(This is Eliza when she’s young, at six years old. However, it’s a little rough because I drew it in a hurry…… I think this hardened look is probably her most typical expression. She’s wearing the typical tunic and dalmatic that’s standard casual wear in her domain.) – Author’s note
With the coming of spring, it’s become a bit busier here at the Mansion of Golden Hills. It’s going to be my first birthday celebration in four years.
In the Arxia Kingdom, one’s birthday is supposed to be celebrated only during three certain times a year. After the fields are planted in the spring, during the next full moon after a religious holiday in the summer, or after the autumn harvest. Since I had been born during the end of winter, my birthday would be celebrated after the fields were planted in spring.
Although in my previous life I didn’t really care about birthdays one way or the other, since the lord’s birthday is supposed to be celebrated by the entire domain, or simply speaking, it’s supposed to be an event to please the people in my domain. Under the pretext of celebrating, it’s also a way to hand out food, wine, and candy to my people.
So that the people have their fun, it’s going to continue for an entire three days, and even though it’s rather bothersome to me, as the leading role I have to pretend to enjoy it.
It seems that Earl Terejia is preparing most of my birthday celebration. Recently, I’ve had more opportunities to see him working up close. I’m actually wondering if it should be considered abuse of the elderly because I can’t help with the work yet. I would be very troubled if he dies from overwork now……
In the first place, after he came here and became my regent, he’s worked so hard for the sake of stabilizing my domain in order to pass on to me later. I wondered if it was really necessary to work so hard to the extent of wearing out his body. I know that he’s a bit mercenary and calculating, but no matter what, Earl Terejia has been a great help in rebuilding and reviving the Kaldia domain for me. I really wouldn’t know what to do if he were to be crushed under his workload.
Having said that, I don’t have the ability to take over his job just yet, nor is there anyone else that can assist him, so all I can do for now is cheer him on, meaning other than obediently receiving the education he prepares for me, I have nothing else I can do.
As for the education he’s gifted me, the thing that stands out the most is equestrianism. Recently on the continent, strategies revolving around the use of cavalry have been evolving rapidly. Warhorses specially prepared for military use have been improved as well, it’s because of the recent invention of the easy to use leather stirrup becoming widespread. Large scale infantry combat tactics have been established since seven hundred years ago, while riding a horse was originally allowed to only military commanders, the nobles have begun to study cavalry tactics and incorporate cavalry soldiers in order to improve their armies.
By the way, it seems that battles up until seven hundred years ago used to be leaderless groups of people battling other leaderless groups of people to the death. What’s more, the icing on the cake is that the first recorded army in history had been organized over two thousand years ago by the ancient King Iruhan of Injatoliska.
Injatoliska had been destroyed long before an actual organized military system became widespread seven hundred years ago, when the Ar Xia Holy Kingdom invented a chain of command system for the sake of national defense which replaced the leaderless mob battles that had been common up until then.
Well, enough gossip.
Since the Arxia Kingdom specializes in defensive war, that’s why the kingdom’s policy is to avoid war.
To begin with, the sea is to the north and west of Arxia, the southwest has the Amon Karan Mountains and the northeast has the Amon Nor Mountains that have become our national borders, so of course there would be little need for cavalry troops in the army. The current situation here in the southeastern part of Arxia, is that the Jugfena royal domain, Margrave Genas’s domain, Earl Ruktoferd’s domain, and the Freche domains are the only ones that have small cavalry troops. For various reasons, it seems that the House of Lords has been planning the expansion of armaments in the Jugfena region.
And in the Kaldia domain, since its army had been practically nonexistent, it seems that it’s been approved for us to attempt training cavalry troops on an experimental basis.
Earl Terejia having been so passionate about strengthening my domain’s army, probably was because he knew about the expansion of armaments in the Jugfena region and the approval for the Kaldia domain to train cavalry troops. What a frightening person……
Right when winter had begun, the House of Lords had decided to provide my domain with three warhorses to start with. It was scheduled for thirty more warhorses to be deployed next year. And so, sixty members of the army, would be divided into two platoons, and half of them would be used as cavalry soldiers at any time.
One of the three horses that had already arrived, a relatively smaller gelding, was for my training. The other two horses were given to the high ranked military officers Calvin and Agil, that had been chosen to lead the cavalry troops. The horsemanship teacher that had been prepared for me was a retired former cavalry soldier from Earl Ruktoferd’s domain, and if he had time Earl Terejia would also sometimes personally teach me the best he could. Training for Rashiok who had yet to mature also began so I could ride him in the future, but because his intelligence was extremely high it seems like very little training was necessary.
“Alright, this is fine.”
It’s two days after the full moon in the first month of the year. After the end of the day’s riding lessons, Earl Terejia made a sign of approval. My sixth birthday’s celebration is about one month away, it seems that it will begin flashily with me leading my domain’s troops on horseback around the villages. I still can’t ride on Rashiok yet as of right now, so for this time’s celebration it seems that he will have to stay quietly in the mansion while the celebrations are going on.
“Thank you very much.”
Even though he was so busy, Earl Terejia was very passionate about teaching me how to control a horse. He’s dedicating this much time to teaching me all in order so that my skills can improve enough to the point of adequacy by the time of my birthday celebration. Since I passed today successfully, I started thinking about things and my head naturally fell lower.
Then, I felt a hand patting me on the head for one short moment. Ah, when I realized it and lifted my head, Earl Terejia’s back was already departing from my sight.
When I returned to my room, Rashiok was laying on the floor by my bed relaxedly. Although I thought it was rare since he had always been playing by the pond recently, when I think a little more about it he does intrude here quite often too.
“You, came in here without permission again…… Huh?”
Since this smart creature can easily open doors, I wasn’t surprised at all to see him here at first. But, something was different today. Something that seemed like his skin was flaking off was on the floor by Rashiok.
“W, what’s this? Are you sick?”
Rashiok himself seemed to have a nonchalant expression, but I wonder if he’s suffering from some skin disease. I immediately made sure that there were no abnormalities in his smooth, scaly skin. His glossy scales were unscratched and beautiful, and if it wasn’t for the layer of skin on the floor around him I’d think it ridiculous that he was sick.
Because I had no idea what to do, I called for “Doctor” Kamil. It’s best if I ask about something like this from him as quickly as possible.
“I came because I heard that Rashiok might be ill…… Charlie, he’s just molting.”
After that, saying something about how worried the expression on my face was, he couldn’t hold his laughter in anymore and exploded into laughter, holding his belly and slapping his knees, what a rude fellow. Although I said that I’d forgive his irreverence before, why is it that this guy is always inciting my irritation to the maximum level. To the point of even slapping your knees, don’t you know the damage you’re doing to me, as I got angrier.
Even so, it was just molting. I had completely forgotten about the fact that snakes and lizards would go through molting. Since the draconis is mostly wolfen, I had never considered that he would need to go through molting like a lizard. Come to think of it, he has become whiter recently. Since he’s been left alone to do as he liked in the garden these past few days, I hadn’t seen him closely recently, but now I remember that he did look a little different when seeing him from afar.
“It’s fine it’s fine, this is evidence that Rashiok is maturing properly. A draconis will begin molting when its body begins to grow. Anyhow…… if the stories are correct, Rashiok will eventually reach over three times his current size. He might be too difficult to use when he’s that big, huh……”
Indeed, it was already impossible to find dogs that were larger than Rashiok was. The cost of raising him has to be outweighed by the benefits. It would be unreasonable for me to raise him only as a pet. Rashiok is currently now large enough for me to ride on him without any problems.
“I wonder if it’s possible to create a draconis rider team, on the scale of a small squad.”
“That, would probably be very inefficient.”
“But if I’m able to fly on a draconis, I’ll be able to secure air superiority.”
“Eh, huh? What is that?”
Kamil tilted his head with a puzzled expression on his face, but I pretended not to hear him. Air superiority, is what I had just said, but truth be told I don’t understand the term all that well myself.
My previous life’s memories were fading bit by bit. Maybe it’s because my father’s no longer alive, so I don’t really mind, but if I sometimes let a word slip out that people don’t understand, it could be a problem.