This is Yukkuri demasu...
I’ll finish 2-4 tommorow! (If I don't procrastinate)
DISCLAIMER: I don’t guarantee that I translate 100% correct.... Since they almost talk in Royal and Proper manner, except for Castor…
3, Fish in Troubled Waters.
Parnam Castle’s 『Royal Broadcast Room』.
There was a 2 meter diameter orb used for Royal Broadcasts floating in the middle of the room. Besides it were the Royal Broadcast’s receiver instruments. The receiver instrument that each city had was installed together with a fountain that could generate mist. That instrument would project the images recorded by the Water Spirit’s mana and play the sound recorded by the Wind Spirit’s mana. However, this room used a thin water tank filled with water as the substitute for the video display apparatus.
It could be said that if the former was like a cinema’s projector screen, then the latter was something similar to a television. The ones in Royal Castle also had a clear video resolution. Since the orb in the castle was classified as an artifact (it was a relic of the ancient past with an unknown manufacturing method) so it was impossible to be mass produced however, I thought that if the castle’s receiver model could be more simplified, then it could be mass produced. If this could come true, then there might be a day when each house could watch Juna-san and the proposed Elfrieden’s new public broadcast.
Let us return to the topic at hand. If you asked, why there are receiver units in the room with the Royal Broadcast transmitter? Because each of the Three Dukes also possessed the same orbs. And currently, each receiver units displayed the faces of the Army General, Georg Carmine of the Therianthropes; the Air Force General, Castor Valgas of the Dragonewts; and the Navy General, Excel Walter of the Water Dragon Tribes. Surely, I and Liecia too were being displayed at their ends.
「……To think that our first meeting to be like this. I am Souma Kazuya, the one who had been entrusted with the throne by the previous Elfrieden King, Albert-dono.」(Souma)
『Cih, so a pretense to be a fully-fledged King?』(Castor)
Castor immediately snarled at my greetings. However,
『Castor!...... I’m deeply sorry, Your Majesty, I am honored to have the opportunity to meet with you for the first time. I am Excel Walter, General of the Navy. Castor, as a man who belongs to the military, never ever forget to treat the other party with respect no matter what kind of person they be.』(Excel)
『Gugh……I already know about that. Castor Valgas, General of the Air Force.』(Castor)
Excel immediately rebuked Castor, and Castor reluctantly gave his introduction. According to the report, Castor is Excel’s son-in-law. That explains the power balance.
『Georg Carmine, General of the Army.』(Georg)
Lastly, Georg introduced his name and so the mutual introductions finished.
……So, this lion person is Georg Carmine, huh?
He had such a burly physique that a normal person like me paled in comparison, a manly thick mane and the fiery shining eyes of a lion. Even though it was just a video display, but it felt as if he was right beside me. Such an overwhelming persona. I understood the reason why Liecia admired him, because of his attitude as a person who had served in the military for a long time.
Liecia, who was beside me, spontaneously leaked out a voice, however Georg didn’t send a single look at it.
Without being engulfed by Georg’s intimidating presence, I informed them with a direct tone.
「Now, I will give the Three Dukes my final counsel. After I had succeeded the throne, the three of you repeatedly didn’t respond to my requests for cooperation. Nonetheless, the matter of suddenly handing down the throne yo me was something that Albert-dono had personally decided, so of course there were people confused by this. Therefore, I never inquired about the reason of disobedience until now. However, from this point on, if you don’t abide to my decrees, then I have no choice but to acknowledge your side as rebellion. Air Force General Castor Valgas, and furthermore, Navy General Excel Walter. I will hear your opinion.」(Souma)
『Haa? To abide you…』(Castor)
Castor reflexive answer was immediately rebuked by Excel.
『What you will say in this place will be considered as the words of the Duke of the Valgas Duchy! Your shoulders carry the fate of the Valgas Duchy citizens, you know! Please be careful to not make any careless statements.』
As expected from Duchess Excel Walter. So as to not make any imprudent promises to my side, she conducted herself. Her appearance was that of a young girl, however she was not called the Amazoness for not being well versed in both military and political affairs. Someone that I absolutely don’t want to make an enemy out off.
『Your Majesty, there is something I want to inquire from you.』(Excel)
Excel began to question me in such a way.
「…… What is it?」(Souma)
『What does Your Majesty intend to do with the Three Dukes’ territory?』(Excel)
Excel looked directly at my eyes. If I told a lie to her, she would immediately know.
「If you abide by me then…… I will not interfere in the Three Dukes’ territory.」(Souma)
『Then the Three Dukes’ Army?』(Excel)
She immediately counterattacked. It seemed that she had seen right through my aim.
…… I shouldn’t untactfully keep it secret anymore, right?
「…… I will incorporate the Three Dukes’ Army into the Royal Army to form a new United Army. In addition, I will prohibit the nobles to possess additional soldiers, except for the number needed to police the territory. The surplus soldiers would also be incorporated into the Royal Army. Because of this, I will abolish the Three Dukes’ special privileges to maintain an army. It will be treated similar to other nobles’ territory.」(Souma)
『As expected, it is this……』(Excel)
『Haaa!? Do you want to put all the army completely in YOUR hand!』(Castor)
Castor snapped at my declaration to requisition the Three Dukes’ Army.
『Are you ignorant!? The Three Dukes’ system is to prevent the rise of a Tyrant. If the King of this country become a Tyrant, then we Three Dukes will observe him, and then if it needed then, with the entrusted army, to depose him! Do you want to destroy his system!?』(Castor)
「If this is a peaceful era, then I think it is a splendid system. However, this is an age of war. In the North, the threat of the Demon Army is approaching and in the West, the Empire is putting pressure all around. Amidonia and Torgis are waiting with vigilance to aim at our territories and in the East, the skirmish with Seven Headed Dragon Archipelago Union doesn’t shown any signs to cease. This is the time to establish a centralized rule.」(Souma)
『If the center becomes corrupted, then what will you do!? Do you think you could just assert that YOU will not become a Tyrant!? If all the armies are put into YOUR hands, then who will be judging YOU!?』(Castor)
「The Citizens will.」(Souma)
When I confidently declare this, Castor was immediately taken aback.
「It is because this is the law system of this country. 『King』, 『Law』, and 『Citizens』, are three interrelated things. 『Law』 is a community’s collective value system, in this case, the community are the people who live in the same country. That’s why 『Law』is the same thing as a 『Nation State』.」(Souma)
『Eh, ah…… Community? Nation State?』(Castor)
Although Castor seemed to be unable to understand and Georg was just closing his eyes while silently listening, as for Excel, she was nodding and said 『Please continue.』
「To put it into simpler words, it is a relationship that 『The King establishes the Law, the Law protects the Citizens, the Citizens acknowledge the King』. At the same time, it is also a relationship where 『The King abolishes the Bad Law, the Law judges the Bad Person, the Citizens overthrow the Bad King.』 But on the contrary, at the opposite end of this relationship, the Citizen couldn’t establish or abolish the Law. Although the National Assembly could propose a bill to the King, it would be depend on the King whether or not to enact it. At the same time, the King doesn’t have any power to directly judge the Citizens.」(Souma)
For example, at the time when I gathered the Talented People, Aisha had performed a taboo for speaking directly to me as a King. Actually, I didn’t really mind it, but even in case it was considered a problem, as a King. I couldn’t punish Aisha for her impoliteness. As a Citizen, in the end., the one who would judge Aisha would be the Law. By the way, there is really a law to prohibit speaking plainly towards the King, the 『Lese Majeste』 Law. Excluding the case of legitimate self defense in case she suddenly assaulted me with a sword; she would be properly arrested and would be put on a trial. Since this is the Law that was established in this country.
「Furthermore, if the King could freely establish or abolish the Law, then the Law has no binding power to the King. So, the only one who could judge the King is the Citizens. In case a Tyrant appears, then to protect their lives and property, the Citizens have the inviolable privilege of the 『Right to Resist』: to overthrow that King. The King couldn’t infringe on this right. That’s why if the King trifles with the Law as he pleases, then certainly he would end up being overthrown by the Citizens.」(Souma)
『Wait! If you put all the armies below you, then the Citizens have no chance to succeed, right!?』(Castor)
「What are you talking about? After all the army is made up citizens too, right?」(Souma)
「Even for the soldiers assembled below me, they also have the 『Right to Resist』. If the citizens and the soldiers judged me as a Tyrant, then I will be rejected at once by them. This is the system already established in this country. Incidentally, while we are talking about 『Right to Resist』, if you Three Dukes overthrow a Tyrant, what legal basis you would use to not be labeled as a 『Murderer』 or 『Traitor』afterwards?」(Souma)
Castor became silent.
In exchange, Excel began to question me again.
『Then, Your Majesty. After the components of the Three Dukes’ Army that watch each other have gone, what will happen after United Army exert their 『Right to Resist』 and oust the King? If in itself, the army had the power to overthrow the King, the Citizens wouldn’t have any means to fight against that kind of army. In the end, wouldn’t a United Army would only invite a junta dictatorship?』(Excel)
「Haven’t I said it already? After all, the army are the Citizens too. Their actions are regulated by the Law, and so they can also be judged by it. The army has the military law; if they violate that law, they will be judge. The Law is watching the army after all.」(Souma)
The political thinker Machiavelli had said 『No matter what kind of country it is, the most important foundation is an excellent law and an excellent military. Without an excellent military, an excellent law couldn’t be enforced. A nation with an excellent military will always have an excellent law』. Without the military, the law couldn’t be protected. Without observing the rules of the law, the military may rampage. That’s why a good country must have a good law and good military…… Again, I believe that Japan can be considered as a good country.
Of course, I didn’t believe that everything could be controlled by merely binding them with just the Law. However, as a rough idea, I believed that there is no problem with it. With the fine details, I couldn’t do more than dealing with training, promoting trusted people as commanders or building mutual trust with the army.
「Then, I hope this reply would be able to answer the question of 『What I intend to do with the Three Dukes’ Army』, Duchess Walter.」(Souma)
『Yes. It had cleared up my worries. Even so, there is still one thing that I wanted to ask. I had heard about the new bay city that Your Majesty is constructing. When that city has been completed, what will happen to Lagoon City?』(Excel)
Lagoon City. The city of the heart of the Walter Duchy. The 『City』 that was the thing Excel and the Sea Dragon Tribe thought the foremost. It can be said that without a doubt, it could incite the wrath of Sea Serpents.
「The new city is planned to become a trading port with tourist attractions. Since from the point of secrecy, the tourist trade has bad compatibility with a naval port, it wouldn’t have that facility. That’s why from here on out, Lagoon City becomes a Naval Port, I will also entrust the construction of battleships to Lagoon City.」(Souma)
I would surely be able to separate Lagoon City to be the Port of Kure and the new city to be the Port of Sakai. It is possible to coexist and co-prosper. When I explained this to Excel, she nodded.
『After hearing this, I now have a peace of mind. From here on, this Excel Walter as well the Elfrieden Kingdom Navy will serve under Your Majesty’s command; we will abide by your order.』(Excel)
「I give my gratitude for Duchess Walter’s decision. Hereafter, I hope we could work together for this country.」 (Souma)
『I will humbly obey.』(Excel)
Duchess Walter respectfully bowed her head. With this, the Navy has joined my side.
(……Well, it already had according to the plan so far) (Souma)
(We were already informed about Duchess Walter’s thought through Juna-san, after all.) (Liecia)
I spoke in a low voice with Liecia who stood beside me.
Duchess Walter is a lady with great foresight. When Liecia’s father handed down the throne to me, she guessed that there was a reason behind it, and then established contact from the beginning.
The one who became the mediator was Juna-san.
Juna-san is a person dispatched by Duchess Walter. Juna-san used the talent gathering event as a means to approach me and then conveyed the thoughts of Duchess Walter. As long as I don’t lay my hands on Lagoon City, she would gladly serve the new king. As she couldn’t ignore the obstinacy of her son-in-law Castor Valgas, and the strange state surrounding Georg Carmine since my enthronement, to observe these people, she would act as if she was on the Three Dukes’ side for awhile.
After I heard it, I guaranteed the autonomy of Lagoon City and the safety of the previous King and Queen, and after that, I conveyed my plan of action to her side (Although I didn’t report the plan of absorbing the Three Dukes Army into the Royal Army…… It seemed that she had already seen through my actions.) To deal with the problematic situation after this, the Navy’s cooperation is a must. Actually, even before Duchess Walter complied with my final warning, she already moved the Navy to the Royal Army.
That’s why in this final warning meeting, Duchess Walter would abide to my rule and at the same time Georg Carmine already established that he was rebelling against me. So amongst the Three Dukes, the only one whose behavior that I couldn’t read was only the Air Force General Castor Valgas. Of course, I already made preparations in the case that he would turn into an enemy, but…… So that there wouldn’t be unnecessary victims, I don’t want to turn him into an enemy if I can.
「Castor Valgas, Duchess Walter has said that she shall follow me. You also, stop your insubordination and cooperate for the sake of the country.」(Souma)
Duchess Walter scolded him, but Castor was obstinate.
『You are suspicious looking. I had already protected this country for the last two Kings and I will keep expulsing foreign enemies and whittle down enemy territory for another one hundred years. Even so, why, without consulting us, King Albert suddenly surrendered his throne to someone who just popped out from nowhere like YOU?』(Castor)
「……Why don’t you ask the person himself?」(Souma)
I also want to know about it. After handing down the throne to me, at first I was only frantically working so I wouldn’t be handed over to the Empire, then I was frantically working to save this country from its predicament. Because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to think about it: why Liecia’s father easily handed over the throne to someone who had just been summoned like me? Although it seems that in this country, a Hero is 『A Person who Leads the Change of an Era』, but would he really put trust on my worthiness to such extent?
『I already sent numerous letters to King Albert. However I haven’t received any reply even up until now.』(Castor)
「In that case, I am also bothered by it if it as you say so.」(Souma)
『Weren’t you the one who had seized the letters?』(Castor)
「I had never done such deeds.」(Souma)
『Hah? Then why?』(Castor)
Really…… I didn’t know anything about this. Since I had been pushed with all kinds of works and responsibility, I also didn’t have any reason to do so. Rather, what is the former King doing by not replying to the letter?
(Liecia, do you know something about this?) (Souma)
(That is…… Although this is something unrelated, when I was asked him to cooperate in persuading Duke Carmine, he only said that 『Distrustful people will appear if I move. After all, Souma is already the King.』……) (Liecia)
(What he was so obstinate for?......) (Souma)
I didn’t know what a person thinks about someone else.
Well, rather than the former King that wasn’t here, it was about Castor who was in front of me.
「Then, what should I do to make you accept me as the King?」(Souma)
『Let’s see…..a Dragon is a creature that only let someone who it recognizes to ride on their back. If you want me to abide to you then you, must show the appropriate power to do so.』(Castor)
Castor made a fiery statement. What was with that muscle head type reasoning……?
「Do you understand that by doing so, then it would be considered as a traitorous act to the country? Regardless whether you abide or not to me, after the war, you will be judged by the Law.」(Souma)
『My air force wouldn’t be defeated by something like your Royal Army! If you can do it, then prove it!』(Castor)
I looked in Duchess Excel’s direction and she appeared to be greatly troubled. Then this is already…… in vain, huh?
「If you abide to my rule, then I will grant food aid and highway construction to the Valgas Duchy. I will also guarantee the safety and autonomy of your citizens.」(Souma)
『As a general, I will lay my life for the ruler that I believe in. That ruler is the former King Albert-dono and absolutely not you!』(Castor)
「Is that so?...... I only want you to please remember that before you are a general, you also carry many things on your back.」(Souma)
『Your Majesty, Castor is……』(Excel)
Duchess Walter tried to put in a good word for Castor, but I raised my hand to stop her.
「It’s useless. We can’t take any more time than this.」(Souma)
Although I could understood Duchess Walter’s feelings, the situation had already begin to move. I didn’t have any more time to spare for Castor. Hah…… So I couldn’t persuade the Air Force, huh? If I could persuade them, then the winning chance would be 99%, but with this, it would become somewhat a gamble. How bothersome.
「Then, I am sorry to make you wait. Army General Georg Carmine.」(Souma)
I exchanged glares with the brave lion-faced general. I could feel a tremendous intimidating air coming over the monitor. If we met directly, then I think I would show my unsightly trembling feet.
「Well, I will not ask whether you will abide or not. Since when you received the nobles who had committed fraud, it was obvious that you had no intent to abide me. It will be useless to persuade.」(Souma)
「Therefore, I will only ask you one question. Why are you rebelling to that extent?」(Souma)
『Pride as an old warrior..』(Georg)
Georg answered my question in a direct manner.
『My age had already passed 55, this body could only wait to wither, but I earned the most superb opportunity. My wits will decide the fate of Elfrieden. A once in a lifetime chance, to accomplish big things that would be the legacy for posterity is a cherished dream of a warrior.』(Georg)
「Only because of that?……」(Souma)
Did he plot against me just because of a reason that was similar to what a 50 year old human would have?
「Are you……a fool?」(Souma)
『A foolish question. Someone wouldn’t be suitable to be a warrior if he is not a fool. I will make you see my way of life.』(Georg)
「Isn’t that more like way of death?」(Souma)
『It’s the same thing. You live if you don’t want to die. You die if you don’t want to live. That is what a warrior is.』(Georg)
He said it in a firm tone that gave an impression of a lion’s roar. Any further discussion would be futile.
「……Then, please excuse the me who will step over that old tree.」(Souma)
『Even though the tree is rotting, it is a huge tree that had spread out its roots far and wide. A half-heartened resolution wouldn’t be able to cross over it.』(Georg)
「If it is resolution, then I do have it.」(Souma)
If it is a resolution to have a hand in cruel conducts if only for a moment, I had already resolved it a long time ago.
「Georg Carmine and Castor Valgas, too」(Souma)
『What is it?』(Valgar)
「I have a proposal. I believe it’s not in my or your side’s real intent to involve the citizens that didn’t participate in our fight. That’s why, let’s create a rule, 『If an opponent is defeated or captured, then the army under him will immediately placed under the winner』. This is a measure taken to prevent the army from revenging the defeated leader and so that the hostilities don’t continue.」(Souma)
Hearing this proposal, both of them nodded.
『I don’t mind. As long as I can knock you down, then I’m fine with it.』(Castor)
『Well then, excuse me.』(Georg)
When Georg was going to cut the transmission, Liecia who had been silent until then, asked him to stop. Georg narrowed his eyes.
『So it’s the princess…..』(Georg)
Even though they had called out each other names, they didn’t speak any other words to each other. They were only looking at each other’s eyes silently. In the castle, they are royalty and retainer; in the army, they are superior and subordinate; in private, they are a man who is respected like a father and a girl who is loved like a daughter. Even though I am ignorant of people’s subtleties, I understood that even with exchanging looks, they could communicate with each other.
The two people were just looking at each other for a moment, but then Liecia suddenly unsheathed the rapier from her waist and then put the blade behind her neck. With a single stroke, she cut off her platinum blonde ponytail. Whuuuuuuuuuuh!?
The golden thread-like hair was fluttering down and fell to the floor. Because it was so sudden, not only me but the Three Dukes were also dumbfounded. Out of the blue, Liecia became short-haired, however the person herself showed that she wasn’t bothered by it, and then pointed that rapier towards the orb and proclaimed.
「This is my resolution. I will walk together at Souma’s side.」(Liecia)
Georg who was looking dumbfounded like me, before long started to glare and made a smile similar to a carnivore discovered a prey.
『I have received the Princess’ resolution. In that case, please show your resolution even on the battlefield.』(Georg)
Both of them had the face that they had understand each other, somehow. Perhaps it was some kind of communication between warriors that I couldn’t understand, but anyway…… with this, the final warning to the Three Dukes had finished.
◇ ◇ ◇
「Your hair…… Is it alright for you to cut it?」(Souma)
After the conference with the Three Dukes was over, I asked Liecia as soon as we returned to the Government’s Affairs Room. There was also Aisha, who had came back from Dark Elf’s Village, Hakuya, Poncho and Tomoe who joined us in the room. Everyone were staring in awe at the change in Liecia, but the person herself seemed to not be bothered by it at all.
「Since I needed to make a distinction…… Does the hair suits me?」(Liecia)
「Well, I think it suits you. Right?」(Souma)
Everyone spoke out while nodding repeatedly at the same time.
「It is dignified and superb, Princess.」(Hakuya)
「I think short hair also suits you.」(Aisha)
「I-I think it really suits you, yes.」(Poncho)
「You are lovely, Nee-sama.」(Tomoe)
They were unanimously praising Liecia (although not at the same time) so her face became red from being embarrassed. Then, after the atmosphere calms down, let’s get down to business.
「Hakuya, what about the preparations?」(Souma)
「All is progressing smoothly. The 20,000 soldiers strong Royal Army under Ludwin-dono could be deployed immediately.」(Hakuya)「How about the movement of Amidonia’s force?」(Souma)
「They, too…… ar moving according to our assumptions.」(Hakuya)
Hakuya hid his mouth using his collar. Perhaps, he was trying to hide the smirk in the corner of his lips.
「Alright. Then what about Poncho and Tomoe-chan’s sides?」(Souma)
「Y-yes! The military provisions preparation, are progressing without delay, yes!」(Poncho)
「Rhinosauruses’ preparations have also been completed.」(Tomoe)
「Alright. The one that will influence how this war progress will be “transportation power”. I have great expectations for both of your works.」(Souma)
Both of them bowed with nervous expressions as I made a wry smile and began to walk.
「Souma, it’s the time, right?」(Liecia)
「I can’t wait to use my skills.」(Aisha)
I greatly nodded to Liecia and Aisha who followed me from behind.
「Now then, commence the conquest!」(Souma)
I imagine the last part with Souma emulating Lelouch…
AND SO: CULTURAL NOTES:
Do you ever see a female character in Japanese anime or game dramatically cutting off her hair? This signals some kind of dramatic, life-altering change.
The Japanese woman with long meticulously cared hair is considered as one of the Yamato Nadeshiko characteristic. There even a saying that “a woman’s hair is her life.” This saying underlined the great importance of the hair as a symbol of womanhood. That’s why if you see Japanese story set in ancient Japan and or many famous anime, many ‘adult & charming’ female characters had very long and ornate hair (even reach their buttocks and really really ornate).
Thus, if a woman cutting her hair vividly represents that she had resolved to make a dramatic break with her own past: to divide time between “the old me” and “the me there is now”. Hence Liecia’s words of “Since I need to make a distinction.” It is to signal that this is a new her, Liecia who will walk together at Souma’s side…
Read the complete list of Important Haircut at TVTropes!
 混水摸魚 (Japanese: Honsui Bugyo, Chinese: Húnshuǐmōyú). It’s a Chinese 4 word proverb, meaning: Take the advantage of a chaotic situation to make personal gains. This is also one of the 36 stratagems of Sun Tzu also known as "Disturb the Water and catch a Fish.
 FUN FACT: I just know that the kou/jiao 蛟 from 蛟龍 kouryou/jiaolong is also used to refer to mermaid: 蛟人 / 鮫人. Kinda fitting for the Duchess Walter, right?
 This is “TEMEE” In case you didn’t know, Temee is a rude way to refer to another person. It’s from Temae, crudely means, you who are in front of my hand... Now for the purpose of translating, imagine Castor said this in mocking tone.
 An iteration of Chapter 12 of De Principatibus.
 You may disagree with this, but keep it to yourself.
 Kure, Hiroshima is an important port where the dockyard built the Japanese Navy vessels and has a major Japanese Naval Base. Meanwhile Sakai, Osaka, is a bustling and one of the largest commercial ports in Japan.
 A midlife crisis in case you confused...
EN: I still think that he should just do what all people do at that age: Buy a sports car, go cruising for women young enough to be their granddaughter/daughter, shame their family by still insisting that they are young and cool lol.
 Souma make a jab at Georg statement. Georg mention “生き様” way of life, but Souma retorted with “死に様” substituting the first Kanji life (生) for death (死)