Ferara was shocked, and he immediately retreated. Naturally, he had a few bodyguards who stepped forward to block the way.
Rody waved his hands, and the Wolf Fang soldiers immediately stopped. However, they did not put down their scimitars and glared menacingly at everyone. They were soldiers who had tasted blood on the battlefield. Although Ferara had bodyguards, they were less imposing. A few of the bodyguards were deathly pale and looked as if they had wanted to retreat.
Fedol was frightened and turned pale. Ferara gritted his teeth and shouted loudly, “Your Excellency, what are you doing?! Are you trying to exact revenge?”
Rody put on a confused expression and asked, “Revenge? What revenge?”
Ferara turned pale and loudly shouted, “Your Excellency, we both know about what happened in the Northwest region! Even the crowds here know about it! Isn’t it just a little bit of money? Who has not embezzled the soldier’s money before? If you intend to give us trouble, we will fight till the end! Do not forget, you have also accepted the gold coins!”
After he finished speaking, Ferara unsheathed his sword and fiercely glared at Rody.
Rody laughed and replied, “Commander Ferara, I do not understand what you are saying! What do you mean by embezzling money? I do not understand! I came here today because I discovered that you have committed treason!”
The moment Rody said that, Ferara immediately shouted, “Nonsense! I am a commander of the Empire! How could I have been treacherous? You- you better not speak nonsense!”
Rody coldly snorted and said, “I knew you would never admit to your guilt!” After that, he clapped his hands and more than 20 soldiers walked into the room. Every two soldiers were carrying a box, and soon, ten boxes were placed in the middle of the open space.
“Commander Fedol, Commander Ferara, I believe you recognize these boxes? They have your family insignia!”
The soldier kicked open one of the boxes to reveal the inside which was full of gold coins.
“Both of you are commanders of the Empire! What are your annual salaries? How many family properties do you have? How did you manage to accumulate so much gold coins with your income?” Rody glared gloomily and hatefully. “You must have had a secret deal with Reuenthal to betray the Empire! Otherwise, how could the Northwest Legion’s army of 200,000 be defeated over 1000 miles? Blackstone Fortress, Trier Fortress and Loulan Fortress are all at strategic areas. How did Reuenthal easily capture these locations? You must have surrendered the fortresses to him! These gold coins are your evidence!”
The Garrison Commander, Fedol, was already very frightened. He rushed forward and screamed, “That is not true! That is not true… Reuenthal did not give us this money! This money is…”
“Shut up!” Ferara scolded and kicked Fedol. His expression turned gloomy as he said, “Your Excellency, your trickery is formidable! Unfortunately, you cannot accuse me of treason with just these boxes of gold coins as proof! After all, gold coins cannot speak! Do you have any evidence of my collaboration with the enemy?”
Ferara’s face was pale. He noticed that some of the things before him were things he had left in his house. Since they had been taken out, it would mean that his house had probably been searched. At that point, he knew he should spare no respect anymore. However, he did not expect the other side to leave out embezzling military funds and instead immediately accuse him of treason.
How can I explain these boxes of gold coins? I cannot admit that these were obtained from corrupt practices. It will also be a dead end…
Rody smiled coldly and said, “Still dabbling in sophistry!” He waved again, and the Wolf Fang started to approach them and fought against Ferara’s guards. The guards could not win against the Wolf Fang.
In a very short time, the Wolf Fang killed two of Ferara’s bodyguards. Out of fear, the nobles continued to scream and everyone else who did not want to die knelt down to surrender.
One of the soldiers disarmed Ferara and pressed Ferara to the ground. Ferara cursed, “Seth, you dare treat me like this! Have you thought of the consequences?”
Rody coldly replied, “What nonsense are you talking about? Take him out and execute him!”
As the soldiers dragged Ferara out, Ferara cried, “I am a commander of the Empire! Even if you say I am guilty, you cannot kill me without orders from the Military Law Department!”
Rody sneered and replied, “This is an operation of the Northwest Legion! I am the Supreme Commander of this operation! According to the special regulations of the Empire’s operation, I have the right to put you to death! Execute him!”
Ferara screamed as he was dragged away by the soldiers. After a few moments, his voice could no longer be heard, and a fierce looking soldier came back. He threw a bloody head on the ground.
There were already a few corpses in front of the nobles. The bloody head rolled to the feet of one of the nobles. He gagged and fainted out of fear. There were also some who cried out in fear, as their legs went weak. If there hadn’t been someone one beside them to help them, they would have just fallen down.
“Everyone.” Rody’s face changed to calm expression as he addressed the nobles present and he lightly said, “Commander Ferara was a traitor. The evidence was irrefutable and he has already been executed by military law. I will immediately report this to the Military Law Department, but we have all witnessed to it. We are all loyal subjects of His Majesty, so I know that it would not be right for me to take all the credit.” With a wave of his hand, a soldier took out a prepared report and gave it to Rody.
“I would like to invite everyone to sign this report, which I will send to the Military Law Department.”
The nobles were stunned by his words…
Sign it together?
They were all powerful families from the Northwest with connections to Ferara and Fedol. Naturally, they knew the background of the two men. But the duke had executed Ferara without even blinking. They feared that he would execute them as well. That being said, how could they sign the report so easily? If they signed the report, it meant that had they sided with the duke.
One way of saying it was that the duke could easily kill them off. Even Ferara’s family who had a powerful background could not do anything. If the nobles signed their names, Ferara’s family would not be able to blame the duke, but that was definitely not the case for themselves.
Seeing everybody looking at each other, Rody smiled. He knew that they needed a trigger. He then spoke loudly, “Commander Fedol, do you have anything to say?!”
Fedol had already been kneeling on the ground. He was so frightened that he peed himself. Tears and snot kept running down his face as he continued to kowtow. “Your Excellency! Your Excellency, I did not commit treason!”
Rody lightly replied, “Then where did you get all these gold coins?”
Fedol cried and said, “These gold coins were not given by Reuenthal!” He looked up to see the other nobles. Among them were some of his accomplices. Fedol was a bungling oaf. When Fedol looked at the nobles, he seemed to grasp the last straw and shouted, “These gold coins were really not given by Reuenthal! If you do not believe me, ask them! They all know the truth! They also have a share in these gold coins!”
The moment he spoke those words, Rody felt relieved.
I have been waiting for you to say this!
Rody quickly gazed at the nobles. The nobles who were still hesitating were frightened. They cursed Fedol deep down in their hearts for dragging them down with him. They all stopped hesitating and started to scold Fedol. The area became noisy, and the nobles had indignant expressions.
“Fedol, you are a slanderer! You collaborated with Reuenthal and now you want to frame others?”
“Your Excellency, this traitor must not be allowed to live! You should execute him immediately!”
“Your Excellency is amazing for exposing the treachery of two officers!”
“Execute him! Uphold the Military Law of the Empire!”
Seeing everybody shouting, Fedol fainted out of fear.
Rody smiled and said, “This will be difficult. I have already killed one, and I want to leave one alive to interrogate him. This is an important matter. If I kill him now, the military law…”
Before Rody could finish, a noble shouted, “Your Excellency the Duke, Fedol is guilty of treason, and the evidence is irrefutable! He should immediately be executed! We have already seen it ourselves, and we are willing to testify for Your Excellency! We will sign the report!”
With this noble taking the lead, the other nobles also responded similarly. These nobles were all accomplices of Fedol. They were afraid that the duke would arrest and interrogate Fedol. They knew that Fedol was a useless and timid person. If he was interrogated, he would immediately sell them out. As a result, the nobles had hoped for Rody to immediately execute Fedol. With one mouth less, they would be able to protect themselves.
Rody was pleased. He then laughed and ordered his soldiers to pass the report to the nobles, one at a time, for them to sign.
At that moment, there was chaos. There were some cunning nobles who tried to escape signing the report. They pretended to faint out of fear however, Rody’s soldiers did buy it and kicked them ferociously. The nobles felt the pain and jumped up. The soldiers showed the nobles their blood-stained sword to ensure that they signed the report obediently.
After a while, everyone, regardless of men or women, young or old, had signed the report prepared by Rody.
Rody took a look at the report and smiled with satisfaction. He then glanced coldly at Fedol and loudly ordered, “Pull him out and execute him!”
Rody did not dare to leave Fedol alive as well. He had executed both of them for treason, but the truth was they were actually corrupted and did not collaborate with the enemy. There would be trouble if Fedol was left alive and the incident was investigated in the future. By killing the two of them immediately, there would be no witnesses.
With the signatures of all the powerful noble families in the Northwest Region, the incident was considered settled. With all of their signatures, even if the two were not traitors, they were already considered so.
Rody smiled for a moment. Suddenly, his face sank as he looked at the people present. He slowly said, “Everyone in the Northwest! From now on, whatever you do, please be careful!’
After that, Rody ordered the soldiers to take away the boxes of gold coins. However, he deliberately left the corpses and blood on the floor.
All the way back, Rody sighed. With one move, he had punished the army’s two largest parasites. He had also used one of them to serve as a warning for the other nobles, using his blood to intimidate them. They would think twice the next time they wanted to embezzle money.
Even if Rody hated those people, he would soon need to leave the Northwest Region after all. Even if he wanted to stop the corruption entirely, it would not have been possible. He could only give them a warning and hoped that they would restrain themselves.
Rody had helped the next Regiment Commander get rid of two big pieces of trash and firmly warned the other corrupt nobles. He had already built a foundation. He hoped that his replacement would be capable enough to improve the situation.
When he returned to the garrison, Rody still felt gloomy. Muse’s departure and Reuben’s dismissal made his heart feel heavy. Although he had eradicated two parasites, there were definitely a lot more.
As he felt depressed, he ordered his soldiers to get him some wine.
Not long after that, he heard light footsteps. Turning around, he saw a pretty girl holding a leather flask as she entered the room.
“How come it’s you?” Rody gave a light smile.
Jadelina suddenly knelt down as she offered the leather flask containing the wine. Her voice trembled as she said, “Your Excellency, I heard that you killed the Commander of Trier Fortress today… He was the one who had forced one of my brothers to go to the army… which resulted in my brother’s death…” After that, Jadelina looked up and revealed her red eyes.
Rody nodded as he took the leather flask. “Let me ask you something. The other day, I executed 10 of your village men. Even though they had collaborated with the enemy, they were still people from your village. Do you hate me for it?”
Jadelina did not avoid eye contact and softly replied, “At first, I hated you for it. However, I later understood that if you did not execute them, the hearts of the soldiers would be scattered. If their hearts were scattered, more people in the Northwest region would die. That is why… I do not hate Your Excellency.”
Rody sighed. He then nodded and gently said, “You actually understand. That is not easy.” He pulled out the stopper from the leather flask and drank a mouthful of the wine. He almost choked from the bitter taste of the wine.
He was not someone who normally drank wine but he was depressed and suddenly felt like drinking. After coughing violently a few times, he noticed that Jadelina was still kneeling in front of him. His face then turned red as he lightly said, “Alright, you may leave now. I will be returning to the Imperial Capital in about two days. I will send you home along the way.”
Jadelina stood up and walked towards the door. When she reached the door, she could not help but turn around and say, “Your Excellency, you have changed a lot the past few days… You are different from the time I met you in the village.”
Rody smiled, but he did not say anything. He just waved his hand, signaling her to go.
Once he was alone in his room, Rody’s smile gradually disappeared. He slowly sipped the wine and whispered to himself, “I have changed? I am still Rody, but I am no longer the soft hearted, silly boy. Dandong was right. Blood can make people grow…”