“I see… So we made it in time… I’m glad that Earl Zeref is safe…”
While listening to the report brought from Tristoron city, located in the west of Rozeria Kingdom, Ryouma put down the pen he was holding while breathing out a sigh of relief. <TLN: Name トリストロン, it really is Tristoron, why not Tristan…>
“Yes. I heard the news from Sara, it seems Earl Zeref’s escort was killed by the first raid, it was quite a dangerous situation, but somehow Sara and Sakuya managed to deal with the assassins, and right now they are having a talk with Elena-sama. Like Ryouma-sama had expected, the two people had decided to abandon Queen Lupis. Furthermore, Elena-sama also handed us a letter that she wanted to meet Ryouma-sama at all cost for consultations regarding the future of the country.”
As soon as he read the letter, Ryouma floated a smile of satisfaction on his face.
Although Elena was a competent soldier, she was never a good politician.
If it was only one city or town, then she might be capable enough, but when it comes to a whole country, she was well aware that she didn’t have the capacity.
The content might well have been a wish to consult regarding the future, but in fact, there was no mistake that her letter could be seen as her intention to enter Ryouma’s umbrella.
Ryouma looked up at the ceiling while leaning his body deeply. A slightly happy expression could be seen on his face.
“Earl Zeref has moved as I had expected, Although the timing of him leaving the royal capital and meeting Elena can be said as something limited…”
“Yes… Not only did he manage to persuade Earl Bergston to give up on Queen Lupis, I never thought that he had the power to actually make Elena-sama cooperate.”
Laura gazed at the letter once again. Inside her mind, she still could not believe the content of the letter.
At least in her eyes, Earl Zeref was just a sneaky middle-aged man hiding in the shadow of his brother-in-law. Even though she understood that everything was only for an appearance, she still could not believe it.
“Are you surprised ?”
“Yes… I still cannot believe it…”
In response to Ryouma’s question, Laura gently nodded her head showing confusion on her beautiful face.
Even though she had been told about it in advance, Laura still could not believe it that under such mediocre appearance, Earl Zeref could pull off such movements.
However, seeing Laura with that expression, Ryouma raises a laughter.
“That is also his own doing. He calculated his own appearance according to his influence towards the surroundings.”
“It was calculated ?”
“Right, everything was calculated by him…”
Both brothers were well-regarded politicians, but one was a dandy middle-aged man who boasts refined a smart look and a tall body, and the other was a middle-aged man with tattered appearance.
Looking at such contrast, no wonder that Earl Zeref was often being considered as just a follower of Earl Bergston.
That was the thing Earl Zeref made use of.
He used it to carry the dark side of the politics on his shoulders.
“That person realized that simple appearances didn’t attract much attention. And usually, he was under Earl Bergston’s shadow taking one or two steps back from the surroundings.”
“Which meant, he didn’t want to attract attention, is it ?”
“Well, you can regard him as a backstage actor…”
The actors who stood on the stage might shine, but for them to do so, they needed the support of backstage people working in the shadows. It was work that usually didn’t receive enough evaluation. However, it might be true that if the backstage crew didn’t devote themselves to their work, the stage wouldn’t be established.
And the relationship of Earl Bergston and Zeref can be described like that.
Earl Zeref who carry the dirty role of supporting his brother-in-law, and Earl Bergston who stand on the political stage.
It can be said that they were two people sharing one fate.
“Either way, with this we have managed to obtain three more pair of hands…”
“Elena-sama, Earl Zeref and Earl Bergston ?”
“That’s right, it is a considerable helping pair of hands. Especially Earl Zeref…”
“Earl Zeref ? not the other two ?”
In response to Ryouma’s words, Laura tilted her head.
There was no objection when it comes to how influential these three people were. However, if one was to be asked who was the most powerful one among the three, the natural answer would’ve been Elena or Bergston.
Elena who had the most experience when it comes to military and relationships with the neighboring countries, and Earl Bergston who was given the responsibility in charge of administration under Queen Lupis, although Laura understood that Earl Zeref was not your ordinary man, but compared to the two, in her eyes he was below them.
Looking at Laura’s expression, Ryouma shakes his head.
“The information network that person has, was something Iga clan didn’t have. In the future, that would be the most needed thing in taking down the Rozeria Kingdom.”
Iga clan might have been a very important piece for Ryouma, as an intelligence and counter-intelligence body, but if being asked whether or not they were perfect, the answer would be a no.
Iga clan had members around 200 people including women and children.
Now they were teaching spy work to the children previously purchased as slaves, but those who can take up jobs didn’t exceed more than 100 people.
Of course, Iga clan planned to expand in the future, but if one thinks about the future expansion, they will need more people.
Especially, when it comes to keeping an eye on the nobles, people who were familiar with the society were indispensable.
(Well, I don’t care much about nobility but…)
Ryouma had pictured his ideal country in his head. It would be a country centered on the merit system.
Basically, Ryouma didn’t like the existence of aristocracy.
In his eyes, he saw the majority of aristocrats as nothing more than insects exploiting people with taxes and immersing themselves with pleasures.
And Mikoshiba Ryouma was not somebody kind enough to let such insects spread on his own garden (country).
His ideal was to obliterate the entire Rozeria Kingdom’s aristocrats and take the entire territory under the royal’s administration, but that would take too much work.
Which meant, only one option was left.
After one sorted out the gems from amongst the stones, one can then spend the time to further sort the best gems amongst the other ones.
For that reason, Ryouma needed Earl Zeref ability.
The man who knows the secret of many Rozeria’s aristocrats.
Nonetheless, it was still a faraway story when Earl Zeref could exercise his full ability under Ryouma.
It can’t be helped if people regards this as a presumptuous dream created by a small feudal lord from a remote land.
(For now, I need to immediately take my first step… Can I do this ?)
If it was as planned, the disturbances and revolts by the commoners will cause the aristocrats to be unable to move their forces until near the border.
Although, in this situation they still might be able to use unreasonable force.
And the attack towards Earl Zeref was the proof of that.
Normally, one should not use such frontal assault.
Since there were ways that draw less attention, like making a threat or using poison.
Yet, they had gone all the way to make a frontal assault. It was easy to regard that as a warning to the nobles who were dissatisfied with Lupis.
In those kind of times, there was only one person who will cross such dangerous bridge for Lupis’ sake.
“The time has come… Call Simone and Genou…”
Hearing the name Ryouma had said, Laura immediately understood his intention.
“Right, we will take over Epiroz…”
Hearing his answer, Laura immediately left the room to call the people Ryouma had asked.
Ryouma who was being left alone in his room, directed his eyes towards the Japanese sword that leaned beside the work desk.
It was the proof that he had inherited the whole Iga clan, who had been waiting for a master to serve for several hundred years.
A smile appeared on Ryouma’s face. If someone were in this room, one might mistake his expression as the face of a demon.
“With this, finally you will have something to work with… Do please show me your best scream, Kikoku.” <TLN: the name can be translated as the Devil or The wailings of a restless ghost.>
Slowly, Ryouma called the name of the boorish-looking Japanese sword with a gentle voice.
At that moment, Ryouma ears could hear a wind of roar coming from somewhere.
It sounded like a crying demon…