Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
The next day of the mobilization saw all provincial functionaries and officials of adjacent towns’ arrival at Dark City. Several days after, more of them including friendly alien chiefs were here as well. They have filled every empty room of the only hotel in Dark City.
Amongst the arrivals, very few were strangers to me because mainly the officials were my former subordinates and alien chiefs had met me when I was a kid.
A massive queue formed in the viceroy’s mansion.
The officials came to debrief me, and I cannot disrespect the alien elders. That was why I had to keep myself busy from morning to dawn. However, I was too occupied still, so I brought my wives/IA directors to help.
It was not an easy job to bring in all the needed people. Soon after meeting them individually, I’ve come to know the development of my current city. My father should be arriving in a few days because of the predetermined distance. Therefore Fischer and I have decided to utilize the time to hold a general meeting that should involve all of the provincial officials aiming to solve the most urgent problems.
The meeting took place after lunch. Instead of holding it in the tiny conference building which can’t house all of the 100 attendees, the meeting-in-charge Carey furiously brought the area into the garden.
I went to fetch Fischer ahead before the start.
“I won’t be going.” He was writing behind his desk, he answered without even looking at me, “This meeting is about Dark City’s internal affairs so as the king, I’m not suited to attend.”
“Are you sure? They know you like I do. We used to meet together.” I was annoyed to come into things that wouldn’t go along with me, “I’m a little uncomfortable if you’re not around.”
“Don’t be silly, Viceroy Cohen.” Fischer dropped his pen and stood en face de moi, “Don’t you understand my intention. If I go, it will greatly underestimate your power to your subordinate or even bring other negative effects.”
I scratched my head to show my confusion.
“If other viceroys knew a king has attended IA meeting of Dark City and backseat-driven the city decisions, what would hey think?” Fischer explained, “Since the start of the civil war, old cliques royales haven’t bowed to Luhrmann, are you aware of the reason? A, Luhrmann does not have the right name; b, they’re watching me.”
“Quite right, they want to find out if I’m a king worthy of their allegiance, or am I going to wage war on them.” Fischer nodded, “My attendance of the meeting will give them the idea that I’m intervening provincial decision or in other words, weakening your influence. Even the closest friends like us will end up like so, let alone them. So, what do you think they would think?”
“If you come across decision difficulties, I’ll certainly help.” Fischer tapped my shoulder, then added, “Privately. But don’t think you can loaf on your duties.”
“Duly noted.” said I, “Though we need to make those viceroys know you’re still there somewhere. You can’t just stay in your office all the time.”
He made a light smile, “Tell me what I’m writing here.”
I strolled to the desk only to find all the letters Fischer has addressed to those rebellion-free viceroys.
“Way ahead of me.”
“These letters will be carried forward once I show them to your father.” said Fischer, “I wish these power-at-hands are not bought off by Luhrmann.”
“Our chance of winning exceeds Luhrmann’s.” I consoled, “Besides, they used to be our royal blood clique and hold various conflicts against Luhrmann. Naturally, they know what a kind of man Luhrmann is. It’ll take Luhrmann some time to buy off them all.”
“Hmm, the point you made.” Fischer smiled, “Go attend your meeting and promise me you can’t throw tantrums.”
“Yes, my king.”
As I left Fischer’s chamber, I ran into Flynn and the other 2 gals.
“Tic-tac, right place, right time.” I stood between my wives with a smile.”
“Wrong time!” said Carey, “The meeting is about to start and we’re here for you.”
“How do you know I’m here?”
“Flynn informed us.” Winslet tidied my robe, “Little did I think, you really are.”
”She really is a prophet.” I chuckled.
Flynn said nothing with a smile while Carey spoke, “Nevertheless, and Flynn said you will definitely ask His Majesty to join the meeting and you will not get what you want. How about that?”
“She read my mind.” Flynn and I shared a look, “This one is rejoiced to have such a wife who understands her husband.”
“Huh, looks like flowers and moonlight are helpful.” Carey lowered her tone, “My love, I’ll escort you to your room, then the letter…”
I was both amused and annoyed but I had to let her.
“Atten-hut! Present-arm!” In my presence, the orderlies and officers all stood up and saluted me as the civil duties on the other side bowed.
“Greetings.” I said, “Sit down.”
My three wives stood at a close distance behind me.
“Finally, we’re all here, my valuable duty-holders. So I’m not gonna say crap.” I eyed over the meeting room, “I’ve met with you all during the past few days and I’ve come to know one thing or two of what you’ve done in the past year. Frankly, you had your mistakes but you all did well and acceptable. Though you still need time and a deeper understanding of how to do your job, it is fine. You’ll do better in time.”
At the end of the opening speech, the civil directors on the left showed hints of smiles on their faces whereas the army holders sat squarely and their eyes followed where I went. Both sides made a unique scene.
“Given the fact that you did a fantastic job, our efforts can’t catch up with the change. Tempted by certain foreign influence, that animal Luhrmann’s lust and ambition erupted overnight and he’s gotten hold of half of Swabia.” I paused then continued, “In order to avenge King Climos and Queen Nashor, we must alter our strategy and deliver this Luhrmann shit to where he belongs!”
My second speech actually gained a uniform reaction since all replied, “We follow you, My Lord!”
“Now, King Fischer has a right way prepared for the situation so we wouldn’t need to worry.” I continued, “But for me, I care more about this imminent war! The entire Dark City must get ready for the battle station. That is why today’s meeting is a briefing. We’re not fighting an unprepared battle and I cannot let our soldiers die in vain because of lack of preparation.”
“Today’s meeting regards several subjects. One of them is war readiness, the second is about the 36 Clans. These two are hard bones to kill. You’re now free to speak your opinions.” I went to the point seeing that all attendees were boosted in the mood, “Carlos!”
A man quickly stood up, “Sir.”
“Let me give you a hint. Carlos is the Chief of Staff of the Dark Army.” I nodded to Carlos, “Tell them about our army.”
“Yes, sir.” Carlos slightly turned away to face the civil duties, “Currently, Dark City holds a sum of 150, 000 regular armies. Additionally, the old city garrison troops and reserves add up to 30, 000; troops that our viceroy has brought back is to the sum of 120, 000.”
“According to Viceroy Cohen, the staff department has made adjustments to this 150, 000. We’re looking at 3 legions and city army reserves.” Carlos fetched a piece of paper, “The 3 legions are the 1st Legion commanded by Viceroy Cohen, 2nd Legion commanded by Brigadier Wilder, 3rd Legion commanded by Brigadier Moya. The old garrison and reserves have already been formulated into city guards. We have set apart a portion of experienced soldiers to re-supply the old garrisons. The training field will be supplied with a batch of qualified sergeants.”
“Let me tell you about the army arrangement.” I stepped into the middle ground, “I’ve spoken to IA director Carey, city garrison’s most vital job is to defend and police the city. They’re to listen to City Hall’s assignment at the time of war. That is why this troop will never need to cross the Dark City border. They will be supplied by local stations. Is there a problem?”
“Viceroy, permission to inquire.” A city director stood up.
“Does it include armories regarding the supply you mentioned?” He said, “We’ll manage the foodstuff and we’re ready to spare anything to feed our army. But I’m about to cry about weapons.”
“I don’t need you to cry.” I stated loudly, “The weapons will be allocated only by the staff department. IA director Carey has mentioned you’ve built army reserves, all the retired metals and leathers will be directed to them.”
“Yes, Your Excellency.” The directors said with joy, “Duly noted!”
I hinted at Carlos to continue.
“Yes, sir. There is one more thing at hand that needs our attention.” Carlos continued, “I believe it has come to our attention that our army had gone through dreadful battles during the War. We made it through, luckily. The War has given us thousands of wounded soldiers, among those there were 3, 000 -ish handicapped soldiers. Their settlement is a matter of Viceroy Cohen’s reputation and that of our army. As men at arms, we’re unable to solve this matter. That is why we want to entrust the problem to you.”
At the mentions of the wounded personnel as well as there were 3, 000 disabilities, the directors gazed at each other. The burden was just too big.
“Your Excellency, I believe you know the rub to it. The soldiers…” One director said, “Could we dispatch them back to their home or build a settlement area?”
Immediately, a few slight cracks which sounded like pressing stools or cracking fingers came from the officers’ crowd. I attended to that direction, the activated officers thereupon calmed.
“I know the difficulty to it and know the number is huge. No matter what, you will settle them well.” I glanced the IA directors, “Have you considered the fact that they were wounded because of they fought fiercely for me and Dark City? I cannot simply drive them away by sparing a few silvers, nor can I feed them like animals by building a pen. This is not me!”
“Viceroy, we’re here to obey your orders and it’s not our wish to leave them alone.” A director promptly stood up, “The ones here are none other than the trusted ones you promoted. And none of them are not loyal to you. Viceroy’s problem is our problem. But the thing at hand is extremely tough, we need time.”
“That is precisely the reason I brought you here.” I eased my tone after listening to their statement, “This viceroy needs you to solve his problem. But situation calls, we don’t have time to focus on this. That is why a resolution must be drawn right here and now.”
The sad faces they showed to me. I feel sympathy for them. On the contrary, I knew exactly what they were facing. However, if I softened my tone to them, the officers will not be happy and the army will be less united. Actually, I had a ready plan for them but the solution must be given by the City Hall instead of by myself. Only in this way, soldiers will understand that there were other people in Dark City who cared about them but me.
The conference hall remained in silence as all men were humping their brains for a proper idea. Indeed, those who cannot hold weapons or carry weight were a huge headache.
“IA director Carey,” Seeing that these men were in a dead end, I had to give them a lead, “you’ve personally built all the medicare center in the city, care to share your thoughts?”
“As you wish. I did visit the wounded in the past days.” Carey stood up, “Since we’re holding enough facilities and herb plantations. As long as there are enough funds, the city is capable of treating them. However, most of them were severely wounded, I fear the number of handicapped people will go upwards after the full treatment. The eventual number will roughly double.”
“Do your best to save them.” I said, “It is our duty. I feel guilty if I can’t properly settle them.”
Carey said yes and sat down. Flynn opened her eyes.
“Dean Lorenzo,” Unexpectedly, Flynn mentioned a name, “I wish to hear your thoughts.”
An old-timer rose from behind rows. He first bowed to Flynn then opened his mouth, “Madame, since I’m not subordinated to internal affairs, I’m merely speaking my personal opinions. A careful counsel is needed whether they’re valid or not.”
“Please,” Flynn said with a slight smile.
“These wounded are truly an unsettling problem for us mostly because we think they’re handicapped.” Lorenzo said gradually, “What makes a man a good soldier is his intact physical condition. Once handicapped, he’s completely uselessly as a soldier.
As soon as he talked the last sentence, all officers blued their faces, even the civil duties looked awful. Lorenzo has said an irrefutable fact but that cannot prevent my officers from feeling harmed. I suppressed the disturbance among the officers but secretly I was suppressing the urge to grab Lorenzo and give him a dozen slaps.
“Turns out, is it really that helpless? Why can’t we see them from another angle?” Lorenzo did not alter his tone because of the subtle change of the air, he continued, “These days, I’ve been watching the wounded soldiers. I’ve discovered among them, these soldiers who have experienced so many battles, a valuable attribute.”
I exhaled with ease. He was not a fool after all.
“They’re all honest man with smart heads.” Lorenzo strolled to the first row, “And under the influence of King Fischer, their loyalty is not a problem. Army life has made them extremely disciplined, battles polished their will, the long march broadened their eyes. They’re no longer short-sighted commoners.”
“Dean Lorenzo,” Flynn cut in, “I don’t mean to interrupt, but can you stick to the point?”
“Yes, madame, the point I’m trying to make is that if well educated, they’re very well capable of assuming administrator positions at village-head level.” said Lorenzo, “We all know, the lack of village chiefs has always been a huge problem. We have virtually no administrators in towns and villages. In a critical time like this, prevention of civil disturbance is important. These wounded men are loyal, firm and disciplined. They’re vigilant and they’ll make good administrators led by upper management.”
All nodded at his statement.
“Thank you, Dean Lorenzo, for your suggestion. Please sit down.” Flynn also glimpsed me.
“IA director Winslet,” I inquired, “Could our current education facilities afford to supply to instruct this batch of special people?”
“Positive.” Winslet replied, “We have enough space and materials. Given the particular condition, we’ll have to ask the staff department’s aid and the help from City Hall.”
“You’ll have all the help you can get.” I then turned to the City Hall directors, “Do we have other problems?”
My civil officials were not fools. Followed by Dean Lorenzo’s idea, the rest procedures were promptly settled.
“How about the staff officers?” I inquired a man, “Any opinions?”
“Sir, we completely concur.” Carlos stood up, he said with appreciation, “Thank you, viceroy, all directors, and colleagues, thank you, Dean Lorenzo, on behalf of our brothers.”
Then all officers including the other 2 legion commanders stood up and gave the City Hall directors a standard army salute. In fact, they were concerned about the wounded settlement. Once heard their former friends were properly settled, happiness filled them. And Dean Lorenzo has won the officers’ affection.
“That’s the best. City Hall, you need to watch your schedule.” I nodded, “Let them do their jobs. I don’t need better, I need a general stable situation in the city. As for the livelihood, I will send help, gradually.”
“Good, now to the second matter.” said I, “About the settlement of the 160 million refugees from the 36 Clans.”
The astonishing number slumped all men’s head, again.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.