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Chapter 18 – Preparation
As I waited on the justification for David’s second son Artaud-kun’s territory, the eldest son Agnes Reuter was attacked by the lord of another duchy. It was an act entirely of that of a vulture, but I couldn’t complain about it since I had no justification over the Deal county that Agnes Reuter controlled. A count with justification for more than one foreign county at a time was quite rare.
The scavenger had likely been eyeing Deal county since David’s time. Count Jeremias, whose territory was directly north of Deal duchy, was a fairly famous count within the Carling Empire because he served as the prime minister.
Count Jeremias was also a very rich lord, thanks to the mines in his territory. This time, Count Jeremias invaded Deal county with an army of 3,000 men, with half of them being the standing army. The fact that he had such numbers despite not hiring any mercenaries showed how rich he was.
And the biggest characteristic of Count Jeremias was the fact he minted coins with permission from the emperor. So with several money minting facilities in his territory producing endless amounts of money, he could employ as many bodies for his standing army as he wanted.
I sure was jealous that he had mines in his territory. While thinking so, I kept donating money to the church in order to earn justification over Triore county, which was ruled by Artaud-kun… If I invaded him without doing this, worst case scenario, I would be excommunicated by Knut religion and the pope would initiate a crusade. The pope commanded about 20,000 soldiers, which was about the same as Emperor Paulus IV. It was crazy.
I couldn’t even form a proper army of 2,000, let alone 20,000. Even though the number of slaves increased, the maximum number of soldiers I could send to invade Triore county was around 1,500. Even this was considered a lot for a count who only owned one county; most usually had no more than 1,000.
Come to think of it, it seemed that the Schult ducal family heard about my exploits in the last war and requested a formal alliance when I became independent. I was almost 13, but that meant I still had 2 years before I was officially recognized as an adult. There weren’t any other lords willing to ally with me because of it, so I immediately agreed. By the time my birthday came around the next month, Linde-san was scheduled to arrive in Fentz county.
Honestly, my territory’s development was incomparably slow compared to Schult duchy, so I was worried Linde-san would prefer to go back to her parent’s house… but well, the difference between us was upper-bottom tier and lower-middle tier, so it should be okay. Compared to a few years ago, I thought security had improved considerably.
[“I would prefer to just move in permanently, but my mother won’t let me.”]
“You can’t get married until you’re 15, so I think you’re being too hasty.”
[“The central aristocrats already begin living together before they get married, you know?”]
“That’s because the physical distance between the two families there is close… since you can’t return easily once you come here, it’s better to be filial while you still can.”
My correspondence with Linde-san stabilized to once or twice every month. She still did her workout as usual, but it seemed she couldn’t stay outside for long. She was a vampire-like, ojou-sama whose power dropped considerably under the sunlight. I didn’t tell her but since she had strong combat power, and could move at night without problem, I expected her to be active on the battlefield.
Rather, I really lacked decent human resources. I only asked for people with knowledge of basic math, reading, writing, and manners. Unfortunately, not only were those kinds of people rare, but those who couldn’t do any of them were the majority. Well, even without any of those skills, commoners could still live without any problems, and it couldn’t be helped since education wasn’t compulsory.
“You are the prime minister now. Give your previous position to Gramilian.”
It sounded like an abuse of power, but I was able to exercise my authority over the barons to smoothly change their positions. I made the excellent Baron Harting, who has served as marshal all this time, into prime minister and had the former slave — Gramilian become marshal instead. With this, three out of seven positions were filled with decent people…
As for the remaining four positions, I had people who didn’t arbitrarily make bad decisions sit there temporarily, even if said people weren’t decent human beings. On the other hand, I would kill those who arbitrarily made bad decisions even if they were decent human beings. It didn’t need to be explained that incompetent hard workers were more annoying than incompetent lazy people.
No seriously, could you please stop gossiping about things like, “My lord showed great talent in war”??? If I was really in a bad mood at that moment, I might’ve just killed his whole family. This world was already in hard mode to begin with, so I would like to be spared from allies who would increase other lords’ wariness of me. The more well-known one’s name was, the more it would lead to one’s death.
While doing this and that, I finally obtained justification for Triore county, so I proceeded to declare war. Somehow, my elder brother, the second son Alfred, seemed to have become a queen’s consort before anyone knew it, so Wagner might strike me from behind. Either way, I need to take over another county in order to get out of my current predicament.
…Well, they only had 600 men while I had 1,500. I would like to think I couldn’t lose unless something terrible happens.
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