༺ I Don’t Need a Guillotine for My Revolution ༻
Written by – 카르카손
Translated by – Mara Sov
༺ Revolutionary Period – The Joker’s Play ༻
“Your Highness the Princess Erisliste Lilianne De Francia.”
The moment she heard me, Eris paused and looked at me with her purple eyes before opening her mouth.
“Speak, Marquis Pierre De Lafayette.”
“Should the moment when you must ascend to the Throne of Francia for the sake of this country come, will you do so?”
“……Do you wish for me to be hunted down by those mad revolutionaries, my dear Marquis?”
Her answer came so quickly that I realized this seemingly cheerful bard might actually know more than she appeared to.
“Of course not. As your subject, I’m merely asking if you’d prepared for such a moment, should the need arise. As you know, we live in a time of great turmoil, without anyone in complete control of the Nation, and this is hardly a desired outcome.”
“You acted as if you had foreseen this Revolution. I demand an explanation, Marquis. I cannot comprehend why you speak of my ascent to the Throne for a country where a Revolution against the monarchy is occurring.”
“King Louis won’t be able to stop them.”
Both King Louis and Duke Loranne might still be oblivious, believing they could stop the revolution just by joining forces, but the course of the Revolution is unfolding much faster than before my Regression.
Back then, King Louis’s forces and the First Prince’s faction were matched, so the progress of the Civil War was slow, delaying the start of the Revolution.
But this time, due to my actions and the Blue Knight’s survival from the Plague, King Louis lost a significant portion of his hastily assembled forces, and as a result, various domains were left with little protection.
In my past life, Duke Bretagne and Count Millbeau managed to hold their domains against the Revolutionaries for quite some time, falling only when Raphael Valliant took the lead of the Revolutionaries forces.
But the Civil War didn’t end even as the Revolutionaries started to gain control over Francia.
“If King Louis thinks he won’t be able to deal with the Revolution on his own, he will seek outside aid.”
“……It will probably be the Germania Empire where the First Princess became the Empress or the Northern Alliance where the Second Princess became the ruler.”
“That’s correct. Those nations will invade this land with the pretext of restoring the legitimate rule of Francia, but in doing so, they will crush Francia completely and bring it under their rule.”
Before my regression, the Revolutionaries actually captured and executed King Louis, but the other nations, especially the Germania Empire were intensifying their threats of war constantly, stating that they would remove the Revolutionary government and place Eris on the Throne.
I don’t know how the future turned out since I was executed as well, but given the situation, it’s clear that Francia’s future even after the Revolution was not good.
So I said something that Eris didn’t want to hear.
“The Civil War and the Revolution are not the end, Your Highness. As long as the Revolution in Francia is perceived as a threat to the other countries’ rule, they will continue to be a threat.”
“……So you’re keeping me around for that reason?”
“Yes, Your Highness. The moment they invade us under the pretext of restoring the country to its rightful ruler, we can offer the war-torn Revolutionaries a chance of legitimacy by placing a popular member of the Royal Family on the throne and avoiding further conflict.”
A long silence ensued after my words.
“I haven’t lied to you, Your Highness. Until now I have kept all of my promises.”
“You have not just lied to me. You knew I was a Princess from the very beginning, that a Revolution would occur, and the Kingdom would face a collapse at least once, and now even the future threat of another war? Tell me. What are you?”
As I listened to Eris’s frustrated voice, I smiled bitterly and stood up from my seat.
“In the end, it will be your choice, Eris. I have no intention of forcing you.”
“It’s quite something to hear after you say all that.”
“Not that I believe that simply crowning you a Queen will solve all these problems. Things could improve a little, but I’m not foolish enough to say that everything will turn out well just by doing this.”
If the Revolutionaries established Eris as a Queen, even if only by pretense, it might soften their stance towards the nobility in general, and it might be easier to gather the nobles who were averse to the Revolutionary government.
But on the flip side, if this situation is mishandled, there’s a great chance that the innocent Eris will be sent to the guillotine just as before.
Elevating Eris as a Queen will weaken the foreign claims of legitimacy, but it’s still possible for them to claim that her commoner blood is not adequate for a Queen, even more so a Queen promoted by a common government.
At the very least, this would buy us some time from the likes of the Germania Empire, but it won’t be a guarantee of avoiding a war.
“Even if you remain as a Saint sponsored by me, it would be enough. At least this way you can live as freely as you’d like.”
“……But I’m nothing like a saint.”
“What matters is how the people see you. So, give this idea some thought, whether as someone under my patronage or a future regent.”
With those words, I turned around and prepared myself to leave, but Eris’s voice stopped me.
“If I sacrifice my freedom and take this burden, will it really help the people of this country?”
“If you are prepared for this, I will make sure it helps.”
“If by doing so these people can have a better future. Then…I’ll do it. “
As I turned around, Eris was looking at me with a completely serene expression.
Her mystical purple eyes had not a single hint of uncertainty as I questioned her.
-Please, My Lord. I don’t want to feel like I turned my back on those that I could have saved.
The plea Eris made echoed around my ears.
Despite having grown up in the palace, and leaving just before the Civil War erupted, she was the one who stepped forward and helped those in need during the plague and the Revolution and was even sacrificed for her good deeds.
Even if she denies it, there is no one better suited to be called a Saint than her.
So I was merely curious.
I despised the Blue Knight who dragged countless lives to the grave because of his ego and vainglory, and how this man managed to die with a smile on his face after all of his sins.
I detest the nobles who exploit others without hesitation just to satisfy their greed.
I strive to be different from them, always trying to prevent my people from being sacrificed in vain. This is my way of proving my worth.
But Eris is not like me. She, who had no ties, who could be utterly free in this damned world, is using her free will to help others who are of no relation to her. I…I cannot say I could do as such.
Why would she go to such lengths?
After a moment of silence, Eris smiled and said.
“When I was young, I grew up in the palace, loved and well-fed.”
“My mother always used to say that everything I enjoyed came from the people of this nation. And that I should never forget to be thankful to them.”
“But now you have been away from the palace for quite some time. And the people of Francia started a Revolution and will kill any who bears royal blood.
“Even then, most of the talents I possess were nurtured by my mother’s teachings during those peaceful times in the palace, and it’s probably because I’m a Princess that Uncle Frank has been taking care of me until now……And you Marquis, in the end, you also treat me this well especially because I am a Princess.”
A bitter smile crossed my face at her words, and to that, I had no retort.
Moreover, she was still young. So it’s not far-fetched to think her mother’s teachings still played a larger role in her life.
But could that be her only driving factor?
I found this somewhat difficult to believe, but out of consideration towards her, I offered some words.
“……You had a great mother, then.”
Unexpectedly, Eris froze up at my words, her expression stiffened.
Since this was the first time I had ever seen such an expression on her face, I spurred my brain to think of something I had done to offend her, but Eris opened her mouth with a sorrowful smile.
“You would think so, wouldn’t you?”
It was such a tragic smile as her eyes glistened on the verge of bursting into tears.
Lumiere – Capital of Francia.
As winter reached its end, spring approached.
The heads of the Revolutionary government sat in a conference room with serious faces.
“Is Bishop Arnaud Richelieu absent again today?”
“Hmph, we have no need for that weak man anymore. After all, there are limits to what a meek person can do once a revolution occurs.”
“Yet, he is a figure respected and even adored by the citizens. In these chaotic times, we need someone to stabilize our center, but he is too faint-hearted.”
At this, the first president of the Republic, the ex-lawyer, Benoit Levier, smashed his fist on the table.
“None of this matters now! The King and Duke Lorenne have joined forces and their army is advancing towards Lumiere as we speak!”
A somber silence fell over the council at the president’s words.
President Levier looked at each person in the chamber before speaking again.
“The forces commanded by the Duke of Orleans and Duke Lorenne are a formidable army of 8,000 veterans, elites who have survived the Civil War. Should they enter Lumiere, the Revolution will fall.”
The leaders of the revolutionary movement stiffened at those words.
It was obvious that after the success of the Revolution, the King would aim to retake the Capital, so the new government imposed a national conscription to secure troops.
“We have enough men to confront them. The problem is finding capable officers to lead them.”
In the traditional Knight Kingdom of Francia, the ones charged with leading the troops were usually the Knights or nobles.
Naturally, most of the nearby nobles and some Knights were culled during the Revolution.
“Ugh, we shouldn’t have killed them just because of their status. If we want to run a proper state, we should have spared at least some of them, to use as officers.”
At these words from the liberal writer, Nicolas Brisseau, the de facto leader of the moderate faction, the radical Jean Malo snorted.
“Hmph, the enemies of the common people got what they deserved.”
“Sigh-. Fine, let us assume that is the case. It doesn’t change the fact that the new government lacks anyone with proper experience in commanding a large force. What if we employed some of the captured nobles who have shown good behavior?”
“Ha! How could we trust those blue-bloods with our army! Have you forgotten that we declared the abolition of the cursed feudal system? How can we be certain that they won’t betray us the moment they encounter the King’s army?”
“So we are just going to send out the soldiers to fight and hope for the best? These are highly trained forces of the King! They’re not your run-of-the-mill guards that tried to stop us when we broke into the noble’s mansions!”
“Who doesn’t know that?! But to employ those blue-blood scum…wouldn’t that be like taking bribes from them?”
“What? What are you even talking about, you madman?”
As the back and forth between those seated in the council chambers became heated, the moderates and radicals started exchanging all manners of insults and slanders with each other.
Seeing this, President Benoit Levier furrowed his brow and pressed a hand to his forehead.
The Revolution had seized the Capital and most of the North, spreading through the Kingdom, but the head of the movement was still in utter chaos.
Just as the meeting was about to devolve into a fight, Prosecutor Maximillian Le Jidor spoke with a cold and calculative voice.
“I have a suitable candidate in mind.”
“A candidate, you say?”
President Levier brightened at Jidor’s words.
“He’s not a noble but has a history of serving as a mercenary in various places. At the end of the Civil War, he served under the Duke of Orleans, leading 1,000 men into the City of Rheims, so he’s well familiarized with the command styles of both Dukes.”
With a gesture from Jidor, his secretary distributed the dossier of this candidate, and the President studied it before speaking.
“From what I can see, he has worked in quite a few cities in recent years. Leading 1,000 men, huh? It’s not a small force, but it’s not even close to the army we have at our disposal, is it?
“Do we have any other alternatives? Or is there someone among us who could lead a force of this size properly?”
“Sigh-. It might be worth a meeting with him.”
As the president gave his reluctant approval, Jidor who seemed to have been waiting for this gave a signal to his secretary.
After the secretary left, the doors of the chamber opened after a brief moment, and everyone’s eyes watched a young man enter the room at a calm pace.
“Isn’t he too young?”
“Are the rumors about your experience true, lad?”
Amidst the questions and skeptical gazes, the handsome young man who appeared to just have entered his 20s placed a hand over his chest and bowed respectfully.
“It’s an honor to meet the esteemed members of the Revolutionary government. I am Raphael Valliant, the one in charge of commanding the militia in the city of Reims.”
“Hmm, Raphael…Valliant. You’ve had quite the nomadic lifestyle, haven’t you? Moving from one city to another…Did you encounter trouble often?”
“On the contrary, good sir. There were many who offered me a higher pay.”
“So if the King offered a higher pay, would you switch sides?”
“Ah, one of the most important characteristics of being a mercenary is that you cannot trust an employer who keeps promising a higher pay. Besides, you think the King can afford a higher pay now?’
As the atmosphere relaxed a little under Valliant’s joke, with some even laughing, President Levier opened his mouth with a serious expression.
“So, Valliant. I trust that you came here with the intention of leaving your mercenary days behind to serve the Revolutionary Army.”
“Yes, esteemed President. Both my men and I are sick of the mercenary life. And honestly, we’d like to climb to a higher position as well.”
“Chuckle-. What an honest fellow.”
“Honest? I call that uncultured……”
As divergent opinions rose, President Levier spoke up.
“If we entrust you with command over our forces, are you confident you can defeat the King’s army that threatens Lumiere?”
At his question, Valliant simply smiled before saying.
“I’ll show those relics of the old era the power the people’s army holds.”
TL Note: Time for sum good modern fighting-style mfs.
Lets pull an WW2 on those french twats