Chapter 309: Gharast’s Heroes
「Be it sorrow or disaster, if you show weakness, the enemy will eat a piece of your body, one after another. It’s troublesome. 」
A high-ranking aristocrat of the Gharast Kingdom. Roymetz Fomor spoke in a voice that made one feel his gracefulness and intelligence, contrary to his huge frame. Behind his big eyes, there seemed to be many layers of motives hidden behind them.
Originally, the round table hall of the Gharast Kingdom was filled with more than a dozen high-ranking nobles and clerics. Today, however, there were only two men at the table. There were no other guards to be seen, and it was strangely quiet.
Roymetz Fomor was in the lower seat. And then, sitting in the upper seat over Roymetz was a slender man with long fingers.
It looked like he was still holding a cigarette in his mouth, and you could see that there were deep dark circles under his eyes as if he was looking into the distance.
The man spoke with a heavy voice while wearing a red overcoat over his black uniform.
「Weeds grow well in fertile soil, Lord Fomor. 」
The Gharast Kingdom ruled over a wide area of territory, he said. Then he continued again, thinking that one or two tragedies should have happened accordingly.
And so, he continued his words while opening his thin lips. It was rare for a man to repeat words like this.
Why? This man was not cautious nor was he wary of his many political opponents. In fact, he wasn’t very good at speaking.
「I know what you mean Sir. The herds of demon beasts must be increasing because of that threat. 」
Roymetz’s huge body nodded exaggeratedly, showing his affirmation. Each of his movements seemed to contain a strange spirit. The expression on his face was also heavy and hard.
At this point, all the topics raised in the royal capital of the Gharast Kingdom were tinged with dark shadows. The brightest topic would be the fact that a saint candidate was born from the Cathedral at most.
Other than that, it started with the failure in defending the walled city of Garoua Maria. The Great Holy Church army was defeated at the Battle of Sanyo. The two autonomous cities of Belfein and Philos, which were under the Gharast Kingdom, were also lost during this war.
Moreover, there were two more troublesome things coming and going in the kingdom.
One was that the saint was attacked on a large-scale ambush by the Old Believers during her pilgrimage. The Old Believers destroyed the Great Temple of Flimslat, situated in the snowy mountains, and they wounded many of the famous Cathedral Knights.
Luckily, Saint Ariene was safe. In addition, it was said that the damage was suppressed thanks to the efforts of the Cathedral Knight Garras Gargantia and his companion Helot Stanley. Nonetheless, the Saint’s pilgrimage was hindered by someone with ulterior motives. It was not a good thing.
Of course, such mismanagements were not spread to the citizens, and the Cathedral was forced to deal with it, causing some malfunctions from within.
Another troublesome thing was the existence of the magical beasts, the so-called demon beasts, that were multiplying in the dead snow.
「The herds of demon beasts coming from the northwest are not losing momentum. That’s unprecedented. 」
Roymetz spoke, repeating the report from Valerie Brightness, who was in charge of the northwest fort. The words weren’t direct, but the man fully understood what they meant.
At the end of the day, they wanted the national army to increase their strength in order to counter the surge of demon beasts.
It was an extremely natural thing to do, and yet it was not something that could be done easily in the Gharast Kingdom.
This nation, with its mighty body and fangs, grew larger and more sluggish, and its skull also bloated due to its large size. And finally, it had reached the point where it became almost impossible to move.
Formally, the Gharast Kingdom was a monarchy ruled by King Ameraitz Gharast, but its internal affairs were more complicated than tangled threads.
The political influence of the aristocrats had permeated the nation like poison, and the eyes of the Cathedral were everywhere.
Still, if the current King, who was revered as the reigning King, was old and did not show the vigor of the past, naturally the progress of politics would be slow.
When it came to formal procedures, it was nothing more than a common sight to spend a daunting amount of time by just passing a single policy.
However, even in such a situation, large-scale problems could not arise in the field of politics. Although troubles did occur, those people were careful when making decisions.
However, that didn’t apply in the military.
A moment’s delay killed a soldier and ate up the bone marrow of a nation. Therefore, there was a dictatorial authority directly under the King that was meant only for the movement of the national army, which was separate from politics.
This slender man was given the following title, the Defender of the Country. His name was Protector Jace Brackenberry.
He was the protector of the kingdom for a long time.
On his two shoulders, which could be said to be small compared to Roymetz, the plenipotentiary authority of the Gharast Kingdom’s military department was weighing heavily. Only Brackenberry knew how much it weighed.
Brackenberry said while exhaling the white smoke from his cigarette.
「I have already spoken to His Majesty. But it’s useless. His Majesty is no longer making proper judgments. 」
There was no irritation or impatience in Brackenberry’s words. He just seemed like he was telling the truth.
Roymetz nodded slightly without being snobbish even when Brackenberry criticized the King.
「That’s why I’m here, Protector Brackenberry. 」
Roymetz fixed his eyes at Brackenberry. His big eyes were much harder than in peacetime.
He couldn’t help it. Even for Roymetz, what he was doing now was like walking on thin ice that was about to crack and shatter at any moment.
In any case, even though he was a high-ranking aristocrat, he shouldn’t have petitioned directly to the National Protector. This was because the Protector should be completely separated from politics.
If this meeting was revealed to Roymetz’s political opponents, they would likely devour him like locusts.
But for Roymetz, there was a meaning in taking that risk. The same applied to Brackenberry.
Brackenberry, still holding the cigarette between his thin lips, blinked his eyelashes as if immersed in his thoughts for a moment. The blue that floated in the white of his large eyes was strangely conspicuous.
Brackenberry shook the white smoke of his cigarette and replied.
「Even though you are involved in politics, you are such a frank man. 」
「Yes. Honesty is the most necessary element in politics. 」
“I see”, Brackenberry nodded. With just two words, he seemed to have decided on something. Raising his slender body and touching his red cloak, Brackenberry continued his words.
His deeply darkened eyes opened with a strange pressure.
「Just as Garras Gargantia is the hero of the Cathedral, Valerie Brightness is also an undisputed hero of the Gharast Kingdom. I think it’s ridiculous to kill her talent because of those mediocre people. 」
Those words meant that he accepted Roymetz’s words to some extent. Involuntarily, Roymetz let out a sigh of relief in his chest.
It was not that he didn’t trust Valerie. Roymetz was even convinced that if a swarm of demon beasts rushed in like clouds, her magical armor would hold them back.
But even so, those who stood on the battlefield always carried a piece of demon nature on their backs. Battlefields were like that.
Roymetz was convinced that those who couldn’t stand on the battlefield had a corresponding obligation. Those who pledged allegiance to themselves stood firmly on the battlefield.
That’s why masters and lords commanded over their subordinates, and those subordinates offered their swords to the masters and lords. If that relationship collapsed, a master-servant connection would be lost forever.
Of course, now that Richard was wounded and unable to move, Roymetz had a natural calculation in his mind that he would not lose even to Valerie. Emotion and calculation were always divided into the left and right sides of the balance.
Brackenberry extinguished his cigarette and spoke indifferently. It was as if a picture had already been created in his skull.
「The authority she has now restricts the number of troops that can be sent to reinforce her. Therefore, I will temporarily return her to the royal capital, but that’s all, Lord Fomor. 」
As usual, Roymetz nodded while moving his huge body.
Ohhh, intriguing, isn’t it?
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