Soul Of Searing Steel Chapter 33

Chapter 33: Oh My, There Is Even a Banquet?

After stating his current status, Joshua continued to speak despite the crowd's sudden uproar.

"I'm sure that someone within the crowd already knows my identity. However, today's topic is not about me. You may not have noticed but my father, the previous count has passed away due to an accident. As such, my uncle seized the opportunity to take over this land by force. He even expelled my knights and planned to steal my ownership of this land."

"All of you may remember the group of patrollers under my uncle's control swaggering on our streets, but fear not as they no longer exist within this city now and would never come back again." Joshua paused for a bit, waiting for the crowd to digest the information given. When the time came, he said, "That was because I had already slain them all."

When Joshua spoke, everyone went silent. What follows next was a sudden, unexpected cheer from the crowd. All the civilians that had gathered were once bullied and threatened by the new patrol. Even though it was winter, it should not be the main cause for civilians to keep off the streets. People of the north were considered honest and simple. Under normal circumstances, they would not do anything that would harm the interest of the city. However, if the days where they would have to live in fear continued, even if they were the people of the north, they would consider taking some underhanded actions against the arrogant patrol. However, since the current lord of the land had already taken care pests, it had turned into a very favorable event for the people to celebrate.

For the current lord to declare his actions of murder directly to the people, it had proven that Joshua was a strong person. Only the strong could lead the knights and soldiers to go against the Dark Tide. Only the strong could protect their own territory. Since the new count had already shown his strength and courage, the people happily acknowledged him as their lord and cheered for him.

Amidst the roars, Joshua stated, "My people, today you may all live the way you have like the past. You are free to travel within the land. All of those who had suffered mistreatment in the past, you will be compensated by coming to the St. Laurent to receive your compensation. However, do not try to make up lies during the process as the priest under the God of Justice would be watching. Finally, families with newborns this year will be able to enjoy one year of tax exemption. That's all."

Joshua waved his hand at the crowd and left the stage. With all these announcements being made, the crowd had gone into a state of excitement and cheered happily.

"Ying, let's go. The following work will be managed by Artanis."

"Yes, Master."

On the 15th of November, also known as the month of Frost and Snow. Six days after the declaration.

The cold season spread throughout the land, freezing up all the things you could see out in the open. Farms and barns were all covered in white snow. The farmers had already harvested the last batch of plants which were more resistant towards the cold. Even all the cattle had been stationed in their respective huts. All the civilians were prepared to embrace this cold period.

The Mycroft Continent of Continental War was positioned from the furthest north of the Lost Sea all the way to the south sea of Cliff's End. Every acre of land in between was unbelievably fertile. The growth of plants was also affected by magic, causing rapid growth and propagation. Both of the factors combined had caused quite a problem for humans to deal with. These factors were the source of disasters which had eventually created the Dark Forest.

Other than the humans' seat of power, all the fortresses dotting the borders of human civilization were being threatened by the existence of the Dark Forest. The never-ending proliferation of the Dark Forest invaded human territories like a plague, birthing numerous daemons. It did not take long for them to amass and assault humanity, forming the Dark Tide which spread terror and destruction to countless settlements. All the blood and corpses from the war further cultivated the Dark Forest as fertilizer, nourishing it with energy. The plants and trees within the forest seemed to be cursed. It would only take them three years to grow more than ten meters tall. Within this forest which was covered up by all these tall trees, different types of plants grew within the forest, creating a scenery resembling an alternate world.

The fortress near the border which was located near the Dark Forest was surrounded by a large forest with numerous daemons invading from time to time. Behind this fortress, there was only a single road filled with bones and blood, acting as the only passageway to human civilization.

Due to the extreme weather in the north, it was still considered stable for the time being. Due to the extreme cold, the plants grew slowly, on contrast with the rate of deforestation.Thus the threat of the Dark Forest to Moldavia was far less compared to the pressure that was faced by the Empire in the south.

However, every occurrence had their pros and cons. Due to the characteristic of the plants and land, the quality of life of the civilians was not as harsh as it seemed to be. At the very least, the civilians in this world were much blessed as compared to the lives of people in Joshua's other world. Due to the current nature of the environment, the people who lived in this world did not suffer from famine. The food supplied in this world was comparable to weeds in Joshua's previous world. An acre of land could easily produce three seasons worth of wheat as compared to the previous world within one year. Despite having such extreme weather in the north, it was still capable to produce at least two seasons worth of wheat easily. There were also incidences where mutation occured on the wheat, causing mages and druids to come over and control their growth rate.

Tending livestock such as goats and cows could also be a challenge as they could be affected by the magic energy and return to their wild nature. Despite having this challenge, cows and goats had very rapid growth rates as compared to those of the other world. With sufficient amount of food, they could easily transition from the status of a newborn within a period of two weeks. After approximately nine months, this livestock would be mature enough and be ready to be processed for consumption. This growth rate could be considered to be unbelievably fast. Given the fact that this was the world of magic, all the strange occurrences were considered normal, compared to the other world.

In a certain mansion located west of the city, Joshua was sitting inside a room, reading pages and pages of letters while furrowing his brows.

After becoming the new lord of Moldavia, his life could not be classified as 'extremely busy' as the order of the city and other chores were maintained by his subordinates. Knights were also stationed to monitor all the executives which were responsible for their respective task.

The real headache for Joshua would be the letters received.

Being the new successor and lord of Moldavia, Joshua received abundant letters from different nobles of the empire. Not only that, the letters of devotion from the knights of Moldavia was also another great task for Joshua to handle. Each and every one of those letters must be replied carefully based on the history of relationship and ranks. In addition to that, Joshua had to reply in different ways so that duplication would not occur. This act would be considered as the minimum requirement for etiquette among the nobles.

Joshua had never done these sort of tasks in his other life. It was continuous torture for him to actually reply all those letters. There were times where Joshua nearly smashed his table into pieces and called it a day. Only by utilizing all of his patience and determination was he able to endure the horrendous responsibility.

"Darn it, the mansion had already been wrecked and all the previous employees were chased away by my stupid uncle. They are most probably resting in their homes so I guess I won't be able to summon them within such a short period."

With great difficulty, Joshua was able to reply a letter from a random marquis elegantly. After that, he could finally put down his pen and take a sip of tea, relaxing his mind.

All the servants of the previous count had scattered thanks to Danlya. Most of them have already returned to their own villages. Joshua was left with no choice but to do all these tasks by himself. Joshua would probably have to continue this pace of living until spring. Looking on the bright side, Joshua only needed to reply each letter once.

"Master, here is another batch of letters for you."

Ying's energic voice could be heard all the way from the main hall. Currently, she had no other task to do other than sending Joshua more letters and occasional food.

"My god, another letter..."

Joshua could no longer endure this lifestyle. After stumbling for a few seconds, he thought of some brilliant ideas and shouted towards the direction of the main hall, "Ying, if you receive any letters next time, open it up and see it for yourself. If they are not important, you could just reply them as you see fit."

"Am I really allowed to read these letters? They look very expensive to me."

Ying held onto a fancy envelope, with edges coated with gold, straight towards Joshua's study room. By looking into Joshua with her green eyes firmly, she said, "I doubt I'm suitable to read and reply this letter, I guess?"

"... Well, give me that one. You can take care of the others."

Joshua stood up and received the fancy envelope.

"I believe that your writing skill might even be better than mine."

Joshua spoke the truth. Despite Ying's youthful appearance, her database was slightly outdated, which included the language of the Empire. Having complete knowledge of the Empire's language would definitely be much beneficial as compared to Joshua who had a brain built with only muscles. Ying could definitely reply the letters in different ways without any difficulty.

Joshua opened the fancy envelope in his hand and withdrew a platinum invitation card.

"A banquet?"