Aku no Joou no Kiseki Volume 1 Chapter 2 part1
Chapter 2 – Return to the Castle
Mari was brought to an unbelievably large and imposing castle. Upon entering the old medieval European-esque castle, she was suddenly crowded around by a great number of subjects. They followed Mari about and began to enthusiastically praise her on her victory, trying to seek favour by flattery.
Annoyed, Mari let them guide her to her room and then made them all go away by saying she was going to take a bath.
Then, as she was washing her body and hair, some attractive young men approached her and she panicked. Mari hurriedly yelled, "GET OUT!!" and like baby spiders, they all ran away scattering in different directions.
Whatever. Mari needed time alone.
In the bathtub inside the luxurious bathroom like the ones she'd seen in Western films, she immersed herself up to her neck.
Mari felt completely down.
She could only let out a sigh.
(How in the world did I wind up in something like this?)
If the people who saw the 'Queen' on the battlefield met the current 'Queen', they probably would not be able to recognise that she was the very same person.
The Mari, who really behaved as if she were the Queen and was accompanied with an imposing air by knights, was not the Mari of the future.
(After all, I thought it was a dream…)
Of course, that wasn't the only reason. There was a peculiar atmosphere on the battlefield and Mari had been completely engulfed by it.
And maybe the leftover consciousness of the Queen in her body—she was probably influenced by the remnants of the Queen.
After arriving at the castle, she finally came to her senses and was taken aback by her own blood-stained and mud-covered appearance. She could not go on without taking a bath.
Mari's wounds were rather shallow for the flashy amount of bleeding. She was covered in scratches, to the extent that the healer who had come running to her hesitated over where they should treat her. When she informed the healer she had vomited blood, they treated her entire body for her since there was the possibility that her internal organs were damaged. She was grateful that even when she got into the bath, her wounds did not sting as they had been healed.
When she enquired, it seemed that the healer possessed the ability to enhance the natural healing capability of living things. When they held their hand over Alware's leg wound, it was healed in an instant. Mari was deeply moved by the sight.
And then she realised.
(As I thought, this is a different world isn't it?)
She had considered something nonsensical like that, but the incidents occurring right before her eyes would not allow Mari to evade the fact.
(I've also become the evil queen)
Mari dejectedly dropped her shoulders once again. She even thought about wanting to drown in the bathtub as is.
When she raised her eyes, a beautiful woman with black hair and black eyes and making a pathetic face was reflected in the mirror on the wall. When Mari placed her hand on her head, the beauty inside the mirror also placed her hand on her head. When Mari covered her face, the other woman likewise covered her face.
For a Japanese person, Mari originally had a light-complexion and well-defined facial features. Even so, her face was not this elegant and beautifully good-looking, nor was her skin this fair and fine.
This body definitely belonged to Her Majesty the Evil Queen and was now Mari's vessel. She recalled the words thrown at her by Margrave Mydal and the citizens who rebelled.
(Did I really do such an awful thing?)
It was precisely because she did something that awful that it became a battle, which Mari then suppressed.
(Ahh. Why did I at that time…when I remembered Margrave Mydal, why didn't I think harder about this?)
Mari started crying from the depths of her heart. She wept quietly. No matter how much she thought, the answer would not come out.
She didn't know how long she was like that for. She began to feel light-headed. It was understandable that she was crying after laying in the bath for a while. She was probably feeling dizzy after the long bath.
Mari slowly raised her face, gently got out of the bathtub and washed her face with cold water. She then wiped off the water and slapped her cheeks twice.
(I can't help that I cried)
The face of Mari's uncle who had brought her up popped into her mind. Her uncle was her mother's younger brother and was a monk of a religiously strict sect. The reason for her uncle raising her was not because her parents had died or divorced. It wasn't because her parents were poor to the point that they couldn't raise a child either… Anyhow, Mari was brought up strictly by her uncle at his temple.
That said, Mari's uncle didn't force the teachings of Buddhism onto her. As long as she didn't deviate from humanity, it could be said instead that her tolerance level was high.
"Don't stray from humanity." This was the teaching her uncle had thoroughly hammered into her head.
(Yet here I am, recklessly wandering off…)
Seeming like she might start to feel dispirited again, Mari shook her head side to side.
"If you have strayed from the path, then you should just return to the path of righteousness."
She recalled her uncle's words. He had said this to her during her junior high school days, where before she realised it, she was taking part in bullying.
(Let's return to the path of righteousness)
Mari was determined and began to think about what she should do in order to realise her aim.
Since she had believed it was all a dream on the battlefield, she didn't tell anyone that she wasn't the Queen. However if this situation continued, it might be good if she talked to someone honestly. On the other hand, she wondered if anyone would believe in such an absurd matter.
The Queen's actions up until now were the worst.
It's not strange if she lied in order to shift responsibility to others if she's unskilled.
(If they find out I'm not the Queen, how will people treat me…? They no longer need to fear the Queen who has done only horrible things up to the present. I don't know what the people, who have held complaints against the Queen and endured up until now, will do. In the worst case, they will come for revenge to vent their pent-up anger…)
After deliberating, Mari decided to pretend to be the Queen as she was. She then arrived at the conclusion that she had no choice but to fix, even just a little, the misgovernment done by the Queen.
That seemed to be the very best and only path.
――However, Mari's resolve seemed likely to crumble in the blink of an eye.
The beautiful men were again awaiting Mari when she finished her bath. This time Mari had frozen with shyness and could not oppose them. Her body was wiped dry and her hair was dried. On top of that, she was dressed in a gorgeous dress and her hair was also tended to. They touched her excessively all over and even tried to do something like a massage and so, in a voice similar to a shriek, Mari ordered them to exit the room.
(What the hell is happening? Also, why men? Usually this sort of thing is done by maids or female attendants…in any case aren't women meant to be doing this?)
Mari didn't want to be touched even if the other party was female. Regardless, she could only think of the commotion after her bath as nothing but sheer madness.
Mari was exhausted and slumped onto the sofa in her room.
This room of hers too was decorated in a way that made her grow tired. Anything and everything sparkled. Furniture with such extravagant adornments and jewels—it was as terrifying as wondering what she should do if she were injured. Being in a flashy room filled with expensive looking ornaments, she began to feel dizzy.
(How much does this room cost in total?)
Being an ordinary person, she did not have the slightest idea. It was impossible for her to feel relaxed in such a room.
While deciding to sell it all off, Mari looked around the room. Doing so, she noticed a single boy sitting at a fine desk, appearing to be for performing official duties, in a way as to bury and hide himself in documents. The boy who looked to be 12 or 13 years old was for some reason, working extremely hard.
"What are you doing?"
In response to her question, the boy turned towards Mari with a look of shock. He was a cute boy who still had the innocence of a child.
"Oh, ah! I'm sorry! Due to the commotion of Your Majesty's return, I- I am late in reporting on the documents…… I will finish them at once!"
The boy was panicking, to the point that Mari felt sorry watching him.
Mari felt troubled that she—the Queen—was such a frightening existence. However, there was nothing she could do about it right now and thus she asked her question a second time.
"What are you doing?"
The boy blinked.
"Eh? Oh, yes. I am stamping the Queen's seal according to Your Majesty's command."
(The Queen's seal? By Queen's seal, he means my seal of authorisation right? Why is this child stamping it?)
"Why is that you're stamping that?"
Mari tried asking as nicely as she could so as not to frighten the boy.
"Because Your Majesty told me to stamp it…"
Mari felt her head starting to ache. Seeing her place her finger on the temple of her forehead, the boy panicked and frantically spoke.
"I-, I was originally responsible for carrying documents. B- But one time when I brought them here, Your Majesty s-said… 'it's troublesome so stamp it for me'…didn't you?"
Mari heaved a sigh at his story and calmed down the boy who seemed like he was about to burst into tears.
"It's okay. I'm not sighing at you."
Her sigh was, of course, directed at the Queen.
(You left your authorisation up to someone else because it was troublesome? And to a child like this? Surely there has to be limit to being irresponsible)
Mari stood up from the sofa and headed towards the desk. She made the boy stand while she sat down.
Although it was a soft chair, it was staggeringly uncomfortable to sit on.
She looked down at the documents and was relieved that she could read them. Naturally they were not in Japanese, yet strangely she understood their meaning. However—
Even if she could read the words, she couldn't understand the contents.
For the time being, she looked over the topmost document on the mountain of papers, but—
"These are project plan documents, aren't they?"
Mari asked the pale-faced boy. The boy tremblingly shook his head.
"I- I don't understand what it's about."
Seeing Mari knit her brows, he shrieked in shock. Mari cast her eyes down onto the documents once more.
(Why is there no implementation policy or brief overview stated even though it's a project plan?)
Before, at the time she was volunteering with her circle of colleagues and friends, Mari had founded an incorporated non-profit organisation upon requiring a legal personality. On that occasion, she went through a lot of hardship with project plans, and income and expenditure budget statements and the like. Yet, the documents before her seemed to be sneering at her hardship from that time. Just the titles themselves stood out like sore thumbs and sections like the schedule for the plan as well as the budget forecast were half-hearted. They were project plans with completely no content of importance.
(The calculations are wrong too…)
The simple budget proposal had calculation errors that she could discover with just a glance, even without a calculator.
(Why does something like this come around for the Queen's approval?)
She tried flipping through other papers, wondering if this document had accidentally got mixed in. However, all of them were nearly the same.
While smoothing out the crease between her brows with her fingers, Mari spoke to the boy.
"Is there somebody—can you call someone who understands the content of these documents?"
The boy jumped up then replied and left as fast as a fleeing rabbit.
Mari for some reason had an unpleasant premonition and scowled at the mountain of papers piled on the desk. Like that, she waited for the person who could give her a clear explanation.
An elderly man who seemed as though who would collapse at any moment was forced along by the boy.
(Is he OK? This grandpa…)
Different from her expectation, the man panicked after hearing Mari's question, to the point where it seemed like he was about to have a heart attack. Without even giving an explanation-like explanation, the old man swapped with another person.
The next person was a chubby middle-aged man with a flushed face. He was pouring in sweat and could only utter "eh?" and "huh?" He simply wiped off his sweat as his handkerchief became utterly soaked, and then changed places with the next individual.
The person who could finally answer Mari's question was the third person of the ruddy-complexioned men.
Mari couldn't take her eyes off of the person who stood before her on the other side of the desk. He had flowing silver hair and greenish-blue eyes like the deep sea. His face was too good-looking that it seemed like something of gods. Although he appeared to be of a similar age as Mari, she felt completely no sense of affinity with him.
He gracefully bent his slender and well-proportioned body and bowed at Mari.
"I have come upon hearing your summoning."
A charming deep voice resounded.
But at the same time, for some reason the unpleasant feeling in Mari's heart grew bigger.
(Isn't this the unpleasant feeling I experienced with Darius too? …No, no. Why? Even though he's this good-looking. And it's just the two of us in this room. In a setting that makes one's heart throb and the tension has gone down this much…)
Mari forcibly brushed away the bad feelings she was harbouring.
(I don't want to think about it…)
More importantly, Mari held out the problematic documents and asked him for an explanation.
However, glancing at the documents, the handsome young man clicked his tongue of all things.
"Even though I told you so many times not to mix me up with documents that I don't overlook…"
Mari opened her eyes wide in bewilderment as he quietly muttered something.
"It seems the documents were mistakenly passed into your hands. I shall immediately dispose of them."
The tone of his voice was polite, but he clearly looked annoyed.
"Oh, in that case, this and this too…"
While Mari was waiting, she roughly looked over the documents, collected the ones with inadequacies and handed them over to him.
"…These are the documents that haven't been prepared properly."
The young man blinked his beautiful eyes then silently accepted the documents.
"Also, as for this…"
Mari showed the young man the documents that she couldn't comprehend the contents of, but were in good order and format.
"This 'Construction of the Summer Palace'…what is it?"
Mari's question made the young man be at a loss for words.
"…This is the construction of a villa for spending the summer season in, previously requested for by Your Majesty though?"
Hearing that response, Mari wanted to look up at the ceiling.
(Of course, it was the Queen…)
She was dumbfounded by the Queen's actions.
"By 'summer'…does that mean I already have a spring or an autumn one?"
"You have a winter palace as well."
Mari seriously wanted to tear her hair out.
Mari poked back at the young man with the "Summer Palace construction plan documents" like she was venting.
"What are our losses if I stop this project?"
"Given that we only did a few prior inquiries in order to select the location, I do not think it will be too much."
"In that case, please stop it immediately. The other palaces too, any unnecessary things, consider whether we should demolish them or sell them in order to minimise any expenses as much as possible. Of course, the workers and people concerned must not suffer any disadvantages. Please do this at your convenience," said Mari with irritation.
(I can't believe she has as many as four villas! Both constructing a public building and maintenance use a staggering amount of money. It's stuff like this that cause revolts!)
Mari remembered the heartrending voice of a man who was saying his son had starved to death.
"First and foremost, why has no talk regarding the aftermath of the battle come to me? Is progress being made in the matter? Instead of things like this, wouldn't you say that is our top priority!?"
The dissatisfaction and complaints she'd been gloomily accumulating from the moment she saw the documents, at last, burst out.
She couldn't stop herself, no matter if this handsome man was or wasn't bad.
"Your Majesty is right."
The young man, who had been silently listening so far, quietly spoke.
Sensing something threatening in the atmosphere, Mari immediately became emotionally cooler.
"However, I thought Your Majesty held no interest in matters such as the aftermath of the battle."
Those greenish-blue eyes watched Mari.
Mari was unable to respond. She realised her own mistake. The previous Queen was certainly not interested in such things. After all, she even left the stamping of her sovereign's seal to someone else.
Slowly, the young man went around the work desk and approached Mari—he stood right next to her.
"…'Your Majesty'. Who are you?"
Hi, Kainan here. I’m not really planning to fully translate this right now. I might though, but it would be at a slow pace hah since I already have another translation project. I’m planning to translate up to pg 60 of vol 1.
If other translators would like to take this project they can, just let me know beforehand so I don’t end up translating extra stuff.