Chapter 175 The Emperor’s Aim
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
”Have you figured out His Majesty the Emperor’s aim?”
”I haven’t fully understood it, but what I can say for sure is that this banquet is definitely His Majesty the Emperor’s cooperation, or rather assistance, right? Well, it doesn’t matter which one, but it seems to be certain.”
”Is it considered assistance to expose the existence of elves while sharing magic tools, food, and drinks with the nobles? It seems to me that it’s rather interfering with the development of the settlement.”
”That’s usually the case. But I think all the nobles who attended the banquet probably understand what His Majesty the Emperor’s aim was.”
”What do you mean?”
I continue speaking to Lewya, who looks surprised.
”In conclusion, the nobles of the empire are now in a situation where they can’t easily meddle with the elves. Thanks to His Majesty the Emperor.”
”…I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why Neil came to that conclusion. Can you explain it in detail?”
”Well, as a preamble, do you remember that I initially sought His Majesty the Emperor’s help to obtain a decree to protect the elves?”
”Oh, I remember.”
”Then do you understand why I sought a vague decree instead of establishing protection for the elves through law?”
”Wasn’t it simply because it would be difficult to add it as a law? I heard that there are considerations with the religious country and other kingdoms.”
”That’s certainly one reason, but if I were asked to choose between a law and a decree, I would have chosen to obtain a decree without hesitation.”
”Why? Wouldn’t it have more enforcement power if it were established as a law?”
”Normally, yes. But the nobles of the empire are different from ordinary nobles. If it were established as a law, the penalties for breaking it would be clearly stated along with the prohibitions…”
I explain to Lewya what the nobles of the empire are like, although I have a slightly exasperated expression.
”Finding loopholes in the law is the specialty of the empire’s nobles. If it were established as a law, they would start scheming behind the scenes within the limits that don’t violate the law. Even if it becomes a problem, they would use money and power to cleverly evade it by saying ‘I haven’t violated the law.’”
”Even the laws that are supposed to judge wrongdoing become a scapegoat for the empire’s nobles, huh? I had heard that the empire’s nobles are stronger than nobles from other countries, but isn’t it too cunning? It’s honestly abnormal that such things are accepted as natural in the human world just because they are nobles of the empire.”
”I don’t want to say something that sounds like I’m defending the empire’s nobles, but there are some unavoidable factors. The empire has been in a special situation since its establishment and throughout its history. The reason why the empire’s nobles have become like this is also because of that.”
”A special situation?”
”That’s a story that would be the same as what I said earlier about nobles losing their heads. I’ll explain it another time. For now, just understand that it’s not a good idea to bring up laws against the empire’s nobles. And to continue, the reason why I sought His Majesty the Emperor’s decree is because it wouldn’t become as clear as a law. I thought it would be enough to obtain a decree that could be interpreted in any way like ‘Protect the elves’ or ‘Facilitate convenience for the elves.’”
”To prevent it from being used as a scapegoat? But isn’t a vague decree that can be interpreted in any way also susceptible to being used? For example, a noble could appear and say, ‘This is protection,’ and try to capture the elves.”
”That’s actually difficult. Because in that case, what becomes important is not the interpretation of the recipient, but the interpretation of His Majesty the Emperor who issued the order. Even if the noble interprets it in any way, if His Majesty the Emperor says ‘That’s not it,’ it would be considered going against His Majesty the Emperor’s command. So to use a decree, you have to first understand His Majesty the Emperor’s thinking, but His Majesty the Emperor’s thought process is unique, so it’s impossible to accurately grasp it.”
”If you can’t draw a clear line between what’s acceptable and what’s not, then even the experienced empire’s nobles would become unable to meddle with it. But won’t there definitely be nobles who will understand it over time and start scheming using the decree as a shield?”
”That’s probably true. But at least we can buy time, and it’s much better than being able to move freely… But His Majesty the Emperor has done more than I expected.”
”…Are you serious?”
In response to Lewya’s face of disbelief, I return the words with a serious expression.
”His Majesty has sealed the movements of the nobles by not mentioning anything about the treatment of the elves.”
”What evidence do you have to say such a thing?”
Perhaps because it concerns the future of the clans, Lewya, who is usually calm, is now approaching me in an irritated manner.
”His Majesty has clearly stated that the elves will be involved in the development of new magic tools. If the nobles were to harm the elves in this situation, what do you think would happen?”
”What would happen… If we were to be harmed by humans, we would once again cut off our ties with them. I apologize to Neil, but that’s how it would be.”
”That’s probably what would happen… And if that were the case, it would be troublesome. His Majesty has great expectations for the magic tools that I develop in cooperation with the elves, but if I can’t meet those expectations, he would surely be angry if there was someone who caused that.”
Seeing Lewya’s startled expression at my exaggerated tone, I explain His Majesty’s intentions.
”Yes, it’s true that His Majesty hasn’t said anything about the treatment of the elves. He only mentioned that he has expectations for the magic tools that I and the elves will develop together, but he didn’t tell us to do anything or not to do anything. As His Majesty the Emperor, he may not be able to make cooperative or exclusive statements towards the elves, but the main reason for avoiding such statements is to not give the nobles any basis for judgment.”
The current situation is clear: His Majesty has high expectations for magic tools that utilize the technology possessed by the elves. If the elves were to be harmed as a result, and the development of the magic tools were to be hindered, His Majesty would undoubtedly be angry.
There is a clear minefield, but since His Majesty has not mentioned anything that would allow the nobles to figure it out, it is almost impossible for them to speculate. Since there is a possibility of incurring His Majesty’s anger by recklessly interfering, there is no advantage for the imperial nobles to get involved with the elves.
”So, instead of directly protecting the elves, it means indirectly protecting us by protecting matters related to the elves.”
”His Majesty only mentioned his expectations, he didn’t say that he would protect us. But in reality, we will be protected by his words, so the result is the same.”
”To seal the movements of the nobles with just words, truly befitting of His Majesty the Emperor.”
”But it’s only the imperial nobles who have become unable to move. It has little effect on others. Villains who would kidnap and sell the elves might still come to the settlement.”
”Is that so? I thought that this would be more effective for commoners than for nobles.”
”For commoners, His Majesty the Emperor is like a distant existence, so they don’t really feel it. If he were to appear before commoners, the nobles would come first. And unlike nobles who have territories and titles, there are many commoners who have nothing more to lose.”
”So there is a possibility that those fearless people might get involved.”
”That’s right. But if the other party is not a noble, we can handle it ourselves. His Majesty probably sealed only the movements of the nobles with that intention…”
As I said so, I thought of something when Lewya asked it.
”There’s still something I don’t understand. If the purpose of the banquet was to prevent the nobles from interfering with the elves, it should have been enough to share only the magic tools. I don’t understand the intention behind bringing food, drinks, and beauty products.”
”Perhaps they judged that a banquet with only one shared item, the magic tools, would not be enough.”
”No, banquets with only one shared item have been held in the past. It’s hard to believe it was just for the sake of appearances.”
”Then maybe he simply judged that there was something else worth sharing?”
”I can understand the food, but the drinks are honestly questionable, and beauty products are definitely not His Majesty’s taste. Normally, there would be no need to share them.”
The presence of shared items other than magic tools is irrelevant to sealing the movements of the nobles. In other words, there must be another intention behind the shared items, but I can’t figure it out at all. While I was thinking about His Majesty’s intentions, I heard a knocking sound, but the source was not the door of the reception room, but from the other side of the item box.
”Master Neil, someone seems to have come.”
While I was considering whether to close the item box or not, a voice called out from beyond the door.
”Diana, it’s me.”
It’s my father? This is bad, it’s not good to be seen directly contacting through the item box.
I quickly moved away from the item box and gestured to Lewya to keep quiet about me. I heard the sound of the door opening and footsteps entering the room where Diana and the others were.
”Miss Novack, were you here too?”
”I apologize for not greeting you at the banquet, Lord Atmiras. I was being bombarded with questions.”
”It can’t be helped. But Diana, it seems you’re using the item box to communicate with the settlement.”
”Yes, so it would be best if you didn’t stay here for long…”
”I understand. Let’s keep it brief. In three weeks, I will be inspecting the settlement.”
”In three weeks?”
”It may seem sudden, but now that the existence of elves has been widely announced, I want to personally confirm the settlement. That’s why I asked for accommodations to be prepared, Neil…”
Even though I haven’t shown my voice or appearance, I realized that it was pointless to remain silent when my father called my name with such certainty.
”…How did you know I was here?”
”It’s hard to imagine that you, who are always worried, would patiently wait for someone else’s report in this situation. I could easily imagine that you would try to receive the report yourself. I have a lot to say, but time is short now. I have to return to my territory immediately, so let’s talk briefly. Before heading to the settlement in three weeks, I plan to visit Viscount Hedmar.”
I reacted to that name, but quickly regained my composure and continued the conversation.
”Why visit Viscount Hedmar?”
”The area around the settlement will likely become noisy for a while due to this incident. There may be a flood of people coming for the elves. That will also cause some trouble for the neighboring Hedmar territory. So while going to the settlement, I thought I would inform him as well.”
That’s a lie. Most likely, he’s using that as an excuse to directly address the previous incident. It has been mentioned in the letters that there has been no progress in the negotiations with Viscount Hedmar, and now he’s finally going to confront him seriously.
”Understood, I will prepare the room. I apologize for causing trouble to father and Viscount Hedmar.”
”Ah, make sure to convey my apologies properly. And one more thing, there were strange rumors about the settlement at the banquet.”
Hmm, what could those strange rumors be? There are plenty of rumors that could be circulating, but the fact that my father brought up the topic means it’s not just a simple rumor. As I held my breath, waiting for my father’s words to continue, what came out of his mouth was unexpected.
”There are rumors that Grelego is lurking in the settlement.”
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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