Shadow Court Magician Chapter 107: A Planned Banquet
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When the clock struck seventeen, I realized what was going on and took out some herbs from my luggage.
I crushed them with a pestle and mortar, put them in a flask, and burned them with my fingertips.
I asked a soldier to bring me some egg yolks, and when I put them in, the flask exploded.
The soldier peeked into the room to see what was going on, but I apologized and said, “I just ignited some strong tobacco, sorry for the noise.” Then he left.
“It’s good they can hear well—Well, I suppose we’ll have to head to dinner.”
Cecilia had made it clear that she was going to end it there, so I had to get into the spirit of things.
I opened the window and spotted a black-tailed kite flying overhead.
I used dried meat, not fried tofu, to lure it to me, and then used magic to knock it unconscious and turn it into a simple messenger. After attaching a letter to the kite’s leg, I returned it to the sky.
The black kite rushed toward the royal capital.
“Now, everything is ready. The question is what to wear for Her Royal Highness’s dinner.”
This is the only outfit I have on hand, or more precisely, the only one with the same design. I didn’t need to be confused, but I knew I wouldn’t be dressed like this to meet the Queen of a country. So I reached for the formal wear in the walk-in closet in the guest room.
I’ve never worn a tailcoat, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put my sleeves through it.
I put it on, but at the appointed hour, Chloe came over and laughed at me.
“Even a horseman can look respectable with the proper clothes–” (Clothes) [T/N: It’s the translation of a Japanese idiom which means “Anybody can look good with the right clothes.”]
The maid laughs with her stomach in her hands. — Totally rude maid. I was annoyed and returned to my usual clothes.
“This is a military uniform, a government uniform. It should be fine for official occasions.”
“That’s right. Cecilia-sama is from the common people, she doesn’t care about such things.” (Chloe)
“That’s right. A frog’s child is a frog. This, Leon always wears the same clothes.”
When I impromptu made the saying, I asked if the princess was ready.
“Yes, a while ago. The princess is all dressed up and is anxious to show off to Leon-sama as soon as possible.” (Chloe)
“If so, the first words I have to say have been decided.”
“I love you, will you marry me?” (Chloe)
“No, you’re beautiful?”
“It’s not original, but it’s good for Leon-sama. Acceptable.” (Chloe)
I was speechless, the sight was, to put it mildly, divine.
I’m afraid, the visage was akin to a “Goddess” to say the least.
Chloe elbowed me while I was admiring Sicily’s lustrous dress. She seemed to be upset that I had forgotten my lines.
As planned, I said, “You look beautiful,” to which Sicily smiled like a blooming flower and said, “Thank you.”
We headed straight for the dining hall where dinner was to be served.
On the way, I told the girls to be ready for battle and instructed them to take the potion I had made earlier.
“What is this?” (Sicily)
“I don’t need to diet, but Her Highness might.” (Chloe)
“Well, don’t say that, because it’s easy to lose weight for you.” (Sicily)
“Are you one of those shady street vendors, Leon-sama?” (Chloe)
“Oh, yes, that’s what they say. But it’s true. This is a magic potion that does not allow the body to absorb the oil from food but releases it in the form of stool. You can lose five kilos just by taking it.”
“Don’t say stool during or before banquets.” (Chloe)
“My bad, so, poop.”
Sicily was already taking the medicine during our exchange.
“There is no way that the medicine that Leon-sama prepared for me would be bad.” (Sicily)
She drank it with such reasoning.
Chloe, her follower, had no choice but to obey her when she saw her actions.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but I think you should do something about the complete secrecy that deceives even people close to you.” (Chloe)
“I like to see the two beauties surprised.”
After joking around like that, we headed for the dining room immediately.
The dining room of Reinhardt’s villa is large enough to accommodate about 30 people at once, even if a group of noblemen from the royal capital came in a large party.
The cleanliness of the room and the rich furnishings show the good taste of the mother of the future king who manages this villa.
It seems that she will not have to worry about the management of the royal palace after she becomes the mother of the future king.
As I was observing this, I saw a boy in a wheelchair on the upper seat. It was Reinhardt.
I was surprised to see him since I thought he would not be joining us for dinner.
Cecilia, the third lady, explained.
“Because this child insisted.”
Reinhardt said resolutely.
“I’m the third prince of this country, and it would be a disgrace to Ernia not to entertain a guest who has come from afar.” (Reinhardt)
“You shouldn’t care about the reputation of the country, you should think about your own health first.” (Cecilia)
“My mental health is the most important thing. Fortunately, I’ve been feeling better lately.” (Reinhardt)
Reinhardt smiles at Sicily when he says so in a clear tone.
“I feel most at ease when I’m with my sister.” (Reinhardt)
“Thank you, Reinhardt.” (Sicily)
smiled back and sat down opposite Reinhardt. Chloe and I sat beside her.
When we sat down, Chloe whispered a few words to me.
“-I’m always on the side of the hostess, so I’m feeling quite nervous.” (Chloe)
I encouraged her by saying, “Your maid’s outfit looks really good on you,” and waited for the food to be served.
This kind of dinner is usually a course meal.
The salad, a starter, was brought in.
The salad was a jellied salad with Lacar prawns. It was served with cocoa beans and cay fruits.
It was the first time I had eaten something so fancy, but it was very tasty.
The Lacar prawns were plump, the cocoa beans were fragrant, and the sweet and sour cay fruit was a nice accent.
I glanced to the side and saw that Sicily had not taken a bite of the cay fruit.
“How unusual, do you hate it?”
“Yes, when I was a little girl, I had food poisoning from eating old cay fruits.” (Sicily)
“If so, it can’t be helped. My sister has also got sick with oysters.” (Reinhardt)
I was going to ask her to share her Kay fruit with me, but Reinhardt stopped me.
“Sister, you’re not good with cay fruit. So please share it with me, instead.” (Reinhardt)
She was about to but was stopped by Cecilia.
“No, no!” (Cecilia)
Reinhardt was startled by the unexpectedly strong shout.
It is rare for Cecilia to shout out, so Sicily was also surprised.
I stare at Cecilia.
Then she explains, breaking out in a cold sweat.
“Oh, you’re about 14 years old and you’re a royal family, so don’t beg for what the guests left behind.”
Oh, you’re almost 14, you’re royalty now, you shouldn’t be asking for things left by guests.” (Cecilia)
“You will be a king, then please behave like a king.”
“—I understand” (Reinhardt)
If he is told this, he has no choice but to obey. Reinhardt withdraws. Since Sicily couldn’t give it to me she forcibly carried it to her mouth.
Cecilia stares at the scene. When Sicily finished eating the cay fruit, she looked relieved.
(…She’s an easy lady to understand. I’m sure she’s a good person at heart.)
The next dish was served and I stuck my fork in it.
After the starters, I was presented with some fancy dishes that didn’t add much to my stomach.
I ate them all in a flash, and then the main dish arrived.
A lamb T-bone steak.
I have a philosophy that men should always eat meat. That’s the philosophy I have, so I happily insert the knife. The knife went through easily, and it seemed that the highest quality meat was used.
As I ate with a smile on my face, Cecilia came over to talk to me.
“Court Magician Leon von Almarsh.” (Cecilia)
“Leon is fine.”
I replied after swallowing the meat.
“So, Leon, are you going to involve my son in a political dispute?” (Cecilia)
“As it turns out, yes. But if you do not, Maxis will surely take his life. That’s not your desire, is it?”
“Of course not. Who would want their precious son killed?” (Cecilia)
“Then side with us. No, the princess. The princess would never kill her brother.”
“… That’s right.” (Cecilia)
Cecilia stares at Sicily, but her eyes have a component of sadness.
“Your reasoning is both reasonable and persuasive. If it had been before Rainhard was almost poisoned, I might have been moved.” (Cecilia)
“…So, it was a poisoning after all?”
“Yes, it was. The ringleader was Maxis, the first prince of this country, and if all goes well, he will be the next king.” (Cecilia)
“You speak so plainly when your own son was almost killed.”
“Maybe so. But humans are helpless in the face of a power that cannot be challenged.” (Cecilia)
“What about the being the Third Lady.”
“What Third Lady?” (Cecilia)
“You are practically the queen.”
“For now. But when I first came to the palace, I was just a town girl who didn’t know anything.” (Cecilia)
“Just like Sicily-sama’s mother.”
“Well, the same as Philia.” (Cecilia)
Philia is Sicily’s biological mother. They were both taken to court at about the same time. They became the king’s concubines.
“Philia and I were very close. We grew up like sisters.” (Cecilia)
“Cecilia-sama grew up in the same downtown as my mother and they used to play together when they were little.” (Sicily)
“That’s right.” (Cecilia)
Cecilia smiles and seems to remember those days.
“Philia was an angelic child. Not only was she beautiful to look at, but she was also beautiful at heart, and from a very young age she was being hailed as the future queen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she would become one.” (Cecilia)
“She’s the Second Lady. She was also deprived of her title and banished to a small town.”
“If you base it on His Majesty’s love, the First Lady would have actually been her.” (Cecilia)
Sicily’s family background is complicated. Her mother, Philia, climbed the royal palace as a maid, where she was first seen by the current King Wallace. However, the First Lady was jealous of her favor, and she was forced to live an unhappy life in the Royal Palace. She was repeatedly expelled from the palace and brought back, and when Sicily was a child, she lived in the downtown area of the Royal Capital to escape the jealousy of the First Lady. However, in the end, she was attacked by an assassin and met her end.
“The only person His Majesty truly loved was Philia.” (Cecilia)
“Maybe, but that’s a story from the past–“
My mother is gone, Sicily continued in her mind.
“Yeah, but His Majesty still loves Philia. More than the First Lady, who was married through a political marriage, and more than I, who came with Philia as an extra…” (Cecilia)
Cecilia muttered this out somewhat sadly.
“Anyway, I’m just the queen, because Philia was assassinated and the First Lady, Jacqueline, died from an illness.” (Cecilia)
“Well, luck is an ability of yours. I hope you believe in that luck and trust us.”
“Yes. That might have been a good thing. But as I said, it was too late. If only you had made contact with us a month earlier…” (Cecilia)
Cecilia regretfully raises her finger.
Then, several strong soldiers appear from the back of the door.
Sicily and Chloe are wary, but I’m calm.
“Is this some kind of dine-in entertainment?”
“No, I’m no entertainer.” (Cecilia)
“Too bad, I was hoping you’d show me some muscle acrobatics. –Too bad. I’m a strategic class magician. You think I can’t handle this many people?”
“No. However, I have information in advance.—From Maxis.” (Cecilia)
“”Maxis!”” (Chloe & Sicily)
Sicily and Chloe were both surprised to hear that, but I didn’t think anything of it.
“Well, I thought so from the beginning. Cecilia, you and Maxis have an understanding.”
“Yes, unfortunately.” (Cecilia)
“What do you mean?”
Sicily stares at her face.
“Maxis tried to kill Reinhardt, but Cecilia-sama I can’t understand this.” (Sicily)
“Maybe I shouldn’t have said ‘understanding’. I think it would be better to say ‘control’. I think Cecilia should have been offered this kind of hand after that incident, the attempted poisoning of Reinhardt. ‘Kill Sicily, and we’ll spare Reinhardt’s life.’”
Isn’t that right? Cecilia nodded as she continued.
“Yeah. That poisoning was just a warning. He wants me to be under his control. Of course, I don’t want to. You can’t follow a man with the eyes of a snake.—But it can’t be helped. That man is the next king. He also has a powerful family and faction. We can’t win anyway. This is the only way to save Reinhardt’s life!” (Cecilia)
Reinhard shouts at the confession.
“Mother! I don’t want to live like that! What’s the use of living with the stigma of cowardice?” (Reinhardt)
“Oh, Reinhardt, my gentle and noble Reinhardt. I thought that was the case, so I told you not to attend the banquet.” (Cecilia)
Cecilia says this with tears in her eyes, but she doesn’t seem to want to change her mind. She instructed the soldiers to kill us.
“–At least kill them painlessly.” (Cecilia)
“I appreciate the thought, but I’ll say it again. You think you’re a match for me?”
“Don’t get me wrong, these soldiers are your helpers. They’re here to make sure you don’t suffer.” (Cecilia)
“Well, the way you’re talking, I wonder if you’ve poisoned the food we just ate?”
“…you are quite perceptive.” (Cecilia)
“Even an idiot can figure it out, just look at the way you reacted when Reinhardt tried to put his mouth on our food.”
“Then you’ll know. Soon you’ll be in a lot of pain. Anyone who gets Shishin poison in their system will die in writhing in pain.” (Cecilia)
“I know. I will die while shitting myself.”
“I don’t want to see my best friend’s daughter end up like that, let alone you.” (Cecilia)
“You’re really sweet, you know that? Maxis must have taken advantage of that. But don’t worry. We’re not going to die.”
As soon as I said that, Chloe jumped on the soldiers.
She didn’t even need to use her pocket watch, she just used her physical skills to knock down the soldiers. Cecilia was astonished when she saw her.
“Impossible! The poison should have started to affect you!?” (Cecilia)
Cecilia is astonished. “Why, why?” she repeats, and I, out of respect for the Third Lady, revealed the truth.
“You didn’t hide your intent to kill us from the start. Earlier, I made a concoction to neutralize the poison.”
“How did!?” (Cecilia)
“It was a bad idea to give enough time to a graduate of the Magic Academy. You should have killed them the moment you met them. Well, it’s a result of that.”
Cecilia retreats while looking like she bit a bitter bug. A strong soldier moves forward to protect her, but it wouldn’t give her that much time. With me and Chloe, we could deal with as many as fifty soldiers.
There should be less than 20 soldiers around this room.
Knowing that I advise her to surrender.
“It’s still okay. From now on, side with the princess. I will make sure Reinhardt is king! And I guarantee your safety.”
“…The Shadow Court Magician’s promise is worth a thousand gold coins. But it’s impossible. Maxis has his guards in this building. Soon, a reinforcement army will come. Maxis’s guards, ‘The Elite Black’ they number a thousand. No matter how many of you there are, you’ll never be able to defeat thousands of soldiers.” (Cecilia)
“Of course. There is a limit to the power of an individual.”
“Then surrender. Maxis has an extraordinary desire for revenge against you. If he catches you, he’ll torture you horribly.” (Cecilia)
“Probably. Ripping my nails off, waterboarding, lynching, just thinking about it is too much.”
“If so, decide yourself here.” (Cecilia)
“That’s impossible. I have a dream: to see the princess turn this country, this world, into a better place to live.”
“You can’t. That’s impossible.” (Cecilia)
I answered immediately and blew out the window with [Shockwave].
Observing the surroundings from there, it was true that the villa was being surrounded by enemy soldiers.
“Is that the Black Elite, or do they just like black?”
“Yeah, the tigers of Maxis, one of the strongest units in the Kingdom of Ernia.” (Cecilia)
“Yes, they do look strong. But if it is one of the strongest units, then there must be other stronger units, right?”
“Yes, of course, there are elite troops in both the Kingdom Army and the Navy. Lieutenant General Ziggurat’s ‘Knights of the Thorns’ are famous.” (Cecilia)
“The princess’s parents also have a strong contingent. Then don’t worry.”
“Are you expecting Lieutenant General Ziggurat’s reinforcements? If so, you can’t. He’s on an expedition right now. He’s engaged with the Imperial Guard.” (Cecilia)
“He’s a man of war, always on the battlefield. That’s reassuring. However, there are many other talented individuals besides Lieutenant General Ziggurat. For example, this country has the strongest and unrivaled army in the world.”
“The strongest unrivaled army?” (Cecilia)
“That’s right. The name is the Libra Division, the Princess’ soldiers.”
At the same time as I proclaimed that, an explosion appeared in the center of the Black Elite.
Shock waves and smoke quickly rush in, confusing the Black Elite.
“Oh, that’s Nine-sama!?” (Sicily)
“That is the princess’s strongest ally. Burn it in your eyes. They are many times stronger than the Black Elite.”
Invincible, an army wearing bright red robes attacking from the flank of the Black Elite.
“That is Nine-sama.” (Sicily)
Sicily’s elatedly called.
“That’s right. It’s the unit I gave to Nine. He was inspired by Akasonae leading an army from the otherworld. All his soldiers united in wearing red armor.”
Akasonae is the title of the warrior who served a world-renowned man named Tokugawa Ieyasu in a different world called Japan. Known as a warlord, he was famous for making all his subordinates wear red armor.
Red stands out on the battlefield. Being conspicuous also leads to being easily targeted, but the military commander named Ii Naomasa was able to repel all the enemy generals that swarmed him on the battlefield and continued to be successful.
Although he was wounded in the Battle of Sekigahara and died of his wounds, Ii’s Akasonae made a lasting impression on future generations. Perhaps it was because of this that the fire wizard, Nine Snipes, emulated this bold man.
“Brother Leon, see what I’m doing!” (Nine)
He kicked away the black elite as if to say that.
As if cutting through a piece of paper, he divided the black elite and surrounded and annihilated one side.
On the other side was another hero, Victor.
The first officer of the Libra Division.
He was one of the commanders I scouted directly.
Wielding a greatsword, Victor was leading the charge, encircling and destroying the enemy.
“There is no coward under me.” (Victor)
They are fighting bravely as if to say those words.
I asked Cecilia while admiring the battle.
“That’s my subordinate, the princess’s subordinate. You can count on them many times more than Maxis, can’t you?”
Cecilia is silent.
“Well, yes. Still, Maxis is a powerful man, isn’t he? Well, I know the feeling.”
“… Maxis is in control of the Ernian army, no, the whole country. If you attack the army of such a man, you will be declared a traitor.” (Cecilia)
“Well, that can’t be helped. It was bound to happen sooner or later. We’re ahead of schedule, but we’re going to leave the capital and become a rebel army.”
“You’re going to be a rebel!?” (Cecilia)
“A rebel army, an army to bring about justice. We will defeat Maxis on the battlefield, take back Reinhardt, and put him on the throne.”
“Are you still going to make Reinhardt the king after this!?” (Cecilia)
“Oh, my princess wants power, but not authority. She’s interested in the power to change the world, but she’s not interested in the throne. I agree with her. We’re all born with our gifts.”
“Is Reinhardt suitable for the king?” (Cecilia)
“More than Maxis, at the very least.”
When I answer that, I say goodbye to Cecilia.
“We will escape the Royal Capital before being branded as a rebel. But we will be back soon. We will definitely get Reinhardt back, so please bear with us. Protect your son.”
Cecilia was silent. No, it seems that she can only be silent.
Her chest was swirling with emotions, and her brain seemed to be in turmoil. The answer, however, was obvious. She would definitely make a decision that would benefit her son.
After saying that, I opened the path of bloodshed.
I kicked out the Black Elite that intervened and escaped with the Princess and the maid.
In the end, the princess turned to Cecilia and bowed deeply, which was impressive.
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