༺ The North (4) ༻
An astonished gasp escaped through Euphemia’s mouth along with a white steam of warm breath.
Like a child discovering something new, her eyes couldn’t help but linger on the sight before her. Louerg, her home that was nestled in the deepest part of the North…
‘Is this really……’
The Louerg she was familiar with?
The fortress walls that used to be meaningless, old, and dilapidated were no longer the same. It had been rebuilt to be nearly twice as high, high enough to easily shield all Louerg’s citizens from the cold north wind.
Even though the buildings were still under construction, when Euphemia saw their emblems, she knew she was not mistaken. It was the emblem of the Mercenary Association and the Wizard Association.
Obtaining the approval of both organizations was no small feat. The Mercenary Association could only establish a new branch with the approval of the Imperial Family. Meanwhile, the Wizard Association would only open a new branch once they had a long and meticulous internal review.
When her gaze finally landed on the already-standing hospital building, Euphemia felt tears welling up in her eyes.
The Louerg she knew had always been a place where every time its citizens fell ill, they had to travel to the closest territory just to get a chance to be treated by a doctor.
Yet, even if they arrived, many were still left without proper treatment because they were unable to afford the medical fees.
Frankly, it was better for them to rely on their own means while fervently praying for their recovery……
Of course, in some dire cases, there were instances where doctors would provide free examinations and surgeries to them. However, it was not out of goodwill. The doctors merely sought to experience cutting into the flesh of a living human, not a body that was hosting a parasite.
“Are you here, Milord?”
“Yes. It’s been a while since we left and entrusted this territory to you…… By the looks of things, it seems you’ve done a remarkable job.”
“Your praise is too excessive, Milord.”
Stepping away from Euphemia, who was lost in her thoughts, Ferzen looked at his butler, who had been acting as his representative. The butler then handed him a piece of document.
When he opened it and looked at the report, he realized it was a document about the territory’s income and expenses. Ferzen couldn’t help but shake his head as the figure showed a staggering -500%.
That figure had already included his thesis income that would be infused into the territory’s finances.
Ferzen carefully folded the document and handed it to the butler again. Even though the deficit was still staggering, compared to the time when he first looked at the territory’s income and expense report, the first digit of the deficit had changed significantly.
“Come to think of it, I don’t see enough young men serving as guards in Louerg… It has been more than two months since it was opened.”
“The mercenaries that you hired have slowly become Louerg citizens, Milord.”
“I know that those mercenaries aren’t stupid… So, how did that happen?”
Even though Louerg was now ruled by him, a direct descendant of Brutein, it was still the worst territory both geographically and economically.
The mercenaries had been in Louerg for quite a while, so he didn’t think they wouldn’t be able to grasp the meaning of it.
“Even though the mercenaries work every day, there is no place for them to enjoy themselves. There’s no proper bar, and there are no establishments of that sort here, so their stress was building up. Still, there were some young widows and maidens in the territory, so we held small festivals periodically when the weather was relatively warm. There, the widows and the maidens would bond with some mercenaries, and the rest is history……”
Ferzen secretly laughed as he listened to the butler’s words.
In the case of mercenaries without families, their ultimate goal would be to settle down, have a family, and lead a stable life. This means the union between some young wives in the territory with them could be seen as a win-win situation.
“Then, send the guard captain into my office in a short while. Don’t you think I should see his face at least once?”
After the short reporting session was done, Ferzen turned his head and touched Euphemia on the shoulder.
Laura and Yuriel, who couldn’t adapt to the severe cold of Louerg even in the summer, had already gone inside the mansion. So, it was time to bring Euphemia, who was lost in sentiment, back to reality.
“Let’s go inside. Even if you are used to the cold of Luerg, your body is not only yours now.”
“Hn… Let’s go.”
Euphemia cautiously moved before clinging to Ferzen’s side crossing her arms with his.
Then, he could hear a whisper coming from her bowing head.
* * * * *
Roem, the leader of the mercenary group Ferzen had hired and the current captain of the guards, swallowed nervously, his face colored with apprehension. It had been a very long time since he last saw Ferzen, but the memory of him still sent a chill down his spine.
“God! Can’t you relax a little and stop shaking your legs?”
“Damn it! Don’t you know that THAT man is calling for me?”
“Think about it, boss. Have we ever done anything wrong in this territory during his absence? Have we ever messed up?”
“I’m sure he’s calling you to compliment you, boss. So, just relax a little. I never knew the captain I trusted and followed could be so timid. Are you being bossed around by your wife like a bachelor in bed too, boss?”
“What did you say!”
Roem scowled at his comrade, his pride stung by those last words.
“That expression suits you better than before. If the Count scolds you, boss, just make that face. We’ll gladly stand by your side.”
“We’ve dedicated ourselves to this estate enough to not be treated unfairly.”
“Since the old days, you always have had a way with words…”
“Everyone knows how to sharpen a knife, but there are so few people who have the same talent as me.”
With the tension broken, Roem smirked and took a deep breath before heading to the office where Ferzen was waiting.
As Roem entered, he couldn’t help but bow towards Ferzen. Even though Ferzen was just sitting in his office reading some documents, he still exuded a domineering atmosphere, just like in the past.
“I’ve heard of all the hardships you’ve been through until now.”
“W-what hardships… I-It’s nothing, Milord.”
“If you’re okay with it, I want you to keep your current position as the captain of the guards.”
“I-if you give it to me, I will be grateful!”
“Don’t raise your voice too high.”
A sudden knocking sound interrupted the private interview.
Wondering who it might be at the door, Ferzen raised his head and gazed at it. The creaking sound indicated the entrance of the same butler who had given him a report earlier.
“I apologize, Milord. I have something to give you urgently…”
The butler approached him, bowing respectfully, and handed over a letter to Ferzen.
Taking the letter, Ferzen pondered about the sender. When he noticed the flying hawk seal on the envelope, relief washed over him. It meant that there was no need to worry; the sender was Count Asran.
It seems to be an invitation to attend his daughter’s birthday banquet.
‘I didn’t expect him to send it.’
Perhaps Count Asran was feeling confident, thinking Ferzen wouldn’t have any reason to hold a banquet at this time. His confidence might have been influenced by the fact that Ferzen didn’t plan to organize a banquet of his own.
As Ferzen read through the personal details of Roem, the newly appointed captain of the guard, his attention was drawn to the row where his birthday information was written.
“Your birthday is… August 11th?”
What an incredible coincidence.
A small smile formed on Ferzen’s lips. He then spoke to Roem, who was looking at him with a tense expression.
“Let me hold a special banquet for you.”
“Eh, even if you don’t…”
“Consider it a reward for all the hardships you’ve experienced so far.”
Though it was a burdensome offer, Roem couldn’t decline the goodwill being extended to him, especially after he had already refused it once.
“Do you know how to write an invitation?”
“I’ve never done it. I don’t have many people to invite… And I see them all every day, so I usually convey the invitation verbally.”
“In that case, you’ll need some important guests.”
Who could be considered important enough to attend a birthday banquet for a guard captain?
‘Does he want me to invite his wives?’
As Roem contemplated, the image of inviting his Lordship’s wives to his, a mere guard captain’s birthday banquet seemed peculiar.
Nevertheless, his wives were the only people that came to mind when thinking about valuable guests.
But what benefit would the lord’s wives get from attending the birthday of a commoner like me?
Before even considering that, the idea of a guard captain writing invitation letters to invite the lord’s wives to his own birthday felt odd.
“You’ll have quite a few invitations to write. Since you have no experience, ask butler Sebas to help you with the basic form.”
Even though there were many things he wanted to ask, Roem suppressed his curiosity as it was an order from his lord. He put on a bewildered expression before approaching Sebas, whom he hadn’t seen for a while.
“Yes. The Count asked me to seek your help with writing an invitation…”
“Sit down. I’ll teach you the basic format.”
“I can read, but… I’m not skilled at writing.”
Just like his lord, the butler had an overbearing personality.
Roem inwardly sighed at the reaction of the two, who always got their way, as he sat down on the chair and held onto the feather pen.
“Now, first of all, this is the list of 11 people you will have to invite.”
Thinking that there were too many of them, Roem took the list and lowered his eyes to read the names given to him by Sebas.
Did he see it wrong?
No matter how many times he read it, the 11 names that were contained in it…
“T-this… Aren’t these the names of the current heads of families in the North, excluding Louerg?”
“Roem, from now on, you will write invitations for the heads of the 11 families.”
“And the content of the invitations is to ask them to attend my birthday banquet?”
“Ha, ha ha ha ha……”
Roem thought that he had gotten used to the cold atmosphere of Louerg.
But in an instant, he felt his member shrink into the size of a pea.
TL note: 3/20
Btw I forgot to mention on da first note of this mass release, but since I’m now, well unemployed. And Villain is progressing very well (Mama has a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of backlog chapters)
I’ll be helping on another novel too!
it’s the – My Daugthers Are Regressors!
You should check out the illustrations on our discord server: discord.com/invite/JnWsEfAGKc
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