Editors: Grey & Tan.
103rd day after being summoned to another world.
“What should I do, I wonder…”
Earl Bergston who extended the date for his reply until tomorrow repeated such words again and again inside his personal office.
“That guy… what he said is reasonable… how have I not notice such thing when the noble faction invites me to join them…”
His words are filled with regrets.
In case if Bergston Earldom were to stay as a neutral faction, it would not matter who won. However, since he was deceived by the sweet temptation and joined the noble faction, he only has two choices left;
Either stay with the noble faction or join the Knight faction.
If he were to return back as a neutral faction, then he would just end up being targeted by both the noble faction and the Knight faction.
And then there’s another problem. The man who brought this talk to him says that he should join the princess’ faction.
Even looking like this, Earl Bergston has sufficient knowledge about the power balance within the royal palace. A noble won’t be able to keep their territory without that kind of knowledge after all.
Thus the Earl understood that even if the knight faction is the princess’ power base, General Hodram basically held the real power.
“That man that comes with Meltina-dono… He seems to be directly under her highness the princess. If that is the case then… This is not an invitation to join the Knight faction but the princess’ faction.”
Depending on how the princess makes her move, after they won against the noble faction, there might be a war between the princess’ faction against the Knight faction. Like this, it was natural for him to feel hesitation; after all, he was being invited by the smallest faction, which is inferior in all sense.
“To support them, one must have the resolution to throw away everything…”
He has to be prepared to throw away the wealth and territory that the Bergston family had built up over the years.
“The problem is whether the princess could win or not…”
In the end, the entire problem ends up with that question.
Whether or not, his support will bring the princess’ faction victory.
For Earl Bergston, his loyalty to the royal family is not that low; however, it is also not that high to the point of sacrificing his house and family.
That’s why, at the time when Meltina offered an invitation which he rejected, and also at the time when he accepted the noble faction offer, he feels a slight disdain toward his own self.
“Back then, there’s not even one possibility that the princess’ faction could win…”
Meltina’s way of negotiation is simple.
She just talks about justice and loyalty to the royal family in earnest.
Of course something like that was important, however, it is not enough to convince the heart of the neutral faction.
And if one were to wonder why.
Someone who can emphasize loyalty and true justice won’t be part of neutral faction after all.
Before Meltina invites him, she asked him to pledge his loyalty to the princess.
However, what Earl Bergston wanted to ask was what kind of reward the princess will give in exchange for that assistance and loyalty.
Helping the princess and all is great.
But moving the soldiers cost money to buy armor, weapon, and food.
If a soldier shows an achievement, then he must be rewarded.
It won’t be as simple as just saying”Good work!”.
And Meltina was unable to understand that.
She just talks about loyalty to the princess like a broken recorder.
With just that, she won’t be able to persuade any noble.
That’s why Earl Bergston abandoned the princess.
Even if Meltina, who was being called as a close aide to the princess was there, he had no choice other than to think that the princess does not have talented people around her. With that being the case, he felt lucky to be invited by the noble’s faction instead.
After all, no matter whom, they will join the side that is most likely to win.
All the more if they were being offered the possibility of gaining power and increase in territory.
However, due to that, the Earl is currently suffering.
Due to the princess’ messenger called Mikoshiba Ryouma.
“I don’t know who that guy is… but… he’s sharp. To the point that I think he was too sharp…”
Someone who has the brains suddenly appear within the princess’ faction whom he thought does not have such a person.
Although the Earl had just met him today, he can feel that the judgment ability of that man can be trusted.
He also shows a considerable capability in diplomacy.
Thus, there’s the possibility that the princess’ future might change as well.
The noble faction is also currently looking for additional support by offering the same rewards to the neutral faction.
However, after listening to that man, the Earl thought that only fools would believe the noble faction.
It can be said that there is a big possibility that they would be swayed toward the princess’ faction.
The princess’ faction can also handle General Hodram in the same way.
With that being the case, if that man was there, it is possible for the princess to hold all of the power.
That’s why the Earl feels troubled.
“Ah… What should I do…”
“Master? The dinner is ready. The visitors are waiting in the dining room as well.”
It was the voice of a maid who works in the mansion that returned Earl Bergston’s sanity back.
At the time he looks out the window, the night has already dominated the sky. The negotiation with Ryouma had ended around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, which means Earl Bergston have been inside his room for around 5-6 hours.
“Ah…Yes… I’ll immediately go.”
After saying those words to the maid, Earl Bergston tidied himself up and went toward the dining room.
“Dear? Are you worried about something?”
After having finished dinner, worried about her husband, Earl Bergston’s wife entered his office.
“What? Oh, it’s you… there’s nothing I’m worried about. What’s wrong?”
After he had tried to hide his fatigued self, he told his wife to sit down on the sofa.
“You looked strange during dinner after all… Are you sure that there’s nothing you’re worried about?”
Although the Bergston family chef cooked a whole roasted chicken, the Earl did not eat much.
One can also see that he did not enjoy the meal either.
“No… Everything is alright. You don’t have to worry about anything.”
“No! You can’t be like that. 20 years had passed since I’ve been married to you… It is impossible for me not to notice that your behavior is strange!”
She’s just a wife worried about her husband from the bottom of her heart. Although one can say it was political marriage, she’s a wife who comes to love and respect her husband who turned 43 years old this year, and he also loves his wife too.
“Is it because of the visitors that came today?”
The Earl who didn’t show anything wrong this morning, suddenly shut himself up inside his office from the afternoon until night.
Thus it was natural for her to think that as the cause.
The earl’s wife looked at his face and began to ask a question.
“By any chance… is there anything to do with the royal palace?”
Although she’s a nobleman’s wife, a woman is someone who would not understand about a power struggle.
No, in a sense, usually women are more sensitive to this kind of things.
Much more when we talk about the life and death of the kingdom itself.
His wife who saw his attitude thought that her guesses were right.
“Dear… Aren’t we a married couple?… Even if I cannot help you with it, won’t you share your problem with me even if it’s just a little bit?”
Listening to his wife’s words, his heart somehow feels relieved.
He wants someone to hear about the things that he kept inside his heart.
After all, the Earl feels anxious to the limit right now.
“I don’t understand much about politics, but I don’t think the princess would treat you unfairly when she wins if you help her in a time of crisis like this.”
Although she hesitated, his wife told him what she thinks after she heard the story from her husband.
“I know about that. But that is not the problem. The problem is whether the princess can win or not even with my help!”
He did not tell everything to his wife.
The fact that there’s a lack of talented people among the princess’ faction.
Which means he might be able to get a good position if the princess wins.
But that is ‘if’ the princess wins.
“Dear… If that is the case then you just have to make the princess win, no?”
The Earl froze after hearing his wife’s words.
“You’re a smart person. I’ve never doubted your ability ever since I married you… I believe that you’re someone who can support this Rozeria Kingdom. That’s why I don’t like it when I see you wavering like this! Please regain the confidence you once had! If this was 12 years ago, you wouldn’t be hesitating like this! If it’s the former you then…”
“The former… me…”
The Earl recalled the old him who’s brimming with confidence.
Twelve years ago, at the time when Earl Bergston was still in his early 30s, he was regarded as one of the most influential people in the country.
It all crumbled down at the time when Duke Gerhardt had defeated his wife’s father, Marquis Ernest, the Prime Minister of Rozeria kingdom in a political strife. Marquis Ernest’s territory was confiscated, and the family name had ceased to exist.
At that time, most of his blood relative was banished from the kingdom.
Only his wife and her sister who married into another family that was able to stay within the country.
As a result of that, Earl Bergston was kicked out from the central politics.
It was not because of his ability.
But because his wife is the daughter of their political enemies, Duke Gerhardt doesn’t want him near the central politic.
12 years since then, the Earl desperately tried to protect his territory.
He joined the neutral faction and waited for the storm to pass.
Due to playing defense all this time, Earl Bergston’s fangs have become dull.
“I won’t worry much if it was the former me huh?…”
I won’t be this worried.
Because I had absolute confidence in my ability.
(If myself from 12 years ago were present here, what would I do? Will I wait for Meltina-dono to come and offer me an invitation? No… I would proactively be part of the princess faction and help her highness with my strength. Will I also consider whether the princess would win or not? Stupid! If that is the case then I will just make her win with my own power!)
The words from his wife immediately made the man who had been playing defensive for the past 12 years returned to his former glory self.
His ambition and self-confidence is gradually coming back.
“I will be joining her highness the princess’ faction, glory or nothing! Naturally, your fate might also be doomed with mine… Will you stay by my side until the end?”
“Absolutely. Even if I end up with a guillotine over my neck, I will still follow you until death, my dear!”
After hearing his wife’s determination, Earl Bergston finally decided.
And the Earl who has already made his decision this time won’t waver.
He decided to make the princess the ruler of this kingdom with his own power, whether or not she will win does not matter anymore.
“I will immediately go to Ernan’s place. Please help me with the preparation.”
The wife showed a perplexed face. It’s already passed 8pm o’clock.
Even if he goes out now, it’s already late.
“That’s right. I’ve delayed answering Mikoshiba-dono until tomorrow. But won’t that be boring if I said ‘Yes’ to them just like that?”
Earl Ernan Zerev.
He is a noble who owns lands bordered to Earl Bergston’s land.
And he is also the man who took the sister of Earl Bergston’s wife as his wife.
He is also part of the neutral faction, and is also being antagonized by Duke Gerhardt.
(Having me switch side from the noble faction to the princess’ faction is the achievement of Mikoshiba-dono… But having Ernan move to the princess faction will be my achievement. Beside, Ernan is my brother-in-law… He is someone whom I can trust.)
Earl Bergston, who is going to participate in the princess’ faction, has regained his former vigor.
Even if Earl Bergston joins the princess’ faction, it would only end up as Ryouma’s achievement.
There would be nothing to evaluate from Earl Bergston who changes side.
However, what if he brings other nobles together with him?
That would be Earl Bergston’s achievement.
That’s why, since he wants to secure a good position after joining the princess’ faction, he cannot afford to fail here.
“You must keep Mikoshiba-dono entertained as much as possible tomorrow. You hear? Do not let him leave before I return!”
“I understand. Please be careful on your way.”
Seemingly happy looking at her husband who regained his former radiance, she bowed her head to her husband who leaves the house.
TLN: The day I saw side-character being so romantic compared to the main character… I giggled the entire process of translating.