Editor: Grey and Tan.
Chapter 2 Episode 12
103rd day after being summoned to another world.
“I’m sorry to disturb you during your busy time like this. We sincerely appreciate Earl Bergston’s generosity. I’m Mikoshiba Ryouma, a messenger of the princess. Pleased to meet you.”
Ryouma lowered his head toward the man who sat in front of him.
This place is two days away from the royal capital city Preaus; a territory that belongs to the neutral faction.
The sun is currently near its peak, which common sense indicates it was near a lunch time.
Such a time was an inappropriate time to visit a noble.
“No, when it comes to the princess’ messenger, I cannot be crude.
Especially if Meltina-dono is also together here with you.”
Earl Bergston offered Ryouma and Meltina to sit down while laughing heartily.
“Now then, what kind of business do you have?”
Of course, that question is just mere courtesy.
When the political situation is unstable, a messenger from princess’ faction has come to Earl Bergston who belonged to a neutral faction.
Anyone who has a bit of brain will be able to pick up what’s going on immediately.
“Very well, let me immediately relay the message.”
Towards Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergstone frowned.
As a matter of fact, Meltina had already asked Earl Bergston to support the princess’ faction back in the first month of the year.
Of course, at that time the Earl’s answer was no, however this time, a messenger from the princess’ faction has come again, to be honest, the Earl feels amazed.
“Hou? A message huh?”
(What’s going on? …In the first place, who is this guy? There should be no one like him in the Knight faction nor the noble faction…)
The Earl, who thought that Meltina was going to be the one who takes the initiative to talk found himself in confusion.
A man whom the Earl doesn’t know began to speak.
One can say that he feels very perplexed.
“Yes. Her highness the princess feels extremely saddened.”
“Hou? Saddened about what?”
There’s no change on Bergston’s face.
“Regarding the fate of the Bergston Earldom, who can be said to be among the most prestigious family in Rozeria Kingdom.”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston desperately tried to hold himself back from shouting.
Just like the time when Meltina had come, she also began telling him about how the princess feels saddened due to the strife with the noble faction.
But then they suddenly talk about the Bergston’s family future.
And furthermore, if one also included the preface where the princess is saddened, it could mean this is going to be bad for the Bergston’s family.
Despite them wanting to seek his assistance they said something like that, which makes it no wonder if the Earl wants to raise a shouting protest.
After all, the princess’ faction is the one in disadvantageous who need outside assistance.
Nevertheless, Earl Bergston keeps smiling as if nothing had happened.
“Hou? The future of my houses huh? It was an honor for us, for the princess to be worried about the future of a small house like ours despite having a lot of things that she needs to think of. Could you tell her highness the princess that this Earl feels very grateful toward her?”
Such an answer can be said as a perfect answer.
After all, while expressing his gratitude as a noble superficially, he also slips some mockery against the princess.
As if saying ‘are you really in the position to worry about my house?’
(Fuhnn… First of all, I need information…)
Ryouma feels relieved in certain ways due to the Earl’s answer.
Ryouma had thought, what the princess needed most is someone who has brains.
Not only the military, the princess is also lacking in everything; political power, economy, diplomacy, and also culture.
Of course, all of that might not be the duty of the princess alone.
However, Princess Lupis only has the military around her.
Even Meltina, whom can be regarded as the princess’ close aide, setting aside her personal force and loyalty to the princess, her intelligence and ability in politics cannot be relied upon at all.
It might be due to her occupation as a knight.
What a knight need is mostly only their ability and knowledge in military arts and also their loyalty to the royal family.
Of course something like that is important.However, they tend to look down and put less emphasis on being calculative and thoughtful.
Although that kind of thing is not bad in its own right.
After all, what a knight needs most are honor and pride.
However, when one views things as an organization, only having those can be said as something distorted and incomplete.
That’s why Ryouma chooses Earl Bergston to bring him over to the princess’ faction.
Despite being good as a political force, he was someone who has an arrogant and rude attitude; thus he gets excluded and neglected by both Duke Gerhardt faction and the previous king Farst as well.
“You’re being humble. Bergston Dukedom, in addition to having a vast territory, the population is also huge. And also have around 1000 armed force, am I right? Thus it cannot be regarded as something ‘small’.”
“Messenger-dono seems to have overrated my household. Or is your judgement clouded because you’re in the middle of a fight against the noble faction? Hahahaha…”
“No no no. My judgment is right, you know? For the proof of that, even Lord Gerhardt will soon turn his hot gaze towards the Bergston Earldom. Or do you already belong to the noble faction?”
“Wha-! Now, that worries me. Something like that is just baseless rumors, and better not to talk about it.”
Earl Bergston then laughed, skillfully concealing his surprise that appears for a moment.
“Oh is that so? If that is the case her highness the princess will also feel relieved. Because the princess will be saddened if Earl Bergston were to not gain anything and is left as someone useless until the end of times.”
“What! What does that mean?!”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston’s face changed.
“Ara? What’s wrong? I thought all of this was just some baseless rumors?”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston fixes his posture and heaves a big sigh.
“Fuu… Let’s stop all of this farce already… You should already know that I belong to the noble faction, am I right?”
Earl Bergston said those words as if he was giving up on something.
Ryouma’s tone was light; however, Meltina desperately tried to suppress her shocked feeling.
(I-Impossible! What’s the meaning of this!? Earl Bergston had already sided with the noble faction? Since when?! No, more importantly, since when did this man notice that?!? …For now, I should just dutifully perform my duty. I cannot afford myself to become a burden for this man!)
Ryouma did not say anything at all to her.
It can be said it would be reasonable if she feels upset instead.
The purpose of Meltina being there is to indicate that Ryouma is a newcomer from the princess’ faction.
Ryouma continues the talk despite the slight unrest within his heart.
“I don’t know where the information have leaked, but the decision won’t change you know?”
Earl Bergston said those words while his gaze tries to probe Ryouma.
“I do not mind about that.”
“Because the one who will find themselves in disadvantage is Earl Bergston. In other words, only you will lose.”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston enters a deep thought for a moment.
“…What do you mean by that? What are you trying to say? You said I would be in disadvantage?”
After a long silence, Earl Bergston finally urged Ryouma to explain it to him.
“Ara? You don’t realize it?… Since I feel slightly sorry, I will try to explain it then.”
The explanation Ryouma makes would then give Meltina and Earl Bergston a strong impression.
“Earl Bergston, think about it, what kind of term did they give in exchange for you to join the noble faction?”
To Ryouma’s question, Earl Bergston answers it reluctantly.
“In the event when Princess Ladine gets the throne, they had promised to increase my territory and also the position of finance minister.”
“Hou, I see… Indeed, those are some favorable conditions.”
“That’s right! Can the princess’ faction match this kind of offer?!”
Toward Earl Bergston question, Ryouma tried to hide his laughter desperately.
“Well, there’s no difference as to being able to give or not. Tell me, what did you need to do to get all that reward?”
Earl Bergston closes his mouth.
Just because he was interested in the reason why he will be the one in disadvantage, he can’t easily disclose the noble faction’s plan readily to the princess’ faction.
“Stay and work as a neutral faction member, and do not move the Bergston Earldom soldiers. It was something along those lines right?”
A surprised voice leaked from Earl Bergston’s mouth.
“Well, after all, there’s nothing that Earl Bergston can do other than that. That is what the noble faction thought.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh well, let us assume that all had gone according to their plan, do you think they will give you such rewards with that small amount of work?”
Earl Bergston then entered in deep thought after Ryouma said those words. Indeed, one can say that the rewards are too good.
Since other than keeping the soldiers from moving and working as a neutral faction, there’s nothing to lose for Earl Bergston.
“After all, they gave you a promise that they have no intention of fulfilling from the start.”
Hearing Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston face went pale.
“I-Impossible… That kind of thing is…”
“To realize all of that would be impossible. Giving you the position of finance minister, and an increase in territory. They belong to the noble faction after all.”
In the first place, what is a nobleman?
That is a term given to some people who were granted a territory and a certain autonomy by the kingdom.
On the contrary, a knight is a soldier who reports directly to the royal family, and despite having a similar status as the nobleman, they usually do not have territorial status.
The Knights are the essence of the military power; thus their aim is to earn promotion in a military position.
Although there are some special officials which the noble and the knight attached to each other, but mostly, the nobles dominated the domestic affairs, while the Knights will dominate the military affairs.
Now here is the problem.
Say if they defeated the Knight faction, will there be an important position within the domestic affairs available?
The answer is no.
The office that would be vacant after defeating the knight faction will be those that are related to military affairs.
And even if the position of Finance Minister is opened up, the possibility of it being given to Earl Bergston is zero.
Because a person who was part of the noble faction earlier than him would fill that seat.
If he was helping in a great deal to the side that was overwhelmingly weaker, then it might be considered as an exceptional reward.
However, the noble faction was already the dominant one.
There’s no way for him to overtake the one who already part of the dominant faction earlier than him.
And with that, one can see it was impossible to increase more territory as well. Because the knights, from the beginning, do not possess significant amount of land either.
Thus, what is left, are areas directly under the royal family’s possession.
However, do you think Duke Gerhardt will grant you such a thing?
It might be possible if the Duke tried to weaken or took the royal authority for himself.
But if the noble faction won, do you think Lord Gerhardt, who is the faction leader and would become someone who has even the authority over the queen do that?
Regardless of whether he has the ambition to take the throne for himself, do you think he will share it among the noble and neutral noble?
Even if that is the truth, do you think he will give it to a faction who does not work much?
One can say that it’s impossible to do that.
If he were to share them, he would share them with those who have already accompanied him for many years.
Otherwise, the faction itself might crumble.
Listening to Ryouma’s explanation, Earl Bergston’s face turns paler.
“That means I was stupid huh?…”
Such words of self-mockery leaks out from the Earl’s mouth.
“It is good if you understand.”
Hearing such explanation, even someone like Meltina easily agrees with him.
Meltina, who was witnessing Ryouma’s ability, strongly felt fear and at the same time relieved that he was on their side.
(This guy, how far is he able to read all of this?? Isn’t he just a mercenary? Not only that, it’s only been a week since he was here…)
“What should I do?”
With voice lacking in power Earl Bergton asked Ryouma.
“Let see… Even if you stay with the noble faction as it is, your future seems to be bleak. On the other hand, even if you join the Knight faction, you will just get yourself crushed by that General Hodram huh?”
There’s some other meaning within those words.
Earl Bergston immediately open his mouth after thinking for a while.
“Say, if I were to support her highness the princess… that is…”
Although his words were ambiguous, what he means is ‘what are you going to give me as a reward if I join the princess’ faction?’, that kind of thing.
“Let’s see… Of course, the position of finance minister is impossible, but…”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, Earl Bergston’s face turns cloudy.
But after hearing the words after that, colour returned to his face.
“If her highness the princess wins the political strife, the nobles would be drastically reduced… With that being the case, many vacant jobs would be available… what do you think?”
In other words, if the princess’ faction were to win, many of the jobs that the noble faction holds would be vacant. And it will be the nobles who support the princess, who would then fill that vacant job seats.
And in addition to that, since the base power of the princess is the knight faction, once the princess wins, he would still be able to ask for a higher position even if he was late to join.
Furthermore, since the opponent’s territory will also be seized, Bergston Earldom can expect an increase in land area as well.
With Earl Bergston being able to draw the future possibility with just words coming from Ryouma, he ends up adding the princess’ faction as a possible choice.
(Not bad at all… It is much better than assisting the noble faction and end up with nothing… however, that is ‘if’ the princess’ faction wins… if she were unable to win then the present story would have no meaning…)
“Mikoshiba-dono… I would like some time to think about it.”
“Very well. Just, how much time do you need? Since there’s not much time left after all.”
Ryouma does not think that Earl Bergston would help and support the princess’ faction here and now either.
Because for Earl Bergston, this will be a big gamble which will influence his entire life.
However, Ryouma can’t have his time stolen solely by Earl Bergston alone.
Since he also has to pull the other neutral factions to their side as well.
“I would like to have one night to think… I will give the answer tomorrow Thus, how about staying in our residence today?”
“Very well… I will wait for Earl’s wise decision.”
After replying so, Ryouma grasped the Earl’s hand in a handshake.