༺ I Don’t Need a Guillotine for My Revolution ༻
Written by – 카르카손
Translated by – Mara Sov
༺ Revolutionary Period – The Turning Point ༻
After defeating King Louis’s forces.
I, along with the vassals of Lafayette, Count Anjou’s forces, and Count Lionel, held a meeting to distribute the spoils of war and decided to return to our respective territories.
The Duke of Lorraine was not contacted, since he never helped in the battles of the front or south armies.
Thus, two months have passed since we returned to our domains.
Sitting in my office, I preoccupied myself with the affairs of the domain and with the numerous reports I was receiving.
The revolution that sprouted in the Capital – Lumiere was spreading like wildfire.
Countless years of oppression and exploitation had brought the Third Estate, the commoners to their limits.
They lacked the courage to rise against the old regime, but now, with most Knights of Francia killed in the civil war, and with the Capital consumed by the Revolution, they had no reason to hesitate.
The fact that the King who was crowned not so long ago was selling the citizens of Francia to demons, only served to increase their justification for the Revolution.
According to some of my reports, already massacres in the tens of thousands were occurring in the North, with the heads of the nobles adorning the city gates.
Some rumors claim that the Revolution deeds are righteous, that they are merely the voices of the people, and that those bloodbaths are merely fabrications of the King and Nobility.
As I closed my eyes for a moment, I found myself on that tribunal staring at the guillotine.
The massacres being reported and the noble’s deaths in the Capital and surrounding lands were likely true.
Shaking my head to clear those depressing thoughts, I resumed my work when someone knocked.
“It’s me, Baron Robert Le Domont, Your Excellency.”
“Come in, Baron.”
The protruding belly of the Baron greeted me, as he entered the office and paid his respects.
“Duke Lorenne has arrived, Your Excellency.”
Since I had returned to my domain without consulting the Duke, he had sent various envoys to me in these past two months.’
At first, he summoned me to his Duchy, but after I rejected it, he sent a messenger with a meeting proposal.
After several rejections, he seemed to run out of patience as the Duke simply informed me he was coming in person.
“Will you meet with him, Your Excellency?”
Recently, I couldn’t help but smile at the good Baron’s prideful face every time he uttered the words ‘Your Excellency’.
I also remembered that before my regression, this man hadn’t shown this behavior.
Feeling a little pleased that my actions this time had earned his approval, I stood up from my seat.
“We must show proper courtesy towards a guest, no matter how much of a fool he is.”
“Finally decided to show yourself, I see.”
Duke Lorenne made no effort to hide his displeasure.
“Welcome to the Marquisate of Lafayette, My Lordship the Duke.”
Perhaps the arrogant Duke found it beneath him to visit a Marquisate founded by a mere Knight?
The Duke glared at me, his discontent visible, but after taking a deep breath he opened his mouth with a fake regret.
“The death of the former Marquis is regrettable. However, Hmm, I must congratulate you on becoming the new Marquis of Lafayette. As a Duke of this Kingdom, I hope you will continue to serve this Kingdom’s best interests and act in a manner befitting your title.”
That was rather balsy of him, given his nonexistent role in the battles against the King’s forces. One might even think he was my King, just from his arrogant tone.
“However late this was, I’m sure that the late Marquis would have been pleased for your condolences. That being said, since you’ve taken the time to visit our humble Marquisate, you must have a matter of great importance to discuss.”
The Duke’s eyes twitched a little at my words, but he opened his mouth and said in a very polite tone.
“As you are aware, those mad commoners started a rebellion in the Capital and it has quickly spread across the entire North. The domains of the nobles fallen during this civil war are already taken by this rebellion.”
The Duke was correct.
The Duchy of Bretagne was among the first to collapse since I killed the Duke, and the lands around Lumiere to the entire Northwest were already under the control of the Revolutionaries.
“King Louis couldn’t enter the Capital and is now holed up in the domain of the Duke of Orleans. Since his troops have suffered significant losses, the Duke’s domain remains the last stronghold of the King.”
Duke Lorenne stroked his bear as he continued.
“Therefore, Marquis. If we, who still preserved our forces, gathered the remaining Lords and marched against him, we could achieve a decisive victory.”
“Hm, Well, considering that the people of Francia are causing disturbances through the kingdom, including your domain I might add. How would capturing the King be of any significance to the current situation?”
“Those rebels ought to be wiped out completely. The King suffered a great defeat and lacks power now, but if we unite, we could easily sweep away those rebels after dealing with the King.”
Rebels. That’s how Duke Loranne sees them.
The same rebels who are now in control of the Capital. They can’t be simply swiped away now.
Does the Duke even realize that should he succeed in quailing these ‘rebels’ a significant portion of the population would have to be eradicated?
With a shrug, I commented.
“Lafayette was in charge of the main forces during the south and main fronts in this last battle.
Your Grace may not be aware, due to your lackluster confronts, but our losses are severe. Leaving the domain now just to march will destabilize my rule, and give these rebels the perfect opportunity to pounce in.”
“……As far as I know, the southern region was relatively unscathed by these rebels?”
Ah, that was true.
As a result of my efforts to prevent additional war taxes and raids, the satisfaction of the people living in the Marquisate is quite high.
Moreover, while I led my troops into battle, Eris acted as the representative of the Marquisate, traveling around the villages of our territory, doing charity, and healing those in need.
Although I have my personal funds, the loot earned from defeating King Louis’s forces, and the spoils shared by Christine after she dealt with the remnants of the Southern army were more than enough to soothe the populace.
Thanks to this, despite the Revolutionary movements in the North, the Marquisate remained peaceful.
It was far more effective to stimulate commerce and industry than to simply exploit taxes, especially since most territories in Francia have a high reliance on the merchant class, as Christine herself the Countess of Aquitaine and leader of the Aquitaine trading company also agrees to it.
Another lucky territory was the Anjou County, since the Count has been rather cooperative and because of Eris’s efforts to heal the residents of that domain.
“Listen here Marquis, I know that the Aquitaine and Anjou County who were neutral forces joined the conflict at your bidding. Should you take action, they will certainly follow.”
“Ah, Your Lordship the Duke, you must be mistaken about something. Just because they are allies, it doesn’t make them my vassals, does it?”
While is true that I supported Christine’s ascend to Countess, she made sure to repay my help quite generously.
And she continues to help me even to this day, but that is only because I act in a way that benefits both her and Aquitaine’s best interests.
If I treat her as a vassal, then I’m sure our relationship would be ruined, not to mention that her retainers wouldn’t remain silent as well.
Even Count Anjou’s help in the last battle was more of his way of repaying Eris for curing his son and winning the people’s hearts.
But the Duke must have reached some wild conclusions as his face hardened and with a Thump-… He put his feet on my table.
“Look, Marquis. Let us speak plainly.”
After saying this, Duke Lorenne paused for a moment before continuing.
“Once we deal with the Duke of Orleans and these rebels we can puppeteer King Louis and control this kingdom.”
Oh my, what a novel idea.
Since the king lost all support, why not deal with his remaining associates, degrade the royal power even further, and then become the real king, ruling from the shadows?
“You’re essentially the leader of the South, but you have no influence in central politics.
What you lack is the influence to attract other high nobles. Leave this to me. And I’ll make you the second most powerful man in this kingdom.”
Ah, I couldn’t hold it anymore and laughed at his face.
“Forgive my bluntness here, Duke. But you lack the ability to subdue the King on your own, as well the forces to deal with the rebels in the North, don’t you? That’s why you’re here, aren’t you?”
The Duke’s face flushed immediately.
“A mere brat who is just living off his father’s shadows dares to mock me!”
“I dare. Because you know what? While we shed blood winning this war, you only pretended to fight, content to let us die instead. So yes, Your Lordship I dare to mock you.”
“Y-You! What gives you the confidence to show such arrogance in front of this Duke?! Be warned boy, if you keep this disrespectful attitude I’ll even consider joining hands with the King against you!”
This time I managed to suppress the fit of giggles that threatened to burst forward.
“Jokes aside, weren’t you the First Prince’s right hand? King Louis would never accept you. After all, we are in the same boat, my dear Duke, and you, Your Grace managed to disappoint the other Lords in the last battle. That’s why, from now on I simply wish to remind you that Lafayette is not your vassal, but your equal.”
“You’ll regret those words boy!”
The Duke stormed out of the room, filled with anger as he threw a fit.
After a few moments, Baron Robert Le Domont who had been eavesdropping on this meeting, entered the room with a worried look.
“Was that wise, My Lord Marquis? If the Duke really joins hands with the King……”
I wasn’t worried at all.
“This is no problem at all, Baron. Nor is there any need to hide what transpired here. In fact, it would be better for us if that person leaves our alliance.”
With his insufferable arrogance, it must have been too much for him, to be mocked by a martial family with humble origins, so he might as well run to the King.
And what if he truly reached out to the King? Well, the King might as well extend a hand to him.
In fact, in my past life, the King became so desperate after suffering several defeats against the Revolutionaries that he reached out to us instead.
To make this even more certain, I goated the Duke on purpose just so that he would break our alliance in a fit of rage.
Since they surely have some spies both inside our territory and inside the Duchy of Lorenne’s, news of our discord will spread and the King’s suspicion will decrease.
Unlike Lafayette, who would surely be considered his archenemy, Lorenne’s battle against King Louis’s forces was only a feigned conflict, so there was little animosity against him.
Since Duke Lorenne’s army was untouched, the idea of him reaching out to the King who would hate me after our disagreement seemed quite attractive.
Should the Duke and the King join hands, there’s no worry about a possible attack on Lafayette. As their priorities would be to recapture control of the Capital and the North.
By cutting ties with Duke Lorenne we can make it look like we have drawn a line with the old regime and market us as a separate entity.
“Let them join hands and fight the Revolutionaries. They will buy us precious time.”
While public sentiment and my image were important, the stability of my domain couldn’t be ignored.
The current Revolutionaries are a disorganized group, not even sure of what they are doing.
Once they run amok enough and start to establish a form of government we must be strong enough that they would hesitate to oppose us.
“Buhihihi-. To think of abandoning Duke Lorenne, an influential noble who stood on our side for a long time…It’s difficult for this one to follow your plans, My Lordship the Marquis.”
I smiled at the Baron’s words.
“From now on, we must choose who will stay by our side and who will be discarded.”
Should we try to bring in every force we encounter, we would fall just like the others. Such is the era we live in.
Returning to my office, I looked towards a corner where the sunlight didn’t reach.
Eris stood there, playing her harp with a relaxed expression.
As I watched her for a while, Eris stopped her music and looked at me.
“Do you need something?”
“Normally one would assume that someone who’s playing at the Marquis’s office is the one with business to discuss, isn’t it?”
“And? What with it? You were the one who told me to make myself at home here, right? Well, I’m doing just that, it’s not bothering anyone, is it?”
Well, it’s a bit absurd to barge into someone’s office and start to play an instrument and then say it’s not disturbing anyone. But honestly, she was right.
Strangely, just by hearing her play, I could feel my fatigue being washed away and my concentration improving. It must be because of her powers.
Come to think of it, when I returned to the Marquisate with the Blue Knight’s corpse, Eris simply entered my office without saying a word and played the harp for me.
-I’m fine Eris. Honestly, If I had the choice I would still let the Marquis die.
-You seemed to be on very bad terms with him.
-It was a bit more than that. You also don’t have a good impression of him, right?
-Yes. I really dislike his way of being.
-See? that’s that. I’m fine.
-But you don’t look happy.
Eris silenced me with those words.
While I had become the Marquis after the Blue Knight’s death, I wasn’t happy at all.
Was it because his actions sent countless others to death, while he faced his end with a content expression?
Or was it because he died after achieving the impossible and becoming a true legend, without seeing me surpass him?
Either way, her music was indeed a comfort to me on that day.
Seeing that I didn’t have anything more to say, Eris started to play again.
Her excellent skills with the harp, coupled with her unique aura, could stir one’s heart.
Not only that but whenever she was here, she would play her harp whenever she liked, not minding the people or place.
Eris truly encompassed the meaning of a ‘freely spirited person’.
I quietly enjoyed her music before chuckling.
“Feeling good today?”
“Mn, I feel rather inspired. And the Marquis’s office seemed rather appealing.”
“And here I thought you were avoiding me, Eris.”
“Me? Why would I avoid you?”
Her mystical eyes looked at me in sheer puzzlement and it made me feel a bit foolish.
“……Didn’t you look disgusted when you talked about the possibility of marrying me? Saying that the Lafayette family would become a royal lineage?”
“Hahahaha, that’s just because I don’t want to be married off! You silly!”
As my face grew hot, Eris took it as the perfect opportunity to tease me.
“Gasp-. Don’t tell me that your Lordship is wounded because you have feelings for me~?”
“Nonsense. I have no interest in children.”
“……That’s rather rude to say to a princess, you know?”
“You’re the one who ordered me to treat you normally.”
Eris pouted as I smiled, watching her.
I wonder, was it because of her free spirit that brought a sense of ease to this otherwise bleak situation?
After a moment, I cleared my throat and said.
“Your Highness the Princess Erisliste Lilianne De Francia.”
The moment she heard me, Eris paused and looked at me with her purple eyes, before opening her mouth.
“Speak, Marquis Pierre De Lafayette.”
“Should the moment when you must ascend to the Throne of Francia for the sake of this country come, will you do so?”
Shipping Eris is a NONO you mfs.
Shes a kid
at all costs.