037 The burning capital? (3) p.3

Prev Page | 1 | 2 | 3

The Captain of the Third Order wanted to leave the decision up to the king.

“The First Order is of the opinion that the nobility, as the foundations of our Kingdom, should be prioritized. In contrast, the other orders believe that the nobles have sufficient soldiers already in place and that we should advance into the city instead, taking the fight to the most hard-hit areas. As we are at an impasse, what are your orders, My King?”

The most optimal outcome would be for the King to stick to his initial order to save the city. If that were to happen, the Captain could order his men onwards without a second thought. On the other hand, if he were to side with the First Order, they would have no choice. They might feel resentment over the decision, but they would to a man obey. As long as the First Order had no say in the matter, they could quickly secure the noble quarter and move on into the city. By turning to the king for his authority, the Captain could preserve morale. After all, their foremost duty and obligation was to serve the king.

The Captains of the Third Order and below stood together as the First Order and the assembled nobility looked on with furrowed brows. With bated breath, everyone awaited the king’s orders.

“…Dunno.”

“Huh…?”

Who uttered such disrespectful words? Now was not the time to find out.

“I-I don’t know! Don’t know, don’t know! I don’t know! D-Do as you please!”

A man of nearly sixty years was wailing like a spoiled brat, spitting with every word. Worse still, he trampled and kicked the pristine shrubs on the lawn as he turned to leave. With bloodshot eyes and bulging veins, it was clear the king had gone mad.

“M-My King!? This is unacceptable behavior, My King!

“L-Like I care! I’m taking my leave! I’m going back to my room!

Ignoring his servants, the king walked back into the palace. He was tired of it all, thought Charles the Eighth.

They had all ignored him. They were all the same, whether they were some order or another, the nobles, or the commoners. They never cared about his feelings, and never stopped cawing at each other like crows whenever they talked. He was the King of Arquell, but demands kept flooding in. No one actually respected him. They only gave the required courtesy, then sought confirmation for something he didn’t care about. Never once had they actually asked what he thought about anything at all. Despite that, they treated him like he was responsible. He couldn’t take it anymore.

It was the same for the Marquis’ centralist faction. All they wanted was a king to sit quietly on the throne; whether it was Charles or not didn’t matter to them. Astonishingly, the decentralist faction thought the same way. Most importantly, he was ultimately only useful as a political weapon. These ‘loyal’ subjects even had the gall to claim it was all for the good of the King or the Kingdom. Thanks to them, the noble’s loyalty to the royal family grew thinner every year. When they raised taxes, the commoners directed their anger towards him. He had no say in that! Really, he had no say in anything at all.

(I’ve had it! I’ve had it! I’ve had it! I don’t want to be King anymore!)

As the king ran for his palace, tears and snot dripped down his face.

If everything had gone well, he would have already retired. His eldest son Ray, or maybe his second son Philip would have inherited the throne, leaving Charles free at last. What ruined it all was Ray’s assassination six years ago.

At the time, the centralist and decentralist factions were arguing over the matter of royal succession. The centralist faction wanted Ray, as crown prince, to succeed his father, while the decentralist faction supported Philip, as he was a far more suitable candidate than his brother. He had made clear that he didn’t want to have a son be made heir solely on political backing, but Philip as second son believed that aristocratic support would give him a better chance. Ray despised his brother for his brazen ambition, and the two brothers began to fight amongst themselves. As their father he tried to mediate, but to no avail. When accused of being unfit to rule, Ray denounced his brother’s betrayal. The atmosphere grew thorny in the royal palace, and at last criticism was directed towards the king for his inability to end the conflict.

One day, the entire royal family managed to sit down for a meal together. Suddenly, in the middle of the meal Ray spat out a mouthful of blood and collapsed, never to stand again. His wine had been laced with poison. Suspicions were immediately directed towards Philip, as the two had been fighting over the throne. Publicly labelled as his brother’s killer, Philip locked himself away in his room to hide from scrutiny. Three days later, he was found dead of the same poison used to kill his brother in an apparent suicide. Many took this to be proof of Philip’s guilt, but Charles remained unconvinced. It could have been a complete coincidence that the same poison was used, or even that someone had made Philip’s death look like a suicide. No matter the case, he had no desire to be the father of two dead sons, one a fratricide. He had loved them dearly as his adorable sons that he brought up. The primary reason he could not end their infighting was that he was unwilling to label either of them as the instigator.

Days later, the centralist faction accused the decentralist faction of instigating Philip into murdering Ray, while the decentralist categorically denied any involvement. The king wanted to get to the bottom of the matter, but his advisors cautioned against excessive investigation as it might have incited rebellion amongst the nobility. Thus, they brought the case to a close with the decision that Philip poisoned his brother then killed himself. The decentralist faction consequently suggested to Lavallee that he tacitly support a few of their proposals in return for the closure of all investigations on his involvement in the matter. Charles the Eighth was unable to find the killer of his sons, or even publicly show his despair.

Since that time, he had lost interest in the affairs of state. And, perhaps, interest in worldly affairs in general. He stopped drinking and lost the ability to enjoy the flavors of food. Music grew shrill and unbearable to his ears, and he festooned the walls of his room with the portraits of his sons. Due to his weakening vitality, or perhaps his fear of subjecting another child to a horrible fate, he was unable to sire any more offspring.

A King of Gray, unconcerned with the pleasures of food or fine art despite his ruling over a Kingdom of the arts. That was the kind of wretched state Charles the Eighth was reduced to.

“Sniff…! Sniff…! Sniff…!”

He continued to flee, unconscious of his labored breathing and disgusting appearance. He wanted nothing more than to hide away from the world in his room. He could care less about the fate of the capital. Let the rebels kill the nobles, what did it matter to him? If the city was burning, he could not wait for the palace to go up in flames as well. At least then he would have an end to his tortured existence.

He ran and ran. He ran from the burden of responsibility foisted onto him by his retainers. He ran from reality itself, hiding from it’s inevitable grasp. Nobody followed him. There was no need. There was no precedent in history for a king to run like he did. Under the command of the First Order, the Royal Guards moved into the noble quarter, as the highest authority, the king, was absent. Nobody else tried to take command of the Royal guards, as no one else had the will to do so after witnessing the king’s flight.

Charles the Eighth, King of Arquell’s decision, as it was, was to abandon the commoners.





From the low hill where the palace stood, the knights rushed down. The most elite force in the Kingdom seemed out of sorts. Part of it could have been the inexperienced leadership of the First Order. They had overruled the First Order and set out sluggishly ahead of the rest. The other orders could have easily overtaken them, but the pride of the First Order prevented them from being allowed to do so.

They marched as if their victory was assured, even though they had yet to even take the field of battle. If the commoners in the blazing streets saw this, they might well have taken the rebel’s side out of sheer anger.

From the rooftops, a shadow looked on. Covered from head to toe in a dark robe, the shadow quickly retrieved a device from beneath the robe’s folds.

“Opus 05 to Opus 01. Opus 05 to Opus 01. Please respond.”

“This is Opus 01. Connection confirmed. Opus 05, please report your observations.”

“The customer is confirmed to have departed. I repeat, the customer is confirmed to have departed.”

The mechanical voice of a young girl was transmitted through the device. After a brief pause on the side of the receiver, a reply came.

“…Understood. The departure seems much later than expected. Did anything happen? Opus 05, did you observe anything abnormal?”

“Negative. No abnormalities were found in my observation of the customer.”

“I see. They must not understand the situation fully. However, their tardiness should not prove an issue. We have much leeway on our side of things. How many are proceeding directly?”

“All. This concludes my observation.”

There was another pause. The receiver seemed taken aback.

“…All of them?”

“Yes.”

“Is that so. Well, that is acceptable. It should not change events too much.”

“Are you sure? I inquire. I believe this will be a significant setback to our plans.”

Wary of eavesdroppers, their conversation was heavily encrypted, but it entailed the attack on Broussonne. The shadow held concerns that if the Royal Guards brought their full might against the noble quarter, the damage to the city would be far greater than expected. Depending on the circumstances, it was possible that the entire capital would be destroyed. The shadow was asking if that was an acceptable outcome.

“And?”

The receiver replied simply. If she held no concerns, then the shadow had no need to worry.

“No. I answer. If it is deemed to not be a hindrance.”

“Is there anything else? Opus 05, please continue with your mission. Leave the rest to us.”

“May the fortunes of war be with you. Over.”

“Be careful too. Over.”

After exchanging rehearsed farewells, their communication ended. The shadow returned the device to under its cloak and surveyed the city while moving silently.

“…”

The Royal Guards on their way to the noble district. No problem.

The rebels and the dying commoners. No problem.

The roaring flames and thick smoke. No problem.

There were no issues at hand. At least, not for her mission. Broussonne’s living hell did not seem like it would be ending anytime soon.

Loading......

13 comments

  1. Thanks for the chapter, I love reading updates to this series

    ReplyDelete
  2. The king sucks so hard, worst case scenario he could have ordered the orders to kill the first order and then kill the nobility and start clean, but even his despair is lame

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can't be helped. He's technically already dead. Losing two sons must have traumatized him. He couldn't even bear to have another child. He was pitiful. He was simply the product of puppetry. With his will gone, he would stop thinking. How can he care about others when nobody cares about him?

      Delete
  3. I don't really blame the king too much here. He has lived a long life as no more than a badly trained puppet, had his only outs removed, and then was expected to make real decisions when he has no fulfillment or meaning to his life.

    The fuck were they expecting from a waste of good oxygen like that?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the political aspect made this novel much more interesting

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tjanks fro the chapter, true villainy at work here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yeah.. but remember its discontinued so idislike this shitty politics and just hope the "plot" went faster

    ReplyDelete

© yAmi Translations
Maira Gall