After spending time at the Fire Festival in Rufk, Yuusuke returned to Sanc Adiet on the 6th of the Darkness Calendar – during the Water Festival. (T.N. each festival only lasts for one day.) Before leaving the village, they had received a message from Vermeer. He warned them that the rumors about the Evil God that had spread throughout the city had caused unrest amongst the city inhabitants, and therefore, Yuusuke had dismantled his prototype car before arriving at the lower class district, and instead used the shift-map to reach their home.
“Welcome home, Yuusuke-sama., Sun-sama.”
After exchanging the usual greetings with Falys, Yuusuke went to catch up with his subordinates from the corps, Rashanasha, and Razshia. It seemed that the corps were on duty throughout the night and most of them were unsteady on their feet from the exhaustion. Isotta was even sleeping on the table near Aisha.
“Yo, good job guys. We Somehow managed to get caught up in another troublesome situation again.”
“Yeah, and this time it feels even more dangerous because it’s happening within our country.”
“I hate it too, but we can’t stop after coming all this way.”
“I want to say that it is not our (my?) fault, but it doesn’t feel like that.”
Thanking everyone for their hard work, Yuusuke glanced at a Bird?? On the table. At that moment Sun came out of the kitchen, carrying a drumstick of a kind of bird, Servants followed behind her with tea and some light snacks. Yuusuke decided to leave his squad and carried the two sleeping girls to the guestroom. After finishing taking care of them, he proceeded to his own quarters to try to get a grasp on the current situation.
His opponents used the festival to further spread the bad rumors about him and his corps. To make it more damaging, they bent the facts, mixed them with a few bits of fake information, and let the people’s imagination do the rest.
“I guess they can’t help but be suspicious of us right now. We should find the source of the rumors immediately.”
“I heard about it from Rashanasha, I also agree that Ifor’s clique is behind it.”
“Do you think so too? Have you heard anything from Violet?”
“Her Highness still seems to be busy with her official duties, and I can’t get in touch with her. I have asked Hivodir to help us for the time being.”
If anyone could get through to the princess now, it was Hivodir, the most prominent member of her fiancé candidates group. Even if the princess herself was not able to move, even if she would order Krielov to act on her behalf, it would be a welcome help in their current situation.
However, even with Krielov’s help, the best they could do was to stop the current rumors and keep order within the mansion. The anti- Darkness God Corps faction was not official and its members were mostly unknown. If Yuusuke had pleaded to the King without any substantial information, his complaints would be written off as baseless rumors.
“Oh boy, who could even think of creating such a mess? How can people even take these rumors for granted…?”
“Aristocrats with prestigious lineages value rank above anything else. It’s not unthinkable.”
“Lineages, eh. They serve the royal family for a few years and get all high and mighty…”
It wasn’t like he had any ambitions, he didn’t make any unreasonable demands nor did he cause the aristocrats any trouble. Honestly, he did nothing to cause them any trouble – Yuusuke could not comprehend why he was being targeted like this.
“It’s so boring,” grumbled Yuusuke, understanding the means but completely unable to understand the reason behind using them.
“Captain, should we pardon the angry mob?”
“Do I look like a monster to you?!”
The eleventh day of the Darkness calendar.
The Freedom Festival had reached its climax, as it was the day where half of the city inhabitants had finished their last day of work before their holiday, and the other half had ended so they wanted to go all out for one last time.
On a certain room on the top floor of the palace, a certain princess rudely snorted, displeased after listening through a report from her Personal Guard and Appointed Educator (Krielov).
“Damn it, I went through all of the troublesome work and thought I can finally play with Yuusuke again!”
“Didn’t you simply misunderstand things?” Yuusuke was going through the data of the prototype train in his customization screen, enjoying a cup of sour flavored rara juice. The train had a few places that were breaking often, and Yuusuke was going over them to make his creation sturdier.
While Tthe freedom festival was known for its lively atmosphere and the people getting stupidly drunk during it, but it was also known for the myriad of fights and thefts, caused by everyone going all out. The city guards were doing their best to stop the latter from occurring, but year by year they simply did not have enough hands to cover the city.
Krielov had warned Yuusuke and Violet, who decided to enjoy the festival with him, about the rumor about the Captain of the Darkness God Corps actually being the manifestation of the Evil God. Yuusuke was not too worried about the rampaging drunks, but he was not confident that his train would be able to hold off the angry mob out on the hunt for the Evil God.
Yuusuke was mindful of that and usually only traveled between his mansion and the palace in his train, however, today he had made a promise with Violet and, although he had no other reasons to visit the palace, he had reluctantly gone out into the city to honor it.
“My father has also expressed his support regarding your matter. He said that he would listen to your opinion on how to recover your reputation.”
“I think that Reifold would have much more insight on dealing with rumors.”
“You don’t say, but doesn’t he look suspicious?”
Violet felt that she could not trust Reifold after the Driadria incident, but she was helpless to change anything and could only look at the King while biting her lip to stop herself from voicing her doubts.
King Esvobus was in his private room. He was just told of his daughter’s worries and heaved a painful sigh as he sank into the back of the armchair.
On top of that, the rumors about the evil god also weighted down on his mind, especially since there was little that could be done since their source was somewhere in the high nobility of the palace, and it would be terrible if he acted right now to quell it.
He was ready to turn he blind eye on the Marquis’ slandering of the Darkness God Corps Captain’s reputation that was worrying his daughter so much, and downplay it as ‘venting of pent up emotions’.
The truth was, that in the Rinwaal liberation war was caused by the Darkness God. The palace officials called for him to take the responsibility and be demoted, saying that he only held this position because he had princess Violet’s support, and it was natural that many saw that as a threat to the power balance within the palace.
Yet, the Corps had prevailed and even managed to win the war. The mysterious circumstances under which the Darkness God Corps had prevailed raised their captain’s Hero status even higher, and it was only natural for the palace officials’ natural to form an opposition faction as a response.
“It would be troublesome if these events would cause Yuusuke to start considering Gazzetta’s proposal because of this.”
The King was perplexed over the possible outcomes of the incident. Yuusuke himself did not see any danger in the situation. Moreover, he was surrounded by the trusty subordinates, and he often interacted with people from the middle-class district. The rumors were sure to die out before long, likely without doing any real harm to him. The real danger was the suspicions that they could cause in the Blue Garden and Gazzetta.
Fonclanc’s relations with Blue Garden had just warmed up and there were still lingering doubts and distrusts amongst the countries. Meanwhile aAlthough there were no open hostilities with Gazzetta at this moment, their usurpation of the former Nossentes had clearly shown its intentions to restore the former Artless country back to its strength.
The five-country alliance plan was also underway, and that plan would require cooperation even between the common folk.
“Ahh, there is no way for me to deal with these rumors, is there…?”
“I believe, the Gazzetta issue will resolve itself sooner or later, but our relations with Queen Rishause still aren’t strong enough.”
King Shinha of Gazzetta, and Queen Rishause of Blue Garden , the two of them had had a close relationship since childhood. Little was known about the Evil God, but, by digging down a little, the stories about it were not that difficult to find. Because of all the Captain’s achievements, there is a chance that they might come to believe some of the rumors about his links with the Evil God of Disaster. Esvobus himself found it rather believable after reading just a one piece of the Evil God mythos, scattered all over the world.
Yet, he has made a single error in his judgment – he cared too much about his friends and subordinates. An enemy, someone from a foreign country, who believed these rumors and wished to gain his power would certainly take advantage of that should he/she became aware of it.
Another notion that could not be ignored was that the anti -Darkness God Corps faction’s true intention was to interfere with the Queen Rishause’s Five Country Unification initiative. The King had a similar weakness of being overly trusting of his retainers and did not see the possibility of them catching winds of this plan.
“Then maybe it is worth forcing Yuusuke into a trouble?”
“Are you telling me to use him as the king (a shogi piece)?. It’s not my style to play like that.”
Esvobus flatly refused Reifold’s suggestion. However, even if he refused the proposal, he was well aware that if it was too late to stop what was set in motion, Yuusuke could be used to gain hold of the entire world.
“You are not greedy, eh?”
“I am greedy enough, yet I lack ambition.”
King repeated the mocking words that Zeshald had told him once. Reifold shrugged his shoulders., tThe evil beasts were dealing more and more damage to the kingdom and that was the most pressing issue at the moment. And a number of issues was yet another problem…
“Ah, my daughter’s smiling face would cure me of all my worries…”
“I think you would only get to see her sullen face right now.”
“No, I think that her sullen face is also cute in a way.”
Reifold cracked a bitter smile at his King’s silly daddy ramblings.