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Chapter 24: Side Chapter (Brother)

“Head to the capital and investigate around Count Burke’s estate,”

Lucas received instructions from Raymond a few days after staying at the border lord’s mansion.

For the past few years, there have been a series of incidents where dozens of beastman children went missing annually.

Tracing back, it was discovered that a certain number of Beastman children had been missing for about eight years. Moreover, it was found that the children were disappearing in places relatively close to the border with the neighboring country, the Kingdom of Tifris.

On the orders of the Emperor of the Dacian Empire, the knights were set in motion.

As it could potentially become an issue between nations, the first prince, Raymond, took command, with Lucas, who was both the leader of the knights and the second prince, taking charge of the investigation.

During the investigation, they found a child who had somehow managed to escape after being kidnapped. Upon hearing the story, it seemed that a human trafficking organization was involved.

It became apparent that this human trafficking organization was kidnapping children in villages near the border and selling them off to the neighboring country.

Simultaneously, they found humans who had been kidnapped in the neighboring country and were being sold in the black market of the Dacian Empire.

While slavery was not recognized in the Dacian Empire, the Tifris Kingdom citizens sold in the black market were being bought as laborers or prostitutes.

The neighboring Kingdom of Tifris was a closed, small country. Only the bare minimum of imports and exports were allowed, and there was hardly any movement of people except for merchants.

It was discovered that Tifris Kingdom citizens who had been bought as slaves were being protected and transported across the border in wagons.

Among them was a noble lady from the Tifris Kingdom. She must have suffered greatly. Just before her mental breakdown, they were able to hear her story.

The noble lady claimed she had been sold by her husband. She also mentioned that, besides her,the previous wives had been sold and brought to the Dacian Empire.

As a result of the investigation, two other women were found. Both of them mentioned their husband’s name as the mastermind.

That husband was Count Burke.

Considering the limited movement of people, it was believed that either they were secretly crossing the border under the nose of the border lord who managed it for the Tifris Kingdom, or they were cooperating with him. Therefore, Raymond and his companions, disguised as merchant nobles, approached the border lord as soon as they entered the country.

“Brother, Count Burke is undoubtedly involved.”

Lucas reported to Raymond upon returning to the border lord’s territory after a few days of investigation in the capital.

“As I suspected.”

Three of Count Burke’s former wives were found in the Dacian Empire. The investigation was to determine the high likelihood of his connection with the human trafficking organization in the Dacian Empire.

“I managed to sneak into the mansion. I made sure to list down where the Beastman children were sold. I’ve tasked my subordinates with finding out the buyers on that list. It would be good if many of them were still alive.”

They secretly summoned beastman knights with keen senses from the Dacian Empire.

“We’ve also managed to trace the flow of gold to Marquise Stahl’s territory. It seems he’s receiving bribes and providing protection. We just need to thoroughly examine the timing of the human trafficking organization’s entry and exit, the timing of when Count Burke sold them, and the timing when Marquise Stahl received bribes to establish evidence.”

“I’ll leave the paperwork to you, brother.”

“Since Lucas is smarter, he should handle paperwork too.”

“I’m better suited for action.”

Ignoring Raymond’s dissatisfied expression, Lucas continued talking.

“The night of the upcoming ball seems most opportune for the protection of the Beastman children and the apprehension of Count Burke and Marquise Stahl.”

“The ball, huh? Indeed, most nobles will attend, so the mansion will be vulnerable, making it easier for us to sneak in.”

“Entering a merchant’s house might cause a commotion. I’ll handle the arrangements with the kingdom.”

“Got it. It’s a hassle, but I’ll attend the ball. I’ll also bring some insect repellent for Eva-chan.”


“Huh? Are you jealous of me now?”

“It’s not like that.”

“Lucas, when you’re talking to Eva-chan, you have such a gentle expression.”

“Huh? It’s not that different.”

“Unaware? That makes it even more serious.”

“She… for some reason, I can’t just leave her alone.”

“Hmm, well, if that’s how you feel. But Eva-chan’s blood must taste sweet, right? Ever felt the urge to bite other women?”


“I think that’s your answer.”

“What about you, brother?Do you have anyone?”

“I’m still living indulgently. I still have a long lifespan. You can get married first, Lucas.”


“By the way, it seems this Count Burke is going to be engaged to Eva-chan.”


“That makes me even more curious about the relationship with the border Lord. So, investigate a bit more about the border Lord. We still lack sufficient evidence. Also, look into Eva-chan’s parents’ accident while you’re at it.”

“You’re quite ruthless.”

“Haha, well, if we don’t gather evidence before the ball, Eva-chan might end up being consumed by Count Burke.”

Giving Raymond a scrutinizing glance, Lucas swiftly left the room.

“Hehe, Lucas is adorable after all.”

Raymond chuckled as he began reading the report Lucas had brought.


On the night of the ball, after the successful rescue operation of the kidnapped and sold beastman children, Raymond requested an urgent audience with the King of Tifris.

“Dacian Empire’s Crown Prince Raymond, I presume. What brings you here today?” The King of Tifris, upon Raymond’s entrance, seemed to have already discerned his identity.

His attendants were sweating nervously.

(Heh, King of Tifris is indeed astute.)

“I apologize for the deception in my introduction this time. There were matters that required discreet handling, hence the necessity for the false introduction.”

“If there’s no more need for deception, does that mean the matter has been resolved?”

“Yes, just moments ago.”

Raymond’s face, which had been smiling, turned cold as he looked at the King of Tifris.

“Did you know, King of Tifris, that the human trafficking organization had expanded its routes among the nobles and merchants of this country?”

After staring icily at the now pale-faced king and his attendants, Raymond whispered instructions to the Dacian Empire’s knight, who was nearby.

Shortly thereafter, Count Burke and Marquise Stahl, both bound with ropes, were brought in.

“This is…!”

The Tifris Kingdom side erupted in commotion.

Count Burke, in particular, looked terrible, with dried blood from his nose.

“Ah, let me make it clear that the injuries on Count Burke’s face were not inflicted by us, the Dacian Empire. He is merely receiving the consequences of his vile attempt to assault the lady.”

The two restrained individuals, gagged with a muzzle, were groaning.

The King of Tifris raised a hand to silence his attendants.

“Crown Prince Raymond, could you please explain?”

“Yes, of course.”

At Raymond’s shrewd expression, the King of Tifris and his attendants felt a chill creeping up from their feet, causing them to swallow hard.


“Why are you inviting Eva-chan to the empire as if appointing her as a gardener?”

Lucas, who had been teased continuously, was sulking, and Raymond couldn’t help but point it out.

“Is it because big brother here never taught you how to properly invite a lady?”

“Shut up. It’s fine. Even if I tell Eva, she’ll probably reject me and run away due to her low self-esteem. If I mention romantic matters, she’ll just be on guard. Taking it slow is fine, I’ll gradually let her fall.”

“Let her fall… So, it turns out you grow from bloodsucking after all.”

As Raymond tried to pat Lucas’s head with joy, his hand was brushed away.

“Argh, damn it, I shouldn’t have said anything. Anyway, I’ll bring her back to the empire with me.”

“Got it. So, what’s the plan? Are you also taking her to the Duke of Rodon’s?”

“Eva and I will ride on Roche and head to the border lord’s territory first. Then we’ll meet up before crossing the border and heading to the Duke of Rodon’s.”

Raymond is aware that Lucas has secretly been in touch with the Duke of Rodon’s household.

What’s he scheming…?

“We’d like to stay overnight at the border Lord’s estate too. They have a rose garden.”

“Ah, make sure to inform big brother. Also, we’ll need to have a meeting about the Nomads’ matter.”

“I heard that Eva-chan rejected the Crown Prince’s engagement, so the Commander of the Stahl Knights, who is her father’s cousin, is going to inherit the border lord’s title.”

“Ah, Arthur, huh? We’ve sparred a few times; he’s a good guy. He’ll probably cooperate with us on the Nomads’ matter too.”

“Then I’ll leave that to Lucas.”

“Alright, I’ll issue instructions to be prepared by tomorrow. Don’t drink too much, alright?”

Seeing the wine glass near Raymond, Lucas speaks up as he stands up.

“Well, after putting so much effort into solving the case and, incidentally, concluding a trade agreement between the two countries, it’s more interesting to take Eva-chan along with us.”

“Huh? Are you already drunk? Big brother, go to bed early. You’re already old.”

With a mischievous look and after delivering the usual parting shot of sibling quarrels, Lucas leaves the room.

“I’m not old! It’s just that the lifespan of a vampire is too long!”

Raymond’s shout was muffled by the sturdy door, and it didn’t reach Lucas.








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