The Prime Minister Must Die
"Me?" Leguna pointed at himself and glanced at One not far away. He had to admit that she really knew how to act. Now, she seemed no different from a loyal guard. She stood there unmovingly like a stone pillar as if she wasn't the slightest bit concerned about what the conversation was about.
However, he was still worried that the nobles nearby would overhear them. They were still within bounds of the banquet venue, after all, so there were nobles all over the place chatting.
"Let us take a walk near the garden then," Alissanda suggested.
"Two men taking a walk at the garden? What're we going to do? Moon gazing?" he couldn't help but comment, but he still followed him there as there were far fewer people there. One also obediently followed along.
"The war between the two empires is near its end," Alissanda said, "According to my estimations, if the new barbarian units from the north get armed with dark elven weapons can perform according to our expectations, I'm confident we can end this long war before winter next year."
Leguna seemed rather moved. It was the end of the war for good. It seemed like Alissanda's control over the military was getting firmer by the day. Given how wary a person he was, it showed that he didn't see him as an outsider, given that he was able to talk about this openly with him. This earned him quite a bit of Leguna's trust.
"When the war ends, I'll request my imperial father to let me marry Lisana," he didn't forget to add, "After that, I'll spend the rest of my life in Melindor as a carefree prince. Or, I could travel to Lance with her for a bit. Those are my plans. That's why I want to know what your plans are after the war."
Leguna looked at him and didn't answer immediately. "I have a few questions. First, what will it take for the war to end? Fighting all the way to the millennium capital?"
"Not just that, far from it--" Alissanda wagged his finger with a smile. "--When I say end, I mean that Stok will no longer exist."
Leguna eyed One from afar. After making sure that she wouldn't be able to hear them, he said, "I went to the millennium capital last year and I can tell you that city is far grander than you can imagine. Based on our forces now, it'd be tough to take it within a short period of time."
"Who said I was going to lay siege to it?" He cracked a mysterious smile. "War isn't so simple as one side killing the other, my friend. Even two brothers will think up all sorts of schemes when fighting each other for territory. War is a test of the limits of wisdom, endurance, dignity and wit, because it is a bet with one's life on the line. Under the threat of death, the innermost potential of people will be unearthed, whether those potentials are good or bad. The weak shall be eliminated and the strong that survive won't be any better off either, as they would become monsters even they won't be able to recognize. Hey, don't look at me like that. Even though you took part in assassinations in the heart of enemy territory before, you don't really get to see all those corpses lined up and the sights of tens of thousands of bodies and parts flying all over the place. You'll know what I'm saying is true if you get to witness that daily."
"So you're a monster now? You let a fine girl like that pick up a sword to fight for you while you think about how you can kill other men?"
"Seriously, war has changed me quite a bit. But I can say for sure that I'm not a monster like you say." He breathed an exasperated sigh.
"Whatever--" Leguna shrugged. "--So, you have some way of taking the millennium capital, right?"
"Yes, you can say that." Well, you'd be right if you were referring to only the buildings in the capital… As for the people…
"I understand." He didn't doubt his words. Alissanda wasn't someone who would say something he didn't have any confidence in.
The three of them continued to travel deeper into the garden until there were only three of them.
He turned abruptly to look at his eyes and whispered, "So, here's my second question. Are you really going to be a carefree prince after this?"
"What do you think?" He didn't mind the sudden question, but he turned away as if he didn't dare to meet his gaze.
"No. If you were really planning that, you wouldn't try to do all you did in the military. Don't tell me you're doing this just so the empire can gain eternal peace. I don't believe it."
Alissanda didn't answer. He instead glanced at One emotionlessly. It was hard to imagine what was going through his mind.
Leguna didn't say anything either. He patiently waited for the prince to gather his thoughts. He trusted he would show his hand soon enough. He knew the military alone wasn't enough to take on Alfreid and Geoffrey. Leguna had two good cards in his hand; the bureau and Annelotte's academy.
"Fine, you win," he said after ten minutes of silence. "You're right. I don't just want to be a normal prince. I want to fight."
"Then, I can help you. But, I have a condition." Since he was being open with him, he didn't beat around the bush either.
"Tell me." Alissanda furrowed his brow, as if he figured something out.
"Alfreid must die," he said with a look of hate, "I don't want status, power, money, or women. I don't care about the former first three and I have more than enough of the last."
"You might not know this, but even I am envious of that."
"That's not the point," he said in a rare, but strict manner. "I already have everything I want. Don't bother trying to curry favor with me. All I want is--"
"--Alfreid's head?" the prince sighed.
"Yes. I want him deader than a corpse. If I could, I'd slit his throat right now."
"Don't do it, Leguna. The empire needs him. You have no idea how much chaos killing him would cause, not just for you, but for everyone around you as well."
"I know. That's why I haven't killed him… yet. That's why I chose an even better way to get revenge. I want House Rolin to be completely destroyed. I want everything he's built to vanish into thin air!"
The prince scratched his head awkwardly.
"I am sorry for what happened to Mister Kurdak, but is it really worth it?"
"Worth it?--" Leguna smirked, grinding his teeth. "--It's about far more than what happened to Boss. Alfreid also owes me for killing Londo, torturing Sis Vera for months, and destroying Old Man Manhattan's life's work… not to mention the old geezer and his whole family…"
Alissanda knew everyone Leguna brought up, but he knew nothing of an old geezer.
"You don't need to know, nor do you need to care. I do, however."
Leguna had been investigating Alfreid since Kurdak was forced to leave Chino, and had discovered that the prime minister had not just ruined Cyranos and Kurdak's lives, but had doomed the old man who'd raised him.
The old man used to be a supplier of arms to Hocke's military. He got into some trouble with Alfreid and his whole family was executed for it. Even his grandson, not even a month old at the time, was killed as well.
The old man escaped with his life, but chose to remain in Melindor. He lived in the swamps, and picked Leguna up there. He raised the little rascal on his own, living off begging and doing odd jobs here and there.
When Leguna found out about it, he began to remember some things. He now understood why the old man told him, 'I've stayed in Melindor for so long, but I couldn't see you die… Good men truly live short lives while disasters last for millennia…' with his last breath.
They won't… I will prove it to you, Leguna thought ever since that moment.
That had hardened his will to fight AlfreidPrevious Chapter Next Chapter