DD 149

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Chapter 149 Post-incident report

 

“Habit is such a fearful thing.”

 

Sitting in the midst of countless files, I couldn’t help but mutter this to myself.

 

The only thing accompanying me was the sound of a quill racing across a page, echoing through the room.

 

Before my eyes was several mountains of paperwork.

 

Not a few stacks, but a few mountains.

 

Aside from the regular to-dos that needed me to make a decision, there was also the portion that had been left behind due to the riots earlier.

 

…At least it was better than what it had been during the last riots.

 

Since that whole thing, I had developed the habit of preparing for everything.

 

Of course I didn’t want anything to happen. But preparation of this kind was exactly what I needed to handle the situation if anything did end up going wrong.

 

“Well then, we should be wrapping up soon…”

 

Unfortunately, something did end up going wrong. And my preparation was what helped us out this time.

 

“Thank you so much for your help, Sebastian.”

 

“If you are to thank anyone, I believe that it might be best to thank Mr. Dean. He gave all the orders for everything to be handled appropriately before he left.”

 

“Ah…he was in such a rush when leaving too. I’m thankful for his aptitude.”

 

Although his name caused a ripple in my heart, I didn’t show it on the surface.

 

“Excuse me, milady.”

 

Accompanied by a knock on the door, Tanya walked in.

 

The expression on her face was obviously one of confusion.

 

“I have something to report to you, milady. Is this a good time?”

 

“Yep. I was just taking a break from the work, so now is fine. What did you want to report?”

 

“I had two things. The first is that I’ve heard rumors that Dawson has retired from the knights’ order. At the same time, the Katabelia family plans to cut ties with him. I believe that the latter news will be reported to the Armenia family through more official means.”

 

“I see…where is Dawson moving, then?”

 

“He seems to have gone missing after returning to the capital…Should we send someone to follow him?”

 

“Sure. Right now, he has nothing left. Wealth, reputation…nothing. The only thing he holds to his name is the skills he’s learned up to this point. But even those skills won’t be a problem to deal with if Ryle and Dida are here for us. So while we’re sending people out to follow him, I also want to send out more people to understand the movements going on in the capital.”

 

“Understood. Then I’ll do as milady says.”

 

“Thanks. What else did you have to report?”

 

“It was about the recently announced punishment for Van and the other nobility responsible for inciting this incident. Van himself will suffer the same fate as the previous pope, and will be granted a goblet of poisonous wine by the royal family to end his life. As for the other nobles, they will be removed from positions of power and imprisoned for life.”

 

I looked calmly over the list of names Tanya had passed me. “I see.”

 

“…Milady, you don’t seem very shocked.”

 

“When I handed them to the government to decide, I already knew more or less what was going to happen.”

 

The thought made me smile bitterly.

 

Van right now was a completely average citizen without any sort of backing.

 

…Even in that position, he still schemed against me, a noble with the title of duke to my family. No matter how he thought about it, it wasn’t possible for him to escape unscathed.

 

Unless he wanted to completely overturn the country’s hierarchical system, there was no way for him to get out.

 

In the past, he had religion as a protection charm. But now someone like him who continued the bloodline of the previous pope was only a liability.

 

No doubt, Queen Ellia wanted to eliminate all future liabilities before this whole thing turned into more fodder for gossip.

 

“The fact that this was all decided so quickly did surprise me…but I only handed this over to the government knowing how they would decide it. We already extended a helping hand to him once, and the one who rejected it wasn’t anyone else but himself. Well then, according to what we said, we’ll just eliminate all those nobles standing in our way and use him as the living sacrifice for this whole thing. Isn’t that perfect?”

 

To Queen Ellia’s party, after all, Van and all the other nobles who happened to be pulled into this incident were just a group of disposable pawns that could be abandoned for greater gain, not even worth mentioning.

 

Even so, the leader whose territory sat toward the north of Duke Armenia’s home, was also in the list of punished names for this incident. Perhaps this meant that he seemed to have completed his duty of luring Van to the hook.

 

…Of course, after raising the taxes on this leader, he still kept drilling into idiotic details on all sorts of affairs, and was generally so annoying that he was unbearable.

 

“You’re right, milady. Although I’m disappointed that I couldn’t have ended his life myself, the fact that he died bending over backwards for your sake is in itself rather perfect.”

 

Tanya presented this idiosyncratic view that made me laugh out loud.

 

“Well then, thank you for your hard work in delivering this report. Please confirm whether or not the sentence is carried out. If he escapes death, who knows what kind of trouble he’ll cause elsewhere. And now, Tanya, I want to invite you to drink a cup of tea with me in the salon as a break together.”

 

Hearing me say this, Tanya’s face blossomed into a bright smile.

 

Because she always worried over my physical condition, hearing me say that I wanted to rest put a genuine smile on her face.

 

And this smile allowed me to ignore the sticky, filthy feelings that lingered in the corner of my heart, pushing me to come into my full self again.

 

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