Chapter 58: Words and Deeds
Byron’s subordinates and my maid.
After they left the room with the gold coins in the box, Byron and I stayed behind.
We faced each other again.
Byron cleared his throat and his expression changed.
He had a different expression on his face than before.
“I have a …… request for you, Your Highness.”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“It’s about Cindy.”
“Is there something about her?”
And what’s with the look on Byron’s face?
I have never seen him look like this. What’s going on?
“It’s about her marriage.”
“I see. I believe Cindy is going to be ……”
“She’ll be 19 this year.”
She was ten when I met her.
Four years older than me – well, it’s been almost ten years since we met.
“It’s about time, and it’s good that she grew up smart, but what about……”
Byron smiles bitterly and sighs.
Cindy is the girl that Byron found and adopted.
As an adoptive father, he’s happy that she grew up to be a smart girl, but it’s complicated for him to let her fall behind.
“You’re right, it’s not a good look to be married off when you’re almost twenty.”
“Yes. So I was hoping that His Highness would introduce her to …….”
“By me? …… I see.”
I completely understand.
It is not unusual for a lord to arrange marriages for his subordinates, or rather it is natural.
Cindy is smart and hardworking, and although I may have lost track of her, she’s a liability to my reputation.
Byron is my subordinate, which means Cindy is practically under my household.
In other words, I’m almost like a father to Cindy.
It’s not good for my daughter to be late.
“But you know, …… hmm…:
“What is it?”
“It’s a tough one. Cindy’s talent will be missed. She’s one of the most talented people I know. It would be a shame to give her to another man.”
“For your such assessment ……, thank you.”
If Cindy’s forte was domestic affairs, I would have made her my concubine.
Similar to having eunuchs in the house, the ladies of the family are generally not allowed out of the house – no contact with other men.
It would be a shame to keep Cindy’s talent locked up in the house.
“I’ll think about her selection carefully. I want to make her a governor and give her a part of the fief. We cannot afford a half-hearted person.”
Byron’s eyes widened as he shouted.
“What’s so surprising?”
“G-Governor, is it? Isn’t a female Governor unheard of ……?”
“It’s unheard of, but there’s no rule against it. We just don’t have one for some reason.”
It is standard practice for the Emperor and the Royal Family to have eunuchs in their regular and side chambers to keep them away from other men, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry’s laws.
In comparison, the lack of women in high-ranking positions is only a matter of “somehow”.
There is no reason to obey or insist on it.
“People are treasures. In the first place, women make up half of all subjects. If you scoop up women as well, you’ll have almost twice as much talent as if you scoop up men alone. It would be a shame to turn a blind eye to them.”
“As expected of you, sir, I hadn’t thought of it that way.”
“Anyway, leave Cindy to me.”
“Yes, sir! Thank you very much!”
The next day, around mid-afternoon, a eunuch suddenly came and summoned me to the royal palace.
I went to the palace and had an audience with His Majesty in his study.
Because of what happened before, the eunuch in this study was replaced by a man who had his ears and tongue destroyed.
In his study, I bowed down on one knee to His Majesty.
“I have come in response to your summons. How can be of service to you today?”
” Welcome Noah, look up. I wanted to get your opinion before I discuss it at the morning meeting.”
“Yes ……, how can I be of service?”
“In the west, Kuruge’s Galwan has moved.”
I felt a shock as if I had been hit on the head.
Kuruge is the name of a religion, and Galwan is the title for the supreme leader of the religion for generations.
Galwans are passed on in the form of “reincarnation,” and immediately after the death of the previous Galwan, a new Galwan is appointed in some way.
The current Galwan is Galwan VI.
He is known to be a very ambitious person.
“A rebellion, perhaps?”
“That’s the only possibility. Moreover, there is a movement to send a messenger to Tulbaikh.”
“…… I see.”
I could sense the seriousness in his voice.
Tulbaikh is a vassal state of the empire to the west, and there is a lot of unrest there that could lead to another betrayal at any moment.
“What would you do, Noah?”
His Majesty stares at me.
I feel like he’s testing me, but I’m sure it’s just my imagination, given the circumstances.
I thought to myself.
“Are we sure about Kuruge’s movements?”
“Yes, I’m sure about that. And it seems that the messenger hasn’t left yet.”
Your Majesty assured me.
I thought that this prerequisite was certain, having experienced firsthand the greatness of His Majesty’s ears so far.
“…… We should send out our troops now. We have to move with lightning speed and hit Kruuge first.”
“Lightning fast, huh?”
“Yes, sir. And at the same time, we must be on high alert and stop the messenger before he reaches Tulbaikh.”
“Why are we doing this?”
“The basic idea is to avoid a two-front operation. Once the Tulbaikhs are on board, it will be difficult to defeat them and clean up after them. But if the messenger hasn’t arrived in the first place, then ……”
“…… Tulbaikh would have known nothing about it.”
“That’s right, sir. We will have to deal with the Tulbaikh sooner or later, but for now, we should focus on the targets to be defeated.”
“I see. Umu, I’m glad I listened to Noah’s opinion. You’re amazing as always, you know that?”
“Thank you, sir.”
Apparently, he liked my opinion.
“Now that you mention it, Noah, why don’t you go?”
I tilt my head.
“Umu. For taking down Kuruge.”
“I think Brother Henry would be better suited for that.”
I answered immediately.
And without any hesitation at all.
“Henry, huh? Why is so?”
“He’s the only one who’s ever actually led an army. Moreover, his knight, Rice Cake, is a skilled soldier. Therefore, I believe that brother is the best choice.”
When I said it all at once, His Majesty was, for some reason, blindingly surprised.
The surprise lasted for more than ten seconds, and then he nodded his head and asked further.
“Aren’t you getting pretty strong, too? I hear your knights are growing.”
“Ours is individual prowess.”
I replied, staring at his majesty without wavering at all.
“I don’t know if I’m cut out to lead an army, and I have no experience. The burden of this great task is too great for me.”
“I see. ……”
His Majesty said, turning over and stroking his white beard.
“Even though it was possible in the past, few people are able to do the same after gaining power.”
“Lose but win. …… It is natural for words and deeds to coincide.”
The murmurings became quieter and quieter, and at the end, I could not hear what he was saying at all.
I wondered if I had said something wrong.
No, I don’t think so.
And even if it was bad, it was in line with my own policy.
It was only logical that I should wait for His Majesty’s response with my heart on my sleeve.
Unperturbed, I looked at His Majesty and waited for his next words.
After a while, His Majesty looked up.
The look on his face was one of praise – a look of satisfaction.
“You are marvelous, Noah.”
I don’t know what he was complimenting me on, but a present from His Majesty should be received with reverence, even if it’s a poisonous medicine for suicide.
Not to mention the words of praise.
“I will consult with the Prime Minister and others in that direction. You’ve given your opinion well, I’ll be counting on you from now on, Noah.”
His Majesty seemed satisfied, so for the time being, this was a good decision.
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