Chapter 19: In Front of the Grave
Baron Renan’s funeral was held quietly with a few relatives and acquaintances.
Timona refused my attendance. He said that it would look suspicious if I were to get involved anymore.
They believed that I threw a tantrum because they had imprisoned my favourite teacher, so they seem to believe that I was satisfied now that he has been released. Neither the Chancellor nor George V received any punishment.
… That was fine for now. For now.
But I was also glad I didn’t attend the funeral. I would have wanted to kill the clergy, no matter who they were or what he looked like when they were praying.
The Baron was now resting in the public cemetery for aristocrats in the palace. This was apparently in his will.
I’m sure I’ll keep coming to his grave whenever I get lost from now on.
I prayed in front of his grave.
This was normally Count Palatine’s tutor time, but not today. Perhaps he was being considerate in his own way.
My attendant, Timona, requested that I, his master, accompany him to his father’s grave, so I was finally able to visit the Baron’s grave. Timona was praying on his knees next to me, but it seemed that the Emperor wasn’t allowed to do this.
Things really didn’t go the way I had planned.
I had a vague idea as to why the Baron risked his life to criticise the church.
I noticed that there was magic activated in the Baron’s body when I touched him. It was probably earth magic.
Mages have mana in their bodies. I call that internal mana. I can release this mana outside of my body to activate magic, but most people probably can’t use it. It must have been some kind of abnormality that triggered the magic; an error that causes a part of his body to turn into dirt bit by bit.
Of course, I wanted to do something about it, but I couldn’t interfere with other people’s magic. It was an error, but it was also magic that Baron Renan was activating.
Even if I were to use a protective wall spell to forcibly counteract it, I don’t have medical knowledge, so I don’t know what organs I shouldn’t damage or what procedure I should take.
Even the court doctor who could use healing magic didn’t seem to have a way to interfere with the magic that was activated in his body.
That said, it wasn’t something that can be given a clear explanation.
I guess he believed it was better to die from an illness.
Still, I wanted him to live as long as possible.
“Your Majesty, it’s about time.”
Timona called out to me, and I left the Baron’s grave.
… I’m going to move forward, Baron.
After the Baron died, Timona transferred his title to a distant relative because of his age. Apparently, he wanted to continue being my attendant.
“Your Majesty, I will take my leave now.”
“Ah, yes. Good work…”
In the daytime, Timona takes classes with me or silently accompanies me when I skip class, and in the evening, he goes to Count Palatine’s palace to learn swordsmanship.
Publicly in the Aquicurl region, the ‘head attendant’ guarded their masters.
Based on this, Timona asked to learn martial arts. He recognised that he was the head attendant.
… I don’t want that even if he was just acting so in public.
He treated me politely as if he was a new person. Honestly, it was scary.
Speaking of change, there has been movement in the factions. George V, the head of the western sect church and younger brother of the Chancellor, didn’t lose his position but his influence was diminished considerably. He seemed dissatisfied with his older brother, and some in the Chancellor’s faction sympathised with him on this.
The faction may split if this continues, but the Chancellor was trying his best to prevent this. Day after day, the Chancellor would grant an aristocrat, who was probably close to George V, from his faction an audience with me, and each time this happened, he would try to get me to ‘praise’ them.
It was a hassle, so I followed the Chancellor’s lead and said what he wanted.
Thanks to that, I was being called the ‘Puppet Emperor’.
However, the Regent faction was a little different. Lord Aquicurl left the palace politics to his daughter, the Regent, and returned to his own fief.
Well, the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies are both Dukes, so they aren’t in the capital all year around. They come and go as often as needed.
But this time, the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies went back to his own fief and didn’t seem to come back for a while.
Perhaps because of this, there wasn’t much confusion in the Regent faction about the Regent’s return to politics. The Regent was in charge of the faction in the capital.
I guess my job was to adjust the balance. I’ve been meeting with the Regent at least once a day since the day I cried to her and took advantage of her. Well, I’ve been seeing the Chancellor even more than that. The Regent’s faction was gaining influence right now, and I didn’t want their influence to crush the Chancellor’s faction.
During all this, an aristocrat from the Chancellor’s faction talked about what was bothering him.
“If we don’t do something, we’ll end up like ‘Hakurea’s Folly’ all over again.”
It seemed like he was talking about the old hag.
I thought about asking Count Palatine about it, but a few days have passed since then.
Today, when I crawled into bed, there were two people in the attic for some reason.
There has only ever been one person up there until now. I wondered if another faction had invaded, but there was no sign of a battle.
I quickly put the maid to sleep and got out of bed, the Count Palatine came down from the ceiling without making a sound.
… I wouldn’t think he was an aristocrat from the way he carried himself. Who exactly was he?
“Is it urgent?”
Huh, then why are you here? … Well, he was probably here for something, but if it wasn’t urgent, then I’ll ask him what I want to ask.
“Count Palatine, I’ve heard something that’s been bothering me lately. What’s ‘Hakurea’s Folly’?”
“I see, you must have heard it from someone in the Chancellor’s faction. I’ll tell you about it.”
Hakurea was the Empress of the 3rd Emperor of the Later Giorus Dynasty.
The Later Giorus Dynasty was already on the decline, but the death of the 3rd Emperor at a young age accelerated that decline.
When he ascended to the throne, he killed all but one sibling who fought against him for the throne. He also didn’t have any children and died from an illness.
At this point, the rightful heir to the throne was Cardinal, Duke Bungdalto. He was the eldest son of the 3rd Emperor’s sister (who had already married into the Bungdalto tribe at the time of the succession dispute).
However, Empress Hakurea didn’t like the idea of a barbarian becoming emperor, so she ‘adopted’ her brother’s son and made him the 4th Emperor. He was very young, and it was obvious that Hakurea wanted to take control of politics.
At this point, many aristocrats abandoned Hakurea. Some of them surrendered to the Seldonal Dynasty while others went to Duke Bungdalto under the guise of ‘bringing reinforcements against the Ghafur’. Even so, Hakurea, who hated barbarians, didn’t ask the Cardinal for reinforcements and the Later Giorus Dynasty quickly fell to ruin.
All my questions about Emperor Cardinal and the Count Palatine House were cleared at once.
I guess they meant the Regent taking control of politics when they said, ‘we’ll end up like Hakurea’s Folly’. I wanted to tell them that it was okay since I was careful not to give her too much power, but I won’t.
… That person was annoying because he easily gets carried away.
“So, what do you want, Count Palatine?”
I had a bad feeling since he had clapped his hands on purpose.
“The Theanabe region in the northern frontier is showing signs of becoming independent.”
… I see. He was just telling me this, and not asking me to act.
“… Tell me more about that.”
It was a midnight extracurricular lesson. I have a feeling that I’ll be staying up all night.