T/n (CSV): Sponsored Chapter. Apologies to the sponsors for the issue. Next chapter will be the regular chapter on Sunday, hopefully with the sponsored chapter.
“That the birds have all died means……?”
“It probably means that Prince Reitas’ side has noticed something, sir.”
Roan, Clay, Harrison, and Brian returned to their residence and secretly chatted.
Roan also knew that Clay was using birds to collect information.
This was because Clay had reported it afterwards.
Although it was something that was acted on before the report, he didn’t have any particular plans to reprimand him.
This was because understanding the information of the surroundings when in a faraway nation became that great a strength.
“Is there a proof that Prince Reitas’ side is responsible for this?”
Brian, who was next to him, asked cautiously.
Clay slowly nodded his head.
“According to the information they have sent before they died, it is certain. Prince Reitas has called mages and been searching for the signs of druids.”
Brian leaked out a quiet exclaim.
Roan, who was submerged in thought, asked Clay with a quiet voice.
“Then does this mean your identity has become known even here?”
“Yes. The possibility of that is high.”
Harrison frowned at those words.
“Pershion Kingdom’s intelligence strength doesn’t seem that great, though?”
Clay nodded his head.
“Yes. That is correct. Compared to us, the Pershion Kingdom’s intelligence strength is at a paltry level.”
“There are plenty of methods to find out my, no our identities regardless of one’s intelligence strength. For example, Someone may have purposely told them our identities.”
The light in his eyes calmed down coldly.
But the tips of his mouth at least were slightly raised.
It was a strange smile.
Brian, who had been listening, asked in a cautious manner.
Clay answered without a hesitation.
“In this situation, the possibility of it being Prince Kallum Rinse is high.”
Just from the fact that the birds he let out for espionage had died, he had instantly inferred who had intruded on the current situation.
Roan nodded his head.
“The probability of Prince Kallum sending a letter to Prince Reitas, who is his friend, is plenty enough.”
“The problem is……”
With a slightly serious voice unlike him, Clay spoke up.
“There is almost zero possibility that he had only wrote about our identities in the letter.”
“What do you mean?”
Harrison slightly creased his forehead.
Clay faintly smiled.
“It means that if I was Prince Kallum, I would have also written in a frightening request.”
Roan let out a quiet groan.
He understood the meaning of Clay’s words right away.
“The situation is flowing complicatedly. Then is it impossible to get information on Prince Reitas’ side anymore?”
In such a situation and in a foreign country, especially within a territory of someone who may be an enemy, losing one’s eyes and ears was a greatly dangerous thing.
Clay contemplated for a moment, then exhaled a short sigh.
“Huu. It isn’t such that there isn’t any method, sir.”
Roan wordlessly stared into Clay’s eyes.
Clay calmly gazed at that stare, and then slowly lowered his head.
“Please leave Prince Reitas’ side to me. I will……”
Already, confidence overflowed in his voice.
“Become my lord’s eyes and ears.”
“As expected, it is so.”
Within a reception room inside the palace, Clay formed a strange smile.
As a member of a foreign envoy, his access to the palace was on the freer side, but he couldn’t roam beyond the restricted areas.
For this reason, Clay, at an area that is allowed access, raised all of his senses and observed the aura within the palace.
‘The number of mages are approximately ten.’
As expected, it was all because of the mages that the birds, which had undertook the espionage mission, had died.
‘Their skills are about third circle……’
If so, it wasn’t too hopeless a situation.
‘I wanted to refrain from doing this since it seriously hurts after doing it once, but……’
Clay bitterly smiled and entered a well groomed flowerbed outside the reception room’s terrace.
It was a sight that, if someone saw, one would click his tongue asking just why would anyone go in there.
A moment later.
With a cute cry, a cat suddenly jumped out.
It shook its body back and forth, then soon crossed the garden and ran towards the palace.
Long time passed after that, but Clay, who had entered the bush, did not show up again.
Like that, the sun went down and darkness fell.
A cat’s cry tore through the silence of the night and echoed.
“I’ve finally became able to formally greet you, sir.”
“Yes. This took much longer time than we expected.”
Roan and Manus sat inside a simple reception room and chatted.
After their chance meeting at the street, the two were able to meet two days after that.
Manus bashfully smiled and showed an apologetic look.
“Because there were too many places calling me here and there, I simply wasn’t able to make any time. I apologize.”
“Yes. It should be quite a busy time for you, sir.”
Roan cheerily smiled and shook his hand as if to say it’s okay.
‘It’s all because of Prince Reitas’ ploy……’
The light in his eyes instantly settled down.
‘Prince Reitas is intentionally impeding the meeting between Prince Manus and me.’
This was the truth that he found out through the spy report in the last few days.
For now, only that much was for certain.
‘Clay has been working hard.’
Regardless of his values, right now, he was doing his utmost for Roan.
“Anyway, the Istel Kingdom troops seemed to shake and tremble whenever the story about the Crimson Ghost came up.”
“It’s all an empty name.”
At Manus’ words, Roan faintly smiled and shook his head.
“Rather, I was greatly surprised. To think you would defeat the Byron and Istel’s allied army alone. You really are amazing.”
“There wasn’t much that I did. It was all thanks to the soldiers who fought well.”
This time, Manus smiled as he shook his head.
For a time, the two shared stories about wars and battles.
At first, it was about the war between the Pershion Kingdom, the Byron Kingdom, and the Istel allied army, and then the story about the Rinse Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom’s war followed.
“Oh! So the information troop’s part was truly great in assaulting the supply storage.”
At the utility of the information that decided the outcome of the war, Manus showed a great interest.
Due to that, the stories naturally began to center around Roan.
From the numerous monster expeditions before the war with the Istel Kingdom to the recent Poskein Exodus and the suppression of Elton Coat’s rebellion, various stories of wars and battles continued.
“It’s truly amazing. To think you would think up an idea to use a fleet in that situation. And the tactic of dividing the legion in half and disguising them as the enemy troop too is amazing.”
Each time Manus heard the stories, he greatly exclaimed in awe.
In this process, Roan thought that he was quite similar to himself.
‘Despite being a royalty, he doesn’t discriminate between people.’
It was as if watching someone of a commoner background.
A feeling of becoming calm and openness.
That was also the same for Manus.
‘His outstanding talent is one thing, but the person himself is truly great.’
Perhaps because he was a noble from a commoner background, he had no prejudice when facing a person.
Most of all, the two people both understood that people were the most important thing.
“Baron Tale. When I was experiencing the war this time and constructing camps……”
“That really is an interesting idea. From what I know, in the Estia Empire’s tactics division……”
Even the figures of Roan and Manus deeply studying and analyzing topics that most royalty and nobles would consider below them were the same.
“Then for this……”
“Instead like this……”
Thanks to that, the pleasant conversation continued on without heed of the passing of the time.
In no time, darkness settled outside the reception room.
“Hahaha! Today truly was fun. I didn’t notice the time passing.”
Manus opened his shoulders wide and blossom a laugh.
“Yes. It really was an enjoyable time to me as well.”
It wasn’t simply fun.
Through the various conversations over numerous topics, there were much that he had learned or realized.
The two heartily laughed for a while, and then stared straight at each other’s face.
For a moment, a silent flowed.
The first one to spoke up was Roan.
“Prince Manus. I look forwards to working with you.”
They were sudden and unexpected words.
But Manus cheerfully smiled and shook Roan’s hand.
Roan and Manus’ gazes fiercely met.
Roan’s plan to somehow form friendship with Manus succeeded extremely easily.
There wasn’t any need for complicated schemes or petty tricks.
The two people’s hearts resonated and they both felt a strong pull towards each other.
That was simply what fate was.
But suddenly, Roan had a certain thought.
‘Then was it not meant to be in the last life?’
He definitely thought that he was reliving the same life.
But could a fate change?
Tangled thoughts filled his head.
But Roan soon shook his head.
‘Whatever it may be, it’s fine just to have met a good person.’
Now was simply a time to be honestly happy and rejoice.
“Is that so? So they ultimately met……”
Reitas rubbed the tip of his chin with one hand and frowned.
Roan and Manus’ meeting was immediately reported to Reitas’ ears.
Already, he had planted significant number of spies in Manus’ mansion and its surrounding.
‘Well, it doesn’t matter anymore whether Baron Tale’s goal is friendship with Manus or not.’
Reitas fingered the letter, that he had put on top of the table, with the tip of his fingers.
A letter from a friend living far away.
‘Kallum. I will proceed with the work as you have asked.’
The sender of the letter was in fact Rinse Kingdom’s Third Prince Kallum Rinse.
A sinister smile hung from Reitas’ mouth.
‘You will be the Rinse Kingdom’s next king, and I will become the Pershion Kingdom’s next king.’
In the letter that Kallum had sent, it was written to help each other for that purpose.
It wasn’t a bad deal from Reitas’ position.
Most of all, Kallum’s offer was something that Reitas could never refuse.
In truth, Roan was someone who didn’t matter at all from Reitas’ position.
For him, it was a situation where he just needed to take Manus’ life, who could endanger his throne.
But the suspicions that he would receive when that happens.
The suspicion that the older brother had killed his younger brother, that was the very problem.
If he killed Manus, that suspicion would forever follow him like a tail.
‘Kallum, you truly are amazing.’
Reitas mouthed a vicious smile.
On Kallum’s letter, a method that he hadn’t even thought of was written down.
‘Erase both Roan’s group and Manus, and fabricate Roan as a foreign spy who came to assassinate Manus!’
The dead speak no words.
In short, it was to blame all the crime on Roan.
Various schemes quickly passed through Reitas’ head.
Just in time, a good idea appeared.
The smile that hung from his mouth turned darker.
“Katz. I’m opening an emergency meeting. Pass the summons.”
At Reitas’ words, the head butler Baronet Katz Hamner quickly exited the office.
A moment later, Baron Baite Inges, who acted as his close aide, as well as numerous nobles and commanders gathered one after another.
Reitas moved the location to the meeting room, then explained Roan and Manus’ current situation.
“Now that the two have met, we cannot delay the time any further.”
Reitas placed Kallum’s letter on the table and formed a vicious smile.
“There is no need to worry of the consequences.”
With slightly tense looks, they all gulped.
Reitas glanced through them and spoke in a quiet voice as if to whisper.
“Now, I will share the plan with you.”
It was a somewhat icy voice.
“I plan to make Roan Tale the assassinator of Manus.”
Quiet exclamations leaked out from here and there.
For a while, frightening schemes were spread out.
Every nobles and commanders gulped with nervous looks.
Reitas, who had finished his story, looked around at them and shrugged.
“What do you think?”
Baron Baite Inges answered faster than others.
“It, it’s excellent, sir!”
“If it goes according to the plan, everything should become perfect.”
The nobles and the commanders echoed a moment late.
Reitas widely smiled and nodded his head.
“Good. Since a rough outline has been made, do try and set up a proper plan. Since we have to finish the work before Roan Tale leaves.”
The nobles and the commanders smiled sinisterly as they lowered their heads.
At that moment, a black shadow reflected through the window outside Reitas’ meeting room.
Everyone abruptly turned their heads.
The most swift one amongst the commanders opened the window and looked outside.
With a quiet noise, a cat ran away on top of the windowsill.
At that sight, the commander exhaled a short sigh.
“It was a cat.”
His voice was as if it was trivial.
But Reitas instead turned with a stiff face towards the mage that was sitting with them.
Understanding Reitas’ meaning, he soon shook his head.
“It isn’t it. There is no smell of a druid. It probably was really just a cat.”
“Then that’s good……”
With a slightly relieved look, Reitas nodded his head.
After learning of the fact that one of Roan’s group named Clay was a druid, it became a situation where he doubted every animal.
Reitas pushed down on the table and stood up from his seat.
“Good. Then all of you each devote yourself to your mission.”
All of them answered in one voice as they lowered their heads.
Reitas looked at them and whispered in a quiet voice.
“If I become the king, I will grant all of you high peerages and expansive fiefs.”
The instant he spoke those words, the faces of those who were within the room glowed red.
A powerful authority and incredible wealth.
If they could make Reitas the king, they could grasp it all.
The air of viscid greed and ambition blew.
After their last meeting, there were more times when Roan and Manus spent together.
In that time, they discussed through all sorts of subjects including personal works as well as politics, economy, society, strategy, tactics, and more.
Today as well, Roan went to Manus the instant the day brightened.
“Baron Tale! You’ve also come early today. Then should we first have a cup of tea?”
Manus warmly smiled and welcomed Roan.
It was the same look as always.
Usually, Roan would brightly smile here and ask for latua tea.
But for some reason, Roan’s expression today was horribly dark.
At Roan’s serious face that he had never seen until now, Manus formed a worried look.
In a quiet voice, Roan spoke as if to whisper.
“There is something I have to tell you privately.”
Instead of asking what it is, Manus slowly nodded his head and called away the people near them.
The two headed to Manus’ office.
The steps sounded unusually loud today.
“Did something happen?”
Manus sat down on one side and cautiously asked.
Roan couldn’t easily answer and quietly stared at Manus’ face.
‘I’ve contemplated for days whether I should tell him or not, but……’
He couldn’t reach a clear decision.
‘It’s already the third day since I received Clay’s report. If I hesitate any longer, Prince Manus will be in danger.’
In the end, he could only say it.
This wasn’t a rational decision but an emotional one.
Roan stared straight into Manus’ eyes.
“Yes. Please speak.”
As if to say he is ready to hear any words, Manus made a faint smile.
Roan exhaled a short sigh.
“How much do Prince Manus trust Prince Reitas?”
Instantly, Manus’ expression froze stiff.
The smile that hung from his mouth disappeared as if wiped clean.
With a greatly twisted face, he stared at Roan.
No, he glared.
Until now, he hadn’t seen Manus’ face like this.
Roan once again let out a short sigh.
“Prince. Right now, Prince Reitas is……”
When he spoke up to that point.
Manus suddenly stood up from his seat.
Roan stared at Manus with a slightly shocked expression.
Manus looked straight at Roan and spoke in a quiet voice.
“Please leave now.”
When Roan asked back, Manus abruptly shouted aloud.
“I said please leave now!”
“Prince. But please listen to my……”
“I do not want to hear it.”
Manus cut off his words and walked up in front of the door.
He opened the office door and stepped aside.
It was a clear order to leave.
Roan tried to speak up again, but saw Manus’ expression and closed his mouth.
Manus’ expression was greatly complicated.
Anger, sadness, emptiness, despair……
The unpleasant emotions were chaotically mixed together.
But amongst them, Roan could feel one emotion clearly.
‘He is sorry.’
Because of that, he couldn’t bring out up any more words.
Roan slowly moved his steps and went out of the office.
As if it was waiting, the door closed.
The wind pushed Roan’s back.
As if to say to hurry and go.
Roan exhaled out a long sign.
The inside of his head was disheveled.
At that moment, he couldn’t understand Manus’ reaction.
‘The situation is……’
His lips parched drily.
That at least was certain.
But even so, he couldn’t give up.
It wasn’t as if there was no other way.
‘For now, I should knock against it.’
Roan tightly clenched his fist and moved his steps.
The steps echoed through the corridor.
Much louder than before.
< Veiled Strife (2) > End.
Translator : CSV