Chapter 32: Two Major Nations on the Eastern Continent (Both Coming to an End)
The Heavenly Mountain Range is located almost at the centre of the eastern continent. As the name suggests, it is an important strategic position with a series of steep mountains that seem to reach the sky. It is therefore impossible for an army to cross this mountain range.
So, the history of this continent has always been divided into two passages: the ‘Heavenly East’ and the ‘Heavenly West’.
If the centre of the ‘Heavenly West’ is the ‘Empire’ then the centre of the ‘Heavenly East’ is the ‘Imperial Empire’ Different kanji, this Empire kanji is more referring to Japan. It was no exaggeration to say that the history of the eastern continent has progressed with these two great powers at its centre.
According to Count Palatine Vedett, there are certain things that the east and the west have in common. When the Lothar Empire collapsed, and the Bungdalto Empire was established, there was also a ‘dynasty change’ in the Imperial Empire at the same time. The current Imperial Empire is the ‘Teiwa Dynasty’.
And now that the Empire was collapsing, there seems to be a major movement in the Imperial Empire as well.
The Holy One Imperialist Church is the Imperial Empire’s state religion. The religious authority of this Holy One Imperialist Church was called the ‘Holy Guiding Order’, and it held a lot of authority. The Imperial Empire and the Holy One Imperialist Church could be said to have a ‘history of confrontation and cooperation between the Emperor and the Holy Guiding Order’.
However, the current dynasty, the Teiwa Dynasty, is a dynasty that has succeeded in greatly suppressing the authority of the ‘Holy Guiding Order’. Until then, a dynasty’s Emperor can only call themselves ‘Imperial Emperor’ only when they are recognised by the Holy Guiding Order. They could only call themselves emperors if the Holy Guiding Order hadn’t recognised them, which was regarded as weak and led to the lords distancing themselves from the emperor. The Teiwa Dynasty, which has suppressed the ‘authority of the Holy Guiding Order’ formed a stable power base and was steadily centralising their power to the extent that the… Empire was no match for them.
But of course, there were problems.
The clergy oversaw politics in the Imperial Empire until the Teiwa Dynasty. They had received the most advanced education from an early age at ‘guidance schools’, and unlike the feudalist aristocrats, the clergy was one with the Imperial Empire. After all, the Imperial Empire was the only nation that made the ‘Holy Imperialist’ a state religion. There was no fear of betrayal, and they were valued.
However, the Teiwa Dynasty kept them out of politics, believing that the ‘Holy Guiding Order’ would become more influential since the clergy was at the centre of politics. But they needed people to take charge of politics, so the aristocrats were appointed to this position.
Well, it’s hard to say which is better. The clergy may be at odds with the emperor, but they won’t betray the Imperial Empire. Aristocrats swear their allegiance to the emperor, but they may betray the Imperial Empire.
Now, the ‘Imperial Emperor’ of the Teiwa Dynasty, who had strengthened his power by excluding the clergy from politics, has had his power rapidly reduced in recent years. The reason was simple. It was because of the aristocrats who had been handling politics in place of the clergy… the so-called ‘Imperial Aristocrats’ have come into power and now threaten the authority of the Imperial Emperor.
And the current Chancellor… The representative of the ‘Imperial Aristocrats’ is said to have ‘more power than the Imperial Emperor’. In contrast, the current Imperial King, Helmut II, the 11th Emperor of the Teiwa Dynasty, is in a similar position to me.
Yes, he is a puppet.
Siegbelt Wendelin von Frentzen Orengau, the Chancellor who holds full authority in the palace, is the man who overthrew the previous Emperor. Since he was the person who put Helmut II on the throne, most of the real power is in his hands.
Helmut II has been afraid of the Chancellor ever since his accession to the throne. He feared that he would one day be taken off the throne like the previous Emperor.
In the midst of this, an incident occurred where the Chancellor and the ‘Holy Guiding Order’ were at odds with each other.
The banished former Emperor and his family had taken refuge under the Holy Imperialist Church. The Holy Guiding Order assisted them since they planned on having the clergy return to politics. They were secretly planning a coup d’état. The Chancellor sensed what they were planning on doing, so he burnt down the church and succeeded in preventing the coup d’état from happening.
Seeing this as an opportunity, Helmut II approached the Holy Guiding Order.
The incident that occurred because of this was ‘the scandal of the Imperial Emperor entering priesthood’.
One day, Helmut II suddenly declared that he would become a clergyman and secluded himself in the church. In the Imperial Empire, a clergyman cannot become an Imperial Emperor and vice versa. In effect, he was declaring his abdication.
If Helmut II was indeed renouncing the throne, another person would have to be the Imperial Emperor, but the local aristocrats had already married into the imperial family. So, what awaited them was a political battle between the ‘maternal relatives’.
Perhaps judging that this choice would be unfavourable, the Chancellor sent a messenger to Helmut II to persuade him from abdicating. In exchange for his return to the palace, Helmut II demanded that all the former Emperor’s relatives, including those who had not conspired a coup d’état and his younger brother, be killed. He also demanded for his ‘replacement’ puppet to be eliminated. He believed that he wouldn’t need to fear being thrown off the throne if he did this.
Naturally, the imperial family included the maternal relatives. Helmut’s demand was basically asking him to oppose them. But the local aristocrats weren’t united. Unlike the Empire which was ‘organised’ into two factions, the ‘power struggle’ among the imperial aristocrats seemed to be very chaotic.
This might be a harmful effect of centralisation. The lack of an ‘influential aristocrat’ prevented the factions from being united.
Well in any case, Siegbelt accepted the Imperial Emperor’s request. He summoned the former Emperor’s relatives to the palace and killed them on the spot.
Helmut II was relieved that he no longer had to worry about his own exile and the establishment of a new Emperor, so he withdrew his abdication. He returned to the palace.
That was the ‘great movement in the Imperial Empire’ that was reported by Count Palatine Vedett.
“So, Your Majesty, what do you make of this move?”
Fabio, who was outside the window, asked.
“I guess it’s lucky. The Empire won’t intervene for a while. The Imperial Empire will be stormy from now on.”
According to the report, the Imperial Empire supported the Theanabe Union at the time of its independence. Well, it seems that the Empire supports neighbouring nations when the Imperial Empire goes to war with them, so both are to blame. There has never been a time when these two major nations were on ‘good terms’ even during the time of the Lothar Empire.
“Really? Helmut II eliminated his own rivals and reduced the Chancellor’s power. Won’t real power return to him from now on?”
“The problem is where this ‘reduced influence’ will go.”
Unfortunately, I haven’t received any reports about Helmut II ‘taking charge of politics’. If anything, he’s ‘back to where he started’.
“First, the Chancellor ‘killed members of the imperial family without a good cause’. Even the aristocrats who have been his allies would distance themselves from him now. He will be isolated without a doubt.”
The Chancellor succeeded in his coup d’état because the former Emperor was his ‘adopted son’ and he ascended his own son to the throne. The reason for his coup d’état was to ‘return the throne to the rightful heir’.
But this time was different. It was foul play, and he had no great cause.
“What about the fact that Helmut II ordered it?”
“Do you think that’s a great cause? Doing what a puppet says? Besides, it was a verbal request.”
“… Putting aside the fact that he’s a puppet, the lack of evidence is damning.”
… You don’t have to be considerate just because I’m a puppet too, you know?
“The Imperial Empire will be divided between the Chancellor and the rest of the aristocrats.”
That was the same as losing control.
“And most importantly, the relations between Helmut II and the Church will deteriorate.”
“His relationship with the Holy Guiding Order? … But it seems that they were supporting Helmut II.”
Sure, the Holy Guiding Order played a part in him ‘entering priesthood’… but the question was whether they were involved in the ‘end’.
“Think about it, what is the Holy Guiding Order’s goal? Their goal is the political return of the Holy Imperialists. They lent him a hand for that purpose, but they got nothing in return and Helmut II returned to being a puppet in the palace. He returned to being a puppet for the Chancellor, the same person who had burnt down the Church.”
“Ah, I see. The Holy Guiding Order is disappointed in the current Imperial Emperor?”
In the end, what Helmut II did was superficial. The influence of the Chancellor has been reduced, but that reduced influence wasn’t held by Helmut II. The ‘Anti-Chancellor’ aristocrats would have gained that influence and the Holy Guiding Order would support them. Helmut II, who was still being shouldered by the Chancellor, was honestly speaking, digging himself into a grave. Maybe the aristocrats will find a blood relative of the former Emperor and support him… The Imperial Empire will be divided.
“By the way, what would you do if you were in the Imperial Emperor’s shoes?”
Hmm. I don’t really have a detailed understanding of the Imperial Empire… Well, I don’t even know what the situation is like there right now!
“At the very least, I can use the fact that the Chancellor killed the imperial family to get rid of him.”
“He can completely seize power that way… Why didn’t he do that?”
Yes, Helmut II’s plan this time wasn’t bad. One more step and he would have completely regained his political power. The aristocrats would not criticise him even if he got rid of the Chancellor as there is no evidence of him ‘ordering’ the murder… rather, they would praise him for getting rid of the Chancellor. And an ‘authoritative Imperial Emperor’ would be born in the Imperial Empire. Perhaps the Holy Guiding Order supported him in anticipation of this.
“There is a problem with this method. Remember, Helmut II did not cause this incident to regain his political power. He did it because he feared being banished. In other words, he never thought about ruling himself.”
In fact, there are a surprisingly large number of monarchs who think this way. Well, monarchs don’t have to use their heads, their subjects will do everything for them. That must make things easier.
I… don’t think I can ever become that kind of monarch.
Maybe I would have been able to become a monarch like that if I didn’t know any other life except for being a monarch. I could behave as I like, run away from what I must think about, leave the thinking… to others and enjoy the lavish life of a monarch.
But I have the memory of having lived as a normal citizen in my previous life. I have no intention of abandoning that and indulging in the pleasures of being a monarch. If I had to do such a thing, I would have left it all behind and become an adventurer in the northern continent.
“As the major nations decline, neighbouring nations move in to take advantage of the situation. I’m sure that their movements will accelerate in the future.”
A person is an adult at the age of 15 in this nation and it is ‘normal’ to have a coronation ceremony after this age… I wonder if I will make it to that age.
“I’m sure there’s not much time left. Work as hard as you can so you don’t die, Fabio.”
“Are you telling me not to spend my time like this? Understood.”
“… Somehow, you’ve become less formal in a good way.”
I really wish some close aide would learn from him.
“Do not worry, Your Majesty. You are the hope of my family… Of course, I will work to the bone for you.”
Fabio dissolved into the darkness of the night after imitating Timona’s voice and bowing in a theatrical way.
… Hope, you say?
I am different from Helmut II. I will surely regain real power and run this nation. I will achieve this even if I have to start wars, crush aristocrats or destroy other nations.
I will face the sacrifices that will be made and the blood that will be spilled as a result of this.
I don’t believe I can bear them all. There is no way that I alone can bear this sinful karma. So, when I die, I will go to hell or be reborn in a similar situation.
But even so, I will continue to sin as long as the people of the Empire need me.
For those who call me their hope and light.
|↑1||Different kanji, this Empire kanji is more referring to Japan|