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Chapter: 95


95 - The Old Man From The Countryside Has A Discussion

"By the way, did you happen to see Ibroix recently, Beryl?" Lucy asked.

"Ah…" I said. "Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen him."

Now that he’s been brought up, things seemed to get awkward.

Looking back on it quickly, I don’t remember seeing him. I should know what he looks like and would recognize him on sight, but I’m not in a position to get inside the palace.

"I was just an escort to the Princess…" I said. "It’s basically just a one-sided title."

"You say you’re not involved in politics, but are you really?" Lucy asked.

"I didn’t go inside the royal palace," I said.

"Oh, is that so?" Lucy asked, sighing like she was convinced and relieved.

I wasn’t even there for the audience with the other royals and top executives. Alexia and Henblitz may have met them, but as I said, I only escorted the Princess after she left the royal palace.

"So what did Mr. Ibroix say?" I asked.

"Oh, about that–" Lucy said.

"Hey, hey, wait a minute," Miu said.

We were getting to the heart of the story.

And now, Miu is getting impatient as she sits on the chair beside me.

"What’s wrong?" I asked.

"Yeah… is this something I can hear about?" Miu asked.

"Ah…" I said.

Mmm. It was a good question.

As long as it was shared from Ibroix to Lucy, it may not be completely confidential information, but even so, it should not be something you could talk about freely.

Being with Miu has become so commonplace since I started this new life that I got completely used to her presence. I was surprised she was the one that brought it up. This old man thinks that’s a good thing about Miu.

"Lucy, what about you?"

"Hmm… we certainly can’t be too public about this, now, can we?" Lucy asked.

It seems this was getting to be something that shouldn’t be said out loud.

"Yeah, I’m just going to kill time outside," Miu said.

Before I could figure out what was up, Miu left her seat and left the house for a while.

"Mmm… I’m sorry, Miu," I said.

"It’s alright, it’s work stuff," Miu said.

It’s awkward to leave a small child as the responsible one. If I had to express my feelings for her right now, it’d be nothing but thanks to Miu. She’s become such a good girl. She was a bit of a piece of work originally, but I think she’s a good kid now.

"Well. I’ll go buy something for now," Miu said.

"Ah, sure, got it," I said.

"My apologies, Miu," Lucy said.

With that, Miu left the house.

With only so much time, this middle-aged man and this younger-looking woman were left.

"Now then, ready to get into the meat of it?" Lucy asked.

"Yeah," I said.

Let’s take this discussion seriously. No matter how you think about it, this is not something you could take lightly.

"First of all, let’s begin with the background," Lucy said. "Supheniardvania is in a light civil war right now."

"What?" I asked.

Isn’t this too heavy for the first line in a discussion? I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded.

Obviously, Prince Glen didn’t show any such pretense. Well, I’m sure it would be a problem if people from other countries take such an attitude as part of a diplomatic visit.

"I don’t mean that its citizens are going to war with each other," Lucy said says, bored and like it was an off-handed comment. "It’s better to say that there’s an internal government power struggle."

I think this all the time, but this woman must be crazy, talking about such serious topics so casually. How do I even react to this?

"Wait, ‘government power struggle,’ you said, but isn’t Supheniardvania supposed to be a theocracy?"

Well, that was the first question that came to my mind.

Supheniardvania is a theocratic nation with Suphine Faith as the state religion. The head of this religion—perhaps the Pope or someone like him—would be at the top of the state, but was the conflict arising from the interpretations of the state religion’s role?

"I don’t know about the details, but it seems that the Papal Faction and the Royal Faction are fighting on just about anything," Lucy said. "It seems the conflict has been growing in momentum recently."

"Hmm…"

Is this a common story among nations? The world I know is so small that I don’t really understand the details about rulers and heads of state.

"Mm… wait a minute," I said. "Who is more powerful to start with, the Pope or the King?"

"You’re asking about that…?" Lucy said, sighing the heaviest she had today.

It can’t be helped. I don’t know a thing about all this.

I’m not familiar with politics, nations, or religions. I would be terrible at even trying to predict what would happen or how it was going to affect me.

In the first place, I don’t know how long the country of Supheniardvania has been active. If you live in the remote countryside of the Kingdom of Rebelis, you don’t have to worry about going without such information.

"By authority, it would be the Pope," Lucy said. "However, the actual administration of the state and its duties is done by the King. In the doctrines, the King must also be a Suphinist, so the existence of the Pope cannot just be ignored."

"I see…"

This is kind of like a history class.

Well, somehow, I get it.

The real political power is held by the King, or rather by the Royal Faction. However, as long as it is a theocracy, the King and the royal family are all Suphinists, so the Pope, who is the head of the state religion, is superior in terms of the hierarchy.

Yeah, now I’m getting a little confused.

This old man is not good at talking about this kind of thing.

However, I can understand who is the most troubled when a government power struggle arises.

That is, of course, the citizens of that nation. When the top fights, the consequences always spread downward. And almost certainly in a bad sense.

Well, moving on:

An attempted assassination of the royal family occurs as the Papal and Royal Factions conflict. In that case, it is natural to predict who is the victim here.

"In short, this is the work of the Papal Faction aiming at inflicting losses on the Royal Faction?" I asked.

"That’s right," Lucy said. "Because he’s the First Prince, naturally he’s first in line to succeed the throne."

The theory goes in a neat, straight line.

It’s plausible, however, I don’t think it’s enough.

"But even if they succeed in removing him, wouldn’t it be the same if the Second Prince ascends to the throne?" I asked.

"The Second Prince… Prince Fawkes is a particularly devout Suphinist."

"Hmm…"

I see, I’ve figured it out somehow.

If all goes well, His Highness Glen will succeed to the throne in the near future. Then, it would be a little inconvenient for the Papal Faction.

With that in mind, did they decide it would be better to murder the First Prince and instead install the Second Prince, an especially strong believer of the state religion?

Perhaps the ultimate aim is a puppet government with the Second Prince as their instrument.

All decisions are made by the Pope, and the public would only know it’s the work of the Second Prince.

I don’t know in what direction the Papal Faction wants to take the country. I don’t even know the inside of my own country, let alone foreign nations, and maybe the people are gaining momentum for installing a democracy instead.

However, it is a different story entirely if you asked if such a plot can be overlooked.

Especially if it could be prevented by my efforts.

That said, some things don’t make sense.

"However… why would they bother to set up this assassination in Rebelis?" I asked.

That’s the point.

If you simply want to murder Prince Glen, first in line for the throne, it’s definitely better to set it up before the Knights of Rebelio join up for his protection. If anything, if they did it in their home country of Supheniardvania, they should have an advantage as no foreign actors can interrupt them and avoid future diplomatic issues, at that.

"Maybe… canceling the tour midway was one of their goals," Lucy said.

"What was that?" I asked.

"It means that the First Prince’s ascension to the throne is near," Lucy said.

"Hmm…"

The Supheniardvania Delegation’s visit is a regular, annual affair.

This is the first time for me, but even if I go back to previous examples, I hear that it is customary for someone from the royal family to accompany the delegation on the tour.

Generally speaking, the royal family does not come out of their royal castles or palaces.

In that case, no matter how great an assassin you hire, it’s difficult to take them out directly. Regardless of the country, the most secure place is going to be the center of its government.

But, while it’s hard to kill them directly, it’s much easier to make a fuss and force the event to be canceled.

It’s okay if you’re lucky enough to kill your target, and if you don’t, it’s still fine to have been able to cause an incident.

With that in mind, that explains why they set up their attack during the tour.

But if that’s right:

"If this case isn’t closed… we’ll have another attack," I said.

"That would be likely," Lucy said.

They’ve already gone this far, I don’t think the Papal Faction will give up after one attempt. I’m certain they’ve got more to come.

And if I and Lucy can come to that conclusion, then there’s no reason why Prince Glen’s delegation can’t also come up with the same hypothesis.

"Now that I know the situation, I think it’s better to cancel the visit entirely," I said.

"Well, it’s not us who’s going to make that decision," Lucy said.

Perhaps this is the end, Lucy rests her cheeks on her hands again.

Well, for sure, I wouldn’t make a suggestion and decide the operations of international affairs. I’ve said that my current title is making my life exquisitely easy, but being aware of the situation and having no power can be a hassle in some cases.

"I’m home," Miu said.

"Oh, welcome back," I said.

And now Miu’s back from her little trip outside. The discussion is over and right on time, too.

"All done?" Miu said.

"Yeah, we just finished," I said.

I turn my gaze from Lucy to Miu.

"What’s that?" I asked.

"Skewers," Miu said. "A stall outside sold it."

"You sure do love meat, don’t you, Miu?" I said.

"Shut up," Miu grumbled.

She was holding enough skewers for a group of people.

Even though she was young, Miu was pretty considerate buying something for me and Lucy without us saying anything. There may be pros and cons to the past that cultivated her sensibilities and common sense.

Well, I’m hungry, so I wonder if I’ll have a light meal around this time.

A child who eats well and sleeps well grows up well.


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