Chapter 37 – Condemnation
“Hail, the Monarchy of Diete. Long live, His Highness Valfrete.”
“We’re completely free!”
“Glory to Diete. May our descendants prosper forever!”
Year 442 of the Monarchy calendar.
The 479-year interstellar war ended when the Royal Expeditionary Force, led by Colonel General Valfrete Strani Asteria, nearly destroyed or surrendered all the star systems of the Coalition of Humanity.
The Monarchy, which had lost 1 billion people and 3 billion made into refugees in the Battle of Diete two years ago, was swallowed up by a whirlwind of joy.
The hatred between both nations made a ceasefire impossible, and the only way to end it was for one of them to win unilaterally. If they lost to the Coalition, they would only be killed or semi-enslaved, so it was only natural for the Royal citizens to rejoice in victory.
Many people, young and old, cheer on those who march with the national flag. A child hugs his father with a smile, and the people around him smile and applaud.
The entirety of Monarchy of Diete was in a festive mood, and all the media were filled with the news of the end of the war due to the Monarchy’s victory.
Unfortunately, the expeditionary force that fought so bravely and brought victory to the Monarchy is still active in the Coalition territory, and there is no prospect of their return for the time being.
They rescued survivors from the underground shelters in the three-star system that had undergone celestial incursions, disarmament the Coalition forces, banned intergalactic travel, and stopped the production of modified magical individuals.
By banning marriage between Coalition magical people and banning the use of aging stagnation technology for magical people, they aim to make them harmless like the Heracleans who do not have magic power holders in the long run.
This forced the Royal army to continue operations in the Coalition’s Five Star Systems.
However, on the Capital planet, Diros, where the festivities did not subside, the nation was to hold a ceremony to commemorate the victory, as it was not possible to wait for the return of the expeditionary force.
The commemorative ceremony was attended not only by the Monarchy’s government and members of both Houses of Parliament, but also by the aristocrats and governments of each system. The event was broadcast via Multidimensional Magic Conversion Communication Wave to the entire planetary systems of the Monarchy, the Neutral Frodi Republic, and the occupied former Coalition territories.
The aristocrats gathered triumphantly and excitedly talked at their seats as they waited for the ceremony.
“I was surprised that His Highness Valfrete had secretly changed the destination.”
“His Majesty never specified a destination. We just assumed it would be the Hercules System.”
When the black-haired middle-aged aristocrat was impressed, a blue-haired young aristocrat with the same peerage reflected on his misunderstanding.
“His Highness graduated from the Military Academy and started his career as a Lieutenant. His background is different from ours. I never thought it would lead to such a result.”
“Including that, the value of the letters given by His Highness has risen dramatically.”
When the young nobleman with blue hair referred to the Letter of Commendation, the middle-aged nobleman with black hair nodded.
“Those letters will become family heirlooms for generations to come. I hope I can get something that my descendants can be proud of. Next time, I’d like to gather the entire clan and take a recorded video with a focus on the Letter of Commendation.”
There is no end to the topics of conversation among the aristocrats. At another table, a short, fat, middle-aged aristocrat with brown hair and a gray-haired old aristocrat were speaking of their future prospects.
“Will the order of succession to the throne change?”
“His Royal Highness Leandre, who only asked for the defeat of the Coalition, and His Royal Highness Valfrete, who destroyed the Coalition itself and ended the 479-year war. It will surely change.”
When a gray-haired old aristocrat spoke with conviction, a fat aristocrat with brown hair asked anxiously.
“What if His Majesty should object?”
“The House of Lords and the People’s House of Representatives have issued motions for replacement, so it will change eventually. The only choices are between doing it yourself and being forced to do it by others.”
The stout, brown-haired noble tilted his head.
Leandre was unable to perform as well as his strength evaluation while operating the defense fortress in the Capital planet defense battle. Valfrete, on the other hand, swiftly made the entire Coalition systems surrender and led to the end of the war.
The National Council will undoubtedly support Valfrete.
However, the House of Lords is determined by the interests of the senior aristocrats.
After the Crown Prince died in the Hercules Battle and Valfrete issued Letter of Commendation, leading to the reinstatement of his royal title, there have been changes in the factions. However, this is a recent development, and the brown-haired fat aristocrat did not have a clear picture of the overall change in power.
The white-haired old aristocrat on the other side of the line had a different perspective.
“With the end of the Coalition, the significance of the aristocracy will be greatly weakened. In order to convince the people of the continuation of the system, His Highness Valfrete, who brought victory, must be the next Sovereign. If you’re an aristocrat, you’ll have no choice but to agree.”
“I see, we all have to agree with that. I will have the members of the Houses of Parliament, who represent our territory, support His Highness Valfrete.”
The gray-haired old aristocrat nodded strongly only once to the conclusion of the brown-haired fat aristocrat.
“His Highness Leandre dug a grand grave. However, if he retires, he would receive a Viscounty. His Highness’s magic power value of 30,000 is worth it.”
The aristocrats, who could see the conclusion about the next Sovereign, wondered how to stand in the middle of it.
The Monarchy of Diete, which has doubled its governing star systems and is no longer under threat from the Coalition, will continue to develop around Valfrete, the next Sovereign.
Valfrete, the next Sovereign, has two sons, neither of whom has a fiancée.
The eldest son Bernard has an estimated magic power value of 27,700, and the second son Josslan has an estimated magic power value of 27,900. The magic power value required to succeed to the throne is 27,440, and both princes have just barely enough magic power.
Therefore, the succession of thrones from Valfrete is likely to be based on one criterion: how high the magic power value of both princes’ children will be.
“Do you need Royal-grade magic power to be the legal wives of both princes?”
A young, red-haired aristocrat whispered, and a bearded, middle-age aristocrat nodded.
“Moreover, it’s difficult at the last minute. Lifespan will reach 300 years…… if I were an aide, I would advise to welcome the daughter of the Viscount of Amakawa, who is promised high magic power value, as a legal wife. It would also bring in the blood of a hero and gain public support. As long as you have the support and the magic power to succeed the throne, it’ll be alright.”
“But his legal wife is Her Royal Highness Princess Yuna. They would be uncle and niece.”
To the question of the red-haired aristocrat, he answers that the beard’s middle-aged aristocrat is fine.
“As a child by the concubine, there would be no kinship. No matter who the mother is, there would be no problem so long as she had the title of the daughter of Viscount Amakawa, who overthrew the Coalition and brought freedom and peace to the Monarchy. Even if it is the child of a sinner, all problems are canceled by her father’s achievements.”
“Then, when we marry out a daughter from our household, the best partner is the Viscount of Amakawa.”
The value of Viscount Amakawa’s magic power and the amount of magic power that his children will have is a hot topic in the House of Lords and is spreading throughout the Monarchy.
If the offered daughter gives birth to a grandchild, even if she does not marry the two princes, there is a possibility that the future Viscount Amakawa family would also marry off a high magic-powered lady from the Amakawa clan in exchange for receiving the daughter.
If the two aristocratic families both gave daughters to each other and exchanged their grandchildren back to the two families, even a Viscount family could have Royal-class magic power.
After calculating, the red-haired young aristocrat involuntarily gulped at the result.
“Some could even offer their daughters to His Highness Valfrete as mistresses.”
A mustache aristocrat tried to make a suggestion, but the red-haired aristocrat shook his head.
“No, let’s stop there. His Highness has struggled in various ways, such as avoiding the issue of succession to the throne, joining the military, and even avoiding relationships with high-magic women. It would be unbecoming to do something inappropriate and bring his displeasure upon us.”
“I’d rather be safe. But do you have a daughter that would match his age?”
“If Miss Claudia, a 15-year-old lady, can get engaged, then even at the age of 11…”
“It’s up to you to decide. Also, I do not know of Viscount Amakawa’s preference in women. I dare not say anything.”
There was no end to the aristocrats’ topics until the ceremony began.
The ceremony, which began with the sound of a high-pitched trumpet, first told a grim history of conflict with the Coalition.
The Earth government’s colonial rule over the people, the execution of Diete leaders by the Earth’s punitive fleet in 3226 AD, and the long war that began in 3263 AD.
The Sovereign consoled the spirits of his fallen predecessors, declaring that Diete’s wishes had been fulfilled and that the war was over.
Amidst thunderous applause, a young man stepped forward from a seat behind one of the heads of the 1,500 aristocratic families and shouted.
“Please wait. The war is not over yet. The enemies of the Monarchy still remain.”
From the aristocrats present, no one’s voice leaks. In it, someone whispered, “That is Stefan, the heir to the Duke of Langlois.”
At first, the attendees at the ceremony thought it was a rendition or something.
The guards who knew the participants were also at a loss when dealing with the Duke’s heir, who came out from directly behind the aristocrat lords.
Stefan cried out as the Sovereign looked down in silence.
“Your Majesty, I, Stefan, eldest son of The Duke of Langlois, hereby accuse the Royal Grandson Leandre and Maxim, the Duke of Langlois, of treason against the Monarchy. These men were communicating with the enemy and sending out the formation data and military secrets of the Monarchy. Please see the evidence!”
As soon as the accusation of state treason was declared, everyone in the venue was frozen.
Without pausing, Stefan held up the terminal on his left hand and began playing a spirit crystal recording with a magnified projection and maximum audio at the ceremony venue.
The footage, which played from the terminal to the sky above the ceremony venue, showed a blond, clear blue-eyed Leandre questioning Stefan in the office given to the royal palace.
[Why is The Duke of Strani’s royal status restored?]
It was the scene in the office of the royal grandchild in the royal palace after the Battle of the Hercules Star System.
Stefan appeases Leandre by explaining that the Sovereign has reigned for 55 years and is elderly, and that a single heir to the throne would be dangerous in case of emergency.
However, Leandre resented the fact that his uncle might have too much power and claimed he would have issued Letter of Commendations to the pleasure of the aristocrats.
Leandre returned to the subject of Valfrete after accusing his middle school classmate of being Valfrete’s trap, and demanding that Stefan’s fiancée be sent to him.
[Also, I would like to inform His Majesty, and have Duke Strani take responsibility to embark on an expedition.]
[As Commander-in-Chief of the military, he is responsible for the death of my father, who was the Crown Prince.]
If the conversation had gone that far, even if it was insanity and megalomania, it could not be called a national treason.
However, Leandre’s subsequent remarks could only be judged as a national treason, no matter what the legal interpretation.
[Leak information on the formation of expeditionary forces and any unfavorable military secrets to the Coalition. Let Duke Strani die.]
It was not just the leakage of state secrets, but the remark of the traitor who shot and killed the Royal army from behind.
It was released by the Sovereign’s Grandchild Leandre, the first heir to the throne.
In front of the ceremony attendees, who are speechless at the vileness of it all, Stefan of the past appeals to Leandre.
[This is different from simply reducing the number of opposing royals in a political struggle. If we do that, there will be heavy casualties in the Monarchy’s army. We are at war with the Coalition. Now that we’ve lost the Battle of Hercules, the Monarchy itself would be in peril if we reduce our forces further.]
[It’s to stabilize a country shaken by the issue of succession to the throne. If there is a civil war here, that is the danger to the Monarchy. I am judging from the position of the next Sovereign. Please inform the Duke first. Son of the Duke of Langlois.]
The footage about the Sovereign’s grandson stopped there.
But there is another person that Stefan has accused.
“Next, I will present you the evidence that Maxim, Duke of Langlois, who was instructed by His Grandson Leandre to disseminate military secrets to the Coalition, did so and caused enormous damage to the Royal Army.”
While the Duke of Langlois has already been seized by the surrounding senior aristocrats, new footage was projected from Stefan’s terminal.
[Then father would give My Fiancée Beatrice to Leandre and pass the information on to the enemy.]
It was the scene of an argument between the Langlois parent and child, which took place on the Capital planet.
The Duke, affirming Stephen’s question, explained his reasons.
A Queen is produced from the Duke of Langlois. The Sovereign is old, the grandson is young, and the next Sovereign will reign for 200 years. If he takes away the fiancée, the grandson will owe a debt. Accept and be compensated. He said.
The son was not satisfied with his fiancée’s case and questioned the Duke about another matter.
[Leandre intends to have His Royal Highness Valfrete killed on the battlefield in order to settle the issue of succession to the throne. To that end, he has told us to release information on the Royal Army and have them lose the war. Father, do you want me to betray our country?]
[Leandre, as the next Sovereign, probably made a political decision to solve the problem of succession to the throne. If this resolves the succession dispute and prevents civil war, it may be a wise decision rather than a betrayal of the nation.]
The Duke’s intentions were clear, and he also accepted the defeat of the Monarchy’s forces by the leakage of military secrets.
In order to have the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Army killed, the Coalition will be used by providing their military with information about the formations and weaknesses of the army. If this is not treason, what is?
In front of the exasperated ceremony attendees, Stefan in the past complained that the Royal Grandchild was not the Sovereign and had no such authority. And even the Sovereign cannot be allowed to deliberately cause the defeat of the Monarchy’s army and throw away the lives of officers and soldiers in vain.
The Duke, on the other hand, said it was him who offered the Crown Prince’s wife from the Duke of Langlois family, and that if the Duke of Strani turned the tables on them, the investment of people, money, assets, efforts, and connections they had made would be wasted. And he told his son to play with a mistress from the quasi-aristocracy.
The attendees were left speechless by Stefan’s candid accusations.
Stefan made it clear to the Duke that he could accept his fiancée’s case, but that he could not overlook the sacrifices to the Royal Army.
[You’re green. The Monarchy lost a billion people, but took the Solar System and 6 billion people from the Coalition. Since the start of the war, the Monarchy gained a star system and increased its population by 5 billion, and the Coalition lost 6 billion and a star system. And there are spirit crystals and battleships. The Monarchy will not lose. And there will be fewer opportunities to erase the Duke of Strani.]
The Duke, who clearly said to erase him, also reminds Stefan about the aristocracy.
[If you can only say frivolous things, you will never serve as the head of a senior aristocratic house. There is no head of a senior aristocracy who runs a territory and has clean hands.]
The aristocrats attending the ceremony kept listening to the accusations with their teeth gritting in anger, alternately glaring at the footage and the Duke of Langlois with murderous eyes.
The royal aristocrats are educated as “descendants of the arrows shot to pierce the Coalition in the War of Independence” and are proud of their origins and blue blood.
The royal aristocrats’ mission is to defeat the Coalition and protect the Monarchy, not to tell the Coalition to “break the shot arrows”.
The aristocrats continued to listen to Stefan’s accusations, struggling to hold back their curses.
[There will be unnecessary sacrifices to Monarchy Forces.]
[Fighter crafts can be mass-produced as easily as toys. The throne was to be held by His Highness my brother-in-law and then my nephew Leandre. We can’t afford to change our plans now.]
And the Duke uttered words that were enough to convince all that it was treason.
[Send the Royal Army formation data and military analysis results to the Coalition. It would be prudent if they knew that the majority of the forces which the Duke Strani has gathered are fighter crafts, and that their weakness is a massive electromagnetic pulse cannon for interceptor. You will tell His Highness Leandre that you have relayed his instructions to your father and that everything went well.]
When the second footage finished playing, Stefan resumed the accusations in his own words.
“Due to the Sovereign’s Grandson Leandre and the Duke of Langlois, the Coalition installed a large number of Electromagnetic Pulse Cannons for interception. In the final battle of the MacRil System, hundreds of thousands of the Monarchy’s fighter crafts dropped out, and many volunteers were killed by the Coalition. In order to fill the holes left by these fighter crafts, a number of warships of the fleet must have also been lost.”
Many people who had seen Stefan’s accusations were convinced of the point as experts kept discussing the fact that it was incomprehensible in the daily news.
At the same time, they were able to realize the sort of damage the Sovereign’s Grandson Leandre and the Duke of Langlois had caused. Stefan appealed to the Sovereign, who remained silent, about the gravity of the crime.
“The Sovereign’s Grandson Leandre and Maxim, Duke of Langlois, are traitors to the nation, who have killed hundreds of thousands of volunteer Royal citizens for the sake of a power struggle, put the expedition at risk of defeat, and the Monarchy once again falling under the colonial rule by the Coalition of Humanity.”
At that moment, Sovereign’s Grandson, who was inside the sound barrier membrane that had been put up at the ceremony, shouted out, shaking off the surrounding restraints.
“This is fake!”
Stefan explained to the surroundings, facing Leandre who had jumped out.
“Anyone in the Monarchy, whether they are attending the ceremony or watching the broadcast, anyone is fine. Can anyone process the records of the spirit crystals? Spirit crystals have been black-boxed by the late Dr. Kerman. I can only play back the saved records, I can’t process them.”
“No, it’s fake!”
“Then Leandre. Tell your spirit crystal, ‘Record Replay, September 15, 441 of Monarchy history 11:35 a.m.’. You’ll see the same thing as before, but from your perspective. If you insist on claiming that even that was doctored, then would you like to verify all the records from the time you attached the spirit crystal to the present with all the Royal people.”
“Stefan, you, why did you do this to me?”
When asked, Stefan gave a self-mocking smile.
He was told that by offering up his fiancée, he would be favored by the lord and gain some influence. However, the lord has no justice and no regard for the feelings of his subordinates. What is the value of a lifetime of service to such a man?
The Duke of Langlois himself offered his sister, but it was not his own fiancée.
The Duke of Langlois will not take his nephew’s absurd orders, but his son is forced to serve him.
What the parent and child lose is never the same, and the son has exceeded the limits of patience.
“This is a conspiracy. It is the Duke’s trap.”
“If you charge the Duke of Langlois with treason, the Duke’s household will surely be ruined, and even if you take into account the fact that the successor, I myself, was the whistleblower on you, I am sure to be demoted by several ranks, never to be Duke again. Of what benefit is such a plot to the Duke of Langlois?”
Leandre could not answer Stefan’s question.
He did not even realize that his own questions and answers were confessions, and he diverted the story he had brought up.
“You’re just angry that your fiancée was taken away!”
“What possible reason could I have for making such an accusation in my position, other than that I do not want to serve a lord who not only lacks justice, but would also take away my fiancée.”
“Don’t involve me in your self-destruction.”
“If you had been like His Royal Highness Valfrete, or at least in your more honest days, I would have served you with sincerity and life without abandonment. I stopped you time and time again, advised, and begged you to reconsider. It’s your own fault for not listening to me.”
Stefan yelled at Leandre and then looked up at the Sovereign standing in the middle of the ceremony venue.
“Your Majesty, the accusations of traitors to the state is over. The enemies of the Monarchy still remain. They are enemies who have killed numerous Royal people and put the Monarchy in danger of colonization. What will Your Majesty do with the enemies of the Monarchy?”
The 1500 aristocratic families in attendance watched the Sovereign every step of the way, as well as the Monarchy government ministers, legislators of the House of Lords and the National Assembly, the delegation of bereaved families who were allowed to participate, and the people inside and outside royal capital who watched the broadcast.
For the Sovereign, the accused were his grandson and the brother of his eldest son’s wife. But at the same time, they were attempted murderers who tried to kill his third son, Valfrete.
At the ceremony, he himself talked about what Diete is and what kind of history it has traced. Those who threaten the Monarchy’s independence and kill hundreds of thousands of volunteers are enemies of Diete, no matter how you look at it.
The Sovereign, who eventually came to a conclusion, spoke gravely.
“Arrest The Royal Grandchild Leandre and the Duke of Langlois. Under charge of treason. They are hereby stripped of their personal titles and all rights.”
A moment later, Stefan, the young man who was no longer a Duke’s heir, attacked Leandre, a traitor who was no longer the Sovereign’s grandson, punching him in the cheek with all his might.
In addition, Stefan grabbed Leandre and pulled him to the ground, mounting him and punching his face.
Meanwhile, Maxim Langlois, a traitor stripped of his Duke peerage, did not resist. He could have simply committed suicide, but he calculated that his son, Stefan, would maintain the household, and began considering how to stay on the best terms possible.
The father was a man of calculation and interest, but the son did not take after him. He looked with a masterful eye at his son, who did not measure up to him.
Aristocrats who lost loved ones on the battlefield turn their eyes in anger to Maxim, the traitor. But he brushed them aside.