Chapter 0368 Intermission – King Abel’s Northern Tour Part 1
Abel was riding in the royal carriage.
He had left the royal capital for the northern part of the Kingdom.
Along the way, he stopped at several towns and met with the subjects and lords on the way to his destination, Carlisle.
Carlisle was the capital of the then Flitwick Dukedom before the Kingdom’s liberation war.
The Flitwick Dukedom was founded by Prince Raymond, and Carlisle was the second-largest city in the north.
Raymond, the king’s brother, rebelled against the royal family.
Almost all the nobles in the north joined in.
The Empire also lent its support, and the Kingdom was divided.
In the end, Abel, who became king, led the allied forces in the south and west, defeated Raymond’s and the Empire’s forces, and reunited the Kingdom.
Naturally, the Flitwick Dukedom was crushed, as were almost all the northern nobles who had joined the rebellion.
After the entire north was placed under royal control, the lands in the north were given to those who had played an active role in the liberation war, according to merit.
Some places became enclaves of the southern and western nobles, while others were taken over by newly appointed nobles and became fiefdoms in the north.
However, it’s only been three years since the liberation war.
The north was not yet completely stable.
For this reason, Abel’s trip to the north was accompanied by the Royal Knights as his escort.
And the Captain, Dontan himself, led the Royal Knights.
Although Abel complained about it being an overkill.
“It is our job to protect His Majesty.”
Abel could not do anything about it once Dontan made it clear and Marquis Heinlein, the former captain of the Royal Knights, who was listening next to him, nodded his head.
“The Valkyrie Knights will protect Queen Rihya and Prince Noah at all costs.”
The Valkyrie Knight Captain, Imogen, also stated strongly, and Abel had no choice but to accept.
“I would have preferred a more carefree journey…”
Abel’s muttering disappeared into the ceiling of his office without reaching anyone’s ears…
The Flitwick Dukedom, which had held Carlisle, was destroyed after the liberation war.
After the Flitwick Dukedom was dissolved, the Rondo Dukedom was then established.
With Ryo as the head of the house.
His territory is, of course, the Rondo Forest.
Therefore, what to do with Carlisle was quite a headache.
After all, it was the former capital territory of the rebel Raymond.
Moreover, it was the second largest city in the north.
It’s not far from the royal capital, and the surrounding area is one of the largest wheat-producing areas in the Kingdom….
So, it was only natural that the whole Kingdom would be interested in who would rule over the city.
Abel’s answer was to establish a new house, the Carlisle County, and install a new head.
The size of the fiefdom is about half the size of the Flitwick Dukedom.
Even so, it was still an excessive amount of territory for a newly established County to hold.
Many opinions flew around, but these noises were quickly put to rest when the head of Carlisle County and his wife were announced.
This was because many knew that they were the people King Abel trusted the most.
Carlisle mansion, audience room.
“Long time no see, Warren, Rin.”
“Greetings to you too, Your Majesty Abel…”
Abel greeted, Rin answered, and Warren smiled.
Warren, Count of Carlisle, and Rin, Countess of Carlisle.
Needless to say, the two were both members of the ‘Crimson Sword’, of which Abel was the leader.
Originally, both Warren and Rin came from noble families.
Warren is the eldest son of the Barony of Harome, which has produced generations of the ‘King’s Shield’.
Rin is the second daughter of Count Shook.
Warren is the only male member of the Barony of Harome, so he is both the current head of Carlisle County and the next head of the Barony of Harome.
That area will probably be revisited sometime later, but for now, it remains as is.
In the Kingdom, the direct male line… is not necessarily the one to inherit the family. There are also quite a few female lords.
In most cases, the current head of the family decides who will inherit the house.
The Shook County has six children, including Rin, so someone other than Rin will probably take over the family….
Both the Barony of Harome and the Shook County have estates in the suburbs of the royal capital, so even though Carlisle is in the north, they are not that far from home.
So they came and went as they pleased…
King Abel’s arrival into Carlisle was held in an audience chamber, albeit informally.
It was necessary to show the nobles and people of the north that the king cared about them.
Governing a country often requires such performances….
In the last three years, Abel understood that.
After the audience with Rin and Warren, the northern nobles who had gathered met with Abel one after another.
That was also a necessary… formality, so to speak.
Moreover, these new northern nobles were almost all newly given their territories by Abel.
They are, so to speak, nobles who are Abel’s protegees.
Those who feel indebted to King Abel and will become his allies should something happen.
However, since many of them are newly promoted nobles, many of them are barons and viscounts.
The number of counts and above, who are considered senior nobles, could be counted on one hand, even if Warren and the others were included.
(It can’t be helped.)
Abel also understood.
They would be a new dynamic.
That would play a central role in the reconstruction of the north and become a strong bulwark against the Empire.
That was his expectation.
“I wish Rihya was here.”
“It can’t be helped. For the King, Queen, and even Prince Noah, to come to the north… it needs to have stabilized somewhat.”
Abel said regretfully, Rin thought it couldn’t be helped, and Warren nodded repeatedly.
These three, plus the current Queen Rihya, were the four former members of the former A-rank party ‘Crimson Sword’.
The bond that they have forged through their many adventures together is stronger than anything else.
“But I didn’t know… that Abel was dying.”
Rin said, sighing.
Able finally explained that he had cancer and that his life was hanging by a thread.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you…. I had to make sure no one knew.”
Abel scratched his head and chuckled.
“If you had died like that, it would have been a disaster for Noah and Rihya, but of course, this northern part of the country would become unstable all over again, so keep that in mind!”
That was the Countess and His Majesty the King.
Warren, the Count, shook his head slightly.
Was it to the Countess or to His Majesty the King…?
Suddenly, the corridor became noisy.
Abel reflexively drew out his beloved sword.
That part of him didn’t change even after becoming king….
Then came a strong knock on the door.
Rin said in a sharp voice.
By the strength of the knock, she knew something was wrong.
Not only Rin, but also Warren and, of course, Abel.
“There’s been a problem! Semington, the capital of Baron Avon, was just attacked.”
“Attacked? You don’t mean by the ‘Black Wolf’?”
“Yes, ma’am! Baron Avon has returned in a hurry!”
Rin frowned at the reporter’s words.
“The Barony of Avon is the adjacent territory to the north, correct?”
“Yeah. The ‘Black Wolf’ is a large bandit group. They have appeared several times in the Baron Avon’s territory, but… when did they become powerful enough to attack the capital?”
Rin explained with a frown.
At that moment, Warren stood up.
And looked at Rin.
Rin also looked at Warren, nodded, and said:
“Well, we can’t leave them alone either way.”
“Are you sending reinforcements?”
“Yeah. We have the largest force around here. So, it’s only natural that we help.”
Rin answered Abel’s question, and Warren nodded.
After getting their gear ready, Warren and Rin were about to mount when they found something totally unexpected.
A figure of His Majesty the King about to go into battle.
“Isn’t it natural for the king to go out to help the people and nobles of the Kingdom?”
“Yeah sure, but…”
Abel’s reply made Rin wince.
“If I make a move, the Royal Knights who are accompanying me as escort can be deployed to the front line. But if I stay here, the Royal Knights will have no choice but to stay put as well. Wouldn’t that be a waste of military capability?”
Abel said this as if it were a matter of course, and glanced toward Captain Dontan, who was waiting behind him.
And Dontan nodded emphatically.
The Royal Knights are the knights that protect the king, but they are also knights that protect the people of the Kingdom.
Warren tapped Rin on the shoulder and smiled.
Rin sighed heavily and conceded.
“Fine. To be honest, we’re grateful for the additional fighting force.”
Rin nodded and turned around.
“As usual, Carlisle’s protection is in your hands, Cohn.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
The man bowing reverently was the one called Cohn.
“Cohn? That adventurer who used to work for Gecko?”
Abel asked, recalling his memories.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Cohn answered with a wry smile.
“Don’t worry, Cohn is very good. Alright, let’s get going! ”
Rin said while on her horse, and the cavalry of Carlisle County forces departed.
The Royal Knights followed suit.
Speed was of most importance this time, so the forces were all cavalry.
It takes less than one hour from Carlisle to Semington, the capital of the Barony of Avon, on horseback.
The report came in immediately after the attack took place.
Utilizing the alchemy communication network constructed by Viscount Kenneth Hayward of the Royal Alchemy Workshop.
If they could reach the target destination in a little over an hour after the raid, even including preparation time….
Semington’s defenses are not weak.
Since it was nighttime, the city gates were pretty much closed.
Rather, a band of thieves attacking the city in such conditions was… quite odd.
Abel let his horse gallop away with that thought in mind.