BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 9 (WN)
Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament
Part 9 – The Sword Saint’s Heir
【POV: Marquis Saverne】
“Do not interfere, Benamis! If I let subordinates who failed get off scot-free, everyone else’s morale will fall!”
“If you would allow me one word, Father…our house is already low on manpower. If heads fall after every single failure, the gap with House Rosais will widen even more…do you not think so too?”
I frowned at Benamis’ words.
The gap was already painfully wide between a declining house like ours and House Rosais, boasting high political and economic power.
That was the precise reason why I strictly disciplined my subordinates, to further their individual quality; yet, as my son said, we did not have people to waste.
“All right, you may go. Leave for now.”
Seeing that my resolve relented, Benamis helped the subordinate, still crawling on the floor, stand back up.
“I-I am deeply sorry, young master…”
“That’s fine, more importantly…”
As the subordinate stood up, a pungent smell spread through the room. A smell which hailed from the man’s trousers.
“It looks like you ‘sweat’ a lot. You should go take a bath.”
“Forget about this and go.”
“Y-Yes…my deepest gratitude, young master!”
The subordinate lowered his head, as if praying to Benamis, then scampered out of the room.
I looked at the man leave — without even asking for his master’s permission — and almost growled out of irritation.
“You’re too easy on our subordinates, that’s why they became so spineless! And you still dare call yourself the heir to the ‘Sword Saint’!?”
“Yes, well, that’s what I am, after all.”
Benamis brushed off my shouts with a smile and tapped his chest.
“If only you acted like a proper successor, I wouldn’t have to go through all this!”
I clenched my teeth so hard that they almost cracked.
The whole reason why I sent assassins after the Sphinx and Maxwell heirs was that my son was too weak and didn’t have a single chance of defeating them.
With Duke Rosais at the helm, the kingdom’s military expenses were reduced, as they focused on internal affairs and policy instead.
As a result, the military power gap between the central province and the “Four Houses” continued to widen: it was now impossible to protect the kingdom’s borders without their aid.
(Entrusting the defense of the kingdom’s borders completely to countryside nobles was a mistake from the beginning! If even one of those houses turns against us, it will be all over!)
The crux of a kingdom’s existence was the protection of its borders: a sacred mission that was to be upheld by the kingdom’s central authority, the royal palace.
It is simply inconceivable to leave such a task into the hands of countryside nobles.
“Do you really understand, Benamis!? In order to bring back the kingdom to its former glory, the Central Nobles’ Lion — our House Saverne must prove itself stronger than the margrave houses! And to do that, it is imperative to defeat the Sphinx and Maxwell heirs in the tournament!”
Benamis’ victory in the royal martial tournament would show to the world House Saverne’s superiority over the Four Houses.
Such honor would then allow us to further expand our influence and take back the power from House Rosais.
We would invest most, if not all of the kingdom’s finances in the defense of the country, in order to raise the royal army into an invincible military power. The royal palace would thus gain strength superior to the border margraves.
Only then would the kingdom return to its rightful path.
“The scepter of authority must be wielded by the heart”.
“A rich country grows on a strong army”.
Only following such noble mottos will lead Lamperouge to the glory it deserves!
“Is that so, father? Well, I wish you good luck in your endeavors.”
Despite my passionate speech, however, Benamis was unfazed. How exactly had he interpreted my words? I could not feel a shred of ambition or even will to do anything from him.
“I do not think what you are saying is wrong, Father…but to achieve great feats, is it not important to act cautiously as well?”
“To not act when you should is nothing but negligence, boy!”
I yelled again at my inept son. Benamis smiled wryly, then rang the bell to have someone clean the floor.