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Chapter 75 - End of Count Monarch 4

Emperor of Steel
     The darkness of the dawn had receded and the morning sun rose.

    As their ears intervened in their ears, turmoil was caused by the residents of the Lamer city as they saw the broken Gigants.

    "What? What happened here?"

    "The enemy has attacked us at dawn?"

    "Who was the enemy? The Rakan Viscount?! Don't kid me!"

    "Huhuhu, we won't be seeing that greedy Pig anymore."

    While the residents were watching the scenes with a little anxiety and anticipation, Luke and the Rakan were very busy trying to clean up.

    Firstly, the aides of the Count were locked up in a prison, and soldiers were dispatched all over the city.

    They were sent in with a declaration. It contained five statements informing them about the triumph of Rakan.

    To ensure the good citizens' lives, property, and their status.

    We prohibit the hoarding of daily necessities.

    To provide food to the poor.

    Those who go against the security forces will be punished.

    The personnel of the security forces and the administration should get back to work within 24 hours as usual. Status and wages can not be guaranteed.

    Although it was conquered, the Rakan alone couldn't manage the second-highest commercial city in the South.

    The city of Lamer alone had 200,000 people, which was nearly 10 times the population of the Rakan before they took in the Volga refugees.

    Therefore, Luke had retained a few of the Count's men, the lower-ranking officers and the positions in the military except for the riders and the knights.

    "I am glad that the Count's connection with his people was poor. A lot of people are cooperating, much more than I had expected."

    "That is great. Otherwise I would have thrown up with nervousness and indigestion."

    At the words of Rogers, Luke looked over at him and nodded his head.

    The prison, where the prisoners were held by the Count, had people who had rebelled or spoke ill against the Count.

    Among them, there were quite a few nobles. There were also administrators and knights.

    They were very compassionate to Luke, who had released them, and were very helpful in resolving the matters at hand.

    "There are the aides of the Count like Baron Goth. He said that if he gets released, then he would tell us about the Count's slush funds and his hidden business assets."

    Goth had been caught by Philip when he was trying to escape through a rope.

    As the one who was closest to the Count, he knew a lot of high-level information as he ran the estate on behalf of the Count.

    "Young Lord, don't let him out! He is the evil one who had burned and killed the innocent refugees!"

    Luke calmed Victor, who was losing his temper.

    "Of course, I have no plans on releasing him. But I need the information that he has. So, Victor will be given a chance to hurt him just as long as he doesn't die."

    "Uh, leave it to me!"

    Victor, who regained a little bit of color on his face, ran out of the office.

    Luke saw that and smiled. He turned back and looked at the paper in his hand.

    "But young Lord, when are we announcing the death of the Count?"

    "I'm thinking about that too."

    After the battle had ended, Luke had found the body of Count Monarch, which was on his own puddle of blood.

    It was an unfavorable result for him as he had wanted to capture the Count and gain benefits using him.

    "It is easier to announce that he has died. On the other hand, those who fear the higher ones may turn uncooperative or passive with you young Lord."

    "But if it gets known, the Imperials will take it differently. A move to kill the Imperial family."

    It wasn't like a lord had to be kept alive in a war.

    In a war, a lord could be injured or even die.

    But as of the moment, it would be seen as Luke had killed the Count.

    Most of the time, lords were usually taken as captives or released after receiving a heavy ransom.

    After thinking in many ways, Luke made the final decision.

    "Hide the Count's body, and keep your mouths shut. And for the time being, make a rumor that he ran away with his riches."

    "So, you don't plan on announcing it?"

    "It is better to not provoke the Imperial family, for the time being."

    Luke emphasized that they would not make any moves temporarily.

    There were no knights of the Rakan family who didn't antagonize the Imperial family.

    The Baroque family was the one who had imprisoned the Warrior Rakan and his family to that small Viscount.

    Even though Baroque was weak, everyone just bowed to them. However, no one looked up to them.

    "But what about the other cities and towns of the Count? As of now, with our governing forces, managing Lamer itself is going to be troublesome."

    They were going to take control of the Count's region, and that was not going to be easy.

    The Rakan territory was much smaller than Count Monarch's.

    In addition, the Count's region was the second largest area in the South, which was several times larger than Rakan.

    Still, it was questionable if the officials of the Viscounts could manage such a large territory, especially when civil constructions were happening.

    "There are two solutions for that."

    "Two you say?"

    "Yes, one is to sell off the land to the neighboring Lords. Let's sell as much as we can."

    At those words from Luke, Rogers shook his head.

    "And then take that money? With such a situation, it usually ends up in a mess."

    "Then wouldn't they just take away the land without permission. If the lords around the place did that, the emperor would be more than happy to allow a war to happen."

    Except for Marquis Mayers, the nobles around Monarch were very silent.

    They would try to fight Rakan, who had just recently improved their Gigants by winning the war.

    "If we sell it to them cheap, they are more likely to accept it."

    "Then what about the second option?"

    "I'm going to apply a law to Lamer later on. I'd like to lend the rights to the merchants and let them freely run their business."

    Rogers was surprised at Luke's words.

    "Will you make Lamer a free city?"

    "As a commercial city, its foundation had been firmly established. Look at these papers, the merchants have already asked a few times before. The Count was so greedy that he didn't allow it."

    There were several free cities on the continent. They were mostly the port cities developed by trade.

    The merchants were rich enough to buy the land from the Lords, and their own power was so strong that it could be compared to a Count or Marquis.

    "The problem is that the relationship gap between us would increase. Much more lands will be merged, or there are chances for the city to be divided into smaller cities."

    "There is no need to worry about that. We will raise the stake in the free city."

    The free city management was often undertaken by a single trade union but often accompanied by the number of stake-owned traders.

    ‘And in the latter case, the largest stake has the loudest voice.'

    So, if Luke made Lamer a free city, he wanted to present the first rank to Princess Reina Kirillov.

    Of course, for that to happen, there would be a need to make funds arrangements.

    "Though it is a pity. Even if we sell the land or entrust it to someone, the land we have gotten is the best…"

    "It is better to take care of things that we can and not mess up the management. What matters to us was never the expansion but substantiality."

    "Yes, that is right…"

    When the two of them had made their decisions.

    They heard urgent footsteps outside.

    It was so urgent that the entire residence of Lamer was shaking.

    "Something bad happened, young Lord!"

    It was Philip. He almost smashed the door when he entered the room.

    Rogers shook his head and frowned.

    "What is it? Is there a rebellion outside?"

    When a new ruler came in, there was always a revolt.

    It was usually led by people who didn't want to lose their positions, their homes or their lands.

    Luke wondered if the Count's men were outside.

    "Huhu! No, it isn't a rebellion. Not a rebellion but…"

    Philip tried to calm his breath.

    Luke, who listened to what he had said, jumped out of his seat.

    "Princess Reina was kidnapped!"