Translator: Adam Seacord
With this father’s confession in response to Mio, the group felt like they could sense at least a part of the King’s difficult situation. No matter how much power one held, a single person could never keep control of every aspect in life. No great leader has ever ruled without a fair share of resistance and pushback. King Regnas, especially, (despite his reputation among neighboring nations) only had enough smarts to pluck out some seeds that could sow disarray over fighting for the throne.
Perhaps because of Farlane’s wealth and stability, it’s underlying issues tended to remain largely under the surface. Even the problems that become apparent are often more dangerous to approach than leaving them alone. The various political and policing bodies, especially, were locked tight with regulations. The previous king deserves the credit for making it much more difficult for corrupt nobles to abuse the common people.
While the opposition’s rhetoric was disturbing, their actions (for the large part) followed their expectations. As such, the royal family had found it difficult to charge any of the opposing nobles with a serious crime. The people would forsake the law if their leaders do, and the current system of law (engineered by the previous king) surpassed even royalty. As a blowback to the tyranny of the King before him, the hurdles set for amending these laws were sky-high, making amendments almost impossible without a unanimous vote.
This situation had festered resentment in the top 1% of the country. This was especially a problem when the loopholes in these laws allowed the people who lost money in the previous King’s reform to work with the like of Barold and get away with ridiculous false accusations, making the lives of royalty severely more tiresome. In order to take care of these shenanigans, they would have to start by amending some laws, but the only damage at the moment was that the integrity of both the royal family and the nobles were falling into the ground, in a forced-suicide sort of way. And the opposition, of course, played their roles perfectly around messengers and guests from other nations, which made it even more awkward for the royal family to ask for foreign aid in the matter.
In light of the chain of recent events, Aearis had been left with all of the rippling damage from Farlane’s governing structure.
「But thanks to you, we are approaching a breakthrough in the series of issues that have been consuming us. I can not thank you enough.」
「We just kind of stumbled into all this ruckus, we’re only lendin’ a hand ’cus we wanna. Besides, this ain’t close to bein’ over. We just barely dodged the biggest… arrow.」
「True. Speaking of, do you have the all-purpose potion prepared for what’s ahead?」
「Done. We got enchantments on our clothes, so all we gotta do is drink ‘em.」
Hiroshi said, as he produced some small bottles. Each member from the party drank the entire bottle at the same time. Cringing at the bland (because of the Solmizen) but medicinal taste (from the other ingredients) each member of the party finished their coffee-creamer-sized vial.
「Now, we gotta look at our big kahuna.」
「I expect Katrina to be insulting in some way…」
「Any insults that can be seen as such are the least of our problems.」
Tatsuya declared, against the King. Of course, this wasn’t reassuring in the slightest, but the King was nonetheless somewhat relieved that, even though he had instructed them to do so, that they could be so frank with him.
「Then, I should excuse myself. I will see you later at the banquet.」
The king existed with solemnity, carrying out two vials of Hiroshi’s potion for each person. The second chapter of the opening act was about to begin.
Princess Katrina was simply… unhappy.
「Who do those buffoonish adventurers think they are!?」
She spat out with vigor, as she remembered what had happened at the banquet earlier. Dining with royalty was an honor beyond mere adventurers’ worth, she thought. Yet, they held their heads high, confident as ever.
If they had acted that way in their neighboring nation across Spirit Spire Mountain, the United Nations of Midas, she would have understood. But their entitled attitude towards the royal family of Farlane… How dare they?
What made matters worse for Katrina was that all of them barely looked at her, and only spoke to Layotte, Elena, and Aearis, in a very (albeit they attempted to conceal this) familiar manner.
Katrina could forgive them for listening to Layotte or Elena instead of her. Both of them were her superior, after all. What she would not stand for was them speaking to Aearis, ignoring what she was about to say. What’s worse, those peasants acted like they had personally known the Crown Prince for a decade!
While she kept her cool on the outside, she had desperately concealed her overwhelming rage. She could say, with certainty, that she had never been forced to endure so much self-restraint before in her life.
「And Layotte! Treating that no-name, peasant potion maker as if he was better than me!? Must he be reminded of his position as the Crown Prince of our great nation Farlane!?」
Katrina rambled on nonsense as she punched her pillow. Of course, anything she was saying now had no grounds, objectively speaking. In fact, Katrina had never even started a conversation for the entire duration of the banquet. Moreover, she had cleanly ignored a question that had come up in a conversation. In the first place, the royal family was the one with the familiar attitude, and the Japanese party had kept solemn etiquette. They knew how to behave in a public setting like this.
One could point all of this out, but to Katrina, who was rapidly losing touch with reality (at least internally) it would go in one ear and out the other.
「Barold! Can’t you get rid of those fools!?」
「Have patients, Princess Katrina.」
A man, whose presence was so non-existent that one might forget his face even as they looked right at, held back Katrina as she went on her enraged tirade. Just like the man who had attacked the party during the mission to return Aearis to the Temple, this man was utterly lacking in any sense of individuality.
「If we make a move now, we will be suspected, for sure. We are already under scrutiny for the incident with Princess Aearis.」
「The man who attacked Princess Aearis, allegedly, looked just like me.」
「What an outlandish accusation.」
Katrina replied, with a healthy dose of irony. Nodding, Barold continued. He didn’t let on that they were under scrutiny from the beginning, nor that he was confident that he could get away with it all using the loopholes of the law.
「Indeed. That being said, preconceptions can be a binding force. Once the seed of suspicion is sewn, it can be very difficult to get rid of it.」
Katrina nodded with a begrudging expression in response. From experience, she knew that she couldn’t refute. Of course, in most cases of when she considers herself a victim of wrongful preconceptions are largely due to her own part or entirely imagined.
「So, I think the best course of action is to stand back, and wait for them to trip. If you wish, I can manipulate the mindless crowd to push them into a corner, so they have no choice but to trip.」
「You’re right. It’s becoming more suffocating lately. Let’s not be too hasty. Barold, I’ll leave the details to you.」
「As you wish.」
Hearing Katrina so easily convinced to relinquish the operation to Barold, he couldn’t help but see her as easy prey.
True, Katrina was well-educated. Her appearance (“miraculous” as praised by those in and out of Farlane) may even surpass that of all of her sisters (save Aearis perhaps, whose physique was still developing) and her behavior in public made her come across as a wise woman, indeed. Still, if one were to ask if she was a competent member of royalty…? The answer was a firm no. The quality of one’s education guarantees no correlation to one’s character. Katrina was a prime example of the discrepancy. Worst of all, Katrina had chosen to ignore reality, once she saw that it contradicted the theoretical world she had learned. It was no wonder that her education was wasted on her.
Thanks for the new chapter!
Thanks for the chapter a sad day indeed.
Here: 「Have patients, Princess Katrina.」
Should be: patience
Thank you for the many chapters.