|Author: Sasaki Ichiro
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 1483 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1575 words
“My knowledge of past customs may be limited, but I am of the belief that a nation’s prosperity is best achieved by embracing diversity and engaging with other ethnicities, rather than isolating oneself within the confines of a proverbial paper castle, regardless of what others may perceive as correct. The Prime Minister’s proposed reformation aims to excise the corrupt elements like a festering wound. However, I am apprehensive that such a drastic approach may only offer temporary relief, and there is a distinct possibility that the situation may regress into a regrettable scenario, akin to the lamentable case of a successful surgical procedure that ultimately fails to save the patient. What we need now, more than ever, is an infusion of fresh blood from external sources and the fortitude to endure the surgical process. Hence, the mutual defense treaty with Cres Freedom United Nation appears to be a promising remedy for our nation.”
“What exactly do you want from the treaty……”
“In plain words, it would entail granting permission for the deployment of troops through teleportation equipment during times of emergency, commonly referred to as an emergency evacuation measure, particularly in the event of disasters and other unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, it would involve extending assistance to each other’s military forces in times of need, fostering a collaborative approach between our two illustrious nations.”
Revan almost collapsed on the bed as the weight of Princess Oliana’s words finally dawned upon him.
“The two nations being referred to are the Graviol Empire or rather the Emperor faction, and the Cres Freedom United Nation, not the Imperial Crimson?”
“You can indeed take it as is.”
“…Are you planning to pull us into the Empire’s Civil War?”
Revan held deep gratitude towards his benefactor, who had saved his life, and thus he was willing to assist her on a personal level. However, when it came to cooperation between the two nations, Revan understood that personal feelings alone were not sufficient to make decisions.
Despite Revan unconsciously giving her a reproachful gaze, Oliana remained composed and nodded with a straight face. On the sidelines, the maid’s complexion turned pale as she witnessed the discussion unfolding before her, realizing the potential repercussions that could shake the Empire.
“Indeed, such is my plan. Nevertheless, it is not a one-sided treaty, as it will offer a multitude of benefits to both our kingdoms. Initially, the treaty will enable you to establish unrestricted international trade. Secondly, by collaborating with us, you will be able to mitigate the menace of military encroachment by the Holy Kingdom of Aeon, as we work together to weaken their influence in the Empire. Thirdly, this alliance will serve to augment the reputation of the Beastkin populace on the global stage…What say you?”
“You have added many reasons but it’s essentially a military alliance in the end huh? To be honest, it’s out of my jurisdiction. I would have to consult with our suzerain, Imperial Crimson first.”
Revan, lacking expertise in politics, timidly raised his hand towards the shrewd Imperial Princess. He knew well that he was no match for her, and therefore chose to withhold his response.
In a theatrical display of pity, Oliana placed her hand over her mouth, a dramatic gesture that stood in stark contrast to Revan’s more subdued reaction.
“Alas, it is disheartening to hear. Can it be that Her Highness is so lacking in magnanimity that she has not bestowed upon you the rightful authority to make sovereign decisions for your nation without constraint?”
Revan sighed at the obvious provocation.
“If Her Highness were to hear that I am willing to cooperate with you and listen to your situation, she would likely say ‘Then let’s eliminate the Prime Minister faction to prevent any future complications’ and carry it out without hesitation.”
Even upon hearing the radical and harsh approach, Oliana responded with a nonchalant expression, displaying her unflappable demeanour.
“Such an outcome would undoubtedly pose challenges to us. It is unseemly for retainers to voice their discontent and seek to govern independently, in defiance of the Emperor’s will. However, it is important to consider the original intentions of those involved, as they sought to guide the Empire towards the right path. Therefore, it would be imprudent to condemn all of them without distinction. Furthermore, as I previously elucidated, the Prime Minister’s faction maintains communication with other factions across the Empire. Thus, any precipitous action to mete out sentences would risk plunging the Empire into widespread unrest and upheaval.”
Revan expressed his empathy towards Oliana, realizing that governing a globally significant nation was never an easy task, as he observed her sigh. At that moment, he momentarily forgot that he was also a representative of a major nation.
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“Nonetheless, I must clarify that I do not advocate for initiating military actions, even with the mutual defense treaty in place. While it may appear brusque, I am steadfast in my resolve to avoid replicating the errors of the Cres-Centluna Federation, should a civil war ensue. My aim is to utilize our alliance with you as a deterrent, a formidable force that can dissuade any untoward actions until we are able to consolidate our position and eradicate the nefarious influence of the Prime Minister faction.”
Despite Oliana’s self-assured grin, Revan couldn’t shake off his doubts about her plan. Having personally experienced the devastating impact of civil war on a nation, he found it hard to fully trust Oliana’s confidence.
“But can you be certain that your strategy will actually succeed? Considering the disadvantage you’ve faced thus far, what makes you think things will be different now?”
“Indeed, your observation is astute. While the situation may seem daunting, we are not devoid of opportunities to secure victory. Prime Minister Warren, undoubtedly skilled and shrewd, possesses a detached disposition towards others, perhaps unaware of his own limitations. It is erroneous to assume that what he can accomplish, others can as well. He is unique in his abilities, and others have their own strengths and capabilities. Prime Minister Warren’s aversion towards others stems from his failure to comprehend the distinctions among individuals. He is surrounded by individuals motivated by fear or personal gain, lacking the genuine goodwill or loyalty that one would expect from true companions.”
Oliana faintly let out a sigh of disappointment.
“This may prove to be Prime Minister Warren’s Achilles heel. In contrast, my revered Father the Emperor possesses the wisdom to recognize talents and the generosity to allow me, his daughter who has yet to even celebrate her age-of-coming ceremony, the freedom to speak on behalf of the government. Is this not the hallmark of a true ruler, the ability to adeptly utilize the talents of those around them? For, as history has shown, a government can only function effectively when led by a ruler who can assemble a capable and devoted group of retainers.”
Observing Revan’s continued apprehension, Oliana responded with a confident grin, displaying a hint of fearlessness.
“Furthermore, the disadvantage faced by the Emperor faction was due to my inability to actively participate in the affairs of government. However, a new era is dawning, and I shall not permit the brazen Prime Minister to continue to exert his influence over us.”
Revan gazed at the fair-skinned beauty with a sense of bewilderment, as she confidently announced the upcoming developments as if they were already set in stone.
“…You’ve caught me off guard. I had regarded you as a harmless and inconsequential Princess, but now I realize I was just a frog in the well.”
Oliana chuckled with amusement upon hearing Revan’s words, recognizing that they could be interpreted as rude depending on one’s perspective.
“Indeed, you have come to a realization. May Bell is not simply a delicate flower with enchanting beauty, but a poisonous plant as well. Its leaves and roots possess a potent toxicity.”
◆ ◇ ◆ ◇
The domestic water of Argentum surged into the waterway through a drainage pipe that was over 5 meters in dimension, accompanied by a thunderous rumbling sound.
I let out a sigh of relief as the pungent smell from the sewer wasn’t as overwhelming as I had anticipated. Turning to Kagerou, who was keeping a vigilant eye on our surroundings, I asked,
“This place seems quite distant from the Imperial Palace. Are you certain this is the best route to take?”
“Yes, I can assure you. There’s a waterway ahead that connects to the sub-sewer of the palace, which is no longer in use. It’s an old passage that the palace doesn’t maintain, so very few people are even aware of its existence.”
“How did you come to know about this passage then?”
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“I just happened to see a snake slithering in this direction,” Kagerou replied with a smooth dodge, avoiding Asmina’s obvious question.
“Well, whatever. But since it’s a sewer, we’re not going to encounter any strange creatures, right?”
The tales of urban legends like mysterious white reptiles and other bizarre creatures don’t seem far-fetched in this world, and it’s making me nervous.
“Trust me. I did a preliminary investigation, and all I found were just rats and bats,” Kagerou reassured.
I exchanged a glance with Asmina and said, “Well, in that case, we should be fine, I guess.”
“Oh, and I forgot to mention… There’s also a swarm of excessively big cockroaches, but don’t worry, they’re harmless… Hmm, ah, why are you running away, Young Lady~!? And together with Asmina too!?”