Chapter 36 – The Queen of Malice (Side story: Mariss)
After being declared the next Lady of the Edvan Family during the incident at the Divine Blessing Ceremony when Elma was banished, Mariss was moved from the secondary dwelling where the branch family lived to the main mansion.
From the next day after Elma was banished, Mariss spent her time at some remote villages within the Edvan territory on the invitation of the current Lord, Izas, the father of Elma, raising her level via the method known as Life Shifting.
Life Shifting was a leveling method used in secret by only select high ranking nobles and those that are part of the royal family.
It’s a method where criminals with high levels are weakened by cutting their arms and legs off, then having noble scions with low levels kill them and therefore shifting their experience points to themselves.
Since that cannot be called a battle, the amount of experience points is severely reduced, but for children who just underwent the Divine Blessing Ceremony, it’s more than enough.
After finishing with her Life Shifting, Mariss returned to the main mansion of the family and was currently in her room with a characteristic gloomy smile on her face.
“Elma lived here for fifteen years. Aah, they shouldn’t have thrown out Elma’s things. What a waste.”
Mariss licked her lips with an expression of pure rapture on her face.
This became her room, but it originally belonged to Elma.
Although after the current Lord, Izas had everything that used to belong to Elma thrown out, there was no trace of him left in it anymore.
As long as Mariss remembered, she always looked up to Elma, the boy from the main family.
Elma always had a strong sense of justice, he was honest and spirited. Their retainers loved him and Lord Izas had high expectations for him.
He was the polar opposite of her, who lived in the branch family as a social outcast.
“Although I didn’t think it would end up like that….The way the Lord was acting; I guess what mother said was true after all. Well, it’s not like I really doubted her, but it doesn’t matter anyway.”
Ever since young, Mariss had a somewhat troublesome habit.
She doesn’t even remember what caused it anymore.
However, the more important something was to her, the more she loved something, the more she had the urge to destroy it with her own hands.
“I don’t really care about being able to rule Edvan County, nor do I care about the current Lord, but I will make use of what I can. Even if he was banished, I know that Elma is not someone that would stand by and watch as his family fell into ruin. I need to take my time and slowly….carefully, push him to the edge. Isn’t that right?”
Mariss touched the full-length mirror and said to her reflection as if trying to persuade it.
“Is it true that Elma is in the city of Rondalm, doing as he pleases by using his family name!?”
At that moment, shouting could be heard from outside.
It was the voice of Izas.
It seems he was shouting at a subordinate in his office.
Mariss stood up from in front of the mirror and left her room, heading for the office.
“I don’t know if he used the Edvan name or not, but….There was a report of someone fitting the description of Elma-sama who has accomplished extraordinary feats…..”
“It’s obvious he used his family name to have the Guild staff dance to his tune! I thought he had the slightest bit of judgment, but to think even after leaving the family he would try to besmirch my name like that! Did he think I would just overlook this!? It’s not enough that he betrayed my expectations, he even thoughtlessly brings shame to the Edvan name! Elma, do not count on me being sentimental over you being my son anymore…!”
“It is still just a rumor with nothing concrete. Also, Elma-sama is a bright and virtuous individual…. As someone who served him for a long time, I don’t think Elma-sama would do something like that. We need to ascertain the facts first. Please, Izas-sama….!”
“Tsk, Thomas, bring two people with you and head to Rondalm. If Elma really used his family name, then order the adventurer’s guild to expel him and ban him from registering again! And warn him that if something like this happens again, then his life is forfeit!”
“Thank you very much, Izas-sama….! I will prove Elma-sama’s innocence for sure!”
Hearing the conversation, Mariss broke into a smile.
Then she hid her expression and knocked on the door of the office.
“My Lord, it’s me.”
“Oh, Mariss, come in, come in.”
Izas changed from shouting at a subordinate to inviting Mariss in with a coaxing voice in a blink of an eye.
Mariss politely opened the door and walked into the office.
“Why are you so distant, Mariss. You will be the next Lady of the house….you are my heir. You can just call me father.”
“I overheard some of the previous conversation and I don’t think the current way of dealing with the problem is thorough enough. Thomas is too biased in favor of Elma. Also…. simply having him expelled from the adventurer’s guild isn’t enough either. That would just cause Elma to have even less options that would lead to him bringing shame to the Edvan name again and again. If he were to become a bandit, then it would be a huge disgrace for the Edvan Household.”
“Hnn….What you say is true, Mariss. Then let’s send someone else instead of Thomas.”
“No, if we don’t handle this incident perfectly, then it could leave a lasting effect on the future. We should not leave it at the discretion of some lowly guards.”
“What are you saying, Mariss?”
“Let the two of us head out to inspect the adventurer’s guild in Rondalm, my Lord. We will then act according to what we find.”
Hearing Mariss’ suggestion, Izas had a frown on his face.
“What are you saying, Mariss. If we do that, then it will just create an unnecessary commotion. He is not someone from the Edvan Household anymore. We don’t have the time to waste on him. Why would we involve ourselves?”
Mariss bowed deeply in the direction of Izas.
“Please, my Lord. I’m from the branch family and a girl even….I haven’t even received a suitable education befitting the next Lady. I’m afraid that my Lord still has attachments towards Elma….”
“What foolishness is that, Mariss. When did I give that impression….”
“If you really think of me as the next Lady… if you really consider me your daughter, then please listen to my selfishness this one time. Please let me have peace of mind by proving that my Lord doesn’t have any parental feelings for Elma anymore. It might be laughable, but I still can’t help but worry about this. I can’t help but feel uneasy that my Lord…no, father, would someday change his mind and call Elma back once again….throwing me away at the same time.”
“That is simply impossible! Don’t worry, Mariss. Elma…no, that man trampled on my expectations. The Class is a mirror reflecting a person’s true self….the Sword Saint is proof of a noble spirit. Someone who received the Class of cowards and lazies, the Heavy Knight, was not someone who had the qualification to be the next Lord.”
Izas said this as he stood up from his chair.
“Indeed if that man is doing something strange, then we have to punish him enough that he won’t do something like that again. We can’t have you Mariss, my daughter, experience such doubts anymore either. Let’s head straight for the city of Rondalm.”
“Thank you very much, my Lord….no, father!”
Unseen due to her bowed head, a malicious smile was present on her face.
To Mariss, Elma was a beloved, beloved person.
That’s why she will slowly, carefully, destroy him in time.
Mariss was overjoyed to hear that instead of breaking, Elma was desperately working as an adventurer.
She will rob him of his reason for living right in front of his own father.
That was the goal of Mariss.
She will make up some excuse to have one of his arms, the life of an adventurer, cut off.
However, it would be a waste to deprive him of his dominant arm right away.
She will start with the left this time.
“Wait for me, my Elma.”
Mariss quietly whispered.
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