Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 14.3: “Baronet Gateskell: Part 2”

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~Gateskell’s Perspective~



 Ganel’s men, who had been released on the Aurella Road, reported that the Lockhart family had moved.


 I sent a messenger to Armand Boyette, the deputy of Rawcliffe, ordering him to secretly dispose of our pawns if the raid failed.



 Boyette has been compromised by Ouellette and is complicit in our plot. We are told that Ouellette set up Boyette because we needed to suppress the exit of Rawcliffe to the Aurella Road to transport the Blood of Lucidus.


 Boyette was a petty and untrustworthy man, but this time, he had decided that it was a kind of insurance policy.



 Then, on July 7, a raiding party commanded by Gunnel’s subordinate, Maddock, a broken-down mercenary, attacked the Lockhart family.


 I was in Welburn waiting for the report of the successful raid.



 However, the report I received the following evening was the worst possible news: the raid had failed and Maddock and his men had been captured.



 I was nervous.


 I had believed that the raid would be a success, but I had also thought that even if it failed, Maddock, who was in command, would not be captured.



 I had ordered Maddock to leave immediately and head for a certain location, whether the raid succeeded or failed. I also told Gunnel to see the raid through and to dispose of Maddock regardless of the success or failure of the raid.



 I also instructed Boyette to take custody of Maddock and dispose of him. Under all circumstances, Maddock was to be gone by the end of the day.


 As I listened to the report, I reprimanded Gunnel.



“The failure of the raid was acceptable. But why is Maddock still alive?!” (Gateskell)



 Gunnel hung his head low,



“I guess I was wrong and naive. Zacharias was a magician far beyond my expectations…” (Gunnel)



 Gunnel, who rarely changes his expression, began to squeeze out a report with a frustrated expression on his face.


 As I listened to his report, I realized that it was due to my own poor information gathering.



 As far as I could tell from my research in Doctus, Zacharias was good at using the wind and fire attributes, and only on rare occasions did he use the light attribute. However, one of the pieces of information was that he had developed a number of original magic and used magic that was more effective than normal magic. Naturally, he must have been experimenting with various other attributes as well.



 He seems to have deliberately concealed magic other than that of the three attributes. Perhaps he had anticipated such a situation.


 And I had fallen right into Zacharias’s trap.



 It is well known that the most prestigious professors at the Tyrian Magic Academy praises him without reservation. This included the study of compound magic. Naturally, I should have thought that he had mastered the dark attribute as well. However, I had been taken in by Zacharias’s manipulation of information.



 I regretted it, but now was not the time to dwell on the past.



“When the Lockhart family enters Welburn Castle, we will annihilate them along with the Frontier Count. They will probably arrive here the day after tomorrow. The decision will be made the day after the Lockhart family enters Welburn Castle. This will be a big deal for Master Constance. This will be done without informing Master Constance…” (Gateskell)



 I decided to go ahead with the attack on Welburn Castle on my own initiative.



 There was only a limited amount of time to prepare.


 Fortunately, Gunnel always dyed his hair black and wore a disguise when he met with Maddock and the others, so there was little danger of Maddock’s mouth revealing our involvement. But over time, the frontier count would find evidence of my involvement.



 I took a gamble.


 I dared to take a clear confrontational stance toward the Frontier Count.



 If I make it clear that I am going to confront him, Lockhart will be cautious and try to stay out of the castle as much as possible. Common sense dictated that the safest place would be inside the castle.



 I then decided to send my confidant, Harrison Gunnell, to the Viscount’s domain and make it seem as if he had begun preparing for a rebellion. Both the Frontier Count and Baron Oldham believed that Master Constance and I were not military experts, and they would never think that we would attempt anything without Gunnel.


 We decided to exploit this logical gap.



 On July 12, the time came.


 The First Knight Battalion was in charge of guarding Welburn Castle on a rotating basis. The First Knight Battalion is the most loyal of all the knights under the direct control of the Northern Governor, and it was unthinkable that they would betray the Frontier Count.



 That’s what I noticed.


 If the battalion guarding the castle were to rebel, each battalion would have 500 soldiers in the castle with no way to escape – there are 125 military civilians to support the fight, so the actual fighting strength would be 375. So–we will aim for the life of the Frontier Count.



 No matter how skilled the Lockhart family was, and no matter how genius a magician Zacharias was, it would be impossible to win against a battalion of elite knights.


 Furthermore, Master Constance had told me about the escape route, which is said to be known only to the Roswells, so it should be impossible for them to escape.



 The question is how to make the loyal soldiers of the First Knight Battalion betray.


 We have already taken action on this.


 Yes, we will use the “Blood of Lucidus,” which started the whole thing.



 The Blood of Lucidus has the effect of removing fear and temporarily improving physical abilities. In addition, it also has the effect of reducing judgment and blind obedience to commands.



 The way to induce them to drink the blood of Lucidus is to offer them wine at dinner. In this case, it would not be possible to make the company that would be on non-sleeping duty drink it, but once the battalion commander and the other four company commanders were brought in, it should not be too much of an obstacle.



 If the knights that did not drink the Blood of Lucidus does not follow the battalion commander’s order, we can kill them all as traitors.



 In the evening, I was in the dining room of Welburn Castle.


 Today’s security charge was the fourth Battalion of the first Knights, and I had offered them a hundred bottles of red wine because it was from Viscount Tysburn. The second company is away on non-sleeping duty, but almost all the other companies are present.


 I was flattering with the battalion commander and pour the red wine.



“It’s a gift from His Excellency, the Viscount of Tysburn. Naturally, it mustn’t interfere with the castle’s security, but a glass or two wouldn’t hurt, would it? Of course, there is no poison in it.”



 I pour wine into my goblet and sip it.


 A very small amount of Lycidus’ blood is enough to heighten my elation, but not to affect my judgment.



 The battalion commanders and others, perhaps relieved by my sipping, empty their cups one after the other.


 In the meantime, I proceed to explain that it is for the good of the empire that Master Constance becomes Francis’ guardian.


 They misunderstood that my purpose was to make Master Constance popular, and gave me a look that bordered on contempt. This caused the few skeptical knights to begin drinking the wine I had offered.



 I cheered them on in my mind, pretending not to notice their thoughts. The simple-minded knights did not notice my plan. The matter was now settled.



 In about twenty minutes all the wine was gone.


 Some of them already had blank eyes, and the effects of Blood of Lucidus was beginning to take effect. The battalion commander, sitting next to me, has lost strength in his eyes and his gaze is not fixed.



“Gentlemen! Our homeland is in danger! Northern Governor Hubert Roswell has betrayed the Empire!” (Gateskell)



 The knights did not react to my words. But that was exactly what I had expected. The Blood of Lucidus severely impairs one’s judgment. This made it impossible for them to react to my words, which they did not know what to do with.



“I, ‘Count Jermaine Henderson,’ have received a royal command from the Emperor to dispose of the Governor of the North! Join my command and defeat Hubert Roswell and those of the House of Lockhart who have sided with him!” (Gateskell)




 I have decided to use false names against the knights whose judgment has been clouded, and to move them by an imperial decree that never happened.


 The Blood of Lucidus has the effect of making one loyal to the orders of one’s superiors, but this is only if the person who takes it thinks so, and does not have to actually be a superior. This does not usually happen because the commander of the unit does not take the Blood of Lucidus.



 At my words, the battalion commander stood up and said, “Take down the renegade Hubert Roswell!” and the knights in the mess hall did the same, shouting, “Destroy the traitor!” and the knights in the mess stood up as well.



 I was convinced that I had succeeded. Then, after giving detailed instructions not to let the frontier count escape, I left the place.




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