Eleventh Chapter – The Assassination of the Pope
Rumors of Assassinating the Pope
That sinister former Prime Minister has escaped from prison……
This was exactly why I kept insisting that granting somebody like him amnesty would not turn out well.
I had yet another terrible premonition of the dangers to come.
“But how did he even manage to escape from prison? Unlike regular prisoners, Salas was placed in his own highly secured cell where he was put under strict surveillance.”
“About that, there are people that are more familiar with the situation who have been sent over to explain it to us. Let’s meet in the conference hall of our dormitory after school.”
After delivering the news to us, Yuu-sama returned to her own classroom.
“Yes, I have a bad feeling about this.”
Claire-sama nodded at me with a sour expression on her face.
“Hey, Claire, Rei, it’s been a while!”
After school, we went to the conference hall in our dormitory.
The person who was going to be explaining the current state of affairs to us was none other than our father, Dor François-sama.
“Where are Mei and Alea? I bet they’ve grown a lot already.”
“Both of them are in our dorm room right now. And besides, it hasn’t even been two months since we left Bauer.”
“What are you saying? Children can grow quite a bit in just the span of a month. I mean, Claire, back when you were younger――”
Right as Dor-sama was about to exhibit his silly fatherly side,
“Dor, I apologize, but could you explain the situation to us? We still don’t have the full picture yet.”
Yuu-sama asked as she politely interrupted Dor-sama.
“Oh dear, please excuse me. It’s just that Claire and my granddaughters are just way too cute――”
“Enough about that already. Please get back to the topic at hand.”
“Impatient as always, huh, Claire. That was something you and Miria had in common.”
Miria was the name of Claire-sama’s late mother.
Dor-sama spoke with a tinge of sadness in his voice, but he brushed it off with a cough and readjusted his expression.
“Sometime late last month, Salas Lilium, who was being held in the Royal Palace’s special prison, disappeared. We suspect that he broke out somehow.”
It seemed that Salas’ disappearance happened not long after we left Bauer.
The special prison in question was the same jail that I was held in for a while during the incident where Yuu-sama’s sex was made public.
Since it was the type of jail that held prisoners who needed to be treated differently from regular inmates, the security was also far more strict than normal.
“It’s unclear how he managed to escape, but we think he pulled it off with the help of somebody from inside the Royal Palace. Right now, our prime suspect is……”
Dor-sama hesitated a little bit as he turned to face Yuu-sama.
“It’s my mother, isn’t it?.”
Yuu-sama sighed, as if she had already seen it coming.
“Yes. Unfortunately, Lishe-sama is our number one suspect. Lishe-sama and Salas were…… you know, quite close.”
Dor-sama’s kept his words rather vague.
“It’s alright to be direct about it, Dor. My mother was in love with Salas. I’ve heard that ever since Salas was imprisoned, she would visit him frequently.”
I had no idea what was so good about Salas, but it seemed that he was popular nonetheless.
He had an illicit relationship with His Majesty Sein-sama’s mother, Lulu-sama, and Lishe-sama sought an affair with him as well.
Although his late Majesty Rousseau was an excellent king, he didn’t attract any women.
I liked Rousseau-sama a hundred times better than Salas, though.
I mean, wasn’t Salas’ face his only redeeming quality?
“Well, we’re still uncertain about it. She’s just a suspect, after all. However, Lishe-sama has been up to some strange activities lately, so we must remain vigilant.”
“Father, what do you mean by strange activities?”
“You are aware of how Lishe-sama relinquished her position as the Queen Dowager, correct?”
“Yes, and apparently she has returned to the church as a cardinal once again.”
Since you may have forgotten by now, Lishe-sama was a former cardinal in the Holy Spirit Church before she was wedded to the late Majesty Rousseau in a political marriage for the sake of being able to utilize the Church’s growing influence.
After His Majesty Rousseau passed away, Lishe-sama succeeded him as the Queen Dowager for a while, but she soon stepped down from the position and returned to the Church, where she began to assume the role of a cardinal once again.
Although her rank was the same as Yuu-sama’s, being the former Queen Dowager, she was only second to the Pope when it came down to how much authority she held.
“After becoming a cardinal again, Lishe-sama has become increasingly involved in political affairs. More specifically, she’s been trying to assert her position within the Church, and is attempting to flush the current Pope out.”
“Basically……. Is this what I think it is?”
Claire-sama glanced anxiously at Yuu-sama.
Even Dor-sama had a pensive look on his face as he nodded.
“What might you be referring to?”
Since I had no idea what was going on, I asked Claire-sama.
“It seems that Lishe-sama hasn’t given up on Yuu-sama yet, surely. She has given up on trying to make Yuu-sama the successor to the royal throne, so now she is seeking out ways to make Yuu-sama the next Pope.”
Ahh, so that’s what this was about.
Regardless of the Kingdom’s public stance on the matter, most of the citizens were already aware that Yuu-sama was a woman by now.
His Majesty Sein has become highly regarded among the people both inside and outside of the Kingdom, so as it was right now, Yuu-sama practically had no way to ascend to the throne.
However, Yuu-sama’s rank within the Church had been rising steadily.
With the help of Lishe-sama and her inner circle, Yuu-sama managed to climb all the way up and became a cardinal.
As I mentioned once before, the Holy Spirit Church was particularly welcoming to women, so Yuu-sama’s sex also worked in her favor.
Even Lily-sama, who was the most promising candidate in succeeding the Pope, has been losing her footing lately – which was likely what they were aiming for.
“However, the Pope is still quite young, isn’t she? It’s not like she’s going to be replaced anytime soon, right?”
“About that, there have been some terrible rumors circulating around, Rei.”
Dor-sama furrowed his brows as he spoke.
“Terrible rumors, you say?”
“…… They’re just rumors, though. It seems that there are people who are planning the Pope’s death.”
With the assassination of the Pope, things were going to get messy again.
“You know of this too, don’t you, Rei? The Pope will be coming to the Naa Empire next month for an imperial visit. The situation sounds like the perfect time to carry out an assassination.”
Dor-sama shook his head sadly as he wore a sour expression on his face like he was suffering.
“If you’re aware of that much already, then why don’t you just go and catch Lishe-sama?”
I asked a rather simple question.
“That’s impossible. Our opponent is a cardinal from the Holy Spirit Church, and she’s the former Queen Dowager to boot. She’s not somebody we can just go apprehend on a whim like that.”
“What’s more, Lishe-sama seems to have this planned out. She probably has other people do all of the dirty work for her. As it is right now, we don’t even have a single definitive piece of evidence to use against her.”
Basically, if they could arrest her, they would’ve already done it by now.
Moreover, since Dor-sama had experience with mapping out an elaborate plan similar to this back when he was a noble himself, Dor-sama probably understood just how difficult it would be to try and capture our enemy.
“And besides, as I said before, Lishe-sama being the mastermind isn’t set in stone yet.”
“Isn’t it pretty concrete by now, though?”
“Lishe-sama has requested a security guard for the Pope during her imperial visit this time around. If she really is the mastermind, she wouldn’t need to go out of her way to do that.”
If something were to happen during the Pope during the imperial visit, the responsibility would fall on both Lishe-sama and the guard’s shoulders.
In other words, there was no reason for her to go out of her way and add more risks to her plan.
“What if it’s all just for show and actually makes things easier to attack the Pope? A security guard would know the most about the Pope’s weak spots, after all.”
“Of course, that possibility exists as well. However, Lishe-sama has said that while she is willing to take responsibility for anything that happens, she wants to leave the guarding to somebody else. More specifically――”
For some reason, Dor-sama stared at me as he spoke.
I had an extremely unsettling feeling about this.
“More specifically…… what I’m trying to say is, Rei, she wants you to take on that role.”
What the hell.
I couldn’t help but riposte immediately in my mind.
It seemed that I was about to become involved in something troublesome again.
We’re back with chapter 11! As usual, each part will be released at 11 AM UTC every day. This chapter will consist of 13 parts, so please look forward to it! If you haven’t done so already, feel free to join us in Jingle’s Discord server, where we’ll (try to) ping those who wish to receive notifications for any IFTV updates. Of course, anybody who doesn’t want to receive those notifications are opted out of them by default, so come swing by if you just want to chat!
Meanwhile, the summary page has now been updated to include chapters 9 and 10, so feel free to check that out as well.
As usual, thank you for reading I Favor the Villainess, and I hope you’re looking forward to the rest of the chapter!– angela