Chapter 110 is here, hope you’ll enjoy it!
【”What is the meaning of this?”】
Skuld’s voice was chilling.
Albert could only shamefully hang his head in a cold sweat.
He had committed an unforgivable mistake.
Not only he had dispatched troops without consulting anyone, but said troops were even sent halfway on the enemy’s path, giving them all the leeway they needed to promote their own victory.
To top it all off, all of the nobles who were once willing to join the rebellion were now dead, meaning not a single other noble was going to turn over to Asgard’s side before the confirmed death of Bashtar’s count.
Those mere 4000 soldiers were not a big loss, but considering the political impact this would have, the only thing Albert had accomplished was to give the enemy a hand.
Though Skuld Beversteum, the one they called the war princess, was a war fanatic, that did not mean she was clueless when it came to politics.
After all, she was the daughter of the Archduke of Beversteum, the prematurely deceased younger brother of emperor Heimdall.
【”N-no, this is… Desaix and the others did this on their own, I had nothing to do with it…”】
【”If so, why in the world did you go out of your way to personally send them the Alphonse riders? Are you, perchance, suggesting that you are so incompetent you were made a fool of by your own followers?”】
This was not supposed to go this way.
Only now was Albert truly realizing how miserably low he had fallen compared to the place he once held at the top.
In his mind, he had believed he would be able to monopolize most benefits upon Desaix and others’ success. He had been ready to accept the credit for the idea.
Are for his take on an eventual failure, his thoughts were that if Desaix failed, so be it. He had been ready to pin the blame on the nobles, claiming they’d been acting on their own rash impulsions.
In the past, the king of Jormungand had been the only person with the power to throw accusations at Albert based on vague suspicions.
Even then, said king would have refrained from doing so in consideration of Albert being Felbell’s husband.
However, Albert’s worth in Skuld’s eyes was no different than the value Desaix and the other nobles had held in Albert’s eyes.
The one getting the blame pinned on himself this time around was none other than Albert himself.
He had failed to perceive that in time. He had been short-sighted.
(If this goes on I will be done for――I have to do something, anything…)
【”At this point, your only worth is to prepare supplies, I suppose. Can you handle that? We have big eaters in the second army.”】
The Strasbourg fortress was outstandingly large as noble fortresses went, but it could still not accommodate Skuld’s army, which had expanded from 5000 men to 40,000 men now that the war had genuinely started.
Back when she made the decision to call in such a large army, Skuld had naturally not expected that Jormungand would only bring an army of a hundred.
It was going to be extremely expensive to prepare dwellings, provisions and materials such as arrows for so many people.
Of course, the fortune Albert had accumulated all his life was not something meager enough that it would run out from that alone. He could easily cover those expenses.
The issue here was his weakness to adversity.
He was perfectly capable of scheming from the confines of the riskless, pressureless, upper position he once held. He was not bad when it came to handling domestic affairs as a politician either.
But Skuld knew that when men like him were faced with a crisis and put in a vulnerable position, they would act incredibly foolishly. It was better to keep him on the sidelines.
【”But… My army only took a little damage so far. Give me another chance, just one more…!”】
As long as he could gain victory over that monster… If only that monster could disappear from the world…
Right. The one who had pushed Albert into the unceasing darkness of the hell he was living was none other than that monstrous man, Kurats.
Albert had to take his revenge on him, no matter how.
【”You’re saying this when even 4,000 soldiers weren’t his match? You, sir, seem to have about 6000 men left, and you have no trump card save for the Alphonse riders. How are you planning to defeat the baron of Bashtar?”】
“But with your help Skuld, maybe I could-” Before Albert could voice that sentence out loud, he stopped himself and looked down to the ground dejectedly.
Some people were supposed to serve others, while others were supposed to be served.
This logic always seemed natural to Albert until now.
But on this day, the servant was Albert himself, while Skuld was the one being serviced.
There was no need for her to go out of her way to help the traitor Albert gain achievements.
【”―― Take a step back until further notice.”】
Albert had no words to offer in return to Skuld’s order.
That night, Albert was reeking of alcohol when he came to Felbell.
Felbell had never seen her husband drowning in Alcohol before.
However, while she did slightly frown at the unusual sight, she still welcomed him with a smile.
【”Would you like water? Or would your prefer rose tea?”】
【”I’ve made my pick! Wine! I’ll have wine!”】
【”I’m afraid taking too much alcohol will hinder you tomorrow, dear. Please come take a rest.”】
【”Oh shut up!”】
Albert held Felbell’s thin limbs in a forceful hug.
Albert gazed upon Felbell’s beauty and her distinctive, vibrant, cobalt blue eyes.
He brought his face closer and took a whiff of the bergamot perfume coming from her neck.
Her bewitching seductiveness had only begun to shine more and more even since she had become a married woman. This was a charm that could not be mimicked by Lunaria.
While playing with her soft skin that felt like it could fuse with his hand, Albert pushed Felbell down to the bed on the spot.
Not only her beauty was one that was hard to come by, but her value was also enormous politically due to her birthrights.
Albert entwined his tongue with hers, and devoured her lips.
His breathing was rough, smelling of alcohol.
However, while his body was getting more and more into it, one corner of his head was freezing cold.
(If I am to be destroyed anyway, I will take Felbell away with me.)
Based on all the political measures Asgard had taken so far, it was very clear that their policy in regards to the royalty of foreign nations was to execute the boys and turn the girls into playthings.
Albert had not antagonized Asgard, but if Jormungand was going to be destroyed without him gaining any merit, it was unlikely that he would be safe, seeing as he had married one of the potential heirs to the throne.
(In that case, I…)
There was a saying; adversity dulls the conscience.
Now that Albert was in a tough spot, the flames of his ambition had faded.
His own safety was taking priority over everything else.
If he did nothing, he was going to be killed.
And he did not want to die.
He would not even mind living a quiet, leisurely life if the alternative was death.
―― But Felbell was in the way of that life. She was an obstacle.
【”Felbell, do you love me?”】
Hearing his tone, colder than ever, Felbell could guess that Albert’s heart had left her side.
Ever since they had been driven out from the capital and returned to Strasbourg, she had been fearing that this moment would one day come.
And that time was finally here.
【”Of course, of course. You are the one in my heart, dear…”】
Was that really the case?
Though she felt like she had sincerely loved him at first, it seemed she had only been envisioning the dream she wished to see.
However, even if it was all due to the distorted thoughts of a sheltered girl, she felt no regret for marrying Albert.
The only one responsible for her decisions was herself, no one else.
This principle stemmed from her pride. A pride that she could not stain, as one who carried the royal name of the Jormungand family.
Even if Albert himself did not carry that same pride.
【”Then, for me, would you be willing to go to Asgard’s emperor and――”】
Not letting Albert finish his line, Felbell made a firm declaration.
【”If you must perish, then we shall perish together. I am ready to accompany you to the very ends of hell itself. But if you ask me to simply give up, I shall die here and now!”】
【”W-what are you saying all of a sudden, Felbell?!”】
Albert was violently taken aback by the determined tone of his obedient wife.
He believed dying at this point would just mean losing everything, it would accomplish nothing.
More importantly, her resolve to share his fate no matter what was completely one-sided.
As Albert stared at her like she was some sort of thorn on his side, Felbell thrust the reality of the situation before him, served with a monotonous voice.
【”My dear, you have aimed for the status of king. I believe you should be ready for the consequences that follow.”】
Translator’s note: Damn, I thought she was super bland in the first chapters, but I’m loving Felbell right now.
If you’d like to read chapter 111, 112, 113, 114 and 115 or just support the translations, please feel free to check out on my patreon page.