The Lord’s Address
I felt peculiar, just like water rising to the surface.
Opening my eyes, I was greeted with the familiar sight of my room in Straheim and the sound of knocking.
“What time is it?”
I forced my heavy head towards the clock to find that it was half past five.
I opened the curtains. A vibrant crimson and gold illuminated Straheim’s sky.
Looks like I fell asleep for an entire day.
I tried to remember what happened after binding the contract with that heinous grimoire, but my memories were vacant.
However, it was more important to find out who was knocking at the door for now. I forced my heavy body up and walked over to the door, opening it to find Judo standing in front of me.
“Thank god, you’re awake,” he said. “Are you sure you’re okay though? You’ve been sleeping all day for three whole days.”
“Hm? Three days? I slept that much?”
He creased his eyebrows and continued. “What are you saying? You came down several times last night to give us orders.”
Now that he mentioned it, I remembered that I had done that. After binding the contract with that heinous grimoire, I was constantly feeling sluggish and being assaulted with drowsiness.
But why did I forget that? Even if I’m only half awake right now, this is the first time I’ve forgotten several days’ worth of memories.
“Probably because of that grimoire.”
I couldn’t think of any other cause.
I can’t use my gifts, nor any incantation-less spells right now. I wasn’t surprised that a few days’ worth of memories had fallen into disarray.
In any case—
“What about the victory celebration?” I asked.
“It’s about to start so I came to get you.”
“Got it. Let’s go right now, so please bring me there.”
Judo nodded and began his teleportation. Looks like he can still use my gifts. These are some inconsistent limitations.
Well since Judo can still use my gifts, it’s not like I’ve lost the gifts themselves, so I just have to figure out how to undo these limitations. I don’t think it’s a big deal.
The teleportation magic circle spun about and before I knew it, the scenery had changed. Right before me was a giant stone room lit up by lamps.
This was my first time here, but the architectural style made it look quite old. It was one of the few remaining buildings in Camelot that weren’t destroyed by either the kingdom or the empire— (probably that stone tower in the middle of the city).
The only reason that they hadn’t demolished it was because it provided a high lookout from within the city. It was basically a good scouting spot.
“Grey-sama!” yelled Carla and Satella. Carla waved her hands and Satella gave me a hug.
“Oh! You guys were already here?”
“Yes, I’m your personal maid after all!” said Satella, placing her hands on her hips and puffing out her chest.
Carla excitedly added, “This is a celebration for your ascension as the lord!”
No wait, this was supposed to be a celebration for our victory, not for my ascension as the lord.
Well, she was right in that it was a celebration.
“Let’s go, Boss.”
I followed Judo and ascended the tower. The stairs were five to six meters wide—wider than I had expected.
The Radol tribes’ leaders stood on both sides and bowed down when we passed.
“It’s almost like a ceremony.”
I continued to climb the stairs while thinking other mundane thoughts. When I reached the end,
Two men, a one-eyed red-haired man — Aquido and Kurama—stood next to a stone door over three meters tall. Upon seeing me, they bowed and opened the door.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Kama and Hachi were here too.
After passing through the door, I arrived at an observation deck.
The evening sun shot a golden beam of light through the sky, lighting up the crowd of people huddled up below the tower.
“Lord-dono!” said Theo. He was wearing the traditional clothing of his people, a gorgeous costume of brown and red, and bowed before me. Calogero and the other commanders followed suit.
“Grey-dono,” said Lucia, blushing as she gave a slight bow. She was wearing a white skirt and a red coat with black undertones.
“Ah, good work.”
“Another one, Grey-sama!” said my personal maid as she looked down at Lucia with half-opened eyes.
“Hm! What is it?”
“Nothing, I was just talking to myself.”
Satella turned away in a huff, and Carla puffed out her cheeks as she kicked the ground.
I have no idea what’s going on with the women around me, as usual.
“It’s about time, Boss,” said Judo with a rigor unlike his usual tone. Everyone immediately straightened up and I walked up to the observation deck, overlooking the Radols.
What a surprise, there must have been at least over a thousand people. The war was just three days ago. They had underdeveloped transportation methods, and this many people meant that there were probably men and women of all ages gathered.
“Silence!!” Theo boomed, stunning the audience into silence. “Yesterday, under the Wise Mountain King, our Radol forces defeated The Amrzs Kingdom’s forces at Fort Arkroy. Victory is ours!!”
I heard some sparse cheers. The Radols just couldn’t believe we had driven away the kingdom. I could see dubious looks from all around us.
Each tribe had sent only twenty or thirty soldiers. There was no way we could had defeated the kingdom’s forces with that paltry number. They must have been thinking that we had either recaptured our prisoners of war through a surprise attack, or I had lent my own forces to help.
In short, they had only come here to see their new ruler with their own eyes.
“The Wise Mountain King has a few words. Listen up!”
The crowd burst into whispers. They were probably wondering where the lord in question was.
I took a step forward and declared, “I am Grey Ines Navarro. The empire has entrusted this land to me, your new lord.”
Astonished voices flooded the plaza.
“First, let me congratulate you on your victory. My condolences.”
I slightly bowed my head and the chatter immediately died down. They didn’t understand what I meant.
“Apologies for the suddenness, but all of you are just like livestock right now.”
The plaza erupted into angry roars as expected. Nice, this is proof that they’re still capable of anger.
“You had lost to the empire and suffered under the oppression of the dispatched lord.” I continued, “You all have lost your will to resist, of course, but also the most important factor to being human.”
Theo had explained the details. After their previous lord, the Davids, they had been misled and their land been taken by the kingdom while they didn’t offer any resistance and just handed over hostages and food. For a country, no, for a person to live, they need dignity as well as enough food to sustain themselves. The moment they handed these away, they degrade into livestock.
“How dare you! You’re a dog of the empire!!” someone shouted.
Another chimed in. “He’s right! Isn’t it all your fault!!”
“Who do you think you are! You abandoned us at our most critical moment!!”
“The empire should get out of our country!”
They continued to hurl one insult after another until they finally ended on a chorus of “GET OUT!”
A vein popped on Theo’s forehead as he tried to appease the people, but Aquido grabbed his shoulder and gave a disapproving gesture.
Leave it to my aides to understand me well.
I picked my ear with my pinky and sighed. “Sheesh, first you shift the blame and now you run away from reality. That’s why you’re livestock.”
A moment of silence descended in response to my sudden shift of tone, but it was soon replaced with angry roars that threatened to shake the building.
“Yeah, that’s right. Livestock lead a little bit happier life. It can be a good thing to leave your fate in the hands of others,” I said. “Leave it to the rulers, to your tribe leaders, and blame them for your misfortunes. There’s nothing easier than that.”
I, of course, would find that nauseating, but I can’t deny its efficacy as a way of living.
“But weren’t you listening to Theo? You Radols somehow triumphed over the Amrzs kingdom, one of the three great powers of the world. The world can no longer turn a blind eye to you, and you can’t walk an easy path anymore. That means you can’t stay as livestock any longer.”
The angry voices died down before erupting into yet another commotion.
“There’s no way we’d win against the kingdom with so few people!” someone shouted.
“That’s right! I bet you all just ran away, didn’t you!? You’re just exaggerating!” someone else added.
Their responses were only natural, so I’d give them a demonstration just like they wished.
“You can win, unfortunately.”
Calogero stepped forward, probably having understood my intentions, and aimed.
There was a space in the center of the plaza about three meters in radius that was off-limits.
Calogero took aim at the piece of armor fastened by a wooden pole.
A plan like this was most likely impossible for Theo to think up; it was probably Aquido.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Five bullets pierced through the armor and dug into the ground.
The weapon’s range and power were out of this world, so naturally everybody stared with their mouths agape.
“Look, I’ll only say this once. The world is soon to be engulfed in an insane war the likes we’ve never seen before. And you Radols will probably be at the center of it.”
Even though it had been a small battle, one of the three great powers had lost. It was undeniable, and the other countries wouldn’t be so idiotic that they don’t try to immediately find out why.
If they began to gather information, the existence of the Radols’ weapons will be revealed, no matter how we try to conceal it.
Once they found out, they’d do anything in their power to get their hands on these weapons that could turn the tide of a battle in an instant. And the strength of that force would make the soldiers at Fort Arkroy look like child’s play.
“W-why us!? We didn’t wish for any of this. We just wanted to live in peace!!” said a young man with a pale face.
“Nobody will believe you no matter how many times you say that. Didn’t I say already? The ball has already been set in motion.”
Before I knew it, silence had befallen the plaza. Gasps were the only sound I could hear.
“And if we l-lose?” Lucia asked from behind.
“You’ll be eradicated once you lose. The people who discovered a weapon that can overturn a ten to one deficit in numbers are just too scary to be left alone after all.”
They’d definitely come to that conclusion as well since this world had no laws for war. And the country that obtained the Radols’ technology would aim for world supremacy.
“You can’t rest even though you’ve won. After all, the entire world is aiming for you. Powerful countries are going to come knocking, and if you defeat them, they’ll form alliances with other countries.”
Once war broke out, a few firearms were sure to fall into enemy hands. So no matter how prescient we were, it was sure to turn into a bloody battle.
“There’s one path to salvation., that is to strengthen the army. You need to transform your government, economy, and military into one of the leading countries.”
In short, once I gave them firearms, I had reduced their options down to two.
“You only have two options left. Will you be eradicated as livestock, or will you become the world’s greatest power as Radols? Which will you choose!”
I turned my back to the citizens and said, “I hope you choose wisely.”
Then, I disappeared back into the tower.