Hint: To Play after pausing the player, use this button

A Commotion Begins  

Once Elm’s inaugural election was finished, the fifty chosen assembly members decided to put off choosing cabinet ministers and instead convened the assembly. There was only one docket item, but it was of the utmost urgency—what they were going to do with Yamato princess and Resistance leader Kaguya and her attendant Shura, both of whom they were detaining for the crime of illegal entry.

Would they choose a different path than that of the provisional government and comply with the empire’s demand that they hand them over?

The Reform Party, who had initially wanted to prioritize their relationship with the empire, held the majority, so one would have expected the loudest voices in the assembly to call for Kaguya and Shura to be relinquished to Freyjagard, but that wasn’t how things played out. For Juno and the rest of the Reform Party, finding out that the Bluebloods had tried to use Glaux to take over Elm’s government came as a severe shock.

They had believed that fostering mutual development with the empire would be enough to prevent war, but now that hope lay shattered.

Once the Reform Party’s members understood there were people so irredeemable they would start a war to make Elm’s government their puppet, they turned to their ideological rivals, the Principles Party, to discuss how to proceed. Eventually, after a long, protracted session, the two groups came to an agreement, and the new Elm government announced its verdict.

They would not be turning Kaguya over.

“We do not condone the inhumane governing conditions in Yamato. Furthermore, the fact that the empire would go against both our bilateral agreement and our nation’s laws threatens to damage not only our country’s dignity but also the great notion of equality for all. The Elm National Assembly hereby announces its unanimous decision to reject the empire’s demand.”

After reading off their verdict in her capacity as the first speaker of the National Assembly, Juno delivered a letter of protest to the Freyjagard Empire that detailed the truth Tsukasa had discovered about Yamato. In it, she denounced the decision to control the Yamato people by meddling with their memories, stating that a human rights violation on that scale was an international issue. Juno insisted in the strongest of terms that they switch to a more humane style of governing.

The letter, which made no allusions to liberating Yamato or any sort of military activities, outlined how Elm was prepared to assist in any way necessary in restoring Yamato. It also demonstrated in full how deliberate the new Elm government was and how dedicated they were to solving the issue.

The message was sent to the grandmaster’s estate, but it soon spread among the imperial nobles’ information networks and whipped the aristocracy into a rage. It was beyond comprehension that an upstart nation of commoners had scolded the Freyjagard Empire like a child.

The message did not refer to exercising military force, but that didn’t matter. The nobles’ pride refused to let them accept it.

Blueblood leader Lucius von Weltenbruger had been livid after learning of Glaux’s loss, but the outrage proved to be an unexpected tailwind for him. Many of the nobles who’d been fence-sitting on the Grandmasters-versus-Bluebloods issue were past caring about the fact that the Grandmasters had been left in charge by the emperor. They hated Neuro for allowing Elm’s founding, and they sided with the Bluebloods because of it. Weltenbruger suddenly found himself with overwhelming support in Drachen and the empire’s outlying areas.

This was exactly what he’d been waiting for.

Assassinating Neuro wouldn’t be enough for him to seize the throne. He would need support from the lords if he wanted to hold control, and now he did. Everyone was on board with his brand of justice, so there was no point in delaying.

That very day, Weltenbruger finally put his plan into action. He’d already laid the groundwork and filled the Drachen guard with knights loyal to him. They wouldn’t be an issue. With his Shwarz-richten-ritter Obsidian Knights in tow, he stormed Grandmaster Neuro’s office.

“There he is! We found the Blue Grandmaster!”

“Move out, surround him! We can’t let him get away!”

“Oh goodness me,” Neuro remarked. “What’s this, now? Some of us are trying to work in here, you know.”

Obsidian-clad soldiers kicked down the door to the grandmaster’s estate’s audience chamber and charged in. Neuro was sitting in a long-backed chair working on official business, and the soldiers fanned out to surround him from a healthy distance.

“Hello, Grandmaster Neuro. It’s been some time.”

Weltenbruger strode into the room and greeted Neuro as his men leveled their swords and spears at him. The leader of the insurgency was short of stature, and his face was adorned with countless wrinkles and an oversized pair of eyes. Neuro frowned at the old man’s arrival.

“So you’re the one behind this ruckus, then? Look, Lucy, I don’t know what the big idea is, but as you can see, I’m trying to get some work done. Would you mind taking this somewhere else?”

“How industrious of you. If you have any love for the empire, though, I hope you’ll cut us a break. Our nation is in crisis, and we have taken sword in hand to right that!”

As he spoke, Weltenbruger gesticulated wildly like an actor on a stage.

“Well, golly. I do like the sound of that,” Neuro replied with an unruffled shrug. “But I have to say, this is the first I’m hearing about a crisis. What’s happened?” He propped his elbows upon his armrests, rested his cheeks on his hands, and posed his question to Weltenbruger with a relaxed air about him.

Weltenbruger waved his arms about like an actor once more as he raised his voice.

“Do you have any idea what’s occurring in Yamato?!”

“Well, the Elm provisional government envoys went down there to chat about Kaguya about a month ago, but I haven’t heard a peep out of Jade since then. Given how their election turned out, though, I’m guessing the discussion didn’t get anywhere. That Jade’s got a pretty face, but I gotta say, he’s utterly useless. I guess guys like me who’ve got the brains to go with the looks don’t exactly grow on trees.”

“So you are aware of nothing, then.” Weltenbruger scoffed and tossed a dark-red parcel at Neuro’s feet. A shattering noise rang out when it hit the floor, and it came undone and rolled open. Inside, there was a distinctively pointy ear, along with the chunk of ice it had been wrapped in.

“Is that…?”

“You know whom that belongs to, don’t you, Grandmaster? It’s dominion lord Mayoi’s. You see, the Elm ambassador angels took up arms out of nowhere at that meeting. They attacked her for showing allegiance to the empire and sliced her ear clean off. Then, they fled Azuchi Castle and left a trail of its soldiers in their wake.

“Administrator Jade came to my mansion in person to tell me as much, and to inform me that you were too soft on Elm and couldn’t be trusted. You’re so pathetic that even your own lapdog turned his back on you.”


“And then we have that protest letter! ‘We demand that you reapproach the way you govern Yamato. Altering people’s memories and suppressing their will is a brutal human rights violation that sullies the empire’s dignity. If there is anything Elm can do to assist, we would be more than happy to do so.’ That sorry excuse of a nation the peasant scum cobbled together dares treat the mighty Freyjagard Empire like an inferior!

“And what’s more, Administrator Jade’s newest report asserts that the empire’s decline in influence has inspired the Resistance as well. They’ve already taken Fort Steadfast! The empire’s been reduced to a miserable shadow of its former glory! We should be second to none, yet people have lost so much respect for us that those Azure and Lakan rats had the nerve to double-cross my dear friend Rosenlink! What would you call that, if not a crisis?!”

By the time Weltenbruger was done bellowing, his face was a deep shade of crimson.

“I see, I see,” Neuro muttered after listening to the gesticulation-filled summary. “Not even reporting that rebels took the fort, huh? I swear, it’s so hard finding decent help these days. Don’t you worry, Lucy, I read you loud and clear. You were right to be concerned.

“I’ll make sure to get ahold of Jade straightaway so we can figure out how to deal with this rebellion. And if the Republic of Elm or the Seven Luminaries try to get involved, well, I’ll handle them, too. That little dominion is more important to me than you know. I think I’d best remind Yamato of who owns it. Thank you for bringing this all to my attention. I’ll handle the rest, so you can go ahead and stand down.”

“You really think you can get off the hook that easy?!” Weltenbruger ignored Neuro’s order to leave. On the contrary, he took another step forward. “None of this would have happened if you hadn’t allowed Elm to form in the first place! It was your lenience that degraded the empire’s storied reputation and allowed those upstarts to get all their big ideas!”

“Sure, and that’s why I’m saying I’ll clean this up myself.”

“Hmph. We’re long past the point where a paltry atonement like that would suffice! This is a black mark on Freyjagard’s noble history, and it can only be washed away with the blood of the Four Grandmasters who monopolized our government and enabled the calamitous Republic of Elm. Lindworm, that fool of an emperor, is just as guilty, too. He was the one who slighted the long-serving Blueblood by handing power over to you!”

As he lambasted Neuro, the other Grandmasters, and the reigning emperor, Weltenbruger drew the ornate sword that had been hanging at his hip.

“Goodness. So it’s treason, then?”

“Treason?! You hold your tongue, traitor! This is no mutiny. It is a sacred battle to win back the empire’s rightful place! Our glorious founder Fafnir von Freyjagard is in heaven, and I stand here to deliver divine justice in his place! Present me your neck, Neuro ul Levias!!”

Weltenbruger leveled his blade at the Grandmaster and demanded his head. Upon hearing the little old man’s bellow…Neuro burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter.

“Pfft. Haaa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Those are some big words, Lucy. So, what, you’re saying that you carry the empire on your back or something? I mean, you’re the emperor’s nephew, so I sorta get where you’re coming from, but still…”

Despite being inundated with sharpened steel, Neuro chuckled as though blind to the danger. Although perhaps it was more accurate to state that he was aware of the weapons but thought them beneath his attention.

He continued to revel in amusement for a long while, but he eventually stopped. “The thing is, Lucy,” he began as he shot a piercing gaze at Weltenbruger, “you’re only supposed to give big speeches like that when you’ve got the upper hand.”

Neuro rose to his feet, and as he did, he picked up the staff resting against his chair.

“We Four Grandmasters are all Prime Mages. You can bring a thousand of your little tin men, but if you think that’s going to be enough to take down the Blue Grandmaster, you’ve got another think coming. It looks like I need to teach a poorly trained little monkey who his master is!”

Neuro brandished his staff and readied his spell, calling on the wind spirits to engulf the area around him in a tornado. Once cast, it would dash Weltenbruger and all of his soldiers against the wall and reduce them to paste. Yet the magic never took effect.

“…… ?!”

Neuro gaped in shock. This time, it was Weltenbruger’s turn to guffaw triumphantly.

“Heh-heh-heh… Ah-ha-ha-ha! If only you could see your face, Grandmaster! See, now that’s the expression I was waiting for! After all those years of thankless toiling, it’s so nice to see it finally pay off!”

“What manner of trick is this?”

“You thought I would just stroll in empty-handed, you dunce?! When we took the grandmaster’s estate, I had the mages I gathered from all the Blueblood-supporting lords surround the building and use their magic to put the castle’s spirits to sleep! Most of them are only Second-Class because all the First-Class mages are with Lindworm in the New World, but their ranks are still thirty strong! Not even a Prime Mage can stand up to that many alone! The spells you’re oh-so-proud of are useless!”

“ ”

Neuro’s face went pale. There was no way he could have predicted Weltenbruger would be so thorough.

A rush of bliss ran through Weltenbruger when he saw the fear in the other man’s eyes. The Four Grandmasters had replaced the Five Chancellors and stolen the authority that should have rested with the imperial nobles, and no words could describe the loathing he felt toward them. He had always wanted to rip them limb from limb, and he had waited a very long time for this day to come. At last, all his dreams were about to come true.

“Without their magic, mages are nothing to fear! Subdue this man, but make sure you don’t kill him yet! He doesn’t get to die until we’ve stripped every inch of skin from his fingertips, then the rest of his flesh, then his bones. We’ll show him what a fool he was ever to oppose us nobles!”

“W-wait, wait, I hear you! You’re mad that we took your power, right? In that case, I can bring back the Five Chancellors and transfer all that power back! Please, we can talk about this…!”

“Oh, we’re long past that point! Take him, men!!”


On Weltenbruger’s order, the Shwarz-richten-ritter all charged at Neuro.

Faced with an ebon tsunami surging toward him, Neuro screamed, “S-stay back!”

Weltenbruger, however, did not heed the cry. “Heh-heh-heh! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!”

“Just kidding.”

Neuro’s expression suddenly changed to a sneer as a waterfall-like roar sounded, and the Shwarz-richten-ritter were blasted full of holes.


The Obsidian Knights collapsed into bloody heaps. Weltenbruger stood frozen, unable to process what had just happened. Then, before his very eyes—

“Showing up when your client needs you with exactly what your client needs? You really are a professional.”

—he saw what had happened behind Neuro’s chair.

The shock must have destroyed its hanger, as the red curtain covering the wall fell to the ground. Behind it were dozens of soldiers dressed in viridian and armed with bolt-action rifles.

“Obviously. There’s a reason they call me a prodigy businessman, y’know,” answered Masato Sanada, the boy who had left the Seven Luminaries.

Share This :


No Comments Yet

Post a new comment

Register or Login