Titan Beneath The Heavens - novelonlinefull.com
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The unrest in the Empire had yet to spread to the Princess and His Royal Highness Prince's carriage. To make it easier to ensure the princess' safety, Oscar and Alanis practically never left each other for the few days. The cold war between the two was already in the past. At that moment, Alanis regarded the young prince as her most trusted companion. This was highly related to the prince saving the princess' life, but that was not the main point; Alanis was aware that as of now, she could only receive aid from the prince. Since an a.s.sa.s.sin emerged from the procession, the princess felt that only this youngster who had faced the same fate as her, did not appear that suspicious.
Exchanging their interesting anecdotes of many years, were the princess' and the prince's everyday practice. Oscar probably reaped a lot more than Alanis did, for the matters in prison were far beyond the Princess' imagination; while the Princess' recount of the cla.s.sical stories among the n.o.ble circles left the little prince gasping in awe. Only now did he know that the Madams of those gentlemen, who usually appeared so splendid, were actually so shameless deep down.
The youngster could not help but feel a little dubious as he watched Her Royal Highness Princess' chatter on exuberantly; it seemed that the young lady was deeply disgusted by matters regarding pirates and prost.i.tutes, but her tone made it appear that it did not bother her at all.
The princess talked about the court's etiquette tutor, the riding instructor, her parents and both her elder siblings. Oscar managed to catch quite a few useful points for himself, yet he was sensitive enough to sense the princess' contempt and disdain for these people.
If this was still not enough, then there was still at least one more matter that left the youngster vigilant to a certain extent. Lady Countess Emory's condition had stabilized and this female companion of Her Royal Highness Princess was left at Fort Stanson to receive treatment like the other casualties. At that moment, Alanis was reserved in expressing her concern towards her close companion. Oscar had reason to believe that this most respected young lady of t.i.tan Empire did not care about these people who loved and cared for her and regarded their care and love as their bound duty to her.
For the first time, the youth felt that the princess had the same problem as him in terms of personality - Both of them did not know how to cherish, and may even deprecate certain emotions. However, Oscar did not feel that there was anything inappropriate about this; he just felt that Alanis reserved enmity towards everyone other than herself.
The prince was aware that his journey had already lost its initial significance and he was only slightly better off than a prisoner now. Although he was the procession's highest commanding officer by name, but he understood that the division commanders carrying out the guarding duties were unlikely to take his views into consideration. Currently, everything appeared as strained and orderly as a wound up clock.
Complains were after all just complains. Although everything was not in the prince's favor, but at least he could still admire the breathtaking view of the southern mountains through the carriage window. To a young lad, this journey was unique and fresh whatever the case.
The southern military region that was made up of the mountain divisions had now entered the last phase of the journey. They escorted the procession of the princess and His Royal Highness Prince to pa.s.s through a good half of Rylie Province and crossed the steep West Berkshire Mountain. When the procession entered Bodega Province, the foothills of the majestic, towering, undulating Alps finally emerged and the terrain became significantly leveled.
When the last mountain was about to fade away behind, the Prince ordered the party to rest and reorganize for a while. The youth led the survivors of the Narcissus Knights' cavalry of the Imperial guards and arranged themselves into a neat line a short distance from the mountain pa.s.s and paid tribute to the fallen heroic souls in the mountains.
The pitch-black mountain silhouette continued to stretch out from the west to east following the change to daylight. The huge mountain absorbed and emitted all sorts of sounds to the "outside" of the mountain pa.s.s contentedly. The hour of tribute should have long since ended, yet the knights could not help but watch the young prince who sat upright on his horse, static, in puzzlement. In the eyes of these seasoned veterans, the youngster had already become one of their formidable members. However, only now did the knights start to consider that the child was a little too young. Although some of the older veterans also have a son just as old, but those little ones seemed to still be in the phase of playing wildly in the fields with a wooden sword.
Oscar gave a sigh, he did not want himself to appear that much like an elder, but he still had yet to master the art of concealing his emotions un.o.btrusively.
The youngster finally decided to leave. He had already made a vow, did he not? Those who violate or harm him will definitely regret it.
"Your Royal Highness!"
The lad turned his head around and saw that it was Sarlat Drosha who spoke. The former paladin wielded a beautiful rapier and his skills did not perish over the years in Damorga.
"Your Royal Highness, take a look." Sarlat unfolded his palm and an urn as tiny as a thumb was revealed to the crowd. The urn was suspended on a silver corrugated necklace.
"According to your instructions, I have carved yet another urn. The ashes of the few of your maids are inside." Sarlat suddenly fell dejected for he had personally witnessed two of them suffering inhuman torture.
Oscar thanked him and took that bottle shaped decoration and without a hint of hesitation, wore it around his neck. The surrounding knights started muttering in low voices. The prince's practice was completely against the religious teachings; the G.o.d of Light forbade a living person to carry any items of the dead; this was a respect for death, a consecrate to G.o.d. Yet what about this youngster? He had kept the ashes of the dead and by his att.i.tude, it seemed as if he did not intend to ever remove that "Ash bottle" from his neck.
"Inform the commanding officers of the mountain division that we are setting out!" The youngster gave a last glance at the Alps behind him, "Wait for my return and I will make you crawl beneath my feet."
It appeared as if the mountains had heard the lad's inner thoughts and the mountain pa.s.s spat out a gale that caused the blistering hot summer to instantly be caught up in a freezing winter.
His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette's cloak was flapping nonsensically under the whistle of the valley. This youngster gave off an odd sneer. He and his knights quickly disappeared onto the road that extended to the plains and the mountains seem to have forgotten the youngster's words in a blink of an eye. However, undeniably, the Alps absolutely did not expect that this boy of stocky build, would one day bring about Earth-shaking changes in the not so distant future.
Year 791, 17th day of the 7th month, at a region of Bodega Province where it were only a few kilometers to the Eastern border of Andrew's territory, both the Imperial guards and the knights of the prince could at long last let out a sigh of relief! Just a moment ago, the cavalry scout squad of the mountain division ran into a huge lineup of a welcoming procession from the narcissus knight group at the provincial borders.
"What kind of procession and what kind of lineup?" Oscar questioned the leader of the scout squad delightedly. His mother and sister watched him from the side, laughing.
"Your Royal Highness, I cannot describe the spirit of the Narcissus Knights, but I dare a.s.sure you that I saw more than twenty military flags, meaning to say that there are more than twenty groups of armed forces. You need to see if for yourself to believe it!"
Oscar averted his eyes and pondered, but he failed to make sense of a certain matter, "Why... Why did they not come to greet us?"
"Do not be silly, child!" The Lady d.u.c.h.ess of Andrew walked over and embraced her little son, "Any unit of the Narcissus Knights larger than a group is forbidden to set foot outside the territories without the order from his Majesty the Emperor; that is an act of treason!"
Oscar nodded his head in understanding.
"Very well my child, you have arrived home! Don't be like a fool! Ride on your Raytheon lest you be ridiculed for appearing before the proud knights in a carriage!" The Lady d.u.c.h.ess ruffled her son's hair after saying that.
The last few kilometers pa.s.sed in a blink of an eye. Oscar was as excited as a lion cub. His Raytheon could sense its little master's vibrant air and this proud little creature became agitated. It jumped and kicked left and right; in short, it refused to stride properly on the national road, causing the knights close by dare not steer their mounts too close to it.
At ten in the morning, Her Royal Highness Princess of the t.i.tan Empire and the recently appointed His Royal Highness Prince pa.s.sed through the last village at the northeastern part of Bodega Province. The knights who were exploring the way had ordered the people of this village to remain in their homes. Usually such actions that seriously disturbed the villagers would have been severely reprimanded by Her Royal Highness Princess, but at that moment, Alanis felt that she should not probe into the matter with the mountain warriors who were diligently carrying out their duty throughout the journey.
The procession pa.s.sed through a national road at the edge of the village and they followed the path to turn into a small col. When they emerged from this little valley, it was already the inherited, private territory of t.i.tan Empire's Duke Andrew!
"Mam! Sasha!" His Royal Highness Prince called for his mother and sister. He urged his Raytheon to dash back as fast as gathering dark clouds. The youngster's fierce expression caused the mountain warriors to duck beneath the roadbed of the national road.
"Haha! And also Your Royal Highness Princess!" Oscar was undeniably the most enthusiastic. He halted in front of the women and his Raytheon, having not galloped to its heart's content, skipped on the spot with the teen still on its back.
"Take a guess at what I saw." Evidently, the youth did not intent to let the women answer the question; he followed on by saying, "The boundary stone! The boundary stone!"
"Do you know what was written on it?" The Raytheon led its young master to circle around the women, "Haha! On it was inscribed in the most ancient t.i.tan text 'Here dwells Andrew, his knights and his people, welcome to the first and also the final defensive line set up by the G.o.d of Light!' and inscribed beneath is 'distance to Andrew Haila, 189kilometers', my respected ladies, do you know what this signifies?"
Her Royal Highness Princess had been influenced by the prince's enthusiasm. She made a fuss trying to order someone to make a stone rubbing of the boundary stone, as she wanted it to bring it back to Dulin as a souvenir. The Lady d.u.c.h.ess of Andrew and the young lady watched the young boy before them without uttering a word. The question brought up by him indeed left them perplexed; just what does this signifies?
"Mam! My beloved little sister! This signifies that I have arrived home! Hahaha!" The Prince once again turned his horse around and the Raytheon shot forwards with all its might, causing the group of soldiers in front to plunge into chaos.
His Royal Highness Prince's cheers accompanied by his hearty laugh made its way into the ears of the women, "I have returned... Hahahaha… I. Am. Home!"
As soon as the youngster cheered, the long drawn-out sound of a bugle horn suddenly sounded from the little valley close to Andrew's territory!
There was absolutely no difference between Lady Celia and the young lady. Both of them locked eyes and broke into laughter. Indeed! They have arrived home!
"Kamille!" Celia twisted her head and called for the paladin.
Without having to be told by the Lady, Colonel Kamille Rayen already had the horn at his lips. Another long and drawn-out sound of a horn complimented the horn that was yet to be seen in the distance. The knights instantly abandoned everything, the heartbreak of losing their comrades, the trepidation brought on by their wounds and illnesses, the stress acc.u.mulated from their guarding duties and the enemies who were concealed in hidden places. All this did not matter anymore! When the horn to a.s.semble sounded, they were no longer the cavalry company that had been reduced by half, but the most valiant armed conglomerate on land that used the Narcissus as their totem.
The blast of the horns lasted a long time in the small valley before they faded away. The commanding officer of the mountain division used a variety of commands to alter the formation of the soldiers. They had accomplished their mission and the ones taking over were t.i.tan's most brave and fierce, armed force. What a glorious moment! The warriors of the mountain region puffed out their chests towards the skies and started considering how they would brag to their wives and daughters! They had received the welcome of the Narcissus Knights; they had stood on the same spot as these heroes that only existed on murals and epics.
Just like the banner that who knows when appeared on the opposite mound; those who set eyes on the flag would be filled with immense pride! The mountain warriors thought to themselves that they were undoubtedly fortunate as the last security squad of the Imperial Guards. This was because not many of the Empire's soldiers could truly see the true form of the flag with their own eyes despite hearing that it was so huge it could obscure sunlight as far as the eye could see. The sight in pictures had no way of depicting the awe that the flag brought to the people.
The whole procession made their way towards the flag. One of the warriors silently read the name of the flag "The resilient fierce tigers, the undefeated Narcissus."
When the horns sounded, officers of a small Narcissus Knight squad galloped for the mound hectically. They urged their horses to arrange into a long line of thirty-two steeds and only came to a halt when they had dashed up the hill.
The thirty-two steeds were linked tightly by the reigns to form a column throughout the way. Every four steeds formed a group and each group was dragging along a special made carriage. There were eight carriages in total and each had a slender log about thirty over meters, running through each of them. The first carriage even had a capstan installed.
When all the carriages had come to a halt, under the orders of the knights' commanding officer, they hacked the ropes binding the logs together. Two Herculean-like brawny men gave a deafening shout and pushed the capstan. The log raised little by little under the influence of the chains of the capstan. When it was erect and pointing towards the sky, following a loud shout from an officer, the flag bearer severed the rope that was binding the log tightly. The rope slid continuously and a huge flag about five meters long and six meters wide descended rapidly from the top beam of the log.
When the huge flag had completely unfolded, the bottom of the pure black banner obscured part of the sky and under the sunlight, a formidable, fierce white tiger was seen billowing, and as usual, with a blooming Narcissus within its mouth.
The prince had already been gazing at the flag for quite some time; he was the first to dash over to it. However, Oscar did not plan this; the youngster was at a loss of how to react after he laid eyes on the enormous Narcissus of the Fierce Tiger. It was his Raytheon stallion's instincts, which led him to charge towards the undeniably familiar silhouette.
Twenty-six knights emerged from behind the flag. Oscar did the calculations himself but he was counting the war flags in the knights' hands instead of the number of knights. If each war flag represented a battle unit, then just how many knights had a.s.sembled here?
Oscar stared at the oncoming knights, immersed in thought. These knights appeared not to have recognized him and did not seem to intend to address him. When the lady d.u.c.h.ess and the young lady had caught up, only then did the youngster realize what an awkward position he was in.
"What should I do… Or is there something I should say?" Oscar asked his sister under his breath, "Why are these knights like mutes?"
The young lady gave a spirited smile and caressed her brother's fine steed, then indicated the carriage that was far smaller than ordinary carriages beneath the huge flag.
The Raytheon apparently understood the young lady's meaning despite being absolutely clueless to what that implied. However, it vaguely recalled that its own parents had performed a certain action beneath the banner.
The youngster held fast onto the reigns but this time the Raytheon had no intentions of yielding to its young master's orders. It shot up the ridge and leaped with all its might onto the roof of the carriage. The last jump left Oscar feeling shaken and as if a few of his bones had cracked! He will never be able to bear another fall to the ground!
Oscar tried to pacify his mount; he could feel that his fearless companion was trembling slightly. The youth suddenly lifted his head and the huge flag was at that moment already behind him. His view finally encompa.s.sed the huge land that was obscured by the banner all the while.
"Ah…Ha…Ha!" His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette's lips were blanched and his agitated being emanated a fiery aura. He saw countless knights clad in black armor, lined up like apparitions over the plains in front of the small hill, their elongated silhouettes seemingly stretching on towards the distant horizon.
The Narcissus Knights were masked behind their silver visor and none of them made a sound, as if they were statues standing erect on the lands of Andrew. t.i.tan beneath the heavens; Oscar could feel that even the winds had ceased to make a sound.
The knights who beared the war flags urged their warhorses to form two rows on either side of the prince. Oscar glanced left and right, and felt at a loss that he did not previously feel. Who could tell him what he ought to do?
"Take out your weapon!" A tiny voice drifted towards him.
Oscar came to comprehension and gave a grateful look to one of the flag bearing officers closest to him. At the crisp sound of his machete being drawn, Oscar puffed out his chest. He sensed that the wounds that had long since healed were once again split open.
When Murat heard the prince's words, he nearly fell from his horse. He was utterly discomfited; an absurd thing as this should not take place at this divine hour! They need to review why the prince of the procession was clueless as to what should be done. He dropped his voice as low as possible, "My Royal Highness, raise your… Oh goodness! Why are you wielding a machete?"
Major General Murat Bedoya was about to lose it. He was indecisive on whether he should replace the prince's weapon; he did not know what kind consequence it would bring unto His Royal Highness Prince to wave a machete before so many Narcissus Knights.
"Seriously… Forget about it! Raise your… your machete, then shout a few words! Oh one more thing!" It suddenly crossed Murat's mind, "after this is over, do not mention to anyone that I was the one who directed you to do this!" Oh goodness gracious! Murat curled up his lips, he just could not comprehend it; why did the only person he ever witness to use a machete among all the people of t.i.tan, had to be the little hero of the house of Andrew?
"So… What should I say?"
"I said, what should I say?" Oscar was oblivious to the Narcissus Knights below him who were watching both him and Major General Murat as their heads were almost b.u.mping against one another.
"Oh G.o.d!" Murat felt intense shame! "Anything! My Royal Highness, the knights are waiting for your review, don't tell me that you do not have any sentiments at all?"
Oscar racked his brain and gave it some thought. He finally came to an apprehension! The ten thousand people below were waiting for his review and as for his sentiments, it seemed that there was only one word that surfaced.
The youngster turned his horse and held onto the reins tightly, then directed the machete to point towards the blue sky. Without needing any command, all the Narcissus Knights brandished their weapons. The plains trembled at the ice-cold sound of clashing metal.
"Quickly withdraw your blade!" Murat prayed! "Of all things, do not let the fools below discover that you are wielding a Persian weapon to greet them!"
"Andrew Haila!" The long cry came from below the huge banner, and by the time the sound waves had spread towards the Narcissus Knights' lineup, an even louder wave erupted and reverberated.
"Andrew Haila!" "Andrew Haila!" "Andrew Haila!" The whole earth was once again resonating the cheer of Andrew. Oscar's Raytheon was the first to rise on its hind legs and kicked its forelegs like mad following the cheers. Its young master held on tightly to its neck, barely daring to move! However, it could not be blamed for it recalled that its father had done the same back then!
The knights' originally organized shouts had changed pace. From the north to south, the slogan "Andrew Haila" had continued to spread throughout all the divisions! The rise and fall of the cheers were like singing, vibrating through the eardrums of both men and horse!
Major General Murat Bedoya who was beside the prince suddenly raised the war flag in his hands! One of the division level members in the knights' lineup gave an even more hysterical roar. The knights of that division started to beat their spears on their shields rapidly and the ear-piercing sound waves masked the resounding cheer of "Andrew Haila".
Another officer beside the prince made a similar gesture as Murat and the other end of the lineup also erupted with the sound of spears clashing on shields.
The remaining twenty-five officers represented their divisions and raised their war flags in succession! The cheer of "Andrew Haila" was completely replaced! The prince's Raytheon was circling in fury beneath the banner; this little lad had forgotten what he was supposed to carry out next!
However, this time, its young master had caught on; His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette s.n.a.t.c.hed the war flag from Major General Murat Bedoya's hands in a flash. He clung to the s.n.a.t.c.hed flag and urged his horse to charge down the hillside. Murat gave a cry and charged after the prince and a number the other officers followed suit!
Oscar charged head on towards countless Narcissus Knights. His body leaned forwards with all his might. The Raytheon had achieved peak velocity once it had dash down the hillside; the whipping wind and cheers of the knights rapidly fell behind his ears. However, another new wave of a variety of sounds was emerging up ahead. Whichever direction the youngster's horse was headed towards, all the knights would automatically shy to either side. They watched this legend-like youngster who was raising the war flag of the Narcissus Knights' Red Tiger a.s.sault division and flitting through the sea of people constructed of shields and spears.
Oscar had no idea where he was to go; his warhorse was also at a loss. At that moment, the youngster only knew to urge his horse to continue galloping forwards. However, knights who were spreading onto either side kept flooding before his eyes; it felt like he was flitting through a never-ending lineup formed by the Narcissus Knights.
The Lady d.u.c.h.ess of Andrew, Celia, embraced her little daughter, "Take a look! Sasha! Do you see? Little Oscar has finally returned home! My knights are cheering for him! Do you see that? I… Tell me, am I dreaming?"
"No, mother!" Sasha kissed her mother's cheek emotionally and brushed away her mother's tears whilst allowing tears of her own to continually roll down her cheeks. "No! No, mother!" All these are real! My brother has parted the knights' ranks, just like a true hero, he has forged ahead!"
Yes, that's right! His Royal Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette received welcome from the Narcissus Knights like a true hero. Just look at that youngster spurring his horse to bolt forwards! When he pa.s.sed through the square formation formed by the knights, no one could describe his feelings.
Exactly twenty-seven divisions of the Narcissus Knights came to greet Her Royal Highness Princess and His Royal Highness Prince, totaling to more than eighty thousand men! This also included all three of the fronts, which were defending the Empire's territory nearby, beneath the banner of Andrew.
The fronts of the Narcissus Knights adopted a similar structure to that of the Empire's inland; both arranged their compositions based on the natural terrain. The House of Andrew did not establish any provincial-level administrative unit in the territories; the fifteen fronts that const.i.tuted the entire armed force of the family represented the fifteen districts.
Since the Persians had never ceased their attacks, so every time the fire beacon at the border lit up, the whole territory of Andrew would a.s.sume a state under military control. And when this happened, the working hours under the military control was far longer than that under the administrative authority. In the end, around the middle of the fifth century, Andrew simply opted to dissolve the first cla.s.s administrative authority of the region, establishing the Military Personnel Bureau, that was a united army and government. This largest bureau level organizational structure in the mainland enveloped all the power of the government and army. It included administration, the law enforcement agency, judiciary, inspectorate, taxation body, military and reserve inst.i.tutions and so on.
To the Military Personnel Bureau, the so-called government residence established by the t.i.tan Empire in Narcissus County was undoubtedly just a front for show. According to the orders of chief administrator of the Military Personnel Bureau, Marshal Dortmund Andrew Nedgabel, all the commands coming from the Eastern border governor, Duke Dortmund Andrew Nedgabel, were not to be accepted.
It is a little ridiculous speaking of this, but the outsiders would not regard it as such. If one were to say that Duke Andrew, who was a.s.suming dual roles, only obeyed the Empire's Central by name, then he was very much suited for the position in the government residence; if one were to say that he really did not care about the Empire's governmental decree, then the chief commanding officer of the Military Personnel Bureau would undoubtedly provide him with a better explanation. In fact, saying all these would not be nonsense because the governor and the chief administrator were simply one. However, the people of Narcissus felt that only the commands of the chief administrator best addressed the issue.
The endless military rule contributed to the unwavering leadership status of the House of Andrew at the territories of the Eastern border, but this system itself limited political and economical activities within the borders of Andrew to a certain extent.
A soldier's mission in life was to obey commands and so, the commands of the Military Personnel Bureau of Andrew controlled all the fate of the people within the territories. Andrew's control over the people and military had already achieved a state of near perfection. If there were no commands from the superiors, then no one was able to operate at will within the borders of Andrew. Despite this system being able to stabilize the entire border of Andrew, but in the long run it could not avoid taking on the path of doctrine and bureaucracy.
To deter the infiltration and destruction by the Persians and to escape the interference and surveillance from the Empire's central, the Military Personnel Bureau founded the Census Bureau. This Bureau only had a tiny sign hung at the Military Health Department as its external work were generally to investigate the census register and to go through the epidemic diseases. However, the people all knew that the forbidding palace's building complex of headquarters, many secrets of utmost significance was placed under the jurisdiction of the Military Investigation bureau. To put it simply, this department was Andrew's personal secret service. Its principle duty was to monitor all visible hostility directed towards the Andrews or uncertain potential enemies. As compared to the secret service, the Military Intelligence Bureau under the control of the military had better cohesion and battle strength.
This was to say that, the role that Duke Andrew played at the Eastern border was undoubtedly that of an Emperor. And to the subjects of Andrew, he indeed was. The foundation that made up the Andrew family's rule was extremely simple. The people here could simply be categorized into the reproduction group and the battle group. To put it even more simply, the people of Narcissus reproduced and lived to fight and the soldiers of Narcissus fought so that they could continue to reproduce and live. So, Andrew served as the organizer of all activities and the body that aggregated all the glory and belief in their midst. As far as it concerned the people of Narcissus, Andrew was not only their commander-in-chief, but also more so the refuge enshrined by G.o.d's side in the church.
The Andrews were G.o.d-chosen warriors! These were the opening words in all the government textbooks from primary school to the only academy within the territories. The enrichment to Andrew's ruling foundation would be the significance of the people being convinced by these words. The people of Narcissus born in foreign lands would usually give this clarification "I am from the Eastern Border of Andrew!" first and foremost when they introduced themselves. The Narcissus people had made Andrew their only family name.
If the Duke of Andrew in that era were to have any shortcomings, then it would be his love for huge spectacles. Marshal Dortmund Andrew Nedgabel's hobby was to display his army before the people of the world. Without knowing just when it started, the Narcissus Knights realized that their old foes were not that difficult to handle as before! Furthermore, once the defensive line at the frontier that was as packed as a spider's web and the strongholds that were as numerous as the stars, settled down, the Narcissus Knights and the soldiers of the Narcissus warrior group no longer had to prepare their posthumous writing prior to entering battle like before.
Despite wars breaking out ceaselessly, despite the casualties becoming another number on the list, but the Narcissus knights had already procured battle strategies and tactics that could completely hold back the Persians. Be it individual combat techniques or an army's attack and defense coordination, after four centuries of trials, the Persians who made no progress at all had became the knights' laughing stock and no longer the terrifying Pagan terminators.
Going back to the Duke of Andrew, Dortmund, this handsome Marshal was at the prime of his life. He had four sons and an adopted daughter and his G.o.dchildren were so plentiful that even he himself did not quite remember them all. He also had four Madames. This was the most criticized aspect of the Andrew family. According to the decree of the G.o.d of Light, monogamy was considered the most ethical standards by law. However, taking into consideration the rather high sacrificial rate of the Andrew family members of direct descent on the battlefield, so two hundred years ago, His Grand Eminence the pope specially sought instructions from the G.o.d of Light Sapriuses and thus, the Andrew family's adults could possess four legitimate wives. Regardless of whether that Grand Eminence Pope truly attained the Divine divinity, the Andrew family relied on this special G.o.d given decree to conscientiously guarantee the continuation of their bloodline.
Speaking of Duke Dortmund who was fond of ostentation, since all fifteen of the fronts were not at the front lines, so the other units who were waiting to be relieved from their garrisons at least had to be occupied with tasks during the brief peaceful period. The Duke enjoyed convening all forms of Swearing-in Ceremonies, for example road repairs or tree planting. He also enjoyed conducting large scale military exercises, for instance at the end of each year, the Duke would divide the fronts into two colors, which were black and white, according to the colors of the Fierce Tiger Flag of Narcissus. Although the stand off between the black and white were very much pretense, but the ordinary people who came to watch did not feel so. The "Black and White Tournament" held once every year was undeniably their sole entertainment during the cold winter days.
The Imperial household of Morisette's visit was insufficient to obtain a large enough audience for Duke Andrew to actually dispatch the three fronts. However, if the reports from the United Army were accurate, then this visiting princess may very possibly become little Oscar's wife. Moreover, with His Majesty the Emperor making such an arrangement, he feared that it was most likely to announce to the people of the world of the princess' belonging.
Confronted with the desolated office, Dortmund lifted up his teacup leisurely, but he then immediately replaced it. He had been bothered about the relationship between the princess and his young son for several days already! It was a rare occasion for his young son to return home. He initially planned to hold an engagement ceremony for this son and his daughter. If he did that, then it would indicate that he was choosing Oscar as the succeeding head of the family, because only the family head of Andrew could marry four Madams. However, that child's age and qualifications simply could not convince the elders of the family at all. Even the second eldest, who constantly stirred up trouble, was more convincing! Then what about the princess? If the Emperor really married her off to Andrew, then holding another engagement ceremony at this juncture was definitely inappropriate. Could it be that he really had to disappoint little Sasha?"
The Duke again lighted another cigar. Hehe, one of his Madams had hidden a lot of them away, but his office's secret box still had many left. Dortmund suddenly caught hold of the copper bell on the table and shook it violently. The huge doors to the office were opened instantly.
"Lieutenant Colonel Tracey, where have they reached?"
"Ahem, Ahem, Ahem!" Little Miss Tracey who was wearing a black uniform, choked on the mist-like smoke in the room. If she were to reveal her dissatisfaction towards this Marshal, then the man's excessive smoking was definitely one of them.
"Ahem... Report…..Reporting Marshal!" Tracey furrowed her eyebrows. She flipped through a stack of report forms and doc.u.ments in her hands to retrieve a military report. "The prince, Madame, and young lady, the group of them, is crossing the River Marne, the time being the 7th month and twenty-nine minutes ago."
The Duke shook his head; he turned his chair to face the French windows. The sunlight instantly illuminated Duke Andrew's rather conspicuously gloomy face.
"Tracey! You have neglected one exceptionally significant figure, which is the princess of the imperial household! I have always believed my intuitions. That princess is definitely not a person who can be taken lightly of!"