Start of the investigation
“You must be joking!”
The first thing I did upon being released was explaining it to Claire-sama.
I lost my position as the student and became the special official, but as Claire-sama hasn’t yet received the order, I visited her room in the academy right away.
By the way, I can still lodge in the academy dormitory.
Claire-sama’s reaction upon hearing His Majesty Rousseau’s request was just as I thought it’d be.
“Father committing wrongdoings!? There is no way such foolish story is true!!”
Hearing Dor-sama is suspected, Claire-sama became extremely indignant.
Well, with how Claire-sama’s personality is, that’s to be expected.
“Now now, there is still some doubt about it”
Actually, His Majesty said he’s “highly suspicious”, but if I said that, in the worst case Claire-sama might storm into the Royal Palace.
I chose words that’d soothe Claire-sama, but they didn’t abate her anger.
“I doubt His Majesty’s sanity for holding such suspicions! François house has been responsible for the kingdom’s treasury for generations. What suspicions could there be!”
For Claire-sama parents are absolute.
Her father Dor-sama, and her mother Miria-sama, are her very ideals of nobles.
“Bu, but, Claire-sama, on the contrary it might be a chance”
Despite being startled by Claire-sama’s angry look, Lily-sama said so.
Lily-sama’s cooperation is also necessary for His Majesty’s request, so properly speaking I should have been the one to visit her, but by coincidence she came to visit Claire-sama.
Is that okay as a cardinal.
“What do you mean by chance, Cardinal Lily?”
“Li, Lily also doesn’t want to believe Lily’s father would commit wrongdoings. That’s why Lily believes that it would be good to prove our fathers’ innocence”
Lily-sama’s point is sound.
Well, in practice proving “something hasn’t happened” is extremely difficult.
For this reason, in real trials the burden of proof lies on the accusing side.
“Wha, what kind of suspicions are our fathers under?”
“I also haven’t heard in detail yet. His Majesty said to talk to Rod-sama about it”
“Let’s go and visit him”
Said Claire-sama while roughly breathing.
If I leave her alone, she’ll go meet Rod-sama alone.
“As expected, it’s late today. Since Claire-sama and Lily-sama will receive the orders tomorrow, let’s wait and ask then”
“… I am irritated”
Claire-sama continued being disgruntled.
“In the first place, why are you involving even Cardinal Lily”
“Eh? No, after all, if I’m to investigate Salas-sama, Lily-sama’s cooperation is――”
“You do not understand the seriousness of this, do you. Investigating the true state of affairs of the influential people of this country involves equal danger?”
I know it thanks to the game knowledge, but Salas-sama and Dor-sama are pitch black.
“Li, Lily is also a water attribute magic user. Surely Lily can be helpful”
“It is too dangerous. In the first place, I shall be Rei’s guard”
No, with our social status shouldn’t I be the guard here.
“Bu, but, Lily is worried!”
“It is a needless anxiety”
“Wha, what will Claire-sama do with Rei-san when it’s just the two of you alone!”
“Is this the problem!?”
Lily-sama’s concern is distorted.
“Eh? Will Claire-sama do something with me?”
“I will not!?”
“I will absolutely not do anything!”
“Y, you won’t make a move on Rei-san!? Are you sane!?”
“Ah, enough, you both are being bothersome!!”
I feel like it’s been ages since I received Claire-sama’s retort.
Yes, that’s it.
I’ve been waiting for it.
“Because there is no choice, I shall approve Cardinal Lily’s company, however please remain careful”
“Of, of course”
“Rei, you too?”
And with such an exchange, the day came to an end.
The next day, right away after school we came to visit Rod-sama in the Royal Palace.
“Oh, you came”
Rod-sama’s room feels like what you’d expect of royalty’s room, it’s a spacious room surrounded with tasteful high class furniture.
The interior is arranged with warm colors.
The room somehow has an impression of the fire attribute.
Claire-sama’s home is amazing, nevertheless it’s no match for this room.
Lily-sama, who’s living ascetically in the Church seems extremely ill at ease.
It’d be impudent to even compare, rather I’ve already become used to it.
“I don’t like to beat around the bush, so I’ll get to the point quickly. Salas and Dor are illegally amassing fortune”
The way Rod-sama broached the subject was like it wasn’t a suspicion but an assertion.
Rod-sama is regularly brimming with confidence, but this time it’s not leaking out as usual.
“If I may speak, Rod-sama. Do you have any conclusive evidence to be saying that?”
I thought Claire-sama would be on the verge of exploding, but perhaps having cleared her head overnight, she calmly asked.
“No, I have none”
“No, none, is it?”
Lily-sama said as if let down.
A suspicion without basis is the same as a false accusation.
“Well, wait. There is no conclusive evidence, but that’s it. There’s a great amount of circumstantial evidence”
Saying so, Rod-sama showed us the records of his investigation.
“Salas and Dor are clever. It’s not so easy to get any evidence. They move their subordinates and people around as they please only with words, leaving nothing in writing”
The documents Rod-sama took out suggest a non-negligible amount of money disappeared from Salas-sama’s and Dor-sama’s surrounding.
Inside are concrete charges and names of nobles.
“Is it not the people whose names are there who should be arrested?”
Claire-sama asked in a tone that showed she believes her father’s innocence.
“Sure, they’re those who dirtied their hands, but no matter how many of them we crack down on it makes no difference. It ends with all the blame being shifted to them”
I’ve tried getting some people arrested, Rod-sama said.
“Then, what will you do?”
Rod-sama asked me with eyes gleaming with challenge.
“I’ve also explained it to His Majesty, but I’ll start with the side matters Rod-sama talked about”
“Could I get copies of these documents?”
“I thought you’d say that, so I prepared them. Take them”
When Rod-sama rang the table bell, his attendant brought a bundle of paper.
I received it.
“Then, Rod-sama. With this, we”
“Ah, wait a minute, Rei Taylor”
When I tried to leave the room, for some reason Rod-sama called me to halt with my full name.
I have a bad feeling about this.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s nothing much, but just in case I thought about asking right away”
Rod-sama was unusually hesitant to say it.
My bad feeling intensified.
“Somehow, I very much don’t want to hear it”
“Don’t say that”
“Can I go back?”
“Once I’m finished”
It seems I can’t escape no matter what.
“Rei Taylor. Will you become my consort?”