The moment when the attack magic’s light flared, what came into my sight was Haruto’s figure as he collided against the ground.
In such heavy shock, I wasn’t able to keep in mind that I should be using his false name.
More importantly, I rushed over to Haruto’s side.
I held Haruto’s body within my arms, and with all of my might, I shouted his name.
As if responding to my call, Haruto extended his right hand toward me.
It was a small relief to know that he still retained consciousness, but the moment when I attempted to take his hand, Haruto’s right hand lost its strength and fell to the ground.
His faintly whispering voice as he said “I’m sorry” was, to me, an absurdly deafening sound.
“Haruto, open your eyes! You promised me we would make a land of clear skies together, didn’t you! Hurry up and open your eyes…”
I desperately called out to him, but he gave me no response.
Behind me came the sounds of Kristoff shouting for a rescue team, and Eckhart commanding the knight squads. 1
And then, suddenly before my eyes, I saw the younger brother of Trancia’s King, fallen on his backside and his eyes wide open with shock.
The moment his figure entered my eyes, I couldn’t suppress my fury.
“Bastard, you came here to let yourself die. As a result, you drove the Queen to fall into this state. Tell me, how will you take responsibility for this?”
These words overflowing with anger were spoken quietly.
Even so, the Royal Prince’s body shook so much that he was unable to spit out any clear words from his mouth.
To save an oafish man like this, Haruto was now hovering at the boundary of life and death—when that thought crossed my mind, my hand reached toward the sword at my hip.
“If you can’t think of a way, then allow me to settle it with my own hand.”
So I said, as I gently laid Haruto on the floor and drew my sword.
Slowly, I approached the Royal Prince.
However, the moment I raised my sword, Eckhart came up behind me and grabbed my shoulder.
“Leo-sama, do you mean to disregard Shane-sama’s intentions? Killing the Royal Prince here will just be playing into Trancia’s hands. Please allow the Knight Order and I to handle the rest from here. The rescue team has also arrived, so please remain by Shane-sama’s side.”
After being admonished, I regained a bit of composure.
It would only make things needlessly chaotic if I were to stay here, agitated as I was. Thus, I followed after Haruto and the rescue team.
“How is Shane’s condition?”
As we left the room, I asked this question to the rescue team’s leader.
“Sir. Although I am not yet able to make a definite diagnosis, it is unusual that the magic blast did not seem to have much of an impact on the Queen’s body. Although the bruises caused from having been blown away by the magic shockwave are severe, I believe that this is something that can be cured using our healing magic. As such, please rest assured.”
I doubted whether there could really have been no impact from taking the brunt of such a blast of magic, but perhaps this was the silver lining on our misfortune.
After receiving this report, I was finally able to calm down.
Then, the thought struck me that I was behaving foolishly as someone who was supposed to be an Emperor.
When in the midst of such an incident that will shake the entire country, if I neglected to provide direction for my people, then what were they to do?—I thought.
“Squad leader, forgive me—I must return to the assembly hall. If there is anything wrong with Shane’s body, I ask that you report it to me immediately.”
After requesting that, I parted from Haruto’s side.
And thus, two days later, the events had finally settled.
The public, both within and outside of this country, hadn’t been made aware of the situation in the slightest.
Of course, the situation I was referring to was that of Haruto’s condition.
For the past two days, the condition of Haruto’s body had been fluctuating between better and worse.
Although the initial diagnosis had been that recovery magic would be enough to cure him, in reality, almost none of the magic showed any effect on Haruto.
It was for that reason that Haruto’s own bodily strength became the key that held his life and death in the balance.
What happened next occurred in the middle of a meeting with various concerned parties on how we would deal with the aftermath.
The squad leader rushed into the conference room, an unusual expression on his face.
“Your Majesty, something serious has occurred. The Queen’s hair color has turned entirely black.”
I hurried over to Haruto’s room, and sure enough, Haruto was laid there with jet black hair spread over the sheets.
“Is this an effect of the treatment?”
“No, the magic we used would not have this kind of result.”
“Then what caused this?”
“That is something we still do not know. It had just turned this color, all of a sudden.”
After being told such, what came to me then was that perhaps this had come about because of the medicine Haruto had been taking.
“Shane had been regularly taking medicine ever since he had come here for our marriage. I believe it was once every two or three days. It could be that you might be able to find a clue on his treatment from that medicine. Please investigate immediately.”
After I gave this command, I was quickly notified of the results.
“Your Majesty, that medicine was something completely unexpected. The magic contained within it is something that even magicians such as us are unable to decipher.
“However, we were just barely to analyze that it seems it is somehow related to changing something’s color. As such, in some way, shape, and form, this magic had also been affecting the Queen.
“Yet for such advanced magic such as this, it is most likely only His Highness Alexei, the Queen’s father, who would be able to provide any further insight.”
A grave atmosphere settled around us.
What the squad leader was saying, in other words, was that without His Highness Alexei, we wouldn’t be able to save Haruto.
Meaning that we had no choice but to reveal our country’s circumstances to Orania.
But, this wasn’t the time to waver.
I would do whatever it takes to get the healing magic to Haruto as soon as possible.
“Send a magical communication to His Highness Alexei of Orania immediately. It doesn’t matter how you do it, and you are to report anything and everything to him if needs must.”
His Highness Alexei arrived half a day after we had sent the magical communication.
Just what kind of magic had he used to reach us this quickly? When I considered the unfathomable talent for magic that His Highness Alexei must have, I couldn’t help but feel awe and uneasiness.
Thus came my first meeting with this man whose figure was burlier and sturdier than I could have ever imagined, considering how delicate Haruto was.
“I am honored to meet you for the first time. I am Leonhart Caspar; pleased to make your acquaintance. I express my sincerest gratitude to you for coming all this way despite the suddenness of the message.”
“I’m Alexei Orania. Your Majesty, right now, please clench your teeth.”
Ha? Before I could even ask him to repeat what he’d said, a brutal impact slammed against my right cheek.
- Not sure how the previous translators wrote this guy’s name. Ekaruto / Ecart / Eckhart ↩