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Evening Party II

“Prince Alfred has also evaluated your abilities. He said he would some day want the country to take the same measures the fief of Armelia has taken.”

“Is that so… Prince Alfred said that.”

“…You do not seem surprised?”

“About that person still present in this Kingdom, I have already heard about it. More than anything, because his faction has a gathering such as this one, it means that they have, of course, a way of getting in contact with him, am I right?”

Indeed, the people who have gathered here today are competent people with distinctive personalities. To attract these people and gather them together… if the person in charge is nowhere to be found, the plan cannot progress. Especially with the current situation; it would be difficult to find someone to substitute him.

“In addition, the personage who have gathered here are supporters of that person… There is no doubt in my mind that that person has already heard about my fief.”

After all, apart from the Minister of Finance, Earl Sagittaria, there is a large number of important bureaucrats assembled in this place. Since they have associated with him, it is not difficult to surmise that they are doing it for political aspirations.

“For that person to hold my fief and the government of my fief in high esteem, I am very honored. However, I am not confident how it will measure up to the Kingdom.”

The majority of the reason why I was able to push for my reforms had to do with me being the Lord’s Proxy. Because in this Kingdom, the fief Lord’s influence is enormous, if it were not the case, it would probably take a considerable time and effort to negotiate before reforms could be made.

“If it is that person, I am certain he will accomplish it. To modify the existing regime, to truly become one Kingdom.”

As though reading my mind, Sagittaria-sama said and laughed. However, I committed the last thing he said to memory. To modify the existing regime for the Kingdom to truly become one…?

Earl Sagittaria’s expression looked as though he was a mischievous child, smirking and grinning. It was as if he was trying to analyze what my true intentions were.

As I have mentioned earlier, the power of the fief Lord in this Kingdom is enormous. Basically, the fief Lord’s image can be based on how their fief is shaped. Because of that, tax legislation and bills are accepted as long as it does not contradict with the Kingdom’s legislation. It was thanks to this that I was about to have it my way. The only exception is the Royal City since it is under the direct control of the King.

With that line of thought, changing the current structure would have the meaning of changing the existing regime… Could it mean to reinforce the authority of royalty? By decreasing the amount of authority the fief Lords have and transfer that authority to the royal family… Certainly, if that is the case, it would be easy for that person to establish a new system. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to imagine a large rebellion. Can such a thing truly be possible?

…Before all things, it puzzles me why Earl Sagittaria would tell me such a thing right now? Although I am attending this gathering, it wasn’t as though I was part of the First Prince’s faction.

Thinking up to that point, the conversation earlier came to mind.

“In the end, what are you really aiming for.”

Could the previous conversation be linked to our current one? If, hypothetically… although albeit unlikely, that system was created. I wonder… if he wanted to hear ‘what I would do.’ To revolt and declare independence… or to obey and fly the banner of the Kingdom. Not father’s opinion, but my opinion… the person who is genuinely governing the fief and currently acting as the fief Lord’s proxy.

“…As for me, since I have not had the pleasure of being in his audience, I presently cannot decide what I will do. Therefore… I will only observe. That said, if that person were to succeed… there is no greater joy for me as long as it is for the people.”

Because I have never met Prince Alfred, I cannot say much. This is my honest opinion. And thus, as of now, I cannot reject or consent to whether or not I will support him.

“As I thought. …Good gracious, how interesting. At any rate, I look forward to my lady standing side-by-side with that person.”

“Oh, my… Surely you jest. It would be terrifying to stand side-by-side with that person.”

“Please accept my apologies. The joke I made was too excessive.”

With that, I separated from Earl Sagittaria. While he greeted a few people, I found a seat at the edge of the room and took a break.

Looking at the room from this angle, the people gathered in this place are all amazing. After conversing with Earl Sagittaria, I felt tired and slightly overwhelmed.

While I was pondering about such things and tilting the glass in my hand, before I knew it, the host of today’s gathering, Baron Messi, arrived at my side.

“How are you finding the gathering tonight?”

“I am finding it exceedingly delightful.”

I responded with a smile plastered on my face. If I relax too much, fatigue would probably show on my face.

“…That reminds me, Baron Messi. Do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“What would you like to ask?”

“Why are you returning to your fief so early? Everyone gathered here… except those bureaucrats currently working in the Royal City… I have been told that everyone would remain in the Royal City throughout the season. To be honest, I also thought that everyone else would also return to their territory early…”

When I thought I stepped over the line, Baron Messi opened his mouth to respond.

“It is because of the duty that has been entrusted to me.”

“…A duty, you say?”

“Yes. Lady Iris, have you heard about the war with Towair from Gazelle-sama…?”

“Certainly, I have heard about it. That said, my knowledge regarding it would probably be no different than what is written in books.”

“That should suffice. …As you have heard, I once fought the war against Towair under Gazelle-sama. And thanks to the military achievements in that war, I was conferred the title of nobility.”

While Baron Messi was giving his explanation, he had a faraway look in his eyes.

“But even to the very end, I am still someone from the military. That will not change even after I have been given a noble title. In addition, because the war with the Towair Kingdom has yet to be concluded… As the person keeping watch of our borders, I cannot be absent from my territory for a long period of time.”

…Certainly, his reason is justifiable… However, something about it doesn’t sit well with me. Well, compared to Earl Monroe who also governs a fief around the border, I can understand why “because I’m a military man” Barron Messi is more vigilant. Nevertheless, I still feel like he’s returning too early. After all, he arrived at the Royal City just before the Foundation Day commemoration party, which is a formal event, and he immediately returns right after. It can’t be helped thinking that an outbreak of war is imminent.

“Even until now, I still find myself in the middle of wartime, and thus I cannot completely tell my lady that it is unnecessary to worry. Therefore, the only thing I can say to my lady… is please be cautious. The other side, although they will not immediately engage in war with us, it is still a fact that that Kingdom is aiming for us.”

“It is because of… our grain and other natural resources, huh.”

“Yes. In addition to that, there is still the remaining hatred from 30 years ago.”

…War, huh. Although the Armelia fief is located directly opposite of Towair Kingdom and there is a considerable distance in between, it doesn’t mean we should not stay on guard.

Once war breaks out, there are various burdens that will befall everyone in the fief.

“Thank you very much for your advice.”

“It is I who should apologize, for bringing up such an unpolished topic, please excuse me. Well then, please allow me to take my leave.”

“There is nothing to apologize for. To me, it was by all means very beneficiary.”

* * *

Translator’s Message

There have been a couple of name changes:
Arya » Eliya
Leticia » Retishia

Edward’s mother’s name is Elia, which sounds almost identical to Eliya, the Queen Dowager. I wish they would clarify her name…

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