12. The Third Prince is Too Dazzling! I Can’t Look at Him Directly!
Chapter Twelve: To the Limits of My Noodle and Beyond
Hereafter we begin with summarizing Sir Glenn’s long, loooong sermon. Because he spoke about the royals, Sir Glenn’s wording was especially honorific, long-worded, and annoying, so I will be rephrasing…a lot.
Well then, with that in mind. I shall begin.
Of course, the first in the succession line to the throne is the Crown Prince, Jerik. Second, in line is Joel the Second Prince, and in third place is Gilbert the, uh, Third Prince.
This ranking was decided ten years ago, but originally, the order was the reverse. During the twelve years following Gilbert’s birth, Gilbert was No. 1, Jerik was No. 2, and Joel was No. 3.
The time before Gilbert was born is a bit confusing to talk about because it would fall into the time when the current King was Crown Prince himself, but let’s say that he was 1st, 2nd Jerik, and 3rd Joel.
This alteration is the cause of the current line of succession problem. But why did this alteration take place?
The first Queen of the current King and birth mother of Gilbert was Duchess Rose. She also gave birth to another princess after Gilbert, but unfortunately, Lady Rose died about thirteen years ago.
After that, it was Lady Trianna, the birth mother of the current Crown Prince and the Second Prince, who took the vacant Queen’s seat.
She is from the royal family of Roke, a neighboring country. Originally, Trianna was a consort queen of the King when they became joined by marriage. Because the King already had Rose.
Trianna initially refused to become a consort queen, given the history of failed royal marriages between both countries, all of which ended tragically, and also because she resented the seemingly never-ending series of conflicts between both countries. Nevertheless, Trianna did hope for peace in her country, and after an agreement was negotiated in which the Kingdom of Elvasti went as far as to renounce the use of armed force in the future… She went back to her initial decision and accepted marriage with the king as a consort queen.
Neither Lady Trianna nor the King seemed to really have wanted this marriage. Were they madly in love with each other? No matter how much I like someone, I would have been like: ‘You already have a wife!’, ‘Get serious!’, and just give up on the guy.
Here, if Rose had already had produced a successor to the throne, there would have been no problem, but Trianna gave birth to two boys in quick succession before Rose had Gilbert. Therefore, before Gilbert was born, the line of succession had already been established with Trianna’s eldest son, Jerik, as first in line. Her second son, Joel, became second in line.
It was feared that Elvasti would become open to domestic interference from neighboring countries, with the line of succession being what it was, but then Rose finally gave birth to a boy in the tenth year of her marriage. This is Gilbert. He was then the third child of the King, but he was the new first in line because the Queen’s children have priority over the Consort Queen’s.
Therefore, at this point, the status of the line of succession was: first Gilbert, second Jerik, third Joel.
So far, so good. My brain can still process who was born to whom and what number they were, and why. But Sir Glenn’s story wasn’t over. This is just getting started…
If nothing else had happened, we would be able to stop this explanation session right here. However, as I mentioned earlier, Rose passed away after giving birth to Princess Lily. She died from a chronic illness that had long afflicted her.
Trianna stepped up to fill the vacant Queen’s seat. And with the power and influence of her country’s royal House, as well as the domestic support of Elvastian followers she had recruited during her time as consort queen, she placed her own children ahead in the line of succession. And that is how Gilbert was knocked down from number one to number three.
Be that as it may, there exists a deep-rooted movement within Elvasti pushing for the restoration of Gilbert’s original leading position in the line of succession, arguing that the influence of neighboring countries has gone too far and that it is Gilbert and not any other prince who has the character of a true king. A feud has thus developed between Trianna and Gilbert, and it is only deepening.
Prince Jerik is already married, but he has not been blessed with children yet. If he were to be blessed with a successor soon, Gilbert’s prospects would only drop further, and Trianna’s faction may breathe a sigh of relief.
The reason Gilbert remains without a fiancée, let alone married, even though he just passed his twenty-second birthday, is because if Gilbert were to produce a successor to his line before the current crown prince does, the situation would get even more tangled (as you may be getting the feeling already.) Few players have had the stomach for any further complications.
Good luck, my brain. Around this time, or more like right at this point, I’d really have liked to put all of this into a nice diagram on the paper, but I couldn’t get the timing right because Sir Glenn just wouldn’t take a break.
So let’s continue.
However, Gilbert is already twenty-two years old, and his bachelor’s situation cannot continue any longer. If it was just other people complaining and raising rumors, he could still have danced around the issue, but now that the King himself had spoken on the matter, Gilbert had no choice. And so we arrive at this point to where this tale started, with the large-scale fiancée recruitment event thinly-veiled as an evening party.
And there is a secret meaning behind the choices for the final princess candidate group.
If Gilbert marries into a powerful House or a House that supports his claim to the throne, it is an almost necessary consequence that the conflict with Queen Trianna will escalate. But that doesn’t mean that all the candidates should belong to Houses aligned with the Queen.
In order to maintain appearances with every faction, at least for the time being, from a large number of ladies that attended the initial evening party, ladies belonging to the Queen’s faction, the Third Prince faction, and other notable groups were selected in a well-balanced manner. This may appear as an approach of appeasement, but it has made it possible to buy time and keep the peace.
The alignment of the Houses to which each lady in the final candidate’s group are as follows: House Ordis backs up the Third Prince, House Eusera is aligned with the Queen, House Bashre is neutral, and House Richmond is closest to the private sector and the commoners. And finally, me, from House Randall. I was chosen on a whim as the ‘rare bird’ of the group, the random choice to throw everyone off, I guess. Thank you for such a special mission—what a pain.
Translator: Robert F.