The New Prime Minister of The Empire
The one who had the most influence in the Thracian Empire was the emperor, but the actual politics was carried out by ministers chosen by the emperor. The twelve ministers would hold a conference where the first seat would be occupied by the prime minister, the one leading the national affairs.
Recently, the prime minister was dismissed from his seat.
Defeat in a war with neighboring countries at the frontier, famine in rural areas, and the assasination of the minister of internal affairs by the extremists; these showed that the empire’s power was weakening. Because of his failures in management of the empire, the prime minister was dismissed.
Philia, Lucy, and I came to the appointment ceremony of the new Prime Minister of the Empire, Strass.
“Does Solon like this kind of ceremony?” Philia whispered.
I shrugged, “Not really, it’s too stiff.”
Philia smiled as if she agreed with my words. I looked around, the ministers were lined up in front of the emperor in his prime. They were kneeling on the red carpet and the new prime minister respectfully received a treasure sword of the empire. The treasure sword, Elea, symbolized the honor of being entrusted with governing of the empire. It was also a treasure of the imperial family.
The ministers moved away from the emperor. The president of the noble council and the high-ranking aristocrats were at the left and right side of the emperor. The outer circle was occupied by the imperial family, the aristocrats, and their servants. Philia, with Lucy and I on both of her sides, were seated on almost the furthest seats.
However, the voice of the new prime minister, Strass, could be heard from such a far place. Strass was a young man in his late thirties, full of spirit. He unsheathed the treasured sword. It was a manner that showed he was taking up the position of the prime minister. He stood up, turned around, and aimed the sword towards the audience while declaring, “God, please protect His Majesty The Emperor and this empire. I swear to fight all enemies threatening this empire! Before the empire’s laws, traditions, ideals, and people of this empire are saved, our fight won’t end.”
Strass stopped his speech and remained silent for a few seconds. The attendees looked quietly at the ceremonial stage. He then spoke with a calm yet powerful voice, “This empire is now in difficult times, and because of that, we must unite. The conspiracy of devils lurking in the darkness and the injustices due to the Republic of Armenian Fallen. The ones who shall prevail are the ones with the courage! Glory to the emperor!”
Following Strass’s words, the people in the audience cheered in unison, “Glory to the emperor!” Applauses ensued and some of the people shouted, “Glory to the savior, Strass!”
“As expected, he became very popular,” Lucy muttered in a cold tone.
I said, “Everyone is looking up to Strass.”
Strass was a former soldier. He was a general officer with a prestigious aristocratic background. I heard Strass ate the same meal as commoners and even slept in the same hut. It was also famous that he got injured on his forehead protecting a commoner and a non-commissioned officer. Strass was very popular among the mass.
Influential aristocrats also hoped that Strass would bring a change to the stagnant state of government in the country. In other words, Strass was the empire’s star of hope. However, Lucy didn’t seem to think so.
“I hope he won’t end up being a disappointment,” Lucy muttered and yawned a little as if she wanted the ceremony to end early. The reason why Lucy and I were here was for Philia.
First, it was to protect Philia, since it wouldn’t be strange if an incident like before occured. Many of the aristocrats hated devils and the mixed-races. Another reason was because if she had with her two servants with impressive titles, Philia’s status would rise. Lucy was a professor at the Imperial Magic School and I was supposed to be one of the strongest adventurers in the empire. Philia would be unsettled if there were no decent servants. And with us, Philia, who was treated coldly, might be in a little bit better position.
Lucy said, “If Philia’s not in a great position, it will be a problem.”
“Why is it?”
“You’ll know someday.”
Lucy dodged my question. I didn’t know the reason why Lucy was so involved with Philia. It seemed like it wasn’t simply a relationship between relatives. However, Lucy didn’t seem to want to talk about the circumstances for the time being.
Lucy was a liquor lover, and when she saw the high-class liquors that were lined up on the assembly hall, her eyes were shining. But right at that time, we heard a beautiful, clear voice from behind.
“The Imperial Princess, Her Highness Philia, am I correct?”
Philia slowly turned around, and I followed her lead.
The one who called Philia was a petite girl. She was a beautiful girl with gorgeous golden hair who was wearing the usual pure white monastic clothes. She was staring at Philia with her big jade-colored eyes.
She was Saint Sophia.
Almost at the same time, an explosive sound echoed in the assembly hall, as if it would tear my eardrums. “July Party”, a group of killers who had defeated the empire before, showed up out of nowhere and started the slaughter.
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