Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
I want to actually release this hours ago but then there was this sudden hotel meeting I need to participate, so it get delayed so late in the night (here is midnight right now).
Also, I mostly didn’t translate honorific, as I feel the Japanese Honorific convey social status / relationship better than the English one. Or perhaps, it’s just because of my Asian background…
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 5: As a Ruler AB (behind the scenes) – Meanwhile, The Black Clothed One
On the day when Elfrieden Kingdom’s (Temporary) King, Souma, accepted his Second and Third fiancées, there were two people conducting a discussion through the Royal Voice Broadcast at a different place. Elfrieden Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Hakuya Kwonmin, addressed Jeanne Euphoria, the Sister Princess of Maria, the Empress of the Grand Chaos Empire, and who was reflected on the simple receiver set atop the table.
「The reception is clear. It seems there are no problems in the simple receiver sets’ connection. Thank you very much, Jeanne-dono, to even send a Griffon Cavalry to us.」(Hakuya)
『My Sister also understands the importance of what King Souma called a “Hotline”. If we establish this, then the Empire and the Kingdom can always communicate with each other. So shouldn’t it be a natural thing that we did this in a hurry?』(Jeanne)
Jeanne made a sweet grin on the screen.
After the Amidonian Conference, Jeanne returned to her country and reported to Empress Maria about the proposals from Souma: 『The Secret Alliance with Elfrieden Kingdom』, 『Establishing a Bilateral Hotline』, 『Each country dispatching a residing Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and establishing an embassy as the place where the ambassadors will stay』. Jeanne had thought that Maria might not refuse these proposals and, sure enough, Maria readily consented to it. Or perhaps, it could be better to say that she was laughing exuberantly.
『That was the first time I had ever seen Sister laughing like that. She seems to be quite happy.』(Jeanne)
「Happy…… is it?」(Hakuya)
『To have someone who shares the same value system…… In other words, someone who has the same way of thinking. There are not many people who can do so in the Empire. Someone who can see eye to eye with the Holy Maiden.』(Jeanne)
The one who pursued the ideal and the one who looked at the reality, not only were they separated geographically at the eastern and western sides of the Continent, but were also separated by their ideology, but for some reason, both of them could understand each other. Certainly, it might be an interesting situation, thought Hakuya.
『When it is possible, I want to immediately to hold a broadcast conversation between Sister and King Souma.』(Jeanne)
「Since both of them are really busy, both of them probably don’t have time to do this. When the situation has calmed down, let us decide the time for the conversation beforehand.」(Hakuya)
Then, after a bit gossip (expressing complaints about their respective Lords), Jeanne asked Hakuya.
『There is something that has been bothering me from awhile ago. I could see a lot of books behind Hakuya-dono and I have the feeling that I have seen those books before from somewhere.』(Jeanne)
「……Ah, these books are loaned as a collateral for the indemnities payment from Van. Since there are many books that I want to copy before returning them, I was sorting them out until just now.」(Hakuya)
『The Prime Minister himself personally sorted the books?』(Jeanne)
「Of course, since we lack the manpower, but half of it is because it’s my pastime. I have a fondness for sorting books. Dividing them according to the category, lining them uniformly, sometimes turning pages of a book that caught my eyes, and finally taking pleasure at the sight of the neat book arrangement on the shelves. Books are humanity’s wisdom. The progress of the country itself. When I thought about how I could always read the books lined up on the shelves before me……」(Hakuya)
Jeanne was opening her eyes wide in surprise at the sight of Hakuya’s loquaciousness. If you were talking about the “Black Clothed Prime Minister”, then he was someone who was famous as a genius that Souma had discovered and a person who led Gaius VIII and Julius by their noses with his Machiavellianism. When she personally met with him, Jeanne also had the impression that he was a really clever person. However, when Hakuya was talking about books, he had the eyes of a child. This gap (Hakuya’s attitude that was different from his usual demeanor) left Jeanne in a bit of shock.
『…… Do you really like books?』(Jeanne)
When he heard Jeanne ask this, Hakuya’s ego returned. His expression recovered back into his usual cool and composed one, but the tips of his ears were a bit red.
「*cough*…… Excuse me for my conduct. I have a bit of weakness for books……」(Hakuya)
『Fufu, I think I have seen an unexpected side of you.』(Jeanne)
「Is it unexpected? I myself think that I am more suited as a librarian rather than as a prime minister.」(Hakuya)
In the first place, Hakuya’s audience with Souma, was just because his Father uncle said 『Don’t just spend years reading books! Go out and help society!』 and involuntarily registered him at the Talent Event’s 『Wisdom Talent』 class. Then, he, the overall champion, had an audience with the young king and was charmed by him. Hakuya thought that if it was Souma, then he could make this nearly dying country get back on its feet again. So he stopped being a reclusive bookworm, became a government official, and before he noticed it, he had already become the Prime Minister.
As a matter of fact, at that time Hakuya thought that it would already be good enough if he became an advisor to the previous Prime Minister Marcus. However, that Marcus saw that Hakuya was more Prime Minister material than himself and recommended Hakuya as Prime Minister. Thanks to this, recently Hakuya didn’t have any time to read the books that he liked and his days of being pressured by work, continued.
『Fumu…… Then, if I appointed you as the Chief Librarian of the Imperial Library, would you come to our country? I think that our library’s book collection is also more superior than the Kingdom’s.』(Jeanne)
「Ah. That is a quite fascinating offer.」(Hakuya)
『Is it no good?』(Jeanne)
「If it was before I entered into the government service, then I might have unhesitatingly jumped at that proposal.」(Hakuya)
But, you know…… These work pressured days are also not bad, thought Hakuya. The former Hakuya would think that history was only something that existed inside a book. However, currently he felt that he was making history himself. By serving under Souma, who will lead the Era of this country, Hakuya himself could become a character in the history. When he thought about this, it didn’t sound bad.
「Currently I want to be together with His Majesty Souma when he leads the Era. Then, at some point in the future, when the next generation has grown up, I will retire and write down this Era.」
『A comfortable retirement, right? …… At this day and age, there might be no other lifestyle that is more comfortable than this.』
What Jeanne said might be true. In this Era, it is hard to have a comfortable retirement. Between the threat from the Demon Lord’s Army from the north, which was gradually approaching, and an Alliance, which member countries had their own agenda, it was a hostility filled situation. Hakuya must settle these situations entirely for the sake of his comfortable retirement. Whether or not this is possible, it was something that was beyond his knowledge though.
『Well then, I will look forward to our next meeting, Hakuya-dono.』(Jeanne)
「Yes. Let us meet again, Jeanne-dono.」(Hakuya)
Jeanne ceased her communication. Fuu…… Hakuya let out a sigh and stood up. He reached out his hands towards the piled up Amidonian books. The precious books, that were neglected in Amidonia’s care, had been damaged to such extent that they need mending. If Hakuya didn’t take them into his “guardianship”, then these books would disappear from the face of the world. Good grief…Exasperated, Hakuya picked up a book, and then……
「Prime Minister-sama.」(MIB Agent)
In the corner of the room, there was a kneeling man clad in black attire. His face was shrouded by a veil of black cloth. It was as if he was melting into the darkness of the room, the light dimmed behind its closed doors. Hakuya asked that man.
「How did it go?」(Hakuya)
「It went well. However……」(MIB Agent)
When the man hesitated to answer, Hakuya knitted his brow.
「Did something happen?」(Hakuya)
「This is…… I feel that in many ways, we have progressed too easily. It is as if, we were operating according to someone else’s plan……」(MIB Agent)
「Is that so……」(Hakuya)
Hakuya dismissed the man and turned the pages of the book in his hand. Why did he take custody of the books from Amidonia’s Library as the indemnities’ collateral? It was because Hakuya was expecting something. That is, the chance of the neglected book collection containing books about Amidonia’s family registry or legal jurisprudence. Since the Capital’s Library was usually supplied with copies of these kind of books, if he could obtain those book copies, then it will be as if he had grasped the heart of that country. Since the Amidonian Royalty was War-Hawkish, he had expected that they wouldn’t recognize its importance. However, contrary to his expectations, amongst the confiscated books, there was only a single copy of that type.
That copy was what Hakuya was holding right now, a book about the current generation’s Amidonian Royalty’s genealogy. He turned the pages and when he arrived at the last page, there was a folded up paper interposed in it. Hakuya unfolded that pages and what he found was a picture of “a small animal with black fur around the eyes and round ears, pulling its eyelid with one hand while sticking out its tongue”.
Seeing this picture, Hakuya was blinking his eyes in surprise, while laughing, “kukuku”.
「I see. It seems that Amidonia isn’t lacking a ‘person’ like I had thought.」(Hakuya)
So… Jeanne >< Hakuya and Maria >< Souma…
But since Maria is an Empress, will Souma do a Personal Union between the Kingdom and the Empire? This make me want to play CKII again……
Also, the stage for Roroa’s appearance is close!
A realist (Souma) and a capitalist (Roroa), how will these two interact?
Also, what are Hakuya’s Man In Black Agents doing?
Also there is no funny Author Notes for this chapter.
Read the next chapter at Larvyde!
 Once again, the author showed us his talent in using a Japanese word with multiple meanings. This is a rather hard word to translate. The original word is黒衣 literally means : Black Clothes. But like many Japanese words, this word has multiple meanings:
A. As ‘Kurogo’: The stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre (Kabuki or Bunraku), who dress all in black. In kabuki, the kurogo serve many of the same purposes as running crew. They move scenery and props on stage, aiding in scene changes and costume changes. They will also often play the role of animals, will-o-the-wisps, or other roles which are played not by an actor in full costume, but by holding a prop. Kurogos wear all black, head to toe, in order to imply that they are invisible and not part of the action onstage. As this convention was extended to kabuki actors depicting stealthy ninja, the stereotypical image of a ninja dressed all in black might be derived from kabuki. In Bunraku, the people who played the dolls are also wore black clothes.
*insert Kabuki and Bunraku pictures*
This term could also be used as in a figurative way to refer to an ‘unsung hero’ (since stagehands are important yet they are not part of the story).
But it also could mean a doll-master (string-puller for Western equivalent), that is a person who does things without being ‘seen’ by the public, mostly involving a puppet front.
In this meaning: Hakuya is the ‘stagehand’ who is not ‘visible’ to the ‘public’ yet was the one who moves things around. The stagehand for Souma in the stage.
B. As ‘Kokui’: The black clothes that are worn by Buddhist Priest. In Japanese History, some Buddhist Priests that held a lot of secular world influence (politically) are also called: 黒衣の宰相 (literal meaning: Black Clothed Prime Minister), which, intentionally, also is Hakuya’s nickname. Yet in Hakuya’s case, I believe it was because he is a Prime Minister who did many things in the back. Or because of his usual dark attire. Or because of his “Man in Black” subordinates.
 Official Romanization (taken from LN Volume 1), also took note of Hakuya's Black Clothes:
 Jeanne referred to her sister with Aneue姉上a very formal (and archaic) way to refer one’s sister. The brother counterpart is Aniue兄上
 Before the era of rapid international transport, or essentially instantaneous communication (such as the telegraph in the mid-19th century and then radio), diplomatic mission chiefs were granted full (plenipotentiary) powers to represent their government in negotiations with their host nation. Conventionally, any representations made or agreements reached with a plenipotentiary would be recognized and complied with by their government. This might change when the communication device based on Royal Voice Broadcast Orbs becomes widespread, though.
 Read Footnote 1, point B
 Machiavellianism: the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct
 Also known as Gap. For example: Gap-Moe is that moe feeling you experience when a character acts in way that contradicts the way he/she usually acts. Mostly a tsundere trait.
 Want to write: “Make Elfrieden Kingdom Great Again”. But I guess everyone is tired from this joke.
 Like contracts or other legal rules. Imagine what would happen if China or Russia held USA’s citizens registry, government copies of legal jurisprudence, or other classified information.
 アッカンベー Akkanbo expression, like this:Also, in case no one realize. The animal implicitly referring to Roroa is either Tanuki / Japanese Raccoon Dog or Raccoon, both is considered to be mischievous and trickster in Japanese and Native American folklore. Since this is Japanese story, perhaps it is Tanuki.