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Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter
Chapter 86: Dida’s Query
Once Berne left, Tanya walked into the office with Ryle and Dida.
Wonderful, perfect timing.
“I deeply apologize for asking you to do something for me right after you came back… Tanya, please bring me the fief’s inventory report. Ryle, Dida, find out the number of personnel on our guards list, as well as the Armelia Ducal House’s private army. Also, report the number of available commanders and captains.”
“Understood.” Tanya quickly bowed her head in confirmation.
“I’ll get it done immediately, but milady, what’s going on?” Ryle and Dida had also accepted my request, however Ryle seemed have questions.
Well, anyone would be confused by these instructions.
“Just now, Father sent Berne to give me a message. A bill for the army’s dissolution has been submitted to the throne.”
“What….” Their faces filled with surprise. Their reaction was not solely for the Armelia Ducal House, as Grandfa—the General’s disciples, they worried about his situation as well.
“Thankfully, the proposal was stopped by Grandfather-sama and Father-sama.”
The three of them sighed in relief.
“The problem lies behind the scenes—the aristocrats favored the proposal and bill.”
“What does that mean?”
“Well, first of all what I’m about to say is conjecture, so it may be inaccurate.”
They nodded as I spoke.
“First, this is what happened. This incident started from the words of Yuri Noir, the daughter of Baron Noir.”
“… That woman?”
Ryle didn’t conceal his displeasure at all. Seeing him express his emotions so freely, especially on such negative matters, was a rare sight.
“Judging from Tanya’s reports, though I don’t know how, I have a hunch that she has ties with the country of Towair.”
As for how involved that connection was, and how they communicated, it was too early to make any proclamations. Or maybe…. She was threatened by someone, or unconsciously used as a tool. Of course, the possibility of her being a treasonous spy still existed.
But these were all murky facts, and I didn’t have any evidence of their communication. However, I was still going to prepare for the worst possible situation.
“Father, who is the only person I truly rely on, is being rendered useless whenever something happens to me. To have the army dissolved…. That marks the start of Towair Kingdom’s dream plan. That attack by the Church of Darryl was to stun Father, and Yuri-sama…. she may be the person behind all of this.”
Now, everything was falling in place. The pope’s ruthless actions were to drive me out, and probably gain negotiated rewards too.
The three of them smacked their lips in displeasure upon hearing my words.
“This next issue is where the problem starts. The aristocrats who proposed this plan.”
“Well, no doubt it’s the Second Prince’s faction?” Ryle gave me an answer I expected.
“Not just them. Actually, there was assent from the neutral party too.”
“Even the neutral party….” Ryle repeated in bewilderment. Tanya and Dida also had sour looks on their faces. “Then, what’s in it for them?”
“…. I think it’s because they wanted to legally expand their own military.”
“What’s the matter with that?”
“Ryle, Dida, you two know that our fief’s army maintenance is set at the least priority…. According to fief’s size, the volume of our military is pretty straightforward.”
This was a remnant left by the past Duke. Back then, he had much more power than we had right now.
Opposition to our military’s organization and requirement of a “national army assembly” resulted in the uncertain conditions our forces were at right now.
“And since every duke monitors each other closely, along with the kingdom’s surveillance, no fief would have too much military power.”
This prevented rebellion and independence from dukedoms.
“The proposed plan to dissolve of the kingdom’s military intended to distribute the army into select fiefs, and military costs would be handled by the fief privately. If it were an emergency situation, to distributing military power to states… wouldn’t be the worst idea, but it would return the kingdom to a time when fiefs held the most power. That is what a great number of neutral-party aristocrats seek.”
“To maintain their own military strength just in case something happens… Well, isn’t that the same as abandoning your kingdom?” Dida blurted out while I was organizing my thoughts.
“Exactly. However, we don’t know whether their plan is to actively rebel and break away, or to hole up within their fief’s borders.”
“Then, to take inventory of our own military… Milady, do you wish to fight these cowards if the time comes? Do you wish to become the kingdom’s sword and shield, and walk into battle by their side?”
“Well… not really. This is just a precaution—since the situation is really unstable right now, if something truly happens, we will need to defend our fief.”
“Mmm… But….” Dida’s tone wavered as it always did, but carried a very serious attitude.
Usually, Ryle would scold him, but he hasn’t muttered a word. Maybe he was still recovering from the news.
“Then, if something really happens, will the one that commands the fief’s army be you, milady?”
Dreadfully, it was not impossible. But.
It was only because Father was still running politics in the royal capital.
If I wasn’t here as the regent feudal lord, decisions would haven taken very long to process. For such important matters, Father would need to command from the capital. Even if Sebastian were to manage the fief indefinitely, he wouldn’t be given that kind of responsibility and power.
However, as long as I was here, that situation will never happen. For I wield the same authority as the Duke himself.