Inside the box, there was a ring and a hair ornament.
Both were familiar to Douglas.
No, it was far from familiar.
The ring was given to his wife as proof of love when Douglas married her, and the hair ornament was bought for her daughter’s birthday celebration. –
(My wife never removes the ring and my daughter loves her hair ornaments… no way?!)
The worst possible scene comes to his mind and Douglas’ face becomes distorted.
However, if one were to look closely, the ring and the hair ornaments looked beautiful in his eyes.
Or at least, there was no blood on them.
Which means the items were not being forcefully taken from the wearer.
Though that was being the case, it still didn’t bring comfort to Douglas.
Because Douglas was not a fool, so he could understand the reason why he received the box from Baron Mikoshiba Ryouma.
After a long silence.
Douglas opened his mouth.
“I see… So this is your manner of doing things huh?”
Douglas’s hands trembled.
The hatred begins to cloud Douglas’ heart.
He started to wonder how much he would feel better if he could punch the face of the person sitting in front of him.
To have such a feeling was natural, coming from a man whose family was being a hostage.
However, the color of sympathy didn’t come from those who were surrounding him.
No, rather than sympathy, instead, he was being showered by hostility and contempt.
For those who serve Ryouma, Douglas was nothing more than a sinner who ridiculed their master.
“Why did you do this… Despite receiving money, I didn’t provide any convenience. But… That sin was not related to my wife and children, no?”
Douglas squeezes those words from the bottom of his heart.
His hands were gripping his knees as if trying to hold back his anger.
His forms were indeed, a form that invites mercy.
However, the man, named Mikoshiba Ryouma, was not naïve enough to get swayed by such a thing.
“In this world, it was common sense for a child to pay the debt of their parents, am I wrong? In fact, you’ve been living in that kind of logic all this time, no? Even if your position changes, that doesn’t mean your logic should also change. Even if that logic has become an inconvenience… Right? Douglas Hamilton-san…”
Douglas was stumped by Ryouma’s question.
In fact, it was a common story in the aristocrats’ world, where the debts of the parents being paid by the children.
Douglass himself since he had been commissioned to serve as a bailiff, had witnessed several cases being brought to the House of Lords.
Most of them were old people and a very young one.
Some of them even could still be regarded as an infant.
Of course, it was not fun, and it was a role he rather not do if he could.
Especially when he saw the mother cried begging for the child’s life.
Even for the executioner, whenever it includes such a child, they would often try to push the work among their own colleagues.
Douglas himself cannot be immune to human emotions.
However, it was also an undeniable fact that Douglas had once asked a child to pay the debt of their parents.
He could understand what a man smiling calmly in front of him wanted to say.
They, as the relative of the sinner, shall pay the price.
This concept, in the modern world, had been greatly improved, where individual right was more important than a parent-children relationship. -=TLN: This is Japan’s society view, some countries may have different laws/cultures.
Originally, debt was definitely something that the person who borrowed should payback.
Since ancient times, it was common sense for the children to pay back their parents’ debt.
Like those historical dramas, where to pay parents debt, some children have to work in a brothel.
And that idea was not only worked on debt.
For example, the same logic also works on the debt of gratitude and revenge.
It was not uncommon, for children to return a favor that their parents received.
This tendency was especially strong among the people who had experienced the battlefield together.
Conversely, revenge was also the same.
There was a common story, where due to the parents already died, the children become a target.
Well, the reality was sometimes different than stories.
However, it was certain, the sweet temptation of revenge could sway one’s heart.
Especially, when there was a huge difference in position and power between you and the opponent.
Also, there were times where the idea of relatives who had a connection to the children also being prosecuted due to the children’s crime. –
And such a law was party inherited in modern times in some countries.
For example, in Japan, the public office election law still has guilt by association system.
For example, even if the candidates didn’t directly involved, if their secretary or relatives did an election crime, the candidates would lose the chance to run in the election and also forbidden to join in any kind of election for a number of years.
Of course, in modern times, such a law was unreasonable.
But, in terms of crime deterrence, it had a certain effect.
Especially for those who value their family and friendship.
And Douglas was someone who values his wife and children.
“Well, that is why, you can cooperate with us, right? Besides, the timing of the opening of the gates would come from us, so there’s nothing you would lose…”
Douglas nodded his head in response to Ryouma’s words.
He cannot reject him.
“Now then, for the final preparation…”
Ryouma muttered a small word while slumping his shoulders as he saw Douglas leave the room with sad steps.
Laura, standing behind him immediately responded.
“Yes, I believe he won’t betray us that way…”
Next, Sara then opened his mouth.
“I think so too… but, he has once betrayed us. Also, I think we should not neglect surveillance, in case of unexpected events…”
Even though Douglas himself had no such intention, some of his colleagues may feel suspicious due to his behavior.
In that case, leaving Douglas alone would be risky.
“Well, yeah… let’s get people of Iga to infiltrates their ranks…”
Hearing those words, one of the knights, standing by the wall, fully armored, nodded his head and went following Douglas.
While turning his eyes on that figure, Ryouma was thinking about future issues.
(Iga people was indeed skilled in spies work… Useful in a battlefield called conspiracy… But the problem was that there was no guaranteed method to spot someone with spies skill…)
In this world, there were humans with similar skills to that of a spy, but not part of them.
Some of the assassins, such as spies and intelligence agents, will need to have infiltration techniques to sneak in, and some techniques used by the adventurers to wander in the forest could be used in that line.
In fact, many adventurers were hired as spies by a country upon retirement.
The reason was that because the work of a spy cannot be given to the knights since the work of a spy involved dirty works.
And it was easier to use dirty works using people who depend on money rather than a sense of a mission.
Some of the countries on this continent had also educated some orphans to become a spy due to concern with the secret that could be trusted to the spy.
After all, the information handled by the spy includes things that could shake the country.
The skill was also important but, whether or not one could put faith in the spy was more important.
In that sense, Ryouma who took control Iga people during the Rozeria civil war was lucky, to be able to control a group that in the future might’ve become a blade aimed at him.
At this point, the problem was the concept of intelligence itself.
(Information security…. huh?)
It was relatively a new term used during the era of the rising IT industry.
However, the essence was something that had already been done since ancient times.
But in the world of the shadows, there were only two concepts exist, intelligence and counter-intelligence.
(It is not a bad thing that the enemy is stupid I guess…)
Iga people’s ability to infiltrates was indeed great but, on the other hand, the security of the house of lords was very bad.
Well, if one were to cover the head with a helmet, no one would be able to tell who’s who.
Not to mention, even if one could see the face, there were more than a thousand people working for the house of lords.
The numbers would be greater if the non-essential was included as well.
Which made identifying people becomes quite difficult.
Which means, it was quite difficult to completely prevent a malicious third party from infiltrating.
Of course, it was convenient for those who wish to plot against them…
But as a defender, such a thing was a nightmare.
(Pretty much, I’m not someone who could say something about it…)
To occupy the Wortenia peninsula was easy.
After all, except for merchants, the people who reside there were only the Iga people, the Red Lion members, and former slaves.
However, once the Salzberg family was crushed and his authority spread on the north, it would be difficult to completely eliminate spies. –
Although they were thinking of various measures for that purpose, the fact that the Iga people could infiltrate the royal palace was a big problem and also a happy thing for Ryouma, as it also made him aware of other things.
“Once we returned to Sirius, I will talk with Genou and the others for the future…”
Muttering those words, Ryouma rises from the sofa.
There, he remembered something in which he asked Laura and the others…
“Come to think of it, about that child’s illness, what is Dilfina’s view?”
Laura then responded to that question…