Louwellmina elegantly sips the tea once again…
“Can I listen to the details that make you come to that conclusion?”
“When I saw the weapon used by the Henoi and Eshio tribe, it hit me. Those were weapons built on the west side of the continent, as to why it flowed into Natra, that was because they had used Natra as a transit point to the east. —- In other words, those weapons were just some parts of weapons gathered in the Empire in preparation for civil war.”
“… For the glorious Empire to use weapons from the west, it is indeed not a pleasant story. But, that is not a strange thing, no? The weapons built in the Empire are indeed a first-class, but if all factions scrambled for it, sooner than later they would run out of it. Isn’t it natural for them to gather weapons when they felt desperate?”
“That is if they distribute it unequally…”
Wayne then threw some documents to the desk.
“I’ve investigated the mobilized troops. Every side has those weapons distributed. But somehow, they distribute it equally to each prince of the three factions…”
Louwellmina picked up the documents and groaned.
“Being able to investigate this much in such a short amount of time… As expected, the Natra Kingdom intelligence network is really great.”
Wayne ignored her and continue…
“I’ve also investigated the occupied territory by the Empire. Using connection, extortion, and prosperity… There are a lot of reasons but, the three factions seem to have gathered powers rivaling each other. But it becomes clear when I saw the distribution of weapons. The current situation in the Empire is by design.”
“Due to the antagonistic rivalry of the princes, it caused anxiety among the people which would cause a civil war. Next, a large number of weapons were distributed to the occupied territory in the name of war preparations. And with the right timing, they would raise a revolt at the same time in various places, destroying the Empire in one go. Such a scenario is currently moving in the eastern continent. How’s that? Lova.”
Wayne’s words were eloquent and very powerful. It was a voice that would make people nods their head just by hearing it if they were not used with pressure.
However, Louwellmina lightly repels it.
“I wonder about that. If I admit your hypothesis, then why am I here? If I knew something like that would happen, I should’ve warned my brother instead, no?”
“You did. However, you can’t get them– No, you leave them after you told them everything, right? It is difficult to hide these kinds of things. If it were me, I would disguise this with other information and use it to let the opponents lower their guards. Perhaps, the three princes had received the report about the rebellion but, they estimated that the scale would be much smaller. And the princes who received the report decided to not crush the revolt as soon as possible, and in fact trying to use it to defeat the other factions…”
“Though that is also something that someone wanted them to believe. The reliable Emperor died of illness and the disappointing princes that succeed his throne. This is the time for us to communicate with the west side- There must’ve been vassals who think like that.”
And Lova position becomes more resonates from there. Even though the Empire advocates meritocracy, in the end, men still lead the political stage, while there was a little room for women. And Lova herself, she didn’t have any political achievement up until now.
That was why, no matter how much Lova appeals to her brothers about the crisis in the Empire, it would be easily crushed by the untrustworthy retainers.
“From there, you realize you couldn’t rely on the princes, thus you make a bet. It is by making one of the forces behind the rebellion to move first, instigating the sense of crisis on the princes, and at the same time also unveil the evidence of rebellion in the Empire. And the stage chosen for that is—…”
“Natra, Gairan province is next to Natra— The former territory of Antogadar Kingdom.”
Louwellmina sighed and turned her gaze at Wayne.
“You’re truly amazing, Wayne. … As I’ve expected, you’ll reach such a conclusion.”
“I guess I should feel honored for the praise?”
“I will give you a kiss for a reward.”
“I will humbly decline.”
‘That is unfortunate’, Louwellmina whispered while slumping her shoulders.
“Just like what you say. It was around summer when I felt uncomfortable in regard with the three factions rivalry, as I investigated with the help of Viz, I’d discovered the revolt’s plan. But unfortunately, I couldn’t persuade my brothers, as I’d realized that I could not solve this problem myself, I came up with an idea, by using myself as bait and drive the plan’s pace out of order.”
“By using Lova’s right to succeed the throne, huh?”
Louwellmina then nodded.
“The west side ulterior motive is that they would move to the east side after the destruction of the Empire but, the occupied territories also had their own motives. They want their own independence and prosperity but, they also see the west as a threat. Therefore, after defeating the Empire and seizing their own independence, it is important for them to absorb the imperial power smoothly in order to repel western interference.”
“If the rebellion is successful, the princes would definitely be executed. The first princess who had already married a nobleman in the Empire would also be subject to execution. Thus, the only remaining is the second princess. If the second princess is secured, it would be easy to absorb the Empire legacy… Rather, it would make it a lot easier to name the winner country as the second Empire.”
“Then, what if you can only go out without escort?”
“Even if it was unreasonable, I think I would still do it.”
‘What an outrageous woman.’ That was what Wayne thought.
He understands her logic. He also understands that she had no choice but to do so.
However, he also understood that it was not easy for a person to cross that bridge, which was why it made him feels her gallant personality to be quite unusual.
“As I thought about which side would bite the bait the most, I think the former Antogadar would be the one. They are involved in the rebellion plan but, it seems like because of their previous betrayal, their position in the plan is quite low. Whether they like it or not, I am a piece that they should want on their side.”
Saying that Louwellmina showed a beautiful smile.
“And at this point, I coincidentally heard that Wayne was looking for a princess to marry, thus I decided to jump on the boat. Thanks to that, I was able to put myself next to the former Antogadar territory where they could reach.”
And the reason why she visited Natra before winter was to make room former Antogadar Kingdom’s army to move to their position.
Furthermore, after securing her, it would be hard for the Imperial Army to move during the mid-winter, and they should not be able to withstand the rebellion that would happen when the spring comes- That must’ve been what the Marquis Antogadar had expected. The duration of her stay was the window provided for Antogadar to raise his army.
Louwellmina explained all of her plans with a light tone but, it was actually a very deeply planned scheme.
But, there was still one thing that Wayne could not solve.
“… What are you going to do if I obediently hand you over to the Marquis Antogadar?”
“8 out of 10, you won’t do that to me. And by actually coming to Natra, I know that such a thing absolutely won’t happen.”
“Why did you think that?”
“Because of Ninim.”
Wayne opened his eyes wide due to the unexpected answer.
As if to remind him, Louwellmina continued…
“When we were students at the academy, Ninim once had a duel against another student, remember?”
“… Anything wrong with that?”
“Back then, I was thinking that she did that because she was insulted as a Fulham, but then, after knowing her usual quiet and calm personality, I was unsure about why she did it. Before long, I begin to think why she did it…— And I realized, she might actually do it to prevent you from touching the student who insulted her.”
Wayne could not say anything.
However, his silent pressure speaks more eloquently than any words.
“There’s a special bond between you and Ninim. And that bond took priority over anything. If you hand me over to them just like that, the influence of the west would reach the east. In particular, the Natra Kingdom, where it has borders with the west and east, you won’t be able to escape the western influence. — Therefore, you can’t do that. After all, in the west, the Fulham was treated as slaves, which you will never let that happen here.”
“… I guess I should be happy for not having Ninim by my side right now, huh?”
Wayne ruffled his hair and sighed.
“I feel what you said is a bit strange but, I see, so it had such hidden meaning huh?”
“Of course, as a friend, I also include my honest feeling.”
In any case, Louwellmina continued…
“My secret is over. To get me, Marquis Antogadar needs to raise his army and invade Natra. And I will save the Empire by having Wayne stopping him.”
As long as he could not hand over Louwellmina, a clash between him and Marquis Antogadar would be unavoidable. Her visit here was known as an official visit. The Antogadar side couldn’t say they didn’t know that.
“.. Are you disappointed? Me, using you, and my friend, just to save the Empire.”
Maybe because he was confident in his hearing. Somehow he could hear slight trembling from Louwellmina’s tone…
Either way, Wayne decided to speak his honest answer.
“As if… After all, the way you did it is exactly how the Lova Felvis I know would do .”
“But, are you sure that Marquis Antogadar would come and invade?”
Louwellmina raised her eyebrows.
“… I see, you’d done something as well huh?”
When she thought of it more, the way he leads the conversation was as if he just want to confirm something. Thus, it would be natural that he had already prepared a countermeasure.
(But, he should’ve no time to spare, when did he…)
Then she noticed that he might have sometime after the tribal incident. From that incident until today, there should some time open…
And in fact, what Wayne did was actually very simple…
“I didn’t do something that amazing you know? I just sent a letter to Marquis Antogadar…”
“Yes, a nobleman staying in my country had left Natra while bringing my letter to Marquis Antogadar.”
Louwellmina was confused and perplexed.
“… Just what are you saying, do you think it would be enough with just that?”
“That alone would be enough… Rough but just right, that is why it is easy to take it on one’s hand. – To get Lova, he needs to invade Natra, but if Lova would go to his side herself, there’s no need to fight, yes? In particular, Marquis Antogadar is a person that easily follows the flow…”
“I don’t want the west to put too much attention on me you see? That is why I cannot afford a war against Antogadar. My bad but, I guess you should think of a different way to stop the rebellion.”
While listening to Wayne’s words, Louwellmina frantically thinks.
If Marquis Antogadar didn’t move, the plan would fail. However, even if she sent a letter saying that his letter was a mistake, it won’t change much. Her being here was an official event. The day the delegation had to return will soon come, and she probably would need to leave before her letter arrived.
And when she decided to come to Natra, she had already pushed the limit. Thus it would be impossible for her to ask the imperial court for an extension. –
“I see, I’ve never expected that you would block me like that. What a surprise… –But, that is if you could block me with just that…”
Louwellmina had thought the likelihood of that to happen would be quite low.
Louwellmina didn’t know that Wayne had investigated the son of the previous Marquis Antogadar when he had investigated the previous Marquis Antogadar. However, even if she knew that she would still think it would be unlikely Wayne could block her.
Louwellmina was very confident. That her plan would work.
“Soon, Ninim will appear from the door over there, and I hope you won’t be too surprised when she tells you that the enemy had come…”
However, Wayne was not lagging behind when it comes to confidence either.
“No, there’s no way that is going to happen.”
Wayne said it with full of confidence…
“Let us bet. I believe the Antogadar army will not move!”
The next moment after he said that, the door was being opened with a loud bang.
“…— Your Highness!”