Chapter 198 Conference
Amidst the rejoicing and the cheers, me and another person spoke out.
In response to the dissenting voices…the whole room went silent. All eyes were on us.
“Marquis Anderson! What do you mean when you say ridiculous?”
Although we both spoke the same words, Queen Ellia seemed to have decided to completely ignore my existence.
She glared at Marquis Anderson…my uncle.
“Nothing else than the fact that…according to the laws of this nation, the eldest son should be the successor. As long as the elder son doesn’t have any sort of debilitating illness, these same rules should always apply to the royal family as well. Knowing that you’re going against the law and still proceeding with this decision, especially given your status as royal family, is nothing short of ridiculous.”
“You think someone who isn’t even here is more suitable for the role of king? Quite frankly, that’s far more ridiculous.”
“This isn’t something that Queen Ellia can decide. You don’t have the power to decide who succeeds the throne. After the king has died, power is transferred immediately to the eldest son. Those are the laws of this nation. What this means is that the approval of the previous king’s wife is completely unnecessary.”
Queen Ellia’s gaze shifted from my uncle to me.
It was a gaze of hatred that stemmed directly from the heart.
“Plus, Prince Edward. You just said that you would work to become an outstanding king…but have you really considered how to overcome our current difficulties?”
“I am under no duty to respond to your questions.”
“No, please do respond if you still wish to receive my territory’s resources and support.”
“Why do I have to listen to you? I’m the king! For a mere noble to speak to me like that is impudence!”
…You aren’t even on the throne yet, are you?
That was the obvious question that his reaction provoked.
“Y-yes! Someone come and chase this woman out!”
But no one moved. Not even the guards standing by at the door.
All the guards here were Grandfather’s servants.
Without his order, none of them would act.
Even though he had already backed down from the frontline, he was still a national hero. His followers were just as fervent.
That and the current knight’s order captain’s complete lack of experience contributed to this.
Queen Ellia had forced him into the position unceremoniously.
Quite a few people in the knights’ order were quite unhappy about this decision, so they moved to counter his mere presence.
They didn’t really count on having to involve Grandfather.
“A good sixty percent of the grain gathered from nobles comes from my territory, correct?”
“Considering the scale of this disaster, it’s inevitable that we are short on resources. However, with all the territories in the land, why rely only on mine?”
“Your land has a greater area. As a duke’s family, it’s expected that you support the nation.”
“What are you saying? A single territory is enough to justify having us provide sixty percent…? Are you telling me that you don’t understand what this means? When I heard about the results of the poll, I was shocked. If you stop gathering resources from my territory, how many people would go hungry? Especially with the lack of farmable land in the capital, a terrible crisis might be imminent. So that’s why I asked what policies you had in mind for the situation.”
I giggled as I asked, glancing toward the second prince’s faction.
Although some people had responded just like Queen Ellia, there were several nobles who were more than aware of the poverty of their own land, and who were avoiding my gaze.
A few nobles even seemed to agree with what I was saying.
Those were the individuals who were already bought out and allied together, the first prince and the neutral factions.
Duke Armenia’s wealth and grain resources meant that we had an oppressive advantage compared to other territories.
I was using this as a piece of my negotiations.
Of course, there was also an implicit union between us and Duke Anderson’s household.
It wasn’t just that we were related by blood, but also that we both wanted to protect our people.
The military strength of their territory and our wealth…these two territories came together under the same flag, signaling for others to follow behind.
We had been in touch even before coming to the capital. During my time here, I’d been running around visiting the relevant families. Tanya also received letters from them, and dealt with them in the appropriate fashion.
Although it was quite difficult to handle the fact that the Northern part of Armenia territory were part of the second prince’s faction, we still managed to form alliances with the Western regions on the other side of the mountain, Duke Anderson’s territory, and all the other bordering lands as well.
Prince Edward seemed quite shocked that others were agreeing with me. His brows were locked together in a fierce scowl.
“I did everything so that it wouldn’t turn into a situation like that. I don’t think there’s any need for further explanation on my part.”
“At this point, my territory is faltering. Our own people will become impoverished if this continues. As a substitute leader, I refuse future attempts at levying our resources.”
“W-what kind of lies are you spouting off? If you must insist on rebelling against the king like this, I will retaliate in kind with the royal army!”
“Does this kingdom…do the people who support you really have that kind of excess in their resources? If you are considering becoming king, please think through your own thoughts before presenting them like this.”
“Shut up! This country is mine! If I arrest you all here on treason and absorb all your territories, all these problems will be solved!”
His eyes glimmered, as if he thought his own words were some kind of stroke of genius
Queen Ellia and Marquis Maelia seemed to affirm this, as did everyone in the second prince’s faction.
In that moment, I gave up.
My uncle followed suit.
“Well then, we will have to excuse ourselves. Attending this conference any further…is completely meaningless.”
My uncle announced coldly.
I stood up with him as well.
“As if in agreement with us, more than half of the nobles stood up as well.”