Reincarnated Princess Wishes To Avoid Death - Chapter 233
The Oldest and Weakest Duke, the Last of the Four
Ludwig wandered around Ganudos’s capital, asking about and listening to all kinds of rumours as he went.
When he got back to his inn, the sun had already set. He sat down in the restaurant next door to order a late dinner. Vanos, who had been following him around all day, sat down next to him and immediately asked for a drink. Soon after that, the big man’s brows wrinkled as he thought.
“…Do you think Her Majesty is having fun out there?”
“Hm? Is there any reason to think that she may not be?”
“Well, I’m not sure, but the men she brought with her are a little… Oh, please don’t take this wrong. They are very good at using swords. Captain Dion himself whipped them into shape. If things get physical, they will definitely prove their worth. Bandits are no problem. Even that whole group of Greenmoon guards can’t stand a chance against them if it comes to that. The safety of Her Majesty is in good hands.”
Ludwig nodded as he thought back to the faces of the new Princess Guard members. Everyone thought they were thugs and brigands, but they made the Guard stronger in battle, so there was no doubt about that.
“I’m not sure how loyal they are to the empire,” Vanos said. “But they know they owe Her Highness a big one. They won’t mind taking an arrow for her. There is no doubt about it…But…”
He smiled in a strange way and rubbed his head.
“They are a rowdy group of people who love to drink. If you have trouble walking in a straight line, it can be hard to take an arrow for someone.”
In other words, they came with a disclaimer. Satisfaction guaranteed, but only if they’re not drunk.
After thinking for a moment, Ludwig gave a shrug.
“It’s out of our hands now, no matter what happens. It would be a waste of time to worry about it. Her Highness is with two of her princely classmates, both of whom are good swordsmen in their own right, and their servant Keithwood. I think it would be best to leave it up to them and work on what we can do here.”
He looked more and more serious.
“Let’s go over everything we’ve learned today. Even though the information we got from gossip during a quick tour of the city isn’t very complete, it does give me the impression that the Greenmoons aren’t very popular here.”
“Yes, you are right. They don’t seem to be trying to improve their image, either. People here think more of Her Highness than they do of the Duke.”
Vanos agreed, nodding with his arms crossed.
“But even so, they still do all of their business through the Greenmoons. Even if some of the country’s top officials are getting kickbacks, the size of the monopoly is strange.”
The Duke of Greenmoon couldn’t be rich enough to bribe all of Ganudos’s top government officials. Why did they have such a tight grip on trade at that time?
“Are you from the other side of the Galilee Sea?”
They looked up.
The owner of the place was speaking. He was old and his back was a little bit crooked. The way his hands moved across the counter and grill showed how much he knew.
“No, we are from Tearmoon.”
“Tearmoon, ah. What do you know about the Duke of Yellowmoon? How is he doing, and how are his people?”
When the owner asked him a question, Ludwig raised an eyebrow.
“Hm? Are you talking about…the Duke of Greenmoon? …then he’s—”
“No, no, I said yellow. Thank you very much, I can still tell the colours apart. Yellowmoons. How are they? When my grandmother was still alive, she told me that they have been good friends to our country for a very long time. Has helped us a lot over the years. But they stopped talking to us at some point. As simple as that. Since then, I’ve been worried about them.”
“You say that the Yellowmoons are… So far as I know, the Duke is doing fine. And…his daughter goes to Saint-Noel Academy…”
Ludwig said, but his answer was cautious. He didn’t understand the owner’s question. He had never heard that the Yellowmoons and Ganudos were linked in any way. Even when they walked around the city, it didn’t come up.
After talking with the owner some more, he sat in silence to think. Vanos also thought about the unexpected discovery, but he did it out loud.
“…things are starting to get very strange. The Yellowmoons are the weakest and oldest of the Etoilers. Was surprised to see their name mentioned here… I wonder what’s with that?”
He asked himself and gave a shrug after a while.
“Well, I guess that’s why they don’t hire me for my brains.”
He quickly drank his cup of liquor, sighed with pleasure as the strong smell of alcohol rose to his nose, and started eating the seafood dish the server brought.
Ganudos was known for its fresh fish, and serving it raw was a local favourite. He put a piece in his mouth and enjoyed how soft it was. The fat was so soft that it melted on his tongue.
“So good… Gotta say, this job comes with a lot of perks.”
He reached for another piece, but stopped when he saw that Ludwig, whose brow was still furrowed, hadn’t eaten a thing.
“What gives you so much trouble?”
“Good question… Sir Vanos, what do you know about the start of our empire?”
“Nothing. Not very knowledgeable about history in general.”
“Then let me fill you in a bit. There was a place called the Fertile Crescent, and at first, a farming tribe lived there. Farmers as a group. Later, a powerful tribe of hunters came and took over their land and made the people their slaves. Most people think that the empire started when the hunters took over land and slaves.”
It was what most people in Tearmoon thought, but after saying it, Ludwig lowered his eyes and spoke in a more thoughtful way.
“However, there is another theory that says our ancestors came from the other side of the ocean. This theory isn’t completely wrong, and even though it’s not perfect, there is enough evidence to suggest that at least some of the current population comes from a place beyond the Galilee Sea.”
“Huh. Okay, I get it, but I don’t see what the point of this story is. What does it have to do with anything?”
asked Vanos, puzzled.
“Consider it. If they crossed the sea to get here…,” Ludwig said, leaning forward. “What would have they done? Where would they have to go to get from the Galilee Sea to the Fertile Crescent, where the imperial capital is now?”
“Ah, I get you.”
Vanos used one finger to tap on the table.
“You mean here, don’t you? These people in our family tree would have had to go through Ganudos.”
“Exactly. Of course, this place wasn’t a country yet at the time. People say that both the Tearmoon Empire and the Ganudos Port Country began around the same time. But if the theory is right, we should assume that the two were connected from the start. Then, if we assume that the Yellowmoons, who are thought to be the oldest and weakest of the Four Houses, were in charge of keeping these ties together…”
“Then, at some point, the Greenmoons took over and started negotiating on their own. People stopped asking questions as time went on because it became normal. And now we’ve reached the end. People think of Greenmoon when you say “Ganudos.” Gotta say, there’s something fishy about this.”
“We need to know more. Sir Vanos, I’m sorry to take up so much of your time, but after my meeting with the senator tomorrow, I’ll need you to come with me.”
“You think you’re onto something?”
“I’m not sure yet…”
Ludwig had his arms crossed and was frowning.
“But as far as I know, people with bad intentions aren’t usually the ones who get a lot of attention on stage. Instead, they’re the ones who stay quiet behind the curtains.”
“Hey, what a funny thing! That’s exactly what my job has taught me,” Vanos said with a smile.
Ludwig couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Then he gave a shrug.
“Anyway, I have a strong feeling that this country is keeping something from us about the Yellowmoons, and I plan to find out what it is. So, we are going to look into it.”
“Look into, huh? I bet it won’t be easy to get them to tell the truth. You got some kind of plan?”
“Usually, the government and the Church are the only places that keep records like this. Since we can’t trust the government here in this way, we’re going to try the second option.”
The next day, they went to the local Central Orthodox Church together.
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