Maseki Gurume – Vol 5 Chapter 9 Part 3

It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (94/115), enjoy~

ED: Lonely-matter



Part 3

 

In the afternoon, at Warren’s request, King Garland of Heim visited him. Garland looked uncomfortable, but since Elena and Tigre had asked him to do so, he was languidly on his way.

Unlike Tigre, who had already given up on much, Garland’s face still showed his determination.

As they waited to see what was going to be said, Lily appeared unexpectedly and distributed documents to all the attendees.

“Please take a look.”

Warren said, and everyone looked at the document.

The document was a finely colored map of the colorful continent of Ishtar. Some of the cities were marked with letters and numbers for and against.

“This is the result of a recent survey of the nobility regarding Ain-sama’s case.”

“…Elena, what is this?”

Tigre said, looking doubtful.

Then Elena closed her eyes and declared, “There can only be one.”

“Look at the port city of Magna. That area is particularly popular with the crown prince.”

The number of people in favor of it is over ninety percent of the total.

“And the royal capital, too. The popularity is especially high in areas closely related to the crown prince. The documents were shown to us here and now are…”

“You mean the support for the attack against Heim?”

“It seems so.”

“Kuh… H-hey! Are you going to attack my Heim? Are you planning to launch a preemptive attack against us, who have not attacked you, without adhering to the words of your first king?”

“Oh, you’ve suddenly changed the subject.”

Warren laughed and said that there was nothing unusual about it.

“We have no intention of launching a preemptive strike.”

“You’re lying!”

“I’m not lying. If we were to attack, it would be on the day of reckoning, of course.”

“…Reckoning?”

“Isn’t the fact that you broke the secret agreement enough of a reason?”

“W-we didn’t use force against you!”

“Hmm.”

Warren tilted his head as he looked at Tigre.

He suddenly turned his gaze to Elena, who was sitting next to Tigre.

“What do you think?”

He was a mean man to ask that question to her.

Elena resented the fact that he had entrusted her with the decision, although she would not have said it even if she had thought it. But there was no way she could not answer anything.

“I judge that it has nothing to do with force. But I’m sure that Ishtalika will make a different decision.”

“You are wise. Now, this survey does not reflect the opinion of His Majesty. In other words, it is only the opinion of myself and the nobles and not a guarantee of its contents.”

“That’s nonsense. Isn’t it just a threat?”

Garland said firmly, but Warren cornered him further.

“I’ll tell you about my authority to give orders. Basically, my authority is second only to the king or the crown prince. I can mobilize fleets, and I have the authority to organize them.”

“…Are you insane?”

“His Majesty the First’s words are very heavy. If the need arises, I can be the poison.”

“What does that mean, Prime Minister!”

Elena fought the urge to cover her ears as she stood near Garland, who had raised his voice. Warren is certainly not going to use force. But the current situation is that he uses pure force as a weapon to put pressure on Heim. It would resonate strongly with the Heim royal family, who were simple but did not listen to him.

“Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘poison,’ Elena-dono?”

“His Royal Highness the Crown Prince can detoxify it. With his authority and name, it doesn’t matter if the Prime Minister-dono is poisoned or not.”

“That’s a wonderful thing to say. You’re right.”

Warren still had a smile on his face.

“However, it is not impossible to settle the matter amicably.”

A moment of relief was given to Heim.

Garland and Tigre, who had suddenly regained their composure, looked pathetically at Elena.

‘I’ll leave everything to you, or you can deal with him’. It was clear that she was being told this, and she nodded back, fed up.

“May I ask your terms?”

“First of all, you must cut off all contact with us. This includes going through our friendly country Euro. However, it will be limited to official matters only and exclude any interaction between citizens.”

This was agreeable enough.

“Next, you will sign a non-aggression pact with Euro.”

“What will happen if Euro invades Heim?”

“We will leave it to you to deal with. If that were to happen, we in Ishtalika would have cut all ties with Euro.”

“I understand, but we’ll be on the back foot.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s none of our business.”

This is true, but it’s a problem they can’t just accept.

Seeing the unprecedented hard-line stance, Tigre and Garland do not open their mouths and leave it to Elena.

“Prime Minister-dono, if you break the first point──”

“It’s not an immediate use of force. But nothing is too much to ask. Yes, in that case, we will distribute our country’s stockpile to Euro and then to Birdland.”

“When you say stockpile, do you mean magic tools and weapons?”

If the stockpile is deliberately diverted to other countries such as Rockdam, it will be enough of a threat.

But Warren intends to release something even more deadly.

“It will be grain, including wheat. Our farmland is far more extensive than Heim’s territory, so naturally, we have stockpiles and surpluses. If we could sell this, it would be good business.”

The problem was that they would have to distribute it to Euro.

More money will flow into Euro before it is diverted to Birdland, and if it’s done right, it could double the national budget.

A wealthy nation with a strong military.

The elements for a nation to grow are in place. And Heim’s exports will inevitably take a big blow.

“We have not been involved in this business because we would not be impoverished without it. However, if the situation changes, that may be a possibility.”

There was little Elena could say to the relentless words.

“…..I hope it does not come to that.”

It sounded like she was being told that they could be destroyed without direct action.

She wanted to think it was a lie, but she wasn’t wrong. It was only logical that if other countries, except for Heim, became stronger, Heim’s status would fall in proportion. Until now, Heim had been the superior country of the continent, but they would not be able to behave in the same way as before.

It would be much more humiliating and worse than just being forced to use force.

“Well.”

This doesn’t mean that the terms are over──.

Warren said, “Finally.”

“The last thing I want is an apology.”

Garland’s body twitched at his words.

“A simple apology is still an apology. It would be better than nothing, so please write one and give it to our king.”

“You want me to apologize?”

“Is there any problem?”

“You want me to bow to your king! That’s what you’re asking me to do!”

“I don’t know why you are so upset. If you understand this, I suggest you comply.”

It’s no longer a situation where he can choose, and he’s in no position to choose.

Garland, who was made to understand this from the bottom of his heart, turned red all over his face, snorted, and lost his composure.

But he hadn’t forgotten his survival instincts.

After a few minutes of frustration, he came back to himself and answered in a shaky voice, “Tomorrow.”

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

At the same time, in a room in Princess Olivia.

“Hey Ain, what’s this paper about?”

“You know, Warren-san gave it to me this morning before he went to the meeting.”

The one that Krone had in her hand was the same one that Warren had taken to the main conference room.

When Krone saw it with the words “for” and “against” on it, she was curious about what the document was about and waited for a response from Ain.

“…I’m a little embarrassed. They have been asking around about whether it’s right or wrong to hasten my enthronement.”

“No wonder so many people in the royal capital and Magna were in favor.”

“I heard that Grandfather thinks it’s not so bad to abdicate and have some time to rest.”

“Hmm… You’re also very popular.”

When she said that, Krone leaned closer to Ain in a good mood. The two of them had been sitting on the sofa, and their bodies were so close together that it could be said that they were in close contact.

As well as her scent and her warmth, it was frightening to be complimented on his popularity.

“W-well, just like that!”

“Geez… You don’t have to be shy about it.”

“I’m not shy ── But why now?”

“Why, you ask?”

“The reason why I’m here is because of these documents. I don’t think it was necessary to bring it during this meeting, but I wonder if there was a reason.”

“I don’t know… Do you want to ask Warren-sama?”

“Hmm, I don’t know.”

There didn’t seem to be any particular reason, and Ain smiled at Krone. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the idle talk and waiting for Warren to return.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

“──Apologize.”

On the last day of the meeting, Garland finally spoke up to apologize.

He handed the letter to Sylvird with a humiliated look on his face.

“…I apologize.”

After Garland bowed his head, Tigre was next to offer his apologies. In his case, it was even more obvious than Garland’s, and his face was red and upturned.

For him, bowing down in Krone’s presence would be the most humiliating thing he could do. But it is necessary to settle everything, and it is inevitable for the Heim royal family to be a party to it.

“I accept your apology.”

Finally able to pat their chests, they slowly returned to their seats.

It was an exaggeration to say that they were just like newborn fawns, but their walk was so weak and faltering that it was hard to feel dignified.

After taking his seat, Tigre couldn’t give up and looked at Krone.

“He’s staring at you…”

A dry smile appeared on Ain’s face, and under the desk, Krone kicked Ain’s leg. She was unhappy that Ain was acting like a stranger, but she couldn’t say it out loud here, so she had no choice but to move her foot.

She’ll probably get a little bit of criticism later, but it’s cute.

“The non-aggression pact with Euro will be signed in Euro at some point.”

Elena said when the time was right.

“Yes. Our schedule will be communicated to you via Euro. Basically, you can consider the signing in Euro as our last interaction.”

Her daughter, Krone, replied in a clerical manner.

These are the words exchanged by a mother and daughter who haven’t seen each other for years. The royal knights of Ishtalika also felt the loneliness, and some of the knights of Heim even shed tears in their helmets.

Even if Krone is a noble who abandoned her country.

“After that, as Warren informed us, we will no longer be in communication.”

“Krone… are you sure you won’t be coming to Heim anymore?”

At least be respectful of the time and place, but it is also true that there is no opportunity to ask if she misses now.

“…I’m afraid that’s none of our business here.”

As for her, she thinks that a person who can keep a single-minded love is beautiful. In addition to the many problems with the process leading up to this moment, her feelings are not for Tigre.

If she doesn’t express her feelings to him, he won’t be convinced. That’s why Krone finally made up her mind to say the words.

“I can’t be your wife. I’m honored that you have feelings for me, but please forget about me.”

Tigre was stunned, even though he knew it was coming. He didn’t want to admit it, but this was a clear rejection.

Grint wanted to complain about the fact that Tigre had been told this, but he endured the humiliation by biting his lip, considering his position and the situation.

” ──And that concludes our meeting.”

As Krone said this, she turned her attention towards the leaders of Heim.

Garland then opened his mouth.

“Would you like to have one last battle?”

“No, thank you.”

“Your Marshal-dono and our general. Let the two of them show their fighting skills ── Hmm? What did you just say?”

“I said, no, thank you.”

“W-why?”

“I don’t see the need for it.”

This proposal was within the realm of the expected.

Krone and Warren had already decided how they would respond to the proposal and had decided to refuse it unless there were special circumstances. There was nothing to be gained by winning, and it would be a loss if Lloyd were injured.

“The marshal has an assignment immediately upon his return. Please understand.”

He could not hope for anymore if he were given a reason not to ask for anything.

Garland seemed to have forgotten the anger and fear he had felt earlier and shrugged his shoulders in a bored manner.

 

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