Game of the Monarch - Chapter 2

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The situation wouldn’t get any better by interrogating the other party. It was time to fix the problem somehow.

“Father must have had something in mind when he borrowed such a large amount right? Do you know where it was used?”

“Yes. The former Viscount said he won something at an auction held in the Andrews Empire.”

“He went all the way to the empire to purchase something? An item worth 8,500 gold?”

Finding Milton in disbelief, the Administrator was apologetic as he spoke.

“He didn’t tell me what it was either. I asked him but he didn’t tell me….”

“Where is this item?”

“It’s inside the safe the Lord manages directly.”

“Phew…”

Milton breathed out a deep sigh while thinking.

‘I don’t know what it is, but it must be an expensive item, right? Then it may be good to not dwell on it but instead find some way to sell it and pay off the debt.’

This must be what they meant by the saying, "There’s a hole to escape through even if the sky is falling." [1]

Milton was starting to see a faint way to pay off the debt. However, he would only be able to tell after checking what this item worth 8,500 gold was.

“I must see it for myself. Then, Knight Captain Sansen.”

“Yes. You called, My Lord?” The middle-aged man called Sansen replied in a trustworthy manner.

Sansen Bruno. He was a man who couldn’t reach the expert level in swordsmanship even after reaching his mid-forties, so he couldn’t be considered a great talent. However, his loyalty was amazing enough to garner the trust of the former Viscount Forrest and act as the Knight Captain. Even if there were only three knights within the household.

Milton gave the following order to Sansen, “Arrest Administrator Thomas immediately and confine him to his estate. He is guilty of a dereliction of duty after withholding information that should have been reported to me, his Lord.”

“Yes, My Lord.”

“My Lord, please, please forgive me just once.”

Stricken with fear, Thomas appealed while being dragged away.

Milton sighed while watching him before speaking, “Let me see what the end result is first.”

The first thing to do was to verify what the item worth 8,500 gold in the household’s safe was.

‘I really hope the item is one with a good resale value.’

He had succeeded the house as the Lord, but Milton had not opened the household safe yet. In truth, this was because he didn’t expect much from the safe since Viscount Forrest’s house wasn’t rich to begin with. However, if there was an item inside worth 8,500 gold, it became a different story.

‘What could Father have bought?’

Milton opened the household safe with some anxiety and curiosity. There were some important household documents within the safe but nothing of value stood out.

“What is worth 8,500 gold. Huh?”

Milton discovered a single letter while searching through the stack of documents. The envelope of the letter had some words in the former Viscount’s handwriting. It was written [To my beloved son].

The moment Milton ripped the envelope to check the contents of the letter….

Flash!

A brilliant light entirely swept over Milton.

“Huh? What is? What… Ugh!?”

Milton then felt ‘something’ significant enter his soul. It was a formidable amount of information, but it also felt like it changed the core of his awareness. The one certainty was that Milton had no way to fight the changes with his consciousness.

“Gasp…. Gasp…. Gasp….”

After everything was over, Milton had cold sweats while steading his breathing. Timewise, it had only been about five minutes, but the strange sensation was enough to make Milton feel like several decades had passed.

“Just what is this…?”

First his father’s death, then awakening to memories from a previous life, to this strange occurrence he knew nothing about…. He felt like his daily life was breaking down lately.

Then, Milton once again checked the envelope that he himself had ripped. Inside, he found a white sheet of paper and a letter his father had written him. Milton checked the letter first.

My beloved son Milton,

If you’re reading this letter, it must mean that I’ve passed away and you’ve succeeded me as the head of the household. I’m leaving this letter here separate from my official will because I have something I want to tell you intimately. 

Milton came to the realization that this letter, which was separate from the official will, was more important. With that, he read the letter carefully, word for word.

You may already know this, but I’ve borrowed money from Charlotte Merchant Company to attend the auction held in the empire. The reason for this is to raise up our Forrest house once again. 

As you’re already aware, our Forrest house originally held the position of Marquis and held a lot of sway in politics within the capital. However, we got swept up in conflicts and were relegated to the position of Viscount, falling to a noble house in the province. I was constantly reminded by my father and grandfather from an early age to restore our house, and I tried my best to do so. 

“That was definitely the case.”

Milton consented while bringing up the memory of his father. His father Viscount Sauss Forrest longed for the house’s former days. Whenever he was even a little drunk, he would ramble on to his son about restoring the house to its former glory. Milton had dismissed his father’s words previously as simple complaints, but it seemed his sincere feelings were closer to a sense of duty.

I’ve tried my best to restore the house to its former glory, but I was limited by my abilities. 

I tried many things, but luck was not with me. In such a circumstance, I heard from a doctor recently that I will not have much longer to live. My death is unavoidable, but it is such a shame that I could not restore our house to its former glory.

In that state, I received information that the empire will be hosting an auction. I heard that an ancient relic would be making an appearance at the auction. I knew I was taking a gamble, but I borrowed money from Charlotte Merchant Company after putting down our territory as collateral and attended the auction. 

It was because, if the ancient relic can be used well, I had high expectations that it would be helpful to our territory. The thing I was able to successfully bid on at the auction was a single scroll. It may have been an ancient relic, but since nobody knew the purpose of the scroll, there were not many competitors, and I was able to attain it for the comparatively low price of 10,000 gold. 

“What? Low price? 8,500 gold… No, 10,000 gold?”

It seemed like his father had not only taken on debt but also used the entirety of his personal fortune. When thinking about it objectively, it was a price on the lower end of the spectrum. Some ancient relics could easily cost more than 100,000 gold at times.

However, to put that into the perspective of a modern person…. An equivalent saying would be, “There was a Lamborghini on sale for a cheap price, so I bought it. I did well, right?”

To start with, an ancient relic was not something House Forrest could afford. Why did his father go above his means to buy this?

Milton squinted his eyes in concentration as he continued reading the letter.

The item I purchased is a relic called the Monarch’s Authority. In truth, I knew nothing about the scroll except for its name but I had the conviction that this item will grant our House strength. 

‘Just on what basis did he have to…’

Unbelievable, was a word that was probably made to be used in a situation like this.

However, regretfully this relic is a useless item to anyone except to those that have the aptitude for it. 

A normal scroll is an item that can be used by everyone, but I have been told this item only shows effect to a person that has the aptitude for it. And unfortunately, that was not me. Perhaps it can be construed as being fortunate. Even if it showed some effect to myself, it wouldn’t have been much help to our House since I don’t have much longer to live. 

However, it could be different with you. If you have the aptitude to use the Monarch’s authority, then it is sure to be a great source of strength for you. If by chance you don’t have the aptitude for it either, then sell the scroll again and pay off the debt the House owes. 

I don’t know what the results will be, but I have faith that you will return our House Forrest to glory once more. 

Your father, Sauss Forrest. 

That was the entirety of the contents of the letter.

“So, the relic Father left behind was a scroll? But a scroll…. Huk!?”

Milton had a rude awakening. The white blank sheet of paper that was inside the letter. Why was it a blank sheet?

‘No way? No way? Please don’t let it be….’

Milton studied the blank sheet of paper inside the letter with trembling hands. At a glance, it just seemed like a normal white blank sheet of paper. However….

“No way….”

He brought up the worst possible scenario he could think of.

“My 10,000 gold!!”

10,000 gold flew off just like that. Regretfully, he had the right aptitude for this damn relic.

Life changes in one shot. It was a phrase he heard several times during his previous life as Park Moonsoo. It was a saying that came from longing to win the Lotto, or one day getting a huge opportunity to lift your life up in one shot.

But however, if one listened to that phrase carefully, there was another meaning. You can lift up your life in one shot, but in reverse, it can go awry in one shot too. What happened to Milton just now was the latter.

“10,000 gold…. It’s 10,000 gold….”

Now that the scroll had become a blank sheet of paper, the untouched debt became something he needed to repay completely with his own ability. If he couldn't repay the debt, he would have his territory taken from him and would be chased out penniless.

“I have to do it no matter what.”

Milton decided to steel his heart. It wasn’t something that he could resolve by worrying about it. Now was not the time to worry about it but to take action. One small comfort he had was the ability he gained from the ancient relic.

“Open the Monarch’s menu,” Milton instructed and a menu window that only he could see was brought up.

[Viscount Milton Forrest (Feudal Lord)]

Monarch LV.1

Strength – 45 Command – 75

Intellect – 55 Politics – 49

Loyalty – 100

Special Trait – Charisma

Charisma LV.2: Able to use the carrot and stick appropriately to raise the loyalty of servants.

Territory – Forrest territory.

Population – 7,345 people.

Funds – 950 gold.

Main Products – Wheat, Barley, Oat.

Army Strength – 3 Knights, 5 Cavalry, 80 Infantry, 20 Archers.

He stood there with his mouth agape for quite a while. Milton, who had Park Moonsoo’s knowledge, was familiar with such a thing.

“A game system…?”

He was able to check the status of his territory at a glance as if he was playing a simulation game. There was also something else he could find out.

“My Lord, the Knight Captain has come to see you.”

“Tell him to enter.”

Sansen opened the door to enter as soon as his permission came. Once Milton looked at Sansen and focused his attention ….

[Sansen Bruno]

Knight LV. 8

Strength – 52 Command – 70

Intellect – 25 Politics – 22

Loyalty – 91

Special Trait – Unity, Fierce Combat [2]

Unity LV.3: Command subordinates properly even during a dangerous situation. Able to cope well against situations like ambushes and night attacks.

Fierce Combat LV.2: Activates when the Lord you serve is in a precarious situation. Bring forth an ability up to 40% higher than normal.

He was able to completely see the special traits of his subordinate, Sansen Bruno.

Milton then saw this old Knight in a different light. The Knight was of level 8, and barely had over 50 strength. A common soldier had about 20 strength, so it was not a very high strength for a Knight. Despite all that, however, a loyalty reaching 91 showed just how straight-laced of a Knight he was. In terms of ability as well, having a command surpassing 70 with the special trait Unity was proof he was doing a good job managing his subordinates.

‘Of all the personnel I have currently, he is indeed the most useful one.’

Thinking thus far, Milton spoke in a rather courteous tone to Sansen, “How is Administrator Thomas who was detained?”

“He is detained at his residence at my Lord’s command. I have not noticed anything special”.

“I see. I’ll have to meet him.”

“I will bring him here.”

“No, I should meet him discreetly, so I’ll go find him myself.”

“Understood, My Lord.”

Sansen followed Milton’s orders without saying another word.

1. This is an old Korean proverb I’ve translated literally, “하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다”.

2. The Korean word used here is “분전” which stems from the following Chinese characters 奮戰. It means to fight hard. I could not think of a good single word to describe that, so I will leave it as Fierce Combat unless I can think of a better term.

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