Brinja had just repeated Deirus\' words in a much less subtle way and used the slap to alter the meaning of his words at her own convenience.
\'Silly girl.\' Jirni inwardly cursed while Deirus gloated.
\'There\'s no way such a simple ruse can work.\'
And yet there was.
Neither of them knew that Mirim had been Sylpha\'s closest friend for over thirty years, her beloved academy mate, her closest aide, her confidant, and shoulder to cry on during her hardest times.
Sylpha loved the late Marchioness like a sister and Brinja like a daughter.
The Queen had spent her whole life hiding her feelings, but that didn\'t make them any less intense.
She had hidden her grief and rage all along because her role demanded it.
Now, however, Deirus had spat on Mirim\'s corpse and threatened her daughter right in front of the grieving Queen.
\'Oh, **!\' King Meron thought.
while activating the Armor of Saefel and hoping that either it would be enough to stop his wife or that he wouldn\'t need it.
Did he Sylpha\'s voice became stone-cold as her mana flow going wild caused a small storm that not even the arrays that sealed the world energy in the room could stop.
Deirus opened his mouth to talk, but no word came out.
Air abandoned his lungs and yet his vocal cords were frozen in fear.
The Queen had never been known for her beauty, but no one disagreed on how terrible she could be.
Just looking Sylpha in the eyes was enough to bring Velan onto his knees along with his cohorts, whimpering like a pack of beaten dogs.
What did you say exactly Sylpha helped Velan to stand up by grabbing his neck and lifting him a few centimeters off the ground with just one hand.
Archmage Deirus said that my mother died because she ill-choose her allies. Brinja said, making Velan sigh in relief at her naivety and nod like a parrot to reassure the Queen of his good intentions.
Either he is blaming two of the most valiant subjects of the Kingdom for her death, or he is accusing my mother to have dealt with shady figures, if not with the Undead Courts. Brinja added, making Sylpha\'s eyes turn into torches and Velan\'s face into a pale sheet.
Are you accusing my honored guests or Distar\'s alleged allies of her death Sylpha calmed down, loosening her grip enough to let Deirus talk.
The latter. He replied having to follow the Court\'s etiquette.
There\'s no other explanation to how Mirim managed to make her Marquisate flourish so much and to how the killer got inside her-
The Queen clenched her fist, squeezing the air and almost the life out of him as his neck popped.
Archmage Deirus had fallen for Brinja\'s second trap.
Only she and the Royals knew that the reason why the Distar Marquisate was so rich was that Mirim invested into it all of her rewards as both the Lord Commander of the Queen\'s corps and of the Corpse.
What would have been a legitimate doubt in any other moment had turned into a stab to Sylpha\'s heart.
Not only had Deirus attempted to dirty Mirim\'s reputation, he had also unwittingly blamed the Queen for her death.
\'Mirim died because she was too weak to defend herself.
She died to defend the entire Kingdom.
Without her, Prode would have fallen and yet this ungrateful vermin is trying to exploit her death to drag my friend in the mud!
\'He has no idea of the sacrifices Mirim made for this country.
She\'s a hero that will forever remain unsung for national security reasons, but I\'ll be damned before I let anyone sully her memory.\'
How dare you Sylpha said as Velan\'s vertebras popped one by one and her hairdo came undone.
Mana and fury made her hair whip around like a bunch of angry snakes.
He also called my mother an insolent woman.
Everyone here heard him. Brinja dealt the final blow.
Is that true Sylpha asked.
Lith, Ainz, Jirni, and everyone nearby nodded in unison.
Even though the slap had interrupted Deirus, the entire hall had heard him saying your mother was an- insolent woman.
Explaining the truth would have been hard for Kwart and Onia.
They would have to call a liar two Archmages, an Archon, and several other leading figures of the Kingdom.
On top of that, they were afraid to be the next in Sylpha\'s line of fire, so even Deirus\' allies didn\'t hesitate to turn their back on him to save their skin.
Good to know. Sylpha let Deirus\'s neck go and then punched him while he was still in mid-air.
The hit shattered his sternum and all of his ribs, sending him to crash against the wall like a human projectile.
The body of Deirus almost folded and his bones produced a sound awfully close to crunching cereals as they broke.
I had lifted your ban from social events to celebrate our victories and give us all a fresh start.
Yet you dare to come into my house, to accuse my guests, and to sully the memory of a loyal servant of the Kingdom. Sylpha said.
If not for the healing spell imbued in her fist, for the magical protections Deirus wore, and for the Castle safeguards, he would have been turned into a bloody pulp.
I hereby renew your ban.
Heal Archmage Deirus enough to keep him stable and then send him away. While the valets followed the Queen\'s orders, the members of the young magical bloodlines came forward to complain about the unfair treatment their leader had received.
Then, they looked Sylpha in the eyes, gave her a deep bow, and ran to the closest restroom to clean their pants.
Did they say anything about Mirim Sylpha stared at the two remaining Archmages like a blood-hound at its prey.
No, Your Majesty.
They didn\'t. Brinja had to be honest.
There were too many witnesses and even though Sylpha would believe to her lie, it was bound to backfire later.
Besides, she didn\'t need to add a single word to ruin their reputation in front of the Queen.
The spite and hatred in Sylpha\'s eyes said it all.
She considered them guilty as well by association.
If you\'ll excuse me, I need to fix my hair. Sylpha disappeared as she had arrived, in a blur.
Nice move, kid. Jirni whistled in approval.
You got Deirus out of our hair, renewed his ban, and helped your husband by crushing the reputation of his rival.
Thanks, Lady Ernas. Brinja said, smiling again.
Now I hope you understand why I\'ve been wearing my heart on the sleeve like a tantrumming kid until a while ago.
It was a trap all along! Lith said.
I know that I\'m the weak link of our group, but that makes me weak only compared to you two.
Also, if I play it smart, I can turn my weakness into strength just like my mother taught me. Marchioness Distar said.
How long have you been preparing this ruse He asked.
Ever since you left my house.
After calming down, I noticed the pity of my allies and the contempt of my enemies while they looked at me.
At that point, I decided to act all broken until this very day in the hope that someone would take the bait. Brinja replied.
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