The hillbilly was elated.
He held onto the scroll and couldn’t keep his mouth closed for 15 minutes. Occasionally, Shaar erupted in laughter which annoyed Ruhr.
He wanted to mock Shaar but Shaar stopped him with a glare, “What? Hey, you should call me Baron! Hahahaha, Baron…Baron…”
Baron, the title of a Baron! With this order, Shaar would now be one of the nobles. He was no longer the hillbilly from the mountains, nor was he a penniless hunter. He was now a nobleman.
Ruhr was speechless, tempted to wrap his fingers around his neck.
<i> Damn it, I worked so hard in numerous battles and I’m only a viscount. He’s not even twenty years old and he got lucky in his first battle. He sneaked up on Hastings and he’s now a Baron?! I’m lower in class than him? No, it’s worse than that! </i>
Technically, Ruhr was more exasperated over the fact that Shaar’s title was more valuable than his.
In Byzantine, the highest order in the feudal nobility was Duke, followed by Marquis, Count, Viscount and Baron.
Viscount might be in a higher class than Baron but there was a more complicated calculation. For example, there were two types of order for feudal nobility - life peer and hereditary peer.
Life peer was more of a honourable title, for instance, Ruhr’s title was a life peer. It wasn’t a hereditary peer so his descendants could not inherit his title after his death but he could also obtain a land by name. Ruhr didn’t have any control over this land as it was still being managed by the government but Ruhr could earn a portion of the tax as his income. Simultaneously, he didn’t have the rights to intervene with government affairs or build his own army troop.
On the other hand, things were completely different for hereditary peers. Some orthodox thought the only hereditary peers were true nobles.
For hereditary peers, they could pass on their titles to their descendants and they had full control over their land, capable of appointing government officials, intervening with government affairs and collecting tax. Other than the mandatory taxes, the lords could collect new taxes, as long as they were able to keep the people under control. Simultaneously, the lords could establish new laws and they were bestowed with the power to hold trials and convict others. He could also raise an army troop according to his order of feudal nobility and the size of his land. This army troop would be denoted as the nobleman’s personal possession and the government had no rights in intervening.
In other words, the land of a hereditary peer was an empire within an empire.
Ruhr was jealous over the fact that Shaar’s Baron title was a hereditary peer! With that in mind, his title was superior to him.
As for the hillbilly himself, he was elated once Ruhr explained to him the differences between a life peer and a hereditary peer!
Then…did it mean that he could act as an emperor in his land? He could be a tyrant or whatever he wanted to be?
When Ruhr told him some examples of some nobility who abused their powers, such as establishing a law that all women in his land had to give their virginity to him on the night of their wedding.
The hillbilly’s eyes widened at the example.
Ruhr gritted his teeth at his foolish expression, “Hillbilly, don’t get overexcited! His Majesty may have written an order for your nomination but it still needs to be reviewed, do you think it’s that easy to be a nobility? Listen to me, there’s more to it! First, they have to investigate your family background, including the names and bloodline of your family members from three generations ago. Second, they will check if you deserve the title. They’ll check the history of your family by looking into your family name. The scholars and experts would verify the investigation results and come up with a new emblem for your family…don’t look at me, you’ll be a nobleman soon and you’ll need an emblem. Every stage will have a lot of investigation and audit if any of it is proven to be unsatisfactory, your nomination may be halted. Even if you have the nomination from His Majesty, the nobilities may revoke it.”
Shaar was flustered.
Everything else was fine but his family from three generations ago?
He was an orphan! Old Man picked him up from the wilderness and he knew nothing about his biological parents!
As for the bloodline and finally name…he had none of that! Even if he did have a family name, Old Man came up with it randomly.
How would they verify it? Shaar Thunder, thunder and rain??
Ruhr was pleased to see that he had discouraged Shaar but these kinds of verification were no longer that strict. Over the years, only the name of the House of Nobility remained. No one would actually take the verification process seriously.
Ruhr just didn’t want Shaar to have it easy.
“From His Majesty’s order, I don’t think this is the grandest reward,” Ruhr was satisfied, “He gave you three rewards and I think the last two ones are the most valuable!”
There were three rewards: firstly, Shaar Thunder was granted the title of a Baron which would be verified by the House of Nobility. Secondly, due to his exceptional performance in the battle, he would be appointed as a Commanding Officer in Moore County as well as the Consulate of Denzel City.
Moore County was located north of the empire near to the frontier and Denzel City was located nearby. Shaar’s first stop from Primal Wildfire to Byzantine was Denzel City. Back during the battle with the Odin Army, the military base was set up in Denzel City and before he came to the royal capital, Shaar also took care of some procedures at Denzel City.
Shaar was actually more delighted about the fact that Denzel City was close to his hometown, it would only take two days by horse.
Ruhr’s explanation was more detailed, “Moore County is an important county in the northern area. That’s where the foodstuffs are produced and they profit the most when it comes to trading. You shouldn’t have gotten this place but Odins are on the northern side too so Moore County would always be affected first. Therefore, although it is a good place, most people wouldn’t dare to go there. According to Byzantine’s regime, the local government is distinct from the military. The highest-ranking officer in the local government is the Consulate whereas the highest-ranking officer in the military is the Commanding Officer. Normally, both bodies should be separated. According to the military organisation in the empire, every Commanding Officer in a county was a Calvary…for your meritorious achievement, you excelled in battle and defended the encampment. Most importantly, you’ve two qualifications that others would never achieve. Firstly, you injured Hastings and secondly…don’t forget that you killed an Odin Prince! Although the Odin Empire has a lot of royal members, a prince is still a prince. No one can ignore your achievement for killing a prince. You were originally a Cavalry Captain which is a lower rank officer and above the Cavalry Captain, there’s the Vice Officer and Officer. Lastly, we have the Vice Centurion and Centurion. You’ve jumped from a Cavalry Captain to a Centurion, that's 4 ranks! It meant that you went from a lower-ranked officer to a middle-ranked officer! One more rank and you’ll be a general! Although it’s quite a terrifying jump, it’s still acceptable, considering your achievements.”
“But even so, under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t have full control over a cavalry! They would’ve thrown you to an administrative department so you’ll have the name but no power. If you wanted to lead a troop, they would’ve let you be an Officer for fun. That’s the difference between a title in name and an actual position. But His Majesty appointed you as the Commanding Officer of a county, it might be part of the Cavalry, but in truth...this title comes with great power! It can be said that this title is more valuable than a Centurion!! This is because, in the military system of our Empire, the order of a local military system in a county has around 3000 local soldiers. From training and equipment, they are inferior to the Central Cavalry but in a county, each area has patrols, tax collection officers, military logistic officers...these people are all under you! Including the local soldiers, there would be around 8000 people under your rule!!”
“Don’t get excited yet! I’m not done yet! You know that we’ve had proletariat soldiers for a century. Although it originated from the Themata militarized region, this system has been established in the Empire, including the areas controlled by the Central Government. During peaceful times, they would work as farmers but during wartimes, they would battle as soldiers! Moore County is by the frontier so they’ve established this system a long time ago. According to the laws of the Empire, all armed forces in the county are under your rule! Judging from the dissemination of this system in Moore County, I made some rough calculations, if a battle breaks out, 20,000 proletariat soldiers can be summoned from the county!! Although they are not as good as trained soldiers, the numbers and morale need not be worried. With 20,000 proletariat soldiers and the previous 8000 people...technically, you may still be in the cavalry but your military power is as strong as an army! I might be a general but I only have 20,000 people and yet you already have around 30,000 people! Besides, you can also make use of the administrative staff. With full control over human and financial resources, your power has far surpassed a general like me! Damn, you have absolute power over the county, that makes you a despot. Also, His Majesty appointed you as the consulate of Denzel City...you have all the military power and now you govern a city. He either really likes you or he could be testing you. Anyhow, Denzel City is part of Moore County so naturally you have full control over the armed forces in the city. As a consulate...you can basically act like a tyrant in Denzel City!”