Chapter 54: Final Tour
Year 467. I finally turned 12.
I’ve entered my growth period and have been growing taller and taller.
But nothing else has changed… the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies feel threatened by the Emperor who has become a ‘boy’. ‘Incenses’ have been offered to me recently. I’ve forgotten about what they said about its effect.
The Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies both gave me incenses and told me that they were rare.
… They’re obviously the kinds that I shouldn’t inhale. Count Palatine Vedett stopped me from inhaling them with a serious expression on his face. Don’t call these things incenses. Apologise to the real incenses.
Why do those scums only cooperate when they do ‘stupid things’ like this?
But it was certainly a quick way to weaken the Emperor. I acted like a Foolish Emperor because I didn’t want something like this to happen… or maybe they’ve grown tired of my tantrums.
Anyway, I can sense their ‘impatience’.
Now this dangerous ‘present’. Honestly, I want to dispose of it right away, but I can’t let the Chancellor and the Chief of the Ministry of Ceremonies know that I haven’t used it.
I had no choice but to burn it, but I have put several layers of Christel up to prevent the ingredients from getting into my body. It’s the end if I inhale it. Having a lot of layers of Christel up is just perfect for this.
Luckily, the aristocrats are aware of the danger of these ‘gifts’, so they rarely approach the Emperor’s room now.
The only one who comes is Helck, the steward. I don’t know what they told him to do, but he suddenly became motivated and started showing up more frequently these days… but the frequency of his visits is gradually decreasing as well. His eyes became vacant and dazed more often and it seems like he’s too lazy to do anything.
… Well, I have to let him inhale it since he came to check if I was using the ‘gift’. I had no choice.
… He used me as a source of income when I was a baby, so he shouldn’t have any complaints about being used as a guinea pig for my performance, right?
Enough about that now. I’ve been stuck in my room because of these ‘gifts’, partly because I have to act lazy because of these ‘gifts, but also because maintaining the barrier is tiring.
… I’m glad there’s magic in this world. Seriously.
My concern is that these ‘gifts’ were also given to Rosalia too… but they didn’t go that far.
It would become a diplomatic issue if people found out they gave this to Rosalia and if Rosalia and her kingdom know about these gifts then they might come to stop me from inhaling it. They would rather intervene by making sure Rosalia and I don’t contact each other.
And so, I was living a reclusive life.
It was only in the summer that I finally went outside for the first time in a long time for the third tour.
… Well, I did visit Vera Sylvia and stuff. I’m talking officially though.
The third tour was mainly to see Raul Dukedom because the first tour was ‘interrupted’ in the middle, even though you were the one who caused the ‘interruption’, Chancellor.
And next year, I’ll be going to Aquicurl Dukedom… Well, whatever.
There was a big difference between this tour and the previous tours, it was…
“Wait! You should get out and get some exercise! Don’t just stay in the carriage.”
Nadine du van Warung was with me.
At 11, she was starting to show composure befitting of her age… probably.
“It’s a hassle.”
“You’ll get fat if you stay still for too long!”
See, the way she invites me to go horseback riding has become gentler than before.
“Nadine, you shouldn’t force His Majesty to do things. Come, let’s go.”
Surprisingly, Rosalia and Nadine became good friends in an instant. They didn’t interact much in the palace, but they became close after riding in the carriage together for a day.
“If Onee-sama says so…”
I can’t believe that Nadine would come to love Rosalia like a sister. What kind of moves did Rosalia use…?
I told Rosalia about the ‘gifts’. I also told her that I was warding it off with my magic and about my performance as well, that’s why Rosalia won’t be riding in the small fortress on this tour. I might have to burn the incense in the carriage on the tour as well.
By the way, we won’t be passing through the southern part of the Empire where the Warung Dukedom is located on this tour. But Nadine followed me despite this… so this must mean that Lord Warung will probably come see his daughter in one of the Chancellor aristocrat’s fiefs. It wouldn’t be strange for him to ‘greet’ me if his daughter is with me.
But, well, it will definitely be under the watchful eye of the Chancellor and his aristocrats. It won’t be like when I spoke with the Gotilova and Atuturu chiefs.
Unlike the first tour, we left the capital and headed straight east. East of Count Pidly’s fief, where the capital is located, is Aphora Dukedom, a fief under the direct control of the Emperor.
To the north of Aphora Dukedom is Count Vadpo’s fief, which I passed through on my first tour.
Ah, speaking of Count Vadpo… he was accused of abandoning me and fleeing during the Ghafur cavalry attack and was forced into retirement after handing his title to his eldest son.
We will depart from Aphora Dukedom’s easternmost city, Kiama, and are scheduled to arrive at Leydra, a city in Count Veria’s fief, by the end of the day. Aphora Dukedom was chaotic since… It was governed by both the Chancellor and Regent factions. No one cares that it’s a fief under the direct control of the Emperor. It feels as if they’re telling me to relax in their fiefs.
“… Hmm? Count Palatine, is that a hill?”
I was curious about the scenery that I saw from the window of the carriage and whispered to Count Palatine, who had followed me on this tour and was running beside the carriage on his horse.
“It is. I believe it is called Chelan Hills. It is also the boundary that separates the Aphora Dukedom and Count Veria’s fief.”
“It’s big… Way bigger than the hill from that day.”
I was referring to the hills where we had engaged with the Ghafur cavalry. I heard there are a lot of hills from here to Raul Dukedom.
“According to heretic legend, it is the tomb of the last Emperor of ‘Hyperion Empire’.”
Leydra was located almost directly east of Kiama. Chelan Hills was directly located between these two cities, so the road didn’t go straight, instead it curved to the south of the hills.
This was definitely a strategic place. If we could hold this place, then we could control the road.
“The Emperor’s tomb, huh? That’s a bad omen…”
It’s placed in an ideal position and is big. It could be fortified and used as a base or used as a battlefield.
Count Palatine turned his gaze to me since I was whispering even quieter than before.
“Can you produce a detailed map of Chelan Hills and its surroundings?”
I see, then…
“We need water. If there’s a wall, then fix it, if not then see if you can dig one. If there’s no underground source of water then dig a hole for a reservoir and fill it back up, so it won’t be detected. Fabio and the others can be used for this task. I want you to give this your highest priority and be careful.”
The plan that I had been working on alone for so long was slowly taking shape. Only God will know if it will work or not, but will I be able to execute my plan?
I was finally able to see.
The Gotilova and Atuturu tribes, and the stalemate and weakening of the Chancellor and Regent factions. The forces of the two dukes which were divided between the Theanabe Union and the Ghafur Republic, and the poorly armed capital.
Honestly, it was already a good time for me to get into politics. The problem was the tactics I should use… but I’ve found the silver lining.
The only thing left… is to see if I can play my cards well when I meet with Lord Warung.