Viscount Moore was an aristocrat from the north.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Before being conquered by Pureland’s great-grandfather, the northern part of the Legrand Empire was regarded as “barbaric land.”
In the twelfth century before the Western Continent came to be, there was an invasion by oversea barbarians. However, the tide-like invasion only lasted less than a hundred years before they disappeared. The northern part of the Legrand Empire had been occupied by barbarians since then. It was not until later that the descendants of the barbarians gradually merged with Legrand, but still their language and customs were deeply influenced by the barbarians’ traditions. Their pronunciation was much more rough and they valued simplicity and practicality.
Because of this, aristocrats from the north have always been ridiculed in the palace.
When Viscount Moore explained the assassination plan, the King had already noticed that his style of speech and expression were very concise——in the words of the nobles in the central and eastern regions, it was “vulgar as a peasant”.
However, the last couple of sentences that Viscount Moore said just now could be called elegant, and especially the last part “lifetime of effort for you and for the Legrand Empire” was a typical palace expression influenced by the Holy Church.
This was not what an authentic northern aristocrat like Viscount Moore would use.
——Unless someone said this to him recently.
Moore was taken aback by the King’s sudden questioning. He didn’t even understand how the King knew such trivial things.
“Who said it?”
The King’s tone became steely, and like the old Duke of Buckingham just now, his face seemed to have on a cold iron mask at this time.
“Carl, Carl Roy.”
Moore muttered, he also began to realize something.
“He is a traveling merchant.”
“Arrest him. Immediately.”
Today’s Mohn Castle was plagued by disasters.
At seven o’clock in the morning, the owner of the castle, Earl Walter, was almost exiled on the spot, and in the afternoon, under the King’s command, the soldiers in the entire Mohn territory became busy again. All the traveling merchants in the territory were detained and only released after verification of their identities.
By the evening, the castle was shrouded in oppressive darkness.
The sound of wood burning in the fireplace was clearly audible. The King was sitting not far from the fireplace, but his face was mostly in the shadows.
Just now, the Master of the Households delivered a report from the defense army: they found three traveling merchants named “Carl”. There was only one who fit with Viscount Moore’s description of having “talked with them just the night before.”
——When the soldiers broke in, he decisively drew out his dagger and cut his throat cleanly.
The room was filled with horrible silence. The three knights knelt on the carpet with gray faces and lowered their proud heads.
They had a drink together in the inn some time ago. When drunk, it was inevitable that they had said some complaints. At that time, the traveling merchant was next to them, and he said that line casually. But God knew what had befallen then, maybe it was resentment, maybe it was the devil, but for some reason that sentence became deeply rooted in their minds.
Later, they heard the traveling merchant exclaim, “It would be good if there were brave members of the religious order, but unfortunately the heroes are dead”——the popular play at that time was on a story about the pagan tyrant Caligula being assassinated by a member of the religious order.
In short, it was after that day that they planned the assassination.
After explaining everything, Moore no longer dared to look at the King’s expression. The knights realized a terrible thing: someone had carefully prepared this series of conspiracies.
Their vengeance, which they had believed to be an act of bravery and heroism, was in fact playing into the hands of the vicious enemy.
The silence in the room was too heavy for people to breathe. The King did not speak, and no one knew what he was thinking.
Moore leaned down, his forehead pressed to the carpet, and said with repressed shame: “We have committed an unforgivable sin, and we are willing to pay the price of our lives for our mistakes. But, Your Majesty! There is a problem with the Battle of Keven! General must have fallen for a conspiracy.”
The Battle of Keven was the battle in which the son of the old Duke had led the expedition to the Kingdom of Bressi a month ago.
According to the report sent back to the palace, the Duke’s son, the young General Johan, was negligent despite the food and weapons supply being sufficient. He did not take the enemy’s vanguard seriously, and ended up losing the Moon River Fortress at the eastern border of Legrand at the end of July. The loss of Moon River Fortress directly led to the complete defeat of the battle.
“Are you pleading for him?”
The King looked down at the three knights kneeling on the ground, his tone slightly mocking.
“Three people who are about to die and yet try to intercede for others.”
“I pledge with the honor of my family that General Johan is definitely not a person who will make the mistake of underestimating the enemy!”
There was no blood left on Moore’s face, but he still gritted his teeth and made the vow.
“So long as any word I have spoken is a lie, everyone in the Briou Family will burn in the pits of hell forever!”
“The matters after death fall under the jurisdiction of the Holy Spirit.” The King said lightly, “In my opinion, things like eternity in hell are not worth a penny.”
His words caused the three knights to fall into despair.
“But——” the King’s tone changed. He looked at the three knights who suddenly raised their heads. “The diplpmatic mission will arrive on the 21st. Like the fool Earl of Mohn, you have three days. I want to see a detailed report of the battle you participated in——from the deployment of every soldier, the direction of every flag, every longbow, every piece of grindstone for sharpening swords to every bag of grain flour, every piece of cheese prepared……use these things to prove to me that your general really did his best to prepare for this war.”
To request such a report in such a short period of time could be considered quite harsh.
But the King did not mean to be tolerant.
“If you can’t do it——”
The King leaned forward, and his silver hair almost fell on Moore’s cheek. His soft voice pierced into his ears——sounding even more full of mockery than if he were to make severe orders.
“Then this self-proclaimed noble spirit of sacrifice is nothing but that.”
As expected, he saw the knights showing an expression of anger——no knight could calmly face this insult to their character.
“Of course, for now, you don’t have such a thing as a knight’s chivalry.”
The King straightened up and leaned on the crimson velvet chair, arms propped up on the armrest and pale fingers crossed, the fingertips pressing against each other lightly.
The faces of the three military officers flushed.
At the side of the King, that same delicate crossbow remained.
“The financial department of the royal family will assist you. But whether the task can be completed is up to you.”
He said in a soft but fear evoking tone.
“Go, prove to me that he is innocent.”
When Moore and the others stood up, they saw the King smiling cryptically under the flickering lights of the fire: “Now, his life is in your hands.”
This was a threat.
The three knights left, leaving the King alone in the room.
He sat quietly by the fireplace, and the light from the flames outlined the delicate contours of his face.
Zhu Chi didn’t care whether he could find out the reason from the report.
No one knew the army better than an officer who had been promoted from the bottom. What he wanted to do was to gain an initial understanding of Legrand’s imperial army objectively and without being deceived.
Standing high and removed.
There were too many heavy and vision impairing screens around the King.
Perhaps someone like the old Duke who had survived decades of battle on the battlefield could be more certain of the situation in the army, but Pureland?
Forget it, if three out of the ten sentences he heard were truthful then he should be thankful for the conscience of the nobles and ministers for not whitewashing or exaggerating.
After a while, Zhu Chi came back to himself from having fallen into contemplation.
He looked at the snow outside the window and was silent for a while. He then had the Master of the Households bring the old Duke of Buckingham a brand-new cloak befitting of a Duke.
The old Duke unfolded a scarlet cloak. The cloak was made of soft snow fox skin and was excessively expensive. But this was not what the Duke cared about.
With his thickly callused hands from years on the battlefield, he gently stroked the rose pattern embroidered with gold thread on the cloak. The rose was the symbol of the Legrand royal family.
“My little Pureland.”
The old man sighed softly.
Strictly speaking, he had accepted and held his infant nephew from the hands of the Queen earlier than even his brother William III. At that time, his elder brother was still fighting the rebel parties. It was he who guarded the newborn heir for his brother.
The Duke of Buckingham took off his dark robe and draped the cloak with the Rose Family pattern on him.
He was very happy that he could serve his little King again.
The King’s ministers soon arrived in Mohn.
Obviously, the King’s capricious behavior of sneaking out of the palace this time made these ministers very troubled. But the matter regarding the Duke of Buckingham had them unable to admonish the King. They also joined the task of organizing the war report.
But one person alone was summoned by the King.
As soon as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, still covered in dust from the travel, stepped in, he heard the King’s words:
“How long will it take to raise 20,000 pounds?”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
His vision went dark and he almost stumbled.
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