“I see, did that happens?”
After hearing Ibis’ report, Caldomeria, closed her eyes as if feeling regret.
“I thought I would be able to torment Prince Wayne a little bit more but, as expected, he is not an ordinary man.”
The expression of Ibis who kneeled down was sorrowful.
“… Caldomeria-sama, I couldn’t fulfill my duty, I have no excuse. I’m prepared to receive any punishment.”
Caldomeria then smiled…
“Fufufu, punishment you say… There’s no reason for me to punish you, you know?”
Caldomeria then folds her knees and gently stroke Ibis hair.
“My important, important, children. Without you guys, I’m nothing more than a grandmother who loves mischief. Now, look up. Let us work together on a plan to make this continent more chaotic? After all, enjoying life is the secret of youth…”
“Yes, ma’am…! Thank you very much, Caldomeria-sama…!”
Thus, the monster sharpens her fangs for the next move.
No one knows where the target she was going—…
Royal palace of Natra Kingdom, office.
Wayne who was cleaning up his accumulated paperwork looked up at the heavens as soon as he finished the last sheet.
“Finally, got things done… I’m not going to work anymore for today! I want to laze around!”
Ninim who saw him grumbled gathered the papers…
“Good works. I’m glad that everything is solved, including reconciliation with Cabarine.”
Following the defeat of the Cabarine army and the release of the Marden royal capital, the Cabarine side proposed a peace negotiation with the allies.
They were in an unstable situation with their King’s death. It was natural that they judged that they couldn’t fight anymore.
However, what surprised him the most was the excuse for the reconciliation. Cabarine had imposed all the crimes, claiming that the war and the murder of their King was the doing of General Rubert.
They claimed that Cabarine was willing to form friendly relations with the allies, thus peace was concluded, with condition that most of the former Marden territory should be returned.
“Wouldn’t you be able to squeeze out more if you wanted to?”
“No, this is enough… … If we’re too greedy, not just Cabarine, other countries would look at us with a negative view…”
Wayne then sighed… There was no doubt, all western countries were watching this war In particular, the countries where saint lords reside. He didn’t want to agitate them, giving them an extra excuse to intervene…
“If I was elected as a saint lord, the story would be different but… well that didn’t happen…”
“We can’t help it, after all, such an incident happens…”
That said, Ninim was in a good mood. It was an unfortunate result for the country’s interest, but her personal feeling, she was opposed to the election.
“Well, sorry to tell you this after finishing your work but, you still have a work left, you know?”
“Uwah, what happened now?”
“Meeting with Princess Zenovia. You can’t cancel this one. Look, she will arrive soon, so we will go now…”
Contemplating that she come on schedule, Wayne sighed and stands up, moving out from his office to the audience room.
When he arrived, there was already Zenovia.
“Princess Zenovia, thank you for coming.”
As Wayne said those words, Zenovia smiled.
“I’m glad to be able to see you again, Prince Wayne.”
They exchanged greetings that could be said as a fixed phrase. This was a necessary step, as there were many ministers standing inside the audience room.
Meanwhile, Ninim standing beside Wayne, softly whispered.
(From here, it is about Marden independence which we will accept, right?)
(Indeed. That is our promise after all…)
Wayne nodded at Ninim’s question then smiled…
(Above all, the western continent, whose power balance has been lost due to the loss of one of their saint lords would definitely in chaos. But, I don’t want to get involved with them anymore. So it is nice to have Marden as our shield…)
(Uwaaah, how selfish…)
(I don’t care even if you said that… This is politics—…)
As the two of them whispered with each other, Zenovia opened her mouth…
“… There are not enough words to express our thanks for the help we receive from Natra to recover Marden. Thanks to that, I was able to fulfill my ambition to regain the royal capital…”
“No need for you to feel that way. Cabarine despicable act was something that bothered my mind. And above all else, I could feel the enthusiasm of the liberation army. … That was why it was really a regret that Prince Helmut died after the previous battle…”
“Hearing such words from your highness, Helmut would be able to rest in peace.”
Officially, Helmut died due to a wound he sustained during the previous war. Very few people knew the truth.
“But the loss of Helmut has caused anxiety among the people, despite we finally being free from Cabarine… With that in mind, may I ask for one help?”
Here, Zenovia would announce the independence of Marden, and Wayne promises to support her government. With this, he would finally could relax.
(Ah, good, good, with this everything ends with a happy ending!)
Wayne relaxed his shoulders without thinking…
“I wish for your highness, to accept my territory, Marden, as your subject, as your vassal.”
Wayne’s mind freeze over.
After a few seconds, Wayne decided to ask back while feeling the tremor.
“… As a vassal?”
Wayne’s eyes now turn into a dot.
Since Zenovia said those words with the intention of making the people in the surrounding hear it, it caused a stir among the ministers.
“I am a royal member of the Marden royal family, but, in the end, I am still just an innocent woman. I am not someone who could lead the country.”
As a subject, as a vassal. In other words, Marden territory now effectively Natra’s territory.
Which means it was a territory that Wayne had to protect.
“I am convinced, in order for us to survive, the only way is to stick close to Prince Wayne’s mercy and wisdom. Please allow us to join Natra, even as the lowest seat…”
He was in deep trouble. Super deep trouble. His future strategies collapsed to pieces… Not only that, it was virtually impossible for him to reject her. Not to mentions, all of his vassals inside the audience room nodded their heads.
“Your Highness, we’ve crossed blade against Marden once but now, we’re brethren who have fought side-by-side. Please be responsible and accept.”
“N-No, you see…”
“Two hundred years since after the founding of Natra… Finally its time for our Golden age…”
“In the age of impending upheaval, lead us as the man from the north!”
Wayne slowly turned his gaze to his side…
(… Ninim, HELP ME!)
(Impossible. Perhaps because we’ve been busy with our works, she has been laying the groundwork with our vassals…)
In other words, Zeno also had realized, that Marden would end up as Natra’s breakwater. To prevent that from happening, she had been preparing the groundwork to declare herself as his vassals while Wayne was busy.
Calling Zenovia in the audience room, was to show the world that in this alliance Natra was on top, but to her, this was the perfect chance to follow up with her plan.
(I’m sorry. But like you say, we’re called a country because we use each other, yes?)
Looking at Zenovia stick out her tongue a little, Wayne shouted inside his mind.
(You tricked me!!)
Spring, the second year since Prince Wayne become Natra Kingdom’s regent.
Marden, who had formed an alliance with Natra and manage to liberate their former royal capital from Cabarine’s rule, had expressed their wish to become the Natra Kingdom’s vassals.
This event would be handed down to future Generations as the prelude of Natra’s great leap.
END OF VOLUME 3