CHAPTER 145 – AUDIENCE
……Just why is it that I’m standing here?
Trying to escape the reality that I was right in front of the throne of the royal palace, I glanced over at some of the highest-ranking knights in the kingdom, Marquis Rolentsor and Earl Einsbark.
His Majesty who was sitting there, I feel like he called my name just now, am I just hearing things?
……Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to be hallucinating, as someone pushed me on my back. I staggered as I stepped forward, and just like that I was in front of the king.
“Go, and kneel in front of the king.”
Ergnade who was right behind me was whispering to me. I proceeded the rest of the way by myself, being unable to return even though he was just a few steps behind me. I kneeled as I was told to in front of the steps to the tall royal throne, from where the king overlooked me. I met the king’s blue eyes for an instant before I looked down. Neither the king nor I had any expression of our feelings.
“Viscountess Kaldia. During this battle, you have made a splendid meritorious accomplishment. For your glorious achievement, I would like to reward you.”
“……to receive such words directly from Your Majesty, it is my greatest honor.”
While managing to squeeze out the words of courtesy required of me by etiquette, my voice sounded almost like a robot to myself, surprising me mentally with how calm I seemed to be. I’m in the presence of the person who holds absolute power over this entire huge kingdom, it’s a strange atmosphere in which was fresher than I expected.
I understood that the king was the absolute representation of authority for both the church and the law in this country. I managed to drag this fact out of my mind somehow, as if I was a computer, although right now it all feels so far away from me.
Arxia’s political system seems feudal at first glance, but the true situation is quite different. All of the actual power is held by the king, and he merely delegates power to his vassals. The royal domain system is probably the easiest to explain, it’s similar to a Count Palatine from medieval Europe. Those that manage it receive a high noble rank from the king, which wouldn’t be possible without the trust of both the king and the Upper House of Lords, and it’s supposed to be a title that isn’t hereditary.
The main reason that this system has successfully continued for the past 600 years without decaying is thanks to the existence of the church. The moral character of everyone in this country is guided by the Ar Xia church’s Sacred Code. Committing a felony would cause you to be excommunicated from the church, and as for excommunication…… those branded as heretics are savagely treated, almost inversely proportional to the modernity of the legal system for a fantasy world.
Well, at any rate, law and religion in this country haven’t decayed, and it’s been an effective system for a long period of time now.
I’ve gone off on a tangent. It seems that when my mind tries to escape reality, I can drift quite far off-topic.
……Whatever the case, did I really have such a great accomplishment on the battlefield? Indeed, I managed to disable their unit with the new weapons. But its power and shooting range is limited, and once the army knows exactly what kind of weapon it is, I’m sure that such a chaotic response won’t happen again. And as for the enemy heavy cavalry unit, it wasn’t entirely destroyed.
As for what I did after that, is this about surrounding the enemies on our overextended left flank and annihilating them? While that unit was indeed annihilated, such a thing should have been accomplished by Ergnade several times already in the previous battles. Divide and conquer. It’s one of the most basic strategies in battle.
Among the enemies killed, there was that muscular soldier that seemed to be a high-ranked knight, but I doubt his head would have such a high price attached to it if he was at the frontlines himself like that.
In any case, that was the only sentence the king spoke to me, as after that Marquis Rittergau, Earl Terejia’s older brother who’s still working despite his age, took over and read out my achievement and reward from some documents in an official tone of voice.
Although, I don’t really understand what it is that I’ve achieved, since I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t have much military experience, and the only word that I really caught was head. I’ll have to ask Ergnade later about what he meant.
In contrast though, the reward part was easy to understand. Basically, it was money, land, and ranking. ……I don’t really want land or ranking though, I felt somewhat bitter about it. Right now, the new Pioneer village is just getting settled down in Kaldia, and my hands are full with the irrigation construction for the largely untouched eastern half of my domain.
Even if I receive new, unsettled land from the Jugfena royal domain, without receiving any human resources to go along with the land, this has no benefits for me. They’re just giving me more land to match my promoted title.
At any rate, although I still don’t quite understand why, I now have the rank of a lesser earl. How strange. Something like a promotion in noble rank shouldn’t be that easy to obtain…… I guess it can’t be helped that I’m a bit confused, as too many unexpected things just fell into my lap.
As for the otome game that’s supposed to begin when I enter noble school, that’s coming up soon, later in autumn of this year that I’m twelve.
……But more importantly, one year ago, war between Arxia and Rindarl broke out, and it’s a fact that I played an important role in this particular battle.
How is this battle going to affect the otome game, I wonder. I don’t want the war to expand even more, as I’d have less time to take care of Kaldia, and it might be devastated or fall into disrepair due to the war. I finally managed to bring my domain back to a civilized level similar to the other domains – just how long did it take? It’s been ten long years.
I absolutely won’t stand for my ten years of hard work to go to waste, so the next chance I get, I think I should remove even more of Rindarl’s soldiers.
……After all, it seems that I have an affinity for combat.