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 27, so if you want to read from the beginning please click here
It’s been a day since the assassination attempt on Marco and the attack on the capital. The streets were clean of the blood now and everything seemed to be back to normal.
On every street corner and at every inn table the only point of the talk was the valiant effort of the Emperor to fend off the attackers. Many of the people that managed to see Marco marching in front of the Imperial Guards towards the Northern Gate we telling the story, praising the Emperor and describing him as a ferocious hero that single handedly defeated the attackers and protected the capital. Into the hearts of the capital Marco became their hero, their protector and their beacon of light. Many people thought that the Gods personally protected Marco during the assassination.
These stories reached the ears of the nobles as well and they knew what kind of impact this event will have on the rest of the empire as well. Marco status in the hearts of the people will reach soaring heights. If until now he was just the Emperor and that was about it, from now on the people will take notice of him, Marco Eldobal, the Emperor that personally entered the battle for the sake of his people. This will have a huge impact over the masses and everything that Marco will do from now, he will have a huge support from the common people from now on. This was a thing to take into consideration, because even if they were nobles, they wouldn’t be able to do anything without the common people under them. And every noble knew that.
In a small tavern a group of people were listening closely to all the stories that were told there about Marco and his efforts. This group of people seemed to be travellers and from the color of their skin, they were from the deep south, maybe beyond the borders of the Empire. They were wearing light clothes, fit for travel, and from the dust on their clothes they seemed to spend a long time on the road.
“I’ve heard that this city was under attack last night, but from the vibe of the place it seems that the people aren’t that much concerned” one of the men said.
“If the Calif would fend off an attempt on his life and then he would lead an attack to fend off the attackers, killing everyone in his way, how would you feel?” another man answered, and from the sound of his voice he seemed to be quite young.
“Do you think we will be able to receive an audience from the Emperor?”
“Who knows, let’s wait for word from the merchant” the young man answered. From the looks of it, he was the leader of this group of travelers.
Without knowing about the people that were struggling to gain an audience with him, Marco was sitting on the throne in the Grand Hall, watching the ceremony of granting the Prime Minister seat to Armando.
After a few debates the nobles decided to agree in the end with the proposal of Armando. There weren’t many points against him to begin with. Only people with hidden agendas would fight the Emperor on this matter.
And thus, at the end of the day, Armando became the Prime Minister, just as Marco intended. Now what remained was to fill in the positions of the Left and Right Minister. The Left Minister ruled over all the administration officials, having under his supervision the finance department, the education department and many other departments that ruled over the lives of men. On the other hand, the Right Minister was the upholder of the law and military. Both of them were under the Prime Minister, but they ruled also independently of him.
Marco didn’t really cared who took those two seats, because with Armando as Prime Minister, he knew that they wouldn’t get out of line. And while the Prime Minister was harder to fill in, the Left and Right Minister were easy to remove and replace if they messed up.
After the ceremony finished at Armando took his seat of Prime Minister, right below to the throne of Armando, the nobles started to debate who be named into those two positions. Many names were thrown into the naming pool, but the two that stood out the most were the ones of Marquis de Sar and Grand Duke Darin. There weren’t two men in the whole Empire with more backing than these two at the moment.
Grand Duke Darin entered into the Imperial Faction real quick after Marco got in touch with Armando. The decision that he took that day changed his life forever. After the events that happened last night and also all the moves that Marco made, transformed him into a loyalist that was backing up Marco with all his power.
Marquis de Sar on the other hand, was the de facto leader of the southern nobles. The nobles of the south were quite wealthy and powerful men, because of their trade and unique good that were growing only in the south. This way they had a lot of control over the trade flow trough the Empire and they could boycott some of the products if they wanted. They have done in the past and the Emperor had to step in to end their foolish demands. The nobles of the south were quite aware of their power, Marquis de Sar especially. This is why he allied with Gustavo in the first place, supporting him in his endeavors, even though he lost the Imperial crown.
Mario approached Marco silently.
“Uncle Sigurd is telling me that there are some travelers that are requesting an audience with you” Mario whispered to Marco.
“Did he say who they are?” Marco asked.
“He only said that they are from the south, but he said that you will want to meet them. He recommends to meet with them as soon as possible”
“Fine, tell him to bring them to the Grand Hall” Marco answered.
“Right now. If they want an audience, we will have it right here. If they come with good intentions, they will be able to voice their words in front of the Grand Council”.
Mario made a sign to a Gemini member that was hiding in the shadows and passed on the message towards Sigurd.
In the meanwhile, the nobles reached an agreement and Armando rose from his seat and took the floor.
“Your Highness, after the debates of the nobles, the Grand Council is proposing Grand Duke Darin as Minister of the Left and Marquis de Sar as Minister of the Right. This subject is asking you to take this humble request into consideration.”
“As per wishes of the Grand Council, I hereby appoint Grand Duke Darin as Minister of the Left and Marquis de Sar as Minister of the Right” Marco said with an official tone.
While the robe changes ceremony was taking place, the chamberlain of the Grand Hall announced.
“Sigurd Tennessee is asking for an audience with the Emperor” the thunderous voice of the chamberlain was heard throughout the Grand Hall.
“Audience granted” Marco gravely said.
Sigurd immediately entered the Grand Hall, followed by a group of 5 people, the same people from the tavern.
“Your Highness, thank you for granting this lowly one an audience with you” Sigurd made a deep bow toward Marco.
“Enough, Uncle Sigurd. You know that I will always have time for a meeting with you, even in the middle of this Grand Council. What kind of business do you have today with us?” Marco asked with a smile on his face. His uncle knew how to put a show for appearances. For the nobles etiquette was an important thing, that must be kept at all costs.
“Actually, the audience, it’s not for me, but for the people behind me. You can say that I’m just the middleman” Sigurd said and retreated himself on the side, leaving in the middle of the floor the group of 5 travelers.
“Salam aleykum, Emperor Marco, and I thank you as well for granting this audience” the young man said while making a deep bow, almost reaching the floor with his head.
“Aleykum salam. You caught me unprepared, because while you seem to know of me, I don’t know who you are. From what I see, you are coming from the desert” Marco said.
“Ah, indeed, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Saladin al Azhari, the Crown Prince of the Azhari Caliphate, a small caliphate in the Grand Desert. But you got me surprised as well, your Highness, because I wasn’t expecting that you would know our traditional greeting.” Saladin said with a big smile on his face, revealing a row of white teeth over his grimy face.
The nobles almost fell down in their seats, especially the ones from the south. For years there have been many battles and war with the tribes of the Grand Desert and now one of them was sitting in an audience with the Emperor.
Things moved fast in the Grand Council and now we have the 3 important people of the Government in their seats. But what is the purpose of Saladin visit to the Empire and what is he expecting to obtain in this audience?
Imperial Struggle is an original story written directly on Steemit. Follow @sstefan for the next chapter.