I am the Monarch – Chapter 315: Alliance (7)
“Build fences and place patrols!”
“We are still within a safe area so there’s no need to be overly tense!”
Rowdy voices shook the camp. Knights wearing ornamented armours shining brightly in silver moved diligently and cared for the soldiers. After a while, an astonishingly huge tent was built in the middle of the camp.
“Huu. It’s quite hot after running for so long nonstop.”
A middle-aged man took his armours and helmet off as he clicked his tongue. Surprisingly, when he did that, two young women in flimsy clothes approached and fanned him. Women inside a military camp was an unbelievable scene but the middle-aged man enjoyed his rest with a relaxed expression.
In that instant, a youth who was organising his helmet and armour walked up carefully and bowed his head.
“Um… by the way, sir Officer.”
He seemed to be barely forcing out words. In response, the middle-aged man widened his eyes with a faint smile.
“Is there anything you wanna say? Yu…”
“Right, Yuste. It was a name personally given by His Holiness right?”
“Yes. This time, he gave me a name on top of the important duty.”
Yuste replied with a faint smile as the middle-aged man had a strange flicker of emotions in his eyes.
‘That’s because you gave His Holiness tons of money.’
However, despite thinking that, there was no reason for him to share his thoughts. He just gently smiled and faced Yuste.
“Right. You had something you wanted to say?”
“Um, in fact, I…”
After a slight hesitation, he continued with a careful expression.
“I’m worried whether it’s okay for us to move before everyone else.”
As soon as he finished his sentence,
“Hahahaha. Yuste, you have a lot of worries in your head.”
The middle-aged man waved his hands to let the women leave and stood up from his seat. Then, he stood near the entrance of the tent as he glanced outside.
“The Estia Empire’s army under Crown Prince Bario is way too slow. If we were to move along with them, we could lose out on the achievements because of the Byron Kingdom, the Istel Kingdom and the Diez Kingdom that are close to the Amaranth Kingdom.”
Yuste then shook his head with a serious expression.
“But sir Head Officer Vaint. His Holiness definitely gave us, the Holy Knights, the order to move with the Empire’s army.”
The middle-aged man was none other than Great Priest Vaint who was in charge of the Inquisition as the Head Officer. Vaint turned his head around and stared directly at Yuste.
“The ones entering battle and fighting directly are my Holy Knights and myself. Depending on the situation, we can change the plan however I want.”
“Y, you’re right but…”
Yuste stole glances at Vaint before continuing with a voice and expression filled with caution.
“If we were to move by ourselves and meet the soldiers of the Amaranth Kingdom…”
Before he could even finish his sentence, Vaint let out a deep sigh.
“Huu, Yuste. You really have too many worries.”
He pointed outside the camp with his finger.
“From here to the Amaranth Kingdom is all within the territory of the Byron Kingdom and there is no way for the soldiers of the Amaranth Kingdom to pop up here. Besides according to the information gathered by the Church, the Provincial armies and the Special Corps of the Amaranth Kingdom are all too busy with their missions. In other words, they are not at all prepared for our attack.”
Vaint bent his finger down and pointed beneath his feet.
“That is to say, that this place is a safe area. A safe place.”
“Ah, right. Y, you’re right…”
Yuste could no longer find any other words to continue because from within Vaint’s gentle, smiling eyes, he felt a cold and sharp killing intent. Soon, Vaint tapped Yuste’s shoulders before pacing towards his own seat.
“Yuste. There’s nothing to be worries about. Even if we were to meet the soldiers of the Amaranth Kingdom, our Holy Knights would defeat them with ease.”
It was then.
“Are you sure?”
A humoured voice resonated within the tent as Vaint frowned in response.
“Wh, what? ‘Are you sure’?”
He turned his head to look at Yuste who then flusteredly waved his hands with surprise.
“I, it wasn’t me.”
Then, he quickly turned his face towards where the voice had escaped as his gaze pointed at the entrance of the tent. With an angry expression, Vaint copied by turning towards the entrance and found a middle-aged man in travel clothes standing there. No matter how he saw, he didn’t appear like a Holy Knight or a priest.
“Who are you?”
With a sharp question, Vaint inwardly readied his divine arts. The middle-aged man at the entrance smiled and covered his chest with one of his hands. Then, he pulled his right leg behind while giving a prankish bow.
“Great Priest Vaint. It is an honour to meet you… well, not really, but nice to meet you in any case. I am…”
The middle-aged man raised his head slightly to stare directly at Vaint’s expression with a humoured expression.
“Reil Baker of the Amaranth Kingdom.”
In that instant, a huge astonishment hit the tent as Vaint stuttered his words with a frown.
“R, Reil Baker as in the noble of the Rinse Kingdom…?”
Yuste continued his words.
“That Reil Baker who was well-known for being a genius of spear?”
As if he had been waiting for that, Reil Baker pulled his arm back with another bow.
“To think that the noble figures of the Church would know the name of a mere spearman like myself. It is an honour… well, not really but it still does make me happy.”
Reil shrugged his shoulders with a smile as Vaint gripped his hands into tight fists.
“I never imagined myself meeting Reil Baker at a place like this.”
Cold killing intent flowed down his sharp eyes.
“But you must’ve been in too much of a rush. The so-called genius of the spear appeared empty-handed.”
Hearing that, Reil made an extremely surprised expression as he raised his two arms up.
“Oh no! No wonder my hands felt light…”
He appeared to be joking around as Vaint soon realised that Reil was playing around with him.
“Are you making fun of me right now?”
Vicious light appeared in his eyes.
“Although I don’t know how you could luckily find us but…”
Before he could finish, Reil heaved out a short sigh and shook his head.
“Lucky? I already knew five days ago that you would be forming the camp here.”
“What? Five days ago?”
Vaint scoffed with a face that seemed to find it absurd.
“FIve days ago was when we left the Church. Back then, I hadn’t even decided on the route!”
“Are you sure?”
Reil asked back with a greatly startled expression which appeared false. Vaint couldn’t hold it back any longer and bellowed.
“You dare continue…”
But he couldn’t finish his words because Reil interjected while gesturing to him to calm down with his two arms.
“Think carefully. Although you, the Great Priest didn’t know of it, there should’ve been at least one person who knew of the route right?”
Hearing that, Vaint contemplated a little before soon giving a nod.
“Right. There was a guide.”
As if he was possessed, he replied Reil’s question. Because the Holy Knights including Vaint had never visited the Amaranth Kingdom, they brought in a guide who was originally from that place.
“Who is that guide?”
Reil asked with a grin.
“The guide was… hup!”
In that instant, Vaint felt goosebumps appearing all over his skin.
They couldn’t let any stranger be the guide of the Holy Knight Squad and due to that, it took quite a long time for them to find a suitable person. It was then that a man who was related to the Church and had great resentment towards the Amaranth Kingdom gifted all his assets to the pope Beldrica.
In great joy, Beldrica gave him a new name and gifted him with the important duty of guiding the Holy Knight Squad.
And that was,
Vaint turned his face back towards Yuste but Yuste moved before he could.
A silver dagger penetrated Vaint’s chest.
Vaint received the attack which he hadn’t been expecting head-on.
“Y, Yuste. W, why…?”
Helpless voice devoid of hope fell but Yuste and Reil shook their heads at the same time.
“My name is not Yuste.”
“That person’s name is not Yuste.”
They spoke at the same time like they had premeditated it.
“My name is…”
“That person’s name is…”
In that instant, Yuste’s original name appeared in Vaint’s head as the voices of the three were added into one.
That was the end. Vaint who enjoyed insurmountable authority as the Head Officer of the Inquisition had lost his life miserably inside his own tent. Yuste, or rather, Clyde let down the sword in his hand while heaving out a deep sigh.
“Huu. Things like these definitely are not for me.”
After a bitter smile, he gave a bow towards Reil.
“It has been a while, Viscount Baker.”
“Mr Clyde. You have done a great job.”
Reil quickly walked up and grabbed Clyde’s hand but the bitter smile on Clyde’s lips only deepened in response.
“No. In the end, I couldn’t save Duke Io Lancephil. I have no words.”
Clyde was the owner of the Clyde Merchant Company who had been supporting Kalum Rinse but when Roan finished the war for the throne and founded the Amaranth Kingdom, he was put into an awkward spot. He himself had no hopes in continuing his career inside the Amaranth Kingdom.
It was a hopeless situation but Clyde did not give up. Leaving the Amaranth Kingdom, he was planning on leaving for the Church and the Estia Empire with whom he had been having deals with.
‘Then, the deputy leader of the Tenebra, Sir Keep had come looking for me.’
Within the letter handed over under the name Roan Lancephil was a plan – a request.
‘Infiltrate into the Church.”
Roan had no plans to reject or kill Clyde just because he had been supporting Kalum and thought very highly of Clyde’s ability.
‘I conversed for a long time after meeting His Majesty Lancephil and…’
He was greatly moved by Roan’s honesty and goal. Then, he acted like he had been harassed by the Amaranth Kingdom while running away to the Church. Afterwards, he gave the pope Beldrica all sorts of briberies to buy his affection but the original plan of procuring Io was not easy.
‘Then there were signs of crusaders being formed…’
Receiving the helps of the Grand Strategist, Ian Phillips and the Administrator Swift Clock, Clyde damaged the relationship of the Church and the Imperial Palace. Thanks to that, the call for the crusade had been slowed down as the Amaranth Kingdom was able to gain the most-precious time.
In the midst of all that, Clyde moved with more vigour before finally receiving the name Yuste from the pope Beldrica with the important duty of leading the Holy Knight Squad.
“Duke Io Lancephil will be saved by someone else so don’t worry too much about it.”
Reil smiled and raised his thumb up and Clyde nodded after a deep sigh.
“That’s good. In any case…”
Thinking back on the helpless situation of crusaders being gathered, he carefully continued his words.
“Will the Amaranth Kingdom be fine?”
Hearing that, Reil beat his chest with a smile.
“It will be fine.”
A calm voice escaped his lips.
“If the Church has the Devesis God…”
His eyes flickered brightly.
“We have His Majesty Lancephil.”
Power surged out from his voice and Clyde nodded without another word. Their eyes reflected in a rigid light without any signs of a single quiver.
“Friendship, or the kingdom?”
After Aived Fon Persion’s question, the throne room was drowned in silence. Looking at the small letter in his hand, Manus Persion bit his lips as Roan Lancephil slowly approached from behind. Staring at the letter in Manus’ hands, he made a hazy smile.
“The crusaders are being gathered, I see.”
His voice was a lot calmer than anyone could have expected in front of that letter – the holy letter sent by the Church to all royal and imperial families to call for the crusaders.
“The Church is gathering for a crusade?”
“Then the o, opponent is the Amaranth?”
The nobles screamed with surprise. Even without reading the holy letter, they could easily deduce the message within because currently, the Amaranth Kingdom was the only one that was in opposition with the Church in the entire continent.
Aived threw the same question again with a nonchalant expression.
“Friendship, or the kingdom?”
Manus still couldn’t readily form a reply as Aived continued his words.
“It won’t be an easy decision but that is the weight of the crown that must be carried by the monarch. If you choose friendship, millions of citizens would be forced into the horrible storm of war. On the other hand, if you were to choose the kingdom, the country and the citizens would be safe but your heart would be in great suffering.”
He forced Manus back with more words.
“No-one can help you make the decision. Choices and decisions are the duties of the monarchs and that has been the way…”
His words were forced into a stop.
“I think you’re misunderstanding something.”
Roan who had been staying silent interjected with a faint smile while looking at Aived and Manus.
“No-one can help him?”
The smile on his lips deepened.
“Not really. I can help him.”
Staring at Manus who was still facing the holy letter with a distressed expression, he conveyed clear words.
“Prince Manus. No, I should say Your Majesty Manus Fon Persion. Choose the kingdom. Small things like these won’t shake our friendship ever.”
With a calm expression and attitude, Roan attempted to take a load off Manus’ mind. Rather, he wanted to tell him that monarchs weren’t such lonely existences and besides, it wasn’t the time to fight the crusaders right now.
‘There are real enemies elsewhere.’
If the Mad Dragon and Latio of the Tallian Church were to see it, they would break out into laughter. Carefully, Roan touched the Travias Spear as he slowly carried his feet away but it was then.
“Your Majesty Lancephil. Please stop.”
Crumpling the holy letter, Manus made a faint smile. He had a relaxed expression that appeared to have taken a load off his shoulders.
“I, and our Persion Kingdom…”
His rigid voice filled the room,
And the nobles pointed their ears towards Manus’ words.
“Will fight alongside His Majesty Lancephil.”
Hearing that, Aived who was watching him made a frown.
“Are you saying you will choose friendship over the kingdom?”
It was evident from his expression that he was disappointed but Manus stared directly at Aived’s eyes and shook his head.
“I did not choose friendship. I, the monarch of Persion…”
His eyes were stable without any quivering.
“Has chosen justice.”
Right now, the enemy that had to be fought weren’t the crusaders. The real enemies that Manus was planning to fight together with Roan were the Dark Regiments and its generals. Roan and Manus shared a deep gaze but,
Aived was extremely displeased and discomforted.
“Justice isn’t able to defend the kingdom and the citizens. By choosing the Amaranth Kingdom, our kingdom will now have enemies in all directions. The Rite Kingdom, the Byron Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom won’t leave our country alone…”
However, a cool low voice interjected before he could finish.
“No, that is not the case.”
Let alone Aived and Manus, all the nobles within the room turned their heads in search of the owner of the voice. On the other hand, Roan only formed a small smile on his lips without bothering to turn behind as he already knew who the speaker was.
The man who appeared through the entrance sometime after the voice was Peid Neil and from behind appeared Aerea Britz and Vance Vonte.
“Hello. I am Peid Neil of the Istel Kingdom.”
As soon as his words ended,
“The Fox of the Battlefields!”
“The Grand Commander of the Istel Kingdom’s army!”
Various nobles bellowed with surprise. Walking past them, Peid approached Roan and Manus before bowing slightly towards Aived in greeting and continuing with a calm yet distinct voice.
“Our Istel Kingdom…”
His eyes pointed at where Roan and Manus were.
“Will fight with the Amaranth and the Persion.”
The onlookers gasped from the sudden, unexpected announcement.
“W, what? Do you even know what the current situation is? What you’re saying right now is that you will ignore the gathering of the crusaders.”
With a frown, Aived asked like a storm but Peid only gave a soft nod in response.
“There are other enemies we must fight.”
In response to those words, Aived’s eyes flashed for an instant and Roan, who had been watching on, did not miss that change.
‘I knew it. He has some other secrets.’
From his standpoint, it seemed that Aived still had lots of unspoken secrets but Roan did not delve into it as he was currently far too lacking in information.
“I have long heard stories about the Fox of the Battlefields, Viscount Peid Neil and know you well. In the Istel Kingdom, you’re praised by the people as the hero of the nation but could you dare make such an important decision yourself without even talking with the king?”
Aived talked about it from a realistic standpoint as the listeners nodded their heads in agreement. However, the person himself, Peid was nonchalant and gave a short reply while looking directly at Aived.
“I never speak of nonsense.”
His gaze, voice, expression and aura… they were all solid without a single sign of tremble. It was enough to demonstrate his determined will.
In the end, Aived let out a low mutter without saying anything else. It was then that Roan who had been watching from the side opened his lips with a faint smile.
“Indeed, just like what the previous king has said, His Majesty Manus will be able to become a good monarch.”
Hearing that, Aived made a frown.
“The country is about to fall at any time. What do you mean by that?”
Roan took a step back.
“When you, Your Highness, were on the throne before, there were only enemies all around.”
His voice was calm yet powerful.
“However, we are next to His Majesty Manus.”
Manus quivered his body unknowingly as Roan continued with a faint smile.
“Watch on. The Amaranth Kingdom, the Persion Kingdom and the Istel Kingdom will never fall.”
The powerful voice and aura echoed inside the room.
“I… or rather…”
Roan threw his arms wide open. His arms seemed to embrace Manus, Peid, Aerea and everyone else as his voice soon dug into the ears of the onlookers.
“We will protect it.”
<Alliance (7)> End.