Chapter 236: Alliance
Since our decision to head to the Empire has already been set, even without a joint front with the Resistance, we won’t have any problem with crushing the imposter Lionel and the demonization research.
However, assuming if we have to cut down the Emperor, without quickly reinstating the next Emperor, it was clear to anyone that the Empire would fall into a dangerous condition.
Well originally, that was completely unrelated to me but I also heard from Lionel that the Empire is at war with the demons.
For that sake, there is an heir capable of rebuilding the Empire in front of my eyes and given that there is no problem with his personality, I would like him to continue the war with the demons.
That’s why I proposed a suggestion.
“Your Highness Albert, do you intend to once again fight against the Empire?”
“Why do you ask something like that?”
Maybe he was wary as I had suddenly dived into the main topic. However, I felt that this was not the place for negotiations so I just announced our aims directly.
“We are prepared to attack the Empire.”
Immediately after I said that, the previously friendly atmosphere turned into a tense one.
“Sensei, why are you planning to attack the Empire? The fact that the Empire is Sensei’s motherland shouldn’t have changed.”
His Highness Albert became slightly emotional as he drew closer to Lionel.
However, Lionel was not affected emotionally and he looked to me and entrusted everything to me.
“Your Highness Albert, I am the one speaking. Also, are you not becoming slightly too emotional?”
After I said that, His Highness Albert turned to look at me and asked me.
“Tch, why do you attack the Empire?”
While his face was slightly crimson from being chided, he asked for our reason for attacking the Empire.
“It’s because the people are being forcibly demonized, perhaps under the pressure by the Emperor or the Imposter General Sen’Oni. I cannot overlook that as a human being. As you two were also demonized, I believe you understand it as a fact ―”
” … I see. So you plan to launch an attack on the Empire to stop that ― to be honest, any person who plans to assault the Empire is not sane.”
As soon as I brought up the topic of demonization, His Highness Albert made an expression like he was deliberating on something before he disapproved of our strategy and stopped talking.
As if he has preparations that can aid our success in our plans. It was a manner of speech with nuances that invited me to ask for his suggestions.
However, I noticed that he intentionally paid close attention to phrase it with a meticulous choice of words such that his words can’t be taken as a promise.
Probably his aim was to give all kinds of reasons to bring the Resistance on board the plan once I ask for his suggestion.
Asking for suggestions is in a sense requesting for help.
In that sense, once that suggestion is accepted, no matter how trivial, it would mysteriously form a sense of having borrowed aid.
Maybe he learned such techniques in conversing from his royal studies.
However, as I have been contesting against Mr. Bazak who was even better at it than His Highness Albert, I was able to realize it with composure and circumvent his aims.
“Well, it would probably take extraordinary nerves. However, we plan to attack the Empire tomorrow at the earliest. Even if we end up fighting with demons in the Empire, I am certain that we have a good chance of winning.”
His Highness had calmed down for a while and had put up a slight poker face to show his composure but that collapsed in an instant and he showed an anxious look.
I guess he didn’t expect that it would be tomorrow.
“Yes. Just moments ago, Melfina-sama had already taught us that the fake Lionel was hiding underground so our goal has been further streamlined for us.”
His Highness Albert and Saintess Melfina shared nervous looks.
At any rate, if she is the Prophet Saintess then wouldn’t she be able to predict this? Maybe I’ll ask Lionel later why she is called the Prophet Saintess.
“Sage Luciel-sama, could you please stop bullying His Highness? Your Highness, even though Sage Luciel is young, he has been through many more battlefields that Your Highness. He would crush you before you can step into a discussion with him.”
As expected, it was Mr. Bazak who stepped in between myself and His Highness Albert.
I would get seriously tired when talking with him so I would have preferred not to. Nevertheless, since I have no choice but to do so, I braced my nerves again and spoke to Mr. Bazak.
“You can’t call this bullying. I have already decided to attack the Empire since the beginning.”
“Then, if for example, you cut down the Emperor, who do you plan to leave the management of the Empire to?”
See. He would definitely poke holes into our plans. But I will have to end this simply.
“My aim is only the demons, the demonization research, and the imposter Lionel. If the Emperor is unaware of the demonizations then we will leave the Empire. If the Emperor is behind it, we will cut him down. Regarding governance, I believe it is all right if a blood relative of the Emperor steps up.”
“Does Sage Luciel not consider ruling the Empire?”
This time he changed to a question to examine my intent but he probably asked the question to let His Highness hear if I have any interest in ruling the Empire.
“Why would I have to govern the Empire? Although if Lionel wishes to govern it, I will give him my full support ― ”
“Naturally, I have no such interest.”
It was written on Lionel’s face that he would absolutely hate that.
“Do, doesn’t that mean that you will leave the Empire’s political strife to its own devices?”
Mr. Bazak nodded multiple times to show that he was listening.
“Won’t the Empire think of retaliating against the Saint Schull Allied Nations?”
Now he asked a question to gauge our war potential.
“If they consider retaliating, the Empire will be announcing to the world that they conducted demonization on the people. Furthermore, if they go to war against the Saint Schull Allied Nations, I believe that the Rubruk Kingdom, Dwarf Kingdom and Ienith, these three countries will become their enemies too.”
Despite hesitating for a moment, I revealed one of the strategies I can come up with if it turns into a war with the Empire.
After I finished speaking, Mr. Bazak gave a smile and approached the side of His Highness Albert to persuade him.
“Your Highness, if we are to consider the future of the Empire, for this moment, please bow your head to Sage Luciel and request for his cooperation even if it will result in a huge debt.”
After His Highness heard Mr. Bazak, he immediately bowed his head to me.
“Sage Luciel, for the sake of returning the Empire to a strong and noble country that can protect its citizens, please give us your aid.”
His Highness Albert was convinced by Mr. Bazak and he immediately lowered his head to me.
Instead of holding some useless pride, it seemed like he had the resolve to lower his head countless times for the sake of the Empire.
“Sage Luciel-sama, General Lionel, please lend us your aid.”
Saintess Melfina also similarly asked for our cooperation.
Although it won’t pose a problem for us to assist them, there was something that didn’t really sit well with me.
That’s right. It felt as if it was a rigged game … without a doubt, it was Mr. Bazak who set this up.
I felt like I was rolling on the palm of his hand.
“I have something I want to ask Mr. Bazak, why do you wish to have our cooperation to the extent of making His Highness lower his head to me.”
“I sensed that Sage Luciel had already made preparations for the fight against the Empire and had already drawn clear goals for it. Furthermore, even though we have been to the Imperial Capital multiple times, to be honest, we would be annihilated before long so I felt that placing a bet on you was the best option.”
Even though his reasoning was rational, choosing to make His Highness Albert lower his head was abnormal after all.
“Then, have you been testing me here as well?”
When we came to this town, Lionel’s expression of shock when he saw Mr. Bazak should have told him that he has not been the Empire’s General for at least two years.
Thinking about it that way, the amount of trust he placed on me seemed a little unusual.
“Honestly speaking, I wanted to know why the guardian of the Empire, General Sen’Oni, chose to obey you.”
“You phrase it as if you have found out why?”
“No, I think that I will be able to find out as we move forward together.”
His easygoing attitude made it seem like he was just there to enjoy the conversation.
“I am curious, why is Mr. Bazak the adviser to His Highness Albert? If you were a general defeated by the Empire in the past, shouldn’t you be pleased to know the current situation of the Empire?”
“We’ve finally come to this question. Actually, I have a debt to these two.”
“Yes. After I was cut down by Lionel there, I thought that would be the end of my life but in fact, I didn’t die. However, when I woke up, my country was already ruined and I lost the place to return.”
That’s the common fate of an army general on the side that lost.
“I met His Highness Albert and Melfina-sama five years after that battle. The village I was indebted to was attacked by monsters and when I was fighting using magic, my magical power was nearing depletion and I was in a desperate situation.”
“So you mean they saved you then?”
“Yes. While they were young, they commanded the Imperial Soldiers to save the villages destroyed by the monsters. That’s why, rather than place my thanks on the Imperial Soldiers, I merely wish to return the favor I received from the two of them for saving my life.”
“I plan to assign him as the prime minister when we return to the Empire.”
His Highness Albert commented but Mr. Bazak only smiled and didn’t say anything regarding that.
While looking at their interaction, I told Lionel my thoughts and asked for his.
“Lionel, I wish to form a joint front with them but what do you think?”
“I have some thoughts about Bazak who attempted to measure Luciel-sama. However, if His Highness Albert took the throne, I believe he will be able to rebuild the Empire to its former dignity.”
Well, if it turned out the same as the corruption in the Church, it will all fall into the Principality of Blange’s plans and a lot of people will suffer for it. I also want to avoid that as much as possible.
I agreed with Lionel and decided to accept their request for cooperation.
” … If that’s the case, let’s compare the information we hold and the information you hold and start the strategy meeting to fight against the Empire.”
“Thank you very much.”
I still felt a slight feeling of discomfort looking at the deeply bowing Mr. Bazak but we began our strategy meeting.
Thank you for reading.