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Chapter 56: Pre-established harmony 1
Count Lowe, who had served the Kingdom of Palcemith for a long time, committed suicide in prison.
The reason why he wished revenge upon the royals remained unclear in the end, but thanks to His Highness Vikram’s leniency, Count Lowe’s relatives were merely sentenced to exile.
With his daughter held hostage, the Royal Prince Borzeff made the bitter decision to lend aid to Count Lowe, purposely letting himself stand out as the ringleader of the rebellion to protect his wife and daughter’s lives, and was killed as a traitor.
The Crown Prince’s close aides, led by Prime Minister Morino, lamented greatly when they learned of the truth from Borzeff’s daughter, whom they had rescued from Count Lowe.
In atonement, His Highness allowed his widowed aunt Peragene to stay in a royal villa and made the same arrangement for her daughter Vanellope.
Vanellope was deeply grateful for the Crown Prince’s magnanimous treatment and, hoping to help with the country’s affairs, became Prime Minister Morino’s assistant.
“…I thought it was an unreasonable scenario, yet it turned out well.”
She calculated the listed numbers, compared them to the ledger, and ticked them off. The documents on the table continued stacking up, but Vanellope swiftly processed them. She let out the words nonchalantly without pausing the hand that was counting on the abacus, and Morino, who sat opposite her calculating the budget, raised his head.
In the castle’s office.
As rumored within the capital, Vanellope was working as Prime Minister Morino’s assistant and displayed excellent skills in calculating and distributing funds to various departments, such that even Anderheim was surprised at her outstanding ability in handling essential but time-consuming tasks. Morino was elated and the civil officials, who were struggling with their limited abilities and lack of manpower, welcomed her admission with open arms.
Several weeks after the rebellion that ended in exchange for the Royal Prince Borzeff’s life, the capital was filled with its usual splendor and liveliness as the Dragon God Festival drew near.
There were almost no disparaging voices aimed at Vanellope, who was positioned as the tragic daughter in the scenario Anderheim depicted. This was despite the fact that there was no doubt Vanellope was complicit in her father’s rebellion.
No matter how one tries to control information, bad news travels quickly. Vanellope’s participation in the rebellion should be a known fact.
And yet, why?
“Lord Anderheim called it pre-established harmony.”
Vanellope repeated the unfamiliar phrase, and Morino nodded.
“If a fragrant flower blooms, butterflies will come. If a cup of water is knocked over, the water will spill. If there are strong rains, the river will flood…[Common sense outcomes] such as those are easily accepted by people, he said.”
Vanellope put a finger to her chin and put herself into the metaphor.
“…In my case, it would be [Vanellope is the daughter of the traitor Borzeff].”
“Exactly. But if it becomes [the true mastermind behind the rebellion was someone else], then the citizens will question [why did the Royal Prince act as the mastermind]? If we present the information that [the Royal Prince’s only daughter was in the hands of Count Lowe], their imagination will run off and they will start thinking[…Maybe His Royal Highness was being threatened]? Then, we announce the truth that [actually, the Royal Prince’s daughter was being held hostage and he was threatened into aiding the rebellion]. [I knew it! Just as I had thought!] the masses would be convinced…”
“The art of controlling people’s thoughts with the timing of information release…How enlightening.”
“Yes. An answer one was led to come up with, with substantiated evidence, is subjected to less doubt than an answer given by someone else. That was what Lord Anderheim was aiming for.”
“…Not realizing that they were being led by someone…Amazing.”
“I agree…I’m still far too inexperienced. I have to learn to be able to skillfully wield the citizens’ emotions.”
Moreover, in the future, he wouldn’t be able to say he was fulfilling his duties as Prime Minister unless he could use the art of guiding people’s thoughts at a national level.
Morino’s future was a path full of thorns.
There were two weeks left until the Dragon God Festival.
Two days after the rebellion in the castle was suppressed, the Crown Prince’s missing fiancée, Nasha, was found hugging her knees in an alleyway in the capital by a vigilante corps on patrol.
She remained silent about what had happened during the two days she was missing, and holed herself up in her room upon arrival at the castle refusing to leave even for His Highness or his entourage.
While Vanellope was working as Morino’s assistant, she became closer with the Sacrificial Priestess Julieta, who lived in a residence built on a western hill some distance from the capital. Trained by her royal father and her mother, a high-class prostitute whose main clients were royalty and bureaucrats, Vanellope’s manners and etiquette were no different from any refined noblewoman. The Sacrificial Priestess Julieta gained the acquaintance of the first peer she could converse with, and would hold tea parties in her garden just for the two of them where they could sit around the garden table and laugh happily.
Sigurd fell deeper in love with Julieta as he watched over them.
Seeing Sigurd return to guard position after kissing Julieta’s cheek, Vanellope asked, “Who is that knight?”
Receiving a bashful “He’s my brother as well as the man I’ve sworn my future to,” from Julieta, she stood up and pushed up her spectacles with one hand.
“Shall we have a short talk?” she asked with a serious expression, grabbing Sigurd’s shoulder.
“…So, Lady Julieta’s goal is to return the Dragon Pearl to His Grace Kharis, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. As long as there’s the slightest bit of hope…I think I will struggle as long as I survive.”
“We can’t let it stop at [the slightest bit of hope], Lady Julieta. It will surely come to fruition. I will give you my full support.”
“Lady Vanellope…Thank you very much.”
Nasha, who had shut herself in her room for some while, had begun leaving for short periods by that time, and she hated Vanellope who was occasionally by the Crown Prince’s side due to work. Having had foul words hurled at her once, Vanellope instinctively sensed Nasha’s rotten personality and had avoided encountering her as much as possible since.
Conversely, she became progressively closer to Julieta. Thus when Vanellope learned that Julieta had plans in the works to escape her fate as the Sacrificial Priestess, thinking that Sigurd and the other aides were making preparations, she started looking for other ways that she could help.
As a result, Vanellope looked into the origins of the Sacrificial Priestess and Dragon Priestess, as well as the history of the Kingdom of Palcemith that Morino had once flipped through, and noticed something.
In the past, the hero Palcemith had defeated the Ancient Dragon Kharis who ruled over a barren and uninhabited frozen land, and cut off a portion of the Ancient Dragon’s soul with [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons].
“…How did the hero Palcemith know what to do?”
Even within the whole Yugena continent, the only country that had the dragon’s blessings was the Kingdom of Palcemith.
There was no other country in history that had cut off the dragon’s soul and weaved it into their country to receive its blessings.
“In that case, where was the precedent?”
The hero Palcemith went out of his way to challenge the Ancient Dragon Kharis with [Quistacis: He who Controls Dragons] in hand.
One could tell there was a clear purpose to that decision.
Even going back a thousand years, there was no record of a country that used dragons in the same manner.
“…What happens when the Ancient Dragon regains the Dragon Pearl, half of his body?”
No one knew the answer.
That was the prelude to destruction that Anderheim had whispered into Ancient Dragon Kharis’s ears.
Hasr: Hijacking Aby’s chapter for an announcement
We have some good news, and some good news!
The Show Must Go On is finally going to get a LN in Japanese!! While we don’t have the exact details yet, don’t forget to support the author when the novel is finally out!
Secondly, as of the posting of this chapter, I am on a TL marathon to finish off the last 3 chapters of the novel. Come cheer me on in discord and I might share excerpts!
You might also get a chance to decide what I will TL next.
P.S. There should be a second chapter out in 2-3 hours or so