The Forbidden Fruit

Translator: Hasr11

Editor: Evelet

Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!

Chapter 8: The Eye of the Storm 1

A month had passed since Princess Shirayuki had begun his stay in the Oswein mansion.

Thanks to the Head Priest Malacia’s healing magic, the lead poisoning that had laid waste to Princess Shirayuki’s young body was soon treated. And with the nutritious meals prepared by the Oswein family cooks, his body recovered at an astonishingly fast pace.

Princess Shirayuki’s figure as he bustled about the garden with the twins, with his hair in an updo and his sleeves rolled up for easy movement, had now bloomed into that of a smart young boy, albeit a little thin. His two older brothers rejoiced as if it were a matter of personal pride.

Seiji, deeply moved by the main pillar of the treatment, Malacia, grabbed his hand and spouted forth words about how he had ushered peace into Hinoe and how he would, without fail, invite him to Hinoe as a guest of honour when he got the chance. But he was quickly chased away by Lutora, who looked at him with his frigid gaze and quipped, “Do you think the Head Priest of the State Religion has that much time to spare?”

And thus the imperial edict from King Vikram Atrai Palcemith officially dispatching Knight Commander Jolga Von Oswein to Hinoe had finally arrived. Once Jolga and I were done with our preparations, we would set out for the eastern nation of Hinoe with Princess Shirayuki and his vassals. Sigurd and Lutora fought over the question of who would be the vice-Knight Commander who would temporarily take care of the knight order, each pushing the job on the other. In the end, it was Sigurd who buckled to Lutora’s, “…Brother, please.” …Lutora was quite the formidable man.

“And so, young man. How much do you understand?”

It was the night before our departure.

I was visiting the small cabin where one of the envoys sent to Palcemith from Hinoe, Tori’ichi, would be left behind. Deciding that his residence would be the small waterwheel shed beside the brook which drew in water to the forge, they called the carpenters and collaborated to set up a dwelling. In this short time, Tori’ichi quickly gained the craftsmens’ trust. Well, it was a common sight for craftsmen to gravitate towards those with superior skills, so I guessed it was nothing to be concerned about.

I was the only one summoned by Tori’ichi to enter the cabin. Jolga and the Royal Palace Knight Order were waiting for me outside, just in case, although I did not believe my visit was dangerous.

“What do you mean, how much?”

When I laughed, Tori’ichi knitted his brows in displeasure.

As Tori’ichi and I exchanged glasses of wine, the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] that Princess Shirayuki had brought from Hinoe was lying on the table. Its cord was once again tightly wound around it.

After the audience, Tori’ichi had carefully inspected the body of the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] that had been finally pulled out of its sheath by Jolga. He closely checked the condition of the pattern on the blade as well as its ridge and the rivets on the sword hilt and raised his voice in admiration about how they had been maintained in prime condition. Normally, a sword that has not been cared for in more than ten years would have a rusty or dull blade, as well as various other forms of warping and slackening. However, the blade in question showed no such signs of neglect. Was this also an effect of the Hihi’irokane?

“…Although I had called for only you, I didn’t place any restrictions on other soldiers entering.”

“Indeed.”

“…However, you purposely let the guards withdraw. So the two of us can have a private chat.”

“Fufu… you’re sharp, old man.”

Certainly, I couldn’t let Jolga overhear the secret I was about to share with Tori’ichi.

“If the matter were to come to light, the problem would not be confined to Hinoe. That is not desirable.”

“I see you understand that much. I wish we had a wise Tokoyo-no-Omoikane, such as you in Hinoe.” {Tokoyo-no-Omoikane: Omoikane is a Shinto god of wisdom and intelligence. His name means “serving one’s thoughts.”}

Even I felt he was taking it too far by comparing me to the god of wisdom.

I chuckled and poured wine into Tori’ichi’s now-empty cup.

“The ones who know the secret are—?”

“As far as I know, there are only two. I have been in the service of the Sasaragi Clan since the time of Lord Motochika, Lord Motonari’s father. In the past, Lord Motochika had given me the unsheathed [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] and had me tend to it.

Tori’ichi sighed as he picked up the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword], which was now still in its scabbard.

“That is how I found them: its faults.”

“That’s right. Whether Lord Motochika was unaware or he knew and hid the truth, we will never know, now that he is long gone. However, Lord Motonari… he realised it. That his eldest son Susanoi, skilled in martial arts, had taken the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] which was—”

The old man bitterly knitted his eyebrows and choked on his words as I continued for him.

“…unable to be taken out of its sheath? ”

Nodding, Tori’ichi gulped down the wine.

“Lord Susanoi said regretfully, ‘I have not been recognized by the sword because of my lack of training.’ …But Lord Motonari and I, who knew Lord Motochika in his prime, could see that Lord Susanoi’s skill with the sword was already far beyond Lord Motochika’s.”

“…I see.”

“Now, with the Knight Commander being able to handle the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword], my conviction has only deepened. I am very grateful that you have made a place for me in this country. I am attached to the land where I was born and raised, but that secret is too heavy for me to carry while living in my country.

“Hm… I do not mind. I am simply sharing the task of shouldering your burden.”

“I am indebted to you. It may be presumptuous to say so, but I now think of Palcemith as my second home, and I will do my best to develop forging technology. I get along well with the craftsmen, too. The weather is mild and the people are friendly… it truly is a good place to live.”

“I shall pass your words of praise on to His Majesty and the Prime Minister. However, those two are still young. I’m sure you’ll be asked for advice during the absence of the Knight Commander’s myself. Please lend them your strength.”

“As you wish.”

I got up and took the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] from the bowing Tori’ichi.

The weight of the sword was so solid that my palms sank. It was not just the weight of the steel its body was made of, but also the burden of the secrets hidden deep within its scabbard.

As I felt its weight with both hands, I called out to Tori’ichi, “Then, Sir Tori’ichi. Do you know this saying: ‘A secret between two is a secret with god; a secret between three is the secret of all?’2 

“…Pardon me?”

“When a secret is only between two, there is no one else but God who knows of it. However, when three learn of it, it is the same as everyone knowing about it. That’s what it says. I do wonder if it is a little exaggerated. If Sir Tori’ichi has no memories of letting this secret slip… I fear the source was your sovereign himself.”

I had heard that the current sovereign of the country, Lord Motonari, was a man of gentle temperament who did not like warfare. But being the sovereign was a job of many worries to begin with. After learning a secret that he did not want to know, how could he have managed to keep it to himself? He was blissfully unaware that the words “I shall only tell this to you” and revealing the secret would only lead to tragedy later.

“The mastermind must be ‘someone’ who learned of this secret from Lord Motonari.”

“…No way.”

Tori’ichi face quickly turned pale.

“But… But why does Lady Shirayuki-”

“I do not have concrete evidence, but I do have a guess about the motive.… Women are truly terrifying.”

“…Tsk, tsk, I truly mourn the fact that you weren’t born in Hinoe.”

“Pfft, that again?”

If I did say so myself, I was probably one of the more insightful people in this world.

After I retired from my post as the Prime Minister, I received more invitations than I could count on the fingers of both hands from various countries that had heard rumors about me. But I believed that I only held value if I stayed here, in Palcemith.

“It’s a pity, but I still have things to do in this Kingdom. Originally, I was planning to go to Hinoe in the near future to explore the roots of the Sage Asbal and find out about the secret spell he used. But now that my cute lover is involved, I cannot ignore this matter.”

“Oho. A secret you say… a secret…”

Tori’ichi sat for a while, scratching his chin. Suddenly, he seemed to have hit upon a clue, as his face lit up and he slapped his knee.

“That’s right! The Abe clan! ”

“…The Abe clan? ”

At my puzzlement, Tori’ichi nodded vigorously.

“Yeah. I believe that there is a clan that deals with curses, living in a residence to the north of the capital, called the Abe. If you can talk to them there, it will be easier to get some information. If I am not mistaken, Yoimachi has contact with them and even I can leave a message before departure.

“I see… you have my gratitude. Thank you.”

“It is but a trifle. …I too, shall entrust Hinoe’s fate to your hands.”

I nodded back lightly, and with the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] still in hand, I opened the door and stepped out.

Jolga immediately approached me and took the [Dragon Slaughtering Sword] from my hands, and with a light gesture of his hands, dispersed the knights waiting upon us. Placing my own hand atop the large hands that wrapped around my waist, I looked up at my lover’s face, overflowing with masculine charm, meeting my gaze with his hazel eyes.

“You know, Jolga.”

“…What is it?”

“I, too, you see — I’m just as possessive as anyone else.”

He blinked his eyes in befuddlement.

He hadn’t caught the meaning of what I had just said.

“…Anri, I’m happy though?”

As my lover slowly drew out his sweet honey-drenched whispers beside my ear, I grabbed his chin with my fingertips, lightly gnawing on his lower lip with a chuckle.

The Knight Commander, Jolga Von Oswein.

The best knight in all of Palcemith and my one and only lover.

“I won’t hand you over… no matter who it is.”

The enemy’s target.

Even if it wasn’t Princess Shirayuki.

…Jolga, even if it was you.


A/N:

Secret de deux, secret de Dieu; secret de trois, secret de tous.

A secret between two is a secret with god; a secret between three is the secret of all.

A French proverb.

Hasr: Sorry for the delay, my internet was crap yesterday

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SSMelgar
SSMelgar
19 days ago

I can’t believe I caught up! I came directly from ‘The show must go on’ and just read everything in two days. It’s gonna be hell waiting for the weekly translations.

Talking about the story, my mind keeps hurting and I think I’m not even getting half of what Anderheim has on his mind. I’m really struggling as a non-native english speaker, but this is just so interesting! I was hooked up from the very first chapters.

Anyways, thanks for translating this! I appreciate your hard work, and I hope you can continue to translate this to the end!

Srry if my English is bad or sth, I’m not really confident lol.

LovingSmiles
LovingSmiles
21 days ago

What if the sword requires the user to kill many people without an ounce of mercy? And because of that, he would have to marry Shirayuki because of that??
Nahhh!! My head is hurting on this one!!

Thank you for the chapter!

A.S.
A.S.
22 days ago

Wait. What was the secret!? I didn’t get it??
Thanks for the chapter!

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