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Chapter 281 Part 1

Chapter 281: Even though I was called a scary child, and even prepared the stage and the scenario, for some reason, I was banned from participation. Part 1

Day 68 – Daytime, Souvenir Store Orphanage Branch.

The Merchant Confederation has finally backed off. There’s been no notice from the Confederation yet, but some merchants of the Confederation already caught wind of what was going on, and were trying to escape the Capital in droves, leading to the apprehension of a few of them.

According to the information obtained from the captured merchants, not only did the Confederation decide to withdraw, but there are also rumors of their merchant ships being sunk one after another. The Capital won’t receive any new shipments from the Confederation.

Therefore, the Capital has no choice but to open the gates and obtain its provision from the Kingdom. In other words, the Second Prince’s unlawful coup has failed. At the very least he will be stripped of his right of succession and will vanish from the main stage. A single souvenir store managed to liberate the Capital from the Confederation’s influence.

But the gates are yet to open— It’s not clear whether they are awaiting rescue from the Confederation, or are simply yet to accept the reality.

It seems they are going to show their last vain struggle, refusing to accept the situation, but it’s quite a nuisance for those who have to watch it. Moreover, they suggested that we should confiscate provisions from that souvenir store, of all things. I knew they were dimwitted, but it looks like they also don’t know when to quit.

「Were we to plunder provisions from that souvenir store, from then on and forever after, the Capital would not have anyone capable of supplying provisions from the outside. Or do you perhaps think that after being robbed in such a fashion the souvenir store will restock for the sake of the Capital?」

「「「Guuuh!… Then just levy it as an emergency tax. 」」」

Since they can’t see past their own noses, they end up trying to sever their last lifeline, but if anything, this lifeline is more of a noose prepared to hang the nobles by their necks.

「We are not a tax service. Not to mention that since the Frontier’s special territorial authority was recognized, it’s not liable to taxation from the Capital. And regardless of what sort of an order were to be issued, we, the Second Division, will not lay hands on the common folk, but were you to harm the citizens, the contract would become void, and we would arrest you. Those were the terms of our contract, correct?」

We already received the information that before they came with this suggestion to us, the military police attempted an attack on the store. And it’s also well known that all of the attackers disappeared.

The military police protecting the Second Prince’s Faction and the Confederation’s associates is close to being completely wiped out. It might be a good idea to crack open the heads of the nobles, who are yet to realize their defeat, to confirm what they actually have in there in place of brains.

The boy that honored us with the visit to the barracks earlier, had said the following about the nobles 『Their heads are stuffed with hopes and dreams while their eyes are shut close, so they can’t see anything aside from their fantasies and delusions, therefore it doesn’t matter what we say or do? I mean, they literally refuse to see their own unpleasant reality? People who can be convinced by talking, pretty much get it even without it being spelled out for them? It’s not like they are mistaken or misguided, they are just old men who refuse to accept the reality, and prefer to drown in convenient delusions and hopes, so talking to them is useless? Or rather, it’s pointless since they are old men?』

Refusing to face the reality they are still seeing dreams of taking over the Kingdom. Refusing to face the facts, they are still clinging to the vain hope of agreement with the Confederation. Even now, they are doing nothing, and instead keep fumbling around in their convenient delusions.

「If rationing stops the citizens will open the gates. You have to either open the gates on your own, or keep purchasing provisions from the souvenir store and distributing it to the people.」

The nobles that made their fortune by oppressing the people will have to bleed those riches to keep feeding those very people. The gates will swing open unless they keep throwing their capital at it, which means capital punishment for them, so they are getting desperate. What a marvelous, cunning, and vicious trap. It’s like handing the rope to the nobles, so they can strangle themselves on their own.

The discontent among the people was high ever since the blockade and the rationing started. Without the souvenir store, the Capital would’ve had at least some small skirmishes going on by now. But it looks like the rebellion is about to end without any bloodshed, with only the Confederation and the nobles having their wealth plundered.

What possibly can the nobles do now, after the military police vanished, and they are left with nothing aside from their status.

Their last struggle is the height of recklessness. There is no way they could possibly take that souvenir store with a meager force of barely 10,000 military police. Even we, the Second Division, wouldn’t be able to take down the souvenir store. Launching an assault on the slums means certain defeat. Even if one manages to actually break through, capturing the store protected by dozens of beautiful maidens of the Sword Princess class is not possible.

That itself can be considered a message from that boy, a declaration that a betrayal from the Second Division won’t be allowed.

Moreover, even the slums’ population is now armed and willing to risk their lives to protect that store. They are prepared to become a bulwark to protect that souvenir store that saved all those people living in the slums from unescapable poverty, and made it into a neighborhood where children’s laughter can be heard.

That’s why we definitely won’t allow them to lay hands on that place. We might risk our lives to protect it, but there is no scenario in which we would point our blade at the benefactors of the Kingdom.

Because our Second Division is a shield for the King who protects the people. For we who were entrusted with the defense and given the crest of the shield, raising our hands at the people would mean throwing away the pride of the illustrious Second Division, the Kingdom and Royal Family would lose all meaning to them.

「How it’s going?」

A number of skilled troops were assigned to guard the souvenir store. As pointless as it might be since it is unlikely they will ever get to do anything, there shouldn’t be an issue with us having some eyes there.

「It’s business as usual over there. A lively store filled with the laughter of women and children at all times. The store had everything that we were striving to protect.」

The people live in peace and the country protects them and their happiness. What the Kingdom couldn’t do despite taking shape exactly for that. Everything that we were about to lose is at that store.

Moreover, it’s a store directly connected to the Frontier, that was fighting, protecting and suffering for our sake all this time. To attack such a place one would have to be neither a soldier nor a noble, but a mere bandit. If seeing this does not invoke the urge to protect, then such a person is not needed in the military. At the very least, I absolutely wouldn’t allow such a person in the Second Division.

「To think one could take a capital city in such a brilliant way… Without a single drop of blood spilled nor any harm to the common people. Moreover, they even managed to deliver a huge blow to the Confederation without venturing there. To think they managed to cause enough damage to keep them from interfering with the Kingdom’s affairs, truly frightening. An army has no hope of defeating them, they are waging war on a higher level.」

「However… While we were saved, the Frontier is… The Frontier became a sacrifice again…」

While the First Prince was captured, it didn’t stop the nobles’ armies. In the end, the First Prince was nothing more than a figurehead, with the real power in the hands of the Church faction nobles. And at the moment, both the Frontier’s troops and the Kingdom’s army are in the Capital. The Frontier that was left defenseless to save the Capital is going to fall victim to their armies. Soldiers of the Third Division withdrew from the nobles’ army, but its high-ranking officers and scions of the noble houses forming the core of the faction have remained. Perhaps troops of the local nobles saw easy spoils there, since they flocked to join the nobles’ army en masse.

「There is no time for this. Although I understand that they can’t make it back in time, but to have Omui-sama go along with such a farce while the Frontier is under attack… Might as well take the Second Prince’s head with…」

「Urgent report! The gates were opened. General Shariceres, the Royal Guard under her command, Margrave Omui-sama, and Frontier troops have entered the Capital!」


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