Saturday, April 29, 2017

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 11 Chapter 3

Regis and Bastian
Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Darkdhaos, Seir K, Ruzenor
With Claude’s introduction, Regis got the chance to meet the man with strong connections within the courts.

On the outer fringe of the capital, there were many rows of civilian residences. After entering an alley and turning left and right, they reached a bar.

It was a building built from red bricks, several times larger than normal houses.

The sun was setting and it was almost time for dinner.

The buildings around it had closed their windows, and pedestrians on the streets were becoming sparse. Only this shop had its windows open, and the light from its gas lamp leaked out.

Above the entrance of the shop was the sign ‘Provence’.

This time, Regis, Franziska and Claude arrived here in a group.

This was the base of the liberals, people who detested nobles. Bringing the daughter of a Duke here might stir up all sorts of trouble. It had nothing to do with how equally Fanrine treats commoners. After all, not everyone could reach an understanding through dialogue.

Hence, she went back to the camp of Renard Pendu first. She needed to inform Jessica that Regis and Franziska might return later than expected.

As it was dangerous, Regis wanted Franziska to return too, but she still had the duty of being an escort and keeping an eye on Regis. ‘It might be dangerous’—— such a reason wouldn’t be enough to make her return.

In the end, Regis (in his female attire) was followed by Franziska and Claude, and the three of them sat on a couch.

There was a round table behind a screen, with two double seater couches facing one another.

As there were barrels, tiles and logs stacked around them, it gave an atmosphere of being messy.

Claude lit his smoke. He poured tobacco into a pipe, then lit it with the candle fire. The smoke spread out slowly.

In this era, tobacco was a luxury item. Other drugs were cheaper than it.

“My headache won’t go away if I don’t take a puff.”


“I sent a messenger in the afternoon… But I don’t know if he made contact successfully. Maybe we won’t get to meet this person today?”

“I will wait. I’ve already troubled the folks in the publishing company, the only thing I can do is wait here. The deadline will be in three days.”

Uwah~ Franziska stretched her back.

“So drowsy…”

“It’s fine for you to go back…”

“If I don’t bring Regina back with me, Sis will lecture me.”

“I will return. Because I need you all too.”

“Like I told you, consider the number of the mercenaries to be halved… Because I don’t trust you completely yet, understand?”

“I see. It can’t be helped then.”

The other side of the screen turned rowdy.

A short while later, a woman appeared.

She had a walking stick in hand. A shawl was draped over her dark blue blouse, and a long dress covered her feet.

She seemed older than Regis, but younger than Claude.

Her legs seemed to be weak as her steps were wobbly.

Her bundled brown hair hung over her chest.

“It’s been a while, Claude.”

“Yo, you seem really lively, Professeur!”

—— So this is Madame Morgane Bourgine, Regis thought.

She was just thirty odd years of age, but looked really dignified.

“Since that child came, I have been able to eat with ease. But the High Britannian cookings of the other child is still lacking.”

“Aren’t High Britannian dishes just fried fish and chips?”

“There’s more than that. But since those aren’t edible, I am teaching her Belgarian dishes for now.”

“Well then… Is the person you want to introduce to me here?”

“Ahh, the one we need to trouble is actually the student of the Professeur… He has close ties to the courts. However, I think Professeur will be interested in meeting this person too—— This is the strategist Regis d’Auric. Even though he is dressed like this.

“Pleased to meet you.”

Regis stood up and nodded politely.

Bourgine nodded in response.

“Oh… Your hobby surprised me though.”

“T-That’s not it!”

“Fufu, just kidding. There must be some reason behind this right? There are many people who frequent this place, so this happens frequently—— I already asked that child to come, he should be here soon. Just talk to him about the courts slowly.”

“Thank you very much.”

“It’s a rare chance to meet you, so can I speak with you a little?”

“Of course.”

Claude helped Bourgine onto the couch.

Even when seated, her back was really straight.

“Even though you are a commoner, you have deep connections with Prince Latreille and Princess Argentina, isn’t that a rare sight?”

“Ahh, speaking of which…”

By the way, Regis also played Chess and Rummy with the Fifth Princess Felicia.

He was used to it, so he didn’t give it much thought. But now that she mentioned it, he realized that no one around him had similar experience.

Regis was the only one who had acted in the capacity of staff officer in both Altina and Latreille’s camp.

“I am asking because you have such experience… What would the country they are striving for look like?”

“... Like Prince Latreille’s speech to the masses, his goal is to subjugate the surrounding nations and make the Empire great again. If he becomes Emperor, the neighbouring countries we are familiar with would become Imperial territory.”

“He is a hegemonist after all. Do you think he can pull it off?”

“I heard his plans in detail.”

“From the perspective of a strategist, do you think it can be done?”

“I am just a normal Admin Officer. Leaving that aside… If the Imperial Commanders are as competent as Field Marshall Latreille, that would be possible.”

“You are saying that the Empire is strong, but lacks the talented personnel?”

“It’s regrettable.”

What they indeed lacked wasn’t talent, but Regis didn’t probe further.

Bourgine continued:

“Well then, what’s Princess Argentina’s ideal? Because her mother is a commoner, word on the street is that she leads a simple lifestyle. And she got the support of many commoners because of that, but is it the truth?”

“... Her life isn’t that extravagant. She’s not exactly living like a commoner, but she doesn’t splurge on unnecessary parties. She would not hold back on buying art pieces and dresses, but is far from wasteful. Well, Prince Latreille is thrifty too. The two of them aren’t fools. And Princess Argentina’s aspiration is——”

Bourgine listened quietly.

Claude might seem unconcerned, but his eyes had the gleam of seriousness.

Franziska look like she was going to fall asleep.

Regis opened his mouth:

“—— The Princess’ goal is world peace.”

Bourgine tilted her head.

“Is that her stance in public? Or are you being serious?”

“There is no point in regurgitating a story meant for the public. The Princess is really aiming for world peace. Not just dreaming or hoping, but moving forward with that goal in mind. It’s the same for me too.”

Claude opened his eyes wide.

Bourgine lowered her head.

“... And world peace means…?”

“Pacifism. Living harmoniously with the neighbouring countries, and aiding whichever country gets invaded, and giving aid if one of the nations suffers a natural disaster.”

“That might be plausible… But is that what the Princess really thinks?”

“At least we are doing that. We won’t rob others of their possession, and Madame Bourgine isn’t someone who will seize the land of others either.”

“Yes… It’s true that going by my sense of morals—— people who bereave the territory of one’s neighbours are as deplorable as bandits.”

“Correct, military might is necessary, but using it to conquer the land of others sounds barbaric to me. It would be criticized by others, and make it hard to gain trust and friendships.”

“Isn’t that just an ideal?”

“Right, it is just ideology. But if this theory doesn’t hold, mankind probably would have gone extinct long ago.”

“Oh, so that’s how you think.”

“So far, wars are mainly fought with arrows and spears. When we say a unit had been wiped out, it actually meant that most of the soldiers had been routed with injuries, with less than half of them killed in action. But we are moving into an era of war with rifles now. There won’t be any chance to escape before attacks sharper than spears and further than arrows would be onto them. The term wiped out would be literal then… and the massacre of civilians would be more cruel and thorough than in the age of cavalries.”

Claude said with a choke:

“... Is this true?”

Bourgine nodded seriously.

“So you mean that right now, war is a competition on the battlefield, but future war would mean the utter destruction of the enemy?”

“That’s what I think. The improvement in the capability of rifles has reached a stunning level in just a few years. I predict that it would improve even further in the future. After all, there are already people developing models that can fire consecutive shots.”

“Consecutive shots?”

“Making loading automatic. The designs right now is impractical as it is too cumbersome to be carried by one man, but I think it is only a matter of time before it is miniaturized for one person to handle it. Using political terms to explain, that means we have to consider things that will happen even after our deaths.”

“Yes, you are right.”

Franziska who had been listening all this while sneered:

“Hmmp… It’s a fine ideal, but how many nations with a grudge against the Belgarian Empire do you think there are? After fighting against the surrounding nations for hundreds of years, and you want to work together with them now? Haha… If one nation attacks the Empire, the other countries would definitely join the attack.”

“Well, it is difficult to build alliance with other nations after all. There are elements of ideals involved, but I am not spouting empty dreams.”

“This is obviously impossible!”

“If everyone in power gave up on this and chose the path of war, mankind would already be extinct.”

“Hah? If the war rages on and on, the ones who lives in the end are the victors right?”

Regis shook his head.

“For example, the Empire with a population of 1 million won in the end… And a civil war broke out. If the side with 500 thousand won, and another civil war erupt…”

“Why are you so sure that will happen!?”

“Isn’t that a given? After all, the surviving group chose the option ‘war and pillage’.”

Franziska was at a loss for words.


“War and pillage—— Do you think a group that won after picking this option will suddenly change their directive? This have nothing to do with the governing system. The aging of the leaders, natural disasters and invention of new weapons… All these negative and positive factors are influencing them. And even without interference from these factors… war will still erupt. Rifles will kill their enemy.”

“... Hmm.”

“The ones who live will be the victors. And since they won, there is no reason to change their thinking. Because they have a stranglehold on wealth. One million becomes 500 thousand, half that to 250 thousand… The population will gradually decline. It is clear what is the endpoint of hegemonism. Those who chose war with the excuse ‘we can’t survive if we don’t fight’, will only have one future.”

“A-And what is that?”

“If mankind don’t realize that we can’t keep fighting wars, in time, they will lose civilization, and it will be too late. Would the final moments be an apocalypse, or attack by feral beasts…? I don’t know how it would end, but it is inevitable. No, maybe… maybe we will devolve into animals that ‘once had civilization’.”

“Aren’t you thinking too much?”

“This isn’t my imagination though. There are examples of species going extinct in the past because they couldn’t adapt to their environment. There are numerous cases of countries weakening due to civil war and getting destroyed by other nations. You probably know that too.”

Franziska was born in the Germanian Federation. Civil wars broke out there frequently, and with them came the falling and founding of nations.

If they continued warring among themselves, and even incorporated rifles in their warfare, it won’t be long before the Germanian Federation falls—— Regis thought.

He said firmly:

“Those who support hegemonism are completely clueless to what moving into the era of Rifle warfare means. Even if they keep scoring victories, what awaits them is just a throne over a kingdom scattered with bones.”

Franziska couldn’t say anything.

Bourgine nodded.

“I have not seen the new rifles used by the Kingdom of High Britannia. But since you said so, they must be worthy of your evaluation.”

“High Britannia has yet to unleash the full potential of the new rifles.”

“Is that so? I heard the Imperial forces lost a lot of men.”

“We were lucky. If we had encountered an opponent who could use rifles more efficiently, there would be even more casualties. Maybe the capital would have fallen.”

Claude wiped the sweat on his brows.

“Thank god you are not a High Britannian.”

“I think their commander already noticed… But he had no choice but to follow the Queen’s sense of aesthetic.”

Ugh, Claude leaned forth.

“Are rifles really that powerful?”

“Even a child can kill a knight by pulling the trigger. There is a need to review our understanding of war.”


His shoulders kept quivering.

The other side of the screen turned noisy.

Claude looked in that direction.

“Is that the student of the Professeur? Hmm? No… This is…”

The angry shouts of men, sounds of metal and screams.

Franziska stood up and immediately took out the short crossbow from her bag.

“That’s the sound of armour!”

After clicking his tongue, Claude stood up too.

He reached for the back of his waist and pulled out a dagger.

The screen was kicked down.


They all wore black armour. There were ten… No, twenty of them…?

“Found it!”

—— What!? They aren’t the Imperial Guards or the First Army!?

Regis had never seen this armour. However, the emblems of the Empire were graphed on them, so they should be regular soldiers.

The leader of the troopers stared at them with sharp eyes, his lips twitched.

“Well well… We hit the jackpot huh?”

He was a man with a sharp nose. He was short and didn’t wear armour, but the chest of his uniform was decorated with medals and gems. His eyes were as narrow as a fox.

Regis remembered this man.

He was the inspector who bought the orders letter to attack Fort Volks 8 months ago.

When he attempted to assault Clarisse, Regis ran into him. In the end, the crisis was averted thanks to Eric and Altina…

“Inspector Becker!?”

Regis blurted out unconsciously.

That man glared at him.

“Ah? What, a woman…? Hmmp, have I seen you somewhere before? And I am not just an inspector anymore, but the Brigade Commander of the Public Security Corps!”

“What, impossible… Didn’t you get prosecuted for attempted rape and soliciting for bribery…!?”

“Hah? I am the nephew of Chief Chamberlain Beclard! The second son of a Marquis family! Small matters that happened during my tour of inspection won’t bring me down!”

“... You weren’t tried for your crimes?”

“How dare a plebeian like you talk to me so arrogantly. Hey, seize her! But don’t kill her alright? Be careful not to scratch her face.”

The soldiers in black armour closed in with their swords in hand.

The blades were bloodied.

Bourgine admonished him sternly:
“The lot of you! Did you cut down the people here!?”

“Hah! I have gotten wind of rebels gathering in this bar. I am merely doing my part in keeping the peace inside the capital.”

“How could this be… not even a trial!?”

“I am the law! If you don’t like it, then file a complaint! However, that’s only if you are still alive tomorrow!”

A soldier in black armour reported to Becker:

“Brigade Commander Sir, that is Bourgine!”

“Is that so, kill her!”

“Huh!? But… The minister say we have to apprehend…”

“Didn’t you hear what I said!? How can we let it go to trial!? Dead people won’t complain, run or rebuke me! Isn’t that a model citizen!?”

“Y-Yes Sir!”

“Good, turn her into a model citizen!”

The soldiers roared. As if this was a battlefield. However, Regis didn’t have any troops with him.

Claude rushed forth to protect Bourgine.

“Run! You can’t die in a place like this, Professeur!”

Becker ordered:

“Don’t let her escape! If she gets away, all of you will be lashed!”

The soldiers charged. This place was cramped with no place to run. Not even a window to jump out from.

—— We will die if this goes on!

Regis yelled:

“Let’s make a deal!”

If he stalled for time…

Becker roared:

“Ignore him!”

It seemed that the same tactic won’t work again.

But the soldiers were different. They were a little hesitant.

Regis didn’t give up.

“Are you all sure about this!? The Brigade Commander might be a noble, but do you think he can protect his subordinates!? Why do you think the Minister issued the order directly in your presence!? You really think ignoring the order to apprehend Madame Bourgine is a good idea!?”

“Don’t speak nonsense! I ordered you to kill, so go kill her! Whoever defies me is also a rebel! Execute them too!”

Maybe Becker really killed his subordinates before.

The soldiers only hesitated momentarily.

And then they followed their orders and raised their swords.

—— It’s no good huh.

The situation was too terrible. There wasn’t any tactics he could use to buy time. After the soldiers heard Becker’s words, there wasn’t even room for negotiation.

Chink—— The soft metallic sound from a short crossbow.

A bolt fired from so close pierced the neck of a black armour trooper.


“The only way is to fight then!”

Franziska shouted.

She shot in quick succession as if she had just woken from her slumber, felling three men immediately. As expected of a mercenary from Renard Pendu.

But the number of soldiers charging in was too many.

They were before them in no time.

A sword thrust forward.

She dodged the first attack.

“Ugh…!? I won't be taken down by such a dull-witted sword!”


Three soldiers slashed at her at the same time next. They seemed to be well trained, leaving no room to evade.

Franziska blocked one attack with her short crossbow. With the sound of twisting metal, the bowstring snapped. The delicate frame broke.

It couldn’t even be used to block now.

Her feet hit the couch. It was just too cramp.

A slash by a soldier—— Cut into Franziska’s flank.


Her thin body flew into the air.

And rolled onto the floor.

“~~~!? Ugh… Bweahhh…!!”

She spewed out the red fluid gushing out from her throat. The floor was dyed red from blood.

But Regis remained stiff on the couch.

The soldiers raised their swords again.

This time, they closed in on Claude and Bourgine.


With just his dagger, he probably couldn’t even stall them.

Becker ordered:

“Kill that man too! He probably is rebel scum anyway!”

“You bastard!”

“S-Stop it! You got the wrong person!”

Regis opened his arms.

But the soldiers wouldn’t stop.

The blades slashed at Bourgine and Claude.

Something leapt over the heads of the soldiers.

For an instant, it seemed to be a beast of some kind. The shadow that landed swung his short sword at the same time.

Blood splattered.

The black armoured soldier’s sword—— fell to the ground, with his hand still holding the blade.

A young man with brown hair landed before Claude and Bourgine.

“Phew~... What’s going on? Leaving apprehension aside, isn’t it strange for this to devolve into murder?”

He had glasses made with smoked crystals—— Sunglasses.

And a short sword in hand.

The entire blade looked like an elongated triangle. It was about 4Pa (30cm) in length.

It was double bladed, but as thin as paper.

Regis didn’t see the actual item before, but saw sketches of it.

—— Is that Vite Espace Trois!?

In that case this person is…

Bourgine said:

“You are reliable as usual, Bastian.”

“I should be apologizing for being late. If I realized the commotion earlier… Ehh… That is!?”

Bastian opened his eyes wide as he looked at Franziska who was lying on the floor.

“You are Fran!?”


She lifted her head with a groan.

With only one eye opened.

“... Ah? Bastian…?”

“What are you doing here!? Ah, no, leave that for later! I will settle this right now, hang in there! Don’t die on me now!”

He said as he removed his sunglasses.

He glared at the soldiers with his crimson eyes.

With his crimson eyes which only the royals of Belgarian possessed in plain view, he said——

“I am the third prince of Belgaria, Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria! Why are you pointing your blades at Professeur Bourgine? And you even hurt my friend?”

The black armoured troopers took one step back.

Becker roared at them:

“Imbeciles! Why would a Prince appear in a place like this!? Imposter! That imposter is definitely disrupting the peace in the Empire! Kill him! Make sure he is dead! If you don’t want to die, kill him!”

“Ah? I heard Grandpa say that the Public Security Corps is being formed. I thought it would take some time, but they can already be deployed huh.”

The soldiers were hesitant, but just like that time with Regis just now—— they were pressured by Becker’s words and closed in with their swords.

Bastian took a light breath.

“I’m sorry, but when it is time to protect… I won’t hold back.”

His body moved for a moment. Regis didn’t understand what he was doing.

The three attacking soldiers fell at the same time.

Blood sprouted from the gaps of the armour at their waist.

The soldiers behind them gasped.

Bastian brushed the short sword that was stained with blood.

“... Bro… is faster than this. So, I… have to be even faster. I need to be faster.”


Becker kicked the back of a trembling trooper.

“Why did you retreat without orders, you trash!”

“B-Brigade Commander!?”

The soldiers wailed.

Becker was holding a handgun.

He pointed it at Bastian.

“Even if you are a royal… it’s all the same if you are dead!”

“... Are you serious about that?”

Ha! Becker’s grin was so wide it almost tore his face in two. He glared with his bloodshot eyes.

He pulled the trigger with his right hand’s index finger.

Splat, a piece of meat fell to the ground.

The gun remained silent.


Becker looked down, then screamed immediately. The thing on the floor was his index finger.

“Hyaaahh~~!? Fin~~~~ ger~~~!? My… Finger~!?”

“It’s better to hear your statement in court. Let me say this first—— Don’t even think of doing anything stupid. You will end up worse than that wound. If you pick up any guns or blades, I will aim for your heart next.”


Bastian seemed to have thrown a knife with his other hand.

Regis couldn’t even see his throwing motion, much less what he threw.

He only knew that a knife hit Becker’s hand.

And his finger fell off.

Judging from these facts, Bastian was the one who threw it—— he could only conclude that.

Bastian said to the soldiers from the Public Security Corps:

“I think all the problems so far have been caused by the commander. But if you want to continue to fight, I won’t forgive you. What say you?”

Clank, a black armoured soldier toss his sword onto the ground.

The other soldiers followed suit one by one.

They knelt down with their helmets off, and lowered their heads.

“Your Highness, forgive us! W-We…”

“It’s fine if you understand. Throw that moron into an isolation cell in the Military Affairs Ministry. Let my brother and the Minister determine his crimes. Trying to murder innocent citizens is making a mockery of the law.”

“That… That person Bourgine over there, might be a rebel…”

“Is there any proof? Just because she is a liberal? Because she gave a speech in the plaza in front of the palace? None of this is against the law.”

“W-We are not sure of the details either…”

“If you don’t want the nation to fall apart, then do your own research and form your own opinions. Enough, go. I am busy here.”

The soldiers bowed deeply, then carried Becker who was screaming “It hurts it hurts’ out and left.

Franziska was placed onto the couch, and her clothes removed.

Her clothes were torn at the waist, but the chainmail under it still held.

Because she jumped to soften the impact of the blow, she managed to minimize her injury.

Regis touched Franziska’s sides.

There was a large bruise stretched over it.

Her face twisted from the pain.


“Answer me by nodding or shaking your head. Does it hurt when you breath? Do you feel nauseous, any ringing in your ears? Alright then, does the inside of your abdomen hurts? Here? Here? What about here?”


“Ah, looks like this is the part that hurts. Hmm… Two broken ribs. You will need to see a doctor, but you will live. You puked blood because the impact hurt your stomach. You will need time to recuperate. Just drink soup for now.”

“... Ugh… That’s my own problem…”

“It’s great that you survived. Thank you very much for protecting me.”

Regis held her hand tightly.

Franziska clicked her tongue. But she didn’t shake away his hand.

“... Is that true?”


“Was I… of use? Will big bro… praise me…?”

“I don’t know what he thinks, but both of us are still alive. This is definitely to the Mercenary King’s advantage.”

“... Is that so. That’s good then…”

“It would be hard to sleep because of the pain, but still try to lie down and rest. I will get the doctor.”


Nodding lightly, she closed her eyes and clenched her teeth to endure the pain.

The shop owner called for a carriage, and Regis’ group left the bar.

Bourgine’s home——

It was a cheap two-story building in a condition that made it surprising that people actually lived here.

They went up the half broken stairs to the entrance of a small flat and, peeking inside, one could see four chairs surrounded by mountains of books.

It was already late at night, but the doctor Bourgine was acquainted with came over, and treated Franziska’s wound splendidly.

He secured her sides to a board with bandages. Her injury was just as Regis diagnosed. It would take a month or two before making a full recovery.

It wasn’t clear how her internal organs were, but they should call him if she vomited blood again—— the doctor instructed before leaving.

After leaving Franziska to sleep in the bedroom, Regis and the others gathered in the living room.


Regis sat on the chair and exhaled.

“Thank you for your hard work.”

A blonde girl with blue eyes served them coffee.

She had a gentle but dignified air about her. Even Regis who paid little attention to the attractiveness of ladies was mesmerized for a moment.

Her name was Elise Archibald, a friend of Bastian.

She wasn’t too tall, and looked about 13—— but she was actually 16 years old like Bastian. Fortunately, Regis didn’t bring up the topic of her age.

Regis received the mug filled with brown liquid.

“Thank you—— hmm, delicious.”

“Fufu, I’m glad.”

Aside from Regis and Elise, the house owner Bourgine, reporter Claude and Bastian were also present.

Regis bowed at Bastian and introduced himself again.

“Thank you very much for your help earlier. I am Regis d’Auric, the strategist of the Fourth Princess.”


Bastian tilted his head.

“Ha, haha… There is a good reason… on why I’m dressed like this.”

Claude and Bourgine also guaranteed his identity.

Bastian’s face became even more astonished.

“Isn’t Regis d’Auric the strategist that defeated High Britannia’s ‘Queen’s Navy’?”

He heard this news when he was hiding anonymously in the mansion of a noble in High Britannia.

Regis scratched his head.

“... I held command as the acting Fleet Admiral back then.”

“Aren’t you the hero that led the Belgarian Empire towards victory in this war!?”

“... I didn’t do it alone.”

“Such a weak looking guy!?”

“... Sorry about that.”

“I thought you would be a man as large as a bear—— But you are actually a woman.”


This happened several times already, so he was used to it.

Regis explained that because Latreille was after his life, he had to disguise himself like this.

Bastian looked impressed as he stared at Regis.

“Indeed, now that you mentioned it, your hair is a little crooked…?”

“Ah… Well, that’s because my actions were too intense. Maybe I should return to my original appearance for now.”

Regis took off his wig.

But he felt even more embarrassed as he was wearing a dress, so he put it on again.

Bastian opened his eyes wide.


“Anything else looks weird?”

“It is already weird for a man to wear women’s clothings.”

“Ahaha… that’s…”

“Hmmm, have we met before?”


It was Regis’ turn to stare at the other party.

Crimson pupils and brown hair.

“You are the third prince of Belgaria, Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria correct…?”

He said so himself during the fight at the bar, so that’s probably right.

“Yes, but that’s not the problem! Inside the palace’s library! Ah, maybe you can remember it this way.”

Bastian put on his sunglasses.


“You really don’t remember!? You said that if I write an amazing masterpiece in the future you would read it!”

“... Ah… Could it be, you are that kid who borrowed the ‘Frozen Rain Sword and the Nine wings’? I was surprised when you ran off without going through the loan procedures, but I still said I didn’t see anything when the Minister of Ceremony came in.”

“Don’t worry, I returned that book to the library properly. I read it to the very last page.”

“That’s great. So… The boy I met then was the third Prince… What a surprise.”

Regis looked at Bastian nostalgically.

But the other party had a bemused expression.

“You are really a weird man.”

“Ehh? Well, others tell me that often…”

“Normal people will be polite and reserved before royals. Well, I’m not good with handling a solemn atmosphere, so just stay this way. That’s even better.”

“You are right… I spoke with other royals a lot, and got carried away… My apologies.”

“Enough, I already said I am not good with solemn atmosphere right? I am just curious. By the way, you were Argentina and Latreille’s strategist, and so you are used to interacting with royals right?”

“That’s true, my attitude might be different if I wasn’t Her Highness’ strategist.”

“Haha… Leave the bothersome to the palace. Please call me Bastian. Regis is the teacher after all!”


“You taught me about books. After that, I read so many of them… I am even dabbling into writing myself.”

“Ohh, that’s wonderful!”

“I haven’t written anything satisfactory yet… It is hard to come up with a cool protagonist.”

“I see, that’s very important. The popular trends recently——”


As they were getting heated up over their story discussion, Elise interjected:

“Bastian, let’s talk about this later. We have more important matters to discuss right now.”

“Ara, right.”

“Haha… I didn’t notice…”

With a cough, they ended their conversation before they began their story. Bastian asked Regis to confirm:

“You mentioned that Latreille is after your life?”

“I might have angered him by turning down his request to be his strategist.”

“Bro is still the same huh.”

“... There were similar incidents?”

As the conversation progressed, Bastian divulged his information freely. This was like doing business without stating any request.

He must be a wealthy man. He didn’t really seem to want other people’s things.

“Latreille… He killed his own father…”

“This rumour is already spreading in the courts.”

“Regis knew too right. But there isn’t any proof. Just like that time with my brother Auguste. In the end, nothing came to light because of the grand nobles backing him.”

“Well… who knows?”


“It’s true that authority can cover up the truth. But we need to tell Prince Latreille that a new era is upon us.”


Bastian was dumbfounded.

Fufufu… Bourgine laughed.
“What bold words to say about the Crown Prince that will be coronated in three days. This isn’t some empty boasting in a bar, you are actually serious about this?”

“It might just be brave words… But to make it come true, I hope you all can help me.”

“If it coincides with our ideals.”

Bourgine nodded.

Elise even prepared supper. She placed the sandwich onto the table.

“What are you planning to do? Ah, please have one.”

Thinking about it now, Regis hasn’t even taken dinner.

“Thank you, I will dig in now.”

“It can’t be helped huh!? I will eat one then!”

Bastian reached for the sandwich.

Muu, Elise frowned:

“It’s not that bad alright?”

They are really close—— Regis started eating the sandwich with a wry smile.

If he was to express his unfiltered thoughts.

—— Is this rotten?

The thing that resembled this smelly thing the most would be moist rubbish. Rotten vegetables, and this texture as rough as sand, was that meat?

“... Uwah.”

Regis wanted to spit it out on reflex, but managed to hold it in.

Bastian finished his sandwich in one go.

“The trick is to not breath or chew too much. Don’t force yourself though? This must be hard for a noble to accept.”

“No no, I’m a commoner. Although I was given a chevalier title recently.”

“Ah, right. When I met you in the library, you were wearing the military uniform for commoners.”

“Yes… Yes…”

Regis drank the coffee to wash the lingering stink in his mouth.

“Madame Bourgine is a famous liberal. If you are her student, then Prince Bastian is a liberal too?”

“You think that’s strange too?”

“No, the Princess I am serving is against the current system too—— but even so, she didn’t think about abolishing the aristocratic system.”

“Why do you think it would be better to maintain the aristocracy?:

“The citizens are not capable of discussing politics yet. Without the current aristocracy, the political power will fall into the hands of the people, then swindler with the glib to incite the masses will become dictators.”

Claude raised his hand.

“Sorry to interrupt… What do yo mean by the glib to incite the masses… Can you give an example?”

“... Simply put, it’s giving the masses an easy to understand enemy. And the truth doesn’t matter. For example—— Making speeches about the royals looking down on the citizens—— spreading such fictitious news.”

“Wouldn’t the lies be refuted?”

“Their plan is to run after saying their piece. Because it is hard to prove such baseless things. And lies on such a level would be enough to deceive the crowd. Furthermore, the masses want an enemy. People get deceived because they want to be deceived.”

“... I see.”

“For example, saying a neighbouring country acted inappropriately—— That would be enough. Anything goes. Just give the masses an enemy, and tell them you want to gather everyone’s power to fight against the enemy, if they say that… they will gradually gain more supporters. And now, the masses could be incited this simply. That’s why we can’t leave politics to them.”

“Haha… If Mr Regis is born in High Britannia, history might be different. The citizens in that nation have rights.”

“And they were embroiled in a reckless invasive war. The incited group will often move clumsily towards aggressive actions. Only a tragic fate awaits them.”

“If they defeated the Belgaria Empire, their evaluation would be… No, let’s stop here. Sorry for intruding.”

Claude shrugged.

Regis sipped on his second cup of coffee.

“No… In any case, I think it is still too early to abolish the aristocracy.”

“So you want to do so in the future?”

“In order to achieve my ideals of Pacifism, it is necessary for the citizens to have rights after all.”

Bastian nodded.

“I have a friend. He studied under Professeur Bourgine—— and wanted to bring freedom to the Belgarian Empire. I will make it come true one day… his goal… in the future.”


“People who are born into aristocratic families can live extravagant lives, while those who are born commoners would be oppressed their entire life. Isn’t that unfair.”

“This is a problem of freedom in choosing one’s career. And also, the problem of tax burden and individual rights.”

Bourgine nodded quietly. Like a teacher watching her students exchange their views, she didn’t participate in this discussion.

Bastian said vexingly:

“But… Latreille said that it is only natural that it is unfair.”

Regis was surprised momentarily.

“You talked to Prince Latreille about liberalism!?”

“Ahh, I was thinking of charging in straight—— but I got smashed.”

“What did he say?”

“The aristocrats learn from a young age on how to manage people, land and command troops. For commoners, only the most exceptional of the exception could do that.”

“Not everyone has an equal chance at education.”

“That is true… It is impossible for all the citizens of the Empire to receive the noble’s standard of education. I researched it myself too, it can’t be done!”

Bastian who got emotional turned sullen. Bourgine supplemented the fact in a calm tone from the sideline:

“I worked as a teacher in the past, and only boys from wealthy family could afford to attend school.”

In the Belgarian Empire during this era, there were no public schools.

Schools funded by wealthy commoners and aristocrats—— required a high amount of school fees.

And schools set up by the church—— where classes were held after prayers, didn’t charge any fee but only held one session a week.

Grand nobles would hire tutors to homeschool their children. And of course, the fees involved would be on another level.

By the way, aside from the children of nobles, teacher is a vocation many people wish to take up, and female commoner teacher were rare in this field.

Regis nodded.

“Prince Latreille is right. By giving special education to the nobles, we can nurture talented people. The Belgarian Empire became strong because of such a system.”

“You think bro is right?”

“Well, it was true in the past. But the times have changed.”


Bastian tilted his head.

Regis picked up the books piled on the floor.

“It’s books. They can change the world. It is impossible for all commoners to employ home teachers, getting all of them to attend school is also difficult. But teaching them to read and write is still possible. After that, they can learn by themselves by reading books. Books might still be expensive, but their price will fall with the advent of technology. One day, even children will be able to afford books.”

Bastian stared hard at the books.

“This thing huh…”

“Your Highness also gleamed more knowledge by reading books right? Books can change people and change the world, that’s how I feel.”

“Anyone can become like you?”

“Ah, no… If everyone becomes like me, this country’s existence will be in danger. But as a commoner, I had to work hard in order to read books… But if someone tightens their budget, it won’t be impossible.”

“I don’t know if such a lifestyle is a good thing… But if books become cheaper, there will be more people reading them, will we be able to change the nation then?”

“I think the country will definitely change.”

“... Is that so… If there are books, his dreams… will come true.”

Bastian’s eyes turned moist, and he rubbed the corner of his eyes with his hand.

Regis realized something from his actions, but he didn’t bring it up.

Bourgine muttered:

“I… think books can change the world too. People who will blindly follow the aristocrats will strive for freedom and equality after reading books and exchanging opinions… Then there would be more liberals.”

“That is so.”

“But in the end, speeches were suppressed.”

“We almost died just now.”

She then asked Regis straightforwardly:

“Regis d’Auric… You are an outstanding strategist, well versed in politics, economics, science and good sense of ethics. Please tell me your views—— what needs to be done to change this nation?”

His words were stuck in his throat.

He knew the answer.

But, how could he say it out loud?


Claude leaned forward.

“Well, how about this? Regis was planning to deal a huge blow to Latreille, or declare war against him right? That’s why you need Prince Bastian’s help. And in return for his assistance, what you can do is answer Professeur Bourgine’s question. What say you?”

As expected of a proposal by a reporter. His livelihood involves dealing with information after all.

Bastian shrugged.

“I will only help you if I think this is the right thing to do.”

“I can’t really judge if involving stakes during an exchange of views is a good or bad thing…”

Regis sighed.

His ability to set up such an atmosphere was a testament of how good Claude’s oral skill was. Instead of a reporter, he might be more suited to be a diplomat?

I will help you unconditionally—— Even if the other party says so, Regis couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself.

Regis tidied the words in his mind.

“... Since books can change this world, it can change this nation of course. However, even if the citizens are deeply knowledgeable, it won’t be enough to change the system. They would just be oppressed… I’m a pacifist and detest war. I don’t want to see anyone die… So, even though I don’t want to say this… But to change this country, what the citizens need to do… is an armed rebellion.”

Armed rebellion.

Which means the citizens had to pick up weapons and attack the Administration.

Bourgine frowned.

“Such movement happened in many other cities. And then, the army came and many died… This country still didn’t change.”

“Well, even if the citizens pick up bows and lances, they can’t defeat knights. A hundred of them might win against one knight though.”

Bastian pointed with his right index finger.

“What about rifles?”

“... That’s what I want to talk about.”

Regis sighed:
“I don’t want this to happen for real… That’s why, I hope Her Highness could become Empress, and improve relations with neighbouring nations peacefully. And then reduce the inequality between aristocrats and commoners in stages… I hope to achieve a revolution without bloodshed. But there is another way that is viable——  Increase the people's wisdom with books, then use rifles to start an armed rebellion…”

“And abolish the aristocracy?”

“If you ask for that, the nobles will resist in full force. In order to win a war, it is not advisable to let the opponent fight with all their might. For instance, it would be realistic to propose the formation of a senate in order for the representatives of the people to participate in politics.”

“And that would be enough?”

“If they can take part in politics, they can build schools to further educate the commoners. And there would be more military commanders who are commoners. After the commoners gain more influence and rights, there would be nobles who will want to assist. The senate would be like a hole at the bottom of the aristocratic ship.”

Claude stood up from his chair.

“Isn’t that a good idea?”

“Don’t be daft… Just like how the High Britannian troops with rifles lost to Belgarian cavalry in the end, it’s not so simple.”

“Isn’t that because the strategist Regis d’Auric is guiding them?”

“The weak points of rifles lies in their supply. If there is no ammunition, rifles can’t be fired. And right now, the Empire doesn’t have the facilities to produce the bullets for the new rifles. Even if they can be produced, it will be hard for them to fall into the citizen’s hand.”

“It can’t be done?”

“Field Marshall gave his orders for the blacksmiths of Rouen city to research it… But it will probably take some time.”

“The Blacksmiths huh.”

Hmm, Claude nodded.

Well then—— he squatted down before Regis.

“The man called Regis d’Auric… There must be more than just this.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“Books can change the views of the citizens. Rifles and ammunition can greatly increase the success rate of an armed rebellion. But other people can understand this much too. That’s why rifles and bullets won’t fall into the hands of commoners so easily, and the aristocrats won’t open schools for the sake of commoners—— Is that all? You must have thought further than that.”

“Like I said, my goal is for the Princess to become Empress.”
“No, not that. You should have more practical plan of making an armed revolution a success. That’s why you hesitated just now.”

“... Mr Claude, you know about it?”

“I’m asking because I don’t know. I am just a reporter who caught scent that the other party is hiding something.”

“... Hah… Can you promise to keep it off the records? This is just something shared between Madame Bourgine, Bastian and the few of us in this room. If it is carried out, it will led to massive bloodshed.”

Bastian and Elise nodded.

Bourgine said:

“I am not in favour of an armed rebellion though.”

“It can’t be helped. I won’t note it down, it’s just a pity.”

Claude placed his hand on his chest. This gesture meant he was swearing to god.

Regis nodded.

“From what I heard, Prince Latreille planed to attack all neighbouring nations in the next two years. A large number of rifles would be prepared then. In that case, many commoners will be hired to manufacture rifles and ammunition. Since artillery has less prestige than knightship, the riflemen would mostly be commoners.”

“Hmm? Hey… That means…”
“Yes… the production and usage of rifles will be entrusted to the commoners. And if the core members of the armed rebellion infiltrate inside…”

“I-Indeed. If we can produce rifles, train with them and increase the numbers of our comrades…”

Regis shook his head.

“However, people will still die. And the commoners rising in armed rebellion are unlike a disciplined army. They will partake in unnecessary violence easily. We can’t allow such a tragedy to happen.”

Claude returned to his seat and leaned back onto his chair.

“... Thank you. I will use if for reference. As promised, I will not record it down. At most, I will use it in future topic research.”


“Well, I don’t think the aristocrats restrain themselves from unnecessary violence either.”

“... That might be so.”
Bourgine nodded.

“It’s true that there is a high chance of success if we follow your plan. But subjugating others through martial might will just be the same as the nobles. I don’t think this will better the nation though?”

Bastian nodded in agreement.

“That’s right! Well, I think we need to fight if we have to, but we should consider other ways too. Citizens fighting knights with rifles should just remain a scene in stories.”

“—— Well then, next would be a more roundabout and peaceful strategy that I thought of. You want to listen?”

Everyone nodded.

Previous Chapter | Main Page | Next Chapter

No comments:

Post a Comment