Release that Witch Chapter 842
Prius Dessau's life had been going quite smoothly recently.
Like a dream, his service at the Elk Family had faded into oblivion over time. His skill and training as a knight had been long forgotten. His big belly could not fit in his old clothes. Instead, he bought baggy fabric pants and short silk robes, which not only were easy to manage but also enabled him to act like a gentleman—although he was aware that in His Majesty's domain there were no real nobles anymore.
Of course, his knighthood, which was not truly a dream, could still be evidenced by the shining armors displayed in his living room. Oddly enough, when he had been a knight of the Elk Family, he had disliked those armors so much that he had even considered selling them to a blacksmith at an unusually low rate. But after starting serving His Majesty, he began to feel these things pleasing to the eye. One of his hobbies now was holding his toddler and rambling about his 'valiant and heroic' fighting stories.
But in those stories, Prius had completely avoided mentioning Duke Ryan, as if he had always been an impeccable loyal minister to Roland Wimbledon.
After joining the City Hall, he had been continuously moving up in his career. Seizing the opportunity when the population of Neverwinter was rapidly growing, he expanded the chicken and duck aquiculture zone several times, and it now eventually turned it into a huge poultry factory. That was right, the poultry factory he created on his own was not by any means worse than the machine-manufacturing factories. After learning the term 'factory' from His Majesty, he immediately hung the board for his factory over the yard gate.
Nowadays factories sprang out in Neverwinter like mushrooms after rain. It was currently the most popular word in the City Hall. Naturally, he did not want to be left behind.
After all, he had more than 100 employees; in his factory, there were almost 10,000 chickens and ducks which needed several baskets of fodders and earthworms each day, a scale he had never dreamed of. As to being called 'Chicken-and-duck Knight', he did not mind it; instead, he rather enjoyed it.
Now that his career was on track, Prius became idle. The first batch of apprentices had gained the skill of distinguishing poultry genders, feeding, filtering baby chickens, etc. Furthermore, they could even train newbies, which gave Prius much free time. Fowl plague, the most dreadful thing for raising poultries, could be easily dispelled by that witch Lily, so the scale of his factory could actually expand as large as he wished. Now, he only had to do planning and statistics work, and then the Minister of Agriculture would do the rest.
In fact, most of the other knights who had been captured with him were doing pretty well, except a few who were too stubborn to cooperate. His superior Sirius Daly, for instance, a former knight of the Wolf Family, had now become a minister, and he had the highest rank among all of them.
Morning Light, who had been promoted to an intermediate teacher, earned about the same as Prius. While doing small talk, Ferlin Eltek seemed to have mentioned that he had plans other than keep on teaching. It was hard to speculate where this former star knight would work, but it must be somewhere not too bad.
The other knights like Halon, Valsa, Kazan.... were either teaching or operating a business. Prius often met these old acquaintances when he had time, to chat about their daily lives, their work, and their expectations for the future. But not everybody was sincerely convinced by His Majesty. For example, Halon was not satisfied with the policy that forbade captured knights to join the army. As such, during their meetings, he was often in state of despondence because of his unfulfilled dream. Prius did not agree with him. Everyone knew that flintlocks were very powerful weapons. If he were in charge, he would be unwilling to entrust these weapons to a defeated army.
As to himself, he laid eyes on the annual Award and Honor Ceremony—judging from His Majesty's emphasis on agriculture, he felt sooner or later he would stand on the platform in the square, being admired and respected by audiences. Not only would he accept the medal bestowed by His Majesty personally, but he would also get a prize of 100 gold royals, which was a much promising future than joining the army.
While he was on the way to City Hall, humming, and was about to greet Sirius Daly before going to the poultry factory, the minister stopped him.
"Ah, here you are. His Majesty is waiting for you."
Prius slowed down. "What's the matter?"
"The guard didn't tell. He only told me to tell you to go to the castle when you're here."
"I see." Prius pretended to be calm and self-collected, although his heart beat faster. "It's not long after the conference of the agriculture mobilization movement. Is His Majesty thinking the same as I do, to promote me as an honorary example?"
Full of expectations, he entered the castle. Under the guidance of a guard, he came to His Majesty's office door on the third floor.
"Come in," after introducing himself, a familiar voice came from the other side of the door. "I've been waiting for you for quite a while."
"Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Prius Dessau sends his best regards," as soon as he entered the room, he got to his knee and held a fist over his chest as a knight greeted a king. But due to the extra fat on his belly, the gestures he made were far less handsome than before, and he almost trapped himself while kneeling down.
"Please rise." The king was sitting behind a long desk, smiling at him, and said, "You've been doing such a good job recently that even Barov can't stop praising you, which is rather rare. Therefore, I have a new task for you."
"I'm at your command." Prius stood up respectfully.
"Listen carefully... This is a top secret. Even in the City Hall, not many people know it," Roland said in a serious tone, "and it's so significant that it concerns the future development of Neverwinter. As soon as you accept it, you can't tell anyone what you see and hear without my permission. The reason I chose you is that you're the most suitable candidate considering there's nobody else has done it before, although you're not indispensable. If you can do it well, the compensation won't be an issue. I want your answer now."
Prius was startled. He did not expect His Majesty to make such a proposal at all. It had nothing to do with the medal, but His Majesty actually planned to give him a really tough task.
"Ah, forget about the significance, the competitive compensation... They mean nothing but trouble. To be involved in the king's secret is like a suicide." Subconsciously, he wanted to decline it, but he swallowed the words on the tip of his tongue. "Wait a minute. Who do you think the person is? He is the Lord of Neverwinter, the King of Graycastle!"
"When the King wants an officer to do something, does he need to consult the officer in advance? Unless the officer has planned to rebel and hide in his territory. Otherwise, he should take the order no matter what it is so as to not suffer a king's wrath. His Majesty doesn't order me directly is to care for my feelings, not to give me the chance to refuse."
Prius swallowed a mouthful of saliva. "Even though this king Wimbledon is different from most other lords, and he means every word he says, didn't I just tell him 'I'm at your command?"
"I just expressed my loyalty, then I directly tell him that I don't want to or I'm unable to do it? If I were the king, I guess I would hold a grudge if not flying into a rage on the spot. In that case, not only won't I get promoted, but I might not even be able to be a common official either, not to mention the Award and Honor Ceremony and the abundant prize."
At this thought, Prius really wanted to slap himself.
After hesitating for quite a while, he eventually blurted out, "I'd like to take this task."
He could not afford to lose his position. He had lost his identity as a knight, and if he went on losing his official position as the superintendent of the poultry factory, he would really have nothing left at all.
At this moment, the only thing that comforted him was His Majesty's words 'you're the most suitable candidate considering there is no precedent' . "At least, this means a sort of confirmation of my capability?"
"Alright." Roland smiled and whispered something to the empty space beside him, and then looked at Prius and said, "Now follow me to a place."
"Where?" Prius asked immediately, anxious and a little panic.
"The Third Border City," the King said while raising his eyebrow. "Have you heard of it?"