Battle Over Giving Up the Throne Chapter 5 – The Self-Proclaimed Fifth Prince
Fortunately, Gattenwo’s criminal patterns really stood out.
First, he shot a message arrow with a warning note at the residence of an immoral merchant or loan shark. He also posted the letter on a wall in the city for the people to see.
Under the watchful eyes of curious onlookers, he stole treasures from the victim.
“I see. It isn’t that he likes attention, he’s using the crowd as a distraction.”
The most recent note was posted on the mud wall of a tenement. Most of his fans were among the poor, but his notes drew in people from other classes. His performance was all the rage in recent and caused an uproar wherever it happen.
Gattenwo’s aim was to create an uproar.
With people flocking on all sides of the merchant’s house, the defences would have to be spread all over the premises.
Furthermore, he could just slip into the crowds to escape.
It sounded thoughtless, but I could see that he had it meticulously planned out.
I could see some of his thoughts from the handwritten warning letter stamped with his personal seal. A design that could not be forged by mere pranksters or petty thieves.
The contents of the letter was as thus:
“On the day of the rat with a new moon. On the crossroad between Fourth and Eighth Street. I shall cleanse the wicked opium merchant of his treasures.”
It was the day of the rat, and there was going to be a new moon today. In other words, he’d be making his appearance today. The crossroad between Fourth and Eighth Street denoted a block in one of Ando’s grid-like sections. And the last sentence was his target.
Not giving names was a smart move. If any merchant decided to increase their defences around their residence, that’d be akin to admitting their guilt.
Though they could always say that it was just in case.
This opium merchant likely hid away all the evidence and bribed the officials, so he would not be exposed by any government body. With it being like that, some righteous government bureaucrats gave information to Gattenwo for him to deal with.
“Even if I say that, the officials aren’t really trying to better themselves. They’re just passing the responsibility. How despicable.”
In the event of Gattenwo becoming the Emperor’s heir, he’d certainly fix the corruption rampant in the government. I had a large expectation.
I turned my back from the letter and walked to Fourth and Eighth’s intersection. A certain resolve solidified in my heart.
That resolve was―I would secure Gattenwo’s person tonight.
At night, the crossroad was heated with excitement.
Curious onlookers crowded around the area, and the surrounding walls were covered with paper lanterns, illuminating the street almost as if it was day.
With a suspicious-looking full-black clothing covering my body, I looked over the situation atop a tree a few ways off.
“I guess it’s that residence.”
On the account of being an opium merchant, one residence could be immediately seen to be filled with defenders. Unlike the houses that surrounded it, its walls were made of white plaster instead of the mud walls of its peers. Furthermore, bodyguards were placed at intervals along the wall.
The houses and warehouses in the residence were surrounded by a stone wall. In those warehouses, there was definitely the most amount of defenders. However, I felt a strange atmosphere coming from over there―
At the same moment I had that thought.
Among the lanterns placed around the earthen walls, several lanterns around a certain area disappeared at the same time.
There was still the torchlight from atop the residence’s walls. The area did not turn completely dark, but the brilliant luminescence that once filled place dimmed down to a gloomy darkness befitting the night.
However, there was a moment when everyone was distracted by the change in brightness. A person, with nary a sound, used a single leap to get over the plaster wall.
“Excellent skill. Enough to be one of the Emperor’s children.”
Seeing Gattenwo’s shadow made an expectation rise in my heart. Treefully laughing, I jumped off the tree and started running atop the walls.
After I find Gattenwo, I would do this.
My mask only concealed my face. I didn’t really care if I was seen by the guards. At full speed, I go into the residence and I would take off with Gattenwo.
No matter how many there are, those guys that are barely better than some small town gangsters couldn’t catch me.
“Just you wait, my younger brother…!”
I will definitely make you Emperor.
I was getting closer to the residence from the shadows, and just as I was going to jump over the wall, I noticed a huge commotion happening.
I thought it was because Gattenwo’s intrusion was found out, but I was wrong.
From inside the residence, huge licks of flames rose out.
I started running off without losing my way. Bodyguards pointed their swords at the suspicious masked man (me), but that was not even worthy to be a threat. Before their swords reached me, I jumped high enough to avoid all of them. Like that, I easily crossed the wall.
Looking over the situation from there, I saw something pitiful.
Twenty-odd men were collapsed inside the residence. This was likely Gattenwo’s doing. But, the warehouse that they were strictly guarding.
From the outside, I could see that the origin of the fire was from that warehouse.
The stone-built warehouse shouldn’t be burning up under normal circumstances, but I caught the whiff of oil coming from the fire.
“Gattenwo’s deed…? No.”
If the treasures all burned up, there would be no harvest from being a noble thief. And this was an opium merchant’s house. Any slip up in the arson could very well spread opium fumes to the surroundings.
“Hey, get up.”
I was doing my interrogation. As he was facing downwards, knocked out, I flipped him back up and gave him a slap. When he opened his eyes, I pointed to the warehouse.
Uncovering my mask, I asked,
“I’m here to help. Where’s Gattenwo?”
“R-Reinforcements…? Ah, we’re saved. Thanks. That b*stard is stupidly strong…”
“Enough of your thoughts. Where is Gattenwo? Also, tell me about the warehouse fire.”
Seeing my finger pointed at the fire, the bodyguard gave an indecent laugh.
“Ah. The f*ck, it’s all going as planned. We don’t need reinforcements.”
“Yeah. That’s the boss’ trap. The real goods are somewhere else. That warehouse is just a mousetrap. Betcha that Gattenwo b*stard thinks that the stuff burned in the fire and went in. Sucks for―”
Before he finished speaking, I dropped him.
So it’s like this. While I was messing around, Gattenwo fell into a predicament.
While running, I stole one of the thug’s longswords.
The iron gate to the warehouse was right in front of me. The door was completely fastened shut, and no single human being could open it.
No normal human being that is.
“Your help came! Don’t die, Gattenwo!”
An abnormal person―a true son of the Emperor, overflowing with power, was here. I brandished my sword.
A slash with the smoothness of water instantly cut the gate, and the entrance to the warehouse was forcibly opened.
“Hey! You alive!? If you are, hurry up and run!”
While calling out, I ran in. Inside of the fire-eaten warehouse, there was still a black-claden man standing over an area where the flames had yet to reach.
I hurried over and put him on my shoulder. Real reinforcements came over, but they were not worthy to be my opponents.
While carrying Gattenwo, I quickly ran out of the building and jumped over the wall, escaping outside.
Luckily, the fire had set the onlookers into chaos, so it was simple to weave into the crowd.
At a garden a bit away from the chaos, I laid down Gattenwo on the ground.
Gattenwo’s chest was still heaving, but Gattenwo still hadn’t gained consciousness.
“Sorry, but I’m taking off your mask. It’s blocking your breathing.”
Even with Gattenwo’s consciousness lost, I gave an excuse. I tore off the black cloth blocking Gattenwo’s face.
Now, the face did slightly resemble ours.
However, there was something strange about that face.
Under that mask, there was the face of an innocent girl with messy hair stuck to her skin with sweat. She seemed around thirteen or fourteen. I was still only sixteen, so there was a still a several years different.
“As different genders, I don’t have much of a reference point in myself, but you sorta look like my sister…”
Ryausha gave the impression of a sexy beauty. On the other hand, Gattenwo was younger. Rather than a beauty, she would be childishly cute. She was also a bit shorter too.
No, I shouldn’t doubt this. She’s surely one of the Emperor’s children. I’d be troubled if she isn’t.
Fortunately, her pulse was fine, and there was no threat to her life.
I waited for her to wake up on her own. When the night sky faded, and a bit of blue peeked through, Gattenwo made a sound.
“Ohh, you’re up!”
Hearing my voice, Gattenwo instantly opened her eyes.
She quickly stood up and jumped away from me. Gattenwo glared at me with the vigilance of a wild beast.
“Who the f*ck are you!”
Gripping her dagger that was kept hidden in her clothes underhand, the girl questioned me. The exact opposite of her, I merrily gave my introduction.
“Your brother. You’re an energetic one, aren’tcha. Settle down. You’ll make a good Empress.”
I guess she still wasn’t fully awake. Gattenwo, mouth wide open, was repeating the same word over and over again.