I like Linkin Park, but…
The population of Fokalore has in fact increased three times after the change of feudal lords. Although its number has gone up quite a bit due to immigrants and refugees, the release of an early phase of a population management system and because there was a considerable number of residents, who were the kind to spend money coming from outside for the sake of education, an overall balance was attained.
Those related to commerce and industry have been outstandingly developing their sales proficiency and productivity even if compared to outside the country, let alone the domestic companies.
By Hifumi’s instruction a license system for businesses has been set up. The tax system has been changed to declaring the taxes owed each time. The feudal lord has completely seized the opportunity to circulate goods and money from city to city within the territory by using the rail cars. Even just the sales from this enterprise are contributing to the territory’s operation heavily.
As for the industry, the standards have been unified for the first time in this world. Due to the “screw”, which had been invented by Hifumi, carpenters and ironworkers experienced a great upheaval. Until then it was popular to affix things irreversibly by using nails or welding, but with the introduction of screws and by explosively spreading the industrial products, which were standardized, hasty people are starting to say things like 「Fokalore creates the standards of all industrial products」.
But it’s not only the aspect of knowledge. All territories are also closely observing its military parts. Staying for the sake of participating in the training of each unit, the money spent in the cities is increasing as result.
Fokalore gathered the attention and its population is growing. As outcome, the staff members and the civil official slaves, who were controlling them, became busy once again.
Miyukare, being the sole civil official slave in charge of military affairs, is finishing the documents with a dreadful expression while holding down her temper.
In the space for the sake of the civil official slaves performing their official duties, Miyukare, without even concealing her ill humour, processed the documents with a sound of the pen scribbling across the papers rapidly. Doelgar and Paryu were in the room as well, but both of them are doing their jobs in silence.
“You know…” (Doelgar)
Miyukare turns her sight as if pouncing down on him towards Doelgar, who timidly called out to her.
“Don’t glare at me like that… Lord-sama told us that he agrees about the retired soldiers. We were able to procure the participation of the ironworkers, too.” (Doelgar)
“Right. Then, I will notify the soldiers, who are considering to retire, and have them introduced to the industry guild as applicants.” (Miyukare)
“Uh huh, I leave it to you.” (Doelgar)
Once he finished his business, Doelgar left as if running away by saying 「I will go report it to the guild」.
A single staff member came entering as replacement, but seeing Miyukare’s expression, he made a startled face for an instant. He went towards Paryu’s desk at a quick pace.
Paryu, who raised her face, has her violet eyes half closed as if being drowsy, but the staff member doesn’t particularly mind it as it is the usual and hands her the documents, he held in his hands.
“Paryu-san, a message from the capital came.”
“Thank you very much. I will check it, okay?” (Paryu)
Once the staff member has left, Paryu looks over the documents given to her. Becoming completely familiar with dealing with paperwork and drawing up a family register, she reads through the documents quickly. She grasps the contents, written down on one sheet of the documents, in several seconds. It’s not at the level of Caim, but her documents throughput is high amongst the staff members of the territory.
“… Miyukare-san. As soon as the coronation ceremony in the capital finishes, Director of Military Affairs Alyssa will return, it seems.” (Paryu)
Miyukare stood up with a force that knocked down the chair due to Paryu’s words, which were conveyed without any preface at all.
“Unless this document is a forgery. Since it has Lord-sama’s usual, unreadable signature, I believe there’s no mistake to that.” (Paryu)
“In that case, it’s alright! It’s indispensable to throw a welcome home party, right!?” (Miyukare)
“Will the restaurant at that place be fine? Is it even better to reserve a hotel?” Towards Miyukare, who shows a slovenly face and says exactly these words with a smile or rather a broad grin, Paryu decided to consider this to be already an illness. An incurable illness, that is.
“Lord-sama will come back as well. Since he’s coming back leading several soldiers he was entrusted with by Vichy, we’ve been told to prepare their participation in military training. I will find a boarding house for them but since there’s no one but you, Miyukare-san, who can put them into a training schedule, please do that, ok?” (Paryu)
“Leave it to me! There shouldn’t be much time, right? When was the coronation ceremony?” (Miyukare)
“It’s today.” (Paryu)
Viscount Leonhart coming in contact with Roshi is a move trying to create a link to Vichy. It was leaked to the Royal Knight Order, monitoring within the castle.
The day before, at the time when Leonhart had the first session of discussions together with the attendants of Vichy, he said 「there are also other nobles, who are hoping to form a friendly relationship with your country」. Hoping for a conference with the other nobles before the coronation ceremony and as result of Roshi also agreeing to that, it had been decided to let them freely do it in order to arrest the whole lot at once.
And today, just like yesterday, with the scene playing out at the rest room, provided for the envoy of Vichy, their conference started.
The nobles politely greeted Roshi in turns, in a modest manner which didn’t seem noble-like.
On the other hand, although Roshi seems to intend being plenty cautious, there’s a necessity for results to come out here. The commander of the attendants, who made sure to be slightly separated from them, calmly saw through him obviously being impatient.
“The attendants are nothing more than extras”, it was convenient for the attendants that the nobles from Orsongrade failed to even exchange a decent amount of words with them. No one cared about them even as they moved stealthily to their places and blocked the entrance of the room’s door.
Only Vaiya, who was monitoring them secretly, noticed those movements.
“Well then, even though it’s sudden, let’s discuss the shape of our friendship.” (Leonhart)
The discussions advance in a way of Leonhart taking the lead.
“If we get right to the point, for our country I consider it satisfactory if we proceed with the previous set up circulation of goods and money towards Orsongrande.” (Roshi)
As the nobles are showing that they haven’t understood Roshi’s words right away, Leonhart inquires about his real intention.
“There is also a possibility of our country’s merchants being restricted from entering your country from now on. It will likely be difficult to sell the merchandise of a hostile nation. Accordingly, we can have someone buy them temporarily if we are able to set up a selling agency within Orsongrande.” (Roshi)
Even while expressing their understanding as I went this far to put it into words, their reaction is weak and lacking. Won’t they be able to understand it unless I tell them directly? Roshi was getting irritated within his mind.
“… Of course, if you were to agree to the cooperation, there is no doubt that you will be able to secure large profit margins at the time of selling the items in your country since we will sell the merchandise cheaply to you wholesale.” (Roshi)
“Oh, this a great suggestion! On top of a cooperation, you go even as far as offering us profits, Roshi-dono.” (Leonhart)
“It’s a truly thoughtful story!”
The nobles, who at last comprehended the benefits after he explained up to there, are praising Roshi unanimously while exchanging glances amongst each other inquiring about the timing of the contest over the profits.
(Are these guys really nobles?) (Attendant’s commander)
The commander of the attendants watched these exchanges while being disgusted from the bottom of his heart. Speaking of nobles, he thought of them as a group pointlessly and flowery talking about their love for their country while holding money and authority, though unable to hide even a single part of their desire through their thin skin.
In this case, Vichy’s merchants are 100 times better at talking while hiding their greed, the commander evaluated.
Shifting his line of view, he secretly gave the other attendants the sign to carry out the plan. Some nodded silently. Those being outside the noble’s view have already drawn their hands to their sword’s hilts.
“Then, let’s talk about the details and volume of the business right away…” (Leonhart)
Leonhart, whose laughter changed into a broad grin, bent himself forward. With Roshi being in front of him on the other side, he can see the attendant’s commander raising his sword overhead. In the next moment Leonhart’s face is sullied by a spray of blood.
“Bad luck, we will end the play-friends game here.”
Being deeply cut into the head, Roshi died instantly. The commander, who stepped over his corpse, which fell off the chair, prepared his blood-soaked sword.
“B-Bastard! Your own country’s envoy…” (Leonhart)
While he was about to attack Leonhart, the other nobles, who were surprised by the bloody event, are scrambling for running away and head towards the door visibly tumbling about. However, even there they have been awaited by attendants standing in the way.
“Have everyone here die. As the discussions haven’t gone well, the enraged nobles of Orsongrande have stabbed Roshi with knives. Even though we were able to somehow counterattack, Roshi has passed away. You guys have passed away, too. That’s how it will go.”
At the moment he pointed the sword at Leonhart, who has lost the ability to say anything due to surprise, a shuriken came flying from who-knows-where and pierced into the commander’s right arm. The impact caused his sword to leap out of his hands.
“Ugu!? What the heck!?”
While being bewildered by the unknown piece of metal that pierced his arm, an avalanche of knights flowed out of the hidden pathway. In the blink of an eye the situation within the room changed into a state of fighting.
Vaiya, who threw the shuriken, jumped in front of the commander holding a kusarigama in his hand.
“We are Orsongrande’s Royal Knight Order. There is a necessity for us to deal with this lot (the nobles). We will also restrain you for the crime of drawing your swords within the castle. If you surrender, we won’t kill you.” (Vaiya)
“Are you an idiot!? There’s no way we will surrender just because you tell us to do so!” (Commander)
The commander, who picked up his sword with his left hand while yelling, had his face severely struck by the counterweight thrown by Vaiya as he turned around.
Dropping his sword once again, he fainted by being hit with the sickle’s hilt as he was holding his face.
Although several of his group’s members were injured as well, all of the attendants were successfully arrested without being killed. For the knights, who are wearing armours, the attendants, who wear nothing more but simple clothes, were almost no contest.
“W-We are saved…” (Leonhart)
Vaiya stands in front of Leonhart, who sighed in relief while sitting down unable to stand up due to fear.
“Are you someone from the knight orders? You have my thanks.” (Leonhart)
“It seems you are misunderstanding something here though.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya changes from holding the kusarigama to holding a rope.
“You are a target for arrest as well. During the time until you receive your punishments from the new queen, I will have you obediently wait in prison.” (Vaiya)
“W-What foolish thing to say! What kind of crime did…” (Leonhart)
“You have been tolerated since you are harmless. If you were harmful, you would have been removed by now.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya, who quickly tied up Leonhart, gave the order to put him together with the other nobles into the prison managed by the knight order.
Even Roshi’s fallen corpse is quickly disposed of by the knight order. In the meanwhile Vaiya constantly paid an undue amount of attention to his surroundings.
“Did something happen, Vice-Captain?”
“No… I thought Earl Tohno would appear because of a battle scene like this, but… well, it’s fine, I guess. The coronation ceremony will start soon. We will entrust the conspicuous places to Captain Sabnak. We will continue to monitor from the shadows then.” (Vaiya)
Hearing Vaiya’s words, the knights headed quickly towards their stations.
One hour before the coronation ceremony.
It was Imeraria’s office were an incident started.
“You are … if I remember correctly, you were someone from the knight order. I believe you were in charge of guarding outside the castle, but did something happen?” (Imeraria)
It was Balzephon, affiliated to the knight order, who visited the office.
Imeraria, who felt doubts about a knight, whom she hardly ever met, suddenly visiting, experienced some uncomfortable feeling.
Balzephon, who quickly surveyed the room while entering, stood in front of Imeraria and bowed respectfully. But, he didn’t choose to kneel following the etiquette of retainers.
The maids, who were close-by, are surprised by his unbelievably impolite attitude. At the moment Imeraria tried to open her mouth to warn him that he should be more careful, Balzephon spoke first.
“Your Highness, I’m called Balzephon. I was a member of the Second Knight Order, but now I belong to the unified knight order. Just as Your Highness’ said, the Royal Knight Order is protecting inside the castle and we are to guard outside the castle. … However.” (Balzephon)
Balzephon took a straight look at Imeraria with forceful eyes.
“Why is a former member of the Third Knight Order the captain of the Royal Knight Order? Isn’t that person only talented at flattering up to Earl Tohno without even being able to properly handle a sword? Although the vice-captain is Vaiya, that person is an imbecile, who only does what he’s told. He was never entrusted any important tasks at the Second Knight Order.” (Balzephon)
“… It looks like you are unhappy with my human resources. However, your manner of handling that is disrespectful. Quickly leave this room and I will overlook this situation.” (Imeraria)
Balzephon, who received that advice, laughed scornfully with a “Humph.”
“No, I’m the one controlling this situation… no, we are. I will have you obediently stay in this room. Given that there will be a small cleaning within the castle after this, during that time, let’s get you ready to spend your entire life’s time as puppet queen hereafter.” (Balzephon)
“What are you saying… ?” (Imeraria)
Once Imeraria voiced her doubt, the knight, who stood at her side, suddenly drew his sword and thrust it at Imeraria.
“! … You are!” (Imeraria)
The knight slightly falters due to her stern glare, but he doesn’t lower the sword.
“Just like me, he is originally from the Second Knight Order. It was difficult to create an opportunity where Sabnak and the bunch of the former Third Knight Order isn’t present. The nobles are nothing but dumb. They were unusable incompetents even for acting as decoys with Vichy’s group.” (Balzephon)
“You were called Balzephon, right? What’s your goal?” (Imeraria)
With this, it’s the second time I have a sword thrust in front of me. Compared to the blood-lust I faced from Hifumi at that time, there isn’t anything like that present currently, she persuaded herself. Having calmed down, Imeraria asked a question.
“For us knights it is honourable to win by fighting our enemies fair and square. It’s not to be pleased with not knowing how to wield a weapon like Vaiya and neither is it to record useless conversations while stealthily peeping from the shadows like the bunch from the Third Knight Order. Originally it all became ridiculous starting with Your Highness appointing that man to a responsible post. We only want to reset that.” (Balzephon)
The other knights, who were present in the room, also drew their swords. The frightened maids gathered at one spot.
“Right now our other companions are likely getting rid of Sabnak and Lotomago. Once we suppressed the bunch of the former Third Knight Order, we will have Your Highness grandly announce this feat to the citizens.” (Balzephon)
Balzephon is elated of himself, Imeraria judged.
“Earl Tohno will be banished from this country. Regarding Vichy and Horant, who caused a pointless war, they will receive punishment from the knight order in addition to the reparations.” (Balzephon)
“Can you hold onto your honour as knight with such meaningless action?” (Imeraria)
Once Imeraria asked as if being disgusted, Balzephon quickly approached her and hit Imeraria’s cheek with his open hand.
Even the knight thrusting the sword at her was surprised by that, but he kept his mouth shut while glaring.
“Though it was the responsibility of these countries to meaninglessly decrease our knight order, don’t you agree? This will also serve as memorial service for the First and Second Knight Order, who died in the fight against Horant. I won’t allow you to insult that.” (Balzephon)
While enduring the pain of her cheek, Imeraria worried more about Hifumi’s situation than that of the man in front of her. I don’t know what kind of mess that man will cause by taking advantage of these circumstances.
The rebellion of the knights silently began before the coronation ceremony.