Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
The crowd went silent for a second, then fell into an uproar once again. Everybody knew that they were in trouble. They might be hanged or skinned because the king was disturbed, and he was upset.
“Are you part of this?” An officer questioned.
“No, I was not!” The soldier was not stupid.
“You? Come clean!” The annoyed officer decided to be tough.
“Sir! My name is Cow! I was not!” This one was a professional acting-dumb.
“Then what’s wrong with your damn face!” He asked.
“Sir! It’s dark, I fell!” Infantry Soldier A said.
“What about your forehead?” An officer asked.
“Sir! It’s dark, I walked into a wall!” Infantry Soldier B said.
“What about you holding your junk?” Another officer asked.
“Sir! It’s dark, I’m holding it!” Infantry Soldier C said.
“What’s with the dark!!?”
At last, by a show of hands, the head of the royal guards decided to take me and my men as well as any unarmed soldiers to temporary custody.
“How impressive, our troopers and nobles got this far in a fistfight.” King Climos Summers paced slowly on the palace square, with a smile, to our surprise, “You fought at the gate and had the guts to get the whole city busy. How extraordinary you are!”
Twenty of my men, either was black and blue in the faces or stayed bared teeth, stood on the right. On the left were all the infantry troopers who lost their armors. Three, four hundred of them, half stood, half lying on the ground. The squad leader, who was still in a coma, undoubtedly was here as well. A white sheet covered his body, making the poor man resembled a helpless girl who was raped by a hundred guys.
The king’s court members were also here. They muted themselves for fear of getting involved in this mess. I noticed my father was among them, looked as healthy as usual, without any expressions.
“Ahem.” King Summers put away his smiling face, “Viceroy Cohen Kheda, what’s your story?”
“Evening, Your Grace. Here it goes.” I spoke with a tiny twisted tongue for being punched in the face multiple times, “I was humbly ready to report the new site for my Dark City. We’ve traveled for days and finally arrived in DC ahead of schedule. However, the guard wouldn’t let us in!”
“Yes, sir. We have argued on grounds, but they required five dimes in tips each in order to let us in!” My previous life had trained me well in lying with an unelevated breath and heartbeat, “I rejected and the argument turned into a fight! Then they rang the alarm.”
All courtiers gazed at each other in dismay as I finished talking. An inferior infantry squad leader dare to extort a viceroy! Then and there was someone who suggested a beheading.
“Is that so?” King Summers remained unflustered, he questioned the DOD men, “What’s your story then?”
“Your Grace!” The DOD officer on duty said, “I rushed over as soon as I can, seeing only Viceroy Kheda whipping a naked guardsman hanged on the gate. I was unaware of Viceroy Kheda’s accusation; however, I have tried to stop him, then Mr. Kheda beat me as well.
“Liar! We did not! We’ve only prevented them from getting in after the closing time!”
“Your Grace! Our guardsmen would never do that!”
“Why wouldn’t they! They’ve even attacked a nobleman!”
“They have a point, Viceroy Kheda.” The Prime Minister who’s been silent all the way, said, “As far as you’ve presented, why did you end up messing up with the DOD officers?”
“Your honorable minister, may I ask you,” I asked with the sweetest, most respectful attitude, “am I a man of insanity?”
“Ah?” He was confused by me and blankly shook his head.
“Since I’m not a crazy person.” I continued, “If I could let this go in peace, why would I fight against a hundred men? Truth be told, did I need a little after-dinner exercise? They started it first!”
“Viceroy Kheda!” A man in the crowd asked, “You don’t have any evidence on them extorting you.”
“Prove?” I touched my chin and pretended to be angry, “I am a noble viceroy. If you don’t believe what I said, then that! I don’t have proof!”
“Viceroy Kheda.” The king said, “Calm down.”
“Your Grace, it is what it is, we were forced to do it.” I was playing innocent and weak and gentle and lovely, “They want evidence, how could I have any? It’s their men and words outnumbered mine.
“Shouldn’t you be worried?” The king corporately comforted, “It will come clean.”
His eyes then landed on the cavalry general who merely arrived, “What’s your words on this?”
“Your Grace!” The general saluted and said, “I have no idea what happened beforehand! What I saw was hundreds of infantrymen fighting twenty guards in the gate channel!”
“No further, Your Grace!”
“Eh…” The king said to his courtiers, “What’s your opinions on this?”
“Your Grace!” He who spoke the first, the minister, “I should point out that the gate guards will never extort nobilities.”
“I don’t think so.” My father finally broke his silence, “Your Grace, let me suppose the infantry did not ask for money, then why did Cohen choose to fight several hundred men with only a twenty in hand? More to that, later on, the presence of a DOD officer made things worse rather than cleaning the mess. If they have not extorted anything from Cohen, at least, it had proven one fact. The men in the defendant department are useless! An ineffective leader leads useless soldiers. I can’t believe a mere sum of twenty people could cause the alarm and a later general panic of the whole city. And those hundred men lost to only twenty, useless!”
I kept my blank face, but a secret excitement thrilled my body. My father was marvelous. I stood joyfully wishing this could be over soon because my legs were killing me.
“Your Grace.” An insider soldier said, “We pulled the alarm because they’ve passed the gate. We lost because the space in the entrance limited us to fight with only a couple of men.”
“Pass the gate?!” I yelled, “You all people saw us in the tunnel! Spare your words!”
“I don’t care if they’ve passed the gate. You’ve lost, and how about I order an extension of the gate and let you fight again to see who wins this time?” The king played the ruby on his ring with a little finger, “No one has realized any faults! Take this man and give him thirty!”
“Your Grace!” As tense as the Minister looked, “This matter is a small case, please be mercy.”
“SMALL CASE?” The king scolded loudly, “Once the alarm alarms, everyone is alarmed! Have you been getting too old to know this?”
“All things are clear, more or less!” The king prevented anyone who intended to speak, “When did the DOD become such incapable losers? Have they been training properly? Ringing the alarm for a small incident and two hundred men lost to a less twenty. What if this was the case of an enemy attack? I don’t expect my Divine City to be guarded by soldiers like this.”
“Considering their incompetence, all DOD senior officers will suspend their duties, effective immediately. All responsibility will be taken over by the imperial guards. Twenty floggings for all infantry and sub-lieutenants involved in this incident and dispatch out of DC in all! Viceroy Cohen Kheda, pack your impulse. Considering your status, fist-fighting is not an appropriate move. I now give you a self-detention of three days and cut in salary for a half year!” Watched over all of us, the king continued, “Now get out. Visual Kheda, you stay here with me!”
(Later that day)
“Three day’s detention and half year’s salary.” My father grinned, “What an itchy punishment. The Minister must be furious now!”
“My salary! Dad!” I said, “That is a lot!”
“Don’t worry.” He said, “The king was pleased that you gave him an excuse to shift all DOD personnel. He has authorized a total of five hundred grand for your Dark City project as a reward and encouragement.
“WHAT! I am rich! I was expecting around twenty, thirty.”
“Hey!” He had a paper in hand, “This’s the approval! You can get the money immediately from the treasurer!”
“Jack!” I grabbed the paper and yelled.
“You, now, with Maiza, go and get my money!”
“Hold on, Jack!” Father followed, “Let me show you how to transfer!”
As I waited for Jack while lying on the bed with great joyfulness. With the money and help from my friends, I will be able to play big!
“Boss!” Jack rushed in, “Geez!”
“Geez my ass!” I said, “Where’s my money?”
“Boss!” Jack was sweaty all over and he was followed by Maiza who also looked furious, “Our money was taken!”