“— Right now, Ninim is in the middle of taking a hot bath with princess Louwellmina.”
When Franya heard about the situation, she groaned like a small animal.
“That’s not fair. I haven’t taken a bath with Ninim recently, you know…!”
Having tried to take her older brother away– Or at least that was what Franya think— had caused her impression toward Louwellmina to become quite low but, to think she also tried to take away Ninim from her, how haughty was she? That was what Franya had thought, and she swore inside her heart that she would never forgive her until she begs for forgiveness.
“Well, don’t sulk…”
Wayne said those words while poking Franya’s inflated cheeks.
“I’ll tell Ninim to spend some time with Franya as well later…”
“Really? Then, Onii-sama should take a bath with us later as well!”
“Me too? Hmm, I don’t think we’re at that age anymore.”
“It is fine Onii-sama, I don’t mind about such a thing.”
“I understand, I will think about it.”
After replying with his favorite politician trick of ‘when a politician said I will think about it, that means they won’t do anything’, Wayne immediately changed the subject.
“Come to think of it, Franya, how are your studies? Is it progressing well?”
Satisfied with her cute reaction, Wayne laughed…
“You don’t have to be that impatient. Cladios might not tolerate someone being lazy but, he is someone who could understand someone’s inexperienced. Besides, you will always make progress as long as you have the will to learn.”
“But, even just the other day, I wasn’t listening to the class just because I was distracted by other things. I’m sure he’s angry now…”
Wayne strokes Franya’s head who looked sad while also said it would be okay to her.
“If he would get angry from just that, I would be dead by the time he becomes my teacher back then. Let’s see, how about this… If you’re willing to spend your time… How about having a supplementary lesson now? For Franya, I won’t mind being a temporary lecturer.”
Franya opened her eyes wide and smiled happily.
“By all means, Onii-sama!”
“Alright then, what do you learn from Cladios right now?”
“Emm, right now I’m currently learning about the Empire. The Empire grows bigger and bigger as they conquer various countries. As a result of that, some of the major countries had been absorbed by the Empire.
“Up to that huh? Let’s see, Bernok, Kodrafi, Toddleran… Each of those countries had their own reason for their destruction, but I guess it would be too much to cover all of that with our limited time. If that is the case then, for now, let us talk about Antogadar…”
Wayne then took out the quill pen on the desk and unused piece of paper, then he ran the pen on the paper. He had drawn a map of the eastern continent.
“Our Natra Kingdom is located at the northern end of the central continent, the west side had a border with the now destroyed Marden, and the east side was adjacent to the imperial province of Gairan. By the way, Franya, do you know what is the special product of Gairan?”
“It’s a textile. I heard the quality of textiles from there is very good.”
“That’s right, especially the textiles that are using mirror dyeing method to dye the textiles, it has such a mysterious luster. The goods were also the favorite of the Azworld Empire’s Emperor for generations. Because it was rare, there was not much of them on the market.”
I wish they had taken Natra too, while thinking of that Wayne continued…
“This Gairan province was originally called the Antogadar Kingdom. It was being annexed by the Empire shortly before we were born but… The main cause that led to them being annexed was also because the Antogadar’s King of that time was a man of a hypocrite.”
What does that mean?”
“The Empire at that time was trying to break the southern countries such as Bernok and Kodrafi, they were making great progress… Turn out that had become the catalyst. A sense of crisis was born among the remaining eastern countries, and there was an increasing pressure to unite and defeat the Empire.
Wayne then listed the name of the country that joins the coalition. Antogadar also one of the listed names. With a mutual wish of defeating the Empire black, it shows how many countries willing to join the alliance.
“With the advent of the coalition, the empire ended up in predicament. If the situation continues, the Empire might’ve ended being destroyed.”
“However…” Wayne said…
“The situation, changed greatly when King Antogadar, who had joined the coalition, suddenly announced to his subject, that he would let his country become a vassal to the Empire.”
“Huh? He willingly became a vassal?”
“That’s right. As you could see from the map, Antogadar was located in the northeast of the continent and the Empire is located in the southeast. Antogadar might’ve been a small country like Natra, but the Empire who got pushed back now had a sword on the back of the enemy. — Now then, Franya, what are you going to do if you’re the one commanding the allied countries?”
Wayne asked while making Antogadar territory on the map looked black.
Franya then answered after thinking a little bit.
“First of all, I will concentrate to fight Antogadar and destroy it.”
“That’s right, that is the ideal. But, it was because of Antogadar King, such a thing didn’t happen. His skillful diplomacy disrupted the coalition steps and earned themselves time, in which the Empire used it to destroy each of the countries in the coalition.”
The map painted black one after another, showing the advance of the Empire. Now, almost all of the map was black, except for a small part.
“Finally, the coalition was dismantled, and the Empire’s hegemony in the eastern continent was unwavering. The royals of those countries destroyed by the Empire ended up being executed, some were in exile… Only Antogadar King was being welcomed into the Empire and got himself Marquis peerage, with an assurance that he would have direct control of his territory. That was why Antogadar King was being called a ‘hypocrite’.”
After listening to Wayne, Franya exhales.
“Betraying the coalition and throwing away the throne… Why did King Antogadar do that?”
“Even if the coalition wins, and returned to the era of a local warlord, eventually, Antogadar would be destroyed. Since he thought that, he would rather let the Empire win and get himself a position in the Empire…”
That was not all of it, which Wayne, of course, should know but…
“How about memoir? Is there something like that?”
“It was something King Antogadar wrote in his last years. It was a valuable item that was only 30 copies of it being made. There is one inside my study, if you’re interested, read it.”
Franya nodded and then tilted her head.
“… Huh? Onii-sama, by last years you mean?”
“That’s right, Antogadar King had died. He was already very old when he become the Empire’s subject. His son now is the second Marquis of Antogadar. And by a son, he is someone who is far older and has children older than us.”
“Is the second generation an amazing one as well?”
“I haven’t confirmed it myself but– I heard he was a tyrannical person, who was not bright in either, internal affairs and military affairs. He was popular to have inherited his parents’ appearance and ambitions, but unfortunately didn’t have their valor and wisdom.”
Franya expression turns complicated.
“He was also famous for being on bad terms with Gairan province governor. Well, for a Marquis with half of his territory, and a provincial government who is given authority by the central government. I can understand why they couldn’t get along but—.”
At that time, the office door was being knocked.
“Excuse me– Ah, Your Highness Franya is here too huh?”
As soon as she saw Ninim, Franya rushed toward her.
“I heard from Onii-sama. That you have a bath with the princess.”
“Yes, I was finally able to get away… Your Highness Franya, why are you looking grumpy?”
Wayne then laughed and said…
“Since her gentle elder sister is being stolen away, of course, the younger sister would get angry.”
“I see… If that is the case then, I will make some free time later and have a hot bath with your highness Franya, how is it?”
“Really? It’s a promise alright, Ninim?
As he saw that the discussion being settled perfectly, Wayne said…
“By the way, Ninim, how is princess Louwellmina?”
“She has returned to her room.”
“Did you get anything?”
“I will talk the details later but, unfortunately, I don’t think I have much…”
Fumu Wayne nodded while having his hands crossed.
He wanted to find Louwellmina’s real goal as soon as possible but, it was difficult.
“Nee~, Ninim… Just now, Onii-sama was teaching me why Antogadar King had followed the Empire.”
“Oh? Isn’t that good?” Surely, his highness Wayne would be very enthusiastic when teaching you that? After all, His Highness always considers King Antogadar as a model for a ruler.”
“Is that true? Onii-sama…”
“Hnn? Indeed, in terms of a personal opinion that is…”
Read the currents and sell yourself to the power of that time and obtain the best price.
After all, it was King Antogadar who given Wayne the idea of selling the country.
When he finds out about that, he had the feeling “Damn it, to think someone had successfully done it” but, it was the truth that someone had managed to obtain the same goal as him, and become his predecessor. It was due to such a connection that he had worked hard to investigate King Antogadar and his surroundings and obtained the memoir. That was also why he had known about the current Marquis Antogadar as well.
“He was hated by those who previously joined the coalition but, it was also the truth that his skills were top notch. If there’s something to learn about him, his personal’s background means nothing much…”
“As expected of my Onii-sama!”
Franya nodded and didn’t hide her overflowing respect.
“It would be great if the second generation of Antogadar would be like Onii-sama, it is very regrettable… It feels like a waste since he had such a great father.”
“Ah, I see, you’ve also heard about the current Antogadar?”
Ninim said with a bitter smile.
“Sometimes, great things couldn’t happen twice, that is why it cannot be helped. No matter how much you look around, how many royals do you think would have the insight of willingly abandon the throne? Antogadar was originally a King of a country. Rumors often arrive saying that it seems he is feeling dissatisfied as the Empire’s vassals.”
In the first place, if it was about a royal that would be willing to abandon the throne then, Wayne was there, surprisingly easy to find…
(Still Antogadar huh…?)
Recalling what he had told Franya, something felt flickering inside Wayne’s heart.
(Some gears feel could not engage, something is not fit here…)
Muu, Inside his heart he groaned. He feels that the answer was close but, he couldn’t see it as if being obstructed by a thick fog. That was what he feels. Even if he put all of the information he had to clear the fog, he somehow couldn’t make it work.
It was not enough… Something was missing. There might be something happen—
(— No no no!)
He thought he was hoping for something stupid.
His hands were already full of dealing with the Empire’s delegates. The situation didn’t permit him to make any mistake or letting something happens…
(Right, if I think about it, it would be better if something didn’t happen. If that is the case then, no matter what kind of hidden agenda Lova has doesn’t matter. That’s right, I don’t want the truth, what I want is a peaceful and tranquil life! That’s why—)
“Your Highness, excuse me!”
At that time, an official jumped into the room.
“A message has arrived from Raklum-sama! — There’s a sign of turbulence in the dispatched area!”
He was sure he had wished so that something didn’t happen…
Wayne’s desire for a peaceful and tranquil life had ended before even begin…