Chapter 205 “stunning” (part one)
When Du Wei’s carriages sped into Loulan City, the day was already getting dark. Though the visibility was slowly deteriorating, the castle guards outside dare not slack off. The moment they saw the Tulip flag flying in the air, they already knew who was coming so they quickly got into position and cleared the road for his arrival.
Regarding this newly constructed castle, Du Wei is very satisfied with it. Back in his previous life, he had the chance to travel the west and managed to witness some of the most glorious castles used in the middle ages. Yearning for the something similar, he would of course go all the way since the opportunity presented itself. Compared to the Rowling Castle, this one is even larger by a few margins and equipped with several water wells to boot! And to increase the defense capability of the place, Du Wei specifically had his people introduce groundwater to the moat dug around the castle walls. Even if war does occur in the future and the outer perimeter is compromised, they can easily hide behind the inner castle for a year or so.
By imitating the style of the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, what came after the wooden bridge on top of the moat is the castle’s gate. With brightly outfitted guards standing on each side, none of them made any movement even when Du Wei’s carriage approached. The only noticeable gesture was how much livelier they looked when they saluted with their right hand besides their head.
Once inside the Castle, the first one to welcome Du Wei is naturally Marde and from this loyal servant’s mouth, he was made aware the preparations for the dinner banquet is well underway.
These past days, Loulan city has been bustling with celebration. Everywhere you looked, one would see a festive scene and even the usually stern looking patrol guards had a new set of uniforms on just for this occasion. Besides this, something unique and out of ordinary occurred. It is far too common to see the faithful praying in temples towards their worshipped gods, but in Loulan City, the faithful only prays to the Duke’s Castle. Every day, large batches of citizens would stand outside the castle wall and openly and loudly say their prayers before going about their business.
After Du Wei came to the Northwest, time and time again he would create miracle in front of everyone. From the grain harvest to the construction of the greatest city the Northwest have ever seen, everyone witnessed these events first hand so let’s not even mention the tax exception he gave these poor farmers. Aside from these points, there is also one more thing. Though he didn’t actually give the order, Longbottom had more than on one occasion brought his subordinates out into the wilderness and decimated the bandit groups which plagued the Northwest for so many years. Not knowing the ins and outs of this, everyone had mistakenly credited Du Wei for Longbottom’s effort. Hence the batches of people coming in front of the castle walls to pray for Du Wei’s longevity and wellbeing. In their minds, as long as Du Wei is lord of the Northwest, their lives will continue to prosper.
That’s why, when word got out the Duke is about to go through his 15th birthday in two days, the residence of the city were boiling with anticipation that it even overshadowed the joyous mood usually reserved for the summer celebration.
For Du Wei’s birthday, the castle would of course not lose out to the general populous. Every day, the staffs were breaking their legs running around organizing everything that none could even rest. Du Wei actually didn’t want to make it too complicated because he isn’t very used to such big events, but Philip quickly shot down his idea when he caught wind of Duke’s intent. His argument was: If the Duke doesn’t make it a big event, then it will make him look shrewd and hurt his prestige.
“Young Master, dinner is ready. Following your orders, I asked around and heard the Lister family is from the south so I purposely made the food with a southern taste…..” Just as Marde was reporting the details, several cavalry knights suddenly came up to them from behind. Jumping off their mounts, they immediately kneeled and saluted Du Wei: “My lord, the Lister household’s carriage is already at our doorstep!”
Du Wei nodded: “Hmm, they’re finally here.”
No longer able to change his wear, Du Wei simply stood at the doorway to greet his guests.
Late in the evening, the Castle guards aligned in two roles across the bridge sounded the Horn and hung two giant flags across the castle walls; one being the golden tulip flag and the other of the Lister Household.
Du Wei originally didn’t plan to play it so thick; after all, it is only 2 children that are coming to meet him. However, when he thought it over, he changed his mind. They are the Marquise’s sibling and the boy is the only heir to the Lister fortune so its certain he will be the future lord of his Household. For his own interest, it’s better to show some goodwill.
It’s just a pity that the Dadaneier- this former Lister subordinate0 is out of town. Three days ago, he went to the Northwest corridor to meet up with some natives to purchase some horse and cattle’s.
Under the honoring sound of the horn, a team of white horsed cavalry unit slowly came up to the gate. Uniformly dressed in a standard silvery armor, each of them looked like they were selected based on their handsome looks and young age. Not only was that, even the white steeds under their crotch are completely outfitted with a matching silvery armor……
With one look, Du Wei can already tell the bunch is the Lister Household’s personal cavalry unit known as the “White Feather Knights”. Within the Lister Household, only the marquise is with a non-hereditary noble title, so they are technically not allowed to own a private army. But who are they kidding? For such a famed and wealthy family, there’s no way they can go about without protection. Using the excuse of a mercenary group, the Lister Household created a phantom company outside the family name and bypassed the limitation placed upon them, thus creating a private fighting force they can rely upon.
Imperial Decree: apart from the hereditary nobles, none can wield a private army! However the empire does allow the wealthy to hire mercenaries.
The truth is, everyone already knew what the Lister Household was doing, but why would they go make trouble for such a wealthy family without reason? It’s just that due to imperial decree, the number of mercenaries hired cannot exceed 500 people, so the roster of this white feather knight unit always had the odd number of 499.
Regarding this 499 number, Du Wei also know there is more to it inside. There’s a saying, “for every policy, there will always be a countermeasure”. The age of chivalry may have long passed, but it did have a glorious past, so the empire’s attitude towards the knight profession is still quite tolerable. The biggest trick here is: In addition to the knight themselves, they are allowed to be accompanied by four squires. Though on a regular basis, they would normally be responsible for cleaning and repairing weapons, but when a actually battle begins, they can also partner up to fend off the enemy…..
And the amazing party is that…. The Squire’s name is not required to be on the official roster list!
In other words, the white feather knights may only number at 499 in the official list, but if you include the squires, they are in actual fact well over 2,000!
Unlike Du Wei that has a territory to defend, this unit of 2,000 is more than enough to secure the safety of a merchant family like the Lister Household.
Looking at this a team of silver armored knights and their white steeds, Du Wei could not help but sigh in disappointment.
Though the current head of the Lister house is a woman, but the fact that even the guards are fancily outfitted to bring out their most beautiful side is too wasteful. Piling up unnecessary gears just for appearance sake, Du Wei can already imagine how powerless they would be in actual combat.
Although he was shaking his head inside, but Du Wei’s appearance said otherwise. Masked with a welcoming smile, no one would ever guess how disappointed he really was.
Well, at least this team of white knights still had their dismounting posture right. Coming down in unison, they quickly lined up on either side of the bridge. Then from behind, several horse drawn carriages slowly came up to the gateway.
The carriages may seem average from the surface, but that was not true. With Du Wei’s eagle eye, he can already speculate the price to produce it far exceeded the one gifted to him by Prince Son. Matched with numerous perks hidden under the surface, the carriages were neither overly arrogant nor lacking, truly fitting that of someone from the upper class.
When the carriage came to a stop before the castle’s gate, the ground had long been covered with red carpets to welcome their arrival. As if he was already used to such scenes, the leader of these white knights casually walked up to his master’s carriage and opened the door.
Subsequently, a slender and dainty foot stepped off the carriage and the delicate figure began to draw closer with each walking step.
God as my witness, even the way this woman bent her waist to get off the carriage was beautiful! It was as if each of her movement she made was naturally like this, elegant and refined……
When she first looked up at him, even Du Wei’s heart began to mercilessly pound against his chest he saw the girl’s face!
What a face…. What a beauty!!!
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