I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 53
Translator and Editor: nieye
“I greet the Sun of the Empire. It is I, Jack Mussieux, Your Majesty.”
“To what do I owe this pleasure, Count Mussieux?”
“I’m here to say hello as I’ve taken charge of the ceremony.” Count Mussieux spoke with a servile smile.
Verkley murmured, staring into the air. “I recall that my mother was already supposed to handle things.”
“Her Majesty has entrusted me with many other things. I will try my best not to bother you.”
Count Mussieux replied in a voice full of spirit.
“Why don’t we sit down first.”
“Yes, of course…”
Count Mussieux sank into a chair at Verkley’s command.
Eliana, who identified the two people at the table, said.
“I’ll be going to my room, then.”
“There’s no need for that. Stay with me.”
Count Mussieux observed Eliana as Verkley patted the seat next to him.
Eliana sat by Verkley’s side as if it were an everyday thing.
Count Mussieux’s expression piqued interest, and Eliana stared at him with a straight face.
Soon, Count Mussieux explained the purpose of his visit.
“I think the ceremony should be held in the square. If the ceremony is performed with the fountain behind you and at a close distance from the empire’s citizens, they will cheer for you.”
“It would be difficult to watch over such a public area. Did the Royal Guard approve?”
“Certainly. Duke Harpons will escort Your Majesty, while Grand Duke Crombell will escort the saintess.”
“I’m sure we will have maximum protection now that the duke has volunteered.” Verkley nodded his approval.
Count Mussieux responded by explaining the remainder of the arrangement.
“Although I am in charge, numerous nobles have contributed. I’m handling the alcohol-related matters.”
“I hear you fancy alcohol, so I suppose that’s why you must run a liquor business.”
“Oh, did Eliana mention that? I enjoy alcohol, but I’ve been cutting back on it these days.”
“Abstaining from alcohol is good for your health.”
Count Mussieux laughed cheerfully when Verkley reacted with disinterest.
Eliana glanced at Count Mussieux.
His hands were trembling, overshadowing the words that he was reducing his alcohol use.
‘You’re not cutting back on jack s̲h̲i̲t̲. Your hands are already shaking.’ Eliana sighed inwardly.
Before she knew it, Count Mussieux was rising from his seat after finishing his speech.
He courteously bowed to Verkley, promising his next visit.
“Then, I’ll return next time to report on the progress.”
“I’ll see you again, Eliana.”
“…Get home safely.”
Eliana didn’t like him, but since he was her biological father, she tried to be polite in her own way.
As she saw him off at the door, Count Mussieux stood staring at her for a long time.
“…Is there anything else you want to say?”
“No, no…” Count Mussieux replied shortly and left.
Eliana stood there, wondering about Count Mussieux’s sudden change in attitude.
While she pondered what he might be planning, Verkley came up behind her and wrapped an arm around Eliana’s waist.
“You bear no resemblance to your father. This hair is the only thing you take after.” He mumbled, fiddling with Eliana’s hair.
His languid voice tickled her ear.
“She looks just like her mother. How grateful is that, right?”
Eliana answered cheerfully. Then he asked an insinuating question.
“What about you?”
The word ”you” meant during the time she lived as “Sunhari.”
Eliana tried piecing together her old face, which she was unable to do now.
A woman with dark, undyed black hair.
A woman who led a life that was harder than anyone else’s despite claiming to be tired every morning.
A woman who normally met with her friends and started college.
The time she spent buoying up her dreams.
As if Verkley’s words had served as a catalyst, those days chaotically flooded her mind.
As life becomes easier, the good memories must come to mind first.
However, as the reminders of her college days began to flood back, her face naturally hardened.
They had a good start to their first encounter. You could say they were close. They didn’t have a bad relationship with each other.
Looking back now, everything had suddenly changed.
So she couldn’t even deal with it properly.
Now that she thought about it, she wondered if she was just too naïve about society.
Eliana replied with nonchalance, swallowing all these thoughts in her mind.
“Well, I was very normal. My hair wasn’t this flashy blonde. It was frizzy and black.”
“My skin was fairly clear, but I was so stressed and tired that my eyes looked sunken in.”
“You must have lived a hard life.”
Eliana smirked at Verkley’s short answer.
For some reason, she automatically shrugged at the sense that he was acknowledging her life.
“Yes, I lived a really hard life.”
“Do you want to go back?”
“I don’t know anymore. I’m already dead there, and I can’t go back just because I want to.”
“Besides, I’m already Eliana. I have to live in the present. So could you not kill me, please?”
Verkley smirked at Eliana’s grain-like request to spare her life.
“You’re very strong.”
Was she strong?
Actually, she could be strong because she was weak.
She had a heart of glass.
Every time someone shattered it with their intrusion, she wielded it like a sharp piece of glass.
She withstood that way, but in the end, it completely rusted.
Something heavy dropped onto Eliana’s head as she failed to respond.
It was Verkley’s head.
Before Eliana could say anything, he leaned and gave more of his weight.
Eliana cried out in distress, being weighed down by his crushing force.
“You are so spoiled…”
Eliana slipped away and widened her distance from Verkley.
Verkley released Eliana obediently.
Eliana sent sidelong glances in Verkley’s direction for a while, but all he did was smile lazily as if she were ridiculous.
Surprisingly, her heavy heart had become lighter before she knew it.
* * *
A quiet study.
Someone was sitting on the sofa with no lights.
The moonlight dimly shone from the window, revealing a flicker of a shadowy figure.
The woman was quietly staring at the door.
Then, the owner of the study entered.
The room was dark, but they both felt that their eyes met.
The man sat face to face with the stranger and didn’t even bother turning on the light.
His behavior was improper given the situation, not showing any sign of surprise at all, so the woman spoke first.
“I was surprised to see you suddenly appear.”
“Long time no see.”
The man replied in a dry voice.
Even though he couldn’t see her face well, he already seemed aware of the woman’s existence seated across from him.
The woman seemed to know the man well, too.
Her golden eyes flashed in the dark.
“I’m assuming you won’t tell me why you showed up again?”
“I can tell you. I just won’t let you leave alive.”
The woman let out a laugh at the man’s harsh words.
The woman let her eyes linger on the man’s hair.
“That hair color suits you rather well.”
“You look good in blue, too.”
The man gestured to the woman’s blue hair and answered no differently.
The woman chuckled at his reply.
It’s because they are not the type of people who can laugh and talk to each other in this manner.
“But you looked better in blond.”
“Well, I think you look better than before. I mistakenly thought you to be a woman by the same name, but turns out it was you. Gabriel.”
The corners of the man’s mouth lifted, and he tilted his upper body toward Gabriel.
Gabriel thought back to a long time ago when they’d stood side by side.
Although the existence that she had admired was no longer there.
Not wanting to delay facing him any longer, Gabriel immediately got to the point.
“I want to ask you something.”
“There’s a soul that shouldn’t be in this world, and it’s your doing, isn’t it?”
“I don’t know.”
The man answered briefly, leaning back against his chair.
Gabriel persistently tried to grasp the intention behind his gaze.
Gabriel has chased after him since the moment he fell.
Following his corruption, he fully vanished, and upon his reappearance, he promptly descended to this land.
And now, she has met them.
A soul from another dimension.
“How’s Dagoth doing?”
Gabriel frowned as the man asked for his old friend.
“Are you asking me how the Demon Lord is doing?”
“There are no limits to the questions I may ask.”
“You’ve changed a lot. Were you always this shameless?”
Gabriel curtly asked, her eyebrows knitting together, but the man still remained calm.
He replied in the same tone. “And you remained the same. Seeing that you still speak to me formally although I’m considered an enemy of Algiers.”
“It’s not a bad thing. Reminds me of old times.”
The man rubbed a hand over his chin.
Gabriel was very wary of this man’s friendly act.
She knew that if she let the conversation drag, she’d be helplessly swayed.
Gabriel brought up the topic once more that the man had deterred.
“So you really didn’t bring her here?”
“Would you believe me if I said so?”
“I will not trust you twice. I came here strongly convinced. Only the 12th Army Commander can move souls other than himself.”
Gabriel persisted in questioning the issue, to which an answer had already been decided.
The moment she saw Eliana Mussieux, she was sure he was to blame for her existence in this world.
It was written on her soul that someone had manipulated her life.
In addition, Algiers had only granted the 12th Army Commander the right to move souls other than his to another dimension, so it was useless for him to try to back out now.
The man shrugged his shoulders and made an excuse.
“There’s another Army Commander here besides me.”
1. ’Like a grain.’ adverb that means someone’s remark/behavior is very small or barely recognizable, but the impact of it is somewhat big. ↵
2. Gabriel and Michael give me “Black Out Days” vibes.