“Five years later, this country will be destroyed by Admov.”
Such a horrible fact was stunned, even Leonard.
Since no one could immediately rebuke her words.
That was how intense Shera words were…
“… No way, right?”
Leonard, who quick to recover confirmed that she might not be wrong.
Bauman then tried to argue…
“Rozalia might have passed away, and Admov has a strong army. But still, Claude is a large country, you know? Even if right now the country is disturbed because of the imperial nobles self-interest, they will open their eyes once a fire starts to burn under their feet. And if the country unites, even Admov will be nothing!”
The knights also agreed with him.
“The country being disordered is already a problem…”
Shera didn’t step back…
“Did you know, in recent years, there have been times when bandits run rampant all over the Empire, even some province had their citizen revolted?”
The knights responded dully to Shera’s question.
“I do hear some rumors…”
That was unavoidable. After all, prior to being attacked by Admov, Alexis was ruled by Rozalia, and the territory had no such problem. For the knights, including Leonard, they were only aware of the enemy on the other side.
Shera then continues with her explanation.
“While the lords of each province impose heavy taxes on their citizen, they also reduced their military spending and security– It was due to such corrupt act that had caused the revolt indirectly. However, it was actually something that Rozalia-sama worried about for a long time… The direct cause, she thought someone must’ve instigated them to revolt…”
“It can’t be, Admov were actually pulling some strings?”
“The probability for that is high, your Highness. It happened too often. That’s why it’s unusual.”
Shera then handed over a bundle of paper she had prepared.
It was Rozalia’s memo. He could tell from the writings. It seems she had been looking into it for a while. His aunt had made a statistic on the frequency of occurrence, and she noticed the anomalies that have exploded over the last four years.
When Leonard nodded that he was convinced, Shera resumed talking.
“Even when looking into history, only a few countries got destroyed by foreign enemies. Let us call it an internal and external disease. It is always the story where a state lost its ability to resist due to disturbance and ended up being conquered by other countries. After five years, Admov would finish sharpening their fangs, on the other hand, Claude is suffered serious illness– That’s why we won’t be able to defeat them…”
Shera concluded with confidence.
Making Bauman and the others unable to argue back.
What she said was not dubious prophecy. It was a forecast based on reason.
‘The talk has become big huh?’, Leonard murmured while holding his forehead. “In the end, do we have to save Claude from the path of destruction before we could get Alexis back?”
“That’s right, your Highness.”
Hearing that response, Leonard groaned. The same goes for the knights.
“That is easy to say, Shera-dono. But, is there even something that we could do about it?”
Admov might have been the one who pulls some strings, but if what she predicts correct, then everything was due to the mismanagement of the corrupt nobles.
“Even if we try to convince those guys, five years won’t be enough to make it happen, you know?”
He remembered his younger days when he was showered with malicious intent. He knows how ugly their characters were…
In the first place, it was due to their dirty conspiracy that caused the loss of Rozalia, Alexis, and their comrades.
“Of course, I don’t have a way to get rid of those nobles immediately…”
Shera said those words with regret.
“That is why we should aim the people. The current situation is that the people rapidly lost faith in this country and the nobles. If that is the case, we should think about how to recover the people’s heart first, no?”
“I guess so. But then, how?”
Leonard asked her sharply…
However, Shera didn’t answer immediately. She fell silent.
She had been cheerful and talkative from the start.
Looking at her sudden chance, Leonard feels it weird.
“What’s wrong?” He asked to make sure. “Emm, About that.” Shera looked hesitate. She averted her gaze around while tinkering her fingertips. Her gesture looked cute, like a child.
“P-Promise me you won’t laugh?”
She asked with a helpless upturned gaze.
Due to her genius, Leonard always felt like he was talking with an adult whenever they spoke together, but this made him remembered that Shera was still a young girl.
“Of course, I won’t laugh.”
He said awkwardly while trying to be as gentle as possible in his mind.
Still, Shera seems to find it hard to say it. After a while, she resolved herself and make adorable coughing.
Then she makes sure that everyone understands that she didn’t mean it as a joke, and what she said was serious…
“Please, be a hero, your highness.”
Hearing that, Leonard thought his state of mind was being thrown out of the windows. Instead of laughing, he was dumbfounded.
“Hero you said, they had been called that because of a result, they didn’t become a story because they wanted to, no?”
“That is where you should do your best! To be a hero who always grasps the heart of the people!”
Shera clenches her small fist. Her enthusiasm was transmitted, but…
“How?” Leonard asked again…
Shera then whispered to reveal her special secret.
“Folklore, your highness.”
Such abrupt word. –
Looking at Leonard who was staring absentmindedly Shera spoke vehemently…
“Oral tradition, Fable tale, Myth, Anecdote, Legend, Saga, Epic, Fairy Tale— There are a lot of variety of them, but they are collectively referred to as Folklore.”
Leonard murmured the word as if trying to understand it.
“The reason why there was a job such as a bard and actors, was because people asking for it even if they have to pay it. Unlike food and sleep, which people would die without it. But when it comes to folklore, people could not help but ask for it. Which mean, it is a strong underlying desire for the people, no?”
Leonard nodded. That makes sense.
“For instance, don’t think it is someone else problem, it could very well be your highness, you know? You’re known as someone who survived by sucking people’s blood, dramatized, and you got the nickname of bloodsucking prince Nosferatu, then it was spread from one person to another as a joke, everyone in the imperial capital think you’re such a horrible person. No one knows the real your Highness. But, that is the power of the Folklore…”
Shera speaks filled with indignation as if she was talking about her own affairs.
When he thought that, Shera pushes her fist up, filled with energy…
“If that is the case, then what you need to do is just do the opposite! Save the people in this country, shoulders their hopes, and then defeat Admov! Create a legend based on such a hero, then let the people spread it as Folklore. People who heard such a story would get excited then joined under the flag of the hero. With that power, you could get Alexis back! Definitely possible!!”
Shera who excited continued to talk on and on…
“Even if I understand the logic—”
She didn’t let Leonard, and the others said something…
“If it is your highness, then you can do it! In fact, this can only be played by your highness. Rozalia nephew, Rozalia’s disciple, stands to avenge Rozalia! Your Highness, who was smeared with a single defeat in Alexis, stand up once again and retake Alexis! And furthermore, your Highness is a wonderful military man, a genuine hero…! Not until when we get here when people would begin to see the truth behind the Folklore!”
A forced theory still a forced theory. Leonard was overwhelmed…
“… I thank you for trusting me that much… However,” His voice of rebuttal somehow grew weaker…
“You can do it! Be confident, after all—”
Until there, Shera stopped for a moment then declared straight out.
“Your Highness is my ideal person!”
Her words echoed in the entire room.
All the men went silent at once.
To the point, they could hear Shera disordered breathing.
After such fervent speech was silent…
It was Bauman who broke the silence.
“Kukuku,” His laugh start to grow louder. “Your ideal person, eh? His Highness is Shera-dono’s…”
“Ah!” Aware of what she had said, Shera immediately tried to make an excuse by saying ‘O-Of course, not ideal as men and women or something like that, b-but more along the line ideal for my concept, yep that’s it—!”
Shera desperately trying to explain toward Bauman and the others who were grinning at her.
Seeing that, Leonard was trying to help her out…
“Calm down, Shera. Everyone understands that much…”
“Your Highness doesn’t understand!”
“… What do you mean?”
Shera shouted while having her face red as a strawberry.
Whether he could agree to it or not aside, Leonard was puzzled by her sudden change from a well-reasoned girl into a flustered one.
“Anyway, I agree with Shera-dono…”
On the other hand, Bauman showed a convinced face.
“And it seems Shera-dono also has a good discerning eye. I’m pleased to know this…”
‘Moreover.’ He stopped talking, and all the knights then looking at Shera with a warm gaze and smiling. It was a favorable gaze.
Then they changed their gaze toward Leonard.
“Your Highness, let us do it!”
“Indeed, let us do it!”
“Oi, wait a minute, you guys?!”
Leonard showed a rare confused look.
“If it can get Alexis back, I want us to do everything we could. I will become a hero or even a statue… But–…”
“If you’re that resolute then, you should try everything!”
While the others were in discussion, Bauman strikes a sound argument.
For a moment, Leonard stayed silent.
Seeing that, Bauman pressed further.
“Shera-dono. This Folklore plan, where should we start to get the people’s heart back?”
“How about going around exterminating bandits?”
The knights, including Bauman, was impressed while shouting, “If we do that, we could take two birds with one stone!”
Leonard was also unintentionally tapped his knee upon hearing the idea.
They only need Leonard and the Alexis knights to get rid of bandits. Thus if they could get rid of the sickness Claude was suffering, they would be able to prepare for Admov five-years later. They would also be able to help people in need at the same time. That alone makes it worth doing.
Even if it didn’t go as planned by Shera, even if it didn’t bring back the people’s heart, even if it didn’t become a legend, there was nothing wrong to still did it.
“Tomorrow, I myself will ask Father to give me imperial command…”
Leonard was someone who takes a quick action whenever he already makes his decision.
Hearing his words, the knights also raised their spirit by clenching their fist and push it into the sky and shouted, ‘Ou!’.