Welcome to a new chapter of Imperial Struggle, the story of the young Emperor Marco, and the struggles he has with his new imperial position. Imperial Struggle is my first web novel, so any feedback is welcomed. This is chapter 25, so if you want to read from the beginning please click here
As Grand General Basta left the Grand Hall to meet with his troops, a deadly silence covered the room. You could see that the atmosphere wasn’t the most pleasing one. The news that just transpired made everyone nervous.
But the scariest thing for the nobles it wasn’t the fact that they will go to war. Bluerrigard Kingdom was a small fly compared with the mighty Eldobar Empire. It wasn’t even the attack from tonight and the loss of some of their friends; death was a common thing between these nobles. They were fighting among each other all the time. It wasn’t something that even the Emperor could stop at times.
The scariest thing for all the ones present here was the presence of an Elder of Order of the Sword, one of the most famous martial arts sect in the Empire. They were all looking with curious eyes toward the group that surrounded the Emperor, former soldiers, craftsman, brigands, knights of the Church of Light and now members of martial sect. How did Marco manage to gather all these people around him? It seems that every time a new member of the Seven Sword appeared, this question arise in the minds of the nobles. Even now, after the power that Marco displayed in battle some of these nobles still kept Marco in little regard and they were thinking that they could manipulate him in a way or another.
“Since we are all present here tonight, I want to talk with you all about another pressing issue” Marco broke the silence. “But first, let’s clean up the hall, at least of the bodies”.
Hearing this, a group of servants jumped to execute the order. They dragged away the dead bodies and washed away the pools of blood that gathered in the middle of the hall. Of course, they will have to come back to this task and scrub away all the stench of the blood, but for now it was enough. At least the people in the hall won’t have to look at their own reflection in the eyes of the dead.
“Let’s start with the first things. While Grand General Basta will lead the attack toward the Bluerrigard Kingdom, I want to be sure that our borders will be able to hold any sneak attacks. I’m sure that our enemies were already informed about what transpired here tonight and they are making preparation. Grand Generals, can you give me an update on this situation” Marco looked towards the Grand Generals that were present here tonight.
“Your Highness” Grand General Amar took the floor. “The Northern Border is prepared for anything. We have a series of forts built around the border and the communication is in place. We have skirmishes from time to time with the Alliance but nothing too much or concern. We do it from time to time to keep the troops in check.”
“The same is with the Eastern Border, my Emperor” Grand General Aton said. “If the Confederation will make any moves against us, we will know in a matter of hours. But I don’t think they are that those prairie dogs to be that stupid to attack us” he laughed.
Grand General Amar and Aton were the Grand Generals in charge of defence. The Alliance up north and the Confederation in the East were the only two enemies that could make real troubles to the Empire. In the west there was the sea and a bunch of warring states, and in the south there were the wild tribes of the desert.
“Thank you Grand Generals for your report. I’m only concerned that Bluerigard Kingdom didn’t act alone. A long time ally to attack us so suddenly could mean only two things, either they had external help, or they king has gone crazy. But those questions will be answered in time after Grand General Basta returns”.
The two Grand Generals went back to their seats. Marco rose from his seat and went in the middle of the hall, looking at all the nobles present. Marco was the Emperor, but the way he looked now it was, at best, the one of a soldier that just ended a battle. His long black hair was full of dried blood. He was still wearing his night clothes, a white shirt and a black pair of trousers that he managed to put on him, before he went to battle. At least, we could say that the shirt was white in the beginning of the night, because now it was red with blood and with full of holes and sword cuts. Only some small spots that remained untouched by some miracle, were white. Marco didn’t want to change, even though the servants prepared a set of fresh clothes for him. He knew that his image would have a bigger impact on these nobles, rather than an Emperor in clean clothes.
“My dear nobles, since the beginning of this Council I know everyone had one important issue on their mind.” Marco began his speech.”And that issue is the seat of the Prime Minister. I know many of your factions has someone in mind. I know that many of you think that you can influence my decision in one way or another” he smiled while he said this looking fiercely towards the ones that he knew they were faction leaders among the nobles. “But let me tell you one that. Everything you think to do is in vain. Because I’ve already made my pick for Prime Minister and my decision is final”.
“Your Highness” the Marquis de Sar hastily interrupted Marco.”You took this kind of decision without our advice? That has never happened before. The nobles always elected the Prime Minister since the beginning of the Empire.”
“Marquis de Sar, next time when you interrupt me, I will make my guards flock you.” Marco answered. He wasn’t in the mood for the political games of the nobles at this time. He just spent the last hours killing enemies near the gate of the capital.“Do you think I have time now for your bickering? I was attacked in my own bed and the capital… THE CAPITAL was under attack in the middle of the night.” Marco roared toward the Marquis.
Marco roar shocked everyone in the room. He stood there in the middle of the hall dominating everyone there with his presence.
“We were attacked by an unknown enemy and now you still want to play politics? My dear Marquis, maybe you had a hand in the action tonight?Maybe you want to use this event to push you own agenda, towards your own interest, rather than those of the Empire?” Marco looked at the Marquis with an evil eye.
“I.. Your Highness, I’m sorry. I would never act against the Empire” the Marquis hastily retreated.
“Your Highness, if I may” Grand Duke Mar rose from his chair. “Dear Marquis, it is true that we the nobles have the possibility to propose to the Emperor a Prime Minister, but the Emperor can name one of his choosing as well. He is the Emperor after all. Your Highness, if you may, who is the one you want as your Prime Minister?”
Old Grand Duke Mar, a former Prime Minister himself, knew how the things in the Grand Council worked. He was an old fox of politics and knew all the schemes that there could be. He knew Marco since he was an infant and looked at him while he grow up. He was surprised as well when Augusto named Marco as the next Emperor on his deathbed. And when he saw how Marco was handling things was most pleasing for this old man, that was the right hand man of Augusto for many years.
“Grand Duke Mar, dead nobles, I want to name for the seat of Prime Minister my brother Armando. This is my will as the Emperor.” Marco answered to the Grand Duke. “Now if you excuse me, I had a rough night and I’m in dire need of a bath. Good night”.
That being said, Marco left the Grand Hall followed by his Guards, leaving the nobles to talk among themselves about the nomination of Armando as Prime Minister.
And we are back. After a long period of resting, Imperial Struggle is back on track. We finally reached 25 chapters. It was a long journey and we have a long road ahead of us. I hope that I will be able to keep a good supply of chapters in the future weeks.
Imperial Struggle is an original story written directly on Steemit. Follow @sstefan for the next chapter.