Valerie holds Lucas's head down with force when he tries to look up.
In the guest room on the first floor of the fortress. The two kneeling at the feet of the wheelchair Princess Verneuil.
Beside the princess in her wheelchair is a silver-haired maid with a flat expression on her face.
The boisterous twin maids have already been quarantined in a separate wing.
And Olga is brooding in the corner of the room.
Her punishment is set to be 'carefully, plenty and sloppy,' as her Highness has already decreed.
Valerie rubs her forehead against the floor, and Lucas struggles to hold his head down. The Princess looked down at them and smiled.
"Both of you should raise your heads. It's the idiots that I brought with me that are the culprits. I don't blame you."
"I-I'm deeply, deeply grateful for your generous consideration!"
Valerie's face, which had been so deeply emaciated, shows a slight expression of relief.
As a person who has been thoroughly trained to be loyal to the royal family, her dismay after the Princess had lost her temper was considerable.
Even Lucas could see that she would have chosen to die by falling on the sword if she had been left to her own devices.
It was a relief for now, but Lucas still had a question on his mind.
"May I ask you a question, Your Highness?"
"What is it?"
"Why are those idiot maids with Her Highness?"
"Oh, they're from your house? My nephew Bastian told me to take them because he knew a maid who was good at doing hair."
"Her Highness The Crown Prince?"
Lucas raised his eyebrows.
If the Crown Prince Bastian is involved, he might be trying to get the noisy twins to do some kind of work.
While Lucas was lost in his thoughts, Valerie opened her mouth slowly.
"T-The dinner will be served later, so please make it comfortable. If there is anything, please let me know. I will prepare them as soon as possible. A-And what time should we leave tomorrow?"
"Departure? Where to?"
"Yes, we will take you to the main body of our army that is invading the capital of Ternoire. It will take us a little more than two days from here, and it would be good if we could have two people with us who know the area well to guide us. I am sure that with Your Highness encouragement, the soldiers in the battlefield will fight even harder."
Then Lucas saw the Princess exchanging a meaningful glance with the silver-haired maid standing next to her.
"Uh... that's the thing. There is no need for it anymore. The consolation visit was just a pretext to begin with."
"A pretext? What does it mean?"
"Valerie Savignac. I'm here to see you."
"What!? S-See me?"
"There's no need to pretend. Let's get straight to the point. Do you know the woman who killed Amber?"
At that moment, Lucas's eyes turned sharp.
Valerie, on the other hand, tilts her head in confusion.
"My apologies. I'm not sure what exactly Your Highness mean, and I'm hesitating to the answer. Regarding Sir Amber's case, it is true that we, the Golden Eagle Guardians, were assigned to escort him..."
"Hmm, I don't think they're concealing the truth..."
"My... My apologies"
"Then tell him. This princess saw the killer. A beautiful woman of no more than 20 years old. But I can't tell from the report you've given me. Not a word."
"W-Wait a minute! Did Your Highness saw the murderer!?"
Valerie looks at Lucas with a puzzled look.
(Don't look at me like that! I mean, my sister didn't say anything about that!)
"Under the circumstances, it's logical to assume that you're the one who covered it up..."
"P-Please wait! I've never heard of such a thing. When I asked him about it, he didn't say anything..."
Valerie's voice is hoarse as she answers.
The fact that she is being suspected must be too much of a shock for her, who swears absolute loyalty to the royal family.
"I suppose that's true. If the person who killed her asks her if she saw anything..."
Valerie's eyes widened, her corners of her eyes flashing.
"It's impossible not to have doubts under these circumstances, isn't it?"
"I-It's not me!"
Valerie shouted desperately, and the princess seemed to laugh at her. Lucas looked down at the red carpet under his feet and silently thought about it.
It was his sister, Emilienne, who killed Amber.
But he cannot tell her.
Buf If Valerie is caught as the murderer, even though it is only on paper, it could be cumulative to her husband.
No, not only himself, but also his family itself might be affected.
This must be avoided at all costs.
Assassination nobles are the running dogs of the royal family. They should protect the royal family and the Viscounts themselves, the guardians of the royal family.
However, it does not mean that they must obey unconditionally even if they are members of the royal family.
It is the royal family that should be protected, not individuals belonging to the royal family.
In the past, a viscount once murdered his own lord with a prince after he declared the king unfit to be king.
And although the princess is a member of the royal family, the royal bloodline will not be cut off by her death.
If Lucas weigh the safety of the Viscount's family against princess' life, the balance will swing easily to one side.
First, the princess must be killed, and then Olga and the silver-haired maid must be killed. In that case, Valerie will not remain silent.
Because she will cry that enemy soldiers are still hiding in the fort and have killed everyone.
Thus, Lucas would not be suspected in any way.
But in this normal course of events, there is no way Lucas can beat Valerie.
(So, if I'm going to kill her, I'll do it now...)
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