Marrieda’s bloody gaze turned to the Count.
Seeing Marrieda standing up slowly with a dagger in her hands, the Count started retreating after a short shriek. Naturally, there’s no where he can escape to.
Ardis and Nicole are both by the entrance of the office, and there were only two small windows for light to pass through behind him.
Even the door that leads to the side room is not a distance that he can reach in a moment. As Marrieda approached slowly with flying swords by her side, Nicole was adjusting his own position to allow himself to jump forward at any time.
「W-Wait……. Let’s have a talk. 」
Did he finally realize his position, the Count stretched one of his hand out and started speaking, hoping Marrieda to stop.
「Talk? What is there to talk? 」
「W-What are your demands? Money? 」
「I have more than enough money on hand already. 」
「I can even be your spokesman to the royal palace if you want. With me, you can even easily secure a place as a royal association. 」
「Even if the royal family might cease to exist tomorrow. 」
「Gununu……. Then I will offer the most profitable trading interests of our family! No associations would pass up on this offer! 」
Marrieda’s expression which had been scoffing at the Count ridiculously changed completely. It’s natural.
After all, the most profitable trading interests of the Count family is none other than the gold ore trading. And its trading route is what Marrieda’s father pioneered.
It should’ve been the asset that Marrieda inherited normally.
「How dare you to say that. 」
Speaking like he’s giving it out willingly, it was nothing but a untasteful joke to Marrieda. Marrieda with rage in her eyes closed the distance to the Count in one take.
The Count reflexively tried to escape but was immediately grazed by the flying swords, pinning him down to the wall.
Marrieda slashed at the Count who was stuck at the wall. However, was it because her inexperience in fighting, or did the Count’s reflex was good, Marrieda’s blade cut empty air.
With his foot tangled up, the Count fell on his back and escaped the incoming blade. However, that’s all of his luck spent.
Not giving a chance to the Count to recover from his fall, Marrieda got above him, and stabbed downwards with all her might at his shoulder.
The dagger stabbed through the luxurious looking clothing, and red color started to seep through.
「For so long…… for so long have I waited……! 」
Pulling out the dagger embedded in the Count, Marrieda without hesitation stabbed into his other shoulder.
「With my own hands, for my parents…… only for that purpose! Eighteen years! 」
Three times, Marrieda has lifted her hands up.
「S-Save me……! I will do anything! S-So please――! 」
With tears from his eyes, the Count was begging for his life. Even the two arms that should not be moving because of the intense pain were numbed by the fear of death, as he covered his own head to protect himself.
Despite his opponent begging, Marrieda’s response was cold.
「Then return them. 」
As if not understanding what she said. The Count’s movements stopped for a moment. Then, towards her target, Marrieda made her demands clear.
「Return my dad and mom. Return my eighteen years. 」
It was obvious to anyone that Marrieda’s demands was impossible and down right illogical. If her hatred can be dispelled just with a few begs, then it would’ve been diluted and disappeared through her past eighteen years already.
「I-If it’s money……」
「Can money bring back a dead person? 」
Marrieda responded with a cold smile to the begging Count.
「Then how about, try to bring yourself back with your prided money! 」
「Hii――! No――! 」
The sound of flesh being stabbed resounded as the dagger entered the Count’s chest. Marrieda then immediately pulled it back out.
「If it’s money, then take it, all of it! So, return, my dad! Bring my, mom back! 」
With short pauses between her words, Marrieda stabbed with the dagger countless times. To the face, chest, and even the neck, the Count’s body was soaked in red.
The Count that was screaming for help initially no longer responded, and only the repulsive sound of flesh getting stabbed reverberated in the office.
「Try and, do it, if you can! You can’t, right! If. If you can’t……, if! If……, then I……」
The Count was already pulverized into chunks of meat, reduced to a state of unrecognizable. His upper body is covered in red, Marrieda who saddled him was also covered in blood.
Eventually, Marrieda’s dagger stopped. It was a piece of mass-produced goods. The stress of having used like that forcefully brought out its weakness sooner.
With a high-pitched ringing sound, the blade broke off from the dagger. Then, as if the winding spring in Marieda ran out of power, she stared at the bladeless dagger, freezing in place.
Her hand dropped the broken dagger, and tears filled Marrieda’s eyes.
A absentminded sound unlike voice leaked out from her mouth.
「Uaa……, hugk……, uwaAAaaaaaa! 」
Her voice eventually turned into cries in full force, like a child. Was it from the joy of avenging her parents, or her finally dissolved hatred, or sadness of losing both her parents, someone of a third party like Ardis could ever tell.
Suddenly, albeit meaningless, Ardis thought. When he finally fulfils his own revenge like Marrieda, will he cry at the very end, or will he laugh. What kind of feelings will he get at that time.
Thinking till there, Ardis laughed at himself inwardly. It is a question that he can’t get an answer even if he thought about it.
It was exactly a meaningless thought. Nicole went over to Marrieda who was crying nonstop, and Ardis retrieved the flying swords stabbing into the wall.
After sensing the surrounding with mana not letting his guard down, he drew an escape route in his mind through the areas with the least human responses.
「It’s about time we get out. 」
「Yeah, I know. 」
Although it’s not like someone else is coming immediately, they shouldn’t stay there any longer. Nicole responded to Ardis’s prompt to escape.
「An escape route? 」
Supporting Marrieda who started to get her calm back, Nicole approached Ardis.
「We can get out without getting discovered if it’s now. 」
「Then let’s hurry. 」
「Yeah. ……Right, before that. 」
Exiting the room, as if an afterthought, Ardis created a small fireball, and threw it to the curtains and the sofas in the office.
The sofa that could probably fetch several tens of gold coins easily caught on fire, and the burning curtain quickly spread its heat to the ceiling.
After glancing over that, Ardis followed behind Nicole and Marrieda, and left the office. Although the situation has subsided a little, the servants were still taking care of the fire on the other building that was meant to be a decoy.
Thanks to that, Ardis and the others could escape without getting seen like they infiltrated. Taking advantage of the chaos, they left the residence, and hurried through the night that was unusually noisy.
It seems like Marrieda had calmed down after getting out of the residence, and is now leading the way. Completing her revenge, there was a strange dreamy aura from her back after being relieved from her long-standing resentment.
Eventually, they arrived back at the empty Litte’s building, moving to the office, with no one speaking, she let herself onto the sofa. After a short while of silence, Marrieda spoke.
「Thanks. Thanks to you both, I was able to get my revenge. After this long time, I finally did it……. Nicole, I can’t appreciate you enough. 」
「Don’t mind it. Aren’t I Ojou’s best ally? 」
「Ardis-kun too. It wouldn’t have gone so well if you weren’t there. And sorry for dragging you into my personal revenge. 」
「I only accepted a request, and accomplished it. ……Though, I would’ve preferred if you made it clear from the start. Well, in any case, it will be fine if you keep your promise. 」
「Of course I will. Food supplies, and Heavy Iron ores, please leave it all to Litte. 」
「Sure but, if Reiten falls to the Monarchy army, then wouldn’t there be a limit to how much you can provide? 」
Although it wasn’t decided that Reiten loses yet, it’s obvious from a glance that they aren’t holding up to the enemies. If the Monarchy army manage to invade Reiten, then the Litte Business Association can’t conduct their business as usual.
They have to get on the good side of the Monarchy, if not, they wouldn’t have any room to answer Ardis’s request.
「That’s fine. I plan to move Litte out from Reiten. 」
「Moving? Where to? 」
「Not decided as of now but, the association’s assets were carried out of Reiten by few trusted men already. The Litte in Reiten is only a cover now. 」
「So you’ve planned to do so from the start? 」
「If the government changes, it wouldn’t work as well as before. And also, well……. I don’t have the right to live in this country any longer. 」
It was unlike the usual Marrieda, her smile was weak.
「That’s―― yeah, I see. So you had some awareness huh? 」
He wanted to ask, but Ardis immediately understood.
「Well, a little. 」
Marrieda with her prophetic dreams already knew in advance that Reiten is getting attacked. Of course, she probably didn’t know about the exact date but, she could probably infer the period by seeing the before and after.
However, Marrieda who knew about the Monarchy’s invasion did no efforts to stop that. After all, Reiten getting invaded and the whole city gets in a chaotic situation is the best chance for Marrieda to get her revenge.
If Count Emires died in a normal time, then it would’ve been a huge ruckus, and there would surely be a thorough investigation to catch the culprit.
However, it is now wartime. A Count’s death will be ignored in the chaos of a battlefield, and if Reiten collapsed, it’s likely that the matter will never be pursued again.
The problem is Marrieda had only been spectating from the sidelines because of that. But naturally, it’s not like Marrieda could’ve stopped the invasion by her own efforts.
However, she could’ve informed the guards, and Reiten could’ve formed a proper army and readied themselves before the enemy army arrived.
However, Marrieda didn’t do that. She used the situation selfishly for her own sake to take revenge.
Marrieda asked with a tinge of self-depreciation in her eyes. Certainly, it might be natural to blame what Marrieda did―― or rather, 『Didn’t do』.
However, there is not many people who know about Marrieda’s prophetic dreams. As one of the people who knew, Ardis replied Marrieda with a straight gaze.
「No. If it was me in your place, ……I’m sure I would’ve done the same thing. 」
As a person chasing after his own revenge similarly, he never had the right to condemn Marrieda, as he pitied himself inwardly.