Editor: Areth Kyntaul
I didn’t sleep well last night, not because Lorana woke me up, but it did have to do with her.
What she said had sent a cold chill up my spine, at the end. I always thought that Elizabeth’s people should also be loyal to me. At least that was the case with Nier. At least she wouldn’t hurt me.
But then I realised that, at the time, it wasn’t that she wouldn’t harm me, but that she was under orders to protect me, which is why she didn’t harm me. When we first met and she said to me ‘please kill yourself,’ she was being sincere.
Nier really disliked me at the start.
Although I feel bad towards the current Nier, there’s still a wall between us because her ‘please kill yourself’ request had hurt me.
If Nier was like that, then the others wouldn’t suddenly like me more.
Needless to say, the Valkyries most certainly didn’t. They disliked me for a number of different reasons.
I don’t see an issue with Castell, but as for Alice… a strange gut feeling makes me very vigilant of her.
So, indeed, those in the empress’ faction were very vigilant of me, and it’s safe to assume that they’re even more vigilant after the banquet I had held. I had forgotten about the fact that I was the next emperor.
No, that’s not what I forgot. What I truly forgot was what I should do as the next emperor.
If I become the emperor, then those in the empress’ faction will lose power. As her trusted vassals and servants, I have to get rid of them. I can’t allow other opposing powers to exist around me as the emperor. When the time comes, the people around me will definitely be Nier, Lucia, Castell and my personal guard unit.
But that’s not all.
At present, I am nurturing my own powers. Yes, I have no intention of contending for the throne, and Mom isn’t afraid or suspicious of me, but her people don’t think the same way. Mom views me as her child, while they view me as a contender for the throne. Since they are loyal to the empress, they have to be vigilant of me.
Thus, what Lorana said was correct. It was my first time realising that humanity’s political structure dictated that they would take action for their own loyalty, despite the likelihood of Mom and me harming each other not existing.
Luna placed my breakfast in front of me, then looked at my face, frowned and asked, “Your Majesty, you do not look too well… How about we rest for one more day? Your Majesty, your face is very pale. It will be most dangerous if you get sick on the road. Your Majesty, are you ill, at the moment?”
‘I’m fine physically, just a little tired. Mentally, I took a heavy blow, though…’
I shook my head and replied, “I’m alright, Luna, you don’t need to worry about me. I’m fine. Time is precious. I have no time to stop here. Oh, Luna, give me pen and paper.”
“Ah… oh… pen and paper.” Luna hesitated for a moment, but then quickly grabbed a pen and paper from the side. She placed it before me and I swiftly wrote down my orders while Luna quickly heated up the stamp.
I stamped my orders once I was done writing and then placed it aside.
Luna picked up the letter and asked, “Your Majesty, where do you want this letter sent to?”
“Tell a soldier to send it to the royal capital… wait… no… I can’t send it to the royal capital.”
While that goods carriage was definitely headed to the royal capital, my orders held no weight in the royal capital. The empress was too far away. She couldn’t do much to them from there. The empress was absent and so was I.
If Castell sides against me, not only will my order be ineffective, but I’ll have alerted the enemy, too.
“Send it to Troy City and hand it to Her Majesty.”
It’s best to inform Her Majesty about this sort of stuff since it involves both of us. I’m confident that the empress never gave any order to harm me. If Castell is the mastermind, he’s definitely proceeding secretly. All his schemes will be halted if Her Majesty finds out about this.
I’m not going to stop my journey here because of this. I want to become a qualified king. If I stop because of this kind of threat, or because there’s danger lurking, then wouldn’t I have let Mera, who I ran a sword through, down? My courage isn’t limited to just killing someone. I can eliminate all dangers until there are no more.
I think this matter involves Her Majesty. However, I don’t have any plans to use this opportunity to eliminate people from the empress’ faction, as that would prompt conflict. At present, we can at least maintain peace between our factions.
Humanity’s situation is completely different to the situation with the elves. On the elven side, there’s only one faction, but with humanity, we’re keeping each other in check, and trying to maintain a balance of power.
I couldn’t instigate conflict. Hence, I could only tell Elizabeth that Castell’s merchants didn’t salute me when they met me on the road and mention their cargo.
I think Elizabeth would understand what I was getting at, given how smart she is, and she would also know what to do on her end.
“Alright. Luna, we won’t have to worry anymore, now.” I sighed a breath of relief and started eating my breakfast.
Luna hesitated for a moment then questioned me, “Are you worried about what Miss Lorana said last night?”
“We woke you? Sorry, Luna.”
“No…” Luna shook her head, then looked at me with a nervous expression. In a slightly concerned tone, she said, “I agree with what she said. Your Majesty, did you write the letter just now to sort this out? If not, I hope that you will be wary of your surroundings.
I nodded and replied, “Yes, that’s right. I know what Big Sis said is right. But it’s pointless for me to be fretting about it, right now. The people around me right now are all my people, so I don’t have to worry about someone in our group trying to harm me. To avoid trouble, the empress didn’t interfere with my guard unit in any capacity. That I can guarantee.”
Luna nodded silently and then said, “If you manage to locate the mine and transport the ore back, I think that you will be in even more danger. Previously, the weapons for your guard unit were provided by the royal family, which was a bit better. However, once your guard unit gains access to such a valuable resource, I think you will be in more danger.”
I chuckled and responded, “You’re really smart, huh, Luna. You’re absolutely right. Everything I’m doing is to enable me to become a better sovereign. But the more impressive I become, the more the empress’ people will fear me. This is a paradox that can’t be resolved. I can’t do anything about that. I can’t get the Valkyries to trust me, nor can I get Castell to not be wary of me, because I have no way of destroying their loyalty.”
“Your Majesty, what are you…”
“I want to continue growing and expanding my power. I’m not consolidating my power to threaten Her Majesty. I’m consolidating my power just to protect myself and for the sake of my dream.” I looked at Luna, who stood before me, and sincerely said, “What I need is the power to protect myself. That will grow more and more powerful as I grow.”
“Uhm!” Luna gave a firm nodded. She then proudly exclaimed, “Your Majesty, I am your most loyal personal servant. For you, I am willing to be your shield! I will never back down!”
“Don’t say that. That hurts my heart.” I smiled and stroke Luna’s head. I then added, “You’re my only personal servant. Who’s going to take care of me if something happens to you?”
Luna giggled, then grabbed hold of my hand and replied with a smile, “Hmm… I want to stay by your side forever. Forever like this… Forever…”