It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (37/76), enjoy~
“Brius Percus von Krone!”
The name that came out of her mouth was the head of the Krone family.
“You should also be punished right here!”
The words were delivered with exaggerated hand gestures and were heated.
“For all the evil you’ve done in Felzen, you’re partly to blame for this rebellion!”
In addition, the sixth princess, whom they thought was a kitten, suddenly bared her fangs. The noble lords who had underestimated her were so upset that they could not afford to interrupt her.
“Brius Percus von Krone! The loss you’ve brought to the Grantz Empire is immeasurable!”
Everyone was taken aback. Everyone stared in amazement at Liz, who had changed into a leopard.
“Your Majesty! Please give him a chance to atone for his sins. The people want it too!”
The words she said resolutely must have reached all of them.
(How would they react?)
When Hiro turned his gaze to the place where the central nobles were gathered, those who understood the meaning of the words were all staring at Liz with bitter faces. And the nobles who wish to see the Krone family fall have also changed their eyes and are looking at Liz with anticipation.
“…You’re just talking nonsense, little girl.”
“Dammit, I didn’t expect the… sixth princess to make a move on us.”
The central nobles were upset. It’s probably because the thing they were afraid of has happened. One of the central nobles stepped forward, perhaps hoping to break the negative flow.
“With all due respect, Your Majesty, there is no need to listen to her. Her words are incomprehensible as to why the Krone family should be punished for the failure of the western nobility to govern when the rebellion broke out in the Felzen region.”
Starting with his story, the central nobles came out in defense of the Krone family one after another.
“In the first place, if the Sixth Princess, Her Highness Celia Estrella, has been placed under house arrest, she should not be allowed to speak here. I think it would be better if she knew her place.”
“She must not have recovered from the pain of being mistreated as a prisoner of war. It would be better to let what she said go and give her a break… Oh, no, I’m sorry. She was already under house arrest.”
The central nobles mocked Liz one after another.
“If you’d just shut up and listen, you would understand! You don’t understand the kind heart of Her Highness, the Sixth Princess Celia Estrella! How rotten can you be?”
“There’s no point in saying anything to the central nobles whose only concern is lining their own pockets.”
And perhaps they couldn’t take it any longer; the eastern nobles seemed to have caught fire and cursed the central nobles.
“Hmph, aren’t the eastern nobles mistaken? Do you think you’re in a position to say anything to us since you’re the furthest away from Felzen?”
“It’s always the same with you central nobles. You’re all talk but no action. How can you be so high and mighty when you’re just hiding behind the Krone family?”
As the hall filled with noise, Hiro turned his attention to the head of the Krone family. He just closed his eyes quietly and didn’t seem to have any intention of controlling the situation.
The most important thing to remember is that, as one of the five great noble families, he has reigned at the top of the Grantz Empire for a long time, and he seems to have a calm face on the surface. As expected of a man who can’t catch a tail, he’s a good actor. Although he is probably boiling with anger inside…
After that, Hiro was suddenly curious about Stobel’s condition.
When Hiro gazed at Stobel, he noticed his gaze and gave him a deep smile. He is planning something. But it was completely unreadable from the expression on his face as he stood leisurely.
Stobel is making a creepy claim by slapping himself on the neck…
(Is he going to set something up in this situation…?)
No, it’s more like――
“I’ve heard that the Ministry of the Interior is receiving nothing but complaints about the central nobility. There are many people who have lost their homes and are migrating to the east. What do you and the central nobility think you’re doing to the people?”
“You don’t understand anything. If the capital were in the east, it would be filled with the complaints of the eastern nobles!”
As both sides were in non-negotiable positions, excitement and disgust created a complicated board. The situation had become so noisy and heated that it could have developed into a fistfight.
If left unchecked, the situation would become uncontrollable.
(For us, this is the way we want it to go… What about them?)
When he looked at the emperor, he frowned in annoyance.
With just one word, the nobles who had been arguing fell silent, unable to bear the pressure.
A cold wind blew through the quiet throne room. Everyone must have felt like a blade was being held to their throat. Everyone must have noticed that there was a hint of murder in the air, a stirring of irritated and uncontrollable emotions.
Although Hiro had suspected it for a long time, the emperor’s hand was wavering because of his emotional outburst. He could see that something invisible was being held in his hands.
(The five emperors of the Spirit Sword ― Wind Emperor… It’s been a long time.)
Hiro was convinced that the reason why the emperor kept his youthful appearance despite his age was because of the “blessings” of the “Wind Emperor.” If the emperor wanted to, he could turn the throne room into a sea of blood in an instant.
(Well… that’s about the extent of his power ― a power he can only boast about against ordinary people.)
After all, old age diminishes power. No matter how great the power is, it cannot stop the flow of time. One can only imagine what the emperor would have looked like in his prime, but he would have retained more power than he does now.
“Brius Percus von Krone, step forward.”
The emperor solemnly called out the name of the head of the Krone family.
The head of the Krone family left his followers, knelt down near Hiro and the others, and bowed his head. As expected of the head of one of the five great noble families. His calm demeanor gave a sense of comfort.
“Do you remember the name Booze von Krone?”
The existence of the Krone family is a hindrance to the emperor’s efforts to bring a new noble family to power. The emperor is happy to be in a situation where he can punish the Krone family, even though he pretends to be unconcerned. This could be sensed from the atmosphere the emperor wore.
“I am well aware of that. It is the name of the one who has been added to the ranks of the Krone family.”
In contrast, the head of the Krone family, a man who has been active in the Grantz Empire, has a calm face if you only look at his expression. But his eyes were colored with hatred for the emperor.
“I believe he was the Governor of Felzen. I wonder what happened to that person?”
“I’ve received various reports about Booze’s behavior. The most incriminating of these was the granting of inhumane permits to certain nobles to plunder. As a result, the royal capital left behind by the Felzen royal family has become a wreck, and the people have also grown resentful of the Grantz.”
“I see… That’s another thing that disgusts me as a human being.”
“Is that enough of an excuse?”
“I can’t speak for him, but I can’t judge him when he’s not here.”
And besides, the head of the Krone family continued.
“As you may know, he disappeared during the battle against the Felzen remnants, and we are unable to verify the facts. If he is not here to atone for his crimes, then…”
As if to interrupt the words of the head of the Krone family, the emperor’s hand moved in a horizontal line as if caressing the air. That gesture alone was enough to make him shut his mouth.
It’s not like he did anything special. It wasn’t that the power of the five emperors of the Spirit Sword had worked. It was just that he had to focus all of his nerves in order to stay conscious and withstand the pressure that the emperor had unleashed.
“Brius Percus von Krone.”
Like a torrential downpour, the murderous intent in the emperor’s voice pierced the head of the Krone family.
“The Krone family shall bear the full amount of Felzen’s reconstruction funds.”
The emperor’s words seemed to ease the discontent of the central nobility. If the damage is not to your own house, it is a fire on the other side of the river. Therefore, no one would argue about it.
The head of the Krone family also did not say anything unnecessary. If he tried to argue in vain here, he would not be able to halt the decline of his centripetal force. He probably thinks it’s time to be patient. In addition, the slight smile on his face suggests that he can afford to pay his bills with the resources he has accumulated.
“In addition, the three lands that were given to the Krone family, such as Heilung, Mithrite, and Grolle, were confiscated, and from now on, they will be administered under my direct control.”
The head of the Krone family also turned pale. All of them are the names of the lands that have supported the prosperity of the Krone family. An essential source of revenue ― in other words, the heart of the economy has been ripped out.
“W-wait, those lands have been in the family for generations…”
No matter what the means, the Krone family has brought a great deal of profit to the Grantz Empire to this day. Their achievements are immeasurable. In addition to that, they may have thought that the emperor would not be any more forceful because they are gathering troops by threats.
“Also, for the next one year, you are strictly ordered to pay sixty percent of your tax revenue to the Grantz Imperial Family.”
Ignoring the words of the head of the Krone family, the emperor gave further pursuit.
Everyone needs money.
The Krone family is a large noble family, one of the five major noble families, and they have many soldiers and are involved in a variety of businesses. If the tax revenue is taken away by 60%, it is as if they are being told to die.
(Haha, that’s good. That’s a pretty strong attack.)
The nobles were stunned by the harsh treatment, and the head of the Krone family was appalled. However, the head of the Krone family gradually began to understand, and his face began to turn bright red.
“Huh, you’ve got to be kidding me…”
The head of the Krone family fell on his face and expressed his anger.
It was not loud enough to reach the emperor’s ears, but it did reach Hiro’s ears.
(It’s about time… If it gets out of control, all the good opportunities will be wasted.)
Hiro decides that he should intervene in this situation.
(It’s the emperor’s turn next.)
Hiro twisted his mouth wildly and tried to say the sins of the emperor to make the scene even rougher.
“I would like you to hear what I have to say.”
It was not Hiro’s voice. Reacting to a voice that was not his, Hiro looked around. Eventually, he caught sight of a spot.
There stood the owner of the voice, the First Prince Stobel.
“Very well. I allow you.”
The emperor’s smile deepens. It was as if he had known what he would say before he said it, and he admitted it without any hesitation.
“The rebellion in Felzen is partly due to the fact that I have eradicated the Felzen royal family. It was also the result of my indifference to my relatives, as I could not contradict my grandfather’s wish for further development of the Krone family. That’s why I turned a blind eye to my grandfather’s misdeeds in Felzen, even though he welcomed Booze as one of his own.”
“Stobel, what are you talking about…?”
The head of the Krone family is looking at Stobel with a shocked look on his face.
(What… is he trying to do?)
Hiro was also struggling to understand what Stobel was saying and doing.
“I’m just as guilty as Brius Percus von Krone.”
There is no room for interrupting. No, it’s Hiro who will be blamed if he interrupts when he doesn’t even know what’s going on.
“I hereby declare that I will take responsibility for the series of incidents that occurred in Felzen and abdicate my right to succeed to the throne.”
For example, if you throw a stone on the surface of quiet water, it will create a ripple with a loud splash. It’s the same thing.
In the throne room, the stone released by Stobel caused the nobles to shout in surprise. However, the surprise was short-lived, and Stobel proceeded to speak without hesitation.
“When I reflect on the crimes I have committed, it would be a shame to be named alongside the emperors of the past. In order not to impede the progress of the Grantz Empire, I will gracefully step down.”
The first in line of succession to the throne left early. The next emperor was the focus of attention not only on the surrounding countries but also on the entire world. For the time being, this topic would color the world.
(What does it mean to give up the right to the throne…? Will Stobel gain anything from this?)
The story is unfolding fast. It was hard for him to keep up with the fast-changing situation. However, there is one thing that is certain.
There is no doubt that the emperor and Stobel had a meeting beforehand.
(…This is the situation I wanted, but it’s not going to turn out the way I wanted.)
Nevertheless, the Krone family has lost the Stobel name. This means that the Krone family will not be able to stop the decline in their centripetal force.
Above all, the treatment of the Krone family will undoubtedly lead to their downfall in both name and reality. In fact, the head of the Krone family was so shocked that he just stood there.
It would be difficult for him to recover from this.
Because the topic of Stobel’s resignation from the throne has captured the attention of all the noble lords.
The head of the Krone family has slipped off a cliff. Before he had time to put his hand anywhere, his body had fallen into the abyss.
(Thanks to that, my hands are sealed, too. This means I can’t pursue charges against the emperor. Maybe that’s what he was trying to do.)
If I say something unnecessary in this situation, all the blame could be directed at me.
(Well, it’s not all bad… but it’s still a problem.)
After calming down, Hiro felt the need to rethink his plan a bit. He would have to discuss it with Liz and Rosa later. He decided that holding the emperor accountable should be carried over to a later date.
Still, he didn’t expect Stobel to abandon his right to succeed to the throne.
(Sooner or later, I was going to have Stobel decline… Is there any point in stepping off the stage himself, or is he just trying to confuse us?)
As Hiro continues to ponder this, the emperor throws a quiet voice into the throne room.
“Very well. Your wishes have been heard. You will continue to serve me as a good and loyal vassal.”
With this, the faction of the Krone family will probably break away at once. In place of the Krone family, which has held the central nobility together for many years, the Mark family, a large noble family that has continued to accumulate power while remaining factionless, is sure to emerge.
“Then, this concludes the verdict.”
Some of the noble lords may not be convinced, but if Stobel had said it himself, there was no room for argument. Therefore, the stage comes to a close.
No matter whether the problem is resolved forcibly or whether there is still a big standoff.
“I’ll never forgive you, Stobel, and Emperor…”
Hiro did not miss the disturbing words muttered by the head of the Krone family.
(Not bad. We need to revise our plan, but it’s turning out the way… we want it to.)
Hiro put a deep smile on his face as he imagined the problems that would arise in the future.