This is Yukkuri demasu...
DISCLAIMER: I don’t guarantee that I translate 100% correct....
Another girl appeared… And she was eyeing Souma’s pocket… I think Souma’s 7 days spot is still open for prospective contender I think?
National Enrichment Arc
Epilogue : Three Dukes’ Conference / Those who Crawl like Worms / A Stage with Many Scriptwriters B
Van: the Capital City of the Amidonia Dukedom.
The Amidonia Dukedom’s territory had an uneven width and length, and its capital city was located on the eastern side of that territory. Because the capital city could be considered as being located too close to the national border with the Elfrieden Kingdom, this might be why they haven’t given up on recovering their lost eastern territory. In a government affairs room located in the castle in the center of Van, a middle aged man with a Kaiser Beard was reading a letter. His mantle-covered body appeared stout, however, because he had wide shoulders, he didn’t look obese. Perhaps below that mantle, he was full of muscle.
That man was Gaius VIII, Duke of Amidonia.
「Is something wrong, father?」(Gaius’ Son)
From his side, a young man in an army uniform inquired him. He had a handsome face however, his eyes radiated a chill light that somehow made his appearance look cold. It could be said that, his eyes themselves practically showed that he, Julius Amidonia, the Ducal Prince of the Amidonia Dukedom, inherited the coldhearted temperament of his father.
Gaius presented the letter so Julius could read.
「It’s from Georg Carmine. It seemed he has finally “risen”.」(Gaius)
「Oh, he finally did it. I heard that he was popular as someone who did things swiftly without delay when he was young. But it seemed that the person now has quite a heavy waist.」(Julius)
「It might be because he has grown old. Although if he still has his wisdom, then he wouldn’t partake in our invitation.」(Gaius)
Julius handed back the letter to Gaius.
「Together with the war proclamation to the new king, execute the plan. Send the “reinforcements” to the Kingdom.」(Gaius)
「Oh…… to which side?」(Julius)
「Which side? Of course it would be reported to the new king’s side as 『Reinforcements for the Three Dukes side』 and to the Three Dukes side as 『Reinforcements for the New King side』.」(Gaius)
「I see, we don’t have any obligation to abide to either side after all.」(Julius)
「Kukuku, that’s right.」(Gaius)
Gaius and Julius exchanged a dark laugh with each other.
But there were someone who looked at them with cold eyes.
(Goodness gracious…… Father-dono and my stupid brother are so embarrassing.) (Gaius’ Daughter)
It was a girl who shifted her eyes away indifferently. Her age was about 18. Her face resembled the handsome face of her brother Julius, however the coldheartedness didn’t overly exude out. Rather, her eyes were like chestnuts and she had a round face that was as lovely as a tanuki doll. Her long hair was tied into two braids at her nape level, the so-called twin-tail style. That girl is this country’s First Ducal Princess, Roroa Amidonia. Although contrary to her appearance, her mind held quite a wicked tongue.
(Does this stupid father and son pair intend to trim this country’s lifespan, that was already short even under normal circumstances, even more?) (Roroa)
The Amidonia Dukedom is a mountainous country. It has a lot of metal resources, however on other hand, it had little arable land so it always has food supply issues. The neighboring Elfrieden Kingdom had a serious food shortage, however this country didn’t reach that level. After all, if the harvest failed for even little a bit, then there will be people starving to death.
(It’s not like I don’t understand Father-dono’s wish to possess bountiful land even for just a bit. That is right, but Father-dono had used all the funds that I had raised after so much trouble and sank them into military spending.) (Roroa)
Roroa grinded her teeth.
This Roroa, while being this country’s princess, she also held an outstanding business acumen, and so supported this country’s entire financial affair from the shadow. She made the economy circulate trade with another country, tightened the export of raw resources to another country, and gave favors and promoted the industries to produce processed goods for export. Her ability was something that would be desired by any other country. It could be said that this country, which was in the brink of economic disaster, didn’t undergo economic collapse thanks to Roroa’s quick wittedness.
However, Gaius and his cronies didn’t make the best use of the situation that had resulted from Roroa’s quick wittedness.
(Even though using the hard-earned funds to promote industry would allow them acquire more funds, this economy-blind war-idiot father and son pair only spent it on military spending. The troublesome thing is that they seriously believed in 『By strengthening the military, they could obtain anything』. How absurdly, ridiculously, ludicrously foolish! If they used the funds, collected the profit, and repeated this cycle, then there would be some meaning to it. Only spending it? Isn’t it only a waste!? ……The thing is, even if I screamed this out, would the old man even hear it…..?)(Rorora)
「Hey, Roroa what do you think?」(Julius)
Being suddenly mentioned, Roroa answered while forcing an insincere smile.
She actually didn’t hear their talk at all……
(……This country might hold too many hopeless points, right…… Aaaaah, I envy Elfrieden. Since the population is large, then the capital that can be used is also large. Really, isn’t this like envying the wallet of a neighbor……Wallet?)(Roroa)
At that point, Roroa realized something.
(If I envy the neighbor’s wallet then……wouldn’t it better if I join my wallet to it? Furthermore, in the most legitimate way as possible….. can this be done?...... Un, this might succeed. For this, I need to contact the gramps-sama who guards Nelva……)(Roroa)
While muttering to herself, Roroa began to polish a plan. High risk, high gain. Roroa, who started to begin the ploy of her life time, sported a smile. In this regard, she was a bit similar to her father and brother.
◇ ◇ ◇
Parnam, the Capital City of the Elfrieden Kingdom.
In a government affairs room at Parnam Castle, I heard the latest report about the food problem from Hakuya.
「Based on the documents, the autumn harvest is satisfactorily within our expectations. Furthermore, owing to the transportation network that Your Majesty had laid out, the number of people and amount of traffic has increased, and goods started to flow to the entire nation from the surplus regions. Of course, this also include foodstuffs. With this, we may consider that from this time on, the food problem has been resolved, more or less.」(Hakuya)
「Then, this is good news. It is worthy that our hard work has led to this result.」(Souma)
It has been a longtime, but with this, I can finally take a breather. Because I had been dealing with this problem most of the time, I personally have a very deep emotional attachment to it. However,
「Yes. With this, we could be at ease to proceed to “the next stage”.」(Hakuya)
While ignoring my sentimental time, Hakuya spoke out.
The next stage, right?
「As expected…… We must do it, right?」(Souma)
「Do you feel reluctant?」(Hakuya)
「Well, you know. Even though I know this is something necessary, but……」(Souma)
Yes. This is necessary.
The political thinker Machiavelli had said in the 『De Principatibus』:
『If a Ruler has a hand in a cruel act, even during a in time of peace, then it would put his position in jeopardy. However, even when some Rulers didn’t restrain themselves from cruelty, there aren’t any rebellions among his subjects or attacks by foreign enemies. This is because of a difference in whether a Ruler’s usage of cruelty is well-used or poorly-used.』
『A skilled person would immediately act cruel when a danger to him had arrived. After he used it, he would decisively abandon the cruel act and thereafter returned to the governing manner that was in accordance to the public interest as much as possible. Then, he will be called a wise Ruler. If conversely, he struck the root of evil in the beginning, and afterwards dragged it on and the cruel acts were used repeatedly, then this would be an unskilled usage of cruelty.』
(Excerpt of De Principatibus Chapter VIII. Especially Parable of Agathocles)
Because of this sentence, Machiavelli’s 『De Principatibus』 had been long criticized by the Christian Church and humanitarians. It recommended the Ruler to employ “Cruel Acts”. Certainly, if someone had read this at first glance, then they would say that this was a tremendously terrible thing. Love and Peace. Besides, wouldn’t it all be better if everything resolved with Love? However, things didn’t happen that way in the Real World. If someone remembered this fact and then read that sentence again, then they would understand how Machiavelli’s ideas conformed to reality more.
The “Cruelty” mentioned here isn’t something like massacring innocent civilians. A good use of Machiavellism is something like thoroughly removing all of one’s political opponents. Just through one act of cruelty will stabilize one’s political power, and if a stable political power can be achieved, then the citizens would also become happy. Conversely, if he couldn’t pull off the policy well, then his political opponent would show their face and then, if he didn’t strike them down right from the start, then he would need to repeat enforcements against rebellions numerous times and lose the trust of his citizens.
To cite a concrete example, the Italian condotierro Cesare Borgia, who Machiavelli extolled as an ideal ruler, built a firm position after killing the influential noble who invited him to a banquet. Uesugi Kenshin’s successor, Uesugi Kagekatsu, destroyed his younger brother-in-law, Uesugi Kagetora, in the succession struggle, but afterwards he lived as a loyal person and earned a reputation as a 『Honorable』 military commander.
Oda Nobunaga’s case is a little unique. He didn’t hesitate in using cruelty and used it cleverly, and it might could be said that his cruelty was well used since he suddenly catapulted himself into a strong daimyo in such a short span of time. However, eventually the prolonged cruelty shortened his thread of life, as he was betrayed by his retainer and lost his life. So it couldn’t be helped to say that he had used cruelty poorly.
To sum it up, “cruelty” is a last resort sword that could sever anything for the Ruler, but it is also a cursed sword that can possess him if used too much and sooner or later would bring destruction onto him.
「It is just like what you said earlier. Your plan will decide this cruelty.」(Souma)
「Yes. And then I will precede with your words 『If possible, finish it in one blow』.」(Hakuya)
「Can you do it?」(Souma)
「Then that’s good.」(Souma)
Although it might be said that “it was for this country”, I didn’t have any great attachments to this country.
It also wasn’t for justice or a great cause.
But when I thought “what I do this for?”, Liecia and the others’ faces appeared in my mind.
The face of Liecia, Aisha, and Juna-san who laughed and cried for this country.
……Yes. This is enough for me.
If it was for the sake of the smiles of Liecia and the others whom I cared, then I will become a cruel king for just this once.
「The “conquest” will now begin.」 (Souma)
◇ ◇ ◇
In the future, this war was known as 『Five Days War』, then some years later, a reporter interviewed Souma about this. He made a wry smile before he began to narrate.
『It is the truth that I and Hakuya were the scriptwriters for that war. However, before I noticed it, it was Hakuya and I who were manipulated to dance on the stage…… Ah, that’s right. That war’s scriptwriters were not only us. That’s true…… I think at least there were about three others? Now that you mentioned it, I think the war reached such an ending due to such a superbly unusual concurrence that happened.』(Souma)
At the end of that interview, Souma grumbled in a low voice.
『In the end, I wonder who was the best scriptwriter……』(Souma)
Watch out Souma, here come Roroa! I bet Souma would gladly employed Roroa as his mistre- I mean as his minister of economy…
Next Chapter is new arc…
 A type of beard popularized by Austrian and German Kaiser like Wilhelm I and Franz Joseph I. Das Original Kaiserbart.
 No wait, what? Why tanuki? (E/N: Tanuki is love. Tanuki is life. Gekkan Shoujo says so.) Damn you Maeno!
 This is sarcasm? (E/N: I don’t get it either….)
 In case you didn’t know: It would be more profitable for a country to export processed goods than raw resources, since processed goods sell for more.
 So a certain nation attacks another nation and as a result, the whole region fucked up so badly that violence happened every day is an example of Cruelty used badly. You know what I mean.
 For lack of better words: In Renaissance Italy, condottiero meant "contractor", and was synonymous with the modern English title Mercenary Captain. A condotierro is the leader of mercenaries contracted by a city state.
 I don’t know what event that the author referred in this, due to my lack of knowledge of Renaissance Papal States.
(He is referring to the death of Giovanni Borgia, who was rumored to have been killed by his younger brother Cesare, after leaving a feast.
Fun fact: Machiavelli both praised & warned against Cesare, since Cesare “planned for every situation except his own illness” AND Cesare’s power depended on who the Pope was. Cesare’s Pope was his worst enemy since his first choice, the ally Pope, died a month after becoming the Pope. New Pope fucked Cesare over at every opportunity & outwitted every plan of his.)
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uesugi_Kenshin Uesugi Kenshin is a famous sengoku general.
 To put it into reader perspective: Nobunaga consolidated his power in 1559 after eliminating all opposition in his clan and Owari Province. In 1560 he defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto in Battle of Okehazama and established himself as one of the strongest daimyo in Central Japan.
 Originally: Heirloom Sword. You don’t use an heirloom sword for combat, so it is only a weapon of last resort. (E/N: Like Touken Ranbu? :3c Mikazuki Munechika is the cutest~.) Quite so, after all heirloom sword is too precious to be stained by blood.