I’ll Never Go Back to Bygone Days! - 26
Silence hung in the air after Medisina was dragged out. Eventually, the King broke the silence.
“Marquis Akroid. Wouldn’t you agree there’s a problem with our country’s system? After all, a mere Baron was able to put together such a conspiracy and place blatant lies on the register,” he asked the Marquis, a sinister, all-knowing smile on his face.
The question was a trap. If the Marquis agreed and admitted the country’s systems had a problem, the King would have a reason to launch a massive investigation into the nobles’ affairs. For the Marquis, who had his hands in all sorts of underhanded dealings, it would be certain death. However, if he disagreed with the King, it would mean someone – a high-ranking noble, specifically – had to have assisted the Baron. And as for high-ranking nobles who had a motive to partake in this conspiracy… Well, it was basically just the Marquis himself.
If he had done nothing wrong, he should’ve been able to respond immediately. However, he hesitated, thinking for a moment about his answer. That hesitation alone spoke volumes. The King raised a hand, and the knights in the room immediately detained the Marquis.
“Wh-what are you doing?! Let me go!”
The knights ignored him and dragged him over to sit with the other criminals in the room.
“I haven’t done anything!” he said haughtily, despite having just been disgracefully dragged through the room.
“We have testimony that you provided assistance for the Baron in making his false registration,” the Prime Minister began. Essentially, an employee of the Crown would generally Appraise a newborn noble child before placing it on the register. However, the Marquis had intervened and forced the employees to forgo Appraising the newborn “twins” before placing them on the register. The employees in question were under the Marquis’ thumb and could not refuse him.
“I have no memory of that,” he said, pretending to be confused.
However, there were several witnesses who testified that the Marquis was guilty. His acting wouldn’t save him today. Furthermore, the Baron himself had testified before the King about the Marquis’ role in this conspiracy.
The Marquis had originally ordered the Baron to kill Chelsea. However, he had protested, saying he could not kill the child that Sophia had given her life to bring into this world. So, they struck a deal. Chelsea would live on as Margaret’s twin sister. In exchange, the Baron would marry Medisina. He thought it was rather disgusting to marry another woman just a few days after his first wife had passed away, but he had to comply in order to keep Chelsea alive.
Upon hearing about the Baron’s testimony, the Marquis glared at the Baron sitting next to him.
“I don’t understand. Why couldn’t you have waited until the Baron had finished mourning his first wife? Why did they have to get married immediately?” the King asked casually. Marquis Akroid flinched at this question, turning his face downwards.
“I’ll answer that question,” the Marchioness said, standing up. “It’s quite simple, actually. As some of you may know, Medisina is my husband’s illegitimate daughter – something I only learned about recently, in fact.”
Her mouth curved into a smile.
Her eyes, however, did not.
“Furthermore, her mother was a commoner. If my husband had registered Medisina as his child – in order to have her Skill appraised – she would forever be a commoner. However, he loved Medisina dearly, and wanted her to have the status of a noble. In order to achieve that, he forced the Baron to marry Medisina quickly – giving him no time to investigate her background – in order to grant her the status of a Baroness. That’s all it was.” She turned to look at her husband. “I don’t care about you, who married into my family, or your daughter. All I care about is ensuring the Akroid family will continue to survive. So please avoid embarrassing yourself like this in the future.”
The Marquis looked up at his wife for a second, then immediately turned to face the ground again. The Marchioness took a deep breath, then turned to face the King.
“I have a humble request to make of Your Majesty.”
“My husband and I will accept whatever punishment for the crimes we’ve committed. But please, spare the rest of the Akroid family of your wrath,” she said, bowing deeply.
“I don’t believe it’s a good thing to punish those who had no part in a crime. Very well. I will spare your family, and your punishment shall be separate from your husband’s.”
After that, the King passed his judgement. The Eucharis family was dissolved. Bernard was sent to work in the mines, and Medisina and Margaret had their mana sealed before being sent to a convent. The Marquis was also sent to the mines, while the Marchioness was ordered to live out the rest of her life in the Akroid family’s domain. The former Marquis’ son and heir would take his position as the Marquis.