Episode 52 – For the Final Goal (1)
As I got up to the awards, I looked for Pucci. However, there was an old man with gray hair who appeared to be the emperor, Arje, who was smiling, and Banu, staring with awe. There was no sight of Pucci or Cream.
“To be honest, I did not expect that the winner would be a young girl.”
The emperor seemed to be taken by surprise. I mean, when only looking at looks, I would not have even made it to the preliminaries.”
“Well, still, I am glad that the filthy and stinky bastard dual specimen did not win.”
From the emperor’s comment, Arje and Banu made either an awkward face or smile. Would the emperor faint if I were to show him my ears?
“No one can beat me.”
“Please keep your manners in front of the emperor.”
When I spoke informally to the emperor, Banu wiped his smile and warned me. I would not have ordinarily talked informally to a king or emperor, but
“So what? I even spoke like this to a god.”
I’m this kind of a lady.
“No need, Banu.”
“But emperor, how could you let her do such a thing?”
“It’s alright. I rather prefer that she is this confident. It’s worth putting the matter of my daughter’s safety in her hands.”
Put matters into my hands? Arje? Arje seemed to be excited as well. Was this like a hand in marriage? With the same sex? Was this country open enough for this?
“Put what in my hands?”
“Of course, the safety of my daughter. There was that incident earlier, and we will need a guard to be with her at all times. It wouldn’t matter if you were a man, but I would feel even more assured that you are such a skilled woman. You can follow her in places which men cannot enter.”
Of course. What was I thinking Marriage?
“Banu, you had a good run until now. From now on, you can just focus on your duties as a swordsman instructor.”
Banu let down his head, then he got out of the podium. To be doing two jobs at once. I would have quit already.
“Is there anything that I could do? Let me know if you want something.”
Usually, when someone asks a question like this, there is a given answer, even though it looks like they are doing you a favor.
For example, it is an honor to be able to serve the palace, what could I possibly ask more of..etc.
“Pucci. Let me take care of him.”
But I did not give him the answer that he wanted.
“Pucci? I do not know who that is, but is that something to ask of me, the emperor?”
The emperor pretended not to know, but I already knew everything.
“I know that he is linked to this palace.”
“Well, I will check later if we have someone named Pucci here.”
The emperor still kept his act, and received a cup from Banu.
“For now, we should toast a drink and celebrate.”
When the emperor got up, Arje and everyone else got up from their seats.
Banu handed me the last cup and winked. Inside the cup that seemed to be made of gold, there was a mysterious and deadly appearing purple drink. Was it wine?
“All! Let’s give a round of applause to the winner of today, Arix!”
From his comment, everyone started to cheer and clap, and the emperor, Arje and I all drank the wine.
The emperor coughed after drinking, as if he was not so good with alcohol.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m okay, daughter. I must have drank it too fast…cough!”
The cough of the emperor who was waving his hands to assure Arje got worse, and
The emperor fell after spewing up dark red blood chunks.
Arje leaned over to check on the emperor, but fell over. I also could not save Arje.
“My body is frozen?”
My body was frozen. It felt as if I was tied up to a rope.
“Don’t worry. Arberaj and you will not be killed. Except the emperor.”
The only one who seemed fine was Banu.
Why had Banu betrayed us all of the sudden? No…
“You are Pucci?”
I had not put him on the leery list because he was childhood friends with Arje.
“That, you don’t need to know.”
Banu talked in riddles, then pulled out his sword.
“It’s a case of murder!”
Then he pulled off my hood. I could feel a cool breeze through my ears and hear people screaming, and saw the soldiers coming for me.
“This woman was a dual specimen! She is most likely the culprit of the assassination case!”
From his shouting, the soldiers crammed on top of me.
Without my sword and not able to move, I was caught helplessly, and
Lost consciousness from someone swinging their weapon at me.
…When I gained some of my consciousness, it was dark, and I was laying on a sack of hay. When I looked around, I saw walls made of stone and steel bars. It was definitely the prison cell.
“Ouch, my head.”
On top of freezing me, they hit me on the head. I wanted to massage my head, but I was all tied up on the floor. Still, it was nice that they let me live, but
“Why did Banu want to let her alive?”
“That crazy bitch kidnapped the princess, murdered the bishop, sister director and the emperor. He is being way too nice. Probably from tomorrow, they will torture her to the point where she begs to be killed then kill her.”
“I’m looking forward to it. It will be fun to torture such a pretty little face.”
From the passing conversations of the keepers, my ending wouldn’t be so pretty.
“You are finally awake?”
I heard a familiar voice in the prison, when I had thought that I was the only one there.
“Cream? Why are you here?’
Cream, with her signature pink drop ears, was smiling brightly. She did not suit the cold cell.
“I was here, taking your place as the kidnapper and murder. I was wondering how long you will take to get here, but you were caught really fast.”
Cream laughed graciously as she covered her mouth.
“In place of me?”
“Of course. Do you think in that situation, I would have gotten away pretending to be a clueless bunny?”
But I didn’t think that Cream would be there just for that reason.
“That’s just a cover, but you are here to get me out, right? To sell me. You said that you could buy a country with that kind of money.”
I remembered what Banu said, if he were Pucci. That one could buy an entire country after selling me off.
“The country was already sold.”
The back of my head was numb.
“So you will let me die and not sell me?”
“Of course. The public wants the death sentence of the murderer. It’s unfortunate.”
Mmmm. This was not going well, even for me.
“I could not believe that Pucci was Banu. I had not suspected him since he was childhood friends with Arje.”
And on top of that, Arje and Banu seemed to be really close to each other. Wouldn’t Banu have married Arje if he had just let things be? I could see it in the way the emperor looked at Banu.
And the Pucci that I had seen was an old man.
“It’s one of his abilities. I was shocked at first, too.”
Cream got up from the seat after looking up on the ceiling, as if she was coming up with something.
“It’s time. You stay there. Don’t make any trouble.”
When Cream got up, the prison guard opened the cell. Was Cream getting away just like this?
“Hey! Shouldn’t the same species help each other out?”
I mentioned the species as my last resort, but
“I am warning you just in case, but don’t do anything stupid.”
Cream smirked at me and got out. I am gonna get my revenge on that bunny, even as a ghost…
It was then. From the hands of Cream, something shiny dropped onto the floor. When I looked closer, it was a tiny metal piece shaped like a blade.
No way? Did not doing something stupid refer to not doing anything at all? Was she giving me a means to escape? I really could not tell whether she was on my side or the enemy’s side. This could also be her trick to use me again.
No, there was no other option. I crawled like a worm and tried my best to undo the ropes. It took forever to cut because of the thickness, and when guards passed by, I had to stop to not look suspicious.
How much time had passed? I was able to get out of the ropes.
“Great. Next is…”
It was great that I got out of the ropes, but the problem was after. I was still locked up, and I needed a way to get out. Cream must have prepared something more after this.
“I wish that the prison just fell apart.”
I murmured nonsense and dug around where Cream had been.
Surprisingly, there were keys where Cream had been. I did not know which keys they were, but most likely the ones to open the door.
I thought about opening the door, getting my rapier back, then having my revenge against Banu.
But suddenly, I heard a break of wind from afar. The sound was getting louder and was approaching my way.
And surprisingly, the walls broke apart, and the black cannon ball that entered got to the other wall after breaking the rods.
“You guys really didn’t need to go this far.”
I threw the keys that were not useless and looked at the pierced wall. Outside was the open sea, and a pirate ship that was flying its flag proudly was shooting cannonballs everywhere. From the looks of it, it was Mary.
“Now your chance to join the navy is really gone, Mary.”
I got out of the prison, feeling thankful for the nonsensical acts of Mary and her crew.
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