Ninim entered the room in a rush and kneeled immediately in front of Wayne and Louwellmina.
“I’m very sorry for disturbing your time, your highness. I’ve brought an urgent report!”
Louwellmina showed a triumphal smile toward Wayne.
“Emm, what did you say earlier? Was it a bet?”
“… N-No, no no, wait a minute, something is wrong here…”
“You sure don’t know when to give up huh, Wayne. Well, I will get back to you later. After all, there’s something we need to prioritize right now…”
Louwellmina then turns her gaze at Ninim.
“So Ninim, where is Antogadar army right now? Since I’m related to the matter, I have the right to listen…”
As a matter of course, Ninim blinked in confusion…
“…– Ah, no, well, I haven’t received any information about Antogadar’s force…”
“What I am going to tell his highness is about another matter…”
Ninim takes a single breath and continued…
“The son of the current Marquis Antogadar, Gerald Antogadar has just arrived at the royal palace!”
Wayne and Louwellmina screamed while looking astonished…
For the current lord of Antogadar, Greenach Antogadar, the position of Marquis in the Azworld Empire was very unsatisfying.
(He was a foolish father… He was nothing more than a man who wants to behave like a wise man, he forgot his status as a king, and in fact, he threw away the throne.)
In the first place, he was originally a direct line in the Antogadar royal family and someone who should’ve become a King.
However, due to his predecessor, King Antogadar, he had become a vassal of the Empire and was forced to a humiliating position of a Marquis.
(What we had gained by being the Empire’s vassal… We lost half of our land, the previous allied people saw us as a traitor, and we’ve also being isolated from the Empire central politics, we’ve been given a noble title without being involved in the politics.)
Everything was because of his father. He feels like he had to clean the ridiculously stupid mistake of his father. After all, he thought he should’ve been a King by now.
(If we didn’t betray the coalition and crush the Empire, Antogadar royal family would’ve made a further leap in my generation.)
That was a theory that Greenach always had.
— The parent’s heart oftentimes never reach their children.
The former King Antogadar knew. His child didn’t have the ability to become a King.
If the Empire collapsed, and the eastern side of the continent fell into an era of powerful warlords. He knew that the Antogadar Kingdom would end during his child era.
In fact, even with only half of the territory, Greenach still could not satisfyingly do management. The territory had fallen, and the people also lost their faith.
That was why King Antogadar decided to betray the coalition and join the Empire. He decided to end the Antogadar Kingdom and put a stigma on his name in the history of the continent. Everything he did was to save his child.
And after he becomes the imperial vassal, it was also his aim to distance his house from the imperial central politics. He knew that his child won’t survive if his child were to get involved with the imperial central politics that filled with the devils in human skin.
But, unfortunately, Greenach didn’t notice that. In the first place, if he had the ability to notice that, the former King Antogadar won’t make such a decision.
For Greenach, a chance to prove himself appeared in front of his face during this summer.
“I have a great proposal for Marquis…”
Introduced by his vassal, initially, the man named Oulu had introduced himself as a merchant. However, after many visits, he had revealed his true identity as a fellow man from a ruined country, he told the Marquis about the ongoing rebellion plan by the former coalition countries.
Greenach jumped into it without further thought. He thought this would restore his Antogadar Kingdom. If that could be obtained then everything will be fine… He was convinced that his time to shine had come.
And while being guided by Oulu, he expressed his support to one of the prince factions and began collecting weapons in the name of preparing for civil war.
Despite the decline, the influence of Marquis Antogadar was still alive in Gairan province. One after another, he managed to collect weapons and soldiers. Things seemed to be going well— But, Greenach bad habit comes out…
(— Is it really going well?)
It was said that he had lost his talent and courage in exchange for inheriting his predecessor ambitions. Now, he didn’t even try to hide his criticism toward his predecessor but, he was still a coward who could never be able to face an objection head-on… He didn’t have the ability to remain calm, which was an ability needed for a person who going to jump in into such a ridiculous plan.
Greenach who had become more and more anxious by the day had asked Oulu for the details of the plan and the probability of success over and over again. He tried to gain peace of mind by doing so but, Oulu keeps dodge him by saying it was a secret. Which causes Greenach to become more anxious and distrustful.
He wanted some insurance. He wants something in case some trouble arises and he needs to protect himself.
It was a natural consequence that Greenach had come to think like that, so when he heard the news that princess Louwellmina would go on a trip to the neighboring Natra he thought he found another chance.
Despite having the right to the Empire’s throne, she had gone to another country with a small entourage. Natra itself was in the middle of exhaustion after facing Marden. By the time he had the princess in his hand, the season would be in the middle of the winter, which would cause the imperial army unable to move. And when the spring was about to come, the rebellion would begin.
He feels like God had arranged everything for him to become a king. He gathered his soldiers immediately. And after that, Greenach just needs to invade Natra.
But then, en route, Greenach stops his move.
In his hand was a letter from Natra.
In the office of Marquis Antogadar, Greenach glared toward the person he meets without trying to hide it.
“… This is the name of the people that participate in the plan, something that Marquis had desired for a while…”
The one who appeared in front of him and bowed his head was Oulu. Right now, Greenach had suspected if that was not his real name, but he was not interested in the answer to that. What important for him was that the man in front of him was a contact person for the rebellion plan.
“I think you should understand this already but, these people were only those that the Marquis deserve to know. The reason why we didn’t tell your excellency up front was that we need to know whether or not we could trust your excellency. After all, what most important is to make sure the plan goes as planned…”
“I understand that without you saying it!”
Greenach raised his voice and strike the deks.
As Oulu had said, the information about the rebellion participant was what Greenach had requested before. However, he never thought Oulu would show it now.
The reason for the change was because Greenach had prepared his army to move. Naturally, Oulu realized that his aim was Princess Louwellmina in Natra. Greenach was confident that he would succeed, but for Oulu, his action was only going to raise more risk, which may cause the rebellion to fail.
Therefore, for the purpose of humoring him and restraining him, Oulu had presented the documents, but for Greenach, the blatant treatment was very annoying.
“Well, fine! We will keep the soldiers in the territory!”
“… Thank you, sir.”
Oulu rudely leaves the office room with dissatisfaction on his face.
But, Greenach immediately forgets such rudeness. On the contrary, after reading the documents he wanted so much briefly, he just threw it away.
Instead, he picked up a letter.
He was wondering about the hidden meaning behind the letter sent by the prince of the neighboring country.
The content was simple– It said that a person of high standing had been staying in the Natra Kingdom, the person wishes to visit the residence of Marquis Antogadar.
(To think this kind of a letter would arrive…)
About the person with the high standing, he was thinking it must’ve been princess Louwellmina.
However, he had some doubts. Why princess Louwellmina wish to visit Antogadar residence? And why did she contact him via the Prince of Natra?
The reason was not clearly stated. However, after he read the letter as if he wants to put a hole on it, he understands that this letter had come from princess Louwellmina and she wanted to make the content of this letter a secret.
(In other words, princess Louwellmina didn’t want her action to be known by the princes’ factions.)
When he thinks like that, somehow he was more convinced. Around princess Louwellmina, many of them were from the prince factions. And if she wanted to send a letter publicly, then the content would’ve been censored. That was why she sent the letter through Natra’s prince.
And if the content of this letter was to be believed, the story would change…
(I still can’t see the reason why princess Louwellmina wanted to visit this place…)
Only that part he could not understand the most, that was why Greenach could not believe it immediately.
Had Greenach could think more innovatively, he might misunderstand that Louwellmina might wish to strengthen her faction by contacting her. However, such an idea didn’t come into his mind, since he also believed that politics should be left to the men.
Personally, Greenach wants to believe the letter. Since if the letter was true, princess Louwellmina would be in his hand without him sending the troops. It was indeed a heavenly fortune. It made him think that fate itself wishes for him to become a King.
However, at the same time, he also feels it was too convenient for him. –
As he was wondering what to do, a few days had passed.
And the problem was solved in an unexpected way.
The cause was the existence of his son, Gerald, who had returned from the imperial capital.
In the case of Gerald Antogadar, he was a classic example of an imperial debauchery nobleman.
He was not interested in the military arts, politics or studies, he was only interested in anything sensual. He had not only caused an affair once or twice, but he was also the kind of human who would use his family position as a marquis to settle any troubles.
Greenach himself was troubled with his son’s behavior. It was to the extent that he had wondered seriously, why such a bad son was born— But well, in the end, he was still his son. It was important for him to have a successor, and even though his son had a bad reputation, he was optimistic that his son would change his behavior in the future.
About his son, he had heard that his son was madly in love with the Princess. He had heard that the princess once helped his son during an evening party, and since then, his son had been sending gifts and letters to her frequently.
And when Gerald read the letter sent by the Natra’s prince, this was how he responded…
“She finally accepted my feeling! The princess must’ve wanted to meet me as soon as possible!”
Furthermore, Gerald had believed the reason why his love was being rejected by her thus far was that the other princes regarded his relationship with the imperial princess as a dangerous move. As soon as he thought that he jumped out of his house while saying “I’m going out to pick up my future wife.”
Greenach was also taken aback when he found out his son reckless behavior.
But as time goes on, another thought crossed his mind.
If Gerald and princess Louwellmina got married, then Antogadar would become an imperial family member. And eventually, an Emperor might be born from the lineage of Antogadar.
Greenach was confident when it comes to his own ability. But, it was a question whether or not he could expand his territory if the revolt was a success and an era of powerful warlords begin.
(But well, at least, it is worth it to wait for Gerald to verifies the letter.)
Will you take the princess away from Natra and destroy the Empire according to the plan.
Or are you going to marry Gerald and Princess Louwellmina, and join the imperial family?
Inside Greenach, such scale was swaying…
Without him being able to realize, that the scale itself was actually being created by the two strategists.