Saturday, September 9, 2017

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 12 Chapter 1

Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Darkdhaos, Ainz
Four hours ago——

Regis felt really blissful now.

On the morning of the 12th, the newspaper with the testimony of Royal Chamberlain Beclard was published.

The capital turned rowdy when this serious allegation appeared suddenly before the coronation.

A lot of citizens pressed the palace for answers but no one from the administration stood up to clarify the situation.

Everything was going just as planned.

Regis was immersed in his book as he sipped coffee inside the beverage section of Carol’s bookshop.

His letter should reach Fort Volks in another few days. On it was news that Regis was still alive and the plans from now on, written in code.

So he could spend his days peacefully for now — at least that was his plan.

Fanrine came running in a panic.

【Sir Regis!】

【Sigh… Please don’t do that, you’re too loud!?】

【Wahh, sorry! Ms Regina, something terrible is happening!】

In order to hide his identity within the capital, Regis was still crossdressing. Even though he could leave the capital now, he still went to the bookshop and immersed himself in it with the excuse of collecting information. If he could read, he wouldn’t mind crossdressing.

【… What’s the matter, Ms Fanrine? Is there anything more terrifying than being lectured loudly by the bookshop owner?】

【Princess Argentina’s cavalry has formed up on the hill to the east of the capital!】

【Wh—— What!?】

His blissful time lasted less than half a day.

They then rushed back towards the basecamp of 《Renard Pendu》.

By the way, the third prince Bastian, his friend Elize, the activist Bourgine, news reporter Claude, the injured Franziska and her younger sister Martina stayed behind in the capital.


Jessica who was leading the mercenaries glared at Regis.

Her face was beautiful, but there was a shroud of intimidation in her expression.

【Lord Auric, you’re late. The sun is almost setting.】

【W-Well, I already informed you of the situation on my side via mail… Didn’t you receive them yet?】

【You probably just want to read books anyway.】


They only met for a short time, but she saw right through him. Her title of ‘Magician’ wasn’t just for show. Her observation skills were even better than Regis'.

She laid out the map.

【The fourth army has 500 cavalry, and the 4000 infantry behind them have formed up at the hill to the east… The First Army’s 《White Hare Knight》 is positioned at the bottom of the hill.】

【When I left the city, I saw them mustering the infantry. The First Army will probably send out 10,000 soldiers. Maybe they had already moved out? After all, we left from the other side of the capital and made a detour here, so we took quite a long time.】

【Is Princess Argentina trying to start a civil war?】

【No way…】

【It’s your problem though?】

【Well, I already mailed out a letter… From the situation here, they probably missed it.】

【What should we do? Watch from the sidelines?】

【We can’t do that! Let’s link up with the princess.】

Jessica was probably expecting Regis to say that and nodded.

【As promised, we will aid you.】

The mercenaries were already prepared to set off, and could do so immediately.

Regis was adamant on going even if he had to go alone, so he gladly accepted their help.

After leaving the basecamp, they headed for the eastern hills.

They were about 700 strong.

Regis, Fanrine and Jessica sat together inside a shaky carriage. It goes without saying that Regis couldn’t ride a horse.

The driver said:

【Deputy commander, the Fourth Army is in sight!】

【What should we do, Lord Auric?】

【Please raise the white flag! We will be attacked if we continue to advance like this.】

【Aye Sir!】

Fortunately, the First Army didn’t make any moves, and Regis’ group reached the Fourth Army safely.

No, it wasn’t certain that things would end safely yet…

The soldiers of the Fourth Army raised their lances and raised their bows against the mercenaries they had never seen before.

One false move and they would probably be attacked.

Regis alighted from their box carriage.

He recognized some of the soldiers.

If they noticed Regis, they would probably report to Altina.

Regis waved.

Those soldiers blushed.

Their reaction was different from what he expected.

Even though they were the Fourth Army’s soldier he knew.

He thought the mood would be like returning home, but something seems off.

As if he went into the wrong house.

Fanrine who was standing behind him whispered:

【… Sir Regis, your attire!】


He completely forgot. Regis didn’t look like a strategist right now. Even sharp eyed reporters couldn’t see through his disguise.

But what would the soldiers think if he took off his wig here…

The column of imperial soldiers parted.

Someone walked forth from the depths of the unit.

Her fiery vermillion hair swayed, and a sword larger than her body was hung on her shoulder. Crimson eyes stared Regis’ way.


【Sigh… A-Altina!】

【Regis! Regis! Regis! Regis! Regis! Regis!】

The young girl sprinted over and caught him in an embrace.

With all her might——

【Croak】,  Regis made a sound like a frog being squashed.

Headquarters of the Imperial Fourth Army——

There were 6 people in the tent.

They were Regis, Altina, Eddie, Abidal Evra, Jessica and Fanrine. Eric stood guard at the entrance.

Altina who had finally calmed down glared at Regis.

He was getting glared by ladies all day.

【Well? What happened? Regis who is supposed to have died in battle according to Latreille’s report turned into a woman and is together with the mercenaries who were our enemy… Ah, I don’t get this at all!】

【… Yes, you have a point.】

It was natural for her to be confused.

Regis’ expression relaxed when he saw Altina like this.

【What, why are you all smiles!?】

【Eh? Do I really look like that? How troubling…】

【Does seeing me troubled amuse you so much?】

【… I’m just happy about seeing you again.】


Altina’s face turned beet red.

Wahaha, Eddie laughed.

【That’s a great line! I will say this to that person after I return to Fort Volks.】

His beloved Fifth Princess stayed behind in the fortress.

Regis said in a panic:

【Wahh… N-No, that’s not what I mean…!!】

【You have a way with words after becoming a woman, Regis.】

【Please don’t tease me, Lord Eddie.】

After the conversation became like this, a cold voice interjected:

【… Is it fine to be this relaxed? The sun is setting. Do you want to continue this stand off?】

Jessica asked in a cold tone as usual.

Regis smiled wryly.

【… It’s true that there isn’t any reason for this stand off. We should let the soldiers sleep in a warm place tonight. Anyone has pen and paper?】

A maid entered the tent.

As if she knew what Regis needed, a full set of stationery was placed on the tray.

Regis gasped.



Clarisse was the one who placed the tray on the table.

When others were present, she would be expressionless. Despite that, Regis still noticed that the corners of her eyes were a little red, and there were tear stains.

A smile appeared on Regis’ face.

【Thank you. Ms Clarisse. Erm… I’m back.】

【…… Yes. Welcome back.】

She then added ‘Sir Regis’ in a barely audible voice. After bowing deeply, she left the tent as if nothing had happened.

Altina shrugged.

【Even though it’s been a long time since you two met, shouldn’t you speak a little more?】

【… It’s fine.】

The joy of finding him safe meant much more than words.

Regis picked up the pen.

—— This is the one I have always been using.

The grip felt familiar. This was the pen usually used which was left behind in Fort Volks.

Even though the death notification was received and the army mobilized, Clarisse still believed. Believed that Regis was still alive, and the time when he will use this pen will come again.

Or maybe, she wanted to lay it besides his grave…

Regis thought about this as he started writing.

He finished in no time, scrolled the letter up and used stamp Altina’s seal on the wax.

Jessica remarked coldly again:

【You have no hesitation in using the Princess’ seal.】

【Haha… Because Altina will fail once in every three times she seal a letter.】

【You even used a nickname.】

【I hope you don’t misunderstand...】

Regis actually said “Altina” in the presence of so many people.

It would be bad if this start a weird rumour amongst the troops, so he would address her formally in public. However, the staff officers in the Fourth Army already knew about their relationship.

【I’m just Altina’s strategist. We’re just not used to being too formal with each other.】

【I’m used to others speaking to me formally though.】

His words were unexpectedly refuted.

【U... Huh?】

【But since it’s Regis, I allowed it.】

【… T-Thank you.】

【I did ask you to be my strategist, but I also hope you can be my comrade with the same goal in mind.】

【Yes… I feel the same way. To share the same dream.】

Jessica nodded.

【… I understand the special relationship between the two of you.】

【It’s a bit hard to explain.】

【It’s fine. At least, I can tell you two are not lovers.】

【I-Is that so?】

【Just who do you think I am?】

As expected of the renown strategist of the mercenary band 《Renard Pendu》.

Abidal Evra frowned.

【Well… There is no question that Sir Auric is an exceptional talent. But neglecting the proper protocol is a bit…】

Eddie patted his shoulder.

【It’s fine! They just need to keep their act together during ceremonies and duties.】

【War conference is also part of their duties though.】

【It’s fine since Argentina wants it to be so. Regis will feel more relaxed too right? Instead of protocol, unity is more important.】


If they change their way of doing things and Regis’ capability is restricted, then the future of the Fourth Army would be doomed.
Regis lowered his head.

【My apologies, it’s all my fault.】

Abidal Evra frowned again.

【Ugh… Sir Auric, I understand the rationale why you don’t use honorifics when addressing the princess. In that case, can you do so when you speak with me? I feel that I am the one who should be apologizing for offending you earlier.】

【Ahahaha… I will do my best… No, I will give it my best shot yo.】

Altina got back on topic.

【Have you finished the letter?】

Speaking of which, Regis only said ‘We should let the soldiers sleep in a warm place tonight’.

【Yes, this is for Prince Latreille.】

【So we need to send an envoy? We already thought about that. But who should we send?】

【Eh?? Anyone will do.】


【It’s just this bit of distance, so a new recruit will do.】

【How should we question Latreille? Like ‘did you murder Regis’ or something? Ah, speaking of which, he didn’t.】

After all, Regis was still alive and kicking before her.

Regis said with an awkward smile:

【No… I think he already tried. If not, news of me dying in battle wouldn’t have spread.】

【Ah, is that so!?】

【Well, let’s talk about this later… First is the matter of the envoy. At this distance, we can just pass the letter to them directly. They can reply via mail too.】

【Is that so?】

【Sorry, it’s my mistake. I should have assigned someone familiar with this as your deputy. For the Fourth Army, that would be Lord Edvard.】

【Ahh, I see.】

Although he had assumed the post of fort defence commander for now, he was actually an experienced veteran. He was also a trusted lieutenant of Jerome, so he should be familiar with negotiations too.

They couldn’t spend all day talking.

Regis summoned a messenger soldier, and instructed him to deliver the letter to the Imperial First Army.
Altina tilted her head.
【What did you write?】

【Eh?! Didn’t I show it to you before I seal it with wax?!】

【Ahaha… I was only looking at Regis.】

【I-I see.】

Regis started to blush.

【I was wondering if you were actually translucent.】

【I’m not a ghost.】

Ahaha, Altina and Eddie laughed.

Abidal Evra probably wasn’t used to their interactions and appeared a little tense. Jessica probably guessed what Regis wrote, and just sipped on her tea without appearing bothered.

Eric continued his guard duty without moving.

Fanrine who was seated at the end of the table raised a hand.

【I’m curious too. What did you write, Sir Regis?】

【Well… The first part is about me. “I had to leave the battlefield because of pressing matters, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to the Field Marshal and commander of the First Army.” I also wrote that I have made it back to the Fourth Army safely.】

【You didn’t mention anything about them listing you as killed in action?】

【Even if we don’t complain about this, they will still apologize and correct the records. After all, people being listed as killed in action when they are actually alive happens occasionally.】

【But Prince Latreille attempted to assassinate you.】

【I don’t have any evidence.】

Or rather, if they delve deeper into the matter, the fact that mercenaries from 《Renard Pendu》 had killed the sentries would be uncovered.

There was no point in pursuing this matter.

Altina smiled:

【But this will definitely shock Latreille — receiving a letter from Regis whom he thought he had killed! It’s a pity I won’t be able to see his reaction!】

【I don’t think he will leave the palace. During his duel against High Britannia’s colonel Coulthard he sustained injuries so bad that he couldn’t even ride a horse. It would take about two months before he can make a full recovery.】


【Seemed like this news didn’t spread in the army. He probably didn’t want to delay the coronation. Prince Latreille seemed really anxious about this.】

【Tomorrow is the coronation…】

【The Imperial Fourth Army is here to congratulate him—— That’s what I wrote.】

Altina frowned.

【Why must I congratulate him!?】

【… I have to find a reason for mobilizing the unit without orders.】

【It’s the fault of Latreille who gave me fake news in the first place!】

【You want to report that to the Ministry of Military Affairs?】


She looked enraged, but suppressed her emotions. She had grown after I was forced to leave her—— Regis thought.

Although he wished she was composed enough to collect intel before mobilizing the army…

【Well, this situation isn’t completely meaningless.】

【What do you mean?】

【The people in the capital… especially the nobles. We can draw their attention through the existence of the Fourth Army, which will be beneficial for us in the future.】

【Regis, you are showing a devilish face again.】

【Really? I can’t act like a nice guy either. They almost killed me after all.】

【Yes! Ah, by the way, something is bothering me very much.】


Altina reached her hand out.

And touched his hair.

【Why are you dressed like a girl? Clarisse laughed so hard that she cried.】

So those weren’t tears of joy from meeting me again!?

He finally knew why the corner of Clarisse’s eyes were red.

【No… This is…】

Jessica said softly:

【… Lord Auric asked me to help him crossdress.】

【T-That isn’t wrong, but putting it that way will lead to misunderstandings?!】

Kekeke… Fanrine tried her best not to laugh.

With no other choice, Regis had to recount his ordeal from the beginning.

Imperial First Army, Field Tent——

When the sun was about to set behind the western hills, a rider hoisting a messenger flag came running.

Germain spoke. As he served as Latreille’s eyes, he had the habit of reporting what he sees.

【Prince Latreille, it seems to be a messenger.】


His right eye’s vision had recovered, but his left eye remains blind. And the doctor diagnose that his right eye will lose its light one day.

Germain asked:

【Could this be the Fourth Army’s declaration of war? Or will they question us about the death of their strategist?】

【No, that won’t be.】

Latreille sat in his chair.

There were narrow but deep stab wounds in his left shoulder and right thigh. He shouldn’t be allowed to leave the bed—— according to doctor orders.

He couldn’t even ride a horse, and had to travel by carriage.

Germain tilted his head.

【What would the letter be about?】

【That small group linking up with them earlier… You mentioned that they look like mercenaries? In that case, it can be explained why that strategist can travel through the mountains with a woman in tow.】


【The content will probably say that their strategist Regis is still alive.】

【But if Sir Regis is still alive… it will still be a war declaration then?】

【They want to defeat the Imperial First Army with just that much people? We have another 50,000 men in the capital.】

【T-That… That is true…】

【Don’t be afraid. No matter how great a strategist he is, he won’t be able to turn things around with such a small force. If this turns into a civil war, the only ones who will benefit are the neighbouring nations. It won’t come to war. That’s impossible.】

He dismissed that notion firmly, but Latreille himself wasn’t entirely convinced.

As if he was saying this for his own sake too.

This was probably because he witnessed Regis’ extraordinary strategy and command during the battle of Grebauvar.

Regis could come up with strategies beyond imagination—— Latreille couldn’t dismiss this doubt.

Shortly after, the envelope arrived.

Germain took the letter and opened it. The content could be read easily in the day, but it would take quite a bit of effort to see it clearly at dusk.

【I-It’s as you say! It says that Regis d’Auric is still alive!】

【As expected huh…】

Germain continued reading it.

【He then apologized for inconveniencing you, Prince Latreille. He then said that the Fourth Army are here to congratulate your coronation.】

【Hmmp… Excuses.】

【What should we do?】

【It might be excuses, but we can’t investigate the Fourth Army. And since I’m about to take the throne, avoiding a civil war is just what I am hoping for.】

【Indeed… 500 cavalries and 4000 infantry might be too grand an entourage for the Princess, but it can still be explained away since there are still remnants of the High Britannia Army within our borders.】

If they used the reason that the Empire was still a battlefield, there would be no way to refute them.
Latreille said grudgingly:

【… It is the failure of the Field Marshal that High Britannia invaded so deep into our territory.】

The letter didn’t mention all this, but it would be brought to light if they tried to refute the content of the letter. Since the other party thought this far, it would not be possible to fault them.

Latreille clicked his tongue in his heart.

As expected of that strategy, this tactic was as brilliant as before. He already thought out the ways to counter any of Latreille’s accusations.

Germain asked:

【How should we respond?】

【… Express our jubilance in learning that First Grade Admin Officer Regis d’Auric is still alive, and apologize for the mistake in our earlier report. Then compliment him for his contributions in the victorious battle of Grebauvar, and award him a medal. Invite Argentina to the coronation ceremony, and welcome the men of the Fourth Army —— we have no choice but to say that.】

That would be conceding to all the demands from the other party.

Latreille clenched his fist.

Germain placed his hand on top of that fist.

【Please calm down, Prince Latreille… I think this is a good response. It will be hard on the Fourth Princess too, since she has to congratulate her political opponent on taking the throne, her heart must be as turbulent as a storm. At best, this is just her venting.】

【I know. But the one who pushed me into this state is that strategist. He created this situation which I had to respond in this way.】

【Please don’t say that. Even when Sir Regis was acting in the dark inside the capital, the most he could pull off was unreliable fake news in newspapers. In the end, you are the one who will be emperor, Prince Latreille.】


【In other words, since the Fourth Princess will be attending the ceremony, it will be clear to nobles who will be the emperor. Sir Regis is the one who should be troubled.】

【You’re right, Germain. I’m probably flustered because of my imminent coronation.】

【You’re just tired, my liege. Let’s return to the palace after the letter is written. We will leave the rest to the 《White Hare Knights》.】

【… Yes. For the sake of tomorrow, I will heed your words.】

Latreille boarded the carriage and returned to the palace ahead of the others.

Under the command of Batteren from the 《White Hare Knights》, the First Army also retreated slowly back to the capital. At the same time, the Fourth Army also headed into the capital.

The sudden need to take in 4500 soldiers meant that the logistics personnel were laden with work.

Just like what Regis said, the soldiers of the Fourth Army got to sleep somewhere warm.

The two units that was standing against each other in the day marched in two separate lines along the streets of the capital, which was a rare sight to behold.

The citizens who was worried about the outbreak of civil war welcome them with smile of relief.

People crowded the sidewalks as they watch the impromptu parade.

The next day——

It was raining, but that wouldn’t stop the coronation.

Bourgine was once persecuted for giving a speech in this plaza in front of the palace. And now, an extravagant stage had been erected right in this plaza.

Heavy infantry in silver armour serving as guards and formed ranks.

【You’re late, newbie!】

A man with large ears and tanned skin yelled. He was the reporter Claude from Weekly Quarry. He had a flat leather cap, and wore a wrinkled suit.

A petite young girl ran over.
【How selfish! Please! Don't leave me behind! Ha, ha...】

She also wore something like leather cap and a suit, but her skin was fair and eyes were blue. Her blonde hair was tied behind in a ponytail

Claude gave something to the girl.

【Wear this.】

It was a piece of wood with a stamp that could worn on the neck with its strings.

Claude was wearing it too.

【Senpai, what is this?】

【Press permit. Without it, we can’t even enter the place where we can see the nobles. By the way, if we queue normally, we probably can’t even hear Latreille give his coronation speech.】

【What a great crowd. As if everyone in the capital is here. Not just the plaza, even the streets are packed.】

【Retard. It’s just 100,000 or so people. The population of the Empire is many times of this.】

【That’s already incredible!?】

【Well… For this historical event of the century, it’s incredible that I’m pushing my junior who slept in.】

【T-that’s because senpai doesn’t let me sleep...】

The young girl blushed.

Claude gritted his teeth.

【Because your essays are too terrible, and we had to edit it late into the night! Alright, let’s go!】

Pushed forcibly from behind, the girl walk forward as if she was stumbling.

【Wahh! Really now… By the way, I’m impressed that you got us press passes.】


【Weekly Quarry is now synonymous with the anti-establishment movement stirring up in the capital. And you managed to get press passes… Sigh, oh no senpai. The name is wrong.】

【Is that so?】

【Look, my name’s Betty right? The name on it is wrong… Sigh, even the press name is wrong… Huh, senpai’s name is wrong too—?!】

【Don’t be so loud. There’s no way the Ministry of Ceremony will issue press passes to Weekly Quarry.】

【Is this a forgery…?】

【Are you retarded? How can this stamp be forged in a matter of hours?】

【Is this… stolen…?】

【Don’t be retarded. They loan these to us because they were moved by our conviction for our cause. So we have to make good use of it.】

【That’s a crime—?!】

【If you don’t like it, then go home. I will go alone.】

Claude held his hand out.

Betty dodged away.

【… O-On second thought, Senpai is the one who stole it, this has nothing to do with me. I want to see the ceremony, Prince Latreille is really dreamy.】

【Hah! We’re going to write a report that criticize him though.】

【I’m so excited.】

【… What a weirdo… Well, normal people won’t work at our place anyway.】

They mixed in with the other reporters and made it through the checkpoint.

Although the staff will check the press pass, they only give it a simple glance because of the overwhelming crowd size. And so, even crude replica could slip through security.

However, they would still conduct stringent checks for weapons.

Before the main gate of the palace was a lectern, and the nobles were seated right in front of it.

While the reporter’s zone were separated with a fence, in a position where they could see the lectern and the nobles from the side.

They could see everyone’s faces.

An ideal spot.

Although the heavy infantry standing before them were an eyesore…

【Move away! Or just sit down!】

When they heard the reporter’s angry roar, the guards squatted down in a panic, which was a little cute—— Betty thought.

The short Betty stood on her toes and looked towards the lectern.

【Hah… Prince Latreille isn’t there yet?】

【It’s raining after all, so he will wait in his room before the ceremony begins. Marquis Bergerac isn’t here yet after all.】

Claude would usually call those people by their name, but there were others watching, so he had to be more careful with his choice of words.


【Ughh… At least remember the name of the minister of ceremony.】

【Ahh, yes, I remember! He is the maternal grandfather of the third prince. Ahaha… I need to spend extra effort to remember things not related to hotties.】

【Really now…】

【It took me quite a while to remember things about senpai too—】

【Shut up..】

Claude squeezed to the front of the group of reporters.

As she was shorter, Betty pushed to the front right behind him.

Claude leaned forth from the barricade and pointed:

【Look at the nobles seating section.】

【How gorgeous and extravagant—】

【Do you remember their seating order?】

【Is there any meaning behind that?】

【The seats to the right have the highest status, and it goes down behind in that order. The order of their seating is the result of the ferocious power struggle between the aristocrats. We can see how influential they are from where they are seated.】

【Ohh, I see—】

【If the emperor changes, the nobles he sides with will also change. And so, there will be a reshuffling of their order.】

Betty nodded in agreement.

She wanted to make notes, but couldn’t do so because of the other reporters pushing from behind.

They could only talk like this because Claude was grabbing the fence and acting like a shield. If she was alone, she would have been squashed.

【The one at the very front should be the royals right?】

【Aside from them, there are the current ministers. They have special privileges, but they won’t side with the emperor, but with the nobles.】

【Eh—, the ministers are there too?】

【The ministers are representatives of the nobles after all. Things will get complicated if the emperor dismisses a minister without strong reasons. Not only would it hinder the administration of the empire, it might even spark off a civil unrest.】

【I see.】

【They are super grand nobles that couldn’t be taken lightly after all. Oh, look! That’s Princess Argentina!】

【Wahh! I’m her fan!】

The appearance of the person only second in prominence to the emperor whipped the other reporters into a frenzy.

The mob pushed strongly from behind once again, and Claude’s arms started trembling.

Even the fence was creaking.


【Sempai, are you okay?】

【Yeah… Watch carefully. That vermillion haired girl became a Lieutenant General in the Imperial army at the age of 15, and is the heroine with the greatest war merits in the previous war…Princess Marie Quatre Argentina de Belgaria.】


【… Your vocabulary is too limited for a reporter. Never mind, the person beside her is even more amazing!】


【That’s First Grade Admin Officer Regis d’Auric, who is known as the Wizard. He is wearing men’s clothes today… Kukuku.】

A woman’s dress suits you better, Claude laughed.

Besides the Princess was a man in a formal attire. But his step was unsteadily, back hunched and didn’t seem to be reliable.

Betty tilted her head.

【That… That skinny man is Regis? Isn’t he the Princess’ porter?】

【Even though he is just a chevalier, that’s still a noble. You will address him as ‘Lord’.】

【Wah— My impression of him in my heart is crumbling—】

【Well, I felt the same way when I first met him… And besides him… Is the Emperor’s sword, Duke Eddie Fabio de Balzac.】

【A hottie, amazing!】

【He disappeared after the founding day festival… So he’s working for the Fourth Princess now huh.】

【What kind of person is he?】

【He is the top swordsman in the Empire, and never lost in a martial competition before. However, rumours says that he hates the battlefield.】


【He was working as the First Prince’s escort… But the First Prince forfeit his claim to the throne and come out in support of the Fourth Princess, so Eddie should be in the Princess’ faction. Just as I thought.】

【Prince Auguste seems to be absent.】

【There’s no one with silver hair around.】

【There’s someone with brown hair though.】

The other reporters noticed too, and the crowd turned rowdy. Even the nobles were noticeably shocked.

Claude sighed.

【Are you serious… That’s the third prince Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria! He actually declared that he is in the Princess’ faction! And to do so on the coronation day, this is interesting!】

【Hmm? What’s so interesting?】

【Think about it. The Second Prince Latreille is going to be emperor. Leaving smart people aside, even retards know that they should try to get into the new emperor’s good books.】

【I’m not a retard.】

【I’m not talking about you. The Third Prince Bastian chose this day when the match has already been decided to stand at the Fourth Princess’ side!】

【Maybe they just happened to come in from the same entrance.】

【This isn’t a bar somewhere?! If they aren’t in the same faction, then they should enter separately.】

【Is that so—】

【You don’t understand huh? After his interview with us, he chose to stand in that position. Isn’t that wonderful?】

【Ehh, is that true?!】

【Speaking of which, I haven’t tell you the details. I will tell you about it when we return to the office.】


Betty nodded ditzly.

And they even managed to get a scope of something illegal and couldn’t be reported.

Claude’s mouth twisted and he showed a sinister smile.

【Kukuku… The new emperor Latreille will be setting sail in a storm huh? Since Prince Bastian supports Princess Argentina, that means the rumours of regicide… isn’t completely baseless.】

The aristocrats weren’t getting unsettled over nothing.

Claude cast his gaze to Regis who was seated beside the Princess.

【… Is this part of your scheme too?】

Betty pointed and asked:

【Senpai, who are the nobles seated on the second row?】

【They are the nobles from around the capital —— Grand nobles from central. Latreille’s faction. Not only are they rich and powerful, the Prince they supported even became the Emperor. They are the happiest group here.】

【It feels uncomfortable that the strong became even mightier.】

【Next is the new nobles from the south. You know about the alliance of the new nobles 《The council of Gaillard's garden》 right?】

【O-Of course I know that.】

Betty’s eyes were wavering.

Claude sighed.

【I already told you to read the documents. They made used of the vast and fertile lands in the south and their trade with the southern nations to accumulate massive wealth.】

【They are loaded?】

【Yes, they will be a good opponent against the greedy and power hungry nobles in central. They might be in the Princess’ faction… but they’re ranked higher than the western nobles.】

【You mean the third faction?】

Claude nodded.

【They were considered the second faction during the times of the previous emperor… The influence of the old nobles of the west had waned. They might have the reputation and history, but the nobles there are poor. They suffered the heaviest losses in the war with High Britannia probably because their position was already weak.】

【Ah, that is true for the west.】

Nobles from other regions would be ranked behind these three main factions.

Those with the peerage of Vicomte and below, as well as Houses without much assets were not much different from commoners, and wouldn’t even have a seat.

Betty noticed something.

【Hmm? The eastern nobles aren’t here?】

【Because there are rumours saying that Latreille assassinated the 6th queen consort Johaprecia. There seems to be a war in the east.】

【Fufu… Aren’t we the ones who spread that rumour?】

【Hey, don’t let the people around us hear that?】

Claude said with a faint smile.

Looking again, there were empty seats amongst the grand nobles although many nobles craved for these front row seats.

【Is it because of the rain?】

【No… Because there are noble who are willing to risk Lèse-majesté, with the reason that “Latreille’s suspicion of regicide hasn’t been cleared yet”. They are people who are willing to fight a duel in order to defend their honour.】

【Speaking of which, the Empress is absent?】

【Hmm? Ahh… Betty, it’s about to begin. You have to remember the entire flow, and write them down later.】

【Leave it to me!】

What worries the ceremonial officials the most was the Empress.

She was Latreille’s mother.

After the Weekly Quarry publicized Royal Chamberlain Marquis Beclard’s testimony, the Empress disappeared.

And she has not been found til this day. Many people drew conjectures about the empty seat at the very front row.
The bugle announcing the beginning of the ceremony was blown. Drums were beaten in rhythm.

The solemn orchestra pulled open the curtains for the ceremony.

The waiting room inside a palace——

Latreille was in traditional formal wear, and waited silently for the coronation to begin.

Germain entered the room.

【… We still can’t find the Empress.】

【Is that so. She won’t be attending the ceremony then.】

【The commotion yesterday led to the lax in surveillance. My apologies.】

【What are you apologizing for? Am I a child who can’t attend a ceremony without his mother?】

【No, not at all!】

Latreille whispered into Germain’s ears.

【… That is a woman who will go as far as poisoning my elder brother in order to let her child succeed the throne. Keep your guard up. She is the most dangerous when she is in hiding.】

【Hmmm?! Yes my liege. I will bolster the search party.】

【By an adequate amount. The top priority is the safety of the ceremonies attendees. It would be slight against my name if any of my guest are harmed during my coronation.】

【Yes, I will keep that in mind!】

Germain left the waiting room after a bow.

Latreille was alone once more.

He opened the chest that contained his personal effects.

There was a palm-sized painting in there.

Painted on it was a black haired woman wearing an apron.

【Beatrice… I have… finally come this far…】

The door was knocked, and Latreille placed the painting back into the wooden chest.

The moment he left the palace, he heard the band playing. And the cheers of the people. The plaza and the streets were filled to the brim despite the rain.

He headed for the ceremonial stage.

And climbed the steps.

There were merely eight steps.

—— How many people’s blood stained his hand in order for him to climb these steps?

On the fourth step, he saw someone at the lectern.

【… Father.】

It was the wrinkled figure of the previous emperor. With a sword thrust through his chest.

And of course, that was an illusion.

He was already buried six feet under.

It was the same for the 6th queen consort standing beside him.

【…Be gone, witch.】

He didn’t feel a shred of guilt towards the devil who was sucking the very life out of the empire —— Latreille believe this unwaveringly.

He climb the steps again.

Stepping over the enemy generals he defeated.

And crushed the soldiers who died under Latreille’s command under his soles too.

On the seventh step, his leg trembled.

【… Auguste… Big brother.】

He saw his elder brother who was poisoned by his mother.

Auguste was smiling calmly, but black blood was dripping from his purple lips.

At this moment, the cheers from the crowd sounded like the vengeful wails from hell. Latreille’s brows were covered in sweat, which slid down his cheeks.

His feet wouldn’t move, as if he had stepped into a quagmire.

Latreille’s breathing turned ragged.

A voice shouted from behind him.

【Prince Latreille, lead the empire into everlasting prosperity!】

That man was Germain.

The illusions of the corpses all vanished.

Before his eyes was the stage, the nobles in attendance as well as the thunderous cheers of the people.

Latreille raised a hand in response.

【Of course!】

He stood at the lectern.

The cheer grew louder.

His gaze fell on the nobles who were present.

Almost all of them were dressed extravagantly and had faces filled with greed. Amongst them, only Argentina and the people around her had sharp gazes.

—— Even if you make such an expression, it is already too late.

In the end, the Empress was absent.

Not because she was shunned, but because she sense danger.

The minister of ceremony, Bergerac came out, and announced the beginning of the coronation. Applause filled the air.

Bergerac was Bastian’s maternal grandfather. His face was pale as if he was about to faint, probably because he was too conscious about his grandson siding with Argentina.

The pope recited words of blessing to Latreille and crowned him.

The ceremony proceeded smoothly.

He could finally feel it physically.

Latreille raised his head and looked at the lead coloured sky as rain drops fell.

—— Even if heaven doesn’t will it, I’m still the best candidate to be emperor. I will prove that to everyone by becoming a snake that devours all other nations!

He declared:

【Only the Belgaria empire has the right to call itself the only superpower in these lands! When there are no more enemies to fight, I promise that I will bring you all everlasting peace and prosperity. Follow my lead! I will bring you victory!】

He raised his fist.

Cheers erupted in the crowd.

【Vive le nouvel Empereur! Vive le nouvel Empereur!】

The band started playing and the citizens sang the national anthem.

Imperial Year 851, August 13th——

The new emperor of the Belgaria Empire, Allen Deux Latreille de Belgaria was coronated.

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