Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 14
“First, the most distinguished personnel in this war, Hubertus Nahles Weiss Weinzierl. You did well.”
“I did not deserve such praise, as I merely did what Your Majesty had ordered.”
As I heard about the King’s endless praises for the Crown Prince, I tried really hard to prevent myself from rolling my eyes. Of course, as the commander of the whole army, the Crown Prince will be named as the most distinguished personnel.
It’s the typical ‘all your merit goes to your boss’. The victory of this war was also all attributed to the Crown Prince. It’s ‘all praise to the Crown Prince’ route.
The King continues and bestows the Crown Prince with all sorts of rewards. First monetary rewards, then a royal family treasured sword. The greatest reward though is the fact that with this achievement the Crown Prince’s position will be unshaken.
“Next, Ingo Fati Zeavert. Sir’s army had become the key to our win in the recent battle. Sir’s achievement is truly worthy of praise.”
“I am truly grateful for your praise.”
Next, it’s my father’s turn. Father said so as he bowed his head. The one who went to the battle may be me, but the army is the Zeavet household’s, so the achievement goes to my father.
The reward that the King bestowed is money and it’s quite a lot of it. The reward amount is enough to pay back the money I used to buy the oil, so I’m glad. The remaining problem is that there will be a lack of scented oil for a while since I bought all of its main ingredients… but I doubt we will have any large-scale international banquet in a while because of the demon king, so it should be fine.
Other than lack of scented oil, another effect of this battle is probably going to be the change in people’s perception of the Zeavert’s household. We will no longer be known as a house of the civil officers only.
“And for your heir, Welner von Zeavert, who had for the one who had battled on the frontline, from henceforth we shall allow him to be called viscount.”
“Such an excessive reward…”
“Please allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude once again for Your Majesty’s generosity!”
Now my name is brought up. As the actual commander of the army, I guess this will happen.
I walked to the very front where my father is and gave a very deep bow toward the throne while I started to recall this kingdom’s nobles’ rank.
In my previous world, the basic noble rank was separated into five-level. They are duke, marquis, count, viscount, and baron. Some countries also had ranks below baron like baronet, honorary knight, or esquire, but well, the basic rank is these five.
The Bain Kingdom I am reincarnated into also has five… I wish. The Bain Kingdom actually had 6 ranks of nobility, so it’s even more troublesome to remember.
There is also a typical classification of the noble outside of their rank similar to my previous life, like a court noble and territory lord, but there are also many differences. I used to get confused about them.
The first rank is baron. Usually, a baron is a knight who has done many meritorious services or a talented commoner who is liked by the king and then put in a governmental position. This bit isn’t that different from barons in my past life.
When a knight becomes a baron, the only difference he will feel is probably the fact that he can now attend a royal banquet or a noble’s wedding as a guest. As a knight, he can only attend these events as a guard.
Moreover, most barons didn’t have any territory. There is also a non-hereditary baron. This type of baron will never get their territory. This position is more of an honorary position (or in this case an honorary title) than an actual noble position. Actually, this type of title is often given as a convenient reward.
In a way, the baron has little to no merit as a noble title.
Of course, the baron had a privilege that every noble had, like escaping arrest for a light crime or paying a cheaper toll when moving to another town. But these two privileges are useless for someone of a baron’s level.
Above the baron, there is a viscount. I really hoped a viscount is just a title given to a baron that had accumulated great merit, but nope, not that simple. In this kingdom, there are not one or two but three types of viscount.
The word viscount originally meant ‘a count aide’. This is why some viscounts had a small part of the count’s territory as their territory. This type of viscount is called a ‘remote viscount’.
The second type of viscount is ‘government viscount’. They are viscounts who are appointed as high-ranking government officials. Most of the royal family’s territory is managed by this type of viscount.
Rarely, some government viscounts also become ministers.
Last is the ‘provincial viscount’ who had territory in the provincial region. There is this unwritten rule that a provincial viscount must never become a high-ranking government official.
The trademark of a viscount is they barely leave their territory. They only came to the capital for reports and special events. Only fellow viscounts remember other viscounts’ faces.
The territory of a viscount is not that large. An influential viscount has territory the size of a small city, but most only had territory that can be considered bigger than a village but smaller than a city.
Other than three types of a viscount, there is another equal but different rank than viscount called ‘deputy count’. This rank is usually given to sons of a marquis or a count. This rank is closer to an ‘honorary viscount’.
You can tell if someone is appointed as a deputy count or a viscount by listening to the King’s word when appointed them. If the King said ‘We shall appoint him as a viscount,’ then that person is appointed as a viscount, while if the King said ‘We shall allow him to be called a viscount,’ then that person is appointed as a deputy count.
I heard deputy count used to be considered as one of the nobility ranks in the kingdom right below the viscount. Back then, there were not six but seven ranks of nobility.
I was appointed as a deputy count. There is actually barely any benefit for me. I will receive a salary from the court, though the amount is only roughly the same as a barren one. It’s an amount enough to support a family, but I’m still a student with no family to support.
Rather than benefit, this rank brought me one huge trouble.
As I said before, this rank is given to a son of marquis or a count. It’s a symbol of an acknowledgement as the official heir of the house from the royal family. For a case like mine, whose father is a minister that often stayed in the capital, the job of managing the territory comes as a packaged deal with this rank.
The huge problem that I was talking about is not the matter of heir. If my brother was alive, being given this rank by the royal family would lead to a full-blown successor war, but since my brother died and I became the count’s only son, I’m automatically the heir without being given this rank.
The huge problem lay in the ‘managing the territory’ bit. As the person who manages the territory, I also must protect the territory. It means I will be the one who will lead the knights and the army at the frontline in case of any battle.
Basically, the king is telling me that ‘your father is a court minister, so he won’t be able to go to a battlefield. You go in his stead.’
The ‘managing the territory’ bit had also brought heated arguments among the other nobles about ‘who’s higher: a deputy count or a viscount?’
One common argument goes like this. The deputy count is only their father’s helper. Of course, a viscount with their territory and political influence as a high officer in the central government that managed finance or administration is higher.
The opposing argument then goes like this. But if the deputy count is a son of a marquis who is also a court minister, then as a manager of a marquis territory, isn’t it obvious that the deputy count is higher than a viscount? And so on…
The debate finally calmed down when the king decided to make the rank viscount and deputy count equal. The official document will keep the name ‘deputy count’, while his official position and the way other nobles call him will be ‘viscount’.
Though it had calmed down, it doesn’t mean the debate had completely disappeared. The debate used to be heated again at a royal banquet. The order of sitting in a royal banquet is decided by the person’s political achievements, position in the society, the parent’s position, the position of the in-law family, and age. The heated debate often arose about the order of sitting of the viscounts and deputy counts.
Maybe that’s why only nobles with a rank of count and above can attend a banquet nowadays. Baron too, but many feel that the viscount didn’t appreciate their rank.
In short, by giving me the title ‘deputy count’, the king is telling me “You’re still a student, but there’s no doubt that you are the next count, so take care of the count’s military affair.”
Just how did things become like this?
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