The nation power’s was low although its territory spanned from the east to the west. Since its founding, the kingdom survived by swearing allegiance to larger countries.
[TL: I still don’t know how big their territory is. The raw only said the territory was from the east to the west long.]
It was a peaceful country that was never embroiled in war.
At the south was the [Barren Wasteland] that was dominated by nomads. In the east was the country of wolves, Rijie. To the west was the old country of Keidona. Lastly, to the north was where it was adjacent to two major countries, the Ronan Kingdom and the Betia Empire.
Until now, the Ronan Kingdom and the Betia Empire have been looking to each other to match with the huge Magic Empire at the north of their countries, resulting in the Ferian kingdom being ignored by them. But, after the Magic Empire was destroyed by the Saint Kingdom, and had their lands divided as compensation for war, their ambition for more territory turned south.
Originally, the north of the Ferian kingdom was adjacent to various small countries like them, but the Ronan Kingdom and the Betia Empire used political pressure to absorb these small countries one after another.
And then, what remained was only the Ferian Kingdom.
If the Ferian Kingdom falls to either the Ronan Kingdom or the Betia Empire, then the flames of war between these countries will surely spread towards the [Barren Wasteland] at the south.
“I don’t like it.” A girl murmured alone while staring at the huge continental map that was spread out on the desk
The Princess of Ferian Kingdom, Francesca D’ Ferian, will turn fourteen this year.
[TL: Francesca D’Ferian was the name I made the exactly name is still mystery to me フランディアル・フィー・フェーリアン if i tl it to from katakana it will be Furandeiaru Fei Ferian which kinda weird so I just settle it with that.]
She was dressed in a red blood dress that contrasted well with her pale skin. She was tall, and her growth rate made it unbelievable that she was just a fourteen year old girl. Her red dress that was adorned with a large diamond at the bust seemed like a lock that hid her abundant chest.
She was such a beauty that there was even gossip that she had fairy blood in her bloodline. Her red hair that seemed to be a darker shade than her dress was tied up into a ponytail, and her reddish-brown eyes looked as if they were being reflected by the light of flames.
Although the room was big, it was just a simple room. There was only a wardrobe, the big desk where the map was spread out, an accessory case, and a bed that wasn’t very big. To think it was called a royal’s room even though it has so few things inside it…
“If this continues, we will be finished…” She gritted his teeth and accidentally bit her tongue.
When the blood flowed out from her injured tongue, she swallowed the blood and calmed herself.
The cause of her anger were the letters sent by the Ronan Kingdom and the Betia Empire. Both of the letters have the same content – the Ferian Kingdom was to become a vassal state and have a political marriage as proof.
Thinking about the current situation, a political marriage was inevitable.
Rather, if it was brought out, there would be no one that would object to it. But, the other party would be disadvantaged because of their low military power.
The Ronan Kingdom had nominated a baron near the Ferian Kingdom as a marriage partner. There were no bad rumours about this candidate. He was a young and attractive young man that thinks about the people of his territory. She had met him once, and there weren’t any problems with his personality. Francesca had a good impression of him.
But, his status was the lowest among the nobility, and thus, he wouldn’t able to give advice to those of higher nobility, like dukes or marquis, much less the King of Ronan. Even if everything works out, he would just end up as a local noble. Furthermore, if a war against the Betia Empire starts, the territory he governs would most likely be at the forefront. After an investigation was done, it was found that there was no military force that could stop the Betia Empire’s military force.
On the other hand, the Betia Empire had nominated one of the royal family members as the marriage partner. However, there wasn’t even one good rumour about this person. All the wives that he had married had died from unknown causes. This alone already left a bad impression of him. What’s more, the Empire sent a foot soldier who got drunk on duty as the messenger.
But, the biggest problem was the tax rate that both countries asked of her people.
Currently, it is hard to say if the Ferian Kingdom had good governance. But, it was still within the range that the people could put up with. However, if they enforced the tax rate that was presented by both countries onto the people, there was no doubt that it would lead to starvation. Not only that, if the Ferian Kingdom rebelled and was suppressed by their military might, many people would end up as slaves.
It was a well-known fact that because of the Ronan Kingdom and the Betia Empire’s rapid expansion, there was a lack in slaves. So, the possibility of slavery is high. Rather, she thinks that this unreasonable tax rate was to incite a revolt instead of merely absorbing them.
She wondered what would happen if they refused the proposal of both countries.
To tell the truth, several small countries like the Ferian Kingdom had already done it. The leaders of the Regan Republic, Utogarutia Kingdom, Shinasukura Dukedom, Baruse Mountains Region, and Rakushi Country allied themselves together in spring and refused the Betia Empire’s proposal, and challenged them to a battle.
The result was a crushing defeat.
The Dragon Knights and the Black Iron Division that the Betia Empire was proud of assaulted them and trampled the Utogarutia Kingdom, Baruse Mountains region, and Rakushi country, annexing them while leaving only a cloud of dust behind.
She can’t help but think that politics also played a part. Before it had devolved into the current situation, they were still able to take a better course of action. However, most countries don’t allow women to participate in politics, which was why she could only give casual advice to her father, the king. Unfortunately, her father ignored all of her suggestions.
That’s why she had exhausted all the cards she could play. And now, she doesn’t even have any cards to play anymore.
“It’s useless.” She scolded herself weakly. “Even though the current situation is the worst, I shouldn’t stop thinking. I must not abandon the game.”
In the past, she had met the young prince of the Magic Empire. She remembered his words and began to think once more.
[TL: OH GOD! FINALLY A POSSIBILITY OF ROMANCE!]
“Ronan and Betia… If there was something that can attract the attention of these two countries…” She mumbled.
“Princess, Corias-sama has returned.” A maid announced.
“Corias? Let her go through immediately.” Francesca tilted her head to one side, puzzled.
She had sent out a reliable knight to collect information throughout the country while disguising themselves as an adventurer.
But, her father didn’t approve of this plan, so she could only do the minimum secretly according to her judgment. Because she didn’t have much funds on hand, and only had the loyalty of the knights who collected information, their equipment and proficiency was low.
Meanwhile, Corias was a female knight that she trusted the most. Currently, she should be a member of an adventurer party named [Iron Warmaiden]. It was a mystery why she would show up at this time, but her intuition was telling her that she must have something she needed to report, and so, she let her pass through.
After a few minutes, a female knight entered the princess’s room.
“Princess…” The knight greeted.
“Corias! What happened to your face? It looks so pale!” Francesca exclaimed.
Corias. Usually she has a serious face, but this blue-eyed female knight who usually doesn’t show much emotions now looked pale.
“I need to tell you something…” Looking at the eyes of the master she served, she spoke in a suppressed voice as if she feared being killed, and closed her eyes. “What I will tell you now is the truth. That is why, please believe me.”
“…..Uu, I understand. Tell me.” The princess ordered.
Then, Corias told her everything. About the dreadful knight that the [Iron Warmaiden] fought, and the Underground Labyrinth that was full of treasure.
But, what surprised Francesca the most was the name of the terrible existence that ruled this place.
“Alrac?! Did he introduce himself with that name!?” She demanded.
“Eh? Y-Yes! I am certain that the man introduced himself with that name.” Corias stammered.
The princess of the Ferian Kingdom murmured while clutching onto the jewel on her chest.
“You were alive….”
After thinking for a while, Francesca lifted her head.
“Assuming that they are there… No, why would they be there?” The princess mumbled.
“Er, Princess..?” Corias asked hesitantly.
“Corias. How can we go to the Underground Labyrinth?” Francesca questioned.
The female knight had an unpleasant expression on her face when she heard these words.