Updated: Aug 6
Where the Kings' future infomercial takes flight.....
This chapter is dedicated to laraleepn ! Thank you so much for your continuous support and kind words!
DO NOT publish our edits anywhere else. Especially on social media. Otherwise we may have to stop doing this. Thank you.
Episode 250. About 9 months (9)
"Sir Elias?" The Emperor called out, seeing the Count stop in his tracks.
"Ah, yes. I apologize, Your Majesty."
Lloyd was taken aback by the Emperor's slightly irritated call.
Quickly withdrawing his gaze from the Second Prince, he stepped forward and bowed to the Emperor.
"Now. Show us the heart medicine that will be of great benefit to the people of the Empire."
"Yes, Your Majesty, here it is."
Lloyd took the box from his arms and placed it on a silver tray held out by the court butler. Then, with a flowing, graceful motion, the man placed it before his monarch.
The Emperor himself opened the luxurious purple velvet box and took out a frosted glass vial.
"Ohhh... This is... I don't know what to call it, but it feels very strange."
"Please take a look and let me know if there's anything you find objectionable, Your Majesty."
The Emperor pleasantly stroked his beard at Lloyd's words.
"Of course. It's a precious drug that will save the hearts of my people. I don't want to be careless, so I'll examine it carefully. Hahaha."
Lloyd knew that the Emperor's words of concern weren’t for his citizens.
[Well, it's a precious heart medicine that will keep cash flowing in the Emperor's pocket each time a bottle is sold, so he wouldn't just glance over it. He will take his time, even if it will only slightly increase sales and fill his personal coffers. Ha ha ha.]
That was exactly what it sounded like to him.
Thirty percent of the net profit from each bottle would go to the Emperor's personal treasury, until 50 years after his death.
The Emperor examined the vials out of the sight of prying eyes, then he raised one at eye level with the trademark embossed in gold leaf on a red background visible. As if he wanted all the councillors in the room to see it.
"I've never seen such an ornate medicine bottle."
"Wait! Isn’t that similar to the Emperor's insignia?"
"It isn't similar, it's actually the same, only smaller."
The councillor’s eyes widened as they started whispering and muttering left and right.
The Emperor's insignia had never been used on merchandise before. No,it would be more accurate to say that no one had ever dared to use the Amure Family's emblem.
But Elias had broken that unspoken taboo in one fell swoop.
'...It seems that quick thinking runs in the family.'
Kyle smirked when he saw the vial held by the Emperor. He couldn't see the catch-phrase next to the brand name, but he had a rough idea of what it was.
The Emperor passed the vial around, chuckled, and called over a young scribe who was recording the meeting minutes.
"The letters are small and hard to read. Read them aloud."
Liar. The words were small, but not so much that his Majesty, who was renowned for his good eyesight, couldn’t read them. He was just embarrassed to read them aloud.
The scribe politely accepted the vial, and in a crooning voice, read the largest text and the brand name.
"Saves your heart and the Empire. Keep your heart beating with Louis' Heart Medicine!"
The listeners looked gobsmacked.
“Oh! … Oh my… isn’t that the name of the Emperor?”
"Yes, even his insignia. Is this acceptable?"
The room was buzzing left and right, but the scribe didn't seem to care and continued by reading the words scrawled on the side of the medicine chest.
"Have you been suffering from shortness of breath? Have you been dreading squeezing pains in your chest? Well, stop worrying today! Because now there's a magical pill that will breathe new life into your clogged heart! A heart medication that will save you from constant pain. A ray of light that will save you from the dark pit of uncertainty. Louis's Heart Medicine, the new drug that will save the hearts of the Empire! Just one dose will change your heart, and your life. Invest in your heart! Louis's Heart Medicine by Elias Pharmaceuticals - Consult your local physician today!"
"Ha ha ha. The catchphrases are impactful! As expected, you have a great talent for creating products, Count!"
"You flatter me. I merely tried my best to honor his Majesty."
"Ha ha ha. Yes, yes. I like your attitude. Now that you've all heard it, what do you think?"
The Emperor's question was rhetorical. There was no need to ask for the councillor's opinions.
However, in order to stop the gossip train dead in its tracks and prevent them from blocking the use of his name and insignia, the Emperor pretended to ask for their opinion, no, demanded a favorable opinion.
For a moment there was silence in the room, until Duke Anton, one of the most conservative nobles, stepped forward.
"Well... Your Majesty. To dare to use the Imperial Emblem, it’s a violation of Your Majesty’s dignity..." the Duke stammered with a deep scowl on his face.
The Emperor hummed... then stroked his chin.
"Why did you stutter? Do you think this brand won't resonate?"
"... I am merely concerned that the dignity of Your Majesty's name may be improperly invoked, Your Majesty."
At Duke Anton's words, one of the members of the noble faction quietly followed and spoke up.
"I'm of the same opinion. I am deeply afraid that they will think it acceptable to call Your Honorable Majesty by that name, and that they will use it frivolously, Your Majesty."
In an instant, the Emperor's jaw stiffened.
"Is my name tainted if it is used by my subjects?"
The councillor bowed quickly at the angry tone in Louis' voice.
"Ah, no, it isn't. I am afraid, Sire, that by calling upon your Majesty's name so readily, it may damage your authority!"
"Do the other councillors think so?"
There were no denials. The Emperor had anticipated their reaction to some extent.
It would not be dignified to see the Empire's most honored name stuck outside a medicine box on an apothecary's shelf.
Still, it was obvious that the medicine would sell better with his name on it.
If he, who had no business sense, could see that, what about the upper members of the Houses?
"Yes. Your Majesty."
"So, this is the opinion of the councillors here. What do you think of the use of my name?"
Lloyd felt a chill on the back of his neck. This was not something he hadn't thought of either. So, after quickly reviewing the answers he had prepared in advance, he explained as politely as possible.
"I think it would be even more awe-inspiring for Your Majesty to put his name on the medicine that is essential to the people of the Empire suffering from heart disease. I'm sure it won't be too much of a problem, Your Majesty, since it includes a phrase that reveals your heartfelt concern for the plight of your people."
"No, it won't. Even if it were, it would be a shame to have used up medicine bottles lying about in the streets, being struck to and fro by the feet of the people; I shudder just to think of it, Your Majesty!"
The bumbling Duke Anton had a point. The Emperor's brow furrowed, he had an immediate picture in his mind of a tramp kicking over a vial of medicine.
[I'm afraid there might be some objections, and when that happens, you must be strong.]
Tara’s words, from when she saw him off before entering the Imperial Palace, flashed through Lloyd's mind.
[Tell them that you're going to make the jars out of glass and recycle them, and that if the customers bring the used ones back, you'll give them their deposit back. Of course, that won't stop them from throwing them away, so tell them that you're going to advertise the jars as heavily as possible. If they still don't like it, tell them that you'll change the name to whatever they want at that point, even if it means losing sales. I think it would be nice to emphasize the "even if it hurts sales" part.]
Lloyd decided that now was the time, so he echoed Tara's words. As Lloyd emphasized the word "even if it means losing sales," the Emperor once again glanced at the vial on the silver tray.
Duke Anton stepped forward again, but the Emperor held out his palm to stop him.
"This is not the business of the State, Your Grace, so that's enough of your opinion."
It was the Emperor's personal business, so he had to get out of the way. The Duke took a step back, trying to hide his sour expression, and the Emperor glanced sideways, his eyes twinkling.
"Hmmm. Second Prince. What do you think?"
Lloyd turned his head and glared at the Second Prince. Kyle raised his eyebrows once again under the Count's intense gaze.
‘My dear Count, you're very upset.'
Kyle strode briskly to the podium and stood beside the Count.
"Are you curious about my opinion, Your Majesty?"
"Yes. Since you have such a sober perspective, let's hear it. What do you think, Second Prince?"
Kyle paused, asking for a moment to think. He pretended to stroke his chin, covered his mouth, and whispered in a low voice that only the Count next to him could hear.
"Count, you appear to be distressed."
Lloyd's eyes lowered, and he blew out an angry snort, then closed and opened his eyes tightly. Then, like Kyle, he covered his mouth.
"Y-y-you, my House...."
Kyle guessed it was something along the lines of, "Don't you dare disrespect me!"
"Of course not, my aide's family is my ally, and our alliance is as strong as ever. I will find time to see you soon."
The Count's eyes narrowed, a question in his eyes.
'His aide? Stronger than ever? No. I know we’re allied, but why would he take the time to seek me out? Why?'
Seeing the look in the Count's eyes, Kyle said nothing, but took a step forward, shielding the Count's wide-eyed surprise from the Emperor, and stated his opinion plainly for all to hear.
“Your Majesty. There is no other heart drug that has succeeded in phase 3 clinical trials so far, except for this one from Elias Pharmaceuticals. That applies not only in the Empire, but also in neighboring countries that actively interact with the us. Therefore, it is unique.”
"With that kind of exclusivity, the medicine should sell well."
“That is what I'm saying. It means that there should be no need to use His Majesty's name and insignia at all, Your Majesty.”
The Emperor's eyes narrowed as Duke Anton interjected.
"Hmm. Do you mean to say that you are of the same opinion as Lord Anton?"
Kyle answered the Emperor's question.
"No, it is not the same."
Gulps sounds could be heard throughout the room, while Kyle jerked back up from his slight bow.
The Emperor stared at the handsome back of the Second Prince's head.
Enjoyed the chapter? Buy us a ko-fi!