She was sent by God - SS 04
One day, as winter draws to a close.
A knight shouted and banged on the door ferociously.”
“Beasts have appeared!”
Laslo didn’t ask what kind or how many there were. He quickly grabbed the sword he had left next to him and followed the knight.
The shoddy defense line was breached by a horde of ravenous demonic beasts, who then endlessly rushed in. The fortifications crumbled like a sandcastle. The majority of the soldiers were deployed to war, so there weren’t enough to defend.
On that day, 21 soldiers and five knights perished. The vassals cried out in frustration because they could no longer bear it.
“Let’s write to the palace right away.”
“When will the war be over?”
“Will the king assist us given how dire the situation is?”
“Yes, it will only be a matter of time before the demonic beasts attack the capital if the West is opened.”
Laslo acknowledged their suggestions and took great care when composing a letter to the king.
<Since there are not enough soldiers to stop the beast invasion, the situation in Sutmar is at its worst and even a 14-year-old child could be forced into service. Please have mercy..>
Fifteen sheets of parchment were used. The messenger travelled to the capital with a solemn face. The messenger who left at the end of winter came down to Sutmar the following spring.
With only one letter in hand
[Send Princess Agnes to the capital. Anyone who has committed a serious crime will undoubtedly face punishment. I’ll send as many troops as the Duke requires if you can transport the sinner.]
The letter contained just those few words. Reading the brief sentences made Laslo question his vision.
“Did he lose his mind when the second prince passed away?”
Laslo murmured, remembering the recent black ribbon-adorned obituary he had received. Niall, who stood next to him, began to read the letter Laslo had given him.
“Was there anything else the messenger said?”
“I’ve heard that things are very serious in the capital.”
“It got to the point where the messenger wasn’t sure whether he was in the capital or the cemetery because bodies were piled up on the sidewalk like bales of straw after harvest.”
“I initially believed it to be an exaggeration, but the merchants said the same thing.”
“I didn’t know that the epidemic was severe because of the small number of people entering and leaving Sutmar, but the capital, including the south, seems to be in a mess,” said Laslo. Niall’s expression changed more and more seriously.
“Then the rumor could be true, too.”
“The first prince is also infected with the plague and could die today or tomorrow.”
“I didn’t believe it either, but after reading this letter, I can’t help but believe it.”
Laslo lightly tapped the table with his fist.
“The king’s impatience makes sense if that is the case.”
“Yes, the royal authority will be very unstable if both princes pass away.”
“Prince Chavolti is an exception because he lacks reproductive ability. Only Princess Agnes can inherit the throne.”
He took back the letter that Niall held, explaining that although the princess is married to Laslo, this does not prevent her from inheriting the throne.
He offered to provide troops to tame the beast, but in exchange, he demanded Agnes.
“What are you going to do?”
“What can I do?”
Without thinking, Laslo snatched the letter and tore it. Upon seeing it, Niall yelled in shock.
“You don’t have to respond to every absurdity.”
“However, it is a letter from the king, so…”
“Say nothing to the vassals; I’ll speak to them.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Niall acted as if he had something to say, but he never spoke out.
He had half expected that the king would not send any troops. Laslo had no memory of stopping the beast with their assistance anyway. Therefore, he remained alone and thought about how to build a defensive line with the remaining soldiers in the castle.
Laslo stepped outside to organize his complicated thoughts. His head began to clear a little as the refreshing spring breeze touched his cheeks. He came across Agnes in the corridor after a long walk.
As usual, Laslo gave her a brief greeting and then walked by her side. She wouldn’t normally say anything to him, but today was different. Agnes gave him a call.
“Can I speak with you for a moment?”
They made their way to a nearby garden. A feeling of awkwardness developed between them as they sat down and waited for the tea. Laslo is still finding it difficult to deal with her.
“I’ve heard a messenger from the capital has arrived,”
Putting down her cup, Agnes spoke.
“A messenger? Ah.”
“What did the king have to say?”
Laslo tightly closed his mouth. He is at a loss for words.
Your brother instructed me to escort you to the capital while treating you like a sinner. So he can provide me with the troops I require……
“He said it would be challenging to send aid because the country is currently in chaos as a result of the epidemic.”
“Yeah, the epidemic appears to be spreading rapidly, beginning in the south.”
“What about Sutmar? Is this place okay?”
She leaned forward and displayed a concerned expression.
“The princess need not worry about it.”
“Oh, I see.”
Unintentionally, the end of her voice was stiff. Agnes briefly rubbed her shoulders. In order to avoid his eyes, she lowered her head. Laslo regretted it when he saw it but was unable to make amends.
One of the attendants approached quietly and spoke in a low voice.
“All the vassals have gathered, as you said.”
“Is that so?”
Then she got up from her chair.
“I was holding onto a busy person; I’ll be on my way.”
Laslo watched Agnes leave and saw no reason to stop her. The vassals were waiting for him when he arrived at the conference hall, as the servant had stated. There is a palpable sense of anticipation in every eye.
“I heard a messenger had arrived, my Lord.”
“What did His Highness say?”
“Will he send us military forces?”
Everyone left with disappointed faces and drooping shoulders after Laslo was forced to tell them the same things he had told the princess. Some of them vented their rage.
“What is the king doing while we suffer through such hardship?”
“He must be blatantly ignoring the West,”
After consoling them, Laslo sent them back. Thankfully, spring brought a decrease in the viciousness of the demonic beasts. There were now just Niall and Laslo in the conference room.
“Tell me firmly,”
“If things keep progressing like this, how much longer do you think the territory will last?”
After a lengthy pause, Niall spoke, and there was a hint of agony in the brief account he brought.
“Two decades. Three years maximum
Laslo let Niall out and quietly observed the candle’s flame. He was surprised that they could live for another three years.
It was like looking into Arpad’s future.
Sometimes he wishes he could abandon all of his responsibilities and flee, and other times he harbors resentment toward the previous Duke for having left him in such a dire predicament. All of that was the weight of life that he had to bear on his own.
Laslo examined Arpad’s territory carefully. There will be less resistance if he gives some to Zoltan and divides the remainder into smaller portions and distributes them to the vassals.
I’m glad I didn’t have a child. I didn’t want to subject my child to this never-ending mire.
And my wife…….
Laslo lowered his head and bit his lip. He could still picture her sitting in the garden on a spring day. He clearly recalled her face, sleeping peacefully like a baby in the moonlight, and her expression that first night.
I should let you go. You’re a woman who deserves a better life than this. Nevertheless, finding a new husband won’t be difficult for you because you’re a royal princess.
He went so far in his thought that he unintentionally broke the quilt pen he was holding. He was already irritated and upset by the idea of her standing next to a stranger.
He was unable to leave despite the time of night.
As summer arrived, the epidemic spread like wildfire.
The epidemic spread to Sutmar as well, and a battle to barricade the gates and keep people inside ensued. A gray-haired, elderly knight opened his mouth.
“Today alone, more than twenty corpses were moved in carts.
“Ian’s wife was among them.”
The old knight’s youngest child is Ian. As there was nothing he could say to comfort him, Laslo shut his mouth.
“I can’t expect farming this year with people dying like this,”
The situation made Laslo even more depressed because the old knight simply gave up without criticizing or complaining about how desperate things were.
“How much longer can Sutmar survive?”
There was an agonizingly difficult and profound silence. His heart hurt as though a piercing piece of metal had been inserted there. Laslo repeatedly turned to face the sky as he struggled to contain his tears.
He spoke in a raspy tone. He briefly coughed before opening his mouth once more.
“At most three years.”
The old knight’s eyes were crystal clear. No clouds could be seen. He answered calmly, leaving Laslo speechless.
If he had placed the blame on him, the pain would have been less. But the old knight bowed deeply to Laslo and walked away.