After the banquet, the guest who had been invited to the Earl Salzberg residence returned one by one.
From the office of the second floor located near the corner, someone was laughing in satisfaction.
It was a dim room.
Speaking of lights, there was only the moonlight coming from the window and the candlestick placed on the desk.
“For the time being, this is the end of the first act…”
*”Yes, everything had gone as expected… Currently, they might have been in confusion by now… Thinking what to do… I think us serving goods that usually not available for them had given more pressure, which is a good thing. Especially when we served that fish dish, it was a spectacle. It should make the aristocrats understand Ryouma-sama’s financial might….”
Laura who was standing in the corner of the room said those words while nodded her head.
“Well yeah. Direct intimidation is counterproductive in this case after all… It was obvious, looking how foolish General Hodram had ended…”
He was the ringleader who killed the husband of General Elena and took her beloved daughter hostage to intimidate her.
And as a result, he transformed the Goddess General into the vengeful one.
It was to the extent that General Hodram could not escape the karma.
There was advantages and disadvantages when it comes to direct intimidation.
Because he understood that, Ryouma choose to intimidate his guest indirectly by using his financial might, showing a dish from a distant land, just like how Charles Maurice had done.
(Aiming at a family member in itself was not bad, but one need to understand the situation, morale and surrounding first. If we use that the wrong way, it would become a boomerang that affects one own family.)
That was Ryouma true feeling.
Well, it was something that he cannot say in front of Elena who had virtually lost all of her family.
And that thought alone might produce cracks between Elena and Ryouma’s relationship.
However, to target the enemy’s family member was not a bad choice in itself.
Instead, if it was done well disregarding the moral, it might become the highest deterrent.
At least, Ryouma himself didn’t deny the effectiveness of intimidations.
Just like the enemy of the Hero in anime or movies, taking hostage of the Hero’s family.
Being overused plot in itself was not bad as well.
Because it was effective, it had become overused.
Of course, it was something Ryouma didn’t want to use, but if judged necessary, Ryouma won’t hesitate.
(But still, it does not make any sense, to use it without a proper assessment.)
In that sense, the action General Hodram took was a lousy one.
Certainly, it was not bad to kill her husband and kidnap her daughter to pull down Elena from her position.
And her daughter being sold to a slave trader and being killed miserably in itself was part of the evil.
(At that time, there was no way for Hodram to get Rozeria Kingdom’s, General Rank. Elena-san and that man are too different…)
The point was that whether General Hodram manages to take appropriate action to get what he wanted or not.
“Ryouma-sama, the part that makes General Hodram foolish… Was it because he didn’t kill Elena-sama when the opportunity arises?”
“To be frank, yes…”
Ryouma himself never thought of General Hodram as a likable person.
But, even if it was just a little bit, he did think that he was a man with class.
Though that was if he didn’t include Hodram nature.
When it comes to pure ability, Elena and Hodram have not much of difference.
After he drove Elena into retirement, he worked safely for decades, from someone who usurps the General position, into someone who seized the national power.
Although his evaluations from the surrounding were low due to his tyrannical rule, that alone cannot decide someone as being incompetent.
Though, it would be a different story if we talked whether or not he was suitable to have such authority.
From that point of view, General Hodram was someone who destined to stand at the top, as for whether or not it was suitable, it was up for debate.
Also, Elena and Hodram were not that old.
When Elena retired, Hodram had also need to think about retirement.
At least, it was impossible for General Hodram to not think of that.
Speaking of that, once again, it was not wrong to aim at Elena’s family.
However, despite being someone who prepared to dirty his own hands, his last action was a total mistake.
“At least, if he wanted to kill her husband and daughter, he should kill Elena-san in a timely manner as well…”
In the eyes of Ryouma, the biggest mistake General Hodram had made was to leave grudges alive. In the first place, taking her family hostage just to make her retired was a mistake.
Threatening the family was effective because it makes the opponent afraid of the possibility something happen to them.
Conversely, if one hurt and deprive the opponent family, what left was only hatred.
It might be effective to kill her husband in the sense of giving credibility, but it definitely buys Elena’s resentment.
The risk was quite high.
Furthermore, it was a bad idea to also kidnap her daughter yet not returning the daughter.
Not to mention, at that time, when it comes to a human relationship, Hodram was the most likely suspect.
If that was the case, he should have predicted what would happen.
(In fact, everything was over when the slave trader spilled the beans…)
“Did General Hodram not understand that?”
Toward Laura’s question Ryouma shook her head.
“Well, looking at the result, rather than threatening, he did all of that because of strong jealousy and grudge against Elena-san, who rose from commoner status to become Rozeria Kingdom’s General. Looking at the fact he didn’t kill Elena-san, it might be because he wanted to see her suffering, rather than fearing her fame.”
Of course, there was a risk when it comes to physically remove Elena.
However, rather than taking that risk, General Hodram chooses to indulge his hatred.
Given the essence of his intimidation, his action was foolish.
“Well, comparing General Hodram situation and our current situation was not right but… When it comes to dealing with someone with high pride, one need to pay attention… Looking at that, tonight banquet can be said as passable…”
No one would feel dissatisfied to have an upstart such as Baron Mikoshiba welcoming them more than what they had imagined.
(So far so good… After that…)
Certainly, the dinner party had ended successfully.
But that was not the end… –
“Now then… It would be bad to make him wait longer… Laura, call Viscount Gerhardt.”
Hearing that words, Laura nodded and went out of the room.
The moonlight shines through the clouds, and pale light entered the window.
It was as if pointing the road Ryouma going to take. –