Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 20.2: “The Beginning and End: Part Two”

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 The frontier count said nothing. I continued.



“Aurella, who is always submissive, will not give in to such intimidation.They know that as time passes, His Excellency will be in a difficult position. If they buy time and carry out operations in the imperial capital during that time, they would think that there is no need to could impose sanctions, so we would take advantage of a certain country.” (Zack)


“A certain country?” (Hubert)


“The Kingdom of Periplus, an island nation in the west…”



 The Kingdom of Periplus is an island nation located to the west of Lux that is in a fierce struggle with Aurella for sea supremacy. It is generally referred to as a pirate nation, but this is due to Aurella’s propaganda; in reality, it merely has nation-recognized pirate ships called Privateers that attacks each other’s merchant vessels.



“…All we have to do is tell Aurella that, ‘The Frontier Count’s territory also has a port. The ships do not belong to Aurella alone.’ Perhaps these words will make Aurela think that you are thinking of joining forces with Periplus. The source of Aurella’s wealth is their exclusive trade by sea. We only need to make them think that we will join hands with Periplus, who could be their rival.” (Zack)



 The Frontier Count is staring at me quietly.



“Everything I’ve said so far is just my opinion. I don’t have any proof. However, I don’t think there’s anything to counter act it. As I said at the beginning, it is not a righteous method…” (Zack)



 The Frontier Count murmurs, “…You think of terrible things.” And then look straight into my eyes.



“…Certainly, Aurella will have no choice but to act. No, I think master is thinking about this as well. ‘If you don’t do what I say, I will close off Aurella Road.'” (Hubert)



 I gave him an ambiguous look, neither confirming nor denying.


 What the Frontier Count meant was that he would blockade Rawcliffe or raise tariffs on Aurella merchants and threaten to cripple the Aurella Highway.



 I certainly thought about that, but I did not dare to mention it. Even without saying so, the Frontier Count could have thought of something like that, and moreover, I thought that this move might be too effective and Aurella might overreact.



 Aurella, now a prosperous trading monopoly, was merely exploiting an opening in the Empire’s change of strategy to the north. The fact that the empire has temporarily shelved its invasion of the north in order to accommodate Lux in the west has encouraged Aurella’s development. In other words, if imperial policy changes, Aurella’s prosperity could disappear overnight.



 It is undeniable that even a partial change in policy, if not a total change in northern strategy, could cast a shadow over Aurella’s prosperity. Unlike the Kingdom of Lacus in the north and the Kingdom of Caum in the east, the northern part of the empire is an expanse of grasslands, and there are roads that connect villages, even if they cannot be called roads.



 If these roads are maintained, it is possible to construct a second Aurella Road without much effort. There are also a number of imperial fishing villages on the west side of Aurella. If one of these fishing villages were opened to the Periplus, they would immediately expand the port and build a city.



 Of course, Aurella’s prosperity will not decline in a year or two, and it is hard to imagine that the emperor and the nobles in the imperial capital will remain silent. However, this strategy, which will work slowly, should be able to corner Aurella to a moderate degree. The key is to show ability and will. Only by doing so, Aurella will surely succumb.



 On the other hand, the blockade of the Aurella road can inflict immediate damage on the Merchant Guilds. In other words, it is akin to a fast-acting lethal drug.



 No matter how docile these merchants are, there is no telling what they will do if cornered. If we are not careful, they may do something painful to you.


 That is why I did not mention the blockade of the Aurella Road.



“Aurella will have no choice but to impose sanctions on Lux. On top of that, we will report to the Imperial Capital: ‘The plan to simultaneously weaken the power of Lux and the City-State Union was successful.’” (Zack)



 The Frontier Count said, “Very well,” and stood up.



“I will go with Lord Zacharias’ plan. I will inform the nobles of the Imperial City that the ‘plan of separation’ has succeeded. Let them think that it is in the national interest of the empire. This way, there will be no needless war. Well, we can’t avoid going to war with Lux, though.” (Hubert)



 It was an idea he came up with himself, but it left a very bad aftertaste. Of course, the Merchant Guilds of Aurella might be involved, just without any evidence. No, it will not be that they are not involved at all.


 Still, it is not a pleasant thing that it is a measure to frighten without evidence, and to drive into the situation in which they are forced to cooperate.



 After that, the plan for Baronet Gateskell was decided. He was to be disclosed as a victim of being drugged by Lux, but in view of the gravity of the situation, he was to be asked to commit suicide.


 The Frontier Count showed a hint of pity for GateSkell.



“That person was unlucky. If he had served me instead of Constance… His talent would have surpassed mine. He would be comparable to Ferdinand here…” (Hubert)



 The Frontier Count declared that Gateskell’s misfortune began when he entered the service of his own brother, Viscount Constance Tytheburn. He then began to talk about the high regard he held for Gateskell’s talents. He described him as being comparable to his protege, Baron Ferdinand Oldham.



“…That person had talent, but he lacked a lot of experience. But he lacked experience by far. If he had worked for me, he would have been a man of substance in ten years. He would have had the opportunity to see that there are things that talent alone can’t fill…” (Hubert)



 I couldn’t agree more. He was the one who had directly attacked the Lockhart family.



 But on the other hand, if we had not been there, it is highly likely that things would have gone according to Gateskell’s plan. He admitted that there were parts of him that deserved praise, such as his audacity in setting a trap for the Knights all by himself and his loyalty to Viscount Tysburn.



“That person’s lack of luck must have made him a man of great courage.” (Hubert)



“That’s a trade-off,” I thought, keeping my mouth shut so as not to discuss the topic any further.



 There was one more person to be punished. Viscount Tysburn, Gateskell’s superior. He had failed to stop Gateskell’s rampage and had been unable to stop the secret maneuvering of the enemy Lux.


 But to dispose of him would destroy the logic that Gateskell was the victim.



 In the end, Viscount Tysburn was forced to retire due to insufficient supervision. In addition, his young heir was placed under the guardianship of a trusted retainer of the Frontier Count to prevent any further attempts to take advantage of him from the outside.



 Although this was a lenient treatment for his family, if the Viscount Tysburn were to be punished so severely as to destroy the Tysburn family, it might be said that the Roswells had played a central role in the death of the family. Therefore, it was unavoidably decided that the punishment would be lenient, although it would be regrettable in retrospect.



 Speaking of his relatives, the marriage between my brother and Rosalind, the daughter of the Frontier Count, came up for discussion.


 It was decided that it would be inappropriate to hold a joyous wedding ceremony under the circumstances that had caused so many deaths, and it was decided to postpone the wedding for the time being.


 The decision on how long the wedding would be postponed was to be made by the Frontier Count, based on the status of negotiations with Aurella and the reaction of the citizens.



 And regarding the Knights, I had one idea.



“About the 4th Battalion…” (Zack)



 The Frontier Count was also worried about the treatment of the Knights, and his eyes lit up as he asked me if I had a good idea.


 I gave a small nod and began to talk.



“As for the 4th Battalion, I would like to propose that it be made into an Imperial Forces or Guard Corps under the direct command of His Excellency Governor.” (Zack)


“Guards? The First Knights are under my direct command?” (Hubvert)



 The Count of the Frontier seems to be at a loss as to my intentions.



“Your Excellency is taking the initiative to show trust in the 4th Battalion, which has rebelled…” (Zack)



 Here’s my idea.


 The 4th Battalion was unwittingly turned into rebels by Lux’s machinations. However, the Governor did not doubt their loyalty and designated them as the “Guardians” to whom he would entrust his life. If this were the case, he could thwart Lux’s plans and gain even more sympathy from the people.


 The Frontier Count pondered for a while and then nodded deeply.



“That would be fine. I have no doubts about their loyalty. However, the question is whether Grenfell is okay with that…” (Hubert)



 Furthermore, I also suggested that the victims be treated as if they had died with honor on the battlefield.



“The uproar was caused by Lux’s fanatics. The knights are the victims of this. By thoroughly condemning Lux, the people will have sympathy for the First Order.”



 Originally, the relationship between the knights and the people was very good, especially here in Welburn. A good example of this is the enthusiastic reception my brother received when we entered the city.



“…Hmm. Not bad… to thoroughly vilify Lux. No, this is the only way. They must have wanted to sow the seeds of suspicion in our territory. Then the treatment of the 4th Battalion is important in order to give them a blow.” (Hubert)



 The frontier count declared, “We will make a decision on this matter after consulting the heads of the Knight Order.” But the look on his face clearly indicated that he intended to take up my plan.




 Speaking of cleaning up, there is one more important thing left.




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