Eliza chapter 74 – In a horse-drawn carriage

I’ve caught the attention of a troublesome opponent, I sighed mentally.

The Nordsturm family is a major noble family from the north, and their current family head is Marquis Nordsturm. Three generations ago, they had also been married to royalty, so they still have quite the connections in the royal capital as well.

Although they have a bad reputation from the fact that their power comes from the moneylending business, because of it very few nobles dare to go against them. What’s more, many of the northern nobles are related to the Nordsturms by being one of their branch families or through marriage in some way, so their influence in northern Arxia is even greater than that of the royal family.

At one time, the north had been treated as the least important part of Arxia. There was the Amon Nor Mountains forming a natural barrier with the eastern countries, and there was nothing but rough sea waves on the northern border, both of these geographical attributes contributed to making the north a formidable natural fortress.

It was a bad location for conducting trade on the seas. Although it’s possible to travel east to other countries farther down, a large section of the coastline bordering Arxia’s is controlled by Densel, or belongs to the Rindarl Union that opposes us. Their naval technologies weren’t very far advanced either.

The earth was frozen over in many places, and even what wasn’t frozen over was very poor land for raising crops, so it was overall a very poor region.

Because of that, the Nordsturm family has been the only noble family ever since Arxia was founded that’s ruled in the north. Because talented people would be placed in more important places to make use of their skills at governing, no aristocrats were ever sent to the north.

Of course, ruling over the vast north would be impossible for only the family head, so the Nordsturm family divided the northern lands among its own family members, and starting from about one hundred and twenty years ago, their current governing system is basically a group of lords that all report to the leader of the Nordsturm family.

For the Nordsturm family who has such power in the north to still have good relations with the royal family, it’s simply because of money. First of all, the Nordsturms are talented at making money in the north. Their most prosperous city is the city where the marquis currently resides, it’s a place where people and goods gather.

Next, the north helps with the country’s military spending every year even though it benefits them the least. They also have vast sums of money stored away, and they’ve recently started lending money to their neighboring domains, and simply the interest on the loans were already more than sufficient already to cover all the north’s expenses for governing their territory.

I remembered how Earl Terejia had taught me that a member of the royalty had gotten married to a Nordsturm as a political sacrificial pawn, in order to obtain part of the Nordsturm family’s wealth for the sake of the country.

There are two royal families in Arxia, meant to be as a measure for keeping the throne out of the reach of any other non-royal family. A daughter from the current royal family that isn’t on the throne, the Melloart family, had married a Nordsturm in exchange for one third of the Nordsturm family’s wealth being donated to the national treasury. Earl Terejia had told me that it was a story he heard from his older brother Marquis Rittergau who’s working in the royal palace as the prime minister of Arxia, so it must be true.

Their wealth had been reduced, and the Nordsturms also attracted the hostility of other nobles in Arxia with connections to the royalty. I want them to just take a break and ignore me, but it seems there’s no helping it.

In the first place, the reason why I attracted their attention was because half of the entire defense budget financed by the north was allotted to only three domains, which were Kaldia, Jugfena, and Genas, the eastern border domains. Any funds that were not used for the sake of defense were supposed to be properly returned to the House of Lords.

The northern nobles are taking it out on only Kaldia, meaning me, as Earl Einsbark who’s in charge of the Jugfena domain and Margrave Genas are too powerful for them to attack politically, so out of simple spite, or maybe picking on weaklings, they’re taking it out on me for being a financial beneficiary of their funds.

“I’m actually relieved to see that gloomy expression of yours finally returning.”

As the horse-drawn carriage clattered and shook, Earl Terejia who was sitting across from me said so with a snort from his nose. Claudia sitting next to him also nodded in agreement.

“At any rate, let’s settle this problem quickly. Jugfena and Genas have organized their own domains much faster and better than Kaldia, that’s because Earl Terejia has been deciding policy matters in my place up until now. For the Nordsturm family that isn’t well armed militarily, they would gain nothing from moving against all three of the Terejia, Genas, and Einsbark families at once.”

“The Nordsturm family should be aware of that as well. Still, saying something like moving against all three families, does this mean that you see a way to cooperate with the other families?”

What I’m concerned about right now is, the factions other than the Nordsturm family.

The Nordsturm family doesn’t actually have much power other than lots of money and the support of the northern nobles. That alone wouldn’t be a threat by itself. However, depending on who allies with whom, things could get a lot more troublesome. I think the problem lies in how the Nordsturm family utilizes their vast fortune.

“If the Nordsturms seriously attempted it, do you think they have enough power to overthrow the current government?”

Earl Terejia raised his eyebrows greatly at my question. Since the north regularly finances the other domains with their extra funds, decided through meetings at the House of Lords, it means they get more of a say in issues compared to the rest of the nobility. Meaning, they already control much of national policy.

By the way, the House of Lords only consists of domain lords with the rank of viscount or higher, and court aristocrats with the rank of earl or higher. Lower ranked nobles are supposed to be represented by nobles higher-ranking than they are. It’s like how I used to not attend meetings at the House of Lords, as Earl Terejia attended them for me on my behalf.

“I don’t think they would try something like that though, would the conservative northern nobles really rebel against a decision made by the House of Lords?”

I answered my own question, and the earl nodded in assent. Although the northern nobles are conservative in a different sense from the court aristocracy, I think that they wouldn’t want to take any risks that would end up lessening their influence.

Since the Nordsturm family currently seems to be gathering power right now, I definitely think it would be for the better if I think of something I can use against them first. It never hurts to be wary.

Earl Terejia unexpectedly looked out the window. While watching the scenery pass by, he was probably thinking about something. Our conversation ended as well when the earl looked away. Because there’s many things to be worried about, both of us are probably thinking about things regarding the northern nobles that we’re going to have to deal with someday.

However.

“……The Nordsturm family’s time may be unexpectedly ending soon, to be replaced by someone else.”

Earl Terejia suddenly said that out loud after a while. Is this some sort of prophecy, once again I confirmed to myself that the earl is quite terrifying.

26 responses to “Eliza chapter 74 – In a horse-drawn carriage

  1. Thanks 4 the chapter!

    To be replaced by Eliza. Maybe.
    If Eliza could put her domain together, and with memories of her past life, she could turn her domain’s economy to rival the north.

    Like

    • That’s the funny thing… Eliza has not used any of her knowledge of tech to improve her domain’s economy.

      While she is lacking manpower & money she could have still done something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, to be fair, she’s still a kid, and we don’t know what kind of education she had in her previous life.

        Like

  2. Thanks for the chapter! It’s nice that Eliza’s voice is back to its usual sardonic tone.

    … once again I confirmed to myself that the earl is quite terrifying.

    Eliza is still 6, right? It’s kind of charming that Earl Terejia and Eliza are still terrifying each other after being together for 4 years.

    Liked by 19 people

    • As of this current chapter, she’s 7. I do think that the earl is implying though that Eliza might be the one to replace the Nordsturms. Her soldiers certainly seem to have the impression that she has what it takes to be a legendary ruler.

      Liked by 18 people

      • I’m not so sure. Her realm is in the East while they are in the North, trying to administer both at once will make her run across the country on a very frequent basis. She’ll run herself ragged.

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      • I think it might mean replace as the most influential noble, instead of ruler of the north.
        Eliza is quite terrifying: by seven years old she has led an army (as part of a greater one, but still), finds secret messages and has a deft hand in politics. What’s not to be afraid of?

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      • I think he is talking about his brother, who is known to be the most powerful Lord to date. Combined with the vast territory which he is currently managing in place of Eliza, which could produce lots of food if it weren’t so behind (something he has worked restlessly to change over the past few years), I honestly feel that they are up to something.

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  3. Well, it’s scary how you as a King have a subordinate which influence is more or at least the same as the Royal Family.. I bet if the Royal Family wants to overthrow Nordsturm family, just a few words to the Nobles who are envying the wealth and status of Nordsturm family and some rewards are enough.

    Thanks for the chapter~~

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  4. Thanks for the chapter! If Earl Terejia said he’s glad Eliza’s back to her gloomy expression wondering what did she look like before?

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  5. Thank u always for ur great work…
    ^^…

    “I’m actually relieved to see that gloomy expression of yours finally returning.”
    It come from heart…
    :3…

    “……The Nordsturm family’s time may be unexpectedly ending soon, to be replaced by someone else.”
    Wut?!
    U mean Eliza will overthrow the Nordsturms?
    It started again…
    @_@…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww come on Earl, you can’t be seriously happy that Eliza is gloomy again, right? … not you too, Claudia!

    This chapter is interesting in many ways, in particular in regards to the politics of the story. What Earl Terejia says is quite sinister: there’s no way that he’s merely saying “Damn Nordsturms, we have a brat that’s much more talented than you, go get’em 7-years old Eliza!” For a faction as powerful as the Nordsturms to fall, it can only mean at least one of the following:
    – There are forces already actively at work to bring down the Nordsturm family, and will install an (eventually puppet) replacement.
    – The Nordsturms may be pushing their luck too much soon, and will be smacked down as a result (i.e. the Royal Family isn’t that dumb to leave them to do whatever they want).
    – The circumstances are shifting so the balance of power will shift as well. In particular, the rise of Rindarl is shifting focus Eastwards.

    Interesting to see how it evolves in any case.

    Like

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