In the plans overlooking the Calcutta mountain range, the abundant quantity of the Rydell river was flowing east of the wind dragon mountain range.
The Rhoden kingdom imperial capital stood in such a place. The imperial capital was a four wall layered city that had been build with the imperial palace at the center.
The population was three times the size of the major fort city Diento, easily surpassing 50,000 people.
A massive wheat field expanded outside the city walls, and thanks to the the major highways going in the cardinal directions not only are goods produced in the capital but they flow in from all over the country as well.
Though the Rhoden kingdoms proudly holds the position of the third largest power on the continent, it’s not a country ruled solely by one empire like the Leburan empire in the Northern Midwest.
It was a country formed by the gathering of many nobles and feudal lords, with the Olav royal family at the center. Therefore, even though the royals established the policies of the kingdom, they could not recklessly interfere with the territories under heavy control of the feudal lords.
The power of the royal family surpassed any one lord, but it is of no match to all of the lords’ combined might.
However, the royal family can intervene with military force if the actions of a feudal lord are a threat to the kingdom. Weather it be an invasion from other countries or a feudal lord rebellion, they are often situations stopped without the aid of the kingdom’s other lords.
In the imperial capital Olav, the assassination of the marquis of Diento was being discussed in the royal court held inside the palace. Many rumors and much speculation was being shared between the nobles present for the case.
In a certain room that belonged to second prince Douglass Shishle Carunon Rhoden Vetoran, two men were having a discussion.
Behind the two people sitting down stood another person. There was no else besides these three, not even servants, within the room.
The person that stood wasn’t that tall, but they had a well trained body and pleasing features. Their blue eyes were partially hidden by golden hair, they wore a easy to move in military uniform, and golden decorative pieces that only nobles could have adorned his clothes.
He was Douglass the Olav royal family’s second prince.
“Fuck! The largest source of our factions income has been destroyed!”
Prince Douglass’s regular features were twisted as he spit out those words.
The large man sitting down gravely nods in agreement.
The man’s hair was a blend of grey and brown and he sported a respectable beard, but one could not sense any old age from him only masculinity.
This elderly man was one of the seven dukes of the country, the head of the Olsterio family and major general of the unified national army, Duke Marudoira De Olsterio.
The dukes are the highest ranking nobles in the country that supported the royal family, but they don’t possess their own territory, so they take out a salary from the tax of the domestic lords and from the king’s territory. On the other hand, they were at the center of power as they carried out important tasks for the kingdom.
“On this matter, the eldest son of marquis Diento who’d been staying in the capital, Hebron, has been attributed the territory by his majesty. With the assassination of the former head and the second son having disappeared, It may take a considerable amount of time for Hebron to settle things down even with his ability……”
Major general Marudoira spoke on the matter with a bitter look on his face.
“According to the witness testimony elves were present……, This affair, could it be their retaliation?”
To be honest I don’t understand. The day that elves were claim to being present, three slave dealerships were hit with a surprise attack. More than twenty beast men escaped, and people say it was the work of the ‘Emancipators’.”
“The ‘Emancipators’ one purpose is to free beastmen slaves correct? The members should all be beastmen……, did they partner with the elves?”
“It is also certain that…… This could be a deception so that it looked as such. In order to strengthen the crown princess’s faction, by presenting the crime of capturing the elves in Diento in front of the king. Her highness Juliana has aggressively been appealing for harmony with the elves, if our actions are revealed to his majesty then they can be seen as acts of treason, and his highness’s power would be crippled. The order to silence the servants that witnessed the event has been given, but the whereabouts of one of them is already unknown. It’s possible that they are already being sheltered by one of the other factions…… The funds that were to be sent from Diento have disappeared as well, and elves normally show little interest in such valuable things. It should not have been an amount that the number of elves reported could have been able to take anyway……”
Prince Douglass grimaced at those words.
If these matters became public, then it’s possible a large gap could form between him and prince Sect and princess Juliana in the race for the throne.
No, three of the dukes have already joined prince Sect faction, and he has the support of western Leburan empire as well.
It was evident that the throne was greatly inclined towards the Sect faction.
As Major general Marudoira had said, Douglass could only see this event as someone’s stratagem against him.
For better or worse Juliana tends to be honest, so it was unlikely that she would steal money under the guise of an elf surprise attack.
However, his older half-brother prince Sect was the type of person that could step on someone’s foot with a straight face.
“We have to act before Sect makes a move. Setorion, gather some useful pieces for Hoben.”
“As you command.”
The man in his 30s that was in a military uniform similar to Marudoira’s who’d had been silent till now, lowered his head respectfully upon receiving Douglass’s instructions.
He was the eldest son of Duke Olsterio and one of the country’s three generals, Setorion De Olsterio.
As expected of parent and child, his features were that of a young Marudoira.
In the eyes of prince Douglass, the flames of dark hatred arose as he thought of his brother’s figure, after he nodded at Setorion’s response.
At the same time, three people were gathered in the private room of Rhoden’s first prince Sect Rondaro Carunon Rhoden.
In an engraved amber colored chair with a first class cushion embroiled with a flower pattern, a nobleman was deeply sitting back in it.
He was the master of this room prince Sect. He had a tall figure, light brown hair, and was adorned in luxurious clothes made specifically for him.
Next to prince Sect was a beautiful women with long brown hair neatly tied up and features similar to Sect’s, thought she gave off a different impression thanks to the thick amount of makeup applied to her face. Her body was wrapped in a luxurious dress that had an emphasized wide skirt .
This was Prince Sect’s Mother, Letitia Rhoden Sadi the second queen.
“This affair seems to have caused his highness Douglass to move, Rondaru aren’t you going to act?”
The second queen Letitia, questioned her son Sect using his childhood name.
Only extremely close friends and relatives can address the members of the royal family by their childhood names, if someone else were to does so then it would be less majestic.
“Mother, Douglass is now carrying out clean up. Though they seem to want to cover it up, it’s obvious that a great deal of funds have been lost along with marquis Diento. That person is just stalling for time. It don’t matter if they’re left alone.”
At prince Sect’s words, the other person within the room that had been silent till now nodded before he began to speak.
“With all due respect, the only one aggressively moving now is princess Juliana. When the princess makes this latest matter know, then your highness Sect’s position will be in danger as well……”
Only a snobbish atmosphere came from the man dressed as a clergyman and had a fake smile plastered on his face. This little man was a bishop of the religious Hiruku county and was staying in the capital on the grounds of conducting missionary work.
“…… Well, Juliana is popular with the citizens of the capital. Using this breakthrough as a foothold, the dukes that have been calmly watching from the sideline may be inclined to join the other side…… There movements need to be investigated before hand……, Borane. Have those talented in magic been gathered?”
“! Everything is prepared! By the will of our great god, I bless you your highness. It brings or believers great joy in taking part in the princess’s demise, prince Sect.”
The small man called Borane over exaggerated his joy on the matter.
While it was forbidden to laugh a princess, Borane didn’t receive any repercussions from prince Sect.
“Borane, you and I have a good relationship. There’s no need to be so formal, you’re allowed to call me Rondaru in private.”
After a moment Bishop Borane’s lips twisted, as he politely expressed his gratitude.
“My sincerest gratitude for bestowing such an honor to me prince Rondaru. There are preparations to make in order to clear away your highness’s fears, so I’ll take my leave here.”
Although his feelings of joy clearly overflowed from his body as he bowed and left, the second queen let out a sigh once she saw Borane was gone.
“Was it alright to say such a thing Rondaru? Won’t things become annoying after princess Juliana is eliminated?”
“It doesn’t matter. That person flying between me and Douglass only goal is to see the elimination of princess Juliana. Juliana is the ringleader of those that are advising father not to allow the perpetration of Hiruku’s religion. After I help with Juliana’s removal her connections and private soldiers with disappear as well. This country’s current temple based religion’s power is not that great, embracing Hiruku’s religion will ignite a new source of strength within it. ”
“I see. Having the temple devotees chased out of the country by the newly admitted Hiruku religion will increase the population as their followers will flow in behind them. It’s rumored that the emperor of the Lebrun alienating the Hiruku pope, aren’t you receiving their backing?”
“That’s right. Giving the cold shoulder to the western Leburan empire is a bad Idea as they control the southern topic ports, so it’s a bad move to be connected with a neglected religious country. First let’s investigate Juliana’s movements…… I’ll exploit this matter as an opportunity to remove Douglass, then remove the leaders of Diento and make it into my own territory.”
Sect laughed ironically as he said that, then gulped down the now cooled tea, before calling a subordinate forward and arranging future preparations.
While the removal of princess Juliana was underway, the very person was sitting inside another room of the palace, looking out over the courtyard and drinking tea.
Despite her calm atmosphere, if one looked at her dress they’d find that the clothed used was flawlessly embroidered, and that the person herself carried great enthusiasm in her eyes. //Not to sure on this one// She was the second princess of the county Juliana Marill Melissa Rhoden Olav.
She played with a loose lock of her long blonde hair, and with a displeased look that didn’t match her lovely brown eyes, she turned to the man sitting besides her.
“I almost thought I caught older brother Douglass by the tail. Although there is a secret investigation into the lord Diento, for him to be assassinated……, is it possible that Douglass caught wind of it and did this to destroy evidence?”
The man princess Juliana asked was in the prime of his life as he sat in a chair with good posture and wearing a general’s military uniform.
He was one of the Rhoden’s three generals, Carton De Furivutoran and he hesitated a little at the princess’s question.
“No princess. Not only was he one of prince Douglass’s factions major funders, he was an influential supporter, so subjugating marquis Diento wouldn’t have been a wise decision. As for the witnesses, even though we acted immediately, we were only able to secure one person who’s now in our protection. We promptly sent the witness to the Rinburoto arch dukedom……”
At his words princess Juliana’s eyebrows rose up as she made a difficult expression.
“According to the report, it was elves that attacked the castle, could it’ve been retribution for the elf kidnappings? However, the slave dealers downtown were also attacked and the beastmen were freed as well……, have they allied with each other? Diento was said to be a solid fort, was a successful raid really carried out with only a few elven warriors?”
The princess was staring at the cup on the table as steam rose from it, and it was clear that she was thinking to herself rather than expecting a actual response.
“The relationship between the the elves and the beastmen isn’t especially inharmonious, that in it of itself is enough for the story to be possible……, but it’s still should have been rather difficult to infiltrate without a guild. Mysteriously the amassed funds were all taken and the castle was partially destroyed by the fire, yet only a few elves were reported to have been seen……, so it’s possible that looters came after the fire was put out.”
“In any case, the people in possession of elves will probably be fearful because of this incident. It was an unceremonious retaliation against a solid fortress. In this situation, proper trade with the elves of the large forest has become farther away…… Stupid brother, you’ve done something completely unnecessary! You’re going to waste the 400 year treaty before it expires!”
She complained about her older half brother with a big sigh.
“However, Prince Douglass’s faction’s power has been greatly diminished by this affair. The nobles drifting here will increase. We have to watch the actions of his highness Sect in the near future.”
“Well, older brother Sect may take this opportunity to joyously split apart bother Douglass’s faction. It’s probably better to properly speak with the elves regarding this situation…… We only have decent trade through the Rinburuto arch dukedom, so we’d need a way to form a direct connection with them.”
After a large shoulder shrug, she picked up the cup of herbal tea and brought it to her lips. The fragrance of the tea tickled the princess’s nose, as she made a pleasant expression while enjoying the tea break.
Her older sister Serena married Tashkent the archduke of Rinburuto.
“I wonder if onee-sama is doing well……”
She said so with a sigh before glancing out the window again.
Thick grey clouds hung in the sky above the capital as rain rapidly started to fall.