The Succession Meeting
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“Why do I have to participate?” (Yuri)
It was unusual. After all, I was still a child.
“Since the direct descendant of the household is no one but Syamu-chan, it can’t be helped.” (Rook)
“Is Syamu-chan called?” (Yuri)
“She isn’t called, but they will call her when it is necessary. They were calling you from the beginning because you wouldn’t be able to come immediately if they needed you, right?” (Rook)
‘That is true. Even if I come here when it is necessary, it will take more than half a day doing a round trip since there is no cell phone.’
“We have arrived. Welcome.” (??)
We had arrived. Then, the maid opened a large door.
The door was big, but the inside was bigger. They were about five large rectangular tables arranged side by side, but the room was still spacious.
The tables were covered with large tablecloths with delicate embroidery. The table couldn’t be covered with a piece. It took about three pieces, but the design was matching.
Even with a piece of that tablecloth, its worth of money was likely to be enough for a common household to live for about a decade. Of course, with such a tablecloth, it made me think that this was an extremely distinguished Household.
For common household, they didn’t need this kind of tablecloth, but there were three pieces with a matching design. It might not be possible to see this Household everywhere.
Chairs were lined up around that big table, and a large number of chairs was already occupied by the guests.
When I looked around, there were only Ojii-chans. Considering the longevity of Shanti, some of them might be more than 100 years old. As I expected, there were dignified figures with wrinkles on the face.
These Ojii-chans were probably retired Knights due to old age. It wasn’t necessary for the oldest person to be the chief of the Knight Household. For example, it would be a good idea to give the seat of the chief to the succeeding person in the form of retirement when the body declined. Otherwise, the chief might not be able to enter the battlefield.
In short, the current situation where full force of old people were here in this relative meeting meant that the Hou Household was watered down because of their knights died in the recent war. They seemed had given up.
Then, the maid began to usher us to our seat. She steadily led us to the interior.
‘Eh, isn’t that the seat of honor?’
Then, we came up to a woman who didn’t have good expression, as if she wasn’t feeling well. The maid told us that these were our seat. After that, she bowed, and left us. Even if it wasn’t because of that seat, this seat would be the topmost seat.
I thought that I would sit at the foot of the table. I had a bad feeling about this.
Rook came forward, and greeted the woman in a strange manner.
“I’m sorry for not contacting you for a long time, Satsuki-Ogishineesama. This time really…” (Rook) (TLN: Ogishineesama is older sister-in-law.)
“You can stop with that ‘Ogishineesama’.” (Satsuki)
The woman slightly smiled with a troubled expression. The voice was lacking of vitality. This woman was Gouk’s wife, and her name was Satsuki Hou.
Since she seemed to be exhausted, she couldn’t be compared in general, but it looked like her age wasn’t so different from Suzuya. But, she must be ten years older than Suzuya. The Shanti changed slowly due to aging. I couldn’t tell the two apart at the extent of ten years old difference.
Satsuki was a woman who gave a feeling called the wife of respectable family. Suzuya had an image of doing housework energetically, while Satsuki had a composed and gentle air.
“Why are you holding back? Please call me Satsuki-san like you used to.” (Satsuki)
“I understand, Satsuki-san.” (Rook)
“Is that your son?” (Satsuki)
She turned her eyes to me. They were gentle eyes.
“Yes, he is. Hey, say hello.” (Rook)
“Hello, Obaa-sama. I am Yuri.” (Yuri)
I bowed my head immediately. It should be fine to call her Obaa-sama.
“Hello. You have grown up, isn’t it? When I saw you in the past, you were still a baby…” (Satsuki)
It seemed that this wasn’t our first meeting. However, I didn’t think that I had seen her since that time. Normally, it would be normal to meet each other once a year if it was a close relative. Plus, we weren’t living that far away from here.
“Yes, he is my proud son.” (Rook)
‘That feels awkward.’
“I suppose so. Syamu also admires him.” (Satsuki)
When Satsuki said so, Rook had a question mark on his face. Rook had never spoken with Syamu. Well, he and Syamu had nothing say to each other.
“It seems you have talked to her before.” (Rook)
“Aah, yes. She is much smarter than me.” (Yuri)
“Not really. Oh my.” (Satsuki)
That was true. When I was around the same age, I had a hard time securing Gameboy’s AA batteries that would soon deplete. I was given a high standard of elementary education, but Syamu learned on her own, and she had reached the point of thinking about the prime numbers. The difference was comparably large.
“Aren’t you being humble? I was surprised when I heard from Syamu. I wonder when have you learned it.” (Satsuki)
“I read a certain book.” (Yuri)
When I said so, Satsuki’s eyes became sharp. There were completely eyes of investigating something.
“I wonder if there is such an academic book in the house of Suzuya-san of farmer family, and Rook-san of Knight School.” (Satsuki)
A sonar alarm equipped in mind rang.
However, I had an excuse for that.
“I often go to the capital city to deliver goods for my father.” (Yuri)
“I see. So, you have gone there.” (Satsuki)
“Yes, it is for work experience.” (Rook)
“When I’m done with the business, we will go to the large library.” (Rook)
Thus, Rook helped me out.
‘Nice assist. Hmm. It’s true anyway. But, I haven’t read any book related to mathematics.’
“Is that so?” (Satsuki)
“Yes. I’m studying a lot.” (Yuri)
“That’s remarkable.” (Satsuki)
Satsuki gently patted when she put her hand on my head. She no longer had those investigative eyes.
‘It’s dangerous. What’s with this woman?’
“Now, why don’t you have a seat? Aah, Rook-san, you can sit there.” (Satsuki)
For some reason, I was sitting next to Satsuki.
‘Ah, give me a break already.’
I was sandwiched between Satsuki and Rook.
“You know, I was a bit down, but thanks to this young child, I felt better. That really helps.” (Satsuki)
“I’m glad he did.” (Rook)
Rook said it. Of course, it was on his own convenience.
However, what was the deal with that?
I was looking at the chair.
Hmm, I wondered how I supposed to do about this.
“Yuri, what is it? Take a seat.” (Rook)
When I stood still in front of the chair and still didn’t take the seat, Rook urged me. I would do that if I could.
“It would be fine if I can jump daringly, but I am considering since I will be greatly humiliated if the chair tumbles over.” (Yuri)
The chair had a particularly thick cushion for child like me. It was an instant child seat, but that made things a little bit complicated. If a bar was attached to the leg of the chair, it would be a footstool, but it wasn’t even there.
“…If you can’t sit, please say so from the beginning.” (Rook)
Rook took my sides and lifted me up. I was made to sit down like a doll. It was embarrassing to say such things in front of others.
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As I was sitting in daze while drinking barley tea, the meeting began.
“To everyone who has gathered here, I think you all know that my husband, Gouk Hou, was killed on the other day as he bravely led the reinforcement force and fought along with Kilghina Kingdom.” (Satsuki)
When Satsuki said that, the venue was quiet.
“About this time, he must be crossing the river of afterlife together with his eagle partner which shared life and death, and I’m sure he is looking at this place from above the clouds. First of all, although it sounds simple, I would like to offer a silent prayer to the spirits of the warriors who have sunk in the distant war.” (Satsuki)
She clapped once.
“Well then, a moment of silence.” (Satsuki)
And she said that with a solemn voice.
Then, a quiet prayer began.
It took about thirty seconds. Then, in the room where only chirping of small birds sounded from outside, loud footsteps rank from the hallway, and the door was opened with a bang.
Everyone stopped the silent prayer, and looked at the only door.
“What’s the meaning of this meeting!?” (??)
‘Who is this guy?’
I didn’t care about the meeting, but I was getting irritated. He didn’t seem to offer a silent prayer at the funeral and he seemed to be a distant relative who I had never seen the face.
Even though it was overnight, my relationship with Gouk revolved around Togi. I didn’t close the eyes that didn’t feel anything.
“What is this meeting when I, Rakunu, am not here!?” (Rakunu)
‘Aah, is he Rakunu? That’s Rakunu Ek. Hmm, I don’t understand.’
When I looked closely, he had a body packed with muscles, and he didn’t look too old. He was also wearing a fine-made dress.
“Well, I don’t remember sending you an invitation…” (Satsuki)
“Is there a problem with the invitation!? And why am I not called!?” (Rakunu)
“Why don’t you put your hand on your chest, and ask yourself?” (Satsuki)
Satsuki’s voice went well even though it wasn’t intense. When I saw the face of Satsuki who was sitting next to me, she had a thin smile, but her eyes weren’t smiling.
If Rakunu’s anger was like a red burning flame, Satsuki’s anger looked like a bright blue flame that burned even steel.
“I don’t feel guilty!” (Rakunu)
“…Well, think whatever you like. I have already told Her Majesty the Queen about the temporary removal of the Ek Household from vassals, and I have received her permission. Should I give you the notification?” (Satsuki)
It was the first time I heard about it. It wasn’t strange to hear it for the first time, but would it be fine to let the participants here knew about it?
I supposed it was justified.
From Satsuki’s way of speaking, the Ek Household was temporarily removed. In other words, it seemed that a measure similar to the expulsion was taken.
Speaking of who took such an action after Gouk died, that would be Satsuki.
To the bitter end, Satsuki was a temporary chief. Therefore, she must appoint a legitimate chief as soon as possible. Should I say that it would be better to do that as soon as possible, rather than immediately?
By the way, the chief of the Lord Household was a male. Speaking of Shanti countries, the head of the country would be female. Therefore, it was the male’s right to become the chief of the household. This should be the right that needed to be protected in the highest priority.
Anyhow, it was a problem of balance. Since men had to go to war, they wouldn’t go if the chief was a woman.
The politics and top positions of military were held by female, but it was the male who fought and suffered limbs losses or die as low level troops If it wasn’t due to this right, the men would become mere slaves.
If Satsuki was a Knight, a member of warriors, the story might be different, but she wasn’t. In this situation, it was a practical matter for Satsuki to temporarily become a chief, but as soon as the next chief had been decided, she had to give up the chair. For that reason, this meeting was held.
However, the fact that such a decision was coming immediately from the capital city meant that Satsuki exercised her authority as a temporary chief from the moment she held the position.
She looked like a smart woman with such political endeavors. In this country, it might be a strong point since women held political power, but I wondered if it was alright for her to do that.
I couldn’t find a good word for this, but it felt like an act of non-compliance in a company. Speaking of the ideal, Satsuki didn’t do any political work. It should be good to think that she was merely chairing the meeting, choose the next chief of the household, passed the authority to the next person.
But, I didn’t think that Satsuki would understand that. So, there was no point in creating unnecessary confusion. I guessed she was angry because that guy didn’t join the Assault of the Eagle King.
“Of course, I saw the notification. But…” (Rakunu)
“I said that the Ek Household is ‘temporarily’ removed from the vassals. Do you want to make it forever?” (Satsuki)
Rakunu deeply held his breath.
‘What does she meant by ‘temporary’? Does that mean his household will become the vassal again once the heat has cooled down? Perhaps, the Household will rejoin once Rakunu stops being its chief?’
According to Rook, the assault of Eagle King wasn’t something that was enforced. Thus, it wasn’t a military violation. In a sense, this removal from the vassal was a punishment of disgrace act.
“…Well, since the Ek Household is not dissolved, I’m not going to ask you to leave. However, I don’t tolerate any remarks. If you are fine with that, you can stay.” (Satsuki)
When Satsuki said so, Rakunu sat at the foot of the table while he was in state of not knowing how to deal with the anger.
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