Chapter 46: Carmine Hill
Perhaps the enemy forces will come again and I’ll be able to see a battle this time so I decided not to return to the city, but instead stayed in a tent overnight here.
The aristocrats looked at the Emperor with a disappointed smile when they heard his selfish request. Of course they would – there aren’t any enemy forces in the first place.
The Emperor was too stupid to understand that… I ended up spending the night here. I think I’m going to get what I came here for.
After dinner, I went into the tent that was prepared for the Emperor. It was treated as the Emperor’s private room even though it was only temporary. The aristocrats couldn’t enter and Timona was the only person who was allowed to follow me into the room. For some reason, Rosalia was in the room as well… but I don’t have time to pay attention to her.
I squatted down in the corner of the tent and vomited in the hole that Timona had secretly dug out for me. I had really reached my limit.
The stench of blood and smoke that had stained the area reminded me of that scene.
“… Your voice is loud. I don’t want them to know.”
I felt really bad. I guess the aristocrats hadn’t considered that the villagers who were killed were also human like that since they were eating normally after seeing that massacre.
I believe it’s something I have to get used to, but every time it happens…
“It’s really draining.”
“Your Majesty. I will go out for a while. I don’t think you should be seen like this.”
Timona went outside, leaving Rosalia and I in the tent.
She rubbed my back. I’m grateful for your concern but…
“Why did you come?”
Rosalia was supposed to be waiting nearby with the carriage. It wasn’t my intention to bring her to a place that smelled thick of blood.
“… Your Majesty. I am the woman who will eventually become the empress.”
She sounded as if she was about to cry.
“I will never… ask to share the burden that you shoulder. The weight of one’s fate is not something that someone else could lightly ask to carry. I am well aware of that. I am sure today’s events would have been hindered by my presence since I am a woman.”
… That wasn’t my intention. I probably didn’t want her to experience something painful. I didn’t want to show her the evils of this world.
But she’s right, she is going to be the empress… and I don’t want her to become another ‘Marie Antoinette’ either. I have to alter my plans.
Then Rosalia gently wrapped her hands around mine. My nausea subsided.
“But even so, that does not mean I should not know the burdens you shoulder. So please forgive my selfishness just this once.”
… I’m surprised. You said something that I would say.
“Alright, I won’t tell you off for this.”
I couldn’t help but smile. Are we similar?
“… I’m tired.”
“Your Majesty. Please just rest for today.”
I’m so exhausted that I can even tell I’m tired. It’s something I have to get used to… but it would be a problem if this happens every time. I’ll try developing magic to suppress my nausea when I have time… or even magic to suppress my emotions.
I put my hand over the hole and filled it back up with earth magic. Timona dug a pretty deep hole even though he probably didn’t have that much time. I couldn’t smell the vomit once it was covered.
The smell of blood and smoke that had stuck to my body was still there though.
I laid down in the smaller than usual bed in the tent, then the nausea, which had gone down, came rushing back.
“I’m sorry. I’m just feeling a bit sick now that I’ve laid down.”
Hearing this, Rosalia got up onto the bed and laid next to me.
The bed was smaller than the ones in the capital or in an aristocrat’s mansion, but it was large enough for two children.
Then she suddenly held me.
She buried my face in her chest. I would normally be excited if a girl did this to me, but I felt strangely at ease now.
“You’ll get dirty.”
I’m sure I’m covered in soot since I was in the smoke all day, and I was puking earlier. I don’t think I have any vomit on me, but I’m not clean.
“I do not mind.”
“… The smell will transfer onto you.”
“I do not mind. Now please go to sleep.”
She smells good. The smell of blood and the presence of death that had stuck to my body seemed to be fading away, and then I felt drowsy all of a sudden.
I let go of my consciousness while surrounded by kindness and warmth.
I woke up early the next day. I looked next to me and saw that Rosalia was still sleeping.
She supported me in many ways yesterday, and it’s just a hunch… but I have a feeling that she’ll support me many more times in the future.
“Thanks for keeping guard all night without sleeping, Timona. Are you feeling alright?”
“Not sleeping for a night is not a problem.”
We both spoke in low voices so that we wouldn’t wake up Rosalia.
“Will you be washing up?”
Baths and showers aren’t brought to the battlefield. In places like this, you only need to wet a cloth with hot water and wipe down your body.
“Yes, thanks… No, it wouldn’t be right for me to ask you to do this kind of work. Can you call Rosalia’s maid? She’s waiting outside.”
I know that there are two maids waiting outside from my heat detection which I now use habitually.
Though honestly speaking, I could wash myself… but it’s relaxing to leave it to others, so I let others wash me.
“No, I am not sure if we can trust the maids, so I will do it myself. Please do not mind this.”
“I see. Then I’ll leave it to you.”
I was lost in thought while he was wiping me down.
I will go up the hill again after this and then back to the city, then I’ll make my rounds to the different fiefs and make them speak their mind… My tour will continue until autumn if I’m not careful, but well I’ll just think of it as work… Having to listen to a principal’s speech or a drunken boss’s ramble is much better than this though. Especially since the feudal lord here was the first of them.
“… I believe Count Bailer Nove’s name is Timona le Chauvire?”
“Yes, he has the same name as me. Is it confusing?”
“It’s fine since I’ve never called him by his name before… I was just suddenly thinking about your last name. Is your last name perhaps not Renan, but Nan?”
Timona looked blank, which was rare.
“Yeah… is ‘Renan’ your last name?”
His hands stopped. It seemed like this was devastating news to him.
I was now sweating profusely. I hated it when my bosses remembered my name incorrectly… Our master/servant relationship won’t crack right?
“Fufu. You certainly started calling me by my name when you started to trust me.”
Timona laughed?! What does his laugh mean? Is it a bad laugh? A good laugh?
“Come to think of it, on Baron Renan’s… I mean Baron Nan’s grave there is a little gap between ‘Re’ and ‘nan’…” TN: Have I just been getting this wrong the whole time? I thought it was weird that there were tons of typos on his name……
It isn’t good to assume.
“… I’m sorry.”
“It is alright. I was going to sever all ties with the Nan House… So why don’t I just call myself ‘Renan’? There is no greater honour than to be given a family name from my master.”
“… Don’t tease me.”
“I am not joking…”
He dressed me. Anyway, it doesn’t seem like he’s angry.
… That honestly gave me a fright.
“I see, I have to achieve something in order to say that I am from the Renan House.”
“… I can’t tell if you’re joking or not so can you stop?”
“You two seem to be having fun.”
I looked towards the bed and saw that Rosalia was looking this way sullenly.
It’s because you were pretending to be asleep even though you woke up half-way through our conversation…!
This was extremely obvious, but the enemy army didn’t show up today.
“What? They’re not coming?”
“Yes. They cannot put up much of a fight against the Empire’s powerful soldiers.”
Count Bailer Nove said as he laughed loudly.
… The army that’s here isn’t the Empire’s army but Lord Raul’s though… They’re the Chancellor’s private army.
“Hmmm. Then it seems that the Theanabe Union will soon be destroyed.”
My words stiffened the aura around me in an easy-to-understand manner.
Count Bailer Nove realised that he had said something unnecessary, immediately fell silent and glanced at the Chancellor, Lord Raul. That’s what happens when you get carried away.
But well, it’s dangerous for me to meddle anymore.
“But I do not know much about this, so I will leave it to the Chancellor.”
I’m sure he doesn’t want to. He looks like he’s ready to get out of here.
I won’t let him.
“But then again, this is the hill where I am seeing a war for the first time. I like it! This hill shall henceforth be known as ‘Carmine Hill’!!”
“Hah…? You are going to add your name to this… hill?”
The aristocrats were stunned.
As they should be. The emperor’s name should only be added to special places, like the capital ‘Cardinal’, since their ‘dignity’ was at stake. Having it taken away by another nation was like crushing the emperor’s face.
It would be a mistake to attach it to such a tiny hill, and the hill is near the border as well.
“Hmm. It’s a symbol of my victory. Spread it around.”
Feeling good and attaching your name to something… is normal, and the Emperor is a child. He doesn’t understand what dignity is all about, so this declaration wasn’t strange.
And the Chancellor… can no longer abandon this hill. His dignity would drop if the land with the Emperor’s name on it were to be handed to the enemy without any resistance. The Regent faction would use this to condemn him.
Of course, my dignity would drop as well if that were to happen. There was nothing more embarrassing than having an enemy steal the land that bears my name…
Well, that’s only if a puppet emperor has dignity though.
“How about building a castle here at some point? A villa is fine as well.”
Now I have a reason to regularly inquire about ‘this place’, and the Chancellor can’t pull out his army because of such a huge risk.
As long as the Chancellor’s army is in place, the ‘Golden Fleece Association’, which is under pressure, won’t be able to send troops to the Central Continent. I can achieve my goal to ‘buy time against the Golden Fleece Association’.
Besides… This will probably aggravate the relationship between the feudal lords at the Theanabe Union and the ‘Golden Fleece Association’. The feudal lords cannot get their land back as long as Lord Raul’s army is here. The Golden Fleece Association will be questioned about why the feudal lords had to surrender their lands unconditionally.
Of course, this was all under the assumption that the Chancellor won’t withdraw his troops. It’s also possible that he will abandon this hill… but the Chancellor couldn’t show any weaknesses since the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies was consolidating his power by sorting out his faction.
And… I personally have no intention of forgetting this hill.
|↑1||TN: Have I just been getting this wrong the whole time? I thought it was weird that there were tons of typos on his name……|