Sevens Epilogue: First Half
… What was passed down in the world to come as the start of the empire.
It was recorded in the books, and passed down in the songs.
There was a single large country.
Over its long years of rule, its politics faced corruption, and its nobles grew too prideful in their bearing. In fact, from records of the time, numerous documents have been found that detailed events as if they weren’t giving any thought to their people at all. Impossible enlistments on top of a willing shortage of food.
An oppression of feudal lords who voiced out against this superpower. In only a few years, it has been the deaths of several million were recorded. Counting secondary casualties, many historians have calculated this reign to have led to the deaths of over one hundred millions people.
The one who stood against that country was the legitimate child of the Walt House, an influential noble house of the time. Expelled from his house, he drifted to Beim, where he built up power, and appealed to the various surrounding countries for the formation of an alliance.
That was the first emperor, the 【God Emperor Lyle】.
Some say he was loved by the Goddesses, while others say he cut them down in his wake, the records of the time showed such an unprecedented nature that many question their validity.
Putting the phrase, the Hero gets the Girl, into actual practice, it has been said by the time he reached the throne, his mistresses numbered twenty five.
He travelled the continent in his youth, and many songs remain of his various encounters with women across the lands. Many voices claim it was that unheard-of behavior that caused his expulsion from his house in the first place.
These stories of the first emperor have been changed in name to appear as heroic tales time and again.
In order to save the woman he loved, the crybaby noble heir who took a stand.
The Holy Knight who saved the holy maiden.
The adventurer who stood against the army of monsters.
All these fairy tales derive their origin from the legends of the first emperor.
The reason these tales spread and flourish is likely because when it came to heroic songs of the time, songs of the first emperor were the popular trend.
The first emperor had a popular elf minstrel as one of his mistresses, so it is thought that this was a political plan he devised to spread his authority.
And like this, the first emperor’s name remains from the strangely abundant materials on the time. High in historic value, and easy to research… they even serve as reference for the highly-popular period of the empire’s collapse and warring states period to follow.
The descendants of the heroes who performed in this period of war were often likened to the emperor and those around him, some even falsely claiming to be his descendants in order to increase their authority.
That’s just how influential the first emperor’s name was at the time.
This also owes to the fact that the first emperor… in contrast to his personality, had future public order on his mind. Or perhaps he had someone to give him advice, as he made a new system of rule and even the succession of rule.
Numerous documents remain on his preparations to leave matters to future generations, and he showed a proficient side as a statesman.
But because of that, it is also true the other emperors of history festered a desire to leave their names in history as the first emperor had.
The reason his name came out in the warring period far after his death was because it was so hard for the other emperors of the great empire to stand out.
While he left numerous documents, as there are also numerous unrealistic records, it was an era one may regard as myth, but the fact the great empire ruled over the continent is an undisputed fact…
“Hey, we aren’t going to make it in time!”
As my surroundings were busily moving around, I took the blueprints in hand to verify their progress. The development of our planned capital was behind schedule, what’s more, the plan was already entering spring. No, it was almost into summer. No, no, that’s already fall! Or so an exhausting period of delay after delay.
It could be said this was because we were being careful in constructing the foundations. Naturally, as the imperial capital, my palace as an emperor would be there.
In an attempt to make it something never seen before, the plans were revised. In truth, the foundations of the palace were already completed. No, the foundations as a whole were gone and done with.
But the city scape and districts.
Thinking of the future developmental plans, and its present state… opinions were all over the place.
Monica wore a helmet as she waited to my side. In this sullying worksite, she wore her maid uniform as if to show it off, yet no one chastised her for it.
I’m sure everyone already thought there was no helping Monica.
Novem let out a sigh.
“When the palace’s layout is one never seen before, it won’t be interesting at all if the cityscape is just the normal, over-used formula. At the very least, let’s decide things once the palace is in a more-complete state.”
Adele complained at Novem. I had pulled her here from North Beim, but when I left development of the new city to her, she seemed quite eager.
No, she couldn’t help but be.
“Please get all your opinions together before you bring them to me! Why do I keep getting requests of, ‘as I thought, keep it toned down and make the city scape as it usually would be’! Or ‘if you’re constructing a temple, then something like Zayin’s would be nice’! What exactly do you want me to do!? Hey, what should I do!?”
In regards to Adele, Novem sent a smile.
“Just ignore those other opinions. This is the start of a new country. We should change up the atmosphere a bit, should we not? And there won’t be any change in the fundamental structures. You have to start the plan forward at once.”
The ones who looked way too fitting to wear tank tops as they worked, Maksim-san, Aria and Marina-san came over to me.
Maksim-san offered me a proposal.
“Lyle-dono. No, your majesty… we’re lacking in materials. Um, the castle, or rather royal palace, I think you should revise that one a bit.”
There, Miranda rejected the notion.
“That’s no good. You’re going to greet the representatives of other countries in a compromise palace? Even if we have to push it, we must show our leisure, and let them know that the war is over.”
I did understand Miranda’s outlook, but we didn’t have the materials. With the foundation complete, we were going to erect buildings of vermillion over the set stone. There were a bit too many problems with the plans, but only here were the opinions beginning to diverge.
I spoke to Maksim-san and the others.
“Understood. For now, please proceed with work on a different district. Ah, after you get some rest.”
Marina-san seemed displeased, but she quietly obeyed.
“… Hey, isn’t my treatment here becoming real crude? For some reason, day by day, I feel as if you’re treating me not as a mistress, but as some sort of site supervisor, you know? You know!?”
She really fit the role, so there was no helping it. And she had gotten in various sorts of experience in our adventurer days, and I knew I could leave this sort of thing to her.
“Do your best.”
As I said that, my shoulders were gripped, and I was shaken back and forth. How nostalgic. Back when we first met, it was this sort of shaking that had rendered me unconscious.
To such a place, came Balroir and Alette-san.
Baldoir had been entrusted the security of the area, so he didn’t usually come to where the work took place. As I thought something had happened, Baldoir made a serious face.
“Lyle-sama, a letter from Lorphys. This makes the fifth one.”
As I took the letter from his irritated hands, Alette-san touched the fingertips of both her hands together as she tried to make herself scarce.
“I have it rough being stuck between a rock and hard place. The top told me, mistress is fine, so just beg your husband and stick her in there somewhere.”
By the contents, the Royal Princess of Lorphys Annerinne had sent a request regarding a marriage to me.
I spoke with a smile.
“Rejected! Totally rejected! Not happening. Definitely impossible!”
There, Novem took the letter from me and read over its contents.
“She never learns. When the number of mistresses already exceeds twenty, I’m worried for Lyle-sama’s body.”
Miranda looked at Novem with a smile.
“Or you could just disappear and it’ll all go away.”
Novem smiled too.
“I’ll have to refuse.”
Baldoir spoke to Alette-san in irritation.
“In the first place, the Walt House has precepts it has carried on for generations! Welcoming in someone who doesn’t even clear that is completely unacceptable!”
… I’m sure it’s because people like Baldoir were there, that the ancestors went through so much trouble. Well, it became a reason to deny the expansion of my continually growing number of wives, so I’ve no mind to refute it.
First, thank you. It’s because of you that I’ve found salvation. I thought you were an idiot for leaving those idiotic precepts behind, but now I can honestly give you my thanks.
Alette-san clung onto Baldoir in tears.
“Can’t you think of it as a request from your wife!? Annerinne-sama’s appearance isn’t bad! Her pedigree is definite, so I think she’ll be perfectly fine with magic! Her skin’s nice, and she’s never been sick before! Though it’s often been said she’s contracted the sickness of love.”
There, Baldoir narrowed her eyes.
“Then what of her head? From my first impression of her, I didn’t think she passed the criteria.”
You’re all way too harsh. Well, rather than intellect, I think there’s a bit of a problem with her personality. Since I saw the instant her love died before my very eyes, to be totally honest, I’m a bit…
Alette-san’s eyes were teary.
“H-her head is… her head is… b-but you have other no-good mistresses, don’t you!? L-like Shannon-chan. She’s definitely cute! She’s cute, but that’s the useless sort of cuteness!”
There, Baldoir shook his head to the side.
“You’re talking of Shannon-sama, who supported up Lyle-sama from his troubled adventurer days. Even if there are some problems, more or less, we vassals recognize her inclusion among the mistresses, and rejoice over it.”
Seriously, what are you peoples’ standards? Hey, could it be the Walt House’s vassals actually hate the Walt House?
As Alette-san cried, Baldoir held her tight.
“I’m sorry. But I’m a former knight of the Walt House. And now, as commander of the imperial guard, I can’t let this come to pass. You understand, don’t you Alette?”
While everyone around’s so busy, he sure knows his work. Well, as long as this pulls Alette-san out of the matter, there’s no problem… Gracia’s little brother Leold-kun doesn’t have a partner yet, does he? But they’re both heirs to their lines. This is difficult.
There, this time Rauno came, out of breath.
“O-oy. I looked into it.”
“How was it!?”
As I rushed towards Rauno, he took the canteen Monica held out and swallowed down some water.
He drank with good force, and after wiping his mouth with a sleeve, he gave a report.
“Everywhere’s not working out. Even if fall passes by, the reality’s that it will be difficult for anyone to move at once. In the current dubious situation, they’re doing their best to not show any openings. Even if you call them over, there are few able to mobilize. H-hey, can I go home yet? I haven’t had any decent conversations with Innis lately.”
“I’m sorry. This is your next mission.”
Hearing that, I was relieved. And handing the next document over to him, I left him the work. As a majority of all intel work fell to Rauno, he was considerably busy.
“… I was too hasty in my government appointment.”
A depressed Rauno. But the information I had him look into was beneficial. I was able to understand the present state of surrounding countries.
“But no one can move? I get the feeling they’re ready to send envoys whenever they want, though.”
I planned to call the surrounding countries in, and make a grand proclamation of my enthronement as emperor. If you’ve any objections, come at me, was the message. If they were actually prepared for it, that would be most troublesome.
Rauno wiped his sweat.
“In essence, the countries that participated in the alliance have suffered massive casualties. More than anything, they’re afraid of your majesty who won his way through such a battle. But they won’t show such an attitude. So they’re putting on airs. There are plenty of folks with complaints, but it doesn’t look like they’ll voice them. If anyone moves, it’ll be the next generation, or the one after that…”
The next generation.
As a problem of my successors entered the stage, Monica seemed restless.
“W-what’s this!? That’s a serious affair for the chicks! Understood. This Monica shall protect a damn chicken’s chicks from whatever crisis they face. So in concerns to that, leave the rights to their education and care to me. To Monica!”
The one who kicked her out of the way from behind was Valkyrie Unit Seventy One. As she fastened her hair with a pink ribbon, she was easy to distinguish.
“You fiend! We are the ones who shall raise Lianne-sama’s chick! One who breaks their vows has no right to embrace any chick of his! … Are you not the one who said it?”
“I mean… I mean, the chicks are my dream!”
Monica made a mortified face. The usual skit had started up, so I opted to return to my work.
“Then let’s negotiate, and change the date of my enthronement. If the day is bad, or for whatever reason, we have to make our opponents recognize it. Even if they hate it, they should jump on board! Adele-san!”
Adele-san fled with teary eyes.
“You can leave negotiations to Lianne-san! I don’t want any more work~!”
“No, Lianne’s on another matter, and she isn’t here… ah, she can’t hear me anymore.”
As Adele-san ran off into the distance, Maksim-san’s face flushed.
“Adele-sama’s cute today too.”
Kuh! Is there no decent folk around me? Here, I need to keep firm as the normal one.
“More importantly, Lyle.”
Miranda looked at me. Her expression was relatively serious.
“Who’s room are you going to stop by today? You’ve already resolved yourself, haven’t you? And yet, what’s the meaning of not stopping by my room once?”
The surroundings instantly grew quiet. I broke into cold sweat as I looked at Novem, only to find her making some bashful gestures.
“Um, I’m also waiting. Do with me as you will.”
Hearing that, Miranda’s eyebrows twitched. There, May unsteadily made her way over to me.
“Hey, Lyle. Give me your seed already. It’s about time for me to get a family of my own. My mother’s urging me on it, see. But I’ve already decided on a name. I’m shortening Fredricks, and making it Fraisse.”
May lightly joined in. I looked at Aria. But Aria sighed and shook her head.
“Decide on your own. It’s your choice.”
Aria wouldn’t intervene. So she wouldn’t assertively press me either. I’m thankful. I’m thankful, but…
“… I have some business to attend to.”
… I ran off. Strings tangled around my leg, tripping me up.
“L-let me go!”
Dragged by Miranda’s threads, I returned being dragged back towards everyone. I resisted, but Maksim-san and Baldoir also took part to bring me back.
“That’s no good, Lyle-dono. If you don’t properly do it, the bets will never be called.”
“Maksim-dono, please don’t use Lyle-sama to gamble. But it’s true you need to get some heirs. Lyle-sama, this is for the sake of the House. No, the sake of the country.”
Dragged by the two of them, I was led before Novem and Miranda, and Aria and May.
Stop it. There’s no mood here to be found! Don’t be misled just because I confessed in front of several hundred thousand. Have a bit of tact for my delicate heart.
… Watching the rowdy scene from a little away were Shannon and Clara.
Shannon was scribbling in her illustrated diary that had begun to fill itself out. Clara looked at the picture in surprise.
“You’re quite skilled. Are you sure you can’t see?”
Shannon showed Clara her special brush.
“If I paint with this, even I can see it. And I can draw for real too, though I have to borrow someone else’s field of vision.”
Where she pointed with her brush, was a Valkyrie with eyes set on the scenery Shannon painted.
Clara marveled at Shannon’s surprising talent as she looked through the diary.
“Perhaps this will become a valuable resource.”
“It’s just a sketchbook. And I’m only writing what happened on what day.”
There, Eva came over to the two of them. The reason she was so far from the worksite was because she didn’t want the smoke and dust to damage her throat.
“What are you two doing? Oh, you’re quite skilled. At that level, you could draw a billboard for my stage. Want to have a go?”
In regards to Eva’s tone, Clara seemed a bit irritated.
“It seems you’re misunderstanding something. What’s going to be constructed first is the library this city really needs, and not some theater playhouse, you know?”
Eva stuck out her tongue.
“How unfortunate. I already have a promise with Lyle. When he confesses to me, it will be in a completed theater before a full house, he promised!”
Clara raised a dry laugh.
“Of course that was a joke. You really are an easy elf. You really make me wonder, sometimes.”
The Valkyrie watched the feud between the two. Shannon added the scene to her diary. Because she thought it was interesting…
… The most valuable material on the early days of the great empire’s founding came from 【Shannon’s Illustrated Diary】.
She used paints rare for the era, and without deteriorating over time, they remained in a beautifully preserved state.
While it’s said she was one of the mistresses, from the contents of the diary, it is inferred she was quite close to the first emperor Lyle. She left material of before the empire’s founding, but they mostly consisted of crude letters and painting. After the birth of the empire, her works grew to a level of artistic value, and even now, entries of her diary are displayed in museums across the lands.
Among them, Clara Bulmer.
The value of the piece depicting the feud between the two is highly appraised, and it is a valuable resource that revealed the bad relations of Clara- who left vast amounts of information behind- and Eva- who left countless songs and stories.
Both she and her sister were mistresses to the empire, and a rare case where sisters were both included as concubines. A clear indication of the first emperor’s womanizing tendencies.
But regrettably, the diary that has been disclosed is only a small portion of it. 【Shannon’s Illustrated Diary】, the work that is thought of as closest to the truth, is highly sought after for both its historic and artistic value.
In later years, a drama starring Shannon as the main character was adapted into a movie, and there are rumors her Illustrated Diary contains important truths great enough to overturn the fabric of history itself.
Many historians hold a strong desire to gather all its remaining entries…