Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Early the next morning, at the main gate of the palace. The officials who were to attend the funeral of the fallen soldiers had gathered, the military officials got on their horses and the civil officials got on their carriages, but Major General Carlos, the highest-ranking Royal General Staff Officer, did not order the departure.
Today was the first time the attendees went for a formal ceremony as empire court members, so the Logistics Department had issued new uniforms to the civil and military officials yesterday. The civil servants were dressed in blue girdle robes, with no ornaments, only ribbons and chest markings to show their rank and position, making them look very simple and spirited.
In accordance with the tradition of Dark City, the officers’ uniforms were even simpler, with black as the main color, with silver and white piping and buttons, wide shoulders, narrow sleeves, and corseted tops with long pants. The rank was on both shoulders and the service insignia was worn on the upper arm.
From the lowest junior officer to the highest lieutenant general at present, everyone will wear such uniforms in the future. Officers above the rank of brigadier general were a bit more broad-minded in their clothing, with an additional cloak with collar. Of course, because the king was of military origin, officers were permitted to wear longswords in the palace.
“General Staff Officer, everyone is here.” After waiting for a while, Carlos’ adjutant reminded him, “Shouldn’t we depart?”
“Yes?” Major General Carlos raised his head, “Whose wagon do you think is coming toward us?”
“A wagon?” The adjutant looked back as the king’s special carriage and guard were pulling out from the center gate of the main palace.
“You stay in this carriage.” Carlos straightened his new-style military uniform, “Get ready to go.”
The main gate of the palace slowly opened, and with the sound of crisp horses’ hooves, the cavalry of the king’s guard escorted the caravan to depart.
“Good morning, Your Grace, Your Highness.” In the huge carriage, Carlos greeted the king and the Chancellor, “By the way, Your Grace, didn’t you say you weren’t going?”
“Of course I said something like that, but you have to understand that plans never catch up with changes.” A well-dressed Cohen replied with a straight face, “What’s more, I am a king and I have to seize every moment in order to fulfill my historical mission…”
“That’s bluffing enough.” Seeing that Cohen was about to make a long speech, Carlos hastily nodded his head and said, “Your Grace, allow me to dismiss myself!”
“I’m glad you understand what I mean.” The seriousness on Cohen’s face collapsed in an instant, “The fact is that it was my behavior last night that offended a certain supervisor of internal affairs, and she must be waiting to punish me at the dinner table.”
The Chancellor, who was looking at the official document on one side, raised his head a little at this point, “What happened?”
“There are so many rooms in the harem that I looked in the wrong window… last night,” Cohen explained with a smile, “and ended up going around and around without finding the place I was going to.”
“And then?” The Lord Chancellor went back to reading the document in his hand.
“Then I got confused and stumbled to Carey’s, and only in the morning did I find my way to the royal library…”
“As far as I know, Carey and Flynn’s rooms are door to door.” The Chancellor was relentless in exposing Cohen’s lies.
“That’s the point of the matter, the fact that the doors are opposite each other and I went the wrong way has become an unexplainable mistake.” Cohen continued his lie, “Flynn will never forgive me, and I’ll at least avoid the breakfast time when she’s most angry.”
“Then, I can only wish you good luck at dinner.” The Chancellor continued reviewing his files, “I will eat in my room with your mother, giving Flynn the opportunity to let some steam out.”
“My dear father, I am your son!”
“Flynn is my daughter-in-law, moreover the First Queen with special status and the head of the harem, and she has always performed well. Why should I help your son who only causes trouble?”
“Understood, let’s not talk about that now.” Cohen nodded, “Carlos, Dad, there’s one thing we have to do.”
“What is it?”
“You’ll remember that we had a plan to have the Aqua Clan gradually move inward, right?”
“There was, but it has been temporarily suspended for funding reasons, and the aquatic community has not been able to come ashore so far.” Prince Visual stopped reading the papers, “We expect to be able to realize this plan next year, and now we can only supply them with food.”
“Last night I thought of a problem.” Cohen frowned, “If both the supreme races are after them, once a large number of aquatic people walk in broad daylight and we can’t explain the situation to the Gods, they might even ask us to execute them, and then we would be in trouble.”
“Indeed, how are you going to do it then?” Prince Visual considered for a moment, “Not many people know about this plan, it is limited to the high officials, the supplies to and from them are all on the account of the internal affairs’ supervision. Most court members don’t even know that we have dealings with the Aqua Clan.”
“Stop the relocation plan. I’ll see to that after. Carry on with the food aid, but do it more implicitly. The military personnel we sent there will not need to return. Put only our trusted personnel in the ports in preparation…” Cohen turned to Carlos and said. “I think that with the occasional presence of a few aquatic people in the Empire, the Gods should not give us a hard time, they only have an aversion to large numbers of aquatic people.”
“That’s true, in the foreign slave markets, slaves like aquatic people are in high demand.” Carlos agreed with Cohen, “Then I will send a letter to them immediately.”
“Good.” Cohen then said, “By the way, you write to Sander, tell him to send Forner to the capital.”
“Miss Forner? With what identity?”
“In what identity? Are you asking me??? I’m the king, I have a million things to worry about, don’t bother me with such trivial matters, okay?” Cohen couldn’t think of a suitable reason for a moment, so he kicked the question back to the general staff officer.
“Understood.” And the general staff officer could only nod and admit his own bad luck.
The convoy exited the caravan and drove to the outskirts.
Compared with the rebels, the casualties of the Royal army in this war were very few, but the fierce battle of Divine City still cost the lives of more than 6,000 soldiers. Maybe to others, it seemed a minimal cost, but from Cohen’s point of view, it was a huge loss, he only had a total of 150,000 troops in his hands, and it would be heartbreaking to lose a single one.
It took five days for the Corps of Engineers to build a mausoleum in a scenic place on the outskirts of the countryside, and the remains of more than six thousand soldiers had all been buried. More than six thousand white tombstones were arranged in a huge circle, and a huge statue of a soldier was erected in the center of the circle, with the names of the fallen generals densely carved on the statue’s pedestal.
Next to each tombstone stood an officer or two, these men were the best friends of the fallen soldiers, and they held their friend’s weapons and uniforms in their hands, standing quietly by the side of their sleeping friend.
The soldiers of the king’s guards, who had changed into new uniforms, were on guard inside and outside the mausoleum, each in high spirits and with solemn expressions. Seeing the arrival of the fleet, the officer presiding over the ceremony gave a nod and the military band began to play. This was the first appearance of the Royal Military Band.
The long fleet stopped outside the mausoleum, and the officials waited for the king at the entrance.
The king, dressed in a white gown, stepped out of the carriage accompanied by the Chancellor and the general staff officer and entered the gate along the passage. The officials followed, crossing the dozens of royal flags whipping overhead, and stopped in the open space under the statue.
After a series of solemn and grave rituals, the ceremony came to a close, and the king stepped forward to address his ministers and generals.
“We are here today to honor the memory of all the generals who died in this war, 6,473 in all.” Cohen looked at the men with a calm gaze, “I think I knew them better than you, and I remember when they joined the army when they completed their training, when and where they fought, and, where they died.”
This was not a good opening statement, and some ministers even complained in their hearts that the king’s secretaries were all loafing fools.
“I can remember them, I even remember that some of them spoke to me, and I can remember them forever! But it doesn’t matter to them anymore, they’re long gone.” Speaking of this, Cohen shook his head, “I didn’t get to give them a talk about my life’s purpose, and I didn’t get to give them a few days of comfort; I could only give them a long resting place after their sacrifice,and they… and they paid with their lives for me!”
The king suddenly raised his voice, causing a shock in the hearts of all the people present.
“Today, we have taken back the empire! Today, there is no more war here! Today, we are here in our new uniforms. We are here today because of the dedication and hard work of countless soldiers who didn’t even have the chance to know what the new uniforms look like!” The king finally got to the point, “Just because of the mistakes of a few people, we lost these soldiers, I ask you to think about what you should do and how you should go after we take back the empire from the rebels, and what we use to repay these soldiers who are willing to sacrifice their lives. No need to answer me now, think about it.”
“Over the past few days, I have come into contact with many people and many suggestion letters from them, and we have put forward many opinions and views on the future development of the empire. Here, I do not want to say who did the right thing and who did not, I just ask you to gaze at the tombstones of these generals, think about their faces, then reconsider your suggestions and rewrite your letters.” Cohen’s gaze enveloped the ministers, his expression still calm, “These fallen generals, soldiers, I sincerely hope they will rest in peace, but those who are alive should continue their efforts, no arguments.”
“The majestic military music, formal ceremonies, a funeral with the king in attendance are really nothing to be mentioned about.” Cohen raised his head, he was a little agitated and paused in his tone, “I feel really guilty in my heart, I don’t know what I can come up with in the days to come when I think of them, what can I come up with to console their souls, what can we all come up with?”
“They died, they became heroic martyrs, their names went down in history, we gave them as much of this as we could… but I’d rather keep them alive! I’d rather let them live like ordinary people and enjoy life.” Cohen regained his composure, “Find out the families of every fallen soldier and take care of them for me.”
Before the ministers could appreciate more meaning out of the king’s words, Cohen handed over the ceremony to the Chancellor. While the latter was speaking in front of the statue, the king had already returned to his carriage. Because the king’s temper has always been like this, the attendees did not complain much except for a little dissatisfaction.
However, when the ceremony ended, the Chancellor did not see Cohen in the carriage. The one waiting for him was Arnold, with a frustrated face and Cohen’s appearance – the king has run away, again!
The Chancellor did not say much. He received a few letters from Arnold while muttering to himself, “What a way to find trouble! How long will he be away this time?”
The carriage swayed gently as the caravan returned.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation; any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.