Bellway scheduled with the Rogshia family that our small tea party would take place soon, in the middle of the seventh month in this world. But before that meeting took place, a young man from Fort Jugfena came to visit me. He was Oscar Terejia, Earl Terejia’s grandnephew, and the person that I was going to request become my knight.
Upon meeting him formally for the first time, I started out by apologizing to him for welcoming him in my house which was only a small townhouse. Now that I’ve met him again, just like I remembered, his strict gaze really does remind me of Earl Terejia, I think anyone meeting him for the first time would easily get nervous.
“Thank you for coming, Oscar-dono. This is our first time being introduced to each other. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Eliza Kaldia. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, you must be tired from your journey, coming all the way from Fort Jugfena.”
“No, it’s my honor to be summoned by you, Viscountess Kaldia. I’ve heard that you need some founding members for your knight order that you’re establishing, so I’ve come all this way to speak to you.”
Much like his appearance, he seems to be the serious type, and his first greeting to me was rather stuffy and formal. Behind it all I could sense that he was slightly nervous, but because of that I felt a sense of kinship with him.
“There’s no need to be so formal with me. As you can see, I’m just a child.”
I opened my palms to him as if I was playing, and Oscar’s eyes widened for an instant, then he smiled slightly like he just saw something funny. It also feels like his shoulders have loosened up a little.
“As you wish.”
I pulled a chair over for him, and he sat down with a much more relaxed air about him than when he entered the room. I’m relieved that he seems to understand and get along with me so far. Since he’s going to be someone that I may have to interact with quite often in the future, in both Kaldia and social circles, it’s for the best that we get along.
“I’ll get right to the point, and explain more in detail about my knight order. Earl Terejia is setting it up for me in his name, and the purpose of the knight order will be to protect and take charge of the new citizens in my doain.”
“My granduncle is setting it up in his name?”
“My noble rank isn’t high enough. ……Only earls and higher are allowed to create their own knight orders.”
I only remembered after I already said it that it’s not common knowledge that a higher noble rank is required to set up a knight order, so I hurriedly explained for his benefit. Because I’m receiving both a noble education and a domain lord’s education, sometimes I forget the differences in what’s taught in each.
I’m going to appear in social circles in the future as well, but I have to remember to keep the conversation topics appropriate for whoever I’m speaking to. ……From now on I need to be more careful.
“But doesn’t that make my grand-uncle a higher rank and have all the power instead of you, the lord of the domain who’s supposed to rule the populace?”
“No, it’s fine. He’s my official guardian, and because I’m still a minor, he’s allowed to take care of my domain lord duties for me. Also, I have to submit my consent as well when he applies for various things.”
It was only a simple explanation, but Oscar was already nodding in understanding. He learns quickly, how excellent.
“Although, I should note that the knight order’s actual task will be to carry out my objectives.”
“……What type of objectives do you have in mind, do you already know?”
“Of course. The first thing that I must accomplish is, the new citizens can actually supervise themselves sufficiently through using the old system.”
“Doesn’t that…… go against the social hierarchy?”
The social hierarchy in Arxia is, as interpreted from a section of the Sacred Code, commoners are not allowed to govern commoners, and must be governed by nobility. If there’s a difference in status among the commoners, it’s considered a threat to the governing method of our country. Of course he would be puzzled, so I shook my head and answered him.
“The old system that I’m referring to is where people will have to sign contracts with me as my vassals. They will simply be communicating my will to the other new citizens.”
Of course, the country won’t stand for anything that strains the current social hierarchy too much. The domain lords have the right to appoint the mayor for each village, and the entire right to command the soldiers recruited entirely from commoners lies solely with the domain lord as well. Of course, everyone knows that there are some unavoidable exceptions. That’s why formally encoded in our kingdom’s laws, nobles are also allowed to offer commoners contracts to become vassals. A vassal is defined as someone who serves their lord, and their primary job is to mediate between the lord and the citizens.
In the past maybe the leader of the domain’s army and the domain lord would have been separate positions, but now after many years of passing down positions through hereditary bloodlines, they’re now one and the same. Although knights were also a type of vassal to begin with, after a long period of time it also became a special position that conferred noble status, so it’s changed into something else as well over time.
“Ahh, vassals…… I see.”
“Eventually, I would like to have all the leaders of the Shiru tribe become members of my knight order. They still lack knowledge about Arxia, but they’re in the process of learning and will definitely be useful in the future.”
I also told Oscar very simply that I needed the knight order established as fast as possible for the sake of human resources. He probably knows this already, as he just nodded without asking me questions about this.
“Although the real reasons aren’t necessarily praiseworthy, on the surface the knight order is still going to be in charge of supervising and protecting the new citizens. Most of the new citizens only speak the Artolan or Rindarl languages, and of course they’re not literate either, so they don’t know how to read or write. I’d like to do something about this. Also, about their protection. For when it’ll be necessary, their defenses will need to be expanded.”
“Do you mean to try at increasing our defenses to cover our entire border?”
“Your thought process is excellent.”
I could feel the corners of my lips raising up. Capable personnel are highly welcomed.
In any case, I’ve been talking so much that I’ve gotten thirsty. I rang a bell and gave instructions to the maid waiting outside the room to prepare tea for us. Then, for some reason, Oscar must have found something funny as he chuckled.
“……What is it?”
“Nothing. It’s just…… Even though you’re still so small, you seem like such a splendid noble.”
Oh, so he’s saying that my words and actions don’t fit my age. I nodded, and told him not to worry about it. This is a much better reaction from him than something like getting scared or disgusted, at any rate.