Chapter 138: Prime Minister Heinz' Mansion
"Welcome, Archduke Zest. It's a pleasure to meet you. I am Heinz and I serve as the prime minister."
It took about 10 minutes from the castle to get to this gorgeous mansion.
It had a vague Japanese style atmosphere.
And yet, fundamentally, it was a western style building looking quite close to a Japanese house.....It was that sort of a palatial residence.
"Prime minister Heinz. I am Zest......I'm looking forward to working with you from now on."
In Japan, this greeting of mine would receive a failing grade, but here in this world it was inevitable.
More than that, my current position forced me to greet him in this manner.
I came to this country in the name of his Majesty the Emperor, so greeting people too politely would conversely be no good.
"It is an honor to be able to invite you here, Archduke-dono. Come now, let's go inside."
"Yeah. Albert, let's go."
We finished our conversational exchange in the entry hall of the mansion, then Heinz guided us inside.
I only took Albert with me.
I couldn't bring the maids along.......That would mean something like 'Your hospitality is insufficient'.
The same goes for guards.......Taking them along would mean something like 'I don't trust the likes of you'.
"Oh, so this is the famous Lord Albert? The man said to be the Archduke-dono's right hand......."
"Nobles of the empire can't go out all by themselves. They need someone to entrust with miscellaneous jobs."
'Hee, so you took a guard with you.'
'He's not a guard. This is a custom among the nobles of the empire, so don't mind it.'
This was the hidden meaning of our exchange.
Is he casually searching for errors in my conduct or something?
He's quite the sly person......I should raise the level of my vigilance a little bit.
As I thought about that, we preceded inside the mansion.
We were led to the dining room and the dinner started.
Because we didn't converse during the meal, I concentrated on my manners as I ate.
This was quite easy since my master harshly trained me in this area.
........Albert was standing behind my back.
He was definitely not a guest, but an attendant of mine, so it was fine this way.
"Now, we can take our time and talk."
As he drank some tea, Heinz said.
We changed rooms after we finished eating dinner, so now we were in the reception office.
Tea was prepared here and we could finally talk about our main goals.
"Right. Heinz-dono, I already understand your intentions. If I can have a reasonable compensation, I'm fine with it."
"Hooo......a reasonable compensation?"
The person in front of me......I observed again prime minister Heinz.
He kept his thin silver hair, like most of elves have, swept back, and his eyes looked sensitive and slender.
His figure was a little fat, and it didn't look solid but rather chubby.......His face wasn't that bad, and I couldn't grasp his age.
If I were to judge by appearances, he looked like he was halfway in his twenties.......The age of elves was truly a puzzling matter.
"I heard from general Kalis. Is the Archduke all right with this?"
"Good or bad, this is a point of compromise, right? As you, prime minister Heinz think about the country of elves......I think about the empire........There are no problems here."
Heinz glanced at Albert.
Well, I understand what you want to say.
"It was you, Heinz-dono, who said that this man was my retainer, right?"
"Hahaha, you're right."
"This story is mutually advantageous for us. I won't say something like trust me, but we can use each other as much as we can."
"Hooo......Use each other......?"
This man's suspicion was strong, he was also confident and seemed proud of himself.
Then, instead of using empathy which he probably didn't have, I sparked in him an idea about profit.
Then, precisely because this was profitable for me too, I wanted to appeal to the idea of cooperation.......
"Fufufu, Archduke-dono is quite an impressive individual."
"Hahaha, not as much as the prime minister-dono."
Similarly to myself, he is an ambitious person.
This is probably what Heinz thought, as he showed me an extremely villainous smile.
Yeah, there's no way I'm the same kind as you.
"If we are to do this, then what do you, Archduke-dono, assume that will happen next?"
"First, there will be Tsubaki's marriage. It must be done in great fashion so that everyone acknowledges it. Then, shortly after, there will be the national funeral of the king......Also, there are, of course, different uses for the future queen and the actual queen."
"Shortly after?......It's like you're assuming that the king is already gone."
"What are you talking about at such late time........As a matter of course, I already did some underground research. It's not really interesting for me to be looked down on."
"Forgive me for that. However, I have a trump card.......And it's not only enjoyable things, you know?"
"Your trump card is my trump card. You should realize this."
He's probably talking about magi-science. This is certainly his trump card.......
On the contrary, if he achieves that, we will have a just cause to start a war.
With such a meaning, I tried intimidating him with magic power.
This type of person, when he thinks that the other party is below him, he will turn to an obstinate type of interaction.
"I don't have any intention to ask for the demons' intervention. However, if you are not satisfied with this plan, there's a high change I will do just that. It is not the right time yet, you know?"
"The right time......"
Indeed......This guy doesn't have the power and the time to bring order to the country of elves for now.
If everything goes according to my scheme, I will make the prince king and bring order to this country.
I already understand that I can only go at war together with the demons after the prince gets his throne.
And that's only if soldiers who use magi-tech show up.
"I'm not saying to become a subordinate country of the empire. If this is profitable for me, you being the true leader of the country of elves is not a problem for me, prime minister-dono."
"Fufufu, I was quite shocked when I heard general Kalis' report........You, Archduke-dono, are truly a dreadful person. Do you plan to sooner or later make the empire yours?"
"Precisely for this reason I don't have any interest in the country of elves. These are quite the good terms for both of us, right?"
"Is it precisely so. This Heinz will follow the Archduke."
Heinz lowered his head in a rather forced manner, as she said these words, wearing a faint smile.
You did dare say that, despite this being your goal in the first place.
There's no wonder that the loli baba was forestalled......This guy is dangerous.
From today's discussion I clearly realized that Heinz was a very sly guy.
At first, the conversation progressed with fairly equivalent standpoints.
He then confirmed that he couldn't treat me as a subordinate of his.
He dealt with me like I was nothing more and nothing less than the ambassador of the empire.
Then, he reconfirmed it when I brought up the matter of the king and the magi-science.
Whether he believed the stories told by general Kalis, and whether I actually knew about magi-science, he was able to confirm now.
The most dangerous of all was the last part though.
When the time is right, does he really intend to start a war against the demons?
Also, does he understand he can't do this right now?
If this is confirmed......then, this guy, plans to start a massive war in the future.
"We had a valuable discussion today. The entertainment arrangements are ready, so you should go to the inner chambers. I will take my leave now."
Heinz opened the door to the inner chambers and muttered something.
After that, he lowered his head and left.
........My job here is still not done, apparently.
"Your excellency, I will first go confirm things."
"I leave this to you, Albert."
Albert, who stood behind my back all this time, slowly went towards the door to the inner chambers.
I was relieved that this guy was sturdily built, so much so that he could sometimes dodge my serious punch and take a direct hit from Suu's morning star without dying.
The mongrel opened the door at once and informed me with an astonished expression, looking over his shoulder.
"Your excellency, this is the Eden!"
Let me correct this. As I thought, the morning star inflicted quite an enormous damage.
"Albert, was my healing insufficient?"
"No, I am perfectly sober! Please have a look!"
Albert left the door opened, being somewhat excited.
Inside those rooms, many dog-eared and cat-eared beauties waited for us.......
"There's a handsome dog-kemonobito-nya!"
"Ara, there's no need to feel shy, you know?"
"Let's enjoy ourselves-nya!"
This was indeed an easy to understand honey trap.
Still, I'll be suspected if I refuse this......But if I accept, I'm too scared of what Bea will do to me.
An extreme decision pressed me, when I heard a cheerful conversation.
"I......was born for this day......"
"Oh my, you're exaggerating."
"Nyahaha, you're quite interesting-nya."
"Ufufu, this onee-san is happy."
The mongrel was already cheerfully drinking with the army of beautiful ladies.......
When we're back, I'll definitely inform his wife about this......
But leaving that aside.......What should I do?.......