Chapter 12: Acting Baby
I decided to become the Emperor and I got an ally, but I forgot the first thing I need to do.
“What kind of ruler will I be?”
I need to decide this.
That’s why I’m going to set a goal.
I’m also a person. I have desires, the biggest of which… is called ambition.
My ambition is ‘to be remembered as a wise ruler by future generations’.
One day, when the wheels of history move forward and I’m spoken of as an ‘important person of the past’ ――― assuming that I have accomplished enough to become one ――― I can’t stand to be known as a ‘tyrant’ or ‘foolish ruler’. I have a little bit of pride about this.
I will set up a ‘good government’ to avoid that.
But the big question is ‘for who’? For example, a ‘pacifist’ King who doesn’t go to war with anyone is a wise ruler to other nations, but if he continues to be a pacifist while casting away the interest of his own nation, then he’s not a wise ruler to his nation.
I am the Emperor of an Empire. Therefore, I will establish a good government for this nation. I’m not afraid to destroy or tyrannise other nations in order to achieve this.
Be that as it may, I know the history of Earth from my previous life. Of course, I don’t know if this world will progress in the same way as that, but it will be very helpful. I can predict the future to some extent.
Although, I won’t be able to take advantage of this if I only look at immediate profit and prosperity.
I don’t intend to become like Alexander the Great, who built a world-famous empire in his lifetime, only to have it all fall apart when he died.
I don’t believe I have the talent to do that either.
I will lay down policies that will allow the Empire to prosper even after my death, avoid leaving unnecessary grudges and leave solutions for possible problems that the Empire might encounter in the future.
In other words, I will establish a good government that will allow the Empire to prosper for hundreds of years to come.
That’s my goal.
Whether it will actually last for hundreds of years is no concern of mine. It only takes one generation to destroy a nation, like the Empire right now.
Well anyway, in order to do this, I need to obtain real power. To gain real power, the Chancellor, the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies and the Regent… must be purged.
This purge must be accomplished in a single blow.
If any of them survives, then they will oppose me, and this nation will be divided. The people of the Empire will suffer if that happens.
Therefore, I first have to make the Chancellor and Regent factions fight each other, but only to the extent that doesn’t lead to civil war. Then, I’ll create my own force as much as possible while reducing the power on both sides.
The problem is that I have to do all this without being discovered. I’ll probably be assassinated immediately if I’m discovered.
Now is the time to lie low. I need to gain strength, secretly gain my own force and wipe out all of the corrupt nobles in a single sweep.
I’ll play the fool or puppet to accomplish that. I don’t care what they think of me right now.
I will only care about what the future generation will think of me.
Now then, I’m about to turn six. Now the problem is my… education.
By the way, I heard that the previous Emperor started receiving education when he was four years old. Mine is quite late compared to him. Well, I guess they don’t want to educate an Emperor who they want as their puppet. This is the same in any world.
But after the recent engagement fiasco, it was judged that ignorance is a bad thing… Apparently there were a lot of commotions involving the Belbe Kingdom.
In addition, apparently the neutral faction complained about my lack of education.
Then, the Regent faction, wanting to take this opportunity to regain power by getting the neutral faction on their side, declared that the Regent would teach me.
In response, the Chancellor’s faction also promised to start teaching me. Currently, they are arguing over who will teach what.
Don’t use people’s education as a tool for factional disputes.
Well, no matter which faction is in charge of what, they will only teach things that are convenient to them and distort information.
But I want enough knowledge to eventually rule this nation.
I wasn’t taught how to govern as a monarch in my previous life. First, I want to get a decent education, at least in one subject.
Therefore, I acted out my usual troublesome theatrics and called Count Palatine Vedett to my room.
“I’ll start receiving education soon, and it was agreed that Helck, the steward, would teach me history, right?”
“Yes, as I have reported to you last time.”
I also heard about me starting education soon from this crafty guy in front of me. Or rather, most of the information I’ve gotten lately has been through this man.
According to the last report he made, the emperor is taught ten subjects: language, arithmetic, history, religion, military studies, magic, art and culture, self-defence, politics and horse riding.
However, I will only be taught five: language, history, religion, arts and culture and horse riding.
I feel that they strongly want to keep me away from military power and political power.
… I know you want to make me a puppet, but aren’t you too obvious about it?
The other five subjects are a ‘wait-and-see’ situation. Well it will still be ‘eventually’ even a hundred years from now, so they’re not necessarily lying.
Of those five subjects, the Chancellor’s faction will teach religion and arts and culture, while language and horse riding will be taught by the Regent faction. And apparently history will be taught by Helck, the steward from the neutral faction.
This is what I heard from Count Palatine Vedett.
… I know it’s dangerous to completely rely on this man… but I don’t have anyone else to rely on.
Incidentally, the timing of the ‘complaints from the neutral faction’ suggests that this man was behind it. He must have decided that I will be useful after he spoke to me.
“The other subjects will also be taught how I previously reported to you.”
“I see. Then, I’ll have Helck step down. You’ll take his place.”
Apparently, the neutral faction had planned to only teach me the history of the Empire, but Helck is secretly connected to the Chancellor’s faction.
It’ll be annoying if he only taught me history that’s convenient for the Chancellor’s faction.
“I don’t mind… but are you sure about the other subjects?”
“I don’t care who teaches language, art or horse riding. Religion is… not worth taking seriously in the first place.”
Religion hadn’t been my cup of tea in my previous life either. I had always been sceptical about it.
“Understood… Do you need protection?”
“No. The Lords must also want to see how much they can use me.”
When I said that, Count Palatine smiled and said, “I’m afraid so.”
The opportunity came quickly. I saw Helck, the steward, and Lord Aquicurl speaking as I was walking.
They stopped talking and bowed their heads when they noticed me.
“What’s with you two? Do you get along?”
“Long time no see, Your Majesty.
I replied to the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies, who had spoken to me, “Hmm, it’s been a while. You did well with the Belbe Kingdom. I’m glad I have loyal subjects like you.”
… Oh no. I’m not sure if it’s because I said something I didn’t think I would, but I’m getting goosebumps.
Lord Aquicurl didn’t know I had broken out in goosebumps, and pretended to be moved, “Ooh! I’m grateful to hear you say that. I will continue persevering despite my old age for you, Your Majesty.”
No, I want you to go to the other side as soon as possible. His reaction was so loud and annoying. It’s a bit disappointing that this is my grandfather.
“You shouldn’t hold back and visit me more, since I can’t see Mother these days.”
“What?! Is that alright?!”
The Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies looked surprised, and the steward stood calmly next to him… Sorry, but your close relationship is over.
I stopped myself from smiling with a steel will and said to the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies, “It doesn’t really matter. The Chancellor came to my room even though I told him not to.”
He really did do that. That was when I realized that Helck was connected to the Chancellor’s faction.
You’re showing your true colours, Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies.
I continued before Helck could say anything, “I couldn’t do anything. Helck is close with the Chancellor. They often talk alone.”
This was a complete lie. I’ve never seen them talk together before. Even now, there are a lot of people around Lord Aquicurl, his guards, aristocrats, and maids… he’ll probably never be alone in this palace. I’m sure the Chancellor is the same.
If they want to talk alone, then they would have to do so in private.
“It’s a misunderstanding! Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies! I would never do such a thing!”
“What? Are you saying that I’m lying?! I haven’t forgotten! I haven’t forgotten about what happened on the day Mother told me to be careful of the Chancellor!!”
Helck probably wanted to deny that he and the Chancellor spoke alone, but I changed the subject. My goal today is to cause the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies to distrust Helck.
“That’s enough… Your Majesty, it’s offensive to doubt your words.”
He wouldn’t have believed what a child said, but it would have succeeded in arousing suspicion. Lord Aquicurl will naturally investigate to confirm this.
And there’s no doubt that this steward is connected to the Chancellor faction.
Helck will probably quieten down for a while. It’s not easy to dispel suspicion once it’s formed.
“I’ll go back. Chief of the Ministry of Ceremony, you need to get along with the Chancellor like Helck.”
Finally, I made a childish request for everyone to get along and left. I’ve never thought about making them get along though.
I will have a lot of trouble if they get along since I want to destroy both factions.
After that, history lessons were peacefully assigned to Count Palatine Vedett.