The former capital of Marden Kingdom, now it was the capital of Marquis Marden of Natra Kingdom.
The rebuilt of Elislaw palace was currently used as an administrative facility.
Originally it was a building that reflects King Fushtar’s artless taste, most of the building was burned after being attacked by the neighboring country, Cabarine.
No matter how inconvenient it was, this was still the building of the royal family. When the royal capital was being retaken from Cabarine, the reconstruction plan come up due to the need for administrative facilities, thus it was being rebuilt again, taking into consideration the budget.
Right now, a man was advancing in a brand new hallway in the palace.
The man with a round body was called Ziva. Former diplomat of the Kingdom of Marden, he joins the liberation army after the capital fell. With his strong patriotism and character, Zenovia still put her trust and made him her right-hand man.
He arrived at the office of the palace. He took a deep breath and then knock the door. A groan could be heard from the inside of the office.
“Ah, as expected huh?”
Ziva opened the door with a troubled look. He tried to step in but stopped. Before he was about to step in, he saw a lot of documents on the floor.
When he takes a good look, around the entire room, materials scattered all over the floor, and there was no foothold.
Ziva picks up some of the documents and looks at the desk inside the room. Someone was slumping on top of the desk.
“Zenovia-sama, please wake up. Zenovia-sama…!”
Ziva calls the person as he tried to slowly wake her.
The one who woke up was a girl.
She wakes up with messed up hair and paper marks on her cheek, this person was the former first princess of the former Marden Kingdom, and she was the current Marquis, Zenovia.
“Ah… Good morning, Ziva, morning already?”
“Morning already, not!”
Ziva scolded Zenovia who stills have a drowsy eye.
“Spending the night again reading through the material. I’ve told you already, get some sleep in your own bedroom.”
“About that, well… I have something I think about, see…”
“What kind of excuse is that? And your hair is messy as well…”
Ziva looked amazed as he called some people. Immediately, several female officers appeared.
“Please prepare a bath for Zenovia-sama.”
“Ah, wait, there are still some documents I need to finish…”
“No. Also, after fixing your appearance, we will have a meeting. If you show such a figure to the vassals, what do you think they would feel?”
While being showered by Ziva sermon, Zenovia was taken to the bathhouse, being dragged by the women.
Ziva who sees her off sighed deeply.
A third party voice then appeared.
“— To see Zenovia-sama like that, I somehow get used by it…”
It was a man at his prime. From his firm body and standing, it was clear that he was a warrior.
“Borgen, regular report to Zenovia-sama?”
“Umu… However, it seems the timing was bad. Hahahaha…”
“It was not a laughing matter, Borgen.”
The man— Ziva shakes his head toward Borgen.
“If we leave it as it is, her body will break. And don’t forget, the reason why Zenovia-sama did something like this was that we lack manpower!”
“Well, I guess so. Sorry…”
Borgen was a military commander since the time of Marden was still a Kingdom.
A long-time friend of Ziva, his archery was the best in Marden. Although he was a strong-hearted human being loved by his subordinates, though he didn’t match against the previous King’s greed.
After the fall of the capital, he joined the Liberation army led by Zenovia at the request of Ziva. Served as a substantial military commander, he was now a high ranked officer in Marden territory alongside Ziva.
“It can’t be helped, the Marden right now is under that person guidance. Though, I wish for her to focus on learning political affairs for a while…”
“Zenovia-sama was like me, she was being ostracized by King Fushtar after all…”
In terms of political ability, Zenovia was by no means high.
But it would be unfair to blame Zenovia for that.
Wayne, for example, he was born as a prince, thus he was long had been endowed with royal studies.
Zenovia on the other hand was pushed away by King Fushtar, and she had little opportunity to learn politics.
So Zenovia’s lack the ability was due to her lack of experience and learning.
Therefore, just like today, she was working while studying political affairs in parallel.
“Normally, the vassals would support her in this kind of time.”
“Are people still not gathering? Ziva?”
“It is a bit unfavorable right now. Though it was not completely bad either…”
The current Marden territory lacked the human resources to operate the territory.
After all, up until recently, Marden had been in the middle of turmoil. Former Fushtar bad governance, defeat in a war against Natra, fall into Cabarine hands, a siege to retake the capital from Cabarine, and now, the first move of the former princess was to become part of Natra.
For the people within the territory, all of those events were too fast. They might be worried whether or not tomorrow everything would be okay. Even for those who wish to serve, it was natural for them to think twice before joining.
“Not to mention, the officials from the era of the Marden Kingdom between those who remained and those who join the liberation army still could not accept each other…”
Ziva speaks those words while looking bitter.
Once Marden was dominated by Cabarine, Cabarine had tried to hire many of the officials who work for the Marden Kingdom. As a result, the officials right now was divided into three ways, those who serve the Cabarine, those who serve the Liberation army, and those who were newcomer…
And after the release of the Marden capital, of course, those who served the liberation army manage to prosper. Many of them have a high level of position in the territory. They were the so-called Remnants people.
On the contrary, those who decided to serve Cabarine couldn’t get the same treatment. Cabarine also suffered political change due to the death of their King, many have come back to take advantage of the Marden’s revival. However, the line of sight of the remnants group was cold toward those people. No one could blame them, after all, they were people who had abandoned their hometown once…
“As expected, should we accept those who return for a bit? The military people aside, I even haven’t seen the civil officials as well you know?”
“I can’t be helped. For the current Marden, those people were indeed valuable since they know the know-how to manage the territory. But we refuse most of them. Even if it takes time to train people from scratch, I guess it was better like this…”
“Geez, everything didn’t go as planned huh? When the capital was released, I was thrilled that finally, we could return back to the relaxing life but, now I feel nostalgic when I think about the time we gaze at the sunny plains in rural areas…”
“I don’t mind a mistake but don’t you dare going down. Marden would be over without you.”
“I know. Not to mention, the younger generation, Zenovia-sama is also working that hard. It would be a shame if I were to gone and abandon her now…”
In short, that was how it was. What supports Marden today?
Even if she was inexperienced, her willingness and hard-working attitude had brought together her vassals.
That was why, she needs to always stand in front of the vassals, encourage her, and stay by her side to provide support. If they can’t do that, Marden would fall apart.
“Also. The air around the territory has gradually improved due to the economic boom. With this, Marden will be able to make a huge leap and overcome many difficulties…”
Borgen was tasked to patrol the territory. Therefore, he could feel the improvement in people’s vitality.
However, even with that, Ziva’s expression was still looking grim.