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Chapter 87 – Homecoming
Two weeks after the awarding of the [General of Conquest] title.
After finishing his matters at the Royal Capital, Ares headed back to the Schwarzer territory. As soon as he arrived, he gathered together his retainers as well as his father Edgar and Elder Rouen, who protected the northern fortress, to discuss about the future plans.
With the little lord inaugurated as the Lord of Frontier, this means that the Schwarzer’s territory had grown even larger. When Ares inherits the Archduke title, will he combine both territories into one or leave it for his younger brother Julius to govern?
Grants was called the [Cursed Land] for good reasons. Its territory is prone to attacks from either monsters or barbarian tribes. And due to that, it barely attract any newcomers. Therefore Ares couldn’t simply go there without making any preparation first.
Large scale development is necessary.
[Being a General of Conquest on top of the Lord of the Frontier… milord surely brings back extra work.]
That was Shion commenting.
[Being a lord of a territory surrounded by several other tribes and with a title that is unnecessarily very high in rank but holds no actual power or benefits other than inciting grudges and jealousy… His Majesty Emperor is really cruel.]
Ares could only chuckle at Shion’s comment. Because it’s the exact truth.
[As Shion said, governing the territory may prove to be very difficult. That place has many warriors, but lacking politicians. I would require most of my private army and a lot of human resources from Schwarzer territory if I want to run that place properly…]
After a short silence, Elder Rouen opened up.
[Milord, how about letting young master do what he wants?]
Rouen was one of the few who had better understanding of Ares. From what he heard just now, he realized that Ares was worried that he would struggle getting human resources while governing Grants.
[Young master rarely sounded this grave. It must mean that he needs a lot of manpower to aid him. I also think that having more talented people at his command will help young master immensely to achieve his goal.]
Then he added.
[The current Schwarzer territory is in a stable condition. Losing some manpower won’t shake its foundation. The younger generation are also growing up, so it’s best to start to let them take over as well.]
Everyone nodded at the trustworthy old man’s words.
[Rouen’s words are indeed reasonable. Anyone else with suggestions?]
Edgar calmly reminded everyone. After confirming that everyone was in agreement, he turned to Ares.
[Did you already make your selection for the required personnel?]
[Taking too many people will still affect the territory. Also, if I took too many important people, it’ll only hurt the territory. Therefore, after some considerations, I have written this…]
Ares handed Edgar a list of names. Reading through it, Edgar noticed that one-fifth of entire officers working in the territory were on the list.
[I see… a good balance of veterans and rookies… well done.]
[In addition, I intentionally picked those with little to no attachment to this place since they’ll be going to a remote place. If it’s this number of people… I think it won’t affect Schwarzer territory’s stability.]
After confirming Ares’ words, Edgar then moved on to those with emphasis on military and political affairs. Seeing this, Ares added in.
[I would like to take these following people with me this time: Sigurd and his subordinate Arnold. Shion to be my advisor staff. And… although this may hurt the territory, I would require George’s power to manage the place.]
Many had already seen this coming. The valiant Sigurd, the wise Shion, and the great figure behind Schwarzer territory managing and development, George were on the list. These people can be said as Ares’ direct subordinates after all.
Edgar gave these particular people a look.
[Do you have any objection?]
[Wherever Ares-sama go, I will follow.]
Sigurd gave his agreement.
[It’s troublesome… but I can’t just let milord wander around on his own, can I now? I will be able to witness a different kind of culture in the process, yes?]
So did Shion.
[The Schwarzer territory has long been stabilized. My absence shouldn’t cause any difference. Moreover, developing an underdeveloped place sounds more attractive to me.]
And George as well.
After listening to each one of them, Edgar chuckled and proceeded to sign the order.
Ares summoned Sigurd, Shion and George afterward for a more detailed discussion.
[There are many warriors living in Grants. We must properly determine their abilities and reorganize the army. Before Milord arrived… I will go there to prepare things in advance.]
[There is an obvious shortage in domestic officials. We must collect human resources not only from the Schwarzer territory, but also from the Royal Capital. Especially fellow alumni of the academy… there are many of them who are not satisfied with their current situation. Let’s pull them in.]
George also added.
[In any case, major reforms are needed. We should take one step at a time.]
After Ares said so, Shion also chimed in.
[It is as Milord said. Arcadia will be in a rough state three years from now perhaps. We must build up enough power to withstand the turbulent time.]
Shion then looked at the three other participants.
[In at least three years time, let us solidify our foothold and dye the eastern region in our color… that is what I think.]
[Wouldn’t they suspect us of rebellion if we did it in too flashy way?]
Sigurd spoke up his doubt.
[By that point Arcadia Empire will be too confused to react. We will then show them our power… one that does not fall behind to Arcadia Empire or any of the four great powers.]
Shion laughed confidently.
[This will be our land of beginning. The soldiers are rough and so are its people. Barbarians and monsters trod the land nearby. Looking from only this side, it doesn’t seem to be a promising place… but from a different perspective, it’s actually a place with lots of room for development. The soldiers can become even stronger, the people can be educated from scratch, and new land can be opened up.]
[Rumours have it that the Land of Demons is actually fertile ground. Also, if we can somehow make peace with the other ethnic groups, we can open up a new trade route and if we do well enough, there is a chance that they’ll be willing to fight on our side… no?]
George concluded, following Shion’s argument.
[It can be done if it’s you, Ares Schwarzer-sama.]
Ares smiled in agreement, and spoke up.
[Tomorrow, I will head to the capital once more. After officially taking the mantle of Lord of Frontier and General of Conquest, I will go to the new territory immediately. Well, before that I’m going to stop by at Redgear, Trevoir and Brittany… so I should be arriving at Grants about three weeks later. All of you should be there before me. Each one should do their duties on the fly.]
Ares returned to the Royal Capital once more.
Then there was a ceremony, officially appointing Ares as the Lord of Frontier and the General of Conquest.
After that ceremony, Ares formally became the Lord of Frontier Ares Schwarzer, with the Grants Principality (and the surrounding area) becoming part of Schwarzer territory..
Not only the Royal Clan, but also the Schwarzer clan were busy making preparation. The two clans will be tied in engagement and later on, marriage.
But later that day, Ares had already left on his horse towards Heinz.
『The previously veiled-in-shadows ‘Cursed Land’ finally saw its first sunlight upon the arrival of the Hero Sovereign and from then on it would become the very land of light.』
The territorial reform that Ares planned thus began that day. And it will forever be recorded in history.