Arc 8, Chapter 25 – “The Wishes of Those Who Near Death”

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Translated By:

  • Garcar

Proofread By:

  • Cirdan Lunae
  • Ciel

Art Sources:

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――Your Excellency the Emperor, Vincent Vollachia.

Looking at him with a serious expression, Flop had addressed him in such a manner, and Vincent closed a single eye.

Flop and Medium had abruptly confined Vincent in a cabin of the coupled dragon carriages; this blond-haired sibling duo did not comprehend exactly how terrible of an act they had perpetrated.

A reckless act, that would likely warrant them the death penalty if witnessed by anyone; their reason for doing such a thing was to transmit a message from somebody else, so there must have been something wrong with them.

And to top it all off――,

Flop: [Before I deliver the message, may I take a little while to tell you an old story?]

Still donning his serious expression, he had suggested such a thing.

Vincent: [――――]

Unable to read Flop’s motives, Vincent stayed silent with one eye still closed. Perhaps thinking that the silence put him in an advantageous position, Flop continued with “That and,”

Flop: [I’m aware it’s impudent, but… after you hear the message, would you allow me to ask a favor of you?]

Vincent: [Hey.]

Flop: [My my, that’s quite the scary face, Your Excellency the Emperor! However, please don’t forget. I’m the only one who knows the message you ought to hear, so you shouldn’t carelessly try to silence me.]

Vincent: [I also have the option to order Olbart Dunkelkenn, who would force it out of your mouth via shinobi torture methods.]

Flop: [Isn’t it fine if we just have a peaceful chat together, Your Excellency the Emperor!?]

Once Vincent included a threat, Flop immediately raised both of his hands.

This was not merely a matter of having the courage to engage in negotiations against the Emperor. That said, the matter of the old story he had prefaced with, and the matter of the favor that had followed must have both been quite important to him, such that he went out of his way to bring them up.

But then again――,

Medium: [But big bro, there isn’t a lot of time, right? At this rate, if Abel-chin doesn’t return~, won’t Goz-chin and the rest kick up a fuss? Regardless of your request, what’s the old story?]

As Medium tilted her head, it almost seemed as if her brother had not shared any information with her.

Vincent: [You, do not support your brother’s reckless actions without questioning anything.]

Medium: [Huh~? But, it’s what big bro was doing, right? If it’s him, then I’ll help out, no matter what he’s doing~. That’s my family oath. Isn’t that the case for Abel-chin too?]

Vincent: [Fool. Are you unaware of how Vollachian Emperors are conceived?]

Medium calmly spoke in a foolish manner, and when she heard his reply, her eyes blinked in surprise. Witnessing her sincere reaction, Vincent cast a reproachful gaze upon Flop, as if to say “even a lack of common knowledge ought to have its limits”.

Though it was by no means a nice story to hear, it was common knowledge that the brothers and sisters of the Vollachian Imperial Family would kill each other to decide the next Emperor.

For Medium to not even know that, Vincent suspected some bias in Flop’s methods of teaching.

But, for whatever reason, Flop smiled upon receiving that gaze of Vincent’s,

Flop: [I know what that gaze means, Your Excellency the Emperor. You’re surprised at my sister’s lack of common knowledge, aren’t you?]

Vincent: [What else is there to be said? Additionally, cease referring to me as “Your Excellency the Emperor” every single time. If naught else is applicable, just “Your Excellency” shall do fine.]

Flop: [I see, I see. Understood, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun.]

Vincent: [――――]

Nodding his head and maintaining his smile, Flop continued, and Vincent narrowed his eyes.

It could also be felt in his serious expression from just before, but today, Flop was not just a friendly merchant, rather, it seemed as if he intended to show the face that laid beyond his title.

To be precise, a person who had some sort of reservations while facing Vincent, was the face he intended to show.

Flop: [Dear sister, you just asked me, right? About why I want to tell an old story. Well, that’s because in our past, there’s a connection between us and His Excellency the Emperor-kun.]

Medium: [Huhh!? Really!? Between us and Abel-chin!? What is it!?]

Flop: [Hahaha, come on now, no matter how you look at it, you’re far too forgetful, dear sister. His Excellency the Emperor-kun is the Emperor of the Empire. In other words, it’s because he has connections with the Nine Divine Generals――]

Medium: [――You mean Ballebro?]

Her eyes widened in surprise, and the liveliness of Medium’s expression suddenly vanished.

She had voiced somebody’s nickname, and there was also the term Nine Divine Generals from just before. Drawing a connection between the two, a single name naturally emerged in Vincent’s mind.

Vincent: [Are the two of you related to Balleroy Temeglyph?]

Flop: [Yeah, that’s right, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun. He’s what you’d call our sworn brother. We spent some of the most sentimental years of our lives with him, he’s our extremely, extremely precious and beloved family!]

Firmly clenching his fist, Flop raised his voice as he answered, to which Vincent let out a sigh.

The ends of Medium’s eyebrows drooped, and her gaze alternated between her brother and Vincent. It was clear that bewilderment and signs of sorrow had emerged on her countenance.

Flop: [It also seems like High Countess Serena Dracroy happens to be riding this dragon carriage too. As a matter of fact, my sister and I were also in the care of Countess Dracroy for a period of time.]

Medium: [Sisrena…]

Flop: [By the way, this is a nickname that Countess Dracroy forced Medium to use so that they wouldn’t feel like strangers, and so that the Countess would never be treated like a woman who’s older than she really was. Amusing, right?]

Vincent: [Get to the point.]

To bring up meaningless topics and cause people to lose concentration was the style of a peddler.

He had formed an estimation the moment it had been revealed that this sibling pair had connections to both Serena and Balleroy. Originally, Balleroy Temeglyph was a subordinate of Serena Dracroy, and thanks to his definite capability, he was called upon to become a Divine General; there were great expectations for his future as a General.

However, knowing Balleroy’s whole story, the gazes of many generals and soldiers would turn to disappointment.

He had rebelled against the Emperor, and had died a violent death upon his failure―― That was the end of Balleroy that the world knew; the conclusion of the man whom these two called family, that would be recorded in the history books.

Vincent: [――No.]

Resurrected and having become an undead, it was likely that the descriptions of Balleroy Temeglyph left in the history books, would not end with just insurrection, but with him becoming a being that brought ruin to the Empire.

Despite having thought about that fact, Vincent did not speak of it to Flop and Medium.

Because he anticipated that if he were to bring up the matter of the undead Balleroy right here and now, the topic Vincent desired would only get further and further away.

Either way――,

Flop: [Right, let’s get down to business. My old story isn’t really that long either. After all, Medium happened to already touch on the main point.]

As the ends of his eyebrows slightly lowered, Flop slowly shook his head.

At his words, Medium gave a clueless face, but Vincent made no made no comment of it. This conversation with the siblings constantly veered off course, and thus he would only interject when it did get off topic.

Flop: [Medium and I were orphans, we were raised in a shoddy institution. We got rescued from there, and were brought to Countess Dracroy’s domain… that’s where we met Balleroy, and became sworn siblings with him. Got everything so far?]

Vincent: [――Proceed.]

Flop: [Those really were some busy days. Both Medium and I were pretty ignorant about the outside world, so anything and everything we saw was fresh and new. Countess Dracroy was someone who had a very broad outlook on things, so she gave us, who had no place to go, an education.]

Vincent: [Considering all that, it has not produced any results for your sister.]

Medium: [That’s ‘cause, I preferred doing physical activities with Ballebro and the others…]

Pouting her lips, Medium seemed to have regained at least a small amount of her good mood.

Vincent had also heard of the circumstances in the Dracroy Domain that Flop spoke of, and surprisingly, the administration of the territory was something that could be evaluated favorably as well.

Known as the Scorching Lady, she was often evaluated as having a rough temperament, but the special quality of Serena Dracroy was the flexibility of her ideas, which were unbound by any preconceived notions.

In most cases, the people of the Vollachian Empire did not have the vision to look at things from a long-term perspective.

Since the majority of children did not show promise of serving effectively as manual labor or as military strength, many people were born, and among them, those who were blessed with ability and circumstance would survive, with very few attaining great success as strong individuals.

Though it was a different case for the people of one’s own family, this was a country where the endeavor to raise a broad range of capable people by cultivating them during their childhood was mostly considered to be an impracticable theory.

Flop and Medium were two siblings who had been blessed with that rare opportunity. ――No, Balleroy, whose talent had been discovered, had also been one of those people.

Flop: [Of course, it wasn’t all just fun things, and Countess Dracroy couldn’t always be kind to us. Back then, Countess Dracroy had just usurped the domain from her father by herself, so it was pretty busy for her.]

Medium: [We also faced plenty of dangerous situations.]

Flop: [Like when those assassins attacked, aiming for Countess Dracroy’s life. Those were tough times.]

While the two reminisced on their fond memories, Vincent searched for the main point of the matter.

But then again, the main point had already been touched on near the start. Putting it this way, there were words he had grown accustomed to being told, and gazes that he had grown accustomed to being turned to him.

The words and gazes of these two likely conformed to those.

That was to say――,

Flop: [We got through those days together, there was a strong bond between us siblings and Balleroy. It’s precisely because of that relationship, that I want to ask you this, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [Our sworn brother, Balleroy Temeglyph, as is widely known to everyone, was a foolish traitor who couldn’t see ahead, and lost his life after failing to achieve a desire beyond his station… But is that really true?]

Having asked that question, a stillness returned to Flop’s expression once more.

For himself and his sister, he was a sworn brother, but to the Empire, he was a traitor; such was the position of Balleroy Temeglyph, and of his death, Flop now enquired the truth from Vincent.

As expected, these were words that had been said to Vincent plenty, and a gaze that had been turned to him many times.

To die on the battlefield was the honor of a warrior, to refuse to yield even when pierced by swords was the way of the Sword Wolf.

Even the Vollachian Empire, a place where such things were valued, was not entirely filled with those who would celebrate the deaths of those close to them. It was logical that human emotions would seek out the meaning and reason behind death.

Henceforth, Flop and Medium asking him this here, was lamentation that he had grown accustomed to.

Vincent: [For what reason, do you doubt? Do you suspect that impurities have mixed into the rumors that have circulated through the streets, and feel you cannot place trust in them?]

Flop: [Nah, that’s not it. It’s just, I finally got my long-awaited chance to speak with someone involved. Then, it’s not that strange to think that I’d want to hear a story that’s much more trustworthy than the gossip, right?]

Vincent: [Though, this opportunity for dialogue was forcibly created by the two of you.]

When Flop tried to twist it into a matter of being an unlikely convenience, Vincent added that brief comment.

And then, for a short while, he went into an unusual state of deep thought.

The death of Balleroy Temeglyph, as was spoken of on the streets.

The descriptions of his death left in the history books, would have been that he had perished, violently, in the failure of his attempted insurrection.

What Flop and Medium heard, too, should have been nothing more, and nothing less than that. Thus, Vincent would not consider restoring Balleroy’s honor past his death.

The story was nothing more and nothing less than that, thus the world in which it was propagated was correct.

Flop: [I want you to answer, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun. Once I know that, I’ll deliver the message to――]

Vincent: [――. I do not know what it is you desire, but…]

The rumors you have heard are not mistaken, thus Vincent had tried to answer.

However――,

Medium: [――Abel-chin.]

Vincent’s words were interrupted by a feeble, short call.

Vincent: [――――]

Standing before the cabin door, Medium was obstructing him from going outside―― No, it seemed like she no longer had such intentions.

Standing stock still, Medium’s shoulders, of rather high stature for a woman, had been made smaller as she tightly hugged her own arms and looked at Vincent. In her blue eyes, tears had welled up.

He had long become used to seeing people get teary-eyed while they made entreaties or pleaded for their life.

Hence, that did not cause Vincent’s heart to waver in the slightest. But, although his heart did not waver, it gave his presence of mind a short while longer to ponder.

――Flop and Medium, though he did not know what it was they desired.

Indeed, Vincent had tried to give that answer.

However, was that truly the case? What these two desired, he was sure to know. What these two desired was obvious, and Vincent had the answer.

He had it, but even so, he did not speak. That was Vincent’s way of doing things.

But, that way of doing things, it could be crowned with the title of “same as ever was”.

Vincent: [――――]

The “same as ever was” method, was something that decided everything based on Vincent’s own thoughts.

But, with the “same as ever was” method, Vincent had the rug pulled out from under him by his loyal retainer. He had received a hard punch from a man with a naive mind, saying that the act of regarding conjecture as a certainty was off the mark.

The “same as ever was” method, had its limits.

What was required of Vincent, had to be the “beyond what ever was” method.

Thus, in order to obtain that method――,

Vincent: [――The true circumstances behind the death of Balleroy Temeglyph, they differ from the rumors that have been disseminated throughout the streets.]

Indeed, Vincent had chosen to give an answer that differed to the “same as ever was” method.

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Flop & Medium: [――――]

The moment they heard Vincent’s answer, an alteration was yielded in the expressions of Flop and Medium.

Flop’s eyes slightly widened, and Medium’s eyes blinked in amazement. Though astonishment could be seen in both, the nature of each varied.

Seeing the difference between their reactions, Vincent understood.

Vincent: [Flop O’Connell, you already knew that reality was not in accordance with the rumors, did you not?]

Medium: [Huh… big bro?]

Flop: [To say that I knew, would be a tad incorrect. The rumors just didn’t sound much like Balleroy at all, really, even Medium thought that much.]

Medium: [Y-yeah…]

Invoking her attention, Medium nodded with a countenance of unfading perplexity.

But, Flop, who prompted his sister to nod, had not denied Vincent’s query.

Receiving Vincent’s gaze, Flop slightly tilted his head,

Flop: [Don’t tell me, did Your Excellency the Emperor-kun think that just because I’m close with Balleroy, I would have already heard about it from him beforehand, and so I just tricked you into confirming the truth?]

Vincent: [――. The possibility did exist, but it would be close to nonexistent. The man I knew would not have raised the margin of error even slightly, and he would not have disclosed his actions to anybody until the very moment in which he carried them out.]

Flop: […Right. I think it’s as you say, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun. I’m glad. It seems like with you, I can talk about the Balleroy that I knew well. After all…]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [Ever since that incident, whenever we heard Balleroy’s name somewhere in the Empire, Medium and I could only think of it as being someone we didn’t know.]

Knitting his well-shaped eyebrows, a sense of loneliness wavered in Flop’s blue eyes.

That must have been true. Vincent was not surprised by that.

In order for it to be so, Chisha had tailored the rumors to become so, Berstetz had directed them like so, and it was Vincent, who had given the orders for them to do so.

Everything, was in order to conceal the truth of the situation, to conceal the reason as to why Balleroy Temeglyph had become a rebel.

That was――,

Flop: [――That rebellion, it wasn’t Balleroy’s true motive.]

Medium: [Big bro!?]

At the words Flop had spun, Medium shrieked out loud.

Her round eyes were wide open, and as she vigorously shook her head side-to-side,

Medium: [That’s weird, you’re talking crazy. Ballebro was, because… Abel-chin! Say something! Tell big bro that he’s being crazy…]

Vincent: [If there is a need to correct him, I shall. If not, I shan’t. That is all.]

Medium: [You have, no reason to say anything…]

At a complete loss for words, Medium’s face looked as if it was saying she could not comprehend what was happening.

Meanwhile, Flop took a long, deep breath, coming to grips with the fact that Vincent had not denied the misgivings he had voiced―― About the true circumstances behind Balleroy’s death.

According to the rumors on the streets, Balleroy Temeglyph had been unsatisfied with his position of Divine General, so he launched a rebellion aiming to reach a higher standing, and died a dog’s death as a foolish failure.

That had served the role of proving the sturdiness of Vincent Vollachia’s throne, and weakened the flames in the hearts of many who would have plotted treachery.

Vincent: [As irony would have it, now it is my own strategy that has supported the rebellion, causing those weakened flames to intensify once again.]

Flop: [――. Yeah, it was only peaceful for a little while. But, that’s probably just how the outcome got used, his original objective wouldn’t have been that.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [Balleroy had a different goal. Your Excellency the Emperor-kun just made use of the outcome, but the prerequisite should have been something different. Your Excellency the Emperor-kun, do you know that objective?]

There had been plenty of time for him to think about it. That was likely the reason Flop could speak without hesitation.

Upon Balleroy’s death, a rumor that differed from the truth had been circulated, and Flop always continued to think about just where the truth was. Ergo, he had not let this golden opportunity slip.

The Magical Sharpshooter, Balleroy Temeglyph.

His objective in taking part in that rebellion, that was――,

Vincent: [――To exact revenge upon the killer of Private First-Class Miles, who had lost his life on a special mission to the Kingdom of Lugunica.]

Flop: [――Hk.]

Vincent: [What is so surprising, Flop O’Connell? This ought to have been a fact of which you were aware. At every turn, you are attempting to test the Emperor. It is disrespectful.]

As Flop held his breath, Vincent spoke those words and snorted.

Similar to how he had previously asked if the rumor about Balleroy was true or not, this had likely been another trap that Flop had set for Vincent.

It was in order for Flop to ascertain if there was value in continuing this conversation.

However, in response to Vincent’s voice, Flop shook his head with a “No”.

On his expression of surprise, as a second type of surprise emerged,

Flop: [I have no intention of making shameless excuses. I certainly have tried to test you. But…]

Vincent: [What is it?]

Flop: […Your answer, it surprised me that you said the name of Big Bro Miles.]

Vincent: [――――]

As surprise flowed through Flop’s voice, Vincent narrowed his eyes.

Setting aside the first answer about testing Vincent, the second answer was of a matter not worthy of surprise. Vincent knew about Private First-Class Miles, who had a close relationship with Balleroy. ――No, it was not just Miles.

Vincent: [It is natural that I grasp the positions, names, and appearances of those who serve me. Whose orders do these soldiers and generals believe they are receiving, to whom do they think they are devoting the entirety of their souls?]

If not for that, the position of Emperor would be tantamount to always having blades pointed at one’s back.

He was ordering them to put their lives on the line, so he ought to know about those people. They might come to try and take his life, so he ought to ensure that he knew their faces.

And, the names of those who had lost their lives while following his orders, were something that he would never forget.

Vincent: [I am different to those of the Kingdom. My heart shall not break for the death of each soldier and general. I merely ought to remember. Therefore, regarding both Private First-Class Miles and Balleroy Temeglyph, I shall――]

Medium: [Abel-chin, won’t forget…?]

Vincent: [――That is all. I shan’t offer consolation.]

Vincent replied so to Medium’s feeble, tottering words.

On top of that, Vincent added one more comment to Flop and Medium.

Vincent: [Supposing you two desire to restore Balleroy’s honor, that is impossible.]

Medium: [――! W-why?]

Vincent: [If it were to be known that the rumors differed from the truth, people would begin to sow distrust in every rumor. The rise of that would lead to needless cracks in the foundation of the Empire. Such a thing would not have…]

Flop: [Been wished for by Balleroy. Right?]

Flop confirmed that with Vincent, who wondered just how much Flop understood.

Since it would be futile to keep it concealed, Vincent nodded. Then, an intense turmoil spread further and further across Medium’s face.

To that sister of his, Flop spoke gently, like a big brother, but also with a level of strictness,

Flop: [Dear sister, you said it yourself, didn’t you? That you’d help me out, no matter what I do. That’s our family oath. I can also puff my chest out and say that.]

Medium: [T-that’s right? But, what do you mean? That’s…]

Flop: [If Balleroy had truly intended on starting a rebellion and killing His Excellency the Emperor-kun, he would’ve come to us and asked for help. Even if it would’ve only raised the chances by a small amount, if he was truly serious about it, that’s what he would’ve done.]

Medium: [――Ah.]

At Flop’s words, Medium’s eyes opened wide.

The “family oath” that had also been spoken of earlier―― Vincent did not know how much of a binding force that was, but if it carried a meaning so strong that one would not refuse the invitation to rebel against the Emperor, Flop’s theory would be valid.

Flop: [Balleroy had no real intention of succeeding in that rebellion. At the same time, he had the objective of wanting to get revenge for Big Bro Miles. The inconsistency there is that Balleroy wouldn’t have thought that Big Bro Miles’s killer was His Excellency the Emperor-kun.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [Finally, may I ask just one more thing?]

Though he should have already shamelessly spent all of his time, there were no words to describe Flop’s courage as he still held up a single finger.

Vincent responded with nothing, but as if Flop had taken that as the situation being in his favor,

Flop: [Did Balleroy fulfill his dearest wish? Did he get revenge for Big Bro Miles?]

Vincent: [――. No.]

Flop: [I… see.]

With just that brief response, Vincent would not hand over any more information.

Even if Flop requested such, he had no intention of handing it over. Even if Flop aspired to get revenge for the two siblings, for Balleroy and Miles, it would be impossible for him to accomplish that.

And above all else, that was because――,

Vincent: [Balleroy Temeglyph would not have desired it.]

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Flop: [Sorry for taking so long, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun.]

His dialogue with Vincent concerning Balleroy Temeglyph having concluded, Flop bowed his head.

His head had been bowed. In truth, the dialogue had taken a long time.

Vincent: [Are you unable to imagine just how valuable my time is during this crisis?]

Flop: [I have confidence in my appraisal of things. That’s why I could tell that the message entrusted to me was of the highest value right now, and used it to get the answers that my sister and I wanted.]

Vincent: [Your disrespect knows no bounds. Additionally, do not speak falsehoods to me.]

Flop: [Hm?]

Vincent: [Those were not the answers that you and Medium had wanted, those were the answers that you had wanted. This was nothing more than her simply going along with your request. That was the “family oath” you spoke of, was it not?]

Jerking his chin, Vincent corrected the mistake in Flop’s speech. Hearing that, Medium widened her eyes, and after a moment of surprise, Flop nodded with a “Right”.

Flop: [I was the one who wanted to know the answer. If you’re planning on an execution, my head is the only one I want you to lop off.]

Vincent: [Fool. You think I shall engage with your careless remarks any longer? Medium, do not look at me with those eyes.]

Conveying that he did not have the time to go along with frivolous chatter, Vincent snorted at the gaze of Medium, which was seeming to plead for her brother’s life, and then,

Vincent: [So, have you been satisfied?]

Flop: [Yeah, that’s right. I fully understand that amidst Your Excellency the Emperor-kun’s precious time, you’ve earnestly engaged with me. And you did so without even getting caught in my repeated tricks.]

Vincent was silent as Flop unashamedly declared that he had tested the Emperor.

Supposing Vincent’s answers had not fulfilled Flop’s desires, what would he have done?

Inferring that question from the silence, Flop smiled.

Flop: [If that happened, I would’ve brought the message to Husband-kun instead of Your Excellency the Emperor-kun, saved the Empire, and then have him become Emperor.]

Vincent: [You…]

Flop: [Nah, it’s really, really good that we settled things without that happening…! You weren’t one of the makers of the world that I must get revenge on.]

Vincent: [Revenge, on the world?]

At the words mixed into Flop’s sigh of relief, Vincent raised an eyebrow.

Then, beside the conversation between her brother and the Emperor, Medium sniffled as she responded “Um, well”,

Medium: [Big bro is always saying it. The reason that something unpleasant happens isn’t because of a single bad person, but because of the world that made that person bad~.]

Flop: [That’s quite the loose paraphrasing, but yes, exactly! Well, since this is an unpleasant world where those kinds of unpleasant things happen unreasonably, I’m striving to steadily improve it, even if through small things. That’s my revenge against the world.]

Vincent: [――. What nonsense.]

The world on which revenge must be taken, and the makers of that world.

While thinking that the way it had been put was similar to Cecilus Segmunt, Vincent muttered. Hearing that mutter, Flop gave a wry smile, and Medium got angry with flaming eyes, saying “What’s with you~?”.

At the reactions of the siblings, Vincent thought of it as increasingly foolish.

There was no doubt that Vincent was one of the people who had shaped the world which Flop felt to be absurd. Even if someone thought about making change for certain reasons, as long as they did not enact it, they would remain as a target of that revenge.

So, why had Vincent been excluded from that? He could not understand.

Considering that the origin had been him abandoning the “same as ever was” method, and then using somebody else’s thinking as a reference while aiming for the “beyond what ever was” method, it was something that he did not even want to think about.

More importantly――,

Vincent: [You had said earlier. If I did not meet your expectations, you would deliver the contents of the message to another person, and thereby eliminate the peril to the Empire.]

Flop: [Yeah? That’s right. I had intended to entrust it to Husband-kun.]

Vincent: [It matters not who you were to entrust it with. Rather, if entrusting it implies that the Great Disaster will thus be eliminated, it must be a very important measure.]

A measure left behind by Chisha, who deceived Vincent, and had schemed all sorts of things.

Just what sort of thing was it?

Vincent: [Every single word and phrase, deliver it without leaving out anything. Assume that even a single omitted phrase can alter the future of the Empire.]

Flop: [That was my intention from the start, but man, that’s really scary! In total, I’ve been put in charge of three messages… Ahem ahem. Cheer me on so I can do it well, dear sister.]

Medium: [Yep! Leave it to me, big bro! Do your best~!]

Receiving Vincent’s threat, Flop hyped himself up as Medium raised her voice.

As Vincent watched their charade, Flop cleared his throat a little once more,

Flop: [First is number one. ――About Cecilus Segmunt, I have replicated a technique of Olbart Dunkelkenn’s to shrink him, then he was sent to the Gladiator Island. Likely, he has already crawled out using his own strength, but supposing he is late in his escape, assume that he is there.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [Well, because when he was talking to me, he looked just like you, Your Excellency the Emperor-kun. His tone and manner of speech were like yours as well. But, that was exactly how he put it.]

As Vincent narrowed his sable eyes, Flop added that on in a panic.

But, there was no need for him to explain. In reality, ever since Chisha had ousted Vincent from the throne, it was an undeniable truth that he had begun playing the role of Emperor.

Since Chisha had been cautious, he probably would have never returned to his original form, and there was no doubt that he had approached his final moments while imitating even Vincent’s tone of voice.

When he had witnessed the shrunken Cecilus in the Imperial Capital, he had roughly fathomed a guess that it was something done by Chisha. The objective of that was also clear, since with Vincent ousted from the throne, Cecilus’s presence would still be an impediment.

Vincent: [Even Chisha could have never deceived him. If Cecilus had been living his days normally in the Imperial Capital, it would have been impossible for me to have been removed from the throne, no matter what Chisha had prepared.]

To put it plainly, it was the right decision to shrink and banish a hindrance to his plan. If it was Chisha, Cecilus would have had enough negligence to get shrunk.

Vincent: [No objections. Continue.]

Flop: [Then, number two. ――The Sanctum has been detained in the Fortified City. Depending on its presence, you may discover the way of being of the Great Disaster, which invites ruin to the Empire.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [To be honest, this seems quite important, but I don’t really get what it means. But it doesn’t seem like you need me to repeat it, so…]

Then, Flop let out his words with an attitude that lacked confidence, and held his breath.

The reason for that was because, upon hearing that message, a change was yielded on Vincent’s expression.

Vincent tightly clenched down on his teeth, then placed his hand to his mouth and kept silent. He would not close both eyes at the same time. Thus, he forcefully shut only his right eye.

The reason he had aimed for the Fortified City of Garkla, was because he had thought that if it were Chisha, he would have left some sort of countermeasure there. ――But, that was incorrect.

What Chisha Gold had left behind in the Fortified City was not a countermeasure. It was an “answer”.

Vincent: [We need to enter the Fortified City as soon as possible.]

Medium: [Wait wait, Abel-chin! There were three messages, right? There’s still one left!]

Vincent headed for the door, as his time was too valuable to remain at a standstill, but Medium stopped him. Halting his step at her words, Vincent took a deep breath.

The first was concerning Cecilus, the second was an “answer”, so then what had been left as the third?

Vincent: [Let me hear it. If there is a card that still remains unturned――]

He would make full use of it, and protect the Vollachian Empire from the Great Disaster.

As Vincent requested that, Flop looked back into his sable eyes, and, clearing his throat again to try and deliver the message exactly as it had been entrusted to him――,

Flop: [――Your Excellency.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [My assistance in getting the wheel out of the ditch, concludes hereee.]

――.

――――.

――――――――.

Vincent: [――What an enormous fool.]

Declaring that and nothing more, Vincent headed for the door of the cabin.

Flop, having ceased his imitation, raised his own voice in a “Please wait!” towards Vincent’s back.

Flop: [Even if you hurry and rush out of the cabin, the speed at which we reach Garkla won’t change! It would only be different if Your Excellency the Emperor-kun could run faster than a earth dragon!]

Vincent: [I have no choice but to make haste for the Fortified City. If necessary, I shall fly there using the dragon ship or by other means.]

Flop: [The sky isn’t safe either! There might be dead flying dragons soaring around! Besides, there’s still one part of this conversation remaining… Medium!]

Medium: [Y-yeah! Got it, big bro!]

He felt impatient to head to the Fortified City.

Flop had pointed out the danger of the dragon ship from a reasonable angle, and as he ordered Medium, his younger sister once again blocked Vincent’s path.

Vincent: [Even if it is to hasten the dragon carriage, or to share the information with Berstetz and the rest, there is no better option than for me to hurry. Get in the way, and you shall be executed.]

Medium: [Big bro, Abel’s eyes are serious!?]

Flop: [But, if it’s about the degree to which we seriously live our lives, then there’s no way we’d lose! Your Excellency the Emperor-kun! I said this at the start. After you hear the message, I’d like to ask a favor.]

Vincent: [――――]

While harboring impatient emotions, Vincent turned around to face Flop, who was sandwiching him together with Medium.

If he recalled correctly, Flop had impudently thrust the two conditions of the old story and a favor before him.

He had no memory of accepting, but in order to hear the message, he had not outright rejected them either.

Vincent: [Say it.]

He had already informed him that restoring Balleroy’s honor was an impossible goal.

Something that Flop and Medium would have desired beyond that, Vincent could not think of a single candidate that would be impossible to achieve.

If it was too far-fetched and unacceptable, then he would not be able to do anything, but――.

Flop: [Your Excellency the Emperor-kun, after the current crisis passes, you’ll return to the seat of Vollachian Emperor, and the Empire will go back to normal… No, you’ll do your best to make it even better, right?]

Vincent: [I have reservations about the way you phrased it, but generally that is so.]

Vincent once had a plan of his own, but now that it has lost its footing due to Chisha’s scheming, he felt that he needed to discuss whether it was feasible.

For that reason, Vincent nodded, as there was no room for denial.

Flop gave a “Mhm” to his response, and smiling as if to say that it had benefited his intentions, he nodded,

Flop: [Then, I wonder. After everything is over, I think Your Excellency the Emperor-kun is going to welcome many wives… but, would you let Medium be one of them?]

Medium: [Eh?]

Vincent: [What, so it was something like that? I do not mind.]

Medium: [Eh?]

Originally, the reason why Vincent had not welcomed any wives until now was in order to reduce the annoyances that would serve no purpose to his aforementioned plan.

Now that his plan had broken down, he had no reason to overly adhere to it.

Regarding the Imperial Selection Ceremony, too, he felt the need to get his hands in the game.

Henceforth, Vincent was merely facing the obligation he had to fulfill as a Vollachian Emperor.

As Vincent gave that response, Flop patted his chest in relief.

And then――,

Medium: [Eh?]

With that, only the person who was placed as the subject, Medium, continued to tilt her head in confusion.

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

Note from the author:

The topic of “Balleroy Temeglyph” comes up quite often, but the book “Re: Starting Life in Another World From Zero Ex4 – Travelogue of the Finest” deals with his character in a major way.

And similarly, the topic of “Miles”, which comes up rather sparsely, is a character who makes an appearance in the book “Re: Starting Life in Another World From Zero Ex1 – The Dream that the Lion King Saw”.

Since nothing more than the contents that emerge in the main story will be written about in the main story, readers who wish to know more details, by all means, check those books out!

38 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 25 – “The Wishes of Those Who Near Death””

  1. Wow! I had no idea Flop was going to ask Abel for that! And he accepted it so easily too! Good luck Medium!

    Also, I love the ending illustration, it fit so well.

    1. But it doesn’t fit in fact. Vincent is supposed to be short and Medium to be tall and muscular. Yet here she’s just a normal woman and shorter than Vincent. Yikes

  2. Well damn, Flop… I guess Medium has basically guaranteed herself a future in Abel’s arms…

    And to think, Flop was going to ask Subaru at first! I wonder how he’d take that

    1. I doubt he believed Subaru would accept those terms. First, he’d have to accept becoming the Vollachian Emperor, which is already a tough ask, considering he hates how the Empire operates.

      1. I definitely agree with that. I couldn’t imagine Subaru saying yes to that at all. There’s just way too many factors that would make him say no. Even so, the fact that Flop was gonna try to ask Subaru at first is something I wasn’t expecting…

    2. Pretty sure Flop was just going to take the message to Subaru, what with him following that with saving the Empire and all. The Sanctum business would have been a key clue.

      The favor bit is likely entirely seperate. I did wonder if Medium might wind up with Abel in some capacity. She takes up the roll of mediator berween Abel and others several times because Abel’s too much of an asshole for most people. Medium’s one of the few that can actually stand Vincent without being some loyalty nutcase like Goz. Even when she criticizes him it feels like she does so from the position of liking him and just wanting him to be better.

  3. That final part fucking killed me man, I actually died from laughing at that lol. Not to mention the fan art, which was absolutely the cherry on top hahah. Vincent showing how much of a gigachad he is as usual

  4. EEEEEEEEEEHHHHHH!

    I mean Your Excellency the Emperor Kun should eventually think about have some kids to keep the throne…Medium is a matchup I could never had seen coming. Then again they have been through so much, and he has put up with her antics lol

  5. Damn, Flop really wants his future nieces and/or nephews fighting to the death for the Vollachian throne lmao. I guess he’s a Vollachian through and through.

    1. Well as Vincent himself thinks here, he only got the message because he chose not to lie for the sake of running the empire as usual to Flop, and the expectation is that the empire will change significantly. It makes sense for Flop to want to stay involved but Vincent pointed out him just expecting Medium to follow along in life a lot and that’s definitely a big flaw of his.

    1. I think he’s assuming Vincent will get rid of that practice as part of making the Empire a better place

    1. I think he’s assuming Vincent will get rid of that practice as part of making the Empire a better place

  6. Kkkkkkkk me pegou de surpresa o desejo do Flop kkkkkkkk e a ilustração retratou bem essa cerimônia deles dois MDS kkkkkkkk que loucura!
    Agora até a Mizelda e Yorna Sama tem chance kkkkk
    E tmb Serena Dracoy…
    o imperador kun é incrível…kkkk
    Queria que o Subaru tivesse essa oportunidade de conquistar várias(Rem…), diferente do mundo natal dele que não permita isso kkk triste o amor ser barrado e gerar tristeza kkk

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