Volume 6 Chapter 11. The Battleship, Decapitated
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It took the delegation from the Gudwar Kingdom of Dominion three months to reach planet Augur, and the people that arrived at the spaceport were more normal than I thought.
I was fully expecting them to be Shura-esque individuals, but they look pretty ordinary, and the officials that the Capital dispatched have been negotiating with them over the terms for the ceasefire.
What’s my role in this? —Nothing.
This is a matter between the Empire and the Kingdom of Dominion.
I’m just participating because the other side nominated me, so I have no real say in this.
I’ve essentially been taking part every day in meetings where I can’t speak, but it seems like the officials that were sent here have successfully managed to pull off a ceasefire period of 30 years with the Kingdom of Dominion.
They seem delighted by it, but it’s neither a long nor a short period from this world’s perspective.
With the negotiation done and over with, what comes next is naturally a party.
This is where I can truly shine. Rather, as the person in charge of the spaceport, I’ve been instructed to ‘prepare a party’. Of course, I had Wallace make all the necessary preparations.
Marion, who’s all dressed up, is standing next to me at the party venue with a grim expression on her face, perhaps because she feels uncomfortable in a dress.
There’s also the fact that she finds me irritable.
“If you hate being in women’s attire so much, just change your gender.”
One’s allowed to freely choose their gender in this world, but Marion’s excuse for not doing so is very interesting.
“I like myself as I am. I never had a problem with my gender to begin with.”
“I thought you like women?”
She kept saying things like “I’ll devour all the women!” So, I thought she wanted to be a man, but it seems I was wrong.
“To love a girl as a girl. That is my wish.”
“I don’t think I fully understand.”
“No surprise there.”
Marion doesn’t have any misgivings about being a girl, but she also likes other girls.
Thus, she decided to aim for the position of Family Head as she was.
“How silly of you. That position could have been yours if you had remained quiet.”
“—It’s all your fault,” says Marion with a voice full of hate.
She was really frustrated when she first heard of the mischief I performed on Randy, the heir from the Lengrand Family.
Marion’s loss was confirmed the moment she bet on Randy’s victory.
It feels nice to watch her bitter expression.
I dislike women that try to take advantage of me, but it’s refreshing to see Marion’s look of frustration.
—Not to mention she’s of use to me.
“So, what’s the Kingdom of Dominion trying to do?”
“We’re going to talk about work all of a sudden? You’re as serious as always.”
“I kept you alive, so I expect you to work for me.”
“What a way to phrase it.”
“I’m counting on you kouhai, or should I say, Marion-chan?”
“Stop calling me that.”
“Then report what you’ve found.”
It felt unpleasant being kept in the dark, so I’ve been doing my own investigation.
That’s also why I called Marion to the party.
She’s a local here and has various connections, so I had her investigate for me.
“—It’s not only the Empire that stands to gain from the ceasefire. With the death of Crown Prince Izel, his relatives have taken hold of his army.”
Despite their commander perishing in battle, the Kingdom of Dominion and its army kept pushing, defeating the Imperial Army in the end.
I see, so it was all thanks to the hard work of Izel’s relatives.
“Is this the work of brotherly love?”
“You don’t understand a thing about the Kingdom of Dominion. What conclusion do you think their generals came to after hearing that their commander died? —It’s that they can become the next Crown Prince if they play an active role on the battlefield.”
They didn’t mourn Izel’s death.
Instead, they thought luck was on their side.
As I thought, the Kingdom of Dominion is no good either.
Marion turns towards the ignorant officials that have been dispatched from the Capital.
She must be feeling ticked off by how delighted they seem over the ceasefire.
“If they had done some prior research, we could have regained some of our territory.”
This isn’t a case of the officials being incompetent.
They may seem that way because of all the territory we’ve lost, but for them, it’s more important that we stop fighting with the Kingdom of Dominion. Even if that means losing some of the territories along the border.
They must be more concerned about the borders we share with other countries.
They’re probably thinking that they can take back the territories later down the line, or better yet, they might even think it’s alright without those territories.
“They want Izel to be replaced?”
“Soon, a bloodbath is bound to begin inside the Kingdom of Dominion.”
That’s why they want a ceasefire?
A tall woman approaches us as we’re talking.
Instead of skirt, she’s wearing a black suit with pants, and she seem to have a well-trained body.
Her long, silver hair sways as she walks, and her sharp blue eyes give off the impression of a strong woman.
Not finding the woman to her taste, Marion turns away as the powerful-looking beauty walks up to us, but the new arrival doesn’t take heed of Marion’s attitude.
“Sorry about that.”
I apologize for Marion’s behavior, and the woman waves it off.
Her interest seems to be on me instead.
“In her, my interest lays not. My interest is on thee.”
The woman speaks in a rather unique way that complements the atmosphere around her.
It’s not just her outwards appearance. She must be a warrior through and through.
“What do you want?”
Thinking she’d be offended if I were to treat her like a weak woman, I change my tone when I speak to her, and she seems pleased by it.
However, the smile on her face is like that of a ferocious beast.
“I wanted to see the man who slew the prince with mine own eyes. A masterpiece he was, even in my, his sister’s eyes. He was a brother I was proud of.”
Just as I’m wondering whether she’s thinking of challenging me to a duel for killing such an excellent brother—she says something that completely stumps me.
“I’m grateful to thee.”
Being thanked so suddenly leaves me utterly confused, and the same is true for Marion.
For a moment, I even wonder if she made a mistake.
“I thank thee for slaying my brother.”
“You said he was a brother you were proud of just now, didn’t you?”
“Thou art right. I greatly respect my brother. Even now, that hasn’t changed. He was supposed to fall under my sword, but someone even stronger than him appeared. What a big world we live in.”
She sounds excited, and her eyes are burning with passion.
While looking like a maiden who’s about to confess her love, she says, “Wait until I catch up. Thine life I will take. Also, give me thine genes.”
“—What the hell are you on about?”
Inside my head, she immediately gets put in the same category as Tia and Marie.
They have the looks, but why do they all have to be so disappointing?
“I wish for the genes of a strong man.”
Marion clears her throat in front of the woman who seems genuinely curious.
“It’s not a topic you’d typically bring up at a party. Continuing this conversation any further would be considered a breach of manner, princess of the Kingdom of Dominion.”
I’m surprised by her words.
Eh, this here’s the Kingdom of Dominion’s princess?!
Sure, she’s referred to herself as Izel’s sister, but I thought it was more like a relationship between in-laws?
The woman lets out a small sigh of disappointment.
“Pardon me, it is considered normal in our country. Is it not so in other places? This must be that thing called ‘culture shock’.”
“I’m the one that’s shocked here.”
What kind of a thought process must someone have to request a stranger’s genetic material during their first encounter?
After such a long time, the woman introduces herself.
“[Aruna] is mine name. If thee happen to change thine mind, come visit the Kingdom of Dominion.”
With that, Aruna, Izel’s sister, takes her leave.
“Never,” I mutter behind her back.
That was the biggest shock I’ve had in recent days.
The world is truly a big place.
I’ve never had someone demand I hand over my genes before, though there was that one time when my genetic material was collected without me noticing it.
Marion shows an unnatural smile.
“I remember now. The Kingdom of Dominion likes to actively seek out genes of strong men.”
“Say that beforehand.”
“Well, it’s my first time interacting with them. Liam-senpai would no doubt be very popular if you go to the Kingdom of Dominion.”
“So, when is Liam-senpai planning on returning to the Capital? Please take me with you. Because of a certain someone, I’ve lost my place at my parents’ house.”
“You reap what you sow. But if you want to follow me back, get ready. I’ll be leaving soon.”
In the Inner Palace of the Capital, one furious Madam Annabel barged into the skyscraper which was Cleo’s residence.
“I think you owe us an explanation!”
She was indignant that Randy, her nephew and heir to the Lengrand Family, had to restart his training.
She wasn’t particularly worried about Randy himself, but this was a scandal that could affect her reputation as well.
Not only that, she was being faced with complaints from the Lengrand Family.
Cleo, who had been processing electronic documents inside his office, stopped his work and raised his head.
“Embezzlement is a crime, mother.”
“Everyone’s doing it! You’d be a fool to throw away your backer just for something that’s considered a norm!”
“Are you really that stupid?”
Seeing Cleo laugh, Madam Annabel felt a shiver run down her spine, and her face turned from red to blue.
Cleo slowly began his explanation.
“I never counted on the Lengrand Family’s backing to begin with.”
“You approached us only when things got better on our end. Did you really think I’d trust you after seeing that? You thought I’d let bygones be bygones and accept your support?”
Madam Annabel remained silent after noticing that the air around Cleo had changed.
Cleo continued to address Madam Annabel.
“If you really thought I’d be happy to obey you, there’s something wrong with your head.”
“You’re talking to your mother here! In the first place, someone like you—”
Lysithea, Cleo’s sister, entered the room before Madam Annabel could finish what she was saying.
“Cleo, Count Banfield has arrived. He wants to have a meeting with you as soon as possible.”
Realization dawned on Madam Annabel after hearing Lysithea mention Liam’s name.
“Y-you tricked us?”
What a slow person,Cleo thought as he explained.
“That’s right. You probably genuinely believed I’d give the Lengrand Family preferential treatment over Count Banfield, but that would be illogical.”
“You’re going to ignore the fact that we’re connected by blood and—”
“—It’s precisely those that are connected by blood that are trying to kill each other here. What are you even getting at?”
Cleo stood up to leave the room, leaving Madam Annabel behind.
Incensed, she gave Cleo a warning.
“The darkness behind the Empire is deeper than you think. When you realize who it is that’s trying to take your life, you will surely fall into the depths of despair.”
Cleo and Lysithea exited the room while Madam Annabel drowned herself in her laughter.
“You really helped me out this time.”
After his encounter with Madam Annabel, Cleo proceeded to meet with Liam, who was sitting on a chair and drinking tea.
“The pleasure’s mine, toying with Randy was a blast.”
This was a man who had crushed his workplace.
Deep in his heart, Cleo couldn’t help but envy Liam.
(You’re always so relaxed and unafraid of anything.)
Cleo jumped straight into the topic at hand.
He had never planned on even comparing the Banfield Family with the Lengrand Family, the latter of which hadn’t done anything for him until now.
He had informed Liam about the Lengrand Family from the very beginning and had come up with countermeasures against them.
“You told me to let them do whatever they want when I first informed you about the Lengrand Family stepping forth to support me. Did you expect things to progress this way?”
Liam put down his cup and explained why he went out of his way to trouble himself.
“I was trying to figure out who was behind the Lengrand Family. I thought it was Calvin, but it’s apparently not him.”
“—Elder brother also has it rough. He’s in a bad position now that he’s lost the war even after you defeated the enemy commander.”
It wouldn’t have been so bad for Calvin if he had only lost the war.
Unfortunately for him, with Liam having defeated Izel, things became complicated.
If Cleo had been in command from the beginning, wouldn’t the Empire have won the war?
More and more people were starting to think in such a way.
“Calvin’s been really unlucky. It’s almost as if he’s being followed by a plague god.”
Cleo laughed at Liam’s joke, but what came next wasn’t so funny.
“Oh, by the way. The force that’s backing the Lengrand Family—It’s the Emperor.”
“I had my Black Ops investigate. Madam Annabel’s behavior also makes sense if it’s the emperor that’s backing her up.”
Liam was saying this as if it was nothing important, but Cleo’s surprise was evident.
“It’s nice that we finally know who our true enemy is.”
“So, His Majesty the Emperor’s our true enemy huh~” Liam said casually.
“—If we’re up against Father, whatever position I have right now can be blown away easily.”
“And I’m here to prevent that. Then again, we’re not strong enough at the moment, so let’s continue to try and expand our power. —On that note, I heard you’re selling a lot of favors to poor aristocrats.”
Liam’s eyes glinted, prompting Cleo to pour forth with the excuse that he had come up with.
“It was all to trick the Lengrand Family’s eyes. I splurged on your support to make it seem like our relationship was getting worse. My sister was unaware of this as well since it was all part of my act. Having said that, I apologize for keeping you in the dark.”
“I don’t really mind.”
Cleo and Liam were allies, but there was a clear reason as to why he decided to support the weak aristocrats, and it had nothing to do with tricking the Lengrand Family.
(You are really strong. With your power, you can do whatever you want. As for me—I’m just a figurehead. But some day—)
Cleo did not rely on the Lengrand Family’s support as he didn’t think they could beat Liam.
However, he had taken this opportunity to sell favors to poor aristocratic families.
He was making preparations so that he could eventually increase his influence.
Cleo maintained his smile in front of Liam who was drinking tea, but deep in his heart, his expression was cold.
(There will come a day when I can beat you. I refuse to remain as a figurehead.)
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Wakagi-chan (・∀・): “’The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs’ is currently on sale with great reviews! Also, Volume 4 of the manga will be released this week along with an update of chapter 23.”
Wakagi-chan (;・∀・): “Chapter 23 has almost 50 pages of content, which came as a surprise to even Naegi-chan! Please enjoy. Oh, and also purchase Volume 4 of the manga please~”
Brian(´・ω・): “Miss, she’s over here!”
Yumeria (´∇｀): “I’ve come to pick up Wakagi-chan!”
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