Chapter 87: Fighting Competition 07
All the culprits had been found poisoned to death.
Lolo said that they had apparently drunk poison that they had prepared for when they were about to be caught. I’m surprised at how well-prepared they are.
The culprits were said to be merchants who usually came to the fortress to do business but judging from their skills with the bow and knife, they were probably not merchants. Which meant they were professional assassins.
The ability to send a concealed weapon straight at a target from a distance at high speed.
Hey, what else is it good for besides assassination? Oh, hunting?
By the way, the poison that was smothered on the concealed weapon is said to have existed in Farglow for a long time and is famous for its fast-acting and powerful nature. It’s powerful, but easy to spot because of its characteristics, so it’s mainly used in projectile weapons. It was a traditional assassination method in Farglow. Aside from the fact that it took a lot of time to make and was expensive, there weren’t any other features that made it unique, and now with the culprits dead, I guess we’ll never find any leads.
Incidentally, the knife that flew at me had the same poison coating on it.
So that means…
I wasn’t a decoy to distract Lector. I was also a target of this assassination attempt.
Oh, they really wanted to kill me.
If I hadn’t been able to avoid the knife and had been poisoned, then I would have wasted time healing myself, which could have led to a delay in healing Lector. It was a small blessing that I was able to detect the knife through Lolo.
Unfortunately, Alice, my shadow, sensed the knife at the last minute and later apologised to me in a tearful voice. That was probably impossible to sense with human senses, though.
I sensed the knife through Lolo when it was still very far away, but even if I looked in the direction of the knife, I wouldn’t have been able to see it. I was just barely able to avoid it.
It’s amazing that Alice had been able to react at all, as expected of a professional.
Lolo also said later, “Meow,” 『I protected you, you’re my master, after all』while wagging her tail. Magic beasts are so reliable.
But Lolo, you were going to flick it away with your tail, right? You didn’t want to move your whole body at all. Your tail is so strong that it can withstand a poisoned knife…
“The two criminals have been entering this fortress for several years as merchants, so they’re well-known and trusted, and were able to get in easily this time. However, since they both committed suicide very early on, it’s possible that they were manipulated. Even if that were the case, we don’t know when they were manipulated and by who. It’s also possible that any previous suggestions that were implanted in them were reactivated because the ‘Saint’s Blessing’ was cancelled for that day. However, judging from the situation, it seems like they carefully prepared so that they can carry out the assassination at any time,” Tamer Garwin reported in the office.
Today, he had a snake wrapped around his arm, a sparrow on his head and an owl perched on his shoulder. The owl’s claws were digging into his shoulder, and it looked a little painful.
“Hohoo…” the owl hooted to Garwin.
If his report is true, then Hime isn’t the mastermind, since Hime couldn’t have prepared this years in advance.
“I believed they would make some kind of move since the ‘Saint’s Blessing’ had been dispelled, but I was surprised to see such a primitive projectile. I was expecting a more skilful plan. It’s also a problem that concealed weapons were brought into the fortress. We need to review the security measures immediately,” Lector said bitterly.
“Excuse me? You expected this…?”
“Yeah. We finally lowered some of our defences, and we also announced the competition, so it isn’t surprising. It was a good opportunity to uncover the culprits. Jouvence and I believed that if something were to happen, then it would most likely take place in the finals, so we were fighting while observing the people and their magic.”
That’s why you were talking while fighting? The first half of the fight was just for show?
Then the Vice-General said bitterly, “Other than the possibility of projectile weapons, we were on guard for any magic traps or other cheap tricks such as taking people as hostages. Dammit, I was naïve. The culprits didn’t move in an unnatural way until just before the attack, so they’re definitely professionals. Their actions were instantaneous. We believed we had rushed the competition in case information leaked out, so that the culprits couldn’t make any elaborate plans, but we had to tell the merchants about the competition at once since they’re involved with the competition preparations.”
“Well, I’m the General and there are very few people who want to kill the Saint, so I have a pretty good idea about who is behind this. But there’s no evidence as usual. I’m having men search around the area where the culprits were found, but I doubt they’ll find anything. Isn’t she angry since the Vice-General said, ‘feeble first-born?”
“Nonsense. She’s too far away, and even if she was in the audience, she wouldn’t have been able to hear me properly.”
Well, Lolo could hear you though.
I guess the mastermind behind all this is the same in everyone’s minds.
She really is a dangerous person, even though her son should be grown up now.
She was after me this time too.
That meant that she’s decided that I’m a person who’s better off dead.
I felt like I’ve become a full-fledged member of the royal family for the first time in my life.
At the very least, I’m no longer an insignificant, unknown mob who hangs around Lector.
Even if I still were, I received compliments from everywhere in the fortress since that one incident, “The Saint is so amazing! I was touched by the way she desperately rushed to the Master’s side! And it’s wonderful how she was able to neutralise such a powerful and famous poison in an instant! That was truly the work of the gods!”
And I felt like I was treated kinder than before.
Even though I’m already back to my plain clothes, people look at me in fascination lately and I feel extremely confused.
I wonder if my ‘Saintly’ attire, diadem, and flashy performance made that big of an impact on them.
My abilities haven’t changed at all, and I’ve only carried out my original goal since I was in Origlow, but well, I guess that’s what getting recognised means.
Just like what Lector said when he proposed our fake marriage, I was able to rush straight to him as his wife and save him in time.
Everything had been set up and prepared.
When I received his proposal, I really didn’t believe that I would have to rush to him to save him.
At first, I didn’t believe that the young and healthy Lector would die that easily.
How many times has my (temporary) husband nearly died now?
Although it hasn’t been a big problem thanks to the efforts of the man himself, his guards, his shadows and I, but how many dangerous situations (which would result in his death if he made a mistake) has he been in?
Looking back, wasn’t he safer when he went to the enemy nation on a ‘top secret mission’?
Why does this person live such a dangerous life?
And I feel like I’ve completely become involved in his life now.
It’s funny. When I had first come up with this plan, I ‘just’ wanted to secretly save him and gain his favour.
And I was only going to save him once.
Why is it so hard for this General to survive and make it to spring? And why am I this busy?!
Why did I make the plan to save his life?
I don’t feel like… this is going to be the end of it…
Does that mean his life will still be in danger even if he makes it past spring…?
Can he survive on his own even if I’m gone…?
I can’t save you right away if we get divorced and we go our separate ways.
But if this person dies, then can I continue to live peacefully as a potion shop owner in the future…?
If I lose the influence, political manoeuvres, and protection of the Fifth Prince, General Lector, then I will have to quickly make my way past the nation’s policy of protecting saints, escape from those who try to use saints, and Hime, for the rest of my life…
I can’t do that. I don’t believe I can do that at all. That’s far from a ‘peaceful life’, that’s just living life on the run.
And that would put me in a worse situation than my previous life on the run!
In order to prevent that from happening, I have to keep an eye on the General and make sure he doesn’t die…
I… can’t… get… away… from… him…?
I… I’m stuck with him!?