Time passed quickly. Now, it had been a month since the war with Barco ended.
At the Dmitry family’s regular meeting, the family’s vassals reported all that had happened in the last month.
“With the fall of the Barco family, there is no longer a power that can rival us. Due to the absence of a rival, the pro-Barco forces expressed their desire to form an alliance with Dmitry in the coming days, and some of them are willing to pay a fair price for it as well. And as the Lord had commanded last time, they had refused to even talk with Barco and showed them excessive hostility while they were still alive. How do we deal with the situation? Dmitry will now establish itself as the dominant force in the North-East region of Cairo, but if we push any side into the corner too much, there’s always the chance of them growing into a second Barco.”
The fall of Barco was truly shocking.
Although the power of the family wasn’t much, Dmitry, who hadn’t even participated in the war, benefited from it the most.
As the vassal had said, all the families in the North-East were now attached to Dmitry. In particular, the ones who sided with Barco in the past now visited Dmitry daily to pay for their sins, but obviously, Dmitry’s people knew the truth—If another force like Barco emerged, they would betray Dmitry without a second thought.
Baron Romero said, “Even if new hostile forces emerge, we do not have to embrace everything. It is arrogance, not tolerance, to join hands with those who inflicted unforgettable wounds on us. We will not cooperate with them. We will clearly show them what it means to turn our backs on them.”
“Then, start the next agenda.”
The second agenda was about an increase in troops. Dmitry had the best military power in the North-East region of Cairo, but the last incident raised their awareness.
“Barco showed the power of creating variables in war by borrowing external forces. What if Dmitry had a fight with Barco? Variables like Flare and Homer would obviously pose a huge threat to us. Therefore, I would like to suggest expanding the army and securing enough magic weapons to prepare for those variables. Dmitry can no longer be regarded as a frontier family. We require a lot of strength to maintain our position firmly because we have grown to be the strongest force in the North-East region.”
There is no such thing as a more secure safeguard other than the military’s power.
Baron Romero’s thoughts were no different, and he decided to invest a significant amount of money into the military.
Furthermore, there was good news as well.
“Young Master Roman was correct. It took an astronomical amount to install the magical artifacts throughout the tunnel, but in a short period of time, the iron mine’s production increased by 30%. We have not expanded our workforce on a large scale yet, so considering the current rate of growth, it is likely that there will be more than a 100% increase in the production from the mine.”
“And what about the finance of the artifacts?”
“There is no problem. The current surge in the production alone is enough to cover that amount.”
Roman was right. It was a virtuous cycle of investment. By investing first, the problem of safety in the iron mine was solved, and the workers were now equipped with an environment where they could concentrate on their work properly. It was an incredible decision.
Looking at the results alone, the Baron even wondered why he hadn’t thought of this himself. Although, in fact, it wasn’t easy to invest a vast amount of money and anticipate such results as those before him now. Nevertheless, Roman had turned it into a reality. Even though no one asked him to, he worked in the iron mine. He experienced firsthand what problems might arise in the future and devised the most ideal way to solve the problem with his wise judgment. From the process to the result, truly, it was perfect.
Roman’s reputation, which was changing all over the place quickly, ended with this.
Eventually, a vassal asked, “Lord. What are the plans for the succession of Dmitry in the future?”
The succession problem—That statement changed everything.
People thought that the Dmitry family hadn’t chosen a successor yet. Nevertheless, that wasn’t true. Although it was yet to be officially announced, numerous discussions were already held internally.
The vassal continued, “Three years ago, we selected Young Master Rodwell as our next Lord. Back then, Young Master Roman’s actions did not suit the position of the Lord, and the youngest master was also judged unable to take on the heavy duty due to his weak personality. However, now, things are quite different. Just look at the recent actions of Young Master Roman. He defeated Homer, a ranker, in the war against Barco, and he even solved the safety problem of the iron mine in the most ideal way. Roman Young, who previously lacked the necessary skills, is now acting with the dignity of a leader. Young Master Roman, who didn’t have the qualification in the past, is showing the dignity of a leader now.”
“We all have the same opinion.”
Everyone nodded. Seriously, Roman’s recent actions were too shocking.
They couldn’t understand how Roman Dmitry, who hadn’t wielded a sword since his childhood, had grown into someone who was not any mere swordsman but an Aura Swordsman. Nevertheless, one thing was for sure—he was developing at an astounding speed. In addition to him being quite powerful, he also had the ability to solve Dmitry’s problems. Thus, the hearts of the vassals were shaken.
Rodwell Dmitry was also known as a genius since his childhood, but Roman’s actions had shown everyone clearly that he was far beyond even the beings known as geniuses.
“The selection of a successor has not yet been officially confirmed. In order to prevent confusion within the family, Young Master Rodwell was selected in advance, but as Young Master Roman is proving his worth now, I think a fair competition is needed.”
Hearing that, Dmitry went quiet. There was a ripple in his thoughts. Baron Romero couldn’t make any hasty decision in a situation where the succession structure could be messed up.
‘Roman and Rodwell.’
They were his 2 sons. They both had different tendencies. While Roman, who experienced days as a commoner with Baron Romero, suddenly collapsed down due to the disparity in their status, Rodwell relentlessly tried to overcome the limits of his status.
Rodwell’s greed was tremendous. He showed such a strong desire to become the successor that the eldest son wasn’t even considered a competitor. Thus, it was highly likely that he wouldn’t come out in favor of the decision if Dmitry decided to put up a fair competition.
Anyway, he was afraid of the conflict that would arise between them in the future. If Roman had been just moderately good in the past few days, the previous decision of Rodwell becoming the successor would have been followed, but now, Roman had tremendously changed.
In the end, Baron Romero said, “…There is plenty of time. For now, let’s keep watching the situation and then think about what kind of decision we have to make.”
After the meeting of that day, Baron Romero’s troubles deepened. Thus, after the meeting was finished, he called for Hans. Hans was Roman’s closest confidant. As he had served Roman since the days he was called a trash and a fool, he thought Hans would be helpful in his decisions.
“I see you, Lord.”
Baron Romero went straight to the main point.
“Hans. What do you think of Roman Dmitry?”
“What do you mean…”
“I’m asking if Roman Dmitry is suited to be the heir of the Dmitry family.”
The direct question naturally brought silence along with it. Hans looked troubled initially, but then he said frankly, “If the Lord had asked me the same question even 3 months ago, I would have said ‘No.’ Even though Young Master Roman had a good heart, he had shown a path that wasn’t suitable as an heir, and that is a fact known to everyone, not just me. However, the current Young Master Roman is different. It isn’t just about his recent achievements, but the young master has now grown into a person worthy of being an heir.”
“At the time of the Blood Fang incident, Young Master Roman directly executed those who persecuted the estate of Dmitry. I still vividly remember the events of that time. He asked the wicked people who disturbed Dmitry about our laws and further went to Lawrence to annihilate them. That event was literally a blessing for the citizens of Dmitry. People stricken with usury were broken out of the cycle of evil, and finally, they saw hope come back in their lives.”
Baron Romero thought the first incident had a simple reason. As he had ordered him to dispose of the Blood Fang, Roman was so moved that he went and even put blood on his hands.N0v3lRealm was the platform where this chapter was initially revealed on N0v3l.B1n.
However, from the perspective of Hans, it was quite different. He had interpreted Roman’s actions distinctly.
“You can tell just by looking at the recent incident at the iron mine, Lord. Young Master Roman said he was working there to understand the reality of the people of Dmitry. No one had forced him to do so. The young master even bowed his head to understand people’s hearts and faced Dmitry’s reality while collaborating with workers. And in the collapse that happened in the mine, he risked his own life. He did it all for the sake of the estate. As a bearer of Dmitry’s surname, the young master considers it his duty to take on those risks.”
Hearing Hans’ words, Baron Romero felt as if he was hearing the tale of a legendary hero.
Actually, Hans couldn’t help it. As someone inside Roman’s circle, it was natural for him to show gratitude and how much he valued the protection given by Roman to him.
“I understand. You can leave.”
Hans bowed his head and walked away.
Baron Romero was now even more troubled. He thought Hans’ experience would be helpful to him, but the guy blindly praised Roman, which added even more confusion.
‘Rodwell has already been confirmed to be the successor unofficially. So is it the right thing to do to bring in the competitive system right now? Roman proved his worth quickly, but Rodwell had tried to fulfill his duties as Dmitry’s successor from an early age. He devoted himself to swordsmanship, tactics, politics, and whenever he had time, he learned to handle iron in the forge as well.’
Even now, Baron Romero wasn’t sure about what choice he should make. Ignoring everything else, he thought Roman wasn’t interested in the forge. He was different from Rodwell. Thus, even Baron Romero couldn’t make hasty decisions.
Also, the succession issue required the consent of the key figures of Dmitry. They were vassals such as the Master of the Iron Mine and the Master Blacksmith, Hendrick. Only when three such people were in agreement could Baron Romero set up the competition.
Baron Romero called for a servant.
“Go and inform the master of the iron mine right now that I have something to ask him regarding the incident at the mine.”
The second thing—This time, it was his turn to listen to Jacob.
And not long after,
“Lord. The Master of the Iron Mine has arrived.”
“Bring him in.”
The door opened. However, there wasn’t just one person who arrived. Behind Jacob, there was another man. He looked at him suspiciously and said, “I heard that you wanted to hear about the incident in the iron mine, Lord. Thus, rather than me, I decided that the person who talked with the Young Master Roman the most would be more suitable.”
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Jacob turned. And then, the man behind him stepped forward, bowed his head politely, and said, “I am Morkan from the iron mine.”
Morkan—He was one of the representative spokespersons of the iron mine.