Chapter 07: Law of Succession
Hi, it’s the Emperor. I’m still a puppet today.
Various people have been incessantly trying to indoctrinate me with things that are convenient for their factions since the funeral, and I’ve come to understand a lot more.
Brainwashing can be a great way to learn if you can think for yourself. Thanks for all the information.
First, why am I the Emperor (puppet)? I had a hard time getting this information because no one wanted to talk about it.
The Emperor before me was my grandfather, Edward IV. He had only one son; my father, the former Crown Prince, Jean. He was killed in battle when he was commanding the front line. The Emperor died from grief when he had heard that his only son had been killed.
Are you kidding me? He was definitely assassinated.
Thus, in the midst of the confusion caused by the Emperor’s vacancy despite it being wartime, a miraculous peace was created under the leadership of Lord Aquicurl and Lord Raul. Only the political opponents of the two ceased to be…
But those two aren’t allies or friends; their goal just happened to match temporarily. The two immediately began scheming to enthrone someone who would be convenient for them both, but there was a reason why they didn’t start political strife right away. Yes, it was because of me.
To be precise, they weren’t sure if the child in the belly of the former-Crown Prince’s wife… was a girl or a boy. I don’t know much about the laws of succession in this empire yet, but it seems that only direct male descendants are definitely given the highest priority.
Then, a boy was born and the other heirs… who the Chancellor and Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies were trying to enthrone were killed, by their own hands.
That way, only those two would have the power in this empire, and of course, what followed was political strife between the two.
Seriously, what the hell are they doing?
Now the question is why didn’t the two cause civil war?
One of the reasons is because of the difference in their military strength. Lord Raul’s faction has nearly half of the empire under its influence, and they also apparently have the most advanced military region in the empire. Lord Aquicurl would have no chance in a war. I don’t know how he feels about Lord Raul being the most powerful man in the empire, but he allows him to be.
Another reason why they don’t cause civil war is because there’s a good chance that the next emperor will be Lord Aquicurl. This is determined by the law of succession in this empire, and it seems that even Lord Raul can’t disregard this. He had killed someone who had an even higher place in the order of succession than Lord Aquicurl. If I were to be assassinated during wartime, then he would become a mere traitor. As long as justice is on Lord Aquicurl’s side, there may be defectors from Lord Raul’s faction. Therefore, Lord Raul had no choice but to overlook the fact that Lord Aquicurl is number two in this empire.
It’s simple why Lord Aquicurl doesn’t kill me, because the Empress Dowager is his own daughter. He would bear the stigma of being his grandson’s killer if he were to assassinate me. Even though he was the closest in terms of succession, it was hard to believe that the aristocrats would support the enthronement of someone with such a stigma.
But that’s as long as I stay neutral. If I leaned towards one side or the other, then the other one would use force no matter what.
Well, in brief, I’ve been able to survive because I’m the perfect balance between the two.
Now, there’s been a big chance recently. That old hag has finally come out in public. Apparently, she felt a sense of crisis after I was politicized at the funeral.
… Too late.
Well, I would love to see the two factions crush each other, and it’ll probably create an opportunity for me to escape.
The first thing she said to me when she started to come see me was, “It’s disrespectful for a maid to talk without the Emperor’s permission”. As a result, the maids wouldn’t answer unless I spoke to them first, and they began to feel distant.
Well, I guess she’s afraid that I’d get attached to the maids and ignore my own mother. I can understand that.
But I hate you.
Mother came into my room again today and the first thing she said was, “Your Majesty. You can’t trust Lord Raul. He’s definitely planning to do something bad.”
It’s annoying to pretend to be a pure and innocent child.
Naturally, I reply like a stupid child, “Mother, who is Lord Raul?”
She means the Chancellor, right? I know.
“It’s the man who is called the Chancellor. That man intends to take over this empire.”
I thought he wasn’t going to touch me at the moment.
“Yes. That man married his own son to your aunt without permission. That is unacceptable despotism.”
… Hmm? Hold on, Father has a sister and she’s alive? I’ve never heard about this before. I’d like to know more about this.
“I have an aunt?! I didn’t know that…”
“Yes, your father has two sisters. One of them is now the Queen of another nation, and the other was forced into marriage by Lord Raul. I’m sure he’s trying to dethrone you.”
I tilted my head in confusion, pretending not to understand her. Don’t act unnecessarily.
“That man is trying to make your aunt the next empress.”
“So, Aunt is going to be the next empress after me?”
I’ve never heard this before. The balance is shifting…
“No, that can’t happen. That is just the empire’s law. Under the family law, your grandfather will inherit the throne.”
Oh, some more new information.
“Family law? What’s family law?”
Spit it out!!
I worked hard to get information out of her after that… According to the information she gave me, there are two types of inheritance laws in this empire because of the way this empire came about.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the original empire that existed in this area was ‘Lothar Empire’. A different ethnic group called the Bungdalto tribe came to that empire and became aristocrats.
Later when the Lothar Empire collapsed, the emperor’s throne was passed onto the Bungdalto’s, who continued to accompany the remnants of the Lothar Empire. Then something happened and this empire became the current Bungdalto Empire.
So, this empire is the ‘former Lothar Empire ruled by the Bungdalto’s’, and there are two laws that exist: the ‘Bungdalto’s Family Law of Succession’ and the ‘Lothar Empire’s Law of Succession’.
Of those two, the ‘Empire Law’ is a male ‘priority’ succession law… meaning that even women can become empresses. On the other hand, the ‘Family Law’s’ succession rights are ‘limited’ to men… therefore, women cannot become emperors.
Incidentally, no woman has ever become an empress since this empire changed its name to Bungdalto Empire.
Make it one law!!
It’s time for the old hag, who gave me this information, to leave.
“Don’t worry. I’ll definitely protect you. So please, don’t trust that man.”
“Ok. Mother… are you leaving already?”
I won’t miss you but give me more information.
“Yes, that man will put up his guard if I stay with you for too long.”
No, you just want to enjoy your tryst with your lover. I heard everything about it from the maids.
“Yes. Please come visit me again, Mother.”
Well, well she gave me information that would have checkmated me if I hadn’t known about it and I’m grateful for that.
Fine, I’ll give you a hug for your service… Stinky!! You stink of perfume!! You’re wearing too much perfume, old hag!!
“Your Majesty, this is Helck.”
Just after the Regent left, Helck le Duffe, the steward came to my room.
After the maids began to distance themselves from me, this man had gained the trust of the Regent, the Chancellor and a very small number of neutral aristocrats, and is now taking care of my personal affairs.
… I feel like I could trust him when I heard that, but he only has their trust for their ‘convenience’.
For example, my preferences.
Most aristocrats don’t have an audience with me now because I’m too young, but when I’m older, they’ll make their courtesy calls. They’ll need to know what I like and don’t like so they can prepare for that time.
Who can they ask about this exact information? That’s easy. They can just bribe the person who’s always with me.
So, this steward is selling my information and making a lot of money from their bribes.
I can always play the incompetent child emperor (or good puppet) because of him, but there’s nothing I can do about this now.
… For now, that is.
By the way, my maids have also decreased because of that old hag’s nit-picking. Not only did she fire those from the Chancellor’s faction, but she also fired those from her own faction without batting an eye. Maybe she doesn’t understand politics…
Anyway, I still don’t have any allies. If I let my guard down around just anyone, then there’s a big chance I’ll meet my bad ending (be assassinated).
I’d like the neutral aristocrats to help me if possible… but people make decisions based on whether or not it benefits them or their families. They can’t determine that with a young emperor who has yet to become an adult.
But my body still smells like perfume. Truthfully, this is the first time I learnt that there’s perfume in this world.
When was perfume first invented in my previous world? I might be able to measure the level of civilization if I had this knowledge… But that’s besides the point.
“Oh, Helck? Come in,” When I answered, the thin door opened and Helck came in.
Oh, the door to this room is double layered.
The space between the thick, soundproof outer door and the thin inner door is about the size of a closet. Apparently, it was the steward’s privilege to enter that far without the Emperor’s permission. Other aristocrats need to be escorted by the steward if they want to enter the outer door.
You should show me more respect if you’re going to make such strict rules.
The old hag? She’s been ignoring the rules ‘because she’s my mother’. She will probably be insulted through politics tomorrow.
“There is someone here to see you, would you like to meet him?”
Give me the name.
“Okay, let him come in.”
Well, since he’s not saying his name, it’s probably…
“Your Majesty, this is Karl.”
… the Chancellor.
Now, take a deep, deep breath…
“HELCK, HE’S TRYING TO KILL ME!!”
Shouting is tiring.
Ah, I’m talking in first person? When I’m with the old hag I call myself ‘Iboku’ and I use ‘Iyo at other times.
I’m trying my best to act like the ‘ideal Emperor (good puppet)’ like I’ve been taught at a young age, but I let my guard down when I’m in front of Mother and act like a child… is how I decided I would act.
I normally use Iboku anyway.
“Your Majesty, please may I have a word with you?”
“NO!! WHY’D YOU LET HIM IN!?!?”
Well, Helck let him in because I told him to.
“Your Majesty, that’s a misunderstanding.”
Oh? You spoke even though I didn’t speak to you or give you permission to speak.
“I don’t believe you! MOTHER TOLD ME!! She told me that you’re trying to kill me.”
“Your Majesty, that’s all a misunderstanding. My son and Lady Mary are only engaged to be married. Another kingdom can’t take over the Empire if Lady Mary were to marry into another kingdom, so as Chancellor, I acted out of concern for this Empire. Of course, they won’t have their marriage ceremony until you get married.”
… Weren’t you thinking of enthroning my aunt instead of me? Whether she’s engaged or married to your son, you’re going to be her guardian, so you will hold the real power and be the sole winner. If you kill me, you can hold the ceremony straight away by saying it’s ‘for the Empire’.
I won’t be fooled. I’ll act like I am though since I’m a baby!
Anyway, when did I bring that up?
… Helck. You were eavesdropping when that old hag came, weren’t you? So, you’re pretending to be in the neutral faction when you’re really in the Chancellor’s faction, aren’t you?
Ah, I see. You get less bribes and won’t be able to enjoy yourself as much if the Regent comes here again and again without going through you since Lord Aquicurl and those in the Regent faction can come see me through the Empress Dowager. He must have requested that the Regent and I be prevented from contacting each other for a while in exchange for giving the Chancellor information first.
So, will he criticise the Empress Dowager after this?
“Your Majesty, your mother is trying to take advantage of you! You can’t let her deceive you. Don’t forget that she had a child with her lover without ever seeing you!”
Why are you yelling at me? … Oh, I see. Children shrivel up when they’re yelled at, right? Then, I’ll pretend to be scared.
“But, but Mother said she loves me…”
“Your mother is currently having a tryst with her lover. Do you want to go and see?”
How sad that I have to do that.
“… Okay. I understand. I’ll believe you.”
“Haha. Thank you, I’m most grateful for that.”
I’ll make sure you know I’m weak.
“Are you on my side?”
“Oh… Your Majesty, this is so sad. Of course, I am. This Karl will always be on your side.”
… Liar. Look who’s talking.
The Regent didn’t come to my room for a while after that. Well, I guess she was criticised.
Instead, two more maids from the Regent faction were attached to me.