“Adelina, were you listening to what we just said? Philine-sama is alive, you know?”
Perhaps it was because the conversation had taken a turn towards the unexpected, but the elderly man’s face grew a little impatient.
“If Philine-sama is still alive, then that’s all the more reason to do it. In order to bring her back to the Empire, we’ll carry out the coup d’état, just as planned.”
On the other hand, Adelina-san looked like she was no longer bound to anything.
Although what she was saying now was even more reckless than before.
“You should rethink this. You all should be well-aware of just how powerful Her Majesty is. She can wipe the entire group out with one sweep.”
“Even so, we’re prepared for it. We are not afraid to die for the future of our country.”
Hey, hey, hey.
Wait a minute.
Wasn’t this conversation heading in a strange direction?
“Hey you, why don’t you calm down a little? You wanted to start a coup d’état to mourn over what happened to Philine-sama, right? And now that you know that she’s still alive, is there even any point to carrying on with it?”
“Shut up, mutt. What do you know?”
“…… What did you just say?”
Claire-sama’s expression changed.
Ah, it seemed like she snapped.
I loved seeing this expression of hers, but now wasn’t the right time for it.
“Claire-sama, please calm down. Adelina-san, you went too far as well.”
The two of them faced away from each other.
Hey, this won’t do.
“Do you really have to start up a coup d’état no matter what?”
“This is getting repetitive.”
Adelina-san shut my question down immediately.
“I see. By the way, do you know what committing treason against the state means?”
“…… Of course.”
“Right, so I’m sure a soldier like you would know more about it than I do, but if I remember correctly, in the Empire, the guilty party’s family – all the way to the third-degree relatives – is punished as well. The men in the family are executed, while women and children under the age of six are sentenced to a lifetime’s worth of heavy labor in the mines, right?”
“…… I’m worried about that too. I’ve arranged for my parents to receive a letter that I wrote, urging them to leave the country around the same time the coup starts.”
So Adelina-san was thinking about it too.
“And where exactly do you plan for them to go?”
“That’s…… I-I’m sure my family can think it through by themselves.”
“That might not be the case for all of the families that belong to the participants of the coup d’état, right? And besides, if they managed to flee to a place beyond where the Empire could pursue them, they would no longer be under the protection of the Empire. I’m sure you know better than anyone just what other nations think of the Empire as well. What do you think would happen if they found out that people from the Empire were trying to take refuge in their country?”
Adelina-san, who looked so confident before, started to look agitated.
Hmm, I see. So that really was the case.
“In the end, what are you trying to get at here?!”
“That this doesn’t just involve you individually.”
Even Adelina-san would understand it if she was calm.
I continued, speaking as plainly as possible to avoid provoking her any further.
“Even if they don’t manage to flee the country and somehow receive a pardon from the nation, do you really think your family can go back to living with each other like nothing ever happened? If your friends found out that you rebelled against the nation, would they be able to overcome that stigma and speak to you like usual? Will any workplace hire you? Would the stores still be willing to sell you their products?”
Those were the consequences of rebelling against the nation.
Of course, it would be necessary to rebel against them if the nation was extremely oppressive, and perhaps that was what Adelina-san thought too, but it was important that she understood the risks behind it.
“Most importantly, you wouldn’t want to be hated by your remaining family members, would you, Adelina-san?”
“Even if my family comes to hate me, we are fighting for the greater good――”
“It’s hard to deal with, you know? Being hated by your own family members.”
I was reminded of Misaki, who was my best friend from my past life.
The only people that understood what Misaki went through and mourned for her were Kosaki, Shiiko and myself.
Even Misaki’s own family members detested her.
While the act of suicide was something that people could sympathize with, at the same time, it was something that caused people to blame the victim’s surroundings.
“What were the people around them doing?” was the question that was most often asked.
Misaki’s family couldn’t understand homosexuality. They never bothered to understand Misaki, and on top of that, they’d treat her badly and they eventually stopped loving their own daughter.
For them, Misaki, who they could no longer understand, was a disgrace in the family.
That was something that I found very tragic.
“Otto was really worried about you.”
“…… Otto was……?”
“Yeah. We’re talking about the same Otto, you know? He’s not very honest, but even so, he was worried about the reckless decisions that you are about to make. Do you plan to just trample all over his sentiments?”
Adelina-san fell speechless.
While many families keep up a front that made them seem like a good family, it seemed that the Reiner family genuinely had no issues among them.
And if that was the case, then she could not ignore her younger brother’s worries.
“And besides, I doubt Philine-sama would want you to start a coup d’état either.”
“Like you’re the one to talk about Philine-sama. It’s your fault that she was exiled in the first place.”
“That way of thinking is rude to Philine-sama. She’s not the type of person who’d get swayed so easily by people like us. The one who decided to take a stand to create change within the Empire was Philine-sama herself.”
It was undeniable that Claire-sama and I had an ulterior motive behind it.
However, Philine was the one who acted out of her own volition.
All we did was seize the opportunity to lend her our support.
“Let’s go back to the topic at hand. You received a lock of Philine-sama’s hair, right? Why do you think she sent the hair from her head specifically?”
“It’s not that strange, is it? It’s not like she could just send us hair from her ears or nose or anything.”
“Don’t you think that the lock of hair she sent was actually a message from Philine-sama addressed to Her Majesty Dorothea though?”
Adelina-san tilted her head.
“It’s a message telling you that the old Philine that you’ve always known is gone now. It’s like a Dear John letter…… er, I guess that concept doesn’t really exist in this world. Anyway, think of it like her way of breaking things off.”
“Most likely, Philine-sama hasn’t given up yet. I’m sure she still has a lot that she wants to do.”
Of course, there was a possibility that my assumptions were incorrect, though.
“Rather than do something that may come back to bite you in the future, why don’t you save your strength until Philine-sama comes back and act under her wishes instead? When Philine-sama returns, she will definitely need your help.”
“…… And what happens if she doesn’t return?”
“When that time comes, then you must pick up where Philine-sama left off, but you won’t be alone. For the sake of accomplishing that, you must strengthen your army first and foremost. If you can do that, then you’ll be in a good position to carry out the next steps.”
The Naa Empire was a nation with an extremely powerful military force.
Non-commissioned officers had less of a say than the soldiers that were in higher positions. The higher you were in rank, the louder your voice was. If you were in a high ranking position, then changing the Empire would not just be a pipe dream anymore.
“And…… this is just my personal selfishness speaking, but I wouldn’t want to see the things that Philine-sama earned herself disappear so easily.”
“The things that the Princess earned…?”
“Yes. That would be you guys.”
When we first started with our strategy to capture the Empire, she didn’t have that many allies to speak of.
Adelina-san and the others were among the few allies that she had.
They were the friends that Philine managed to make all on her own.
It would be regrettable to see her lose it all here.
Adelina-san thought it over with a pained expression on her face.
Well, no surprise there.
It wasn’t like she could decide on the spot whether or not to carry the coup d’état simply based on our suggestions.
Everything had its own pros and cons.
No matter how many reasons we provided her with, it wasn’t such an easy decision that she could just agree to stop right away.
“What are you thinking about now?”
Claire-sama, who seemed to be getting impatient, asked.
“If you carry out the coup d’état, it’ll almost definitely end in failure. Your family members will not be able to sustain themselves. And that’s not even the end of it.”
“…… That’s easy for you to say. You’re not even from the Empire.”
Adelina-san said resentfully.
“Yes, I am a citizen of Bauer. However, there are things that only we can see precisely because we are outsiders.”
“And what would that be?”
“Don’t you long for a better future?”
Adelina-san was stunned by Claire-sama’s words.
“If you stop here, it’ll lead to a better future. It’s not the same thing as putting the issue off.”
“Some of you feel so strongly about the issue that you don’t even fear Her Majesty Dorothea anymore. That feeling won’t disappear so easily, will it?”
“Of course not.”
“In that case, endure it for now. At the very least, you should wait until Philine-sama comes back to see what she wants, so until then, refrain from doing anything too reckless.”
Claire-sama’s words seemed to have sparked something within Adelina-san.
It looked like she was seriously contemplating her words over.
“Consider it a request from me as well. Adelina, please stop what you are planning.”
The elderly man lowered his head.
After thinking about it for a while,
“……. I understand. I will try to persuade my comrades of the same.”
Adelina-san responded after making a tough decision.