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“Your Majesty, the Emperor, was that really alright with you?”
Royce pas Tifalet, who was lost in his thoughts while resting his elbow on the throne’s armrest returns his consciousness to reality due to the voice which addressed him from the side.
There was literally a mountain of things he had to think about.
Needless to talk about domestic affairs and diplomacy, human and military affairs are also within the range of needing the approval of the emperor.
Moreover, in recent times the movements of the monsters flowing in from the direction of the Miasma Forest are becoming vigorous and things like the supply trains to the defence cities at the front line are turning into extremely headache-inducing problems.
If he pondered about those to find the best solution for everything, there wouldn’t be enough time in the least even if spends all of his long elven life on that task.
Of course, the problems, which are forming piles, can’t be expected to be kept on hold until then either. There’s no other way but to solve them by believing that the policies, he thought of, are the best possible moves to make.
Once he looks at the owner of the voice which interrupted his thinking, it was the Imperial Lance Corporal who is always accompanying him at his side.
This man, who served on this post for a long time, is one of the few people who kept Royce company regardless whether it was during official or private affairs from the time before he became emperor until now.
Royce, who knows that man since the time he was still nothing but a regular soldier, likes his diligent and honest character since the time when he was still the crown prince until now that he had become the emperor himself and trusts him to a degree of entrusting the heavy responsibility of leading the Imperial Guards to him.
For that man it’s unthinkable that he considers him interrupting the emperor’s thinking a good thing and thus, since he still called out to me, that means it’s about a fairly important matter, I guess? Royce assessed.
“With “that”, what matter exactly do you mean?” (Royce)
Having absolutely no clue, Royce asked back to the Imperial Lance Corporal.
Based on his position as Imperial Guard, this man never started a conversation regarding politics until now.
Although he has a considerably high status, it’s only natural if one says that it’s reasonable for a soldier, but thinking of it now, I don’t understand what this man called out to me about.
The asked Imperial Lance Corporal shifts his gaze around in order to examine the surroundings.
The place they are currently at is the audience hall. It’s a place that’s totally unsuited for a private talk, but as there’s free time between the last official business and the next right now, there were currently only the emperor and the Imperial Lance Corporal at that place.
“I don’t mind. Talk. It’s likely a topic that’s somewhat problematic, but I will treat it as talk that never happened on this occasion now.” (Royce)
Watching the state of the Imperial Lance Corporal who looks like he won’t talk easily, Royce presses the conversation on by saying that.
If the emperor himself says so, it will be dealt with as something that never happened no matter what kind of details are mentioned in this place.
Although, if someone, who is present at that place, listens in, and takes action against the will of the emperor by taking the information outside and starting to talk about it in a manner of “That time it was that talk”, they will be ruined by being punished with suitable charges handed down from above.
The Imperial Lance Corporal, who received the authorization of the emperor, talks slowly while visibly choosing his words.
“It’s about Her Highness, the Imperial Princess Croire, who went to the place of the young human man.”
“Oh… you have probably investigated it indirectly? She is in good health, right?” (Royce)
“It seems that she’s doing well, but since the place is an area ruled by the humans, there’s no way for us to observe her continuously as we aren’t able to move too conspicuously either.”
Seen from the elven country, the human continent is on the other side with the demon country in-between them.
There’s also the means called transfer gate, however not only isn’t it something that can be used at a moment’s notice but the current state was that their eyes were naturally restricted to only very few means to observe Croire.
Incidentally, not knowing about those under their supervision was something fortunate for them.
If they had placed plenty of observer near Croire, they would have been aware of the fact that she would enter a dragon’s dwelling with Renya in advance and it is easy to imagine that it would become a pandemonium for the human and elven side due to the elves likely taking various measures to stop that from happening by any means.
Moreover, given that even the observers at Renya’s home aren’t able to move too flashily since they are short of hands, they were limited to a level of watching them from a distance. But if they had enough manpower and took action to infiltrate Renya’s home, there was no mistaking that they would be wrecking their brains about what has happened as Frau would have changed the infiltrators into a mountain of elven corpses around this time.
“If she’s in good health, there’s no problem.” (Royce)
“However… won’t having such a farewell cause nothing but worry for Her Highness, the princess? Besides, with the way of entrusting her to a young human man after being told about it in such a manner, it will create problems due to the treatment of Her Highness, the princess…”
“Imperial Lance Corporal, you are a nice man.” (Royce)
Due to the words of the emperor which contained a smile, the Imperial Lance Corporal stands on ceremony at that place.
Royce, who watched his appearance with an expression being all smiles, continued his words even further,
“I believe it to be welcome and pleasant for your feelings of worrying about Croire, who is my my daughter, to go to such an extent.” (Royce)
“Such words are wasted on a person like me.”
“However, I think that those worries are probably pointless. If Croire is my daughter, she will probably comprehend. That human… he was called Renya or such? That man likely understands the contents of that conversation as well.” (Royce)
“So, you are saying?”
Didn’t he understand the words of the emperor? Due to the Imperial Lance Corporal asking back with a curious expression, Royce changed his smiled into a wry one.
“You are a man who isn’t suited overly much for strategizing. Well, it wasn’t something that can be called strategizing either though. First I said that I would marry my daughter to that man. This is an impossible story, isn’t it? I attached the condition of it being at that time though.” (Royce)
“It will vanish as it’s an unreasonable story anyway?”
“Well, I wonder about that. It’s not evident whether he might possibly reach the point of being worth the insolence of marrying Croire, but that’s something I don’t know now.” (Royce)
His Majesty, the Emperor, is giving that human quite the high evaluation, while being surprised, the Imperial Lance Corporal waits for the next words of the emperor.
“Pressing unreasonable demands in the beginning, I will lower the conditions from there on. It’s a worn-out technique, but unexpectedly there aren’t many means that fit better. You are also able to rephrase it into it having a high certainty to work just because it’s worn-out. Once I talk about something light like Croire’s treatment after that, I will be able to garner a certain extent of sympathy next. Even if it’s seen through by those two, it will become possible to induce different sympathies next.” (Royce)
“The sympathy due to me being extremely worried about the situation so that I tell him that I want him to take care of my daughter even to the point of using such moves although I’m a person who’s also an emperor. It’s an underhanded tactic, therefore it means that he will be able to guess my distress. Will the emperor go this far, is what he will ask himself.” (Royce)
Deeply leaning on the throne, Royce took a single deep breath and continued.
“It’s not clear until how far he will take up my arguments on top of to what extend he would understand it, but… even if he didn’t realize it at all, for argument’s sake, he might consider Croire, who will be treated like that, as pitiful next. Either way, it’s not stupid. That person is likely a nice man as well.” (Royce)
“You have thought about various things, haven’t you?”
Did he finally grasp it? The emperor directs a tired smile at the Imperial Lance Corporal who seemed to admire him.
“It’s because I’m the emperor. A single word can influence the situation greatly, thus I have to uselessly consider every single word. I’m wondering everyday whether there isn’t anyone who wants to switch with me as it’s a job that’s not worth it at all. Throwing my days away by having doubts in my mind about various matters like this, I want to spend my life by making children while admiring plants.” (Royce)
After spending a little time on choosing his words, the Imperial Lance Corporal, who doesn’t know whether it’s fine to tell the emperor who mentions such outrageous things without any hesitation, talks with a feeling of wanting to state it at last,
“… I’m well aware that it’s disrespectful, but do you still intend to make more? What about your esteemed wife?”
Spending this much time, those are the words you say? Royce smiled bitterly.
“Let’s ignore that it’s certainly disrespectful. That person told me that she wants to have 10 more.” (Royce)
“I’m glad to hear that your conjugal affection is doing well.”
The Imperial Lance Corporal, who said that while bowing, is the politeness in person, but the feelings put into his bow are conveying the Imperial Lance Corporal’s state of being disgusted within his innermost thoughts while thinking this is hopeless in reality.
Pretending to not have noticed that, the emperor said to the Imperial Lance Corporal with a smile,
“You should strive to follow my example as well. Being stuck to the stove due to you only caring about work, your esteemed wife likely feels lonely.” (Royce)
“Though that’s something I want to do… it’s quite difficult in the current situation.”
“I guess so. Certainly, the current situation isn’t very good.” (Royce)
The emperor’s expression changed into something sour and glum.
The information, which was drawn up from the lower parts of the organisation, has been delivered to the emperor after passing through the hands of various people.
That information told Royce successively that the elven country was in a state of being surrounded.
“The movements of the monsters are too lively. Moreover, the number of monsters spilling out from the Miasma Forest is strangely high compared to usual.” (Royce)
“The demons are making some moves after all?”
“I don’t want that to be so, I think, but… in the current situation, we are unable to confirm or deny it. However, it’s certain that it’s not an average year. It means that we can’t be negligent in our vigilance.” (Royce)
“If it looks that it will turn out like this, it will be painful to have missed out on the chance to have kept that man called Renya.”
The existence of Renya, who is able to boost his allies’ war potential several times over while being only one person, was certainly something they want to keep at arm’s length whether he likes it or not if seen from the standpoint that he is someone who can take charge of the soldiers by himself.
However, the emperor swung his head left and right at the words of the Imperial Lance Corporal.
“No, you can also say that it was fortunate for us to not have kept him at arm’s length instead.” (Royce)
“So, you are saying?”
“If I kept that person close-by, I wouldn’t use him. And if I used him, he would likely raise quite the military gains. But, that man is a human. There will probably will be many who won’t find it amusing to give an important position in the elven nation to a human.” (Royce)
The more of an active role he played, the more excellent he was, the more it might result in him becoming a seed of discontent among those working in the same organization and he would receive the jealousy of those who are serving the emperor from below.
If Renya was at least an elf, Royce ended up wishing, but it is nothing more than a futile act to the degree of hoping for something that won’t happen.
“If you consider it like that, it can be said that placing my daughter close-by to that man is a fortuitous luck, too. At least, as long as she is at his side, that man probably won’t become an obstacle for Croire. Also, there’s no other place as safe as at the side of that man on the human continent.” (Royce)
It’s too bad that Croire is a woman and that Renya was a man, Royce thinks without voicing it out.
If the two make a child, for argument’s sake, it will be born as human child with a probability of almost 100%.
That didn’t mean that there was no precedent of a child being born as the race of the woman’s side, albeit it was very rare, but in the live of Royce, which is adding up to several hundred years, it’s something that was reported to him only in several cases.
If you put this in reverse, even if the imperial family of the elven country was annihilated, for example, it’s truly lamentable if I consider that it would have been possible to definitely keep the lineage alive, Royce judges.
“As reality is reality, we ought to accept it as it is.” (Royce)
It looks like the time for the next official business has arrived now.
The Imperial Lance Corporal returns to his usual place behind the throne.
While listening to the preliminary announcement of the name of the person, who visited to have an audience in the audience hall, being read out loud, Royce muttered quietly and switched his thoughts over to the solution of the next problem.