Release that Witch Chapter 875
The chaos that he had expected in Valencia did not come in the end and the situation completely exceeded Bale's imagination.
Having worked as a clerk for several lords, he naturally knew what the breaching of the walls meant—plunder, massacre, disorder, exile... whether the intruders were knights, mobs, or pirates, it did not make much of a difference. That was the case with His Majesty, Timothy, and also with the ascension of the new Duke.
The city's food and wealth were the best rewards for intruders. This had always been the norm, just like nobles who were born to be superior to the common people.
This was recorded in the history books numerous times, proving its credibility.
However, this time the situation was completely different. Roland's army not only spared the city people's lives, but also tried to comfort and calm them. The piles of wheat that were found in the Duke's castle were cooked into oatmeal and distributed to the hungry people. A large number of job offers were posted in the main square, which stated that the participants could not only get food but also salary! Didn't Roland's soldiers mind giving out what originally belonged to them to a bunch of people they did not know? Did Prince Roland come all this way to conquer Valencia only to squander his own treasury?
Within the records of all kinds of books, Bale had never seen such a behavior before.
Still, all this just made him a bit surprised. But there was something else that actually made the Clerk feel a deep fear.
And that was the castle fire several days ago.
The rumor that the fire was set by the Rats had many loopholes. Bale had served three Dukes and lived in the castle for more than 20 years, yet he had never found the entrance of any secret path.
When it came down to life or death situations, the design would have been very secretive and safe. This way, even people on the inside would not be able to discover it, not to mention those from the outside. If those rats actually had the ability to discover something like that, they would have never degraded to Black Street Rats in the first place.
That fire must have been set by Roland's people.
Once he realized that, Bale felt a sudden grip on his heart.
For the first time, nobles were no longer more important than common people. Their lives had the same value as those who lived within the city walls, without any insurance anymore.
Maybe in even more danger.
As for the big families that had also realized that and had not yet been apprehended by Roland, they swiftly reacted and escaped Valencia. They probably even left the Kingdom of Graycastle.
So, what would happen next?
Would something like that also happen to him?
In the past few days, the clerk had lost a bunch of hair and the bald spot on his head had grown bigger.
His fear was not without reason because, in the past 10 years, he had been called a noble without a title, or more accurately, the closest a civilian can be to a noble. He had served several lords, had plenty of experience, knowledge, and had read many more books than normal people. It was exactly because of that, whether it was Garcia's sacking or Eastern Region's change in power, he had safely survived both. Even if the people in the city were killed like the straw being cut in the field, he still observed and vigorously recorded those events.
But now, he was too afraid to even fall asleep.
Even though the formidable army had not acted against any non-noble so far or even against those common people who had worked for the big families, he still was not certain whether they would not do anything in the future.
He could not ask those families to take him with them since he was a common man after all, but he also did not want to just stay and wait around. He felt he had to do something.
Under the swaying candle, the Clerk's gaze turned to the unfinished history book about Valencia.
Thinking about all the stuff he wrote, Bale couldn't help but feel a chill down his spine.
That's right, I almost forgot that...
He quickly turned to the last page, tore it into pieces, and burned them until each and every one of them had become ash.
No, this is probably not enough.
Bale thought for a moment, then took out a quill and prepared to write.
"No matter the consequences, you must record the truth. Do you understand?" Duke William's words sounded echoed throughout his mind.
Of course, he would record the truth, even now.
This was a Clerk's duty.
But in this world, nothing was absolutely objective. He was now living in a city governed by Roland. So, being a little bit biased was not strange. In other words, this was also part of being objective.
Bale took a deep breath and started writing.
"The ambassador sent by the great King Roland Wimbledon arrived in his loyal city of Valencia today..."
Outside of the City of Redwater, at the camp of the First Army.
"Your Highness, there is a secret letter from Eastern Region."
Nightingale jumped out of the Mist while holding a grey Goshawk in her hands. The latter tugged its claws towards Roland and grunted with dissatisfaction as if complaining about the letter being too heavy. There were six notes tied on its paws, almost covering both of its feet. Only when Nightingale handed out a bunch of grilled fishes, did the carrier pigeon finally calm down.
Well, this could not be considered a secret letter anymore.
Roland opened the six densely written notes one by one and had a quick look at them. They were sent by Iron Axe and they were mainly focused on the post-war summary and the situation reports.
The first part was exactly the same as he had expected. The Eastern Front Army had easily occupied Valencia. During the battle, the mortar's effect was significant. Faced with the firepower of the twelve-pound field artillery, even though it was a siege, the enemy still had no chance to fight back.
But when he read the last part, Roland was a bit surprised.
"What happened? Did something happen there?" Nightingale asked.
"Well... not really a problem, it's just a bit strange." He passed the fifth note to her. "Look here."
"Burning the dungeon where the nobles were imprisoned?" Nightingale immediately found the key point after a glance. "This wasn't your order?"
Roland shook his head, "No, I told him that he has full authority at the battle of the Eastern Front."
"So... what's strange then?" she asked confusedly. "Since he has full authority, any measure he takes should be acceptable, right? Not to mention that those people had ulterior motives anyway. They still haven't surrendered to you after so long, so apart from sweeping them up, we could also use this chance to clear the Rats. Seems like a double win."
"You're right..." Roland said while stroking his chin with his hand. Deep in his heart, he still felt this approach was too soft. The Eastern Region was the Second Prince's home for a long time. Seizing the city was only the first step. The following political battle with the surrendered nobles would be a key point in achieving full control of the city. It's for this reason that he had arranged over half of the novice officials trained in the City Hall to go to the east and had appointed Iron Axe, who was from the Sand Nation, to be the commander of the Eastern Front Army and deal with the complex intricacies of the relationships with the nobility.
He believed that after occupying Valencia, in order to eliminate the enemies, Iron Axe would almost certainly use his interrogation techniques to the fullest. When it came to the Mojins' torture, even the High Priests of the church were not able to resist, not to mention those weak nobles. Through bloody trials and executions, he would destroy their power step by step and establish a new order.
However, setting a fire directly was not Iron Axe's style at all.
Roland thought for a while and decided to leave this matter alone for now. Once the two armies met, he would find out more about it—after all, just like Nightingale said, the result of this fire was far too good. It made the nobles fear for their lives, leaving the territory en masse without caring about their lands anymore.
At this speed, Seawindshire and the rest of the domain would be under the complete control of the City Hall within a month. At first, he had thought that the Eastern Front situation would last for a while but, unexpectedly, it had even surpassed the Western Front's progress.