AOH – Chapter 53

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CHAPTER 53: THE SPEECH

1015 SEEDMONTH

ARIAL

We have arrived near Dented Shield. And we have begins battle a week ago. The sieging has begun showing progress.

Sooner or later Alderam will open his castle gate and rush out with his army and then the battle will be decided.

Lord Paris will also be arriving in about 2 more days. Letters has been given to me telling of his victory in Penrose.

I have sent a letter to tell him not to rush and recuperate his soldiers so that when he came he will come with a strong and rested soldier.

Lord Henry Summersill has also managed to help the Northcour family but they could not leave the region yet, because there are still some remnants of Shield forces there.

Henry argued that if he were to leave Shield forces may come back and reclaim the region, so he would stay there while we have to attack here.

It is alright.

I think with our might we will conquer the castle and peace can finally came on Alan soil, our efforts rewarded and we can finally move to more important task.

Helia is sent to patrol with her father to the South now that Lord Paris will join us.

Many advise me against it but I could not let the South left undefended and the Three Brothers that guarded the ancestral home of Althea must also return.

I already sent my love to Helia yesterday and I heard the most interesting news from her. It seems West is trying to court Lisa.

Whether that is true or not, I don’t know since Lisa didn’t say anything.

So does West.

But I realize after Helia told me, that West always direct his gaze to Lisa when she is not looking. What a dishonest man! I could not help chuckles.

But the reason I sent her father and Helia to the South is because I heard that Vangua is short of a King right now.

The noble King, Edward Merovich has been rumoured to disappear.

Some say that it’s because he is hiding from assassins but it can also be that their King is planning an attack on Alan soil, taking advantage now that we are engaged in a civil matters between ourselves.

I have no proof but better exercise caution then to regret later.

I have also received from my spymaster who I sent to inquire about what is happening in Renasia and the Dark Lands.

Azrael the crown Prince of the Dark Lands, have become King with his father abdication.

That is not odd considering that in my original timeline, he did take the throne after her father abdication but what odd is what happens in Renasia.

The reason I sent my spymaster to Renasia is because I know that Renasia will be the last standing Kingdom in the Human Continent, and so I have a vested interest in that Kingdom.

But something odd happened in Renasia. The young Princess was offered the thrones by his father and the nobles all agreed.

That is the same like in my timeline. But what different in this timeline she rejected. That did not happen before.

Before, in my original timeline, if my memory serves me right, she jumped at the opportunity of becoming Queen and led a massive reform on the military.

From what I heard from my spymaster, the princess wants to learn many more. The motivation is unknown.

Though my spymaster heard a rumour that she was lost for a few months before her father offer her the crown.

History is slightly changing. Whether it is bad or it is good, I am not quite certain.

Tomorrow I think Alderam will bring out his army to fight us in the open field so tonight I instructed the soldiers to construct a stage for me to give a speech before we ride into battle tomorrow.

‘My lord may I enter?’

West voice.

‘Enter’

‘My lord’ he kneeled

‘Is the stage ready?’ I asked

‘Yes my lord. You may address the troops now.’ I looked at him. He has a sullen face.

‘Ser West?’

‘Yes, my lord’

‘Why so gaunt?’

‘Oh, I’m sorry my lord. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things.’

‘What things?’

He smiles a bitter smile

‘Matters of the heart, my lord’

‘Ah, is that so?’

‘Yes, my lord.’

‘Then pardon me for touching on such matters’

‘It is fine my lord considering you are’ and he said something under his breath. A whisper

‘What?’

‘Oh, nothing my lord. Please my lord, they are waiting outside’

‘Ah, yes.’

Then I went outside. Thousands of my troops already standing in uniform position waiting for me. The camp was in total silent as they saw me.

There is a lot one could tell from their gaze. Some shows fear, some show reverence, some shows awe.

I only hear whispers.

Ssh, stop talking, the young lord is here’

Some whispers

the dragon from the east.’ Slowly I climb the staircase. The stage was constructed high so that everyone can see me. They are all waiting.

I already begin focusing my internal energy to my throat to address all the troops, so that everyone will hear.

The moment I have reached the top, the whispers stopped, their stares turn to me, ‘and waiting, watching and anticipating what will I say.

Will I tell them to win? Will I tell them what we have gained? Will I tell them what we have lost and fan their hatred and vengeance?

I intend to do a bit more. To consolidate this newly built Kingdom with words. I learned in my exile how powerful words are and the effects it has on people.

‘Ehem, ehem’ I coughed a little before I begin my speech.

Then I begin.

‘MY FELLOW COUNTRYMEN!!!’ I said and the troops take notice, because I called them countrymen.

Many of the troops under the other lords and Knights also seem shocked with the phrasing of my words.

Countrymen. We have always identified ourselves under the troops of some noble houses. Knights of this house or that house.

Mercenaries of this company or that company.

The word countrymen sound foreign especially in the Dukedom. The Dukedom is unique because of the structure of power in the realms.

Dukes rules not Kings. Their power is limited and each duchy have their own sets of laws, each cities have their own Dukes which they swear their fealty towards….never a King.

‘We are now in the edge of a new dawn.’ I said

And I could see that they can hear. The lords that came also watch me and they too begins to listen.

‘Before, we are all separate, fighting against each other. Separated by many rules, by many lords, small or large. But tomorrow, a battle will take place here. This is not a battle for vengeance! This is not a battle for settling old scores!’

I yelled and my voice resounded in the area, amplified by my internal energy.

‘ A battle that will lead us to somewhere new. A better tomorrow, a better future. It is a chance for us to begin anew. Like the Fabled Phoenix that rise from the ashes, we too will rise from this fire. We are tempered by fire, like a steel and we will be stronger because of it!’

YARGH! The soldiers roared. I continued amidst the roaring.

‘A Kingdom that is united is a strong Kingdom. And a strong Kingdom means a strong citizens, and prosperous citizen.’

I say this to the lords, so that their hearts after this battle will not waver, their hearts will stay true.

‘And we are its citizens. And what is the essential of a good citizen?’ I ask them. No one offer any answer, so I tell them.

‘No man, can be a good citizen who is not a good husbands or father, who is not honest with his dealing with other men, who is not faithful to his friends, and fearful in the presence of foes that determined to crush this new union brought forth by the ideals of a new peace and prosperity. This battle will show the other nations our strength and our will to become an independent nation and they will tremble and fear us for our liberty, and no longer will our nation plagued with outside interference, whether it is from Vern, or Vangua or Dostov!

Another roar resounded from the army, as they began knocking their shields with their weapon; a sound louder that can be heard miles away is produced.

I continued with a louder voice, drowning the sound.

‘THEY WILL NOT MAKE US BEND OUR KNEES, NOR WILL WE LOWER OUR HEADS TO THEIR KINGS AND EMPERORS. AND WHO WILL PROTECT THIS NEW KINGDOM? WE WILL!’

WE WILL! WE WILL! They answered with zeal.

I want to fan love towards the country. Nationalism. The reason the Empire falls is also because of this.

Many of the ruling elite is from Caelum race, my race but instead of striving for racial harmony, the Empire did not change its stance.

This is why even though the Empire unified the land once upon a time, it was doomed to fail, not to mention because of the lack of education in many part of the Empire many people only obey the words of the Emperors and racial sentiments form and then they all secede.

But even now, the Caelum race is still the ruling elite.

I have already sent letters to Silas to address this issue. Surely he is now discussing it with the King.

Of course there is no full scale war because of a race but that mostly because the Dark Lands come to invade.

But if I manage to succeed repelling the Invasion only to see it plagues by internal conflict and destroy ourselves from within?

I would also not let that happens.

After this I might even ask some of the other race to migrate here to familiar Alan with cultural and racial diversity.

In Alan, it is unique in it is dominated by Caelum race while other nations have many race but predominant race in the Alan soil is Caelum.

I yelled and the troops cheered to for this is the first time they hear such speech.

Most speech is always about some noble’s honour or stories about vengeance or some gold or what they gained.

I’m trying to instill something in them. Loyalty to the land itself and the Crown who governed them.

I continued with my speech

‘Our citizens brave and strong they are, blood of the Caelum, must be willing and able to take arms for the defense of our great Kingdom, a protector, each one of them, an avenger when need to be, a shield that can defend the Kingdom, a sword that can be used to execute her enemies. Our citizens must be a citizen of great fighters and great scholars, else knowledge will come to naught and its virtue ineffective, and no delicacy, no love  for appreciation of beauty in art or literature, no capacity for human ingenuity can possibly atone for lack of these virtues. Every man, must devote a reasonable share of his time to do his duty to their Kingdom. No man, I reiterate, NO MAN, has a right to shirk his duties, in this Kingdom. Whatever plea of pleasure may not be heard, and while such shirking may be pardoned in those of the common folks for everyday they struggle to get by, but it is entirely unpardonable in those among whom it is most common. A young man who shirks his duty to the Kingdom in time of peace is as being only one degree worse than the man who shirk it’s duties during the time of war.’

And my words captivated them; ensnare them as they wait for my next word.

‘And like I said, WE ARE AT AN EDGE. WILL WE WIN TOMORROW?’ I said

‘Yes!!!’ they cheered

I shake my head.

‘I do not know the answer to that question’ and the crowds cheer quieted

‘It depends on all of us. To open that new path, a new path where our country is strong. I want you to dream this with me. A new world, strong and prosperous, free from foreign interference, free to rule among ourselves, under one King, a King we have chosen. My father, the Kingmaker chose King Adrian to be my liege lord and King of this Kingdom, for he embodied a new world virtue, where we can live peacefully, strong and united. I may fight his battle but I may not dare to sit his throne or eyes his crown. That is his burden to bear and I have my burden to bear and you! All of you have a burden to bear. But tomorrow, our fight will decide if  a new world will be borne, or will we stay in this savage world, where people are killed in the most joyous occasion, in a funeral or a feast, where civility is replaced by acts of savagery. IS THAT THE WORLD WE WILL LIVE TOMORROW? Or will we live in a new world and its uncertain possibilities and its vague future that it offers us? But also with the promise of great hope! Fight with me tomorrow. Raise your swords, my fellow men! Sharpened your spears, tend to your wounds and tomorrow, TOGETHER we will create that world and trust me, WE WILL PREVAIL!”

And I hold my left hand in my heart while my right hands were set to my back they seeing this gesture also followed me.

‘Our Lives and Heart we offer to the King’ I said. And they repeat what I said and the cheer came, even when I was going down the podium.

The clapping and the whistling.

‘A great speech, my lord’ Lord Paris complimented, congratulating me when I reached down the podium.

‘Congratulations, my lord’ some of the other lords congratulate me.

‘Congratulations, my lord.’

Thank you, thank you I said to them

And tomorrow the war and the battle begins and I swear it, that by the evening the blood of Alderam will bathe my armor for he will perish in my hand, their faithful followers will be slaughtered, imprisoned, chase out of this country never to return unless they kneel.

This is my determination.

No longer will such bloody occurrence like the battle of Beth happen again. Bodies filling the field, the scream and yelling, the blood and the smell.

Tomorrow I will end this fast. Merciless but fast.

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