“So, Glenn, Strang, how is the situation?”
After a toast and talking about fun things, Wayne asked…
“I did manage to enter the army as planned after graduated from the military school. Now, I’m on the side of Prince Bardroche.”
Glenn then sighed and continue…
“To be honest, I’m not interested in these factional fights. Whoever becomes the Emperor, we the army will still be the sword. However, my relatives and also my fiance’s relatives are part of the second prince factions…”
“Ooh, even that bold and brave Glenn-sama still could not escape the bond of family crap eh?”
Glenn snorted at Wayne who teases him.
“Fuh, if you want to laugh, laugh all you can…”
“Fufufu! HAHAHAHAHAHA, Glen the weak~!”
“— Oi, you don’t have to do it that hard!”
“Uoooooh?! Aren’t you the one who told me to laugh?!”
“There’s a limit in everything you know?!”
“I don’t know anything about that?! Who decides on the limit, to begin with?!”
Strang then continues the talk while grinning looking at the two…
“I’m on the Manfred side. And right now, I’m acting as a governor in my hometown, Barnok.”
Ninim then tilted her head.
“To become the governor, you sure have come a long way aren’t you?”
“You know there was a civil turmoil before right? The upper echelon in my hometown was among those who got punished. Subsequently, it caused their neck to fly, and I, who was at the lower end of succession ended up getting the position…”
Strang shrugged and continue…
“And for participating in the attempt of rebellion, Bernok is likely to become subject of big punishment by the others… There, I entered Manfred faction to make him deal with it for me…”
“After all, being in the third prince faction you don’t have to pay a return of a favor, right?”
“Yeah. Not to mention, Prince Dimetrio was indifferent toward my province and Prince Bardroche was angry at us… In that respect, Prince Manfred was an expert when it comes to showing the weak a dream. The future autonomy of the province he proposes was something we cannot miss…”
“Do you think you will get it from him?”
“As if. But, the dream is a lot more useful than you might think, Ninim. And if everyone in my hometown wants to keep dreaming, then I want to respond as much as I can…”
Ninim thought that would be hard to do… For him to have the desire to serve other people and not himself, it was a beautiful dedication. It was one who others may admire… Though that was “if” the story was not about one own best friend.
“Then come to my faction— I can’t say something like that easily I guess…”
Louwellmina voiced her complaints. Glenn and Strang were trapped beyond their will. To abandon what they protect would be like throwing away half of your life.
“The three of you have already finished your discussion eh?”
“Yeah… We came to the conclusion that we will do our best in each of our factions…”
“That was why”, Strang eyes then turn sharp and he continues…
“What worries me the most is Wayne’s policy. What are you going to do with Natra?”
In response to that, Wayne and Glenn fixed their posture and continue the talk seriously…
“There’s only one thing that a good and pure prince can do in a small country…”
“Good and pure?”
“I don’t see any part that is good nor pure though?”
“Wayne, please don’t mistake your own identity?”
“… Presiding Judge, Ninim! Those are defamation, right?!”
Toward Ninim who was at lost, Louwellmina gives her a present of a wooden box.
“Speaking of which, Ninim, here a souvenir. The content is a fragrant wood.”
“Ah, I also prepared something… Compilation book of Bernok folklore…”
“Here, I also bring a sword made by a blacksmith that is close to me, it is a sword for self-defense. It is a good sword…”
“What everyone said are true indeed…”
“How can you be bribed in front of my eyes, judge?!”
Next to Ninim who thanking everyone, Wayne continues…
“Back to the story, I don’t want to get along with a certain prince at the moment. If you want me to ride anyway, I need to know which horse would win, don’t you think so?”
“If it is the horse that the prince of Natra is riding, that horse would become the winning horse, no?”
“That is an overrated evaluation. Natra is a small country in the north, albeit somewhat conspicuous… There’s a little power to interfere with imperial politics.”
“Fumu, sure, if you’re going to Lova’s side, I guess you have no reason to go with the princes…”
Apparently, they both have heard he had a talk with two princes. “By the way, where’s the souvenir for me?”, “None”, “Didn’t bring any”, “That is a shock!”. While the three men were talking with each other, Louwellmina secretly whispered to Ninim.
“Ninim, one request.”
“What is it?”
“Can I have a little time alone with Wayne after this?”
“… That’s fine with me but, don’t do anything too strange?”
When Ninim agreed, the talk between the men was almost over.
“Everyone, it seems time for us to close this meeting. The sun will also soon set.”
“Muu… That’s true… I do feel some regret but, I’ve finished talking about what I need to say.”
Glenn and Strang responded with a nod.
“In the end, we arrive in the conclusion that we would fulfill our roles without changing position eh? But still, that is indeed just like us…”
It may be difficult for others to understand. However, between them, friendship and hostility never able to coexistent. These five people were like that.
“I’m glad to be able to meet you both, Wayne, Ninim. Let us talk a lot when we get together again next time.”
“Yeah. I don’t know when that will come, but at that time, I will bring a good wine as well.”
Glenn and Strang go down the stairs first. Wayne tried to follow next, but Ninim signaled him with her eyes to stay. Understand her intention, Wayne stopped, and Ninim went down the stairs next instead.
With that, Wayne and Louwellmina remain on the roof. Wayne was the first one to open his mouth.
“So then, what do you want to talk with me?”
“Talking huh… I don’t know what to say but, I do want to consult or rather, complaint…”
Wayne said to her pointless grumble.
“Do you only able to understand now how hard it is to manage a faction?”
“Muu… There is indeed that.”
Louwellmina meekly nodded.
“Actually, I didn’t think it would be this difficult… Everyone tries to line their own circumstance and doing whatever they like to win… It is already a pain to just share a common goal…”
“Wayne, you have been doing something harder than this, no?”
“If you want me to tell you a story about my hardship, the night will dawn three times.”
“I feel like I can respect you a little…”
“Please do respect me a lot.”
“I can’t honestly respect you because you’re always like that…”
While listening to Louwellmina’s complaint, Wayne continues…
“So, there’s another thing right?”
“Well, I can almost imagine it.”
With Wayne saying those words, Louwellmina closed her mouth.
“You actually wanted your brother to decide right? The next Emperor…”
Louwellmina’s shoulders shook slightly.
However, she throws a question with a face as if there was no such feeling.
“Why do you think so? I believe everyone is already aware that the next emperor won’t be decided by the talk, and that the original purpose of this event was to visualize the influence of the Empire and to gather powerful people to strengthen each faction?”
“I guess so. I don’t think Bardroche, Manfred, or that Dimetrio to make up their mind. But, Lova, you’re hoping for that possibility… If not, then it would be strange instead…”
“Lova, who hasn’t declared herself as a candidate for the throne. What happens if the prince talk is held in such a situation? If there’s the chance that the decision being made in the discussion, there would be impossible for Lova to become an Empress.”
“In the first place, Lova should have advantages right now. You can use the situation to make the people denounce the three princes who didn’t do anything and increase support to make yourself the Empress. There’s no reason for Lova to hold princes talk to shorten the time it takes to decide the Emperor. And even if such meeting was still going to be held, you will try to delay it, making accusation it was due to the three princes’ opposition, further gaining support to your side…”
Louwellmina didn’t refute.
She leans on the rooftop rim, if there was no rim there, she would slide down and fall.
“… I’m clumsy, isn’t it?”
She wants to become an Empress. Even so, there was something she wants to change immediately…
Right now, the people were frightened by the absence of the Emperor. Louwellmina was put in doubt, should she keep aiming at her ambition while ignoring them…
She was at lost, confused, wavered— Then she held the princes’ talk…
She was hoping that the Emperor would be decided by discussion, which in fact, a mere ostensible reason, she wants to show the world that the Empire was still active and alive.
“… Wayne, please give me some words of encouragement.”
“Eeh~, I don’t have anything particular to say…”
“Then, what do you frankly think when you heard my story?”
“I thought it was stupid.”
With her glaring at him, Wayne laughed…
“But well, it’s fine, no? After all, aiming at the throne, it was all start from only a sentiment. Then it would be not strange to make a turn due to emotion as well…”
“Rather than being depressed, there are things that you need to think about first. What happens during the princes talk?”
“… I can’t say the details but, I don’t think there is hope. Dimetrio has no room to talk, thinking he is the one who should become the Emperor, Bardroche, and Manfred, since there were no negotiations they don’t want to conclude…”
“If that is the case then, what will Lova do based on the result? Are you still going to bet on them, or you will throw away your hope?”
There Wayne smiled. The smile was a smile of provocation.
“… I will tell you the truth, if it were me, I would move however I like”
Lova didn’t answer.
After a long silence, she stands up with a resolute state.
“Let us return. We’ve been staying for too long.”
Louwellmina then heading to the stairs next to Wayne. But before that, she stopped and turned to him.
“What is it?”
“I will definitely involve you in my story. — I will not surrender, you understand?”
Louwellmina’s face when she said that was full of determination.
Wayne smiles and followed her down the stairs.