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"Ah? Thank you Great Priestess!" The young warrior immediately knelt on one knee, executing an official salute.
The temple's swordsmen camp had a separate composition, the soldiers in it were Saleen's most trusted soldiers. The actual leader of the temple's swordsmen camp was Sika. Saleen held a tight rein over the troops beside him, he demanded high standards. This young Caucasus warrior was sufficiently loyal to Sika and Sika noticed that his powers were equivalent to that of an intermediate grade swordmaster. If his abilities took one step further, he could become an intermediate commander in the camp. This warrior was of pretty good caliber.
This selection was progressive. The Caucasus warriors who could enter the southern gardens had already pa.s.sed through more than four rounds of selection.
Entering the temple, Sika and Eleanor went to the second story right away. Some Caucasus warriors spotted Sika, then they led Sika and Eleanor to the small cafeteria. This was originally the place where Saleen hosted his guests. Ever since the palace was built, outsiders could not come here to have their meals.
This time round, Saleen had invited the four dukes.
Since two countries were going to form an alliance, these dukes had to be the first to know about it. Sika was the last to arrive. The four dukes had already reviewed the clauses of the alliance treaty, they admired Saleen's meticulousness as there were no loopholes.
This alliance was targeted at a third party. Since Metatrin Kingdom wanted to develop further, it had to have a suitable excuse. Qin could oppose Saleen's expansion directly otherwise.
The n.o.bles beside Saleen were not worried about Saleen's capability, they were worried that Saleen would be ostracized by Qin and that Saleen would not be able to locate an entry point. That secret agreement with Ojarvis could not be used as evidence.
These n.o.bles were displeased that Lex had taken away a large quant.i.ty of materials. After looking at the clauses in the treaty, their moods were very much stabilized.
"Sika, we have been waiting for you." Lex waved her hand and Sika walked over to her grinning from ear to ear, before taking a seat. Eleanor scanned the surroundings, Saleen's followers were also seated. Saleen pointed to an empty seat next to himself, and said, "Sit here."
That spot was actually reserved for Sika, but Sika had sat down next to Lex, so Saleen could not say anything.
"County Queen, what is really going on in Loulan? The information we received has a lot of contradiction." Sika raised a crystal wine gla.s.s, toasting Lex. Saleen was astonished, it was unknown when Sika had learned to handle such events with so much ease.
Smiling bitterly in her heart, Lex said, "The broad picture isn't too optimistic, the Holy See's army seized most of Loulan. We are nearing the middle line, but we didn't breach the most important town. We will launch one last offensive this winter."
"What about the war puppets?" At this moment, Saleen had to ask this question, as he was very puzzled, "The war puppets cannot even chase away the Tanggulasi people?"
"They are used to invade cities. Usually, they are stored in hundreds of chariots, where they will be a.s.sembled in the vicinity of a city. The Holy See has deployed grade-9 holy masters, trying to destroy the war puppets. If a war puppet isn't a.s.sembled, it is very frail on its own. Unless there are a few hundred sorcerers protecting the chariots, the chariots can be easily destroyed by the enemy's grade-9 experts if they are separated from one another."
"Then aren't they useless?" Sika looked very intrigued.
"Why would they be useless? The enemy's grade-9 experts are kept on their toes, they keep surveilling our war puppets, they don't dare do anything else. The moment the war puppets are transported to the foot of the city and a.s.sembled, no cities in Loulan will be able to resist them."
"That means the war puppets will be used to defend cities?" Saleen probed.
"That's right, the war puppets are not dismantled, they are at the middle line of Loulan, in Siwei Prefecture. This is the offensive frontier of Holy Rock City's right flank. If the enemy's grade-9 holy masters don't defend this place, we will dismantle the war puppets and transport them over."
"This is because of Alchemy City, right?" Saleen asked.
"Yes, the sorcerers promised by Alchemy City haven't arrived, so we can only wait."
"You are attacking during winter, will Alchemy City's sorcerers appear?"
"They have promised to deploy twenty-four sorcerers and one-hundred grand mages to aid in the offensive," Lex replied.
When Nicholas learned of this news, his eyelids jumped. Being borne in the Holy See, he was very sensitive towards the actions of Alchemy City. Based on his experience, Alchemy City was planning to push the battle line to western Loulan by deploying twenty-four sorcerers. With so many sorcerers holding the fort, the war puppets could be safely sent to any city.
The more important aspect was the one-hundred grand mages, the presence of so many grand mages would pose a threat to a grade-9 holy master. The Holy See was warring on two fronts now, it still had to defend against the Cloudflow people at the south of the Chishui River.
Lex had only taken a short nap in the afternoon, so she still felt fatigued. After giving a briefing about Loulan's battle, she was sent back to the residence to rest. Only the four dukes and Saleen's followers remained as they continued discussing the development of Metatrin.
When Lex returned to the county queen's residence, she did not go to sleep right away, she went to chat with the sorcerer she had brought along.
This grade-7 sorcerer looked about forty to fifty years old, he should have advanced around this age, so his appearance did not change much. He had the features of a pedigree Qin person. His black hair carried a tinge of blue hue, while his eyes were dark brown, almost black.
"County Queen, how was the discussion?" This sorcerer did not address Lex using a royalty salutation, this meant that their relationship was very intimate.
"Nothing much, Saleen and I will not have a clash of interests. I have obtained ninety-thousand sets of equipment. Before winter, I can equip the entire army."
"Just a little more!"
"I will leave in two days, Saleen will be able to make the number. We are too exhausted, if we get ambushed along the way, we can only escape once using my G.o.d's Ring. Once we recover, Saleen will send people to deliver the goods to us."
"What about Huoxing City, can Saleen's army hold the fort?"
"Hah hah, Bill, have you seen Metatrin City's walls? Saleen might not be able to invade a city, but his defense wouldn't be any worse than ours. My five-thousand man army will be fine."
"Then I can rest a.s.sured. When the County Queen can expand the land to ten-thousand miles, I will let the imperial mages support the County Queen. This ten-thousand mile land also includes the lands in Phoenix."
"Forget it, my brother is still around, I cannot possibly s.n.a.t.c.h the throne from him, right?"
"That was the intention of the previous emperor, County Queen, you mustn't let all of us down." The sorcerer looked at Lex, and Lex sighed before nodding. "Before Father died, he had a secret decree, at least half of the imperial mages will support my ascension to the throne. I will need to expand the territory myself, the land area will need to reach a certain size before the secret decree will take effect. According to my own calculations, if I can really expand my land to ten-thousand miles, I can easily establish a new empire. I will not know the reaction from Holy Rock City though. Ojarvis' body is in bad shape, I don't want to agitate him."
The dukes were dismissed, as it was already late into the night. Metatrin City did not have a curfew and bright lights could be seen in the distance. The alleyways were as bright as day. Saleen rested his elbows on the windowsill, feeling serene.
"The situation is finally having a breakthrough, even though it will be a little tough, hope is aplenty everywhere. I will have the power to interfere in Phoenix, Laiyin's borders, and Loulan. Sika is staying behind today, why didn't she come over?"
"Master…" Nailisi crawled in through the door seam. Standing beside Saleen, she said, "Sika asked me to tell you that she will be at Eleanor's today, she will not come over."
"She's not coming over?"
"Mm, that's what she said. Master, why don't I go over and eavesdrop?" Nailisi said in a mysterious manner. She and Saleen shared a soulish telepathy, so she could not spy on Saleen's actions, she could only do so openly. Nailisi had countless methods to sneak up to someone stealthily though. Before maturity, this was basically an instinct for an imp. No matter the grade of one's profession, they would be greatly injured if they got bitten by Nailisi's teeth. An imp's battle style was highly similar to that of an a.s.sa.s.sin.
"Forget it, Nailisi don't go over.. You shall stay behind and we can practice elvish magic." Saleen stopped Nailisi's plan, but he was also very curious, "Why is Sika with Eleanor? What are they trying to do?"
At this point in time, Sika was in Eleanor's room. Despite not being interested in the arts, Sika was still awe-inspired by the beauty of Eleanor's room.
There were many plants in the room, it was like a forest within a forest.
Elvish alchemy had created insects which danced among the greenery. The magic lamp on the ceiling, which simulated sunlight, had been extinguished. In its place was a crystal lamp which resembled a radiant moon. Eleanor cultivated many plants, these plants gave off a faint brilliance under the crystal moonlight. The light was not a mere reflection, it was the strength produced from within the plants.
In the elvish plane, these plants were in balance with the planar rules, but they also did not appear too mystical. They appeared to be very special and powerful on the Myers mainland plane though.
Sika and Eleanor laid beside each other atop a huge bed, gazing at the magic patterns which simulated the constellations on the ceiling. Sika could not help but ask, "Eleanor, about the medicine you were talking about, is it really effective?"
"Of course, the relationship between an elf and a human will cause reproduction to be very challenging, so the elves created this type of medicine."
"Are there any harmful side effects?"
"I haven't heard of any incidents yet. Sika, you are a priestess, you can detect the harmful contents in the medicine. Just be mindful while using it."
"What did you mean when you said that this thing couldn't be eaten?" Sika asked in confusion.
Eleanor's face went scarlet, then said, "Sika, this medicine isn't for oral consumption, it is used externally."
"Eleanor, there is nothing to be embarra.s.sed about, just tell me." Sika turned over, tugging at Eleanor's arm.