Chapter 163

The winter sea breeze was cold and prickly enough to split the skin.

Luna stood on the balcony located on the back of the boat and looked towards the far, long coastline.

“They said we will be arriving in Leus tomorrow, Lady Seyrod. By the way, how are you faring with your sea sickness?”

Rollo, the boy Baltai assigned to Luna, asked with concern. Luna nodded lightly in response.

“I am fine now. Thank you for your concern.”

“Don’t mention it. Hehe!”

Luna smiled at the boy’s cute smile. Rollo was quick-witted and intelligent for his young age. 

“Thank you too, Carlin.”

“You do not need to worry about it. We are only performing our duties. The wind is quite harsh, why don’t you go in?”

Carlin spoke courteously. However, Luna lightly shook her head.

“I am fine. I would like to see the sun go down. You two can go in first.”

“Understood.”

Rollo and Carlin bowed to Luna before entering the cabin. 

Once again, Luna turned her head towards the horizon and observed the setting sun. The sun hung on the thin boundary and blushed the surface of the water. The sunset in the inland sea was so wonderful and beautiful that one could not take their eyes off of it. But at the same time, it appeared lonely as well.

Luna sighed. Its lonely appearance was probably due to the state of her own heart.

She would be able to see him in a day.

She thought that she would explore her own future as well as the future of the Seyrod family by his side. She had thought that an opportunity would present itself in York Town, the new city of the Pendragon Duchy.

But instead, he headed towards the far-off imperial castle, then proceeded to show an unexpected but brilliant performance in front of the emperor himself.

He seemed to be getting farther and farther away.

Perhaps he was even farther than the time when she met him for the first time after he woke up from his unconscious state a few years back.

Luna felt somewhat foolish that she had trusted herself to be able to revive the Seyrod family by herself without leaning on a man. Everyone had told her that it was impossible for a woman, and that it would be the best choice for her to marry into a prestigious family instead.

But she did not listen. All the young nobles who chased after her were foolish.

Breeden, now deceased, was a prime example. It was terrible just to imagine spending the rest of her life with stupid, immature men who were filled with arrogance and desire. Therefore, she decided to pioneer her own destiny and lead her family as well.

However, the world was not so green.

Everyone judged her as Luna Seyrod, the girl who would connect the Seyrod family to another family with marriage.

Hard-earned knowledge was useless. 

In a noble society, women’s knowledge was even less valuable than the ability to embroider. Men only wanted a pretty, submissive Lady Luna Seyrod, a woman who would allow them to make the Seyrod County their own.

‘But…’

Luna pressed down on her beating heart. ‘He’ popped into her mind unconsciously.

He was different.

He did not desire the glory of the Seyrod family. It was not due to his status as the heir to a duchy. He did not care even though he knew that there were lots to be gained from marrying Luna Seyrod.

He also did not care for women’s appearance.

The only person he accepted as a woman was a maid who had stood by his side since his reawakening. Even Ingrid, who was enchanting even to fellow women, did not catch his eyes.

Of course, the White Dragon Soldrake seemed to have the closest relationship with him, but their relationship was too ambiguous. It simply could not be called an amorous relationship, a love between a man and a woman. Rather, their relationship was similar to that of a parent and their child. It felt like a predestined bond.

Alan Pendragon…

Herself included, he did not care for a woman’s status or beauty. 

After Luna accepted that fact, she also realized that the man she wanted could hurt her heart so cruelly. The man who saw her for who she was did not care for her.

She had no idea it would be so heartbreaking. When she met him, the truth would dig in even deeper, and it would hurt even more.

However, she had to go to Leus, and she had to see him.

The pain of not seeing him would be even greater…

“Alan…”

Luna whispered the name of the man that occupied her heart.

But the name quickly scattered in vain as a cold breath rising in the colorful sunset.

“What a stupid girl.”

Rollo muttered in a derisive voice as he looked down at Luna from high on the balcony.

“That very stupid love is leading us straight to him.”

Rollo shrugged at Carlin’s blunt words.

“Well, I guess so. Without that girl, it would have been harder to get so close to Duke Pendragon. Thanks to her, things will work out easily.”

“Pendragon is an unusual man. If he raises the dragon’s spirit, he could discern our energy.”

“Hmph! You just take care of that Valvas Cavalier called the Orc Slayer.”

Rollo snorted, and Carlin turned his head towards him.

His gray eyes shone eerily in the red sunset.

“Even a Cavalier of Valvas is no match for me.”

“Chet…”

Rollo pouted his lips grumpily. 

Carlin was right. It was difficult to count the number of Valvas Cavliers that had fallen at the hands of Carlin, single-handedly. 

“Anyhow. Why did the Nameless Necromancer order us to use this in taking care of him?”

Rollo spoke while taking something out of his bosom.

It was a dagger studded with skeletal fragments on the handle. The blade of the dagger was embedded with ancient words and a dark, green light glowed eerily on the tip of the blade. It gave off a truly ominous feeling.

“It must be equipped with one of his spells. We just have to complete the request.”

“Fine. Hehe, I wonder how it’s going to feel to stab Duke Pendragon with this dagger, hehehe…”

Rollo responded with a grin and put the dagger back into his bosom. Then, the evil energy disappeared like a lie.

*** 

“It is complete, your excellency.”

The temporary butler, Romeo, stuck out about a dozen sheets of paper while sweat droplets formed on his forehead. After reading the words written on the paper, Raven stamped each sheet with his ring seal with a satisfied expression.

“Good. Put them up on the streets that see the most traffic, from the gate all the way to the central square. Leave one behind.”

“Yes, sir.”

Romeo hurried out of the governor’s office after bowing.

Raven noticed someone’s expression while heading back to his chair. He broke into a smile.

“What, are you worried?”

“N, no sir.”

Leon quickly shook his head.

“There is nothing to worry about. This is the only way in this situation anyways.”

Leon hesitated for a moment and carefully replied to Raven’s words.

“Even so… I am a little concerned, my lord. I am sure that some people who have a relationship with Sagunda might be coming.”

“That would be better, actually. We will be able to filter them out.”

Raven spread the paper on his desk.

“Leus is a big city. In order to maintain a city like this, it is essential to recruit competent officials. But as of now, I only have the two of you.”

The words written on the paper sheet was Raven’s first official act as the governor-general of Leus. Its content was…

“Anyone who wishes to be an official of Leus and share in the will of the new governor, come to the governor’s residence at noon tomorrow. Anyone who is a citizen of Leus and pays taxes is eligible regardless of nationality or status.” 

Raven recited the words aloud.

A bloodbath had occurred in Leus after Sagunda’s death, and there was essentially no management with the exception of the port. Most of the previous officials were either relatives of Sagunda or had bribed him to get their seats.

There were a few people left, but it was not nearly enough to properly operate the huge port city which was plunged into chaos. Thus, Raven had to first appoint new, competent people as officials and place them into proper places as the new governor of Leus.

In this way, Raven would be able to make contact with ‘them’ who could either prove to be a strong ally or the biggest enemy in governing Leus.

“Leus Parliament… How will they react?”

Raven muttered, and Isla responded in a quiet voice.

“They should already be aware of your presence, my lord. They will be reading the notice tomorrow, so I believe they should be coming to the residence tomorrow as well.”

Leus was one of the busiest ports and trading cities in the empire, and it had its own parliament. When people of numerous races and nationalities gathered, there was a need for an organization to coordinate them, even with the presence of certain policies.

Naturally, the governor held the greatest power as the representative of the emperor, but it was impossible to suppress even the foreign merchants solely by imperial law. It was because a huge blow would be dealt to Leus if foreign merchants protested collectively against the city.

Thus, several foreign merchants and Leus natives that were respected by the people came together to form a parliament. Although their decisions had no direct impact on issues, they conveyed their wills to the governor as a type of request or recommendation. 

Thus, the past governors set the city’s policy while considering the opinions of the parliament as well. 

With one exception – Count Sagunda.

“I can’t believe that six of the nine members of parliament belonged to Sagunda… This definitely wasn’t the City of Leus. City of Sagunda would have described it better.”

Raven shook his head with a wry look.

From officials to the parliament, Count Sagunda had the city of Leus completely within his grasp.

“Anyways, I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

The issue with the 7th regiment had been solved, but there were still many important issues to take care of.

Raven had no doubts that solving the problems one by one to stabilize Leus would be the way to ultimately punish the pirates in the inland sea, and then to press the Arangis family.

*** 

“L, line up!”

“The door will open soon! Please line up!”

Romeo and the other employees raised their voices. However, the crowd gathered in front of the governor’s residence did not easily calm down.

Even though the sun was not yet in the sky, there was a large commotion in front of the governor’s residence. More than a hundred people were shaking their identification tokens and letters of recommendation in front of the iron gate, making a large fuss.

All of them had come in order to become city officials after reading the posted announcements yesterday afternoon.

“Oi, don’t push!”

“Hey! You can’t cut in line!”

“What did you say? I was waiting here from dawn. I happened to go to the washroom for a moment.”

Raven had chosen the method of selecting officials after hearing Vincent’s advice. It seemed to be even more effective than he thought.

From elderly noblemen to foreigners with brown skin and round hats, all sorts of people had gathered.

Kieeeek.

Perhaps due to the massive group, the iron gate of the governor’s residence opened earlier than scheduled. The people started to rush into the building as they saw an opening.

“Stop right there.”

A low, forceful voice resounded, and two people blocked the entrance to the residence.

“Heup!”

The swarm of people was reminiscent of a predator chasing prey, but they stopped when they saw the two people.

“His excellency the governor-general will be out soon.”

Isla spoke with Leon by his side. When the people noticed the two small blades that hung on his sides, they gulped loudly. Some were able to recognize Isla from his endeavour in defeating an orc, and they let out low exclamations.

The disorderly crowd quickly settled down. After a while, Isla took two steps to the side, and a man walked out of the entrance.

“Oh…!”

The people’s gazes filled with wonder as they saw the young duke, who had first shaken the imperial castle, now greeting them as the new Governor-General of Leus.

Standing on the stairs, Raven looked around calmly before opening his mouth.

“I am Alan Pendragon, the new Governor-General of Leus. I sincerely welcome all of you who have applied to become city officials. As noted on the announcement, anyone who pays taxes in His Majesty’s City of Leus is welcome, regardless of their status or nationality.”

“Ooooh!!”

Many people had been frustrated until now because they had no connections or bribes. They burst into cheers at Raven’s words which reached down to them like a lifeline. 

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