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2 End of the ceremony

The time all those people spent on those pointless ceremonies was the one downside to my current situation I could think off. After making the traditional sign of the cross in the air with the ceremonial sword, Henry accepted the crown itself, other sigils of a ruler like the golden apple and silver sceptre and only then the proper mass would begin.

Banking on the fact that the homily would be spoken in Polish instead of Latin like the rest of the religious ceremony, I raised my head and moved the window to match my sight. Even being the landed noble, didn't mean that I was supposed to know this Italian language!

While it was a trend among the nobility, as someone coming from a rather small city that the Tarnow was, I could either pretend to be one of those stupid nobles that cared only for their appearances and fame or act in a way that would allow me to score some brownie points with local magnates.

After all, while the myth of all the nobles being equal was as strong in the current times as it would be right before the downfall of this once great country, the reality of the times was quite different.

Using the time when the priest revelled in his oratory abilities and wasted more and more time of the country local elites, I managed to check out the treasury and overall state of the economy of my lands.

And it was even worse than I expected!

I knew that this area was never considered rich, but come on! Four red goldens per week? FROM THE ENTIRE PROVINCE?

While this was a pure profit from the province, and by the end of the tax year the treasury would receive as much as it did through the year, it still meant that in general, I could only use four red golden per week for my own needs!

The only good side to this was the fact that my ancestors were apparently hoarders, saving exactly three hundred and fifty-three polish ducats in the treasury, with all forms of currencies accounted, and about as much with various jewellery and art.

Though calculating how much a single red golden or in other terms - polish ducat was worth would be useless, since all the prices would wary as well. Just to get the general idea of the state of the treasury, I used the projected worth of gold and some of the prices I remembered from the times I was actually researching the topic.

Going by the rough estimates, a single red golden was worth about three hundred dollars and was more than enough for a commoner to live for even three months! And that included often visits in the taverns and even occasional meat! Thinking along these lines, four ducats for a week would seem like a lot, but for someone with my intentions, it was less than even my cheapest plan would take!

To put it into a right perspective, average magnate would earn at least a hundred thousand red goldens through a year, after all the royal taxes and necessary expenses. That means, that despite living on the land about a tenth the size of their own, I earned about one-hundredth of their income!

This had to change.

Raising my head, I looked around the cathedral. All those people made their fortunes mostly from the several resource nodes like rich reserves of salt beside Krakow, but the great majority of them banked on the fertile lands to export insane amounts of wheat and other cereals to the west.

This topic was a point of pain for every patriot who learned about the history of my nation. With their confidence of being the granary of Europe, most of the nobles were happy with selling the fruits of the labour of their serfs, while paying exorbitant sums for the products of the western craftsmen!

Just on the value of the gems alone, from the price of rough stone mined in the north, through the costs of faceting in one of the Holy Roman Empire princedoms and with added costs of transportation and unholy fees that all the parties applied, a single red golden worth of gem that could be sold in the west for roughly four ducats, local nobles would be willing to pay even as much a thirty golden coins!

Just thinking about this made my blood boil in my veins, but with the homily ending, the continuous process of standing up, sitting down, singing psalms and kneeling down begun, forcing me to stop this train of thoughts and following the example of everyone else.

Exactly like with every other aspect of life, even the holy mass ceremony greatly differed from what I knew. It was actually a strange experience for me to take part in the ceremony mostly in Latin, where everyone was visibly contemplating every single moment of celebrum, instead of just waiting for everything to end so they could go home and enjoy the last moments of the freedom before the new working week would begin.

After the interesting part of the mass finally concluded, the bishop leading the ceremony approached the King, and after all those unnecessary formalities, he finally placed the crown on top of his head.

"Rise, and hold these lands from now on!"

After reciting the sacred formula, the priest finally reached the last point of the coronation. From now on, Henry would be the first, elected ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. But I was the only one to know, that in barely four months, his older brother would die, vacating the French throne and putting an end for the short period of Henry's history as the head of the proud commonwealth.

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