this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
Ziken’s arrogant smile that was directed toward me somewhat reminded me of a hunter’s satisfied smile upon capturing his prey. I let out a snort in disbelief at his absurdity and opened my mouth while trying to hold back my laughter.
[Ara] “It’s imperative to take action quickly in an epidemic like this. We had to start implementing restrictions and quarantining quickly to prevent endangering other areas from being infected.”
[Ziken] “Even if that was the case, that still doesn’t mean you have the right to take control of the area without permission.”
So you just want me to dazedly watch on until I get your permission while the epidemic spreads all over the place?
[Ziken] “And, who sets the criteria for a ‘dangerous’ situation? Then haven’t you now created a justification for anyone in the empire to seize authority if they, like you, can exercise authority that hasn’t been delegated to them by simply determining a situation as ‘dangerous’?”
He spat it out when I didn’t reply to him, as if he wanted now was the right time to say it.
Although his words were a bit far-fetched, they were still true in some ways. If anyone could do this just by saying it was ‘dangerous’ as an excuse, then the line that signified overstepping into the Imperial Palace’s territory would become more and more unclear. Some people would even say that there was a problem with the fairness of it all.
‘But this isn’t a democratically governed country… so now only the Crown Prince is able to make that judgement, but…?’
But it was clear to everyone that the situation now was a grave one.
As I was thinking of something that I couldn’t bring to actually say, Linden suddenly interrupted me.
[Linden] “I did it. If anyone has to take responsibility, it’s me.”
Linden gave me a slight smile when I turned my head in shock.
Although Linden was the one who was restricting the areas, I was the one who started it. So it was only right for me to be the one who took responsibility for it. I began to start feeling apologetic first since Linden had only come forward to protect me to prevent my fight with Ziken from escalating any further.
You didn’t have to cover it up like this though…
In any case, Ziken, who claimed that it was a challenge to the imperial family’s authority should have nothing to say since Linden, who was part of the imperial family, had started it. But contrary to my expectations, Ziken crossed his arms and shot back at Linden.
[Ziken] “And you got permission from Father?”
There was a hidden meaning in his words that came suddenly.
[Ziken] “What right do you have to take responsibility for assuming such control in the capital when you don’t even have permission to do so?”
It was a threat that was synonymous to him saying, ‘How dare you, who hasn’t even been acknowledged by Father yet, mess with me on my turf?’. His meaning was that if Linden was responsible for this situation, he would consider it as a challenge to his own authority as the crown prince.
[Ziken] “Tell me. Who was the one in charge of everything?”
Ziken, who was reaching to try and fit our situation into his agenda, left us in a dilemma. Whether I was trying to challenge the imperial authority, or whether Linden was openly acknowledging his challenge against the Crown Prince.
[Ziken] “Between the two of you, who is it?”
Ziken laughed arrogantly, if he was happy that he could trap us both at the same time.
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
[Lecht] “Neither of them are.”
A deep voice split the heavy atmosphere between us. Lecht, who had stepped out, was walking over in our direction.
[Ziken] “G-Grand Duke? How can you be here…”
The embarrassment on Ziken’s face was apparent, perhaps because he had deliberately chosen to come at a time when Lecht wouldn’t be here.
[Lecht] “I’m the one who’s in charge of this place. So, do you have anything to say to me?”
[Ziken] “N-No sir.”
[Lecht] “I heard it was some sort of challenge to authority or something.”
[Ziken] “No way. I’ve never said that. Haha…”
Lecht stared at Ziken’s awkwardly smiling face and shot another attack at him.
[Lecht] “Crown Prince, do you think I’m a joke?”
[Lecht] “Seeing as you so obviously lied to me and pretended that you hadn’t said what you just said earlier.”
I almost laughed at Lecht’s rather mischievous appearance. Seeing Lecht tormenting Ziken who tried to feign innocence despite him already hearing everything gave me both a sense of satisfaction and schadenfreude.
The gaze of flustered Ziken wavered for a moment. But instead of acknowledging his mistake or apologising, he did the opposite and got angry instead.
[Ziken] “But aren’t you also lying as well, Grand Duke?”
[Ziken] “There’s no way the Grand Duke could be in charge of everything here.”
[Lecht] “If not me, then who else can top my position?”
Lecht’s blatant choice of words left Ziken choking on his own words.
[Lecht] “I don’t particularly like it when someone gives orders to me.”
[Ziken] “B-But it was Linden’s messenger who contacted me…”
[Lecht] “Doing small errands like that doesn’t suit a person like me.”
Although it was extremely arrogant of him to say that even a little errand boy of his was more important than Linden’s messenger, Ziken had to put up with it since it was Grand Duke Arvis who was doing it. Seeing as there was no reply, Lecht continued.
[Lecht] “Does who contacted you really matter to you that much? What matters is that you’ve already been contacted.”
[Lecht] “And what’s important right now is for us to gauge the severity of the situation, not find out who’s in charge.”
[Lecht] “The Crown Prince seems to lack the ability to judge the gravity of things. That’s an extremely important quality to have as an emperor.”
Ziken’s face gradually turned red at the words Lecht uttered lightly.
[Ziken] “N-No sir. I think my viewpoint on the incident is very different from that of the Grand Duke. So that’s why my opinion is just a bit differe…”
Looking at Ziken, who was trying to package it as if he wasn’t completely incompetent, Lecht nodded slightly as if he agreed and said.
[Lecht] “So you took it as a challenge to your authority as the crown prince when I determined that it was dangerous and started to sort things out.”
[Ziken] “N-No, that’s…!”
[Lecht] “I will try to respect your opinion, even if we have opposing ones.”
Lecht’s expression was cold, unlike his words, which were quite amicable.
[Lecht] “If dealing with an emergency is treason by your standards, then alright. I’m committing treason.”
Ziken’s face turned so pale it was almost pitiful. The people around us also started to whisper amongst themselves and take a step back at the word ‘treason’.
[Ziken] “G-Grand Duke, what sort of alarming words are you saying right now?!”
[Lecht] “I’m just speaking from your standards.”
A black energy began to rise up in wisps from the bottom of his feet as Lecht spoke solemnly, lifting his chin slightly at the same time.
[Lecht] “If I’m committing treason anyway, then…”
Lecht unsheathed his sword that was hanging from his waist with a schwing!
[Lecht] “The act of eliminating the crown prince is also in line with what I want to do.”
The sharp blade of the sword was pointed at Ziken. His voice was calm, but the atmosphere that erupted from it was fierce.
[Ziken] “G-Grand Duke!! What are you doing?!”
[—] “Everyone, protect His Highness!”
The knights all quickly pulled out their swords in a hurry. It quickly turned into a confrontation. The people dispersed in the serious atmosphere. Though there were also some who stayed to watch the fight.
[Ziken] “Grand Duke, what the hell are you doing?”
[Lecht] “I’m holding you accountable for what you said.”
The one who brought up nonsense like a challenge to authority first was also Ziken. The one who pressured us by asking us who was in charge and tried to use it to control us was also Ziken. With everything being what Ziken had said, Lecht was only responding to them. But of course, Lecht was the only one who could say, ‘You must be saying I’m committing treason’, as if it were natural based on his statements as a standard.
[Tanma] “We’re going to war? Then I’ll go and make preparations for it.”
And the only one who could respond to that statement so casually was the butler, Tanma.
[Ziken] “Grand Duke!!”
I let out a snort at the sight of Ziken yelling with a face that was completely pale with fright. Seeing him still raising his voice without a word of his thoughtlessness in this situation was still unpleasant for me to see.
‘Was he taught to never lower his head to anyone since he was the crown prince?’
He was someone who I would never get along with. I liked people who could admit that they were wrong, no matter how powerful they were.
[Ara] “Lecht, calm down.”
Thinking that there’d really be a war between the Grand Duchy and the Imperial Family at this rate, I grabbed Lecht’s wrist tightly.
[Lecht] “You want me to listen to what he said about you and just do nothing about it?”
At Lecht’s words, which seemed to express his deep displeasure toward him, I whispered softly to him.
[Ara] “No, but we should finish dealing with the epidemic first.”
I also hated Ziken, who would always lash out at me. But I also knew what would happen to the Empire if Lecht set his mind on attacking them. I wanted Ziken to receive a good scolding, but that didn’t mean I wanted the Empire to be destroyed.
Lecht obediently lowered his sword at my touch. However, the tension among the knights surrounding Ziken didn’t dissipate easily.
[Ara] “Your Highness.”
I called out to Ziken. He was looking at me and Lecht with a very shocked expression on his face.
[Ara] “The current situation is a threat to the Empire’s most precious asset, its citizens.”
The people of the Empire were the reason for the Empire’s existence. Whether it be an empire, a kingdom, or a republic, a nation couldn’t exist without its people. His frown deepened, perhaps because my words were completely out of the blue. I ignored him and continued on.
[Ara] “This disease spreads at an extremely rapid rate. If by some possibility, we can’t contain it, then it will spread through the entire capital and the death toll will continually rise. So we did everything we could to stop it.”
[Ara] “But let alone say that we’ve worked hard to protect the Empire’s citizens, Your Highness has come to the conclusion that we’re challenging your authority.”
The eyes of the people around us that gathered to watch the fight turned to Ziken. Their gazes were extremely scathing. There was no way Ziken couldn’t feel their gaze if I could feel it too. I could tell by the tendon protruding from his jawline that he had clenched his teeth tightly.
[Ara] “In order to maintain a monopoly over authority, you’ve ignored the health and safety of the people of the Empire… Don’t tell me that’s the standard by which Your Highness normally uses to think of the Empire’s citizens?”
[Ziken] “Stop spouting nonsense!”
He raised his voice again when he was backed into a corner. It was an obvious pattern, so it was of no surprise to me now.
[Ara] “Then if that isn’t the case, please call back your knights and let us continue our work.”
Ziken bit his lip at my request. He finally came to a conclusion after a long bout of silence.
[Ziken] “All of you, put away your swords now.”
He returned as an epic failure and suffered an irreversible blow despite being determined to attack Linden and I. He seemed to think that he’d only lose his image and have nothing to gain if he insisted anymore here. Moreover, the fact that he’d really have to consider going to war with Grand Duke Arvis seemed to influence him greatly as well.
[Ziken] “Put it away! Why aren’t you quickly putting them away?!”
His temper was suddenly directed toward the innocent knights. Ziken looked at me as the knights hurriedly fell back behind him.
[Ziken] “You just wait and see. I’ll make you regret that.”
…What the hell, what’s with this stereotypical eighth grade syndrome1 threat that’s all for show?
Soft fur brushed against the back of my hand just as I was thinking, ‘What the hell is with this pathetic bastard?’. Kelber stood in front of me with his body puffed up, staring at him ferociously with his red eyes as he bared his teeth.
Butler Tanma also coughed behind me. I could imagine the butler’s cough without even turning to look back just from hearing that unnecessary cough.
Then, I felt Lecht’s touch at my temple, then his hand gently swept over my hair. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder along the way and pulled me strongly toward him.
[Lecht] “You speak quite boldly in front of her escort.”
When I lifted my head up, Lecht was already staring at Ziken with an expression that seemed as if he were about to tear him apart.
[Ziken] “E-Escort…?! The Grand Duke, to the Princess…?”
Lecht continued to add, ignoring Ziken’s flustered voice.
[Lecht] “I guess I should give a response if I’ve been challenged.”
Lecht stabbed the sword he was holding into the ground with a bang! It was to the point where I was under the illusion that the ground shook for a moment.
[Lecht] “To touch her is to touch me. So you’d beeter come thoroughly prepared.”
The only ones who weren’t astonished at those words in this place were Lecht and Tanma.
And I had a headache.
‘After I just managed to avoid the destruction ending…!’
That moronic Crown Prince ruined everything.
 Korean people use this word to satirise a person who has an overly unrealistic and emotional imaginations on a regular basis like a stereotypical 8th grader. For example, people with 중2병 may think they are the main character of a TV show and act dramatically all the time. Likewise, 중2병 환자 (literally 중2병 patients) may think they are so special that they do not have to listen to any person or follow any rule. In Korea, “중2병” can be used to describe a person of any age, as long as the person shows these qualities. However, it is most often used to describe teenagers in middle school age. (https://www.facebook.com/koreanwithhos/posts/1719706291627027/)
am so drained from my social event of the week and was determined to tl this before going to bed; it’s now 2am ;-;