Mob Villain In An Otome Game Volume 1 Chapter 13

Chapter 13 – The Magnolia Empire

“We’re almost at the imperial capital, are you mentally prepared?” Reiner asked.

“Yes, I am. Opportunities like this are rare, and I’ll do everything I can as a merchant,” Chris replied.

During their journey to the imperial capital, Chris and Reiner took breaks as they traveled by carriage. They rested the horses and took breaks along with the other passengers and attendants.

Chris and Reiner each had their own carriage, and they would have discussions during these breaks. They were aware of the treacherous nature of the imperial capital, with cunning nobles surrounding the Empress and Emperor.

“The imperial capital is a treacherous place. Even I, due to my position, may not always have allies. Be careful with your words and actions,” Reiner warned.

“Yes, I understand that very well. I will proceed with caution, perhaps even overly so,” Chris replied.

“Indeed, being overly cautious is just right. In the treacherous imperial capital, I am like a child. I am content as a count on the outskirts,”

“…Hahaha.”

Chris’s face twitched slightly as she chuckled. In reality, she truly believed that being excessively cautious was just the right approach. The Magnolia Empire likely boasts the longest history among the countries on this world, or even the entire continent. This distinction doesn’t solely stem from their military prowess but rather from their soReed political power and military strength. In fact, neighboring countries hold a great deal of wariness towards the Magnolia Empire.

“It is often said that establishing connections with the nobles of the empire can yield more benefits than forming alliances through intermarriage with neighboring royal families.” Such is the extent of the Magnolia Empire’s political and military might. Chris was initially skeptical when he first heard these rumors, but now that he finds himself in the Valdia territory, he can’t help but feel that these rumors hold a considerable amount of truth.

Although Reed was still young, Reiner, his father, was exceptional. He didn’t judge people based on their race or status but carefully assessed individual abilities. Chris believed that having individuals like Reiner, who had such flexible thinking, among the top ranks of the noble hierarchy demonstrated the strength of the country.

“Chris-sama, it seems we are about to depart,” Emma, Chris’s attendant and a cat beastman, informed him.

“Understood, Emma,” Chris acknowledged.

Emma, is Chris’s attendant and a beastman. She possesses distinguishing cat ears and a tail. She has sleek black hair, but her most striking feature is her round, black “cat eyes.” Additionally, she fulfills the role of Chris’s dedicated bodyguard. Emma has been faithfully by Chris’s side since their shared days at the Saffron Trading Company.

“Chris-sama, do your best! I will do my best too!” Emma exclaimed.

“Yes, let’s show our spirit to the Magnolia Empire,” Chris replied with determination.

Inside the moving carriage, their eyes met, brimming with anticipation.

“The imperial capital is within sight.”

The Magnolia Imperial Capital stood as a fortified city, centered around a castle. It was surrounded by the noble district, which housed important figures in separate residences. Castle walls, towering about five meters high, encircled the noble district’s outer perimeter. A moat encased the walls, forming a barrier that allowed entry only through a bridge. Beyond the moat, the town flourished with activity, bustling with people, street stalls, and shops. Adding to its robust structure, a four-meter-high castle wall enclosed the town.

“No matter how many times I see it, this fortified city is truly awe-inspiring.”

“Indeed, even the Elven capital pales in comparison when it comes to size.”

Observing the city walls of the imperial capital from outside, a sense of intimidation washed over them. However, entering the city proved somewhat cumbersome due to the presence of the walls, which consumed time.

As the carriage approached the gate, Reiner’s attendant went ahead to converse with the gatekeeper. Soon, the gatekeeper approached Chris’s group with the news.

“We have confirmed, please proceed.”

Surprisingly, following in Reiner’s carriage, Chris’s carriage smoothly gained entry into the imperial capital.

“Nobility does have its advantages.”

“Yes, indeed.”

Ordinarily, entering would not be such an easy feat. Permits, cargo inspections, and headcounts often presented numerous checks and hurdles. Perhaps being a count held certain privileges. Peering out from within the carriage, they witnessed the town bustling with activity, with travelers, merchants, and adventurers of various backgrounds.

Eventually, the carriage arrived at the noble district, where a checkpoint guarded the entrance and exit. Thanks to Reiner’s assistance, they swiftly passed through. Chris could already sense the tingling of excitement building within her. Typically, even prominent merchants without connections to the nobility struggled to gain entry into this exclusive town. As she set foot into the noble town, an unexplored realm for her, the sight that greeted her was nothing short of magnificent. The streets exuded refined elegance, adorned with meticulously crafted stone structures at every turn. Not a single stall cluttered the streetscape. Instead, the bustling crowd consisted of individuals donning luxurious garments, emanating an air of opulence.

“…Indeed, it’s a noble town.”

After reaching the noble district, it didn’t take long to arrive at the castle. Reiner had already completed the entry procedure. Subsequently, they underwent inspections for Chris and the others’ carriage. However, the inspections proved unnecessarily stringent, causing delays. Growing impatient, Reiner emerged from the preceding carriage and asserted, “These are reliable individuals I brought with me. Do you understand?” The soldiers conducting the inspection wore bitter expressions as they glanced at Chris and the others before bowing and mechanically uttering, “Please proceed.”

Disembarking from the carriage within the castle, soldiers directed them to the reception room to meet the royals. Reiner accompanied them, and Emma also remained by their side.

After walking a short distance, Reiner stopped and surveyed the surroundings. Confirming no one was nearby, he whispered softly into Chris’s ear.

“…The soldiers conducting the inspection at the castle gates were under Count Roland’s control. They were likely attempting to gather information about the goods intended for Their Majesties. The royal family’s dedicated individuals verify the goods presented to them. Stay on guard.”

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“…!! I apologize. I will be more cautious from now on…”

“No, I didn’t explain it well either. I never expected them to directly target us during the inspections.”

Chris sensed a growing tension as the soldier conducting the inspection announced, “We’ve been informed that you’ll be presenting goods today. Show us everything, including their contents, for verification.” Knowing that extracting information from Reiner would be challenging, they targeted Chris and her companions instead.

“Isn’t it disrespectful to search goods meant for the royal family?”

Emma expressed her concern, wearing a puzzled expression.

“Most likely, they’ll claim we willingly showed it to them or try to find faults to avoid scrutiny. They might even sacrifice the gatekeeper soldiers if necessary,” Chris explained.

“Their methods are despicable,”

Emma muttered, her face displaying true disgust. It didn’t sit well with them to be easily discarded as mere foot soldiers.

“But Their Majesties won’t perceive it as disrespectful with just these actions. They may view it as a failure on our part,” Reiner, experienced in dealing with nobles, replied wearily.

Reiner seemed accustomed to dealing with nobles but seemed weary. He had an expression that said, “Oh well.”

“Phew… Let’s approach this with determination,”

Chris whispered to herself, mustering encouragement, and proceeded down the castle corridor.

“Please wait here. I will summon you once Their Majesties are ready,”

As they walked down the corridor, a maid was standing in front of the door. Apparently, this was the reception room.

“Oh! If it isn’t Margrave Reiner. What a coincidence to find you here,”

When Reiner found the owner of the voice that suddenly came, a slight wrinkle appeared on his forehead.

“…Ah, Count Roland. It’s been a while,” Reiner greeted him.

“Indeed, Margrave. Considering how far you live, meeting you like this is a pleasant surprise. …By the way, who is this beautiful lady accompanying you?”

Roland, a man of average build with brown hair and black eyes, openly scrutinized Chris and the others. His lack of discretion made them uncomfortable.

“Allow me to introduce myself. I am Chris Saffron,” Chris responded.

“Oh, so you’re the wild lass who had a falling out with her brother and was disowned from the family, Chris Saffron,” Roland remarked, displaying rude behavior despite it being their first encounter. Chris couldn’t afford to take the bait.

“I see rumors have reached the capital. Although they are baseless, it’s quite interesting to learn how such unfounded gossip spreads,”

Chris calmly replied, maintaining a polite smile. She suppressed her anger from erupting, but Roland continued to provoke her.

“Hmm? And behind Chris Saffron is a cat person, as the rumors suggest. It seems the saying ‘wild beasts sticking together’ holds true in this case,” he remarked.

[…Whaaaaaaaaat?]

Chris and Emma didn’t expect such an insult from a noble. It took a moment for them to process his words, causing Chris to make a slightly foolish sound.

Referring to the Beastman Tribe as “beasts” was an unforgivable act of insult. Roland knew this and intentionally used it, wearing a vulgar smile on his face, just to provoke Chris. While Chris didn’t care about herself, insulting Emma was something Chris couldn’t tolerate. Emma trembled, suppressing her anger and sadness. She likely believed it was her fault that Chris was insulted too. Seeing Emma trembling ignited Chris’s fury, but Reiner intervened.

“…Count Roland, you’ve gone too far. I’m unaware of such rumors. Furthermore, they are guests of the Valdia family, here to meet the two emperors. It’s reckless of a count like you to insult royal guests,” Reiner reprimanded Roland, staring at him until he averted his gaze and snorted.

“…I apologize for my rudeness. The rumors I mentioned are the only ones I’ve heard. As Baron Reiner pointed out, it was reckless of me to unquestioningly believe those rumors. Lady Chris, Lady Emma, I sincerely apologize. I’m sorry,” Roland concluded, lightly nodding towards the two of them.

“Well then, I have a promise to fulfill, so I’ll take my leave,” he stated, glancing at Reiner and offering a slight bow before departing from the premises.

“Hmph, that despicable raccoon…” Reiner muttered, his gaze following Roland’s departure.

“Um, Lord Reiner, who was that?”

Chris asked Reiner cautiously.

“That was Count Roland Galiano. A man who craves power and money,”

Reiner replied, his voice directed towards the direction where Roland had gone. Chris was on the verge of falling into his trap, but Reiner had saved her.

“Lady Chris, I apologize for my actions,”

Emma said, her eyes slightly teary.

“It’s alright, Emma. You did nothing wrong,”

Chris reassured her, her inner fury still simmering. She would never forgive that man. The Roland family had not only been banned from the Christie Trading Company but also for generations to come.

“After making you angry, he probably attempted to cover it up by causing a commotion and sabotaging the presentation. But don’t dwell on it too much. It’s something you’ll get used to. It’s better not to let it bring you down, as that can be exploited,” Reiner advised.

“Yes, I’ll do my best,” Emma replied, summoning her determination.

“Don’t worry. The emperors are rational and level-headed,”

Just hearing the words “normal and sensible” made Chris feel relieved like never before.

Following the commotion with Roland, the three of them entered the reception room. Reiner took a seat on the sofa, seeking some rest. Chris and Emma, with their eyes gleaming, admired the layout of the reception room—a rare opportunity for them. Time passed in the reception room until a knock on the door interrupted the silence. Reiner responded, and a maid entered, bowing her head and saying, “Excuse me.”

“Everyone, Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, are summoning you. Please follow me.”

“Finally,” Chris thought, her heart swelling with a mix of nervousness and anticipation as she took a step forward.


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