Minasan oideyasu. This is Yukkuri demasu!
You guys didn’t expect that I will do a double release, right?
Well… Me too…
Please note that in all of the talking below, Maria and Souma were mostly speaking in a formal way of speaking.
Also, no (name) aid for this chapter. As 「」 is for Souma and 『』 is for Maria.
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 6: In Which I was Baiting Sea Bream with a Shrimp but Caught a Shark Instead B
Then, one month passed when…
In the Royal Voice Broadcast Orb’s installation room, I was currently in a meeting with a certain someone who was projected on the quasi-receiver set. It was a girl wearing a pure white dress that wrapped around her symmetrical body line; her beautiful golden hair was slack-fluffy waved in a way that looked just like the Yurufuwa Wave hairstyle; and she was the same age as me. She had the same face contour just like her imouto that I had met before, but her large girlish eyes, when blinking, left a completely different impression.
An outstandingly beautiful girl. To be honest, I am surrounded by different beauty types - Liscia, Aisha, Juna-san – so I think I have a rather good eye for this. Even so, just a single glance towards girl could make me think that she is beautiful. Then, this beautiful girl began to speak.
『How do you do, Souma-dono, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Maria.』
She was the Empire’s Holy Maiden, Grand Chaos Empire’s Empress, Maria Euphoria.
「Hello to you too, Maria-san? I am Souma Kazuya.」
『? What’s with that way of speech?』
「Nothing, I just wanted to speak like this for some reason.」
Her head side-tilting appearance was cute…… it was a foul play.
「I am jubilant for this meeting, Maria-dono, since I had been looking forward to having a nice and long conversation with you one day.」
『Me too. Souma-dono’s skill had become renowned even in the Empire.』
「Even so, my skills…… are all because of the help of my excellent subordinates.」
『You are so modest. Good retainers are something that are gathered under a wise ruler.』
This diplomatic formal conversation continued for a short while. Even without any probing words, I was probing for Maria’s nature. Her friendly smiling appearance while talking was the very definition of a pure girl. She was so dazzling, that it made me, who was trying to probe her like this, feel guilty. However, at the same time, I also had a thought: if she is a girl who is “only pure”, then she wouldn’t have been able to govern the huge Empire.
『By the way, Souma-dono?』
「Yes, what is it?」
『The matter about Amidonia, what are you truly planning?』
Maria was slightly closing her eyes. This alone made her feel more threatening. Even though her lips were smiling, it could be seen that she was considerably angry…… Even so, well, it might be inevitable. Since the matter this time, from the Empire’s point of view, was close to betrayal.
『When Jeanne reported the negotiations’ result, I was delighted that we could acquire a reliable ally in the east. However, might this all just be my misunderstanding?』
「Even now, we are still Empire’s sworn ally. This might be heard as an excuse, but the result this time was a situation that was beyond our expectation.」
『So to say, this is not the Kingdom’s plot?』
「I wouldn’t deny that I had a little plan. However, I never expected that the result would be like this. In all honesty, this situation keeps causing me headaches.」
I said this while scratching my head and Maria’s anger was lessened.
『Can I receive a detailed explanation?』
「Certainly. Let me begin with stating the summary: the Kingdom, at the very end, had been outwitted by a single girl. Acting with a thorough prediction of the chain of strives, perhaps the person who obtained the most profit, will only be that girl……」
◇ ◇ ◇
Two months ago, at the time of Van’s return to Amidonia (to be precise, it was one month since the return, this was the report from Black Cat Squad’s surveillance about Amidonia’s movements).
The Capital Van and its surrounding regions had been returned by borrowing the Grand Chaos Empire’s authority, and the first thing that the present Amidonian Duke, Julius, did was to remove the influences that the Elfrieden Kingdom had left behind. The various changes that happened under the Kingdom’s reign were eradicated and Van returned to its previous state. Perhaps, Julius couldn’t endure the lingering scent from the Kingdom’s reign in the Capital Van, which could only be returned by bowing his head to the Empire.
For a stable administration, then the effects of the previous administration need to be cleansed. This policy itself isn’t wrong. However, everything has a priority. Naturally, the first thing that needs to be done is to consolidate the foundation. The succession of authority needs to obtain a proper guardianship while the previous ruler was still alive. If they are unable to do so, then they might be scorned as an inexperienced novice by the retainers. Thus, in a country where the dictatorship is strong, this foundation consolidation is important. However, Gaius met a sudden death and Julius was unable to do this step. For this reason, he should have concentrated his entire attention on consolidating his foundation. And yet, Julius put the removal of Kingdom’s influence as his priority.
First, Julius made a decree to prohibitt people from watching the Royal Voice Broadcast in all of Amidonia. This was the consequence of having the Royal Voice Broadcast Orbs in the Kingdom’s custody. Of course, the stalls, that exists because of the Royal Voice Broadcast’s viewers gathering, were forcibly demolished (since they knew Julius’ character well, all the vendors had disappeared, as a result, Julius could only demolish empty stalls). I wonder how Van’s citizens saw the demolition of the stalls in the plaza, considering it already functioned as a market for them.
Moreover, just like what I had guessed, Julius destroyed the bridges on Van’s outskirts that had been made by me and had been bestowed with my retainers’ names. Well, from a defensive point of view, they should have only stopped at destroying bridges that lied on the Kingdom’s attack route to Van, but he destroyed unrelated bridges just because they were 「Things made by the Kingdom」, which was a foolish move. The interruption of the transport network was a matter of life or death for the people. For the peddlers and merchants, roads are a property. Whether Julius knew about it or not, what Machiavelli had said not to do since it will incur hatred, 「Don’t reach one’s hands on the citizens’ women and properties」, he had already done it.
In addition, he didn’t give any aid to the citizens, like the emergency food distribution that was performed under the Kingdom’s reign, and increased control on public moral, he especially prohibited women from enjoying fashion and prohibited booming art culture that was widespread in Van……and many others. I heard that the house that had the songstress drawn on its wall, was torched by the soldiers. With the freedom that had been given to them now robbed away, the citizens of Van began to clamor:
『His Majesty Souma’s time was better.』
『When we were the Kingdom’s territory, we didn’t have to live under this suffering.』
『Even though the children finally got their meals...』
『Why doesn’t Julius-sama treasure his citizens more than a foreign king?』
『I wonder if His Majesty Souma can occupy Van again.』
Such opinions and grudging stares were aimed at Van’s castle. Well, amongst their resentful complaints, there was something that was not Julius’ own fault. In the first place, the Elfrieden Kingdom and the Amidonia Dukedom differed in population, territory size and economic conditions. For the Amidonia Dukedom to give out the various aids that the Kingdom had given out, could be said as unreasonable. However, the common citizens didn’t understand this point. So in the end, the more Julius tried to erase Elfrieden’s color on Van, the more its citizens drifted away from him.
◇ ◇ ◇
Then, what about the regions outside Van and its surroundings? In this too, it didn’t turn out well. Just like my statement before, since Gaius’ sudden death prevented the succession of authority, Julius was disdained by Amidonia’s lords. This ‘disdain’ came in two forms. The first one was “What’s with the Ducal House, why I have to bow my head to that neophyte”, the so-called “looking down at the other party” type of disdain. The other one was, “That inexperienced ruler is not reliable, I will need to fend for myself.”, the so-called “the other party can’t be counted on” type of disdain.
In practice, amongst the Nobles and Knights class in the Amidonian territory, the latter was the majority. To begin with, in a feudalistic system, they devoted their loyalty for the compensation of territories or properties from the ruler. If the ruler didn’t have power to do so, then the retainers must protect their territory and properties with their own hands. Their actions will be not for the ruler’s sake, but for their own.
I had presented Julius with the words from Machiavelli 『A country that is obtained with hardship is easy to govern, a country that is obtained without hardship is hard to govern』. Sure enough, Julius, who obtained Van easily by borrowing the Empire’s authority, suffered hardship.
Although I had mentioned that Julius had decreed the prohibition of watching the Royal Voice Broadcast, only Van and the nearby regions abided to it. The other regions were like, 「A decree from the Duchy Capital has nothing to do with me!」, and so they kept on watching the Broadcast (by the way, since I had predicted this, I kept broadcasting entertainment programs to Amidonia).
Since they couldn’t rely on the central government, each city had been gathering soldiers or mercenaries. Considering that at this time, the Kingdom was disbanding the Three Dukes’ Army and the Nobles Army and reorganized them into the United Army, what had happened in Amidonia was the exact opposite of the Kingdom’s situation. The actions of the regional feudal lords gathering their own soldiers wasn’t something that Julius could ignore, but if he rebuked them, there was a risk that the lords would begin to rebel one after another. However, if someone was just looking at the results, this was a chance to clean out all the pus.
Machiavelli had pointed out that this was the time to use『cruelty』. Even if they do rebel, then one should destroy every hostile force and then exercise his authority over the others who were still undecided in their position. However, Julius didn’t use this move. Perhaps he was letting the sleeping dogs lie, or perhaps he feared that his depleted numbers of soldier from the last defeat would be reduced even more? I couldn’t possibly know his reason for this. However, this lack of policy was the first move towards the quagmire that he wouldn’t be able to escape from.
One month ago, or one month after Van’s restoration, the rebellion of the citizens of the Amidonia Northwestern Region happened.
◇ ◇ ◇
The impetus for the citizens’ rebellion originated from the food shortage. It also happened in the Kingdom, but the food shortage in this region was more severe. Van’s northwestern region had been the most severely afflicted region, the number of deaths from starvation had reached the unheard level of several hundreds. The citizens had requested the feudal lord for assistance, but the feudal lord rejected this request. Since to protect the region, they needed to gather soldiers, so the few food that was stored was for the soldiers’ maintenance. This feudal lord’s reaction was the cause of why the citizens’ anger exploded and attacked his mansion.
The soldiers gathered to protect the feudal lord and the territory fell into a situation where they must oppose the angry citizens. Nevertheless, most of the gathered soldiers had been scraping for a living, so when they clashed with the fellow angry citizens, they ended up fleeing in all directions. The scuttling feudal lords managed to reach the Dukedom Capital Van and appealed to Julius for the suppression of the rebellion. If the rebellion dragged on, then the dissatisfaction smoldering in each territory might flare into a flame.
If he showed his authority and force at this time, then the nobles would abide to him. With this judgment, Julius led the regular army and personally embarked to suppress the rebellion. The angry citizens had no means to oppose the regular army, and thus the rebellion was gradually suppressed. The gruesome spectacle where corpses of citizens scattered throughout the rebelling village was widespread in the Northwestern region. Although Julius finally suppressed the Northwestern Region’s Rebellion and put it to an end, he received a yet another astonishing report.
During his absence, the citizens of the Dukedom Capital Van revolted and occupied the city. Furthermore, they sent messengers to pledge allegiance to the Elfrieden Kingdom and appealed for reinforcement, which the Kingdom immediately accepted and had sent out their army. Van and its surrounding regions were once again reoccupied.
◇ ◇ ◇
『And then, you…… reoccupied Van as the result.』
「That is correct. Since it was an appeal from the Van’s citizens.」
Maria send a gaze demanding an explanation, so I calmly nodded. Of course, this Van’s citizens’ uprising happened due to the incitement from the Black Cat Squad led by Kagetora. They concealed themselves in Van’s vicinity, and while observing the progression of events, they made connections with influential people of the city, and chose the timing to cause Van’s citizens’ to riot at their own discretion. The time between the messenger’s arrival for allegiance and the reoccupation was so short because I had deployed my army beforehand along the border at the former Carmine Duchy.
『The 『Humanity Declaration』 stated that it is prohibited to change the national border by force. Van’s citizens had revolted and taken the city by force. With this, if Amidonia’s border change, then there will be a violation of the Humanity Declaration. If this happens, the Empire, as the leader nation, will need to intervene between the countries once again. The Kingdom that moved its army into Van, too, would be dealt with in a severe manner.』
Just with this short remark, Maria suddenly kept her silence.
「The 『Humanity Declaration』 also recognizes the people’s right to self-determination. If the citizens of Van and its surrounding regions wished to change their allegiance from Amidonia to Elfrieden, then shouldn’t the Empire as the leader of the 『Humanity Declaration』 recognize them and give them their needed support?」
Maria might also understand this. That’s why she didn’t say anything else. Seeing Maria behave like this, I let out a small sigh and then informed her in a direct manner.
「This is the reason why the Kingdom didn’t participate in the 『Humanity Declaration』」.
◇ ◇ ◇
《Humanity Anti-Demon Race United Front Declaration. Three Main Clauses》
First, the non-recognition of border change by force due to conflicts between fellow humanity.
Second, to respect the rights to equality and self-determination of all peoples within every nation.
Third, for countries far from the Demon Lord’s Territory to support the countries near the Territory which serve as a bulwark against the Demon Lord Army.
Ideally, these were a really praiseworthy clauses. However, there existed a contradiction amongst these three clauses that even the Empire didn’t notice. Certainly, if they abided rigidly to these three clauses, then these could prevent a cross-border “external” conflict. However, if it was a problem that happened “internally”, then this treaty would make any movement impossible.
By applying this treaty to Van’s situation, if the citizens’ right to self-determination is to be recognized, the member nation of the Humanity Declaration must recognize the current Van citizens’ right to self-determination. However, then this would mean that there was a border change in Amidonia, so they mustn’t recognize it. Then, there was also the question of whether or not the independent Van would be considered a member of the Humanity Declaration, so this reasoning wouldn’t apply to them. But if Amidonia suppressed the independence that Van wished for, then Amidonia as signatory member nation could be attacked for not recognizing the citizens’ right to self-determination. In other words, the member nations of the Humanity Declaration would be cornered into a situation where it is impossible to take any movements.
There might be people who were thinking why the Empire didn’t notice this. However, this was something that actually happened and went unnoticed. After all, it was something that “even the 20th century earthlings didn’t notice”.
「Have you heard about the fairy tale in Jeanne-dono’s report?」
『…… Yes. Certainly, it was a story about people who were afraid of being dragged into the conflict between two gods and decided on the rules to avoid the war, right?』
The fairy tale was like this: Once, there was the God of the East who said 「The world ought to be equal」 and the God of the West who said 「The world ought to be free」; it was an age where each country who believed in these two chief gods were glaring at each other. The country that lived close to the boundary of the two gods’ conflict, created rules together with numerous eastern and western countries so that they wouldn’t be dragged into that conflict. Those rules were, as follows.
First, let’s stop changing borders by using force.
Second, let’s give the right to the people of each country, so they could decide by themselves.
Third, let’s be friends and have a cultural exchange between eastern and western countries.
『I had heard this from Jeanne. It truly resembles the 『 Humanity Declaration』. I am curious about the end of that fairytale. How did the world fare after that?』
「For a while…… this rule functioned neatly. Before long, the God of the East divided, and so, with the balance of power broken, the state of tension was lifted, and both factions had evaded a total war.」
『Then it…… ended up happily, right?』
「Yes, for a time. However, after that, in a certain multiethnic country, there was a certain ethnic group that raised an armed rebellion for their independence. If the ethnic group’s independence was not recognized, then it would have violated the self-determination of people’s rule. However, if they recognized the independence, then they would have approved the border change by force. This contradiction, forced the countries, who made the rule, unable to take any action.」
『Just like the Empire, correct?』
I gave a firm nod to Maria’s question. You might already noticed it, but this fairy tale was from Earth’s history. The God of the East who said 「Mankind ought to be equal」 was 『Socialism』. The God of the West who said 「Mankind ought to be free」 was 『Liberal Capitalism』. The countries who believed in these gods and glared at each other was the 『Cold War-era West and East』. Then, the countries that convened to discuss how to evade the war were the participant nations of the 1974 『European Security Conference』 (which become the 『Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE)』), and the rule that they decided on was the accord called the 『Helsinki Final Act』.
The reason why I immediately recognized the contradiction of the 『Humanity Declaration』 was because I knew about the 『Helsinki Final Act』 which it resembled. Since, to take a college exam, I also needed to study modern history. That’s why I knew that this 『Helsinki Final Act』, which had given constant results during the Cold War era, had afterward prevented any actions to be taken for the ethnic conflict between the Serbians and the Croatians in the former country of Yugoslavia.
『……Is this the pitfall of the Humanity Declaration that Souma-dono had mentioned?』
Maria said it with a deploring tone.
「Yes. This pitfall is lethal for a multiracial country like us. That’s why, the Kingdom couldn’t participate in the Humanity Declaration.」
This might sound cruel, but for a country where a single race dominated, like Amidonia, this was not a particularly grave problem. If from the start, the other races’ positions were low, or if their population was few, then they wouldn’t have had an opportunity for independence domestically. On other hand, for a coexisting multiracial country, this was dangerous. If the national administration was strong, then there wouldn’t any problem, but if that administration weakened, then they might consider separation or independence. Even though the present seems to be alright, no one knows about tomorrow. Just like what Machiavelli had said: “One must be prepared for a change of fate.”
『This is a painfully true statement. Since our Empire is also a multiracial country.』
…… True. Since the Empire is strong at the present, then it will be alright. At the present condition, where the Demon Lord’s Territory came encroaching from the North, there was no place as safe as the Empire, the strongest country of humanity. It was unthinkable that there would be races or nobles inside the Empire who wanted to change this. However, if the administration didn’t go smoothly, or if the threat from the Demon Lord’s Territory disappeared, then what will happen to Empire who carried the Humanity Declaration on her sleeve?
『I know. However, this is not the time to drop the flag.』
When Maria said this, she smiled with eyes that held a strong determination.
『Even if this is a path towards ruin, I believe that the Empire is the light of hope for the people who live today. It is evident that to oppose the Demon Lord’s Territory, mankind must face it as one. Even if it is only for a moment, the Empire will raise its flag to unite the people’s hearts.』
「…… I think I know the reason why you are called the Holy Maiden.」
I think that this is a naïve and idealistic way of thinking, but these kind of words can attract people. In time, the day where the harsh reality hits might come, but even so this girl was determined to tout her ideals. It looked perilous, but I also wanted to see it. Such was the charm that this girl possessed.
(Jeanne-dono also couldn’t stop her worries, I see……)
I recalled the general imouto that was more realistic than her sister, but when I did so, I could heard Hakuya’s voice inside my heart, telling me with a vein on his head, 「Is that something that you can say yourself?」
『I understand the circumstances led to Van’s reoccupation. I think that for now, it appears that there is no fault on your side. “Even if, for example, you are doing something in the back.”」
Maria shook her head and said it with a composure. Fumu, it seems that she had suspected the Black Cat Squad’s moves in Van’s revolt. Why she didn’t demand an explanation for this might be because the Empire also had performed the same intelligence operations. The same with Amidonia. Maria then continued her words.
『But, Souma-dono. There is something that I don’t understand.』
『Why did the Kingdom annex the entire Amidonia Dukedom?』
Next Chapter on how A Realist King’s Harem Management Chronicle!
Now… Who is THAT GIRL that Souma meant? It was no other than *drum roll*:
See you next chapter! In Larvyde-san's site that is!
 Yurufuwa Wave: http://www.art-noise.sg/blog/hair-salon-singapore/yurufuwa-waves/ Yurufuwa style is a perm style that is made of very soft and light curls. A portmanteau ofゆるゆる(yuruyuru) and ふわふわ (fuwafuwa).
 I don’t translate imouto. Just deal with it.
 Maria started with “Hajimemashite”, the standard formal greeting to meet with someone you first met. Souma replied with “Doumo”, which as a greeting was a rather casual. Hence Maria’s response.
TRIVIA: Doumo, just like yoroshiku has many use in conversational Japanese. It could be used for greetings, thanks, and goodbye.
 In other words: Grooming the Successor/Heir Apparent. Just like Kim Ilsung prepared Kim Jongil to succeed him.
 The Prince. “Chapter XVII Concerning Cruelty And Clemency, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared”:
“…Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women…”
 The Prince. “Chapter VI: Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired By One's Own Arms And Ability” and “Chapter VII: Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired Either By The Arms Of Others Or By Good Fortune”:
“…I say, therefore, that in entirely new principalities, where there is a new prince, more or less difficulty is found in keeping them, accordingly as there is more or less ability in him who has acquired the state. Now, as the fact of becoming a prince from a private station presupposes either ability or fortune, it is clear that one or other of these two things will mitigate in some degree many difficulties. Nevertheless, he who has relied least on fortune is established the strongest…”
“Those who solely by good fortune become princes from being private citizens have little trouble in rising, but much in keeping atop; they have not any difficulties on the way up, because they fly, but they have many when they reach the summit…”
 While the Kingdom was centralizing her Army, the Dukedom was decentralizing instead.
 Remember, Inugami’s “the Mountain has moved” report the from previous chapter? That is the code that Julius had left the city. Politics abhor a vacuum of power.
 The Prince. “Chapter 25: What Fortune Can Effect In Human Affairs, And How To Withstand Her”:
“So it happens with fortune, who shows her power where valour has not prepared to resist her, and thither she turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defences have not been raised to constrain her.”