Natra Kingdom’s royal palace.
Two men were walking along the stone corridor.
Those men dressed with good appearance. One could feel their grace and dignity.
It was no wonder though, after all, both men were Natra Kingdom King’s retainer who had served the King for a long time.
One of them was a civil servant and the other one was a military officer. Those two men from different backgrounds were appointed as retainers at the same time, and while getting along with each other quite well, they would at times be engaged in a lively conversation within the Royal Palace.
However, despite both walking with each other, their faces right now were in despair.
Both of them knew why they each had such expressions.
“What is the condition of the situation? As expected, it was bad isn’t it…?”
The civil officer hesitantly murmured.
In response, the military officer closed his eyes and sighed.
“In the last few years, the situation had been worsened throughout the continent. It has greatly burdened his majesty who had a weak body…”
“The mood of the sky is indeed difficult to understand. Even outside of our country, no small amount of important people suddenly fell and caused confusion…”
“I’ve heard the Empire’s Emperor also fell. Thanks to that, the other side’s imperial court had turned into a den of evil spirits, filled with trickery…”
The civil officer snorted.
“The Emperor himself seems to have driven the Empire using his charisma alone, but as the light disappeared, darkness began to take over. I never thought he ended up didn’t appoint a successor…”
“Isn’t that the same as our country? But unlike the Empire, we still have hope—…”
At that time, a person appeared across the corridor.
The moment they recognize the person, they both took a stance and saluted immediately. There were only a few people who could make these two men stand at attention..
“”Good Morning, Wayne-dono.””
It was a young man whom the two of them felt very grateful toward, he had been leading his followers alone.
It was Natra Kingdom’s Prince, Wayne Salema Albarest.
“Oh, Good morning…”
He was sixteen years old. He was someone who should be called a boy rather than a man.
However, just the other day, he had become regent of this country. He took over for the fallen king to deal with state affairs.
“Both of you, what’s up with your dark faces? … Is it about father?”
In response to Wayne’s question, the two men answered respectfully…
“Indeed, as you’ve expected.”
“Pardon us. We’ve heard that his majesty’s condition had worsened…”
‘I see,’ Wayne said that in a small murmur and then placed both his hands on those two men’s shoulders.
“Don’t worry. You have me.”
Due to Wayne’s powerful words, those two bodies trembled slightly.
“And, I’m not the only one. Within this Nata Kingdom, there are also some vassals who have been supporting my father for many years. If the wheels run toward one aim together, any national crisis, we should be able to handle it.”
“Exactly as you’ve said, your Highness…”
The two men nodded their heads, seeing that Wayne floated a smile.
“For the sake of my father’s recovery as well, we have no time to grieve. I’m expecting more from the both of you…”
After that, together with his servants, Wayne walked along the corridor.
Looking at his back, the two men sighed deeply in admiration.
“… As expected, that person is our hope…”
“Indeed. His brilliance could be seen since he was a kid but it has blossomed brilliantly since he returned from studying in the Empire. The court confusion ceased and now the vassals are united under His Highness…”
“Fuuh, if the Empire hears this, they will certainly feel envy.”
“If that is the case, for the sake of making them grind their teeth more, let us support his highness more.”
“True, let us do just that…”
The two men were nodding.
The dark expressions they had previously worn was gone from their faces.
The bright future of the kingdom occupied their minds.
In the Center of the Royal Palace of Natra Kingdom, there was an office for government affairs.
With the profound door being opened, Wayne and his attendant appeared. Previously, the room was used by the King, but now it was used by the regent.
“Ninim, about today’s plan…”
While sitting on his chair dealing with pilled documents on his desk, Wayne asks his attendant.
Ninim, the attendant, at first glance she was a lovely woman. Her age was comparable to Wayne though she had white hair and fiery red eyes..
“The morning would be confirming the reports, then deciding the written opinion. Hold in between lunch, you have an appointment to talk with three people, and after that visiting his majesty.”
“If that is the case, there should be no visitor this entire morning?”
‘I see,’ Wayne muttered those words in a small voice, then…
“Let us sell this country ASAP! And escape!”
He shouted those words.
“Two wheels run together toward one purpose I said, bullshit! That is bullshit! This country being stagnant cannot be solved with only that! Absolutely impossible!”
“You say that again…”
Despite her lord’s sudden change, Ninim said those words without looking agitated, although she did say it as if she had given up on something…
“Don’t say a joke like that, Wayne.”
“What do you mean a joke? Ninim, I said that seriously!”
“Now, that’s worse.”
‘Geez…’ Ninim breathed out a sigh.
The young man who was being admired by the next generations of Natra Kingdom, Wayne Salema Albarest.
However, his true nature was that of a lazy young man who hates obligation, responsibility and effort.
“The moment people aren’t looking, you immediately turn like this… Please be more firm…”
She was one among the few people who knew the real nature of Wayne, Ninim Raleigh.
In her position, she was the chief attendant to Wayne, she had aided Wayne since he was young. To have such a young girl to be aide of a young regent who handles the national affairs, if we talked about common sense, many would say ‘what a joke!’, but in this country’s court, no one would say that.
Half of the reason was that they were afraid of the crown prince, whose intuition had appointed her for such an important job. The other half of the reason was that Ninim had demonstrated some achievement as his attendant.
It was because of her track record and also the time she had spent together with the crown prince since a young age, she was able to say such frank words. —In the first place, it was because there were only two of them that they could give each other straightforward advice.
However, it was not just because of temperament that Wayne would say such complaints…
“Hohou? What’s with you and those honor student words? Ninim, you should also know how poor this country is!”
“To say poor country, you’ve said too much… … It is just a country lacking manpower and resource. Thus we have no money!”
“That is what we call a poor country!”
The Natra Kingdom was one of the nations on the continent of Veno
The population was around 500,000 people, a small country. Located at the northernmost end of the continent, spring was short and the winter was long. In addition, most of the land was barren rocks and mountains.
They did have some history but domestic resources were scarce and there was no specialized industry either. Speaking of specialty it was the snowy scenery. It was beautiful enough for tourist to come, although the long winter did make our citizens suffer as well. One could say, it was blessing in disguise.
The reason why the Kingdom had such a long history was it’s lack of resources. Thus the other countries mostly ignored them. Because the successive monarchs were generally wise, somehow the state managed to keep standing, but it was a weak state that could be blown away easily.
“I don’t want to waste my efforts in a place such as domestic affairs. We have no industry to collect money either… We have no military power to take from the others either. Skilled and decent people go to other countries to aim for success! Due to the smoldering continent politics, my father fell ill and I ended up as his replacement!”
Wayne’s lamentation might have some truth in it. There was no doubt that it was a little too heavy a duty for a teenage boy to shoulder. However, not just anyone could replace him.
“Ah, why am I born as a prince of this country? Why not in a country where there are more resources, people and money… Ah, if it is like that. We’re definitely going to get invaded. Moderate resource should be enough… If the human resource is too strong, coup d’etat seems to happen as well…”
“Yes yes, please stop with your daydreaming… Look, we need to continue to work now…”
Ninim pushed another document to Wayne who expresses his worthless delusion.
‘Ugh–‘ Wayne received the documents and looked at Ninim as if he was dead.
“Don’t worry. Next.”
“… Did you read it properly?”
“I read it. I can read fast you know? Ninim, did you gain weight due to– Ow ow! Oi, to step on a prince’s foot, it’s lese-majesty you know?!”
“If you want some respect, then do your work a bit more seriously. And my weight has not increased.”
“Ohoo? Oi Ninim, do you think I won’t notice your footsteps? Your body definitely has 600 grams more weight than last week. Hnn? What are you doing, wait my hand, stop, don’t twist it to that direction, aaaaargh!”
“Which is better I wonder? Please do choose, work seriously or testing the limit of human joints with me?”
“O-Ou, please let me work…!”
“Good. And, I didn’t gain weight. Understood?”
In this Kingdom, only Ninim who could kick Wayne and make him work his ass off.
“N-No more~… I’ve never disturbed anyone, I just want to spend time in leisure surrounded by gold while teasing Ninim, why can’t I have such a simple life?”
While sluggishly slouching over his desk, the officer room’s door was being knocked on.
Wayne got up instantly, at the same time, the door was opened. The one who appeared there was a girl.
“Nii-sama, may I come in?”
She was a few years younger compared to Wayne. She wore a refreshing dress, her long black hair fluttering behind her, with her gentle steps, she entered the room. Indeed she was a very beautiful girl.
She had similar features and an atmosphere like Wayne. Though that should’ve been obvious after all her name was Franya Elk Albarest. She was the sister of Wayne Salema Albarest- a princess of the Natra Kingdom.
“— Franya? What’s wrong?”
Pretending to work diligently, Wayne raised his face and straightened his back.
“Emm, it is not something big. I just thought that Nii-sama has been too busy, and I can’t talk much with Nii-sama lately…”
Franya said those words while looking down, looking apologetic.
“… Did I bother you?”
“No, of course not.”
“If there is an elder brother who considers the visit of their younger sister as a nuisance, then there’s something wrong with that elder brother. Come…”
Franya face beamed with a smile looked very sweet. Then she rushed to Wayne side and leap on his lap.
“Geez, Franya, I did tell you to come, but at least be a bit modest…”
“That is not true. This is my special seat for a long time…”
Having said that, Franya rubs her cheek against Wayne’s chest. When she acted like this, she looked like a small animal.
Seeing her like that, Wayne’s cheek unintentionally loosens, but immediately strengthen back when he felt a certain someone’s gaze. Ninim, who was by his side, wrote something on a paper so that only Wayne could see.
‘-Leave me alone.-‘
When Wayne was responding to Ninim with letters, Franya leans her head to the side looking curious.
“What’s wrong, Nii-sama?”
“No, nothing. I just thought that Franya is still lighter than anyone else…”
“Geez, Onii-sama. It’s rude to compare people’s weight you know?”
‘Hahaha, my bad~…”
Wayne was taking a glance at Ninim when saying that.
‘-I’ll get back at you later.-‘
He decides to pretend to not see anything.
“But, I’m glad…”
Franya leaked sigh of relief.
“I was worried that I might get you angry for doing this, I was worried that I might interrupt your serious work.”
“Ah, no, umu, of course, I’m working seriously. Right, Ninim?”
“Of course. —His Highness even said that today work is not enough, and asked me to prepare more.”
Saying that Ninim pulled another pile of papers out of nowhere and placed them on his desk.
“His highness attitude who working hard as a regent, this Ninim, from the bottom of my heart admire you.”
“Oh my. As expected of Onii-sama.”
“… Right?! I’m a prince, after all, there’s no other way!”
Wayne laughed it off while looking at Ninim with contempt. Of course, Ninim pretends she didn’t see anything.
“But, if it’s like this, Onii-sama won’t be able to rest.”
“Well, it can’t be helped. Though we already manage to grasp the court with the help of our vassals, domestic confusion has not yet been settled. I think busy days would continue until I manage to solve it. .. I’m sorry, even though I want to play with you.”
“There’s no reason for Onii-sama to apologize.”
She shook her head, but then her expression looked anxious.
“However, please don’t overdo it. I don’t want you to fall sick like father… If you do, there’s nothing I can do after all…”
“Don’t worry, even though I’m looking like this, I’m quite strong you know? Also, it is a mistake for Franya to say that there’s nothing she could not do.”
“… What can I do for you?”
“It’s not difficult. I wish for you to continue smiling for me.”
Wayne pinched both of her cheeks.
“If Franya smiles brightly, father and I will always be healthy. This is something that only Franya can do.”
“Of course. What I said is the truth.”
“Then… Like this?”
Franya smiled sweetly at him. Seeing that, Wayne nodded his head satisfied.
“Oh, I feel my energy back. I think my energy will be back more if you hug me tightly.”
“Fufufu, Oh Onii-sama… Ei~…”
Franya giggled and embraced Wayne’s body.
“How about it?”
“Ah, I think I can get through the afternoon work now. Especially since today we have something big to deal with, I’m saved.”
“That is good then. … But, hmm? Something big to deal with?”
Wayne replied to Franya who tilted her head while hugging him.
“It’s about the meeting with the Imperial ambassador.”
The Azworld Empire was a major country within the eastern part of Vuno continent.
Blessed climate and fertile land. They also had abundant mineral resources including a fishery that was also active. They had a huge lake in which they competed against two or three countries for full control. It was a country that has all the riches. Therefore it had been invaded by other countries frequently since its founding.
Naturally, to fend them off, the country became a militaristic country with one of the best military in the continent. And when this generation Emperor took the throne, he had occupied the neighboring countries one after another using his country’s military might.
The Empire’s force was truly destructive and it’s goal of continental reunification was within its grasp, something that had never been done in history.
Until one day, the Emperor fell.
“— That above is information for crown prince Wayne Salema Albarest.”
“Thank you for your hard work.”
Inside one of the room within the mansion, Viz Brandel heaved a small sigh after talking to her aide.
Her age was around the mid-twenties. She was a beautiful woman with flowing blond hair.
But Viz was not just an ordinary beautiful person. Dispatched from the Empire, she was the ambassador to the Kingdom of Natra.
“Just like the rumor had said, the next generation of ruler seems to be a wise and benevolent person.”
“Indeed, both the inside and outside of the Kingdom of Natra has recognized him as the next King of the Kingdom of Natra. It seems there’s only a little resistance for him to take office.”
“On the other side, the Empire fell into confusion from top to bottom, how envious… But I’m regretting it all the more because I had no chance to make more of a connection.”
“It can’t be helped. The ambassador accepted the duty at the time when the crown prince was studying abroad.”
It had been few years since Viz was appointed as ambassador to the Kingdom of Natra. Although the situation had changed dramatically since then, and she was able to build a relationship where she can talk with the King for deep negotiation, but the result was still not very satisfying.
“In your mind, what kind of talk the crown prince will have with us today?”
“It will end with just small talk I think, but if that is not it then… It will be about the Empire’s army stationed here.”
Today, within the Kingdom of Natra, there were five thousand imperial troops. It was officially allowed to stay by the King after negotiations, but Viz knew that there would be unrest and backlash in the Natra Kingdom if they accepted foreign military force.
“I wonder if he will ask us to withdraw the army?”
“I’m not sure. However, I don’t believe he is a person that is according to the rumors, In this meeting, we should be able to see who is the one who actually holds power. After all, for having Fulham as a retainer in itself is already weird…”
“Ninim Raleigh you meant?”
“Indeed. I knew there were a lot of Fulham people living in this country, but I was surprised when I found out that other than the empire, this country also appointed one of them as a retainer.”
“I agree. And it seems the history of accepting them as retainer was even older than the Empire. If it is a country from the west, they would usually regard them as nothing more than a slave, this is indeed weird.”
“Such worthless beliefs will disappear when our Empire reunites this continent…. … Anyway, it’s almost time for the meeting.”
Viz then stood up. Although she had exchanged simple greeting with Wayne before, this time they would meet in a formal forum for discussion.
“If the information from home country is correct, the imperial stagnation will soon end. For that reason, we need to maintain our army here even though it is not right.”
With firm determination, Viz headed toward the meeting place.