Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 14.1: “Baronet Gateskell: Part 2”

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~Gateskell’s Perspective~



 I, Desmond Gateskell, had always been on the back foot against the cunning schemes of the Count of the Rathwell Frontier. But even so, I still had room to maneuver.



 Even if the cultivation of “Blood Lotus” and the production of “Blood of Lucidus”, the “Light God Church” had been exposed, the Viscount of Tysburn had only allowed merchants in the commercial city of Aurella to produce the medicine, which was not against the laws of the empire. They did not do anything that violated the laws of the empire.



 There would be a moral issue.


 Of course, there is a strong possibility that he will be denounced by the Frontier Count and imperial officials. But at least the people of the viscountcy will support us. No one would want to return to the high taxes and poor living conditions of the past.



 However, my intentions came to a head in an unexpected way. No, I guess I was just dancing on his palm from the beginning.



 It was Olaf Ouellette of the Ouellette Trading Company who changed his mind.


 Ouellette told me that if the production of the Blood of Lucidus became known to the Frontier Count, the prohibition of its sale and production would surely be legislated, and he urged me to take action before that happened.



 At that time, the Viscountcy of Tysburn was beginning to receive a steady income from my measures. In other words, they did not need the production of this drug.



 I tried to refuse Ouellette’s offer.


 But he reopened the door.


 Threatened that he would have Viscount Tysburn tried by the Frontier Count for having connections with the enemy Lux.



 At first, I thought that the threat of a mere merchant was nothing to be afraid of. But he finally revealed his true nature.


 He threatened me that the Ouellette Trading Company was a special organization that received the will of the Lux’s Holy King’s Office and that he could fabricate any amount of evidence.



 Hearing those words, I wondered if the Ouellette Trading Company was really an organization that had the will of the Holy King. I thought back to their actions.



 No, even without thinking back, there were many suspicious points in Ouellette’s actions up to now. I had turned my back on that fact.



 Although it was a medium-sized trading company specializing in medicines, it had abundant funds and an unending supply of slaves. With that much money and labor power, there should have been any number of trading partners, they should have not dared to choose Viscount Tysburn’s territory.



 In other words, the Holy King’s Office of Lux approached us for another purpose.


 I realized this, and in frustration, I pointed out the contradiction in Ouellette’s words.



“Didn’t you say that the Holy King Office is controlling the production of ‘Blood of Lucidus’? Someone in the Holy King’s Office is making ‘Blood of Lucidus’ manufactured. Don’t you think it’s a strange combination?” (Gateskell)



 Ouellette only smiled wryly at my question and refused to answer.



 Even if he doesn’t answer, I have an inkling of what he might think. Perhaps the Holy King’s Office is trying to control the Holy Knights, the military faction within the Light God Church.



 They are trying to reduce the volume of distribution to an extreme level and give the Blood of Lucidus to only those Holy Knights who follow the wishes of the Holy King’s Office to take credit for their work. These Holy Knights are greedy. If they could take credit for the work of the Holy King’s Office, they would be able to ruse enough of it. It is not surprising that Lux’s men would do something like that.



 After a short pause, Ouellette abruptly changed the subject.



“Such matters are of no concern to me. It is none of your business. Rather, let me tell you about a proposal that will help you get out of this situation…” (Ouellette)



 What came out of his mouth was a frightening proposal.



“…make the northern part of the empire independent. Then we will take Aurella, the commercial center of the world’s wealth, and together with the Holy Kingdom, we will defeat and destroy the Caelum Empire!” (Ouellette)



 His proposal was to make the northern part of the empire independent and ally with the Lux Holy Kingdom against the empire. If the northern part of the Empire became independent, allied with Lux, and acquired Aurella, it would be on par with the Empire in terms of national power.



 It is true that the northern part of the empire alone has about 20% of the empire’s total power. Lx Holy Kingdom also has about 20% of the Empire’s power, and together they can bring the ratio of power from the current one to five to one to two in an instant. Furthermore, if they can acquire the wealth of Aurella, they can bring their national power to a point where they are close to even.



 However, this is an empty theory.


 It is true that the national power of the northern part of the empire, in other words, its population and economic power, is almost 20% of the empire as a whole. However, its actual military strength is overwhelmingly inferior.


 Successive emperors, including the current emperor, have been wary of the northern governor’s defection and have not allowed him to possess more than a certain level of military strength.



 Even if they were to capture the Northern Governor’s army unscathed, their strength would only be 10,000 soldiers from four knight battalions and a few thousand guards from scattered towns. Even if they were to be conscripted, there was no way they would be able to turn them into a force right away, and if they didn’t use the “Blood of Lucidus”, they would be defeated in the blink of an eye.



 Unless there was a geographical barrier such as the Moenia Mountains, a steep mountainous area between the western part of the Caelum Empire and the northeastern part of the Lux Holy Kingdom, the northern part of the empire would be a series of open plains, and an invasion from the southern part of the empire would be impossible. There are countless invasion routes from the south. If they were to completely block the invasion of the empire, they would be forced to spread out their already limited forces.



 That is not the only problem. There are many knights and people who are loyal to the Roswell family. Even if they seized power by forceful means such as rebellion, it would be difficult to gain the entirety of the current forces.



 And the “Blood of Lucidus” is something that can only be used in Lux, the land of fanatics of the God of Light. No one in their normal senses would want to use a drug that would leave them crippled.


 Only a Light God Church believer, who has been taught that participating in a holy war and becoming a martyr is a virtue, would be able to use such a method of tricking people into drinking.



 Probably, or certainly, Ouellette and those in the Holy King’s Office behind him do not think that independence will be a success. Their aim is to create chaos in the empire.



 I knew this much, but I could not reject Ouellette’s proposal.


 Because if I continued as I was, Master Constance would surely be put in a difficult situation. It was Ouellette, who was very careful in his preparations. He must have already fabricated conclusive evidence. If that evidence were to be brought to the Imperial Capital, Master Constance, whom I owe everything, would die.



 When I made the decision to accept his proposal, I was thinking of something else.


 Yes, I just did not want to disappoint Constance. So, I took him up on his offer.


 Objectively speaking, what a stupid reason. I myself could not help but think so. But, without a doubt, it was my true intention.



 I did not reject his proposal, but I kept thinking of ways to resolve the situation.


 Then I got word that the Lockharts were coming to Welburn for the wedding of Roderick Lockhart and Rosalind Roswell.



 That’s when I had an idea.



 Lux would revolt against us because they felt we had no other use for them. Then we would have to get them to agree to be used.


 Lux’s relationship with the Blacksmiths’ Guild has deteriorated, and they have lost their dwarven blacksmiths. Then, if we become the one who can control the Blacksmith’s Guild, Lux will see the value in using us. We would then buy time, during which time we would eliminate Ouellette and Lux.



 Fortunately, Roderick Lockhart is the very picture of a knight.


 He is inflexible, but if he feels a great debt of gratitude, he is likely to comply with our request and hand over the distillation technology.



 I ordered my subordinate, Harrison Gunnell, to assassinate Mathias Lockhart and abduct his family. And also, to deliver Rodrick’s family to him on the pretense of having rescued them.




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