Student Alliance Conference – Hikaru’s Suggestion
Everyone turned their attention towards Hikaru.
「Why are you asking me?」he said.
「You’re just standing there acting like an outsider, but you’re already a member of the student alliance.」
「I’m from Ponsonia. The problems of Forestia should be solved by its citizens.」
「An outsider’s opinion could help. You, especially, have some interesting views. I’m sure an idea came to your mind just now while listening.」
「I’ve been watching Hikaru as well. If you have something, please tell us.」
Silvester agreed with Katy too. Now it felt like he had to say something.
「All right, fine. Don’t you already have your answers, though? Kirihal and Ludancia are neighbors that don’t get along. To stop the hatred, an action must be taken. In that case there’s only one thing to do.」
「What is it? Please tell us.」League asked.
「You need to really brace yourself for it. Are you sure about this?」
「I’m sure you are, but… Whatever. The easiest solution is “love”.」
「Man, hearing you say the word “love” just makes me cringe.」Ivan remarked.
「That’s why I didn’t want to say anything.」
「N-No, I’m not making fun of you or anything. Please continue.」
「That’s it. You just have to show love.」Hikaru added.
League was taken aback.「A marriage between important persons from Kirihal and Ludancia?」he said, glancing at Claude and Luka.
「Exactly. These two countries are on bad terms, but it’s not like they don’t have diplomatic relations. I’m sure there are lots of citizens from both nations who get along, and among them there are definitely couples who had planned their future together.」
「They probably can’t get married because of their nationality and opposition from the people around them.」
「You just have to announce a marriage between powerful people.」
「And that will ease the tensions between both countries! I see, yes. That’s a great idea.」
「But that’s not all.」Hikaru said.
League looked puzzled.
「If two powerful people got married, people will only see it as an isolated case. In fact those who hated the other for a long time will try to spread it as such. So you need to show that it’s a universal thing to have an impact on the ordinary citizens as well.」
「A mass wedding.」
「After announcing the engagement of the powerful people, you send a notice to the public to gather participants as well. Then wed them at the same time in Forestia’s capital or at the border between the two countries. You only need to hold a grand event once a year, make it into a custom. If it works out, people will dream of getting married at this date.」
League stood there, mouth wide open. It was clear that this world had no such thing as a mass wedding. Although it was rare even in Japan.
「Hahaha! That sounds interesting, Hikaru! I haven’t heard of gathering brides and grooms for a mass wedding, but I’ll back you up on that one!」Silvester said.
「It’s a novel and outrageous idea, but indeed fascinating.」League nodded.
「There’s a huge flaw in your plan.」Catherine cut in.「Who’s getting married? You might not know this since you’re from Ponsonia, but Kirihal and Ludancia absolutely despise each other. That goes double for those in the ruling class. It’s impossible to find people who love each other among them.」
Katy and Ivan nodded in agreement.
「I told you to brace yourself for it. You gotta have the determination.」Hikaru directed the words at Claude and Luka. They already knew that they were they were the “powerful people” Hikaru was referring to.
「I think it’s a good idea. But what if… what if they never agree to the wedding—」
「I’m going with Hikaru’s plan. I’ll join this mass wedding.」
「Wait a minute. Don’t tell me…」Catherine looked shocked.
「You guessed right, Catherine. Claude and Luka are thinking of getting married.」
「Yes. With the way things are, it’s impossible for us to get wed. So I want to try even the smallest possibility.」
Despite her appearance, Luka was strong-minded. Claude seemed to have gained courage after hearing her words.
「Y-You’re right. I couldn’t have imagined us getting married before. But if there’s a chance our wish is granted, I’ll do anything.」
The couple looked each other in the eye. Hikaru cleared his throat.
「So anyway, League. Is it possible to make this plan a reality?」
「Let’s see… I think we can move forward with forming the student alliance and planning the mass wedding simultaneously.」
「The Foundation Memorial Ceremony is when the representatives from the seven nations next meet. I think it’s great timing.」Silvester added.
「So that’s in the full moon this fall. About fifty days away.」
「It feels like we don’t have much time. What else do we need to do?」
「Make the necessary arrangements with each nation. Which means we won’t have time. We might have to wait until next year.」
「That’s not good.」Silvester said.
「Why is that?」
「We don’t know what’ll happen this winter with regards to politics. Rumania, especially, seems to be planning something.」
「…That’s a good point.」League nodded, looking grim.
「Catherine.」Hikaru spoke. She gave a start, not expecting her name to be called.「What do you think? Is fifty days enough?」
「We don’t need the consent of all seven nations.」
「What do you mean?」
「The charter says that to amend the power of the government, all seven nations must give their consent, but for general affairs, only a majority of votes is needed.」
「So basically the votes of those who have the right to succession to the throne?」
「Yup. Though for Kirihal, the current queen, who’s from Kirihal has the vote.」
「So let me get this straight. There will be a meeting between the representatives on the Foundation Memorial Ceremony where important matters will be brought up and decisions will be made through majority votes. Is that correct?」
「That is correct. The memorial is held over the span of five days and the meeting will be on the last day. Before then there will be various events and parties. All the groundwork is done before the meeting, and in the actual session all they do is vote. And since it’s right before the winter season, only smaller matters are brought up.」
「So they negotiate in the four days leading up to the meeting?」
「No. Discussions should be starting now. Generally, the nation that proposed something and openly reached out to the other nations would draw attention, and each country focuses on themselves from spring to fall. There’s not a lot of adjustments done during the ceremony. But we’re students. If we go back home and make our move, other nations won’t really pay attention. We just need to earn four votes in the next fifty days.」Catherine said.
「Splendid! You sound very competent. Not only are you familiar with how politics works, you even chose the appropriate measure we should take to achieve our goal.」Silvester said, clapping his hands.
He’s right, Hikaru thought. But really, you should think about what you just said.
Silvester – Zubura’s next leader – went to fight a Lesser Wyvern. It might’ve been for the principal’s nephew, but it was still reckless nonetheless. Definitely not “the appropriate measure to achieve his goal”.
「It’s nothing special… This is common back home.」Catherine said as she looked away, feeling embarrassed. She didn’t seem used to receiving compliments.
「So the marriage is possible?」
Claude and Luka’s eyes lit up with hope.
「But isn’t getting four votes difficult?」Ivan remarked.
「Yes. I just told you the fastest way to do it. Euroba won’t give their vote for sure. They can’t see the short-term gains and losses from this proposal. So to avoid unforeseeable risks, they will oppose it. I don’t think Kirihal and Ludancia will agree to it either. That’s three votes gone.」
Claude and Luka looked dejected.
「Zubura will approve the proposal. I’ll convince my father.」Silvester declared.
「Kotobi should be fine. Though it’s up to Zubura and Hikaru.」Katy said.
「Up to Zubura and me?」
「What do you mean by that, Professor?」Silvester asked.
「Help us in our magic item research. Kotobi’s leader right now is a very passionate magic item researcher who’s awfully interested in the relics from Zubura. I’m sure he’ll be overjoyed if you offered help. I’ll talk to him too.」
「Very well. We’ll do whatever we can.」Silvester said.
「Thank you. Looking forward to it.」
「Excuse me. What about me?」Hikaru asked.
「Hmm? You’re going to help with our research, right?」
Claude and Luka stared at Hikaru with pleading eyes.
「Fine. I don’t mind lending a hand.」
Katy assumed a triumphant pose. I guess research is the only thing on her mind. What a shame.
「Also, Catherine. You said Kirihal and Ludancia won’t agree, but I think I can get Kirihal’s vote.」Hikaru said.
「What do you mean?」she asked, confused.
「I’ll talk to Her Majesty. She wants to tear a hole in the walls of the seven nations, so I’m sure I can convince her easily.」
「Am I hearing this right? You’re going to talk to the queen directly?」
「It’s best if you don’t know.」
「…Who are you?」
「I’m a student, just like you. Now we have three votes. All we need is one more.」
「I’m sorry.」League said.「It will be hard to convince my father. In fact, if I tried, he might get wind of what I’m doing and will come to destroy us.」
「The student alliance is your idea, right? You said you’ll protect it for the rest of your life.」Catherine said. League hung his head low.
「I don’t know what to say. I’ll be supporting from behind the scenes until my father retires.」
Catherine didn’t press him any further, perhaps because of how her own country, Euroba, wouldn’t give their vote too.
「What about Jarazack?」Hikaru asked Ivan.
「It might be possible. The boss likes strong people. Just fight him and win. I think you can beat him, Hikaru.」
「He can…?」Claude eyed him suspiciously.
「Hikaru’s strong. Even when up against me and the other great sword students, he hasn’t lost once.」
「What?」Claude was getting more and more suspicious.
「Wait. Is it really okay for me to do that?」Hikaru asked.
「The creation of a student alliance and the mass wedding. I’m not directly involved in both.」
「You’re the one who proposed a mass wedding by gathering people and you’re saying you’re not involved?」Silvester asked.
「If anything, Claude participates in both.」
「Ah, yes. The boss might want Claude to fight.」
「What?」Claude turned pale.「I’m going to fight Jarazack’s leader?」
「If you can win against Professor Mikhail, I’m sure you’ll have a chance. The boss often mentions how the professor is a worthy rival.」
「There’s no way I can win against Professor Mikhail! He’s known as the strongest in the academy!」
Claude stared at Hikaru in astonishment.
「Hikaru, we have fifty days – no, if we take travelling into account, we have about forty days left. Can you train Claude in that time?」League said.
Do I even have an option to refuse? Hikaru wondered.