Saturday, April 22, 2017

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 11 Chapter 2

Lady Regis
Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Darkdhaos, Ruzenor
In response to Regis complaints about his leather armour and sword being too heavy, Jessica suggested:

“... Well then… do you want to wear clothes that are lighter?”

“Oh, you prepared civilian clothes for me?”

“Hmmm… You will be dead if the Imperial Army found you, so I already made the necessary arrangements.”

Jessica’s lips twisted for a moment, revealing a devious smile.

The clothes she retrieved from her luggage was definitely lighter than leather armour

It was civilian clothings.

And it was top notch in quality—— even if one walked in the streets of the capital Versailles, you wouldn’t look out of place. At the same time, it wasn’t ridiculously conspicuous. Most important of all, it would be impossible for soldiers to suspect Regis if he put it on. It was very safe.

Regis couldn’t conceal his expression of unwillingness.

“This is… perfect in a sense… but it has a big flaw.”

“Ara, what could that be? I think the size fits you well.”

Jessica was replying calmly as usual, but she was obviously holding back her laughter.

Regis pointed to the clothes she prepared.

“Isn’t that a woman’s dress!?”

Ahhahahaha! Franziska who heard the entire conversation laughed loudly without restraint.

Jessica seemed to be on the verge of laughing too.

With a trembling voice, she said in a straight tone:

“Pfft… But, you don’t need to worry about being discovered by the soldiers in the capital now right? Gugu…”

“But I’m a man.”
“They definitely won’t think that you would cross dress.”

“Don’t kid with me.”

“... Ara, Sir Auric? Your ideals and dignity, which one is more important?”

“Ugh!? W-What does that have to do with this!?”

“If not, then what is the issue?”

Regis crossed his arms and think.

“No, it’s just that… Well… Only drunkards who got carried away or comedy characters would cross dress…”

“That’s exactly the reason. Please don’t worry. Your looks aren’t too bad, it will be hard to recognize you if you put on some make up. Your limbs are slender too.”

“It’s hard to be happy about your evaluation.”

“You said you are willing to bet your life on your ideals right?”

“U-Ughhh… Hah… I get it.”
Regis raised the white flag.
In a flash, someone appeared before him suddenly. It was Fanrine who was listening quietly at the side from the beginning.

He could feel her eyes sparkling.

“Sir Regis! Leave the make up to me!”

“Eh? Don’t you feel disappointed about a man crossdressing…?”

“Not at all! Since the beginning, I have always felt that Sir Regis would look great in a dress!”

“So you thought that way since the very beginning...”

“Make up for ladies is a mandatory course for nobles. I had been learning from professionals since I was young. I will definitely give you a makeover that will make 100% of the men turn to look twice!”

“Don’t do that, it’s fine if they don’t turn back right!?”

They seemed to be ignoring Regis’ complaints.

Franziska laid out her tools.

“Well, crossdressing is also a way of disguising right? I’ve also infiltrated the Imperial Army by disguising as a maid too.”

“Yes, that’s amazing. I didn’t notice at all.”

“Right——? Hmmp hmmp!”

“Although your Belgarian had a strong Germania accent, but the constant invasion and recapture of territories meant that races and languages becoming mixed would be natural. Island nations like High Britannia are exceptions though.”

Even more so for servants. For maids there were more foreigners compared to pure Belgarians. After all, few people would mind the accent of a maid.

Franziska showed a complicated expression.

“I-Is my Germanian accent that thick? Isn’t it normal?”

Jessica didn’t answer and just nodded.

“Please get ready quickly. We are not here to sightsee.”

“Okay, I will start right now!”

Fanrine was full of drive.

Franziska gestured eagerly from the side.

Even Jessica joined in, and so—— Regis became a toy for the women.

Regis’ group walked on the streets of the capital.

The city was already in a festive mode.

Because Prince Latreille’s coronation was at hand.

And the war victory over their neighbour made the festival even grander.

Not only did they recapture Grebauvar city, they caught the enemy queen, and a young, strong and intelligent Emperor would be crowned.

The citizens of the Empire were looking forward to the coronation ceremony.

Stalls adorned both sides of the street, flowers decorated the city and bards serenade the crowd. There were plenty of tourist here who traveled here just to attend the ceremony.

The city was bustling.

Regis who was walking along the street looked down at his appearance, and sighed deeply.

“I know this is necessary… But…”

“It suits you Reg—— Ah, Ms Regina. You look really cute.”

Fanrine was all smiles.

The disguise would be meaningless if they used his real name, so they prepared an alias. His name was Regina. The four of them were friends in their setting.

Regina, Fanrine, Jessica and Franziska.

He knew that the disguise would keep him safe…

“But telling me it suits me makes me more depressed.”

Regis slouched his waist.

Puck! Franziska slapped his back.

“We did a great job right!? You are really cute, but not as cute as me!”

“That hurts… Well, I am thankful that I can walk in the city safely because of this disguise, but that’s about all.”

Jessica said with a plain expression.

“... As long as you don’t get addicted to this.”

“Spare me.”

It might be lighter than leather armour, but it is easy to trip on his skirt, it feels breezy below and he felt the area around his neck is too exposed. He couldn’t calm down.

Jessica asked:

“... Well then, where to?”

“I have a well connected friend. Let’s start from there.”

“... You don’t have a base here, but you still managed to lay down an intelligence network, impressive.”

“I’m not the impressive one, it’s the people I know. I will feel really bad if you got that wrong.”

“I guess… Can I stock up on my supplies now?”

They need to take 700 people to Fort Volks after all. They will pass by several cities along the way, but it would be better to prepare provisions and tents as much as possible. If the situation permits, she wanted horses and wagons too.

Renard Pendu might be elites, but only Jessica was good in negotiation.

Franziska asked with a frown.

“You really don’t need me to come along?”

“... I already have escorts. This is the enemy’s homebase, and I won’t do anything against the law.”

“Then take care of yourself Sis.”

“... Your side would be more dangerous though?”

“I know. Aur… Ah, no, I will take care not to be conned by Regina. Well, I will not hesitate to kill him if he tries to run.”

What a shocking conversation. Is there any meaning to using alias—— Regis thought.

Jessica seemed to think so too and admonished:

“... Don’t say such stupid things, try to not expose your real identity alright?”

“O-Of course! The intelligent me won’t make such a mistake!”

Franziska puffed out her chest.

“... You are too loud.”

After saying that with a sigh, Jessica walked down the streets towards the commercial zone. The three mercenaries kept a distance from her like before and followed her.

After seeing Jessica off, Regis pointed down the street.

“Well then, let’s go to Ms Carol’s bookstore——”

“Ms Regina!”

Fanrine grabbed his hand tightly.


He could see her stiff expression from the side.

Following her gaze, he saw two Imperial soldiers walking towards them.

Franziska reached into her bag. Her crossbow was in there.

Although her finger was on the trigger, she was as calm as ever. She seemed to have gotten used to this situation. Even Regis who had seen his fair share of acting felt her performance was outstanding.

With an amiable smile, Franziska responded to the approaching soldiers:

“Yes? How may I help you?”

“Ah… Not you, it’s that person…”

The soldiers were looking at Regis.

I am not suited for acting—— Regis thought from the bottom of his heart. He started to sweat, his vision wavered and even his breathing turned ragged.

“Ah… Ughh…”

Fanrine stood forth as if she was protecting him.

“My apologies gentlemen, did we offend you in anyway? Others often say that this child is weird.”

“Hmm, can we look at her face?”

“Eh, well… well… this child isn’t good at interacting with men.”

The soldiers broke into a smile.

“Ahh, really now! I thought it would be like this. It is rare seeing such innocence nowadays.”

“We are the capital’s Imperial guards. We are professional soldiers you know.”


Regis was a little confused.

Franziska interjected:

“T-This child isn’t good at such matters!”

“Isn’t that wonderful!? Please let me speak with her.”

The soldiers pushed Franziska aside and head up to Regis.

Fanrine wanted to protect Regis, but was pushed forcefully away too.

If there were just two enemy soldiers on the battlefield—— They could be beaten down without needing any schemes at all. But being hit on was completely unexpected. And naturally, they never thought about it

—— Why are soldiers hitting on me!?

They lean their face close.

They will realize if they observe from so close!?
It would be terribly embarrassing if they found out!

No, that’s wrong. He will die if they caught him!

If he could calm down, he might be able to use all sorts of strategies he had read in the past. But Regis was in complete panic mode right now.


When they saw him act like this, the soldiers’ breathing hastened.

“W-W-What’s your name? Where do you come from? Your face became like this just from us talking… How pure. Just like a newly bought sword.”

“No no, I think she is like a newborn hare.”


Regis tilted his head.

—— What’s going on? Are they trying to court me with their poetic words?

There were many educated soldiers in the capital, but their metaphors were all over the place. New swords, hares and whatnots.

“Erm… Poetic lines to compliment the innocence of a young lady huh… How about using a scene from ‘Laure’s Journal’? Your lips are like the brilliant sunlight that melts the snow, like the spring breeze in my heart’—— something like that.”


The soldiers took a step backwards.

Fanrine covered her snickering with her fingers.

“Ara ara… this child will read whenever she has time. Do you like poetry? Plays are fine too.”

The soldiers scowled their face in disgust.

Their elegant attitude suddenly turned brutish.

“What the hell, she’s smart!”

“Tch… You can leave now!”

They were chased away like unwanted dogs.

Women were supposed to serve men—— such values were common in this era. Women who were smarter than men were despised.

After they moved away from the soldiers, Regis exhaled deeply.

“Uwahh~ we are safe~”

“Hufufu… I feel refreshed, Ms Regina.”

Fanrine stuck her tongue out a little and nodded:

“Yup! Those arrogant men said ‘Ughh’!? That’s hilarious! They are just weak and stupid fellows, why are they acting so high and mighty for? How infuriating.”

“That’s right. The thinking that men should have a higher status than women are already outdated values.”

It was rare to see Fanrine agreeing with Franziska.

“You think so too right, Regina!?”

“Isn’t that right, Ms Regina?”

They wanted to seek his consensus, but Regis was also a weak and stupid guy too…

“Ahhh, hmm… well maybe. Compared to the younger brother who is a soldier, the elder sister who is a maid is stronger.”

They understood in their mind, but with the way Regis was dressed, it was like three women making small talks.

Franziska pointed to the side.

“W-What is that!? Donuts? Snacks!?”

“It is donuts. A sort of pastry made by deep frying sugared dough.”

“Uwah, let’s eat that!”

“Speaking of which, it has been a long time since I ate snacks. Is that alright, Regina?”

“Huh? Well… that should be fine. We didn’t eat lunch yet… Ehhh!?”

Before he finished, Franziska grabbed his hand and charged into the donut shop.

“Awesome! Hey, which one should we get!? There seems to be three types!?”

“Just buy one of each then…?”

“I knew this might happen, so I brought money along.”

Fanrine took out gold coins out of nowhere. Franziska ordered with a big smile.

“Then one of each, total of three sets!”


“That will be nine in total.” The counter staff answered with a smile.

Isn’t that too much? Regis thought, but for girls, they could eat desserts no matter how much there was.

Speaking of which, Altina could eat a scone after her meal.

Was this to hide the fact about their disguise?

Franziska picked up a donut and bit it.

“Uwah!? Delicious!”

“Yes, it’s been a long time since I last ate snacks.”

Fanrine was all smiles as she nodded.


Regis chewed on the donut as he thought about how amazing a creature women were.

Regis’ group came to Carol’s bookshop. It was a large store with a green sign and white words.

Because the coronation was just around the corner, they displayed a large number of books related to previous Emperors and related ceremonies. And there were unexpectedly many books about Prince Latreille. Most of them were published recently.

Fanrine had calmed down, but Franziska were still looking around worriedly

Regis spoke to the lady at the counter reading through an accounts book.


The blacked haired lady had shoulder length hair, and wore a blue apron. Her name was Carol de Talleyrand, the owner of this large bookshop.

She looked up immediately.

“Yes, how may I help you, dear customer?”

She replied with a gentle expression.

“Erm… It’s me…”


She tilted her head.

She was smiling as usual but… When Regis felt something was amiss, he realized he looked different from his usual self.

—— How should he explain this.

His disguise worked too well. Even his acquaintance didn’t recognize him!

No, this is expected. For a man who left for war and had yet to return, it would be hard to imagine him returning in the guise of a woman.

That might be so, but there were other patrons in the shop right now, so he couldn’t reveal his true identity here.

“Erm, well… Ms Carol, it’s me…”

“Eh? I am very sorry dear customer… I can’t recall…”

She looked troubled.
“As expected, it’s not working. Oh right——”

He didn’t imagine such a situation would happen, but they already tied down a simple code when exchanging intel with letters or contacts.

“Ms Carol—— Can you tell me the title of a book that was just published? A youth in the clothing trade was found out to be the illegitimate son of the King and succeeded the throne. He then married a beautiful queen from a noble bloodline. Such a book.”

She opened her eyes wide.

“Ehhh!? C-Could it be… that queen is a woman who always acted on her whims… A story like that?”

“Yes yes, when he met the King, she said ‘how revolting’.”

“And the queen actually has a secret right?”

“C'est vrai! (That’s right)”

After exchanging a few words, he finally conveyed the true identity of Ms Regina to Carol. She stared at Regis’ face.

“I-It’s true? To come here like this… what a surprise…”

“It is embarrassing, but it can’t be helped.”

He blushed unconsciously.

Carol who was in a daze came to her senses. She then urged them to walk deeper into the bookshop.

“This way please. I will lead you to that book.”

Under the guidance of Carol, Regis’ group was brought to the coffee table deep within the shop. They were seated at the very corner of the shop.

This shop used to be a cafe, so they patrons could have a coffee here after buying their book, and read their books leisurely.

Carol gave a look, and someone brought coffee for four people over immediately.

It had been a long time.

Regis became emotional because of nostalgia.

After confirming no one was around, Carol leaned closer.

“Y-You really are… Mr Regis?”

“Please don’t misunderstand. There are many reasons why I am dressed like this. They are higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans. Anyone will understand after hearing me out.”

“This long winded way of speaking, you really are Mr Regis.”

“Your rationale bothers me, but I am still glad that you will believe me.”

“I get to see you alive again…”

Gradually, Carol’s eyes grew moist.

Regis didn’t expect her to be so moved and was at a lost.

“Haha… Well, I survived because I got lucky.”

“This is wonderful. So, how should I address you?”

She wiped the corner of her eyes with her fingertips and said with a wry smile.

Regis scratched his eye, but it shifted his wig a little, and he pushed it back hurriedly.

“Ah, well… R-Right now… I’m… Regina.”

“I understand, Ms Regina.”

She seemed very happy.

Carol then shift her gaze towards Fanrine.

“You visited here together with Mr Regis before right? From House Tiraso Laverde.”

“Yes, I’m Fanrine Veronica de Tiraso Laverde. Previously, I am charged with surveilling Sir Regis as a General Affairs Officer from the Ministry of Military Affairs… Right now, I am a fugitive on the run alongside him.”

She answered with perfect etiquettes.

The two of them only met once a month ago, but they still remember each other.

Regis introduced the last person.

“This should be your first meeting right? This is Ms Franziska.”

Right after her introduction, she threw a sharp glare at Carol.

“Who is this woman?”

“She is someone who takes great care of me, understands me the best and helps me out a lot.”

“Hmm? Then there is no need to hide our identities?”

“Of course.”

Carol introduced herself.

“I am the owner of this bookshop, Carol de Talleyrand.”

“Oh. I am the cute Franziska from the mercenary group Renard Pendu. I’m acting as this guy’s escort and keeping watch over him on my Sis’ orders. Well, pleased to meet you.”

“Ah! That famous…!?”

Carol looked at her with surprise.

Regis nodded.

“So you know about Renard Pendu. As expected of Ms Carol.”

“Fufu… you are always full of surprises. One week after I heard you died in the battle for Grebauver, you actually came to me in this attire with a Duke’s daughter and a member of a famous mercenary band.”

“Died in battle?”

Regis leaned forth.

Carol nodded.

“Yes, that’s what I heard. This news is widely spread in the capital, and I have confirmed this with an acquaintance of mine in the military, it can’t be wrong.”

—— In that case, that meant Latreille meant to assassinate him. Or was he tricked by the fake corpses?

No, could this be a trick to make him ease his guard?

“Can you tell me the cause of death?”

“I don’t know the details… but I heard the body was sent to his next of kin.”

Was the body double sent to his sister? He felt sorry about that.

“Did the Fourth Army receive this report too?”

“Probably? It is only natural to report this to the Fourth Army.”

“Well, that’s true…”

Regis crossed his arms.

Personally, he didn’t want Altina to worry. He wanted to, but if he tried to contact the Fourth Army now——

Latreille might noticed midway.

Fanrine said:

“Ms Regina, I understand that you are worried, but don’t be rash alright?”

“Yes, I got it.”

Or rather, he was worried about Altina acting rashly.

Carol asked:

“There are other intel too, you want to hear about them, Ms Regina?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m here.”

“Looks like this will be a long talk, I will get some snacks. This snacks are all the rage recently.”

What the server placed on the table, was sugar glazed donuts.

Regis sipped on his second cup of coffee.


It was delicious.

The donuts were sweet too. The sugar caramelized during the baking and it had a soft texture hidden under its crispy exterior. The taste of honey spread from the tip of his tongue.

Surrounded by books with delicious coffee and donuts—— How blissful it would be to read like this through the night.

Regrettably, Regis couldn’t spare the time to read leisurely.

“Ms Carol, do you have any information regarding that matter I requested of you?”

“Yes, right here.”

There wasn’t any customers near the table, but it was better to be careful. Carol handed a book over to him.

Regis took it and open the pages.

There was a piece of paper like a bookmark in it.

It was an investigation report.

What Regis asked her to investigate was—— the truth behind the death of the Emperor and Consort.

“... Hmm… It’s as I expected.”

“There wasn’t any decisive evidence, but considering the situation before the passing of the Emperor… The court physician who performed the autopsy, the personal physicians of the Consort as well as the maids and servants, there are some who went missing.”

Fanrine opened her eyes wide.

“What!? H-How did you collect such intel!?”

Carol concealed her wry smile with her hand.

“I have friends in the courts who likes all sorts of gossips.”

“Even so…”

Regis kept the report into the pocket of his skirt quickly after he finished reading it. There were hidden pockets on the inside of the skirt. It should be meant for espionage activities—— not, it’s actually just a place to keep one’s handkerchief.

“As the higher ups of the Ministry of Military Affairs and the Military are controlled by Field Marshall Latreille, intel doesn’t really leak. However, it is still possible to find out about what happened inside the courts. But of course, this is all thanks to Ms Carol’s amazing social network.”

“Hufufu… It is only this effective when our regular Mr Regis request for it. Ah, you are Ms Regina now.”

“You have my deepest thanks. Maybe this might change the history of the Empire.”

“It is something so important?”

“Yes, to be honest—— asking you to do this is a little too harsh of me.”

“Some of these people are already missing, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any witness.”

“There are circumstantial evidences, but they are too weak.”

And the testimony of just a few maids wouldn’t overturn Latreille’s position.

“It will be best if we can obtain intel from the second prince’s inner circle…”

“Prince Latreille’s retainers won’t spill a word even at the threat of death. That’s how unshakable their loyalty is. I witnessed it with my own eyes.”

“This is tough.”

“Even so… The Prince seemed too hasty. He’s preparations seemed shoddy. So it was done in the spur of the moment after all? I think too many people knew the truth. In that case, maybe the information obtained from people outside his inner circle would be enough to jeopardize his position.”

“That’s true. What do you think about this person?”

Carol proffered a second book.

Regis turned over the pages like before, and looked at the paper clipped between them.

“—— Grand Chamberlain Beclard? That’s the Emperor’s trusted aide. He recognized Prince Latreille’s right to succeed the throne as the ‘living will of the late Emperor’.”

“He seemed to have entered the Emperor’s chambers when he passed.”

“He should know the entire truth. After all, it’s because this important figure is backing Prince Latreille, that’s why he could shake off any suspicion and ascend firmly up the stairs of coronation.”

The coronation would take place three days later.

Fanrine tilted her head.

“Marquis Beclard huh. I rarely hear any positive news about him though? I saw him at parties several times before… What if he emulate Prince Latreille’s retainers and refuse to reveal the truth?”

Franziska knocked the table lightly with her clenched fist.

“What do you mean by ‘rarely hear any positive news’!? Make it clear, you think this is the time to be reserved?”

“Hmm… Rumours say his character is found wanting… Hmm, there’s no point if I don’t explain it clearly now. Well—— Marquis Beclard likes money a lot. My family runs a large business in the south, not only do we need legal documents to do so, he also asked us for a lot of money. Although he wasn’t the only one with authoritative power to do so…”

“Hah! The Empire sure is corrupt.”

Franziska spitted.

This was an infuriating matter indeed.

However, Regis knew that this system had been in place for a very long time. He was working so hard in order to change it.

Fanrine continued:

“My apologies for digressing—— but the negotiations are done by my sister Eleanor, so I don’t know the details.”

“No, I am very thankful. This can serve as a reference.”

When she heard Regis said that, Fanrine squinted her eyes happily.

Franziska asked:

“Regina, what should we do? Should we compete with the Second Prince and bribe that greedy old man with money?”

“... That would be a peaceful way to resolve this. Unfortunately, I am poor like normal citizens, and the Fourth Army is on the verge of bankruptcy because of this war. Princess Argentina’s mother is also a civilian… On the other hand, Prince Latreille is the Field Marshall and is backed by many grand nobles. Our financial prowess is way lesser than his.”

“Really now, no matter how good your tactics are, fighting war is still dependent on money though? You really think you can win this?”

“The Fourth Army fighting prowess had increased, but we probably can’t win against the First Army. Ideally, we can win without fighting.”

“That’s not an ideal, but a delusion right?”

Regis said with a bitter smile:

“Hahaha… Well, no matter what, if we can force a testimony out of the Chamberlain, I think it would be enough to change the situation.”

Fanrine nodded.

“I think the idea is fine. The problem is how to carry it out.”

Franziska said with a cocky smile:

“Kidnap him?”

What a shocking proposal. Carol shook her head at this:

“Chamberlain Beclard understand his position very well. He hasn’t left his house recently. His mansion was surrounded by a huge number of troops like a fort, he even refuse interviews with reporters. It is impossible to abduct him.”


Franziska clicked her tongue crudely, which made Fanrine frown.

Regis asked:

“... Did you get your intel from a reporter?”

“Yes. It is someone who publish newspaper for the working class, and criticize the system. The publishing company is call Weekly Quarry.”

“Has that weekly paper always been like this?”

“Yes, since half a year ago.”

“Ahh, so the number of anti establishment papers had been increasing while I was away from the capital.”

Since it was something published with words, Regis will read newspapers too.

Weekly Quarry was comprised of reporters and a chief editor that loves sarcasm. They would occasionally criticize the establishment harshly and expose scandals of the aristocrats.

One time, a noble personally visited the Publisher to protest a published article with thinly veiled threats. However, the entire conversation was published the next day, blowing the whole incident up. In that end, that noble moved away from the capital as if he was fleeing.

Carol continued:

“The sales number of Weekly Quarry seemed to be increasing. Compared to before, the number of people talking about Liberalism is rising.”

“Instead of reporters, they are more like social activists.”

“He wants to meet Mr Regis too though? You are a hero who rose from peasantry after all.”

“No no, I’m not… No, wait…”

Regis fell into deep thought.

This might not be a bad idea.

Carol carried on:

“Maybe that reporter can introduce people with strong connection to the courts to us.”

“And that person is…?”

“Eh, do you know Morgane Bourgine?”

“Hmm? I heard this name before…”

“Three years ago, in the plaza in front of the Palace——”

“Ahh, it’s that brave lady who gave a speech about ‘This country is rotting’ right? Is she inside the palace? No, that is impossible. She should be wanted by the police right?”

“Why?” Fanrine asked.

Those who criticize the Emperor was culpable of Lèse-majesté, but political activism including critique of the governing system was allowed. This was the policy of this nation.

Franziska snorted:

“Hah! No matter what the law says, those who goes against the authority will have a hard time right?”

“They actually…”
“... Yes. It’s regrettable, but Franziska is right. It might be permissible by law, but criticizing the aristocracy in public would not end well. This isn’t like venting at night in a bar, it is a speech in the plaza before the palace after all.”

This was no different from nocking an arrow against the nobles.

Fanrine lowered her head depressedly.

“I am not a naive little girl too. During my time as a General Affairs Officer in the Military Affairs Ministry, I also saw the shady side of the Empire. But… Even so, what I have seen in these few days cannot be ignored. They actually went that far!”

“We are fighting in order to make all this right.”

Fanrine nodded in response to Regis.

Franziska shrugged. She had no intentions of ‘bettering this country’.

Carol turned back to the topic:

“I am an acquaintance of Ms Morgane. When she was still teaching, she used to frequent my shop.”

“Have I seen her before?”


Female customers were rare, so he might remember if he saw her face… But now that he thought about it, Regis didn’t really pay attention to others when he visited the bookshop.

“Do Ms Morgane… know some people in the courts?”

“—— The reporter from Weekly Quarry said so. Even I don’t know where she is right now, but that reporter is able to contact her.”

“I see…”

“That reporter also said that this would definitely be an attractive proposal to Mr Regis.”

“He seems to be really sharp.”

Regis couldn’t refute that. Because he needed to get into contact with someone familiar with the courts.

If that reporter rendered his aid, he would have another option.

Franziska stood up.

“The sooner we act, the better right? We can’t wander around the capital aimlessly for days after all!”

“That’s right. Ms Carol, can you tell me that reporter’s name?”

As Carol was still tied up with work, it was better to not take anything conspicuous. For Regis, she was the main pillar in this intel war. It would be problematic if she attracted Latreille’s attention.

With her introduction letter in hand, Regis’ group of three visited the publishing company.

It was a building that faced the main road without any signboard. It was too big for a normal residence, but Regis didn’t know if it was the newspaper company Weekly Quarry.

Fanrine tilted her head.

“Is this really the place?”

“It should be. Let’s go in and take a look.”

Regis knocked the wooden door.

A short moment later, the door opened.

A man with large ears and tanned skin peered out. His flat leather hat was worn really low, and he gazed at Regis sharply.

He opened his dry lips.

“... I don’t recall hiring maids, and refuse any solicitation. I have never miss my monthly donation to the church. In conclusion, I have no money, go somewhere else.”
Seeing that he was about to close the door, Regis said frantically.

“Is the reporter Mr Claude here!? I am here on someone’s introduction!”

“Sigh… If you want to complain about that guy, then write a letter. If you wish to support him, just buy our next publication.”

“Please wait. If you are interested in Regis Auric, we can talk this over.”

The man stopped his movement of closing the door.

“Some news about him should be fine.”

“If you can talk with him directly?”

“I won’t pay any interview fees though.”

“Or rather, he is here to visit on someone’s introduction…”


“... Bookshop, if that is enough for you.”

“What, bookshop? Anything else?”

“Erm, you should understand this way… ‘Thank you for your roses from the other day’ or something… I think it’s a birthday. Not really sure though.”

Pfttt! The man almost spitted.

“Ms Carol introduced you!?”


The man poked his face out of the door, then checked the surroundings.

After confirming that Regis’ group of three was alone, he said:

“Come in quick!”

The house had 8 work desks.

On the tables were messy piles of books and manuscripts tied up by ropes.

In a place blocked off by a screen, two double seater couch faced each other.

Donk, the man kicked the couch.

“I told you to go home if you want to sleep!”

Ah, ahh… A man wearing torn clothes groaned as he rolled off the couch. Laying prone on the floor, he raised his head—— and saw Regis.

Wah! He opened his eyes wide.

“Ughaaaah!? H-How cute! Who is she!?”


Regis backed away unconsciously. He felt he was in danger.

The man with the hat kicked at the butt of the man in torn clothes.

“What are you saying to our guest! Go pour us some coffee!”

“That stings——!?”

He rubbed his butt as he stumbled out of the room.

Fanrine’s face was turning green. Seems like such a crude atmosphere wasn’t suitable for a Duke’s daughter.

Regis felt this place look like his own quarters when he gets busy, so he wasn’t too surprised. Although there wouldn’t be any kicking of butts.

Franziska who’s a mercenary didn’t have any reaction.

The man with the hat sat on the couch and pointed to the other side.

“Have a seat.”

“Yes, sorry to intrude.”

Regis sat down.

And Franziska sat beside him as if this was only natural.

But Fanrine stood stiffly. She would treat commoners as equals, but that wasn’t the problem here. A man who had noth bathed in god knows how many days just slept in this couch. It was only natural for her to be repulsed by this mentally.

Regis didn’t say anything about that. The couch wasn’t big enough for the three of them anyway.

Franziska looked around the publishing company.

“So, where is that Claude guy?”

“That’s me.”

Seemed like what he did earlier was all an act.

Regis nodded.

“I see, so that’s it.”

Claude opened his left palm that bore a knife scar and said:

“Sorry about that. I had the experience of being stabbed the moment I gave my name.”

“You mentioned that Ms Carol sent you?”

“Yes, she gave me this.”

Regis opened his handbag and retrieved the introduction letter. Handbag for women were really small. He had to fold the envelope for it to fit. It was about the size of an ammo pouch used in battlefields.

Claude took the letter and asked:

“And your name is?”

“I am Regis Auric. Although I had the honour of being Regis d’Auric some days ago…”


He had a shocked expression.

That was to be expected. Regis was crossdressing after all.

He was troubled about how to explain when——

Fanrine supplemented:

“This is because Sir Auric can’t walk around the capital in his usual appearance, so he had to put on this disguise. Ah, the two of us are just tagging along, don’t mind us.”

Claude looked at the introduction letter wide eyed.

“You really are…!?”

“Ms Carol likes to jest, but she won’t lie.”

He swept his gaze through Regis several times.

“... You really are a man?”

Regis felt embarrassed to be stared at so closely.

Franziska puffed out her chest.

“Isn’t our make up skills amazing!?”

Claude nodded.

“Yeah, it’s impressive. It’s done really well.”

The makeup was mainly done by Fanrine, but Regis kept quiet about that——

Moments later, the man in torn clothes came from inside the house. He was wearing a nicer jacket and had combed his hair with wax now.

“Ahaha, for you, mademoiselle (young lady).”
He only had one cup in hand, and placed it before Regis.

Claude yelled at him:

“Why is there only one!? Enough, scram aside!”

“Sigh, how can you be so harsh to the chief editor!?”

“Chief Editor!?”

Regis blurted out without thinking. This position should be higher than reporters, and the leader on the ground…

Hah ah ah~ Claude sighed.

If you know you are a supervisor, then go edit the report I just finished. Go on and do your work.”

“Really now, why are you always ordering your boss around, Claude. While you yourself are talking to cute girls.”

“This is a man!”

“No way!? Isn’t that even better!?”

“I will send you flying with a kick!”

The man who was addressed as the chief editor walked to the largest desk as he complained. Seems like he really is the chief editor.

Claude slouched his shoulders.

“He might be a weirdo, but his writing is really sharp.”
“Speaking of which, your sales had been on the rise?”

“That’s after that guy took over as chief editor half a year ago.”

“Ahh… That’s why…”

That man looked like a homeless bum who was reading a newspaper he happened to pick up. You really couldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Franziska took the coffee placed before Regis and drank it.

“Ah, this person is Regina now. It would be terrible if you call him by his real name in public alright?”

Claude nodded.

“According to rumours, you already died in battle.”

“Ehh? From that perspective, you don’t seem surprised? And you believed me immediately…?”

“The body didn’t have a head—— I heard about this, so I thought that you are definitely still alive. After all, Regis d’Auric is a genius strategist. He would definitely be prepared for that. Since it was a headless corpse, that might be a body double.”

“I’m not a genius. I just happen to be lucky.”

“Even so, the Fourth Army should have received news of your death in battle—— The princess would definitely not accept it. The worst case would be the nation getting embroiled in civil war.”

“I really hope she won’t lose her composure so easily.”

“Well, I never imagined you would visit in the guise of a cute girl. This really surprised me.”

“C-Cute...!? Erm… I am a 20 year old man…”

He knew he looked young, but the term girl is used to describe woman who wasn’t of age.

“I know, don’t worry. I’m the type who place more weight on the personality. I am good at intellectual discussion, and often made women laugh. I’m not interested in men. No, I am interested in Regis d’Auric though?”

“Haha.. You may ask me anything. As long as it don’t involve the princess.”

“And return, I just need to introduce that person to you right?”

“I will be counting on you...But I hope you can help me with one more thing. Which is to get a testimony out of Marquis Beclard.”

“Regarding what?”

“... The details of the Emperor’s passing.”

Claude shook his head.

“Impossible. I want to interview him too, but I can’t even meet him.”

“If you ask that highly positioned person in the courts?”

“Ah—… If that person asked, that may be possible. But Beclard is backed by Latreille, the Emperor-in-waiting. He will never testify against the prince.”

“It’s a bit dated, but there is a book called ‘General Gordon’. It is a nice read. It was serialized for many years, but it stopped at volume 20 before the story ended, and I have been looking forward to future volumes.”

“I saw it in a bookshop before. But I am not really interested in fiction…”

“This is a work based on events that actually happened 200 years ago though.”

“Hmm? Well, alright… How is the story?”

“In that work, there is a strategy that just happen to fit the current situation.”

The corner of Claude’s eyes twitched.

“That is… which mean, this is the strategy of the renowned Regis d’Auric?”

“No no, I just happen to know about it. And the strategy is written on that book.”

“Tell me the details.”

“Will you help me?”

Claude fell silent.

At this moment, Regis judged that this man was reliable. Because those who would just pay lips service will just say “I will help you” before listening to Regis’ strategy. They will listen first, then turn him down with some excuse, all that was possible.

But he was a man who would keep his words. That was why he was so troubled.

“This sounds great, just help him then!”

The one leaning on the screen and accepted unhesitantly was the chief editor.
“Hufufu… If we can get Beclard’s testimony, our sales will definitely double! We will also get to witness the strategy of the Wizard Regis d’Auric, such a chance won’t come again.”

“Potent venom and traps might be hidden behind honeyed words. If we screw up, we might get targeted by Prince Latreille. Right?”

“... Well, it might turn out like that.”

The chief editor said with a laugh:

“What are you saying at this juncture!? Weekly Quarry is already detested by the establishment!”

“Flies are different from bees. Right now, we can still shoo the harassing party away, but if we obtain Beclard’s testimony regarding that incident—— it won’t end with just a sting, we might get swamped completely.”

“Hufufu… What’s wrong Claude? Chicken?”

“Of course not. I will accept even if someone stops me. But I can’t make up my mind since this will involve the publishing company.”

Regis put his fingers on his chin.

“Indeed… Everyone has their loved ones.”

“No, everyone here have no parents, child or siblings. By the way, no wives and girlfriends either.”

“I-Is that so?”

The chief editor sat down beside Claude. He then leaned forward towards Regis.

“Mr Regis. Ah, you are Ms Regina now!”

—— You can just use Regis here. Regis thought about that, but didn’t bother to correct him.

Fanrine was surprised by the chief editor’s aura. Franziska seem to think the conversation was getting hard to follow and had given up on thinking about it.

He introduce himself again:

“I am the chief editor of Weekly Quarry—— Ottoman. Well, it’s an alias anyway.”

“That’s fine.”

“Ms Regina, we have raised the flag of rebellion against the current system of the aristocrat controlling all the wealth, and the life of everyone being decided from birth!”

“That’s Liberalism.”

“We are not adamant on overthrowing the Imperial government though. However, we can’t accept a part of the authority hogging the wealth by taking advantage of how numb and ignorant the citizens are.”

“I feel the same way.”

“What do you think needs to be done to change the current system?

“... From what Mr Ottoman is saying, we need to educate the citizens and make them interested in politics?”

“That is correct, but not enough.”


“You don’t know!?”

Regis mentioned that ‘I am just quoting the words of others’, then continued:

“... Why is the masses ignorant and numb towards politics? That’s because nothing will change even if they are knowledgeable and aware—— That’s what they think. They never thought that the country’s system can be changed. So what the people need right now is ‘hope’ correct?”

“Magnificent! As expected of a hero!”

“No no… I just happen to have read Professor Boutter’s ‘National Remodeling Theory’.”

“And the one who chose that opinion out of the countless ‘improvement ideas proposed by authors’ is you, Ms Regina! Ahh, how splendid! As expected of you!”

“Not at all… Well, thank you…”

The compliments won’t stop no matter what he said, so Regis chose to push the discussion forward.

“I will ask directly then. Since both of you know the danger involved, will you still carry out my strategy? I want to make waves about Prince Latreille’s coronation. Such as bringing up a topic that everyone is concerned about.”

Claude nodded.

“I will do it! Beclard is a monster lurking inside the Empire. If we can expose him to the sun, it will be worth dying for.”

“Hehehe, this is the raison d'etre of Weekly Quarry.”

“This looked interesting, what’s happening?” Even the men who were working hard at their desks gathered together and surrounded the couch.

It didn’t help even when Claude shouted “I will tell you later, get back to work!”

In the end, Regis explained his plans before all of them.

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