The Lazy Prince Abandons His Homeland 〜 a Life of Decadence Begins with Captivity - Chapter 1
Lute believed that wars were always beyond his control. After all, a large country boasting one of the best national and technological capabilities on the continent was at war with a small country whose only distinguishing characteristic was its relatively resource-rich land. In addition, the number of Lute‘s troops ordered to retreat from the main force was fifty-three. In comparison, the strength of the powerful enemy was over 10,000 at a rough estimate. The difference in strength was so overwhelming even the word despair didn‘t cover it.
“… Heinrich. What do you think? Tell me honestly.”
“… If I may be frank, if we were to engage in any form of warfare, we would inevitably be destroyed. There is no way Your Highness can fulfill their role as a Lord. Your Highness, there is no other way but to surrender. Even though Your Highness is a bastard child, Your Highness is undoubtedly a member of the royal family. If Your Highness is taken prisoner, Your Highness will not be treated unfairly.”
Although a bastard, Lute had a right of succession as the fourth prince and was the sixth in line of succession. Heinrich, one of the very few loyal retainers of someone with such a worthless title, advised him to surrender.
Heinrich was now Lute‘s bodyguard, but was a veteran soldier who once served as a high-ranking military officer in national defense. If he hadn‘t been demoted for his involvement in his former superior‘s lost political battle, he would still be wielding his shrewd skills in the upper echelons of the military. This was why his assessment was so brutally accurate. Well, since there was a nearly two-hundred-fold difference in strength, there really wasn‘t a more accurate assessment than that, unless you were teeming with fighting spirit, the only option to suggest was surrendering.
“Surrender, huh? Thank you for this utmost pragmatic opinion. However, you‘re being a little too hopeful. The other country is the Froysel Empire, one of the two great conquerors of this continent. And even though our Land Kingdom is slightly better than the other small countries, it‘s still a tiny country. A bastard prince there would be no different than any other wealthy commoner, you know.”
“… I think Your Highness is being a little too self-deprecating.”
“This is a fact. It‘s not that I‘m deprecating myself, but rather my lineage. And my horrible ｆｕｃｋｉｎｇ homeland.”
“… Your Highness is as foulmouthed as ever.”
Heinrich had a bitter look on his face at the outburst, which was unbecoming of royalty, but the prince himself seemed unfazed, as if he didn‘t care at all about the severity of his words. Even though, in the worst case scenario, his careless rant could lead to disinheritance. … Still, if one would look back on Lute‘s life up to now, they would probably agree with his sentiment.
“Even so, I don‘t care what happens to me. Being a bastard royalty with a low chance of succession is like being half a tumor. I‘ve had my share of malicious gossip and other annoyances, but I understand that it‘s unavoidable given my position. Just like the sacrificial pawns used to save my brother while he‘s serving in the military… Actually, it would be a meaningless death, even worse than the sacrificed pawns, but let‘s ignore that.”
Heinrich couldn’t help but avert his eyes at Lute’s overly cogent words. He was fifteen years old, and although he was an adult in the eyes of society, he was still young. It was a pity that the boy, who was like a grandson to the old Heinrich, had accepted his own unfortunate position like this.
“… But, still. Even if I can overlook my own treatment, I can’t overlook this situation. Is my own country so stupid?! The opponent is an empire, you know! It’s a superpower with far greater national strength, military strength, and even technological prowess! Why did we end up in a war with such a monstrous nation?! Are all the higher-ups messed up in the head?!”
At this rant, Heinrich averted his eyes for a different reason….. That’s right. Even though Lute was supposed to have grown up in a disadvantaged position, for some reason, he was terribly thick-skinned. Even if he was treated politically and societally as the black sheep, if he was to not like it and boldly declare that, “If anything, this is easy. On the contrary, it’s annoying to care,” the public would go into a tirade to the maximum extent and tell him, “Go to hell and never come back, you bastard!” In informal settings, he was fearless, calling people “idiots” and “fools”. At the very least, he took the power balance into account in his words and actions, but even so, he was not well received by those around him. That, coupled with his lazy nature where he only did the bare minimum amount of work as a member of the royal family, earned him the title, ‘incompetent prince’ behind his back.
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