Mob Villain In An Otome Game Volume 2 Prologue

Prologue – The Kingdom of Renalute’s Meeting

In the main keep of the castle in the country of Renalute ruled by dark elves, meetings have been held daily to discuss how to respond to the letter of invitation from the Empire. On this day as well, a meeting was being held, and an elder dark elf had a suspicious look on his face towards the king sitting on the throne.

“Your Majesty, do you intend to reply the imperial letter as it is?”

“…. The Empire’s point is that we are in agreement. We are not breaking it. Also, this visit was not supposed to decide a marriage.

The contents of the letter were about the marriage of the Renalute princess and an imperial noble. Of course, only the senior nobles who knew about the [secret pact] were participating in the meeting.

“But isn’t it almost certain that the son of the frontier count of the empire, moreover the same age as the princess, would be her partner? Even King Elias should realize that.”  

“You’re annoying, Norris. Then what do you want me to do? I won’t let you say I don’t know about the secret pact between the empire and our country. What can I say to the empire in that situation?”

The man called Norris was an old dark elf with black hair and blue eyes. Judging by his looks, he seemed quite old, and unlike most dark elf, his face gave a slight impression of age. The man called King Elias was a dark elf with black hair and yellow eyes. There were no particular age-revealing elements, but his dignified figure was reminiscent of a warrior.

The two were staring at each other with stern faces and exchanging heated opinions. Among that, Norris looked up timidly at Elias with an intense gaze.

“The secret pact clearly stated [a royal or equivalent noble]. In that case, it is proper for the empire’s royalty and our country’s princess to be engaged. I would be convinced with [an equivalent noble] after the engagement is called off. But having the princess’s partner be [an equivalent noble] right off the bat, I cannot see it as anything but our country and the princess being looked down upon.”

In response to his words, Elias furrowed his brow and made a stern expression. Certainly, Norris’ argument was understandable. Elias himself had thought the princess would marry [royalty], even though there was a secret pact. However, the imperial reply to the letter sent by Renalute in accordance with the secret pact stated that the son of the frontier count would visit Renalute as a marriage candidate for the princess. This surprised even Elias, but he thought it was not a bad deal considering he was the son of the famous [Reiner Baldia, Frontier Count].

“Norris, I understand your point. But the other party is the son of [Reiner Baldia, Frontier Count], who is called [the Strongest Sword] in the Magnolia Empire. Moreover, he is a noble ruling over territory bordering our country and the empire. Don’t you think this is good conditions?”

It is common knowledge among politicians that frontier counts in the empire are treated on par with dukes. And the famous frontier counts Reiner Baldia and Glade Kevin in the empire are regarded as [Sword and Shield] – the two giants when it comes to military might in the empire.

Although the Barst Incident that occurred several years ago had just begun to settle down, thinking of the future, it would probably bring more tangible benefits to connect with Baldia’s son through marriage than royalty or central nobles of the empire. That’s what Elias thought.  

But Norris’ view was completely different from Elias’. He deeply regretted that Renalute had been forced to sign a secret pact that made it a vassal state of the empire in all but name due to the formally equal alliance. And whenever there was a chance, he continued to plot with nobles similarly dissatisfied with the secret pact with the empire in order to regain an equal standing with the empire. 

Elias was aware of this movements to some extent but did not crack down on Norris. By keeping Norris close, Elias utilized him to vent the frustrations of forces dissatisfied with the secret pact.

However, as a result, Norris would hardly back down in these kinds of meetings – which was a headache for Elias. Hearing Elias’ words, Norris’ expression did not change as he maintained a timid demeanor.

“I understand Your Majesty’s point as well. However, our position is merely that it is [proper] to have the engagement with royalty come first. If the engagement between the princess and royalty is called off, we certainly want to maintain ties with the Baldia family.”

Elias sighed deeply at the parallel lines of the never-ending argument, and despondently rested his hand on his forehead.

Norris would not give up on the engagement between the princess and the imperial prince. He would not budge an inch. If the engagement between the princess and the imperial prince went through, there was a non-zero chance of marriage. But with no opportunity to even meet, the possibility was zero. If the princess became empress of the empire, they could give rise to imperial allies favorable to Renalute in the future.

Even if just one child was born between the princess and prince, considering the low birth rate of dark elves, they could gain even stronger power. In Norris’ view, marriage between the imperial royalty and princess was a [political assets] in the long run. Use the marriage as a foothold to infiltrate the imperial core, and over time free Renalute from being a vassal state. No, that was too tepid. To seize control of the empire from within using Renalute.  

Norris had not forgotten the humiliation of being presented with and signing a secret pact that was an equal alliance in name only but made Renalute a vassal state in reality. That’s why he thought that if they could make the country’s princess empress, they could get revenge on the empire.

However, Elias was no fool either. He had a general idea of what Norris was thinking. Norris had a strong sense of pride. He took great pride in being born in the country of Renalute and being a dark elf. That’s why he must have felt the vassalization as extremely humiliating. 

And judging by Norris’ personality, he was probably trying to send the princess into the empire and infiltrate the imperial central authority if possible. But in the current situation there was no need to deliberately create seeds of [political dispute] between the empire and Renalute. Rather, considering the threat of the neighboring country of Barst, worsening relations with the empire would be a bad move in the long run – that’s what Elias thought.

While dark elf pride was important, as king he could not sacrifice the country and people for the sake of pride. That’s why he could not accept Norris’ opinion and showed no signs of budging either.

Elias let out a big sigh, slowly lifted his face, and glared at Norris as if to intimidate him. 

“Ah, Norris…. I understand your point but the decision has been made for the son of Frontier Count Reiner to visit our country. If we suggest a marriage after inviting him but then say bring us a prince because the partner does not suit our fancy, you realize that would become a diplomatic issue? Well, it would be different if there was some problem with the frontier count’s son….”

Maybe he was tired from the endless parallel talk. Elias immediately realized his slip of the tongue in his words, and clicked his tongue internally while keeping the same expression. Of course, Norris would not miss that slip of the tongue, and he grinned creepily. 

“….Indeed, we should investigate and confirm whether the frontier count’s son has the qualities to match our country’s princess.”

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

In response to Norris’ words, Elias fixed him with a sharp gaze without changing his expression. In contrast, Norris did not cower from that gaze and made a spiteful face, exchanging glances with nobles from his own faction. Then voices like “Certainly!” and “Norris-dono is right!!” were raised here and there. Elias regretted that he had handed over control of the meeting to Norris with his slip of the tongue, but that was spilt milk. Resting his hand on his forehead, he nodded slightly sideways in a manner conveying resignation and asked Norris.

“….What are you planning to do?”

“Oh no no, we cannot be rude to guests from another country. However, how about this idea….?”

After that, the meeting proceeded under Norris’ group’s control. While regretting his slip of the tongue, Elias could only hold his head throughout the meeting.

***

After the long meeting ended and he returned to his room, Elias let out a big sigh.

“Phew….even if we send our daughter in, it’s not like our country can regain equal standing with the empire….”

The reason the empire did not arrange the engagement between the princess and prince was probably because there was no merit for the imperial side if the princess of the vassal state Renalute married the prince. The imperial central nobles probably voiced their opinions to the king. Many capable talents could be found among the top imperial nobles. Of course not all, but at least the dukes and frontier counts were eccentric strongmen one way or another. Elias knew far too well the might of the empire from the Barst Incident. Even Elias himself desperately negotiated to maintain being allies rather than a vassal state, but the empire would not bend.

They understood Renalute only had one choice. Whether to be destroyed as a country or survive as a vassal state. As king it was an extremely difficult judgment, but fortunately the empire kept its promises including the secret pact. They also strongly pressured Barst to rescue their own citizens who had been abducted. As a result, the citizens of Renalute were very friendly towards the empire. At that time, Elias was relieved for the first time that signing the secret pact with the empire was the right decision.

Of course, Elias himself also wished to improve Renalute’s position as a vassal state. However, if they stopped being a vassal state of the empire, there would likely be more conflicts with Barst. Thinking about that, the imperial “umbrella” that also provided deterrence functioned as a hand to play in relations between nations – that’s what he realized. Norris’ group probably also realized that, but their history as an independent country and dark elf pride likely prevented them from fully acknowledging it.

“Phew….this is troublesome….”

Thinking about the earlier meeting and future matters, Elias let out a deep, heavy sigh with a discreetly tired expression as he rested his hand on his forehead. Soon after, a knock on the door prompted Elias to tighten his expression. When he replied, a dark elf boy entered the room saying “Excuse me”. He had the same black hair and yellow eyes as Elias, and was a handsome dark elf with well-featured looks. 

“Father, you must be tired from the meeting.”

“Raycis? What’s the matter? What business do you have?”

The one who visited Elias’ room was [Raycis Renalute]. He was Elias’ son and the first prince of Renalute. In response to his father’s question, he slowly opened his mouth with a deferential attitude.

“Father, my sister….are you still planning to send Fara off to the empire as a hostage in the name of marriage?”

Surprised at his son’s unexpected words, Elias furrowed his brow and made a stern expression.

“….Who told you such a thing?”

While questioning his son, Elias guessed internally “No doubt it’s Norris” that it was largely Norris who did so. Raycis’ mother was a distant relative but also had blood ties to Norris. Norris’ growing influence in politics recently also had that kind of background.

“….It doesn’t matter who. The important thing is that my sister Fara is being married off as a hostage to another country. Why must that be done? Fara is only six years old. There are no countries that allow marriage at six, domestically or abroad.”

He smoothly brushed off his father’s questioning and insisted on his own opinion. At eight years old, he was quite intelligent and also talented in martial arts, earning praise domestically as a promising future leader. However, Raycis had not yet been informed about the secret pact between the empire and Renalute. He would probably need to know about it eventually, but now was not yet that time.

Elias made a frown at his son’s insolent attitude and words. 

“It is a connection between countries. There are always exceptions. I have no intention of marrying my own daughter off meaninglessly to another country. You will become king one day. Learn to infer hypotheses from understanding the implications behind words and judging the circumstances.”  

In response to his father’s words, Raycis made a stern expression and spat out words laced with anger.

“Even so, I cannot accept it!!”

(Even though he is my son and a prince, for him to so easily reveal his emotions like a child….)

Elias clucked his tongue internally in exasperation and advised while shaking his head sideways with a hand on his forehead.

“Cool your head in your room.”

“….I spoke out of line. Excuse me….!!”

Raycis distorted his face in frustration and bowed once before turning his back on Elias and leaving the room.

“Phew….I’ll have to consider what to do about that boy soon….”

After Raycis left, Elias’ deep, heavy sigh resonated in the room.

*** 

After leaving the room, Raycis was heading to his room to cool off as his father had told him. At that time, he noticed his sister Fara Renalute and her attendant approaching from straight ahead. Seeing his sister draw near, Raycis smiled cheerfully and spoke to her.

“Fara, what’s the matter? It’s rare for you to come all the way here.”

“Dear brother, good day. I was on my way because Mother summoned me to her room. What about you, brother? Why are you here?”

Fara greeted her brother Raycis with graceful etiquette. Seeing her manners, Raycis showed a delighted smile.

“I see, a summons from Mother Elthia…. No, I was talking with Father and he got angry telling me to cool my head.”

“Is that so? It’s rare for Father to get angry.” 

Hearing her brother’s words, she tilted her head quizzically.

Fara was a dark elf with navy blue hair and crimson eyes. Despite her young age she was very lovely, and it was easy to imagine she would grow up to be a beauty judging by her mother’s looks as well. And what highlighted her looks was graceful etiquette that seemed beyond her years.

She was lovely even in her brother’s eyes, and a sister he took pride in. That’s why as her prince and brother he strongly wished to protect her as family. Those feelings naturally strengthened Raycis’ gaze as he watched her. In contrast, Fara was slightly perplexed but smiled gently at his gaze. 

At that time, the attendant waiting beside Fara softly spoke to her.

“Princess, I apologize for interrupting, but if we do not hurry you will anger Lady Elthia….”

“Oh right, my apologies. ….Well brother, please excuse me.”

Nodding at the attendant’s words, she bowed prettily to Raycis in a graceful manner.  

“Sorry for keeping you. Give Mother my regards as well.”

Hearing her brother’s words, Fara’s face lit up. Then she left the spot with her attendant. Raycis saw the two off from there and murmured to himself “I will definitely….protect my sister….”


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