Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
A month had passed since the battle against Cardinal Georgis. I was meeting Count Meigis and Marquis Maiar at the Meigis Trading Company. Correction: It’s not Count anymore, but Marquis Meigis.
“The clean-up is finally over,” Meigis said. “I don’t want to have to go through all this trouble for a while.”
“The other nobles were rather envious of you, though,” Maiar commented.
“True. The outcome couldn’t have been better, but was it really all right for me to receive such a reward?” Meigis looked uneasy.
After the war, Cardinal Georgis’ every crime was exposed. The preparations that Marquis Maiar had made for that moment had been very effective. As a result, Cardinal Georgis’s household was brought down at incredible speed.
Cardinal Georgis was a nobleman with a vast territory. When a noble family was ousted, their domain would normally be taken by the state. But Count Meigis’ played a huge role in exposing the Cardinal’s wrongdoings, and even defeated him. As such, all of the Cardinal’s domain was transferred to Meigis, and he was elevated from Count to Marquis.
These were all decisions made by the royal family. The king apparently said something like, “We must reward outstanding achievements accordingly.” Even so, it seemed to me that this was an excessive amount of reward for a single achievement. But apparently there was a reason for this.
“I suggest you take it,” Maiar said. “Rewarding achievement is like a pretext. In actuality, they are working on winning you over.”
Meigis gave a strained laugh. “Win me over, huh?”
“Well, I suppose they also genuinely want to express their gratitude as well. His Majesty the King had a tricky relationship with Cardinal Georgis. I’m sure His Majesty is pleased that the monopoly on healing medicine went from the Cardinal to you.”
“I’m not sure if I can handle such a large territory, though.”
Count Meigis was troubled about receiving a huge domain. It should be fine, since Marquis Maiar would be there to support him. It was all still a drag, nevertheless.
Incidentally, I also received a reward in the form of coins. Unlike the Count, I didn’t have to take on all the hassle. Then again, the amount I received was kinda huge, so there was a possibility that it would prove to be a burden in a different way.
However, these rewards were just an added bonus. The biggest thing for me was the other outcome of the war—the change in the way people whose classes were called “inferior” were treated.
“I didn’t expect things to go this well,” Count Meigis muttered when the conversation about the territory had settled down.
Even though we had defeated Cardinal Georgis, it would not be so easy to change the cold treatment of people with inferior classes. After all, this unfair treatment had permeated the people’s consciousness, laws, and even the guild itself.
It would definitely take time to change the system, which required the approval of not only the king, but also the nobles.
Or at least that’s what I thought. The system was, in fact, already changing.
“Who would have known that the system of oppressing inferior classes that Georgis himself promoted would end thanks to him? Quite ironic.”
“Marquis Maiar, it’s not inferior but special classes. Please make sure to use the correct term.
“Ah, excuse me. I didn’t mean to disparage them. Habit is a terrifying thing.”
The term “inferior classes” had now been banned by law, and they were now called “special classes.” Not a trace of the previous system that shunned those with inferior classes remained in this kingdom.
Under normal circumstances, the system would not be this easy to change. Nevertheless, it was all flipped upside down in less than a month.
“I can’t blame you for making that mistake. The designation we’ve been using for decades now was changed in just one month,” Meigis said. “It’s all thanks to your strategy.”
“Anyone could have come up with that strategy, but only you and your people made mass production of healing medicines possible and also defeated Cardinal Georgis’s army, which was twenty times more powerful than yours.”
“Both were Eld’s doing. He has the credit.”
“No, no, no. It was all possible because of you. Though in all honesty, even if we weren’t involved, I feel like Eld alone could’ve taken matters in his own hands and solved all the problems.”
Oh, come on. You two are exaggerating, I thought. It’s true that I was the one who directly defeated the Cardinal, but the reason I was able to fight Georgis without problems was because Count Meigis and the others took care of all the political-related mess. If it wasn’t for that, we might have been able to defeat the Cardinal, but the persecution of the people with inferior classes would still continue.
“No, ending the oppression in a month would have been absolutely impossible for me alone,” I said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it even if I teamed up with other nobles.”
“I will take that compliment. Although, as far as the effectiveness of the operation is concerned, it’s partly thanks to Cardinal Georgis.”
“I agree. I didn’t think the threat would work that well. It even made me feel awkward.”
Marquis Maiar issued a single threat to change the system. “Those who do not cooperate in the abolition of the oppression against those with special classes will not be supplied with healing medicines.” It worked so well, that even the side making the threat was surprised.
It was especially effective against the nobles who actively supported Cardinal Georgis. Many of them had sons who were sick. Too many, it was almost unnatural.
Cardinal Georgis didn’t sell much of the cure to anyone other than those affiliated with him. Unable to go against the Cardinal, they instead cooperated with him in oppressing people.
“First of all, it’s definitely a man-made disease.”
“Most likely. Poison their sons and then use the healing medicine as a bargaining chip. Only demons employ such methods.”
“Yes. Although you could say that is the reason why our strategy worked so well.”
The nobles with sick children worked really hard. Marquis Meigis was a little stumped with the nobles playing up to him almost every day, showing just how much they devoted themselves to the abolition of the oppression. They did a really good job in that regard.
There was even a man who collapsed from exhaustion, but with the help of a healing medicine, he was able to get up and continue his work. The medicine itself was supplied by Meigis. Fortunately, no one died, but if they had continued for another month, some would have died of exhaustion.
Thanks in part to this, the system changed in a very short period of time. Unlike the system, however, it would take some time for the people’s ingrained prejudices to change.
But things will gradually change for sure. After all, special classes are formidable.
“Anyway, I guess we’ve accomplished our goal of ending the oppression against inferior classes.”
“Yes. It was a long battle.”
Marquis Meigis and Marquis Maiar took deep breaths. Then I heard the clattering of footsteps coming from the hallway, followed by a rapid knocking at the door.
“What’s is it? Did something happen?” Marquis Maiar asked, feeling a hint of urgency.
An answer came back immediately.
“His Majesty the King has passed away.”
The king is dead.
Marquis Maiar said that the king was young and in good health. His death at this time suggested it was unnatural.
It seems like there’s still something going on in this kingdom.