Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Return of the Princess」Part 1
The Hoban territory of Rhoden Kingdom.
Hoban sat between the Annette mountains in the west and the Parnassus mountains in the south. The territory was relatively wealthy thanks to its location between Rhoden’s capital and the Riburuto Archdukedom.
However, the territory’s people had recently launched a revolt against the heavy taxation and tyrannical rule of earl Ferris De Hoban and slew him.
The territory became rather chaotic after that, but a suppression corps led by the first prince was dispatched from the capital and managed to quell the riots and anarchy.
Afterward, the first prince took up an administrative role in Hoban’s reconstruction and was currently processing paperwork in the former feudal lord’s castle.
Since the main building of the castle had been vandalized and robbed at some point during the revolt, the first prince had made his base in a small, nearby annex.
The room he worked from was smaller than a palace living room and shabbily decorated.
A tall young man brushed a brown lock of hair from his eye as he was looking over the reports in front of him with a slight wrinkle on his forehead.
This young man in a luxurious military uniform was Rhoden Kingdom’s first prince, Sect Rondaro Carunon Rhoden.
Prince Sect had been rather busy after subjugating the rebellion in Hoban and the constant worries on his mind had drained away some of his usual energy.
A sudden knock on the door informed him of a visitor.
Prince Sect momentarily looked away from the documents in his hands and gave the person at the door permission to enter.
After a little while, the door opened and a single, middle-aged man entered.
The man had brown hair and a mustache, his large body was dressed in a proper military uniform and that, along with his silent disposition, gave the man a strict aura.
His name was Setorion De Olsterio.
He was the general who led the troops dispatched to Hoban and the main supporter of prince Sect’s bid for the throne.
“We just received word from lord Tiosera. Shortly after your highness declared princess Juliana dead, her party was seen crossing through his territory.”
General Setorion gave his report in a monotone voice, but it made the prince throw the document he had been reading down and leap from his seat.
“……So you survived after all, Julianna.”
More wrinkles appeared on prince Sect’s forehead as he spoke.
The content of that report had been the main issue on the prince’s mind these days.
Second princess Juliana was the daughter of the Rhoden’s first queen and held rights to the throne. Sect had set her up to be assassinated and pushed the blame on the deceased second prince.
However, an unanticipated monster attack had forced the assassins to retreat and the team that had been sent to recover Juliana’s body found that the carriage, a majority of the guards, and the princess had all disappeared.
A member of one of the seven duke families carried out the assassination. Cox Carlo De Brutus had provided the princess’ heirloom along with his report of the attack, but Setorion had just proven that Cox’s report had been wrong.
“Even though it was the least likely outcome, the worst has happened……”
Prince Sect laughed in self-mockery before sighing.
The prince had even received the necklace his younger sister had never taken off because it was a keepsake from her deceased mother.
Juliana must’ve been rendered unconscious in order for the necklace to have been stolen from her.
In addition, a pack of ferocious Haunting Wolves had attacked the area a short time after the assassination, making it near impossible for a critically injured person to survive.
Even if the monsters ignored them, the party would have needed time to recover before they could make any public appearances.
However, from the report he just received, Juliana was in good health and had been seen crossing the Tiosera territory at the edge of Rhoden kingdom.
“How would you like to act, your highness?”
General Setorion called out to the pondering Sect.
Prince Sect returned from his head space and sat back down in his chair with a loud sigh.
When Cox was asked about his actions as the assassination corps commander, he had stated that he led the attack from a distance and hadn’t been the one to struck Juliana down.
The possibility of him being connected to the attack was minuscule at best.
Assuming the worst, it might be too dangerous to attempt a second assassination. Sect began running through possible solutions to his problem while staring at Setorion.
“Although the discovery of our involvement is unlikely, we can’t afford to be careless on the off-chance that Juliana found out we were the ones behind the assassination attempt…… Is there any way Tiosera can handle this on his own?”
Prince Sect lowered his voice when he asked that question, but Setorion just shook his head.
“Unfortunately, thirty guards remained from princess Juliana’s original party, along with two hundred guards bearing the flag of the Rinburuto Archdukedom.”
Prince Sect chewed his lip and lifted an eyebrow at that answer.
“Damn, Juliana is receiving help from our sister……”
Juliana’s older sister had married into the Tishiento family and was now the grand duchess of Rinburuto, and the two had had a good relationship when she was still in the kingdom.
If Juliana managed to reach her older sister in Rinburuto after the assassination attempt, then it was reasonable that her older sister would send soldiers to protect her.
“Also, it seems that princess Juliana’s party also included a group of thirty elven warriors, so it’s nigh impossible to break through their defenses.”
“What!? Did you say elven warriors!?”
Prince Sect had an astonished expression on his face as he shouted for Setorion to elaborate.
The elves were a race that occupied Canada Forest to the east of Rhoden, and their warriors were masters of magic that had cultivated their swordsmanship over their long lifespans.
If thirty of those warriors served as Juliana’s guards, then it would require a large number of regular soldiers just to overwhelm them, but that would attract too much attention.
Orchestrating an assassination would be unreasonable at this point.
However…… prince Sect just crossed his arms after his outburst.
“Why are elves among Juliana’s escorts?”
Questioning this situation was the natural thing to do.
Rhoden Kingdom had once started a war with the elves, so saying their relationship wasn’t that great was an understatement.
The elves had retreated into Great Canada Forest to escape persecution from humans, and their sole trading partner was the Rinburuto Archdukedom. It was rare to see them in any other country.
Why would the elves set foot in a human country to protect prince Juliana…… the unknown reason behind their actions made Sect anxious.
However, the corners of general Setorion’s mouth rose as Sect looked directly at him before the general started speaking.
“There should be no need to worry, even if they reach us.”
“Your younger sister survived a heinous attack from prince Douglass, shouldn’t you greet her with open arms?”