Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 25: Abdication
He was having dinner with the Emperor while talking about horses bit by bit on the balustraded balcony.
Their surroundings were bright with torches and a luxurious candlestick was placed on the table.
How is the taste? said the Royal Chef and due to their persistent efforts, Ashiyowa’s unbalanced sense of taste which was a bit of a headache was gradually being alleviated. Still, it was undeniable that the difference between the dishes spread before the Emperor were worlds apart.
Ashiyowa was eagerly eating the cold nahisui with his bare hands.
The Emperor was in a good mood and was talking about going on a trip sometime. Ashiyowa paid no attention to it halfway and sat still on his seat.
“Shall we take a trip to the county where Aniue’s mother’s grave is?”
The half-eaten nahisui was placed on the plate.
“Leshe ……. I.”
“Is there something wrong?”
He hardly had any awareness about his own parents. Even if he was aware, it was a useless thing after all.
When he was born, he realized that there was only the old man.
When he learned about the mechanism of how babies were born, he thought that he must have also had parents. As a stray, he was abandoned by his parents, so he didn’t consider wanting to meet them.
“Father is sleeping in a grave in this garden. Let’s visit him together sometime soon. To father and everyone, I have to report that Aniue was found.”
Father, half-brothers and sisters…….
Ashiyowa felt his mouth drying up so he grabbed the heavy looking gold colored wine glass.
But before he lifted it, Ashiyowa put his elbow on the table and rested his forehead on his hand.
“I, I-I……parents, a mother, I don’t have, anymo-……”
His emotions heightened up that he wasn’t able to speak well.
――Talk properly! Although I’m the one who taught you, I won’t forgive that ambiguous way of speaking and violent use of words.
Snap! The old man’s distant voice along with the bending of branches were heard; Ashiyowa stretched his back. After arriving in the Royal Capital, he inevitably dug up the composition ability that had been lost in his memories. He was now able to speak much more smoothly.
“Leshe, is that mother really my mother? You call me Aniue and the others also address me that way but if I’m not really your older brother, it’s not the time for visiting the grave. I’m just being rude.”
When he turned his body towards the Emperor to talk, both of his hands got wrapped together.
The blue eyes were staring straight at Ashiyowa.
“You are my older brother”
“There is no proof for that……!”
“There is. It’s my feelings. The one I love is only Aniue”
“Can that even be called a proof……!”
Ashiyowa had a warped expression on his face. The stars were shining over their heads, the half-brothers were illuminated on the balcony with the moon.
“The Royal Family truly…….from the bottom of our hearts, can only love blood relatives.”
Ashiyowa shook his head while both of his hands were still in his grasp.
“I am a wild man raised in the mountains! I grew up and I will die in the mountains! There’s no way someone like me is royalty. Stop your joking already. Release me. I want to go home ― I want to go back to the mountains.”
With his eyes becoming damp, Ashiyowa shouted towards the Emperor.
The cool breeze shook the torches and swung the Emperor’s golden hair.
The Emperor stared at his brother’s hands that were still within his grasp with his head slightly looking down.
“―Then, I will abdicate.”
There were crackling sounds coming from the fire. The waiters, chamberlains and the guards were watching from a distance that would not interfere with the two.
Ashiyowa blinked his eyes.
“Yes, I’ll abdicate and live on that mountain with Aniue. If I continue staying on the throne, vassals will follow me to that mountain after all. I have the role of ending this dynasty eventually. It will be faster than others expected but it is something I will do someday. Please tell me your tips for living in the mountains. I will learn them immediately.”
After saying that, the Emperor had a bright expression on his face.
That night, the cabinet ministers under the Chancellor received a notification from the Emperor about his secret decree.
―I am thinking of stepping down from the throne by the end of the year.
After changing to formal attire, the ministers who received the Emperor’s decree fainted on the spot.
Just a while ago, when the Emperor’s lifespan was extended and his reign became stable, they had just found a path to transition and reform the system.
Then there was the secret decree this midnight.
Fortunately, it hasn’t been made official yet.
The ministers woke up their vassals, prepared the horses, and quickly headed towards the Imperial Palace.
Gathered in the room for the cabinet meeting were the ones that were called as the Six Senior Noble Ministers of La Seine, but every face was pale as if they had seen a ghost.
“What on earth―”
“Why such a decree as that―”
“How is His Majesty doing?”
They all started talking all at once and soon turned their eyes towards the Chancellor who was seated in the upper seat of the Six Ministers.
The Six Ministers had a sitting order and the one seated in the upper seat became the Chancellor. The next seat was for the Deputy Chancellor and when the Chancellor retired the seating order moved up.
“If it is His Excellency then you must know something.”
“About why His Majesty is like that…”
After the Chancellor who had a small stature and a thin white beard on his chin coughed, he opened his mouth. His eyes were thin like thread and it was unknown if he could see even if he raised his head.
“From what I’ve discussed with the secretary from the Ryokuen Palace, it seems that His Majesty wishes to live quietly in the mountains after hearing his brother’s wish. He wanted to abdicate himself from the throne to become free to live with Aniue-sama.”
The ministers who were sitting on the black Raden chairs were dumbfounded.
“Oh, What such……!”
“Does His Majesty want to abandon us?”
“Even though I’ve come all this way for His Majesty, if it’s like this there’s no meaning.”
“Can’t it be stopped somehow?”
“Isn’t it also possible to live quietly in the Ryokuen Palace? Until now the Royal Family have also lived there without complaints!”
Aside from Zenyo, the grief and indignation of Ayoru, Kamiuru, Hakkasu, Muhou, and the ministers resounded in a room in the Imperial Palace throughout the night.
The youngest of the group and the one seated next to Kamiuru, Ajen had a deep thinking expression and stayed quiet by himself.
“Did the Gray Wolf not admonish His Majesty?”
“……Originally the Gray Clan is a clan that serves the Royal Family. For them it’s enough as long as the Royal Family is alive. They are that kind of clan, and their position is different from we who manage the country. If His Majesty heads for the mountain they would follow him naturally on their own. Far from admonishing, they would help him.”
And then the Chancellor coughed again and looked towards the pale faces of the ministers as if he was glaring at them.
“―The only way to change His Majesty’s mind is to appeal directly to his brother.”
The ministers nodded their heads at the Chancellor’s words.