“Nee, Cladios, how much do you know about the Solgest Kingdom?”
The one who asks the question was Wayne’s younger sister, Natra Kingdom’s Princess, Franya Elk Albarest.
With the textbook at hand, she directed her gaze at the old man standing right by her side. His name was Cladios. Franya personal educator.
“Of course, I know a little bit…”
Cladios nodded politely.
“The Kingdom of Solgest was a kingdom with top-notch powers, both in culture and military. There’s no one in the west who don’t know that…”
“If I’m not wrong, King Guryuel is the ruling king, right? What kind of person is he?”
“I haven’t met him myself, but he was a particularly a famous gourmet in the continent… [Pig King of the staple food], [If he wants, he can eat half of a country], [There are two endless things in this world, God’s kindness, and His appetite.] Those are rumors circulating about him.”
“Half of a country huh?”
“The festival his highness being invited this time was originally a serious and strict ceremony, it was to thank the abundant harvest, but it changed after King Guryuel rule, during this period, he would eat all of the foods from all around the continent, I heard the festival had become a gourmand festival.”
Franya smiled bitterly. In the back of her mind, the picture of a giant holding a festival trying to eat the city.
“Of course, that didn’t mean he could only eat. It was already 20 years since he was crowned as King. His brilliant ruling could be seen by looking at the Solgest Kingdom prosperity…”
Cladios spread the textbook at hand. A map of the Kingdom of Natra was written there, the territory of Marden to the west, and the same, the Kingdom of Solgest was on the west.
“Solgest has an ice-free port, making a fortune trading with many countries. After Guryuel becomes a King, he expands the port, and success in bringing further fortune. Also, he was a competent commander, he commands his own army in the war and wins multiple times…”
“Not only that, despite being a huge eater, he was not arrogant, but rather forgiving toward his subject. Though I’m not entirely sure, he was indeed a good man by looking from some aspect of it…”
“Such an amazing person ne….”
Franya sighed in admiration.
A nation easily breaks down, and it was hard for a nation to prosper.
Even as fledging royal, Franya could understand that King Guryuel who maintain prosperity for more than 20 years was an excellent ruler.
“And my elder brother is being called by that country…”
Uhh, Franya groaned as she thinks…
“As expected, are they going to ask to form an alliance?”
“That possibility is high…”
“Even if it is not for an alliance, at least they want to show we’re in a friendly relationship. Especially since King Guryuel has become King but, their war against Delnio seems to never end…”
The Kingdom of Delnio was another neighboring country to the west of Marden.
Located in the southwest of Marden, and south of the Kingdom of Solgest, the relationship between Solgest and Delnio had deteriorated over the last decades.
“When Marden was a Kingdom, I heard they had mediated peace among them as the third party a lot of times… If they were expecting Natra to take that responsibility, it was no wonder they want to build a friendly relationship.”
“… I see… If Natra formed an alliance with Delnio first, it would be hard for the Solgest Kingdom.”
Franya nodded many times as she was convinced.
Seeing that, Carlos smiled.
“Unn? Carlos, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, no, nothing. … Perhaps the journey to Mirtaz previously has brought a good stimulus. It feels your highness Franya has grown a lot.”
Franya looked down at her own body.
“Sure, I have grown taller but…”
Cladios gazes softly at Franya who murmured with a troubled face.
One might not notice, but if one knows her for a long time, you might notice. Until now, her behavior, which could be said as childish has turned into a strong and powerful one, and everything started after they returned from Mirtaz.
“The former Princess Franya would not be interested in such foreign countries in the first place. But now, she was studying hard to help his highness, Wayne. This is evidence that your highness has grown both, physically and mentally. I believe it is something worth celebrating.”
“I-Is that so?”
Usually, it was hard to get compliments by Cladios, which made Franya shy when she heard him praise her…
However, toward her elated self, Cladios said…
“But, if that is the case, there’s something I wish to tell now…”
With a sharp gaze, it caused Franya to fix her posture. He then slowly told her…
“With Mirtaz incident, Your Highness Franya name’s has become widely known. Many people would celebrate, and vassals also will be happy. But at the same time, it also shows toward everyone, outside and inside the country, that there is someone inside this Natra that could stand side by side with His Highness Wayne.”
“To say stand side by side… I can’t even reach my brother’s shadow…”
“As you’ve said, I’m sorry to say this, but the current Princess Franya will not reach the high level of Prince Wayne in terms of ability and achievement. The vassals also have the same thought. However, if your highness continues to play an active role in the future, the perspective would change.”
Cladios words were convincing. Certainly, if she continues to play an active role, she might be viewed as someone who could stand side by side with her brother. However, what does that mean?
(If I’m being told that I have the same talent as my brother, would that be a bad thing? If I could work as much as him, I could lessen the burden of my brother, and in the unlikely event where my brother collapsed like in Mirtaz, I could take his place—…)
Thinking that far, Franya was surprised.
She thought she could replace her brother, Prince Regent Wayne.
Realizing what it means, her expression turns pale.
“It is as you have expected, your highness, Franya.”
“The current Crown Prince… The next king is expected to be His Highness, Wayne. However, if your highness Franya reputation keeps on rising, such opinions will surely come out… — I think it would be better for Her Highness Franya to succeed the Natra Kingdom.”
“There’s no way that happens, such a stupid thing!”
Franya raised her voice.
“The King of Natra Kingdom will be Nii-sama. For me to replace him is…!”
“Of course, I am very well aware of your highness Franya’s feeling, and the strength of both between the two of you. When you think about it that way, it was indeed a bad joke.”
However, Cladios continue…
“Salema, the founder of the Natra Kingdom, and his elder brother, Galea. Those siblings, just like your highness Franya, have a very close relationship but, they still could not escape the battle of succession…”
Salema and Galea were once princes from a country known as Nariavine. The two could not control their factions, and finally, Salema abandoned his country to create the Natra Kingdom.
“… I, was I made a mistake? Did I only create future trouble for Nii-sama? Should I just do nothing back then?”
She feels frustrated that she could do nothing, thus she tried her best to help her brother despite her poor ability. Unlike the days where she was loved like flowers, lately, there was a lot of hardship and many thought she had to think, but for all of that, there was a definite repercussion.
If what she did ended up causing trouble for her own elder brother then, she thought she was nothing more than a clown.
However, Cladios cuts off the train of thought that started to appear inside her mind.
“Of course, such a thing won’t happen. With the turmoil on the continent these days, it is extremely important that your highness Franya be able to support his highness, Wayne.”
“Please think of it as something for Natra’s future, Your Highness Franya.”
“From now on, many people will call upon your highness Franya’s fame, and many would give endless flattery. Don’t be fooled by those words, control oneself, and continue to support His Highness, Wayne. This will be the next test for Your Highness Franya.”
“My next test, trial…”
Suddenly, the scenery of her giving a speech at Mirtaz appeared inside her mind.
The most tense she ever feel, a time that deserves to be called her time of trial. She manages to pass it…
(… But there’s another trial in front of me now…)
As long as her life lasts, the trial of life will never end.
And for her elder brother, whom Franya loves, she will repeatedly surpass each and every trial.
If that was the case, she shall not be satisfied just because she passed one of them.
“— I will do it.”
After a long silence, Franya uttered her determination.
“It’s impossible for me to just stand and do nothing after all… I will support Nii-sama, without breaking the country.”
Franya bluntly told Cladios.
“As someone who makes me feel anxious, I shall give you punishment… Cladios, let me drink all the knowledge you possess…”
Hearing that, Cladios looks startled, but immediately smiled and deeply bows his head.
“For Natra’s sake, for both your highness and his highness, I will do my best to offer everything I have…”
Franya proudly nodded her head.
Then she turns her gaze outside the window.
The western sky reflected on her eyes.
She was wondering, what was her brother doing under that sky right now.