350 – Standing at the peak (2)
“Let the Prime Minister personally recite Peter Yeager’s achievements.”
Duke Elzollern, Prime Minister of the Empire, sighed and stood up from his seat.
“His achievements are so clear that I will simply tell you the facts.”
“In order to save the Duchy of Philolence, he led 150,000 troops and defeated the 250,000-strong army of the Veneta Union, and in doing so, surrounded Veneta Castle and destroyed the Venetian Duchy. In the process, he became aware of the plot of Captain Giuseppe of the Union of Milan, who thwarted the treasonous attempt of the regent of the Duchy Phil Lawrence and annihilated the main Milanese army.”
The ministers were not particularly surprised because they had already read it several times, but because the contribution was so great, they all sighed and expressed their dismay at the absurd achievement.
“Is it possible to defeat an army of 250,000 with 150,000 men and destroy the Principality of Veneta in that way?”
“…… I am speaking as the Minister of Military Affairs, but it is better for the mind to just evaluate Captain Jaeger as ‘Jaeger’ and move on. Achieving just one of those would be a great achievement, but to accomplish all three in one expedition.”
“Thanks to you, I was able to take over the fertile plains and prosperous commercial cities of northern Farosia. Isn’t a good thing a good thing?”
The hearts of the ministers who said that were full of jealousy toward Peter Yeager.
‘Ha, at the age of 35, I was busy running around here and there, preparing for promotion to deputy director (lieutenant colonel in the Imperial Army).’
‘A 35-year-old enemy, it must be a shame to be an enemy for 30 years. Does this make sense?’
‘Until five years ago, I would look at Captain Jaeger and slap his children, but now I don’t even dare to slap him, so I don’t do it at all.’
Regardless of whether his ministers thought of such things or not, the emperor was all smiles as he envisioned a future in which Peter Jaeger would be given an important position and be taken care of until he turns 100.
‘Captain Jaeger is also a human being, so if he is over 65 years old, he will not be able to fight on the front lines. But if you look at his commanding ability, he will fight better than most generals just by commanding on the battlefield. As long as he is sent to war until he is 74 years old, after that, he will have no wish to serve as Minister of Military Affairs for about 20 years.’
If Captain Jaeger had heard of this plan, he would have thought about resigning and running away right now.
“Isn’t this an achievement that is difficult to express in words?”
After hearing those words, Minister of Military Affairs Kaitel nodded and responded.
“Yes. So this time, I propose to Your Majesty that Captain Peter Yeager be promoted to Marshal. However, there is one problem that is not a problem. Captain Jaeger is nearly 25 to 30 years younger than the other captains, which means he can monopolize his position as marshal for nearly 30 years.”
The Emperor felt puzzled when the Minister of Military Affairs, who had always grumbled and supported Captain Jaeger’s theories and operations, suddenly made an interfering comment.
“But honestly, wasn’t the opinion of the Chiefs of Staff that his ability was such that there would be no problem if he was entrusted with Marshal right away from the time of Lichen Hill? Since then, Captain Jaeger’s abilities have been growing every year, so what’s the problem?”
“If he occupies the position of Marshal of the Imperial Army for too long, he will become dissatisfied with the person who received the rank of Captain and his family. So why not give him another position, one that is only slightly below the rank of Marshal? For example, a position such as ‘senior commander.'”
The reason why Keitel made this suggestion was to provide something of comfort to those who were unable to get promoted due to a person named Peter Yeager.
The other ministers also nodded and opened their mouths.
“If Captain Jaeger takes office as Marshal, the other captains will have no more room to advance, so their motivation will drop.”
“There are some positions for courtesy in the ranks of brigadier general, major general, and lieutenant general. Don’t those who have been promoted to captain also need such positions?”
“I can’t believe I got one job after being promoted from captain. “Wouldn’t it be okay to give him a position of particularly high importance, such as the Northern Army or the Viceroy of the Venetian Federation?”
When the emperor saw this, he laughed to himself.
Because, in the face of Peter Yeager’s terrifying achievements, it became too politically burdensome to challenge his promotion to marshal as an imperial noble.
Those who could not raise any objections and only secretly expressed jealousy.
It was a bit funny to see Duke Keitel take a bite and be satisfied when he was given a suitable alternative, like pork instead of beef.
‘When Captain Jaeger comes over later, I will tell him that I saw this funny scene while he was drinking.’
“Since no one seems to be opposed, I will create a new rank of senior captain above the captain. Then, the number of positions a senior captain can hold is limited to three. Commander of the Northern Army, Governor Veneta, and Chief of Staff. What do you think?”
The ministers nodded their heads in agreement, satisfied that instead of being blocked from being promoted to marshal, there were three positions available to move up to the rank of general.
“As a courtesy, 2,000 gold will be deducted from the marshal’s annual salary to 5,000 gold per year, and the benefits that can be used for ceremonial purposes will also be reduced only slightly. In addition, the rank insignia will be four stars, like the captain, but it will be made of pure gold like the marshal, and a baton exclusively for senior captains will be given.”
Honestly, when you become a captain, the income coming from your territory is much more than the salary of 5,000 gold per year, so the salary increase was not a huge benefit.
However, high-ranking nobles were people who were obsessed with social status and honor rather than money, so receiving a protocol that set them apart from others was, to put it exaggerated, as important as their lives.
From this point of view, the emperor treated him with slightly lower respect than his enemies, and all the ministers agreed.
“Then I will promote Captain Peter Yeager to Marshal. In addition, he will bestow three marquisships: the Marquis of Alfonso, the Marquis of Drilton, and the Marquis of Odense, as well as a reward of 100,000 gold. In addition, in accordance with the customs of the empire, in honor of the achievement of destroying the ‘Principate of Veneta,’ we will erect a statue of a guardian knight commemorating this near the main gate of the imperial palace.”
If you combine the three marquisates, they would have a huge income and population that would rival that of any other imperial duchy.
What the ministers who risked their lives for honor envied the most was that a stone statue of Marshal Peter Jaeger was erected near the main gate of the imperial palace, in a place where all nobles would see it whenever they passed by the palace.
If the statue is placed there, it will not only be mentioned in the family after death, but people passing through the gates of the imperial palace will say this for hundreds of years to come.
‘That statue is a sculpture of Marshal Peter Jaeger, the famous commander who destroyed the Duchy of Veneta.’
“Then, I think we’ve finished the important business, so everyone, please rest for a while.”
As soon as those words were spoken, the ministers left one by one, and Kaitel, who remained until the last, spoke as if muttering.
“Now that Peter Yeager has become my enemy, I guess I’ll have to resign. “It’s good that he has risen to the rank of Minister of Military Affairs, but whenever that damn Marquis of Venner sees me, he smiles and says this.”
‘Ah, I am so jealous of the Minister of Military Affairs. Because I lacked ability, I was allowed to retire in my mid-60s, but His Excellency was so capable that he asked me to work for him for five more years even though he was in his early 70s. Huh, an old person like me now has no other joy in life than playing with his grandchildren. Oh, and Frederick’s grandson is following me around, saying he wants to be good at using a sword like me…’
The Minister of Military Affairs, who thoroughly divides personal and public affairs and rarely shows his emotions even in private situations, turned red in the face.
The reason was very simple. He is now over 70 years old and would like to retire and take care of his grandchildren or take in a young concubine and live a rejuvenated life.
However, Peter Yeager worked behind the scenes and was ‘displaced from military service’ under the pretext of helping his country, so he is unable to retire.
“Your Majesty, actually, there is something I, Kaitel, would like to ask of you. “Can you please listen to my earnest request?”
“Oh, I have to listen to anything the Minister of Military Affairs requests. “What are you asking for?”
“My body is now approaching my mid-70s, so please allow me to retire soon. Even walking from the entrance to the imperial palace to my office wearing military uniform rather than armor is beyond my strength.”
After hearing those words, Michael took a quick look at Kaitel’s body.
Maybe because he was in his 70s, he seemed a little weaker than when Captain Peter Yeager recommended him as Minister of Military Affairs, but he still seemed quite fine.
In addition, in order for the newly introduced policy, including reserve forces and all, to be properly established, a supply system that can operate up to 1.5 Million soldiers for more than two years must be established, and he was more essential than anyone else in that process.
‘A proper reward, no, Duke Keitel is already the head of the Duke family and the Minister of Military Affairs, so it wouldn’t be a great pleasure for me to give him any more money or anything like that. Then I guess I should give you the honor.’
Thinking so, the emperor spoke loudly so that the surrounding servants could clearly hear.
“I really need a Minister of Military Affairs. So, can you give us a little more strength?”
“Your Majesty, Marshal Jaeger will take care of everything.”
“No. Marshal Jaeger is still nowhere near the level of Minister of Military Affairs in terms of supply and other administrative matters. So, I hope that you will maintain your position as Minister of Military Affairs for the time being. Instead, the Minister of Military Affairs said he was not feeling well, so my special request. He will give the Minister of Military Affairs the privilege of riding a carriage even within the imperial palace, and will have him unload a carriage with the imperial emblem engraved on it so that this can be seen at a glance. Also, once this non-commercial event is over, I will give you a special vacation for one month.”
This phrase can be interpreted as follows.
‘If you retire when you can walk, you are disloyal and ignore the emperor’s sincerity. In return, other ministers, prime ministers, princes, and princesses have given you an honor that is hard to obtain, so work hard and repay them. And he said he was sick, so I would give him leave. ‘Take a break, make up your mind, and come back.’
Keitel shed tears after hearing those words and thanked the emperor.
And when Peter Jaeger returned from his vacation after the war, he planned to make him unable to leave work for at least 15 days by working on supply and administration-related work.
Of course, the empire will develop gradually in the process, as it always has.