Chapter 136

Updated: Jul 31


Where Count Lloyd Elias shows how much he is ready to suffer for his Family.


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Episode 136. About 10 months (13)


"Oh! He's going to fall!"


"Help me! Help me!"


"Catch it! Catch the horse!"


However, no one could easily approach the horse's momentum, not even Elias's escort knight.


The knight with the axe on his back followed the stampeding horse from a reasonable distance.


Then, when the escort knight, who caught the right moment, tried to come forward, someone else appeared first, it was Second Prince Kyle.


The Second Prince, who had just entered the vacant lot, approached the right side of the runaway horse without hesitation.


At the same time, he ordered the knight who was following him to take the left side.


Kyle, matched up his horse’s pace with the runaway who was going back and forth, closing up the distance until he could snatch its reins. At the same time, the big knight on the left had also closed in, grabbed Count Elias’s arm, and pulled him to his horse.


Kyle went about 2 more laps around the clearing to allow the runaway horse to calm down while the escort knight checked if Count Elias was hurt.


Belatedly, the Elias Family escorts approached them.


"Are you all right, Count?"


Thanks to the exceptionally loud voices of Count Lloyd and his guard, everyone in clearing could hear about Count Elias’s condition.


"Lord, I thought I was going to die. I’m lucky to be alive. Whoo! Who saved me? Oh my…Really… Righteous... must thank… Oh dear… My saviour… Who?"


His voice seemed to stutter with fear.


"Second Prince, there you are."


As if nothing happened, Crown Prince Kyle approached the Count who was sitting casually in the field and checked his physical condition.


Again, Count Elias’s voice resonated loudly.


"I’m glad it’s nothing worse than a sprain because my leg cramped up. I will definitely repay you, Your Highness. Rest assured.”


This event became the hot topic of the Hunting Competition’s second day and, by nightfall, there wasn’t a single person residing at the Tandra Mansion who didn’t know about it.


***


After a long bath, Lloyd sat on the sofa with a glass of wine, still shaken by the incident’s aftermath.


"Phew… But it ended well. By the way, what's with that rotten one?"


["How did you fool the Empress with your poor acting? Count, I think we need a little more practice going forward. Ah. That knight with the axe is a good a bonus."]


Unlike Lloyd, who was deliberately loud, the Second Prince, spoke quietly, pouring out poisonous words with his arrogant face.


"You'll see, one day I'll make you fall flat on your face! Yeah, one day...”


However, Lloyd was not sure the day would ever come and gulped down the bitter wine.


But, contrary to Lloyd's fears, that beautiful day arrived much faster than expected.


***


"This is an issue that affects all parts of the Empire, so we will proceed with the 'Empire General Peerage Vote'."


The banquet hall was in disarray. The murmurs of antipathy to the proposal put forward by the Second Prince showed no signs of abating.


The mid-banquet was attended by all the nobles who were invited to the Tandra mansion. Of course, Tara, who came here in an official capacity, wasn’t present.


Lloyd's mouth dried out at the ever-increasing uproar.


‘I should have brought Tara too...'


Next to Lloyd were Logan and Victoria. When he explained what was going to happen, Victoria fiercely objected, while Logan said nothing but lukewarm words: "I’ll leave it to Father's will." It did not inspire affirmation or courage.


Without Dylan’s support and counsel, and even without having actively raised this agenda yet, Llyod felt frustrated receiving more attention from the aristocracy than when he went to the Empress’s Palace.


He glanced to the Emperor’s side.


‘You rotten bastard. You're so calm.'


The leader was just staring at the nobles who were complaining with a very calm and carefree face as if this was none of his business.


As soon as he felt Lloyd’s gaze, he faced him.


Kyle's head moves slightly.


The signal to start.


As Lloyd's mouth dried up, the Emperor slowly raised his arms while looking at the noisy banquet hall. It slowly quieted down.


“The Empire is always tolerant of proposing new institutions. If that system makes the Empire stronger and more stable, why oppose it? So, I will listen carefully to any opinions and those of the Lords. Now, do you have any objections?"


They raised their hands here and there as if they had been waiting for this moment.


"The new Talent Training System. There's no such law, Your Majesty."


"It's an abuse of power to proceed this way without consulting the Congress!"


"Isn’t there already a system that's well-established and implemented without any problems?"


"Why re-establish a new system?"


“It’s a waste of time, manpower, and Palace resources."


The Aristocratic faction, starting with House Toulouse, came forward and fiercely opposed Kyle's draft of the new Talent Training System.


The rest of the nobles rolled their eyes and seemed to ponder Kyle's new draft, filled with anticipation and hope.


If the Talent Training System drafted by the Second Prince passed, there was no need to side with Toulouse.


Obviously, it was a benefit for the aristocratic faction, but they were not willing to approve.


The Emperor, who quietly listened to the opposition, nodded, and raised his arm again.


“Then, are there no opinions supporting it?"


"... I think it's a good system to hire hidden talent everywhere."Baron Kezak quietly stepped forward and expressed his approval.


"Are there any more?"


‘Who would take the Second Prince's side in a place like this, except Baron Kezak, who is his ally?’


"Baron Kezak has been siding with the Second Prince since the squadron request. After that, the Toulouse family has reportedly tackled the Baron..."


"But Kezak suffered little damage. It’s such a clean family.'


"What's the point? The support of a Baron is of little consequence since it doesn’t have any effect on other nobles."


As the nobles thought there were no more opinions in favour of it, and the Second Prince's Talent Training System was doomed, a hand raised up slowly.


The owner of that hand was none other than Lloyd Elias of the now famous House Elias.


"I... I also... Hmm. I agree."


The hall was stunned into silence.


"Oh, aren't you Count Elias? So, you're saying you're in favour of the Second Prince's agenda? What do you like about it?"


'Because at least two families have to agree to support a statement. And your son threatened me.'


The urge to spout that came and went.


["The concept of a servant who always repays a kindness. You have to strongly push it forward. And…"]


'She told me to push the Prince who made this agenda. I didn't expect to praise him in public. This rotten guy.'


Lloyd shut his eyes tightly and opened them, replying stiffly what he had discussed with Tara beforehand.


"House Elias greatly values faithfulness."


"What does the Second Prince's agenda have to do with Elias's faithfulness?"


"During the Hunting Contest yesterday, I almost had a big accident. There were many nobles and escort knight in the clearing, but none saved me.”


The hall echoed with guilty and embarrassed coughing and throat scratching sounds here and there that soon disappeared.


"Oh my God! Did something like that happen? Were you hurt?"


The Emperor performed so brilliantly compared to Lloyd, even if the glittering eyes were those of someone who already knew the story.


"Yes, Your Majesty, thank you for your concern. I really thought my end was near yesterday but, to my surprise, in that dangerous moment when no one came to my aid, the Second Prince personally took the risk and saved me."


"Oh, such a beautiful thing happened. As expected from a Prince of the Empire. Hahaha."


"... So, Count?"


In response to the excessive praise, the Second Prince corrected his crooked mouth ordering to perform the next act.


"Although I have never discussed Imperial Policy in the Palace, I would like to repay the grace the Second Prince bestowed upon me by risking his life and saving me. As a loyal nobleman and Head of a Family that put faithfulness first, I'm in favour of the Talent Training System."


"Oh, my God, what kind of sophistry is this?"


"How can you let your personal feelings dictate your vote on such a serious matter?"


"Tsk tsk. I thought it was just a rumour...”


Complaints erupted here and there. Lloyd's mouth hardened, but this was as expected. He just wanted this moment to pass quickly.


"Quiet! What does the Second Prince think of the Count's opinion?"


"… It is wrong to approve simply to repay a kindness."


Lloyd forcibly fixed his sour expression and explained as politely as possible.


"The newly drafted Talent Training System sounds very fair to me. I think the system is important, but the person who created it, is also important. Whatever the system, the outcome is the responsibility of the monarch who implements it. If he considers the nobles of the Empire as precious, and he’s the one who saved one alone when no one else did, you can fully understand how he feels about the people of the Empire. If it is a system created by such a person, it is worthwhile to side with him though our Family is neutral. So, I hope you don't take my will lightly."


"Oh... I can't believe Count Elias had such an upright side..."


"It was a dangerous situation yesterday, but the Second Prince acted nobly."


"He's the first person to move on the battlefield, isn't he?"


"Wasn’t it because he's cold-hearted?"


"He is a person who is thorough in his duties."


These opinions were rising from the Noble’s faction, including local ones.


The Emperor glanced over the atmosphere and slapped his knee.


"Hahaha. Right. That is also correct. Now that the number of people to support the system has been met, Duke of Toulouse, would it be alright to put it to the vote?"


The Duke of Toulouse, who stood farthest from the throne, slowly stepped in front of the people when he was suddenly asked something.


"… Yes, Your Majesty. Two… The conditions have been met."


The Duke was smiling, but no one believed it was genuine.


‘That's why you invited the entire aristocracy to a hunting contest, so that you could use the Imperial General Peerage...'


It was then that he realized why the Emperor invited not only the nobles of the capital, of which more than half were under Toulouse control, but also the nobles of the provinces beyond his reach to the Hunting Contest.


After that, the mid-banquet went smoothly.


It was just a rather unusual empty banquet hall that a large number of the Toulouse aristocrats had left, but it was recorded in the Imperial Palace logbook as the liveliest ever.


***


The next day, the third Hunting Contest.


It was about 20 minutes after hearing the sound of the horn that announced the hunt that Captain Nick realized that he had forgotten the Emperor's arrow, the 'precious Amure arrow'.


Nick, who was especially fretful today, left his sword and came back, left his gloves and came back, and forgot that his horse hurt his front foot and was assigned a new horse today.


And it was my responsibility as an Aide to bring back my superior’s forgotten items.


With the help of the knight guarding the entrance to the forest, I was able to easily reach the hunting ground.


And on the way back, I realized.


Today was the day when the ‘Winter Forest Hunting Event’ took place, which appeared in Chapter 4, Part 1 of the Ocerian Chronicles.


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