abdomen.
“Ririnrara-sama is well aware that we High-Elves have much higher vitality than humans. There is a possibility of our children resisting the poison. Venom Demon also left records that the effect on Elves was weak.”
Her heart was beating so loudly that it hurt. Even though it was an unfortunate situation, the seed of emotions she should have discarded was slightly joyful and welled up.
While feeling disgusted with herself …
“Does the antidote truly not exist?”
I confirmed with the doctor.
The born child resembles the father. I would never forget the feeling when I carried the child in my arms.
I still felt chills when I recall that I planned to have the prison tower doctor carve up the face of the child if the child resembled me instead.
“I am your mother just for today …”
The baby in my arms cried ‘Ah~’ and smiled at my words.
I was crying before I knew it.
I will be handing my child to Misufia.
Thinking back, I admit that the clumsy words I said to Misufia and hiding the truth were a bad move.
But … I was afraid. Regardless of the reason, I had betrayed Misufia. Misufia could not bear a child for Geyserik so I was forced to have her nurture Geyserik and my child as her own for Geyserik’s sake.
If I was in Misufia’s shoes, I would find it totally unforgivable. I would probably curse her for being so shameless.
… I was not calm.
If I was calm, I would have thought deeper into Leonor’s scheme.
I found it to be godsend and was convinced … that Leonor would seek revenge for her father and husband to the point of sacrificing her own future.
I was shocked to hear that Leonor also had a child after Sarius was born.
If Leonor drank the Concealed Progeny-Severing Poison on her own volition and had relations with Geyserik, her baby should have been stillborn as well.
But Leonor gave birth to the eldest son Prince Silberio and second son Prince Uzuku.
She probably switched children just like Sarius but … not to mention proof, I couldn’t even catch any suspicious movements.
Leonor prepared the poison. Perhaps she knew of an antidote that even High-Elves didn’t know about.
And then, Leonor secretly banished Misufia by threatening her with Sarius’ case.
With the first princess Misufia missing, Geyserik was forced to accept Leonor and her follower’s request to lower Sarius’ inheritance rights to the bottom.
From then … I protected Sarius and moved in order to make him king.
In the end … I even betrayed my goal to become Geyserik’s aid and moved for the sake of my own child …
Where did I go wrong?
What should I do?
If I did not meet Geyserik when he was still tied in chains as a rower slave on the pirate ship … would I not have my current troubles and remain as an unrestrained pirate?
Misufia … mother ran away before I was aware of my surroundings.
So I don’t have many memories regarding mother.
I could only dimly recall the figure of a woman quietly looking from a short distance away as I played.
When I heard the story that my mother and father attacked the Royal Capital when they were pirates, I was often confused because the image of my mother in my head was different from the stories.
The nobles of Veronia do not directly raise their children.
My memories during my teens were of the single-eyed High-Elf General Ririnrara.
“Sarius, what are you doing?”
Ririnrara’s first words to me was always that.
No matter what I was doing, even if she could tell with her single eye that I was playing, Ririnrara would always say those words to me.
Even after becoming a noble, Ririnrara still covered one of her eyes with a black eye patch just like her pirating days. Even if she wore a luxurious noble dress, she would always have a pirate-like boorish cutlass on her waist.
The people around her avoided her like a foreign being but I liked meeting Ririnrara.
Instead of stories on elegant nobles and knights, Ririnrara told me exciting stories of the sea.
Even though I could not go outside, she secretly took me to her ship and taught me the color and smells of the sea.
I found out that mother was not my biological mother when I was adventuring with the Radiant Dragon named Alhazen.
There were plenty of adventures which the Radiant Dragon liked, such as the prince and dragon battling the evil witch of the forest … but that is irrelevant so I will omit it.
What’s important was that I picked up a certain set of gauntlets inside Ririnrara’s room.
It was a wonderful article made using green steel and being a magical item, it fit my child hand perfectly.
Even though I only knew the sword to the extent of playing around with it, when I had that gauntlet on, I could freely swing the sword as though I was a veteran warrior and I could fight the monsters in the forest.
And when I defeated the witch … the witch’s mouth distorted in a grin when she saw my gauntlet … she told me that it was called the Gauntlet of Swordsmanship and it was a magic item that only High-Elves could use before she drew her last breath.
Of course, I was shocked.
Neither my father nor my mother was High-Elves.
In other words, one of them was not my true parent.
As I was thinking, one High-Elf came to mind.
Once I was conscious of it, the suspicion turned into belief fairly quickly. Or rather, I should say I accepted it from the very beginning.
And the witch’s words were supported by the fact that my aging was extremely slow. My appearance didn’t change much, unlike regular humans.
The days of power struggles never ended and I could not have peace of mind but I was happy that my mother was fighting for my sake.
Even though my foster mother abandoned me and father declared that I have nothing to inherit, mother continued to remain by my side and protected me.
I wanted to say thank you. I wanted to tell her that I love her.
I wanted to treat her like my mother.
That was all I wished for.
Father fell ill and it seemed that my fight alongside mother was coming to an end. In the form of defeat which we knew from the very beginning.
At that time, a noble from Leonor’s faction lied about actually wanting to betray Leonor and approached us … and offered information on foster mother’s whereabouts.
I knew it was a trap but I had a different idea.
If foster mother claimed that she doesn’t know me, perhaps we could give up on father and the kingdom.
Just like how foster mother came to Zoltan, mother and I could cross to a faraway land, over to the East beyond the Wall at the End of the World and live as just mother and son.
If father passes away and I can’t take the throne, there should be nothing holding mother to Veronia.
I thought to myself.
I didn’t want to lose a mother a second time.
“I didn’t want to lose a mother a second time.”
Prince Sarius took a deep breath and exhaled after he ended. His hand on the table was sweaty from nervousness and his eyes were now downcast.
Ririnrara and Prince Sarius ended up completely revealing all their motives.
Apart from Leonor, everyone was acting not for their own sake but for the sake of someone else but it didn’t go as they wanted.
Misufia wished for the happiness of her loved ones, Ririnrara fought on her own for the sake of her son, and Prince Sarius only wanted to regain the relationship with his mother.
Only the flow of time continued while none of their wishes came true.
I placed the gauntlet I collected after I defeated Ririnrara on the table.
“I’ll return this.”
The well-polished gauntlets reflected Prince Sarius and Ririnrara’s faces as well as the face of Misufia who was a short distance away.