Chapter 15: A Praiseworthy Soldier
The next morning, after breakfast, I was summoned to the royal palace and arrived at the flower garden.
I found His Majesty in the midst of the colourful flower garden, where he was playing with a parrot – enjoying himself – and I hurried to him with a great stride.
“Noah Ararat, here to answer your summons.”
His Majesty was in a very good mood as I dropped to one knee and bowed my head.
“Oh, you’re here. Lift your head.”
“Henry told me what happened last night. The assassin has spoken up.”
“Hmm. This is a rebel hand. They thought they’d capture you and turn you into a card for their play.”
I wasn’t surprised, because I knew what to expect.
Rather, I was surprised that they threw up in just one night.
“I’m afraid I am speaking out of place, but it’s possible that they lied.”
“You’re a smart boy.”
His Majesty was in an increasingly good mood.
” Well, about that, there’s nothing to be worried. There is a way to be sure that the person who spoke up was telling the truth. According to that, it is the truth.”
So the path of the snake.
I don’t know much about torture, so let’s just accept it for what it is.
“Therefore. Good job, Noah. If you had been captured, the Empire would have had to make a difficult choice.”
“I am grateful for that.”
Is there more to it? – and the next moment I thought.
“I’m impressed that you’ve got your eye on fodder supplies.”
This was a grand surprise.
The talk of buying up the fodder in the surrounding land to capture Almeria and reduce the power of the cavalry was something that I came up with on the spot last night and only told Byron.
And yet, it has already been heard by His Majesty.
This kind of thing has happened occasionally before, but this was the most surprising.
The fact that I was surprised doesn’t really matter at all, as His Majesty excitedly praised me.
“Anyone can do a food raid, but to think about the people of your domain and attack only on horses, and with your own money!”
His Majesty approached me and placed a hand on my shoulder with a pat.
“This idea, and the power of action, is amazing. It’s not something you can do very often.”
“I’ll have to reward you with something. Money will be too mundane for this matter…. …… Okay, Cruz.”
The eunuch Cruz emerged from the shadows of the flower garden.
As usual, I don’t know where he’s hiding until he’s called.
” Permission to put a sword on Noah’s coat of arms. Give the decree.”
“As you wish.”
Cruz moved quickly.
I got down on one knee again, surprised, and dropped my head down once more.
“I’m grateful sire,”
The Empire is a nation of warriors, and many of the honors are battle-related.
Among them, adding a “sword” to an official coat of arms is something that should not be done without the Emperor’s permission.
The same is true for the signs of merchants and guilds.
If you use a “sword” on a crest without permission, you will be guilty of impiety, and in the worst case, you could be executed.
On the contrary, being able to use it is the highest honor bestowed by the emperor.
I raised my face and stood up.
His Majesty smiles, dimples appearing on his wrinkled face.
He looks happier than I do.
Suddenly, His Majesty seems to remember.
“Oh, yes, Noah, have you decided how you’re going to choose the knight selection?”
“…… Yes, I have one plan.”
” hmm? What’s it like?”
“Would you mind excusing me?”
“Mm, I approve.”
After His Majesty nodded solemnly at me, I beckoned to the junior eunuch, who was waiting in the distance and was visible.
I gave the coming eunuch an earful and got him ready to go.
Then the eunuch complied and ran to get ready.
A few minutes later, a table and chairs were placed in the flower garden, and a few more eunuchs arrived with a few additional eunuchs.
There was a tea set on the table and the eunuch was holding a bucket of water.
It was actually easier to recognize the soldiers, but they did this because they weren’t allowed to be armed inside the royal palace without His Majesty’s permission.
I turned my gaze to His Majesty.
He smiled and nodded, a look on his face that said he was looking forward to seeing what I was going to do.
I nodded back, sat down in my chair and picked up my tea set.
I behaved as if it was an elegant tea time – in the heavenly garden inside the royal palace, the most expensive garden in the land.
One of the eunuchs, beckoning me to join him, splashed a bucket of water on me.
The water hurled at me, and Leviathan reacted to it.
My armor transformed from the Linked Ring and became like an umbrella, blocking the bucket of water.
Furthermore, another eunuch splashed on me, and then the next eunuch on the waiting list.
In total, there were four eunuchs, all of whom splashed buckets of water, but all of them were prevented by the ring umbrella.
The ground was soaked with water, but the area around me, inside the two-meter diameter circle, was dry.
The word “territory(domain)” comes to mind.
Inside the territory, even if it was just a drop of water, Leviathan didn’t let any of it through.
The demonstration was complete, I put down my teacup, stood up and reported to His Majesty down on one knee.
” I will have the person I am selecting attack me like this. I’ll decide how far they can push me, then I’ll decide.”
I didn’t dare say it because I meant that teatime would be a long process.
“I’m impressed. This should be able to withstand the long process of selection.”
His Majesty seemed to have seen it coming.
“But …… ummm.”
“Is there any problem with it?”
“Mm. That’s why I thought it was dangerous. Some of the ones we select will be reasonably strong. In the unlikely event that they can penetrate your defenses.”
” That’ s the extent of my commitment, sir.”
I answered immediately.
It is the duty of a nobleman, the duty of a prince.
I must find the right people for the Empire.
Compared to that, some risk is unavoidable.
So I answered immediately.
And then His Majesty became more and more – with the happiest face of the day.
“Well said. I’m proud of you, Noah. That’s my son,the prince of the empire.”
He praised me for this.
When I came back to the mansion from the palace, Byron had come to visit me.
I let him into the parlor to talk to him, he’s been working on buying up the fodder as soon as possible and seems to have some idea of what he’s going to do.
There are only a limited number of fodder places from where it can be transported, and I know where they are. So it is not that difficult to seize them.”
As expected of a merchant.
As I was about to ask for more information, there was a knock at the door of the room.
It’s an unusual, impatient knock.
A maid from the hospitality service came in.
“Excuse me–Master, there’s a man with wounds at the main gate.
” A man with wounds?”
“I received word that he came from Almeria with a report of something important to master.”
When I heard the word “Almeria,” I exchanged glances with Byron and we nodded at each other.
I got up first and left the room, Byron following behind me.
We left the mansion and came to the main gate.
There, as the maid reported, there was one young man who looked like a raggedy looking man.
Aside from being covered in fresh wounds, his skin and clothes are stained with sweat and mud, and you can tell at a glance that he’s a person who came from far away in a hurry.
“This is Noah Ararat.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Your Imperial Highness.”
“Hmm. And who are you?”
“I’m a soldier in the province of Adora, in the province of Almeria, and I’m the commander of a ten-man squad.”
“Your Highness, there’s been a rebellion in Almeria.”
I quietly listened to the young man.
It wasn’t much of a story now that the young man spoke.
His superiors had rebelled in Almeria.
He didn’t agree with it himself, so he desperately escaped the army and came to the Imperial City to report to me.
I thought for a moment and nodded.
“Okay, you did well to inform me.”
Then I turned to the hospitality service maid who had followed along.
“Patch him up. And reward him with five hundred–no, a thousand reens.”
The maid nodded and called for another maid to take the man away to patch him up.
We remained there, myself and Byron, and soon Byron asked me.
“Your Highness, what did that mean?”
” His Highness already knows about the rebellion, doesn’t he? So why did you reward him with such a large sum of money?”
“Certainly his information was useless. It’s nothing new now, and it won’t be of any use.”
Byron stares straight at me as I say that.
Right, so? He kept looking at me asking, with his eyes.
“That feeling, the reward for that loyalty. A mere captain of a soldier has risked his life to inform me, and I must reciprocate that loyalty.”
“That’s a lot of money for …… that’s all I can say about that!”
Byron opened his mouth wide and, then looked at me with impressed eyes.
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