< Chapter 124 – What forms a territory is (4) >
It was Viscount Breon Dutch, an old nobleman with thick white hair combed back straight.
“How did you know? I really don’t know things like that.”
Do you think I’ll follow the etiquette?
At that, Hulken gave a small chuckle. And seeing that, Viscount Dutch’s expression wrinkled.
I looked at the faces of the nobles gathered around him, including him.
Breon Dutch. An old man in his sixties, located on the southern land of my estate.
Right next to him was a man with brown hair, the most common in the Central Continent.
The knight standing behind him had an unusual aura. Baron Bean Sabnak. He was the owner of the richest land in the territories around me.
“You want me to eat this stuff?”
I heard the mumble of a fat pig. Yod Bantes, the eldest son of Count Bantes.
The territory between Baron Sabnak to the west of my domain and Viscount Dutch to the south is Count Bantes’ domain.
There are four important people in total.
Hulken from Count Ludwig’s domain.
Sabnak from the west.
Below them, Bantes.
And Dutch on the south.
Of all of them, only one was really important. In addition to that, several other territories within a short distance sent me messages to congratulate me, but I ignored them all.
I took my time sorting through the information I had gathered in my mind. The problems Baron Sabnak had in the west and Viscount Dutch in the south.
The reason why Hulken came here and the reason why Count Bantes’ eldest son came.
There is no action without reason in a noble event. The eldest son of the Count of Bantes was famous for his childish temper.
It was said that he was as violent as a prince.
Externally, Count Bantes was known to be a man of considerable ambition, a venerable nobleman who had inherited the title of Count for two generations.
There must have been a reason why he threw that pig at me.
Is Count Bantes trying to test me? If not, maybe he is trying to pick a fight.
It was impossible to fully read the intentions of the nobleman far away.
Let’s put Count Bantes off for now.
What about the Hulken?
Why did he come? There was nothing to worry about. He was looking at me.
I remembered the match I had with him before leaving for the royal palace. It was my defeat, but it must have been a battle that gave Hulken a small shock.
He had come to see me. Weehain might sent him to check me out. Because Hulken was a Wyze-knight above me.
At this point those two did not matter. There’s only one person that matters.
“Let me get this straight.”
I looked distantly at Sabnak and Dutch.
Those two wanted different things. Baron Sabnak was a skilled aristocrat and a typical man.
All he wants is fame. Like any ambitious man, he hoped to go higher.
He had been watching me carefully from the beginning. The eyes of the confident have a light in them.
I am a Wyze-knight, a knight who has built a great reputation, but do I really look that good to everyone?
There is a common saying on the continent that goes something like this.
‘Rumors are ten times the truth’.
Rumors are masks over the truth.
Fame does not speak for a person’s ability. He was the one who knew I was a Wyze-Knight and came to steal my honor.
I saw the knight standing behind Sabnak with his mouth agape. I’m sure he is at least a Wyze-Knight otherwise he wouldn’t have dared to come here regardless of my fame.
“Doesn’t the goblin problem give you a headache?”
So what I’m bringing up right now is only for one person. Neither Sabnak nor Hulken. That’s you, Viscount Breon Dutch, it is for you
My eyes turned to an old nobleman with white hair. I know this guy’s situation.
His land is south of here, adjacent to the southern continent.
It was a troublesome land because of the Southern peoples who came up every year ignoring the border.
The irony was that the main business of Viscount Dutch’s domain was black market trade with the Southern Continent. The southern peoples all live with a different purpose, some people plunder his land, and some people make deals with him.
The amount of damage each year was roughly five gold coins or more. And it wasn’t even all the damage that could be converted into money.
A territory is a land where people live. Will it be possible to be a Lord by standing alone in a land where no man lives.
There are many things that are needed to form a territory, such as money, castles, houses, and land, but the most important thing one is,
Without people, it is nothing.
But, who would want to live in a land where bandits, who kill people, come over to plunder?
Viscount Dutch said, grinding his teeth. Now, let’s get on with the deal.
In the midst of bandits, a group goblins appeared in his territory.
It was not a small number, but a herd of a thousand, led by a hobgoblin.
The Hobgoblin from the Fraunmund estate did his job properly.
“You must be having a hard time, right?”
Blood welled up on the Viscount’s forehead at my words.
“Is that a provocation?”
The viscount asked me.
Sibi, I will.
Now, it is the moment when the dog poop called Hobgoblin becomes medicine.
“I’ll handle it.”
Even if there is no money, no land, and the castle is half-destroyed, there is something the Viscount Dutch does not have in the Fraunmund estate.
“Does that mean you’ll help me?”
The Viscount Dutch looked at me and asked what I was talking about.
Of course, I’ll help.
“Every month, five gold coins.”
If I get paid.
A momentary silence fell over the room. The person who broke the silence was Dutch himself.
“…… want to extort money from me?”
It seemed that the horns were about to rise on Dutch’s forehead and fire would erupt from his mouth. I spoke to him while he was in anger.
“I’ll not only take care of the goblins, but also the southern bandits that come every year.”
A bait is a method of throwing things that an opponent will never refuse. The Viscount Dutch, who made a living on black trade with the southern peoples, could not refuse this deal.
Jabrien was indeed a born merchant. I learned from her to make offers that the other party could not refuse.
“I’ll handle it first. And give me gold coins after looking at the results.”
The Viscount Dutch could never refuse this offer.
Solve the problem first and pay the money later.
Viscount Dutch opened his mouth without hesitation.
“If you will.”
All nobles put their own interests first. In the eyes of Viscount Dutch, this deal was completely in his favor.
Of course that was what he thought.
I grinned at his answer.
It’s a method I’ve often used in my mercenary days. I got a client, a long-term client who would give me gold coins periodically.
Although the evening sun was beginning to set, the territory was lively.
Looking at it, Yod Bantes muttered.
Tomorrow, He will return. As the last night was approaching, Yod went for a walk.
He walked around Fraunmunt Castle, mumbling to himself. He was followed by one of his knights and a servant.
‘Why did father send me here?’
He knows his reputation. And no matter how stupid he is, he knows that Count Bantes is a royalist and that Baron Chris Fraunmunt is also standing in the same line.
‘You want to take it.’
If he wanted to maintain a moderately good relationship, he would have sent his brother.
Sending himself means that he would start a relationship hard rather than soft.
‘Do you want to take this territory?’
No, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“Why did my father send me here?”
When asked, the escort replied.
“He probably didn’t send you to claim the forsaken land.”
This land is changing rapidly, but it is not the land that the Count of Bantes, his father, would covet.
Then what does his father want? Chris Fraunmunt, whose name was no longer unknown to the nobility within Serkado. Everyone was keeping a close eye on him, wanting him to be under their command.
‘Father won’t be different, right?’
Sending him away to listen to silly talk is a way to get into trouble.
Jode Bantes finished his thought. He had caught Count Bantes’ intentions exactly.
He wasn’t very smart, but he was smart enough. Yod Bantes knew clearly what he was going to do.
‘It would be nice if I were a little hurt.’
The count’s eldest son was injured. What’s better to brew trouble than that?
He would be able to saddle him with debts while gaining the upper hand, and that was enough for his father to tame this young Wyze-Knight.
As he looked back and opened his mouth, the servant looked at him in surprise.
“Are you good at fighting?”
Jordaan Bantes was not stupid, but that didn’t mean he was smart either. He chose the simplest and most straightforward method.
“Have you ever punched before?”
“ …… I haven’t tried it.”
“Good. Pick a fight with that guy and get beaten up for a bit.”
He kicked the buttocks of the servant who couldn’t understand. Seeing the beaten man squirm as he stepped forward, Yod looked around.
‘It’s fast, indeed.’
He’d heard it used to be an empty ruin, but buildings had sprung up all over the place before the hot summer approached.
The lord is strong and wise. The people are diligent and earnest.
“This territory will grow well.”
The escort knight said as if he had read his mind.
‘We should spend a day or two together.’
They were like friends who got along well with each other.
“I guess so”
His servant was soon in tatters. He rolled around on the floor with his face squeezed tightly as if he’d been punched in the face.
Yod Bantes approached there.
Yod said as he pushed the servant rolling on the floor with his feet.
“Hey, do you know who you hit?”
The man who swung his fist answered, staring at him. The clothes were different, so he seemed to recognize at a glance.
“…… Are you a noble?”
Nobles are different from commoners. Yod was well aware of that, and has been making full use of it throughout his life.
“Huh, there is no upper or lower in this land! You dare to think that you can beat my dear servant and still be safe!”
‘You’re just a commoner.’
The words were omitted, but they seemed to be heard.
The man on the other side had an intuition that he was in trouble. His eyes began to look everywhere.
“Cut off this idiot’s arm.”
It happened unconsciously. The escort knight stepped forward and drew his sword, and the man did not have the talent to dodge the sword of lowest-ranking knight.
The base of the elbow is cut on a sharp blade.
The man’s scream echoed everywhere.
Yod laughed as he saw this. People began to gather around. They knew what was going on, but they couldn’t go forward unnecessarily. The other party was a nobleman and they were commoners.
“What are you doing?”
At that time, a woman’s voice pierced through. The eyes of all the people turned to look at her.
“Louis Yulnovan and Alice, I appoint you both as Squires.”
Not long after coming to the Fraunmunt estate, Alice became a squire.
There wasn’t much of a grand ceremony. To be precise, there was no time for that.
Every day, the houses had to be built.
Her mother was in charge of feeding the people of the estate, and Tekil was there to mediate when problems arose.
Most of the time, the arbitration was accompanied by violence, but the people never complained.
Since then, Streek has set the rules to be followed in the territory.
To put it bluntly, they were laws made by the lord. Just as there are royal laws in the capital, similar laws have arisen in local territories.
Since then, people have never fought recklessly.
‘I would do the same.’
Streek and a soldier beat up a man who had accidentally inflicted a serious wound on his opponent. It took the beaten man a week to finally get up.
Since then, order has quickly taken hold.
Streek was an old man with many years of experience in the military. He knew how to handle crowds.
He was officially in charge of the interior affairs of the territory, but he lacked hands.
He was so busy that even ten bodies were not enough.
“Squire will listen to the master.”
“I’ll do that.”
Alice had nothing to do and went to Streek to say that she would serve her.
But even that took the job.
Louis Yulnovan, the person whom his father was pushing to death these days.
Although his fingers were trembling, he said he’ll do it, so she let him.
‘Do you like serving others so much?’
She was not very good at taking care of others.
Chris had asked Tekil to do a few things to maintain order in the estate, so his father was also very busy.
Alice had nothing to do.
So that’s how it was.
“We need to deploy soldiers for policing.”
“I’ll do that.”
That’s why she came forward at Streek’s words.
The task of patrolling the area for security was not boring . She liked walking, and watching the territory change was fun.
It was a merchant who came every morning with two wagons loaded with vegetables. Although he belonged to a certain upper rank, her mother liked him because he sold it at a conscientious price.
“You are late?”
“I finished my work a little late.”
“Mother is worried. Hurry up and go.”
He was a sincere man who lived with his single mother.
There were quite a people who had become familiar with him.
So when a commotion broke out, Alice didn’t hesitate to move quickly.
Immediately after hearing the scream, Alice was able to navigate through the crowd and grasp the situation.
It wasn’t a familiar face, but that was another person who lived a reasonably serious life.
“What’s going on?”
Alice stepped forward and unconsciously placed her hand on her waist. She could see the red blood flowing down on the knight’s blade.
Just for info: Words in single quotes (‘) are thoughts and double quotes(“) are dialogues. And also mistakes are expected so if something doesn’t make sense then just try to understand the situation and make something up by yourself.
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