I figured out who I was up against and realised that I couldn’t stay out of the war despite wanting to. It dawned on me that I’d be dragged in even if I tried to keep out of it. Since they made one attempt on my life, there was bound to be a second attempt. I would inevitably leave an opening in my defences at some stage if they kept trying. To protect my family, I had no choice but to end the conflict.
I didn’t understand why the businessmen in the South wanted to kill me. I only killed Albert when I went to the South, not to mention the fact that nobody knew I was behind it, since it was written off as Albert committing suicide. It made no sense for them to go through so much effort to assassinate me instead of assassinating Sisi when killing her was the quickest way to end the war; killing me served no purpose. I was just a count. Plus, the war never had anything to do with me. If anything, my death would only infuriate Sisi. Maybe they didn’t realise it, but if I was harmed, Sisi, who was hesitant, would put out an order to obliterate the entire South. Kill your own chances, will you?
I don’t know, perhaps the people in the South didn’t know me well enough, thought I was a favoured vassal who might also rule the colony’s vassals or something, thinking I was somebody important. They were the ones who turned me into the wolf they held the ears of. If you’re going to try and kill me, then I have to do something about you even if I didn’t want to.
“Here, kid. This is for you. We’re not the jerks you are.” Angelina threw a girl only a tad older than Leah over to the boy, giving me a fright. She had yet to be a full-fledged adult, yet was riding around and trying to kill people. Angelina and Veirya wouldn’t harm children, so they wouldn’t kill the girl.
The boy ignored Angelina, though I was sure he understood us. He wriggled over to the girl in similar fashion as a bug and desperately called out to her.
Catching me looking askance her way, Angelina grouched, “I’m not crazy. I wouldn’t hurt a girl. I did almost split her head in two, but when I saw her long hair, I stopped. She’ll probably be unconscious for a while since I hit her with my hilt, though.”
Perhaps it was thanks to Leah’s succubus nature that she could tell. When she told him the girl was alive, he didn’t react angrily or vengefully. He wasn’t nervous when he saw Leah; he appeared as though he saw his own kind… Needless to say, he saw Leah in her child form. He was probably on edge because he couldn’t figure out why we were suddenly less one person…
“But why did you attack Papa?” questioned Leah, standing akimbo with a frown. “We’ve never met you before. Papa has never done anything bad, so why did you attack Papa?!”
Mm, I’ve actually done lots of things… you just don’t know, Leah.
“I… Our Empress sent us! We don’t know the details… Haven’t you already figured it out? I don’t know as much as you do.”
I didn’t know if he was so honest for a change thanks to Leah’s ability to gain his trust as a succubus or if it was because we protect the important girl. I suppose having Leah around was tantamount to equipping a passive skill.
“I see… Release him… Actually, throw them into the carriage. His leg is broken. If we leave him here, he’ll just be counting his time left,” I instructed.
An assassin with a broken leg wasn’t a threat for us, after all. He, however, loudly protested, perceiving it to be an insult. He viewed himself as a prisoner of war instead of wounded personnel. In the end, Leah took centre stage and convinced him to tacitly go along with us.
I had no clue who the girl was to him. He tightly hugged her and refused to let us touch her despite his broken leg. Either way, I had no plans of being nosy.
I watched Anna and Angelina load the two kids and tools at the back of the carriage. “Veirya, I need to go and talk to Sisi about this assassination. This has to do with the war in the South. I must talk to her now.”
“All right,” replied Veirya.
While Veirya didn’t connect the two things, she didn’t plan to dig any further. I wasn’t too eager to explain it to her, either. Would it be appropriate to tell my pregnant and excited wife that I was going to leave? Moreover, there might’ve still been a way to turn the situation around. Perhaps Sisi could resolve it without me. Given that there were so many unknowns, I decided not to make definitive statements.
I gently supported Veirya, not bothered by the blood on her. She gently leaned on me… Well, not that lightly and I would’ve preferred a little gentler. To be precise, I didn’t support her to the carriage but arduously trudged to the carriage. Veirya didn’t mind the blood that had yet to dry and the hole in the door. It turned out that all of fatigue she showed before was feigned once we were inside the carriage…
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