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Chapter 233 Brother and Sister (Part 2)
“Excuse me, your majesty. There’s something here I need to confirm with you…Lady Leticia?”
Sensing the tense atmosphere in the room, Bern froze where he was.
“Looks like you’re having a discussion. I’ll come another time.”
“No, it’s all right. Bern, stay here.”
Leticia was the one who stopped Bern from leaving the room.
“I was hoping that you could listen to what I have to say as well.”
Her voice was so serious that Bern looked confused.
Watching the two of them talk, I narrowed my eyes and observed them in secret.
“Bern, you’ve mentioned that you met Letty before I made a formal introduction?”
“Yes. When I was reporting to the queen dowager in stead of my injured father. Since I didn’t know she was part of the royal family back then, I was quite disrespectful in my conduct.”
“I’ve already told my brother to let you know that you never said anything disrespectful to me.” Letty said in exasperation.
“Hey Bern. What’s your view on Iris serving her current position as leader of Duke Armenia’s territory?”
Bern’s expression seemed even more confused when he heard the question.
By the way, Bern never knew that I had worked alongside Iris in her territory in the past.
Miraculously, I had never been around when he had happened to visit home.
What he was wondering now was probably why he was being asked this question in this occasion.
“As someone who is involved in politics…it’s a loss to our country that she’s marrying abroad.”
“I might sound like I’m talking big about my own family, but my sister is really excellent, especially when it comes to winning people’s hearts. Even though she herself never seems to realize that.”
Bern smiled bitterly as he said this.
“Ever since I joined national politics along your majesty’s side, I’ve felt this even more sincerely. When it comes to me…anything related to national law or politics, I’m confident that I have more knowledge in those areas than my sister.”
“I’ve heard about how hard you study. Even when you’re working you go to the national library to ask for expert opinions. Because of how ferocious you are when you study, people have said they were too intimidated to strike up a conversation with you.”
Honestly, Bern had changed.
He was absorbing knowledge so quickly it seemed like he shouldn’t have time to sleep. The results of his hard work shone through in his work.
In fact I saw Iris in the way he worked so hard.
Those who had no respect for him in the beginning were now intimidated to hear his name.
“You’re too kind. But I’m still nowhere near my sister’s abilities.”
Bern didn’t look pleased at my praise. Instead he seemed quite serious.
“Practical work happens on the foundation of knowledge. Without such a foundation, you can’t do practical work. But even with the knowledge it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re able to use it properly.”
Knowledge was a tool.
Although you needed the skills to use tools flexibly, that didn’t mean turning yourself into a tool.
“My sister not only has the ability to use her knowledge flexibly, but has an impressive creativity on top of that.”
From the bottom of my heart, I agreed with Bern.
After all, compared to her brother, I had spent more time with Iris.
I knew her abilities far more clearly with our time together.
“More important than any of that is that she’s surrounded by talent. She always says that ‘talent is a treasure’, and backs that up by maximizing support for human capital training, foundational preparation, and constructing the best environment for talent to flourish. Only someone like her would do that. If she ever falls short, she can rely on the people around her to make up for it. I realized that no matter how hard I study, what I can learn is only for myself. There’s nowhere near enough time to become an expert in every field out there. But my sister has gathered countless experts by her side. Because of that, they constantly exercise their skills. I’m sorry that I’m rambling for so long, but I think that what draws them to her isn’t just knowledge, but an ability to see through others, to use their talent appropriately. And my sister is able to do that almost perfectly. There are national-level experts for certain fields by her side right now. Even for that alone, she’s a formidable person.”
“So Bern, you’re saying that you oppose your sister’s engagement?”
“I wouldn’t say that so absolutely. But I do hope for her to stay. For that, I’m willing to completely give up my inheritance rights to the Armenia territory.”
“Her hard work is the only reason that Duke Armenia’s territory exists in its current state. The most suitable person for the position of leader is her. The people agree with me on that too.”
“This question might hurt, but that’s why I’m so curious. Are you really satisfied with just that? You won’t feel like you’re being humiliated?”
Just like Letty had prefaced, her question was basically inviting Bern to embarrass himself.
In our country, succession of the eldest was a foundational principle.
More accurately, succession of the first son was household knowledge.
Almost no women had ever rose to the position of head of the household. Only under the extreme circumstances that there were no boys in the next generation, or if the eldest passed away before having children, could a woman temporarily rule in a man’s place.
For a woman to lead her family while a male successor was still alive and well was impossible. Even if the woman herself wanted it, it wouldn’t be allowed unless there was no possibility for succession even among distant male relatives, or there was something irrevocably wrong with the would-be male successors.
If Bern gave up his rights as family ruler and let Iris take over, he’d be perpetually labeled as tainted by association. It didn’t matter if that was the truth or not: people were so shackled to common sense reality that they couldn’t see what was real.
That was what Letty’s question hinted at.
“Not at all. No matter what the people around me say, if it’s something that’s good for the people then I have no reason to hesitate. That’s what I think.”
But Bern seemed completely unmoved. To the contrary, there was a steady smile on his face.