Back in the keep, the castle was located to the south of the border town, he dismissed the anxious Minister Barov outside the door to his chambers, allowing him to finally breathe a sigh of relief now that he was alone.
As a person who’d spent ninety percent of his time dealing with people through a computer, facing everyone like he just had already surpassed his comfort zone. Cheng Yan found the location of his bedroom from his new memories, took a seat on his bed, and got a moment of real rest as he tried to suppress his violently beating heart. At the moment, the most important matter was to clarify the situation. Why was the prince, who couldn’t stay in Wimbledon City, the capital of the kingdom, sent to this barren land?
The unexpected answer he came up with left him stupefied.
Roland Wimbledon was actually sent here to fight for the right to succeed the king.
Everything had originated from King Wimbledon III of Graycastle’s wonderful proclamation to his children saying, “You want to inherit the kingdom? The first-born prince doesn’t necessarily have the right to become king, only the person who proves themselves as the most capable of governing can inherit the country.” He placed various territories under the rule of his five children, and after five years he’d decide who would become his successor based on the level of skill they displayed in governing their respective territories.
While turning the decision of who should inherit the throne into a meritocracy and providing equal opportunity regardless of gender might sound like very enlightened concepts, the real problem was with the actual implementation of said ideas. Would there be any guarantee that all five of them received the same starting conditions? This wasn’t like playing a real-time strategy game. To his knowledge, the second son had been given a better territory than this border town. Actually when he thought about it, it seemed that among the five regions they’d been given, none of the others were worse than his frontier town. His starting point was simply inferior.
Also, Cheng Yan wondered, how was one to assess the level of governance? By the population? Military power? Economic standing? Wimbledon III hadn’t mentioned any standard, nor did he put the slightest restrictions on their methods of competition. In case someone secretly assassinated the other candidates, what would he do? Would the queen stand by and watch her children kill each other? Wait. …… He carefully recalled the next memory, all right, another piece of bad news; the Queen had died five years ago.
Cheng Yan sighed. Obviously, this was a barbaric and dark feudal era he had found himself in. Just the way they seemed to wantonly kill witches was enough to give him a few hints. Also, Cheng Yan thought, why would he want to become king? With no internet and none of the comforts of modern civilization, he’d have to live the same life as the native people. Burning witches for fun, living in a city where everyone dumped their excrement wherever they wished, and finally dying from the Black Death.
Cheng Yan being a prince could already be considered a very high starting point. Even if he didn’t become king he was still of royal blood and had already been knighted. As long as he managed to stay alive he would be considered as one of the Lords of the Realm.
Cheng Yan suppressed his wandering thoughts and went to his bedroom mirror. The man looking back at him in the mirror had light gray hair, which was the royal family’s most distinctive feature. His face was slightly pale and with his regular facial features, he seemed to be completely without personality traits. He appeared to be lacking in physical exercise and as for wine and woman, he recalled indulging in both with some regularity. He had had several lovers in the King’s City, but all had been willing participants, he hadn’t forced anyone.
As for the cause of his own crossing over... Cheng Yan guessed that thanks to the company’s inhuman urging to progress forward, his boss had arranged for him to work overtime, which in turn actually led to the tragedy that was his sudden death. The victims of cases like these were usually coders, mechanical engineers, and programmers.
In the end, no matter what, at least I got the equivalent of an extra life. I really shouldn’t complain too much, in the coming days, I might be able to slowly improve this life, but my first task is to play a convincing 4th Prince, so that other people don’t find something amiss with my behavior and think I’m possessed by the devil, leading to my being burned at the stake, Cheng Yan thought to himself.
“So, in order to live well...” Cheng Yan took a deep breath, looked in the mirror, and whispered, “from now on, I’m Roland.”