Roland N. Zaracia, the boy who studied the art of crossing worlds, was the previous owner of Hikaru’s body. The person who brought him into this world.
Margrave Grugschilt wanted to take Roland under his protection?
Hikaru searched Roland’s memories. After his parents’ death, he was supposed to be taken in by a distant relative in the countryside. But it wasn’t the Grugschilt family. As Hikaru was perplexed, Lawrence spoke.
「I heard you lent a fair amount of support to the Viscount’s research, my Lord.」
「Indeed. It was more his son’s research, really. He perfected the theory.」
「The Order secured the documents and materials that the boy left behind.」
The Margrave shook his head.「The things a genius left behind would be too complicated for an average mind to comprehend. The documents should be preserved. Once a competent person shows up, they should be handed over to him.」
Hikaru was astonished. He didn’t expect Grugschilt to have such a high opinion of Roland. Perhaps the family that was supposed to take Roland in had the assistance of the Margrave. There could be a number of reasons why he didn’t put the boy directly under his protection—it could be that he didn’t want to provoke Count Morgstad.
「Either way, this kingdom has to change so incidents like that never happen again.」
「Count Morgstad is no longer with us.」
「But instead the Grand Chamberlain is throwing his weight around, correct? At the end of the day, the problem lies with the king’s competency.」
「My Lord, I will not tolerate such criticism towards—」
「Calm down. It’s just a trivial matter. Now then, you came here alone. Tell me what you really think.」
「You know what I think? I think Roland killed Count Morgstad in exchange for his life. His only daughter can’t be the culprit.」
Hikaru whistled in surprise. It was probably nothing more than the Margrave’s hunch or wishful thinking, but he hit the mark.
「My Lord, are you trying to use Sir Gafrasti to stage a coup?」
「I’d very much prefer things to be settled peacefully with no bloodshed.」
「What you said a while ago is indeed very interesting. But it’s not enough to replace the current King. Right now, the Order is with him.」
Lawrence looked confused, not expecting Grugschilt’s answer.
「Lord Valves.」the Margrave called.
「Yes.」Gafrasti simply nodded, adding more to Lawrence’s confusion.
「By the way, Lawrence. Who do you think is fit to be the next ruler?」
「Uh, well… there’s the Crown Prince, Austrin G. Ponsonia.」
「I’m asking you who you think is fit to be the kingdom’s ruler. Just hypothetically. Humor me.」
「Even hypothetical, it’s still disrespectful.」
「What a stubborn man! I’m sure you have someone in mind. Someone who you think can make this kingdom a better place.」
Lawrence had his mouth shut. He didn’t say a word, but his silence said there was another candidate besides Austrin.
「By the way, did you know that Princess Kudyatoria and Prince Austrin have different mothers?」
It was news to him. Lawrence couldn’t hide the shock in his voice.
「I’m telling the truth. She’s the daughter of the fourth queen, Queen Fildegar. She passed away as soon as she gave birth.」
「Th-This is news to me. Isn’t three queens the maximum allowed? I find it hard to believe that the Order is not aware of this, considering we guard the palace.」
「Well, it’s true. Queen Fildegar had an extremely weak constitution. She recuperated far away from the capital, in the town of Silk Elka. You know about the King’s monthly trip to Silk Elka, right?」
「Yes. To go hunting.」
「But he never went hunting, and instead stayed in his villa all the time. Correct?」
「Yes. I thought he had some kind of secret.」
「His Majesty knew most about Fildegar’s condition. After discussing it with the other queens, she was secretly designated as the fourth queen on the condition that she would not appear in public and would not have inheritance rights.」
「Then how did her daughter become Prince Austrin’s sister?」
「The first queen, Queen Quilmesdahlia offered to raise the child herself. She said it was too tragic that she died right after giving birth. So she suggested she’d raise the child herself into a proper princess.」
Lawrence frowned. It sounded like a moving story, but he knew Queen Quilmesdahlia wasn’t the type of woman to do that. She was selfish, and when displeased, she would throw things within her reach, injuring even the knights guarding her. When the king started flirting with young women, the Queen herself appointed young and good-looking men as her servants or guards.
「Indeed. As you may know, that woman isn’t the type of person to do that. To put it briefly, she wanted to keep the child close. The king quite liked the late fourth Queen. There was a chance he’d grant her daughter the right to the throne.」
Watching Lawrence hanging his head, Grugschilt shot a glance at Gafrasti. They probably expected the captain’s reaction so far. And they already predicted how he would take the Margrave’s next words.
「The late Queen Fildegar is a distant relative of Lord Valves.」
「In other words, Princess Kudyastoria is the descendant of both the current king and the old Poelnxinia royal family.」
「I-It can’t be…」
Lawrence’s voice was hoarse. When Grugschilt asked him who he thought was fit to rule the Kingdom, only one person came to mind—Princess Kudyastoria.
「Master Swordsman Lawrence.」Gafrasti added.「I don’t want the throne. Not in the slightest. I don’t have any children to inherit it either. I’m not planning on causing unnecessary chaos. But I cannot accept the fact that the throne was taken unjustly and even now, its descendant is ruling the kingdom with arrogance.」
「Are you suggesting Princess Kudyastoria should take the throne?」
「We want you to join us in coming up with the best solution. But right now, a clash between the Order and the Margrave’s army would not benefit anyone. Am I wrong?」
Lawrence folded his arms, eyes closed.
That’s game, Hikaru thought. The script that Grugschilt and Gafrasti came up with was perfect.
I might not have to do anything.
Hikaru combined the information he got and Roland’s memories.
If the Margrave and the captain teamed up, the only real threat left is the Minister of Military Affairs. But if the minister learned that he could keep his position, he probably won’t show resistance. The Prime Minister himself despised how the Grand Chamberlain acted like someone important. It really looks like the hole Count Morgstad left is huge. Things will be settled peacefully if they get rid of the Chamberlain and put Kudyastoria on the throne. Worst case, the Grand Chamberlain and Queen Quilmesdahlia will create a ruckus. All right, then! Time to punch the king and head back to Scholarzard!
RIght then his Mana Detection caught another person in the attic.