The royal palace was in the midst of an unprecedented chaos.
The cause was none other than the statement that Marquis Albert declared before the royal messenger: a declaration of war against the royal family.
This has caused the royal palace to be divided in half.
One faction was of the opinion that opposing Marquis Albert, who has now become the most powerful in the kingdom, was unwise. They were instead advocating to calmly negotiate with the marquis.
The other faction, however, found the marquis’s demeanor to be outrageous and absolutely unforgiveable. They were advocating for an immediate military response. Some of them were even proposing to make an alliance with all the other forces in the country in order to take down House Albert.
With the two factions opposing one another over and over again, the situation within the palace became tenser than usual.
But then, something happened that changed it all over again. The royal court nobles who were at the forefront of advocating for military action were attacked and killed one after another. Who was behind it remained unknown, but it was commonly assumed that it was Marquis Albert.
And even though this faction of royal court nobles advocated for war, in the end, they were nobles who have lived a safe and comfortable life. Now that their own lives were in danger, they were frightened.
There was another major reason for them to give up on their pursuit of eliminating Marquis Albert.
The two dukes—Duke Kaion and Duke Talister—did not accept the royal palace’s request for cooperation against Marquis Albert. Without their help, the path to defeating the newly strengthened superpower has closed.
As such, the discussion within the palace has gradually shifted to ‘how can we meet Marquis Albert’s demands while still maintaining the current power structure?’
After repeated deliberations by the primary court nobles, they eventually reached a certain conclusion.
“Your Majesty, it pains me to admit, but Lord Albert has now greatly exceeded our forces. For that reason, it’ll be extremely hard for us to turn down his demands, and we may very well be forced to comply. However, what he desires is the kingdom’s throne. It should go without saying that without any relation to the longstanding royal family that has guarded it for generations, the marquis cannot assume the throne.”
The chancellor said so in a grave tone of voice.
On the other hand, King Darios III only quietly listened as he sat on the throne.
The king was young and—especially in contrast to the obscenely fat kings of the past—also slender.
Instead, it was the court nobles in the audience room who had bulging stomachs, a sign of the kingdom’s descent into corruption, if there ever was one.
“As such, we have a proposal…”
At that moment, the chancellor’s line of sight shifted toward the young girl by King Darios III’s side.
This girl—who had received a rite of blessing just a few years ago—was the kingdom’s first princess. Even within the magnificent royal palace, her beauty still shone radiantly. So much so that there was endless number of marriage proposals that she receives from both within and outside the kingdom.
For that and many other reasons, she was King Darios III’s beloved daughter.
Upon guessing what the chancellor was about to say, her body immediately but subtly stiffened.
“Our proposal is to have Princess Darinea succeed the throne and have her welcome Lord Albert as her prince consort. That way, not only do we comply with Lord Albert’s demands, we also ensure that your royal bloodline continues to the next generation.”
“What should I do…?”
After hearing his supposed vassals, King Darios III retreated to a private chamber and wracked his brain.
“My girl, she’s still so young. If that Marquis Albert becomes her prince consort, he’ll essentially take control of the palace and the country. And then, given how much of a warmonger he is, he’ll surely set his eyes on another country. Blood will flow more than they ever had if we allow him. but…what can I do about it? Nothing, absolutely nothing…”
He was a king only in name.
All manner of governance has been taken over by the court nobles, and he was not allowed to intervene in any way.
The exchange earlier where the court nobles asked the king for his final judgment on the matter was nothing more than an act. Even if he rejected the proposal, the nobles would not back down.
After all, these nobles had the power not only to dethrone the king but also to appoint a new one.
As for how a king could have so little power, it was the fault of the previous kings themselves. More specifically, it was the fault of foolish and abusive kings who sat on the throne for years while their kingdom suffered. After seeing such a thing repeat over and over again, the court nobles amended the laws and gave themselves the power to change the ruler.
However, that increase to the court nobles’ power eventually gave birth to the current corruption plaguing their kingdom. Moreover, even if a capable leader like King Darios III appears, the current system made it hard for such people to properly govern the country.
“Your majesty, a report.”
While wracking his head like that, a certain report was brought to the king.
“It’s from an agent of ours who succeeded in infiltrating the Albert territory.”
Upon hearing that, hope suddenly returned to the king.