Chapter 85: In the Study Room

Maria’s POV

The current location was a study room in the school library.

In front of me is Alice Archelaus-sama, who has a quiet atmosphere and an unreadable smile on her face.

And all around us are Alice-sama’s friends, aides and beastmen who were carefully observing the situation.

I opened my mouth while managing to control my body, which was too tense and stiff at the current situation, and opened my mouth to speak.

“My Cluster family is indeed an established family of the Heimer faction. We are a proud, noble family of the Svelastrian Holy Empire…But despite being a Margrave, a noble title, our life if not commensurate to our rank.”

As I began to speak, Alice-sama quickly put her hand on her cheek and looked thoughtful.

Don’t tell me that she has grasped the content just from this…?

I continued, cringing at her overly calm expression.

“The territory that my family governs is literally on the frontier (T/N: The outskirts/borders). In other words, it has always been in contact with other countries, and we have devoted a lot of manpower and money to defensive forts and military equipment. In addition, the soil is much thinner than in the southern part of the country where there are many rich lands, making it difficult to grow crops. As far as I can tell, the people don’t starve……but there is little room for manpower or money to do anything to change the situation.”

I managed to say that much without stammering and took a breath.

Then, Alice-sama quivered her pretty lips and opened her mouth loosely.

“I see…so the source of your distress is your financial difficulties, your position…and is it also your ‘worship of the Four Princes?’


So she was aware of the situation after all. And judging by her calm expression, she has a plan.

I nodded my head, suppressing my mixed feelings of fear and respect.

The worship of the ‘Four Princes’ was an idea that existed amongst the old aristocracy.

“Four Princes…?”

One of the beastmen mumbled in a muffled voice, as if he wasn’t used to hearing that phrase. Besides that, several others also raised questions.

In response, Alice-sama gave a simple explanation.

“The Four Princes is the common name for the four individuals who became the great originators of the Four Imperial Families, including the Zwet Imperial Family, which is the lineage of His Majesty’s current family. These are the men who are said to have played an active role when this empire was once in crisis.”

Upon hearing that, the eyes of those who had questioning glances, lit up.

Indeed, it is a heroic tale if you listen to that much.

Although some had fallen away, there were still people who possessed the blood of the Four Princes. Some were vague and self-described with no family tree left, while others were clearly recognized as having the blood in their veins.

In the same generation, other than the prince, Onyx-sama and Athena-sama of the Heimer family were the same. That is why Alice-sama in front of me also had a blood connection due to her mother’s relation to the Heimer Duchy.

“What the hell does that have to do with the fact that the Cluster family couldn’t decide on a position?”

One of the aides spoke up with a question. I opened my mouth to explain.

“Although mid-ranked, my family is deeply established (T/N: Basically, they are a very old and traditional aristocracy with a long family tree). I have heard that our ancestors fought with the Four Princes…especially with the Prince of Heimer as defenders of the frontier. That is why I have followed and respected the Four Princes…However, it is difficult to live in the territory if we do not keep three of the four princes out of sight, and to a certain extent get along with the new nobles who respect the doctrine of Laminasism, which considers only the bloodline of the current king to be the descendants of God.”

I hope that this has been properly conveyed.

In other words, to put it simply…it was difficult to make a living with just a sense of duty.

And every fiefdom basically had an unspoken understanding that they would take care of their own affairs.

In that situation, if I asked for help from the emperor or a high-ranking opponent, the territory’s reputation would drop sharply. If that happened, I would lose my voice and things would become even more difficult.

This atmosphere stemmed from the historical background of our country, where several countries and cities had come together through war.

Wars, the emergence of powerful monsters, and great famine.

In such emergencies, the factions would unite to become the center of cohesion and power, but normal-level problems were left to the discretion of each individual.

While I was fretting over such matters, a newer aristocrat, a former merchant with a keen sense of distribution, offered us a deal and we agreed to it.

We had also made deals with wealthy nobles residing in the territory in exchange for funds and rights.

As we repeated such things little by little, before I knew it, the influence of the new aristocracy was thick in the Cluster territory.

Then, the school suddenly changed. Accompanying that was the split between the Gabriella and Alice factions of the first grade where the Prince was.

If I only teamed up with Alice-sama, the Gabriella faction—that is, the new aristocracy belonging to the Edmund faction, might withdraw their cooperation with the territory.

Such fears could be seen everywhere amongst the aristocracy.

Perhaps not only me, but also Arthur Tanglewood-sama and Shin Yuren-sama, who were pale-faced beside me, were in this kind of complicated situation.

Gently observing Alice-sama and the other people around her for their expressions, they seemed to have a general understanding of the situation.

“I understand the situation…But there is one thing I have to say to you.”

With a serious expression on her face, Alice-sama looked straight into my eyes.


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