Chapter 23: The Emperor’s Thoughts
After receiving the order of the Minister of Justice in the audience hall and the morning assembly was dismissed, I came to the Ministry of Justice on my feet.
The building of the Ministry of Justice is located one street over from the Ministry of Military Affairs.
It was a building that I had glimpsed every morning when I was assisting my brother Henry.
When I entered the Ministry of Justice grounds and got off the carriage, dozens of officials were waiting for me, bowing to me in neatly coordinated movements, as if the letter of appointment had already been handed down.
A middle-aged man in the middle of the crowd, the only one who didn’t bow, stepped forward, knelt down, and bowed to me.
“I have been expecting you, Your Highness.”
“I suppose you have already heard the story.”
“Of course, Your Highness.”
“Then guide me to my room. Explanation can……. What’s your name?”
“My name is Vinnie Aussie. I’m the Vice Minister of Justice.”
“Second in command?”
The vice-minister is a position under the minister that deals with practical matters.
Vinnie is a little over forty years old, from the looks of it.
At that age, this position is quite a career move.
Guided by Vinnie, I entered the Ministry of Justice building and was led straight to the Minister’s office.
The Minister’s office at the Ministry was similar to the one at the Ministry of Military Affairs, and I felt at home as soon as I entered the room.
I sat down in the Minister’s chair and faced Vinnie one-on-one.
“So, what do I have to do at the Ministry of Justice? Just give me a quick rundown up to the moment.”
“Yes, sir. The Ministry of Justice is the body that organizes the courts throughout the empire and is the place where trials in the imperial capital are actually conducted. As you know, there are a lot of noblemen in the imperial capital, and as in the previous rebellion–“
Then Vinnie broke off and looked at me.
Apparently, he knows about the revolt in Almeria six years ago, and that I was involved in it.
“It is customary for serious crimes such as rebellion and treason to be brought to the Imperial Capital and judged by the Ministry of Justice or His Majesty in person.”
“I see. So you’re saying that this place usually acts like an ordinary court?”
“It is as you say, sir.”
Vinnie bows his head politely.
Well, I know about that.
I still have memories of my previous life, you know.
So, I cut right to the chase based on those memories.
” Do you judge too?”
“In some cases.”
“How much bribe money do you take?”
“…… no such thing.”
Interrupting Vinnie by holding out my hand.
“I have no intention of pursuing this. I want to know what’s really going on. I’ll forget what you’ve just told me as soon as we leave this room. Just tell me the truth.”
“…… As expected of His Highness the ‘Wise’.”
Vinnie bowed deeply and then spoke.
“I haven’t taken that much. In a year–something like a few hundred reens.”[TN: to be honest, I am really not getting the economy of this novel, the average income is 10 reens, is it my sense of money that is bad or something else, I don’t know?]
“It’s because I’m very particular. Others who are not so particular take ten times as much as I do.”
“What are you particular about?”
“I don’t take murder cases.”
“Because the accuser holds a grudge, it’s easy to expose, and if the accused wants revenge, there’s no way to get it back. I receive some money for cases that are appropriate, cases that could go either way.”
I took a piece of paper from the minister’s desk and scribbled some words on it.
I toss it to Vinnie.
“This is …….”
” Assuming you take five hundred a year, I’ll give you ten times, that is, five thousand. You’ll have to stop doing that while I’m here. I want to live up to His Majesty’s expectations. And I need your help.”
Vinnie’s eyes went wide, but eventually, my words and meaning seemed to sink in.
“I now understand why His Majesty gave you the title of ‘Wise Price’ at the age of six and appointed you to become Minister of Justice.”
“Yes, I admire the way you handled it. It’s impressive indeed.”
Vinnie handed the note back to me and bowed deeply.
“I don’t want any extra money, and I won’t take any more bribes. Let me work for you, Your Highness.”
He said to me.
Normally, I would have questioned his sincerity.
Name: Noah Ararat
Minister of Justice
Level: 1 / ∞
[TN: His Intelligence went from F+F to F+E, and MP from F to F+F]
My MP and Intelligence “+” in the statuses visible in the corner of my eye have increased.
The more subordinates I have, the more the numbers after the “+” go up.
At least at this moment, I knew that Vinnie really wanted to work for me, as he had declared.
At night, the Eighth Prince’s residence – Brother Oscar’s mansion.
While I was listening to various stories at the Ministry of Justice, a messenger from Brother Oscar came to congratulate me on my appointment as a minister and asked me to come to his mansion.
There was no reason for me to refuse, so I listened to what he had to say and came here.
Brother Oscar had set up a banquet hall in the garden.
The garden was as bright as if it was daytime, with hundreds of lanterns lit up.
The main table was in the middle of the room, and an orchestra was playing a little further away.
I was the only one invited to the party, but Brother Oscar spent a lot of money and manpower.
“Thank you, brother. To think that you would celebrate in such a big way.”
“No need to thank me, I’m happy too. We are talking about the second person as the Prince to be appointed as the Minister during His Majesty’s reign over fifty-years. And since it’s Noah, we have to celebrate even more, don’t we ……?”
“I appreciate it very much.”
After a toast with Brother Oscar, the servants of the Eighth Prince’s residence brought in the food one after another.
They were not placed on the table.
There were about twenty of them, each holding a platter with a different dish, surrounding our table in the distance.
And they were going around in circles.
It was the traditional banquet food of the empire.
If we liked any of the dishes that were being passed around, we could call them off and the servants would serve them to us on small plates.
For the rest of the time, they were circling around us, holding the food and keeping it on “display”.
“But really, what a blessing!”
“Is that so”.
“Hmm? What’s the matter, Noah, with that funny look on your face? What’s troubling you?”
“I’m just wondering why His Majesty has suddenly appointed the Imperial Princes as Minsters one after another.”
“Isn’t it because—- Noah is cute?
Oscar said with a teasing look on his face.
You can certainly think so.
The Minister of Military Affairs is my brother Henry, and he was appointed because of the rebellion that took place in my territory of Almeria.
And the Minister of Justice is me.
You could say it’s because he’s favoring me and patronizing me.
But …… was it really the case?
“Is there something bothering you?”
Oscar put down his drink and stared straight at me.
“As you know brother, the empire has a history of near destruction, then a history of rebirth, then a history of major changes in the imperial system.”
“Yeah. Until then, no one except the crown prince would do anything. As a prince, he spent his days luxuriating and playing around. So everyone except the crown prince, who had studied political affairs in order to succeed to the throne, was incompetent, and that’s why the empire almost collapsed.”
“Because of this, the empire now provides the Prince with a royal title when he is born and gives him a feudal domain and a certain amount of training.”
As I said that, Oscar and I nodded at each other.
The current state of the empire, so to speak, we recap the preliminary discussion.
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Don’t you think the current situation is one step beyond that?”
“…… No way!”
Oscar was grandly startled and stood up, knocking over his chair with a clatter.
The circle of people serving the food stopped, as well as the orchestra stopped playing.
In the silence, Oscar stared at me.
“Don’t tell me… replacement of the Crown Prince?”
“I don’t know, it may be, it may not be. As long as it was just His Majesty adoring me, there is no problem.”
“…… I suppose.”
Oscar sat back in the chair the servant had fixed and smiled.
“As expected, such a thing….”
Oscar was about to say something.
Then, another servant – one dressed as a butler – arrived.
When the man whispered to Oscar, his complexion changed.
After a while, the butler finished his report and quietly left.
“What’s the matter, brother?”
“As you said. Noah, amazing.”
“The eunuch I’m bribing told me. It seems I will be appointed as the Minister of Finance at tomorrow’s morning assembly.”
The atmosphere froze.
Both Oscar and I were speechless.
Oscar’s appointment as minister.
That was clearly out of me being favored.
“Well, for now.”
“Let’s toast to congratulate Noah and to his deduction “.
He said so.
I also shifted my mind and made a toast with Oscar for now.
While Oscar and Noah were having their slightly unenthusiastic celebration party.
On the roof of the royal palace, about 20 meters above the ground, in the garden.
In the midst of the empire’s pride and joy, there were two old men in the garden.
One was the emperor, the supreme power of this empire.
The other was the First Vizier, the emperor’s long-time confidant, who had been in charge of the emperor’s affairs for many years.
The emperor was looking up at the moon in the garden, while the First Vizier was carefully reading a report behind him.
“—-We have captured one hundred and sixty-seven people, including Keets.”
“And the confessions?”
“The confession was in accordance with the excuse we had obtained in advance, that His Majesty would be forced to abdicate the throne, and then the Crown Prince would take the throne.”
“I see. Fifty years of reign, and forty-five years of the Crown Prince… can we wait any longer?”
“Please note, there is no evidence that His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince was directly involved in any of this – none that you will find.”
Both Openly and Secretly.
The first vizier gave his evidence and his words as a confidant.
“I know. That is why I will not do anything to Albert. Execute Keats and be done with it.”
The First Vizier said nothing.
He did not say a single unnecessary word to the emperor.
He always tries to be fair and does not interfere.
This is the biggest reason why he has been the First Vizier for more than twenty-five years of the Emperor’s fifty-year reign.
“What happened to the matter of leaking the letter of appointment to Oscar?
“Earlier, I sent for the eunuch who receives coins from His Highness on a daily basis. Apparently, His Highness had already guessed it.”
“His Highness Noah was there.”
The emperor’s face, which had been gloomy earlier, brightened.
“So you’re saying that Noah was aware of my intentions?”
“Yes, the eunuch associated with the Eighth Prince’s residence reported as such.”
“Fufu, as expected. Impressive as always, Noah.”
The emperor was excited. His face was that of a father who dotes on his child.
But it was only for a moment.
The emperor, without his child in front of him and alone with his confidant, immediately returned to his normal, emperor-like face.
“Neither Gilbert nor Albert…….”
“Who? Who will be my successor? Henry? Oscar? Noah?”
“Whoever it may be, I hope you will succeed in the trials I have for you.”
As a father, the emperor was sweet.
But more than that, as the Emperor, he was a strict man.
This marks the end of Volume 1 as of LN.
Also compared to WN, LN doesn’t have that much difference, even the name of chapters are the same, also, there seems to be an extra chapter at the end of volume 1 which I will try to cover if I can.
Also, you can sponsor an extra chapter for Noble Reincarnation at 6$ a chapter at Ko-Fi(do mention the series you’re supporting for)
Join me on discord to get update notifications and release schedules.