Release that Witch Chapter 556
"A gift?" Roland said, raising his eyebrow. "What's that?"
"The Hawes Family and the Lista Family from the Northern Region... Your Majesty, both of the earls were not only disobeying your rules, but also attempting to collude with the other nobles to rebel. My father looked through their scheme and punished both of the families." Cole said regretfully, "However, I didn't expect you to come back to the Western Region so early. Due to my negligence, their heads working as our evidence were destroyed on the way."
"Hold on, your father directly executed both of the earls?"
"Uh," he looked at his assistant and said, "yes."
The Kant's effort to offer his service was stronger than what Roland had expected... "Taking the heads of the two earls as tokens of pledging allegiance shows that they could hardly gain further support from the nobles in the Eastern Region. In this case, the possibility of them joining up to resist his rule of their domain was greatly reduced." Roland thought to himself, "However, I'm not sure if he's lying at this moment without Nightingale being around."
Pondering for a moment, he whispered to Barov beside him, "Are the two families mentioned in the Northern Region?"
"Both Horsehead Hawes and Double Guns Lista were reputable families of the Northern Region, even more influential than the five big families from the Western Region. Among them, Lista's ancestors armored up and went on an expedition for the Wimbledon Family. The double guns on the Kamon were taken from the Kingdom of Graycastle's flag." Barov unhurriedly said, touching his beard, "Of course, these happened more than 200 years ago. However, the name of the Kant Family was not very famous, I remember the family only appeared about 50 years ago... It was unexpected for Timothy to choose Calvin Kant to be the person-in-charge of the Northern Region. It may cause dissatisfaction with the older families. If the difference of their strengths were too much, it would be less effective, even though it's to pin down the two families."
"So what he said is true?" Roland automatically ignored the latter section the old director mumbled to show off his vast knowledge.
"Uh... it's unlikely a lie," Barov whispered. "However, this is a matter of the noble's glory. If it came through as a lie and you've accepted their allegiance, Northern Region will have botched it for themselves."
"That makes sense." Roland nodded slightly. "It doesn't really matter if it's a lie; the bottom line lies within ourselves. It could easily be discussed if the surrender of land ownership could be accepted. However, even the most expensive gifts are meaningless if it's about seizing power."
Thinking about it, Roland looked at Cole and smiled. "First of all, I'd like to express my gratitude to the Duke. Defending the honor of the royal family is the responsibility of every noble. Your father has done a good job. Secondly, both of the earls have received the punishment they deserved, and the kingdom won't further look into what Duke Kant has done."
"Is, is that so? Father will be very happy to hear that." Cole seemed more than relieved. "He's always wanted to serve the true King and he finally has the chance now."
"Is it? I'm also very happy to accept the allegiance of Duke of the Northern Region... But he must agree to obey the new regulations of Graycastle."
"The new regulations?" Cole was slightly surprised. "What're they?"
"The regulation to retrieve the manor power of the noble." Roland was looking at Cole to measure his expression. He said word by word, "There'll no longer be any noble title in the kingdom. All the domains within the Kingdom of Graycastle will only have one lord, who is the King himself from now on."
"What?! Your Majesty, this..." Cole's expression drastically changed, he turned around and looked at his assistant again.
"Is he really the second son of the Duke? Although he looks a little younger, he shouldn't be worse than his female officer... His assistant at least managed to keep calm although she was shocked with her mouth slightly open. Of course, it was also possible that she couldn't understand what I said." Roland thought.
"No worries, nobles are still nobles. The munificent life you live won't change and you'll even have a chance to hit a new peak." Roland clapped his hands, summoning the attendant to prepare the "promotional manual". "Longsong Stronghold has fully implemented a new set of regulations. You can see many stories regarding the change and some real-life examples of the nobles in the manual. Although it may seem that the nobles have lost part of their privileges, in fact, it has also released the nobles from the manor to engage within the kingdom and even the dance floor of the entire continent."
Cole was totally lost. "But... I don't know..."
Cole's expression was slightly disappointing to Roland. "However, thinking about it, it's normal. As the second son of the Duke, he is after all just getting into his adulthood. He's probably just a messenger for this trip without the actual power of making any decision."
"Anyway, you can always send the message back to Duke Calvin. You can also stay in the City of Neverwinter and enjoy the unique scenery here while waiting for his answer—I think you'll love it here."
Although the Duke sending his second son on behalf indeed showed sincerity, Roland was not planning to waste it, so he was temporarily detaining the son to prevent the Duke from being reckless.
He thought that the meeting had come to an end, without expecting Cole to make another request.
"Your Majesty, may I have a tour within your domain to see how the paddle steamer and steam engine are made?"
It was a novel request. Roland looked at him with interest and said, "Are you interested in it?"
"Yes, I've heard about such a strange ship when I was in the king's city. I realized that they're everywhere here in the Western Region. I'm curious to learn how a paddle steamer moves without a sail." Cole said with one hand covering his chest.
"I see." Roland nodded with a smile and said, "I'll get Director Barov to arrange it."
Roland returned to the office after dealing with the northern envoy. He was just about to complete the drawing in his hand when he heard a rapid knock coming from outside the window. He turned around and saw two unexpected figures.
Lightning was lying on the windowsill while Maggie was crouching on her head, pecking on the glass window.
Roland's heart suddenly tightened. "It's only been three days. The paddle steamer shouldn't be able to return so soon. Could it be an accident?"
"Why did you come back first?" He opened the French window and impatiently asked, "What about the others?"
"Your Majesty! We've captured a demon!"
"However Anna, Leaf, and Nightingale were injured, coo!"
"Luckily, there's nothing serious!"
"However it's pretty painful, coo! Can you please allow Miss Nana to come with us?"
Listening to both of them scrambling to finish the story, Roland felt as if he was on a roller-coaster. He sighed and said, "Nothing serious?"
"I'll order people to fetch Nana." He turned around and walked out of the room. "Remember to finish telling everything at once next time!"
The next evening, two paddle steamers finally appeared at the west end of the Redwater River.
The First Army stayed behind and evacuated the No. 22 trestle, and prepared a covered carriage in order to prevent the crowd from becoming panicked at the sight of the demon. A temporary barrack was set up in the castle backyard, as a laboratory and a study of demons and Sigils, under Leaf's supervision.
Roland felt completely relieved when he saw Anna and Nightingale walking down the trestle. It was only four days since their departure, however, it felt like months to him. The time went by especially slow when he heard those two were injured.
"It's a difficult task this time." Roland grinned and opened up his arms to Anna.
Anna did not say anything but ran into Roland's arms and hugged him tightly.
Nightingale sighed. "You said you'd be waiting for us in the castle... The pier is not safe, Your Majesty."
"You too," Roland said and laughed. "You had a long day."
"Well..." she uncomfortably shifted her head and said, "It was actually alright."
Anna let go of Roland and pulled Nightingale in as well.
Followed by Wendy, then Leaf...
This time all the witches took turns to give Roland a hug, including Agatha and Iffy.
The figures of the crowd looked extremely long under the reflection of the maroon-colored setting sun.