|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 1127 characters|
|Translator: Tanaka||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1122 words|
Princess Oliana flashed a bitter smile at Revan’s obvious doubt.
“To be honest, it’s a complicated situation. My father became Emperor when he was just 14 years old right after the previous Emperor passed away. However, he was too young to rule, so my great-granduncle, the brother of my great-grandfather, became the regent… and that’s when things started to go wrong.”
After speaking up to that point, her expression became pained, but she still continued, as if she needed to release her frustration.
“He was just another hopeless fool who treated the Empire like it was his personal property, letting the already weakened foundation deteriorate even more, entering into pointless wars and amassing a huge debt from the Holy Kingdom, and ultimately persecuting the Beastkin. He remained in power even as my father came of age and had supreme authority, continuing his regency until three years ago when he died at the age of 98. Truly, bad things happen quickly.”
I see, Revan nodded in understanding, comprehending the underlying situation behind the Graviol Empire’s expansionist policies.
And despite her graceful appearance, this princess can certainly speak with venom without hesitation huh.
“Despite his passing, it is an undeniable truth that he had control over the Empire for 17 years. Therefore, those who served under him still hold significant influence in politics, government, and military affairs. Their allegiance lies with the Holy Kingdom of Aeon, and they turn a blind eye to everything else while indulging in their own pleasures. The Emperor faction has come to a consensus that reform is necessary to eradicate the corruption and injustice that have tainted the Empire. However, there are challenges…”
“Is the reformation being hindered by the Prime Minister’s faction, which is linked to the old regency?” Princess Oliana’s expression turned peculiar when Revan ventured a guess.
“You’re correct that they pose the biggest obstacle, but in fact, Warren was not initially affiliated with the old regency. In reality, I heard he used to be my father’s right-hand man and was in support of the reformation.”
Revans expression turned to one of confusion upon hearing the surprising information.
“…Eventually, he appeared to have lost hope in my father’s ability to bring about the reforms he desired. He must have believed that using the influence of the old regency and the Holy Kingdom of Aeon would be a more practical and effective way to achieve his goals. Although everyone seemed to be loyal to the Emperor, the truth is that Warren has control over almost everyone, from government officials to members of the military. Only a third of the Empire’s army is truly loyal to the Emperor.”
Having revealed this information, Oliana gazed at Revan with a passionate look in her eyes.
“Our time is running out and we’re stuck in this stalemate, unable to break free no matter what we do. Even if we were to seek assistance from an outsider, it wouldn’t help us,” she said.
He comprehended the message she was trying to convey. They had personally experienced the same situation during the federation’s reign. However, in this world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
“I find the Princess’ words very intriguing. However, our suzerain state, the Imperial Crimson, only offers aid to those who are related to them. If they were to send troops to help you, it would be seen as you submitting to them and becoming a suzerainty. Are you prepared to do that?” asked Revan.
Princess Oliana’s expression immediately darkened. “That’s not something we can accept,” she replied.
“I’m sorry, but in that case, I cannot convey your request to Her Highness,” said Revan, causing Oliana to bite her lip and fall silent.
◆ ◇ ◆ ◇
In the barbecue restaurant located near downtown Argentum, the capital city of the Graviol Empire, two girls were gazing intently at the beef sizzling on the griddle, the succulent meat juices trickling down the edges, as sparks flew between them.
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When it comes to meat in this world, there is no concept of edible beef cattle. As a result, their main sources of beef are either cows that are unable to move due to old age or dairy cattle. This is why meat is ranked in the order of pig, sheep, and cow, with pig being the most preferred and cow being the least preferred.
As one of the chestnut-haired girls with big, Beastkin-like eyes flipped the meat on the griddle, perfectly cooked, the other girl sitting across from her —an incredibly beautiful girl with long, black hair and adorned in a magnificent dress, complete with ribbons and frills that stood out amidst the rundown district scenery— moved her hand at a speed that was impossible to catch with the naked eye.
Holding her fork in a backhand grip, the black-haired girl swiftly deflected the fork and knife held by the Beastkin girl and pierced the center of the roasted meat. However, when she attempted to pull it towards herself, the Beastkin girl held it down with a knife and fork in both hands, resulting in a deadlock between the two for several seconds.
“Lady Hiyuki, just so you know, I’m the one who prepared this meat.”
“It doesn’t matter who prepared it. I’m the one who ordered it, remember?”
“There are plenty of other things to eat, you know. It doesn’t have to be just meat.”
“I should be the one saying that. I’ve been keeping my diet in moderation by eating in a ‘meat-vegetable-meat-vegetable-meat’ order. But you’re completely overdoing it with a ‘meat-meat-vegetable-meat-meat-meat’ order. One should eat enough vegetables for a healthy body.”
The tug of war between them continued for a while until they finally compromised on a 6:4 ratio of meat to vegetables.
As Hiyuki sipped on her after-meal tea, she casually asked, “Are you certain that Revan is in the palace?”
Asmina, the Lion King Priestess, nodded confidently. “I am certain. Both my instincts and divination tell me that my brother is in the center of this city.”
Her finger was pointed towards the center of the city, where the Argentum Imperial Palace was visible through the window.
“Oh, and my senses are picking up the presence of another woman near my brother! We need to act fast and rescue him, Lady Hiyuki.”
Well~ her following statement kinda lowered the credibility. Hiyuki looked at Asmina with an unsure expression, as if she were trying to capture some mysterious radio waves. Asmina, on the other hand, looked ready to bolt towards the location.
“The palace of another nation,” Hiyuki thought to herself, “it just had to be that troublesome place out of all of them.” She paused to consider her next course of action.