Chapter 119 is here!
Here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Warning: This chapter is part of a Double Release. Please do check out chapter 118 if you haven’t yet.
【”You useless pinheads!”】
Albert, angrily observing the battle from a reasonable distance, slammed his glass on the floor when he realized his army had lost without bringing in any results.
He did think the chances of winning were slim.
But he had still been hoping that his men would be able to do something about this.
After all, they had always managed to turn his orders into a reality at any cost up to now.
It was no overstatement to say that his success in the past had been due to his outstanding subordinates.
Now that they had failed, the castle was no longer reliable.
All the servants inside screamed and ran around in a panic, trying to escape like they were infected by Albert’s fear.
They had to run away before the Bashtar army could get inside.
【”Hey, you! Don’t you dare escape on your own accord! Bring me all the money you can from the treasury! “】
In response to Albert’s words, ten of the few servants still present rushed to the treasury.
【”Send a messenger to the lord of Bashtar! It’s time to follow the plan!”】
After saying so to his trusted butler, Albert ran to one of the castle’s back rooms.
There, he found his wife, Felbell, looking as splendid as usual.
That was reassuring.
Not that Albert had been particularly worried about her well-being, but she was meant to be a tribute to Heimdall, the emperor of Asgard, guaranteeing Albert a proper position in the Jormungand kingdom
―― In other words, Felbell was his ticket to a safe future.
【”Hurry, Felbell! We’re leaving!”】
After he hurried into Felbell’s private room, Albert was left speechless.
He noticed that Felbell was wearing a luxurious dress, similar to a wedding dress, along with charming makeup as she waited for him.
【”Why would you dress like that to escape?”】
“This is beyond foolish” Albert spoke like he was spitting out his words.
Women usually liked to dress up, but there was a time and place for everything.
Did she not know how dangerous the current situation was?
【”Please change your clothes as well, dear. The head of the prestigious Strasbourg family cannot disgrace himself in his last moments.”】
【”What are you saying, Felbell?”】
Though he was able to understand her words through deduction, his emotions were not letting him understand.
Albert did not want to die.
No matter how much shame he had to go through, he was still aiming to survive and recover.
For that purpose, even giving his own wife as a present was no trouble.
Therefore, he did not want Felbell to get any strange thoughts in his head.
【”Don’t be rash. It hasn’t been decided that we have lost yet.”】
【”The situation could not be more clear! You have evidently been defeated! Please don’t turn your eyes away from reality! “】
Albert’s retainers and their families were running away, and his people were under the terror of pillagers.
Meanwhile, Bashtar’s army was slowly and steadily approaching the few soldiers who had hardened their resolve.
This was the cruel and typical scene of a falling castle, the likes of which had appeared all through the world in history.
Moreover, Strasbourg had fallen to its own homeland.
If the head of the family and his wife could not even bother to save appearances, the name of Strasbourg would most definitely carry a stigma of dishonor for a thousand years.
【”――Shut up! I have not lost! Some fool got in my way so I simply have to stay hidden for now! Do you no longer believe in your own husband?”】
【”If you are indeed my husband, then let us share these last moments together.”】
Was Albert always such a small, puny man?
He had never displayed such foolishness when Felbell had met him.
He was always eloquent, the type of man who knew how to get people’s attention. Adding that to the mighty economic power of the Strasbourg household, he had quickly become the head of a major faction of the royal court.
There had been much to expect from him in the future, and it was even once said that it was guaranteed he would become the next prime minister.
Felbell felt like even her father, the king, had been playing close attention to Albert.
He well knew his way around finances and excelled at negotiations. He was also so good at dealing with women that he had even gotten the king’s sheltered daughter to fall for him.
Perhaps, from the very beginning, he had only been a good man because he had been placed in a safe position with a good entourage.
But he was a noble through and through. As soon as he was faced with adversity and danger, he exposed his incredible foolishness.
Felbell had been taught in her history classes that such people would appear from time to time.
(In other words, that side of him was always there. I just never saw it.)
He was a great man at normal times. It would have been too much to ask of Felbell, who had had no experience with any man at the time, to see through him.
But she still felt that it was only natural for her to accept her fate, that it was her responsibility.
And, despite all this, she still loved Albert enough that she wanted to share this destiny with him.
She really did love him, until now――
【”No, I don’t want to! How could I die here?! I’m not the kind of man who would end up like this!”】
【”It’s over. Stop this unsightly struggle.”】
【”No, it’s not over! Right, I still have you! “】
Looking at the madness in Albert’s eyes, Felbell realized her last strands of love were growing cold.
――On the one hand, she felt Albert’s words were nothing unexpected, on the other hand, she did not want to believe they could possibly be true.
She had heard rumors that Heimdall was gathering princesses from the kingdoms he occupied, forcing them into lives of debauchery.
If Albert’s couldn’t contribute anything to Asgard, therefore falling in their debt, he would surely be asked to hand Felbell over.
Even if the Jormungand kingdom could win against Asgard, Albert would be disposed of while Felbell would be forced to stay confined in some monastery.
Either way, the time for them to be separated was coming. That she knew.
However, there was a difference in implication between them being forced apart by others and Albert forcing her away himself.
This mean that, in the end, she was nothing more in Albert’s eyes than a tool for him to climb the echelons of the hierarchy.
Everything Felbell had done, from giving her purity to swearing her love for a lifetime, had been the fruit of one-sided feelings.
That thought was well confirmed by the narcissist, repulsive glare in the eyes of the man before her.
【”I have no intention of becoming Heimdall’s property. I would much prefer dying right here, with my dignity, than becoming someone’s plaything.”】
【”Nonsense! You’re just going to abandon your husband?!”】
【”And a husband abandoning his wife is somehow better?”】
Albert flinched under Felbell’s cold gaze.
He was sure that, until now, Felbell had truly been in love with him, devoted to him.
【”――Don’t you love me anymore?”】
What worth would he have if he could not be the leader of the royal court?
What value would his existence hold if he could not be at the center of the aristocrats and have the influence to move the entire kingdom?
Was this why his own wife was trying to abandon him? Because his standing was too low now?
All these thoughts were the fruit of Albert’s self-centered delusions.
Because he looked down on the idea of himself falling low, he felt like everyone else would feel that same scorn towards him for that same reason.
【”I do love you. So please just let me die as a wife in love.”】
Once more, Felbell reached out her hand, hoping they could both depart from this world together as lovers.
Felbell’s only desire was that they could pass on together and be united in death.
【”No! NO NO NO! You are not going to die on your own accord, and neither am I! I will not allow this! You should be helping me!”】
But Albert perceived this as beind abandoned by the last person he could rely on.
(――Why? Why does the world have to test me like so?)
Having been born in prestigious family, he, who had captured Felbell’s heart, should have been destined for glory.
How had he fallen so miserably low?
――It was because of that man. All of this had started the day Lunaria had been saved by that commoner.
No matter what, Albert absolutely could not acknowledge that man’s glory.
He was going to bring about Kurats’ ruin, even if that meant Asgard would take everything from himself.
As for what would happen to Felbell in the process, that was none of his concern.
Right now, for him, anything that would not go his way was his enemy.
【”Stop mopping around and let’s just go! I’m not going to let that man do as he wants with this kingdom!”】
Albert gave up on trying to persuade Felbell and went to grab her slender arm by force.
But at that moment, a sudden flash crossed his vision.
He felt a hot sensation, like a burn, coming from his right hand.
It was only when drops of blood fell onto the carpet that his brain realized he had been slashed by Felbell.
Felbell, the Felbell who had had no choice but to ger carried along all through her life like a doll, would never do such a thing.
Albert, who did not know how to recognize or oppose adversity, had no idea how to perceive this unexpected situation.
All he could take from this was that Felbell was trying to kill him so that she could use that fact later to go to the enemy and plead for her life.
【”――You wench! Do you miss your old life so much that you’re ready to sell me over to the enemy?! “】
【”I’m saddened that my feelings cannot even reach you anymore…”】
Felbell was not afraid of dying.
Despite the despair of the current situation, all she hoped was that she and Albert could vow to die together and become a couple anew if there was an afterlife.
Even if Albert could survive the current predicament, all that was waiting for him was a living hell.
The empire was not known for treating losers well. In the first place, ven if they had succeeded, it was doubtful whether they would have accepted them at all.
At worst, it wouldn’t be strange if Albert was to be slashed on the spot for being an incompetent nuisance once he would successfully escape to Asgard.
In that situation, Felbell would only be kept as Heimdall’s harlot.
She could not possibly have any regrets towards missing such a future.
【”Let’s put an end to our lives. At least, our honor will be preserved.”】
Felbell was holding a dagger that her father had given her at a very young age for self-protection.
(――She’s going to kill me.)
Like he was forgetting about everything he had just tried to do, Albert gave himself up to an irrational anger
(I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die.
What do I do then?
I should kill her before she kills me! )
The idea of giving Felbell to Heimdall completely vanished from Albert’s head.
【”Traitor! Every last one of you, you’re all traitors!”】
With tears and a runny nose, Albert miserably pulled out a sword.
His ability to think had been immensely dulled, but he could tell from instincts alone that he was in a pitiable state.
No one could save him anymore.
A loud noise resounded, like something massive had just moved.
The Bashtar army had finally broken through the gates and invaded the castle.
Albert had no time to spare. He had to run away immediately.
Even so, he still asked Felbell the same question one last time, holding onto a hope that he absolutely could not let go.
【”Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?”】
【”I would much rather die.”】
Felbell answered instantly, without a shred of hesitation, fueling Albert with unbearable hatred.
Precisely because she had once been obedient and brought him glory, he could not forgive her for failing to do what he wanted her to.
Albert and Felbell both tried to kill each other to the best of their lacking ability.
However, not only was there a difference in reach between a sword and a dagger, but Albert, as a man, was also stronger and faster.
After their blades clashed twice, Felbell was temporarily paralyzed, no longer able to even swing her dagger.
【”What is it? Is something the matter? You’re putting on quite the shameful display.”】
【”I’d say it’s much more shameful for a man to boast about beating a woman, wouldn’t you say so?”】
【”How dare you! That was the last straw!”】
Furious, Albert raised his sword over his head.
Felbell accepted that she would not be able to avoid this, resigning herself to her coming death.
(I’m sorry… Forgive me for failing to stop you.)
All these years, Felbell had let herself be dragged along and had failed to control Albert’s ambitions.
Had he been satisfied with simply being an important figure of the country and no more, Albert would have by no means been an incompetent man.
――If she had not been a princess but an average noble lady, would they have been able to enjoy a more simple happiness?
Felbell smiled in self-mockery.
(As if someone as ambitious as Albert would ever truly lower his eyes to a woman like me if not for my status.)
Feeling a burning pain in her chest, Felbell slowly closed her eyes.
◆ ◆ ◆
If you’d like to read chapter 120, 121, 122, 123 and chapter 124 or just support the translations, along with more content, please feel free to check out my patreon page!