I am the Monarch – Chapter 271: Incognito (1)
It was as expected.
They had made it as expected.
The strategies against the Church with the Administrator Swift Clock and the Strategist Ian Phillips in the centre had begun. The pope Beldrica quickly attempted to send holy letters to gather the Crusaders but their feet had been dragged by Estia Empire’s damping.
Edwin Voisa who had been seeking asylum had put the safety of his son, Mills Voisa who was in custody of the Amaranth Kingdom as a reason to persuade the emperor and powerful nobles of the empire.
Estia Empire against the Church.
An invisible fight between the two massive parties had begun. Adding on to this, the unlucky merchant Clyde followed Roan’s request/command to invest into all his connections to create trouble and the situation grew beyond control.
As Swift and Ian had predicted, it became impossible to gather the crusaders.
During that time, the Amaranth Kingdom began to build on their foundation a strong body. Everyone was trying their hardest at their given position.
It was the same for Roan.
“I’m planning to look around the entirety of the kingdom with Amaranth Taemusas.”
The first time he threw those words out, there naturally were multiple disagreements. Things like it is not something a monarch of a country should do were most of those but Roan had his reasons.
‘I must gather the people that led others through the Great Warring Period.’
The heroes that had fought for Rinse Kingdom in the previous life along with Pierce and Ian. He planned on finding those still-budding heroes to form a strong root in the kingdom.
There weren’t many things that could be done inside the palace, or rather, there was nothing much to do.
‘The most I could do is look over and see if everything is going alright.’
But that was something that Swift, Onil and Ian were plenty capable of. Roan was in search of the things that only he could do, and there was one more reason for him making such a decision.
‘Aily’s not here either…’
Aily who should be enjoying the newly-wed days had to follow the elves’ request and rules to stay within the elves’ habitat in the Grain Mountain Range for a while. Thus, Roan had no real reason to stay inside the palace. In the end of a long persuasion, various officials also had to follow Roan’s decisions.
“Perhaps it’s not a bad idea to go for a round of incognito inspection during this time.”
Lots of them nodded to Swift’s words. Without even considering the Church, the Amaranth Kingdom was a newly built country that had beaten the Rinse Kingdom. And on top of that, there was the enmity with the Church.
From the outside it might appear to be gradually stabling but there were in fact lots of unclear hazards present.
‘There will be some lords and ones with power who hide behind the confusion to rob the people.’
‘There are still several areas where the security doesn’t reach.’
Swift’s suggestion of incognito inspection was a good solution, a good supplement to the plan.
‘Catching two birds with one stone.’
He accepted Swift’s suggestion.
Asking the Magic Tower of Leno, Roan asked for magical tools that could disguise him. There was almost zero chance for citizens outside of Castle Mediasis to recognise Roan but the nobles were different.
A solid disguise was needed to avoid their eyes.
The preparations required for Roan’s incognito round of inspection and personnel search was quickly finished.
“I’ll be back.”
He smiled lightly and waved his hand. His masculine tough face had changed to a soft, innocent face. With his rough unkempt hair and yellowish travel clothes unlike his usual red suits, he appeared just like a wandering merchant with a large bag on his back.
“Amaranth Taemusas have all finished their disguise.”
Roan nodded in response to Ian’s words. This travel also had inspection as one of its purposes so the Taemusas had to properly hide their identities as well. They were guarding Roan at places that couldn’t be seen.
“Have a safe trip.”
Several officials including Ian and Swift all bowed from the shadows. They did oppose it when they first heard him say it but in fact, they weren’t too worried.
‘Not just our kingdom…’
‘But from the entire continent…’
‘There’s no-one who could do anything to his majesty.’
Besides, more than a thousand Taemusas were secretly guarding his surroundings. There was nothing to worry about.
“Now, let us focus hard on our tasks before us.”
They made bitter smiles in response to Swift’s encouragement, because in the first place, the ones they were worried about the most were themselves.
In the remaining time, they will have to move without the time to blink an eye.
Because time would wait for no-one.
“It seems we have been late again.”
A young general, Romils Hotten shook his head with a frown. There was a scene of extreme horridness spanning before their eyes. The previously isolated and beautiful village had turned into ashes. There was smoke breaking from every direction with burnt-black corpses reflected in their eyes wherever they faced.
“Do we still not know who is behind all this?”
A young man passed by Romils and stood in front of the crumbled village entrance. The armoured young man looked around the village with his cold sunken eyes. It could be seen that he was trying his hardest to suppress his rage.
Romils lowered his head with a terrible expression.
“I have no words. Prince Manus.”
The young man was surprisingly the second prince of Pershion Kingdom… no, now the only prince of the kingdom, Manus Pershion.
“I know it is not your fault.”
He shook his head with a bitter smile. Ten days ago, he had received news that a region on the north coast of Pershion Kingdom was being attacked by an unidentified group and quickly prepared a troop.
‘In just 10 days, dozens of large and small villages were destroyed.’
Most of the citizens lost their lives. More importantly, however,
‘We still don’t know who the opponent is.’
They had no idea who the opponent they were supposed to fight and destroy were. According to the news from the survivors of the village, the number of enemies was merely 200. They all wore black robes covering their heads and their identities were hard to tell.
A difficult situation.
Manus raised his head and looked towards the North.
‘I just wish my guesses are wrong.’
A deep sigh left through his lips.
It was then.
A horse escaped through the black smoke and quickly approached. When the horseman approached close enough he rapidly jumped down and kneeled on one knee, with a rushed expression.
“There has been contact from Teloi Island.”
Manus quietly waited for the next words. The horseman sunk his head down and continued his words in a trembling voice.
“The guards were all killed with Sir Reitas’ appearance or corpse nowhere to be seen. It is likely that he has left the island.”
Manus let out a little murmur.
‘I had wished my guess to be wrong but…’
He waved his hand with a short sigh.
The horseman got back on the horse after a salute and disappeared along with the horse. Manus grasped his fist and bit down hard.
‘Brother, is this really your doing? Really?’
He didn’t want to believe it. Although Reitas did have great ambitions, he wasn’t a cruel and unemotional person that would massacre the kingdom’s people like this.
‘What in the world happened?’
Reitas had clearly known of the cruelty of authority.
[Manus, if I’m alive, the nobles following me will look for other chances. Kill me. That is the duty of the victor and the fate of the defeated.]
Those were the words Reitas had left when the assassination on Manus had failed. And naturally, Manus had blatantly refused. At that time Manus had said that even if the noble had been supporting Reitas, if their skills and personalities were excellent, they would be given their rightful location.
That he would gather them not into Manus faction nor Reitas faction but to the Pershion faction.
‘I said they will become one under the name of Pershion.’
He had indeed said that.
In fact, after Reitas had been sent to Teloi Island on exile, Manus did allocate the skilled nobles that had been following Reitas into important roles and duties. Of course, there had been some discontent and disbelief at the beginning, but after some time, Manus’ honesty had been relayed and Pershion Kingdom was much stronger and tougher than the previous.
‘I thought everything was going well…’
Perhaps that was not the case.
‘If all of this was related to Brother Reitas, he wouldn’t have been the only one involved.’
It meant that there were helpers. He bit down hard.
Romils who had been watching from the side rushed to approach and spoke in a small voice.
“Sir Prince, isn’t it better for you to return to the capital?”
There was no need for more words. If Reitas had indeed escaped the island, it was important to quickly return to Capital Altus and strengthen his side of officials. Otherwise with one mistake, Reitas’ old subordinates that had been placed at important positions might have other thoughts.
He reflected on it before slowly nodding his head.
“Romils. You stay behind and stabilise the north regions. I will return to the Capital.”
“Yes, do not worry.”
Romils lowered his head with a tough expression and Manus got on his horse after staring at him for a while.
Soon, a portion of the cavalry headed towards Capital Altus along with the sound of horse hooves. It was as fast, no, faster, than wind.
But unfortunately, there was someone ever so slightly faster than Manus.
“Congratulations on your return.”
Dozens of nobles lowered their heads in respect. A young man stood before them with a bright smile. His eyes reflected the tall walls standing below the moonlight and nodded.
“It has truly been a long time.”
As if embracing the castle, the youth opened his arms wide.
“Capital City of Altus. I have returned.”
A small yet powerful voice.
“I, Reitas Pershion have returned.”
His name was Reitas.
“Fu, what a great weather.”
The innocent-looking young man hung a large luggage on his back and slowly carried his feet across. The narrow roads were well-maintained so it wasn’t really difficult walking.
‘But there will be a need to widen the roads for large scale military movements.’
The youth with strange thoughts was Roan Lancephil who had departed on his incognito inspection. He left Castle Mediasis and walked on and on diligently until finally reaching the western end of Lancephil area.
‘Indeed, areas that are one district away from Capital Castle have become stable without an issue.’
The officials both military and government as well as the nobles dared not to persecute or rob the citizens and focused on their own tasks.
‘It would be nice if other areas were the same…’
With some excitement and expectation, Roan had crossed the borders of the Lancephil area and faced further west. The sun that had been above his head was now almost covered by the faraway hills.
‘I guess I need to stay at a nearby village for the day.’
Fortunately, the place where the first person he was looking for was in was not too far away from here. After walking for who knows how long, a village appeared on the end of the road. It was quite a large village with fences and a little watchtower.
Roan quickened his feet with a happy heart.
But when he arrived at the front of the entrance, he was stiffened like a statue. It was because the sun had yet to fall but the village entrance had been closed tight.
Roan stood in front of the entrance and used his politest voice to seek for a person. Soon, a presence could be felt from within.
“Who is it?”
A voice filled with caution. Roan smiled widely and scratched the back of his head.
“I’m a wandering merchant. The sun was about to fall so I wanted to stay…”
When his words reached around that point.
“Walk a little bit more South West and there will be a village called Burk. Eat and rest there.”
Roan was baffled. He had received cold treatment countless times, but not even being allowed into the village and being chased away was a new experience even with his previous life in the equation…
“Did you not hear? Our village is not a place for accommodation so leave immediately.”
He was trying to chase him away but there was worry evident in his voice.
‘There’s something here.’
Roan’s two eyes shone brightly with light. He began to act in a crying voice.
“Aigo. I couldn’t even rest today and continued walking all day. The legs are sore and my feet hurt as if they’re being stabbed. I won’t make trouble and will leave after one night so please take me in.”
It was a natural act enough to make others believe that he was truly in pain. A loud commotion could be heard from the inside. They were definitely thinking about something, but.
“Even so, what’s impossible is impossible. Burk village isn’t far from here so walk diligently and you should arrive before the sun sets. So leave quickly, now!”
Towards the end he even shouted, but it was a made-up shout and Roan’s doubts deepened.
“Aigo, how cruel…”
He made a crying sound and stepped back. Glancing at the watchtowers, he found two men with worries on their face.
‘They’re definitely not bad people.’
Albeit being confused on the inside, Roan collapsed down on the side of the road. He then took out a dirty rag from his bag.
He made a loud noise on purpose and lied down. The cloth covering up to his neck showed that he was about to sleep outside in that manner. When he did, an urgent voice escaped from the watchtowers.
“Hey, there. What are you doing!”
“Quickly go to Burk Village! Quick!”
But Roan wore an expression of laziness and waved his hand before turning his body around.
Lost voices could be heard from the towers until finally.
Along with the creaking noise of wood, the village entrance that was shut tight was opened slightly with utmost care. From within, a middle-aged man pointed his head out.
“Hey, there! Wandering merchant! Quickly come in! Quick!”
A loud voice and a waving hand. Roan slightly raised his head to look at that before quickly packing up his luggage and rushing over.
“Aigo, thank you. Thank you.”
He nodded his head several times and squeezed his body through the small gap between the gates. Finally the inside of the village that couldn’t be seen even with Kalian’s Tears was laid bare.
Suddenly, a low murmur escaped through his lips, and his face turned rigid.
“That’s why we told you to go to Burk village.”
The people let out sighs before shaking their heads. Roan couldn’t reply and silently stared at the village.
‘Don’t tell me they’re…’
His eyelids trembled slightly.
‘In the middle of a battle?’
<Incognito (1)> End.