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Betwixt Emperors

By jadeishere

Other / Drama


On the day that Japan became Area 11, Lelouch swore to himself that he "will obliterate Britannia".

So strong an oath for the ten-year old prince, but he knew that he lacked the necessary resources to do such. He no longer had the authority to acquire Knightmare Frames to his liking because he had no one to support him. Maybe Schniezel — he is the Prime Minister after all and he'll just say that he will form an army group to help the Army invade more Areas, maybe he'll approve of it; or maybe Cornelia will — her little sister Euphie liked him so much, and she used to serve for her mother.

But Lelouch wasn't naïve. He knew that both of them will ask questions, and he didn't like that.

The gravity of the situation fell on him hard: it was not easy building a rebellion. He had to bide his time and hope for the best that the day he will gain power is right.

He found the Ashford family in Area 11 a week later. The Ashfords were an ally of the late Marianne. Their house made the first few generations of Knightmare Frames, one of which is the Ganymede of Lady Marianne.

Recognizing the exiled prince and princess, Ruben Ashford offered them shelter, schooling, and new identities. Of course, they didn't refuse because they don't have form of payments even if Lelouch tried working.

After settling down at the refurnished manor of the Ashfords, Lelouch asked Nunnally, "If one wish were to be granted, what would it be?"

Nunnally thought long and hard. She smiled when she settled for her answer.

"I wish for a gentle and peaceful world, big brother," she replied meekly.

On that day, Lelouch promised to himself that he will try to grant Nunnally her one wish, and get rid of the hate and war in the world.

When Japan was felled by Britannia, young Seijuuro Akashi knew what his father was doing: he was striking a bargaining agreement with the Britannians.

Why wouldn't they? They hold about thirty percent of the nation's market. They and them alone.

Letting these companies be ruled over by Britannians would be unforgivable — they would a lot of their wealth in an instant. It was something that Akashi's father does not want, and he will absolutely do everything in his power not to let that happen.

Thus came the crux of their negotiations.

"If you let us take over the administration of your conglomerate, we'll make your family a noble," said the Britannian negotiatior, "no questions asked. Isn't that good?"

Akashi's father hmm'd, his eyes closed in deep thought. "It is good, yes…"

The Britannian's face lit up like a candle, standing up on his seat. "Yes, yes! So I take it tha—"

"But it is not good enough," the elder Akashi said in his best English. Akashi saw the Brit's face deflate, and it was priceless. His father looked to him, as if he was teaching him the ropes of negotiation.

"While nobility is a definite tempting offer, you have not mentioned of our riches," he continued, "if we relinquish the management powers to your men, it will also mean that our amassed capital would also be turned over you.

"Nobility is nothing but a titular right. I could decline your offer here and now, and let you Britannians start over from scratch. I have heard some news about the… incoming viceroy, and I doubt you are solvent enough in the long term to finish paying for your debts."

The Britannian could only swallow in fear of the elder Akashi in front of him. He was completely in control of this negotiation.

"Y-you talk as if y-you have a more viable option," the Britannian stuttered, mustering all of his courage.

"And you talk as if you can outwit and outbid me in negotiations," the elder Akashi replied with disgust, his face contorting in disdain. "This talk would not even happen if I did not take the initiative to talk to you."

"H-how dare you talk to me, a Britannian, to be a weakling! You are just nothing but an inferior Num–"

"Silence!" the elder shouted, cutting off the Britannian. Akashi was slightly surprised of his father's momentary loss of control. It rarely happened, and he knew that this was very important that should be settle in his terms only.

"I am Masaomi Akashi, president of the Akashi Conglomerate! Respect a man, such as I, of economic power, lowlife leech," he grumbled, glaring at the foreigner in front of him.

"I shall maintain my share of the area's market share and become a nobility," the elder Akashi spoke. "Decline my offer, and face the hardship of reconstructing a postwar economy."

The Britannian negotiator sweat dropped.

It was at this point that Seijuuro Akashi knew that it was about to end. The person in front of them was trembling in fear, knowing that he did not want to meddle with them in the future.

"… I will relay that to my viceroy immediately."

"Before you go," the elder Akashi said, "tell to your viceroy that I know his 'pet project'. If he does not want to ruin his image immediately, he will accept my offer."

"I-is that all?"

The elder Akashi nodded. The Britannian stood up and left the conference room.

Silence emanated in the entire room. The elder stood up and looked over the window, taking in all of the rubble that was named Tokyo.

"Do you think that their viceroy would refuse your offer?" Akashi asked, although he knew what the elder would say.

"He is a dunce if he rejects my generous bid to help him," he replied, sighing.

"What if you are wrong?"

The elder turned around to face him, looking in the younger Akashi's eyes.

"The future is already certain. I have never been wrong."

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