Sweet Reincarnation (WN) - Chapter 2 (3)
Chapter 2: Good news? The bad news? (3)
There are several that were called as nobleman’s duties. Among them, there were two major obligations that were implicitly understood to be absolute.
The first was the duty of loyalty to the king.
This was a natural obligation insofar as it was the authority and power of the Crown that guaranteed the privileged position of the nobility.
If a noble disobeyed this duty, the king would take away their nobility; or worse, they would be a criminal.
And the other was the duty of national defense.
The reason why the king gave a noble the territory and the income from privileges, salaries, and tax-collecting power was to provide a military force for when the time comes.
From the quasi-knights who provided their own armed forces only, to the duke who had a standing mobilized military force second only to the king; their duties were equally present.
A noble should always be prepared for emergencies and do his utmost to stabilize his position within the scope of his authority in the land he had been entrusted with, or in the position he had been given.
And, in case of an emergency, he would use the preparations with restraints.
Because of this duty, the territorial nobles were allowed to collect taxes, and the professional nobles were given salaries.
Dealing with bandits was also inevitable given the nobles’ duty.
However, it wasn’t always possible to decorate it with achievements that could be called success.
This was because there was no standard for success and failure in the first place.
When a disaster struck, even if they rescue most of the victims and boast that the rescue was a success, if even one person dies, the families of the deceased might see it as a failure.
Emergency situations were an example of how difficult it was to draw a line between success and failure.
The contact from the Count this time was one of the successes from the Count’s point of view.
They drove out the bandits who were raiding the territory. If the people of the territory wouldn’t be bothered by these bandits in the future, then it was a ‘hooray’ achievement.
If one only looked at the Count’s territory.
In contrast, the person in charge of the destination that the bandits who were chased off were newly raiding. From the perspective of the new victims, it would appear to be a clear failure.
It was also a fair argument to say that just because they replaced the luggage from right to left, it didn’t mean that they’ve cleared it out.
From the point of view of the Mortareon Knighthood, it was clearly the latter. Just the estimation of the damage that would be caused in the future was enough to give Cassrole a headache.
”So, how large did you get away with?”
“About 50 people.”
“Is it too much for you to handle it in my house?”
“How can the three of us, including me, fight fifty people? It’s not worth talking about if we’re going to bump into each other properly.”
If it was a group of fifty people, then it was a pretty big bandit group.
He wasn’t going to be able to get rid of it. Things weren’t always easy to understand.
”Is it impossible to gather all the men from the villages and have them arm themselves with wooden spears and throw stones?”
“We’ll have thirty men at best. Even if we were to hole up in the moat in our main village, we would still be able to resist. If the other two villages were attacked, the damage would be the same as if they had been attacked without resistance, and if the battle were to be fought over a long period of time, they wouldn’t have the resources to do so. If we can’t fight a short battle, then it’s a poor plan.”
“How about locking yourself away and buying as much time yourself while I’ll call for reinforcements?”
“I know the general can do that too, but we think there are a lot of problems regarding that.”
“It’s hard to reinforce the Count’s army because of his popularity. You can’t get rid of them by yourself, but if you’re defeated in our home ground, you’ll be accused of incompetence. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get rid of them, or if I’m going to be returned to the Count’s territory. It’s a laughing matter if they ended up returning to the Count’s territory again after being raided as much as they had raided. It would be ideal if we failed, and the Hubrek frontier county lead a strike force to wipe our asses. If we fail to defeat them, then we’ll be responsible for their failure. If you’re not good at it, there’s a chance they might interfere with you. The other knight lords may be sympathetic to the fact that they will be able to help you tomorrow, but their armaments are similar to ours, so they can’t afford to send their people anywhere else.”
That was the reason why Baron Mortareon declared that the Count was an utter failure. There were only petty lords around the county.
It wasn’t just a matter of time before they would be able to get their hands on a new one.
They couldn’t expect to be able to deal with a bandit gang that even the Earl couldn’t handle.
“What about going to the royal capital or the great lords to ask for reinforcements?”
“If we haven’t even been attacked yet, our responsibility will be heavy. And if you do that just as Count Ratesh is boasting that he’s driven us away, will the Count hate you for it?”
“If it’s enough to protect your family and countrymen from being hated, I don’t care if they hate you, but we are in the frontier, and reinforcements are unlikely to be forthcoming to begin with. But even so, it’s not a problem that we can leave to chance.”
“I don’t want to die, so I’ll just leave it to you, general.”
They were best friends; there was trust in each other’s abilities.
“In the Oval Office,” they laughed at each other, their voices leaking through the thin wooden walls into the next room.
“So, you got a better idea?”
Shitsu asked once he returned to a straight face.
Casserole nodded with a serious face.
”The worst-case scenario is that I’ll be traveling, but…”
“The general himself is a last resort. That’s all gone when the general dies.”
“Other than that, well, you know, it’s just a matter of making the moat deeper and giving out spare spears to the houses.”
“It’s better than nothing.”
The two wrinkled their brows.
As a matter of fact, it was absurd to think that they could deal with a mere emerging knight lord when it was a problem that was beyond their control, even in a county territory that was far bigger and richer than their own.
”I have an idea.”
Casserole turned a dubious face at the voice from his subordinate.
“We’re going to have to have a game or two at some point anyway. How about we make the boy a trump card joker?”
“What do you mean?”
“If we win the bet, maybe he’ll be as good as the boss. My ‘gut’ is telling me that I should.”
“I don’t want to ignore your intuition, but…”
Casserole would use his son as their trump card.
The knight baron was slightly puzzled by this. To begin with, he didn’t understand the meaning of it.
Even though he was, indeed, a talented son, a mere seven-year-old child that couldn’t possibly have the ability to influence the battle.
He wasn’t going to be able to do such a magical thing.
But then Casserole was lured by the word ‘magic’.
This was because it suddenly occurred to him what Shitsu wanted to say.
The one word he muttered sounded surprisingly clear.
“A consecration ceremony?”
(TL Note: This is the direct translation so if there’s anyone who has a better name out there… can you suggest some?)
“That’s a good answer.”
Casserole’s decision on this day was the first step in making a big difference in the world.
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