Author’s Note: I would had posted this yesterday like I was supposed to… but I got too absorbed into reading “Rakuin no Monshou”. It’s basically an interesting take on “The Prince and the Pauper” in my personal opinion. Anywho, please enjoy?
Chapter 11 – When Truths come to Light?
How come I can be perfectly fine on a ship that rocks against the waves but still have issues with carriages? I just don’t get it!
Yes, we’re already back in the Kingdom of Wintergreen. What… were you guys hoping for an actual hot spring episode? Too bad, even I’m not that petty. For starters… my little sister from my past life is one of the girls bathing. Though I finally decided that I’m Niko, the part of me that’s still Katsu Fujiwara cannot look at her naked body. And I don’t want to think how negotiations with the King would go if it were found out that I peeked at his daughter.
Anyway, I had left Libertalia under Clef’s care until I returned. And yes, I left Casey there as well. If I didn’t… I’d fear for his safety. I know he can take care of himself… but I’m more worried about Miyuki getting to him. I could already imagine him wearing frilly clothes and going “aniki…” in a plea for me to rescue him. And I definitely don’t want Ana or Chloe to wake up to something strange.
We made it back to the capital with no problems. I was wearing my skull mask because I didn’t wanna ruin the surprise. Since it takes a month to sail between Wintergreen and Libertalia given that the winds are good… it’s been about a year since I originally met Miyuki and the princess in this life. And since the capital’s near the sea, there’s not too much of a distance that needs traveled. But for some strange reason… I can’t stand carriages. Getting through the front gate wasn’t bad… but I did have to lean on the carriage a bit before I could catch my bearings.
“Just how do you get motion sickness from a carriage and not from a ship?” (Ana)
“I… don’t… know…”
“Well, we still got a lot to do. So get yourself together, Niko.” (Ana)
I’m glad that she calls me by my name more than she does fool… but this is just too close. Anyway, we were greeted by Sir Fredrick when we entered the castle.
“Princess, I’m glad to see you and Hero Miyuki have returned safely.” (Fredrick)
“We have. And we brought a representative of Libertalia.” (Ana)
He was shocked by those words. He sized me up, and I felt glad that I wore the mask. By the looks of things, he was on guard.
“You brought the ‘Silver-haired Wraith’ with you?” (Fredrick)
“He’s here as both a representative and the leader of Libertalia. He wants to speak with father.” (Ana)
“I see… so the report that I received earlier is true?” (Fredrick)
“Sadly, it is. Diva attacked us and most of the fleet was destroyed by her monsters. If it weren’t for the help of Libertalia, I don’t even want to imagine how worse things could have been.” (Ana)
“In that case, his majesty the King cannot refuse audience. Please wait with Libertalia’s leader in the waiting room.” (Fredrick)
He then left while the Princess guided me to the waiting room. It’s not the first time I was here, but I didn’t want to give myself away just yet. And while we sat around drinking tea, Miyuki was grinning.
“I can’t wait to see the look on the king’s face when you remove your mask.” (Miyuki)
“Keep waiting. Also, don’t discuss it here.”
I’m sure that the walls have ears in this palace.
“Whatever, even I didn’t recognize you at first. Other than that pirate coat, your hair grew to the point where you have to wear it in a ponytail. Not to mention that tan.” (Miyuki)
I’ve gotten so used to having to tie my hair back that I forget sometimes that it used to be short. I’ve actually been thinking about getting it cut lately. But… none of the former slaves in Libertalia were barbers.
After a bit, a servant came for us. I was tired of the tea anyway, Chloe makes it better. We waited in front of the throne doors until we were announced. King Victor was on his thrown with Sir Fredrick on one side and Prince Issac on the other. It was a good thing that I learned how to control my anger… it would ruin the surprise. King Victor then spoke.
“So, you’re the ‘Silver-haired wraith’? Not to be rude to my guest… but I thought you would be taller?” (King)
Oh come on! He had to use that cliché? I mean, that’s one from old American action movies. Also one of the oldest ones out there that most people don’t even know it’s a cliché. It’s just OLD!!! Not to mention… I’m actually taller than I was in my past life.
“I don’t really hear that too often, your majesty.”
“Well, you are polite. Are you one of those… what do they call them again? Oh yeah, gentleman pirates?” (King)
“Your majesty, I have been accused of many things. But being a gentleman ain’t one of them.”
“Ha, ha, ha. You have a sense of humor. But for Libertalia’s leader to come here in person? I will admit that even I am surprised.” (King)
“Your majesty, I have come to negotiate in person. My presence here is by the will of my people.”
“I see. Is Libertalia a republic or a democracy then?” (King)
“Believe it or not… I’m not sure. A republic is ruled according to a charter or constitution. A democracy is ruled according to the will of a majority. I’m leaning more towards democracy as for some strange reason everyone picked me to lead them.”
“I see. So… have you come to personally give your answer?” (King)
“It’s obvious that he’s here to surrender.” (Issac)
Who told that damn prince to speak!?
“Not to be rude to your highness, but I am here to talk to his majesty.”
“You dare talk to the Prince of Wintergreen like that!?” (Issac)
Saw it coming.
“It depends on who has the higher position, your highness.”
“By those shackles you wear, you’re nothing more than a runaway slave. So you have no right to even be in this castle.” (Issac)
Filter and the wait for the surprise… those are now going out the window.
“Says the guy who put me in chains in the first place.”
I then removed my tricorn and skull mask. As expected, the room was shocked to see the face under the mask.
“That’s right, your majesty.”
“Did you also say that… ISSAC!” (King)
“Y-yes… father?” (Issac)
Oh, it’s nice to see that bastard prince tremble. Good thing I learned how to hide my smirk.
“Are Niko’s words true? Are you the reason he’s been missing for more than half of a year?” (King)
“N-no. T-there’s no p-proof!” (Issac)
“Oh stop with the lying. And definitely stop with the stuttering! I have the proof!”
I then held out bill of sale. Sir Fredrick took it and had a look of shock before handing it to the king. The king shared Sir Fredrick’s look after looking at the paper.
“It has both your signature and the royal seal… which was missing around the time this was dated. Issac, how could you?” (King)
“Father, how could I not!? This man is nothing more than a peasant and a ruffian. The thought of him having any title of nobility is a smear on this country’s good name! But you made him a Count! I was only fixing your mistake, father.” (Issac)
“Issac… the only mistake in this room is you!” (King)
Whoa… that’s going too far. Even towards that bastard prince.
“Father… how could you?” (Issac)
“Yeah… how could I sire a brat like you!? After your mother died, I tried to get you to see things like I do. Not like some Stonefall aristocracy! Just because you’re the crown prince, it does not mean that you can just do what you want!” (King)
“Father, you’re the one who’s wrong!” (Issac)
“And how am I wrong?” (King)
I can already see veins form on the king’s forehead. And on the Prince’s.
“You give aid when the peasants need it? That’s not ruling, that’s bribing the peasants! Peasants are supposed to serve, not the king!” (Issac)
“A kingdom needs it’s people! Without the people, then who would there to be to rule? It’s give and take. The people are what make a country, not it’s leader! Without people, there would be no farmers to harvest the wheat for your bread. Without the hunters, there would be no meat to be cooked. Without the blacksmiths, there would be no tools or weapons to protect ourselves. And without the merchants, then there would be no one to sell them. So are you saying that they are not important?” (King)
“The peasants are supposed to pay taxes. How they pay them, it shouldn’t matter.” (Issac)
“You insolent brat! How can you be so thick-headed?” (King)
“Father, mother was right. You do not have what it takes to lead this country.” (Issac)
“What did you just say?” (King)
Issac then snapped his fingers. All of the guards in the room aimed their spears at us and the king. For some strange reason… none are aimed at Sir Fredrick. Just… why is there an unneeded big event!?
“Issac, what is this?” (King)
“I’m sorry father, but you are no longer fit to rule this kingdom.” (Issac)
“So my son commits treason? You dare usurp my crown?” (King)
“No, this is not treason. Father, this is what’s necessary.” (Issac)
“Yet you have my own guard aim their spears towards their king?” (King)
“Father, I have maneuvered secret members of my faction into the Royal Guard because I feared this day would come.” (Issac)
“What insolence. Et tu, Sir Fredrick?” (King)
“Actually your majesty, I’m surprised you didn’t notice sooner.” (Fredrick)
“Didn’t notice… what?” (King)
I’m with the king… Sir Fredrick didn’t seem strange earlier.
“I’m only borrowing his body.” (??)
“What do you mean… who are you?” (King)
Then Sir Fredrick… or at least whatever claims to have taken him over started laughing.
“It’s been what? Eight years? At least when I still had my body, you knew who I was. After all… I am the one who outsmarted you back then. (??)
“Wait… no, you cannot be!?” (King)
Okay… the suspense is killing me. And… why is Ana shaking? No, I’ve never seen her like this before.
“Tobias Gray…” (Ana)
I just had to ask.
“I see that the princess remembers me. After all, I did cause quite the commotion eight years ago.” (Tobias)
“But you should be dead?” (King)
“Oh your majesty, you poor pathetic king. I was merely separated from my body. It took me years to possess anything intelligent. You know how hard it is to live as wild game? Other than the lack of opposable thumbs, I had to worry about the body I was inhabiting getting killed by hunters. Even when I was able to possess something on the level of a goblin, I still had to be careful when trying to conduct my research. However, most of my past research was destroyed on your orders. It’s rude to destroy a mage’s hard work.” (Tobias)
Wait… a mage? Hold on… he said eight years ago. That would correspond with what Chloe told me. That means only one thing. Tobias Gray is the rogue mage! (AN: And Niko gets a gold star)
“It had to be destroyed. You almost doomed our world with that research.” (King)
“Who cares? Sacrifices have to be made for progress. Besides, you can’t seriously believe that some other worldly god could destroy us? Gods are not real.” (Tobias)
“Could you say the same about the spirits?” (King)
“Oh, they are what give us magic. However, that’s only a myth. All living beings have a certain amount of magic within them. That’s why we can use lives to summon things.” (Tobias)
“Do you have no heart?” (King)
“Your majesty, we kill all the time. Everything has life. From the trees cut down for their wood, to the grain harvested for our bread, to even the animals and monsters we hunt. Yet do we care if those lives are cast away? Of course not. However, intelligent beings have the biggest amount of life force.” (Tobias)
I hate to say it… but he does make sense. But he seems to have no morality whatsoever.
“There are limits.” (King)
“Yeah, limits by those things you call compassion and morals. It’s things like those that halt progress. I swear that those guys at Auschwitz were right.” (Tobias)
That wasn’t good. I may only have had an early college education in my past life… but even I knew that name. It was one of the most infamous Nazi concentration camps during the second Word War. To be honest… I can’t believe that we allied ourselves with those people. What was Emperor Shōwa even thinking?
“Are you a Nazi?” (Miyuki)
Well… at least now I know that my former imouto knows her world history?
“I was. But like that man near you, I had silver hair and red eyes when I was born in this world.” (Tobias)
Oh not now! This is way too soon and feels too rushed!
“Does that mean anything?” (Miyuki)
Please, any spirit out there… stop this!?
“Silver hair and red eyes are the traits of a reincarnated who has retained their memories, hero. Meaning that is not a normal young man right there! He’s older… mentally!” (Tobias)
Right there… everyone was looking at me. Great, now they’re all gonna think I’m some creepy old man! Time for denial!
“I have no idea on what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t toy with me, dummkopf. Even Sir Fredrick’s sister was that Earhart woman who had no business flying airplanes in her past life! And she too had the features of silver hair and red eyes!” (Tobias)
Crap… plan B!
“I don’t remember my past life. Maybe my hair and eyes are just a coincidence?”
“I’ve already told you no to toy with me! Even Prince Issac’s right hand man is the same as us. Actually, I’ll just torture it out of you later.” (Tobias)
Oh come on! Time for tactic number two; changing the subject.
“Wait… Issac’s right hand man has the same features?”
The knight next to Issac then removed his helmet. I could see it, silver hair and red eyes. His facial features were ikeman-like just like Issac’s… but his short hair was slightly longer and combed over to the side just like a Word War II era German’s. Oh don’t tell me…
“In this life, my name is Pietro Sycamore of the Sycamore Duchy. However, I served the Waffen-SS in my previous life. I will not give my name from that life, but I did know the rogue mage back then.” (Pietro)
Crap… two Nazi reincarnators!? Where was the foreshadowing!? Better yet, why did it have to be Nazi’s!? (AN: Thank Dark Jackel for making me change the first two sentences)
“What is your purpose?”
“Prince Issac is of the master race from my past life. However, he’s more. As I grew up with him, I realized that he’s the kind of leader I should follow if I want to see a fourth Reich.” (Pietro)
Well… from what I learned before, his mother did try to raise him like Stonefall royalty. So Issac would be learning Nazi-like teachings. Thus making friendship with an ex-Nazi not strange.
“So you want to see everyone different thrown into camps?”
“Oh, what’s different from the original?”
“Pietro, I will answer this soon to be dead slave. The ideal I have is the eventual extinction of all that’s not human. Think about it, the elves are better at magic, the dwarfs are masters of technology, and the beastmen far surpass humans in strength. It’s all wrong! Humans should be the best, not the lower races. Starting with this kingdom, I will mandate the slavery of demi-humans. And then I will make it so they cannot breed, leading to an eventual extinction. This if of course after we worked them for all that they are worth.” (Issac)
A true human supremacist people. Let’s see if I can get more out of him? Especially with everyone else seemingly losing their voices.
“Are you not thinking about what’s going on now?”
“You mean the war with the demons? Oh, I have plans for them. They are the first to be extinct. Of course I will enslave any survivors and make it so they can’t breed. They are the first on my list.” (Issac)
“But do you think that you can win?”
“Oh please, I will make the Hero Miyuki finish her job of defeating their leaders. And then we’ll round up the rest.” (Issac)
“But is that what she wants?”
“It’s her duty.” (Issac)
What an idiot…
“Miyuki, is this what you want?”
“Well… no.” (Miyuki)
Oh, I can’t wait for her retort to that bastard prince.
“Look Issac-kun, this isn’t what I want! I made friends with demi-humans during my journey this far. They are not really that different. They have family, hopes, and dreams like we do. And besides, I’m from Japan. As a Japanese person, I cannot condone slavery. Or even your goals!” (Miyuki)
I could only clap in response. And… I could see the determination of Issac’s goons start to falter.
“Good answer, but minus five points for using the honorifics of your homeland.”
“Still a strict sensei.” (Miyuki)
“Another five points for calling me sensei.”
“That’s just mean.” (Miyuki)
I almost missed these interactions with my former imouto. But I could see a vein start to bulge on Issac’s forehead.
“It’s not like you will have any choice.” (Issac)
“You can’t make her follow your orders.”
“I will be king, so there’s no way she’s allowed to refuse! And when it’s over, I will make the Hero Miyuki my wife! And I will send my worthless sister to a monastery at the furthest border! And finally, I’ll keep that maid around for my own amusement!” (Issac)
“You’re an idiot.”
“You still defy me, you no good slave?” (Issac)
“It’s the beauty of being human… or one of the other races. We all are born with a free will. We don’t have to listen to orders from someone like you, a false tyrant.”
And now the vein looks like it will explode.
“Are you forgetting about me!?” (Tobias)
And now that jerk possessing Sir Fredrick finally speaks?
“We haven’t. I was about to ask why you’re helping the false tyrant?”
“Stop calling me that, slave!” (Issac)
“I’m only stating the truth.”
“Prince Issac, please don’t interrupt?” (Tobias)
“Who cares? You will be getting what you want.” (Issac)
“That’s it, dummkopf!” (Tobias)
Tobias Gray then snapped his fingers. The men who were starting to falter from Miyuki’s speech were now more stable and a few aimed their spears at Issac and Pietro.
“What is the meaning of this!?” (Issac)
“Look, I have no problem with ending the Wintergreen bloodline right here. I will not be ignored!” (Tobias)
And now Tobias Gray as snapped? Where’s the popcorn when you need it?
“Tobias, I thought you too were Prince Issac’s ally?” (Pietro)
“Pietro, you dummkopf. We’re merely using each other, nothing more and nothing less. He wants on the throne and I want to continue my research into other worlds. So in trade for giving him the throne, I get access to the Summoner’s Ruins.” (Tobias)
“Do you think I will let you get away with this betrayal?” (Issac)
Issac then tried to summon his lance. But… nothing happened.
“You’re forgetting, that chandelier is a magic item of my own creation. It prevents anyone other than myself from using magic or skills. So even a Punching Wizard like that other reincarnate cannot use his abilities here. Thus allowing me to take over the feeble minded in this room.” (Tobias)
That explains why it felt strange to be in the throne room compared to the last time I was here? I didn’t notice the chandelier because I wasn’t looking up. But it looks like we’re all powerless here.
“So that explains how my loyal retainers could aim their spears at me?” (Issac)
“Oh no, they are only loyal to you because they want positions of power. In reality, they can’t stand you.” (Tobias)
Wow… that’s a burn if I seen one. Still… better keep stalling until a new plot development can save us.
“So… what’s with your research?”
“It’s nice to have someone who will listen around. The Summoner’s Ruins have the power to summon beings from other worlds. Eight years ago, I wanted to summon other worlders to learn about their worlds. But there’s a theory I have about the Summoner’s Ruins.” (Tobias)
“Yes. If they can summon others from different worlds… they they should be able to do the reverse.” (Tobias)
I’d hate to say it, but I’m interested.
“Yes, the reverse. Those ruins should hold the secret to other world travel. I’ve met many other reincarnated in this world. This includes people from time periods earlier than my own. And after my own time period as well. I would ask yours, but you are adamant on not revealing. So anyway, there has to be a difference in time between worlds. If I could discover the time differences, I can go back in time and save the Third Reich.” (Tobias)
Oh you are kidding me… this cannot be allowed to happen.
“Go figure, you’re satisfied with life in this world. Pietro, it’s possible.” (Tobias)
“Even if it’s possible, it shouldn’t be done. I was in the bunker with the Führer killed himself.” (Pietro)
“So was I! If I can save him and the Reich, then all the lives in this world are worth it!” (Tobais)
Things seemed to be heated between the two former Nazis. But before it could go any further, I heard the sound of a gunshot. And… the orb on the chandelier broke. I was confused… but then I looked in the direction I heard it from. Other than the fact that I heard a gunshot, I could not believe my eyes.
After Note: And that was the long awaited 11th chapter. Yeah… I couldn’t resist still having Niko as a quazi-4th Wall Breaker. I learned my lesson with chapter 6 after all, too much 4th wall breaking is bad. Niko doesn’t know it, but he’s self-aware that he’s a fictional character. Thus even he feels like the events have been rushed and unneeded.
Yeah… I couldn’t resist having Nazis. I mean… they are the easiest to hate villains out there. They even inspired the Empire from Star Wars. Originally I was just gonna have Pietro be a former Nazi… but I couldn’t resist Tobias Gray. I mean, he’s supposed to be hate-able.
And lastly… looks like Lost Justice has officially made an appearance in all three of my novels now. What am I gonna do with the guy?