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Chapter 29: Imperial Family’s Retainer
It was nighttime, and this time I was in the living room of the mansion watching the mock battle between Leviathan and Luthiya, which I had ordered to be “restrained” when a maid knocked and entered the room.
It was a maid named Cecily, who took Evelyn’s place, and whose face was not usually seen at this time of the day.
“Master, you have a visitor.”
“Who is it?”
“An envoy of His Majesty’s, with an imperial order.”
I stood up quickly.
It was late at night, but I had no choice but to meet him.
“Let him through.”
“Very well, sir.”
Cecily left the room, and a moment later a man entered.
I was a little surprised.
It was a familiar face.
Rice Cake.[THIS NAAAME]
He’s one of my brother Henry’s men, the one who was out suppressing the rebellion a while back.
I got down on one knee in front of Rice.
The messenger who came with the imperial order is the emperor’s representative, so to speak.
The courtesy must be done to the emperor in all respects, and in cases like this where the imperial order is being conveyed, it is a crime of disrespect for a third party to interfere in any way.
So I got down on one knee, lowered my head, and listened quietly.
“The first battle of the Wise Prince Noah Ararat shall be postponed. Stand by until further notice.”
“I am grateful for the generosity.”
I bowed and stood up smoothly.
The next moment, as if by turns, Rice knelt down and bowed to me.
“Long time no see, Your Highness.”
“Hmm? Oh, so you’re Brother Henry’s Retainer’.”
Rice bowed his head further in response.
The royal family sometimes sends their servants and employees out as officials and commanders.
A person with that kind of origin is called a “Retainer” in the sense of “a person brought forth from a noble family”.
I also sent Evelyn to be a representative of a small land in Armeria a while ago.
It’s the same thing, but Rice has risen much higher than Evelyn.
And there’s one important thing.
Rice has the status of a public official, but he is also a “servant” of the royal family.
At the same time, while he is Brother Henry’s servant, he is also my servant.
That’s why, as soon as the imperial order was given, Rice got down on one knee and bowed to me.
“Well, you can make yourself comfortable.”
“Thank you for your kindness.”
And with that, I sat back down on the couch.
Rice, of course, stood and faced me.
“You wanted to see me?”
Zoe walked in.
“Give the messenger his traveling expenses, 500reens.”
Zoe left the room and I faced Rice again.
“I understand His Majesty’s decree, but how did it come to this?”
“It’s all because of Your Highness.”
“What do you mean?”
“Henry-sama, when the Ministry of Military Affairs reported the results of the fortune-telling to His Majesty, he was very pleased.”
“In that case, he said, we must do something big. The Ministry of Military Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are going to work together to carry out a large-scale project.”
I nodded quietly.
That’s important, too.
The common people love a heroic tale.
If it’s the royal family that’s in charge, they need to spread the word.
“It’s unheard of for one person to be chosen for the first battle. His Majesty is working with Henry-sama and His Eighth Highness to find a way to spread his greatness throughout the Empire.”
I nodded further.
If that’s the case, then I guess I won’t be around for a while in relation to the first campaign.
The next day, I took Shirley with me to Cobalt Street.
Luthiya’s growth and the mock battle had raised my level.
Because of these two new powers, I came to Cobalt Street, where antiques and treasures are gathered, to find more items like Leviathan and Luthiya.
I walked around with Shirley in tow, but couldn’t find anything that looked like it at all.
Well, it’s not so easy to find something like Leviathan or Luthiya.
Both of them are real treasures, not something that comes along very often.
Deciding that it couldn’t be helped if I couldn’t find anything, I went around and came to the store, and I found Alan, a familiar face.
With a big smile on his face, he ushered Shirley and me into the back of the store.
In the guest room, I sat down and Shirley, the knight, stood guard behind me.
“What can I do for you today, sir?”
Alan asked, wringing his hands like a businessman.
“I’m looking for an item ……, yes, a magic tool that has a will of its own.”
“I see. ……”
“Do you have anything like that? Anything, like a cursed doll.”
“I’m thinking maybe one of those… oh, no, that’s, uh…”
Why are you stammering all of a sudden? I looked at Alan with such a look.
“The one I was talking about is a fake. It’s just an item to be forced on an amateur.”
This is a store that deals in antiques and treasures, so of course, it happens.
“So there is no such thing, now?”
“Yes. …… I’m very sorry. ……”
I took out a leather bag from my pocket.
It’s the money in case I find a treasure.
“Keep it, I’ve got 10,000 reens. Call me when you find a bargain like that.”
“If you find it properly, I’ll give you a separate reward. See you.”
With that, I left the store with Shirley.
Alan walked us out of the store, bowing his head for all time as he saw us off.
Now, what to do – hmm?
“What’s the matter Shirley, you look so strange.”
After we left the store, I noticed that Shirley had been pouting the whole time.
“N-no. I was just wondering what was that now.”
“Umm…the money you handed?”
Shirley said in an unsure tone.
“What else it would be, shopping?”
“…… That was shopping?”
“I’ve never seen shopping like that. You paid 10,000 reens for something you didn’t even have.”
“That was …… amazing ……. And it’s not even close to the price.”
I know how she felt, in my previous life I would have reacted the same way Shirley does now.
But that’s what aristocratic shopping is all about.
With Shirley’s tongue rolling, we left Cobalt Street, taking one last look at the stalls.
Suddenly, I heard a loud man’s voice in the crowded street.
It seemed to be well heard by those around him, and the bustle of the antique market instantly quieted down.
“Say that again, what did you just say?”
In the silence, I heard the voice from before again.
I looked towards the voice and saw a man with a bald head, clearly visible from a distance, shouting at the owner of the stall.
“S-sir. This item was pre-ordered by another customer.”
“I’m the one who’s buying it!”
The owner of the stall cowered at the man’s renewed threat.
And I approached them.
I said to the man.
“Hmm? Well, well, Noah-sama, isn’t it?”
“Do you know me?”
The man suddenly changed his attitude and became rather courteous.
No, that’s not it.
It was more like a superficial courtesy.
“I am sorry for the late introduction, but my name is Darren, a Retainer of His Highness Gilbert.”
” I believe we’ve met at the Ministry of the Imperial Household?”
The Ministry of the Imperial Household is the ministry that oversees the royal family’s ‘internal affairs’.
While the Ministry of Finance manages the imperial treasury, the Ministry of the Interior manages the emperor and the royal family’s wallet.
Because of its close contact with the royal family, the Ministry of the Imperial Household tends to look down on other ministries with a strange sense of elite.
“That’s fine. What are you doing more than that? I heard you talking, but that was a threat.”
“Well, well, Noah-sama is the Minister of Justice, and you don’t know it?”
Daren looked at me with scornful eyes.
“People in the Ministry of the Imperial Household cannot be charged with any crime other than the crime of internal disturbance, so to speak, an extralegal privilege. This is in order to maintain the stability of the imperial family, and is firmly enshrined in imperial law.”
Indeed, it is.
I had forgotten about it because I don’t get involved with the Ministry of the Imperial Household very often, but it’s true.
“So? I hope you don’t need to interfere.”
Shirley called out my name cautiously.
I’m sure I’m making a very scary face right now.
The royal family, especially the servants of the king, have a very high status in their own right.
Even a gatekeeper is considered to have the status of a low-ranking knight who is not involved with the royal family.
If you are a servant of His Majesty’s first child, the First Prince Gilbert, and you are a member of the Ministry of the Imperial Household with privileges, this attitude is not surprising.
“All right, that’s fine. But…”
Daren looked at me with a “Is there anything more?” as if looking down on me.
“You’re my Brother’s Retainer, aren’t you? Then why are you just standing there looking at me?”
For the first time, Daren’s color changed.
That’s what Rice did to me yesterday.
It’s the same thing as when I knelt before Rice because he came to pronounce an imperial decree, but when he was done, he knelt before me as a ‘Royal Family’s Retainer’.
It’s the same thing.
Daren should have been more reverent to me.
“I-I didn’t notice…”
“It’s too late. Shirley.”
“Get this guy. Tie him to the ground and whip him.”
Darren’s eyes widen in shock.
“You’re insane! I’m Gilbert-sama’s…”
“Don’t you understand that you’ve smeared dirt on Brother Gilbert’s face? Shirley, do it!”
When Shirley understood what he was saying, she stepped forward and grabbed Darren.
Daren resisted, but Shirley had the power to break through even the Leviathan’s protection.
She caught Darren without difficulty and twisted his hand behind his back.
“Um,……, the rope is …….”
“H-Here, please use this.”
A man stepped forward from the crowd and held out the rope.
Shirley took it, borrowed a post from a nearby store, and tied Darren up.
This time someone held out a whip, which Shirley took.
“Noah-sama, how many lashes do you want?”
I broke my sentence there, glanced at Daren, and then said to Shirley.
“If you or any of my maids, or any of my retainers, or any of my men, ever mistreat my people, I will execute you without mercy.”
Shirley nodded, and without hesitation, whipped Daren out.
A cheer went up at that moment.
“He got what he deserved for being so arrogant.”
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
The people around were surprisingly overjoyed and laughed as they watched Darren being whipped.
Shirley continued to whip Daren until he passed out.
TN: Nice one to that arrogant piece of shit, Noah.
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