Chapter 52: Cleaning up the Chaos
The year ended, the new year, 466. Politics in the Empire has been stormy in the months between my return and today.
First, let me tell you about myself.
It seemed that the citizens of the capital looked favourably on the Emperor who won his first battle. The negative image they had of me as the ‘child of the former Crown Prince’ who died on the battlefield had been erased.
But the aristocrats weren’t particularly alarmed by this victory because there was a rumour spreading around them stating that I left the fighting to foreign tribes and hid and trembled at the back of the battlefield’. Well, I ordered Salomon to spread this rumour though.
The aristocrats weren’t wary of me, and the citizens saw me in a positive light. I believe I have settled into the ideal position.
Next, let me talk about the Chancellor and Regent factions.
These two factions blamed each other and pushed the blame to each other until I returned to the capital.
The Chancellor was blamed for the defection of the mercenaries he had hired and for the attack on the Emperor in his fief. The Chancellor was criticised for an aristocrat in his faction fleeing even though he had volunteered himself as a ‘guard’ and for his own suspicious activities in the capital during the few days the Emperor was missing.
These pointless arguments continued for some time after the Emperor returned to the capital and their political positions were facing imminent danger.
This situation was actually very bad for me. The aristocrats under their control wouldn’t come under the influence of the Emperor even if they were to lose their positions and most importantly, they might resort to force if they are driven into a corner (this could be in the form of assassination or rebellion).
So, I refused to meet with any of the aristocrats.
I did this under the pretence that the young Emperor, having experienced the fear of having his own life targeted, became suspicious and distrustful of the Chancellor, the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies and the other aristocrats.
This may seem like a disadvantageous move for the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies but it was a way for me to buy them both some time.
In other words, I was telling them to stop pushing the responsibility onto the other and destroy the evidence.
The Emperor would have no choice but to bring them to justice if evidence of their wrongdoings come to light, but the Emperor has no military power (for now) and couldn’t punish them. So, I believe it would be better to pretend it never happened.
The reputation of both sides has already been damaged. That’s enough. People say that a cornered rat will bite a cat.
But it wouldn’t be any fun to restore the situation to its original state without any problems, so I decided to harass them.
I made an exception to meet with only two people while I was cutting off communication with all aristocrats. The first was the old hag, whose political power had been reduced greatly by her own father and the other was the Chancellor’s brother, George V, the Great Leader of the Western Church.
In conclusion, the Chancellor was able to meet the Emperor through his brother, George V, and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies was able to meet the Emperor through the Regent. As a result, the Regent faction now has two leaders, the Regent and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies and the Chancellor’s faction could no longer ignore the Western Church.
The Chief of the Ministries of Ceremonies must be outraged by this. He had just reorganised the Regent faction to make himself as the leader to only have it revert to how it originally was. Serves you right!
The Chancellor’s faction was superior but now the split of power was 50/50.
This was because the Great Leader, who was supposed to increase the faction’s influence in place of the Chancellor, suddenly stopped.
I don’t know what happened, but something must have happened in the church. This was definitely the work of ‘said clergyman’. If he believes this is the right move to make right now, then I’ll leave it to him.
Thus, the politics of the Empire settled into a strange four-way situation with the Chancellor’s force, followed by the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies, then finally the Western Church.
It was like a powder keg that could ignite at any moment, but it was better to keep the fire burning.
The Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies, who were finally able to meet the Emperor, settled those series of events by saying ‘it appears that that was the Theanabe Union and the Republic of Ghafur’s foul attempt to cause chaos in the Empire’. The highlight of that sentence: it appears. What they said wasn’t a lie since they hadn’t outright said that this was an attempt by those nations, they were just saying ‘they think it was’.
This kind of false accusation and speculation which are prepared as fact was done in modern Earth as well. It was easy to make about 30 million people in the Empire believe this since this tactic was used on Earth to deceive 1.4 billion people.
Well, it was reasonable to include the name of both nations in their claims.
Both of these nations were at war with the Empire. So, it was unlikely that they hadn’t done anything at all.
So, the ‘unfortunate misunderstanding’ was resolved, and the young Emperor was furious at these two cowardly nations. He ordered the Chancellor to take out the Republic of Ghafur and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies to take out Theanabe Union.
Naturally, they were both furious that they had been taken advantage of, so they respectfully accepted the order and vowed to the Emperor that they would destroy their enemies. The two men returned to their respective fiefs to prepare their armies.
… What a stupid farce.
I didn’t expect either of them to seriously ‘subjugate’ their opponents but they both knew that the other would criticize them if they blatantly cut corners, so there will be some fighting going on.
That’s fine for now. It will cause some loss on both sides.
And after I returned to politics, I hit both nations hard.
I have a good reason for this.
The current Bungdalto Empire has seven nations adjacent to it. Of those, the Teiwa Dynasty and the Godiyon Kingdom in the east are close to the mountains so there was no need to move the border there. The problem was the two nations bothering the north and the three nations bothering the south.
These five nations have repeatedly invaded and plundered the Empire since they are after the Empire’s grain production. Not only are their respective fronts too vast, but they always attack in a pincer attack. Their attacks have weakened the Empire.
The Empire will always be at war if those sides aren’t stabilised.
This is why I must strike them. Destroying them was another matter, I just needed to damage them enough so that they won’t plunder the Empire anymore.
Count Palatine Vedett told me that the state policy has remained the same for generations (except for when that idiot ruled).
Ah, speaking of Count Palatine Vedett.
Defrott le Moissan, who claimed to be his son, is apparently his son. Count Palatine Vedett said that he left the family because his ideals were too different from his family’s. Count Palatine Vedett values the Lothar ‘bloodline’ but Defrott values the ‘nation’.
“He is willing to sacrifice you for the sake of the Empire. Please be careful,” Count Palatine said.
I can see now why I had to ‘flee with all my might’ and suddenly ‘meet with chiefs from foreign tribes’. Well, my personal thoughts align more with Defrott’s ideals.
He left us just before we entered the capital. Apparently, he was born blind but could see the distance between things by sensing faint mana. He left after saying, “I get tired when there are too many people around.”
“No, that man has a magical prosthetic eye, so he can live like a normal person.”
His own father said, so it must be true. And I also guessed why he didn’t want to follow me into the capital. It was because he didn’t want to meet his father. They are a troublesome father and son pair who only refer to each other as ‘that man’ or ‘him’.
… Well, not like I can say that about others.
I saw my mother as nothing more than a pawn to keep the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies in check and my mother’s first words to me when I returned was, “I’m glad you’re alright,” before she went on a rant about the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies. So, we aren’t a proper parent and child pair either…
By the way, I only received a “I’m glad you’re safe,” from Count Palatine Vedett after I returned to the capital. Well, we do have a business-like relationship so there wasn’t much to say other than that.
What surprised me was Nadine Warung. When I saw her, she cried and said, “Don’t make me worry, you idiot!”. I really made her worry. Ah, what a tsundere, I thought, but kept my mouth shut since I could read the room.
Vera-Sylvie cried too, and she even hugged me after she removed the bars from the window. How long has it been since she learnt how to remove the bars? I wondered, and she also wasn’t hiding the fact that she knew who I was anymore, but again, I could read the room, and didn’t say anything.
I’m not used to people crying for me, so I didn’t know how to react.
… I wondered if anyone cried for me when I died in my previous life.