The fear coursing through Johann’s crucified body showed no signs of abating.
What more did the boy want?
Johann gasped, unable to understand, which in turn led to a failure to understand the question.
“What did Princess Filia specialize in?”
It didn’t take long before he realized the true motives behind the boy’s question, and his eyes opened wide in surprise.
───What did Filia specialize in again?
He didn’t know. It was a question regarding his beloved daughter, and yet not a single word came to mind, just as no word left his lips, but the shock written on his face said everything.
“Is that really possible?”
“He must be joking. I mean, it’s that Princess Filia, you know!?”
The people from Earthgant were in disbelief.
With Johann unable to speak, Shinichi went ahead and divulged the correct answer.
“The correct answer is magical pharmacology! Despite her young age, Princess Filia discovered a groundbreaking method of concoction that remains effective to this day. With it, she has developed many new medicine, so much so in fact that there’s actually no telling how many people she has saved. Which is why her name is renowned not only in Earthgant but throughout the whole world… I didn’t lie, did I? It was a simple question.”
He spoke very much like that of the host of a quiz show, though of course, no one present could really relate to that. But even if they could, the magnitude of the problem at hand was too great for that to be of concern.
Johann, a man said to have doted greatly upon his daughter, could not answer a question that might as well have been common sense.
Above all, the one seemingly shocked about that the most was none other than the person in question.
“Question #2! As the person renowned to be the mother of modern magical pharmacology, in honor of Princess Filia’s achievements, a commemoration day was established. The date was set to be none other than her birthday, but… do you know which month and day it is, Johann-kun?”
“Wha… Ah, wait! I know, I know! Just give me a moment… Um, it should be in summer… Wait, that’s not right. Snow then… No, that’s not it either…”
“Bzzzt! The correct answer is – the 11th day of the Month of Dragon, making it early spring! Two wrong answers in a row already! How strange! How very strange indeed! This is common knowledge even for normal citizens!”
Shinichi made it sound as though Johann’s poor performance was simply his nerves or something else getting to him, but evidently, these questions were never meant to be unanswerable for him in the first place.
Shinichi enjoyed watching Johann’s face drain of color as he struggled to answer even the simplest questions regarding his beloved daughter, knowing full well that the old man couldn’t answer. It was straight up malicious.
“…Wonderful,” Lilisha said.
“Princess?” Stella said.
The princess found herself letting slip those words in a moment of captivation, and Stella scolded her, snapping her back to reality, but it was already too late. Whether in this sense or in the other sense.
“Don’t you think it would be exciting to be on the receiving end of that?”
“Not at all!”
The maids were perplexed. Truly, just how did she end up like this? For a moment, they even forgot the situation that they were in, fearing that they might have to put an end to this entire charade, not because the boy’s actions were malicious, but because They were worried about “something”.
Princess and maids-alike held fear in their eyes, but they knew that it was not the right time to end this. Shinichi might have been enjoying himself, but he was not the kind of person to engage in unnecessary actions on the battlefield.
But of course, that was according to his own standard, which was hard to gauge, but regardless, the questions kept coming.
“For our dear Johann, who has been struggling for awhile now, let us proceed to a special third question! The Earthgant royal family has a custom of giving a true name that is unlike their public name to avoid curses and other attacks of the sort. It is for this reason that the name of Earthgant’s royals are simpler than those of other nations.
Now, the question is – what is Princess Filia’s true name?
This is something that only the people closest to the person would know, often times being only the person themself and the parents… Now, Contestant Johann, what is your answer?”
Shinichi said with a smirk that seemed to say, ‘of course, you would know this, right?’
In fact, it was such a malicious smile that even Kite, who despite seeing it only from an angle, shivered.
As expected, Johann’s face clouded with despair. He repeatedly opened and closed his mouth several times, but he was ultimately unable to give an answer.
“Bzzzzt! What a shame! Contestant Johann once again ran out of time! The correct answer is – Maribelle Wult Von Elysse Filia-Johann-Licarla True Earthgant Schvein.”
Normally, one would be inclined to question the authenticity of such an answer or ask him how he even knew in the first place, but the only thing that could be gleamed from Johann was shock, as though he had been reminded of something that he should have known this entire time.
“…W-What have you done to me?”
“What did you do to my memories!? Was it these swords!? Was it when I removed my head! Was it when I put it back on my body!? It’s impossible! There’s no way I could be this ignorant! It’s about my beloved Filia for crying out loud! There’s no way I could have forgotten about her!”
“Oho, it appears our contestant is suspecting foul play from the host! How embarrassing!”
Johann yelled as though to insist that this must have been his handiwork, while Shinichi just cried false accusation, peering into his angry face with emotionless eyes, tilting his head eerily to the side as he said just one thing.
“Oh, but Johann, didn’t you forget about your daughter even before all of this happened?”
Shinichi said with a grin, and for a moment, Johann’s eyes opened wide in surprise. It took him a few seconds to fully comprehend the meaning behind those words, and then understandably, he erupted into fury.
───!!! There’s no way that could be true!! When did I forget about Filia!?”
“In that case, allow me to dispel your doubts… The fourth question shall serve as evidence!”
“Enough already! Just how long do you intend to humiliate me!?”
Johann cried in a display of outburst, but Shinichi just ignored him and continued with the questions undeterred. With a cheerful tone, he posed what was likely the main question, as if that one held the true essence of the matter.
“Stella, Frau, Miya, Kaya, Sela, Alisa, Cattleya, Clara, Robelia, Hannah, Louise… What do these names have in common?”