Chapter 203: Two Notices
Philos’ finger, the ruler of the autonomous city, hit the desk twice and made a dry sound.
The clerk naturally looked down while staring at the gesture with a tense look. Everyone who visited this room, Philos’ private office, had the same attitude.
The attitude was neither in respect for Philos nor did they follow a peculiar etiquette. Their attitude was because of pure fear.
Philos Trait, the female ruler of the autonomous city of Philos.
Trait was the family name of those who had ruled this city for generations. The name of the city, Philos, and the name Trait, were the proof of the ruler identification. The rulers had inherited these two names for generations.
No wonder that some citizens were afraid of the ruler that bore those names. However, the gaze given to Philos of this generation was mixed with an atmosphere that gave something more terrifying than that.
The reason was its origin and background. In fact, Philos was not the actual child of the previous head of the Trait family, the ruler, but an adopted child. She was treated as a tumor, which was barely exposed to the real world. Most of the citizens knew of her existence to some extent before she became Philos.
Originally, she was not supposed to reign. She had dozens of older brothers and sisters. Moreover, her eldest brother, who was supposed to inherit the name of Philos, did not have any major problems except for being a mediocre person. He was talented enough to govern the city with the support of those around him.
Therefore, no one thought that she would become a ruler. Most people believed that she would marry someone in a political marriage to benefit her city. She only deserved that degree of recognition.
…Those beliefs lasted until the day she reached her adulthood. Strangely, members of the Trait family began to die one by one.
It was too creepy. Many thought of it as planned assassinations aimed at the reigning family, it was certainly a daily occurrence, even among the upper classes. The rich and powerful people always had someone aiming a knife at their throats.
However, those murders were done in such a way that left no trace on who did it. On the other hand, everyone thought that she killed everyone other than herself without hiding the deeds, as if it was a freak show.
Those events led the citizens to feel fear towards her. Despite the anomaly in front of their eyes, the veteran servants who served the previous lords approved her as the ruler since she was the only remaining member of the reigning family. Thus, she became Philos, without any form of protest.
There was no evident problem, so everything was decided. The day after the suspicious deaths, the current Philos Trait was, of course, wielding a whip as a ruler.
And for that reason, there was always fear in the hearts of those who served her and came into contact with her. Eventually, they could die in the same way. It would be deaths that nobody would question, and thus be forgotten immediately.
「I’ve decided. 」
Philos finally spoke after hitting her finger at the desk for a few times.
When the clerk finally raised his stiff body, he could see the dull, shining glasses in Philos’ right eye.
Philos’ right eye seemed to be weaker and had a strong white color. It was an unusual eye color. The one-eyed eyeglasses attached on that eye were for correction. In fact, this odd characteristic was also one of the factors that made Philos be feared by the public.
Every time the clerk looked straight at the white eye, he thought he wasn’t seeing a human being. Actually, since she was also a merciless person, then thinking of her as a human being would be completely unthinkable. Sweat slowly oozed from the clerk’s hands. His throat was terribly dry.
Philos continued to speak despite not knowing the clerk’s inner feelings.
「…Send a messenger to the general of the Great Holy Church army. I will write the contents of the document, now. 」
The clerk listened to the words carefully and opened his mouth unintentionally. Rather than thinking about something, his expression came out reflexively.
「Lord Philos, are you going to take the pen yourself? 」
As soon as he said those words, he noticed Philos’ distorted expression.
The current Philos had a tendency to particularly dislike what others said about what she did. The clerk’s eyes narrowed in fear, as if he would be reprimanded again by professing such words.
However, the Lord’s words were not natural.
Taking the pen directly from the Lord and using ink on the parchment was only for those who had a job as personal clerks. That was what they did to higher aristocrats and royalty.
Why did she want write a handwritten letter herself to a general of the army? It was essentially a clerk’s job. At best, the Lord was the one to profess the content out loud, while the clerk wrote it down.
The clerk looked straight into Philos’ face despite his fears. The white eye showed no form of emotion.
「Yes, I will. The army of the Great Holy Church is, in essence, the army of the Gharast Kingdom. It is one of the largest countries on the continent, and the autonomous city of Philos was originally a territory of Gharast. Then, I will have to be courteous. 」
Philos went to her desk and picked up her pen without hesitation. Believing that she wouldn’t say any more words, the clerk bowed and left the room.
Certainly, what Philos said made sense. It was not a mistake.
But even so, a chunk of unconvincing emotions remained in the clerk’s chest.
Richard, the old general who led the advance corps of the Great Holy Church, settled down in a tent and waited for two notices. His wrinkled cheeks were quite visible today.
“If we continue marching for a few more days, we will be in a plain suitable for a battle. If we want to smash the Heraldic army, then the best course of action will be to stay there since we will easily outnumber them.” Richard thought so, however, his camp was near a highway, just a short distance from the plains, just to wait for the news.
When he put a bottle of ale on his lips inside the tent, the quiet footsteps reminiscent of the military personnel hit his earlobes. Apparently, one of the notices had arrived.
「Captain Richard. A messenger arrived from the autonomous city of Philos. He has a letter for you.」
Richard received the letter from his adjutant Neymar, who spoke with a cold voice.
The text was quite light. At least for Richard, the writing was more pleasant than the strangely polite text.
The content did not deviate from what he had imagined. Philos decided to welcome the army of the Great Holy Church, but she wanted to talk about cooperation in order to fulfill their demands.
“No problem at all.” Richard knew about the past shared by the Gharast Kingdom and the autonomous city of Philos. There were no attachments but there were no retaliations as well. “This level of cooperation is well within the permissible range.”
“Rather, it is more than expected that the Lord herself has written that text directly.” Richard narrowed his eyes while touching his white beard.
「I thought such things would be far away from me. 」
Richard deepened the wrinkles on his face while playing with the bottle with his hand. He was wondering how he received this letter. By his side stood his adjutant Neymar, who slightly distorted her eyebrows and blinked her eyelids.
The military organization of the Gharast Kingdom was roughly divided into two organizations, the upper and the lower.
The upper organization was the army in which the humans of the upper aristocratic class were placed. They were given the appropriate authority and the position to lead the elite cultivated by the state.
On the other hand, the lower organization was the unit in which the lower aristocratic class or people from the middle class belonged. The leader who belonged to this subordinate organization was not appointed as more than captain, even if he or she made great achievements or shined like heroes.
The soldiers from the lower organization were far from being the elite of the nation.
Similarly, the Knights were also classified as either superior or inferior, depending on their dignity.
Because there was a clear distinction between the upper and lower ranks inside the army, there were many cases where the person who led the army was despised by the negotiating partner even though the leading person was a captain.
The treatment changed greatly depending on whether it was a government official or a captain. There was no difference between those who held the title of captain in the lower organization and the common folks in the presence of those of the higher rank.
However, the Lord of Philos somehow sent a handwritten letter to his sort of captain. “How and why did I receive this letter?” As he closed the letter, Richard closed his eyes and kept the words in his mouth.
「Adjutant, please call the messenger. I’ll write a response immediately. No… Let me write two letters. They should be close to each other now.」
Neymar sighed loudly when she heard the words, feeling that she was tired of it. She didn’t seem to hold back her emotions against Richard anymore. Her hair, which was tied up, was bouncing in a heartless and frustrating manner.
「…I’m neither your personal messenger nor your slave, Captain Richard.」
Neymar’s eyes narrowed and her voice slowly leaked a series of thorns. Although her wording itself was quite polite, her voice contained an incredible resentment.
「But you’re my adjutant, Neymar. The adjutant listens to the captain’s orders. Are you intending to upset me?」
Richard said those words while looking at Neymar in a funny way. Then, in his ears, he heard several noisy footsteps, which was the exact opposite of Neymar’s footsteps.
“Apparently, the second notice I have been waiting for has finally arrived.” Richard’s eyes were pleasantly distorted.
The ruler of Philos is actually a woman 😉 You will know why she is the sovereign later on 😀
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