“What are you talking about, I don’t understand!”
Viscount Ogren laughed off Viscount Rogshia’s accusation. Since he must have cleaned up his house of any incriminating evidence, he appeared supremely confident. His eyes were still sharp and he scoffed while he directly met Viscount Rogshia’s glare.
“Exactly what have I done? I’ve dedicated myself to supporting your business over all these years as well. Plus, your business is even turning a profit these days -”
“Viscount Ogren, please don’t interrupt. Give Viscount Rogshia a chance to state his accusation.”
Although Viscount Ogren was eloquently defending himself, the judge priest stopped him from speaking any further. Viscount Ogren stopped talking, and glared at the judge in annoyance. The military police member standing behind Viscount Ogren clanged his spear loudly against the stone ground as if to threaten him, and he finally became obedient.
“Then, Viscount Rogshia. Please continue what you were just saying.”
When the judge urged Viscount Rogshia to continue, he seemed to realize as if he was about to do something truly frightening by making this accusation. His face was turning incredibly pale, and his shoulders were shaking. Feria next to him seemed puzzled by this, but she held his arm in support, and he finally opened his mouth again.
“Yes. ……I’m accusing Viscount Ogren because during the course of our partnership in the beeswax business, our beeswax showed poisoning symptoms.”
“Poisoning symptoms? Is that…… really true?”
For what the judge probably expected to be a small, simple trial, he must have never expected to hear a word like poison being thrown around. The judge’s face was full of shock and doubt.
“Yes. Although weak, people started developing a dependency on the beeswax – and Viscount Ogren was responsible for the manufacturing process. He signed off on our contract that he would guarantee the safety of the manufacturing process.”
As Viscount Rogshia finally began his case against Viscount Ogren, a perceptive military police member held out a cup of black tea for me while I was feeling like none of this had to do with me anymore. He drank a few drops of the tea himself first, as if to assure me there was no poison. As expected of military police in the royal capital. They’ve undergone excellent training, it was quite smart of him to do.
Well then, as I elegantly sipped on my black tea, Viscount Rogshia’s story was causing the three priests’ faces to turn pale as he continued. According to him, they started producing the addictive beeswax five years ago, and the wholesale routes were left to Viscount Ogren. Apart from the addictive beeswax, they also produced ordinary beeswax for trading, and the production method for the two types of beeswax wasn’t really all that different, except that one was an addictive substance.
“What exactly are the specific differences between the two types of beeswax?”
“Well…… roughly speaking, resin produced by the Renvia fruit is added to the production process.”
“Renvia? It couldn’t be. That plant isn’t poisonous at all.”
The judge priest was furrowing his eyebrows. Indeed, the Renvia flowers themselves certainly aren’t toxic in any way whatsoever. As a popular horticultural species grown in many gardens, any poisonous properties would have been discovered long ago.
“Well, what happens is…… When you mix the resin produced by ripe Renvia fruits together with honey and burn it, the smoke has addictive properties.”
“That’s certainly something I’ve never heard about before……”
“When the Renvia fruit is ripe, it will release a pungent smell that strongly affects the senses. I’ve been cultivating them so that we’ll always have a stockpile of ripe fruit ready to harvest any time we need to.”
“Ah…… I see.”
Well, the judge priest most likely doesn’t have any experience with gardening, as he was only nodding ambiguously. On the other hand, the two priests probably have to take care of plants in the monastery, they were nodding more affirmatively.
“Indeed, if what you say is true and you can prove that this manufacturing process creates an addictive beeswax, Viscount Ogren will be charged with fraud against Viscount Rogshia, and also narcotics trafficking within Arxia. I think that you wouldn’t be able to avoid drug charges either, though……”
“Please wait, I didn’t participate in such a thing at all! All of this is nonsense by Viscount Rogshia. I don’t have any specialized knowledge about plants. It’s inconceivable for me to have manufactured such a drug.”
Viscount Ogren’s insufferable voice loudly interrupted at this point again.
“Also, you priests should know already! The fact that a few days ago, I secretly accused Viscount Rogshia of tax evasion. He’s just trying to cover his own crimes by blaming me!”
At hearing Viscount Ogren firmly accuse him, Viscount Rogshia who had remained calm up until now stood up from his seat.
While continuing to sip on the delicious black tea that the military police member gave me, I gave a hand signal to Oscar who was behind me, as we may have to intervene in this chaotic situation soon.
Adults are all liars, it’s impressive, really. About this entire incident, there were limits to what information I could gather with my own resources, so I had to rely on Earl Terejia’s information network, through which I learned all about the ugly truth behind the conflict between the two viscounts. It’s amazing how silver tongued people can be, lying with such straight faces.