Even Though I’m a Former Noble and a Single Mother, My Daughters are too Cute and Working as an Adventurer Isn’t Too Much of a Hassle – 39

Heads of State Summit

For Shirley, needs must where the devil drives, so she came to ask the devil herself.

“Using transition magic to return to the Empire? What’s more, you wish to speak to the Emperor himself? So it has come to this, that Shirley wishes to challenge them directly? Ohh, what should I do~?”

“………”

Two weeks after everything had happened, Canary had returned to the frontier town from the Kingdom’s capital and now stood before her with a smile so smug that Shirley wanted to hit her, thinking to herself at the same time ‘I wish I never had to rely on this woman’.

She wants to believe in her daughters’ idea. It’s not clear if it will change anything at all, but right now she wants to let them know that her daughters wished to stay here.

What those girls want as people… Or, what they want as people of the Kingdom. Even if the Empire doesn’t change course at all, maybe doing this would earn their plight support in the Kingdom.

In addition, if you add that political support to Canary’s mighty financial influence, it’s possible that they might be able to keep living here without being interfered with.

But, it isn’t the be all end all. In the worst case scenario, she can simply remove the threat through force.

She wanted to rely on Canary at first though since it’s the best opportunity for keeping their peaceful every day lives intact. She was already planning her next move, expecting Canary to reject her, but the answer she received surprised her.

“Well, so be it, I shall grant your wish.”

“……….What do you mean? Are you feeling alright?”

“What exactly do you think of me?”

Having Canary so readily accept her request, Shirley felt an ominous feeling in her gut. The only thing she could think of is that Canary had eaten something strange.

“Well, in truth, there is profit to be made for me as well.”

“Excuse me?”

“Huhu, well, the truth is…”

Canary began to tell the story.

Two days after Rudolph and his men were arrested the Imperial notables, including Philia, started to devise a rapid diplomatic response since their own soldiers were caught committing a crime in a neighbouring state, but Albert did something wholly unnecessary.

He sent a direct communique using a magical tool. Usually, you would expect an incident like this to be followed by apologies and assurances of appropriate punishments after the guilty are repatriated, indeed Edward was wondering what kind of excuses Albert would have when he opened the letter sent to him directly, but the contents were absolutely unbelievable.

It has become evident that Canary, a representative of the Adventurers Guild, absconded to the Kingdom with the two Imperial princesses. In addition to doing harm to those loyal subjects of the Empire who only acted lawfully to escort the princesses home, it is absolutely an outrageous breach of mutual trust that the Kingdom still seeks to hold the princesses at its mercy. We hereby demand the immediate return of the two princesses, Rudolph and all of his accompanying knights.

Canary confirmed it using tracing magic that Albert had indeed been the one who sent the ultimatum, seemingly so sure in his version of the events.

Edward, far from frightened or enraged, could only feel completely bemused by the contents of the letter, considering he was expecting at least an attempt at making an excuse.

Really, he should have sent a letter like this demanding the princesses back before deciding to send men over the border.

However, even putting aside the kidnapping, Albert has completely disregarded all diplomatic proprieties by sending this message, including the obligations of going through the proper diplomatic channels and sending an officially sanctioned diplomat to treat on his behalf.

Without even a hint of apology, he suggests that the criminals who were caught red-handed were innocent and even has the gall to make demands on top of that.

“To pick a fight with the Kingdom… You’re even more childish than I remember.”

It seems that sitting on the Imperial throne has done nothing to help that. Since the first continental conference that they both had attended as rulers, Edward had cultivated an image in his head of Albert as a man who cannot escape his childish delusions of omnipotence.

“So be it, but I will not send soldiers to die in some petty and ridiculous war.”

The Black Lion King responded immediately. Pushing the timetable forward immediately, he communicated to the Imperial family through Philia that he was ready to discuss extradition and in just ten days had organized a summit between the leaders of the two nations.

 

“…Quite tardy, no?”

“Indeed… We’re supposed to be starting soon.”

There are no vassal or puppet states on the continent. Therefore any discussions held between two heads of state is explicitly meant to be between equals, hence the custom that discussions like these take place in a temporary meeting room built on the border.

The designated place where the talks were to be held was covered by a large tent similar in shape to the ones used by nomadic tribes and whilst Edward and his entourage of diplomats and officers had already arrived some time ago, the cardinal asked to oversee the meeting was still waiting on the Imperial party before he could open proceedings.

Despite a tacit agreement to arrive at least fifteen minutes before the beginning of the meeting, Albert only arrived a few seconds before the scheduled time.

“For what reason do you request an Emperor come to a place like this? You mentioned handing over the princesses, but can’t you just have your men hand them over to mine?”

And that’s the first thing he said. Excepting Edward and Canary, the delegates from the Kingdom raised their eyebrows in pure shock at the audacity, whilst some of the Imperials including Philia could only look at their feet, their faces bright red with shame.

Edward couldn’t help but feel pity for the long suffering ministers standing ashamed in the back and the Imperial citizens suffering under tyrannical taxes back in their country, having an Emperor that lacks any common sense as a public figure.

(No… In a way… I suppose I do have to feel pity for an Emperor who has become such an unwitting puppet.)

After hearing what he had done from Philia, Edward looked pitifully at Albert, knowing full well just what had caused the Emperor to act so irrationally.

“…I’m pleased to see you well, Albert-dono. Although I would like nothing more than to catch up considering how long it has been, there are more pressing matters. Let us move on to the main point straight away.”

“I agree. Well then, where are my daughters, Sophilea and Tionissia?”

Albert turned his head left and right, looking around the room for them.

“…The names of these girls that you claim to be princesses, do you not recall that their names are Sophie and Tio?”

“That is the name that their birth mother gave them. An Imperial princess should have names befitting their regal bearing. If anything, they should thank me for improving on those old names.”

If the person who had named them was in the room herself, she would have lost herself to rage then and there. Edward, however, wanted to move the conversation along and replied without even raising an eyebrow.

“Indeed, I understand your position. However, responding to that demand is not the obligation of the Kingdom, therefore those girls in question are not present. Instead, your servant and his six knights are here instead.”

“What is the meaning of this!? Do you mean to tell me that the Kingdom does not intend to return the Imperial princesses!?”

“I only claimed that we would discuss the matter of extradition.”

Even if there is a connection by blood, legally speaking Shirley and her daughters are citizens of the Kingdom. Edward intends to stand staunchly by this fact, whilst Albert is having none of it.

“I am this country’s ruler. How will the subjects view a king who sells his citizens to another country?”

“Since when has the Kingdom been a country of such base kidnappers, refusing to return the princesses knowing full well they were abducted by that witch!”

She kept her mouth shut, but Philia cursed him in her heart. Even if the person himself honestly believes what he’s saying and only wishes to retrieve his daughters, this level of impudence on the international stage is too shameful to bear.

“I fully understand that the Empire faces a crisis of succession due to the condition of the current Empress. However, the Imperial family cut all ties with Shirley when the children were in her womb and until now you have not made a single move to recognize them as your own? If mother and daughter are such persona-non-grata in the eyes of the Empire, then I see no reason why they should be returned as such. This is in accordance with international law as ordained by the Theocracy, who oversee all such matters. Likewise, if the Empire does not intend to pass judgement on the men who committed crimes in our nation, then we have no obligation to return them. Do you not agree that this is just?”

“T-that’s…!”

The Goddess is not just worshipped in the Kingdom but by the vast majority of people across the continent, including Albert who can’t help but be daunted when the name of the Theocracy that oversees all international mediation is invoked.

And although he doesn’t want to admit it, despite still believing in his heart that he made the right decision in breaking his engagement with that woman, it was a mistake to have completely cut her off from the Imperial family just like Edward had said.

No matter how much he demands their return, if the Kingdom holds steadfast in their decision to protect Sophie and Tio as citizens of their nation, there’s not much good his claims can do.

(But… In other words, they’re just viewed as common citizens. I may have failed this time, but I will certainly take them without fail next time, even if it means threatening war…!)

No matter what he says, as a king, Edward cannot put his desire to protect two people over the lives of millions.

Ignoring his own faults entirely, Albert recalled the weakness of the man across from the table from him, the one thing he hated the most.

The Black Lion King opposite him, despite having a mighty army, detested war. Albert couldn’t understand such a notion at all, even though it was borne of political common sense.

Food, money and lives. War consumes all. Whilst Albert merely sees gold and soldiers as pawns for him to do with as he pleases, Edward favours victories through diplomacy over the force of arms.

So, comparing the policies of the two leaders in the room, pressuring the king by suggesting an armed conflict may tip his hand. The Emperor who can only operate on such crude wisdom smiled menacingly at the Black Lion.

“Truly, if we become stuck on such a difference of opinion, it may be hard to avoid a conflict.”

“Wha-!?”

But, as if anticipating exactly what Albert was going to say, Edward stole the words right out of his mouth.

“However, if possible I would like to seek an alternative to such a costly and pointless war… Well then, what shall we do?”

“At the risk of seeming impertinent, I would like to make a suggestion.”

It was Philia who raised her hand. Still shocked at being read so easily by Edward, Albert looked dubiously at his sister before giving her permission to speak.

“…Speak.”

“I understand the laws of the Kingdom. However, it is my dearest wish to see His Imperial Majesty united with the two girls who share his noble blood and to see them return to the Empire, to be recognized as heirs to the throne. Therefore, although it is an antiquated format, I propose a Duel Ordained by the Goddess.”

The duel is used as a proxy battle between nation states, overseen by a cardinal from the Theocracy.

In ancient times, two countries wishing to settle their differences without resorting to full-scale war would each select a champion to compete in a martial bout, with the victor’s country receiving whatever it was they sought to gain in a potential war, be it land, treaties or people.

However, in modern times it has been seen as an anachronism, due to the many problems in leaving the future complex international relations and treaties up to the gamble of a swordfight.

(Will that be enough, Your Majesty? Canary-sama as well.)

This was the scheme that the three of them had orchestrated. If things had continued going the way they were, the Emperor would inevitably declare a foolhardy war between their two nations, leading to untold bloodshed on both sides.

So, if the Kingdom emerges successful in this duel, then they can appeal to the Theocracy to intervene on their behalf and prevent an invasion. Albert gritted his teeth. Even if it’s a law considered obsolete by many, it is still technically a legally observed practice, any breach of the winner’s conditions by the loser would result in a major international backlash.

That said, even if there’s the risk of defeat in this battle, you could say that he’s risking the exact same thing by going to war, except with even higher stakes.

(In addition… If this goes to plan, the Empire should lose all legitimate claims they have to take my sisters-in-law back.)

In any case, the true crux of the plan relies on that person also winning the bout in the very presence of the Emperor himself. After Albert agrees, everything should be set in motion, but…

“Guuuuuuu….!”

“How about it, Albert-dono? Is there any issue with Princess Philia’s proposal? Although it’s far from a perfect solution, surely you agree that such a compromise is better than a war? If I’m not mistaken, is it not also true that the Empire is currently on very poor terms with the Land of Demons as well?”

Albert bit his lip in anger. To suffering the humiliation of having to travel all the way here under what he saw as false pretences, then having the situation complete reverse on him, he wanted to shout and scream at the top of his lungs.

His pride as an Emperor was wounded, seeing his sister agree so easily with the Black Lion King. As Albert desperately thought of a way to regain the initiative, Canary who had been completely silent until now suddenly burst into laughter.

“Kuhahahaha! Why torment the poor thing so, Edward? It’s very bad taste to pick on the slow child in the class, is it not?”

“S-slow child…? You can’t possibly be talking about me…!?”

That indignation burst forth into fury. Blood began to flow straight to Albert’s face, his skin turned red and sweat began to pour.

Albert had always lived a spoiled life. Even if he’d quarrelled with his younger sister Philia in recent years, Albert still had many people who supported him, so it’s only natural that he was always treated with respect.

Therefore, this was the first time in his life that anyone had ever spoken to him like that.

“To think that he’d crumble so quickly after entering with such bravado, what a farce of an Emperor you truly are! Well, it only makes sense he would hesitate so, he clearly has no one he can call on to even lick the boots of one of the Kingdom’s warriors, let alone the adventurers that are the pride and joy of the Guild. It must be infuriating, no~? To know that no matter who the Empire sends, they are but ants compared to the might of adventurers.”

“Y-You knave!! You dare insult my country so brazenly!!”

Albert flew into a rage and shouted at the witch, with many of the Imperial knights who had accompanied the entourage sharing his fury, including Lumiliana who looked livid.

Of course, they would be angry, having their pride as knights mocked like that.

“Well, it’s only natural, no? It truly is such an unfortunate fate to serve such an Emperor… I have been listening quietly this whole time and I have to say that you truly are a uniquely selfish and disgusting thing.”

“Disgusting!?”

“Quite right. You are disgusting. That feeling only mounts when I’m subjected to your vile words like this.”

Canary kept hurling abuse at that head of state. Since she doesn’t technically belong to any country, the taboos by the customs of diplomatic properness are completely irrelevant to her so she can act as she wishes, the witch who stands untouchable atop the economic world.

“Any warrior from a country ruled by such a conceited child, I doubt they would be able to lift a finger against a mighty soldier of the Kingdom or any intrepid adventurer who crossed their path. Do you understand now, or shall I repeat it again for you?”

“…So be it! If you think you can look down on me like this, then I’ll accept! A Duel Ordained by the Goddess to bring my daughters and Rudolph back home, as well as to restore the honour of the noble Imperial knights!”

Albert who has given in to his rage accepted Philia’s proposal.

In that way, the curtain raised on the bet that would decide Sophie and Tio’s future.

“So, do you have any last words?”

“MYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!? St-Stop that! Stop using my head to sharpen your sword! It won’t be a joke if you cut my brain!!”

In the courtyard of the frontier town’s adventurer guild, Shirley scraped her sword back and forth on top of Canary’s skull, who has been buried up to her neck in the ground. Shirley raised her sword menacingly, but before she could swing it down and cut through the brain, the semi-immortal’s weakness, the demon witch screamed out in terror.

“I understood your story. I also understand that it was the best compromise the Kingdom could hope to achieve diplomatically, as it can both secure the Kingdom’s borders from an invasion as well as prevent the Empire from causing any more problems because of my daughters. In addition, Canary attended to force the Imperial side into agreeing by wounding their pride comparing them to adventurers.”

“Oooh, you truly are an incisive one, no? Let me give you a compliment.”

But, Shirley’s sword gleamed in the reflection of those red and blue eyes.

“Don’t you think you should have asked me first? Didn’t King Edward say you would be in town to help take care of things?”

“Well, before the talks I did actually return quite a number of times to run some errands?”

“Then why didn’t you say anything? You knew I couldn’t attend because I had to look after Sophie and Tio in case the Empire tried anything again?”

“Hmm, well I told Edward not to fret so much about it since I promised I’d tell you when I got back… But circumstances unfortunately intervened, so I suppose it’s become a report after the facts. You’ll be truly shocked when you hear what happened, you know?”

“What is it? Did something else happen at the talks?”

“Listen to this, the guild’s chief pâtissière has developed a new type of confectionary without my knowing about it. So, I prioritized the critically serious mission of taste testi…”

CRACK! The loud sound of something hard breaking apart echoed through that blue spring sky.

“Well, it’s fine. No, fine is a bit much… I suppose there’s been progress. Honestly, in the end, I didn’t have much choice but to rely on the power of a state to stop another one, so I’ll have to uphold my end.”

Whoever it is that she faces is irrelevant… All she has to do is win.

The fiery spirit of the Demonic White Sword burned hotter than ever, then as if she saw an image of the unknown warrior the Empire would send to oppose her floating through the air in front of her, she slashed a leaf picked up by the wind into innumerable pieces with sword strokes breaking the speed of sound.

 


 

Sorry this was late.

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64 comments

  1. For Shirley, needs must where the devil drives, so she came to ask the devil herself.
    Not sure how to fix the grammar in this sentence.

    Thanks for the new chapter!

    1. Trust me, it’s gramatically correct. The first line in the raw is an old japanese proverb about how sometimes you have to do something you’d rather not to avoid an even worse scenario.

      So I used an equally old idiom in English that I really like.

    2. Ahem, do try to google what you think is weird/wrong, please. I also thought that is wrong there.
      This idiom should mean something like: “Needs drive us to deal with the devil” or “Needs make us accept the help of the devil”. I think this form is used by Shakespeare.

      1. You don’t have to be snarky about it, it’s a pretty rare idiom, most people who speak english natively probably haven’t ever heard of it.

        Honestly, it’s a pretty byzantine saying now that I think about it, I shouldn’t have used it.

        1. Did that ended up snarky? Sorry about that. I also nearly wrote an entire story about that, then checked on google, and felt stupid. Maybe I was more upset than I realized, did not intent to be mean.

  2. It’s fine that you were late because I was also late to check if it was on time! So I never would have known. Therefore, great job as always!

  3. Is that guy has no redeeming quality at all? There should be limit on how fool a King can be.
    Well, I need to prapare a bucket of popcorn for this.

    1. Honestly, I know I’m supposed to prefer nuanced and sympathetic villains, but I’d be pissed off if Albert got any sort of redemption after everything he’s done, so I’d rather he just stay a pantomine villain who I’m sure will get his comeuppance.

      1. If he’s ‘just in love’ he deserves to see Alice pay for everything he’s done.

        If he’s being controlled by her somehow (other than emotionally), he needs a few seconds of clarity before dying, just so we can read the description when his thoughts race in the end and if possible a description of how his eyes become desperate as the blade /sword approaches.

        If he’s just an idiot, exile him an Alice to an isolated island far away from anywhere, give them bare supplies so they’ll have to live off the land and then wipe all records of them in history.

    1. Wait, what made you think someone ELSE might be the Kingdom’s representative? Surely a “mere” rank B adventurer would be a better choice (and a woman at that). Also, whoever was chosen, Shirley would replace, by ANY means. She ain’t gonna leave her daughter’s fate in someone else’s hands, not unless that person is stronger than her.

    2. It is hinted at that she will 2-3 times i believe.
      Like this at the end “Whoever it is that she faces is irrelevant… All she has to do is win.”

    3. The Kindom’s representative is obvious. I guess the Empire will be represented by the only knight who has a name at this time.

    1. If you haven’t figured out yet, Lumiliana is arrogant as well. When she was first entroduced, it has been hinted that she believes that her swordsmanship is already at the peak. But if you compare it to someone who kills dragons without breaking a sweat, her’s would be child’s play.

  4. Oh boy, I got to say, the emperor does leave the biggest impression, a VERY bad one, but the biggest nevertheless. Any good novel with a good character named Albert? At this rate I might get to hate the name.
    BTW, I wonder how bad did Canary end up. And how much of an M is she? Saying taste testing a confectionery stopped her from mentioning such an important information in time, she REALLY wanted to get hurt. Maybe she is the type who wants to get tormented by an ‘onee-sama’.
    Thanks for the chapter!

    P.S. New idioms for me, thank you for using them.

    1. There is a novel about someone named Albert who is very bad at doing bad things and accidentally do good things instead. I think the title is Albert ke no Reijou.

      1. Oh, that one is great. It’s about a Villainess who works (haplessly) toward her own destruction end and her poor butler called Albert who helps her. It has a manga now as well.

    2. I do recommend Falling In The Love Love With The Villainess. It has a prince named Albert. He has an amazing character growth: from this kind of Albert to “you wish he ends well” type of Albert.

  5. She sharpening her sword on canary’s head and you wonder why canary likes to mess with you shirley.

    Also, I’m pretty sure if shirley joined the war. Half of the empires army would’ve been wiped out in a day.

  6. I know that Albert is supposed to be the dumb naive Emperor and stuff, but… The author is exaggerating too much on it.

    Like… Seriously, he lived his entire life preparing to be Emperor and has quite a few years of ruling behind his back… He wouldn’t be this stupid or hot-blooded. It’s a bit off-putting in all honesty.

    I hope we don’t get many chapters in which he appears anymore, the way he is depicted is honestly pitiful.

    1. Oh, that kind of stupidity is commonplace for corrupt King at the falling age of the empire. Usually, the systems is hard enough to tolerate that kind of idiocy all the time (though realistically, the court would have thrown him out of the window ages ago and be replace with someone else, royal or not)

      1. That’s more or less what I mean. It’s fine to have stupid kings, but he is someone that grew up his entire life preparing to be Emperor, he should know way better than what he currently knows.

        And if he was as terrible as he is, he’d have no support among the nobles and it should have been very very easy for Philia or anyone else to overthrow him.

        I’m fine with him being the evil dumb antagonist, but he is being portrayed as excessively stupid, so it’s hurting my suspension of disbelief I guess.

    2. Preparing? Shirley was trained as a suitable queen, Alice deposed her, and then convinced Albert to depose the then rulers to claim the throne.

      Alice literally has no care nor knowledge on how to rule properly, and she’s essentially telling Albert what to do, so you can guess how that goes.

      1. Just like Shirley was trained to be a Queen, he was trained to be an Emperor. Even if he has a very soft spot for Alice, his lack of common sense for someone in a ruling position is very very excessive IMO.

        The author should have been more careful in not making him this dumb I think.

  7. This is so weird to me, where I am it is still December 15 but this says it was published tomorrow December 16… Am I reading something from the future!?!?

  8. The Empire didn’t cut ties with Shirley. She escaped her prison. Being a wanted fugitive is not the same as cutting ties unless there’s something very important about that culture we should have been told long before today. Albert still deserves a beating at this point but Edward is going full evil mastermind while being made to look like a saint by the narrative.
    The most bizarre part is that Albert hasn’t really been telling any lies. Canary did go help Shirley abscond with the two princesses. The kingdom did hide (or “forget” to tell about) the existence of the twins which is a legitimate reason for war. The children were even born within the empire.
    Then they act as if not going through the appropriate red tape for a person receiving custody of his children from a wanted criminal is the gravest insult and proceed to pretend they’re better while actually spewing grave insults nonstop.

    Albert has a way of (mostly) winning this that he obviously won’t do.
    Step 1. Don’t fall for the obvious trap.
    2)Ask Phillia why she was already here
    3)Say the empire will consider his obvious offer of a trap and continue diplomatic negotiations. Leave.
    4) Obtain intelligence reports showing Phillia bowing and scraping to Edward.
    5) Order Phillia to come home to the Capitol
    6) Reveal that Philia committed high treason against the empire (possibly) in order to prevent obstacles to her future reign while even going so low as to grovel before King Edward and declare that she herself will her rights to succession as part of the punishment for such an offense but her children shall be maintain that right and be legally adopted as Albert’s children.
    7) Marry her off to an allied noble and lock her up in the tower of London.
    8) Make his case to the theocracy and talk about how the kingdom had the gall to repeatedly insult him for wanting his children back while trying to trick him into a duel to get back the children that were his right to help raise anyway.
    9)Theocracy is now turned against the Kingdom because Albert has told no lies and clerics are the ones with lie detection magic. Any attempt at rebuttal by the kingdom would run afoul of the lie detectors because when questioned about the accusations it would all be true. This would also cement the case against Phillia if she had any remaining supporters.
    10) Shirley goes on the warpath.

    1. Whoops, a typo.

      6) Reveal that Philia committed high treason against the empire (possibly) in order to prevent obstacles to her future reign while even going so low as to grovel before King Edward and declare that she herself will lose her rights to succession as part of the punishment for such an offense but her children shall be maintain that right and be legally adopted as Albert’s children.

    2. few things I think you have wrong.

      Canary didn’t help Shirley abscond with the two princesses, Shirley Showed up at the Kingdom’s Adventurers Guild and THEN Canary helped her out.

      While Shirley is a criminal in the Empire, It doesn’t mean that she is considered one in the Kingdom. Also (and I’m not 100% on this one) While the princesses were born in the empire I believe at some point in the story they paid 1 gold each to become citizens of the Kingdom and gained a fresh start.

      Finally Are you sure Phillia was Already there and didn’t arrive with Albert? (says at one point the King communicated with Albert through Phillia, so I think she left and returned with the imperials)

    3. The empire itself might not have discarded her, but the imperial family broke off all connections and then imprisoned and tortured her unlawfully. Her family not helping her, was because they also discarded her. And there wasn’t really anyone who actually stood on her side, so they can be considered complicit in the discarding. Basically, they severed all ties, and was making her life miserable, and she escaped and then emigrated to the Kingdom.
      Albert keeps proclaiming that Canary mindcontrolled Shirley to do all the crimes Alice told him she had committed against her (which was Alice actually doing towards Shirley, and everyone else knew and ignored).
      The kingdom had no nobligation to tell the Empire that ‘Oh btw, your exwife who you denied all bonds with has emigrated here and brought along your now bastard children’ especially at that time, neither Albert nor Alice wanted to ever hear about Shirley again, she and her daughters only started playing a role again when Alice was found to not become pregnant, and she wouldn’t allow Albert (he convinces himself it’s love to stay loyal, she doesn’t care) to have any other women to conceive with.
      And despite Shirley being a wanted criminal, he wants to capture her children to become the pseudo/stepdaughters of the woman who she’s accused of committing the crimes against ? At the time he discarded all bonds with her, and her family to her, and everyone else to her, she lost all inheritance rights (unless she presses them herself and with force or her entire household only has her left and they don’t want it destroyed). And even if he had righteous reasons, he has never acknowledged the daughters as his legitimate heirs, just as his children, but that doesn’t give them direct inheritance rights, and it certainly doesn’t give him the right to send his people into a foreign nation to kidnap them in broad daylight, without any warning whatsoever to the ruler of that nation.

      1) He hasn’t really shown intelligence beforehand, and he would lose a war, but it would be a pyrrhic victory unless the adventurers are really motivated or the imperial troops don’t fight seriously
      2) She interferes with a lot of things, and he can’t be bothered about all of them, and he doesn’t care about her anyway
      3) It’s either war or duel at this time, he knows he wouldn’t succeed in negotiations , and they just invoked an ancient law which is important
      4) Intelligence ? If he could get reports about something like that, he would’ve gotten about Shirley’s deeds and aborted this idea
      5) Might come, might not come
      6) What proof is there ? She had discussed with neighboring monarchs how poor her brother is at ruling, but had she ever mentioned deposing him ? And even if she could have children, it would still be some time. Albert’s current heirless stage has been a problem for some time
      7) He wouldn’t be willing to pay the dowry to marry off his sister
      8) Shirley & daughters are non-grata in the empire after his decision to make them so, and he has made no attempts to rectify that situation other than trying to illegally kidnap them from another sovereign nation, and when that failed demanded both his now criminal subordinates to not be punished for legitimate crimes and his bastard children who are effectively foreign citizens, never having been part of the Emprie .Hence, he’s breaking the theocracy’s laws on several points. And he was about to declare war on the kingdom, who then suggested submitting to an archaic duel supervised by the theocracy, meaning they would abide by the result. If Albert declares war, he’ll anger the kingdom, theocracy, Shirley and he’s currently even in problems with the Land of Demons, so he might not even have the capacity to do it. He disavowed any rights to them when he severed all bonds with Shirley, so there’s no ‘right to help raise’
      9) Edward had spoken about as much truth, and he seemed more righteous in trying to settle things peacefully, without giving in to unrighteous demands from a tyrant who has no respect whatsoever for the laws.
      10) Inevitable

      The legal way would be : 1a) contact either shirley directly and ask them to return or b) contact Edward directly, explain the situation rationally and demand their return.
      2a) Send an escort to cordially bring them back openly and gracefully. Not luring them into an alley, trying to grab them to carry along and trying to kill off any witnesses to their crime or 2b) Contact the theocracy directly to have the situation resolved diplomatically before resorting to force

      Though, one thing that is rather likely would be if the theocracy would actually discuss the situation, you can be sure Shirley would be there and oppose anything they do, and she would tell the truth as well. So if it’s a tyrant emperor who’s out of his wits against a nice king who tried to solve it peacefully and the wife in the matter who has all the rights to her children, most courts would rule for her sakes. If they don’t, the legal system won’t be alive for much longer as they’ve just crossed her while violating several of their own laws.

      1. “The empire itself might not have discarded her, but the imperial family broke off all connections and then imprisoned and tortured her unlawfully. Her family not helping her, was because they also discarded her. And there wasn’t really anyone who actually stood on her side, so they can be considered complicit in the discarding. Basically, they severed all ties, and was making her life miserable, and she escaped and then emigrated to the Kingdom.”

        Unlawfully and yet Phillia has been unable to do anything about that despite it being publicly known when she escaped? If it was unlawful then Albert’s parents would have punished him yet they apparently found no actual ground to stand on fo even a spanking.Breaking off connections does not in any way mean she ceases to be a citizen. You may also wish to look up the term Lèse-majesté which would certainly be enforced with the way the royalties are thought to be ordained by God.

        Again, Albert is a stupid idiot, but your talk about the kingdom having no obligation to inform him is EXACTLY why he was and would be able to able to justify his actions in whatever counts for international court (which in this case seems to be the theocracy), is what he did in this very chapter,and is exactly the sort of argument he can use because if he gets the theocracy involved and they ask the king if he knew of their existence but didn’t tell the Empire and are/were trying to keep them the lie detector WILL go off.
        1)
        Pyrric victory is only because the empire isn’t as wealthy due to mismanagement so they’d lose money. Not because they can’t win and I don’t think his sister is that much smarter than he is due to all the stupid decisions she’s made so far. I also did point out that it’s something he’s NOT going to do.

        2)
        He hasn’t killed her in all this time despite her literally plotting a civil war that will 100% get him killed. He does care for her in there somewhere but argues too much to ever show it anymore. She has just brazenly committed treason and/or a transparent attempt to prevent the people ahead of her in line for succession from being eligible for the throne. That’s pretty high on the list of the few things that can actually get a member of royalty executed.

        3)
        Ancient law scmancient law. He has the right to refuse the duel which is why they’re purposefully insulting the hell out of him to provoke him into actually taking the duel. if he actually went and presented his case to the theocracy including what they’re doing right now the tables would entirely turn. Unless I missed something and he can’t turn it down which would mean a country (Like the Kingdom) could just take their max level adventurer pump them up with the royal treasury, and duelspam to own the continent without anyone being allowed to say no. Such a law is far too easy to abuse and there is absolutely no indication that anyone has to take up such a stupid offer. He doesn’t have to go to war right away and can drum up support from this previously unheard theocracy.

        4)
        He DID get reports about Shirley’s deeds. Everyone in the empire is incredibly stupid about what that means including Phillia’s knight. That’s how he even found out she had children in the first place.Do you also think the rumour mill is going to stop after the imperial princess was publicly bowing and scraping to the King? Every granny on the continent knows about it yesterday. Do you think there’s going to be noone watching that town after it turned out the princesses were there?

        5) Might come, might not come”

        I feel like you fail to understand what an emperor is.

        “6)
        Phillia hasn’t been covering her tracks and said it while the aforementioned bowing and scraping happened. Publicly and closely conspiring with the King essentially holding the imperial princesses hostage is going to set off red flags which is why he can make that argument and careful questioning with the lie detector can confirm for him. From there the line of questioning can easily uncover the civil war plot by sheer accident if he asks what else she’s been plotting against him.
        If Shirley can be convicted on hearsay then Phillia’s actions with multiple witnesses is more than enough if we just ignore that you want people to be too stupid to put 2+2 together. Phillia is absolute garbage at hiding her intentions/emotions from her brother. She’s next in line for the throne. Two people pop up in front of her and the next place she’s seen is trying to keep them “held hostage” by a country with unfriendly relations? What did you think the first thing that goes through everyone’s mind was going to be? 9 months isn’t that long and it only takes one night. The real trouble is picking a suitor.

        7)
        Yes, the myriad nobles that want a shot at emperor regent or at least their line becoming the imperial one are going to demand money from the emperor instead of trying to bribe or do whatever they can to take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity.
        8)
        Shirley was on imperial grounds because before she gave birth to them as she was planning to immediately dispose of them then proceed to fight. She wanted to also be closeby in order to have nobles and whatnot to murder even if she mostly took care of bandits. She went to the kingdom AFTER they were born because adventuring was the ideal plan she came up with for laying low in the long term as you could buy citizenship that way. They are citizens by birth and her original citizenship was never disavowed. Your entire argument is based upon the flawed reasoning that she lost her citizenship at all. Effectively is not actually at all. It is also based upon the idea that a fugitive from justice is allowed to kidnap children and get away with it for the price of 1 gold coin. That is why the Kingdom is trying to press the duel since the theocracy has a high chance of handing over custody to Albert. I sincerely doubt the Theocracy is willing to set that sort of legal precedent about kidnapping heirs to thrones and obtaining dominion over the future of a country for a gold coin per child. We even know that he did not discover her location until a recent report. You’re confusing the reports Albert got with the ones Phillia got.

        9)
        Spoken truth? He’s using a bunch of weasel words to trick Albert into losing something that Edward knows he has no legal grounds on once all is said and done. His main argument is that Albert didn’t go through red tape when public knowledge (aka shirley’s existence) would reveal that Edward is in the wrong. Unrighteous? The problem here is specifically that it is righteous in the eyes of the law. The Kingdom has been secretly hiding the heirs to another country for over a decade. They should have been expecting a possible declaration of war from not only the empire, but everyone around them too since the day they learned about Shirley.

        “10) Inevitable”
        It is inevitable but we do have the recent revelation that Shirley expected to or expects to die if she outright fights the empire. This means that the empire is not comprised of complete pushovers like everyone theorized despite her greater individual level Shirley has over any one individual in the army. The empire may be strained, but it seems Albert is not wrong about his overall military superiority over the Kingdom.

        “The legal way would be : 1a) contact either shirley directly and ask them to return or b) contact Edward directly, explain the situation rationally and demand their return.”
        Yes, contact the fugitive from justice and expect her to not flee. This is a great plan.
        It’s fairly obvious that Edward knew of their existence beforehand and did not return them of his own volition or even bother to inform the empire of the people that it illegally gave citizenship to. Ergo it is reasonable to assume the exact accusations that have been made against them because they are also technically true.
        Albert can argue that it is entirely unreasonable for him to not have expected Edward to try to unlawfully keep his children away from him exactly like he’s doing right now.

        “2a) Send an escort to cordially bring them back openly and gracefully. Not luring them into an alley, trying to grab them to carry along and trying to kill off any witnesses to their crime or 2b) Contact the theocracy directly to have the situation resolved diplomatically before resorting to force”
        That would be nice if there wasn’t so much evidence that the Kingdom was in on the “conspiracy.” and the known “fact” that the children are being held by a violent fugitive capable of soloing a dragon king. He still has the ability to go to the theocracy which is why i pointed it out.

        “Though, one thing that is rather likely would be if the theocracy would actually discuss the situation, you can be sure Shirley would be there and oppose anything they do, and she would tell the truth as well. So if it’s a tyrant emperor who’s out of his wits against a nice king who tried to solve it peacefully and the wife in the matter who has all the rights to her children, most courts would rule for her sakes. If they don’t, the legal system won’t be alive for much longer as they’ve just crossed her while violating several of their own laws.”

        The theocracy would untangle things, but it wouldn’t untangle the fact that the emperor was still in the legal right no matter how much of a dick he is. You also seem to not realize that siding with the wife is a relatively modern thing in court systems because the guys traditionally got everything. There’s also the problem that he’s still the damn emperor which would give him priority for custody, Phillia committed high treason,her knight is totally going to get executed for helping her with that, and even if Edward is a “nice guy” the whole mess happening right now is some shady nonsense on his part by any stretch of the imagination.
        Of course if everyone’s idea that a criminal can escape justice for the price of 1 gold coin is true, then Shirley could just decapitate Albert, run to another country, and register there.

        1. That’s a long argument. Hopefully I got the gist of it and I would like to offer an argument back. The kingdom can grant assylum protection even for wanted criminals.

          A child with silver hair with the blood of criminal will almost definitely face mortal danger and racism, not to mention being separated from their birth mother. Therefore both Shirley and her children have the right to request assylum protection from the kingdom and the kingdom will be able to accept that and later (or already), be granted citizenship. Extradiction treaty is not something every country accept because political criminal is a thing and I doubt Kingdom and Empire have that kind of treaty.

          Also because of the highly-charged political situation, I doubt anyone, even Theocracy, would want arbitrate on this and Courts have the rights to throw this case out because of “lack of rights to judge”. There is a lot of back-and-forth too with the fact that Empire still illegally sending armed personnel infringing on Kingdom’s border and attempting a kidnap on a citizen/protected person of the Kingdom, the fact that it is practically impossible for Shirley to notify the empire of their new heir, also the fact that recognizing their children as the heirs are abit shaky partly due to the status of their mothers, and so on.

          Ultimately tbh, if Shirley wanted, she could actually steer this case by forcing empire to absolve her criminal status, granted her status of Imperial Queen or Consort, in order to get her children to be recognized as official heir of the throne. Alice is currently in a very shaky ground due to the inability to have a child and by presenting Shirley as an option, other nobles will flock toward her and makes her have a huge political clout. Even more so, if the emperor dies, Shirley’s status will be Dowager Queen due to the successor become Empress and will be higher in hierarchy compared to Alice. However, the fact that this story will never go this route is the theme of the entire series

  9. Thanks for the Chapter!

    If Shirley heard what Albert said about her daughter’s name we will surely see some Headless Idiot

  10. I hope the empire side sends out that bitchy female knight Lumiliana so she can get her ass whooped and understand that she couldnt hold a candle against out MILF mama bear.

    1. I hope not. She is Devoted to Phillia who want’s the Kingdom to win. The only way Albert would send her in is if he can blackmail her in some way. Besides when she see’s Shirley defeat her opponent she will probably know her place 😛

  11. Really hope Shirley fights someone other than Lumiliana. I’m hoping that they get some big badass jerk well known throughout the empire and that Shirley kills him in seconds.

    1. They could even build him all up by telling about all his exploits and have Phillia all scared for Shirley for the majority of the chapter than then end it in a split second slaughter 😛

  12. I actually feel this plan is barbaric. Just admit you just want to see Shirley fight, there’s no reason picking the solution that have a chance to fail and after this done there’s no reason to believe the emperor will kept his promises. He’s an idiot surrounded with idiot. I know they feel like pitying him because he’s childish but that’s dangerous and the sister must dethroned him immediately or she has no qualifications to ask for anything.
    I thinks this didn’t make the king as wise king that’s just dodge a war but instead a coward who sent the mother of the kids they want to kidnap to fight for her kids against stupid emperors even if the mother is one of strongest adventurer.

    1. As far as the Edward knows, Shirley is okay with the plan. Remember, Canary told him not to worry since she’d inform Shirley about everything (she didn’t). What’s more, if he has to choose between the life of one adventurer he knows can win the duel or the livelihood of thousands of people, the answer should be obvious.

    2. I think the king knows that Shirley is stronger than anyone the Empire can field, and while the Emperor is an idiot at might still attack, because of this duel if he does the Theocracy will be forced to intervene on the side of the Kingdom.

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