|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
My first entry into Kesek was by horse and carriage. And through the curtains of those carriage windows, I spied a sea of gazes all focused my way. Hope. Gratitude. Worship. Every one of them, genuinely happy to see me. It warmed my heart, but at the same time, it weighed heavily on me.
What I was about to do was tantamount to treason – to fight against the devils as a devil…
Even so, while these corrupted nobles were deserving of the doom that awaited them, what about these innocent people?
Saving all the innocents was most likely impossible. I did not have that kind of power. But I could at least save the race I used to belong to.
The province of Kesek used to be the property of the noble family of Abbott. It was said that this family was a staunch supporter of the Andassean royal family, or at least the previous head was.
Unfortunately, the previous head was murdered by his own younger brother, aided by the Ertalonese kingdom. Then by purging the entire estate, he successfully took control of the family.
The bloody massacre only took a scant two hours. Those close to the previous head were murdered before they even knew what was happening.
All that was information I learnt from the old majordomo of the estates, Adam.
It all clicked at that moment. An entire uprising in a region was rare. A monarch had to be immeasurably cruel in order to spur such drastic action. But if the heads were secretly replaced with traitors, it all made sense.
There was no shortage of such craven traitors. Ones lacking in competence, but brimming with ambition and dissatisfaction for their current state.
Old Adam was a man closing in on his fifties. In the estate, he wasn’t a power player, but with decades of running the estate well, he was a talent in his own right. Thus the traitors kept him around as well.
Upon learning of what befell the previous head, I next set my attention towards the location of the traitors. Old Adam told me respectfully that they had fled upon learning of the failed invasion, along with most of their kin. In all likelihood, they sought shelter in Ertalon.
So that’s why the estate looks like a dog’s bowl after the dog was done licking it…
I asked Old Adam why he did not leave with them, to which he simply replied that this was his hometown. However, I could see the guilt in his eyes, most likely towards the previous head. But I understood he had no choice in this matter. At his age, he had a family to look after, and if he did not surrender, all of them would have been in trouble.
Regardless, I was a permanent resident of the manor, and Old Adam was still the majordomo.
After countless upheaval, the government of the province was in complete paralysis. Without a leader, the masses were no better than blind mice; chaos was only inevitable. Thus I knew that restoring order was imperative in ensuring that this province could function.
And that was where Old Adam, with his decades of experience, came in handy once more. Upon learning of my concerns, he quickly introduced some talents in the field of governance. Which in a medieval world like this, basically meant the gentry. Education was something only reserved for those with power. For the common folk with talent, magic and aura were their go-to. And even amongst the noble, only those without a talent for either of those disciplines would specialize in governance. Maybe the odd scholar or two.
As the majordomo of the ruling family, it was no surprise at all that he would know so many nobles. And I couldn’t care less what the old butler had in mind when he recommended them either; I accepted those who were willing to be interviewed. After verifying their character, with the help of Ferti’nier, I sent them to work officially.
Before my arrival, panic amongst the populace was a looming crisis. With every passing day, the problem only grew worse, as news of the defeated army closed in on them like vice. Along with rumors of nobles organizing raids of their own, posing as those defeated soldiers.
It did not help that the same populace had just gone through two regime changes in a short time; from Andassean to Ertalonese, then back to Andassean. All within a month.
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But all that changed with my arrival. Unlike the nobles, I had protected the common men multiple times by slaughtering those corrupted scum. To the nobles, I might be a callous harlot, but to the common men, I was a savior. Thus did they come out in droves to welcome me with open arms and hopeful tears in their eyes.
Looking at them, I couldn’t help but remember my parents in this world, Morran and Rhona; they were killed by soldiers hired by those self-same nobles. At least back then, they had the common decency to dress up as bandits. Now they just killed everyone.
But unlike the small village I grew up in, Kesek was massive, coming in at 180,000 square kilometers. It was a medium-sized fiefdom, closing in on a large one.
Yet, even with all that land, the population of Kesek was merely three million plus. How many citizens did a random metropolis on Gaia have? Probably more. And in a space that was just 18,000 square kilometers.
Perhaps they just couldn’t produce enough to support a larger population in Kesek, or perhaps their death rate was just too high.
I was once a commoner like them, so I knew how the nobles viewed them. Dogs, if they were being kind. No less than dogs, in all likelihood.