Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
As usual. The apology session:
Sorry… for the lateness on my part… But I need to put rice on my plate… (or bread for European).
I am thanking the donators for the donation. Your donation will be used to purchase LN to be translated one day…… I wonder if one day will come where I don’t need to work for my daily bread……
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 4: The Lion in a Cage
Several days had passed since our return to the Capital City Parnam from Van.
I am now in front of the prison underneath Parnam Castle. There is no light source other than torches, so it is dim. From the fact that it is located inside the castle, it could be easy to surmise that there are many people of high ranks who have entered this prison. Chiefly, imprisoned as political prisoners. Inside such a dungeon, I am faced with someone behind the bars. After a lull of silence for a passing moment, I addressed the person inside the cell.
「This is the first time we have met personally like this. I am the Temporary King, Souma Kazuya.」(Souma)
「It is my pleasure to meet you. I am Georg Carmine.」(Georg)
While giving his greeting, the former Army’s Supreme General, the Lion-faced beastman, Georg Carmine, bowed his head deeply. In contrast with me, who was sitting on the chair, Georg sat directly on the cell floor, cross legged just like how a commander in Sengoku Japan would sit when having an audience with his lord. While still bowing his head, Georg began to talk,
「Once again, I give my sincere congratulations for the war this time.」(Georg)
Georg’s imprisonment in this place happened several days before our return. Until then, he was under house arrest at Randell Castle, so he must have gathered the information back then.
「Raise your face. It is hard to talk with that posture.」(Souma)
「As you wish, Your Majesty.」(Georg)
Georg raised his head and moved his body upright to face me. Because his body has a burly physique, with a stature close to 2 meters, our eyes were at the same level even though I was sitting on a chair. 『Magnificent』…… such an expression suited him as a military man. I understood why Liscia respects him. It was hard not to be overwhelmed by his atmosphere. He has such an amazing presence, even so, he is the youngest amongst the three dukes. I’m positive that Castor is about 160 years old. While for Excel, she had passed 500 years.
「Doesn’t the true ages of the Three Dukes seem to be the opposite from their outer appearances? Also in the mental age aspect, too.」(Souma)
When I mentioned this, Georg laughed 「Gahaha.」
「Certainly. It is typical for the long living races that the body and mind’s growth could be said as slow. For a long living race, it’s been said that their appearance and mental age is (their true age) x (human or beast-kin’s usual maximum lifespan <about 100>) ÷ (that race’s usual maximum lifespan).」(Georg)
I see. It could be said that this world had something similar to 『for the Crane one thousand years, the Tortoise ten thousand years』 that is 『for the Dragonewt Race five hundred years, the Sea Dragon Tribe one thousand years.』 for the symbol of longevity (but in this world, they really do live up until that age). In other words, Castor is 160 x 100 ÷ 500, so he is still just 32 years old (human equivalent). If we think along these lines, then I could understand why he still had his muscle-brained attitude,……. Eh? Wait a minute!
「If we use that theory, then isn’t Excel’s mental age already 50 years old?」(Souma)
「……In everything, there is an exception.」(Georg)
「Don’t just overlook on this.」(Souma)
From that casual conversation, after a breather, I moved on to the main business.
「……If I meet with that you, there are a lot of things I want to say to and ask from you.」(Souma)
「By all means.」(B)
「Well, before that, it seems you haven’t met with Liscia yet.」(Souma)
When I brought this matter up, Georg slowly closed his eyes. Since her return to Parnam, it seems that Liscia had once had requested to meet with Georg. However Georg, yelled 『Your Lady is someone who will soon become the queen, how could you request to meet with a criminal?』(although to be accurate, it was the prison guard who sent the verbal message) and drove her away. Since Liscia has a really serious personality, she reacted heavily to those words. Since then, she has never made another meeting request. Each and every day, she is stout heartedly endured it.
「……That’s why, I don’t think this situation is alright.」(Souma)
「My farewell with the Princess had been finished at the Final Counsel. There is no longer any need for words for now.」(Georg)
「The time when she cut her hair?」(Souma)
「I have seen the Princess’ resolution with that deed. As a person, as a women, Princess has splendidly archived her independence. I don’t want to cloud that resolution, influencing it by this fading body.」
He rejected for Liscia’s sake? Good grief…… this obstinate old man.
「There is something that I want to ask.」(Georg)
「What is it?」(Souma)
「It is about the people who followed our treason, what will happen to the soldiers of the Army and the Air Force? Then, how will you deal with the treacherous nobles who have committed dishonest deeds?」(Georg)
「The soldiers from the Army and the Air Force have obtained meritorious deeds in the war against Amidonia, and so are pardoned of their crime. The Vargas House had committed high-treason against me, but they have accomplishes many meritorious services until the previous King’s reign. The only people who will be implicated would be Castor and Carla. The duchy will be abolished, but I will let the eldest son, who had severed connections with the House beforehand and was in the care of Excel, to succeed the House and permit him to possess only the Crimson Dragon Castle-Town. But then, since that child is still young, his mother Axera and the chamberlain Tormann will become his counselors. As for Castor and Carla, since Excel had appealed for them by relinquishing her war merits, they will receive my personal judgment at a later date.」(Souma)
Georg closed his eyes. I wonder what he felt when he heard all this.
「Then, for the dishonest nobles…… on top of the abolition of their Family Name, confiscation of their territories and assets…… execution. The main perpetrator will be publicly executed, while the other implicated people will be dealt with in private.」
The existing law stated that 『the Crime of High Treason will be punished by summary execution to the third degree of kinship.』 Before rebelling just like Georg, if they had severed their connections, then they wouldn’t have involved the unrelated relatives, but the dishonest nobles had mostly been negligent in doing so. Perhaps, they never thought that they would lose…… But how incompetent of them. Furthermore, not only they commit treason, but they also had committed corruption, bribery, collusion with Amidonia, and misdeeds on their individual territories (abusing their authority and status to commit murder, rape, robbery, etc.), and in any case, they had completely violated the law. For people like Georg and Castor, whose only crime was treason, it is possible to at least deliver a clemency appeal for them, but on the contrary for the nobles, there are petitions to have them killed in a gruesome manner.
「A system of guilt by association, I guess that is to accuse the other relatives for not stopping the criminal? But isn’t third degree of kinship is too much?」(Souma)
「That can’t be helped. For humans and beastkin, being able to see the face of a great-grandchild already means a long life, but there are races that could see the face of their great-great grandchild and beyond that while still in active service. Because of this, the sentence scope was extended.」
「That’s why, wouldn’t too many unrelated people die? Even after Hakuya frantically ran around things, he was barely able to revise it to second degree of kinship. Furthermore, those under thirteen years are exempted from the execution sentence and would be given to an orphanage or into the church’s custody.」
Those under the age of ten will be in the care of a state managed orphanage, those aged eleven to thirteen will be entrusted to the church. The difference between both of those are whether or not they could marry and create a family in the future. For those that entered an orphanage, this is possible, but not so for those who entered the church, as they will need to detach themselves from the secular world. Furthermore, if there are pregnant women or women that are not yet one month from her childbirth, they, too would be entrusted to be watched by the church. If in the future, they conspire for a crime, then at that time, they will be “dealt with” …… Currently, I am only able to do this much.
「I am…… against this guilt by association system. Only the people who committed the crime who should be judged. Even if they are the criminal’s relatives, it is surely a mistake to put innocent people to death. In addition, I also feel the same for public execution. The death penalty, as a verdict for a heinous crime, will lose its deterrence value. That’s why, I don’t want to turn such a death penalty into a public spectacle and want to quickly reform the citizens’ minds who thought of the death penalty as a show.」(Souma)
「It is already your country. You can do whatever you like with it.」(Georg)
「……Then I shall do so.」(Souma)
「……Your Majesty, is it painful to rob people’s life?」(Georg)
Was I making quite a bitter expression on my face? Georg spoke out as if he noticed it.
「Of course there is no way that it is not painful. Just by one decree, numerous lives could be snuffed out. I am crushed by this sense of responsibility. Just half a year ago I was still a commoner, you know.」
「I have heard about this from Princess’ letter. Yet, the Princess gave high praises to Your Majesty as a King amongst Kings. She wants to devote her body and soul to support you.」
「Liscia…… has frequently supported me. However, I must make a decision that will make her really sad. I must have you…… die.」
I put my hand on my forehead and let out a groan.
「Your plan is splendid. I have heard about it from Hal’s dad…… Glaive. To gather all the dishonest nobles into one place, even their hidden assets, and catch them in one go. Even those that were missed by Hakuya and I, a plan that doesn’t leave much to desire. However…… since we couldn’t release this information officially, your treatment, will be the same as the dishonest nobles.」
There are two reasons why I couldn’t make an official statement about this. The first reason is that there were casualties in the battle between the Royal Army and the Kingdom Army. Unlike the battle at the Crimson Dragon Castle-Town, where the only casualties on Royal Army side was just one battleship, at the battle on Randell’s outskirts, there were quite a few victims that had fallen on both sides. Although, it could be said that Georg had deliberately incited the battle for this country’s sake, surely the families of the victims wouldn’t agree with this.
The second reason, is that Zem, which was paying the ransom for the captured mercenaries would have its sentiments towards Elfrieden deteriorate even more. At the present stage, Zem would regret dispatching their mercenaries to the losing side as the revenge for our discontinuation of the Zemish mercenary contract. However, if they know the secret connection between Georg and me, then Zem would have thought that they had been set up by the Kingdom (although, it was Georg’s own arbitrary actions). Their national sentiment towards the Kingdom, that was already bad, will become even more worse. This is a situation that I want to avoid.
That is why we arrived at this situation, I couldn’t make an official statement about Georg’s plan. But then, Georg had already been aware of this since the beginning. But he decided to purposely take this literally to the grave. An obstinate person. Really…… a foolish one.
「Hey, are there no other ways besides this? Is this your wish? To suffer even infamy, have a double suicide with the dishonest nobles, are you satisfied by this!?」(Souma)
I stood up and banged at the cell’s bars.
「Why do you need to rush things!? It will take time, but there are surely other ways to bring the dishonest nobles to justice! The same with what happened to Castor! Isn’t his rebellion because of your fault pushing your plan rashly! Even though there are jobs I want you to do in the post war times, but that plan has already been thrown out of order now, right? …… Well, settling everything with just one action is too ambitious. If this country’s openness had become relatively better, my and Hakuya’s plan would proceed easily. Because of that, there is no meaning for losing you! Don’t you know that for a country, losing a talented person is a terrible blow! It is not an equal value to the dishonest nobles!」(Souma)
I asked Georg who had silently closed his eyes. I once again struck the cell’s bars.
「Answer me! You. Are you really satisfied by this!?」(Souma)
Georg made his reply with a calm expression.
「I believe that I am similar to a large tree, and after my death, new sprouts would grow from my roots. Then, my only wish is for that sprouts to grow healthily.」(Georg)
「……For that reason, must the great tree also need to be struck down?」(Souma)
「It is my cherished dream. I feel joy to sense that the next generation will have a robust growth. Your Majesty will also eventually understand.」(Georg)
「…… Will I?」(Souma)
「When the Princess gives birth to a child, then certainly you will.」(Georg)
I slammed myself into the chair. I was wrapped by an unusual ennui as I asked another thing that I had been concerned with.
「Hey….. Was everything “thought up by yourself”?」(Souma)
「…… What does that mean?」(Georg)
Georg opened his eyes and asked me back. Don’t suddenly play senile!
「This is our first meeting. Even so, you have a strangely high evaluation of me. You have entrusted the current plan to me, you have entrusted Liscia, who is like a precious daughter for you, to me, and you have entrusted the Kingdom’s future to me. No matter how much I thought about this, this is strange. Where does that faith come from?」(Souma)
「…… I knew of your extraordinary talent from the Princess’ letters, do you have any dissatisfaction with this answer?」(Georg)
「Yeah, I am dissatisfied. Could you harbor faith on letters? If we are talking about your self-sacrifice, then there is only “for Elfrieden’s Royalty’s” sake, isn’t this true?」(Souma)
Now that I thought about it, it had been strange “since the beginning.” Since the beginning, strangely the road that I needed to take had been prepared. Suddenly handing the crown to me, easily obtaining political power, pairing me with Liscia as her fiancée to grant me a just cause, and bringing the dishonest nobles to justice before I knew it. To think back upon it, I felt that the noob me had moved too easily. Perhaps, this was someone’s intentions…… If someone could do this, then there no one else but “that person.”
「Is the current plan that person’s order?」(Souma)
「……I will keep silent about this.」(Georg)
「Please answer it. That person, you, what in the world is it that the both of you know?」(Souma)
I waited for Georg’s words, but he didn’t reply back. We were facing each other in silence for a short while. Only the soundless ringing inside the prison reached my ears. …… This is enough, it would be futile, no matter how much I waited.
「So you… can’t give the answer.」(Souma)
「…… If the time for that eventually comes, that person will speak to you.」(Georg)
I stood up, took out a small bottle from my pocket, and placed it in front of Georg.
「Your Majesty, this is?」(Georg)
「……Poisoned wine. It will be done in this way, since I can’t bring myself to let a man that has sacrificed himself for his country to be executed in front of the public. Also…… I have recommended this method to the people who are trying to sacrifice themselves for you.」(Souma)
Perhaps it was because of Georg’s personality, that there was not a small amount of officers and soldiers from the Army who did this. Starting from the former second of command, Beowulf, to several high ranked army officers, all had requested to be punished with the same sentence as Georg. Also, among the Army and the Air Force soldiers who didn’t get pardoned with the services they had done in the war against Amidonia, there were people who were being imprisoned from trying to commit suicide in front of the Royal Castle to demand a life clemency for their general. Really…… These death-seeker fellows.
Georg received the small bottle, said 「My gratitude」, and relaxed his cheek. His stern lion face began to look like that of a good natured old man. Georg opened the lid of the small bottle and then lifted it towards me.
「Your Majesty. I will entrust the Princess to your hands.」(Georg)
「I can’t make any definite promises…… but I am Liscia’s fiancée. She is someone who will soon become my family. 『No matter what happens, protect the family.』…… This is the sole belief that I would never discard even if I have to disregard my realist thinking.」(Souma)
Because I knew how lonely it was being alone after losing a family, I would never concede over this belief. Even if it would be inefficient for doing so. Perhaps, because Georg felt my resolution, he nodded in satisfaction.
「I feel relieved to hear that reply. I will pray for Elfrieden Kingdom’s glory, and Your Majesty and the Princess’s happiness from underneath the shadow of the grass. Farewell….. Excuse me.」(Georg)
After saying these words, Georg drank the contents of that small bottle in one gulp. His body shook violently before he leaned forward, the empty small bottle fell from his hand to the floor and broke with a clang. At the next moment, there a thudding sound, and with that over, silence once again visited the prison. Georg’s face that fell sideways…… showed a satisfied smile. I stood up, turned my back at the cell and walked away.
After several steps, I stopped for a moment, and turned my head back once more.
「You idiot…… Don’t just burden me like this.」(Souma)
I walked again. This time I didn’t turn back.
◇ ◇ ◇
The next day, Chris Tachyon’s News Program informed the public the news that 『Former Kingdom Army Supreme General Georg Carmine, has committed suicide in the jail.』
Thank you for keep reading this.
Georg’s way of life’s image song will not of 「A Lion Standing in the Wind」, but the second part of the lyric from 「When the Dream Blows」. If you know both of this, then you are quite a nerd.
*and some part about giving reaction and comment after reading this and next story that I don’t feel want to translate…*
Q: Why are you not translate Author notes Yukkuri-san?
A: I only translate Author notes that have interesting content… Most of the previous author notes is just thanking the reader and asking for comment and rating……
Q: Why don’t you translate faster Yukkuri-san?
A: Well… let’s just say…… working.
Also… I have several fully translated chapter in store, but since it has become night (at least on my place) and I am sleepy, I will post it tomorrow afternoon.
For your drug, here a ‘not so good’ scan from the LN.
 Like this:
In Japan, the tsuru is a sacred bird that is said to live 1,000 years. This is why you make 1000 folded paper (origami) cranes, one for each year, as a prayer for good luck, safety or longevity.
The kame (turtle synonymous with tortoise) is said to live 10,000 years and is one of the four celestial guardians (dragon, phoenix, tiger and turtle) of Chinese mythology.
 You know, the sound that ring in your ears even when there are no other sounds. Actually, some kind of tinnitus since we are hearing our own bodily process.
Read this article, it’s enlightening:
and now you learn something new from reading web novel.
 Anime watcher will know that Japanese characters always have a song that describe themselves/personality, hence the name “image song”.
The lyric of the second part of this song that become the reference of Georg’s words:
時代を越えて生き続けて = I have living crossing my ages (lifespan)
今枯れかけた 大きな樹 = A big tree that started to wither (die)
けれども その枝さきで = However, that branch tip
今年の若葉が生まれてる = Gave birth new leaves this year
 Not really, Google is my friend author-san.