The Prince Assassinates the Noblewoman (Plans)
A strange atmosphere was hanging inside Prince Elliott’s office.
Elliott had finally ended his seclusion inside his bedroom and was now leaking a ferocious aura similar to a chihuahua that had been backed into a corner.
Every remaining member of the Prince’s entourage had been summoned here now and were watching Elliott closely having never seen this side of him before.
“Gentlemen. As soon as tomorrow, Mother and Father will be returning from their inspection. They stayed over at the city of Tyrell just last night, and I’m told they should be arriving back at the royal palace as early as noon tomorrow.”
“Oh, they’re finally back………”
“Their inspection trip was so long this time………”
“His Majesty’s health apparently started to deteriorate along the way.”
Elliott raised his hand and the din of his close associates’ conversation instantly stalled before he continued on with what he wanted to say.
“Originally our plan was to drag Rachel in front of Father, forcing her to confess her sin, thus resulting in him approving the dissolution of our engagement and approving my engagement to Margaret. However……….!”
Elliott raised both his fists high over his head and slammed them on the table as hard as he could.
“Let alone admitting any wrongdoing, that outrageous witch has been allowed to do whatever she wants, having a grand old time while in prison! I never expected her to feel any real guilt, but why is she having more fun every day in there than she would have if she were outside!? Isn’t that strange!?”
The followers all shared a look with each other.
Certainly everything the Prince said was true, a fact that painfully stung………but they didn’t understand why it was necessary to gather them all up to hear the obvious this late in the game.
While everyone else was tilting their heads to the side, Elliott went on.
“But that’s not all. Because Father’s inspection trip took so long, Rachel was able to have her subordinates move in secret………she’s been able to orchestrate a number of incidents, all turning out in her favor. Now all of us have been hearing remarks from the people inside the royal palace proving they are all on Rachel’s side!”
To be precise, the story traveling between residents of the royal palace were things ranging form “The Prince can’t be counted on,” to “Wasn’t Rachel mistakenly convicted?” so it’s not like they’re directly taking Rachel’s side.
Rather, it’s the type of comments that wouldn’t have come about at all if Elliott was able to take care of things without any problems, but Elliott and his men are unable to make that distinction………because little Eli is an idiot.
“If Father returns like this, then these misunderstandings surrounding us will be our end. This isn’t a joking matter! Just what did we struggle these past three months for!?”
The situation was actually pretty similar to what Elliott described, but the way he came to his conclusions was way off the mark.
Elliott finally entered the main subject of the meeting. All of his followers around him watched with bated breath.
“I’ve run out of patience. We assassinate Rachel tonight!”
You didn’t have any patience to begin with………such a tsukkomi never came out.
A silent tension ran through the boys as the impact of Elliott’s words slowly soaked in.
Today’s declaration had a different weight to it than the usual ones. Everyone looked at Elliott’s face seeing a mad dog that had been driven into a corner and knew that he meant every word he had said. Yes, it was exactly like a cornered long hair chihuahua recklessly trying to bite a mastiff to death.¹
Elliott pointed to the earl’s son.
“You go procure the weapons. Rachel has her crossbow. I want at least three shields and three of our own crossbows. If possible, get us three long pikes too so we can stab the body afterwards and make sure she is dead. Take three people with you, and go make the preparations immediately!”
The Prince then turned his eyes to the other side of the table towards the son of a viscount.
“Take two men with you and watch everyone who goes in and out of the dungeon. In any case Father will be returning tomorrow. Besides the general ins and outs, I’m sure we’ll see Rachel’s minions coming and going as well.”
“To prevent being found out until tomorrow morning, we’ll do it after the Prison Guard has returned home for the night.”
“Although he’s a prison guard, he doesn’t really do any night shift work though.”
“I don’t care about that right now. Now let’s go!”
At Elliott’s command, all of the boys jumped out of his office at once.
A little while later.
A maid who had been serving tea for the meeting left after tidying up the leftover cups. As soon as she entered the servants passageway however, she left her teacart behind and broke out in a run.
The earl’s son was rushing alongside his compatriots when he accidentally leaked out a quiet complaint.
“It’s okay to rise up…………His Highness too, I just wish he could have told us about this sooner.”
It was currently dusk.
………….Yes, dusk. The same day as their appointed plan.
The Prison Guard was most likely returning home any moment now. And any passing knights running patrols through the castle would have their suspicions raised if they saw a light burning in the dungeon in the middle of the night, so the boys couldn’t put their plan off for too much longer.
“If he had just told us yesterday instead……..if he had at least told us before noon, we could’ve grabbed the supplies from home.”
He wasn’t thinking about how he would have smuggled in spears or crossbows past one of the gatekeepers however. Because he was one of Elliott’s men.
Without any idea on how to get the supplies they needed, the men had no idea where to go. And with no idea on what to do, the group of would-be assassins continued to walk aimlessly around the royal palace.
“Should we steal them from the knight’s armory? But, with their security……….”
Right about the time when the blue-blooded son of an earl house was worried about the biggest issue he had ever had to face in his life……….the three men he had brought with him all from different baron households tapped his shoulder.
“There! Take a look over there!”
Just outside his line of sight………there was something lying up against some type of warehouse. On closer inspection, it was three shields, three crossbows, and three spears all resting up against the warehouse’s wall. There was even a quiver there filled with bolts for the crossbows.
There was also a sign posted up on the wall.
[Currently being aired out. DO NOT TOUCH! Knight’s Order]
The boys delightedly started patting each other’s shoulders.
“It’s our lucky break!”
“So good, there’s just enough here too! If we take these to His Highness we can finish without him yelling at us!”
So the four men confirmed there was nobody around to see them before hurriedly escaping with the weapons in tow.
Why did there just so happen to be the right number of weapons there?
Why were the knights airing out such a small number of weapons?
Why were the weapons left unattended without any lookouts?
The boys never once stopped to ask any of these questions. Because they were Elliott’s men.
As you’d expect a warning needed to be delivered to the dungeon after the viscount’s son had set up his surveillance.
After leaving the Prince’s office the maid had passed the baton over to a gardener who was now confirming the new surveillance system that had been set up a distance away from the dungeon’s entrance.
He kept his distance, walking around the outer circumference of the area to carefully survey the surroundings………and then tilted his head.
“They’re not only watching the entrance are they………..?”
Just as he heard, there were three noble boys keeping an eye on the dungeon.
They were certainly there doing their jobs, but the three of them were standing right next to each other out in the open and only watching the dungeon’s entrance. At the moment, there was a knight hiding in a thicket right next to them who was part of the Prince’s original monitoring detail that was confused about what they were doing there as well.
Honestly the gardener thought this was all part of some elaborate trap………but by all appearances this trap was crap. The gardener was completely confused, but that was because he didn’t understand the qualities it takes to be one of Elliott’s men.
For the time being it doesn’t look like they’ll be an obstacle, so the gardener wrapped around to the back ventilation window. Since the knight in charge of monitoring behind the dungeon was a comrade, the gardener waved the knight over, explaining the current circumstances and asking him to spread the word.
Seemingly anticipating his voice, Rachel responded as soon as the gardener tried talking to her.
“What’s wrong? I’ve never had a direct emergency call before.”
“Yes, in fact……..”
The story didn’t take long to wrap up, but Rachel made sure to listen in on every detail.
“Well, were they able to procure their weapons?”
“Yes. Just as a safety precaution we had a knight prepare them some useless weapons for the occasion.”
“Then in that case we will allow His Highness’s group go through with their attack. We’ve gone through great pains to pile up circumstantial evidence, so let’s end this all with a bang and grab something they won’t be able to make any excuses for.”
Rachel turned her gaze from the gardener to the knight and started giving orders for the knight’s order to follow as well.
“There’s no need to handpick our own subordinates for tonight’s shift. But, try to have one of ours act as the platoon leader on duty at the very least.”
“Should we withdraw the surveillance around the dungeon? His Highness seems to have forgotten the detail he himself put on you.”
“Leave it as is. After the incident, questions would rise about why there was no surveillance on this particular night. Rather, we can have those guards His Highness forgot about run the role of reporting to the knight’s order’s office.”
At that time Elliott’s group was growing more excited now that they had their weapons in hand.
But Rachel’s side was making their own preparations as well.
When the sky had been completely enveloped by darkness.
On Elliott’s command, all of his followers rushed the dungeon all at once. The sound of their footsteps echoed loudly inside that front room as the men broke off into pairs, one man standing in front with the shield and another standing behind with a loaded crossbow aimed at the cell.
Elliott was the last one to enter and began talking towards the cell’s inhabitant after all other noises ceased. He looked calm on the outside, but when you looked into his eyes, all you saw was madness.
“Rachel, I’m sure you’ve heard that my father is returning tomorrow. If you make an appeal to Father and Mother at that time, then I’m sure your plan was to have my mother who favors you let you out……….but it’s truly regrettable. I’m afraid you won’t wake up to see tomorrow’s sunrise.”
Taking in the scene around her, how would Rachel react? In front of Elliott who was so eagerly waiting to see what she’d have to say now……….Rachel let out a long sigh as if she were truly flabbergasted.
“And here I thought His Highness was finally thinking a little harder………..”
“Huh? What? Did you think I’d never resort to force? I might look sweet, but I’m a man who does what’s necessary when the time comes.”
“Then let me give such a ‘man’ one piece of advice………..isn’t it better to not wait until the other party finds shelter?”
While the men were left confused, Rachel took refuge behind her stacks of wooden crates and set up her crossbow. So, she had set up a standing firing position that served as much better cover than a simple shield.
“Why did you guys allow her to get into cover!?”
“No but, we can’t just suddenly start shooting at her………”
“You should have yelled, “Don’t move!” at the very least!”
“Oh, I see.”
While Elliott was thrown into a fit of anger at his own subordinates’ incompetence, Rachel offered him some more advice.
“It doesn’t look like you’ve planned for every detail……..if you don’t do something like that, won’t you end up with a lot of trouble in the future? At the very least you’ll end up with a butt on fire.”²
Rather than being enraged, Elliott was honestly impressed that Rachel could continue to run her mouth despite being surrounded. This was the result of someone in the mindset where they misunderstand, thinking they’re in an advantageous position, and look down on others while feeling omnipotent.
“Hoh……..so even while you’re surrounded by us like this you can still run your mouth like some important person. Hahaha, just keep that mentality in mind. Rather, you’re the one who is going to have their butt on fire in a little bit.”
“You’re wrong Your Highness”
“Fu, your mouth is really good at………..hm?”
As Elliott was talking, his butt suddenly started to feel strange.
Taking a look behind him, the bottom of his pants were burning.
Shifting his gaze a little further down……..at some point Rachel’s monkey had circled around behind them, and had brought a lit match to Elliott’s butt. As soon as he fully understood what was going on, Elliott’s butt started to feel even hotter……….
The hanger-ons were all dumbfounded as Elliott began rolling around on the ground. Thankfully a couple of the guys noticed what had happened and helped in the firefighting effort, so it ended with just Elliott’s pants and underwear getting scorched. It’d be impossible to tell what damage was done to his butt without seeing a doctor tomorrow.
“Wha, What does your pet think it’s doing!?”
“Well Your Highness, your butt was ‘literally’ on fire there, so isn’t it a naughty joke on his part?”
“Am I supposed to laugh at this!? I thought I was going to die!”
“What a lukewarm claim coming from a bunch of people currently here to kill me……….”
With her monkey returned to her side, Rachel shared a look with her pet before shrugging her shoulders.
“Haley worked hard on this joke……..but I guess a person can’t understand a monkey’s sense of humor.”
“Kill him! Kill the monkey first!”
While Elliott was screaming at his archers to switch targets, Haley climbed up the wooden crates and escaped out the ventilation window.
Looking stupid with a goofy hole right on his butt, Elliott’s shoulders started to shake as he broke out into a fit of insane laughter.
“Fu, fufufufufu………….Rachel. You, you’ve angered me!?”
“I think I might be more upset than you that Haley put his body on the line for such a small joke.”
“Don’t be stupid!?”
Getting more worked up, Elliott ordered his followers to take aim. Rachel raised the tip of her crossbow as well.
And then as Elliott was about to give the order to fire………..the son of a viscount who was the closest to the door let out a fearful voice.
The young man recoiled at Elliott’s enraged voice, but still he thought he had something that should be reported and pointed to the door leading outside.
“Um……..since a little bit ago, there’s been some noise coming in from outside. Someone, some people are……..”
“What? ………go take a look!”
The viscount’s son rushed up the stairs, and after being gone for only a second, he rushed back down with the same momentum.
“Y, Your Highness! The monkey, the monkey is shooting off a bunch of flashy fireworks outside!”
The men couldn’t understand what he was saying at first.
So the young son of a viscount had to repeat himself.
“Miss Rachel’s monkey, it’s been shooting off more of those rocket fireworks for a while now!”
From behind Elliott, the lazy son of an earl muttered something in blank amazement.
“Now that you mention it, why did he have that match from before to begin with…………”
It happened just after everyone in the dungeon understood what the monkey’s actions meant.
“Everyone drop your weapons!”
A number of knights all rushed into the dungeon. Every single one of them had been on duty and so were already fully armed.
“Wh, what’s going on!?”
As Elliott shouted at the interlopers, the grim faced platoon leader answered in kind.
“That’s my line. Just what is going on in this dungeon?”
Already the other knights had surrounded Elliott’s group, disarming his men.
“Th, That’s confidential! There is no need to say anything to someone unrelated like you!”
“Is that so”
While Elliott was high-handedly bellowing, the knight leader easily withdrew. Only to then yell at his subordinates.
“Check their weapons!”
“Just recently, I found that some weapons I had left to air out had disappeared. I had hurriedly gathered up these people before when we found this uproar.”
One of the soldiers suddenly shouted.
“Everything is accounted for. They’re the stolen goods!”
“Got it. Take these guys to the knight station! We’ll be sure to listen to everything they have to say there.”
Elliott stood there dumbfounded as all of his followers were rounded up and dragged out of the room.
The knight commander then brought down a verdict on the open-mouthed Elliott.
“Your Highness. As a related party, we’d like to ask you some questions later as well. Is that fine?”
Elliott pointed to Rachel who had secluded herself further inside.
“That woman is already in prison, yet she has a weapon!”
The captain peeked over at Rachel.
“Your Highness, why is that young noblewoman carrying a weapon right now?”
“Why? Why are you asking me!?”
The knight gave an answer with obvious distrust in his eyes.
“As far as we know, this young noblewoman was suddenly arrested one night during a party, and you immediately put her in this prison.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Then, why does she have a weapon? Was she carrying a crossbow under her dress?”
“Uh, that is…….”
He was stabbing a sore spot.
“No……..it was pre-arranged inside the prison.”
The captain’s gaze grew even more intense.
“In the prison? When you suddenly restrained her during a night party? A young noblewoman who didn’t even have a change of clothes on her?”
“No, you see! Doesn’t she have plenty of things in there with her!?”
Even when he looked inside the cell, the knight’s expression didn’t change.
“Of course. It’s a prison for nobles. Isn’t it natural that there would be at least the bear minimum of furniture in there? However I doubt there would be some crossbow as a wall ornament in a jail.”
With Elliott unable to respond, the platoon leader turned to Rachel.
“Milady, why do you have a crossbow in there?”
Rachel was shaking as she gave a terrified response.
“H, His Highness is……….he suddenly barged in, he wanted to kill me before His Majesty returned……… After surrounding me, he said it would be bad to kill me for no reason and threw this at me……..I didn’t want to let him just kill me, so I tried to fight back, but………”
Rachel’s voice broke down as she tried to choke back the tears.
“Your Highness……..I believe there’s another case I need to ask you some things about.”
The knight’s eyes were completely locked onto the self-centered Prince like the criminal had already been found. Elliott panicked.
“W, Wait!? That thing belongs to her! I didn’t bring it in!”
“Wouldn’t you have heard about such a thing earlier? And you still haven’t explained to me how a noblewoman who had been suddenly imprisoned like a bolt out of the blue would have a crossbow on her in the first place.”
But she did.
Elliott was getting pushed back more and more with questions that were difficult to answer……….but then a memory from back them struck him.
“That’s right! The night we put this woman in prison, the other knights on duty also saw that woman pull a crossbow from her luggage! Just ask one of them!”
“From three months ago? All of us knights work on a rotation, so the ones on duty then were moved to the front two months ago. They won’t be back for another four months.”
Elliott, he had forgotten that his great uncle and the prime minister had also seen Rachel using her crossbow.
………but in any case, this platoon leader under Rachel’s control would never accept Elliott’s explanation.
“A, Anyway isn’t it a problem that that woman has a weapon!?”
Elliott cried out in desperation, and so the platoon leader once again turned to look at Rachel.
“Pardon me Milady, I’ve already taken those men outside, so would you mind passing that over to me?”
Right in front of a jaw-dropped Elliott………Rachel really did just simply hand over her crossbow with no fuss.
“So then Your Highness. I’d like to ask you not to try to runaway. I’ll be waiting for you at the guard station.”
“I got it!”
The commanding officer was acting superficially polite as he put out his reminder before pulling out with the rest of on-duty knights.
“Damn, that bastard……….”
The Prince was fuming about how a knight who should work for the royal family was treating him………when Elliott suddenly felt the arrival of an opportunity.
Right now I can stab Rachel from behind………
Elliott still had his own personal saber. With all his followers gone, Rachel had dropped her guard. If he were to throw it at her when she wasn’t expecting it, he might be able to score a critical, fatal hit.
Keeping his eye on Rachel who still had her back to him, Elliott grasped the pommel of his saber and slowly started to unsheath it………..
Rachel then suddenly pulled out a different crossbow from a nearby wooden crate.
Rachel adeptly pulled back the string, readying the firing mechanism, and loaded on a bolt.
“Y, You……..you had another one of those things lying around!?”
Rachel scratched her head as if she were truly amazed.
“Isn’t it a common rule that you should always prepare a backup in case of a breakdown.”
“I didn’t know!?”
Rachel was talking like she was a veteran mercenary now.
“So, shall we talk for a bit?”
Elliott’s saber was obviously inferior to Rachel’s projectile, and if it came down to it, he wouldn’t get a second shot like she would.
Elliott had suddenly found himself at a disadvantage.
“Well, it’s not like I really have anything to say to you.”
Rachel suddenly lowered the crossbow she was pointing at Elliott’s chest.
Elliott grew suspicious seeing her suddenly lower her weapon like this……..but then he heard a door opening behind him followed by the sound of someone slowly walking down the steps.
“Welcome! Sorry, I know you only finished your honeymoon the other day.”
“No, it’s okay. I had some business to take care of here anyway.”
In response to Rachel’s cheerful welcome, an impossible voice echoed behind Elliott.
As if he had been turned into a rusty door, you could just hear the creak as Elliott jerkily turned his head to look behind him.
“Yo Your Highness, long time no see.”
A girl with black hair tied into a ponytail was standing there staring at him.
“………why is Martina here…………?”
Hadn’t she been sent back to the frontier, dragging Sykes along with her?
“I, came back here because there was a little something I wanted to hear about from Your Highness.”
There was madness in those wide open eyes, and the original crazy girl broke out into a twisted smile.
“I’ve read this book ‘His Highness is Aiming for Me’………….the fact that Your Highness forced Sykes down and ‘ate’ him, is it true?”
“Eh? No, what……………..a book?”
“When I asked Sykes, he said he didn’t know anything, so is what’s written in here a lie then? As a matter of fact, Sykes continued to insist as such even after he had been hospitalized………….so I came to ask Your Highness about it instead.”
Rachel cheerfully tried to give a small warning.
“Martina, it’s okay to ask His Highness about it………just be sure to limit the physical punishment to places other people can’t see.”
“I know. ‘Appearance-wise’, he’ll be in perfectly good health.”
Patting him on his head with the palm of her hand, Martina pried off her new friend from the leg of a desk he was so desperately holding on to.
“Come now Your Highness………our time is limited. Please clearly tell me everything.”
Until the sun began to shine on the horizon, a man’s screams continued to echo in the backyard.
1. I couldn’t not give this a physical representation. A long haired chihuahua vs a Tibetan mastiff because an English mastiff wouldn’t hurt a fly.
2. This is a Japanese idiom. It refers to somebody who gets antsy or panics when it comes time for a plan to start.