Just as I had heard from Earl Terejia, the announcement regarding the crown prince resulted in a huge commotion. It was the hottest topic of conversation on every street corner. Of course, this also became an agenda at the House of Lords.
“Has the royal palace given thought to the influence of Planates?”
“With the situation unstable in Rindarl, why are we provoking the friendlier Planates?”
“But if the Eastern countries unite into the Rindarl Union, they’ll become an even larger threat than the Densel Dukedom.”
“Rather, isn’t it dangerous to snub the Queen’s son, just because she’s from Planates?”
“In the first place, there isn’t even a need to decide on a crown prince in such a rush. Prince Albert doesn’t reach adulthood until another four years.”
It became really chaotic as soon as the discussions began. While the House of Lords can’t directly interfere with the royal family’s inheritance issue, it can still indirectly influence it through the Upper House of Lords. The nobles got heated up instantly and immediately directed their bickering towards one of the representatives in the Upper House of Lords, Royal Earl Edna. On just what basis was the second prince gaining the position of crown prince?
Royal Earl Edna answered everyone with a bit of confusion in his own voice.
“Regarding the decision for a crown prince, I myself only found out about it from the royal family two months ago. Prime Minister Rittergau and all of us noble representatives opposed the decision. However, the church and every member of the royal family, with the exception of the queen, approved of making Prince Alfred into the crown prince.”
“Unbelievable. The royal family should know better than anyone how excellent Prince Albert is. The Melloart family aside, for everyone in the Teal family to support Prince Alfred as well……”
The one who had just spoken on how unbelievable it was, was Margrave Genas. Since he’s the lord of one of the most geographically important domains in Arxia, his statement actually carries more weight than that of a lower-ranking representative in the Upper House of Lords such as Royal Earl Edna.
Faced with a rebuke that he himself agreed with, Royal Earl Edna seemed like a frog who was staring down a snake about to eat him. “Take it easy, relax,” Earl Einsbark aimed to defuse the situation. Not only is he the leader of one of the border domains consisting of our country’s line of defense as well as the commander of Fort Jugfena, he’s also from a branch of the royal family with slightly less influence. It seems like one of his roles is to mediate matters between the royal family and the nobles.
While glancing about at the dispute, Earl Terejia began quietly explaining the situation in Rindarl to me. Compared to the adult nobles, I have a glaring lack of overall knowledge, which is why Earl Terejia often gives me short lectures whenever we attend conferences at the House of Lords.
“It can be said that it’s currently a critical time in Rindarl right now. The four dukedoms are under pressure to unite into the Rindarl Union, doing away with the system of the four dukedoms that are remnants of the old Rindarl Kingdom. It means that the dukedoms will disappear and they may unite soon.”
“Well, the four dukedoms surround our entire eastern border. But, what’s been suppressing their unity into one country so far?”
“It’s been mostly just one matter. There is basically no difference in power amongst the four dukedoms. The matter of which among them would determine the central decisions, has been the biggest obstacle to them uniting.”
“They don’t have someone among them who is politically influential enough to become the leader of all four dukedoms?”
I think it’s quite interesting to learn about and deeply analyze political systems here. In my previous world, there was a different system where it was only considered natural that the king was all-powerful and could decide everything. In the case of Rindarl, where the four dukedoms are having difficulties truly coming to terms over who gets to be at the top, I’m sure that it’ll probably just result in having a figurehead leader.
“What will they do politically after they have created the Rindarl Union, I wonder.”
“Who knows…… Will they make use of the noble system and royal power, I wonder?”
“While that system can be quite flexible, it’ll probably also increase their own internal power struggles.”
“No matter the country’s political system, one of its biggest headaches has always been the matter of inheritance of power at the top. Just like Arxia currently,” the Earl suddenly chuckled. He still appeared to have a pale complexion. He’d recovered enough to get out of bed, but not fully. It seems that he was somewhat straining himself just by attending today’s scheduled meeting.
“If the Rindarl Union is close to being established, isn’t it definitely a bad idea to aggravate Planates right now?”
“It’s difficult to say. It’s indeed true that amongst the four dukedoms, Planates is the only one with a friendly trade agreement with us. However, Densel is clearly hostile, while we have almost zero contact with Giograd and Parmigran. So if our relationship with Planates worsens, it’ll almost be inevitable that relations with the Rindarl Union would become overwhelmingly bad.”
Nothing about this is difficult for me to understand. All the nobles that are currently opposing Second Prince Alfred from becoming the crown prince are probably worried for the same reason. Since Margrave Genas’ domain borders Planates, it’s only natural for him to be especially worried about this topic to the point of paranoia.
“But as some of the nobles were discussing earlier, the fact that her Royal Highness the Queen also retained her position as the daughter of the Duke of Planates has become a problem.”
However, the problems associated with First Prince Albert becoming our next king, I can’t infer them because my studies haven’t reached that point yet. While I tried to figure out the reason from what the Earl has told me so far, I couldn’t understand no matter how hard I thought about it. Well, it can’t be helped, I’ll ask the reason. As a fellow domain lord in charge of the eastern border’s defense, I’ll never be able to face Margrave Genas out of shame if I don’t learn why First Prince Albert wasn’t chosen.
“……So why, did they decide this?”
“Hmph. Well…… Succession rights for the Duke of Planates isn’t limited only to males in his direct family, any men that are his blood relatives can qualify. Although eldest sons do get priority.”
Rather than answering me directly, he gave me yet another response that would require me to consider the information and come up with the answer myself. That’s his usual manner of doing things. It seems that Earl Terejia strongly emphasizes training my logical reasoning ability.
Since the Queen never gave up her position as the daughter of the Duke of Planates, that means she never gave up inheritance rights there…… Right. That means, her son, Prince Albert can inherit in Planates as well……?
“Meaning, because her Royal Highness the Queen didn’t give up her position as the Planates Duke’s daughter, Prince Albert is also eligible to inherit, and can become the Duke of Planates. Is that it?”
“According to the law of Planates, that is correct.”
“I see. That could indeed be quite a problem.”
If Prince Albert becomes the crown prince, Arxia would almost certainly become controlled by Planates in the future. It would only be expected that even Planates would use Prince Albert to its own advantage.
There probably weren’t any issues when the Queen married into Arxia. However, there is now a looming presence known as the Rindarl Union that’s surfaced. It can definitely be quite dangerous for Arxia if the person who inherits the position and royal bloodline of King of Arxia also has close ties with enemies of Arxia.
I’ve finally figured it out. My head feels refreshed. Now that I have no more doubts and can see the political situation clearly, I suddenly felt really bored listening to the nobles bickering over the succession, without knowing the truth behind the matter.
As for what I think, what this all means, is that the royal family took the Rindarl situation into account when declaring a crown prince. After all, one of the first counter-arguments had been that neither prince was considered an adult yet, and there was no need to choose a crown prince so early.
Then, suddenly, just like a flashback, a memory appeared from my sea of thoughts. It was a memory fragment that seemed like it was telling a story to me rather than actually belonging to me.
(The heroine of the otome game is Emilia Rindarl, daughter of the Archduke of the Rindarl Union. She came to the neighboring kingdom of Arxia with the hopes of getting married, which is why she entered the noble school here……)
– That’s right. That was the prologue to the otome game.
But even so, I won’t consider that to be a future set in stone. I also held a vague feeling of conviction that no matter how much the House of Lords disputed the choice of Second Prince Alfred as the crown prince, that they would not be able to overturn the decision.