I leave General Seifert’s room and go to the office of the Marquis de Nolpoth to make a belated report of the other day.
He agreed to the report itself, but was half concerned that I was overreacting. I apologized, but I couldn’t think of any other way under the circumstances.
Anyway, I’ll report back to the office and grab a quick snack. It’s just to prepare for the afternoon. There is no time for a leisurely lunch. I’ll give Neurath and the others a few instructions while I nibble on some bread.
“Neurath, contact Max, find out how many men from Zehrfeldt’s company have been killed or wounded. I want a list by the end of the day.”
It is not a congratulation or condolence money, but it is necessary to make such arrangements. It may be an extreme example, but if there are 30 wounded soldiers and you give 10 silver coins to each one of them, that would require 300 silver coins alone. If you say that you won’t pay them because you don’t have that many coins, it would be bad for morale in the future.
The amount of money depends on the degree of wounds, and it is also necessary to take the deceased into consideration. For example, a knight who died in order to save his comrades cannot be treated in the same way with a knight who died in a rush without listening to the instructions. This is different from the modern warfare, in which the amount of the dead can be systematically treated as a uniform amount.
Of course, we can’t neglect the rewards either. This time, you don’t have to think about the difference between a knight and a soldier, but I understand that it’s hard not to be appreciated for your work. I understand that very well.
That’s why we have to pay them properly, and it would be better if they recognize us right after we’ve worked for them. If we don’t deal with that in a hurry, it might even become a source of dissatisfaction. I’ll leave the preparations for that to Max, but I need to give him instructions.
Schünzel, I want you to interview the mercenaries and make the necessary arrangements.
The initial contract stipulates the remuneration, but it is the employer’s duty to pay you additional remuneration if you work more than contracted. Moreover, there is the question of your face as an aristocrat. If you get a reputation as a stingy nobleman, it will affect you later.
We need to know how much they worked for us, whether they suffered any casualties, and whether they would like to be rewarded with money or with practical items such as weapons and armors. In this world, it is also necessary to arrange for the purchase of the materials of the dead monsters.
So, it is necessary to have money before the war, but it is also necessary to have money after the war. And this one requires physical goods like gold and silver coins, so it’s going to take a lot of time and effort and preparation for the arrangements. A burglar at this point would surely bankrupt us.
By the way, it’s not a joke that the winning side buys drinks for their subordinates. It’s said that sometimes it was done to “buy time and collect money…” I heard it was even done to “buy time to drink and collect money in the meantime. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s not funny.
“Lily, you can go back to Count Zehrfeldt’s today. Neurath, tell Max to escort her.”
Actually, there’s not much for Lily to do today. We’ve got the victory ceremony this afternoon anyway. I can’t be bothered.
“First rank in the Order of Merit, Count Zehrfeldt.”
At the voice of His Majesty the King, my father, head of the Count’s troop, bows his head. And on his father’s head, His Grace rains down words of praise. Well, compliments come free.
“… Therefore, in order to reward the Count for his services on this occasion, I grant Count Zehrfeldt an exemption from the foreign import duties.”
You get a slight buzz. This is a rather large reward, though not a direct one. Trade with other nations from your realm is permitted, but it’s usually taxed heavily. Not having to pay those taxes in the future is a big deal in terms of the realm’s finances.
The government decides which goods can be exported, so if the profit margin is too high, then the export from the count’s territory to other countries should be banned. But there would still be no problem with domestic distribution. So it would be easier for the government to control them.
It looks big, but it is easy to handle as a country in the reward of aristocratic opponents.
“and an addition to the lands of Zierfeld to be made at a later date. The Chamberlain shall record it in the name of the Crown.”
The royal name is a promise that it will be kept even if the king dies suddenly. but if it’s in the royal name, it’s like a contract with the state. It’s like a pledge that you’ll never make a difference.
They say later, but usually within a year. However, if the king plans to give the throne to his son in two years’ time, for example, he may be told to wait until then. The purpose of making a promise in the name of the next king is to show that the new king is a man of his word.
I think this is an aristocratic way.
“and his bastard son, Viscount Zehrfeldt.”
I bowed more deeply when he called me. But then I almost fell apart when he said it.
“I am aware that the Viscount is heavily in debt.”
You’re right, sir.
Damn. I never thought I’d hear that story here. I can hear laughter all around me… I blushed unintentionally… but His Majesty’s words followed…
“But I understand that the debt was all for the good of the country. In fact, I am aware that the development and experimentation of such a variety of tools would not have been possible without prior research.”
I can’t help it if you think I am… but I’m not. I’m sorry… but there’s no way I can say that I’m just using the knowledge that humans have accumulated in the past. It’s embarrassing in the opposite direction to be praised for someone else’s knowledge.
And you know, this blush right now, it’s embarrassment at being found out for all the effort you’ve put into hiding, and I think some of you misunderstand, the voices in the pew. Wow, this is torture.
“His long service to his country and to his country’s honor, without regard to his own, are worthy of special mention. Therefore, the State shall assume all his debts and reward the Viscount with the same amount.”
Wait a minute… It’s almost like we’ve been in debt to the government from the start. That’s a lot of money for a debt write-off and a huge budget.
My debt is the result of my loyalty to my country, which they value highly enough to show their gratitude by taking all that debt away and then settling it with a temporary reward in the form of monetary compensation. The country benefits greatly from this. I never thought they would use my debt so politically.
I’m sure they’ll have to destroy some noble family to pay for it. It’s an unexpected turn of events.
“And in recognition of his wisdom, Werner van Zierfeldt is newly appointed master of the third stable. The third stable will be under the Dauphin’s jurisdiction.
This time around, people are surprised. I’m surprised too. Wait a minute, I’m still in school.
A stable master is literally the head of the stable yard. The highest rank is the stablemaster of the royal court, who oversees the horses and carriages of the royal family. The numbered stableboys are in charge of the official horses and carriages used by the knights and diplomats and other envoys.
The reason for having more than one stable is to prevent all the horses from being used at once in case of sickness.
But of course, the care of the horses is done by a stable hand or other specialist. Therefore, it is not unusual for someone who is not necessarily an expert on horses to be appointed to this position. In fact, in the Middle Ages, an old duke who had given up his power to his son and practically retired was appointed to the post of stable master of the royal stables.
In that sense, stablemaster is an honorary position.
On the other hand, a horse is both a luxury vehicle and a chariot in this age. In other words, it is a very important national asset. So their position and salary are quite high.
I can’t say for sure since the monetary value differs depending on the case, but a stablemaster at the top rank would probably get between 1,000,000 yen and 150,000 yen a month in his previous life. Other stable masters would probably get around 800,000 yen a month. Isn’t that too much for a student’s allowance? And I also get a salary as a viscount.
Furthermore, the stable master always accompanies the royal parade in the vicinity of the carriages. Nominally to be ready in case something happens to the horses in the carriage… he’s the one who’s always closest to the royal carriages.
And since the departments related to war horses are also included in this, they oversee not only the accounting department of the stables and the administrative department including the clerks, but also the personnel rights of the horsemen, the right to select merchants for the purchase of supplies, the warehouse department for storing harnesses, and the technical department including the craftsmen who make harnesses and blacksmiths who make horses’ hooves. He has a great deal of authority.
I’ve also been asked for advice on the military aspect of horses.” “How much military maneuvering can I do with the horses in my stables?” you’re expected to answer that question. There’s no such position, but you’ll also be in charge of the ‘cavalry staff’.
So this position of stable master is an important one both in everyday life and in military service. At this point in his life, he’s still a member of the advisory board or a member of the council of experts.
And if there’s an illness in the stables, for example, he’ll have to report it to the royal family. You’ll be in a position to go directly to His Majesty’s or the Dauphin’s office without being accused of anything.
The position is not only that you have to be trusted by the royal family to be chosen, including your position in the parade, but also that your work is immediately noticed, and it is obvious that a young nobleman has risen in the ranks. There is even a case in which a stablemaster became a shogun.
I’m thinking it’s a little too old for my age. It’s an honorary position… I’ll see what I can do.
I’m so far away that I’m aware of it and I’m trying to escape reality.
And after what happened to old Uwe this morning, I can see why you got yourself in this position, yes. Let’s do this. The stage is set, but I’ll jump on it.
“For all that you have done, and for all that you will do. Anything you want.”
Well, I’ll take your word for it and do you a favor…
He bows his head and speaks up. I had intended to, but it’s my fault that I had to say it in this situation, so I’m not going to hesitate or get upset now.
“All right. Something.”
“I intend to take Lily Halting as my wife after I have defeated the Mad King. I hope you’ll understand.”
There’s a murmur all around us. I can’t see them because I’m bowing… but I’m sure the Dauphin is laughing.
I was thinking that when His Majesty replied to me in a tone of voice that held a smile.
“Remember. On your wedding day, the royal family will present Zehrfeldt with a memento.”
Again the surprise. At the same time, clucks of tongues can be heard everywhere. Oh, dear. So that’s what it’s come to. Someone hasn’t given up.
This whole exchange between you and me has been very political. First of all, I didn’t say, “I want your blessing to marry Lily.” I didn’t say, “I want you to marry Lily,” I didn’t say that.
This is so we don’t set a precedent where a nobleman has to ask your permission every time he marries a commoner. I’m only asking you to remember my wishes.
And I said, “Hulting.” I said, “Halting. This means “Please don’t adopt me into another family.” I meant that not only to the people who might have originally wanted Lily as a hero’s sister but also to the people who were trying to have an indirect relationship with her by adopting her or something.
There’s an even bigger reason for this. The country holds Mazel in its hands… but the country has never shown its support for Lily. If a nobleman from another country had asked her to be his wife… she would have had no reason to refuse.
But when you’re engaged to a nobleman of the stablemaster’s rank, it’s difficult to interfere in any way. He’s the fiancée of a high official the crown trusts. You’d have to be prepared to fight a duel to get in.
At the same time, the inclusion of the words “after defeating the Demon King” means that the second voice explains that Mazel understands Lily’s position as a banner in the event that she fails to defeat the Demon King.
I don’t think Mazel will fail, but I had to be considerate of those who do. That’s why I put it this way.
You granted my request with a royal gift. He used the word “gift” instead of “present”. That’s why they were so surprised.
The word “gift” means to give from a higher person to a lower one, but “present” is more intimate. It means that the royal family is willing to recognize the relationship. And the fact that it’s to Zehrfeldt and not to me personally means the relationship between the royal family and the Countesses.
In other words, by showing this exchange here, he’s saying that the kingdom is happy to recognize the betrothal of the hero’s sister to the warrior clan that fought against the demon army’s four heavenly kings and drove them back. The diplomats of other countries will be able to see it today. Diplomats from other countries will be informed by the end of the day.
But that doesn’t matter to me. If it stops other people from messing with me, I’ll use it, no matter what the government’s intentions are.
“Thank you for your happiness. I pledge my undying loyalty.”
I bowed my head, and I was done. The applause was both good-natured and calculating. My sleepiness has flown away, but that’s okay.
My father told me that the nobles who planned to marry my daughters off to my sons-in-law also clicked their tongues that night. I don’t care about that.
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