“I acknowledge, this is approval you have received from the Spirit Church. But don’t think that I will cooperate with you because of this alone.”
Although Frieda accepted our request for a discussion, for the time being, she was still reluctant to establish a cooperative relationship with us.
“Why is that? Do you not desire for more than the restoration of your country?”
Philine posed a simple question.
But it was a kind of question that disregarded the feelings of the other party.
Frieda silenced Philine with a smile that hardly looked anything like what you could call a smile.
“To begin with, my country was destroyed by the Empire, right? So for you to ask for my cooperation in restoring the nation, you’re saying something quite grand, aren’t you?”
“…… I was wrong. I apologize.”
What Frieda said was correct.
For them to have destroyed her country and then offer to restore it, it was as if they stirred up trouble only to gain credit for solving the problem that they created.
“But that being said, if we can overcome our current situation, and we are on the same page about restoring my home country, we can overlook some things.”
“……! In that case――”
“Stop. This isn’t the end of our conversation.”
As Philine was getting excited, Frieda took control of the conversation.
“You know my real name, so do you know what kind of position I hold?”
“Yes. You are Friedelinde Ul Merica, a member of the leading family from the former religious nation of Merica – and you are considered a living god, correct?”
“And right now, Merica, Kico and Dana have formed an anti-government rebellious force together.”
Claire-sama and I responded using our prior knowledge.
Although I mentioned that Merica was just one such religious denomination of the Spirit Church, unlike the main Church, they deem a human being as an incarnation of the Spirit God and choose to worship them.
And Frieda is that current incarnation.
“I really don’t know where you heard that from…… Well, that’s right. I am the leader of Merica. Anything I say, my people will generally listen to me.”
“But my voice only reaches the people of Merica. Right now, there is a critical crisis among our three-part alliance.”
This development never happened in the original work.
In RevoLily, the three-part alliance managed to gather together without any difficulties despite petty squabbles between them..
If that was the case, I wondered what could’ve happened between them.
“The other day, one of Merica’s followers was killed. We don’t know who the culprit is. The case might be unrelated to our alliance, but the person that was killed was a very important person to Merica.”
When prompted by Claire-sama, Frieda continued.
“The criminal might be somebody from the alliance that thinks Merica isn’t fit to be a leader. Of course, Kico and Dana have denied it, but we can’t take their words for it completely.”
“So what do you want us to do?”
I asked, since I couldn’t see where this discussion was going.
“Please help us look for the culprit. If you can solve it, just that will be okay. If you can help us repair our alliance and you can resolve our problem, I think even Kico and Dana will cooperate with you.”
“P-Please wait a moment! If the culprit happened to be from Kico or Dana, wouldn’t that cause a dangerous rift among your alliance?”
What Lily-sama said was correct.
Even if we investigated the case and caught the culprit, it didn’t necessarily mean they’d cooperate with us.
“If that ends up being the case, we will chalk it up to bad luck and give it up.”
“Either way, if we continue at this rate, our alliance is currently already at risk of falling apart anyway. That would be problematic to you too, wouldn’t it? You have no choice but to try your best, right?”
I never would’ve been able to imagine her like this going by her usual frivolous behavior, but in the end, she really was the leader of a nation.
Frieda was clever when it came to negotiations.
“So, what do you say?”
“…… I understand. We’ll take on the investigation.”
Philine was the one who answered.
“Either way, this is a problem that can’t be left alone. Regardless of whether or not we manage to get Frieda’s cooperation from this, it’s a murder case in the Empire. I can’t just ignore it.”
Those words carried the sense of responsibility of a member of the Imperial Family.
Even with the overarching goal of trying to change the Empire, she chose not to ignore any of the problems that were happening right in front of her.
I thought that her way of handling things was very beautiful.
I-It’s not adultery or anything, though!
“Oh? You are sympathizing with people that are trying to rebel against the Empire?”
“The victim lost their life because the Empire invaded their nation and took it from them. Even if they were trying to rebel against the Empire, as a member of the Imperial Family, I feel that I must take responsibility for the death of that person.”
Upon hearing Philine’s words, Frieda made a complicated expression.
That look on her face looked like she was impressed, but didn’t want to admit it.
“Do you have any clues that can help us with the investigation?”
I asked Frieda.
If the case was simple enough that they could identify the culprit right away, Frieda and her people should’ve had the case closed by now.
Most likely, it wasn’t going to be easy to solve.
And for that reason, I wanted to get my hands on any leads that were available.
“First, the victim’s name is Arnaud Jansen. He was a normal citizen in the Empire, but he worked as a merchant in Merica.”
He was around 21 years old.
It seemed that his role involved gathering materials and resources for the rebel forces while he worked as a skilled merchant on the surface.
His death was caused by a knife wound.
“The suspects have been narrowed down to three people. We haven’t confronted those people yet, but they are the ones that seem like they have motives for it.”
Frieda took out a piece of paper from her desk.
This was probably the material she gathered for this case.
“The first suspect is Achim Balser. He is one of the most powerful merchants in the Imperial capital city.”
Achim, who was going to be 60 years old this year, appeared to be Arnaud’s superior.
Achim had a son of his own, who was going to be named as his successor, but since Arnaud was incredibly skilled at the job, Achim preferred Arnaud to take over the company instead.
“The second suspect is Ilza Gröllmann. She is a secretary in the Empire.”
Ilza was twenty-five years old.
It seemed that she worked in a government office in the Imperial capital city, and during one of Arnaud’s visits, they ran into some trouble with each other.
“The third person is somebody you know quite well. Ana Gesner, a student at the Imperial academy.”
“Anna is a suspect!?”
Philine raised her voice out of shock.
Anna was one of Philine’s few friends, and she was the person I once talked to in order to check up on Philine’s affection levels among her potential love interests.
Ana had a male-female relationship with the victim.
It seemed that they were considering breaking up, and a witness had reported seeing them argue with each other.
“This is all of the information we can provide you with. Everything else, I will leave the investigating to you.”
“Is there anything else, you want to ask?”
In response to Frieda’s question, I took the opportunity to ask her something that I was interested in when I first played the game.
“Frieda, as the living God incarnate, you’re basically considered the most important person in Merica, right?”
“Is it okay for somebody like you to be living in this place by yourself without any escorts?”
Usually, you’d think at least one or two people would live with her to act as guards or something.
Well, it was because we knew she didn’t have them around that we were able to all gather here like this anyway.
“Ahh, about that. Well….. It’s because I’m strong enough.”
“It’s true that you are very capable when it comes to melee combat. However, either way, this feels a bit careless.”
“……. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. The conversation will end here.”
Frieda was acting a bit strange.
Compared to when she was swinging her short sword around, she looked less composed right now.
I was a bit curious, but it seemed she didn’t want to continue the conversation any further.
“Anyway, do your best to find the culprit, please.”
We left Frieda’s place, feeling like we were being pulled from the backs of our hair.