Don’t worry, I also don’t get some stuff ongoing on this chapter
Chapter 20: Carrot and stick(Candy and Whip)
Morning, I woke up, got out of bed as usual, left the maids to change my clothes, and moved to the main dining hall for breakfast.
There were already several maids waiting for me in the dining room, and they all bowed their heads at the same time as I showed up.
One of the maids pulled out a chair for me to sit on, and they began serving me.
A young maid brought in food from the kitchen, which Zoe, the maid, took and placed in front of me.
Some brought Drinks. Zoe takes those as well from them and fills my glass.
There is a hierarchy among the maids.
Zoe has been in my service for many years, so she has a certain status among the maids.
I’m the Wise Prince.
And if one want to serve me directly, they have to rise to a certain level among the maids–that’s somewhat the rule of the nobility.
As I brought the accustomed breakfast to my mouth, I suddenly noticed that the young – or rather, still young – maid was fidgeting.
The maid, who was a little younger than the twelve-year-old me that I am now, was constantly looking out the window.
“You there, what’s your name?”
“Her name is Gigi.”
My question was answered by Zoe instead.
“I see. Gigi, what’s wrong with the window?”
“That…..there’s a huge line outside …….”
I turned my gaze to Zoe and asked what she meant.
“Master will soon be celebrating his 12th birthday, so people from all over the land are lining up to bring you gifts.”
“I see. You’ve never seen anything like that before?”
This time I asked Gigi.
“Y-yes, that’s true. It’s been three days now and the line is still going strong.”
“That’s the way it is. Just because you receive it doesn’t mean it’s over. You have to receive, check, and record them. That’s why the line doesn’t end. Last year, I think it was …….”
I turned my attention to Zoe again.
I asked my servant about such “residential” matters.
“It lasted about a week.”
“Wow, …… that’s amazing ……. A week of birthday presents? I can’t imagine that many birthday …… gifts.”
Gigi, who was probably from some rural area, rolled her eyes more and more, but Zoe scolded her a little and hurried back to work.
After breakfast, I walked out of the mansion.
The line for the gifts was sent to the back gate, and they had people line up there, but the line was so long that it went on for a week, and there were so many people that they kept coming until it was completely over, so even when I went out the front gate I could see the crowd.
We passed through such a scene that symbolized the status of Wise Prince, and took a carriage to the destination.
The Ministry of Military Affairs in the east of the capital, this is where I’m working now.
I entered the grounds of the Military Affairs, got off the carriage, and entered the building.
I asked a middle-aged official who greeted me.
“He’s In the minister’s office. Currently having a conversation with a knight. His Highness has asked you to come as soon as you arrive.”
I strode forward and headed straight for the minister’s office.
I stood in front of the most prestigious door in the building and knocked.
“Yes, come in.”
I waited for the gatekeepers on either side to open the doors before entering.
There were two men in the room, which itself was as formal as the door.
One was the Lord of this room – or rather, this Ministry of Military Affairs.
Minister of Military Affairs Henry Ararat.
Brother Henry, who has been in charge of the Military Affairs Ministry since the incident in Almeria.
And the second person is a familiar face too.
My brother’s knight, Rice Cake, who is a very military man with a big face.
” You’ re late, Noah.”
“Good morning, Your Royal Highness.”
I looked at Rice.
He was a knight that my brother had selected in a knight selection process about ten years ago, and he was my brother’s direct subordinate, so to speak.
He’s like Shirley to me.
In addition to his personal bravery, he has a great talent for leading an army, and is the most prominent among the several knights under his brother’s command.
He is now in charge of the second army out of the several regular armies in the empire.
“So brother, is it already decided to dispatch the second army?”
“Yes, it was ordered by His Majesty. The barbarians in the south will take advantage of us if we show them a friendly face, so we have to send a regular second army to show them the difference in power.”
And both brother and Rice looked at me.
I’m currently working with my brother at the Ministry of Military Affairs.
My older brother was appointed to the Ministry of Military Affairs because of his success in subduing Almeria, and I was appointed because of my complete mastery of the Demon Sword Leviathan.
I’m only twelve years old, but since the appointment came directly from His Majesty, my brother listens to my opinions very carefully.
I thought for a moment and then asked Rice.
“Tell me one thing. What is the actual number of the second army?”
“What do you mean, Noah, the actual number? And Rice, what are you hiding?”
My brother furrowed his brow and glared slightly at Rice.
Rice got down on his knees, and his face became even more grim.
“Wait, brother, it’s no big deal. The regular army of the empire receives its budget and other things from the Ministry of Finance according to the number of registered soldiers.”
“Therefore, we often register miscellaneous people who are not soldiers, as well as merchants and collaborators from the nearby villages where we are stationed, and pocket the budget for them.”
“What did you say?”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
Rice continued to rub his forehead on the ground.
There is no proof, but because whether it was me who confronted him, or because it was in front of the Lord, Rice practically confessed.
“Hold on, brother. Don’t be intimidated, Rice. It’s within the general’s authority to count miscellaneous people as a headcount. I don’t blame you for that.”
Rice raises his head while on his knees.
Then why did you ask that? That’s the face he’s making.
“Usually, that’s fine. Even nominal numbers can be a deterrent.”
“…… Fumu, that’s true. For example, even if the actual number is not that great, it may be better to say a large army of 100,000.”
“That’s what I mean, brother.”
“You know your stuff, Noah.”
I smiled back and spoke to Rice again.
“But not this time. His Majesty’s decree, so to speak, is to win overwhelmingly. We can’t send out an army of fake numbers. That’s why I asked how much deception there would be. Answer honestly.”
“Y-Yes. About two thousand.”
“Okay, make sure you replenish that number.”
“Understood! I’ll do it right after.”
“Oh. Brother, may I borrow a pen and paper?”
My brother nodded and handed me a piece of paper and a pen on his desk.
I took it, ran my pen over the paper, and then handed it to Rice.
“Go to the Ministry of Finance, they’ll give you a budget to manage another two thousand people as miscellaneous expenses. I’ll give it to you.”
“Just take it. In exchange.”
I cut my words and stared at Rice with a straight face for the first time since I came into the room.
“You have to get the numbers right. And don’t lose, okay?”
Rice took my note, bowed to brother for the last time, and left the minister’s office.
My brother and I remained in the room.
“That’s great, Noah. Your use of the whip and the candy is exquisite.”
My brother looked at me with an impressed expression.
Join me on discord to get update notifications and release schedules.