I am sorry for taking so long to post but I had to make proper arrangements. I will not be able to translate this novel any longer due to a situation in my private life. I will be gone for 2-3 months but do not worry I have already asked the original translator Amnesic Cat to take over for this novel. I did not want to leave and disappear without making sure that you readers will still be able to read this fantastic novel. I thank you for the 5 months of support and wish good luck to Amnesic cat.
Information regarding amnesic Cat taking over: she will make an announcement later on her site and ask whether she should re-translate the chapters we have done or just continue from this chapter on. I hope that many of join me in saying please continue on from this point but this decision will be left to you reader.
Thank you and I shall see you in 3 months
cat’s site: http://japtem.com/projects/dd-toc/
Duke Daughter 74: My Little Sister’s Strategy
“My body feels a bit stiff, so I am going to go and exercise for a bit.” (Dean)
“… Are you planning on sneaking into the military’s training session again?” (Ludy)
“Yes. General Gazelle has returned, and, since he is the one instructing it, it would be a waste not to attend.” (Dean)
General Gazelle took care of me since I was a child. He used to train me all the time in this castle. A knight order exists as well, but I feel that the military is more diligent. Also, since they maintain public security throughout the city, they also train in street-fighting.
“Brother, it is fine to move your body, but please use your head and hands first.” (Leticia)
She sighed as she entered the room. My little sister’s name is Leticia, but I prefer to call her Letty. She has soft, emerald-green eyes and blonde hair, like me. She is the third princess and third in line for succession. Everything about her appearance reminds me of our mother. My sister has truly grown into a beautiful lady.
“Letty, have you finished already? As expected, you work quickly.” (Dean)
“Yes, brother. Please, control yourself.” (Leticia)
Her smile, while seemingly cute, was laced with immense hostility. She placed a stack of documents on my desk.
“Here is the favor you asked me to take care of. There is a place that has a bit of a problem with their finances, so please check it.” (Leticia)
While I am away, Leticia deals with all of the documents and compiles reports. Since the King fell ill, my work increased exponentially. I would be unable to leave my desk were it not for her help.
She has been trapped here since she was quite young. My position at the time was weak, and I could do little to help her situation. She said she did not want to participate in the power struggle for the throne and put all her energy towards her studies.
Her ability and skill at doing paperwork was praised even by the Prime Minister.
“You have improved greatly. If it is the current you, I will be able to ‘leave’ more frequently in the future.” (Dean)
“Brother, before you plan your next outing, please, look over these documents. Rather, please do not go out for a while.” (Leticia)
I quickly leafed through the reports and documents she compiled and reviewed and could not find a single mistake. On the contrary, she even took note of minor details and sent out people to investigate issues.
“The minister of human rights is in the second prince’s faction. Even if she wants to carry out a small project such as this one, it will definitely get rejected.” (Leticia)
The country’s operations are split into seven administrative departments: finance, military affairs, legal affairs, foreign affairs, human rights, education, and infrastructure. The Prime Minister organizes all of them and reports their activities and matters to the King. The administration jobs also include negotiations with each lord to create policies that would benefit the country.
The power of incumbent lords of the land is significant. As such, it takes a long time to make compromises with them, especially while running the country. Because of this, I proposed a policy to further centralize this process. However, it lacked majority support, resulting in continued rejections.
The finance minister, Earl Sagittaria, the military affairs, and foreign affairs ministers are all on my side.
The human rights, education, and infrastructure ministers all side with the second prince.
One of the key ministers was replaced with someone from the Church, allowing them to force many decisions because of his support. However, since the purge, he was removed. The Church remains in chaos and is useless. I want to use this opportunity to separate Church and State.
Oh yes. I forgot to mention one more minister. The legal affairs minister is neutral like the Prime Minister once was. Since the excommunication incident, however, the Prime Minister now supports my faction.
“She had money hidden in her bosom…? sigh… To think this type of person became the minister of human rights.” (Dean)
“You have been too preoccupied with your political games.” (Leticia)
In addition to embezzling the money for herself, the minister of human rights used it for bribery.
“By games, you mean the fight for the throne between me and my little brother? Well, it is indeed a game to win the throne, but I have never considered him an opponent.” (Dean)
“What a strange thing to say… Oh. That reminds me…” (Leticia)
“What is it?” (Dean)
“Please, let me meet the Armelia Duke’s daughter.” (Leticia)
She made her request firmly and her eyes sparkled.
“… Why are you asking this so suddenly?” (Dean)
I should have just cut the conversation short or changed topics, but, since I asked, our discussion continued.
“We are birds of a feather: powerful women who are excellent at doing their work. I would like to exchange ideas and discuss various things with her… is what I would like to say. The real reason I want to meet her is because of how fond of her you are.” (Leticia)
“We are not like that, you know.” (Dean)
“Really? That is disheartening. But, since you ignored an important chance to reduce the power of the Armelian Duke, it shows just how much you like her.” (Leticia)
“That is–” (Dean)
“– Because she is a skilled person. Please, Brother.” (Leticia)
The strength of her determination and her straightforwardness made it impossible to argue.
“She cannot come inside this castle, so how would you meet her?” (Dean)
“I believe that if I were to travel with you and Ludy, I would be safe.” (Leticia)
“I do not think we will ever travel together to the Armelia fiefdom though.” (Dean)
“What? Are you planning on leaving me here alone again? He is such a terrible brother. Isn’t he, Ludy?” (Leticia)
“I… cannot comment on this matter.” (Ludy)
Ludy smiled bitterly and tried to stay out of the discussion.
“Even Ludy has the same reaction.” (Leticia)
In response to Ludy’s words, she sharpened her tongue proportionally to her dissatisfaction. I saw her shoulders droop as she sighed, and the atmosphere quickly turned dark.
I thought I should quickly change topics, but, for some reason, I kept silent. She opened her mouth.
“Well… I do want to see Iris, but I also would like to go outside. I have been in this castle for too long and want to see what life is like outside the castle and connect with the people. I felt that the Armelia fief would be the perfect place to do so.” (Leticia)
“Do you understand the position you are in? If so, knowing your position, you still wish to do that?” (Dean)
Letty is not allowed to go to many places, and the places where she is allowed to go consists solely of this castle and a few rooms in the imperial palace. The reason for this is not because of her lineage or internal politics.
She looks too much like our mother. As of now, her appearance is similar to how our mother looked when she was young, but, in a few years’ time, she will be the spitting image of our mother. If the King were to see her, he would spring out of bed, embrace her, and treat her as a princess should be treated. I cannot allow him to see her, though; the more compassion he shows her, the more the noose around her neck will tighten.
Letty’s resemblance to our mother would make her Ellia’s main target.
To Ellia, we are obstacles. If she were to see Letty now, she would employ every tool available to eliminate her, and neither I nor the King can guard her for all hours of the day. Also, after seeing how far the King has fallen, how can I trust him with the life of my beloved little sister?
I know this is my ego talking.
But I do not want to lose another family member.
I do not want to experience that much grief again.
I may as well be like the King. I am keeping my little sister locked in this gilded cage because I am afraid to lose her.
“I understand Brother’s concerns. I am nothing but a burden… But… I still want to see the world. I want to breathe the same air and understand the experiences of our people. How will I ever accomplish anything if I cannot understand the world and attend balls and parties?” (Leticia)
I stared deeply into Letty’s eyes… My little sister has grown up.
“I want to see the outside world. I don’t want to be like my older brother. I don’t want to live in a stronghold in comfort but shielded from the rest of the world for the rest of my life.” (Leticia)
She will eventually have to leave this place…
That is why she is trying to negotiate now.
“I understand.” (Dean)
“… Huh?” (Leticia)
“We will go to the fief soon, but you have to be escorted by either me or Ludy, OK?” (Dean)
“Thank you so much!!” (Leticia)
Letty smiled and hugged me.
“Now then, let us finish dealing with all of these documents so you can leave early without the looming threat of being crushed by work afterwards. Please, do your share as well, Brother.” (Leticia)
“Yes. I understand.” (Dean)
She was in a good mood. She took a stack of documents I dealt with earlier with the intention of checking them.
“Princess Letty, I will carry those.” (Ludy)
Ludy left the room to chase after her.