Battle Over Giving Up the Throne Chapter 1 – An Emperor Is a Shit Job
If I was confident in one thing, it was that being the illegitimate fourth son of the Emperor was the best.
As the illegitimate fourth son, I had nothing to do with the imperial succession.
I could escape the heavy duties of caring for the country while still being treated as a prince. A position as good as mine couldn’t be found anywhere else in the country.
If my two elder brothers and my elder sister happened to die, it would be my turn, but those three were great heroes that wouldn’t die even if you killed them. There was no need to worry.
And just when my happiness at my situation was at its finest――
“Sugen, I wish for you to succeed me on the imperial throne.”
When my father, the Emperor, decreed so, I could only tremble.
It was a truly a surprise attack. Those words were the first thing the Emperor said after a court official summoned me, saying it was an emergency.
Dumbfounded, I kept kneeling to the throne. A certain possibility popped into mind, and I instantly turned serious.
“Could one of my elder brothers have passed away?”
“Do you think they did?”
“No. Being killed would not equal death for my elder brothers. Those three would survive even if this peaceful city was sacked by barbarians.”
“Barbarians will never do such a thing while I am still living. Well, you’re right. They are in good health.”
It was good that they were healthy, but the Emperor’s voice had a hint of sadness.
“Why am I being chosen as a heir? No matter what angled it is looked from, my elder siblings are more appropriate as a successor. No, could it be―”
The most valued ability in this Empire was the strength to fight off the barbarians that surrounded us.
The Emperor was not only the leader of the country but also the commander of the armies. An Emperor led the charge from the front, and cut down enemies with their own hands.
I had confidence in my own weapon skills. Like my siblings, I would live if the barbarians all attacked the city at once.
“My strength is higher than that of my siblings? I am honored to hear those words, Your Majesty. However no matter how much more skillful I am compared to my honorable siblings, I detest training. Talent can only take one so far; my true strength is far below my elder siblings, even with superior talent.”
“No, don’t be too conceited. All of your talents and skills are similar.”
I regained my composure and said,
“If so, why me as Emperor?”
“As a ruler, there is something more important than strength and talent.”
In complete seriousness the Emperor spoke. Hearing his words, I understood.
“I see. I understand, Your Majesty. That would be character, no? My heart is certainly more pure compared to my siblings.”
“If I were judging based on personality, you four would be the first to be unselected. No, the most important thing is―to put it simply, determination.”
The Emperor put his arm on the armrest and leaned his chin on it. He closed his eyes.
“All of you siblings have absolutely no determination. ‘Being an Emperor is a pain,’ you say. ‘Staying a Prince is best’ you say.”
Cold sweat ran down my back. He took the words out of my mouth.
“Your Majesty. As the Emperor has much responsibility, such feelings are natural. I do accept such complaints, yet what is to be done?”
“It is not a simple thing to get this across. For example, I had this conversation with your elder sister, Ryausha, the other day.”
The Emperor frowned, irritated at just remembering what happened.
“‘Are the barbarian gentlemen not strong and charming? Ah, if they invaded, I would not mind being married off to one of their leaders,’ she said. Implying that she would need to be a Princess if we lost to the barbarians.”
“That sister…However, what about Sauran, the third eldest? He’s too honest to say anything like that.”
“Ever since I summoned him, he has caught an unknown sickness. It does not look terrible, yet he claims that he is on the verge of death.”
Sauran gives an impression of honesty, but that honesty was just a temporary thing. Well, when one thought about it, we shared a father. He couldn’t be that good of a person. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
“However, there is Iifu. As the eldest brother, his martial arts are the strongest. There is nobody who this could be entrusted to if he couldn’t.”
The Emperor immediately declared, “He’s the worst out of you four.”
“I understand. Iifu has no determination after all. However, Your Highness, none of us have any determination. That is why my eldest brother, Iifu, should fulfill his duty as the eldest.”
“Sugen, are you admitting that you have no determination?”
“If I said that I did, it would be a lie.”
As none of us have any determination, the eldest should be selected. When he was old enough, he became a general of an army. He won many battles and skirmishes. Certainly, he is qualified.
Right when I thought that, the Emperor spoke,
“――As you all thought that the heir would be Iifu, Iifu also thought the same. He feared that if he did nothing, it would come to him.”
The Emperor motioned his finger.
The door to the throne room opened, and a cage was brought in. In the cage was a criminal wearing nothing but a loincloth.
“Last night a drunk man was found in the red-light district committing lèse-majesté. That man is him.”
A white-haired man, handcuffed in the cage, yet he was smiling, fearless and victorious.
My eldest brother, Iifu.