Winding down after a war took a lot more work than William had expected. The first two wars he was in he hadn’t survived… and the third one he hadn’t been responsible for most of the troops. Now, he was responsible for everything. Not that he had to do it all himself, but he needed to know it was done right.
Troops needed to return to their hometowns, and be paid. For those who had died, their families would receive money instead. That was all well and good, but the problem of what happened with the enemy troops was also important.
He wasn’t going to kill them- there had been too many dead already, and the standard troops weren’t generally responsible for what was happening. Of course, he wasn’t going to pay them or their families for going against him. He also wasn’t going to rob them- whatever they already had would still be theirs, as much as William could arrange. Even so, there would be huge financial problems in the north, having spent most of their resources on the war- and then losing. William made a note to include them in any financial stimulus he worked on… once he had money.
Of course, William currently had extremely large quantities of money. He now owned most of the northern lands… but that was often the case with a king. However, along with the money and lands came a great many expenses. Besides his troops, William also had to reward his loyal supporters among the lords and merchants. He also wanted to find a way to reward the peasants who supported him, the farmers, laborers, blacksmiths, and the rest. The best thing for them would be a stable economy- but that wouldn’t be the thing that made the most grateful.
William even had to reward those lords he didn’t particularly like. He couldn’t let personal preference influence him… at least not enough to be obvious. William wanted to make Tiburcio a lord- he was a great, steadfast soldier… but he could no longer fight. Making him a lord would be a detriment, though William had some plans to change how the system worked. Even so, that would take many years. For the current time, all he could do was reward Tiburcio with a small estate and people to help him run it- and a reasonable stipend. The stipend could not be too high, as it would be paid every month for the next gross of years. For a human, that would be a half dozen generations, but for a gevai it was just a normal lifespan. There wasn’t much more William could do… but if he found a way to heal Tiburcio without personally attending to him for a dozen years, he would certainly do it.
William hadn’t really thought about kings needing offices, but they certainly did- and he sat in his office looking at Jordan. “So, Jordan, what shall we do with you?”
“Sir?” Jordan frowned.
“I won’t need a commander of my armies for long. Certainly, not on active duty at all times. You would be a very competent lord, but if I were to assess your personal combat capabilities… you’d be at the bottom of the pack. It would be a disservice to you. Besides, I doubt you’d be satisfied sitting around politicking. So, what do we do with you?”
Jordan stood for a few moments, thinking. “I… don’t know. Tactics and strategy is the only thing I’m good at.”
William waved his hand dismissively, “Rubbish. Those were merely the first thing you had a chance to display your talents in. You’ve learned a lot since then. If you want to take off a dozen years and go get formally educated, you can do that too. However, you’re effective at managing people, whereas I am just lucky to have stumbled upon a handful of good people.” William shrugged, “I also have a large country to manage, and you’re great at logistics. Some places will take me months to get to from here, even if I could personally deal with every problem. You don’t even necessarily have to travel. We can create more phones and distribute them. It would be good to know where to start, though.”
Jordan nodded, “I can handle something like that…”
“Good. Just let me know what you want to do, and I’ll make you… Minister of Logistics, or something. Maybe part-time army commander too… we can’t afford to have no trained soldiers, at least for the sake of appearances.”
All of the human ambassadors waited together outside the Eternal King’s throne room. None of them looked entirely at ease, but the ambassadors from Liaoyang looked most nervous.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked the knightly ambassador from Ostana, “A few years ago you were strongly in favor of this fellow, were you not?”
The younger of the two replied, “That was before he became the Demon King and started exploding people.”
“Hush!” The older ambassador of the pair said, smacking the younger on the back of the head, “Do not speak such words here- or anywhere.” He took a deep breath and turned to the ambassador from Ostana, “We have been… reevaluating our opinion based on new criteria. The final verdict remains to be seen.”
“What about you?” the ambassador from Ostana turned toward the darker skinned representative from Eclea, “Still upset about that one guy who got killed?”
The ambassador frowned, “That one guy was a well respected politician… though he certainly wasn’t unanimously supported. It remains to be seen if his opinion that lasting peace with the gevai is impossible was correct or not.”
Finally, the knight turned toward the representative from Ustil, “What about your country? Do they still think peace has a chance here?”
The representative from Ustil shrugged, “Does a war to destroy those who will not allow peace actually bring peace, or merely more war?” Everyone waited, expecting him to continue, but he said nothing more.
After a few minutes of awkward silence, a gevai attendant entered the room from a side hallway. “The Eternal King will see you now.” He opened the door into the throne room, “Announcing the representative from Liaoyang, Simon Dragonfoe!”