9 Chapter 237: Intelligence
Peering down at the many diverse generals and war ministers, Caesar couldn't help but finally heave a sigh of relief. Plenty of work, including his business, had gone into developing Rahvin kingdom and the brilliant individuals standing before him at this given moment. However, even when all of this was as clear as day, Caesar knew that his abrupt decision to confiscate the throne was rash. In more ways than one.
This was one of the main reasons why he did not domineeringly take the crown off of his father's head. For the time being, sowing discord amongst the nobles would be considered foolish. After all, every social class mattered in monarchical rule, it was essential for the nobles to do as they were designed to do; rule. Though, it goes without saying that anyone who dared to publically point their blade at him would "conveniently" suffer the same fate that the late crowned prince had.
Thinking to there, Caesar swept his gaze across the ground and signaled for Sylvian to bring out a large, regional map. It presented a diagram of the nearby surroundings, encompassing both Rahvin and several other nations. The mountains, rivers, and even lakes were depicted in a beautiful manner, causing the haughty nobles at the sides to gape in astonishment. This was a map that Caesar has luckily come across while on his journey with Joe.
Not paying much mind to their bafflement, Caesar stroked his clean-shaven chin in a moment of deliberation. Splitting battalions was a strategy that could only be effective when the aggressors held overwhelming power. This in and of itself would not pose to be an issue for the current country, but the church retaliating for some unknown reason was. That is, assuming Caesar hadn't already made ample preparations.
A small smile formed on his lips as he walked down toward the map, pointing to three separate locations. Each area that Caesar directed the many aristocrat's attention to were the kingdom of Luun, Talon, and Chort, respectively. They so happened to be the three nations that had formed a coalition against Rahvin in the past. Caesar's meaning was obvious and everyone in the room drew in a breath of cold air.
One of the more intellectual ministers to the right; a man with a full beard and squinted eyes, raised his voice. "Even if we completely annihilate our enemies, how do you suppose we manage their populace? Their countries?"
"That is indisputably a major problem," Caesar commented with furrowed brows. It was true. No matter how clever he was, or how many things he offered, a human's heart would not always align with reason. Foolish pride would result in rebellions, even if Rahvin graciously offered their three enemies vassalage. There was no sure-fire way to counteract this, but Caesar was unbothered.
"We will offer the citizens vassalage, cutting down their taxes by 50% and offering compensation for their fallen warriors," he said after some thought.
"And if they still revolt?" The minister asked with raised eyebrows.
"There is no ruler who can lead their nation to prosperity and greatness without ruthlessness," Caesar paused, his eyes chilling. "If they refuse our graciousness and attempt to bite the hand of which they are fed, then death is their only option."
Caesar then slammed the desk with unhindered rage; a stark contrast to his usually placid countenance. "You ministers and nobles sit aloft your golden chairs, indulging in the grapes and wine delivered to you. How long has it been since the pride of our nation had been dragged through the mud and stomped on? We were attacked, nearly eradicated, and the only thing that you lot of pigs can possibly think of are the consequences of domination?"
"Do none of you dream of glory? To possibly sit upon a throne for yourselves. Or perhaps, rest your buttocks on a chair lined with pearls instead of gold?" Caesar asked in a growl. "Complacency is the downfall of all talented men, and also the line that separates a herd of sheep to a dragon."
Caesar's words deafened the hall, causing the generals to burn in ambition, while the ministers to catch a glimpse of their old honor. The slightly intelligent noble was astonished, but he had not yet been entirely convinced. He was thoroughly loyal to Rahvin and would not allow its destruction, at any cost.
The man spoke up once again, a trail of sweat sliding down the sides of his face. "There is always someone better, you cannot possibly hope to realize all of your ambitions. Besides, there are certain laws set in place by the church…"
As the man trailed off to here, Caesar broke his speech with a cold glare. "Laws are only meant to be observed when you are not seizing power," he chuckled, "as for the off-chance of someone being better than me… so what?" he asked.
"If someone is better, then I will climb that mountain until I can step on them. I will rise through all tribulations placed in front of me, no matter the cost."
With this, Caesar disregarded the noble and turned his attention back to the map. "Sylvian, prepare the elves to attack Chort, toward the east. I want you to destroy all of their lines of trade and starve them; seek their surrender and only massacre if absolutely necessary."
"Faust, in the north, the kingdom of Luun resides. It is covered in trees and blanketed by pine; a perfect place for agriculture. I want you to utterly destroy any opposition, only leave those who surrendered. That is including the civilians." Caesar ordered with a sweep of his hands.
Everyone's gaze suddenly turned to the kingdom of Talon, in the west. "Tod, lead the blood-guards into their city walls, blast it with ballistae and achieve their utter surrender… no matter the cost. I wish to use their kingdom as a trading centre in the future!"
Once his words ended, Caesar walked back up the fleet of stairs and sat down on the throne. He did not wait for anyone's approval, nor their opinions. His decrees were absolute, irrefutable. That was what it meant to obtain the highest position of power in a kingdom.
"Bring me any and all documents from now on, leaving my father out of diplomatic matters," Caesar said with a brisk tone, uncaring for the silly opposition.
The many people below him were suddenly broken out of their stupor. The military faction carried hints of respect as they immediately left the throne-room to carry out orders. Faust, Sylvian, and Tod prepared a sufficient number of rations and soldiers to succeed and then left without any more thought. None of the warriors were afraid of death, especially because most of them were insured by Rahvin policies. This meant that even if they were to die, their families would be heavily compensated.
"Even without religion and god, there are ways to obliterate a human's fear of death," Caesar mused to himself, atop his throne. He sipped his wine in his right hand and observed a handful documents in his left.
A storm was once again, finally brewing.