King Hector POV
When Beale started his conquest, I still haven't returned to Marseilles. I've gone touring around Agmanac's capital of Atalanta. From Beale's citadel of Chernobog, one could see the vastness of the cityscape below. It could even be said that it can rival Marseilles or that it is greater than my kingdom's capital. And my son did this all in more or less 6 months. I was escorted by the black-armored troops my son lent me. Whenever people see me, they would bow down but not with fear but with wide smiles. But the most surprising thing in Atalanta is the diversity of the people you can see. Here you could see elves, dwarves, dragon-kin, and beast-kin walking around without the fear of being captured and enslaved. No distinction and no discrimination. Everyone is living in harmony.
The main concern is the nobles who began to rant about corruption and Beale's monopoly on... well, everything. The nobles in Agmanac don't receive any special treatment and they don't get anything from the interactions with the Prince and the non-humans. They are shouting 'We have the right to have those technology, products, merchandize and experts too. We demand to have Prince Beale remove his monopoly on those things.' and so on. They demand the things like those hollow metal pipes called 'cannons', the flying units like gryphons and hippoglyphs and most importantly, the expertise of the dwarves and elves. They were all shot down by Beale when they raised this thing up. He said:
"Why should I share this things to the people who didn't even make an effort to conduct a meeting with the non-humans? Why should I share my inventions to those who didn't even think of improving themselves and their territories? Why should I share my units to those who didn't even think of enriching their fiefs and enhancing the capabilities of their armies? You all lie there, content with what you have. But when you see something that could bring you profit or could further enhance your dominion, you then start to talk about unfairness, monopoly and corruption. If any of you could tell me why you didn't do this during that fucking jar of lard's rule, I might reconsider it?"
When nobody could speak, Beale continued. "You are only thinking of profit. Thinking of only yourself and to sate your greed. Did you even think of the people under you? No, you didn't. You are just scavengers, lurkers and leeches. Such incompentent nobles are of no use to me. When I return to my expedition, I will deal with you people." Then he left, leaving the nobles on distraught and then came to me to beg.
I didn't pay them any mind since this is Beale's problem. Besides, I doubt my son would even listen to me. When I was in the middle of my tour on Atalanta, I received a message from the capital. The content of he letter is mind-boggling so I then chose to cut my tour and return immediately. Returning together with me are the 666 troops that Beale lent me. How could Beale have done it?! For almost 300 years, we are defending our northern border from the empire yet... How could he have done it?! The letter only contained a few sentences but it was sufficient to report the situation to me.
(My King, Prince Beale have destroyed the Empire's southern defensive garrisons. The Southern Imperial Army of 2 million have been wiped out. Prince have also captured Ceawin and the port cities of Algair and Marcia.)
A week after a tireless ride from Agmanac to Marseilles, I arrived at a tightly-packed throne room with my wife, Queen Victoria acting as regeant. When my arrival was announced, the walkway towards the throne was vacated and I rushed to my clearly-fatigued wife. I then sat at my throne, not minding my own fatigue and began the session again.
"So... Why are all of you here today?"
A Royal Noble, Duke Rothchild spoke. "My King, we came due to the alarming act the prince Beale did. We received reports of him attacking the Empire-"
"And destroyed their Southern defenses, conquering Ceawin and the port cities of Algair and Marcia. I have received reports of the Prince wiped out the empire's southern army numbering 2 million soldiers with his army of only 700 thousand." I interrupted the duke.
"But Your Majesty! That is an act of war! The Prince didn't even call a session to discuss his actions! He-"
"Was insulted by the emperor." Shocked faces were evident on the face of the nobles. Gasps could be heard and murmurs can be heard.
Duke Rothschild then spoke again. "Your Majesty... How could the Emperor insult the Prince?"
"He sent envoys under our noses to make a peace treaty with Prince Beale and Agmanac. Note, he wanted to make peace with Agmanac, not with the Kingdom. But the devious emperor, under the guise of diplomacy, tried to spy on Prince Beale by surveying and extracting information using familiars. I was there when the Prince interrogated the spy. I was also there when the knight accompanying the envoy attacked the Prince. With such insult, the Prince retaliated by attacking the empire's southern defensive garrisons, annihilating the Southern Imperial Army and conquering the empire's primary source of grain and metal." I stated with vigor.
Everyone was shocked on my revelation. Not only was the Prince spied on, he was also assauted. And judging from the temperament the Prince showed them 6 months ago, what emperor did could be interpreted as the emperor wanting a death sentence. But what they are more shocked about is the size of the Prince's army. 700 thousand. It wasn't included in the kingdom's army but for it to have created the result of annihilating 2 million, that is unheard of. Even in guerilla tactics, it is impossible to do that unless you are defending a fort or a bastide.
Duke Rothschild spoke yet again. "My king, how... how could the Prince have amassed such an army? And not just an army but one that could annihilate an army almost 3 times their size?"
"The Prince never told us, Duke. But We can only tell you all one thing: The Prince will not share his inventions, developments, techniques and power with us."
The hall errupted with roars as they heard that. One noble, Count Perigord exclaimed. "How could that be, Your Majesty?! Surely the Prince knows that with such power, we can-"
"Then tell us, Count Perigord, what should we do?" I asked with a cold tone.
"W-we could su-subdue him, Yo-your Majesty. We-we could-"
"Did you not hear our words earlier, Count? Prince Beale annihilated an army 3 times the size of his. And We will tell you this. The army the Prince brought to the empire is just a portion of his entire force. He still have those troops of his in his capital of Atalanta. There are atleast 100 thousand remaining there and from the words of Prince Beale's Chief Adviser, Lady Gremory, there are still those that are stationed south of Agmanac. The Prince also have a navy comprising of more than a thousand ships with almost half of that to be galleon-size battleships. If we include the soldiers guarding the borders and fortresses surrounding Agmanac, We could calculate that the Prince have more or less 3 million soldiers that are all under him and not the kingdom's. If he could destroy the empire's 2 million with just 700, how could we fare with 3 million with the kingdom only having 10 million if we include the reserves? Tell us, Lord Perigord. Can you give us the reassurance that you could subdue the Prince?" I asked while standing, releasing my cold aura.
"My King, are you saying-"
"We are not implying anything. We just want you all to know that if we try to push the Prince, we all might be facing a civil war that will cost us half of our country. That is something we must prevent. That is why we have thought of something else. We would declare that Prince Beale be the official heir to the throne. We will crown him as the Crown Prince of Valois Kingdom. That way, we will obtain the Prince's good graces and all of what he have since he will now be focusing not only on his dominion but also the whole kingdom." I stated with confidence.
"A brilliant plan, Your Majesty. Very brilliant." Duke Rothschild exclaimed.
"Yes! A very smart move indeed, Your Majesty." added Count Perigord.
But before I could even speak, a female chuckle resounded on the room. My eyes then searched for that familiar voice and my sight led me to a lady in black battle dress. I watched in horror as I saw the lady in black armor walk towards me and spoke.
"My dear King Hector, we meet again." She said while smiling at me, never bowing.
"Indeed. I came to you with a message from the Prince. Would you like to hear it? He said this message would be better heard with the kingdom's nobles present." She said with a playful smile.
"Let us hear it then."
"My liege lord, Prince Beale Maxime Thierry de Agmanac de Valois, declares that he will NOT accept the title of Crown Prince since His Highness will be concentrating on his fief in the future, after his conquests. He also suggests Her Highness Princess Alaine as the heir of Valois Kingdom. His Highness also sights that should any of the nobles have any designs to invade or subdue Him and his dominion, His Highness wouldn't mind to wage war with the kingdom. His Highness also says he will not share any of his inventions, training regiment or armies to the kingdom but He will help protect it should the need arise. That is all." she said with a curt bow and smiled at me.
Duke Rothschild roared and said. "THAT'S PREPOSTEROUS! HE IS USING THE MONEY OF THE KINGDOM TO-"
Before the duke even finished his words, the entrance door swung open and dozens of chests were delivered in front of me. I know what these are. With a bitter-face, I spoke to the lady in front of me.
"Did Beale really return this?"
"Yes, Your Majesty. Prince Beale returns everything that the kingdom gave him. All two million five hundred thousand gold Sol. His Highness says he never touched everything in those chests, not one piece. To those who doubted his words, I have also brought with me the stack of documents proving that not one Sol was used by His Highness."
"Is that so? He really doesn't want to rule Valois?"
"His Highness said a statement about that when I asked him and a rebuttal about it should his statement face disapproval, Your Majesty. You might be offended of it as it pertains you and the nobles." she said with a small smile.
"Let us hear it then."
"His Highness says 'Why should I helm a kingdom that is already on its knees? Years of corruption have crippled the kingdom. Its armies are lax and its nobles, stagnant. Why should I lead such incompetent people who can't even enrich and develop their own territories? No. They are just trash. Worthless in my eyes. And right now, there is only one thing in their mind. It is to plot against me and rob me of my things, both riches and advancement. Their greed, unsatable and their lust, great. It would be suicide to help such people who made their own predicaments. I am not a garbage cleaner. Let them collect their own trash and fix their own mistakes. They are not worth helping.' That is His Highness Prince Beale's statement, Your Majesty."
I have really earned my son's ire. He is a very calculative person. He might have forgiven me a little but that doesn't mean he accepts me. But he is right. The kingdom is really on its knees and I am part of the fault as King. I looked at the nobles below me who are now enraged by the statements given by the battlemaiden. It is their egos that's been hit. Duke Rothschild stepped forward and spoke.
"Forgive me, Lady Liliana, but I think the Prince is being absurd. Surely he can't say that as he is only a small child who-"
"Who destroyed the empire's southern army by himself and his armies. The small child who conquered the empire that no one here in this room could do. The small child who have enriched his fief to the point that he could buy Agmanac from the Crown 10 times over. The small child who expanded Agmanac's trade and commerce even after the human countries have suffered recession.The small child who created a navy vastly superior than that of this Kingdom. The small child who made things that even the kingdom's greatest generals and monarchs couldn't do and that is to defeat the Empire. Duke Rothschild, that is the person you just called 'small child'. My liege lord, my Prince. I will take offense of such remark towards my sworn lord, duke." She said with an icy tone.
"You are a subject of the kingdom. You are supposed to-"
"I am not a subject of this Kingdom, Duke. I never was. I only have Hid Highness Prince Beale as my sworn lord. I have no other allegiances. If Prince would leave the kingdom, I would leave with him. If Prince submits to the kingdom, I would submit as well. And... should Prince decide to wage war on the kingdom, I will destroy the kingdom under his wishes." she said with firm conviction.
"Enough, you two." I then stopped the two of them as it might lead into something troublesome. I looked at Lady Liliana. "Would that be the message of the Prince?"
"To answer the Dukes disapproval with His Highness' decisions. Here is what Prince Beale said: 'You all talk and bicker and plot and deceive. Where are all the Sols the people are giving you nobles aside from your stomach and your safes? And if I taught you things, who would benefit? Only you and a chosen few. Pathetic. If you are resolved to learn tings from me, meet me in a battlefield. I will teach you if you survive.' Those are the last words of His Highness, Your Majesty. Now, please excuse me." shadows swirled under Lady Liliana and engulfed her. When it dispersed, she was gone.
Everyone was dumbfounded with such a display. Again, Duke Rothschild spoke. "This is alarming, Your Majesty. Not only does the Prince deny us of any information, he is practically declaring war against the noblility. He will-"
"If you have the strngth to back your words duke, then you can speak like that. Never did Prince Beale asked for finances or troops or anything. He stood up by himself. We will send Princess Alaine to him to appease him and maybe the Princess might change the Prince's outlook and prejudice on us. Now all of you, especially the northern nobles, remain vigilant. The empire might strike us from the northwest, away from Agmanac. Everyone, we are seeing a dawn of a new age. Let us hope we don't end up like the empire."
"""""Yes, Your Majesty!"""""
I know that you all have lost your faith in me but I can't let this kingdom fall. At least not until I can give this to Beale. I will not give up on that son of mine. I just hope he will heed my request. I hope Alaine could change his mind.
Former Margraviate of Ceawin, Destroyed capital city of Dunstanburg
I am standing on the top of a plataeu, overlooking the destroyed city. Dwarven and elven craftsman are now running all around as they are remaking the city from scratch. Behind me is the fuming Gremory. She came when she heard that I destroyed the city in a fit of anger. When she arrived, the first thing she did was slap me in the face.
"Fool! Belial, you fool!"
Shocked by what she did, I tried to look at her but what I received was another slap on the other side of my face. She then spoke again.
"Because of what you did, heaven will notice such devastation! You think you are strong enough to defeat the seraphs?! At most, you can defeat a Virtue but at your present self, you won't even be able to kill a Dominion!"
Holding my face, I spoke to Gremory. "Grem, I-"
"Shut up! The blunder you created will surely be noted by heaven. Good thing Paimon was here. She was quick in blocking heaven's eyes and now that I am here, I could reinforce her shroud but Belial... What you did is really reckless! You could have died!"
After I saw her tearing up, I know I have made a blunder. I then spoke the only words I know would convey my thoughts.
"I'm sorry, Grem."
I don't know if it was shock or something but Gremory stopped talking. Since I am bowing my head, I can't see her save her feet which are still in front of me. A few moments later, she spoke again.
"If you know your mistakes then... As long as you won't do it again... I'll forgive you."
"I won't give in to a fit of anger again."
"I know that you are angry, that you are full of hate and that you are vengeful but think first. If you are strong enough then goon a rampage all you want but right now, control yourself." she said with a firm voice.
"Are you not angry of what I have done with the humans?"
"I don't care about them though such a thing should be done with discretion. I know your hate to the humans and I'd be a fool to say 'don't do it' but keep it to the minimum. I had many human contractors before. Not all of them are-"
"I will keep that in mind."
"Hah... FIne. Now look up. I have something to report to you."
Looking up, I saw her looking at me with a serious expression. "What is it?"
"I received a report from the Southwestern border of Agmanac. 200 hundred ships bearing the twin pickaxe banner has been sighted. They are docking on an uninhabitted area of the southern reaches."
"The Slave Kingdom of Dya Ntotila..."
"Yes. What are your instructions?"
"Tell Gaap to ready the fleet. I guess I'm still not returning home. I willwait for that fucking emperor's deeds and testaments. After that, I guess I will meet another group of human trash. Since they dare step on my dominion, let us see if they have the power to resist our might."
Bio: Just an ordinary guy with a voracious appetite for novels. I may not be an index for novels but I have read a lot since it is one of my most defining trait: reading. Do give me some pokes if new novels are published or give me any recommendations you have. I will gratefully accept them all!