Chapter 0266 Duchess of Rubin
“The Imperial envoy, Duchess Rubin, will be arriving at the State Guest House tomorrow morning. Negotiations will begin immediately thereafter.”
“So, no audience or anything then.”
“That’s right. We are following the procedure that was agreed upon a month ago when this negotiation was decided. To be honest, His Majesty’s condition wasn’t really good at the time…”
Marquis Heinlein explained, nodding.
Abel nodded broadly and replied thus.
“I can’t thank you enough, Ryo.”
“Oh please~, don’t mention it.”
Abel was honestly grateful, and Ryo felt abashed.
In the remote wing of the royal castle, Abel, Marquis Heinlein, and Ryo were having a meeting about the envoy from the Empire.
“The people of the Empire would be surprised to see the king, whom they had heard was seriously ill, in good health.”
Ryo said, grinning, probably picturing the scene in his mind.
“Negotiations will take place in the conference room of the Exchange Hall, which is located between the Royal Castle and the State Guest House where the guests will be staying. There are no magic barriers in the conference rooms, so please bear that in mind.”
For some reason, Marquis Heinlein made emphasis on that point.
“Hold on? Abel, are you thinking of bombarding the envoy with magic? The Duchess is the Emperor’s sister, isn’t she? Wouldn’t that be an insane move?”
“That wasn’t directed at me! He was referring to you, Ryo.”
Ryo tilted his head.
“I wouldn’t just attack someone that I’ve never met before out of nowhere. Even if they’re from the Empire.”
Marquis Heinlein and Abel looked at each other involuntarily.
“Your Majesty, to what extent has Duke Rondo been briefed?”
“…I should have known, you really don’t know who the Duchess of Rubin is, do you, Ryo…?”
“Of course I do! As I said before, she is the Emperor’s sister. And His Majesty Rupert VI is in his mid-fifties…”
Ryo remembered Emperor Rupert, whom he had met on the battlefield, who despite being in his fifties had a body like steel, without a trace of fat on it.
“Oh…I see where the problem is. Listen, Ryo, His Majesty Rupert abdicated two years ago, and his son, Crown Prince Helmut, ascended to the throne as Emperor Helmut VIII.”
Ryo had no idea.
Even though it was quite a hot topic at the time….
“Without delay, the other princes and princesses were all granted the titles of Dukes and Duchesses. Including this same Duchess Rubin. Duchess Rubin, whose first name is Fiona…”
“No way, that Princess…”
“Yup, the former Eleventh Princess, the chief of the Emperor’s Magic Division, whose name at the time was Fiona Rubin Bornemisza, whom you tried to freeze, Ryo…. She appears to be the official envoy.”
“I had no idea…”
Ryo frowned a little and scratched his cheek.
“I don’t suppose you know who her husband is as well.”
Marquis Heinlein said in a rather quiet voice.
“Her husband? As in she’s married?”
“Yes, her husband, Count Ruska is the vice envoy.”
“Oh you gotta be kiddin’ me…him…”
“Yup, Count Oscar Rusca, the Explosive Blaze Magician.”
The moment Marquis Heinlein carried on with the explanation, Ryo frowned his face with all his might.
Then he turned to Abel and said.
“Abel, you knew about this and played a fast one on me! You knew he was coming! ”
“N-No, I was going to tell you eventually…”
Abel looked away from Ryo and made an excuse.
“By eventually, you mean you already decided to keep me in the dark since that time I agreed to welcome the envoy!”
Abel and Ryo even shook on it firmly that time….
“…Fine, I’ll make the once-a-month cake privilege once-a-week.”
“Oh Abel, I’ll be sure to follow you for the rest of my life! You can leave those two Imperial whackjobs to me!”
Ryo was back and looking alive….
Food is justice.
People live for food and die for food.
In a different place, the envoy carriage of Duchess Rubin of the Empire.
“The ones leading the negotiation are the Prime Minister, Marquis Heinlein, and the Premier Duke, the Duke of Rondo…”
Fiona, the Duchess of Rubin, muttered for the umpteenth time.
“Fiona, are you still bothered about that?”
That was Oscar, her husband, Count Ruska, who also goes by the name, the Explosive Blaze Magician.
“Yes…. The Duke of Rondo is a new dukedom, established after dissolving the Flitwick Dukedom, the brother of the previous king, and the head of said dukedom happens to be the premier duke of the kingdom. Despite this, he holds no office within the royal castle, and it’s not even clear where his dukedom is located. Moreover, no one has seen him in the last three years…. Even the Imperial Intelligence Service had concluded that there was in fact no Duke of Rondo, but merely a dukedom nominally created by the royal family to exert pressure on other nobles. The fact that the royal family still retained half of the dissolved Flitwick Dukedom can attest to that conclusion. For him to show up now, out of nowhere, to participate in the negotiation this time… and appointed in name by King Abel I.”
“Well, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me for sure…but we’ll find out anyway when we get to the negotiating table, won’t we?”
“Oh, we certainly will…”
With that, they both took a sip of the coffee Marie had brewed for them.
“I’m more concerned about King Abel’s medical condition. It means that he is in such a state that the premier duke, who has never come out, was forced to take the stage.”
“Indeed. According to the information gathered by the Intelligence Service, he is probably dying.”
“But the Intelligence Service has not been able to get anyone inside the castle.”
“The Prime Minister…”
“Yeah. When it comes to counterintelligence, the Prime Minister, Marquis Heinlein is one or two steps ahead of the Empire…. So, we’re going in directly through the front gate instead.”
(Although the way they refer to themselves has changed, in the end, there’s hardly any affectionate moment between the two…)
Marie thought, as listened to the conversation on the side.
Then she sighed loudly in her mind.
Marie was the second-in-command to the chief of the Emperor’s Magic Division, but at the same time, she was also Fiona’s maid.
Therefore, when Fiona established the Rubin Dukedom, she was appointed as the chief maid.
Naturally, she was also accompanying the envoy, Fiona, on this mission as her adjutant and maid.
As Marie devotes herself entirely to Fiona, she wants Fiona to be happy…but she also understands that happiness comes in different forms from person to person.
(What tough luck…)