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[Level 2: Remandred, Danmaka]
[Level 3: Alexandr Z, Christiine G, Ela V, William C, Grady LT, alkin, Crystal D]
[Level 4: Browser, Dtb Blank, Venalitor, Patrick F, Sir Hellington]
Cleaning Up After the Crisis
As soon as they returned to the Heartswaarth city, Cyan quickly got engrossed in his work, as he wanted to capture those behind the operation in Chinosato that targeted his children. The captured attackers were brought back to Capicastle for a thorough interrogation.
On a side note, the thieves that hindered Cyan and Rupert’s journey back to the inn were found out by the patrolling officers and were arrested in the local prison. Cyan might have forgotten to report them altogether, but thankfully they were discovered in their binded state…
Let’s not mention their condition after being bound for quite a long time…
“…what the hell is this?! Why are they tied up in vines?!”
“D-did someone beat them up? But we haven’t received any report yet…”
The thieves all had one thing in their mind.
‘Just arrest us already. Bring us to the prison.’
‘It doesn’t matter if we get arrested… Being in a prison seems like a better option than this…’
Meanwhile, the royal prison is quite busy with their huge catch, as well.
“Cyan-sama, please wait here until we are done investigating them.”
“We’ll call you in should the need arises.”
After the interrogators finished their questioning, they finally came up with a single name.
The head of Elandia’s branch family.
Cyan and the Royal Police were afraid that he would have escaped by the time they captured them, so they went to Evlia town via teleportation gate. Evlia town is a small town located near the green forest and hills in the East Territory of Riviera, so naturally Cyan recognized the Elandia family.
Though it didn’t take any longer than a few days for them to arrive, Phillip has already gone missing from his house. Surprisingly, Cyan managed to meet the head of Elandia’s main family, Raphael Elandia.
When they questioned him, Raphael showed no indication of lying—he clearly didn’t know about what was going on with Phillip. He even cooperated in catching Phillip.
Cyan and the Royal Police went back to interrogate Phillip Elandia—and left a few officers stationed at the Elandia Residence in order to question all of them, and to make sure that nobody escaped. It was also a safety measure just in case Raphael was actually involved and that he was planning to escape during the time Cyan and the others interrogated Phillip.
During the interrogation, Phillip didn’t cooperate at all and refused to disclose anything… anything except his motive.
Upon seeing Cyan entering the investigation room, his eyes turned hostile and he started to insult Cyan.
“You!! You impure-bred didn’t deserve to hold the noble title of a duke!! If it weren’t for you, the Elandia family would be appointed to take care of the East Territory—at least the main family would be bestowed the title of duke!!” He shouted, while the officers restrained him, trying to make sure he didn’t get any closer to Cyan.
Cyan only scowled at him.
“People who think that nobler blood means a superior being like you… really irked me.”
Cyan knew what he was thinking.
After all, the Elandia family has shown their loyalty and contribution to Riviera from the olden times. If all the members of Hartmann duchy ceased to exist, surely their family would become the duke. At least the main family would assume the role of Hartmann Duke, and the branch family would be guaranteed the Evlia town’s jurisdiction.
Phillip was a man who discriminated against commoners. Even when he didn’t hold any kind of ambition of status, he would still oppose Cyan getting the rank of a duke.
“You’re assuming the title of a duke with your contaminated blood?! Even the branch family of a mere baron is better from you, as long as they are of pure noble blood!! You being a duke with that kind of pedigree is an insult to every pure noble present!!”
“So, you’re opposing the king?” Cyan calmly refuted Phillip’s words.
After all, it was the king who pestered Cyan to take the position of a duke.
He was the one who went through all the trouble to convince Cyan, freeing Cyan of his ‘guilt’.
“The king is blind! You tricked him!!” Phillip started to accuse Cyan of something ridiculous.
Cyan humphed and ignored Phillip’s accusation.
“If you want a lesser punishment, then you’d better comply and spill everything out. Like who helped you? What’s your other objective for aiming at my children? Speak!”
Instead of speaking, Phillip only growled at him back.
“Cyan-sama, let us take over,” one of the officers who just entered the room calmly announced. He was one of the officers skilled in interrogation methods—as he was capable of manipulating others’ minds, better than Rupert’s method.
“Gah!” Phillip noticed what was about to happen and gasped.
“Ready to spill everything out?” Cyan smirked.
But the middle-aged man’s eyes seemed to go unfocused, as he started to sweat bullets. His untidy beard started to get moist due to his own sweat.
“…what’s wrong?” The officer asked. He inched closer to the man when Phillip suddenly let out a very painful scream.
The irritating scream caused all men present to cover their ears.
As Phillip’s scream subdued, they noticed that it was already too late.
His pupils were widening as if they were about to fall out from the sockets—and his mouth released a disgusting bubble foam. His heartbeat was not there anymore—and he was no longer breathing.
The man named Phillip Elandia was no longer a part of this world.
In the middle of a night, in a well-developed manor, a young boy with a pale complexion was standing near the window to his room. His bright yellow eyes stared at the darkness of the woods that the window’s scenery lead his gaze to.
After getting a glimpse of the movement below, he opened the window and soon after, a figure could be seen right at his window. The fine figure of a woman clad in black was there—with her wounded body and messed appearance. It was the same lunatic that hunted Lyra and Alt down. However, she didn’t wear any mask.
The dark red-haired boy gestured the woman to enter and closed the window shortly after the woman hopped inside the room.
“Master, I have returned,” the woman knelt and cast her head downward.
“…I have heard of the news…,” the boy said curtly.
“Master, I… I’m sorry… I… I failed!! I was careless…,” the woman’s voice shook. Her voice was younger than the one Lyra and Altaire heard. Obviously, her mask was equipped with a voice-changing tool.
“Raise your face.”
The woman quickly obeyed the young boy’s command and looked up at her master. The woman’s dazed brown eyes met the young boy’s yellow eyes. Her brown hair was blowing because of the strong wind from the opened window.
Noticing this, the boy quickly closed the window in order not to let any leaf flying inside, considering the strong wind that the nature has right at this moment.
“It’s fine… we still have a lot of time… and I’ve come up with another plan. It might take time, as I have to find the materials needed and… there are various complicated things…,” the boy sat down on the sofa and put one of his hand to his chin, thinking deeply.
Seeing her master’s troubled face, the young woman quickly approached him and her hands grabbed her master’s free hand.
“Master, don’t be troubled! No matter what, I will assist Master!! My life has belonged to you ever since that day, so…”
The young boy turned at the pleading young woman and smiled gently.
“Yes, Candice. I know that you won’t disappoint me. Today’s plan seems to be a failure, but at least we still managed to clean the trashes out of this place.”
The young woman—Candice’s face lit up in happiness upon hearing her master’s words.
Master won’t abandon me despite this failure?! He still lets me stay by his side…?!
Noticing Candice’s doubt and joy, the young boy caressed Candice’s head and said softly.
“It was my mistake to let that old man Phillip handle the plan. Even when I personally let him use you, he still failed. Well, at least my hand didn’t get dirtied, and we have gotten rid of that useless trash that would surely be a burden to everyone if nothing was done about him.”
The young boy understood that he repeated some of his words, but he wanted to make it clear that he still wanted Candice to be by his side—to continue to serve him. He made it clear that he had no intention of abandoning her.
Candice’s mad eyes flashed with happiness as they reflected the young boy’s face—Candice was looking at him as if she was worshipping him.
“Yes, yes, Master!! Thank you!!”
“Now, go and quickly get changed. Let’s get some potion to heal your wounds so it won’t cause any suspicion.”
As Candice quickly obeyed his every word and went somewhere else to get changed and cleaned, the young master gazed at the dark woods and sighed.
He closed his eyes to calm himself down.
It’s okay… It doesn’t matter if this plan failed, there is still another time. I have all the time needed to achieve my goal.
He wasn’t a bit concerned about the old man that he was cooperating with—Phillip Elandia. To him, Phillip was nothing more than a pawn that could be disposed of. Or rather, it was still beneficial for him even if Phillip was disposed of. If Phillip succeeded, it would be good for him, too. It was a win-win situation for him.
Nevertheless, as this plan has failed, he realized that he might take another approach that require a lot of time—but perhaps it would guarantee him more success.
For now, it’s better for him to stay lowkey.
Cyan went to visit Raphael Elandia’s residence shortly after the incident with Phillip. Again, they were suspecting Raphael or someone else from Elandia residence of Phillip’s suspicious death. Cyan described his finding during Phillip’s interrogation in full details.
Raphael Elandia closed his eyes, calmly listening to every detail about his relative’s wrongdoing and death. When Cyan was finished, Raphael opened his eyes and he quickly stood up.
Cyan was alerted with Raphael’s sudden action, but what came afterward surprised him.
“I’m really sorry. I apologize for my carelessness, to think that Phillip held this kind of prejudice—and the fact that I failed to notice this evil plan of him at all…,” Raphael’s words were full of sincere apology and regret. He bowed his body deeply in front of Cyan.
When Cyan returned Raphael’s gaze, he could sense sincerity in his eyes.
This man is innocent.
All of the officers—especially those who are skillfull at reading people’s intention and in interrogating them all came up with the same conclusion.
Raphael Elandia was innocent. The assault was all planned by Phillip Elandia and his subordinates.
Of course, they captured the other suspicious members of Elandia branch family and their subordinates. The rest of them were deemed innocent and were taken in under Raphael’s care.
Cyan even lost count on how many times Raphael apologized and bowed to him. Even his wife seemed to feel guilty and bowed down.
“We deeply apologize for all the trouble given by one of Elandia clan…”
“If there is anything else we can do, by all means, please tell us and we will help.”
More than anyone else, Cyan knew that they really meant their words—they are different from the double-faced nobles that he knew for most of his childhood.
In the end, they returned with mystery of Phillip’s death and question about who exactly assisted Phillip in doing this whole scheming.
Furthermore, even after personally coming to the Elandia residence to check every single person there, Cyan couldn’t find anyone who resembled the mad lunatic woman that lured him out. No one bears any single resemblance to her.
Considering that the woman changed her voice and eye color, Cyan was sure that he would still be able to recognize the mad woman. Her expression and eye gaze, full of madness would be easy to spot.
In addition to that, Cyan personally wanted to catch that lunatic woman more than anything else. The woman who was adept at bending the truth, twisting it and tricking others into believing her. He was lucky that Lyra and Altaire weren’t brainwashed by the woman’s foul tongue.
After all, he has personally fallen for such a trick—believing the twisted lie that his older brother kept coaxing into his mind during when he was the most fragile.
Even until now, he could still remember his words.
If it weren’t for you, ‘she’ won’t die like this. It’s your fault, your fault.
Cyan opened the pocket watch that he always brings. Whenever that past haunted him, he’d open the pocket watch and recalled what little happiness his childhood had. It was his habit to remind himself of his most beloved person who’s no longer part of this world.
When Cyan finally got home and the time to rest, he finally fulfilled his promise to tell Lyra and Altaire about the mad lunatic’s accusation of his familicide.
Coincidentally, Lyra’s completely recovered by the time Cyan finished all his business. Yeah, Lyra was completely exhausted after the whole incident and couldn’t really move her body without feeling some sort of pain for a few days after she overworked her muscles. In her heart, she vowed that she would do more exercises to keep her muscles trained so she won’t feel this sort of pain again if she had to use her swordsmanship skills.
Though Altaire kept showering her praises about her swordsmanship skill, luckily enough, she wasn’t being asked to display it as her parents were so worried over the fact that she mostly stayed in the bed for a few days. Cassie used healing magic to ease Lyra’s pain, but what Lyra’s body needed to completely recover was rest.
By the time she was back to her healthy self, Altaire’s excitement over her swordsmanship skill had subsided. Lyra also managed to divert the conversation whenever she was about to be questioned about it~! Funny that she didn’t question her parents’ sudden silent after observing her efforts to divert the conversation, thinking that her bluff worked.
Anyway, back to Cyan’s promise to tell the whole story to his children!
Naturally, since he thought that both Altaire and Lyra were still too young, he didn’t tell the full details about what was happening, and about how he was convinced to become the next Duke of Hartmann.
He only told them the important details. About how he only cared for his mother who treated him nice, and about how he despised the rest of his family who never treated him kindly. About how his mother died because of the illness she had when he was still young.
Since he lost the only person he cared for in the Hartmann house, he moved out to Harmonia Academy’s boarding house and met Titus there. That was the beginning of everything.
Soon afterwards, they became best buddies and Cyan willingly helped Titus to collect all the evidence to convict his family of their wrongdoing—from slavery, murders, corruption, blackmails, and any other crime you can name.
“Well, it seems like I repeated that story since I don’t know if you still remember that. You were both younger when I told you all that story, and I wasn’t sure where to start if not from there,” Cyan said, looking at the two children.
“Yes—I more or less know about it already,” Lyra clarified.
But it was nice hearing it from Dad—I want to ask more details, but I guess not now?
She thought to herself and decided to not inquire more.
“Uhm, I forgot some part of the story, so thanks for telling me again, Dad,” Altaire said dejectedly, thinking that his little sister understood and remembered the details better than him, when he was supposedly her older brother…
Cyan smiled and continued to the part of the story that he has yet to tell them.
Due to the weight of their sins and the civilians’ demands, the judges gave them the capital punishment. Naturally, Cyan did nothing of the sort to get remission for them.
Hence—that was how Cyan was accused of familicide by the mad lunatic. He can’t deny the fact that he was the one who brought the rest of Hartmann family members to their demise. There was even a point in his life when he got convinced that he was the cause of his most beloved’s death…
“…and, that’s about everything I can tell you two for the moment. You may be too young to fully understand it, but…”
“Points crossed, Dad. I don’t quite understand everything, but I get the gist of it!” Altaire said.
“At least now we know why that mad Onee-chan said it. But I think you did the right thing, Dad.”
Unexpectedly—or should we say as expected—Lyra seemed to be the one who understood the explanation better compared to Alt.
Ignoring that fact, the two of them came to understand this fact and didn’t seem to mind it at all. Cyan was relieved upon knowing that.
However, he didn’t spill out the full details and he wasn’t ready to tell about the other thing that Phillip Elandia pointed out during his interrogation.
“You’re assuming the title of a duke with your contaminated blood?! You being a duke with that kind of pedigree is an insult to every pure noble present!!”
Cyan was glad that Lyra and Altaire didn’t hear that. He wanted to save the in-depth explanation about it all in the future, when both of his children are older.
“That’s good to know. I promise I will tell you more stories once you two are older.”
Inside her little head, Lyra thought to herself.
‘This family where I was reborn in… sure is complicated… Here I thought that the Grabberton family was quite complicated with the heir intrigue back then.’
But at least, it’s warm here, right now.