The Beginning of the Conference
A few days after persuading Adelina-san out of the coup, it was finally the time for the summit.
It was being held in a first-class hotel in the Empire.
The building was tall and sleek, which was a rare sight in the Empire, but it looked quite refined and elegant.
The entrance was decorated with a relief, which looked just as good or even better than the one in Bauer’s castle.
The security was really tight, especially since the leaders of several different nations were gathered here today.
There were several soldiers standing in the entryway, performing body checks on everyone that passed by.
I also had a body check done on me, but the process took quite a long time to finish.
As one might expect, the staff members that performed the body checks had to be of the same gender.
As for why I was in attendance, it was because I was hired as a guard.
Claire-sama and I were one of Bauer’s strongest magic users.
We were pulled into the security department since it seemed that they could not pass the opportunity up.
However, Dor-sama and His Majesty Sein were against it until the very end.
After Claire-sama was finished with her body inspection, the person that was in charge returned her wand back to her.
If we didn’t have our wands, we wouldn’t be very useful in case of an emergency.
We could still use magic without a wand, but it would be considerably inferior as opposed to using a wand.
Ever since we arrived in the Empire, we had been attacked by demons several times already, so a blessed magic wand was something that naturally topped our checklists.
Bauer’s leaders underwent the body inspections right after us.
Aside from Claire-sama and myself, the delegates from Bauer included His Majesty Sein, Dor-sama and Tred-sensei.
There were some other clerical staff with them, but these three were the key figures.
After the delegates of Bauer were finished with their inspections, the leaders of Sousa and Appalachia went up next.
Manaria-sama was the delegate of Sousa, while His Majesty William and Lene were the representatives of Appalachia.
Putting Manaria-sama – who was widely-known for being an extremely talented woman – aside, it was incredible how Lene, who was once considered something like a wanderer, was participating in an international conference of this scale as a diplomat for another country. It somehow felt like fate worked in strange ways.
Of course, this was something that she managed to achieve through her own efforts, though.
The people that were attending today’s summit were guided to the conference hall by the staff members.
The corridors were decorated with various flowers and paintings to draw the attention of the guests in.
However, the number of people that truly appreciated it were few in numbers.
Everybody had a serious look on their face as they walked towards the conference hall.
“This is where it’ll be taking place.”
The person that was in charge put his hand on the door and opened it.
The brightness of the room dazzled me for a moment.
As our eyes adjusted to the light, a large round-table jumped right into our line of sight.
“I’ve been waiting for you all. I am Dorothea Naa. I hope that we can have a productive conference.”
The representatives from the Empire were already seated as Dorothea greeted us on behalf of all of them.
Just like how it was during the meeting with the Pope, her introduction was short and concise.
“Everyone, please take a seat here.”
We were all guided by the staff members to take our respective seats.
If the entrance was considered south, then Bauer was seated towards the east, with Sousa by the west, Naa towards the south, and finally, the representatives of Appalachia were seated towards the north side.
Well, that was the reason why we were seated at a round table, after all.
“Now then, let’s get started right away. I don’t like to waste any time. Anyone have any objections?”
Looking around, nobody seemed to disagree with Dorothea.
It was finally time for the summit to begin.
“Let me hear it straight. What are your demands? What is it that you want from my nation?”
Dorothea was the one who started the conference off.
As usual, she was still trying to do things as rationally and frank as possible.
“Our demands are simple. All we want is for you to change your invasive diplomacy and turn it into something peaceful. That’s all.”
The person who answered her question was Manaria-sama.
Unlike during our time in the academy, she was dressed in a suit instead of a school uniform.
The dark blue jacket and grey slacks fit her incredibly well, she looked like a beautiful woman dressed in men’s clothing.
“It might be vague, but the Empire must have its own limits too, right? What will happen if you make even more enemies? Could we come to an agreement here today?”
His Majesty William was the one who followed up.
He urged Dorothea to come to a compromise in a half-joking, half-serious manner.
“I don’t see the necessity in complying. The Empire has more than enough power still.”
“…… If you don’t comply with our demands, then we won’t hesitate to join hands to fight against you.”
His Majesty Sein retorted with his usual sharp tone in order to test the waters in the event that Dorothea shut their demands down.
With his signature sour look on his face, he continued.
“……. We still haven’t forgotten about what you did in our country back when the revolution happened.”
“Hm. There’s no such thing as cleanliness or dirtiness when it comes to war. You don’t mean to tell me that you’re basing the Empire’s national power solely off of that, are you?”
Sparks were set off between the two of them.
This was why I hated politics and diplomacy.
Just looking at it made my stomach hurt.
If it weren’t for Mei, Alea and Claire-sama, I definitely wouldn’t have let myself get involved in it at all.
Claire-sama and I were quite different in this regard though.
“And moreover…… I wonder, why, oh why didn’t Bauer go through with it?”
“…… What are you talking about?”
“Were you not planning to start an uprising with the soldiers from my army? Do you think that I’m blind or something?”
Most likely, she was referring to the coup d’etat that Adelina-san and the others had planned out.
Even though we managed to talk her out of the coup, Dorothea threw Bauer straight into the fire anyway.
“Oh? Don’t tell me you’re so inexperienced as a ruler that you didn’t even know what your own soldiers were up to?”
“Ahaha, how scary. He was just joking around, so you shouldn’t go around making baseless accusations either, okay?”
His Majesty William broke in between Dorothea and His Majesty Sein, who were in the middle of a volatile situation.
He was clown-like with his gestures and words, but one could tell that he was really skilled at reading the flow of things.
It was because of things like this that Dor-sama could place his faith in him.
“Are you trying to tell me that the timing of the coup d’etat and the plan to rebel against me – which was also instigated by influential individuals from enemy countries – was just a coincidence?”
“No, it’s not a coincidence. The soldiers are aiming for you, Dorothea.”
“From my point of view, all I see is a band of fools that were influenced by enemy countries who were trying to rise up and rebel against me.”
“Alright, so do you plan on finding someone to torture and coerce them into confessing that somebody from one of our nations was the one who planned it all?”
“That’s not a bad idea. That could stir up some negative feelings towards Bauer among my citizens and then we could claim some money from you as compensation.”
“That’s such a ridiculous way to stir something up and then reap the rewards.”
It was a bit of a long-winded conversation, but if you slipped up anywhere, you could easily get swept away by the flow.
However, I was a bit surprised.
I didn’t think Dorothea was able to carry on a conversation like this.
I thought that she was childish and that her abilities were overrated, but perhaps I underestimated her too much.
“Both of you, stop it with your jokes.”
It was Dor-sama who butted in between His Majesty William and Dorothea.
“If I remember correctly, you’re Claire François’ father, aren’t you?”
“My name is Dor François. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“Likewise. So, what did you want to say?”
“Before anything else, I would like to ask Your Majesty for permission to make irreverent statements.”
“Sounds interesting. I’ll allow it.”
Dorothea’s expression looked amused.
As expected of Dor-sama.
He understood Dorothea’s personality perfectly.
“In that case―― first things first, let’s confirm the current state of the Empire.”
Dor François―― the true mastermind behind the revolution, was about to make his debut under the spotlight for the first time.