＃After returning, the family was ruined (77)
While Ethan was enjoying his growth, Sylvia came to visit.
She said as she handed me the crystal ball.
“His Excellency the Marquis Bloten has contacted me.”
Just as she said, the crystal ball was emitting sparkling light.
It was a signal that contact had been made.
When I touched the mana stone, the Marquis’ face was revealed.
-How have you been?
“yes. Are you ready to move?”
-That’s right. Even the 7 kingdoms won’t be able to block this attack. There is just one questionable point.
-Originally, I was planning to reveal the evidence when the Dwarf Kingdom made the first move. In fact, Lord Porforens even sent a letter to the Kingdom Council.
If the Kingdom of Ameria put pressure to repatriate Williams, that in itself could exert heavy pressure. In that case, if you expose the evidence, the effect will be doubled.
It was definitely a good strategy.
“Is there a problem?”
-The Dwarven Kingdom remained silent. It must have been a while since the letter was sent, but there has been no reply.
―Lord Porforens said that because the Kingdom Council was such a busy organization, it seemed like the previous letter was not delivered properly… The
Marquis took a sip of water and continued speaking.
-Unfortunately, it seems difficult to create the best situation.
Ethan thought deeply.
Considering Popolence’s previous actions, it was clear that associating with the Balaur was a serious crime on the part of the Dwarf Kingdom.
However, the fact that there is no reaction…
―It’s difficult to take any more time, so I’m thinking of heading straight to the castle today.
“yes. I like that too. However, you may be able to use it in the future, so please try sending the letter again.”
Popolens had been given the position of blacksmith in the Kingdom of Heidern, albeit temporarily. At best, it can’t even be compared to running a successful blacksmith shop in a mid-sized city.
If a separate letter is sent this time, the Dwarven Kingdom will judge its contents much more seriously.
‘Even so, if you remain silent like this time.’
You should expect bad situations. For example, the upper echelons of the Dwarven Kingdom are colluding with the church.
The Marquis nodded silently.
-I guess I will. By the way, I heard that the flowering ceremony is just around the corner. Are you okay? If you need more time, I can help you.
Although his skills as a knight were excellent, he was not completely without problems.
I heard that you have never smoked black flame before.
The flowering ceremony, one of the duke family’s traditions.
Here, in order to be elected as the head of the family, one had to emit a dark red flame.
If the Archduke was running out of time, he planned to delay the opening ceremony as much as possible, even by submitting an appeal to the King whom he would meet today.
Ethan shook his head at the Marquis’ words.
“Thank you for your words, but there is no need to do so. “It’s already ready.”
―Did you make black salt bloom?
They say it’s similar.
It was a subtle statement.
If he had really shown his anger, he would have given a definite answer instead of that answer.
Still, I wasn’t worried.
We have been repeatedly confronted with how bold and meticulous the Archduke is.
If he was confident enough to say that, he would have prepared something to show at the enlightenment ceremony.
The Marquis had no doubts.
-I hope it ends well. When I see you again, I might be a duke.
That was enough.
The Marquis nodded and finished contacting the crystal ball.
‘Preparations are complete.’
All the evidence was collected.
It was agreed that Porforens would be in charge of reporting to the king. As I was given a temporary position, it was time to make good progress for the next year.
Cult and kingdom.
With this blow, the conflict between the two organizations will begin to ignite in earnest.
The Marquis and Porforens began moving towards the palace.
* * *
The location where the flowering ceremony was held was Londinium, a large city located in the duchy. It was also where Ethan’s home was located.
If you drive diligently by carriage, it takes about a week to travel from the county.
‘I guess I’ll have to leave soon.’
Ethan went to see Elena.
Elena, who had been diligently examining the documents, lifted her head.
“I’m going to leave soon. “Get ready too, sister.”
“Now that the county territory is almost completely renovated, I should go back home.”
It was enough to leave the maintenance of the county to the remaining vassals.
Elena’s eyes became faint.
The duke’s mansion located in Londinium. A whopping nine years had passed since he was expelled from there by his associates.
Going back to the original home.
This was one of the wishes Elena had. It was something that could not even be dreamed of just six months ago.
Now, that wish was about to become a reality.
However, there was nothing to worry about.
“…Are you okay? I have to be recognized as the head of the family at the flowering ceremony to be able to return to my family…”
“You think I can’t do it?”
Elena stirred the whale. It has already been nearly six months since my younger brother woke up. How many sights have we seen so far!
‘Theron and Myers are the same.’
They were both younger brothers whom he loved. However, compared to Ethan, both of them were weaker younger brothers.
The true ruler of the duchy.
No matter what anyone said, the closest one was Ethan.
Count Chayman may have insisted on holding the flowering ceremony quickly because he had his own methods.
‘Well, it doesn’t work for Ethan.’
Elena was sure.
A mansion in Londinium that contained the warmth of family. Now I wanted to go home again.
Ethan and Elena.
The two began to pack their bags diligently. The two weren’t the only ones packing.
Because it was the same for Ilia, Sylvia, and even Frexian.
Five fully loaded carriages. Among them, the group got into the empty carriages.
The dragon slayers formed a tight guard around the carriage.
The number of knights who joined was approximately thirty. This was because the rest of the staff had separate work to do.
The carriage began to depart for the duchy.
* * *
After a week of travel, we arrived in the big city of Londinium.
The outer gate opened quickly.
As soon as the carriage entered, the eyes of the people of the territory began to flock.
“It’s… the Grand Duke!”
A group of knights whose entire bodies are completely covered with black armor. They were escorting the carriage.
I couldn’t have known without knowing.
Recently, it was a knighthood with the greatest reputation in the West.
The black armament had long since become a symbol of the Grand Duke.
“It’s a dragon slayer! “Of course!”
“The Archduke has finally returned!”
The whole of Londinium was shaken.
Here, the notoriety of the 10 collateral families was already widespread.
Not only was it not enough to take away the dukedom’s taxes, but they were the ones who made corruption rampant by selling all the high-ranking officials in exchange for money.
Naturally, the duchy had no choice but to suffer increasingly from famine.
It was only natural that the money that should have been distributed to their land was being moved to other places.
The duchy was slowly dying due to the egregious exploitation and neglect of the 10 collateral families.
This was a fact that could be seen just by looking at Londinium, the largest city in the duchy.
The streets were full of dilapidated buildings that had not been renovated, and encountering children dying of starvation had become a daily occurrence here. So much so that people are saying that it is more difficult to live here than in the territory of the 10 collateral families!
Therefore, the residents of the duchy were eagerly waiting for a hero to save them.
The archduke was the most prominent successor among the descendants of the previous duke.
Prince Theron and Prince Myers.
Unlike the two, he was able to achieve a huge alliance by directly confronting the 10 collateral families.
When will the Archduke return to the territory?
While waiting so eagerly, news that a flowering ceremony would be held began to spread widely.
After a long wait, the Archduke had finally entered the duchy.
Even though it was skinny, it still had enough strength to make a sound.
Every time the carriage passed by, the residents of the territory cheered loudly.
I hope that the Archduke will be recognized as the head of the family at this flowering ceremony!
The people of the territory prayed earnestly.
Ilya, who was inside the carriage, stuck out her tongue at the loud cheering.
‘If only it were terrible…’
The scenery outside the carriage was truly miserable.
Just fifteen years ago, it was never this underdeveloped city.
The estate was half destroyed, as if they had spent so much money in such a short period of time.
Since the duchy’s most representative city has changed like this, there is no need to say anything more about other places.
Just looking at it, it seemed like a huge amount of time and money would be needed to restore it.
‘We will have to work hard to develop products.’
It seemed like we had to hurry up product development. While I was looking outside the city, a carriage arrived in front of the castle.
The gate opened quickly.
After passing the outer castle, we reached the inner castle where Cheyman’s mansion is located.
As I got down from the carriage, nobles from the Senate, including the count, began to appear.
The 10 collateral families were now reduced by half.
Count Chayman approached.
“I was waiting.”
“What about the flowering ceremony?”
“Everything is already ready. The flowering ceremony will be held in the grand banquet hall inside.”
Chaiman was startled by the Archduke’s casual answer. I heard that it is definitely not able to produce black flame.
The same was true for recent reports.
But what is the point of such a confident appearance?
‘…Does not matter.’
I made some preparations in advance in case of an emergency.
No matter how outstanding the Grand Duke’s performance is, it will be impossible for him to be selected at the enlightenment ceremony.
“I’ve prepared a banquet… but you don’t plan on attending?”
“There’s no reason to waste time.”
Chaiman clenched his fists at those words. They were dismissing the idea of hanging out with them as a waste of time.
It was nothing short of a terrible insult.
‘…Let’s see if you can be that relaxed after a while.’
With shining eyes, he guided the archduke. Daeyeonmujang in Naeseong.
There were already a lot of people there. This is because Chaiman mobilized all of his connections to invite western nobles.
This is because the more eyes there were, the more advantageous it was.
At this flowering ceremony, the next head of the dukedom will be completely confirmed.
Although the prepared banquet was cancelled, the nobles’ eyes were filled with interest.
Rather than enjoying alcohol and food, it was bound to be more interesting to see the spark of those who would rule the West in the future.
‘You sang a lot.’
Ethan looked at the audience.
Originally, the dukedom of the past also invited numerous nobles to the flower ceremony, so it was not a particularly strange sight.
The one who will rule the western part of the kingdom.
Promoting the power of the ruler was one of the traditions of the Ardan duchy.
Ethan moved toward the center of the great dance hall.
It was then.
[There is a magic circle prepared in the training hall.]
Ilya, who was sitting in the audience seat, secretly sent Mana’s whisper.
[It is a magic circle that grants a huge amount of mana to the target when activated. I think we can stop it now, but would you do that?]
The target is probably Myers.
Numerous nobles gathered.
Depending on how much power you show here, your perception of the Duke family will change by 180 degrees in the future.
The more black flame Myers spews out through the magic circle, the more black flames he spews out.
The shock of overpowering it would be even greater.
Ethan shook his head.
Because there was no need to break the game that was advantageous to oneself.