50 – The Cord of Power (completed)☆
Finally, the path to success has opened.
Terra Simond felt a surge of excitement in his heart after a long time. The Provincial Governor has arrived once again. He came under the pretext of the sports festival, but his goal is undoubtedly the reform of the Lailand Academy. Judging from the large sum of money donated in his family’s name, there was no doubt about it.
“The Rummelts family will become the sponsoring foundation.”
If that’s the case, this place will no longer be Lailand Academy but Rummelts Academy. With a different backing, the status will also change. The Rummelts family is a prestigious family that is not inferior to the famous Ban Cliff, known for its military power, or the Rada family, which has prospered through trade. Moreover, their relationship with the royal family is harmonious, and Warren Rummelts is none other than the closest aide to the current emperor.
“I have to make a good impression.”
How long will he continue to live as just a professor at the academy? If he catches the eye of the Provincial Governor, he could even be appointed as a military leader. And to make matters worse, Warren Rummelts is grumbling at the academy’s instructors. In times like this, he had to prove that he was different.
“Besides, Ban Cliff seems to be involved in something strange.”
The north is also the homeland from which Terra Simond left. He didn’t know the details, but it seems that the Northern Army has surrounded the Engelar family’s castle. The contents sent by his lover Zelda through mail were all he knew, so he couldn’t grasp the cause and effect of the situation.
“The lord is protesting, so it can’t be a good thing.”
If he gets involved with Ban Cliff for no reason, he could get caught up in a battle. Even if he accepts the recommendation, it would be better not to use it. The emperor is the one who killed his own brother. If this Northern Army campaign is for suppressing a rebellion, then sparks will fly to all those involved.
While scheming in his office, he saw a lifeline of salvation and immediately stood up.
It was the Provincial Governor. Everyone wanted to run away when they saw him, but Terra saw a gleam of glory shining from Warren.
“The radiance of power and success.”
Even if others criticized him as a flatterer, it was fine. Terra’s life goal was success, and he wanted to succeed and turn his fortunes like no one else. Such an opportunity will not come again. How can an ordinary academy instructor work with the Provincial Governor and leave an impression on him? Warren’s personality may be a little twisted, but his abilities are exceptional, and there is a lot to learn from him.
“Everyone, get back to work.”
Warren looked at everyone sitting in the office and spoke. Eventually, he assigned them tasks, and Karson, a stoic man, stood up and protested.
“We also have work to do, it’s inconvenient if you do this!”
Then Warren called him there because he didn’t even know his name.
“Provincial Governor, I am Karson in charge of physical education.”
When Terra hinted at it, Warren finally called Karson’s name and asked a question.
“What time will today’s classes end?”
As everyone paid attention, Karson hesitated and shouted.
“I will finish everything by today.”
– Well, if that’s the case. Can you serve as an opening act, Karson?
“If you do this again next time, there might be unexpected supervision.”
“I will do my best!”
Terra liked Warren’s approach. His communication style, characteristic of authority that simply made you aware that you were beneath him without going into long-winded explanations, was appealing. It was the image he had dreamt of for a long time, and the military administrator had both the qualifications and skills to enjoy it. This man truly excelled at his job. He could spot inefficiencies anywhere, find ways to cut manpower, and knew how to make things more lucrative. He was a machine at work and inherited the qualities of both a working machine and a commanding machine.
“Administrator, what should I do?”
As Terra revealed his willingness to become a voluntary servant, Warren chuckled. It seemed like all Terra needed to do was follow like a dog, and Warren would take care of everything behind him. Terra didn’t mind; becoming the last human in Lailand or the worst pig in the military was preferable. As expected, Warren handed him not words but a single note.
“By the end of today.”
Upon checking the contents, the instructions were written from the beginning to the end of the task.
─Entering directly is going to be extremely challenging.
After tossing a workload that would barely be finished in a day and smiling as if granting mercy, he found it repulsive.
“After everything is done, I will submit a separate report.”
“Not exceeding one page.”
As they saluted, he felt the disdainful glares from those around.
Terra paid no attention. They could never handle the tasks given by the military administrator. He himself struggled to get through it, sacrificing the quality of A-1 class management and classes. However, now was the time to show his capabilities. Success was guaranteed this way. Then, he could return home and even ask Zelda’s father for permission to marry.
Warren spoke as if he had just remembered.
“Yes, please order anything.”
“I’m busy, but from now on, you’ll be in charge of the regulations for C-8 class.”
─Damn, he’s already assigning me additional tasks.
Cassan clicked his tongue, but it didn’t bother Terra.
[#50 – Sacrificial Lamb]
After escaping from the Golden Citadel, Kenis immediately came to Varus’ tent and reported the progress.
“Are we really supposed to shell them for three days?”
“Yes, since they’re just mimicking, half of the forces can retreat.”
Varus asked with a frown.
“What if they don’t move as the strategist intended?”
“Randellian will welcome Roman, and Galdin will have no choice but to declare neutrality.”
Kenis emphasized that the background of Roman was attractive to the enemy. Varus agreed with the idea of granting asylum even if only for the purpose of obtaining information. However, when it came to Galdin, concrete explanations were needed, so Varus asked for more details.
“What the Engelar estate wants is not whether to attach to the Empire or not. He only wants to gain benefits equivalent to the existing military supply contract. Your Majesty knows this, and Commander, you must be aware that the previous contract cannot be maintained. So, I wrote out the details of the negotiation proposal that could secure a supply contract for fabrics from Randellian to Roman.”
Roman, who had arrived in the enemy country, plans to apply his background to gain recognition. With his ambitious nature and a seemingly good relationship with his wife, he has no intention of settling for less. He is determined to restore his relationship with Engelar and succeed in Randlerian by any means necessary. If we attack the Eastern Gate now, Goldin will consider me a traitor and immediately declare neutrality, and he will also separate from his son-in-law.
─ Because that’s the kind of person Goldin is.
“Could he switch sides just like that?”
To Barus’s question, Kenis shook his head firmly.
“Engelar’s lord would never do that.”
“Who knows if there were secret negotiations going on behind the scenes?”
“There’s no reason for that when they don’t even know I’ve betrayed them.”
Right now, to Goldin, the Empire and the two neighboring countries are all just objects to be weighed. Engelar has always survived and thrived in that way. Kenis briefly recited the history of their betrayals and asked Barus.
“Do you have a daughter, Commander?”
“My eldest daughter is about to get married, so I have a lot on my mind.”
“Did you already choose a son-in-law in advance?”
“You’re disappointing me.”
“I apologize if I misunderstood.”
The two men understood each other without saying more.
A father with a daughter of marriageable age gains nothing by picking a son-in-law in advance. It’s better to leave room for anyone to choose the most suitable partner for the family and daughter. To Goldin, Engelar Castle was like Barus’s eldest daughter. Barus, who had gotten to the heart of the matter, asked Kenis.
“Why haven’t you married yet?”
Barus was now in his late thirties, just before becoming a lieutenant general. It was a bit tight, but he was not too old to become Kenis’s father-in-law. His daughter was at a marriageable age, so he could offer her if he wanted to. This man was trustworthy, considerate, capable, and sincere enough to entrust his daughter to. It was a marriage that would benefit the Tuareg family in any way you looked at it.
“I’ve been neglecting love due to work.”
This obviously evasive answer made the conversation uncomfortable, so Kenis left it at that.
“If Goldin declares neutrality and Roman succeeds, Goldin will decide on the direction of betrayal, and Roman will become a hero of the Engelar clan and reclaim his wife.”
“Instead, you will receive a great deal of resentment and criticism.”
Kenis nodded firmly.
“I’ve only promised Goldin the benefits equivalent to supplying embroidered fabrics for shields.”
Since no specific party had been designated as the principal, all of this would not be a contract violation, and Goldin would understand. Engelar’s lord was not a saint, but a person who only valued profit, so he had no reason to blame himself.
“He will probably laugh it off as ‘I had a good one’.”
“If that’s true, then you are certainly competent as a lord.”
“The Engelar Clan is a group of people who have thrived in this unfavorable situation.”
They finished their report, stating that they survived not only because of their undeniable political capabilities, but also because they had a different way of thinking from the culprits.
“I trust your intuition and insight.”
Barus stopped questioning and called his subordinates. He immediately ordered an attack on the neighboring city, but as expected, the enemy did not lower their defenses and maintained their siege posture. After a whole day of shelling with no movement, Barus finally gave the order to retreat to the academy. It was an implicit expression of his complete trust and obedience to the previous commander’s words as the commander.
“I have a favor to ask of you.”
When Kennis came to the barracks for farewell, Barus pushed aside his staff officers and spoke.
“Yes, please tell me.”
“I have young ones I want to send to the academy.”
– I’m already getting tired.
“Do you mean to entrust them to me?”
Kennis asked persistently without leaving.
“Our family members are all courageous, but they lack leadership.”
“If you need advice, I can recommend a suitable place for your children.”
He tried one last act of resistance, but Barus held Kennis’ hands and politely pleaded.
“Whether it’s a son or a daughter, please just take care of one of them.”
“Commander, Lailand is not a good place for studying.”
“It’s not because of its reputation, but because of the person you are that I entrust them to you.”
He was about to refuse again, but he felt a terrifying force and fell silent.
“I’ll soon be promoted to a high-ranking officer without any problems.”
– So, it means let’s make a deal.
The Touareg Clan is a prestigious clan that has produced soldiers for generations. It has a reputation that rivals the Ban Cliff and is even higher than Rada. Someday in the future, there may be a time when Barus needs their help. Even if it’s not him, Bissalae might be needed. He felt tired just pretending to be strong, so this proposal was an imposition that could not be refused from the beginning.
“Between a man and a woman, which would be less uncomfortable?”
“Attitude is more important than gender.”
“I’ll have them transferred from their current mathematics study place, so please take care of them.”
Despite trying to reject it, seeing the continued connection between them, he had to accept the fate that he could not hide and disappear.
“What should I teach them?”
“Teach them how to reconcile relationships like you do.”
Then, Barus let out a stiff smile and advised.
“Make them into children who can have a warm smile, unlike me.”
He extended his kindness even to the enemy’s descendants, jokingly asking for advice on how to maintain a position where he never makes enemies. When Kannis awkwardly laughed, Barus patted his back. As a colonel approaching the age of forty, he left his first and final words with the major in his thirties.
“Whenever you need my help, send a letter to the Tuareg family.”
With the assurance that he would save him from any crime as long as it wasn’t betrayal, Kannis left the barracks, only thinking about Vissale.