Translator is done with school, so more chapters and more consistently moving forward.
Chapter 196 Smile
“Hm, how unusual. I didn’t expect to be able to see you in such a disturbed state…”
Seeing Yuri’s fiery expression as she glared at Ryle and Dida’s retreating figures, I spoke up.
“Please don’t spy on the conversations of others,” she responded with another glare at me for good measure.
“I did nothing of the kind. They seemed to have sensed my presence already…but couldn’t tell who I was just from my aura alone.”
Even though she was glaring at me I felt no fear. The look of anger on her face was nothing more significant than that of a kitten playing around.
That being said, Ryle and Dida were really quite talented.
I had always been proud of my ability to conceal my presence.
“After abandoning Dawson, although I investigated him because of his potential usefulness…it seemed that you were the only one who considered him a compatriot.”
It was a cry that seemed to split open her soul, emitting from her very heart, so intense that even the large man standing there was fearful.
She was suppressing unimaginably intense emotions from appearing on her adorable face.
For me, I couldn’t help but think that I had created quite an impressive puppet.
“You don’t seem to know when to shut up. That’s quite a bother for me, if small things like these are enough to make you waver or fail. You once said that you would surpass your mother and take vengeance upon this country. Was all of that a lie?”
I grabbed her face roughly with my hands, closing the distance between us and looking at her up close as if observing her.
It wouldn’t do if she wavered so easily.
“…I wasn’t lying. I’m not nearly as weak as she is.”
She blinked at my expression of doubt.
“Then I’m reassured.”
Smiling slightly, I put down the hand I had been holding her face up with.
“If Ryle doesn’t turn to our side…then we should have let Dawson continue to live so he could be more useful. It was quite a lot of effort to eliminate him.”
“Dawson no longer has any value. Plus, that woman’s resolve had touched him, so he had a lot of troublesome thoughts in his head. There’s no reason for someone who’s an obstacle to keep living, right? ”
“…I’m glad. You really haven’t turned weak like your mother.”
“What kind of joke is that? It’s not funny at all.”
“Ah, whatever. It’s almost time for my appointment with the tailors. I need the perfect gown for the upcoming conference.”
I couldn’t help but ask about this supposed appointment that I remembered nothing about.
After all, I thought that I had knowledge of all her appointments and everything around her.
“Oh, yes. A conference concerning Prince Edward’s official succession to the throne.”
She said this with an air of pure innocence. I buried my head in my hands.
How could she not have reported something so important?
“We need to immediately delay the conference and ask to speak to the former queen.”
“Huh? What is it, Divan? Isn’t this the best opportunity for Prince Edward to become the leader of this nation?”
What a stupid child…I had to reduce my impulses to shout at her to a sigh.
“Unfortunately, we still have yet to eliminate the first prince. We can’t even confirm many of the reports we’ve received…there are too many uncertain factors.”
“What can the fallen first prince do? Plus, Divan, isn’t this all because you didn’t do your duty when you were supposed to?…All in all, you think of a way out.”
Well, that was true.
He was the toughest to deal with in this whole nation, surrounded by useful, talented individuals.
Although I managed to stop him from acting out, it took such a long time of preparation.
The fact that he now lacks the freedom to act freely was a product of my hard work.
…This country was really foolish to the core.
Because of its wealth, it became foolish.
Even after seeing the current situation shrouded in a foreboding shadows its people refused to confront the issue. In a matter of a few decades, they’d started treating the wealth they had accumulated as a given, enjoying it as if it would never disappear.
They embraced the glory of their past, refusing to move on. Because of that, the core of this country gradually started to decay.
Take human talent, as an example.
People eventually age and die. The only way to maintain a nation’s function is to continuously cultivate new talent.
Most of the talents from the era of war are either dead or ill. Even those who are still alive have backed down from the frontlines.
The only one who remains active…is Earl Sagittaria.
Even so, the circumstances surrounding him are quite odd.
The burden of his work meant that if he wanted to, he could back down from the frontline and give his position up to a successor, while he himself worked as a consultant…although from an outsider perspective, no one could really handle being his successor.
Although I’ve been doing quite a good job for my age as well…I needed to pay special attention to Earl Sagittaria, Duke Anderson, and Duke Armenia.
During my long preparation period I had dealt enough attacks to force them into a more passive role. The remaining work would be much easier.
The only one I had miscalculated was the first prince himself.
He didn’t show up at all during my investigations.
No, perhaps it was more appropriate to say that I didn’t prepare the appropriate settings for him to appear and become active.
If he had been the one with enough power to initiate, then I wouldn’t be able to expand my plans like this in the first place.
Thankfully, at the moment he lacked even a setting to act in.
More accurately speaking, this country was holding him back.
I owed an endless amount of thanks to the uselessness of some people in this nation.
Considering his practicality, there still remained the dangerous possibility of him turning an unfavorable situation around.
Although this was a bit off-topic from my original thought, it was still true that we should be most careful against the first prince. Even given all that, nobody on my side could find any news on him. Who knew what he was planning now?
If we let him have the pawns and the power then everything would be over. The whole scheme would be turned on its head.
I couldn’t help but ponder his abilities. Even though there was no way of avoiding the possibility of a reversal in power, I still wanted to delay it as much as possible.
“Stop babbling like that. I’m the queen of this nation right now. I’ve already done all that you wish. Just…please stop bothering me and do what you’re supposed to. I don’t even want to help you anymore.”
But this girl…
Did she really think that she had managed to earn her current position based on her own power?
There was nothing more annoying than an arrogant pawn.
“…Understood. Well then, excuse me.”
After bowing, I walked out of the room.
“It’s about time that I cut off ties with her. Well, it doesn’t matter. Losing her won’t affect the plan at this point anyways.”
I said this to myself in a low voice.
As of today, I had already set everything up.
No matter how my enemies struggled, they shouldn’t be able to turn the tide.
In that case, none of the allegiances I had formed mattered.
Abandoned pawns? I had lost all interest in them.
Pawns that became haughty in their own power were even less useful.
Even without her, things had been set into motion.
Well then, perhaps it was time for her to disappear.
If the first prince started to act, then the second prince and Queen Ellia’s faction would be destroyed.
For all I cared, she could disappear along with them.
These were the thoughts that moved through my mind as I smiled and headed toward my next destination.