Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 10.4
Someone was trying to sabotage the result of the vote by blackmailing the merchants who had previously agreed to join in the project of establishing the Trading Company.
In his letter, Jude wrote a detailed report of how he came to this conclusion. Of course, the letter was delivered directly to Clovis by someone Jude trusted.
“The only people who were able to read through the list of the merchants would be the members of the Chancery and the Regional Council, who reviewed the proposal, His Majesty the King, Her Highness the Princess and the members of the Privy Council. The mastermind should be among them.”
“We shouldn’t count out the possibility that the mastermind might be someone from the Chancery or the Regional Council. Yes, they were the one who let the proposal pass, but that wasn’t a good enough reason to let them off.”
“That’s… true… Although I hate to admit it, even if they showed their agreement out in the open, there’s still a possibility that it’s just a ruse…”
Said Dreyfus with a bitter look on his face. He was still able to maintain a neutral perspective even when his department was under suspicion. Clovis shook his head slowly.
“If the mastermind was a member of the Chancery or Regional Council, they would be able to sabotage the whole thing before the meeting even began. They saw the list earlier than everyone here, there’s no reason for them to wait until the first meeting concluded to start their moves.”
After hearing the young aide’s reasonable explanation, the room was enveloped in an eerie atmosphere. The eyes of the nobles were drawn toward Lloyd Sutherland, who had been silent for a while now.
‘It can’t be…’
Everyone was looking at Clovis and Lloyd. Their gazes harbored both suspicion and confusion at those two. The tension inside the room was so high, but Clovis didn’t back down.
‘Clovis is scary…’ That thought came to Alicia’s mind.
Previously, Clovis told her that the thought of confronting the Privy Council directly like this kept him awake at night. But seeing him like this, those words seemed like a lie.
Suddenly, Clovis turned his face toward Alicia for a moment. He then showed her a reassuring smile.
At that moment, Alicia’s heart skipped a beat, heat rushed to her cheeks and an unknown feeling rose welled inside her heart.
‘I want to help Clovis’
“You gave me strength, Alicia-sama. For you, I can face anything…”
Remembering the kind words he said to her, Alicia squeezed her hands together in front of her face. Even if those words were mere empty words, she didn’t care. She wanted to help Clovis no matter what. If her presence could help him, then she would stay by his side.
The bond between those two were the driving force for them to stand against a powerful adversary like Lloyd Sutherland.
Finally, Lloyd Sutherland opened his mouth. There were no hints of emotion on his face even though he was being accused of treason in front of the Privy Council. No one knew what was going on in his heart right now, but the sight of his face made the other nobles tremble in fear. But the man himself didn’t bother looking at the other nobles, instead he glared at the young aide in front of him.
“So, why me?”
“What do you mean ‘why’?”
“Stop acting like a fool. You know what I’m talking about.”
Lloyd then turned his gaze around.
“From your argument, it was clear that there is a traitor that conspired with Ealdar among us here and I can accept that. But, why me? The argument you provided wasn’t enough to accuse me of anything.”
“You’re correct, Sire.”
Clovis curled up his thin lips.
“We’ve investigated the people who entered and left the territory of the Marquis of Rozen. Aside from the Regional Council officials, the investigators and state merchants, no one else passed through the territory, so we had been unable to identify the mastermind.”
“But, there was someone who provided us with information.”
For the first time, there was a hint of change in Lloyd’s expression, but it was only for a moment before his face turned expressionless again.
“Interesting. Are you implying that someone saw me communicating with someone from Ealdar?”
“Not only that. They also reported that you’ve been hiring suspicious men, gave them false identities as peddlers and hid their tracks properly. They were the people who went to the territory of the Marquis of Rozen to blackmail the merchants.”
“I see. My territory, Viola, is the center of the trade. It makes a lot of sense that if I were to hire people to do dirty work, I’d turn them into peddlers so it wouldn’t arouse suspicion… But everything your informant said was false… I’ve grown tired of listening to your nonsense…”
The sound of wood hitting through a hard stone echoed through the air, causing the nobles inside the room to jerk their shoulders in surprise. Lloyd struck the ground with his cane. His face looked confident as he looked around the room.
“Bring your informant here. I’ll smash his nonsense with my own hands.”
“The informant is already here.”
He spoke out loud for the first time today.
Hearing his voice, Alicia felt so nervous that her vision wobbled a little. She wanted to run, but to see this through the end was her duty.
Alicia, Clovis, King James and everyone in the room looked at the direction of the voice. He was standing while gritting his teeth, his face looked desperate. Looking at him, Lloyd showed his surprise.
“I am the informant!”
Riddhe Sutherland sent his father a glare as he shouted. The nobles were astonished. The young man didn’t look good. His hair was disheveled, there were dark circles under his eyes and he looked thinner than normal. But a fire was burning in his eyes.
He put his hand on his chest as he shouted.
Probably he was trying to encourage himself.
“I, Riddhe Sutherland, in the name of the Sutherland announced that the Head of the Sutherland, Lloyd, is guilty of treason!”
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