“Let us visit various places during the winter.”
Wayne first suggested that at the end of summer.
“Go to the feudal lords’ territory, and open discussion once again. This kind of ground solidification was important when I taking over.”
When Wayne took office as the regent, he had greeted almost all of the kingdom’s prominent figures. But it was hard to say that they had sufficient talks with each other.
If Wayne, the prince, decided to go around, it was necessary to announce it early, so that the aristocrats could prepare. If he suddenly decided “I’ll go” during the winter, both, those who go out and those who welcome them would be in a panic. That was why the timing was not wrong to start talking about it during summer despite the events that took place during winter.
“Why are you decided to go around during the time when harsh winter comes?”
Ninim’s question was right. Their country was in the northernmost of the continent. Making the winter in Natra very harsh. Of course, the people of Natra were accustomed to it but, it doesn’t mean that they could just move around the country easily either.
However, Wayne also had his reason…
“Because during those times, we don’t have to worry about the movements of the neighboring countries, I won’t be able to go outside if it was not in winter.”
Now was the time when the big Eastern Empire was in conflict, and the whole continent was in turmoil. Natra who had borders with the eastern and western countries need to be vigilant, and the speed of the country’s response, if something happens, will vary greatly depending on whether Wayne, the regent, was in the royal palace or not. That was why, unless it was winter when all the countries couldn’t really move too much, Wayne couldn’t go out of the palace, which Ninim couldn’t help but agrees.
“Of course, I also know that it is difficult for us to move during winter. But I also believe that the feudal lords would open up more toward us if I show them my willingness to meet them.”
In response toward Wayne who showed a prince-like smile at her, Ninim only looked at him with a skeptical gaze.
“Your reasoning is good but– What is your true reason?”
“I’m going to look at them in the eyes, and see if any of them are planning rebellion!”
When she heard that, Ninim could only look at the ceiling and sighed.
“In the first place there’s no sign of rebellion by the feudal lords, right?”
“That is why! Think about it, Natra Kingdom’s feudal lord system had continued for 200 years! It is strange that none of the feudal lords want to take the throne when the King is sick like right now!”
The feudal lord system was a system in which the monarch gives a territory to the vassal to govern, and in exchange, the vassal shall pay taxes and provide military power when needed. Not only Natra, many of the countries on the Vuno continent have adopted this system, which also possesses a certain danger.
In many cases, each vassal who had been assigned territory would be allowed to have their own military power. It was necessary for them to come as reinforcement if the monarch asked for it. However. with them having their own military power had created the chance for them to try and go rogue.
Of course, most of the monarchs have greater military power compared to their vassals. And since the vassals got their land from the monarch, most of them couldn’t readily oppose the monarch.
However, after many generations, the land would become something that the new feudal lords got from their own ancestors, and not the monarch. Therefore, if the monarch military power declined, the vassal could have the ambition to become independent.
And as Wayne had said, Natra was one of the countries with a long history, two hundred years since the country was founded, thus many nobles have their territories since ancient times. In addition, the young prince now taking over the King’s duty, and the military power of the royal family had declined greatly due to the war with the neighboring country.
“This situation, if I am on those feudal lords shoes, I would definitely try to take the throne!”
Wayne asserted, but Ninim only responded with another sigh.
“I don’t think there would be two Wayne in this country though?”
In her eyes, what he said was nothing more than the result of him thinking too much.
Of course, she knew in this country some people didn’t like Wayne. The number of people who found themselves in a hard position after Wayne took office was not a little.
But, Wayne’s sense of political balance was very good. While projecting his will in national politics, he was also thorough when dealing with important influential nobles, and making sure they won’t revolt.
Not only that, but Wayne also had tremendous popularity in the military, and had a track record of defeating Marden. How many people did you think would have the courage to face someone like that? Even if his military power was greatly declined and haven’t yet recovered after the previous war?
(It’s another story if a very powerful person takes the lead and tries to win the other aristocrats sympathy, but if that happens, it would be hard to keep it completely secret. And when it comes to that, it is normal for nobles to choose allegiance toward someone if they didn’t have enough power…)
Based on that, Ninim concludes that at least, there was no rebellion was planned by the nobles.
However, Ninim also agrees that there was merit in personal inspection done by the crown prince himself. The connection between the monarch and the feudal lords were important. In some cases, if the feudal lords hated the monarch too much, they might not respond if the monarch asked for reinforcement. If Wayne, who was a young monarch visited the prominent senior feudal lords, it would leave a good impression.
That was what Ninim had thought but Wayne thinks differently…
“There would be someone who will try to assassinate me, so I need to think carefully about the escape route as well. That’s right, how about we decrease the guard a little? If we do well, we might be able to get great profits if we manage to crush those assassins…”
“Look here, what are you trying to accomplish by playing the decoy here?”
“Oi oi, Ninim, think about it. If I use myself as the decoy, I can catch the rebel without spending too much money, no? And if we manage to crush them, Natra’s reign would become more solid. There’s no reason for us to not do it!.”
Ninim sighed again for the third time.
In addition, after the imperial princess Louwellmina pays a visit to meet Wayne for marriage talk when the truth was that she had used herself as a bait to lure the rebel in the imperial territory. It makes Ninim realize how these two people had the same thought pattern.
“That was why we’re going to get ready now. Ninim, make the arrangement.”
“… Well, I will do it but, don’t go around shouting in despair if you found out everything is just a needless worry, alright?”
“Oh come on, rest assured. I will definitely bring out the rebels!”
That was how confident Wayne was.
And now, the time had passed and the round visits were over.
“No rebellion sign come out anywhere!”
In the office, Wayne was screaming in despair as expected.
The one who stands next to him was Ninim. After his short talk with Franya, he took some rest and bathed in hot water, then he held a brief meeting with his vassals, and now…
“That was what I told you didn’t I? In the end, everything was just needless worry.”
Before Ninim could shrug her shoulders, Wayne had already writhe…
“Why?! Why didn’t they try to rebel?! This is a great chance you know?! If it’s not now, there won’t be another chance, you know?! Now is the time for them to bring out their courage and step forward!”
“Even if you asked me that, it is not easy to do all of that you know? — After all, this country is not worthy of revolting, and taking over…”
“On the contrary, they would only lose money by revolting…”
“That is why it is normal if they think it would be better to leave all of the troublesome matters to Wayne and enjoy their current life…”
Ninim presents a fundamental reason for Wayne.
“In the first place, why do you want them to rebel so much?”
“I definitely don’t want that to happens! But, I was hoping to find some small rebellion plan, and use it as a reason to confiscate the feudal lord’s assets and put it into the country’s treasury!”
“Uhuh, as expected, what a refreshingly selfish thought.”
Ninim didn’t feel surprised anymore at her lord’s shameless thought.
“But well, anyway, with this you realize, right? The prominent nobles are all friendly, and there is no rebellion being planned. And even though there are dissatisfied people, there’s no power who wish to overturn Wayne’s reign in Natra.”
As Ninim had said, in many places, Wayne visits were welcomed warmly. Of course, they had their own calculations. However, in the end, most of them think it would be fine for them to ride the ship Wayne lead.
“Ugugu, I’ve been walking in the snow with worried feeling but, to think that the result would be like this… However, I won’t give up! I will try another strategy and successfully catch the bad guys!”
The strategy where he becomes the decoy and creates an opportunity for the aristocrats to rebel had failed.
However, Wayne has another plan.
“I think that will fail too though…”
“No way! I believe, surely… right?”
His words become unsure due to the previous failure and Wayne slumped on his desk once again.
“… I kind of feel tired…”
“Even though the result was not what I expected… Walking around during the winter was definitely hard. And since the tension disappeared after I came back safely. I feel my body becomes more tired than usual, I think it would be better for us to have early rest today…”
“Honestly… I told you that it would be hard if we go out during the winter, no? Who is the one that insisted on doing it?”
“Of course, it is Wayne.”
“Rather than that, let us get some rest already, why do we have to work as soon as we got back? But then, when I return to this room, I somehow feel relaxed… Isn’t that makes me looked like a workaholic person instead?!”
“I think that is a great thing though?”
Wayne raised his face with great vigor.
“If I stay like this, I will turn into a serious person who looks for jobs even when I’ve already retired! Alright then… From now on, I will live in depravity! For the sake of my peaceful retirement live!”
“Is that so…”
“Hnn? Ninim? What’s with that look which says ‘Ah, I see, you’re still idiotic like usual.’? Let me tell you, I am serious you know Ninim-san?!”
“So, from where the budget to do that comes from?”
Wayne once again slumped on the desk.
“Be happy, at least in the history book you will have a good impressive tales…”
“As a transiently handsome genius prince.”
“The handsome part is not going to happen…”
“What’s with that confident Ninim-san?!”
“It is not confident, I just stating the fact.”
When Wayne was about to rebuke her words, someone knocked on the office door.
“Onii-sama, Ninim, is it fine for me to enter?”
“— Of course. I’ve made you wait huh, Franya…”
His change of mood was so fast that it was almost being artistic, Wayne greeted Franya like a proper nobleman. On the other hand, Ninim was gazing at him with the gaze that says ‘what a vain person.’
“How is it Franya? The situation when we were absent. Has anything changed?”
“No, everything is normal. Listening to Cladios lecture, playing with Nanaki, eat Holy pancakes…”
Franya talks about the daily events smoothly.
Wayne and Ninim who listen to her story sometimes nodded their heads. What they feel from her talk was how she valued the people who worked in the palace.
“— I see, I’m relieved that everything went smoothly then.”
After finished listening, Wayne strokes Franya’s hair. Franya then snugs on him comfortably.
“How about Onii-sama?”
“I was able to talk with the people I want to meet and see the situation in each place. The result is very good.”
“As expected of Onii-sama.”
After saying that, Franya showed a sulky expression…
“But, I think it would be fine to come back a little earlier you know…”
“Don’t say that Franya, the schedule was already very tight you know? Right, Ninim?”
“That right. Since we’re moving during the winter, it took more time than usual…”
“Muu, Ninim is always supporting Onii-sama’s side…”
Franya inflated her cheek.
“Why Onii-sama have to come and see them begin with? Onii-sama is the regent, if Onii-sama wants to meet someone, Onii-sama could just call them?”
“That is so. But if the person who could just call them visited. It conveys my respect toward them, see?”
Actually, he wanted to lure any rebellious element but of course, he could not say that in front of Franya. If he said that, it would be without a doubt that she would become angry and told him it was not good to doubt the vassals.
(Though even when angry, she would always look cute…)
(I agree with that point.)
Her elder brother and sister, for once had the same opinion.
“Fuun, I see, there’s such a reason huh?”
In response to Wayne, Franya smiled with an expression that not fully convinced. Of course, that was natural. For her, what important was not the sound argument, but whether or not he still thinks of her during the journey.
Wayne who understand her feeling smiled…
“Rest assured, Franya. Since I need to heal the fatigue after the long journey, I will spend a lot of time at the royal palace. During that time, I will make up the time I leave you alone…”
Franya eyes shone brightly.
“Of course. — That is why we need to take an early rest today.”
Franya expression immediately turns into dissatisfaction…
“Eeeh~, The Moon-sama, and the Star-sama still playing around in the sky you know?”
“Can’t do. I heard yesterday you didn’t sleep much? If that is the case then, it would be better for us to sleep early, no?”
Franya was at loss for words when she heard Wayne’s words. In fact, Franya was actually already feeling sleepy.
“I’ll also rest early today. See, Ninim will escort you back.”
“Alright then, your highness Franya, let us go…”
“Muu~… Onii-sama, promise alright? ”
“I understand. I won’t lie…”
If Wayne said that, there was no way for him to lie. Franya then taken by Ninim to her room with a broad smile on her face.
After the two were gone, Wayne then murmured…
Spring will come soon… In the south, winter was already over. In other words, all countries would become active once again.
“I hope nothing will happen…”
Wayne murmured his wish.
Of course, such a wish could not come true…