Chapter 68 is here!
So, I’ve officially moved, which means I don’t post on ‘Fridays and Saturdays’ anymore but on ‘Saturdays and Sundays’.
Anyway, for the Patrons, Chapter 69, Chapter 70, chapter 71 (Easy mode) and chapter 72 are all available on the Patreon page.
So, here’s chapter 68 I hope you’ll enjoy it!
important!!! I posted chapter 68 last week instead of chapter 67, you’ve probably already read this chapter, so please check out the actual chapter 67 instead!!!
At last, the day of princess Frigga’s meeting with king Christopher arrived.
The court had prepared a grand welcome for her. She was not only a princess from a friendly nation but also a hero who had miraculously pushed by the Asgard empire’s invasion.
As he waited for the impostor to expose herself and for the consequences that entailed, Alberto struggled to keep himself from smiling.
Looking at the aristocrats from Lunaria’s faction, they seemed to all be quite excited.
(You ignored Lapland’s requests for reinforcements when they needed you, and now that they’ve won, you’re wagging your tail at them?)
Though he himself was among the people who had been against sending the reinforcements, Albert laughed in derision at the aristocrats.
The prime minister, Eustache, could feel a subtle atmosphere circulating between the two factions.
He had received information that the woman who claimed to be princess Frigga did not look anything like the real princess.
And he could tell from Albert’s relaxed expression that the information had most likely reached him, too.
However, why were Cellvis and Rosberg, the two people who were the closest to Lunaria, looking just as relaxed?
They should have received the same information from the army’s secret intelligence department.
Eustache couldn’t know if that was the case for sure, because, while his own spy forces and the military’s secret intelligence services served the same country, they were rivals from a while back
But even so, there was no way they wouldn’t have obtained such a simple information.
(It can’t be… are they going for a coup d’etat?)
Even if most of the court was dominated by Fellbelle’s faction, Rosberg and Cellvis would easily obtain victory against them if they raised a coup d’etat with the country’s military forces on their side.
Eustache could already picture Rosberg slaughtering the royal court’s aristocrats one by one, but he quickly cleared his mind of that vision. He could not believe this would ever happen.
It was simply impossible. Given their nature, that was simply no way the two men would ever go that far.
Eustache knew just how loyal they were to the king.
But that was precisely why he couldn’t wipe away the feeling that something was amiss.
【”Make way for his majesty, king Christopher!”】
As a court lady’s sonorous voice resounded through the room, Eustache knelt down and lowered his head, and everyone else followed suit.
The king’s footsteps echoed through the silent room as he walked to his throne.
He took his time before sitting down, and then spoke up with a cheerful voice.
【”Thank you. You may raise your heads.”】
Even since the invasion of Lapland by Asgard, king Christopher had been constantly moody, yet now, he seemed to be doing great.
Knowing this was probably due to Lapland’s victory, Albert silently clicked his tongue to himself.
【”Today, I would like to introduce you to a guest who came a long way to visit our country. You may come in, princess Frigga.”】
With many knights accompanying her on her left and right, Frigga came in the throne room, wearing a uniform of the Lapland kingdom.
She had an intimidating aura, the likes of which could only be held by a true hero. A hero who had experienced taking the lead on a battlefield.
Even those in the room who knew nothing about war shrank back, feeling chills down their spines.
(It’s really her!)
There was clod sweat on Eustache’s forehead.
As a prime minister with years and years of experience, he could see through a person not by their external appearance but by the atmosphere they carried around with them.
However, Albert was still too young and inexperienced to be able to tell that much.
【”Your majesty king Christopher, everyone in Jormungand, I hope you’re well. I came in the name of his majesty Siegfried, who wishes to express his heartfelt gratitude to the Jormungand kingdom.”】
【”Tell his majesty Siegfried that this was a matter of course, Lapland is our irreplaceable ally.”】
―― What was the meaning of this?
Didn’t Jormungand actually abandon Lapland?
There was no reason for the princess to express her gratitude for anything, was there?
And the most suspicious part here was that king Christopher was going along that odd conversation.
Some people like Eustache knew that Christopher tended to be quite mischievous at times like these and figured that some kind of antic was at place.
But not everyone thought that way.
For Albert, this was the work of Lunaria’s faction. They had surely sent this impostor to use the prestige of Lapland’s victory to turn Jormungand against Asgard.
But there was no way Lapland would offer any gratitude after Jormungand refused to offer any help, despite being their allies.
【”Forgive my rudeness your highness but may I ask a question?”】
Albert spoke in a loud voice, fully convinced that he knew what was truly going on.
【”Excuse me, but who might you be? “】
【”Forgive me, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Albert, marquis of Strasbourg. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.”】
(She may be from another country but how does she not know me?)
This was a bit of a downer for Albert, but that only served to make him push his questioning even further.
【”―― I feel reluctant to ask you about this, but your highness, are you truly princess Frigga?”】
Albert’s question sparked an uproar in the court.
Frigga and her alias, the Snow White Valkyrie, were famous.
Albert was not the only one who felt like something was out of place upon seeing this black-haired woman who claimed to be Frigga.
【”I can see why you’d think that. But as I’m sure you’re well aware, I unfortunately stand out a little too much. So I disguised myself to fool the eyes of the Asgardians on my way here.”】
【”So you even disguised the color of your eyes?”】
【”Yes, I was simply being extra careful.”】
Albert already expected that she would argue back at least this much.
Even so, he was not worried; in fact, he was having a hard time suppressing a sneer as this impostor struggled in vain.
【”I have some subordinates who have had the honor of seeing your highness in person, and they assured me that even your height and the shape of your face do no match their memory of you. Is that a disguise, too?”】
Through the use of make-up, it was perfectly possible to make oneself look different or even younger.
However, it was impossible to change one’s height, nose, or jawline.
And that meant this person could not be princess Frigga.
【”And by the way, sir Gaura…”】
Since the alleged impostor stayed silent, Albert switched targets to Kurats, who was standing in the back.
【”Weren’t you ordered to investigate that monster taming magic by his majesty? If so, then why were you by her highness Frigga’s side?”】
Kurats had become a noble only very recently, he couldn’t have had any opportunity to ever come in contact with Frigga.
To begin with, the difference in status between Kurats and the princess of a foreign country was far too big.
So it was safe to assume that this woman was a fake that had been brought by Kurats himself.
Kurats was also staying silent, so Albert kept pushing him for a reply.
【”What’s wrong? Don’t you have anything to answer? You didn’t happen to prepare a fake double of her highness Frigga to exploit Lapland’s victory in order to push a change in Jormungand’s political plans, did you? “】
(Of course you did.)
A sudden wave of distrust and rage rose among the nobles of the court, and it was all directed towards Kurats.
Many of them had already had their suspicions when they were told that princess Frigga had gone out of her way to come here, and that she had even traveled hundreds of kilometers through the Asgard empire’s territory for it.
【”Because if you did, I have to tell you that that is no light crime.”】
Light or not, the crime of deceiving the king could only end with one result; the death penalty.
Feeling triumphant, Albert prepared to direct his questioning back towards Frigga, but before he could do so, Kurats finally answered him.
【”I’m only staying silent because this involves highly confidential information, but if his majesty is alright with it, I’m willing to share the truth of the matter with you.”】
【”Mhm, I’ll allow it.”】
Albert was stunned. The king had actually confirmed Kurats’ claim.
Why would the king himself take part in such a masquerade?
【”The investigation of the monster taming magic was just a cover-up story. In reality, his majesty had personally dispatched me to the Lapland kingdom as reinforcement.”】
【”Ridiculous! What good can the intervention of one person do?!”】
Alberto shouted, losing all his composure. This was too absurd.
【”It’s not a lie. We owe more than half of our victory to sir Gaura. Speaking of which, I feel I have to mention that we have presented him on our own initiative with an honorary title of earl for his achievements.”】
【”Drop the act, impostor! Just who the hell are you?!”】
Albert showed an uncharacteristically disgraceful behavior that was nothing like his usual, elegant self.
That was how surprised he was by this turn of events.
【”What do you mean, who? I am Frigga Lapland.”】
【”Then how do you explain your appearance?!”】
【”Is my appearance that important? I already told you this is a disguise, didn’t I?”】
【”You can’t change your height and the shape of your face with a disguise!”】
【”Ooh, I see what’s happening here.”】
Kurats hit his own forehead with his hand in an exaggerated gesture, like he was just realizing this now.
【”I think you’ve misunderstood the situation. When we said disguise, we meant a magic disguise, you see?”】
At that moment, Kurats suddenly snapped his fingers.
Small particles of light, like fireflies turned into sand, danced all around Frigga, until her true appearance was revealed, with her brilliant white hair fluttering about.
(―― I’ve been duped. )
Albert felt like he could hear the sound of his blood leaving his face like a waterfall.
He finally realized that he had been the target of a scheme from the very beginning.
【”W, wait! How do we even know that her current appearance is not being faked through the same magic?!”】
Mordred hastily intervened, jumping from joy, believing that Kurats had just cornered himself.
But his hopes were quickly destroyed by the king.
【”No, she is princess Frigga indeed. She knows of a secret that only she and I should know about.”】
【”You see, I once sent a dog as a gift to princess Frigga. I don’t want to say too much as it might disrespectful to Lapland’s king, but at the time, I received a response from her that said she had named the dog ‘Sieg’.”】
【”However, officially, the dog’s name is Ray.”】
Christopher and Frigga smiled at each other, like two children who had successfully pulled off a prank.
【”―― Now then, I have made a gamble with sir Gaura.”】
Christopher’s good mood was still well reflected in his voice, but it also carried an abnormal vigor with it.
It was as if his whole atmosphere had just changed.
Albert and Eustache had a bad feeling about this.
【”The bet was that the Jormungand would not yield to Asgard in any way if sir Gaura could push back Asgard’s forces all by himself.”】
【”Y-your majesty! That’s…!”】
That was a foolish gamble.
However, the condition of successfully fighting off the Asgard empire without any help was much more foolish.
【”Asgard is not worthy of our fear. Cellvis and Rosberg have always said that. However, I didn’t believe them.”】
(Rather, I thought we had no chance to win against them.) Thought Christopher.
【”But Sir Gaura has proved that our kingdom is in no way inferior to the Asgard empire.”】
【”Your majesty, please reconsider! We cannot make a mistake on a national scale based on the rash words of a man who can’t tell his left from his right!”】
The king was not joking.
He really intended to let the might of a single man reshape the strategy of the whole nation.
If Jormungand were to fall in a bad spot because of this, then Albert’s value would drop in the eyes of Asgard.
And that would be serious trouble for his ultimate ambition.