Chapter 24: Cowardly Emperor
I turned 8. The Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies came back to the capital at the same time as if they had arranged it.
At first, I had thought that they had come to congratulate me… but that came after.
… No, I wouldn’t have been moved at all if they had just come to the capital to congratulate me. I was rather impressed with how low their loyalties are. There was nothing more disgusting than empty flattery.
The two came to the capital to discuss a certain plan which was ‘how to defeat the Theanabe Union’.
There was 1 Marquis and 4 Counts of the neutral faction who became independent to create the Theanabe Union. Their territory was so small that the fief was directly ruled by Duke Raul. I guess they want to ‘strike the enemy who is easy to strike’ rather than to remain vigilant against an invasion from the Ghafur Republic.
… I don’t think it’ll work out well for them.
It’s not as if two factions, who have been in political strife for years, can ‘work together to attack the enemy’.
Well, anyway, I don’t know whether they were fighting or criticising each other… or maybe they were even discussing this seriously, but there was always one topic that came up on the agenda.
‘Military expedition led by the Emperor’. They wanted to make the Emperor a ‘nominal commander-in-chief’ so that they could dispatch the army.
When I was told about this…
“Don’t want to!!”
I firmly refused.
“If Your Majesty is in command, then the morale of the army will rise, and victory will be certain.”
“I said I don’t want to! I don’t want to die.”
The Chancellor kept trying to persuade me, but I kept refusing. Well, I don’t mind going to the battlefield. As an Emperor, I have to see what the battlefield is like and what war is like with my own eyes.
I’ve never experienced war in my previous life. So, I need to learn about it before I can run a nation.
But this was different.
I will gain fame if I succeed in this military expedition. Naturally, that would make the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies wary of me. They might assassinate me immediately if I achieve a crushing victory.
So, what would happen if I lost? Not only would my life be in danger, but I would also have to be ‘responsible’ for losing the battle. Most importantly, a ‘monarch who is weak in battle’ will not be able to gain the support of the people.
Monarchs gauge the aristocrat’s emotions because aristocrats can force their citizens to ‘support the monarch’. Sometimes this was done by military force or by political power. Therefore, monarchs think that the people will be governed if they control the aristocrats.
As a result, the aristocrats gain more power to control the masses.
But if they can get the support of the people directly, then they can get by without the support of the aristocrats.
Though it is necessary to govern efficiently to gain the support of the people, bureaucrats or aristocrats are needed for that.
So, I didn’t care what the aristocrats thought of it. It’s not like I want to get rid of them. When I regain control of this nation, I can just use aristocrats who obey me.
But the people are different. My fate will be determined by whether or not I can gain their support when I take over the reins of power. A nation can’t be stable without the support of its people.
And I know from my previous life that no matter how bad a government is, they will gain a certain level of support if they are powerful. Putting it the other way, you won’t get support no matter how good your government is if you aren’t strong… Well, there are exceptions such as the weakest daimyo in Hitachi.
Anyway, I’d like to avoid participating in wars until I have actual power.
Since I have a death flag no matter if I win or lose.
“But Your Majesty.”
“I don’t want to! Absolutely not!!”
It was too suspicious that both the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies recommended this.
“Isn’t that enough, you two? His Majesty said he doesn’t want to. And what would you do if something happened to His Majesty on the battlefield?”
The old hag acted like my mother and said she was ‘speaking for her son’. Ack…
I might be fine losing my first battle in another nation, but if I lose my first battle in this nation, people might say I was the second coming of the 6th Emperor, Edward III.
I don’t care much about my reputation, but I don’t want to be like him. If there was a ‘ranking of incompetent monarchs of all time’ in the future, he would certainly be in the top 10.
He was the one who gave Lord Raul and Lord Aquicurl ‘a nation’s world’ of land, and he was also the one who ruined the Empire.
The reason why the Empire was now in such a dead-end situation… was almost mostly his fault.
The 6th Emperor, Edward III… was ridiculed as the ‘Palanquin Emperor’ during his reign. He ascended to the throne at the young age of 19. There are many people who go bad from obtaining power at a young age, but this man was horrible even before that.
It was said that he was a child who threw tantrums and took pleasure in tyrannising people. Then, he went wild after he discovered ‘sex’. His first child was born when he was 14 years old. He had forced himself on a maid. People didn’t believe her when the maid reported it, so they used a magic tool to see if she was lying, but it reacted. The situation came to light.
After that, he continued to force himself onto different maids. His only son, Edward IV, and his two sisters were born in the same year.
How? They all had different mothers. Three maids giving birth to royals at almost the same time could only be described as bizarre.
But he only had these four children. Officially, he had a sexually transmitted disease. Well, since he went wild, there were no more aristocrat daughters who were willing to be maids, so they were forced to bring in commoners and slaves as maids. It’s not unnatural for a sexually transmitted disease to be transferred to him from them.
The truth? … According to Count Palatine Vedett, ‘there’s a drug that prevents you from having children’.
Now then, his father, Charles II died when he was 19. He became the Emperor without any problems since he was the eldest son.
But because of all his problems his half-brother Charles-Peter, the second son of Charles II, started a rebellion.
And as a result of this rebellion, he was defeated.
The imperialists, who had lost the area around the capital, reconciled with Charles-Peter by making him their ‘co-ruler’. They tried to settle the rebellion. However, the day before Charles-Peter’s accession to the throne, Edward III assassinated his brother. The people who supported Charles-Peter were furious and rebelled once again, and Edward III was defeated once again.
He only did unnecessary things, interfered unnecessarily and executed generals who disobeyed him. He was a fool who couldn’t be described in one word. He was able to do all that because the Emperor had strong influence at that time.
Incidentally, the leaderless rebellion, ‘Peter’s Rebellion’ destroyed itself because of internal strife.
It shouldn’t have happened.
After that, he attacked the Teiwa Empire which was on the other side of the Heavenly Mountain Range and was badly defeated. Then, the Ghafur Republic invaded, and he was badly defeated. He couldn’t suppress the aristocrat’s dissatisfaction after this, so he appointed one of his younger brothers as ‘Lord Raul’ and threw the entire eastern part of the Empire at him. This led to the current Chancellor’s power.
Incidentally, they were still at war with the Teiwa Empire despite the truce.
Afterwards, he used the money he got from the sale of the knight peerage and other official titles to attack a small nation called Gayuhi but was defeated badly as the surrounding nations had him encircled. Instead of calling itself the ‘Grand Duchy Gayuhi’, the Gayuhi Kingdom received a large compensation from the Empire.
This left Edward III with no money again, so he introduced a salt monopoly and luxury tax, and invaded the Ghafur Republic. He lost again.
Was he acting out a gag?
Then, a rebellion broke out in Aquicurl, and he set out to crush the rebellion but was defeated.
… Seriously, was he acting out a gag?
When he couldn’t do anything else, he appointed his younger brother… the current Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies as ‘Duke Aquicurl’ and left everything to him. The result of that was the current power structure.
He once again ran out of money and started to blindly mintage. Of course, this method didn’t allow him to gain much money and only created inflation.
This was when his wicked nature began. He auctioned off the mintage since he couldn’t make money from it.
It was beyond foolishness and stupidity.
Lord Raul and Lord Aquicurl paid huge sums of money in a panic and managed to buy them. Even to this day, the gold mintage was owned by Lord Raul and the silver mintage was owned by Lord Aquicurl.
Both Lord Raul and Lord Aquicurl got hold of more authority than the Emperor since they had the power to mint money.
… I really take my hat off to Count Newnbal, Lord of Treasury, for somehow maintaining the status quo under such circumstances.
Now this idiot, who had gotten money from selling the mintage, invaded Aplada, which was adjacent to the southern part of the Empire and was badly defeated once again.
The bureaucracy, standing army, emperor’s authority and national treasury that the Empire had built up were all lost in his generation.
He died in the year 423. 40 years ago. What I’m trying to say is that people still remember this fool clearly.
Do you know why my father and the previous Emperor were so popular with the people? It was because they weren’t Edward III.
Anyway, if people think that I’ll be like Edward III, then it’ll be very difficult to get rid of that stigma. That was how strong of an impact Edward III had made.
I would have laughed at him if I wasn’t the Emperor, even though he wasn’t funny.
Anyway, I want to avoid going to war. I’ll take her interference as a good thing.
The two Lords returned to their fiefs the following month and dispatched their respective armies.
They also appointed a general from their own faction as the commander of their armies.
… Eh, two commanders, isn’t that a flag for them to completely lose? What are they thinking?
I’m glad I didn’t go. I’m not the ‘second coming of Edward III’, but I could have been killed in battle.
Well, the aristocrats are calling me the ‘Cowardly Emperor’ behind my back since I threw a tantrum because I didn’t want to participate in war, but who cares?
However, I didn’t know at that time that a certain person (with a father complex) would come to the palace because they heard about my disgraceful behaviour.