“I want to set a plan.”
The next day, Mika showed up at the castle as I had expected, and that was what I told him so as soon as I opened my mouth.
Mika and I were sitting on the sofa facing each other in front of the tea set and sweets on the table in the office.
I forcibly removed out of my mind what I had agonized over all night yesterday.
Also, it was still five years ago when I woke up this morning.
As I said, “Ohh, it’s still five years ago,” that didn’t make any sense, the maid with round glasses looked at me with cold eyes.
Then she said, “Don’t talk in your sleep and please wake up quickly” with a low voice, but I didn’t mind it at all.
If I were to describe my first life in a sentence, it would be “a life for my brother”.
I lived my life thinking only of how I could be useful at the side of my ideal brother, who was born to be the king of this country.
To tell the truth, one of the reasons why I was called the evil prince was most likely because I had been doing dirty work that I thought would be good for my brother.
The charges laid out against me in the trial, which was only for the sake of appearances, were all things that I didn’t remember doing.
After losing my brother, more than myself or anything else, I lived like a slug, but I was still desperate to scorch the enemies that had framed him.
And then, it resulted in me being burned by fire myself.
(Even so, how can I protect my brother and my family, including my own life…?)
After all, the result of my own actions was being burned at the stake.
The first important thing is that I have failed as a result of my own actions.
So this time, I think I will ask this redhead, who would complain to me the prince without holding back, for his opinion.
There’s also a possibility that I had made a mistake somewhere.
“Hey, if you were me, what would you do if someone was being a hindrance to my brother?”
“If someone was being a hindrance to His Highness Seth? Huh, what would you do, Nagi?”
“I’ll erase them.”
As I saw Mika almost dropping his pluberry scone that he was holding in his hand onto his plate, I tilted my head.
I had that much power and a knight.
I think it’s best to eliminate, socially or physically, those who would be a detriment to the country ruled by my brother.
I had the right to exercise it, and it was supposed to be for my brother and this country.
“We’re talking about someone who’s being a hindrance to my brother here.
How else do you expect me to deal with them?”
“No, just talk it out with them.”
“It’s not someone who would listen to what I told them, that’s why I’ll erase them.”
Mika stared at me intently as he popped more scones into his mouth.
It’s not that I did anything wrong.
I just brought to justice people who were being a hindrance to my brother for their obvious wrongdoings.
I didn’t go out of my way to commit a crime or take their lives unreasonably.
If they were people who would listen to what I told them, I would have chosen that option, too.
However, they were clearly criminals, and on top of that, they were also a hindrance to my brother.
I didn’t think what I did was wrong.
If I shouldn’t do that, then I’ll hear what better way he has to offer.
I crossed my legs and gave a snort.
Mika seemed to be thinking about something, then after a while, he said,
“Then, why don’t you try having them in the palm of your hand?”
I thought he would simply urge me to “talk it out”, but I was surprised that Mika gave such an unexpected suggestion.
Have them in the palm of my hand? I tilted my head in confusion.
Then, I tried to imagine rolling the heads of various types of bald old men in the palm of my hand, it made me feel very uncomfortable.
I couldn’t help but feel like vomiting, then Mika continued.
“Nagi, if you truly want to be useful to His Highness Seth, what you need to do isn’t to be hated.
But to be someone liked by others.”
“Even if you eliminate those who harm you, new harms will come out.”
I didn’t remember saying to him that I wanted to be useful to my brother, but he must have guessed it from the question I just asked.
But, still couldn’t quite understand what he was saying, I appealed with my eyes, “Go on.”
“Nagi has the most beautiful face in this country, and yet you’re hated just like a slug.
But if you’re well-liked by everyone, eventually all those people would be on the side of His Highness Seth, whom you support.”
What in the world.
Inside my head, a plubear turned over at least three and a half times.
In this rainy country, the occasional mass of slugs are an abomination because they exhaust the crops.
I myself thought I lived my life like a slug after my brother passed away, but I didn’t think this redhead would call me a slug… I tried to somehow calm my body which was trembling involuntarily.
Anyhow, why do I feel like that maid and this redhead were all treating me weirdly?
However— it’s not slugs that are important right now.
(What did he say? If I’m liked by the others, then…?)
I had never thought about that.
I thought that as long as everyone liked my brother, it was fine even if they hated me.
Rather, I was thinking that it would be nice if I could be a foil to my brother.
I would take responsibility for all the dirty parts.
And so, my brother can always shine, that was what I thought.
I tilted my head when I heard Mika said while looking a bit sulky, “I don’t really want you to be close with anyone else, though…” But, as I kept staring at Mika, he sighed and then continued.
“What you need to do isn’t eliminating them, Nagi.
It’s to bring them into your force.”
“You really don’t pay attention to your surroundings.
Even without Her Majesty Claire, Nagi is still enough of a political pawn.”
I couldn’t help but wince at his perceptive remark.
I was born without a mother, and somewhere along the way I thought of myself as worthless, as I had no backing from inside the country.
As long as my grandfather was still alive in the neighboring country Malacia, I thought I was at least a little bit useful in that regard.
But that’s probably only for the time he’s still alive, and that doesn’t mean I have any sort of worth myself.
I’ve been around Brother Seth, but I’m not a very social or friendly person.
I prefer to stay in my room reading books, and I can’t be bothered to engage with people.
I didn’t particularly have anything that I can be confident or especially good at.
I had lived my life thinking that it would be better if I didn’t stand out so as not to further intensify the factional strife.
If I had my own force, could I have been more useful to my brother? Could I have saved him?)
I don’t know.
It was something I still don’t know yet.
I gulped, then I asked,
“If I’m a political pawn, then do I… have my own force now?”
“Of course not.”
A disappointed sound played in my head.
Of all things, this redhead in front of me just casually slapped me with a new insult.
After putting more of the pluberry scone in his mouth and swallowing it, Mika laughed with a troubled face, then said,
“For now, I’m the only force you have.”
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