I am back again. And this marks the beginning of the Volume 5 in LN(I will add the volume 5 cover soon.0
Chapter 98: The Man Who Doesn’t Need Influence
In the courtyard of the former Thirteenth Prince’s residence, now the detached palace.
I was engaged in a battle with an old general.
He is an honest man who still reigns at the top of the field as the strongest general in the empire.
I was in hand-to-hand combat with Damien Noble.
Each blow of Damien’s sword was heavy.
It’s heavy, but that’s not all.
The strike was so powerful that it seemed to penetrate the marrow of the bones just by hitting each other.
There was nothing spectacular about it, just one slash and one kill.
This is a practical sword, forged on countless battlefields.
Once I understood this, we struck each other evenly, and once our swords locked to one another, I stopped and took a big leap back.
I ended the match with the words, “That’s it.
“As expected of the strongest general in the empire.”
Damien also lowered his sword and knelt down on the spot.
“His Majesty has grown even stronger. It is the grace of God that a man as gifted with the sword as you reign at the top of our Empire.”
“You have become a smooth talker. I wonder if old generals who have fought many battles can also lose their edge as they get older.”
“This is all my true intention, sire.”
“I was joking. When I met you, I was old enough to know better.”
I laughed and emphasized that I was joking.
Damien has the appearance of an old general who has fought many battles, and as his title implies, he has a stern, honest, and jokingly inept side.
I had to make it clear that a joke was a joke.
Looking him over, I brought Damien to the pavilion in the garden and ordered him to sit down.
“I called you here today to discuss, among other things, defeating Galwan.
“To put it bluntly, I want Jessica to concentrate on the Galwan offensive. To do this, we need to seal off the border, transport supplies, and fodder, and watch out for other forces. I want to make sure everything is in place. Of course, I will discuss this with Henry, but I would also like to hear your opinion as the head of the field.
“However, the military is not my area of expertise. To interfere in the field would only repeat the mistakes seen in history. My role is to provide direction. Do you have the tactics or the personnel to match?”
“With all due respect.”
Damien began by prefacing himself with that.
“First, we need to seal the border.”
“My eldest son, Karl Noble, would be the best man for the job. A certain inflexibility is required to seal the border. He will serve perfectly well if he follows only His Majesty’s orders and makes no exceptions.”
He meant with great sincerity, huh?
I don’t know about that, but it’s reassuring, depending on how you use it.
“Next, we need to be on the lookout for other forces. For this, I nominate my second son, Kiel.”
“Kiel is very patient and has been good at enduring pain since he was a child. He is unlikely to start a war in an unexpected situation, and he is well suited for specific measures to check the situation.”
“Lastly, the transportation of provisions and fodder. Please leave the transportation of provisions and fodder to my fourth son, Yale.”
“All right, I’ll leave it to him. You may inform Henry that I have given my approval and consult with him.”
“Thank you for your grace.”
“I won’t go into details. At any rate, I want Jessica to concentrate on that one thing, all right?”
“You may step back.”
Damien knelt once more on the spot, then got up and walked away.
After seeing him off, I called Don.
“You wanted to see me, Your Majesty?
“Damien’s third son, do you know his name?”
“I believe it was …… Neil Noble.”
“Find out what you can about this Neil.”
“For what reason?”
Don tilted his head in wonder, and I told him about Damien’s recommendation of the three children.
“He looked exactly the opposite of Father.”
“Yeah. The eyes of a man who loves his children. He wanted to somehow scoop up the children who were not doing so well, with his own influence. His reasons were all too contrived. Regarding the transportation of the fourth son’s food and fodder, he has no reason at all, but he asks for it anyway.”
“That Damien, ……”
Don looked in disbelief.
After all, he was the strongest old general in the Empire, a man with a reputation for honesty and integrity.
It’s surprising that he has such a side to him.
“So, find out about the third son.”
“The third son, the one whose name didn’t come up?”
I nodded sharply.
“If my guess is correct, the third son is the only one who is considered to ‘get by without the influence’.”
The next day, in the study.
Don, who had finished his research and returned, looked at me with admiration.
“As expected of His Majesty, it was just as you predicted.”
“Neil Noble. It is rumored that he inherited Damien-dono’s talent with the sword and that he inflicted a serious wound on Damien at a training session when he was 12 years old.”
The reason why Damien is still in command of the field at that age is that he is too strong.
Damien has been punished for his excessive actions. He has destroyed things that didn’t need to be destroyed, and as a result, he has drawn the ire of the local people, prolonging the war and its aftermath.
For this, he was punished and lowered in rank.
Because of his repeated war merits and excessive punishments, he was never promoted enough to join the Ministry of War and has remained in the field ever since.
And that Damien was wounded by a twelve-year-old, huh?
“I’m going to see him. Do you know where he is?”
“Yes sir, I will guide you there.”
A man was in a certain tavern in the castle town.
He was sitting in the corner, drinking sake by hand with a wry smile on his face.
His appearance was not dirty, but quite appropriate.
The man looked disheveled- but his clothes looked as if they had been laundered from the clothes of some local junkie.
Because of his outfit, partly because of his large size, and partly because he wears an eye patch over his right eye that indicates his blindness.
In the crowded bar, it was the only place where people didn’t gather, and it seemed as if there was an empty space.
I went straight over and sat down across from the man, Neil.
“Neil Noble, right?
“Ouu, wanna drink lad?”
He didn’t ask my name back but offered a drink to anyone who spoke to him.
I accept Neil’s cup and down the contents in one gulp.
“You’re drinking something cheap.”
“I’m happy to drink as long as it gets me drunk. By tomorrow it will be all pissed off.”
“I see your point.”
“So tell me, lad. What do you want from me?”
“I’m a scout. Are you interested in working for the Imperial Family?”
“Why is it not enough that you’re a good man?”
“I see. You want me to serve the Emperor?”
“That’s what it means.”
Neil grinned, twisted the corners of his mouth, poured himself another glass of booze, and drank it all in one gulp.
“I’ll think about it if the Emperor himself comes to ask me out. Tell him that.”
“What, is that okay with you? You think about it now.”
“I’m already in front of you.”
The cup spilled from his hand, rolled around on the table, hit a bottle of liquor, and stopped.
Neil, who dropped it, also stopped.
“What, you didn’t know what I looked like?”
“E-Emperor — His Majesty!”
Neil suddenly came to himself and stood up in great surprise.
He immediately attracted the attention of the entire bar.
“Yeah, I am Noah Ararat, the Emperor of the Empire.”
While introducing myself, I showed the coat of Arms designed as a ship, with the help of the Livyathan.”
Whoever it is, they will believe I am the Emperor when I use the Demon sword to announce my name.
It was a name that Neil understood.
“The Emperor in person? And from the very beginning?”
“Is it strange?”
“Did my …… father ask you to do this?”
I picked up the cup Neil had dropped, poured himself a drink, downed it, and smiled.
“Damien only recommended three others.”
Hearing this, Neil regained his composure and grinned.
“That’s typical of my old man. Those three guys need to get off their asses. Old man is too old to be chewing on his own coffers forever.”
Neil’s complaint was tinged with a bitter smile.
It seems that Damien’s parental stupidity is quite considerable.
“What’s the matter, you’re laughing all of a sudden?”
“No, I just thought, you’re not jealous when you hear that.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. I’m here in person, so think about it. Will you serve me?”
“Ah — wait wait, I’m not good with honorifics and etiquette, serving at the palace –“
“Is that what this is about? Then let’s just leave it the way it is.”
“You want things to stay the way they are?”
“No, it’s not right. Aren’t you the Emperor? You’re supposed to have dignity and tradition and all that stuff.”
“That doesn’t matter. It matters more that we have the right people.”
Neil was speechless.
Eventually, he came to his senses, looked up to the heavens, and laughed uproariously.
“Hahahahaha, you’re amazing. I’ve never heard of such an Emperor.”
“I like you. If you like the way I am, I’ll serve you.”
“Well, I’m looking forward to working with you.”
I offered my hand for a handshake, and Neil laughed harder than ever as he shook my hand.
Name: Noah Ararat
And then, the ‘+’ in my status went up.
I apologize for the delays, I had to sort out stuff. Hope I can tl future chapters sooner.