Oukoku e Tsuzuku Michi Chapter 314
「Looks like the refugee measures are going well.」
Tristan comments after glancing at the report.
For some reason, Myla’s mood is visibly poor.
「Is that so?」
I nod seriously and then take a bottle of alcohol from a shelf.
Celia takes it away from me.
「It looks like the conflicts between the refugees and residents have pretty much disappeared after the dispatch of the army. As planned, they will be divided up into groups of a thousand and distributed throughout the territory to do work.」
Tristan hands a sheet of paper in my direction, which Celia checks over before stamping it with a seal of approval.
I open the drawer of the desk and take out a small bottle of alcohol hidden inside.
「Please refrain from doing so while you’re working.」
This time Marta steals it from me.
「Their wives and children will be arriving in Rafen within the next two days. They were against separating with their families at first, but it seems they trusted us after we informed them about the plenty of food we will be providing and the wages for the labor they do.」
Polte reports as such while occasionally glancing fearfully at the roughly breathing Myla.
「The wives and children will be living in simple dwellings outside the city walls of Rafen for now. And depending on the hard work of the husband, they will be permitted to move within the walls.」
「Hmm…… so that’s how it will be done.」
I casually take out a wooden dildo from the desk.
「You can’t…… uhyah!?」
Celia swiftly takes the object away from me like before, only to hide it in panic after realizing what it was.
Fufufu, she fell for it.
「Why do you have something like this in the desk!? It’s wet too……was it just used!?」
Marta averts her gaze and turns red.
I would have let them live within the walls from the start, but this separation was needed to give them motivation to work. Well, they’re still close to Rafen so they shouldn’t be in too much danger despite being outside the walls.
Besides, there is something which I’m more curious about right now.
「Hey Myla, what are you angry about?」
Myla’s been pretty angry this whole time.
It’s frightening Polte.
Celia and Marta also seem skeptical, while Tristan doesn’t even look at Myla.
Meanwhile Myla is glaring at Tristan.
「You said you were going to catch Tristan who neglected his report and ran away, but did he do something else?」
I doubt Tristan could do anything bad to Myla. If he touched her ass, his arm would have been broken.
「It’s the product of wrong impression and misunderstanding. Geez this world, especially women, are so troublesome. That’s why I stay in my room and read……」
「Hmph! What should we do with that rude girl!?」
It seems like Tristan once again escaped by running to his lover’s shop.
「You’ve got two things wrong. Number one, Estelle is not my lover. Number two, I didn’t run there, my arm was pulled and I was dragged inside.」
Whatever, those are small details.
「When I entered the shop, this insolent fellow was clinging to the girl and flirting with her.」
「What!? You skipped work to act lovey-dovey with a girl? How outrageous.」
Why did everyone go quiet at the same time?
「When I grabbed Tristan by the collar, that girl……」
A vein bulges on Myla’s forehead.
「”Tristan is my man, please don’t lay your hands on him”, she said…… it caused a horrible misunderstanding.」
Celia snickers, drawing Myla’s cold glare at her.
「I’m not anybody’s man……」
「On top of all that, she goes “What a deplorable woman to use authority in matters of love! I won’t hand him over to you”, roaring at me like I’m in the wrong!」
「You said she was Estelle? She seems like quite the determined woman.」
Everyone in Rafen knows who Myla is.
She isn’t a tyrant, however she is strict with rules and unaccommodating, meaning she won’t overlook anything.
She cracks down on wandering prostitutes, gambling on the street corner, and even pissing on the side of a building, so people have grown to hate and be afraid of her.
Not to mention, Myla holds Baron rank and is the commander of the security unit, so nobody would dare to yell at her.
Considering how angry Myla is, that girl probably said more than a few words.
「How dare she say that I’m interested in Tristan of all things. She wouldn’t listen even when I denied the claim.」
「Estelle can be quite persistent despite how she looks…… her wrong impressions can be pretty extreme.」
「That rude woman, should we throw her in jail for treason?」
Myla stomps her foot in frustration. We should really just overlook this, seeing how the person is a woman.
Before I could speak, Tristan cuts in.
「Wait a minute. Estelle certainly said too much, but there was also a strange misunderstanding. The last part was a result of a dispute, so could you overlook what she did?」
I bend my body forward out of curiosity.
Tristan is covering for another person, and a girl no less, how interesting.
「We’ll leave everything regarding the refugees as they are now. Okay Tristan, let’s hear what you have to say.」
「What is there to talk about? I was simply treated to a feast for breakfast.」
「Everything from the fork, spoon, and cup was in the woman’s hand though.」
「Fufufu, what a smooth talker.」
I misjudged him. Somewhere deep down inside me, I believed he wasn’t interested in girls.
「You’re not thinking of the common saying, are you?」
Tristan is astounded. It’s not something to hide.
「You grabbed her ass cheeks and pounded her from behind, right? Just like how I did it with Myla last night.」
Myla blushes while Celia and Marta puff their cheeks. Polte shyly looks away.
「You also had her kneel down and swallow you, right? The same way I had Celia do this morning.」
This time Celia turns red and Myla pouts. Polte covers her face with both hands.
「Or maybe you played around with a dildo? Similar to what I did to Marta not long ago.」
「Wait, don’t tell me, is this-!?」
As Marla blushes, Celia throws away the dildo she hid behind her back.
Polte crouches down. She turned red up to her ears.
「My head is hurting. I’ll give up and keep working so can you spare me the rest……」
「I won’t let you talk your way out of this! Hey, wait. I still have things I want to ask.」
Before I could pose the next question, Myla and Polte pulls me out of the office.
One day I’ll find out everything, also it might be a good idea to peek inside that book rental store some time in the future.
「Ah, master…… I mean, Margrave-sama.」
I unexpectedly meet with Gretel in the corridor.
She runs toward me without hesitation.
I guess she was helping Polte with work.
「Fufu, you’re cute today as well.」
Gretel is wearing a hat and a thin short-sleeved skirt which covers her knees.
She has pretty big boobs, but her work clothes hide them.
「I’m so glad! My body becomes hot whenever I’m praised by the Margrave.」
When I pat her head, she shakes her ass side to side. I can see her wagging tail.
「I’m sorry about letting you, my fiancee, do work.」
「Don’t be, I’m happy that I can be useful to the Margrave! Besides, I’ve been a bother to Instructor Polte, so it makes my heart feel at ease if I can help her.」
Gretel gives off the impression of being a selfish princess, although lately she is becoming more like a calm, graceful lady in front of people other than me.
The youthfulness overflowing from the 17-year old is irresistable.
At that moment, I feel a chill go up my spine.
I turn around to see Mel crossing on the corridor on the other side.
There is some distance between us so I don’t think she noticed, but that was such a strange feeling.
「Also…… this is the territory of the man who will soon become my husband, so I have to give my best effort.」
Gretel blushes and snuggles up against me.
Right, I had something to talk about regarding that.
「The day of the ceremony has been decided. You can also let Lord Beltz know.」
Gretel happily jumps at me when I tell that to her.
I’ve made her wait a considerable time with my expedition to the Federation.
To make up for that, I have to her really happy.
「Wonderful! Now I can finally become your bitch!」
Please, don’t say that during the wedding ceremony.
Especially not in front of Count Beltz, or else he might freak out.
「I’ll push the rest of the work on Tristan so go prepare your dress.」
Gretel presses her young lips on me and runs off to begin arrangements with a huge smile on her face.
「A dress, a hat…… can I get a necklace too?」
「Of course. Buy whatever you like.」
I made sure I had enough for that.
「This and that…… ears and…… a tail……」
Gretel sets out in an exuberant mood.
After seeing her off from behind, I head to Nonna’s room.
The reason is to cheer her up.
It’s important to put an emphasis on a certain level of formality with Count Beltz backing Gretel’s wedding ceremony, so Nonna as the legal wife needs to make an appearance as well.
The ceremony is one where her husband will be making another woman his wife. There’s no way her heart will remain calm.
In any case, I have to constantly make sure Nonna is in a good mood.
I’m prepared to take as many headbutts and scratches as necessary.
「Nonna, can I come in?」
I knock firmly but get no response.
The last time I opened the door without knocking, Nonna was laying on the sofa lazily while eating cookies.
When she saw me, the cookie fell out of her mouth and she screamed like she saw a ghost.
After that, I swore to never enter her room without knocking.
「I wonder where she could be?」
She isn’t on the terrace drinking tea or in the garden, the places she would normally be.
Lately, she has been talking with Claudia in both of their rooms a lot…… but right now Claudia is rolling around in the living room and not together with Nonna. Clara told me she ate too much and can’t move.
Afterwards, she rolled…… ran off to the city as if just remembering something. What kind of appointment does she have if she even left without Clara?
「Maybe Nonna also went to town? For a change of pace, maybe I should go out too.」
I want someone to come with me, but nobody is here at this time.
Well, it’s nothing important enough to call anyone back, so I guess I’ll go alone.
「Oops, that way is the path to the brothel.」
My feet just walked in that direction out of habit. Nonna wouldn’t be there.
She’s probably at the theatre. I’ll drop by that place for the first time in a long time.
-Third Person POV-
Vandolea People’s Federation – Capital City: Vandola. People’s Assembly.
The assembly hall is filled with an unprecedented amount of tension.
The supposed leaders who bear the pillars of their nation appear to have grown timid in fear like children after being scolded.
Just the other day, they had an argument about the differing opinions held toward the insufficiency of food and measures addressing the refugees.
However, there is currently nobody who is chattering pointlessly.
The report continues indifferently.
「It was confirmed that the epidemic has finally spread near the villages of Vandolea. That confirms it has reached all the cities, towns, and villages south of the capital.」
「The death count has already reached the ten thousands. And that was the information three days ago, meaning the current total is closer to tens of thousands. Over half the population in the cities have perished and there are areas where the numbers can’t be recorded properly.」
「A national decree has mobilized several hundred doctors, who have tested many treatment methods, resulting in the death of over 90% of patients no matter what they tried and actually infecting over 100 doctors in the process. There is presently no medicine effective on this disease.」
Hearing such a negative report, the participants of the meeting similarly make depressed faces.
One man out of the group raises his hand.
「I think we need a new way to deal with this terrifying disease. We should not treat the ones currently affected by the plague and immediately dispose of them. I believe we should apply this countermeasure to everyone living within the same house.」
The man’s declaration breaks the silence and causes a stir among the others.
「Are you saying to kill the entire family even if only one person is affected with the illness!?」
「That’s unreasonable if you ask me……」
The reporter shakes his head silently.
「This disease―― seems to be named “fire pox” by the people.」
That name comes from the burning fever accompanied by the breakout of boils all over the body.
「This fire pox is completely unlike any disease we have seen before. It’s a disease with a 90% death rate…… this won’t stop at villages or cities, nations, no the entire Central plains may fall into ruin in the worst case.」
A sympathizer stands up.
「He makes a good point! Consider this, when we first got news of the outbreak, no more than a few people were infected. But now, the disease has spread throughout our country. Furthermore, a report from the spy who infiltrated the Divine Nation of Altair also states…… that nation is inflicted with a serious illness―― which is almost certainly referring to the fire pox―― and that it is starting to spread!」
Everyone gets even more agitated.
「I’m not a doctor, but I know this disease is incurable and highly contagious. We don’t have the luxury to debate at length. If we don’t act soon, we will really perish!」
As the man’s tone intensifies, the person in the center of the assembly hall holds up a hand to take control of the situation.
It was the Supreme Leader of the Vandolea People’s Federation.
「Your point has been made. It is with great reluctance that we must kill the citizens of this nation who have not sinned, however things cannot be left the way they are. Carry out the plan immediately.」
The responsible parties bow deeply.
The others nod with grave expressions on their faces.
Meanwhile, one person turns pale and freezes.
The People’s Representative silently looks around the hall.
「War, natural disaster, severe famine, and now plague. This miserable situation seems to be a result of something placing a curse on our nation.」
After the Representative looks into the eyes of each individual in the assembly hall, he displays a mild smile.
「Even so, we will not panic or be divided and continue managing this country. I am truly proud at this moment. Proud to have all you capable individuals.」
Everyone seems to relax for a brief moment.
Nobody wouldn’t get happy after being praised by the one who holds the highest authority in the nation.
And then one trusted retainer enters the hall with a pale face and whispers to the Representative.
The gentle smile instantly turns cold.
「Everyone, I have an unfortunate announcement to make. Just now, a patient infected with the fire pox has been confirmed in Vandola.」
Anguished cries and screams of helplessness erupt throughout the hall.
The color of the men’s faces start to change from blue to white.
「The outbreak is ―――― in the bedroom of a certain residence, the wife of a married couple…… you know whose residence, right? Kyrisius-kun.」
Everyone keeps their distance from a single participant.
Before the named man could give any sort of excuse, soldiers skewered him with spears and killed him on the spot.
The disease has finally made its way into the capital city of Vandolea.