Opinions are divided as to whether or not the audience room of Ciel-Terra’s King is gorgeous.
A red carpet is laid up to the innermost part of the throne, the white walls are decorated with gold, and there are a few common audiences. It would be regal enough from the point of view of a commoner, but it was small and inferior to the castles of lords of other countries.
Still, the king on the throne… Hilbert, “The Lion Heart” Nicholas Ciel-Terra, also called Hilbert II, seemed satisfied, and was squinting at the view.
Hilbert is in his late thirties. His hair and beard were red with a tinge of brown, which he wore slightly puffed up to make his thin face look bigger. Even so, his body was too lanky making him lack dignity. The person himself cares about it, and secretly increased the size of the shoulder pads under his crimson cloak.
“Your Majesty, the Lord Commander of the First Knights is here.”
“Let him through.”
The guard, who came as a herald, is still a bit awkward. Hilbert smiled at the thought. Guards of the former king, fought defending the former king and perished. All the current guards were fresh recruits.
The sound of rustling footsteps and armor approached, and before long, Lawrence appeared.
He took off his full-face helmet and held it in his armpit. His figure like the tale of a bard, “Even his face inspires allies. On his head is the flame of passion and precious sunlight dwells in eyes. There is no maiden who does not dream of a knight who shines brighter and is more beautiful than the seven nights of the moon combined.” Lawrence was a knight who was praised not only for his power but also for his beauty.
He came in with a needlessly enthusiastic gesture, and bowed his head on one knee in front of seven steps according to the etiquette.
“Raise your head.”
When Hilbert called out, Lawrence looked up with eyes shining as if he were a child watching a knight’s march.
It was wonderful and comfortable to be respected in such an honest manner by such a brave man,
Suddenly, Hilbert wondered what kind of face Lawrence, who had been so obedient to the former king, used to have when he came to this audience room.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
“Your words are too kind.”
Lawrence got on one knee and bowed again deeply.
“I didn’t think she would revive as an undead.”
“What? An Abomination of Dirty Blood, who dies and still avenges its homeland? I can see my father’s will.
I can’t help but think that your deceit which killed the unfit king, was unquestionably right.”
“I don’t care if you follow me or not. But what is this matter that you have been discussing?”
“Yes. It’s about the sword I used to fight her.”
Lawrence drew a sword in his hip and held it in front of him.
The treasure of Ciel-Terra, the magical sword, Tayla Ayul.
Forged using the highest quality orichalcum harvested from domestic mines, dwarf blacksmiths who were said to be the best in the present era, hammered it together with some rare dragon materials. It is, without a doubt, the most expensive sword that exists in the country.
As a magic item, its effects are “unbelievable sharpness” and “impossibly sturdy”. Any blow from it cuts through thick armor without a single chip on the blade, and the magic that seeps out becomes a strong impact that hammers into an opponent. It was given to the commanders of the First Knights from generation to generation and help them achieve many military exploits. It was a sword that could be used as a banner for allies on the battlefield (or rather, it was made for that purpose).
Not only is the strong, but the beauty of the blade is praised in many songs.
… But the blade is not covered in sticky blood.
When Hilbert leaned in involuntarily, a guard took the sword from Lawrence and brought it to the throne.
Hilbert took the sword himself and looked at the blade. It was a subtle shade of blood that looked like it was about to dry out. It had a disgusting dampness to it.
“It’s a stain from my fight with her. It is my fault that the supreme magic sword, a national treasure, has been defiled in this way….”
“It’s fine. What’s more than that, this is”
“I don’t know. I can’t wash it, I can’t polish it, I can’t even get the priests to purify it.
A priest says this is proof that the undead has not perished and continues to curse.”
“What in the…”
Magic weapons are generally resistant to degradation.
They don’t damage so easily, nor do they get dirty so easily.
What’s more, it was abnormal for a magic sword of this caliber to have blood stains on it that would not come off.
“To tell you the truth, the last blow I thought was the end of that battle. It was a strange response like I had been let down.
it was as if… I sliced through a shell and the contents had escaped.”
Lawrence said, stumbling hard to speak.
It was painful to tell the king, whom he respected, of his own inadequacies. But as a knight, Lawrence seemed to be motivated by a sense of duty to report everything he had learned during the battle.
“I’m not going to blame you. If a manlike you failed, it would just mean that the enemy was tough.”
“I don’t know where she’s hiding, but I think I’ll have to prepare for her return. When the time comes, I’ll leave it to you. Nobody would be able to fight her if you weren’t.
Finish her off, and let the curse and regret of missing her fade away.”
“Definitely! In honor of the sword and the knights bestowed by the king, I will show you the abominable monster’s defeat!”
Lawrence was overtly relieved and seemed to resolve his mind.
He looked determined not to fail a second time.
“At this time, my king. There’s something from the Federation…”
He seemed to have finished his main business, but Lawrence couldn’t help but ask.
Hilbert gave him a thin smile.
“Nothing yet. They’re probably turning blue by now. I will no longer give them a piece of scrap iron produced from our country’s mines.”
The Kingdom of Ciel-Terra has deep ties with the Western powers of the Gilesh Hatar Federation.
The Federation protects Ciel-Terra, and Ciel-Terra gives the Federation a mining concessions. Although it sounds like mutual benefit, the reality is that it is unequal according to the difference in national power, and Ciel-Teira has been at a disadvantage.
… At least, that’s what the disgruntled forces in the country thought.
The reason behind Hilbert’s coup was the dissolution of this unequal relationship.
His move ignited the people who were dissatisfied with the Union but had given up on the idea that there was nothing they could do about it. Hilbert himself was surprised by the support he received.
In particular, it was enthusiastically supported by miners and trade merchants. They had a strong sense of dissatisfaction that they were being forced to engage in unfair business due to the influence of politics.
Lawrence had nothing to do with it, though seemed to be burning with righteous indignation.
“If there are any disturbances in the Federation, it is time for the Order of Knights to show their strength. We will cut off the heads of the federal idiots who have the hearts of men and beasts.”
Lawrence forcefully clenched his fists and swore victory.
“But even with the strength of our troops, we still have a long way to go. But even if our country has the advantage in the strength of its soldiers, the Federation is powerful. It is not an opponent that we can fight alone.
Warfare begins when you have to fight and you are prepared to win. Please be careful not to provoke the Federation carelessly.”
“Ah… Then, I’ll leave you to it.”
Hilbert, who had retreated to his office, stretched as much as he could and then shook his head as if he were weak.
“Whew, it’s exhausting to take a brave pose.”
Hilbert is seen by the public as a hard-liner against the Federation who abhor the Federation like a snake, but in fact his views are a little different from the public’s evaluation. Rather, he was a man who looked at things a little more broadly.
He knew how troublesome it would be to split ties with the Federation and owe the four major powers. There would be a huge enemy born right next to them, and negotiating with their virtual allies would not be straightforward.
If they were not careful, they would be used as a shield against the Federation. The five major powers were not fighting each other at the moment, but how long would that peace last? From now on, Hilbert will have to engage in “golem diplomacy” rather than “tough diplomacy”.
However, he just thought it was better than ending up eating cold meals for life. He was able to ascend the throne, so that alone made a lot of money.
Which one is more profitable for the whole country… Well, that’s for the future.
For Hilbert, the usurper of the throne, he’s very grateful that the public opinion is on his side.
If the public’s backlash is strong, the lords may become opportunistic, even though Hilbert is backed by the power of the four major powers. If they were not careful, some of them might even join hands with the Federation and ask for protection.
However, the current situation, even if we look at it a little harshly, has come to the point of dividing public opinion. In this situation, it would be risky to turn against them.
The problem now is the radical faction are getting carried away under Hilbert.
They are looking for people from the Federation in the city and lynching them, or they are seriously planning to ride into the border area and beat the Federalists back to the Federation. He’s managed to nail Lawrence down, but he can’t control the actions of civilians who pretend to be a volunteer army.
If the public opinion of the Federation, stimulated by this, tends in the direction of “Ciel-Terra must be eliminated.” Even if reinforcements are received from the four major powers, it is Ciel-Terra who is in conflict with the Federation that would become the battlefield.
The same goes for the case of Rosalia, the former queen of the former king Elbert, and her daughter Renée. Hilbert himself had no intention of doing anything about the two.
Even if some feudal lord tried to push Renée up and raise the banner of “the legitimate royal family,” there would never be a rebellion following a woman, moreover, an abomination. He knew that Renée was not a threat to his throne.
However, Lawrence and the knights who were particularly critical of the former king Elbert, along with the citizens who supported Hilbert continued to demand him to “Extinguish the bloodline of the former king!” There was no reason to stop this, so gave the go-ahead from a position of reluctance.
If an undead was born as a result of that, it would be a terrible serpent.
“Renée, huh? Is it impossible to ask you not to hold it against me…?”
Hilbert thought of his niece whose face he had never seen.
It was ten years ago that the mother and child were evicted from the court. It’s not long after Renée was born.
Hilbert was one of the people who used Renée and the others as fuel to criticize Elbert. He loudly condemned that “An abomination was born because he welcomed a lowly commoner!” but it was just something to complain about Elbert’s position and he didn’t think anything of Renée.
We have received reports that a party of talented adventurers have been destroyed.
In anti-demon battles, adventurers often surpass knights as combatants. Hilbert couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable at the thought that an undead creature that could defeat such an adventurer with such tough armor might be trying to kill him.
“Phew… my head hurts. Is it such a pile of challenges to become a king?”
Hilbert thought that Lawrence won once, so he could win again.
He wanted to think so.