Kuro No Hiera Glaphicos - Volume 4 - Chapter Pr
Summer soon arrived.
Narrowing his eyes at the strong wind that had the smell of greenery, Amaddo's king, Jeffren Francesc, looked at the top of the hill.
「The world has nothing serious in general and it's a fine weather. I feel like I want to have a drink」
「You say extremely carefree things...」
When the king turned around, he could see the ’’Immortal Dominas (Furigana: Domina Berumanens)’’, Shakira Babel, coming along, accompanied by attendants who were holding a large parasol over her.
「 Isn't that comment unnecessary when two of our country's Dominas might be dragged into a foreign country's civil war?」
Shakira, who should be close to 40 already and yet could only be seen as a girl no matter how in terms of outward appearance, narrowed her eyes and spoke to the king with a complacent smile. With a friendliness as though dealing with a friend of 10 years' standing, it was something very unthinkable towards the head of state.
However, the king only gave a wry smile and didn't get angry.
「It's, to the end, a talk about this Roma. I didn't even say a single word that Haiderota's worldly matters are peaceful, you know」
「Are you not concerned about both Her Eminences' bodies, you this drunkard?」
「Oi oi, can't you use a bit more decent wording when there are other people in the surroundings at least?」
「That has been more than 20 years ago since now, when I was still no more than a candidate for the Dominas, on a certain night's 」
「Wait just a minute!」
The king hurriedly interrupted Shakira, who was looking up at the distant sky, starting to speak of it.
「...’’Refrain from making remarks that might lower the dignity of the king and the nobility of the Dominas in front of people’’;I've been saying so many times, right?」
「It's the dignity of the king that falls, isn't it? I'm particularly fine though」
Driving her small fist into the king's flank, Shakira giggled.
「 By the way, whatever brought this on again today? If you can say that there are things to do, I'll personally go to the royal palace」
The king pointed at a table which had been prepared there to Shakira who had changed her wording all of a sudden.
「Even though things may appear this way, I'm tentatively this country's Great Gods of Heaven and Earth Official (Furigana: Batoriarka Mayor). I have to patrol this hill occasionally」
The Great Gods of Heaven and Earth Official was Amaddo's religious supreme authority, and that position was even higher than a Dominas. In Amaddo where ardent God believers were numerous, it became a custom that the king would also serve as the Great Gods of Heaven and Earth Official to avoid a troublesome problem which would arise due to the confrontation between the world's powerful person and the religious authority.
「My goodness... that's a good mental attitude」
The preparation for black tea was completed on the table. Shakira reached out her hand to the white porcelain cup and fleetingly looked up at the king's back.
「 Well then, the reason for calling me to this place is?」
「I've one thing to inform you in advance」
Joining his hands together behind his back, the king who was fixedly staring at the top of the hill looked back over his shoulder at Shakira and smiled.
「 Your hometown... eto, what is it?」
「Ah, that that. Though your appeal is to want me to increase the stationing troops at that Selsuru to prevent suffering damage from groups of robbers, it seems that ’’right now’’ is impossible. The personnel expenses can't help becoming rather absurd with this」
「...Is that right?」
In Shakira Babel's birthplace, Selsuru, the matter of wicked wicked thieves making frequent appearances had become the residents' pending problem for many years. Shakira, who was concerned about that, had been making requests for the increase of the number of stationing soldiers for the crackdown on the thieves towards the king.
「 Though increasing the number of personnel is impossible」
The king sat down on the chair opposite of Shakira and continued at once.
「I've decided to build ramparts in Selsuru to make up for that」
Shakira put down her cup and tilted her head to the side.
「...Doesn't building ramparts require more budget than increasing military force?」
「That is maa, if you look at it in the short term, that is so, but if you look at it with a long-term view, then personnel expenses will cost more. Moreover, building ramparts is, in a manner of speaking, a public-works project」
If it became a country-initiated large-scale construction work, manpower would come gathering from here and there searching for jobs since wages would certainly be paid. Thus, it'd enrich Selsuru's economy in terms of result. A deterioration in public order due to temporary population increase was also possible, but nevertheless, the merits were probably greater than the demerits.
「One more thing;this isn't just for protecting the town from thieves, but also for expelling the thieves」
「What do you mean?」
「I plan to dismantle the forts that are left alone in the outskirts of Selsuru and reuse them for the ramparts' building materials. After all, the thieves coming to gather in that area no matter how many times we drive them away is also because these forts, which are easy to become those people's strongholds, have been left alone」
The forts near Selsuru were originally built for the defence of the national border during the period when that place was the country's border;at the present where Amaddo's where Amaddo's territory had expanded, they had already long lost the meaning of their existences. It was certain that dismantling and diverting into the ramparts that would protect the town was more logical and economical than repairing these now.
「As long as we have strongly built ramparts, protecting the town adequately even with the current military force can be done. In the end, this way is more economical」
「That's a thankful story, but to put together a special budget for that is 」
「It won't require a budget. Or perhaps I should say, it requires a budget, but I've came up with a method to cover it」
「So that means?」
「We'll be using your name and collecting donations」
Nonchalantly moving the cup of black tea which the maid had poured aside, the king placed a bottle of brandy which he had taken out from under his mantle onto the table.
「 We'll give the naming rights of the towers and gates that are attached to the ramparts of Selsuru to the people who had provided the donations. A letter of your own handwriting will be delivered from you to the people who made especially large amount of donation. In short, at the same time when their names will be etched onto the ramparts of Selsuru, they'll be thanked by even a Dominas. If it's this, the vain nobles and wealthy merchants will come jumping at it all together. In case the collection of donations is poor, the queen and I will take the initiative and make a donation. Those people, the nobles who want to try to get on our good side, will probably follow immediately」
「That's, again, ...a ruthless method」
Shakira, who had returned to a relaxed tone once more, added a bit of the king's brandy to her cup of black tea. The aroma of The aroma of the black tea and brandy mixed together, rode upon the winds of the green hill and flowed away.
「The one who had thought of it isn't me, but a person from long ago. ...It was Orvieto's son who had dug it back up from among the documents though」
「The Richternach-kyou who has a title?」
「Hora, there's one more person in Orvieto's house, right? The child who had just become a Hiera Glaphicos a little while ago?」
「If that's the case, both have titles, right?」
The king gave a bitter smile while drinking the alcohol hard with the teacup.
「 Nevertheless, letting him take charge of the Seal Chivalric Order (Furigana: Tanpries Aigies) is wasteful」
「Then, won't it be fine if you give him some kind of position and let him serve in the royal court?」
「I want to do so very much, but it doesn't look like my son is going to let go of him. The person himself doesn't seem to have that intention either;...after all is said and done, he's only 20」
「His Highness might have the thought of wanting to appoint that child as his adviser when he eventually succeeds the throne. Similar to how Your Majesty had selected the military minister from among your comrades-in-arms」
「That might be so..., but in the first place, does my son has the ability and qualifications to succeed my headship?」
「Be that as it may, Your Majesty doesn't have other successors, right? Or do you have an illegitimate child somewhere?」
「There isn't anything like that though...;it's just that my retirement might be postponed until the future. He doesn't seem to have much interest in women too」
Saying so, the king placed a fearless smile which one couldn't tell was a joke or was serious on the edge of his lips.
End of Prologue