Chapter 37 Family History
"The danger isn’t as great as you think, Mr. Pine. If something is dangerous it will also always offer some opportunities." In his head the 4th Prince went through all the information his assistant minister had collected once more "I heard that you inherited your title from your father? He became a Knight through merits gathered from battle, awarded the rank of Baron and given his own territories."
"That is true." confirmed Mr. Pine.
"It was at the time of the Months of the Demons. A small group of demonic beasts unexpectedly broke through the stronghold defense near the Redwater River and were running rampant. When Nana’s father was on patrol, he encountered the rampaging demonic beasts. Instead of avoiding them like most people would do, he notified the stronghold, asking for reinforcements, and began to siege the demonic beasts to save the nearby town - even though he had no relationship with the town." While speaking, Roland observed the expressions of the other people, "But Mr. Pine, you should know the things which happened at that time better than me. Your father called for the militia from the town. Then, with his attendants and the militia he fought the demonic beasts and won. That large battle was fought to stand up for the innocent."
"Yes." his tone was a bit agitated, apparently full of longing for his own family history, "There was also an unusually big one, some parts resembled a deer’s and some parts a bull’s. It was a fusion of both of them. It legs were thicker than my father’s torso, and when it was ran, the ground trembled. If I were in his position, I really wouldn’t have known how to beat the monster."
"But he did it. My father stood near a shallow trench, luring the furious demonic beast over. It accelerated and was trying to take advantage of its speed at the moment of their collision. My father laid down in the shallow trench and wedged his sword between two stones so that only the sword tip was visible. The seemingly unbeatable idiotic beast couldn't stop, and its belly hit the tip of the sword. The entire stomach was cut open; Black blood and some intestines flowed out of its belly. It was so much that my father almost drowned within the trench. Even today, the spoils of that battle, the great horn of the demonic beast, hangs above my family's fireplace."
Roland, who was sipping his tea leisurely said: "It was an admirable fight, he followed the knight's code of faith, compassion, and bravery. Later he got his knighthood and a manor in the fiefdom of Joe Kohl, who was still the Lord of the Longsong Stronghold at that time. Twenty-five years ago Joe Kohl was promoted to the rank of a Duke by his Majesty Wimbledon III, becoming the part-time guardian of the southern border. With this, the whole southern border territory was placed under his jurisdiction. Unfortunately, after his promotion, Joe Kohl became an eyesore to his former supporter Duke Ryan. "
"Your Highness, you might know well that," Mr. Pine’s voice sounded somewhat frustrated, "even when the ranks of Duke Ryan and Joe Kohl were different, their levels of power were already even. Kohl’s blood could be traced back to a branch of the royal family, so his ancestry wasn’t worse than that of Duke Ryan’s. "
This was a political scheme. Roland sighed, Wimbledon III actually tried to check and balance their level of power.
In order to understand this complicated relationship, Roland had to call for his assistant minister for explanations.
The noble and feudal jurisdiction were extremely confusing. In theory, the higher nobility has the right to issue orders within the territory of the lower nobility. But the actual situation was much more complicated. Duke Ryan and Joe Kohl were an example of this. Although he was placed in the western border territory under Duke Ryan, Joe Kohl, as the king's directly announced count, he had no less prestige and power than Duke Ryan.
When Joe Kohl became the Duke of the southern territory, his power in his old territory became even stronger. This was a method of the royal family of Graycastle to hold the power stable.
"But when you inherited the territory of your father, the trade, and the agricultural production gradually faded" Roland slowly said, "But now, there is a new opportunity in front of you."
"What is this new opportunity...?"
"Surely you had heard of the famine two years ago. The stronghold was withholding the food for the next months because of the reason that the amount of ore mined by the inhabitants of Border Town was too small. This year, we are faced with the same dilemma again. The unexpected collapse of the Northern Slope Mine didn’t leave any route of retreat for the people of Border Town. We must block the demonic beasts at the new city walls. Perhaps the fight won’t go smoothly, but as I said before, facing this dangerous task also means a new opportunity for us."
"......" Mr. Pine had to first understand the meaning of what the prince said, so he only frowned and didn't immediately give his answer.
"To be honest with you, you do not really resemble a typical noble." Roland gently smiled, "No noble would go out dressed like you, and your hands are full with crusts and calluses. Mr. Pine, you didn't let your father's inheritance down, right? You’re a knight with excellent fighting skills. "
He certainly did not let his father down, Roland was very sure of this, or Mr. Pine wouldn't have trained and ran through the woods for a whole day. According to the information provided by Barov, in the last week, Mr. Pine had spent at least three days training in the forest. On each visit, he was always fully equipped, and if he couldn't afford it for his attendants, he directly hired some helper from the town of Orion. Some people were just born for battle; Mr. Pine was obviously such a person.
"If you will stay in Border Town, I will provide you with the opportunity to let you regain your father's glory. Just like he did, you will get the chance to obtain honor and outstanding achievements with only your sword and your courage. I'll also reward you with a territory in the east of the Border Town, and you will become a Viscount appointed by me." Although this would be a rare situation, the commitment would be valid. As an adult Prince, he was able to legally canonize Viscounts, Barons, and Knights. However, he could only seldom confer such titles to other people. One, it would undercut the regional system of aristocracy, and two, if the other side refused the offer, it would become more awkward. Roland didn’t care about the opinion of the local nobility, he just wanted Nana to stay in Border Town. As for refusing Mr.Pine, Roland wasn’t too worried. After Joe Kohl had become the guard of the southern border guard, his relationship with Mr. Pine’s father didn’t carry on. He had entirely abandoned the Pine Family.
When hearing this, Mr. Pine finally began to talk again, "Then... Your Highness, if I stay, can I still send Nana back to the stronghold? Until now, no one had ever tried to resist the demonic beasts in this place. If we fail, I do not want my daughter to be buried here."
"As I already told you in the beginning Mr. Pine, the danger in staying here is relatively low. Have you ever thought about what would happen if Nana was found to be a Witch in Longsong Stronghold? There it would be entirely different than here in Border Town. The stronghold is completely in the possession of the church. They have already grown their roots in the city for a long time. Their believers and overseers are everywhere in the city. At the moment she is exposed, even I won’t be able to save her. "
Roland paused, then added, "Border Town will definitely not fall! When the Months of the Demons arrive and the demonic beasts come, I'll be on the wall to lead my people and fight alongside them. Our opponents are nothing more than a group of mutated beasts, they are not invulnerable. Your father had no cover and was able to win against them in an open surrounding. However, we have the new city walls. If. instead.. I really only mean, if an accident does happen, I'll take measures to guarantee that Nana will immediately leave the town," he paused for a second, "and naturally, Anna will also move. I will prepare a boat for them at the dock beforehand, so I can promise you that they will be safe."
"So... I will believe in you, Your Highness," when saying this, Mr. Pine stood up and went directly down on one knee to give the standard knight salute to the prince, "and I am willing to fight for you."
After Nana and her father had left, Anna rolled her eyes at Roland
"What are you talking about?" She firmly said, "I'm not going anywhere."
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