“Second Lieutenant Riggsby, the higher-ups want to ask you some questions.” Commander
A little while later, I enter a room with several high-ranking officers.
I’m a little surprised they’re so high-ranking, and not just military, but some
high-ranking members of the government.
“Second Lieutenant Riggsby, we’re sorry to bother you, but we have some
questions for you.” General Andretti
General Andretti is around 50 years old with red hair and a fine beard. He has
a muscular body and around 180 cm (a little under 6 feet). He’s the top-ranking
army personnel, the only one higher is the king himself, who is also here.
“Hah, excuse me.” Pat
There is a conspicuous empty chair for me to sit in, so I do.
“My question is around how deep the relationship between the Westin and Riggsby
families is. It’s known that they’re connected, but is it deep enough for the
Riggsby family to join the Westin family and the Empire?” General Andretti
Certainly, it’s not sure that the Riggsby family would take the risk, at least
from a distance.
“First of all, I should explain the Riggsby family situation.” Pat
“My parents, well, my mother has passed away, so my father and his legal wife,
who is the mother of my two brothers, have expensive tastes. Everyone understands
that taxes are split between the national government and the local nobility
in order to keep the territory running. But the wife spends more than the territory’s
cut on jewelry alone each year, notwithstanding any of her other expensive
habits. What does the Riggsby family do? Beg for more loans from the Westin
“At this point, I think the debt owed by the Riggsby family is quite large.
If the Westin family suggested to lower interest or reduce the principal? Well,
The Riggsby’s would jump at it.” Pat
“In addition, the Empire allows each lord to set the tax rate for their territory.
So, if the Riggsby family was given the chance to become an Imperial noble family?
I doubt they would think more than a second before agreeing.” Pat
“Do you have any evidence they’ve turned?” General Andretti
“I do not, but I would be very careful when interacting with them to be sure
I was not betrayed.” Pat
“Why are you so detached and distrusting of the other members of your noble
family?” General Andretti
“Do you want to hear about my background? It may take a little while.” Pat
After I’m done with my piece, there’s a dark atmosphere in the room.
“Ok, I think Second Lieutenant Riggsby has a good grasp on the situation, so
we should act as if the Riggsby family has turned sides. Second Lieutenant
Riggsby, do you have anything else?” King
“Yes, your Majesty! I know of several other likely houses that would join with
the Westin’s.” Pat
“What!” Several people shouted
“There are several territories in the Western area that aren’t suitable for
agriculture. The Westin family was happy to loan them money under the guise of
support. The lords of those territories are likely to be far more loyal to the
Westin family than the kingdom. Some have even offered their daughters to
the Westin house to reduce their loan amounts.” Pat
“Can you list those houses?” King
“Yes, there is the Viscount Harter, the Baron Karee, and the Baron Hazy.” Pat
“The territories of those families do seem a bit barren, but Second Lieutenant,
how have you learned so much? If you were so loathed by your family, why would
you know these things?” King
“The maid who served my mother when she was alive ensured I had a current
understanding of the surrounding political environment. She has since returned to my
mother’s family, the Baron Canaan family, but she continues to send me updates
“Hmm, well I think you’ve helped us understand the general situation. I’ll leave
the army manuevers to General Andretti. I do have an assignment for you,
Second Lieutenant Riggsby, since you seem to be a good problem-solver. You’re not
completely off the hook, but I think it’s fine to trust you.” King