4.1 The King and the Minister – Interlude-
- From the King’s POV
That day, the Minister had received a summons from the King.
As for the purpose of the summoning:
“Thus, I declare that the marriage between Gilbert and Anne Marie—is hereby annulled.”
The King made a resolute decision. The final conclusion resounded throughout the entire vicinity.
The Minister nodded in affirmation.
“I’m pleased that both of us could finally came into an understanding—well, otherwise, I wouldn’t withdraw my resignation letter.”
“…Losing an excellent chairperson for Gilbert’s sake, I deem such a cost unworthy for a kingdom to bare.”
The Minister raised his eyebrows at the final part of the King’s words.
“Oh? Did I misheard things? It certainly did sound like Your Highness holds me in high regards.”
“Of course, isn’t that only natural? After all, this is the request of a highly esteemed predecessor.”
Back then, under the reign of a certain King, this kingdom’s management went downhill and almost crashed into the ground. All of it was caused by the King’s tendency to prioritizes his own needs thus abandoning his kingdom-related duties for the sake of attending the Gala and other festive events.
However, a certain minister also existed during that era. This minister took it upon himself to manage the kingdom despite the King’s absence. The pinnacle of it was how he managed to turn things around mid-crisis; a deed that not even the King himself can hold a candle to.
Said former minister actually wasn’t very different from the other officials. If anything, he was below them. His interest in governing was meager, to say the least. Nor did he had some kind of undying passion for his country. Neither did he come from an influential noble family—
—The only thing that he had was a simple pair of eyes that could easily discern people.
That one simple ability earned him a place of his own in the kingdom’s history.
Indeed, such person actually existed.
“That person personally and specifically chose you to be his successor. I’ve never since doubted your abilities.”
“Now this actually does sounds like Your Highness is placing me in too high of a regard…
“…One thing, though, everyone could’ve guessed that those earlier precedents involving my daughter would lead up to this—however, the other party to pay this price is your younger brother, Duke Westin. Towards this, Your Highness seems pretty unfazed, huh?”
“Just because we are blood-related, doesn’t mean I am to be indulgent toward every single one of his conducts.”
“So Your Highness basically admits that there have been instances when you’ve been spoiling him?”
“Gilbert is one of the best researchers in the Kingdom. Everyone acknowledges that.
“But, the troublesome thing is, that kid only researches for the sake of researching; satisfying results, great discoveries—he cares not about any of that.
“The profoundness of his passion is of a madman’s—and indeed, at some point, he was.
“‘I want to prevent starvation’; ‘I want to reduce the number of casualties in war’; or even for the future of development itself—his aim clearly isn’t intended towards all of those.
“All he ever cared about is satisfying his own curiosity; his own self.
“However, one thing is certain—and that’s he acknowledges me.”
‘Brother, I acknowledge you.’
Thus, because of that;
‘I want to be useful for you,’
That was what Gilbert said in the past—the King recounted with a grim laugh.
“Said ‘acknowledgement’ of his is something that can be easily switched to another person—and if the subject of his admiration is no longer this older brother of his—what then?,
What will happen? I dread to even think of such a thing.”
Gilbert becoming a threat to this kingdom—was what would absolutely happen.
“And that’s the reason Your Highness let him research to his utmost desire—he would be preoccupied, satisfied, and in the meantime, we shall not need to worry about anything undesirable.” The Minister concluded, and added:
“However, this is just a mean of suppression. Someday, the inevitable would surely happen.”
“When it does, I hope the kingdom’s loss isn’t too big.”
‘For the sake of my older brother’—making use of that acknowledgement was how I had been able to incite the discovery that contributed greatly to this Kingdom. I just redirected my younger brother’s obsession toward something that would result in the Kingdom’s favour.
“Even so, for you to turn my daughter into one of his ‘suppressors’…”
“That… I have no excuse for that. I regret it terribly. I truly did not expect for that to happen to her…”
I had a small, foolish hope.
I continuously held on to it—
—until recently I realized, that it was only a pipe-dream.
Anne Marie, the childhood friend of Gilbert, and also the only one that he ever allowed to get close to him.
It was as clear as day to me that the topic about love and committing to one’s partner for one lifetime’s worth did not concern my younger brother in the slightest.
His reason for marrying, for the most part, was probably because he thought that it was a societal norm he must abide to—
—but then, he had chosen Anne Marie out of his own free will.
That was probably the same moment when the seed of hope sprouted within me.
Then, it blossomed such that I believed my younger brother would finally change with the help of Anne Marie.
…However, it’s no use, huh?
I had become too self-absorbed that I failed to notice.
Not only did I fail to change the way of my brother—and now, because of my stupidity, I had also caused the ‘change’ in the state of Anne Marie’s mind.
“…Your Highness, I beg your pardon. I believe that none of us wished for this outcome, but it’s still your responsibility as a royal family to ensure the proper upbringing of your bloodline, so that the legacy can bring about future prosperity for the entire clan. We have fulfilled ours’, but now she…”
“I am fully aware of it and am ensuring that her treatment is aided by the kingdom’s best physician until, hopefully, she regains her sense of self. With this, I’m intending to fully repay my debt.”
“So Your Highness is basically saying that now our family is the one on the receiving end of your pampering?”
“…Hahaha, don’t word it like that. This is more like an up-front payback.
“At any rate, Gilbert’s usefulness still hasn’t reached its end yet—and this time, I’m planning to fully make use of it.”
The King’s expression looked serene.
Indeed, the peacefulness of someone who had foreseen the unfolding events right from the very beginning.
At that sight, the Minister only gave a cold laugh.
**T/N: To all of you who thought it ended already–hell, it just begun.