Weekly chapters (1/2)
Chapter 64 – Clean Up
The next day, in the Brittany Federation’s capital Trahn.
Ares’ arrival was greeted with welcoming hands by the merchants. Everyone had a smile on their faces.
This made Ares uncomfortable.
[Welcome to Trahn city.]
[Please follow me; the chief is expecting your arrival.]
Ares followed the merchant while keeping his thoughts to himself. They guided him to an extremely large mansion even for a wealthy city such as Trahn.
Ares was directed to the mansion’s main hall where 5 fat men were already waiting for him.
[This would be our first meeting. We five are the executives responsible for Brittany Federation’s administration.]
One of them spoke up. Apparently, this one acted as the representative among the five Brittany Federation executives. The other four were simply staring. In their eyes were both resentment and relief.
(It seems to be working as I thought)
Ares laughed inwardly as he stealthily observed those executives.
[Well then, pardon us for we are still in an emergency. As you can see, Trahn city is full of mercenaries…]
Ares cut off the speech by presenting a sheet of paper.
[What is this?]
[A letter from His Majesty Emperor. I believe it’s directed to all of the upper echelon of Brittany Federation.]
[Hoho. Then I’ll be pleased to read it.]
Having said that, the representative read the letter. Soon, his face turned pale and he started shaking.
[Ho, how can this be? Confiscation of 90% of the commodity owned by merchants involved in politics; moreover, banishment from Trahn city!?]
[Bullshit! They dare to do that!]
The other four executives immediately raised their voices in protest.
[It wasn’t us, the mercenaries did it. We have nothing to do with what they did on their own accord.]
The representatives tried to explain.
[I can’t talk with this young man. I need someone who would understand…]
When the representative said that, Ares presented another letter.
The representative crumpled that letter instead.
[Do you not want to know the content of that paper?]
Ares spoke up, interrupting the representative.
The representative hesitantly fixed the crumpled paper and his face turned even paler.
A plundering permit and some words of encouragement written there.
[Are you alright? Don’t tell me you want to refute the fact here.]
And right there, Ares hammered the table with his hand, shocking the merchants present.
[We are the victors of this war. You have no right to say anything. Otherwise, I can command the five thousand soldiers outside to go on a rampage.]
The merchants’ face turned blue at Ares’ threat. Ares then continued.
[You are disqualified to be a ruler once you allowed your people to be plundered. I don’t need any of you, so you must go away. Moreover, I did my personal investigation, and I found out that you guys at the upper echelon really love to do some exciting things, don’t you? Bribery, blackmail, sometimes even assassination…]
Ares then leaned forward.
[This city and the entire Brittany Federation won’t grow any further while any of you still around. You guys are nothing but parasites.]
[Screw you! Guge.]
One of the executives had had it enough and attempted to attack Ares, but was immediately cut down by Sigurd who was on standby at the back. The merchants screamed in terror; some even fell on their butt.
[So… somebody… help…]
[Yes, that’s what we originally intended to do. I told you to leave and I’ll even leave some for you to live…. But you just had to do that.]
Ares said so as he moved his face closer to the representative’s.
[Can you tell? This is the reality of what happened if you lose a war. You may not know it since you were always busy with sipping soup in a warm room called the power of money, but this is what happens in the outside world nearly everyday. This is the reality.]
The representative lost his mind upon hearing that.
Vulcas spoke to Ares as he watched the merchants being taken away into custody.
[What will become of Trahn city then? I need to inform Silvia-sama who is currently rushing here on who will govern this place…]
[About that, I actually have an idea already. Looks like he’s just arrived.]
There were a couple of men heading towards them. Apparently merchants and craftsmen, but they didn’t show any sign of fear despite coming here.
One of the men asked Ares.
[What do you want from us? We have no money, nor we are educated people]
[No, I don’t particularly need anything from any of you. The upper echelon has gone. In exchange for that, I’ll leave the commoners to govern this city, and later the entire Brittany.
Everyone was caught surprised by those words.
[Can you tell us why?]
Another raised a question
[There are a lot of things I’m going to need to know here if I were to govern this place myself. But there are already people doing business here and there and they should know the situation better than me. Above all… if I let you do business properly without any backhanded methods, then wouldn’t that bring profit to the city itself?]
All of them seemed fascinated by that reasoning.
[However, it’s not like I’ll let you go scotch free. I want you to make the city prosper in 1 year time. If you can’t do that, I’ll naturally find a replacement.]
The man asked once more
[Will you give us some time to consider?]
So Ares replied.
[Of course I’m not forcing you to give your answer now. But if possible, I hope that there will be a reply by tomorrow. I’m planning to march out of this city tomorrow.]
That revelation was the most shocking.
[What!? You’re just going to leave the land you’ve conquered!?]
[As I said, I’m leaving the governing of this place to others. Using my forces to suppress this place won’t bring me any benefit]
Therefore Ares took the man’s hand and said.
[The rise and fall of this city will be up to you. I believe it’ll be one hell of a challenging job.]
Ares looked on at the merchants through the window. All of them had a complex look on their face as they returned home with a lot to think about.
[Can you please tell me why?]
Ares turned around and saw Vulcas standing there.
[Normally one would station a deputy officer to govern the land they’ve occupied. But I will not do that here. Can you guess why?]
[The residents won’t be convinced if a stranger suddenly takes charge?]
And that’s why Ares sought those merchants.
[Have you seen those merchants’ face? Normally, if given such an offer, anyone will just jump in at the first chance. But they didn’t. That’s because they know how hard it is to govern. Knowing that, they’ll think things through first before giving a reply.]
[But they have no political experience]
[There is always a first time for everyone. Although reluctant, they’ll keep trying…and hopefully, they’ll eventually find their way. I believe they can handle this].
Ares turned to Vulcas once more.
[I’ve sent a messenger to Her Highness Silvia the other day. I will also conquer Trevoir before Her Highness arrives.]
[You probably didn’t think that Brittany will fall this fast, did you? We’re aiming for something big here. And as much as possible…I want to reduce casualties to a minimum… for both allies and enemies alike.]
Ares continued on while keeping eye contact with Vulcas.
[I can’t take a break yet. I need to make preparations so we can leave as soon as we get their reply!]
After saying so, Ares headed out to the door.