Interlude A ─ King Liam
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With this chapter we conclude the first arc and half of this volume, and we enter the next chapter in the other half of the volume and second arc.
As a curiosity, the royal palace looks like a fantasy version of Buckingham Palace with towers.

We were situated in the royal capital of the Brune Kingdom, to be more precise in the royal palace. There, in the hall of ministers, an important meeting was taking place.

"We must strengthen our borders!"

"No, that's a waste of time! Attack! That's what we must do, attack the enemy before they attack us!"

"And where will we get the economic resource for that?"

"From taxes. The people must support in such cases."

"Years ago we had to spend on medicine to avoid the mysterious pandemic that hit us! The country doesn't have the economic resource to send who knows how long our soldiers!"

"So you're suggesting we wait for them to invade us?"

"No. What I'm saying is─"

For hours now, the ministers have been discussing an event overheard by the knights on the border.

"A spy from the principality was infiltrated from months ago."

That information reached the capital within hours, no matter if it is real or not, it is very dangerous just to mention it.

For that reason they have been discussing since before breakfast.

Servants have brought plates of food for them to eat in there, they even set tables for them to sit at.

Among them, in the center of it all, was the most important figure in the country.

On a beautiful golden throne, it was just a gold plated armchair.

His elegant white clothes with different colored jewels on his fingers and a golden scepter with a beautiful diamond in the center to go with it.

There was the king, Gilliam von Brune, a man who was just entering his forties, but thanks to his work as monarch, his natural hair had turned gray and his beautiful blue eyes had lost that gleam of ambition.

His hair reached his shoulders and if it weren't for his wife helping him shave, his beard would cover his entire face.

The king preferred that only those who are intimate with him call him Liam.

Liam thought as he watched them argue with the ministers.

(I don't know why they get into this argument again if it's going nowhere.)

(Since I've been on the throne, it's always the same, argument after argument that is pointless and just wastes time.)

(I understand the situation better than all of you.)

Liam began to reveal part of the background of the game unintentionally.

(Many years ago, this country was under the rule of a royal family named Frazier. The same ones from the principality since we kicked them off the throne.)

(They were not only corrupt, they did as they pleased, stole in the face of the people, used taxes for their over the top banquets and worse.)

(So two hundred years ago, my ancestors gathered enough courage to oppose the royal family).

(Back then we were a simple ducal family, as the nobles were independent, no one takes anything for granted, let alone support others.)

(To achieve our goal we needed help, large numbers of soldiers, that's where the four families were formed).

Liam's eyes moved to a man in glasses and a hood who stood with other men just like him in dress.

(The first of these was a landless earl family named Ashton, for helping us they would bestow upon us the title of chief court mage, in charge of all matters with magic in the palace.)

Again his eyes moved to another place, but one that was not present, such as the stall next to him.

(Next were two marquises new at the time, they had no influence, but resources. They were the Catley and Harvey family.)

(And finally... the other ducal family, the Redblades.)

(According to my father, I don't remember exactly what they asked for, but I only know that they went to live in the country and that they don't want to be involved in political matters, that's the only reason they accepted).

(After we reunited, we became the five founding families and kicked the Fraziers out of the country. My family became the new royal family and that's how the Brune Kingdom was born.)

(Everything should be happiness for a new beginning of the country... but the problems came just then.)

Liam's eyes started to look bad at all the ministers.

(From the first king to the third, this country has been sinking into debt after debt.)

(From what the fourth king, my father, told me, is that the Fraziers have been trying to recover what was lost and won't give up it seems.)

(For that reason, that instead of there being only one faction, the faction of the royal family, in this country there are four.)

(Starting with mine, the royal faction, followed by the religious faction, they want to get into political issues because they find it unfair that soldiers of the god of light are paying taxes and are not given benefits. But there they are wrong.)

(In our laws it says that religion is outside of politics, they have nothing to do with politics. That's why they are the most annoying faction but less numerous.)

(Then come they, the opposing faction to the royal family. The Calvinists. Their name lies with the current prince of the principality.)

The king gritted his teeth unseen.

(They are the most dangerous faction despite not being from this country because of the last faction, the radical faction.)

"Companions, I think you are being very exaggerated about this matter."

Said one man, he stood up and walked to the center.

He was a tall man, but very burly, he looked like an orc, his jowls equaled four fingers, and his stomach was bigger than a pregnant woman's.

His hair was falling out and just like his eyes were brown.

"We don't need war or to protect ourselves, we need peace."

"Peace?"

"Yes. Peace that will bring us if we enter into negotiations with them."

The king's eyebrow rose in anger.

"Why would we do that prime minister!"

This man was the prime minister, Darryn Harrisburg, that position is only given to the minister of foreign affairs, who deals with foreigners and is the voice of the lower ranking ministers or when there is a unanimous decision.

The king just looked at him angrily.

(Damn Harrisburg, originally that post belonged to Catley. That's why I don't believe the excuse that he said he was sick for years and gave that position to you.)

(Why do you want to enter into negotiations with them?)

(The answer is obvious. Because it would be to your advantage.)

(If a single soldier of the principality enters, thousands will.)

(Since you are the only one who will oversee the border with the principality, you will be able to let hundreds or thousands of soldiers enter.)

(The reason why the Calvinists have been for years being a real danger is because they have been given the reasons to invade us.)

(Bad deals with merchants, destroyed peace treaties, protesting farmers, knights abusing their power. All of that you've been in charge to try to fix and you've only made it worse.)

(I can't count on anyone here as I don't know who is a Calvinist or who is on your side in this).

(The knights and magicians of the court have sworn allegiance to their country, but they are not exempt from corruption. As we are going through an economic crisis, I would not be surprised if they reveal themselves).

(As a king, nothing saddens me more than to see my people suffer and my own vassals want to remove me from power for a few measly coins. Worst of all, I am sure that the kidnapping of my daughter at her birthday party was the work of the Calvinists.)

(But there is nothing I can do. Just pray that my son manages to get great allies now that he will enter the royal academy.)

The king closed his eyes, praying in his heart that help to change this country and defeat its enemies would come.

Accelerated footsteps were approaching straight to the room, the door was abruptly opened and an officer with a paper in his hand shouted.

"A new...... The ducal house of Redgrave has a new lord!"

"The heir of the family took the position from his father!"

The faces of all the ministers implied that they did not understand what the officer said.

The prime minister sat back in his seat and ordered something to drink to be brought to him as he replied.

"We are busy with something important, we don't have time for what a country noble says, besides that only His Majesty can declare when it is time to give the territory to a country noble, they have no right to choose new head without the permission of the palace."

"Y-You see... there is a letter that came with that news."

"A letter?"

"Y-Yes... it's addressed to all of you."

The officer took out the letter and panicked for a moment. The prime minister who drank all his wine said.

"Well, is it some nonsense or is he trying to convince us?"

"The letter says, in his own words..."

"I was told that only you could accept or not, my title as the new duke... huh? What the fuck is wrong with you useless old fucks! You want me to kick your ass? Fuck you all! I'm the new duke and that's it! If anyone wants to deal with me and try to remove me, go ahead, I'll cut off the head of that idiot and his son, then I'll burn your territories. To hell with you and your rules, a Cheat Lord does what he wants, so when I go to the capital I will personally kick your asses to see if you want to take what is mine. Greetings from the new Duke, Reidel Redblade."

"P.S. How was Rose?"

"Too bad, it's too horrible─ don't write that too───!"

"Th-That's what it says..."

The hall fell silent, the first to manifest a vein in his head and shout after standing up was the prime minister.

"That fucking brat! How dare he disrespect us!"

"This is rebellion! No, this is insubordination! We must execute him as soon as possible and put another member of the family as duke."

"Your Majesty, waste no time and send the magic cavalry after his head!"

The prime minister looked or gave the impression that he was giving orders to the king, but the king himself was trying to hold in his laughter.

"I... puh... I'm sure... puh..."

His cheeks were puffing out and his fingernails were clutching at the hand rest to keep from letting out his laughter.

(Hahahahahahahaha! It really was funny.)

(It certainly is as he says, he deserves the workout... but, if he had the courage to answer us that, it means he's not afraid of us.)

(A human being who is not afraid of punishment is either an idiot... or he is someone who is so confident in his strength that he does not hesitate to show it.)

(If it's the latter, and if he's not actually hostile... maybe he's the help Sig needs.)

The king finished laughing inwardly and replied to the prime minister.

"You are right prime minister."

"In that case..."

"But we will do as he said. That he will come to the capital, we will take it as a bet to see if he keeps his word."

"But His Majesty mocked us!"

"I said, Prime Minister, we'll wait for him to come."

An angry expression flooded his face, even when he showed his bows were very hostile.

The king smiled inwardly a little as the conversations returned to normal.

(If he really is a threat, I will send him to him to eliminate him, but if he turns out to be an ally, I will do my best to make him serve us.)

◇◇◇

On one of the balconies of the royal palace.

A beautiful girl was watching the scenery of the capital.

Birds were approaching her by her beautiful humming, a person came.

Her brother.

"Eli, mother sent for us. I came to fetch you."

The girl who was more beautiful than the setting sun turned around.

"Fine. Sig onii-sama."

She walked a little fast and entwined her arms with his.

"What does our mother want to talk about?"

"I think it has to do with the academy? Since we're going in soon."

"Are you scared?"

"No, because I know my prince will be there."

*Sigh*

"Eli, we're adults now, don't insist with your jokes about marrying me."

"I'm not talking about you brother, I'm talking about my real prince, the one from that day."

The princess smiled heartily.

"I'm sure he'll go with us too, I can feel it."

From that day, the prologue ended, and chapter one of three began.

For those of you who follow my novels, this week I will start uploading the other volumes.

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