Chapter 140: Siegfried’s Ambition (2)

Fuhrer Bahasten stared at Siegfried with wide eyes as Siegfried responded to him.

“If you were told about the situation back in our country, you would have been too anxious to participate in attacking the Strabus Kingdom. That’s why I did something.”

“You… Siegfried, do you know what you’re saying? You… can’t be.”

Expressions of distrust and horror appeared simultaneously on Fuhrer Bahasten’s face. Right now, there were only him, Siegfried and Siegfried’s personal soldiers, the Ghosts. Siegfried had said it was to discuss the post-war situation and created a moment where it would seem natural for them to meet but Fuhrer Bahasten finally realized that he was standing in the serpent’s jaw. Siegfried didn’t care what Fuhrer Bahasten thought and continued to talk to him. It was as if Siegfried was telling him the last report.  

“Unfortunately, our country cannot be saved. Even if we attacked the Lester Kingdom in the first place, Duke Palan wouldn’t have stepped aside. Instead, Queen Leila most likely would have inspired her citizens to stop our army. Milton Forrest would have taken that chance and attacked us from the back. While we might have caused some damage to the Lester Kingdom, it would have been impossible to overturn the war.”

“… those words. Why didn’t you say that to me before? Why didn’t you report it to me honestly?”

“Because if I honestly reported it to you, you would have dragged me down by forcing me to save our country, you fucking idiotic bastard.”

“……”

Siegfried’s tone of voice was calm and businesslike as always, however, the words themselves were full of contempt and hatred. Fuhrer Bahasten was speechless. He wasn’t stupid. Although he was too greedy and ambitious compared to his ability, he was still someone who had reigned as a leader of a country. That’s why he knew. He knew that Siegfried was so blatantly baring his teeth at him because Siegfried intended to not only break off their relationship, but Siegfried planned to betray him.

‘How could this happen…’

Fuhrer Bahasten had thought Siegfried was a useful hunting dog.

He had rejoiced that his hound was more capable and smarter than he had originally thought. He had never thought that he himself would be bitten by his dog.

“If you don’t have me… do you think you’d be able to handle everything on your own?”

Fuhrer Bahasten looked around, but no one was on his side. He was picking his words carefully, choosing only those that would give him the highest probability of staying alive. By talking about the problems Siegfried would have if he died, Bahasten was trying to appeal to the necessity of keeping him, the Fuhrer of the Hildes Republic, alive so that Siegfried wouldn’t kill him. Siegfried opened his mouth, then… 

“Most definitely…”

Having bid his time, Siegfried responded to Fuhrer Bahasten. 

“It would be pretty regrettable if you were to disappear here. Originally, I planned to place you at the forefront until the Republic unified.”

Even Siegfried hadn’t thought the situation would get this out of control. He had been planning to get out of Fuhrer Bahasten’s shadow eventually. However, according to the original plan, that should have happened much later than now. Siegfried had to get rid of Fuhrer Bahasten ahead of his original plan because his plans had been greatly changed. 

‘It’s all because of Milton Forrest.’

Siegfried smiled as he thought about that. He had never thought that from a small border country, there would be a nobleman, he had never even seen or heard about, who could ruin his plans like this. Siegfried had always considered Milton a minor stumbling block, but now, Milton was a massive obstacle. It had reached a point where Siegfried didn’t have a choice but to revise his original plans.

Fuhrer Bahasten began to hope that he might be able to change the situation as he saw Siegfried’s expression turn thoughtful. 

“Why don’t you change your mind? I know that there’s been some friction between us lately, but you shouldn’t do this. Think about the future of the Republic. It needs both of us.”

Siegfried had been immersed in his thoughts, but Fuhrer Bahasten’s impassioned speech drew him out of his thoughts. He flicked his finger. 

Flick!

When Siegfried flicked his finger, the Ghosts grabbed Bahasten from either side.

“Wh… what are you doing? Siegfried! Rethink this. Would you be able to cover up my death so easily? If my absence is revealed, your position is also at risk!”

At Fuhrer Bahasten’s frantic pleading, Siegfried laughed before responding.

“Don’t worry, Your Excellency. Everything is ready.”

“Ready? What do you mean…”

“Monologuing in front of someone who’s about to die is something that an amateur villain does. But in short…”

Siegfried took out a small vial from his breast pocket.

“Don’t you know? I’m a very competent and extremely brilliant guy.”

Basically, Siegfried was telling Fuhrer Bahasten to mind his own business and die. Fuhrer Bahasten’s eyes rolled back in shock.

“Siegfried you bastard!! Ack…”

Bahasten was beginning to shout furiously when he was overpowered by the Ghosts. Siegfried brought over a bottle of wine and glasses. Then, he poured wine into one glass and in the other, he mixed the prepared poison with the wine. He took one for himself and gave the other to a Ghost standing nearby. 

“I considered our previous arrangements and prepared one that wasn’t painful.”

“You… Guh.”

Fuhrer Bahasten tried to rebel against him, but the Ghosts forcefully opened his mouth. And then…

“Cheers. A toast to your death…”

In line with Siegfried’s toast, the Ghosts forced the Fuhrer to drink the wine.

“Guh! Guh!”

The Fuhrer tried his hardest not to drink, but the Ghosts pinched his nose and forcefully poured wine into his mouth. Immediately after he swallowed the wine, Fuhrer Bahasten spat out blood as he collapsed onto the floor.

“Guh… g… guuh…”

With the sound of him choking on blood, Fuhrer Bahasten died quickly. Once he checked that Fuhrer had died, Siegfried emptied his wine glass and shouted out loud. 

“Medic! His Excellency the Fuhrer is in danger! Medic!!”

The other Republican soldiers came running in when they heard Siegfried yelling. What greeted their eyes was Siegfried holding the collapsed Fuhrer Bahasten as he sobbed grievously. 

***

A great tree had fallen. 

The Strabus Kingdom, evaluated as the second strongest in terms of military power on the continent, had fallen. The capital of Strabus Kingdom was captured.

This shocking situation struck the continent. 

Not only was the capital captured, but the king and the royal family members of the Strabus Kingdom were all captured. Truth was, at this point in time, it was still possible to resist within the Strabus Kingdom. But the important thing was that the king had been captured.

A Kingdom was a country that existed around the king. The king was the pinnacle, the symbol and the ruler of a country. 

Siegfried had confined King Bauchen the moment he had received unconditional surrender from the king. The moment a king decided to surrender, the kingdom no longer had a reason to fight. Strabus Kingdom had been strong, but they lost the will to resist with that one sign from the king of their country. Of course, there were still some who refused to surrender to the Republic and continued to stoke the fire of resistance, but they couldn’t go against the flow. As long as the king surrendered, the Strabus Kingdom lost its cause and it became impossible for a country that had lost its justification to unite as one. In the end, this led to the fall of the Strabus Kingdom. 

The strange thing was Hildes Republic’s response afterward. After the capital was occupied, the Republic moved quickly to occupy the surrounding estates, but after that, they barricaded themselves in the conquered Tempeulliche and did not move. People questioned this incomprehensible behavior, but soon, a piece of information was shared with the rest of the world. The Fuhrer of the Hildes Republic had died. 

Immediately after the occupation of Tempeulliche, a royal servant who held a grudge against the Republic assassinated the Fuhrer by poisoning him. This was the official information.

When this information was released, the first people to react were the Hildes Republic’s allies, the two Republics. Fuhrer Painheim and Fuhrer Schheimer threw everything to the side and arrived at Tempeulliche. They immediately looked for Siegfried. They wanted to hear the whole story.

“Hoo… how could this happen?”

“Hm…”

Standing in front of the Fuhrer Bahasten’s white flower-adorned coffin was Siegfried; he looked emaciated. His clothes were stained with blood, it seemed like it held traces of his last battle. Both of his cheeks were sunken and his hair was untidy as if he hadn’t taken care of it. Siegfried had always looked put together so when the two Fuhrers saw him like this, they were greatly surprised.

“How long has he been like that?”

Fuhrer Schheimer asked the soldier who had guided them in.

“That’s… he’s been in that state since we subjugated the surrounding estates three days ago. He hasn’t drunk any water, let alone eaten any food…”

“Haa…”

Fuhrer Schheimer let out a loud sigh. He believed that Siegfried was talented enough to be trusted with the future of the Republic. Siegfried’s ability to mediate between the three republics in order to form an alliance and being able to finally destroy the Strabus Kingdom was phenomenal. However, even if he couldn’t say anything for sure, Fuhrer Schheimer often thought that Siegfried’s actions were a bit eerie. His manners were impeccable and there was no room for doubt in his speech and behavior but there had always been something off about Siegfried. However, Fuhrer Schheimer realized that he had misunderstood Siegfried as he looked at Siegfried’s current state.

‘Your loyalty towards Fuhrer Bahasten was real.’

While Fuhrer Schheimer was subtly admiring him, Siegfried noticed the two of them and stood up. His lack of nutrition must have been severe because he stumbled while standing up. Siegfried spoke to them in a solemn and serious tone of voice.

“Welcome, Fuhrer Schheimer and Fuhrer Painheim.”

“Hm… it’s been hard on you.”

“I heard about your achievements. You’ve managed to accomplish the difficult task of attacking and capturing the capital.”

Siegfried responded bitterly to Fuhrer Painheim’s praise.

“It was only because the soldiers’ contributions were great.”

It had been a great accomplishment to take over a country’s capital in just one day, but Siegfried spoke about it as if everything was futile. 

‘Huh… this guy’s heart is broken.’

Fuhrer Schheimer looked at Siegfried’s pitiful appearance and clicked his tongue. He spoke as he looked at the coffin decorated with white flowers.

“I heard about the misfortune. Fuhrer Bahasten is here?”

“Yes, he is.”

“I would like to see his face, is that possible?”

Siegfried nodded when he was asked to open the coffin. Once the coffin was opened, Fuhrer Bahasten’s purple complexion was revealed. 

“It’s said he was poisoned?”

“Yes, that’s right. I couldn’t stop it…”

Siegfried trailed off with a sorrowful expression. Anyone who saw Siegfried with his clenched fist and trembling body, would be able to tell how loyal and grief-stricken he was. But, Siegfried was able to calm himself down before speaking to the two Fuhrers. 

“Would you like to put down a flower?”

“Of course.”

“Yes, we must.”

The two Fuhrers held flowers in their hands and personally laid it on the coffin before expressing their condolences.

The current Republican army was in a trilateral alliance. However, the Hildes Republic had ironically suffered the most damage even as they were the most active. Their country’s capital had been captured and their Fuhrer was poisoned. Siegfried, who had been evaluated as a talented individual who would lead the Hildes Republic in the future, seemed to have a heartache. At this moment, both Fuhrers thought the same thing.

‘In that case…’

‘There’s only one competitor now.’

The trilateral alliance had an exquisite balance, but when one country collapsed, the balance of the entire alliance also fell. The Fuhrers of both countries were already imagining their future as they offered flowers to Fuhrer Bahasten’s dead body. 

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