CHAPTER 138 – MEETING OF THE JUGFENA REGION DOMAINS
The major fire disaster that occurred in the commoners’ district of the royal capital was finally extinguished with the help of the rain, two days after it began. The number of dead people was estimated at roughly 700 to 800, and the priests and nobles of the kingdom were making efforts everywhere to support the commoners.
Also, as for a few nobles that unfortunately got caught up in this fire – Viscount Rogshia, Viscount Ogren, and Viscountess Kaldia, who were having a trial at a church near the commoners’ district, the House of Lords was thrown into a state of confusion about their matters.
According to the surviving priest’s testimony, he reported to the House of Lords through the church that Viscounts Rogshia and Ogren were under suspicion of illegal narcotics manufacturing, smuggling, and tax evasion, and that two unidentified men connected to Viscount Ogren attacked us.
With that lead to go on, after being made aware of the facts, a large-scale undercover investigation was done by the church to root out corrupt nobles. Among those caught were nobles from the north and the southwest inland region of Evitonis, which caused a huge uproar because Evitonis is the sacred land that the church founder Kusha Fema came from, so it was a problem to find out some of the ruling class there was corrupt.
With that as the catalyst, Chief Priest Faris from Shanak Temple forcibly conducted an investigation against all the church branches in the Evitonis region. The terrible news that the church, which should have been the guardian of the law, was also discovered to be corrupt during the course of the investigation. About half of the churches in the Evitonis region were declared excommunicated from the Church of Arxia, and with the charges brought against them of misusing judicial authority, many people lost their social statuses all at once.
“So, the ones secretly pulling the strings behind the curtains were Marquis Nordsturm, and this Western Alfena Church?”
After the incident, the corpse of Marquis Nordsturm, leader of the northern nobles, was discovered. This was also information that was concealed from the public. His funeral was carried out quietly in secret, and the nobles only know that his successor only inherited a low-ranked noble title for some reason.
There were rumors that he couldn’t bear the disadvantageous evidence piling up against him, and that he committed suicide, but the truth is unclear. The new leader of the Nordsturm family was his eldest, and also said to be his only son, a young man with wheat-yellow hair like his father. Melchior disappeared during the incident, and hasn’t been found since.
“……Is all of this really true? That you fought a member of the Western Alfena Church which infiltrated Arxia. Not only that, your opponent had a mysterious ability to control monsters?”
“The one who killed her was Oscar Terejia, knight to my guardian Earl Terejia. All of the dead bodies from our fight were taken by Chief Priest Faris of Shanak Temple. One of the corpses died due to draconis bites, please confirm it with Chief Priest Faris. As for her ability, there’s no physical evidence of it. Currently the church is investigating the dead bodies.”
Margrave Genas who was sitting directly across from me was stroking his thick brown beard as he asked me questions with doubt in his voice. Ergnade sitting in a chair by my side nodded with a hmm as if he was deeply interested in this subject.
“Well, seeing Viscountess Kaldia’s injured state, I think there’s no need to doubt her words. As for her draconis’ wing, I completely believe what she has said. This Jugfena region domain meeting is a good chance for all of us to remove our internal disagreements and unite together, so I think continuing to ask if her words are true or false is insignificant.”
Ergnade who was here on the behalf of the Jugfena royal domain’s…… no, I should say as the representative, backed me up in front of Margrave Genas.
After such a major incident within the royal capital, big changes occurred in the domestic situation. One example of this was the heir to the Jugfena royal domain, Earl Einsbark’s second son Wiegraf, taking over for him in the political arena.
For a domain where the position is usually appointed instead of inherited, this would usually become a huge topic of discussion, but thanks to the sudden change in the domestic situation, it’s been buried by other topics.
From all the incidents that happened, there was parts where the church and the House of Lords intentionally withheld information from the public. Diferis’s existence, my involvement and fight with her, the reason for the fire moths’ abnormal behavior, basically most of the information about my involvement wasn’t made known publicly.
I don’t know what their intention is, but Earl Terejia and I have already decided to conceal our involvement. The only exception is at this Jugfena region domain meeting. As Ergnade just said, this is the time to come together, so we should share as much information that may be relevant to border defense as possible.
So I shared my knowledge about an unknown ability to control monsters, and the terrorist that infiltrated Arxia and the incident she caused, as this isn’t the place to conceal such information.
Margrave Genas glanced over at my bandages. I barely got any sleep and rode Rashiok overnight to get here to this meeting on time, but according to my doctor, I need to obediently rest in my bed for an entire month in order to recover.
I forcibly fixed my dislocated shoulder, I have a laceration in my arm, and I had a hole drilled through my left hand. I was told that continuing to fight in this condition would of course be impossibly unreasonable, and that scars and impediments using my left arm in the future may remain. It’s possible for it to recover full functionality with rehabilitation, but time and patience will be necessary.
“…………This entire uproar, was caused by the Western Alfena Church sect from Densel. Meaning, this is a complete loss for our Arxia. She’s successively caused massive chaos within Arxia, and together with the loss in noble rank of so many people, the number of Royal Knights have greatly decreased. She’s successfully managed to greatly weaken our national power and combat capabilities.”
Margrave Genas sighed, and looked up at the sky. He was looking out the window to the east, and his wrinkled face showed signs of bitterness.
“One fortunate thing among all this misfortune, was that my father had decided to reorganize the command structure at Jugfena right before the incident. The system of command at Jugfena isn’t under much chaos right now. Originally, my older brother Wiegraf the strategist, was in a position where he could command both the knights and the army. If you compensate for the loss of personnel, you can organize a new command structure quickly.”
“I believe that Earl Einsbark’s current age greatly exceeds that of the average soldier. -I’ve heard that the injuries he received a few years ago are affecting his strength, how is he doing……”
He’s referring to the defensive battle three years ago at Fort Jugfena which was smoothed over into nothing, it was a war in which Earl Einsbark wasn’t even able to swing about his weapons to his satisfaction. Earl Einsbark’s domain is technically a northern domain, and his position is conferred upon him. There’s a rumor going around that Earl Einsbark may be promoted to Marquis this month, and that the territory confiscated from the corrupt northern nobles will be given to him.
“It’s not as if resting is the only thing he can do anymore, so it’s not all that bad. My eldest brother Volmar is also doing his best to manage the affairs of the domain, so that takes some of the burden off him.”
“Ah, I see.”
Since the second son Wiegraf is becoming the heir and entering politics, the eldest son Volmar is helping with running the domain more now, and had to resign from the Jugfena Fortress knight order. Since currently there was a shortage of noble candidates and the House of Lords was busy dealing with the aftermath of the fire moth incident, the two older Einsbark sons that were both accomplished in their own right acquired power just like that.
“……I would like to propose that we proactively share information with each other from now on, how about it? There’s so much information coming from my Genas domain that it’s too difficult to sift through it all, so I think it should be fine for both your domains to assist me.”
Right after we finished talking about domestic affairs, Margrave Genas himself proposed that we share information. Ergnade and I agreed to this with no hesitation whatsoever.
And so, the first Jugfena region domains meeting succeeded in strengthening our ties, and we decided that we would hold such a meeting again in the future.