Chapter 147: Audience with the emperor

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Author: Kobayashi Homare Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3679 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1597 words
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

–––Leble the Fifth, Emperor of Leble’s viewpoint

The news of Barbaros’ death during the insurrection in Bordaule was delivered to me without delay. He had failed me time and time again, and ended up losing his sanity in the end, but his skills were nothing to scoff at. I was hoping that meant Bordaule had suffered considerable losses to accomplish that…but it turned out that was not the case either.

“So you’re telling me that Lapis girl defeated him alone?”
“Yes, apparently it took some time, but she got off scot-free.”
“Hmm…”

The director of spies knelt in front of me, slowly recounting the facts. I had seen that girl before, and her strength. I thought I had tuned Barbaros’ Strengthening to overpower her, but she was even more powerful than I expected. I had expected to get more use from that pawn, so hearing he had been killed was annoying, but I managed to regain my composure by reminding me it was nothing I could not recover from.

“How well did the black knights work?”
“Their abilities were all within spec, but it seems we chose the materials poorly, as they struggled to act as a cohesive army.”
“…I see.”

I had already expected that could happen if we chose random thugs without any education or manners. Which means…

“Thank you for informing me of this. You may show yourself off.”
“Yessir! If you’ll excuse me then.”

I then told a servant to bring me someone. Some time passed and he arrived, Monocle, the magician who gave birth to the black knights. Unlike the director of spies who really had no defining trait, as part of his job, it was obvious that this man was not normal at first sight. His right eye looked like it was about to pop out of its socket, looking around nervously, the left one was fake, and he had next to no hair. His back was hunched at an unnatural angle, walking with the help of a cane like an old man. He smiled creepily as he greeted me with a hoarse voice.

“Did you call for me, milord? I was just in the middle of another compounding experiment.”
“…You’re the only one I allow such rude remarks from. I understand you’re busy, but I need to talk with you. Your creation you were so proud of, Barbaros…lost.”
“What?!”

He seemed shocked, scuttling closer to verify whether I was joking or not. My guards stopped him before he got too close though.

“You do realize I used a medium level demon to compound it into him. If he still lost, I presume there was someone with exceptional skill there?”
“Lapis defeated him. I thought Barbaros was supposed to be stronger than her, but I guess there was a miscalculation somewhere.”
“Hrnghghghh… I guess that means we should’ve expected her to be even stronger than we thought. Hmm…I guess this means we’ll need to ask that woman for even more help.”
“It would seem so. You contact her.”
“Understood. I’ll take my leave then.”

Monocle lowered his gaze and began mumbling something as he quickly left the room. He was either going to return to his laboratory and start yet another wicked experiment, or he was going to call her. We met some set-backs thanks to Lapis being stronger than expected, but our plan seems to be moving on without much other issue, everything could be fixed. Now, onto my next duty.

“Is the envoy here?”
“Yes, he’s waiting for you.”
“Good, I’m on my way.”

I left my office and headed to the audience hall. I was expecting an envoy from Bordaule to be waiting impatiently for me there. He had arrived an hour earlier, but I made him wait as much as I could just to piss him off.

“Leble the Fifth, ruler of Leble is here.”

A herald announced my name, and I slowly entered the audience hall surrounded by guards, calmly sitting down on my throne. Waiting in there was a civil officer kneeling, with around ten knights protecting him. Bordaule was our neighbor, but the trip from one capital to the next was a long and arduous one, so even though he had a fit body, it was clear he was overtaken with exhaustion from the trip.

“Welcome, envoy from Bordaule. I’m Leble the Fifth.”
“It’s my humble pleasure to meet you, your majesty. I’m Soonar. There are some questions I wish to ask of you, which is why I was sent here.”
“Hmm…you want to ask me something? What would that be?”

I was fully aware why he was here, but I still decided to play dumb. I noticed his cheeks flushing with anger for a moment, but he quickly calmed down.

“I’m sure you know Barbaros, the hero of your country. He helped a prince in our country stage a coup, which led to a terrible civil war.”
“Barbaros..? Ohh, right, that was the deserter hero’s name. I wouldn’t have expected he was in your country of all places.”
“Wha..!”

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He clearly had not expected such an answer. I almost laughed watching his face change colors…he was so young. I guess Bordaule really is short for men if they sent someone like him as an envoy. I somehow managed to stifle the laugh that was building up inside of me, and continued to pretend we had nothing to do with his country, just to see what happened.

“May I ask what you mean by deserter hero?”
“Exactly what that means. He was supposed to go hunt demons, but he always refused to leave the country. By the time I wanted to scold him he had vanished. I tried tracking him, only to find out he was constantly committing all sorts of petty crimes. He’s actually a wanted criminal here, I never expected he would be found in Bordaule though. At least you saved us the trouble of catching him ourselves, thank you.”
“…W-wait!”

I tried to take over the conversation and end it myself, but the envoy refused to back off. That made sense, if he returned now, this would be no different from them sending a child to see me. I could tell he was trying to find a way to blame our country regardless, forcing us to compensate them.

“What is it?”
“No matter what he did here or whether he’s a wanted criminal, the fact remains he helped instigate the coup! He’s a citizen of Leble, so you can’t just distance yourself from this matter.”

That was the stereotypical reaction of someone from Bordaule. But he was still too naive.

“What an odd claim. If a crime is committed in one country, that country should judge the criminal. Barbaros did all that in your country, so Bordaule should punish him. Isn’t that the obvious thing to do?”
“B-but the last time Barbaros came into our country and harmed civilians you claimed he had immunity, letting him go without punishment! That time you were fully willing to shoulder responsibility to judge him here. Isn’t it a bit too convenient that you’re suddenly changing your views?”

I had already anticipated he would attempt to bring that up.

“Hmm, it’s true that Barbaros was our country’s hero. Was, in past tense, he lost that title the moment he decided to abandon his duties. In other words, he was nothing more than a civilian. Are you saying that if a person flees to another country and commits crimes there, their original country has to shoulder the blame? If that’s what you want, Bordaule will also have to compensate us for all the criminals that came from your country that are currently in our prison, or used to be. Is that what you want?”
“Guh..!”

He seemed to be desperately trying to think of something, but I did not plan on letting him come to a conclusion.

“I won’t tolerate such an insulting demand as to make us pay for your own internal issues. If you continue trying to blame us for no reason, then I’ll be forced to take armed action against Bordaule.”
“…!”
“So what’s your answer, envoy?”

I could see him trembling in frustration. His hand on the floor was clenched tightly, his emotions and reason constantly fighting in his mind. I glanced at his guards, they had a similar reaction.

“…If that’s your response, I have nothing more to say.”
“So that means you won’t claim my empire had any responsibility? Please state that clearly.”

I could hear him grinding his teeth.

“Bordaule…won’t harbor…any suspicion…against Leble…!”
“I see, thank you for clearing that up. Alright envoy, I’m sure you must be tired after that long trip. I’m throwing a banquet tonight, so feel free to stay and relax before you go back.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I would prefer heading back now. Barely any time has passed since the conflict, and I would prefer helping rebuild my country.”

That response was the third sign of his frustration. Usually someone in the role of envoy would happily accept such an invitation.

“I see, too bad then. I won’t force you to stay. Well, it was nice meeting you, now if you’ll excuse me.”

I stood up without waiting for a reply and left the audience hall. It was a pretty boring meeting, but at least I was able to get some enjoyment out of it. Bordaule was my biggest obstacle in taking over the continent, and they were slowly decaying which was music to my ears.



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