Chapter 291: Mansion and territory
Brettel City was located to the east of Lancelot Empire and bordered seven constantly warring duchies. These duchies weren’t as powerful as the Lancelot Empire and were plagued with conflict almost all year round.
However, whenever Lancelot Empire would try to invade these seven duchies, they would halt their internal conflict and tightly join hands to resist the invasion of the Lancelot Empire.
One duchy by itself couldn’t compete with the Lancelot Empire, but seven of them together had the power beyond that of Lancelot Empire. Fortunately, these seven duchies would never be united forever, otherwise the Lancelot Empire would truly be hard pressed to face their attack.
Being a Lancelot Empire city that bordered the seven duchies, Brettel City was stuck in an awkward location. It held vast tracts of land, but suffered from the impact of the chaotic warring between the seven duchies, so it was the place where crooks mixed with honest folk.
“Bryan, normally a count such as you has no way to control such a large territory. Brettel City is almost the size of Valen City, so only someone with the title of marquis is qualified to oversee such a city. Hehe, Brettel is chaotic indeed, but it’s just right for a spirited young man like you.”
“It would greatly benefit your future career if you manage Brettel City well. It’ll be up to you to grasp opportunities well if you wish to obtain the title of marquis or duke.” Sitting in the secret chamber of the Dark Mantle, Candide looked at Han Shuo and explained in a low tone.
Sitting directly opposite of Candide, Han Shuo was perusing information about Brettel City. He nodded at Candide’s words and placed the documents to the side, lifting his head to say, “Brettel is a barren land, the soil cannot nurture any type of crops. It can only produce some specialized iron and silver ores. The city has been caught up amidst the warring between the seven duchies for a long time now, and bandits and thieves have run rampant. Even several official armies of the duchies have disguised themselves as bandits to invade and pillage the city. Chaotic at heart, with toughened city folk, it’s actually a very interesting area!”
“How so? Do you have any ideas yet?” Han Shuo was a count now, and he’d also proved his power last time in the Garden House by killing Leah Cain. Even Candide no longer held the attitude of a boss talking to a subordinate when he spoke with Han Shuo. He viewed Han Shuo as an individual on an equal level.
“No ideas yet for now. I want to go to Brettel City and see the situation for myself first!” Han Shuo replied indifferently.
“Then alright. Take these documents, they are proof of your identity as the Brettel city lord. The former city lord was removed due to his incompetence so the Brettel City’s castle now belongs to you. You can show these documents to officially take ownership of it.”
“Mm, in addition, Brettel City currently has three thousand guards all under your command. Perhaps you aren’t well versed in leading the army to war. However, Lawrence should be able to help you with that aspect. You only need to protect Brettel City from the invasion of the duchies and bandits, as well as maintain order. That should be enough.” Candide said.
“Alright then, I’ll be leaving now. I’ll contact you through the magic mirror in Brettel City’s Dark Mantle stronghold if anything comes up!” Han Shuo nodded at Candide before exiting the Dark Mantle headquarters.
Han Shuo walked into a mansion in the city’s northern end. A steward was already waiting in front of the gate. Upon seeing Han Shuo, he immediately and respectfully said, “Respected Sir Count, you’ve finally come. My name is Kallas, I am to be your steward.”
“Hello Kallas, what can you tell me about this mansion?” Han Shuo asked with a faint smile.
Kallas was a gray-haired old man wearing clean and simple clothes. His speech was refined and his behavior courteous. He must have been in his position for quite a few years. Kallas immediately responded respectfully to Han Shuo’s question, “Your Lordship, this mansion has belonged to you since the moment you defeated Leah Cain. Everything is operating normally. In the past few days, a total of thirty nobles from Ossen City have come to pay you a visit. We have received seventy-three types of gifts in total, all of which are being properly stored…”
Han Shuo remembered every detail as Kallas softly summarized the situation within the mansion. From Kallas, Han Shuo knew that many nobles didn’t have territory in Ossen City. Instead, they had a mansion here in which they stayed when they came to meet His Majesty the King.
Of course, there were also aristocrats whose territories weren’t bustling enough for their tastes. As they didn’t enjoy life in their own territory, many nobles always resided inside Ossen City. It was fine as long as they returned to their territory regularly, handled some matters, and made sure that no troubles cropped up.
The mansion came with maids, servants, stewards and all necessary resources. Han Shuo had the right to remove them, or pay them a certain salary each month so they could maintain the normal operation of the mansion. Kallas described some of the miscellaneous things very carefully.
“Alright, Mister Kallas, I’ve understood everything. Mm, take me to the living room. Invite Lawrence and young Miss Phoebe here, I want to see the two of them. If other people ask for me, tell them I’m not here.” Han Shuo discovered through the three yin demons’ surveillance that many people had come to visit him. These people had been placed in different rooms so they didn’t know of each other’s movements.
One yin demon had been injured last time in the battle with Leah Cain. It had recovered after being nourished by the blood essence in the Cemetery of Death. Even though Han Shuo had spent a few drops of his essence blood, it was good that the yin demon was fine.
“Yes, Your Lordship!” Kallas replied. He brought Han Shuo to a big living room before withdrawing respectfully.
This living room was as big as a basketball court. Seven large, vibrant lamps were hanging above while a soft carpet covered the floor. Many comfortable chairs was placed around the surroundings. The room looked bright and spacious.
Lawrence and Phoebe walked in together after a while. Lawrence laughed heartily at the sight of Han Shuo, saying, “Congratulations Bryan, I heard that the king bestowed a title upon you today. I thought you would come back to your mansion, so I brought Phoebe with me.”
Phoebe’s face was glowing, a beautiful, bright smile blooming on her lips after she’d won an enormous amount of gold coins. Her eyes blazed as she looked at Han Shuo and said, “Bryan, Cameron is finished this time. His merchant alliance suffered a heavy loss thanks to him, so his allies no longer trust him. The crisis of our Boozt Guild has been resolved.”
Looking at the two happy people in front of him, Han Shuo grinned and said, “I intend to go to Brettel City. It seems to be a city full of mayhem and chaos, so it should prove interesting. If this Brettel City can develop well in my hands, it’ll be very beneficial to you, Lawrence.”
“I heard about you taking charge of Brettel City. That city is chaotic indeed, the civilians there are much tougher than in Ossen City. The bandit armies of several grand duchies constantly pillage the villages in the surroundings. In recent years, the city lords of Brettel City have all been incompetent. This has caused all the businessmen to leave, and the nobles and civilians to lose their confidence in Brettel City. It may not be easy if you want to quickly grasp control of the situation!” Lawrence said with a frown. He was quite worried upon hearing Han Shuo mention Brettel City.
The Lancelot Empire had sent out its armies repeatedly and tried to invade the seven grand duchies through Brettel City. However, the Empire had to withdraw every single time and eventually banished this idea. Whenever the main troops retreated, the few tens of thousands remaining Brettel City guards were insufficient to defend against the invasion of any duchy. The duchies took advantage of that opportunity to loot and raid, as was their habit.
However, even though the seven grand duchies had the power to take over Brettel City, they didn’t dare to because they still held suspicions about each other, while also being afraid that they’d really infuriate Lancelot Empire. This was why they only pillaged from time to time and never truly occupied the city.
Therefore, the former city lords of Brettel City had been much aggrieved and frustrated. The city was much weaker than any of the grand duchies. In addition, the land was barren, so there wasn’t much benefit from it despite the vastness of the area. The King also wasn’t willing to waste an enormous amount of manpower and resources in stationing an army inside the city to defend against the seven grand duchies.
Brettel City had become a kind of useless and meaningless existence ever since then. It would be a pity to give up, but not giving up wouldn’t bring any benefits either. The situation was very awkward.
“Rest assured, I understand what kind of place Brettel City is. I already have a plan. After all, His Majesty has spoken. Brettel City is fully under my responsibility, I’ll take good care of it!” Han Shuo let out a strange cackle and responded in a mysterious manner.
“What do you intend to do?” Lawrence asked, dumbfounded.
“You’ll know when the time comes. I will make Brettel City even more chaotic!” Han Shuo words rang with an evil laugh.