Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Unlike their expectations, Caville stared at the two barons as if he was saying, ‘What nonsense are you talking about?’.
In fact, he didn’t have any reason to listen to their nonsense.
It seems that Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard misunderstood Caville.
They did not doubt that they were loyal subjects of great trust to Caville and were lost in that delusion.
Baron Vendos was the first to follow his orders.
He cut the enemy with his great abilities, not losing to the young knights on the battlefield. Caville even rewarded him a medal for his bravery.
In addition, Baron Bernard was one of the vassals whom Caville had rescued himself.
At the time, the baron was taken as a hostage in the enemy camp because of a stupid mistake.
He was ready to die.
But then, Caville pursued the enemy by himself, annihilating the small troops and saving him from his misery.
At that time, Baron Bernard vowed to give Caville his life.
So, of course, they would naturally hold strong feelings for him.
But Caville didn’t feel the same.
He did trust them, but that was it.
He had no intention of offering them anything else under the pretext of trust.
Elody, sitting next to Caville, observed the vassals’ expression while they were kneeling like sinners.
She started recalling the names from both of their family charts in her head.
‘Their relationship isn’t as bad as I had thought… ‘
Then her gaze went towards those who participated in the war and those who did not.
Elody looked at the knights with a stiff expression.
The seats were for the knights in the first place.
The knights were supposed to be the main protagonists of the banquet today, but they were unable to enjoy the party due to the vassals’ sudden interference.
They groaned in response.
Elody felt sorry for them, but the vassals still couldn’t take a hint.
Suddenly, a short and skinny-looking baron appealed to him.
“But… Your Grace. Please listen to our excuses,” Baron Garcia said.
Caville turned to find Brien. He was going to tell him to kick them out immediately.
But then, Elody grabbed Caville’s hand from under the table.
“Wife?” Caville asked in confusion.
Elody glanced at him. She was gesturing at him to listen to their stories.
She clasped Caville’s hand and patted it a couple of times.
‘It is a bit late, but I want him to be recognized… ‘
Elody wanted Caville to be acknowledged by the vassals. She wanted him to be a duke who was proudly respected and honored by everyone. And she wanted them to compensate for their past mistakes when they neglected Caville because he was the former duke’s illegitimate son.
‘Of course, Caville doesn’t need their recognition, but…’
The vassals of the Duke of Cernoir could also become a strong force to face the emperor or the Temple. Elody couldn’t remember the story in detail, but she knew for a fact that the temple would try to use Caville in the future.
That’s why the vassals could help him if such a day arrived.
Caville nodded after understanding the meaning of her eyes.
Elody was going to pull back her hand, when suddenly…
Caville grabbed her hand and squeezed it tightly.
The hands of the two were tightly entangled under the table.
He trapped her small hand from escaping his clutches.
Elody’s blush burned through her cheeks, and her face felt like a hot oven, but Caville still boldly squeezed her palm.
“…Alright, let’s hear your story,” Caville said.
The vassals introduced their names one by one as soon as Caville permitted them.
* * *
By the time Caville led the war to victory, the vassals who did not participate in the war were raging in agony.
Baroness Garcia, in particular, was more anxious than anyone else.
“Honey, what if the Duke of Cernoir returns and asks for us to pay for our sin?” The Baron’s wife said as she bit her lips.
“Darn it! I have to find a way! But how….”
They were the vassals who were given land in exchange for a pledge of loyalty to the Duke of Cernoir.
Everyone had chosen to ignore that child because he was the former duke’s illegitimate son.
However, he had become such a great hero that no one would even dare talk about his legitimacy.
They wouldn’t be able to say anything if the duke confiscated their land since they failed to obey his orders.
“That bastard…! I thought he’d die…”
Baron Garcia apparently expected Caville to die on the battlefield.
So he sucked up to Count Borque, who would be the new owner of the duchy.
Count Borque was the former duke’s younger brother. Without Caville, the ownership of the duchy was to go to him.
After the young duke died, the emperor would eventually be forced to give possession of the estate to Count Borque.
Baron Garcia believed it and did not have second doubts.
‘But how did this happen…!’
There was no time to worry about what had already passed.
After contemplating for a while, Baron Garcia contacted the other vassals and held an urgent meeting.
Everyone was anxious.
“Whatever happens, we must ask for his forgiveness.”
“The former Duke hasn’t gotten rid of the convention anyway! We have excuses too!”
They put their heads together and worked on the answer.
For now, it was important to bring the two families, Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard, who participated in the war, to their side.
“But, do they even want to help us?”
“We have to find a way somehow.”
“Ah!!! How about this?”
One of the vassals had a good idea.
It was just right for their situation.
And as expected, when they presented their opinions to the two families who participated in the war, they easily persuaded them.
“Alright, we’ll go ahead and persuade the duke.”
“Make sure you keep your promises.”
Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard easily crossed over sides.
The vassals toasted their drinks, believing they could continue on with their lives all filled with bliss.
There was a slight disagreement, but in the end, all the vassals had the same purpose.
With the Duke of Cernoir as their leader, a conference will be held again to strengthen the duke’s power.
They could become a large force. Far larger than the power of the northern duke, the southern duke, and even the eastern duke.
In the far past, the Duke of Cernoir was indeed more powerful than the others.
Their united goal was to regain their power, and to be strong enough to threaten the Imperial Family.
And in return, what the vassals promised Barons Vendos and Barons Bernard…
Was to put the granddaughters of the two families in the seat of the duchess.
* * *
Baron Garcia started coming up with excuses to Caville while making his expression as pitiful as possible.
“Your Grace, unlike Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard, our estates were in ruin at the time.”
The kneeling vassals next to him nodded in sync.
“Also, the former duke destroyed the conference and declared that he would never see the vassals ever again.” Baron Garcia said as he burst into tears.
“Your Grace! It was our urgent priority to take control of the desolate land first… Hence why we couldn’t immediately obey Your Grace’s command. It’s a sin punishable by death!”
‘So then, why won’t you just die?’
…is what he wanted to say, but Caville stayed calm.
His wife might be surprised if he said such scary things.
“But… Your Grace! Please show mercy and give us another chance. I offer you my allegiance…!”
Elody was listening to Baron Garcia’s excuses with a wistful look on her face.
When she turned her head, she saw that Caville’s expression was similar to hers.
She was a bit embarrassed because he repeated the same excuse every time.
However, the look on his face was quite serious. He was desperately trying to blame the former duke for his mistakes.
In the meantime, Elody wanted to remove her hand from Caville’s tight grasp, but he seemed to have no intention of letting her go.
Consequently, Elody gave up and decided to watch Baron Bernard and Baron Vendos closely.
‘What is their reason…?’
Why were they siding with the vassals who refused to obey Caville’s orders?
Fortunately, Elody was able to find out not long after.
Because Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard came to Elody in person.
* * *
Among the vassals, Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard were the closest to each other.
When the decree to participate in the war was issued, the two struggled together.
“I never intended to be loyal to the Count of Borque!”
“Likewise. He’s not worthy of my submission.”
Unlike the other vassals, the two were not on good terms with Count Borque. That was how they got close.
But later, if the duchy gets into the hands of Count Borque…
It was clear that the two families would see a great deal of trouble.
Therefore, the two participated in the war with the desire to gamble on the young Duke of Cernoir.
If he couldn’t prove himself, they were thinking of entrusting their family to the Temple or the Imperial Family.
In recognition of their contribution to the war, they would ask them to protect their descendants from the hands of Count Borque.
Yet unbeknownst to them, the young duke turned out to be a hero. They were able to win the war and return safely to their homes.
As a result, their gambling was successful and after returning from the war, their heart sang for joy.
“It’s a miracle for me to be able to come back alive and meet my children…”
The son and daughter of the two families had gotten married at a young age.
And soon they gave birth to a lovely daughter. The child’s name was Iris, she was the granddaughter of the two barons.