Wayne who shoulders the national expectation was currently at the base of the Marden remnants.
There was only one reason for that. It was to form a formal alliance against Cabarine.
“I wonder how everything would turn up, on the other side…”
While waiting in the room, Ninim asked Wayne.
“In terms of development, all of this should be what the remnants army wanted, no?”
“I guess so. In an unfortunate accident, Natra and Cabarine situation turns explosive, and in exchange for their help, we would perform a joint struggle and aid as our agreement condition. For them, the situation is definitely far better.”
“Unfortunate accident you say…”
“I feel it was a regretful as well you know…”
“I don’t see that in you though?”
“Well, sometimes things happen…”
“By the way, we got Marden involved against the rebels but, if we make a mistake, there was the chance that they would betray us, no?”
Wayne was guilty of killing the enemy’s king. There should be an option of using it as diplomatic negotiations with Cabarine.
However, Wayne shook her head.
“That would be difficult. First of all, emotionally, the remnants couldn’t work together with Cabarine. From a practical standpoint, no one knows how long Rubert’s administration could hold on, and even if they manage to make a deal, it might get overturned at any moment. And above all, during that accident, I’ve always kept Zeno close to me…”
When he give such an answer, the door was being opened. The one who showed up was Ziva.
“Prince Regent. The talk is ready…”
“I understand. Let’s go, Ninim.”
Wayne and Ninim then leave the room and followed Ziva through the corridor. Ziva then opened his mouth as he guides them both.
“Before this, your highness, you’ve told me that Zeno had done a great job.”
“She’s a very great companion. Isn’t that natural?”
“Thank you very much. I was surprised when I was told to lay the army in ambush…”
With a bitter smile, they both arrive in front of the room.
“His highness Helmut is waiting. Please go inside.”
Ziva then opened the door, Wayne then entered the room with Ninim.
Looking at the person who waits there, Wayne opened his eyes and laughed.
“May I asked your name once again? Helmut-dono.”
There was no hesitation for that answer.
Zeno– Zenovia placed her hand on her chest as she introduces herself.
“I’m Zenovia Marden, the first princess of the Kingdom of Marden. Pleased to be your acquaintance, Prince Wayne.”
“You don’t look very surprised huh?”
Zenovia smiled at Wayne who sits opposite her.
“Have you noticed?”
“No, I do feel surprised…”
Zenovia outfit was definitely a girl’s clothes, unlike the one she wore during their journey. He knew that she dressed like that to hide his gender but, he still surprised when she suddenly wear such girly clothes.
Above all else, such an ample chest. Wayne couldn’t hide his surprise at how much those ‘things’ being ‘hidden’ under her clothes.
Ninim’s pen pierced Wayne’s back.
She tried to remind him to remain serious. In response, Wayne then rubbed his back slightly…
“Zeno… No, Princess Zenovia, I have guessed that you’re part of the royal family when we arrived at Cabarine. But, if we talk about knowing that you’re the same person as prince Helmut, I was only half sure…”
“Half sure huh? What made you think that we might be the same person?”
“The reaction when I asked you reinforcement to deal with the rebels.”
“… I see, is that why you asked there and then? Well, even if I tried to talk it out using trivial talk, you could just guess that I was the prince sibling eh?”
Wayne grinned when he saw Zeno sighed.
“Now then, may I ask a question as well? Why did you disguise yourself as Prince Helmut? As expected, for morale?”
“When Cabarine attacked the royal capital, I was able to escape thanks to Ziva and the others. After that, I decided to join the army to recapture the capital, but as you can see, I am a woman.”
Although she was part of the royal family, she was still a woman. In the western continent, where the influence of Levetianism was high, it would be very unlikely for a woman to rule a country.
“On the other hand, all the other royals have been executed, thus there was no substitute. So, using Helmut’s name, whose face could not be determined during the execution, by wearing armors all the time I tried to impersonate him.”
“Still, that, isn’t that a bit too convenient?”
“Of course not. The armor is thin, but even I still struggle wearing it. But, fortunately, only a few veterans know my face, so I could spend some time as Ziva’s nephew, Zeno…”
Being the first princess yet not many people known her face? Ninim then whispered the answer to his ears…
“The Marden’s first princess, she rarely shows herself because of her illness. There was a rumor that the first princess is a sickly person.”
“It was just a rumor. I’m as healthy as you can see…”
Zenovia then laughed…
“Actually it was my father… His Majesty told me to live in the royal villa as a punishment. Though ironically, because of that, I was the only royals who survive…”
*I see*, Wayne thought… He begins to understand her patriotism. It was quite likely that she had nagged her father about the misgovernance too much, thus her father decided to send her away…
With that in mind, Zenovia continued the conversation.
“Now then, prince Wayne, today talk, shall we start the agreement?”
“Of course, that is my intention. I don’t have any intention to turn my back and swallow back my promise. I shall cooperate and join the struggle against Cabarine, and free the royal capital of Marden.”
“To be honest, I’m not sure if we should fight against Cabarine as it is…”
This surprise not only Wayne and Ninim but Ziva who also present in the room.
“I thought there was a chance when we went to Cabarine until I met with the saint lords. If I tried to appeal our plight and told them Cabarine’s barbarism, I thought they would surely help. However, I was too naive. I was engrossed about taking back the country and didn’t realize that I had no ability to lead the country.”
In Zenovia’s mind were the saint lords she had met in Cabarine. All of them were strong people. And now, Wayne was in front of her.
“What can I do to regain the royal capital of Marden and resurrect the Kingdom of Marden? Can I compete against you guys? Even if I fake Helmut’s place, one never knows how far I could continue like that…”
“I was starting to wonder, whether or not the liberation army was actually causing harm to the people instead…”
Zenovia smiled. It was a sad smile.
“What do you think, Prince Wayne? Can you persuade me?” -=TLN: She’s talking about persuading her that she would be fine even after they go separate ways.
The eyes of the room gathered on Wayne.
After Wayne thought for a while, he opened his mouth.
He dared himself to call her Zeno…
“First of all, you need to change that haughty attitude of yours…”
Zenovia opened her eyes in surprise.
“One has to protect the helpless people… One has to guide them… That kind of train of thought. If you ask me, even without a King, people would continue their life…”
The people inside the room were confused by his words.
Wayne then explained further about his theory…
“Don’t underestimate the people, Zeno. Power is all just an illusion, if the people want it, they should be able to kill the King. Therefore, the King carefully conducts political festivals, and the people continue to monitor whether such a King can benefit their interest… Both are by no means one-sided act. We use each other, that is what made a nation a country.”
“So Zeno Zeno too, you can use the people for your purpose however you like. Because the people would also do their best to use you. I dare to affirm all of that. The essence of the King-People relationship is nothing more than an accomplice.”
Wayne breaks his talk and gazed at Zeno once more. That gaze, it was as if asking ‘Now, what are you going to do?’.
“… Is it okay if I wish for something? To get Marden back. To release Marden from Cabarine’s hands.”
“Use all your might to involve the people, and get Marden back with all of their power. In regards to governance, you worry that after regaining the administration. Even if you lack the ability now, you may learn as much as you want later. You worry too much, for Kings, the only thing they needed to worry about is about dying or getting executed by the people. Thus you don’t have to worry about errors early in the game.”
“… To say something like that, I believe only Prince Wayne who could say that in this continent.”
Zenovia smiled bitterly. It seems she had relaxed her shoulders.
“Thank you, prince Wayne. Thanks to you, my anxiety has been blown away. Now then, I wish to challenge Cabarine…”
“That is fine. … Now, for princess Zenovia, let me solve your other concern. About impersonating Prince Helmut.”
“You have some idea?”
“Of course, it is easy. –Right, Helmut-dono.”
*Ha?* Zenovia was confused as Wayne laughed at her.
“I understand your anxiety. If by any chance during the event of the decisive battle against Cabarine you fall. But, even if you fall on the battlefield, in your country, there is still princess Zenovia.”
Zenovia trembled when Wayne spins his words play. She understood what he meant.
“In the unlikely event something like that happens, I shall do my best to get princess Zenovia to the throne. Certainly, there would be opposition when the Queen is born, but with the help of our country, it should be achievable.”
“Prince Wayne, you…”
They officially decided that Helmut died in the next fight against Cabarine.
On the other hand, they would use the situation to carry Zenovia, who at the time was kept in Natra (or so the setting goes), as the legitimate successor. This will release her from the trouble and guilt of impersonating Helmut.
The frightening thing about this plan would be, Natra’s cooperation would be indispensable to gain the throne as a Queen, and it would be harder to go against Natra’s policy in the future.
“No need to worry. — We’re friends, no?”
If he wants to make use of Zenovia’s timidity, then he would negotiate for his country interest.
Or perhaps after repulsing the Cabarine from Marden, he would relentlessly sneak into the turbulent Marden.
There was no point for it, that was Zenovia thought. In fact, she begins to understand him more. That this prince, Wayne, was a kind person who no matter where always treating everyone equally.
“… Prince Wayne, may I say one last thing?”
“You used to think that the saint lords as crazy people, yes? I believe you are no better than them you know?”
“Let me take that as a compliment then…”
Thus, the talk between Natra’s and Marden’s remnants’ leaders have resulted in an alliance.
A month later, a war between the Allied Natra and Marden remnants against the Cabarine army begins.