Hello Shiro is off for awhile so I will doing following week’s chapters, thus it maybe somewhat slower release pace
Thank you Rin for editing
“Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”
The speech and performance I gave was exactly that. I used Miss Minae to do some legwork for me by spreading the story. The speech I then gave connects those rumors to me. This is a textbook maneuver used by every politician in my previous world.
There was a quote by Adolf Hitler:
“The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
All the things and acts done as part of this performance of mine – the priest’s opening prayer, doing the opening ceremony at twilight – was to give the chapel the right lighting and ambiance; everything was to make my speech more effective.
With this speech, I should’ve soothed or at least calmed down the citizens of my fief, so I can now leave the fief for a while. I have to go back to the capital to resolve the main problem now.
Even so, I still have a lot on my mind.
I am thankful to Dean; because of the two letters he brought, I was able to conduct the opening ceremony peacefully. I was also able to get the cooperation of the priest because of one of those letters. The other letter is the key to solving this whole mess. I was going to ask either Father or Mother to obtain it… but how did Dean obtain… Dean who are you… It can’t be…
“Milady, are you alright?”(Ryles)
While I was lost in thought, Ryle asked me in an anxious voice.
“…Oh, I am fine…”(Iris)
“Please hang in there a bit longer. We will be there shortly.”(Ryles)
I am currently heading to the capital. You may be wondering why he is asking if I am alright. Well, this is due to the fact I am not on a carriage, but on a horse. We have to go to the capital as fast as possible, so the best option was to go on horseback. I thought I would be fine, but, oh god, it is rocking too much. No, I am not directing the horse. I am still not capable of that. Ryle has the reins.
I was sure I would be able to handle this, since I have ridden a horse before, but I guess riding for elegance and actually riding to get somewhere are two totally different things. I miss having my feet on the ground so much…
I was accompanied by Dida, Tanya, and some guards in case of an attack. I asked Dean to accompany us, but he had said he had urgent business and could not come with us. He instead proposed to join us later. Unlike me, everyone was smoothly riding a horse. I wonder when Tanya learned to do it… Only I am the burden here.
… I tried by best not to vomit, and we somehow made it in time. I arrived at my manor in the capitol. When I got off the horse, I was wobbling like a newborn fawn and could barely stand.
“Welcome Home, Milady.” (Servants)
All the servants came to greet me, as I haven’t been back in a long time.
“I am back, Father, Mother, Bern… I sincerely apologize for the trouble I have caused you this time.” (Iris)
My entire family came to greet me at the entrance as well. Although unexpected, I was grateful for it. My appreciation, however, was not enough to stop my wobbling.
“You arrived very early. Are you okay?”(Louis)
My father, seeing me like this, showed a worried expression, and asked if I am alright.
“Rest your body for now. We will talk later.”(Louis)
“Yes. Thank you.”(Iris)
From there, I was guided by Rime to my room to rest for a while. Then, I was called for tea in the living room. The atmosphere, however, made it clear that I wasn’t called just for tea, since all my family members were present.
“Again, please let me apologize for the trouble I have cause this time. I am truly sorry.”(Iris)
I apologized to everyone for trouble.
“No, there no need for you to apologize. You have done nothing wrong. Even I did not expect Daryl to go this far.” (Louis)
“No buts. There is nothing you are at fault for.” (Mellice)
My heart started to be healed from the kind words of my father and Mother.
“Well, we are ready for the party they are about give. The other side is strong, and, since they picked the fight, we do not need to hold back anymore.” (Mellice)
“Yes… Oh yes, Dean entrusted me with a letter to give to you, Mother.”(Iris)
“Oh. Please give it to me.” (Iris)
My mother received the letter and started to read it immediately. By the time she finished reading the letter she let out a slight laugh.
“What did he say?”(Iris)
“No, it is nothing important. He is just apologizing for using my name without my permission to get the information you needed.”(Mellice)
“Using Mother’s name… the effectiveness of that method is close to a royal decree. Even now, I hear screams and shouts to Mother for opting out of any and all charity events held by the church. Because of her not being there, all other parties connected with her, which is basically most nobility, did not attend either.” (Bern)
What Bern said is correct. For Mother to be absent from any event means that such an event will be terrible or be a waste of time. I am sure it is quite painful to the Church, but then…
“– but is it alright? Would the Church not attack Mother as well?” (Iris)
“No, everything is fine. We are still donating to the Church. I also responded by letter that the reason I would not be attending is due to the fact that having the mother of a daughter who has been excommunicated go to such parties would only serve to dampen the mood.” (Mellice)
I smiled at my mother’s straightforward answer.
“Well, I am sure this matter will be settled soon, and I will have to attend a party. That was one of the conditions outlined in Dean’s letter.” (Mellice)
“What do you mean?” (Iris)
“No, nothing. It is funny. I was used as a bargaining chip by Dean. He used my name to negotiate with the Church to retract Iris’s excommunication. Either way, I am fine with it as long it helps you, my dear.” (Mellice)
… Dean… You are bold to have used Mother’s name during negotiations and report about it after the fact. I know my mother says it is alright for my sake, but this makes my head hurt.
“Dear Sister, I have something to report to you.” (Bern)
Bern started to talk to me.
“Oh? What is it?” (Iris)
“This case of excommunication… Van is not involved.” (Bern)
“So, are you telling me I should forgive him?” (Iris)
Bern shook his head when I said that.
“No… I have reliable information that the one who is the mastermind behind this is the pope himself and the merchant Count Monroe has been seeing lately.” (Bern)
“You are saying that the merchant is the true mastermind behind this incident?” (Iris)
“Most likely… Although the pope does have significant power, I highly doubt he would go against the house of a duke. I also have asked Van about this matter, though, as expected, I could not outright. I had to use roundabout conversation and indirect questioning to get the information. From what I have heard from him, the merchant and the pope met often at the Count’s manor prior to your excommunication announcement.” (Bern)
“Hmm… Father, that merchant…?” (Iris)
“Do not worry. We are already investigating him.”(Louis)
As expected of Father. Also, hearing that Bern took action out of concern for me made feel a little touched.
“How about the second prince’s involvement?” (Iris)
“No, he is not involved in this case, but….” (Bern)
“Is there something?” (Iris)
“Apparently it is hard for the person himself to say… but he did not find it amusing that you have started to support the first prince. He complained a lot to me about this; it was quite insufferable… Anyway, after hearing about Sister’s excommunication, he started to have people move and start to take employees from your store and the Conglomerate as retaliation… What did I ever see in him?” (Bern)
“Wow… I’m at a loss for words…” (Iris)
What did I ever see in him? He is such a small man. Nevertheless, I need to be vigilant, as the conglomerate’s sales have been falling. I’ll have to address this problem later.
“Bern, thank for all you have done. Please take care of yourself.” (Iris)
“No thanks needed. I am just helping out family.” (Bern)
“Now, Iris, let us have dinner. Afterwards, please rest. Tomorrow is the real battle and we will achieve nothing less than a perfect victory.” (Mellice)
“Yes, Mother.” (Iris)
Well, the party tomorrow will be our battlefield. The previous founding party also made me tense, but I was not in danger then. This time my destiny is at stake. Losing is not an option. The biggest game of my life is about to start.