THE FIRST PRINCE RESIDENCE
The First Prince of Vanheim
Crown Prince James of Vanheim.
Before the Vetten War he lived in obscurity just like his father. They were weak and powerless in the court.
It is not after the King self-exile that the prestige of the royal family soar and now the royal family is the only force in the Kingdom.
Unify the internal, only then one could unify the external. And the First Prince which has little to no ambition in the begging also rose like his father and is full of ambition.
His father ambition to unify the Kingdom is also his desire. His record of contribution and his image was clean and flawless…. until today.
Today, he tasted defeat. Though he used to taste it in the past, that feeling of defeat still hurt and like always, it is still bitter.
Today was not a good day for the First prince faction. He did not show much emotions during the result of the vote was announced but that doesn't mean he is unaffected
The vote they thought they will get turns out to be wrong. The victory that seems so close dissipated into nothing but ashes and dust.
Their plot failed and so is their grand undertaking. The First Prince was dejected but he did not wallow in it for long.
In the end he is playing the long game
Today, after the vote and the celebration he summon and met all his supporters.
He had to summon them after this miscalculation to identify what is the problem and what is their path moving forward
Even his uncle Bradheim is attending as a show of support. The First Prince have always felt grateful to his uncle.
There is also the fact that when he was a child, Bradheim loved him the most, bringing him to his hunt and archery competition.
The First Prince is a man of literature and martial talent.
His father on the other hand did not...and thinking about it the First Prince sighed.
After the Vetten war conclusion, his uncle Bradheim returned to the capital to assist him. It is actually him that ask Uncle Bradheim to return to the court.
Now that the King is no longer feeling threatened by Uncle Bradheim and even reconcile their differences James thought that this is the perfect time to summon back the Lion of Vanheim to serve the court.
He petitioned this to the King and the King agree. This matter was approved when Aero was in the Underworld still trying to find way to defeat the Cerberus.
Bradheim is one of James most ardent supporters.
Bradheim support means a lot to James. This is because Bradheim is also loved by the people and respected by the other statesman.
His word carry weight. It is why he nominated his uncle to become the main speaker for the speech.
Before, the whole country was roaring to go to war. But suddenly the enthusiasm was doused with water.
So, he invites all of them to ask what went wrong. Bradheim just sit in his seat, closing his eyes and not saying anything.
Considering his pride and the status he held he would never tell the gathering of people why he lost and no one would force it out of him either.
Though Bradheim knows why he lost. It is because he was completely convinced of Aero rhetoric.
Even he started being persuaded by Aero rhetoric now even after hours of listening it. Thinking about it was he really rash to enter into another war?
Was he too excited that he forgot why wars are fought and his initial intention in entering the military?
Weirdly enough, somehow, even after losing Bradheim could not muster much hatred to Aero.
What he said was right in that Parliament hall. The cost of losing a war is high and war could not be started without preparations.
It is just that they refuse to believe they could be defeated. Overconfidence is also not good. As a military commander how could Bradheim not notice this? He was over confident today and he was served by Aero.
But he did not hate losing today,. He deserved his lost today. He was not prepared. Aero is a strategist…...whether in a war of words or war in the battlefield.
He had made enough preparation and he didn't. It is that simple.
So, he only sits there, not saying anything.
Though he is expecting some of the people in this gathering would give the answer. It is not that hard to deduce why they lose today after all.
And lo and behold someone spoke the name
"It's Aero" Gloria said. She is also one of the minister on James side. She is tall and look like a model with blonder hair and blue eyes.
Sitting beside her is a bald man. The man also nodded in agreement
"Yes, it's because of him" Sayle nodded agreeing
James frowned. He sighed because of the name. He knew who Aero was. Who doesn't in Vanheim?
There is also the fact that his father wouldn't stop talking about him. Getting the recognition of him is the fastest way to get recognition from his father.
But Aero have never involved himself with the Throne Succession matter, perfectly content in remaining an outsider to these struggles.
Other people sometimes couldn't choose but swept away by the current and had to choose a side but Aero position is always determined by himself.
He has that kind influence and power to remain completely aloof in the matter.
For the First Prince and the Second Prince, Aero not participating in the succession matter is actually something they both appreciated.
No one wanted to go up against such powerful minister in Vanheim Court.
Even with Bradheim on his side, James is not sure whether he could contend with Aero even on his worst day.
Aero is a talented commander, charismatic and brilliant and he is one of his father most trusted person.
He had many influence and his power is far reaching. He also had many connections and all of them are powerful and influential in their own right.
Aero is best friend with Dan the Marquis of Zantleaf and also one of the hero of this Kingdom.
Dan when compared to Aero might seems lacking but he holds a large territory and possess a private army.
Dan himself is someone who the King appreciated since the Marquis accompanied him the most when he is in self-exile.
He is also acquainted with Countess Raina and the Royal physician Amy. Countess Raina control the training of the archery squad and Royal Physician Amy is well liked in the Palace.
Not to mention what invoking Aero name would mean to the kingdom. His name alone inspires bravery and loyalty.
If he asks for help, all over the Kingdom people will rise up to heed his call.
Aero even has large influence with three of the largest merchant company in Vanheim. Militarily, politically, financially, social relations, this man has no weakness.
James also heard report from his intelligence network how Aero charms King Vrandeus in Duvar by offering a solution to one of his problem.
He was highly praised and well liked in Duvar court as he embodied elegance and grace, a trait that Duvarian people liked as they are the Holy Capital of the Old Empire which is why they still pays heed to old tradition and etiquette.
And just yesterday, Aero was elected Chancellor to help his father manage the Kingdom. Just thinking about all this could make a person just wanted to give up.
The moment Aero stepped into the Court his rise to power was fast.
Meteoric rise, he corrected himself internally
But it's not like they don't know about all this. It is not a secret. King George, his father, has always wanted to keep Aero by his side.
His father always said, having Aero beside him is better than having a thousand troops.
That is how much his father value Aero.
His story and adventure is always spoken by the common people thanks to that troupe of Bards and Artist that won't stop making plays of him.
But James was also suspicious of Aero intent. He is known to like war, why oppose it then?
It was then Bradheim opens his eyes and then said, his dep voice echoes inside the room.
"At first, I thought this was the right way to go, but after hearing Chancellor Aero speaks maybe we are wrong. The Chancellor is right. We need to think the consequence to our people first." Bradheim said.
James look at his Uncle and only smiles bitterly
Uncle Bradheim is so easily influenced with emotional appeal. He thought to himself as he closes his eyes and rub his temple.
Is he an enemy?
Or an ally?
Aero remains mysterious and unfathomable. When all people thought he will vote for war he voted differently and it was unexpected and created chaos out of nothing. Because he didn't go the way people thought he would go.
This makes James uncertain to whom Aero allegiance lies. And that is very important. Because the prize of winning this game is none other than the Throne of Vanheim.
No wonder, people praise his shrewdness. Even now, James couldn't get a read on the Chancellor
But still, he need to make sure. He has to. As he opens his eyes and determination to win blazing in his eyes, James could not have thought that this is the beginning of a bitter power struggle between Aero and himself in the Court.
When the Crown Prince and the most powerful minister in Vanheim clash one could only imagine the intrigue and plots they will employ against each other in the future.
Such stories always have a bitter and tragic ending. There will surely be blood. Such stories always have blood. Of kin and bosom friends.
Of innocent and evil people, and many more
Iron will be raised, war will be waged and fire will rage. That has always bene the case for such stories and this story is no different.
But winner and loser…. that is not yet determined.
But that is later to come.
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