Chapter 51 Her Majesty the Queen
Sunlight fell through a narrow window into the room and was reflected as dark red stripes on the wall.
There were only a few places within the Kingdom where you could still see the sun, and the Port of Clear Water was one of them. In this place, the Months of the Demons, with its cold wind and strong snowfall, only had a tiny bit of influence. With the exception that the Blacksail-Fleet couldn’t leave the harbor, the entire city was still as busy as usual.
The city governor and harbor master Garcia Wimbledon was sitting at her square table under the window, seriously studying the contents of a letter. Her gray hair was caught in the sunset and had a golden touch. Her face produced shadows from the light, adding definition to her facial features and , giving her a unique charm full of heroic spirit.
Ryan had been standing by her side for quite a while.
Although she had already exceeded her usual time for reading a letter of this length, he still chose to wait quietly for a little longer – he didn’t want to interrupt the silence.
Eventually, Garcia sighed softly, put the letter down, and then told him, “My father is dead.”
Hearing this, Ryan was startled, and he had to ask, “What?”
“My father, Ali Wimbledon, King of Graycastle.”
She rarely repeated anything she said, he thought, because when he usually asked her again, she would merely look at him like he hadn’t said anything. However, she really wasn’t kidding, right? The king is really dead?
“…” Ryan opened his mouth, trying to say some comforting words, but in the end he just asked, “How did he die?”
Fortunately, she didn’t care about this – she was the daughter of the King, the Governor of the Port of Clear Water, and the Commander of the Blacksail Fleet, she didn’t need anyone to comfort her, “The letter says that my brother Gerald killed my father, but he was caught by the guards. He didn’t commit suicide to escape punishment, so in the end he was put to trial by several ministers, there he was sentenced to death by beheading.”
“That doesn’t sound right,” Ryan subconsciously couldn’t believe it.
“Of course that isn’t the truth,” said Garcia, expressionless, “It’s true that my first brother is a relatively stupid man, but he isn’t so foolish to go on a suicide mission. If no one led him in that direction, he would never do such a thing.”
“Someone framed him?” asked Ryan.
“Let me guess …” The 3rd Princess closed her eyes and thought for a moment before she answered, “Someone probably put this detailed plan in order, and tempted Gerald by saying that they would help him – bringing people into my father’s courtyard. This must have been arranged by someone in advance, including the eradication, exchange and bribing of the guards. But those aren’t areas where Gerald has his strong points, since he is just too lazy to arrange something like this. The rest would be simple, it was only important to acquire a person who had Gerald’s trust, but would still betray him in the end.”
Ryan could add nothing. After all, these were only guesses. What truly happened was not important, the important part was only the result. He believed that this was also the thought of the 3rd Princess.
Sure enough, Garcia opened her eyes and continued, “I am 90% sure that it wasn’t the 1st Prince, he was a person who only knew brute force. His brain is one big muscle so it was regular that he was fooled. Only … “when saying this, her voice had some spunk,” my 2nd brother would be this cruel. “
“You mean Timothy Wimbledon was the true culprit?”
“Apart from him, who else would know so much about Gerald? Also after this matter, he is the person with the greatest gains.” while speaking, Garcia was unconsciously tapping her finger on the table, “Even a blind person can see this! But he was father’s favorite, so he really didn’t need to do this!”
Her Highness was truly angry, Ryan realized. Seeing the Princess this heated up was truly rare. It seems that even though she had been complaining that her father was too eccentric, in the end she still didn’t want to see her father dying like this.
Ryan was able to understand this feeling, more or less. In a large family, the younger generation would always have such a feeling towards the master of the house – a mountain they would have to surpass, both revering and hating him. If she was right and this was truly planned by the second prince, then his actions could indeed be considered bloody and cruel.
“But he … Why would he do this?”
“Because he was afraid of me,” Garcia took a deep breath, trying to control her emotions, “he is afraid of my Blacksail Fleet.”
Realizing that Ryan wouldn’t answer, she continued to explain, “Timothy seems to have a spy in our city, which in itself isn’t surprising, I myself also have arranged eyes and ears in Valencia. When he discovered the existence of my Blacksail Fleet it became easy for him to imagine what I would do later. Valencia isn’t able to support an army that is capable of facing my fleet. So, he came to the conclusion to use Gerald as bait to get what he wanted.”
“So you mean, he wants an army?”
“He wants the throne,” said Garcia, “With my father’s death and now even Gerald’s death, he has become the first heir. I am afraid that he will press the ministers to crown him as fast as possible. Only when he becomes Wimbledon IV will he be able to mobilize all his vassals with their armies. “As she said this she shook her head, “However, as I have already said, as father’s favorite son he really didn’t need to do this!”
“Wouldn’t that be worse?” asked Ryan, worried, “If your 2nd brother gets crowned, won’t he declare the battle for the throne finished and call you and your siblings back? What will you do then?”
Garcia answered as if she felt it was completely beneath her dignity, “This step would be too straightforward, just because he was our father’s favorite son, it doesn’t mean that he will have the support of the ministers, especially because of his move to kill the former king – although he pushed the murder on Gerald and may be able to fool the civilians, I estimate that it will take a long time until he will be able to grasp full authority in Graycastle. So … “she looked cunningly at Ryan and said,” I have to change my plan a little. “
Ryan immediately fell on one knee and said, “I’m willing to serve.”
Garcia stood up, walked to the window and spoke to Ryan with her back to him, “The first thing he is bound to do after he claims the throne is to deal with me. However, his only possibility to pressure me is to command Joe Kohl, the Duke of the Southern territory. I estimate that the latter will use the king’s mourning period to delay sending out his troops – that old fox has always been reluctant to do business where he would make a loss. At most he will summon his feudatories and send them out to surround Port of Clear Water. “Garcia paused slightly and then spoke further, “However, this move will give us unnecessary trouble, so we will set sail tomorrow. “
“Sail? Your Highness, don’t tell me you want to …”
“Eagle City lies more inland and is almost undefended. We can reach the Town of Clear Spring by using the tributary of the Sanwan River, from there we will only need one day to arrive at Eagle City. After we seize Eagle City, the entire Southern territory will be under my control. The situation after Timothy claims the throne will be different than what he thinks it will be. When Timothy wants to know the Duke’s progress but discovers that the whole South is under my control, I really want to see his face.”
“But, you also said that Wimbledon III just passed away, and following this -“
“What, do I need to shed some tears first?” Garcia turned around, the light of the sunset fell on her body and covered her with a red veil. Her face was hidden in the dark, only her eyes were reflected by the light. The emotion shown within her eyes was as solid as a boulder, Ryan thought. Even if she is angry or feeling regret, she will never show sorrow.
Showing sorrow wouldn’t be suitable for a King or Queen.
“No, you don’t need to do that,” Ryan seriously said.
Garcia nodded with satisfaction, “Go and tell the Captain that I want to speak him. Since Timothy was unwilling to wait until the end of the five years, I will not let him down. After I conquer Eagle City, I will declare the independence of the Southern Territory.”
All this didn’t matter to himself, he thought, Garcia will always find a solution for every possibility. Once she decides on a path for herself, she will walk down the path courageously. This was where her charm laid and was one of the reasons why he followed her.
“Yes, Your Highness … no,” Ryan corrected himself, “Your Majesty.”