Follow us on:
Facebook   Discord   RSS

≪26≫ – Disharmony of Plans

Leave a comment

Author: We Ain’t Fish Original Source: SFACG
Translator: Myuu English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus_Maximus

“It’s impossible.”

At the eastern edge of the Maltgartz Empire, near the Gufare frontline, in a certain fortress.

The Marquis of Amura, Gius, a stern-looking old mage resembling a withered tree, shook his head at Lucella without a hint of compromise.

The visit was treated with utmost secrecy. Lucella, arriving alone, was treated as an honored guest, and the meeting took place in a chamber deep within the fortress.

“You talk about cooperation, but for us, there is no benefit in cooperating. Those who might benefit are Setulev and the Gufare Union beyond the path of the storm, not us. And I don’t believe we could even cooperate…”
“May I interject for a moment? The Regalia might not be blindly heading east; it could be considering this battlefield itself as its destination.”
“Perhaps, but the conclusion remains unchanged.”

Lucella conveyed the current state of the rampaging Regalia, the ‘Wisdom Eye Vortex,’ and discussed possible means to stop it.

She suggested gathering the power of the Regalia gathered on this battlefield might have a chance of stopping it, even if it required cooperation beyond the boundaries of allies and enemies.

However, Gius shook his head in refusal.

The Regalia held by Maltgartz have their power enhanced by synthesizing the regalia of conquered kingdoms. If the ‘Wisdom Eye Vortex’ is coming here, there’s a chance, albeit slim, that Maltgartz alone might be able to seize it. And they’re likely considering that possibility as well.

Lucella was aware of her own deception. While Maltgartz would face issues if the Regalia went berserk within its borders, they probably wouldn’t seek assistance willingly.

“If Gufare intends to stop the rampage of the Regalia, they’re free to do so. However, if they plan to set foot on our empire’s soil for that purpose, we cannot overlook it. Understand?”

Gius emphasized, choosing a diplomatic approach veiled in layers. Lucella caught on to their intention; they were going to retrieve the Regalia, and there would be no mercy for the Gufare forces.

“I understand. I am… strictly in a neutral position. I will convey your words directly to the Gufare side and seek cooperation. Thank you for taking the time.” Lucella expressed gratitude, concluding the discussion.

Lucella bowed and left the seat.

She didn’t have high expectations for cooperation from the Maltgartz side in the first place. The goal was to gauge their stance, establish a record of having a conversation, which would undoubtedly prove not to be in vain. Negotiations and politics often worked that way.

“…Do you think we are foolish?”
“I do not.”

As they parted ways, Gius unexpectedly posed the question.

Lucella responded quietly.

Three hours on a fast carriage ride from the fortress to the capital, or an hour and a half on foot through the mountains if it was Lucella.

Latel capital, Primlatel.

By dinnertime, Lucella had returned to the lord’s main castle where she was staying.

“I apologize for leading you on a wild goose chase.”
“No… I appreciate your efforts in the negotiations.”

The castle was structured using an entire floating island. Walking through the corridor filled with pipes linked to magical stabilization machinery for the floating island, Lucella conversed with Tantela. He was the one who had arranged for Lucella to meet with the military commanders.

“With the loss of the Emperor, the military holding power is dangerous. Especially with the newcomers to the new territories! A rebellious military faction may emerge, even disobeying the Crown Prince.”

There was a hint of urgency in Tantela’s voice.

Currently, there hasn’t been significant turmoil within the empire. However, it was mainly because the empire was so vast, and the shock of the Emperor, Prime Minister, and numerous officials disappearing was taking time to ripple through.

No one knew what would happen next.

In Lucella’s view, the Maltgartz Empire had maintained its current form through the living legend, Emperor Richard, and the powerful Prime Minister Manuel, who exploited the symbol of the nation and the Emperor’s authority. Now that both were gone, could the Crown Prince seamlessly take control of the empire? It would likely not be straightforward. There was a risk of power-hungry individuals wreaking havoc.

“…Is it worth taking reckless actions to stop it?”
“Do you have a plan?”
“I’ll tell you myself.”

In the corridor they were heading towards, a man stood abruptly. It seemed like he had personally come to greet them. Tantela, seeing him, knelt down, bowing his head.

“You are…”

A man in his fifties, broad-shouldered with a thick chest, was standing there. His hairstyle resembled a lion’s mane, and he wore a deep red outfit similar to what the Emperor wore on public occasions.

“I am Cain Arnia. The Crown Prince of Maltgartz, the next Emperor.”
“…I’m Lucella. Nice to meet you.”

With the easygoing manner of a monarch, Cain greeted her. Lucella responded, debating internally whether to bow or not, and eventually didn’t. Her attitude depended on whether she was acting as the manager of the Golden Helmet or as a dragon outside the framework of human society.

As she shook hands with Cain’s thick hand, Lucella was genuinely surprised. She had heard that he had just toured the home area—the old kingdom territory, avoiding difficulties. However, she never expected the future Emperor to casually show up in a place like this.

Turning his gaze to the kneeling Tantela, Cain exchanged a sharp, serious look with him. It was his doing, arranging this audacious meeting. Presenting this as a legitimate approach, forcing Lucella to meet Cain without room for decision. Indeed, this was the way of a powerful nation, Lucella thought.

“It is indeed worrisome that even temporarily, the ‘Wisdom Eye Vortex’ might fall into the hands of the Eastern Expedition Army. There’s a risk of the situation becoming uncontrollable. However, among the four Regalia the Empire possesses, one, the ‘Insight of Dawn’ I can certainly control. It originally belonged to the old Maltgartz Kingdom, and all its past wielders share blood ties with me.”
“…Are you suggesting breaking the common front? If the Empire sabotages even one of the four Regalia it possesses…”
“Exactly. Suppressing the rampage will become more challenging. This is a complicated and mysterious matter that can’t be handled with a simple solution. Sometimes, orchestrating a thorough defeat is more beneficial for the nation than achieving victory.”

Cain justified it with a cheerful demeanor.

‘It’s for your benefit, not the nation’s,’ Lucella thought, but she kept that to herself. It was convenient for Lucella and, at the same time, would likely turn out to be beneficial for many Maltgartz citizens in the end.

“Understood. If Your Highness can halt Maltgartz’s actions, I won’t ask for more. I will also think of ways to stop the Regalia without relying on Maltgartz.”
“Leave the domestic affairs to me. Let us meet again in a peaceful world.”

Cain’s smile was like a brewing storm before the lightning struck.

Lucella sensed an overflowing confidence and enthusiasm from him. For him, the sudden disappearance of the Prime Minister, his biggest political rival, and the old Emperor hindering his ascension meant he had suddenly gained everything.

His aim is not peace but political gain. I can’t blindly trust what he says as I act.

On the surface, Lucella responded amicably. The primary concern had shifted to a slightly better, different issue. For now, that was enough.


Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Gateway to Gender Bender Novels