“Has been a while, Leonard.”
The Emperor who sits on the throne speaks with a thin voice like a sick person.
“Your Majesty, it is my utmost congratulation for your long and healthy life.”
Leonard responded with courtesy without greeting it with his heart.
He did his duty. Then he looked around and said, “Elder brother Chart, he’s not present?”, in his mind, if this was about participating a private war, then he should be the one who should be questioned the most.
“I’ve asked the situation from Chart.”
“Then, what kind of wrongdoing does my elder brother did?”
“There seems to be a misunderstand, Leonard.”
Hearing the emperor’s words, Leonard’s eyes grew sharp.
Misunderstanding… What kind of misunderstand?
“It seems, it was a mistake for me to give Keynes permission to raise soldiers. Keynes words where he said Eidonia had been doing injustice seems to be false. Chart had investigated and he found out that Keynes soldiers were on the wrong.”
(Which mouth are you saying that?) Leonard swallowed the words.
Why did Chart spit out such alike, he decided to listen to the rest.
“Chart, for the sake of his moral principle had persuaded Keynes to stand on the battle by himself. And while he did that, you come and attack them. It was an ill-timed incident.”
(Now, I see…) Leonard realizes the intention.
The official from left and right began to speak out.
“That crossbreed. He’s being conceited just because he won against his highness Chart.”
“The person who doesn’t realize that must be only him, such a terrible misunderstanding.”
“As if the genius and honorable prince Chart would lose against someone such as crossbreed.”
They were trying to find fault in him and enjoyed the dark pleasure.
Leonard himself ignored them completely and only gaze at the Emperor’s eyes.
“Everything is just a misunderstanding. Which mean, my elder brother is not at fault is it?”
“Yes. I’ve received Chart explanation…”
“If that is the case, all of this is Keynes fault.”
“… That seems to be the case.”
Leonard said it. It was low in volume but strong.
“Compensate for Eidonia and Alan’s absurd expenditure due to this problem…”
Instantly, the officials began to smacking their tongue. He might sound cheeky in their ears.
But Leonard keeps ignoring them. He didn’t turn his eyes away from the Emperor.
After a while, the Emperor responded with a cracked voice.
“Fine. Earl Carmelia household shall pay all the damage suffered by Eidonia, and as an apology, they shall relinquish the lake that had been become the long-standing conflict between the two households.”
It was quiet, but unlike the usual, it was a strong tone.
For a moment, Leonard felt blood connection between him and the Emperor, but he told himself that it must’ve been just an illusion.
(Well, I guess I should be satisfied with this…) Leonard felt disgusted toward Chart for his self-defense act but, if it was for the sake of getting compensation for Alan and the people, he will swallow it for now. Besides, they got Carmelia good…
As for the one being the target—
“The problem concerning his highness Chart is over with this!” From the side, a voice that was near shouting could be heard. “Now the problem is his highness Leonard have raised his soldiers on his own!”
Leonard glared at the Lords who shout.
They stand on the left and right of the Emperor, known as ‘The Emperor left and right hands’.
One of them was Claude Empire’s prime minister, Duke Morren.
He had short stature and was the most familiar with the court of this country, he was excellent when it comes to a power struggle. He was the lowest among them, but his eyes strangely sharp.
He was the father of the first Queen, and also the grandfather of the crown prince.
“Alexis Knights had been used to participate in the private war without permission, no matter how much Carmelia at fault here, they were the one who caused the war to become larger!”
And in agreement with that, one person speaks up.
It was Duke Glenkeith. He was the other side of the ‘left and right hands of the emperor’. He had an unbelievable obese body, who holds the rank of Great General, under the Emperor. With how loose his body was, it would be hard for him to walk straight if he wore armors. The grandfather of the ninth prince, and the father of the fourth Queen.
Two of the dukes and there were only four of them in this Empire.
As the name suggests, the four dukes were a aristocrats coalition with four of them as the top.
The hundreds official here were part of that coalition. As the follower of the four dukes.
“Before that, we should talk about Duke Dinkwood first…”
Leonard slammed and struck Chart’s grandfather who was not present.
“We’re currently talking about your highness!”
Duke Morren and Duke Glenkeith condemned him from both sides.
It was as if they don’t wants another point of argument— No, it was more like they didn’t want to change it.
The hundreds of officials start to speak ‘that’s right’ as if they were a big chorus.
It was their way to denounce Leonard single-handedly.
Their feeling could be seen on their face as if looked transparent. “I want to corner this crossbreed.” “I want him to be punished.” For that reason, they all had gathered here.
Leonard took a deep breath receiving such intensive attack.
Even though the room was filled with jeering voice, his voice was stronger than them all combined.
Due to the pressure, they shut their mouth altogether.
“No matter what you say, I have done no underhanded thing!” Leonard claimed without hesitation. If they didn’t want any discussion, he decided to speak up his mind. “Because I fight not for self-interest.”
“Are you saying, you fight for the sake of your friend?” Unexpectedly it was Emperor Samaras the third who still had the willingness to ask Leonard.
“Of course.” He fights to help Alan, not for himself. “For the people.”
If Alan was the one who did injustice, Leonard won’t help him in the first place.
No, Leonard won’t even become his friend.
“This is a good chance. Let me tell you all.” Leonard speaks up while looking around. “I want to protect this country, protect the people, and always rush anywhere to fight and help. It is my intention to save this country from destruction and bring Alexis back.”
Shera had told him to make a proper statement today, in this place.
The effect was very impressive.
The hundreds official who sits there absentmindedly like fools open and closed their mouth
“… W-What did you say just now, your highness?” Morren asked while his body shaking.
“D-Destroyed? This country?” Glenkeith was trembling.
Like that, except the Emperor, laughter erupted.
A roar of laughter. Swirling around Leonard.
“This great Claude! The Empire of Dawn! To get destroyed, such a joke!”
“And who are you going to save the country from?!”
“Sure, your highness is sure excellent! You like to daydream like a maiden!”
“Well then? From what kind of evil force your highness going to save the Empire from?”
The Hundreds of officials regained their self after being stunned.
As if trying to ridicule them, Leonard responded calmly.
“First of all, Admov invasion.”
“As if we have to fear Admov!”
“No no, this is because his highness had tested such a painful defeat two years ago!”
Leonard remained silent even when the surrounding ridiculed him. Some imbecile even start to say ‘How about getting Alexis back now?’. But, Leonard continues speaking instead…
“Or from the people rebellion…”
“What can those people who only have hoes do?”
“Y-Your highness is unexpectedly a coward huh?! Or should I say, delicate?”
The ridicule didn’t stop. “As expected of crossbreed, his train of thought is different.” There was even those who said such words.
But Leonard keeps ignoring them and continue to speak.
“There’s also another enemy. An enemy that one cannot see…”
The laughter reached its peak.
They laughed until they hold their belly. Tears begin to appear on their eyes due to the laughter. There were even those who finally couldn’t take it anymore and rolling on the floor.
“Y-Your highness seems didn’t know about it…” On behalf of the rest, Duke Morren begin to talk while wiping his eyes. “That talk, isn’t it the same as Earl Garron’s frontier?”
He referenced a history.
Frontier Earl Garron, was a real person 300 years ago. He had been given the task of guarding the border of a certain Kingdom, but one day he comes and reported: “The great emperor is going to attack!” He did that to get war funds from the King. Of course, eventually, they lost their trust toward him whenever he said ‘The enemy is going to attack’. At that time, their Generals laughed and said to him ‘Where is the attack? Show it.’ but Garron replied with…
“Still there’s an enemy. An enemy that we cannot see…”
Later, Garron’s frontier was destroyed by the Great Emperor that come to attack for real. But, no matter how much the Earl asked for help, no one come to help.