Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Correction: 1. Chancellor Visual Kheda is also a prince (the king’s male immediate family), therefore he is sometimes addressed as Prince Visual Kheda. 2. Swift Kheda→Sifta Kheda
After a short talk with Chancellor Visual, Cohen returned to his chamber and shouted as he passed the secretary’s office, “I’m writing a letter, come along!”
The new king’s clerk replied as he grabbed the paper and pencil sharply, then followed at a trot.
When he entered the room, Cohen pointed to the desk. The clerk naturally hurried to sit down, first he set up the tools with professional speed and posture, and then raised his eyes to look at his master.
Cohen crossed his arms and walked back and forth in the gilded room, biting his fingers every now and then.
“This is a private letter – To, the great and rightly wise and glorious Cardinal Court of the Temple of Light, the respectful cardinal priests.” At last, Cohen finally stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling window and said the content of the letter, “Please allow me to express my kind greetings to you as the 17th king of the Swabia Empire – how fucking nasty!”
“Writing complete.” The clerk naturally knew what to include, and it was his most important duty to revise the king’s letterhead and to make sure the words were legit.
“The other day, I had the honor to receive the First Cardinal Priest. We reached several agreements that are important for both sides in a friendly atmosphere. I am glad that the process in between went smoothly, Swabia will keep its promises, please don’t worry. For we remain firm believers of the God of Light and still follow the guidance of the Temple of Light, there is no doubt about that.”
“Everything is slowly recovering in the empire, and I believe we will be able to take up our duties soon, but until then, I have to tell you all the bad news that we have. The reason why I didn’t mention this trouble when the First Cardinal-Priest arrived was that I was worried that it would ruin the atmosphere and because the statistical report within the empire is not yet complete.” Eyes looking into the distance, Cohen considered what he would say next, “The rebels have taken the capital for almost a year, and the national treasury was squandered by their greedy desire, and by the time the light was restored, there was only one copper coin left, which was found between bricks.”
“Your Grace, the last line…” The clerk looked at Cohen with a very resigned look, knowing that in fact there was quite a lot of gold left in the treasury when the capital was taken.
“Write it just as it is, that is my humor.” Cohen gave him a look and stuck to his words, “And our side has used most of the cash on hand to bribe the rebel army and commanders in order to avoid war damage. So I don’t have the money to keep an empire running right now, and although it’s a bit reckless and rude, I’ll have to ask the Cardinal Court for assistance on this matter.”
“Writing complete.” The clerk had already foreseen what might happen later – when the letter reached the hands of the Chancellor.
“The nation is already suffering because of the rebellion, and as a king, I cannot add to their burdens. On the other hand, the landlords are also on edge, and it will be difficult to maintain the stable foundation of the empire by raising taxes from them, so at the moment, I can only seek help from the temple.” Cohen turned over and crossed his arms, “In the meantime, I will enclose with this letter a piece of information of interest to the temple, that is, the amount of money and supplies that the Cardinals financed the rebels during the rebellion. Leila, how much money did the Red Priest give Luhrmann?”
“Cash and supplies converted into cash totaling 27 million.” Leila, who was standing at the door, answered without even thinking about it.
“Alright! You, draw up a list of 50 million gold coins for them after the letter.” Without blinking, Cohen doubled the amount, “Go on – there is a world of difference between our orthodox status and the rebellion, and your honored cardinal priests will certainly weigh that. I do not want to borrow money, for I do not want to pay interest, much less principal; nor do I want charity, for my pride and honor will not allow it; what I need is sincere concern from the temple, and I think you must understand what I mean.”
“I hope my letter will not be difficult for you all. Signed: Your true friend, the 17th king of Swabia. Cohen Kheda.” Cohen smiled, “That’s it, take the letter to the Chancellor and show it to him, and send it to the Heaven Island temple in a regular way after a month.”
The clerk packed up his things and excused himself. Then Leila looked at Cohen in confusion.
“Delivered after a month? Then won’t the priests see it two months later?”
“Yes! By that time, my enthronement ceremony will already be taking place, and they’ll have to give me the money as it is a fait accompli.” Cohen stretched lazily, “Tell me, how’s my letter?”
“The letter has a strong gangster style, and once again you lied.”
“No one can tell whether the red priest and Luhrmann still have private dealings, I am just preventing this just in case.” Cohen justified his actions, “O Leila! The world of man is not the same as the world of dragons, absolute justice does not work here. You’ll see! As long as I obey the pantheon, they will satisfy me with this request.”
“I am learning about the world of man, including why the title of brave is added to dragon slayers.” Leila said half-seriously, half-jokingly, “How much money will this letter bring you?”
“It depends on how smart the Cardinal Priests are.” Cohen sat down and poured himself a glass of red wine, “The fact that the Pope Cardinal was imprisoned means that there was a big change in the upper positions of the Temple. And then the fact that the temple suddenly stopped giving Luhrmann support could mean that all three Cardinals have fallen. Then, the former enemies of the Cardinals, that is, I, have now become the ones who the cardinal candidates must befriend. Tell me, among what people will the next Cardinal come from? Of course, they will be chosen among the cardinal priests whose positions are just next to the big three cardinals…”
Leila waved her hand, “Get to the point! I hate these things.”
“We don’t know who will become the cardinals yet, which means every cardinal-priest has a chance, and they certainly won’t let go of the opportunity to befriend me.” Cohen smiled and said, “Besides, I did show enough respect in my letter, these people have been in the political world, they know what I mean.”
“But your letter also has the implication of threat, why is that?”
“As far as I know, the dragons all have a fair level of intelligence.” Cohen looked down at his glass and replied in a serious tone, “Use your pride and wisdom! Surely you can surmise my intentions.”
“In fact, the wisdom of the dragons will not be used in these matters, we are not born to scheme, and I think it will save time to know the answer directly from your mouth.” Leila took a few steps forward and looked at Cohen intently, “Please enlighten me.”
“Am I smart?” The wine glass rested on his chest, and Cohen raised his eyes to look at Leila.
“Of course.” Leila nodded solemnly and stepped a little closer, “Though I would prefer to describe you as cunning.”
“That’s right, I make a rude, deadly demand for money, and with no tricks.” Cohen took a sip of wine and playfully replied, “It’s a sign of weakness! I want to portray myself as a king with no quest to show them that I’m not a danger and that defeating Luhrmann earlier was just luck.”
Leila was furious, knowing that she had fallen for Cohen’s trick again, and only after a long time did she strike back, “That’s a good strategy, but I despise such rogue tactics from you.”
“You’re right, I’m also right, in fact, a king and a don are not different in essence.” Cohen stood up and responded with a victorious tone, “I am a competent don, a successful king, hehehe!”
“If I could, I’d like to throw you out of the window.” The word ‘anger’ alone could not describe Leila’s feeling at this moment, “Climos Summers was a good king, but he was not a gangster leader at the same time.”
“He was a good king because he once had a gang member like me.” Speaking of his respected elder, Cohen said squarely, “He was assassinated because he didn’t have enough like me.”
“Then why don’t you be a Climos Summers-like king?” Leila was trying to dissipate the murderous spirit in Cohen’s heart all the time, “You can have many rogue-like men, in fact, you do have many now.”
“A king like that can only keep his job, not enough to be able to expand the territory.” Cohen locked eyes with Leila and lowered his voice, “And you know in your heart what kind of madman I will be in the near future. Give up those superfluous kindnesses of yours. Well, to change you must go through bouts of pain.”
“I insist,” Leila replied with a stern face.
“Whatever, at least I can still tolerate those with different opinions, which means I still have a noble side.” Cohen smiled faintly at her, “Come on! Let’s go eat.”
Walking outside on the passage, the two voices stopped, but the argument had not subsided. It was not until Cohen got into the carriage driving to the harem that Leila gave up communicating with him.
Because of Cohen’s good deeds over the past few days, everyone was somewhat relieved, and the atmosphere over the dinner table was quite good. No one noticed that when Cohen was joking, Arnold, who always liked to tumble, was quiet.
After the meal, the ladies of the royal family chatted in the cloister; as for the men: the king and the three princes went into the inner room with their glasses of wine, playing cards or chess.
“Father, have you read the letter I wrote?” Cohen made a gesture to his two brothers to sit down, “How was it?”
“Nothing is wrong, you wrote it well.” Prince Visual replied with a nod, “Of course, the scribe had several shortcomings. I have pointed out to him, he will do better in the future.”
Cohen smiled and looked at his two brothers, “Your Royal Highnesses, where are my sisters-in-law? Why haven’t I heard the news that you are going to have a wedding?”
“Cohen, don’t you flirt with us.” Prince Rick shook his head, “We are not you, the king has no personal matters so he can hold a wedding when the situation is critical, but we must wait until after the enthronement ceremony.”
“I will be looking forward to it.” Cohen hemmed and hawed, “What about my future sisters-in-law?”
“We had a change in their titles, so all aspects of the wedding have changed and they are preparing. It will take a little more time because they are not from prominent houses.” Prince Sifta looked at his brother, “Father has only just promoted their family to a knighthood, and you don’t want us to have the wedding immediately, do you?”
“Those are not important, what is important is that you love each other…” replied the king in a soft voice, “My dear brothers, don’t look at me like that, I am a man in love now, and I have to go to my lover’s window this evening singing.”
“Congratulations.” The three princes had a tacit understanding and teased the king in unison.
“Okay, let’s talk about something else, I have some ideas that you all need to know first.” Cohen put down the wine glass in his hand, “It’s about the empire’s strategic propositions over several subjects.”
The three princes nodded their heads and gazed at Cohen.
“After the empire is restored, we are not under a lot of pressure in terms of defense.” Cohen took out a map from his pocket and spread it on the table, “Our territory is bordered by the sea on one side and the Line on the other, both of which we should leave alone for the time being. Behind us is the Rivalz Empire, and only next to it is the Porta Empire. Currently, the priority is Porta.”
“Porta is very large, rich in products and national power, and also has some unclear involvement with the rebels.” Prince Rick looked at the map, “But aren’t you trying to plot against it?”
“Why would you say that?” Cohen asked sincerely.
“Because you drove all the rebel scattered troops there.” Prince Rick said without turning a hair, “With the power of the Second Legion, it wouldn’t be unable to chase down a few rebels who escaped on their legs alone.”
“Careful, this is classified.” Cohen nodded and smiled, “But for the time being, our strategy for Porta is about peace and friendship, all in the name of love and justice – but the necessary defense can’t be left out. I will carve out a few more provinces close to the Porta Empire and call them the first war zone, big brother, you will be the first officer.”
“What is this officer in charge of?” Prince Rick rubbed his chin.
“The war zone governor has jurisdiction over all military forces within the region, and their military affairs, training, and defense are all under your control.” Cohen explained, “Even if it’s the viceroy’s private army, the army coming from other provinces, as long as they walk on your defense zone, they have to obey your jurisdiction.”
“Understood, a position of a completely defensive nature, I like it.” Prince Rick took a sip of wine, “Hopefully, Porta won’t give me any trouble during my term of office.”
“There will definitely be trouble, but as long as the Porta army or rebels dare to look for trouble, you can strike hard, and we will naturally step in to set everything right afterward.” Cohen’s hand slashed down, “But you have to do one thing, no matter how the situation changes, at least in three years, be fearsome so that Porta dare not send troops against us.”
“Good, in that case, I will have enough time to make preparations.”
“Big brother, his job is given, now, next to the second brother.” Cohen smiled playfully and then looked at the second brother, everyone could tell that he was joking, “Prince Sifta, care to do some internal affairs?”
“Cut the nonsense.” Prince Sifta tossed his head with pride, “I was born to be a soldier.”
“I knew you would say that I have discussed with my father, and you, a born soldier, will also have a war zone.” Cohen smiled, “In the direction of the capital towards the Line, there are a total of seven provinces that have only recently pledged their loyalty to us. According to tradition, I cannot immediately change the viceroys of these provinces. But I don’t trust them, don’t want to trust them, and don’t want to give them a chance to thrive.”
“And then what?” Prince Sifta’s character had matured.
“In the name of preparing for the next P/A War, I will carve these seven provinces into one piece and put them under your name, and you will directly control these seven provincial viceroys in the name of the war zone officer, and you will keep an eye on them for me.” Cohen said softly, “Within one year at most, I will replace all these viceroys, after that you can choose the position you like, as an officer or an internal affairs official, whatever you like.”
“All right!” Prince Sifta nodded, “I accept.”
“You two have to prepare from now on, to familiarize yourselves with your affairs in advance, I will have the relevant documents sent to your rooms tomorrow.” The Chancellor said, “This is the first step in the revival of the empire, and the time period is two years. During this period, the empire will focus on restoring its national strength, and there will be no large wars.”
The two young princes flabbergast.
“Then that means there will definitely be a war during these two years? Just not on a large scale?”
“Yes, we already have a strong military force, but without war, their fighting power will not be maintained.” Cohen nodded, affirming his two brothers’ question, “My idea, no war in a year, no large-scale war in two years, after that… we’ll be busy.”
“I know your ambition is to be a madman.” Rick sighed, “So… what target are we talking about?”
“Although I want to be a crazy person, I want to be a crazy people-person first.” Cohen smiled and pointed his hand on the map, “Here, I will take the army to occupy this empire at a fairly low cost, and within two years of my ascension to the throne, I will share this glory to everyone in the alliance.”
“Here is…” Cohen’s two brothers looked at where Cohen’s finger was pointing and sucked in a breath of cold air, “You are fishing across the border, that is the Asmodian Alliance.”
“Just make a little excuse, in fact, I was looking at their land, very fertile.” Cohen smiled, “Besides, isn’t it the dream of every generation to attack the Asmodians? I will become a very popular king, and the eyes of the whole alliance will gather on me.”
“The gaze would not only be admiration, but more would be jealousy and resentment.”
“That’s right, that’s exactly the outcome I want to achieve.” Cohen picked up his glass, “They will be excited, they will act, they will perish… I’m waiting for that day to come.”
“I’m sure of it.” Prince Sifta laughed, “Now, you are a certified madman.”
“Thank you for your support.”
“If I could choose, I would rather not support you.” Prince Sifta sighed, “I haven’t heard your analysis and strategy for the Rivalz Empire.”
“Yes, Rivalz Empire.” Cohen sat back down, “My father and I have discussed several times and decided to maintain the status quo with the Rivalz Empire and set up a war zone on the border as well, sending Lieutenant General Martin Luther as the war zone commander. Our relationship with Rivalz has always been good, and Grandpa Martin will continue this relationship.”
“But this presupposes that there are no problems within Rivalz, as far as I know, the members of the latest generation of its royal family have all come of age and are ready to go nail and teeth with each other.” Prince Rick leaned his body slightly forward, “Something could go wrong any time. You made Bernie a Swabian princess for a reason, am I right?”
Cohen and the Chancellor looked at each other, their expressions were both a little resigned.
“You’re right, I didn’t adopt Bernie as my sister for no reason.” Cohen nodded, “The intelligence shows that both princes of the Rivalz Empire are a bit out of practice, and several of the prince-in-laws show a passion for politics beyond their status. I just hope they don’t make a mess in two or three years.”
“Then we have to act.” Prince Rick said decisively, “Stir up this chaotic situation a little more, so that they can’t see through it, and maybe they will restrain their behavior a little.”
“It has already begun, the intelligence agents lurking within Rivalz are already in the hundreds, distributed in all classes, and we have found advocates of interest in the Rivalz court.” The Chancellor said softly, “I am glad that you have noticed this, we will never lose this important neighbor.”
“Is this the king’s strategy for the present alliance, being wishy-washy with Rivalz and limitedly assertive with Porta? What about the other empires?”
“The other countries are not our priority yet, the intelligence system will infiltrate first. We’ll see when their first phase report comes out.” Cohen put away the map, “Basically, this is the future strategy, there will be a lot of personnel changes after the enthronement, so be prepared, thank you all. I have to go sing under the lover’s window, see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.”
When Cohen left, the two princes looked at their father with puzzlement in their eyes.
“Don’t look at me like that.” The Chancellor said with a straight face, “The king has the right to sing.”
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation; any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.