The Genius Prince’s Guide: Wein’s Latest Threat May Require Backup – from Earthworld

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt Episode 11, "By Hook or Crook," now streaming on Funimation.

The reign of Prince Wein has been on a wild trajectory ever since he led his kingdom of Natra in two battles against the kingdom of Marden. Following Natra's defeat of Marden, the kingdom's royal family was betrayed and assassinated by its king's advisor Holonyeh, leaving the younger Princess Zenovia as the sole survivor. As the least experienced monarch in ruling a kingdom, Zenovia made a deal with Wein to merge the kingdoms of Marden and Natra.

The acquisition of Marden helped Natra acquire more valuable resources, although it also drew attention from the Earthworld Empire and especially the imperial Princess Lowellmina, Wein's childhood friend. Natra's acquisition of Marden also got the attention of the more bigoted western kingdoms of Cavarin, Soljest and Delunio, the latter of which owned and leased Marden land. Since the western kingdoms all subscribe to the Levetian religion, most of its monarchs and political leaders are also members of the Holy Elite. As such, they view Wein as a threat to their ruling structure and began to conspire against him.

The first western monarch who attempted to control Wein was King Ordalasse of Cavarin, who invited him to join the Holy Elite. Wein, of course, saw through the king's ruse and attempted to delay his membership during his interview with the Elite Caldmellia. The action that doomed Wein, however, was his impulsive murder of Ordalasse following his racist comments on the Flahm race, of which his best friend Ninym Ralei is a member. This action didn't go unnoticed by the western kingdoms and especially the Holy Elite, who have since changed their approach.

In Episode 11 of The Genius Prince's Guide, it's revealed that the western kingdoms won't trade with the Earthworld Empire, which leads Wein to sell their goods as Natran products through Marden. This fraudulent exchange catches the attention of Delunio's prime minister Sirgis, who confronts Wein and Zenovia about their questionable trade practices. This catches Zenovia off guard, as she was not aware this was happening, but Wein dismisses Sirgis' claims. This naturally angers the Delunian prime minister, who promises Wein that he will face consequences for his actions. Wein takes Sirgis' threat with a grain of salt and travels to Soljest to form an alliance with King Gruyere instead.

Wein and Ninym (once again disguised with black hair) are welcomed to the kingdom of Soljest with open arms by King Gruyere, who immediately invites them to a feast. At the dining hall, Wein meets Gruyere's daughter Princess Tolcheila, who introduces the Natran prince to all of Soljest's finest cuisine dishes, effectively preventing him from bringing up the subject of an alliance. For the remainder of his stay, Wein tries to strike up a conversation with Gruyere about an alliance but is avoided at every turn by the king.

The moment Gruyere makes for Wein to hear his proposal for an alliance, he is surprisingly kind to Ninym, who he is aware is actually Flahm and is not fooled by her change in hair color. Wein remains distrustful of Gruyere and anticipates an assassination plot against him, but Gruyere continues to prove him wrong and instead shares his more liberal political views.

This catches Wein off guard; he did not expect this from a western monarch who subscribes to the oppressive Levetian religion. When he especially shares his belief that Flahm is an equal race of people worthy of the same rights and respect afforded to other races, this is enough to win Wein's immediate trust. When he especially accepts Wein's proposal of an alliance, it puts his mind at ease about Natra's future.

Unbeknownst to Wein, he fell right into Gruyere's trap, which he does not become aware of until he returns to Natra. The moment he makes it back to his palace, he quickly learns that Delunio invaded Marden, which in turn caused Soljest to declare war against Natra. Wein then connects all the dots and figures out what really happened during his stay in Soljest. Prior to his arrival, Delunio's prime minister formed an alliance with King Gruyere to seize Marden over their void lease, but he is in fact targeting Natra. Gruyere then facilitated the prime minister's goals by playing to Wein's weaknesses to temporarily gain his trust and strike when he least expected it.

With Natra about to go to war against a more powerful kingdom, Zenovia suggests reconciling with Delunio, which is a political ally of Soljest. She reasons that if Natra and Delunio enter a peace treaty, this will invalidate Soljest's declaration of war. She also wants to do her part to avoid another costly war, although Wein cooks up an idea to "turn things upside down" on both Delunio and Soljest. However, his plan may require backing from the more powerful Earthworld Empire and especially Princess Lowellmina, who is the only eastern monarch besides Wein who can successfully defeat the western kingdoms.

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