Nothing during the group mission went as planned.
I was knocked out during the first meeting, then Ellen dropped out voluntarily, and Harriet had gotten executed the next day.
And the most unexpected matter…
“Did you do this to confuse the others?”
On the second night, Charlotte assassinated herself.
“Well, that’s the excuse I gave to the teachers, but honestly, it just wasn’t fun anymore.”
Charlotte just threw the group mission.
No, but what about her grades in Temple?
While the nightly assassinations were underway, Ellen and I had dinner and then trained. Harriet watched us, saying that she was bored.
That was when I found Charlotte drinking some tea in the living room of the mansion.
In the original, it was Bertus who’d assassinated himself. However, since Charlotte was his assassin partner, not Dettomolian, it was she who assassinated herself.
—And her reason was that it just wasn’t fun.
Harriet found out from the teachers that Charlotte and Bertus were chosen to be the assassins, so she seemed unable to understand why Charlotte would be able to assassinate herself.
“No, but should you do something like that?”
She did say that her performance in Temple was important, although it shouldn’t have a decisive impact on the Imperial Succession.
“It doesn’t really affect the overall result whether I win or lose, right?”
A mafia member would assassinate themselves to create confusion.
Charlotte and Bertus were the ones who led the mood of the meetings up until then, so the others would grow increasingly suspicious since they were working together.
However, if Charlotte were to be assassinated in that situation, it would become clear that she wasn’t an assassin, and there was also a possibility that Bertus could avoid their suspicions as well.
Even if she lost, she could still end up winning since the two of them were part of the same team.
So, she was saying that she ended up giving Bertus some serious trouble, huh?
She didn’t want to continue the group mission anymore because she’d lost interest, but she also found an opportunity to seriously mess with Bertus as well.
So Charlotte had simply given up.
Harriet seemed to be rather nervous, and Ellen looked a little glum.
Charlotte looked at them with a soft smile on her lips. She really did take a lot of care of her image.
That was the expression she would wear just before opening her eyes.
She uttered a suggestion in a soft voice.
“I heard they have a hot spring here, right? I want to take a bath with you.”
“Wh-what? With me?!”
“What?! Not with you!”
Seeing me startled by her absurd suggestion, Charlotte shouted, her face distorted.
Everyone agreed to Charlotte’s suggestion because they wanted to wash up and take a rest anyway.
Reinhardt seemed to want to wash up in the indoor hot spring, while Charlotte, Harriet, and Ellen headed to the open-air bath.
“Urg. It’s cold.”
All of them dipped one foot into the hot spring with long towels wrapped around their bodies. Harriet seemed to find the open-air bath somewhat strange and trembled slightly, but her eyes looked bright when she entered the bath with her bare feet.
They all entered it with but a little distance between them.
Ellen didn’t really think much about their situation, while Harriet looked to be somewhat restless, and Charlotte just observed the two of them.
All three of them were completely silent.
She always tried to win faced with any form of challenge, but Charlotte had given up of her own volition for the first time in her life.
She got annoyed and lost interest. If she gave up like that, then Bertus would have to clean up after her; that was also why she did it, to mess with him.
That was a lot more fun.
The two reasons why she had gotten so irritated and lost interest…
Charlotte was looking at both of them.
She had concluded that she was the younger sister of the hero Ragan Artorius. She had already set an example by already placing her foot on the path to becoming a superhuman all on her own. Although, of course, Reinhardt followed right after her, the level of perfection was incomparable to Ellen’s.
Harriet de Saint-Owan…
The young lady of the Saint-Owan Grand Duchy, a historical territory focused on magic. She was the greatest talent born to that great family. She was gifted with an unprecedented talent for all fields of magic. Her Talent was even called Magic, which required a huge amount of capital to grow. She would just continue to grow with the tremendous support her family provided her.
Without exaggeration, those two would become the continent’s highest authorities in their respective fields in the future.
The apex of martial arts…
The apex of magic…
‘But these two can’t live without Reinhardt.’’
It was quite funny.
Reinhardt’s individual background was truly insignificant. However, in less than a year, Reinhardt had pulled those two talented individuals who could be called the future of the Empire to his side.
He probably hadn’t intended to do that, but that was how it turned out anyway.
He just seemed to go through his life as he wished, but even though he acted like that, everything would turn out well.
It was no exaggeration to think that the future of the continent was in Reinhardt’s hands, was it?
Reinhardt claimed to be her friend, and Charlotte thought similarly.
He was indeed her friend.
However, she wasn’t as hung up on him as those two were.
The feelings she felt towards him weren’t enough for her to give up a group mission in the middle of it just because he wasn’t there.
In the end, she gave up on the mission because she lost all interest in it after Reinhardt’s elimination, so it might be true to say that she dropped out because of him as well, right?
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What about me?
Am I not one of Reinhardt’s people as well?
It might be more appropriate to consider whether Reinhardt was one of her people or not. Their backgrounds couldn’t even compare to each other.
However, in that sense, it was also unreasonable to see Harriet de Saint-Owan as one of Reinhardt’s people. The young lady of the Saint-Owan Duchy and Reinhardt, who was part of a beggar organization, couldn’t be compared with each other either.
—The same went for Ellen Artorius.
Although she may not have been aware of it, Ragan Artorius’s status had already surpassed even the Emperor’s among the Imperial Subjects. Those ‘heroes’ who survived after their service naturally would lose their reputation the longer they lived, but Ragan Artorius had traded his life for that incomparably great achievement
In the future, Ragan Artorius might even be mentioned in the same breath as the gods, bordering on blasphemy.
Ellen, the younger sister of Ragan Artorius, could never be second to Harriet.
Both of them had much too strong of backgrounds to associate with the likes of Reinhardt.
But no matter how she looked at it, the two of them seemed to be Reinhardt’s people. On the other hand, Reinhardt didn’t look like he was their follower at all.
Charlotte was very intuitive about who she considered to be hers and who she didn’t.
—Her followers should be people from whom she could profit.
There had to be something she wanted from them, and they also had to be able to provide those things.
Loyalty or the completion of a task, something like that.
Nor should they expect any reward for it, they had to blindly follow her.
As such, those two were absolutely Reinhardt’s followers. Those girls would give Reinhardt whatever he wanted from them.
They also helped Reinhardt, not wanting anything in return.
However, the longer Charlotte continued that line of thought, her expression stiffened as if she’d lost confidence in her own stance.
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
I’m the same.
If Reinhardt were in trouble, she would help him, and if he needed advice, she would always give him the best advice she could.
Whenever he needed help from the Imperial Family, she would make it happen…
And she wouldn’t want to have anything in return from Reinhardt.
Their relationship that started through the letters persisted even without them. The only thing she wanted from him was gone, however, as that link had been broken to pieces, Charlotte and Reinhardt had decided to redefine themselves as friends.
Harriet de Saint-Owan and Ellen Artorius helped Reinhardt even when he didn’t want them to,
—That was why they were Reinhardt’s people.
She would also help him even if he didn’t ask her to.
In the name of being his friend, she would go to great lengths to do things for Reinhardt and ask for nothing.
So, in the end, she was also one of Reinhardt’s people—that was what Charlotte de Gardias suddenly realized.
Reinhardt wasn’t one of her people…
She had become one of his people.
Dumbfounded, Charlotte let out a quiet laugh as she bathed in the snowy open-air bath.
When she shook her head, she noticed that there was quite a lot of snow on it. She blankly watched the snowflakes melting down as they fell into the hot water.
She hadn’t realized…
Only when she came to her senses did she feel how much of it had piled up.
One should desire to have what one wants.
At that moment, she felt strange being the one being possessed and not the one possessing.
Those two didn’t even realize that they were competitors.
Harriet, who seemed to look at her with uneasy eyes…
And Ellen, who was just dazedly enjoying the hot spring…
“Are the two of you close?”
“We’re close. Very.”
Ellen nodded and answered on Harriet’s behalf, who seemed slightly surprised. Her surprised expression turned into a blank one as if she was shocked by that innocent acknowledgment.
Charlotte knew that their relationship was akin to a sandcastle that could be destroyed with just a single word.
She felt that their relationship was a very deformed one, both of them pretending not to notice its impending destruction.
She could easily break it.
‘You like Reinhardt, don’t you?’
With just that one sentence, she could force them to admit that they knew each other’s feelings and just pretended not to know, making both of them uncomfortable.
It would be ridiculous to still deny it in that situation.
It was unknown how their relationship would develop afterwards, but it was sure to be filled with sadness and ugliness.
However, Charlotte had no intention of throwing that stone into the calm lake.
She was an Imperial Princess.
No matter how much she recognized someone as a friend, nothing more than that was possible to develop. Of course, no one knew what might happen in the future. Charlotte also acknowledged the possibility.
However, not at that moment. Never.
However, that stone…
Just a slight graze would cause so much sadness and danger.
Didn’t Harriet actually look like she was about to cry when Ellen admitted that they were close? Wasn’t she sitting there pouring water all over her face for no reason, her expression showing guilt and frustration?
She seemed as if she was trying to wash her face, although there was nothing on it.
Was she trying to wash away the tears that seemed to pour out because of all the guilt she felt?
Both of them were precious to each other, but they were also rivals.
—So their relationship consisted of nothing but the guilt they felt towards each other.
What was the point of destroying a relationship that was bound to fall apart if left alone?
She had no reason for doing such a thing.
Charlotte had no intention to be the cause of their sadness. She knew how to drive a wedge between them and egg them on, but she didn’t want to make them even sadder for no reason whatsoever.
It would only take one sentence to destroy them.
She couldn’t think of a way to prevent it from happening.
There didn’t seem to be any scenario in which both of them could be satisfied.
Charlotte could only think of negative outcomes but still didn’t want to deliberately cause such unhappy endings.
To be frank, she didn’t want either of them to be hurt.
After all, they were important people to Reinhardt.
But no matter how hard she thought about it, Charlotte simply couldn’t come up with a solution.
The mission ended on the fourth day.
Bertus was executed.
It seemed like there was a limit to what he could do alone. It was like his head was about to explode as if he’d gotten hit on the back after Charlotte had carried out her self-assassination without discussing anything with him.
Rather than feeling a sense of crisis because Charlotte suddenly dropped out, it was like he almost had a mental breakdown because he was able to read Charlotte’s true intentions.
As the assassin team, they won and lost together.
Even if one of them lost, they could still win.
On the other hand, they wouldn’t be able to get a good overall grade for their class that time around.
So what Charlotte did was like saying, “Oh my, why don’t you work hard on your own?” throwing everything onto him.
The explanation Charlotte gave the teachers was plausible enough, so she didn’t get a failing grade.
After they had gone through two meetings already in which they completely dominated the flow of the discussion and the atmosphere, both Bertus and her had to have been under suspicion, so one might conclude that the two of them actually worked together.
If she were to be eliminated that time around, she could avoid all suspicion falling on her and perhaps Bertus, leading to great confusion.
Anyway, that was why she didn’t fail and left Bertus to clean up the mess she’d left behind, which ended in him being executed.
The one who solved the mystery was—surprisingly—Ludwig.
He didn’t investigate the crime scenes or find any conclusive evidence or anything like that.
He observed Bertus, who was already more than annoyed, as he used all of his energy to dominate the atmosphere of the meeting and just remarked something.
‘Bertus, you talk a lot. I heard that the ones who talk a lot are actually the culprits.’
It was such a childish line of reasoning, no, it couldn’t even be called a line of reasoning.
‘N-no, wait a minute, Ludwig? What are you talking about? Later! I’ll apologize later, so.”
‘Huh? No, if you put it like this…!’
‘Let’s just execute Bertus.’
‘Ludwig. Calm down. You guys won’t be able to get through this without me!’
Class A had lost a lot of students, so their situation was quite bad, meaning Class B was ahead in numbers.
So they just pressed for Bertus’s execution.
That was how the mission ended.
Just where did my elaborately set-up mystery game go? It actually ended like a common game of mafia. It could even be called sloppy because they just randomly executed people.
As the mission was over, all the students, including those who were eliminated, were to gather in one place.
“Woow, I was actually right about Bertus. I just took a blind guess.”
Ludwig, who had a knack for annoying people, laughed out loud.
Bertus’s expression grew cold at that.
Ah. He opened his eyes again.
It wasn’t directed at Ludwig.
—He was staring directly at Charlotte, who was smiling.
“Sister… Did you really have to make me clean up your shit? Couldn’t you at least have told me before you decided to screw me over like that…?”
Bertus, who had completely taken off his mask, grabbed Charlotte’s shoulders and fiercely stared at her.
“How could someone of the Imperial Family use such crass language? Do you have no dignity? You’re not Reinhardt. It hurts! Could you let go of me?”
Charlotte smiled and intentionally bent over a little to make herself heavier. Those two only showed their bare faces when they were dealing with each other.
They knew that pretending to be on good terms with each other meant nothing, and everyone else saw those kinds of situations as a kind of daily routine.
No, but Charlotte…
Why did she have to say “You’re not Reinhardt” in that situation?
“Wait, was Charlotte the other assassin?”
“Then why did you end up killed?”
Those who had just finished the mission and come to the mansion couldn’t help but feel astonished because they could have never imagined that Charlotte was the other assassin.
“If they don’t fail you, I’ll seriously protest against the evaluation of this group mission, got that?”
“Why? I had my own reasons for doing this, you know? If you start complaining, I will as well.”
“On what basis?!”
I think that was the first time I had ever seen Bertus that agitated. He looked like he really wanted to grind Charlotte to fine dust, and Charlotte just grind as if telling him to try her.
Sometimes Bertus would land a hit on Charlotte, and something Charlotte would land one on Bertus.
However, because they weren’t able to cross a certain line, they felt both frustrated and about to explode on the inside.
It was Bertus’s loss.