Chapter 235: As a Tool
A few days later, Otou-sama came home with a gloomy expression on his face. I didn’t go to see Nico, or Alistair and the others that day because the adults had business to attend to. I stayed at home and spent time with Nii-sama.
I was called into Otou-sama’s office after we all had dinner. It felt strange being summoned to his office since he always forced me to go there when I was working, so it was like a playroom for me.
I held hands with Nii-sama and knocked on the office door.
“Enter,” at the sound of Otou-sama’s voice, Nii-sama and I looked at each other, nodded and opened the door. Otou-sama was sitting behind his desk. Nii-sama and I squeezed each other’s hands, feeling as helpless as children who are going to be scolded.
“Lei and Luke, this is really difficult for me to say.”
“I know the concept of two-year-old’s not understanding something doesn’t apply to Lei, but…”
“Otou-syama, ith’sh worshe for me noth tho wnow.” (Otou-sama, it’s worse for me not to know) I interrupted Otou-sama and spoke slowly, word by word. It probably isn’t a pleasant conversation. Chris’s face flashed through my mind, but I quietly waited for him to continue.
“The Remingtons’ fates have been decided.”
I knew that was what he wanted to talk about. Otou-sama spoke quietly.
“The current Remington wife and husband will be imprisoned for life. The Remingtons will be demoted from the Four Marquis title. Their family name will remain, and Felicia will take over the family. Their House will be promoted to being a Four Marquis again if nothing happens for three generations starting from Felicia.”
Nii-sama and I loudly exhaled the breath that we had been holding in. I didn’t know if this punishment was light or heavy, but Felicia was safe for now. This means that Chris will probably live as she has always lived.
Of course, it would be hard for Chris and Felicia to not see their parents their whole life, and even though their parents are alive, they weren’t living in the best of conditions.
However, although the royal family and Four Marquises weren’t harmed in Easter’s attack, there were casualties among the soldiers who were guarding the castle.
If they had succeeded in getting the barrier down, then there’s no telling how many people would have died to Hollows. The crime of causing great loss to a nation would be too great.
“I feel bad for Felicia and Chris, but given the magnitude of the situation, weren’t there people who said their punishment is too light?” Nii-sama asked the question that had popped into my head but didn’t come out. He let go off my hand in surprise and gently turned my body towards the door.
“You already know that Chris and Felicia are alright. You should go out now Lei.”
“No!” I resisted. Otou-sama summoned me so that he can tell me everything properly.
“Lei don’t be unreasonable.”
“Lei ishn’th being unreashonabwe! Otou-syama!” (Lei isn’t being unreasonable. Otou-sama!)
I looked desperately at Otou-sama. He sighed.
“Luke, just let her stay. We can support Lei if she’s having a hard time.”
Nii-sama backed down, but instead of going to the desk, he took me to the couch, sat us both down and put his hand around my back and pulled me close.
Otou-sama also got up from his desk and kneeled down in front of us. He should have done that from the beginning, but I guess it was hard for him to say all this.
“I believe Prince Lambert mentioned earlier that there has been talk about sending the Remingtons to Purgatory Island.”
“But the decision was which was more beneficial to Kingdom: losing one of the Remingtons in that way or imprisoning them somewhere and making her continue channelling her magic into the magic stone.”
If the primary concern is to maintain the barrier, then of course, magic power will be their priority.
“Honestly, this could overthrow the nation. If it that had been done by some other noble, then they would have received capital punishment. But the Four Marquises are powerful. And above all, it’s more important to not let the people think that the Four Marquises can be easily judged.”
In other words, they wanted to make sure that the Four Marquises weren’t taken lightly.
“Fortunately, the people are more interested in the merge with Easter than they are with the Remingtons’ betrayal. The royal family and the Four Marquises, or should I say the Three Marquises, will continue to silently channel our power into the magic stones and maintain the barrier. That’s it.”
“Ith’sh wiwe thhe Four Marquishesh are thoowsh.” (It’s like the Four Marquises are tools)
“That’s what we are Lei. That’s what we are.”
Otou-sama stayed on his knees as he put his arms around Nii-sama and I.
“We’re nothing more than tools. That’s what I’ve always thought since I was young. We’re just tools who are bound to Kingdom so that we channel magic into the magic stones. What’s the point of being alive?” Otou-sama dreadfully confessed.
“I know now that I wasn’t able to make Luke’s mother happy since I felt like that.”
Oh my, he’s going a little off track.
“But when I look at the citizens, I wonder how many of them aren’t tied down by work? Even the hunters roam freely in Wester. They hunt Hollows for a living and work hard in their day jobs. Look at the nobles. They don’t just manage their fiefs. Some of them run businesses, just like us, and they’re struggling to maintain and grow their families.”
Otou-sama looked up and then looked at Nii-sama and I.
“Which of them are grieving because they can’t get out of the country? Most of them probably never want to leave Kingdom, and even if they did, it would be financially difficult for them to do so. I’m a fool who spends his ample wealth and privilege like water and fusses over the fact that I can only leave the capital for a maximum of ten days.”
Although Otou-sama had said that, we, his family, know that he goes to the castle every day and sometimes over time for this country. What’s wrong with feeling suffocated and wanting to be free in such a situation?
“Otou-syama worwsh properwy.”
“That’s right. No matter how dissatisfied you are, you’re always doing the work that the Four Marquises should do for this country. What’s wrong with what you feel?”
Otou-sama buried his face into our laps.
“I thought that I might end up like Ange one day.”
I gently patted Otou-sama’s head. Nii-sama also timidly patted his head.
“Ith’sh awrighth. Lei and Nii-syama are here.”
“Yes. You have us, don’t you?”
“Ange said she didn’t care what happened to Kingdom. She said peace built on the sacrifices of the few is meaningless… But isn’t it important to have your family living in that peace?”
Nothing good happens when you give wealth and power to people who don’t think. I sighed loudly.
“If shhe doeshn’th need thhe barrier thhen shhe shhouwd jushth change everythhing.”
“If shhe doeshn’th wanth tho be a shacrifice thhen shhe shhouwd change Kingdom.” (If she doesn’t want to be a sacrifice then she should change Kingdom)
I can understand why she ran to Easter. But if she doesn’t want to sacrifice herself, then she shouldn’t sacrifice others. If she doesn’t want to be bound to Kingdom, then she should change how Kingdom is, even if it takes a lot of time to do so. I looked towards the future.