T/N: I want to give a big thank you to my Cookie Donor Shannon! I still haven’t decided what sweets to get, but I think I’m leaning towards chocolate muffins for a start ❤
For a moment I’m stunned by His Majesty’s unexpected question, and I just stand there confused.
Um, what did he just say? He asked about what? The position that our country occupies in the world?
Why is he asking me that? There’s no way that I would be able to answer that sort of question, right?
I’m just an 8-year-old girl, you know? ….At least on the outside….
Maybe this is a challenge sent down from God to test whether I’m really fit to call myself a villainess?
That must be it. Otherwise there’s no way that a king would be sitting in front of me and asking that sort of question.
I glance over at the map that lays open on the desk.
This country, the Duelkis Kingdom’s position in the world…. That’s right, we’re a big country, but that doesn’t necessarily make us a good country.
That’s what I’ve come to understand from the books that I’ve been reading recently. It seems all that reading that I’ve been doing was worthwhile after all.
Will it be enough if I just say something like that? It certainly sounds like something a villainess would say.
Because that would mean I’d be telling a king to his face that his country isn’t that good! That’s the very picture of a villainess!
I wonder what I should do if he banishes me from the kingdom for saying that…. Well, if that happens, I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
I mean, I was reborn into this world in order to be a villainess after all, I couldn’t possibly back down here.
“This country may be large, but with all due respect, I can’t call it a good country,” I say, keeping steady eye contact with the king and standing as straight and tall as I can.
At my words, His Majesty’s face darkens. Which is to be expected, considering he just had his own country badmouthed by an 8-year-old child.
……But Duke on the other hand…. why does he look like he’s enjoying this? Aren’t you the king’s son??
I probably have no right to judge, since I was the one who said that and all, but shouldn’t you be feeling angered by my words?
“What’s not good about it?”
I figured that question would be coming.
But wow. I’m surrounded by a bunch of geniuses all older than me and being interrogated by the king…. what sort of torture is this? But enduring ordeals like this is also an important aspect of being a villainess.
So without stopping to feel sorry for myself, I start formulating my answer. At an insane speed, I try to gather all my knowledge on the current state of affairs and combine them with my own thoughts on the country to come up with a reply.
“At a glance, our country seems to have a booming economy, but upon closer inspection it becomes clear that there is a large economic inequality between the upper class and the common people. It’s to the point where the impoverished areas and villages are so miserable that no one can bear to look at them. And the people living under those conditions run the risk of revolting, which means we must revise the fiscal policy that is currently in place.”
The king’s eyes go wide. Hmm, he murmurs while stroking his mustache.
“Then what do you propose to fix this problem?”
You’re going to continue questioning me about this!?
What the heck are you trying to make an 8-year-old girl answer?
There’s no way that a normal little girl would be able to answer something like this!
…..Could they possibly be testing me right now? Trying to see what villainous qualities I possess?
Well I suppose that a true villainess should have a heartless solution on hand for this sort of problem, so how about this…
“What about if we were to support Calverra’s desire to secede from the Ravaal Kingdom?”
Around the room, everyone’s expressions stiffen.
Jeez. I’ve already seen that expression too many times to count. I’m getting tired of it, so can you guys try something new the next time that you’re surprised?
“Even if we support Calverra’s request for independence that doesn’t mean that we can put them under our own jurisdiction,” Gayle-Sama tells me, his eyes as round as saucers.
Thank you, Gayle-Sama. I was waiting for someone to say that.
“That’s true. We won’t be able to take them under our command.”
“Then, what are you suggesting?” His Majesty asks me, his voice a little louder than necessary.
Okay! Shall I show off what a villainess’s specialty is now?
I straighten my posture once again and then turn to look the king straight in the eye.
“We must demand gratitude from them.”
T/N: Alicia sure knows how to hold them in suspense XD I can’t wait to see this portrayed in the manga! Imagine the king and all those older boys surrounding a tiny little girl and listening to her talk about politics and fiscal policy lol.
Chapter Notes: in this chapter instead of saying “country” this “country” that I decided that for the sake of flow, I would use the word kingdom sometimes as well. Since Duelkis has a king, I feel pretty safe in calling it a kingdom, but I have zero information on Ravaal, so there’s a possibility that it isn’t one… It could be an empire, a republic, etc. but I’ll try to come back and fix this chapter if it turns out to be a different type of country.
As for Calverra, I would assume that it’s not a kingdom (or at least not yet) since it’s under Ravaal’s control. If Ravaal is an empire though, even that assumption could be false….