The black iron door was slowly closed, and the alchemists who turned into skeleton warriors continued to slumber in the darkness.
“I thought you would wake them up?” The Devil watched the King order to seal the basement of the tower tightly, and curiously asked, “After all, the Holy Court has already begun to establish the Kingdom of God.”
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“No, not yet.”
The King answered calmly.
That army sleeping in the ground was a powerful sword hidden by mortals, it would be a cavalry, a sharp dagger that stabbed at the Holy Court and at the gods. Only when it was secretive enough and unexpected enough could it play an important role at the most appropriate and critical moment.
When to use it, the King already had a rough judgment in his mind.
But that time was not now.
After the Devil took his leave, the King did not leave the tower directly.
He walked up the black stone steps step by step. The windows of the tower were open and the wind poured in, bringing in the low and echoing sound of the evening bell, which vibrated the eardrums. The King climbed to the top of the tower, and from the highest point of the castle looked down on the city that belonged to him.
The Devil also told him another thing.
Among the castles of the Rose family, some castles were actually designed by alchemists, and Bomari Castle was one of them. After the talented alchemists formed an alliance with the dragon slayers, they spent a lot of effort constructing their castles.
The castle itself was a huge runic formation.
The spiers that the King saw were some important nodes in this formation. At this time, the King looked down from the highest point, and found that the streets of the entire castle followed a strange rule. The streets, large and small, were laid on the same surface, which was a magnificent picture made up of geometric figures.
That was why the Devil advised the King that it was better not to destroy the castle itself if possible.
However, after the Battle of God’s Punishment, the Rose family lost the Bomari Castle in the near disintegration of the empire, and the rebels who later occupied it obviously didn’t know this.
Believing themselves clever, they made quite a few changes to the castle in an attempt to make it more powerful.
In order for Bomari Castle to exert its due strength, they needed to make a series of repairs and restorations. In this regard, the King had a good candidate——Mr. James, who had become a military weaponist madman.
The end of the evening bell gradually faded among the mountains, and the King returned to the castle’s council hall.
General Sheehan had been waiting for a while.
After a whole day of cleaning, Legrand had completely taken control of Bomari Castle.
The reckoning had begun.
A few days later, two messengers arrived at Bomari Castle.
They were from Balboa State.
They brought news that the King wanted.
After the fall of Balboa Castle, General Edmund of the Ingres State faithfully carried out the King’s order, and the brave Ingres army thoroughly purged the royal family of the Balboa State to ensure that no member of the royal family of Balboa would survive. On that day, blood stained the stone slabs of the Balboa Palace.
The royal family of Newcastle was treated in the same way as the royal family of Balboa.
The rebels tasted the bitter fruit of defeat.
The purge of the royal families of the two states brought a little controversy to the King——because the members of the royal family of Balboa who died at the sword of the Ingres cavalry included male, female, young and old.
The King’s orders were extraordinarily cruel and held no mercy.
“Our critics will be having a carnival again.”
Before giving the order, the King had said to General Sheehan with a smile.
“I would have new eyes for them if they could quell this war by themselves.” General Sheehan replied angrily.
The King shook his head without comment.
What would happen next in the Northland would be an unprecedented reckoning. Balboa and Newcastle have lived under the rule of their respective states for too long. If Legrand wanted to rebuild a new order here, then the King must guarantee that no rebellious royal blood remained in this world.
Slaughter was only the first step in the purge.
When people in the Northland were debating about the killing of all the royal families of the two states, the King’s officials listed everything that the two royal families of the Balboa State and Newcastle State had done to exploit and oppress the people of the Northland over the years. It was organized into the “Document of Admonishment”, and sent with a large number of people to spread it all over the Northland.
In the “Document of Admonishment”, the officials of the King’s treasury conducted a rigorous argument, refuting the previous remarks used by the rebel alliance to encourage the rebellion:
——It was not Legrand that truly caused the poverty of Balboa State and Newcastle State, but the greed of the royal families. When the people of the Northland were suffering from hunger and cold, ones such as the King of Newcastle, Lantoft the Red Beard lived in a resplendent and magnificent palace, and his personal property was equivalent to the tax revenue of the entire state for three years.
It had to be said that after the King’s officials had been tormented by the King several times, their ability to debate had soared, and their argumentative ability was now impeccable.
The officials wrapped in black cloaks spoke impassionedly, as if they had become one of the Northlanders, and tearfully accused Lantoft and others about the exploitation and oppression.
But this part of the accusation was indeed not false.
Take Newcastle, for example.
After the King recaptured Bomari Castle, he immediately organized personnel to review the Newcastle financial files kept in Bomari Castle. The poverty and backwardness of the Northland were inseparable from the rule of Newcastle State.
The economic system of Newcastle State under the rule of the Lantoft family was dominated by the ancient feudal system. The land area under the feudal system varied from large to small. Some large fiefs have an area of several thousand acres, while small fiefs were only hundreds or even tens of acres. Among the fiefs registered in the “Hundred Household District Case File” of the Newcastle State, almost all the large fiefs with more than 1,000 acres belonged to the Lantoft family and their loyalists.
While the fixed land rent and land tax in kind have been generally implemented in Legrand, the state of Newcastle was still implementing the labor land tax of the last century. In the state under labor land tax, peasants were only nominally holders of free papers, but in fact there was no big difference from being serfs.
The fiefs had its own independent judicial court, and even because it was an independent state, it was difficult for people controlled by the fief to directly travel across the state to request the ruling of the Legrand royal court.
Harsh climate, ancient institutions…..The Northland indeed had a barbaric and poor atmosphere.
The King found what he wanted from the thick files:
——He found out about the system implemented when the Rose family ruled the Northland.
Victory in a war was only the first step in recovery. After the military victory, the King must also awaken the hearts of the people to return to Legrand.
This was also an invisible war.
After the “Document of Admonishment” spread, the King’s officials stood ready and started a second propaganda offensive.
In this propaganda offensive, bards played an important role.
A bard was received by the King.
At the conferment ceremony before the King’s battle with the Gulundi heavy cavalry, this bard plucked the strings of his harp in the square and sang the ancient ballads of Legrand. The King sent someone to pick him up from Benz City. No one was more familiar with the great legends and the ancient epics than the bards.
That was an ancient memory passed down in the strings.
“I hope you can sing about the former tranquility, peace and beauty of the Northland.” In the fire-lit hall, the King said to the bard, “Is there such a song?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” The bard had gray temples, and he was wearing a pair of long leather shoes that were worn out from walking too much, and his face was wrinkled. But he had bright green eyes, “I’d love to sing those ballads…..”
As he spoke, he plucked the strings, looking for the tune in his memory.
The tune was melodious, like a piece of snow drifting down.
“What do you need?” the King asked gently, listening to the melody that reminded people of snow, hearth fire and deer hunting.
“I don’t need anything, Your Majesty.” The bard looked at the King with his bright green eyes. “In fact, I have a song I wrote myself, and I would like you to listen to it. If possible, this would be my greatest reward!”
“Please, sing away.”
The bard carefully tuned the strings, his expression became extremely focused and pious, and he hummed in a low voice.
“Tell me, tell me, people of Kriya
Who led you up the hill
Who led you to pick up the lances
——She is the young queen with the black hair
The melody was low, and the bard’s voice was slightly hoarse. This was the song he was most familiar with. He sang it from the mountains in the south of Legrand to the snow-capped mountains in the north. Wherever he went, he spread this song that people didn’t know of. The melody was beautiful and sad.
He sang of a young queen.
A young queen with black hair and green eyes, she picked up the lance from the puddle of blood and led the people to defeat the invading enemies, so the people wove thorns into a crown and put it on her head.
The young queen met the young monarch at the age of seventeen. They met in the mountains with flaming maple leaves in Kriya, and they fell in love in the midst of blood and fire. In the end, the young monarch broke through the seven obstacles set by the people of Kriya for his queen, just like all the knights in fairy tales who want to win the love of their sweetheart. So the people of Kriya joyfully delivered their queen into the hands of that young man.
They played buoyant melodies and sang cheerful songs for the queen.
Those songs were still passed down from generation to generation in the Kriya city-state.
In the melody of the harp, the fire swayed, and there seemed to be red mountains all around. Under the maple leaf forest, the young monarch plucked the strings, and the young queen’s dress was blazing.
The bard finished singing and stopped plucking the strings, but the blurry figures still flickered before the King’s eyes.
The King looked at their blurred faces, and heard the faint melody of a lullaby in a trance.
It was as if there had been hands gently stroking his cheeks, as if someone had hugged him while he was still a baby. They sat by the bright fire, patted his back gently, and softly coaxed him to sleep…..so gentle, so warm, he was surrounded by love.
“Who is she?”
The King asked in a low voice.
“Queen Eleanor, our queen forever.”
The bard saluted the King, and he had the green eyes that were characteristic of the Kriyans.
The name touched a chord in the King’s heart.
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“She…..” The King’s voice was very low, he stared at the ground, “What kind of person was she?”
“She was Kriya’s best queen.” The bard looked at the young king, and found the shadow of their beloved queen on the King’s face, “If you go to Kriya, you can see her statue. The best bard in the world comes from Kriya, and the people of Kriya love her very much.”
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