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While I was pretending to be unconscious, Iifu and Sauran situated themselves on both sides of me and took me to the Court’s Medical Office. The luxurious bed I was thrown into was for exclusive use of the Imperial Family, but since it had not been used by anyone for the past few years, it wasn’t maintained and was somewhat dusty and smelly.
”Has mister Sugen not woken up since?” ~Physician
When I half-opened my eyes, the Court Physician and my brothers and sisters were discussing my condition.
”Yes, that’s right. That usual laughing, stupid face looks like a dead person’s…”
”It was easy for me to flatten out a small fry with my fist.” ~
”It’s better if you aggravate the stupid one’s disease…” ~
I could hear selfish statements. How could they say as much as they wanted to say when people couldn’t refute to it? I wanted to draw the line later.
By the way, Gettenwo had not come into this Medical Office.
It was troublesome to ask the physician about my condition, and she never insisted and asked to “Go home already”. Was there any thing else to do?
”Well then, I will tell you a little bit of something.” ~Physician
Saying that, the Court Physician approached the bed. I closed my eyes and returned to pretending to have fainted. I weakened my whole body to get a medical examination. The Court Physician was mainly checking my beaten head.
”It doesn’t seem to have any external wound… but his hair is in the way and it’s hard to see. Is it alright to shave?” ~Physician
”Yes, please do. The life of my cute little brother is depending on it.” ~
“I’ll ask you to do so too, doctor. Please shave it as smooth as you want. ”
”It is for the sacred medical practice. We can’t stop it.” ~
Irresistibly, I opened my eyes. Though it was the height of compromising to pretend to faint, in the end, I couldn’t stand having a bald head.
But before I could protest, my siblings jumped and suppressed me. My mouth was closed by their hands.
Moreover, the physician was looking for a razor from the cupboard and turned his back towards where I was.
”Imagine, Sugen. To find our hidden comrades, you should be patient and have your head shaved.”
Don’t play around, I thought.
Sure, there would be no result without sacrifice. But, I was not convinced that I had to be the one to make the sacrifice. If all of them are the bald head, then, I can still endure it. However, it was not fair to carry the burden alone, and the other brothers and sisters will not lose anything.
With the strength in my right arm, I grabbed Iifu’s hair, held it down and pulled at it.
If you want to shave this hair, as a counterattack, everyone’s hair will be plucked off. I was ready to die.
”You, bring it on….!” ~Iifu
Iifu growled viciously. When the struggle to pluck or to be plucked was about to begin–
“Oh, I found it. Then, I’ll shave it now.” ~Physician
The Court Physician found the razor and returned. Simultaneously, the three people worked together and knocked me down on the bed. Quickly, I was gagged by a towel.
”Oh? Is Mister Sugen struggling?” ~Physician
”It looks like a convulsion. We’ll keep it down, so don’t worry.” ~Sauran
Sauran lied without fail.
Then, I shouted a protest under the gag. Although it was not a clear word, it was clear that I was shouting something.
”He seems to be screaming?” ~Physician
”It looks terrible. It is a dangerous symptom.” ~Ryausha
Ryausha interfered again.
Really, these guys, were they really behaving with the initial goal in mind? Or are they just toying with me?
”Hmm… However, looking at him, he looks healthy. I don’t think that Mister Sugen should be managed to this degree… How about observing the situation a little more.” ~Physician
I (it was supposed to be convulsion) nodded constantly.
I heard my siblings click their tongue lightly, but as expected, they did not intend to joke around and forced me to shave anymore.
”Thank you. Then, can we nurse for him here?” ~
“Oh, it’s okay” ~Physician
”Then, doctor. This is bad, but the arrangement for medicine –” ~Ryausha
Although it was tiring, I succeeded in appearing unconscious and Ryausha was going to proceed as planned.
First, order the Court Physician and maid to prepare a large number of nursing tools such as medicine, hot water, and hand towels.
Of course, they didn’t really need tools.
Make as much loud noise as possible if they could, and naturally, the information that “the Fourth Prince was unconscious” would be circulated throughout the palace. That was the real goal.
That way — when the assassin mastermind heard the story, he/she should come to “visit” to confirm whether he will be dying or not, and we would be able to see through their intention subtly from his/her facial expression.
If the Emperor came, we would be able to see at a glance through our cheap performance, but not to worry. According to today’s schedule, by now, the Emperor was out of town to encourage the soldiers at the training ground. No matter how fast the messenger went, he wouldn’t be able to return for a while.
I would continue in the meantime to pretend to be unconscious. It would take more than ten minutes to wait for the prey to fall for the bait.
At once, the first visitor has come. It was the Chief of Ceremonial Officer who handled the court events, running noisily with sweat on his forehead. Ryausha also said that he was a “pretty suspicious person.”
Upon entering the room, the Ceremonial Chief knelt before us siblings.
“… I heard it was important and rushed here. What is the condition of Mister Sugen?” ~Ceremonial Chief
”I don’t know. He might be in critical condition tonight…” ~Ryausha
It was Ryausha who replied seriously. It was clear that Iifu and Sauran were already laughing. If one laughed, it might ruin the plan, so I wanted them to leave.
”I’m glad you came to visit, but I don’t want any noise. So, please go back.” ~Ryausha
”Ha. I’m sorry.” ~Ceremonial Chief
After exchanging words several times, Ryausha stepped back from the Ceremonial Chief. After watching that he had left until across the passage, she lowered her voice and reported her impression.
”Pretty suspicious, huh? I was happy with that one.” ~Ryausha
Is that the first candidate for a comrade? So, that’s it. We may have hit a jackpot from the beginning.
However, with the next visitor, the flag direction changed quickly.
”This time, I heard it was important, and came….” ~Second person
This was also a likely candidate. The third officer in the Ministry of Justice. Although he was young, he was in a high ranking position and I heard that he was an ambitious person.
The result is, this man too immediately withdrew.
”He was just as suspicious…. I was about to jump for joy.”
Still unknown. There was a possibility that between the first two people was an accomplice.
Then, we started to get completely confused after the third person came.
”I’m sorry for coming suddenly. I heard something terrible happened. Is Master Sugen safe?” ~Third person
He was a tax-related instructor. He was a person who had nothing to do with the central power struggle as he was treated as an external expert.
”This is weird. I was a little happy just now. It feels like the country’s grieving.”
”Hey, isn’t the result the same no matter who comes in? Isn’t it simply this person’s popularity?”
”I am not feeling sorry that my brother wants death so far…”
What a statement… Even though this one offered to be a precious sacrifice and played as a person on his deathbed.
‘Are you no longer acting?’ I brushed off my futon and got up from bed, and tried to retaliate against my siblings.
”You look pretty healthy for an unconscious person, Sugen.”
At the low voice, all my siblings, including me, froze.
When I turn around awkwardly the door of the medical office, the Emperor was standing there.
”Father…? Did you not go outside today…?” ~Sugen
”An excellent messenger kindly came and tell me that you were in danger.” ~Emperor
If you looked behind the Emperor, Gettenwo stood there with a sulking expression. Surely, because Gettenwo rushed earlier, she could call the Emperor earlier than the Imperial Court Messenger.
”It’s coward to tattle, Gettenwo! Have you betrayed us?” ~Sugen
”I’m not a coward like you. Okay then, I’m going home. Discipline them as a parent, Emperor.” ~Gettenwo
The Emperor nodded with both fists knocked together and smiled as Gettenwo left.
“So you guys, do you any excuses?” ~Emperor
For now, I tried to attack with my siblings, but of course, we lost.
Translator and Editor Notes:
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