I am using Vizier instead of Minister like first vizier, third vizier cause it sounds better than first minister. Well there’s also option to go with chancellor. Help me on this
Chapter 22: Minister of Justice
After the mess of the black slave trade was over, I invited my brother to the mansion and we had dinner together.
In the large dining room, my brother and I were seated facing each other at a long table, with a considerable distance between us.
There was no need to be so particular with my brother Henry, but it was part of the etiquette.
The maids served the meal, and just as the main course was about to be served, Dylan, the butler, came into the dining room.
Dylan first bowed to brother and then spoke to me.
“…… Okay, you can step back.”
“What’s up, Noah, is there a problem?”
“It’s about First Prince – Brother Gilbert’s man.”
“Oh, what did he say?”
Brother stopped his hand and asked, his eyes flashing.
“Well, he got me. After questioning the scoundrel, I found out that he was doing business under brothers name. I would have taken him to court tomorrow, but he killed himself when we took our eyes off him.”
“…… I see.”
Brother and I both sighed.
A person is a treasure, but …….
After exchanging glances with brother, both of us nodded our heads with a slight tug of the chin.
Brother and I both know that the same words must have crossed our minds.
The lizard’s tail.
Dead men tell no tales, it’s the same in every age.
And to go to such lengths to silence them?
“The black market slave trader did what brother ordered him to do.”
Brother Henry nodded.
“Gilbert had always been like that. Business – owning a store, buying a manor. He’s always been into that sort of thing.”
“It can’t be helped, brother.”
“What do you mean?”
Brother stared at me in surprise, raising his eyebrows.
“He was the first prince, but also was the son of a concubine, and because of that he could not become crown prince. Maybe he’s trying to vent his frustration, or maybe he’s looking for a suitable replacement because he can’t take over the empire itself. Business and the manor are in the territory of substitutes.”
After I said it all at once, Brother Henry continued to stare at me in silence for some reason.
“What’s the matter, brother?”
“No, …… didn’t think you know that as well. You’re really amazing, you know that?”
“Is that so? I’m sure anyone can figure it out with a little thought.”
“No, not really.”
He smiled and took a bite of the main dish that the maids had brought over.
The food was not very tasty because of the disgusting things I had heard.
In the living room of the mansion, after Brother Henry had left.
Me, my guard Shirley, and a few other kids were in the same room.
In the room, lit by lanterns, the boys and girls who were about to be sold were kneeling in front of me as I sat down.
There were five of them, three boys and two girls.
They are about the same age as I am now, and with just a slight shift in their birthdays, maybe they would have been playing hide-and-seek together.
I asked these boys and girls.
“I have already taken care of it. You’re free to go. You will not be sold because now.”
The five of them didn’t seem too happy despite being declared free from slavery, but rather just stared at each other in confusion.
Is it …… because of that?
“You can go anywhere you want. Do you have somewhere to go?”
One of the girls, who was in the middle, the one who stopped my carriage first, answered in a muffled voice.
“There isn’t any?”
“Yes…… I was sold in exchange for this years paddy.”
“I was sold to pay for my mother’s funeral.”
“To reduce the number of mouths to feed……”
The boys and girls told me about their circumstances.
All of them have no place to go back to, or if they do, they will be sold again sooner or later.
By the way, it is more profitable for the parents to sell them to black market slavers.
It’s not that there’s some kind of trick to it, it’s just that the black market slavers don’t have to pay taxes, so they can turn that money around and buy them at a higher price.
Parents who sell their children to black market slavers are bound to sell them again, even if they come back.
“All right then. Dylan.”
I clapped my hands and called Dylan, the butler.
Almost immediately, Dylan came into the room.
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
“I’m taking all of these people in. Give them a place to sleep and assign them to appropriate jobs.”
“And if any of them are smart, make sure they study.”
“Yes. As usual.”
“A-Ah are you buying us?”
The girl asked, half surprised, half happy.
” I am not buying you, so if you want to leave, you can always go to …….”
I cut her off and looked at the boys and girls one by one.
They must have sensed something in my gaze, because they all shrank back and gulped.
“I will never take in anyone who has already left. It means I will not tolerate traitors.”
They looked puzzled.
Mmm? Was that too difficult?
As if he sensed this, Dylan came from the side.
“You just have to be sincere without betrayal. Hurry up and thank His Highness.”
He urged the children.
The children knelt down and thanked me, then Dylan took them away.
Alone in the room, I remembered something.
I clapped my hands and said this, and a moment later Evelyn, the maid, appeared.
Evelyn, the maid, had been serving the guests at the house for a long time.
“You wanted to see me, master?”
“Yes, I brought you this.”
I took out a large envelope and handed it to her.
When Evelyn received it, she puzzled.
“A letter of appointment. You are now appointed governor of a small estate in Almeria.”
Evelyn mumbles in a flat accent, perhaps because the language is unfamiliar to her.(TN: instead of kanji she pronounced just hiragana)
“Also it’s valid immediately. You are now an official.”
“B-But why me?”
Evelyn asked back, she looked both surprised and happy.
The land granted to the Prince is quite large, and of course the Prince cannot do everything by himself.
Therefore, the land is divided into small areas and a governor is sent to rule on his behalf.
The acting governor of the Prince is also called a deputy governor by the common people.
From a maid to a deputy – that’s quite a rise.
“I’ve been watching you for many years, and you’re the smartest maid we have. That cleverness would be wasted if you were just a maid in charge of serving guests at the mansion. That’s what I thought.”
“W-Well but! You see, I’m …….”
She wandered her gaze.
It was obvious that she was choosing her words.
“I’d much rather serve my master than go out and get ahead!”
The words were sincere, and I could tell she meant it.
“I know, but you will grow. And if you do, and you do well, then I will have been a good judge of character in appointing you.”
“And so you should go out and work for me.”
“Y-Yes! I understand!”
Holding the letter of appointment as if it were a lifelong treasure, Evelyn walked out of the living room with a look of equal parts happiness and determination on her face.
I turned around and looked at Shirley.
She has been escorting me since a while ago.
It’s not just for personal safety that she is a guard in these cases.
Depending on the case, the aristocracy, because of their status, can lose just by “directly involving”.
This time it was the same, and even if the children were to get upset and attack me, I, as the prince, should not fight back directly.
It would ruin the nobleman’s status, and the other side would be guilty of causing trouble for the Prince.
That’s why I put Shirley in charge.
Shirley is a knight, not a nobleman.
If the children should do something, Shirley would take care of it and there would be no problem.
Shirley was staring at me with her mouth agape, looking impressed.
“What is it?”
“His First Highness and his use of people is totally–“
I cut off Shirley’s words.
“That’s enough, you can’t say that out loud even if you think it.”
“Y-yes! I’m very sorry.”
Shirley hurriedly apologized.
She apologized, but did not say anymore.
After that, she continued to stare at me with a look of respect.
The next morning.
I was summoned to the morning meeting of His Majesty and the ministers in the audience hall.
I was called in after I had gone through the government business, and I left the line of ministers and bowed to His Majesty on one knee.
After receiving the bow, His Majesty said.
“I heard about it, Noah. I heard that you defended Gilbert’s honor.”
“It was a coincidence, Your Majesty.”
He meant the black market slavers.
That means Brother Gilbert reported it himself.
Rather than hiding it, it’s better to offer it properly so that it looks like you have nothing to hide.
“However, there were some wicked people, using Gilbert’s name as a black slave trader. I wonder what the crime was in the black slave trade.”
“By imperial law, trafficking in unreported slaves is punishable by amputation of the dominant arm for the principal offender, and by military servitude for the second offender and below.”
“Is that so? First Vizier.”
“His Highness is correct, Your Majesty.”
The First Vizier, who was at the front of the column, answered with a slight bow.
“FumuFumu. By the way, was Noah injured? I heard that some of them got angry and attacked you.”
“Fortunately, I was able to turn it back.”
“I see. Well, it was Noah, so there was no way he could have been hurt. If it was me, I would have been beaten to a pulp while I was trying to decide whether or not to identify myself.”
“Then it would have been a crime of great blasphemy, punishable by death.”(TN: was confused whether to use Blasphemy or Disrespect)
The First Vizier replied to His Majesty as the conversation went on.
“I don’t think so.”
“Under imperial law, the crime of disrespect does not apply to those who do not know His Majesty’s true identity, that is to say, if His Majesty was going incognito. In this case, it would be mere assault.”
At the moment I said this, the audience hall, which was already quiet, became even quieter.
The ministers were all staring at me.
I may have said too much, but “blasphemy” – in other words, whether or not to do something blasphemous to the emperor – is an inherently delicate subject.
In a metaphor like this, it might be better to say the word “disrespectful” as a cover, but it’s better to talk about it properly.
However, it’s also true that I said too much.
I was just thinking that I should apologize.
But then His Majesty suddenly started laughing.
“How about it, First Vizier, do I win this bet?”
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”
“Umm, ……, what do you mean?”
His Majesty suddenly said “bet” and “win” and laughed with the First Vizier, and I was troubled to understand his intentions.
“I had a little bet with him. I was testing Noah to see if he could speak straightforwardly and only with the law.”
Tested? For what?
“That’s great, Noah. No, I’ve known for six years that Noah is very strict when it comes to the law. I was just checking to make sure.”
“In the name of the Emperor of the Empire, I hereby appoint Noah Ararat as Minister of Justice.”
“‘”Oh, oh, oh!’?”””
After a breath of silence, a cheer went up from the ministers.
I was somewhat tested, and I was answering as usual.
And now I am appointed as the Minister of Justice.
GO vote here on which series should I do for a month
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