Chapter 47: Hishanove Case 01
Solar calendar year 465, 8th month.
The emperor’s group entered Lord Raul’s fief.
In terms of fief titles, it is the fief of Marquis Etrusal. Most of the territory to the east of here belongs to the Chancellor.
But he wasn’t with us because he couldn’t leave the frontline.
He will probably do something to get back his fief… but I can’t do anything about that.
We continued east after leaving Count Bailer Nove’s fief. We passed through Count Bailer Torre’s fief, Count Pecsar’s fief, Count Dinka’s fief, Marquis Arndal’s fief and Count Vadpo’s fief. Well, I forced them to stop at Count Dinka’s fief.
I saw famous products and places of interest in each of the fiefs… This is a tour, but what I’m doing is no different than an educational field trip.
But it was a worthwhile trip for me since I wanted to learn more about this nation. I had a different attitude from when I went on field trips in my past life. Lives are at stake.
The first thing I learned… is that the northern part of the Empire is mostly hilly and is a major wool producing area. In Count Bailer Torre’s fief, there were so many sheep that I believed they outnumbered the people. Lamb was served at every meal.
The forestry industry was thriving in Count Vadpo’s fief. I was surprised that they implemented the ‘afforestation’ concept. This may be… No, I don’t have to worry about that for now. Anyway, the mountains are well managed… which is a good thing.
It seems that Count Pecsar’s fief is famous for its glassware. I was gifted so many glass products to the point where it became a nuisance.
Unfortunately, I have no knowledge about glass, so I don’t know how developed they are or how it could be improved. I have never seen glass products being made before, not even in my previous life.
Count Dinka’s fief is to the south of Count Pecsar’s fief. It wasn’t on the agenda… but I insisted that we stop there. The most famous product in Count Dinka’s fief is iron.
It is an indispensable material for weapons. It was normal for me to be curious about it.
I learnt three things here. The first is that ‘steel is used for guns and cannons’. The second is that ‘steel cannot be mass-produced and is rare’. And the third is that ‘rails exist’.
I wasn’t surprised by the steel. As I recall, mass production of ‘steel’ began after the Industrial Revolution. I don’t know the manufacturing process that made mass production possible either.
I just didn’t expect that ‘rails’ already existed here. I had planned to have someone make rails and trolleys after I took control of the nation.
But due to the low production of ‘steel’, the rails were made of wood. They were less durable, and accidents occurred frequently. So those working inside the mines were mostly slaves.
Slaves… yet another difficult problem. Honestly, I believe that this system will collapse sooner or later. But if I suddenly declare the abolition of this system, then there will be confusion and the declaration will lose its effectiveness. And it would be a complete disaster if the slaves lost access to food, clothing and shelter once freed… What can I do?
Finally, Marquis Arndal’s fief. His fief is one of the few areas with flat land in the northern part of the Empire and their granary could be called the lifeline of the north.
He supplies food to Count Dinka and Count Vadpo because they belong to the same faction, but he doesn’t supply food to the Chancellor’s faction. There is a food shortage in Count Pescal’s fief, although it wasn’t at the level of a famine yet. This disparity will definitely have repercussions later.
I can replace the aristocrats, but it’s difficult to change the feelings of the peasants…
All of those things were good to know about. If I can go around the whole Empire, then I will see what needs to be done and what things need to be changed.
By the way, ‘Nove’ means west, and ‘Torre’ means east in the Lothar language.
Though I don’t know if the current fief I’m in, Hishanove also means west. Since I was only supposed to be passing by according to the trip agenda.
It was a sudden thing.
First, the group stopped on an empty roadside.
“… Something’s happening in front of us again.”
“Is it the same thing that happened before?”
The group stopped daily. The commoners didn’t prostrate themselves before me and the carriage behind us was closing the gap… but the commotion this time was louder than usual.
“Or the carriage may have broken down…”
“Wait. Something’s off.”
Timona, who usually arrived to explain things, still hadn’t arrived and there were carriages and horses passing by at a very fast pace.
“That carriage just now… the crest on it belongs to Count Vadpo?”
He is an aristocrat who belongs to the Regent faction, and he followed us here saying that he would escort me as a guard after I passed through his fief.
“Is he running away? This…”
The carriage door opened with a bang at that moment.
“It’s the Ghafur army! I will drive the carriage!!”
Timona shouted while looking panicked.
The Republic of Ghafur… is an enemy nation located to the north of Lord Raul’s fief.
… This is bad.
“Where’s the coachman?”
“He has already fled!”
Seriously? I didn’t notice at all.
This carriage was soundproof to prevent any sounds from coming out of the carriage.
“I’ll leave it to you.”
Honestly, this was probably the biggest crisis I’ve faced since my reincarnation, but I was feeling calm and relaxed.
Timona turned the carriage to the right and started driving south off the road.
It was a good decision. I’ll leave the destination and steering up to Timona.
“Calm down, Rosalia. It’s alright. We haven’t encountered the enemy yet.”
I couldn’t hear any fighting and even if I was the target of the Ghafur army, it was unlikely that they would catch up to us any time soon.
“Rosalia, you’re my only hope now. Do you understand?”
It was normal to be frightened in this situation, but that wasn’t a choice. From the looks of things, the aristocrats have left to save their own skins. They didn’t even explain the situation to the Emperor. Well, I am just a puppet Emperor after all.
So, the three of us will have to deal with the situation. There was no time to be frightened.
“Y-yes. I am okay.”
“Good. Can you open the door and check the situation outside? I’ll hold you steady, so you won’t fall.”
I’d like to use all the magic at my disposal right now… but I couldn’t do so in front of the aristocrats. The first priority is to survive, but I have to think about what will happen ‘afterwards’ as well.
“Hmm… We still have about half the group left! It looks pretty chaotic… I do not see any Ghafur troops.”
“Are there any people around us?!”
“I do not see anyone!”
“Alright, thanks! You can pull yourself back inside.”
It was windy… but I’d like to keep the door open so that I can see the situation outside. According to Rosalia, there was no one around us…
I leaned out of the carriage and manipulated my mana.
I imagined a barrier covering the top and front of the carriage as well as the left and right sides. It should also keep out the wind…
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty!”
Now I can communicate with Timona who is outside.
“How valid is the information?”
“I received reports from both the spies and the Belbe Kingdom unit! A part of the Belbe Kingdom unit is approaching the army and gathering information while the main force is moving ahead to the south.”
The mage unit… is helping me?
I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t been engaged to Rosalia.
“And those who were serving as maids?’
“The maids and Salomon-dono will stay behind and buy us some time.”
“I appreciate that… What about the spies?”
“Most of them are out of contact. They might have been hunted.”
I see… It seems the Ghafur army is aiming for the Emperor.
But they will be at a greater disadvantage if they kill me. The Raul monarchy with their pretexts will be a greater threat than a corrupt Empire.
Which means… their aim is to take the Emperor hostage? They wanted to confuse the Empire just enough to discredit the dignity of Lord Raul, whose fief was adjacent to theirs and to destroy the Emperor’s dignity and break his pride. They will also instill fear and make the Empire aware that they will be hard to deal with. They were all good ideas.
But when it comes to making sure that they take a hostage…
“The enemy is a small, elite force.”
“There are about 1000 cavalrymen. There does not seem to be any infantry.”
… That’s a lot. As expected of an ex-equestrian tribe.
The carriage was making a creaking sound since Timona was making the horse run at a fast speed.
“I can’t repair the carriage since I don’t know its structure. Let’s abandon it, get on horses and flee.”
“It is impossible for two inexperienced people to ride on a horse for a long time.”
“I’ll muster up all the magic I can.”
It is a four-horse carriage…
“You two ride on the horses. That way you’ll both have a spare horse. I’ll move on the golem while supporting Rosalia with magic. This will give us some distance… How does that sound?”
“… As you wish.”
“Did you hear that Rosalia?”
Alright. We’ll survive at all costs.