“Good grief, I can only say that I’m utterly stunned.”
At night Lobnas complained by himself inside the guest room assigned to him.
Three days have already passed since he came to Bolnis. What he saw and heard during that time were all things that made him disappointed.
It started with the audience held on the next day after he visited the city.
“I’m acting as everyone’s representative. My name is Kizaki Souma.”
The one who welcomed Lobnas at the audience hall while saying so was a truly weak-looking brat.
Contrary to his thoughts of wondering what kind of man he would encounter, seeing as the ferocious zoan and dinosaurians are obeying him, it was this kind of brat. He had heard the rumors in advance, but even so Lobnas was more flabbergasted than surprised.
Nevertheless, pondering whether he might possess something that’s not obvious from his appearance, considering that he led that General Darius around by the nose, he tried to continue with the audience, but in the end it only added the description softhearted to the assessment of that frail kid.
“When my master, a wealthy merchant, fell ill in the middle of his travel, his life was saved by a subhuman slave. Ever since he wondered whether he can’t help them out in some way, and so on.”
The brat easily believed in that kind of made-up story.
Well, since even Eladia, who was present at the audience, had tears of gratitude stream down her cheeks, I think my way of reciting it must have been quite good.
However, shouldn’t they doubt my side of the story at least a bit? Besides, wouldn’t it make sense to check my identity? Lobnas felt even a strange anger well up within.
But then again he had the confidence that it would be impossible to expose his true identity, even if they did investigate it.
As a matter of fact a trading merchant with the name Lobnas existed in Romania. Of course Lobnas made a deal with a man, who resembled him closely, by paying some money for situations like this. Hence, no matter how much they investigate his background, it would only lead to the fact that a merchant called Lobnas headed to Holmea for trading.
Even though he went out of his way to set all of this up, not being doubted like this resulted in him being quite frustrated.
“Would it be possible for me to have a look at your soldiers?”
Thinking that the slaves, who became soldiers, must be quite excellent since they defeated General Darius even while being led by this kind of brat, he tried requesting that with the expectation to be turned down, but instead it was readily approved.
However, even there Lobnas ends up completely dumbfounded.
At the soldier’s training place to where he was guided, he at first thought Oohh! after seeing muscular dwarves standing in lines while holding still brand new battle axes and spears in their hands.
But, in the next moment that transformed into disappointment.
“Now then, move that waaay!”
Once a dwarf called Dvalin waved a flag, all the dwarves started to noisily run with weapons in hand.
“Next, it’s this waaay!”
Once he waves the flag in the opposite direction, the dwarves turn around in a hurry and run in the opposite direction. That repeated itself several times.
Just how is this supposed to be training? Like this it’s nothing more than them running around as they please while following the flag’s directions.
In addition, Lobnas was allowed to watch a grapple between a black and a red furred beast, who were both introduced as heroes of the zoan that form the main force, while they wore nothing on top. Certainly the two beasts had magnificent physiques and it was a scuffle that packed a punch. But, leaving aside if it’s a show in some arena, a general leading an army will be able to grasp their level after being shown how they fight.
Moreover, he was also introduced to the dinosaurians, the strongest warriors among the slaves, but those guys were lazing around while basking in the sun as they laid on their bellies in the sunny spots of the feudal lord residence’s garden.
Even the brat called Soma, who guided him around, showed a cramped expression after seeing this.
Either way, Lobnas ended up utterly flabbergasted.
Since he heard that they defeated that General Darius, he had harbored quite the expectations. However, after actually having seen them with his own eyes, he realized that they are really no more than a simple mish-mash of rebelling slaves. With them like this, even bandits you can find anywhere have a better command structure.
To think that I expressly headed all the way into the hinterlands of Holmea to measure the power of guys like these; what an absurdity.
When he was pacing back and forth inside his room while extremely upset, a knock could be heard at the door.
Right then Lobnas’ expression changes into that of having a lewd look, and he excitedly opens the door.
“Sir Lobnas, I have come bringing some wine.”
As Lobnas had expected, Eladia stood there while carrying wine and food with her.
“This is very welcome. Now, hurry up and come in.”
While inviting Eladia inside the room, Lobnas licked his lips, believing, Truly, the sole side benefit is being able to have sex with this woman.
Lobnas, who slept deeply, woke up to the sound of clothes rustling.
Deep in the night. Eladia was in the process of covering her white, nude body, which was accentuated by the pale moonlight shining into the otherwise pitch-black room through an opened window, with her garments.
“What, you are already heading out?”
Once Lobnas called out to her with a yawn blended into his speech, Eladia sat down at the edge of the bed and whispered,
“I’m terribly sorry. Tomorrow I have to serve from early in the morning. Please take it easy and have a good night’s sleep, Sir Lobnas.”
Saying so, Eladia stood up, trying to leave the room, but her hand is grabbed by Lobnas, holding her back.
“How about it? If you are fine with it, I can negotiate with the feudal lord here to buy you out of your bondage.”
That is something he continuously thought over for the last three days. To leave such an incredible elven beauty stay here is too much of a waste.
“Oh my, thank you very much.”
Lobnas, who was pleased by her blossoming smile while saying that, drew Eladia’s arm to himself and tried to hug her in his chest. However, Eladia’s arm, which he should have seized properly, escapes his hand smoothly as something seems to be the matter.
In order to stir him up, Eladia say to Lobnas who looks confused,
“However, I’m sick of being traded by merchants. I like strong men much more than any merchant. A powerful man who can protect me by wielding sword and shield.”
“I see. That’s regrettable.”
While expressing his regret with his mouth, Lobnas’ face was full of complacency. After all he’s a general and not a merchant. He truly fits the condition mentioned by Eladia perfectly.
However, Eladia continued to speak further,
“But, I also hate violent men who’s only redeeming trait lies in their strength. I love men who are not only strong but also clever.”
Being told so, Lobnas ends up troubled.
As noble I believe to own a minimum of culture and knowledge, but if I’m asked whether I’m clever, I feel like it’s slightly different from being educated. I wonder what she might consider as being clever.
Eladia quietly brings her lips close to Lonbas’ ear who’s brooding with his eyebrows furrowed.
“I wonder, do you know of such a story…”
And then Eladia poured honeyed words into his ear.
The next morning Lobnas, in order to return to his country, visited Souma to give his thanks for having been taken care of and to bid his farewell as he’s leaving the city.
Once he’s asked by Souma whether they had done something rude to him, considering his sudden departure, Lobnas shook his hands and denied it with “Absolutely not!”
“Even I greatly admire your heartfelt intentions. As such I have made up my mind to go report to my master as quickly as possible without dawdling any longer.”
Lobnas beats his own chest powerfully.
“If it’s about support, then please leave it to me. I believe my master will most certainly provide his assistance, too!”
Unbelievably high spirits despite his sour looks until just yesterday. To the degree that he continued talking without pause while consistently smiling at Souma, who escorted him all the way to the city’s gate to see him off.
“Well then, please await the good news! Ha ha ha ha!”
After confirming that the carriage with Lobnas inside, protected by a very few guards, disappeared beyond the horizon, Souma let the tension out of his shoulders in relief.
“It looks like it went well, doesn’t it?”
Standing next to him, Eladia answers at that with a grin,
“At your will, Lord Soma.”
Having returned to Romania, Lobnas cleaned off the travel’s dirt and immediately requested an audience with the king. King Doldea, who had eagerly awaited his return, immediately gave his permission and Lobnas was let through to the audience hall where the courtiers were all lined up this time.
“So how were the rebelling slaves of that city Bolnis or whatever it was called?”
Lobnas grandly shook his head at Doldea whose voice was overflowing with anticipation.
“You might as well call them a let-down.”
And then he explained the details of Bolnis’ state which he had witnessed with his own eyes. Thereupon not only Doldea, but also the present courtiers revealed dumbfounded expressions.
“They are absolutely no power on whom we could rely. Perhaps even them defeating Darius might have been nothing more but a pure stroke of luck.”
Doldea couldn’t suppress his disappointment after hearing Lobnas’ report that was brought to an end with those words.
Doldea dreamed of bringing down Holmea by joining forces with them as long as they are a group strong enough to defeat Darius who caused Romania so much grief over the years. A plan of tripping Holmea up by showing weakness and weakening Holmea by taking advantage of their mistakes; a relentless attack against Holmea from the east and west as if hunting down a deer that had been gradually driven into exhaustion
However, if the subhuman slaves cannot be relied on, he has to rethink the usurpation of Holmea from the start again.
A heavy sigh escaped Doldea’s lips.
“It’s a bit too early to allow ourselves to be disappointed.”
Yet Lobnas continued his speech with an elated expression.
“Your Majesty, what do you think about a story like this?”
What Lobnas began to talk about triumphantly after that preface is an anecdote of a famous, clever king who reigned the continent’s center several centuries ago.
Back then the country of the clever king was in a longstanding conflict against its neighboring country. It’s said that at one time the clever king, who was aware of the existence of atrocious bandits in a corner of that neighboring country, secretly provided arms and 1000 pieces of gold to those bandits.
Having obtained those funds and arms, the bandits gained more and more in strength, and rampaged throughout the neighboring country. The neighboring country was forced to dispatch its national army and killed the bandits without leaving a single one of them alive, but at that time its territory had already been devastated, and they had lost many soldiers to just subjugate them.
The clever king, who made sure of that, finally moved his soldiers and assaulted the neighboring country while suffering only few losses.
“That king, who obtained a whole country by merely paying a 1000 pieces of gold and a few arms, has been naturally extolled as clever king even by future generations.”
Doldea, who finished listening to the anecdote recounted by Lobnas, nods many times over and smiles smugly.
“I see. I fully understand what you want to say. You are telling me to become that clever king, aren’t you?”
“As expected of you, Your Majesty. It’s just as you have discerned.”
While flattering the king, Lobnas explains the advantages of this plan.
“Even if they are saying that they are doing it for the sake of opposing Holmea, in the end all of them are just filthy subhuman slaves. Not only will it leave a stain behind in Romania’s history to join forces with them – be it even just for a short time – it will also displease the priests of the Holy Faith.”
It’s not as much as in the continent’s center, but even in this western area the influence of the Holy Faith is gaining strength by the day. If they were to acknowledge the liberation of subhuman slaves and provide them with land, even if it’s just for the sake of defeating Holmea, it would very likely create a breeding ground for future troubles with the Holy Faith’s priesthood.
The one who made him notice that was the elf called Eladia who was worried that she might be targeted by the Holy Faith if he buys her contractual freedom. 1 To receive the worries of a woman, who’s not only beautiful and smart but also capable of attentiveness, is the privilege and good fortune of having been born male. Lobnas, who believed something like that, continued speaking while frantically suppressing the unintentionally leaking lewd look on his face.
“Leaving that aside, we just have to support the slaves while concealing the name of Romania. Even if we leave them alone, I think they will grandly clash with Holmea in their own way. After comfortably watching that happen, we will only have to assault the exhausted Holmea.”
Doldea believed there to be some truth to Lobnas’ opinion.
Certainly, if I consider the relationship with the Holy Faith, it’s a bad idea to join hands with subhumans. Above all, the strategy of having Holmea and the slaves wear each other down without dirtying our own hands is interesting.
Sensing a positive response from Doldea’s reaction, Lobnas hit while the iron is still hot to deliver the final blow.
“Also, the biggest merit of this plan is――”
At that point Lobnas deliberately inserted a pause to stir the king’s anticipation. Even while being aware of that, Doldea had his curiosity piqued and pitched slightly forward on top of his throne. After seeing the king’s behavior, Lobnas says while overemphasizing,
“I believe that Your Majesty’s fame as reincarnation of the clever king, who destroyed our long standing arch enemy Holmea with such a plan, will be handed down over many generations.”
That precisely hit the vital point of Doldea.
In those days King Doldea was already at an advanced age where it wouldn’t be strange for him to die at any time. For a long time now Doldea’s monetary greed and his sexual lust have been fading because of the few remaining years he has left.
However, what grew in strength within the king’s heart in exchange is the desire for fame.
Suppressing the arch enemy Holmea through military force has also been the dearest wish of Romania for the last few hundred years. He wants to become the great, wise ruler who rebuilt the former major power.
He craves to carve his own name alongside such renown accomplishment into history. That was the reason why King Doldea was still tenaciously clinging to the throne, even now that he had become old.
“Hmm, I see. And I guess you will say that you are the great general who proposed this to me?”
“Good gracious, Your Majesty, you truly see through everything.”
Doldea raised a laughter at Lobnas revealing a menial smile.
“How amusing. Why not go with your suggestion.”
At that point Doldea turns his face towards his chief vassals who stood nearby.
“How much assistance should we provide to the sub-human slaves?”
The one answering to that was the vassal in charge of financial affairs.
“Let’s see. ―The other party are filthy slaves. It should be plenty if we provide them with 1000 gold coins as it happened in the anecdote.”
However, Lobnas rebuts that at once.
“What tightwad-like things are you saying!? ―Your Majesty. Being stingy with money here will likely be criticized as shabby in the future.”
Doldea believed the amount of money mentioned by the financial official to be proper at first. But, he revises his thinking after having that pointed out by Lobnas. Even if I carve my name into history, it will come all to nothing if I have the unfounded rumor of being a miser added to it. Rather, shouldn’t I leave behind my name in history alongside the fact of having shown lavishness here? That notion wells up within Doldea’s chest and becomes increasingly bigger.
Dreaming of being extolled with “King Doldea was a profuse person” by those in the future, Doldea mutters to himself “That would be certainly not bad at all.”
“Alright, you’re correct. Let’s give 50,000 gold coins to Bolnis’ slaves!”
All blood drained from the faces of the country’s vassals in charge of financial affairs due to the words spoken by Doldea with a self-satisfied look.
Once it comes to 50,000 gold coins, that’s a sum of money that easily exceeds the annual tax revenue of a provincial city. It’s only natural for the vassals to become pale.
“Y-Your Majesty! Please wait! As expected, that’s too much!”
But, in order to interrupt that, Lobnas flatters,
“As expected of you, Your Majesty. Even those of the future will likely admire Your Majesty’s lavishness.”
Due to that the financial officials felt emotions close to rage while saying “The likes of a mere general, who has no clue what public finances might be, shouldn’t needlessly butt into this conversation!”
And yet they most definitely had no way to know that it was an elven beauty, who whispered “I hate stingy men” into Lobnas’ ear, standing behind the things suggested by Lobnas.
After nodding several times in satisfaction due to Lobnas’ flattery, Doldea tells his vassals,
“It’s not something that I’m saying out of mere vanity. If it goes smoothly, we will obtain Holmea. Isn’t 50,000 gold coins more than cheap if that’s the price for it?”
Certainly, if you consider that they will buy Holmea with 50,000 gold coins, it’s cheap. But, the vassals were half-convinced, doubting that it would really work out all that well.
“But, Your Majesty, if you give them 50,000 gold coins, I think that you should attach some kind of condition to it.”
Just as a single vassals said that, it was not Lobnas who became pale.
“That’s no good! Won’t we be hated by them then!?”
The vassals look dubiously at Lobnas who started to talk about something as weird as being hated. Lobnas panics at that. Absolutely unable to honestly admit something like him having been told “I hate petty men who would bind a woman by attaching various strings,” Lobnas comes up with a plausible excuse.
“No, I mean, if we tie conditions to it, there will be the danger for our aim to be read through those. Having our assistance being hated due to that would mean us losing everything.”
“But, how are we going to make them fight against Holmea then?”
“The slaves, who defeated that shitty Darius, are a thorn in the side for Holmea. There’s no way that Holmea will look on forever as those guys amass power, right!?”
The vassals tried to hurl further problematic issues and questions at Lobnas, but at that moment Doldea lifts a hand, stopping the dispute.
“The vassals’ misgivings are reasonable. ―But, this is my decision!”
Once they are told this much, any further objections becomes impossible.
In front of King Doldea with his cheerful smile and Lobnas, who adds even further flattery, the vassals had no other option but to wrack their brains how to fill the holes in the budget due to this unexpected expense.
“Princess, what might be the problem?”
The elderly chamberlain was surprised by the young Princess Piarta who returned to her room while raging with her whole body trembling.
“Father and the chief vassals are all idiots!”
Piarta, who’s steaming mad, is a young princess who only became 10 years old this year. She is a doll-like, adorable little girl who has blue eyes that make one think of an azure sky and blond hair that gently flows down her back while bulging softly.
King Doldea doted on this princess who was born after he was already approaching an old age. Once the princess said she likes flowers, he created a garden with flowers blooming all year around by transplanting flowers each season. Once this princess said she likes animals, he bought up rare animals from all over the continent without sparing a single thought on money. The king truly favored her so much that one might say that he would fulfill her every wish.
Probably for that reason Piarta is a princess who stands out with her somewhat childish speech and behavior, contrasting her age.
“Giving away a huge amount of money is the height of folly! The very best plan is to make people move with the prospect of honor and inconsequential posts, and not by giving them money, arms and troops!”
Even so, Piarta, who didn’t show as much interest in anything but flowers and animals until around a year ago, caused the people around her to be surprised when she got completely absorbed in the strategy books of the great general Inkdias which she found by chance. Since then she has started to talk about awfully discriminating things or about matters that were covered by those strategy books as she did just now.
“They have absolutely no command structure either! You can’t trust in such a simple gathering of foolhardiness! They are the ones who defeated that Sir General Darius! Besides, that indecent face of Lobnas. He’s definitely being deceived by a beauty!”
And then Piarta throws out her small chest.
“This is surely the 『Type of Beauty』 that wangles money, arms and goods out of men through her looks!”
The elderly chamberlain, who smiled pleasantly at the princess with her proud expression, went along with that.
“To see through the plan of the subhuman leader, as expected of you, Princess.”
The flattered Piarta roughly breathes out through her nose.
“Divine Child of Destruction. What a dreadful guy! He will definitely become a threat for our country! ―But, have a peace of mind. I will protect everyone!”
Saying a line which is usually said by veteran generals, the elderly chamberlain spontaneously bursts into laughter at this precocious princess. Seeing that, Piarta, who thought that he was making fun of her, shows her anger by puffing up her red cheeks close to bursting.
The elderly chamberlain hurriedly humored Piarta. Fortunately good news had been delivered just then.
“Ah, yes. Various articles, which had been expressly ordered from a distant foreign country by His Majesty for you, Your Highness, have been delivered today.”
Once he says so, the chamberlain claps his hands, and the articles are carried into the room by slaves who had waited in the next room.
As if to say “I won’t be deceived by something like this,” Piarta turned away in irritation. However, as soon as she sees the things that were brought into the room, her eyes become perfect circles, and she shows her excitement by swinging both her fists up and down.
“Uwaaah! It’s Mr. Bird! It’s Mr. Bird!”
Piarta runs up to the cage that was carried in and peers inside through the iron bars.
“Mr. Bird, Mr. Bird! Play with me!”
Piarta happily talks to it without minding that its wings are trembling as it’s seemingly frightened by the unfamiliar environment.
“It’s not only birds, Princess. Please look at the garden.”
Piarta’s eyes, which shifted towards the garden as urged by the chamberlain, sparkled with even more excitement and joy.
“Mr. Horse! Mr. Horse!”
It’s a magnificent horse that was delivered from deep down in the south.
Unable to stand still any longer, Piarta dashed towards the garden with the hem of her skirt fluttering up in the wind.
“P-Princess! You will surprise the horse if you hurry so much! Ah, that’s dangerous! You will end up getting kicked by it!”
While the elderly chamberlain and the stable boy holding the horse’s bits are scared to death, Piarta keeps patting the horse with a smile plastered all over her face.
“Uwaaah! Mr. Horse, Mr. Horse! Play with me!”
As if understanding those words, the horses folded its legs on the spot and sat down. In front of the stable boy, who hasn’t given such an instruction to the horse, staring in wonder, Piarta climbs on the horse’s back without any time to stop her.
And once Piarta straddled on its back, the horse stood up without being told anything again.
“Princess! That’s dangerous! Princeeess!”
Even though Piarta’s body was intensely shaken when the horse stood up, she didn’t fall off. Not only that, she even managed to raise shout of joys due to the shaking.
“Uwaaah! High, high!”
“P-Princess! Aah! Don’t frolic around so much! You will fall down! You will get injured from the fall!”
After a backward glance at the stable boy and the chamberlain who have become pale, the young princess Piarta plays around innocently.
For her own fate to be set to violently cross with the Divine Child of Destruction Soma Kisaki is something she doesn’t know at this time yet.
For the 50,000 gold coins to be delivered by Lobnas to Souma and the others is something that took place a little while after that.
Michena had frozen in front of the huge jar that contained those coins. She came to handle the large amount of money as finance bureaucrat, but as expected, it was her first time to experience such a huge amount of money being in front of her eyes all at once.
“It’s 50,000 gold coins. Even if they are in front of my eyes like this, it’s hard to believe…”
Michena murmured while in a partial daze.
“One gold coin was 5,000 Dinas, wasn’t it? With this entire amount, ummm…it becomes 250 million Dinas, I guess?”
Souma didn’t know how much value that amount of money held, but once a sum reaches numbers in the hundred millions, it sounds like a very amazing amount of money. Furthermore, Michena was attacked by yet another surprise.
“No, Your Lordship. These are Romania’s Rodnia gold coins. They have a higher value than Glukonis gold coins.”
It seems to contain a bigger content of gold than the gold coins circulating in Holmea. Having said that, it’s very amazing, but Souma didn’t comprehend anything but that it’s just another level of very amazing.
“Does it look like we can pull through for a while with this?”
Michena fervently bobbed her head up and down upon Souma’s question.
“For sure, we will pull through!”
A large amount of money, comparable to almost an entire annual tax revenue, fell into their lap. It compensates for the serious blow of having the prices for wheat beaten down, and furthermore produces a surplus. The deeply moved Michena begins to pray in front of the jar with the money.
“Really, to obtain this much of money without any kind of collateral, it’s unbelievable!”
It wasn’t wrong to say that all of it was Eladia’s accomplishment.
She induced Lobnas with skillful words, managing the difficult role of drawing out his assistance even while making him look down on them.
In the past Eladia tried to rescue her brethren – even if it was at most only those she could reach with her own hands – protecting her father’s dying wish. For that sake she won the favor of male humans, who were nothing but her owners, while being a sex slave, learned techniques to freely touch their hearts and refined those techniques.
That was her solitary battle. Inside cold cages, inside decadent brothels, inside the inner palace infested with trickery; she simply continued to earnestly struggle, only relying on her beauty and quick wits. Moreover, that lasted for several, long decades.
Exactly because of all that, it’s no exaggeration to say that Eladia reached a divine level at it.
However, at the same time she was also forced to relive her painful past.
Even though it was something she proposed herself, Souma, who allowed her to go ahead with it, wanted to reward her in some way.
“Make absolutely sure to not look at her with pity in your eyes and don’t tell her that you made her suffer.”
Once he consulted with Shyemul what would be a good reward for this time’s accomplishment, she first declared that.
“Such words are like doubting her resolve.”
He was able to agree with Shyemul’s opinion, but at the same time, he is troubled, wondering how he should thank Eladia.
“What would be the best to tell her then?”
“You did well. That will be plenty enough.”
Shyemul readily answered Souma’s question. Shyemul squints slightly due to Souma worrying whether that much will be really fine.
“You are too kind. Though that’s also your strong point.”
Thereupon Shyemul looks seriously and changes her tone, which had been tender, to something stabbing.
“However, we swore to become your fangs and claws. And yet it’s meaningless if we are sheltered like the apple of your eye. There are also people for whom it is a reward to be exploited and used.”
After that she shifted towards a talk with the gist of “You should rely on me more,” but Souma had no choice but to consider that there might be some truth in Shyemul’s words.
However, even so he feels sorry with making it end with mere words.
Thinking that he wants to reward something distinct to Eladia, Souma took notice of the mountain of gold coins stacked up in front of him.
“Mrs. Eladia. This is your achievement. In order to reward that, please feel free to take as many of these gold coins as you wish.”
The wish of wanting to repay her was certainly big, but that’s not all.
The principle of sure reward or punishment is the basic rule of a country. Souma, who learned about that in manga and novels, intended to show himself giving a proper, generous reward to Eladia who had achieved an accomplishment here.
However, without answering instantly, she pondered about it for a while pressing a finger against her slender chin, and then proposed something unexpected.
“Lord Soma. It’s a valuable reward, but is it fine for me to request something other than gold coins?”
Souma tilts his head to the side, looking mystified. He couldn’t come up with anything he could currently give her as reward except for the gold coins in front of their eyes.
“What do you want?”
Eladia smiles sweetly at Souma who asks while blinking in surprise.
Souma couldn’t help but to simply parrot her words due to his overwhelming surprise.
“It is just as you say. I wish to be appointed as Chief Court Lady.”
Souma was bewildered.
If you speak of a Chief Court Lady, it’s an responsible position that manages all lady consorts of a court by herself. Chief Court Lady, who serves as intermediary between royalty and also gets closely in contact with nobility, is a position that owns power going beyond its title as she waits upon royalty.
However, even though Souma owns a huge territory, including the plains, at the present, he’s something like the boss of brigands and bandits in the eyes of society. To be the Chief Court Lady of such a person is no more than titular. Souma ends up hesitating whether it’s fine to bestow that upon her as reward.
“Are you really going to be fine with something like that?”
Eladia leaked a small chuckle due to Souma asking while looking apologetic instead.
“Yes, Lord Soma. Nothing would make me more happy than you appointing me as Chief Court Lady.”
If he’s told that much, even Souma has no other option but to approve it.
“Understood. ―Mrs. Eladia, I appoint you as Chief Court Lady.”
“I am very grateful for your benevolence. Allow me to show you that I will serve you while staking all of this trifle resourcefulness of mine.”
Eladia bowed gracefully, accepting her post.
Eladia departed from Souma and headed straight to the backyard of the feudal lord’s residence.
That is the place lent to Eladia and the elves to practice archery. Even now the women, who had been released from being sex slaves alongside Eladia, shot arrows at targets while making the sounds of several bowstrings being released reverberate. Even though they were training with all their might, at times laughter could be heard with smiles appearing on their faces.
Stopping her feet there, Eladia gazed at her brethren for a short while.
Once her brethren begin to notice her presence after a short time, Eladia resumes walking in their direction.
“All of you, gather!”
She clapped her hands twice so loudly that it echoed in the backyard. When all elven women had gathered, Eladia began to speak slowly.
“Only those, who were taught manners in the mansions and palaces of the humans, and those, who studied etiquette similar to that, are to remain. The rest of you, continue training.”
Upon her words around 30 women were left. Next, Eladia says towards them,
“I will select court ladies who will serve Lord Soma from among you.”
The elven women became all noisy, looking at each other.
In order to drown out that noise, Eladia raises a frigid voice.
“Your duties won’t be limited to only waiting upon Lord Soma, and taking care of him. It will also be the duty of a court lady to warmly welcome the envoys of foreign countries that will visit Lord Soma from now on. That also includes sometimes offering your bodies to their lust.”
Due to the overly open frankness, many of the women, who had remained there, have their bodies stiffen reflexively. The ones baring their repugnance on their faces were still better off than the women among them who lost all blood from their faces.
However, Eladia continues further,
“That’s not all either. To fulfill the ambition His Lordship is aiming for, we must become stronger than anyone. The closer he gets to his goal, the more people trying to harm His Lordship will likely turn up, not going for a meritorious deed on the battlefield, but attempting to poison his wine cup or drive their assassin’s dagger into his heart during the night.”
Eladia places her hand on her chest.
“Then it becomes the duty of a court lady to notice the poison with this life and to shield him with this body.”
The women had their breaths taken away by Eladia’s voice and eyes which completely lacked any hesitation.
At that point Eladia suddenly slackens her sharp look, and shows a gentle smile.
“Just now I saw smiles on the faces of all of you.”
In front of the women, who are bewildered by the sudden topic change, she closes her eyes in order to recall the scenery back then.
“Those were really, really great smiles…”
She remembers their smiles.
Such modest joy. And yet the sorrow of having even that continuously stolen from them. The humiliation of having to yield to unreasonable violence. And, anger.
A flood of emotions was coloring her voice.
“However, being able to smile so happily is only because we were saved by Lord Soma. But, even at a time like this now, sisters, whose faces and names we don’t know yet, have their smiles stolen continuously. They are suffering within despair and humiliation! To rescue those sisters, our former selves have only relied on the power of Lord Soma! In that case, just how should we repay His Lordship!?”
Many of the women widen their eyes, obviously taken aback.
After Eladia slowly surveyed their faces, she declared with a resolute voice,
“Only those step forward, who are resolved to abandon their lives and to pollute their bodies once again, for the sake of our sisters, whom we haven’t seen yet, for the sake of saving our past selves, and above all, for the sake of repaying our debt towards Lord Soma.”
Without even a moment’s hesitation, the elven women all at once made one step forward.
“”For the sake of Lord Soma!””
Eladia showed a satisfied smile at them who said this in a chorus, as if they had arranged for it to happen in advance.
“Very well. ―From today all of you have been appointed as court ladies.”
He name has become known as founding commander of the Black Elven Archers and also as chief court lady of Divine Son of Destruction Soma Kisaki’s later imperial court.
It’s said that the foreign ambassadors, who visited for the sake of negotiations and discussions, were struck with admiration by the refined demeanor of the elven court ladies, who welcomed them, even more so than by their beauty. It’s believed that the ambassadors, who despised the inferior group that had suddenly risen to power in society from being mere slaves, were overwhelmed by this, causing for even their positions in the negotiations to be considerably affected.
Building the foundation of Soma’s imperial court to be like this was beyond doubt Eladia’s achievement.
However, contrary to that achievement, the rumors about her weren’t nice at all.
Wicked woman who deceived many men with her beauty. Soma’s prostitute princess. Corrupted beauty. Courtesan witch.
There are various nicknames that had been given to her.
If one speaks of the most famous one among those numerous aliases, it would be another certain name.
It’s a name originating from her white, slender arms holding a bow as one of the Seven Arms of the fresco “Divine Son of Destruction Soma Kisaki” drawn by the master painter Numali.
The meaning of the ancient characters written there is: 「Lust」.
She’s a brave woman extolled as 《Arm of Lust》, one of the Seven Arms, in future years.