Ninim greeted Wayne who had returned as usual.
Then Wayne, Ninim, and Raklum gathered in a room, without Zeno who wants to have some time alone to think.
“Fuh… A meeting between Rubert and Horonie huh?”
“Yes… I couldn’t say for sure because I wasn’t able to completely get the content of the conversation but, their target is…”
“They are going to attack here… And aim at my life huh?”
Rubert was a man who always supports an offensive policy against Natra. If Wayne was killed before Cabarine and Natra agreed on an alliance, a war would break out.
“… This building that could not host all of the guards because of its capacity.”
“Yes. And the one who showed us this guesthouse was Horonie. I think there’s a good chance that he was the one who makes the arrangement for this…”
The intention, of course, was to disperse the force protecting Wayne and making it easier to launch a raid.
In retrospect, even before leaving Natra, he had already faced a problem in regard to the amount of attendant he could bring. This means, if the attack was done under the direction of Rubert, then that was also had the purpose of making it easier for them to get Wayne.
“Rather than Ordorasse whose power is on the decline, he decided to sell favor to Rubert huh? Maybe he is aiming for a position to manage the Gold mine when the times comes?”
Ninim agrees with Wayne’s prediction.
“During the time in Marden, Horonie was also the one who was being put in charge of the Gold mine. If he claimed he had the know-how, most likely they would accept him.”
In response to that, Wayne sighed.
“He sure is a shrewd one. If he had drifted in Natra instead, I would’ve definitely hired him.”
“Are you fine with humans like that?”
“It would be more constructive and easier to control a competent and evil person than to pray to the heavens for a competent and innocent person to come to Natra.”
Ninim and Raklum then glanced at each other.
“Anyway, I understand about Rubert. Next is Ordorasse but, I guess we’ve almost completely understood this one.”
Wayne then continues…
“This is Ordorasse’s aim. He has already hit the limit of what he could do in national politics and policy relying only on bloodlines, thus Ordorasse needs the Marden gold mine to restore his power. He had promised to share the profits with the other saint lords to avoid getting condemned and decided to invade Marden when Marden and Natra were in the middle of a war. He tried to gain maximum profit while others are fighting.”
However, something happened…
“But that plan ended up failed. It was because when Marden was defeated, the Gold Mine was still in the hand of Natra.”
Ninim said while folding her arms.
“In the first place, Marden is as poor as Natra. There isn’t much value except for the Gold Mine, that is why King Ordorasse must’ve been in great trouble.”
“But if he throws away the land just because he didn’t get the gold mine, his power would further decline…”
When he heard that, Raklum groaned. Wayne nodded then continue.
“In addition to that, there was a problem with the remnants army. Revenue didn’t increase much but the damage sustained due to the war keeps increasing. Furthermore, the promised profits that he has to share with the other saint lords were not being paid, causing his position as a saint lord to deteriorate. — There…”
Wayne then pointed at himself.
“Ordorasse looked at me. He tried to increase his own power by giving me the recommendation to become a saint lord.”
Perhaps, during the talk next time, he would insist that the gold mine should be handed over cheaply. In this way, he tries to recover his position.
(The information gathered is mostly complete. I have several options…)
In this way, he would deepen his ties with King Ordorasse and aims for the saint lord. While pretending to be working with King Ordorasse, he would secretly work with King Guryuel. Or give up here and returned home.
While he was thinking about which choice was most profitable— The door was being knocked…
The one who appeared was Zeno. But, everyone in the room was slightly surprised when they saw her. When she arrived in the mansion, her gaze was hollow, but now, her eyes were filled with strong determination.
She then kneeled in front of Wayne, and without hesitation declared.
“This may be rude but, I would like to ask prince Wayne something…”
“What is it?”
“I want to accompany your highness during the meeting with King Ordorasse.”
Wayne was not surprised by it. He had expected that she would ask that.
“You, do you understand the situation you’re in right now?”
“… Yes. The path of seeking help from the saint lords had been cut off, and the alliance between Natra and Cabarine was imminent. My life, and the liberation army, are in a precarious situation.”
“If you know that much, you should also know that I couldn’t take you with me… I cannot let you assassinate King Ordorasse.”
Ordorasse’s death. Taking advantage of the confusion, they would mount a counterattack. Now, that was the only way for the remnants army.
“No, that is not it.”
But Zeno’s words break Wayne’s prediction.
“I have no intention of trying to assassinate King Ordorasse.”
“Hou… Then why are you going to accompany me?”
“It is in order for the liberation army formed an alliance with Natra.”
Except Zeno, everyone could not hide their surprise.
“Why would Natra join the liberation army?”
“I’m not sure either!”
Wayne was confused by the unexpected assertion but Zeno continues without hesitation…
“But I may be able to see a path if I go as well! There’s still a grace time until tomorrow’s holy conference! Until that time, I will do my best to find a way!”
Her scream feels like coming from her soul. Despite being an almost unreasonable proposal, due to the heat alone, one might actually nod in agreement. However…
“— I refuse.”
Wayne was not someone who would be swayed by such momentum.
“Your spirit is fine… However, I don’t have any obligation nor feel any value from it to actually accept your proposal. In short, I can’t trust you.”
A relentless refusal but, Zeno’s heart didn’t break…
“Your highness can’t trust me is it?”
“Indeed. Or are you saying there’s a reason that I can trust you?”
“No, I don’t have anything like that. But…”
Zeno took one breath and continue…
“Your Highness had once said, that trust is worth it because there’s a room for betrayal. — That is why, please put your bet on me.”
While clasping her hands tightly, Zeno gazes at Wayne strongly…
Wayne looked at Zeno’s eyes for a moment then laughed.
“Can you promise me that you won’t assassinate him? To pull a sword during a conference is nothing but an act of a barbarian.”
“I can promise you.”
“… I understand. I will take you with me then…”
Zeno’s face then turns bright…
“T-Thank you very much!”
“It’s too early to say thanks. You still have a role to show a new path.”
Despite that, Wayne looked like he was having fun.
“Raklum, it is sudden but immediately prepare to head toward the royal palace. Ninim, with the possibility that Rubert faction would come and attack, be sure to reorganize the mansion’s security, and check some escape route…”
The two loyal vassals immediately took action, and soon after, Wayne took Raklum and Zeno with him to meet with King Ordorasse.