“Good evening, your majesty.”
I turned around to see Freya who was dressed in simplistic clothing. She wore a very simple long-white dress as if there was no pattern on there. It was virtually like a maid’s uniform. She looked at me and then saluted me gracefully. She then raised her head up to look at me. After having a fulfilling meal and a good rest, her face looks much more radiant like a pearl that had the dust covering it cleaned off.
I looked at her, smiled and asked: “Good evening, Freya. How are you feeling now?”
“I have recovered. Thank you for asking, your majesty. Now, if you do not intend to rest now, I shall explain to you my plan.”
She bowed and then walked up to me. I shook my head with a smile and stood up. I looked toward the inner court and said: “While I really want to go to Castor and stab that kid to death, her majesty’s birthday is coming up. I don’t have the time to go to Castor. What the church and Castor did made me very angry, but mom is the most important to me. This is the first time I’m celebrating her birthday. I don’t want to miss it.”
“Her majesty’s birthday.” She repeated what I said and then nodded. She then continued, “Yes, that is very important, very, very important. However your majesty, my plan does not require you to personally go there. Instead, you just have to wait for Castor’s regent to take the initiative to come and beg you. If it is quick, a week is sufficient.”
I turned to face her with shock. I looked at her. Her blue eyes were calm and collected. She looked at me as she said: “It is actually quite simple. We do not have any evidence to get Castor’s regent to admit to her crimes, but we know that she committed them, and that is enough. While we cannot scare her, she can scare herself. Since she relies on the church for her operations, we just need to cause in-fighting between them.”
She walked up to my table and said: “We will be able to hand down our judgement to this incident very soon. When the time comes, the people will become furious when they discover that they tried to poison them. They will hate them when they discover that they were trafficking people, and they will get angry when they discover that they were robbed. They will be elated after receiving our money. And thus, the church will lose the hearts of the people. We then give two ambiguous orders. We can ask the churches in various places to publicise their finances, thereby leading to the masses losing trust with the church. When the time is ripe, we can instigate the people, and they will vandalise the church. The reason the church is fearless is because they are the source of the people’s faith and the people trust them. Once they lose their trust, they will naturally be powerless. At the same time, we will come down on businesses with an iron-fist. Therefore, businesses will not donate to the church any further. After losing the trust of the people and their source of income, the church will be powerless to fight against the royal family. That is when the church will admit defeat and surrender. Then I require what you have, your majesty.”
“What I have?”
She nodded and replied: “Castor’s envelope. We first put Castor’s envelope in an envelope, and then put a new envelope inside Castor’s envelope. We will then stamp it with the church’s seal, and stamp the outermost envelope with the royal family’s seal. This will hint to the church that Castor has betrayed them.”
I nodded to indicate she could continue so she continued: “Next, I believe that the church will say that they had no involvement with this matter. Additionally, they will definitely submit evidence of Castor’s involvement with your assassination in order to remedy the relationship with the royal family. After that, we will take the envelope the church sent us and send it to Castor’s regent. That way, Castor will understand that the church has already betrayed them.
At this point, we could go and kill her. However, that would make the church the ones who revealed the people that tried to assassinate the prince, and they would get the credit. That is disadvantageous for us. Consequently, we will add a fragment of the statue we picked up from the church that was broken on top of the envelope. In other words, the statue used to transport salt illegally which you discovered. At this point, I think that Castor’s regent will send us evidence against the church in order to wash their hands off the matter.
I trust that Castor’s regent will have begun to make her own move by then. On one hand, she would be preparing to flee. On the other hand, she will try to negotiate with the church. So when the letter gets sent, we need to have the army in Castor seal off the coasts as well as the in-land roads at the same time. Essentially, we are creating the impression that we are trying to forcefully arrest Castor’s regent. As that happens, we will let a young child send in an object you keep close to you and the map of the capital. That is essentially threatening their regent, saying that if she does not come to the royal capital, we will kill her child. There is no mother who would let her child die to keep herself safe. After that, their regent will come to the royal capital to beg for mercy on her own accord.”
She put the pen down and then calmly stood to one side and said: “That is the entirety of the plan. I think this can be considered a very simple ‘sowing discord among the enemies’ plan. Because of the church’s failure this time, I do not think that Castor’s regent would be surprised that they betrayed her. She would also be furious with the church. It will become ‘since you betrayed me, I shall betray you’. Even if you were to put two devoted lovers in separate rooms, they will certainly betray each other. Plus, we already have evidence against both of them.”
She bent over and then raised her head with a smile. It should’ve been a child’s smile, but instead it was filled with maturity and viciousness. I never expected her idea of destroying the church was to this degree. I never thought of the sowing discord between them strategy. I looked at her in a spaced out fashion as if it was the first time I’d met her. She smiled and asked: “What is wrong, your majesty? Did I say something strange?”
“No…… No. It’s just that I never thought… that your plan could really destroy the church……”
She looked at me with a smile and said: “I told you, I am a descendent of a noble family. I promised you that I would help you destroy the church so I must make it a reality. I do not need your pity or sympathy. I need your power. Since I can help you destroy the church, please agree to a request of mine.”
I looked at her and nodded. How much competence is in that small body of hers? Whether it’s determination, pride or intellect, she has achieved a level only adults could. Only Castell as far as I know has given me that impression. I can’t read her at all.
She smiled as she walked up to me and said: “Your majesty, please give me fame. If possible, I would like to become your sister. That’s right. I need to return to this world as ‘his majesty’s sister’ or ‘his majesty’s adopted sister’. I want to revive the glory of the Vestalia household. Hence, I need everybody to respect my identity. If possible, could my salary please be allowing me to call you ‘onii-sama’.”
I looked at her and blankly asked: “So you came to me for your own ends?”
I never expected this. I thought I saved a girl, or rather, when I met her, she had already treated me as her pawn.
“You can say that.”
She nodded. But then she shook her head and said: “As a member of the Vestalia household, I want to use your majesty, but as Freya, I want to stay by your side. However, regardless of what the case is, our interests are the same. Your majesty, I shall devote my body, brain, blood, flesh and soul to you. I shall follow your orders henceforth. At the same time, you shall in turn provide me with glory and fame. I shall respect you, devote my loyalty to you and be proud of my loyalty to you. What do you think, onii-sama?”
She strongly emphasised the last two words. I looked at her two blue eyes blankly. Her blue eyes were like the deep sea with the bottom nowhere in sight. I looked at her and slowly nodded.
“Thank you very much, onii-sama. Please allow me to attend her majesty’s birthday banquet with you, onii-sama. Your sister Freya, bids you goodnight, onii-sama!”
*If by any chance you don’t know what onii-sama means, it’s basically a very formal way of referring to one’s brother in Japanese.
**Freya uses a much more courteous way of referring to Troy than “onii-sama”, but for the sake of reading fluidity as well as there being no English equivalent, I’m sticking with “onii-sama”.