Release that Witch Chapter 525
Barov's heart stirred as he watched the cyan stone wall gradually become closer and clearer.
In fact, he had been excited ever since he received the prince's orders. Prince Roland had defeated Timothy smoothly and easily, as expected. This once again showed that no one was able to resist the army of Western Region's Lord.
Of course, it was now rather inappropriate to call Roland the "Lord of the Western Region".
He was now the only surviving son of King Wimbledon III, and thus was the bloodline inheritor and rightful heir of the royal family.
The obstacles to his ascent had been completely swept away.
It was a matter of time that Roland would be crowned king.
As for Barov, he would soon become the Prime Minister, second in power only to the king. This joyful thought made him become steeped in reverie. "When those 'old friends' of mine, who're so concerned about me, see that I've attained a position that they can't even dream about, how will they feel? Shocked? Jealous? Envious? Or gnashing their teeth while putting on a fake smile and trying to please me?" These imaginations gave him immense pleasure. It would be even better if his former mentor, Treasurer Lauren Moore, could witness the scene of his promotion.
The concrete boat slowly docked at the pier in the outskirts of the city. Barov sauntered down the trestle bridge together with Kyle Sichi and other companions. Under the escort of the First Army, they walked through the familiar streets and entered the inner city palace.
The Palace of Twin Towers was still as majestic as it was in his memory. In the past, he could only look at it from far away in a small room in the City Hall. This time, he could walk into the palace boldly.
He was led straight up to the study, where he once again met Roland Wimbledon.
In a state of excitement, he got down on one knee and greeted, "Your Majesty, Kingdom of Graycastle is now yours!"
"Actually, not yet. Eastern Region and Northern Region remain under Timothy's control." Roland laughed. "Get up you, there's much for us to discuss."
To Barov, Roland looked and acted exactly like he did before. He spoke in his usual calm tone and was warm and friendly. He did not seem to be affected by his upcoming coronation at all. Barov's attitude thus became even more respectful. He stood up slowly, dusted himself and replied, "Yes, Your Majesty."
"Our prior task at the moment is to maintain the administration of King's City. I'd made this clear in the letter." Roland poured a cup of hot tea and placed it in front of Barov. "Do you have a preliminary plan?"
Barov hurriedly received the cup of tea. "It won't be difficult to maintain the existing order. Your Majesty, how about you let me handle the lower nobles? They'll know what's good and bad for them." Also, I've brought over 10 of my most outstanding students from Border Area. Some are proficient in business and some in tax administration. Even when I'm not around, my students will make sure that those noblemen don't steal or do anything funny." He paused before adding. "But, Your Majesty, I hope you'll assign the left-behind soldiers of the First Army to assist in their supervision. Without military force as insurance, supervision alone may not have the right effect."
"Of course not, Your Majesty," Barov replied without the slightest hesitation. "The government affairs of City of Neverwinter are much more complex and important. As such, I can't be away for too long. And it'd be too exhausting for you to go and handle these issues yourself." Please, Your Majesty, let me continue to manage the City Hall of City of Neverwinter for you. It has suited me well to serve under you."
Barov had thought very clearly about this. His Majesty had confirmed that City of Neverwinter would become the new capital of Kingdom of Graycastle, and therefore, it was only a matter of time that it overtook this city. At present, the former's population and development potential had already surpassed King's City, and after the launch of the new batch of recruitment programs, its scale would be unarguably greater than any other city within the Four Kingdoms. Of course, he would get to listen to the mourns and wails of his "old friends" if he remained in King's City, but over time, he would inevitably get bored and sick of them. Furthermore, such mourns and wails could not provide him with more authority and influence, and on the contrary, would gradually pull him away from the power center. He knew that it was only by appearing regularly in front of His Majesty Roland that he would be able to leave a strong impression.
Roland gleefully observed Barov for a long while until the latter lowered his head out of his guilty conscience. Then, Roland consented. "Alright. But my condition is that the change of city hall officials mustn't cause King's City to fall into disorder. You should know that every single person in this city is important to me."
Subsequently, His Majesty enquired about the details of the situation regarding the mining and farming projects in Longsong Area. He paid particular attention to the latter. Barov had known about Roland's preference beforehand and thus had obtained information about the farming projects from Petrov. He replied smoothly to every question, such that Roland continually nodded in agreement.
The afternoon passed quickly. After asking his last question, Roland patted Barov on his shoulder to show his appreciation. "You've done well. I won't have to worry when I'm out leading the army into battle. Go and have dinner. We'll discuss the development plans of Longsong Area tomorrow."
"Plans haven't been made," Roland replied calmly.
"What?" The City Hall Director could not believe his own ears. "These things should be arranged as early as possible! With it, your prestige will increase tremendously, and the people's hearts will unite as one. There aren't any downsides. Why don't you..."
"It needs too much time." Roland cut him short, stood up, walked over to the window, and looked down at the magnificent city under the dusk light. "I've asked the ceremonial officer. He says that a full coronation will require many months of preparation. Aside from making the gold crown and the gem scepter, invitation letters have to be sent to the church and the other three kingdoms. The ceremony can only begin after all of their emissaries have arrived. Even if we omit the Holy City of Hermes, Kingdom of Everwinter and Kingdom of Wolfheart, it'll still require more than a month to contact Kingdom of Dawn. This will severely slow down our plans for the second half of the spring offensive."
"Your Majesty, you can simplify this process..."
"That would lower the prestige of the coronation, such that it might even have an adverse effect." Roland shrugged his shoulders in rejection of Barov's idea. "Even Timothy pays heed to this process. I can't appear to be more anxious and cheaper than him. However, my ambassador to Kingdom of Dawn will set off shortly. He'll notify them about this. When we get a formal reply from them, it won't be too late to consider this matter."
After Barov took his leave, Roland could finally exhale a sigh of relief.
There was another reason that he had not mentioned. It was the deep and pervading notion of "Focus on amassing grains, while slowly becoming king", in other words, "Become rich silently". At present, he only occupied Western Region, which was not even a third of the land area that Timothy occupied when he was king. It was best to be modest before the church officially attacked Kingdom of Dawn, and it would be troublesome if Hermes made him the prior target. Though he was no longer afraid of falling out with the church, he did not want to draw aggro on behalf of others.
Shortly, Roland summoned Kyle Sichi to his study.
He was hoping that his Chief Alchemist had already thought of a way to intimidate the Alchemist Workshop of King's City.