Titan Beneath The Heavens - novelonlinefull.com
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Hefner (Church’s calendar 677 – 746), Deiss’ great musician, playwright, and poet . During the years when he lived, he had left countless pieces of musical works and had also organized the first symphony orchestra in the world . He was respected as the "Father of Cla.s.sical Symphony" while in his homeland, he was the most outstanding representative of the Deiss cla.s.sical Romantic Period and also the most-hired literati .
Deiss was a strange nation! In the other sovereign states in Westland, people were accustomed to using politics, economy, culture and other societal categories to evaluate the country’s degree of civilization comprehensively . In Deiss, conflicts were usually used to maintain one’s position; serfs were used to maintain their livelihood and the King’s willpower to maintain a rule . However, it was in this nation whose political economy was extremely lagging, that innumerable, most outstanding philosophers and musicians in history were produced! These engineers of the soul produced great wealth in their narrow, desolate corners .
In Deiss, one could be illiterate, but could not go without music! Music was this nation’s consistent method of expressing their feelings! In the Kingdom’s capital, Borensberg, those towering, ma.s.sive dome buildings were not necessarily a palace but were certainly opera houses after opera houses or a ma.s.sive concert hall . Even if it were in the scarce Shalons of the n.o.bles, the most conspicuous place would be the s.p.a.ce monopolized by the band . The Deiss, were like the people of Vielonna who revered in the melodies . When Deiss n.o.bles, who were a bunch of cultural sn.o.bs, gathered together in the Shalon, aside from the Kingdom’s wars that they discussed most, they would gossip about the latest works that screened in Vielonna . Needless to say, during the second half of Church’s year 797, the Deiss n.o.bles added another topic to their routine discussions . The prince who came from t.i.tan undeniably captured all their curiosity and zest .
Year 797, the 12th day of the 8th month was the Hefner’s 120th annual birthday memorial . This evening, Borensberg could only be described as jam-packed . In order to attend the memorial concert held by the nation’s main theatre, the top n.o.bles from all over the land set out, dressed resplendently . They came from the borders, the inland and even rushed back to the capital from abroad .
The streets of Borensberg had already been decorated anew . This royal city was congested with low houses and ancient buildings of an age of long ago, but the cl.u.s.ters of flowers and brightly lit furnace cast the street into a bewitching l.u.s.ter it never had before . The hefty knights wearing their Teutonic medal of honor were maintaining the order of the street . They ushered the crowd of onlookers to stand beneath the eaves at the side of the streets and also inspected the n.o.ble carriages that were streaming into the Kingdom’s capital from every direction .
Standing on a platform in the lobby of the Kingdom’s opera house, watching the long string of carriages lined up before the steps, and gazing at the diverse throng of people pouring into the heater, Marquis Harriens Van Rousted could only pray silently to the G.o.d of Light; may tonight pa.s.s by smoothly!
Harriens was lacking in his confidence for the Kingdom’s top figures in a few various aspects that had ama.s.sed in the theater behind him . In the blistering hot day of the eighth month, thinking about the elusive a.s.sa.s.sin of t.i.tan, DeKTer’s Supreme Executive Officer felt a chill that traveled from his soles all the way up to the back of his head! Harriens admitted that, for the brief confrontation with the a.s.sa.s.sin last month, he had held back a lot of details when reporting to His Majesty . For example, the fact that no one knew how the a.s.sa.s.sin had slipped into the villa, how he had successfully a.s.sa.s.sinated his target before the eyes of five paladins! More so, no one knew how the a.s.sa.s.sin had escaped from the heavy besiegement and after leaving behind forty over bodies of the guards, vanishing from the national land of Deiss .
Harriens was confident that he had the Kingdom’s capital completely in his hands and even procured support from the Supreme High Command . Initially, the Highest Executive Officer of DeKTer thought he had messed up the matters regarding the Southern border guard’s Chief of Staff and that the Supreme High Command would certainly make a big scene about it . However, he finally understood that even the high-ranking military of the Kingdom could profoundly feel the threat that the a.s.sa.s.sin posed . They even mobilized the Teutonic Knights to maintain the capital’s public security . In that case… His department should also show some effort!
Harriens had divided the nation’s main theater into six areas . Those who were the most astute and possessing the most commendable battle skills Special Forces under him were deployed all around the main viewing platform of the theater . For the other five areas, he allocated over three hundred security personnel with ample experience . Lastly, above the dome of the theater, he positioned nine of his most outstanding archers at the hanging platforms normally used to clean the murals of the dome .
"So… I’d like to see just what you could throw at me!"
"Sir!" A subordinate interrupted the Highest Executive Officer's train of thought, "We have encountered a problem!"
"What did you say?" Harriens knitted his brows .
"According to your arrangements, the box closest to the stage are set aside for His Majesty King, Her Royal Highness The Princess and His Imperial Highness The Prince O’Neil Andrew Morisette from t.i.tan! But, you have apparently forgotten that His Imperial Highness The Prince O’Neil Andrew Morisette’s box has always been occupied by the Head of Supreme High Command, Marshal Schneiven . Marshal Schneiven is the closest friend of Marshal Veron and he has expressed explicitly that he will not let out his seat to the enemy!"
"Oh my G.o.d of Light!" Harriens sighed in exasperation, "He’s still bickering about that sort of matter at a time like this?" It seemed that he would have to personally make a trip! Marshal Schneiven was not a person whom just anyone could persuade .
The nation’s main theater, as its name implied, was the symbol of Deiss’ most prestigious music hall . Its dome theater was decorated magnificently . It possessed four thousand four hundred seats and four levels, each with forty-eight boxes . On the dome of the theater, the most impressive crystal chandelier in all Westland emitted a bright, soft glow . Each time this chandelier, which had sixteen hanging platforms and five hundred and twenty candle holders for the candle flames, had to be refueled, it would take an entire hour of the staff members' time .
The seats within the theater had designs outlined by gold lines and soft leather was spread out on its back . The exterior of the soft leather was wrapped in vivid red silk . The designs in the box were all the more luxurious and unique and the walls displayed the theater’s collections such as handwritten musical scores by well-known composers and greetings from respected figures from countries all over the world . The insides of the boxes featured a varied quant.i.ty of seats and this included family seatings, individual seatings and even seatings that could accommodate more than ten people . On the other side of the boxes were the wine cabinets that the theater provided for the prominent figures . Contrasting the lights in the box, the priceless wine cups and precious wine shone with multicolored rays of light within the gla.s.s window . It could be said that this was indeed a paradise of pleasure as well as a place for one to flaunt their status .
The n.o.bles from all over the Kingdom had come together and exchanged warm greetings at their seats, using their nation’s etiquette to exchange pleasantries and kisses . The n.o.bles in the boxes raised binoculars of every shape and size . They viewed the whole scene and when coming across those they were familiar with, offer up flying kisses to each other . No other could be as ecstatic as the young ladies . They were dressed in a kaleidoscopic array of formal attire, like the countless flowers scattered all around the theater . The flowers gradually converged and slowly took the form of tiny wreaths with many shades of colors . The monotonous, black swallow-tailed coats were all around the flower wreaths . Those were the gentlemen of Deiss . When these men with an eye-catching golden hair were out of their armors, they actually appeared rather elegant and refined . They spoke in high voices with their old friends they had not seen in ages and adopted a look that was a mix of revere, seduction, provocation, and debauchery .
Following the two blows of the resounding horn, the whole scene settled into an abrupt silence . All the n.o.bles in the theater rose from their seats in succession and faced the box on the second floor that was close to the stage, giving a salute with their eyes .
Sure enough, His Majesty the King reclined on the soft couch that was lifted by the court’s chamberlain into the box! Under the cries of Long Live, the wan-looking Majesty IX merely waved his hand to his loyal subjects .
That was it? The people were astonished . Usually… His Majesty the King would at this time give a speech!
Just when the people started to whisper in each other’s ears, discussing, an extended sound of a horn sounded . The people promptly quietened themselves and turned their bodies ever so slightly towards the second box beside the King’s .
Two paladins clad in black armor with knight swords hanging at their sides drew back the curtains of the second box . Her Imperial Highness The Princess Opareal Roulexberg, dressed in a white evening gown, emerged before the people’s eyes, and the crowd again let out a chorus of praises . The Princess stood poised and accepted them cheerfully .
Opareal was extremely pleased for she knew that she stood out more than any other girl at the scene! Her white evening gown sparkled with diamonds and jewels, preventing anyone in the scene from being able to look directly at her . In actuality, the madams and ladies who attended the memorial concert already knew beforehand that Her Imperial Highness The Princess would be dressed in a white evening gown and to express their respect for the Royal Family, they had deliberately chosen attire of other colors .
"Subjects of the Kingdom!" Opareal called out loudly, "Thank you for your unwavering loyalty . Because of you all, Deiss is colorful; because of you all, it is rich and powerful! Today is the memorial birthday of a great man . Yet I wish to say, it is because of everyone seated here that a great Deiss is founded!" The Princess suddenly swerved towards her brother’s box, "Please, once again cheer for His Majesty The King! It is he who had led
us to strive towards wealth and power, and it is he who allowed the Kingdom to revel in the blessings of the G.o.d of Light!"
"Long Live His Majesty The King!"
The n.o.bles of Deiss cheered in unison, but they were all aware that perhaps tomorrow, or the day after, Her Imperial Highness The Princess Opareal would truly experience such a cheering .
The conductor of the band had appeared in front of the curtains of the stage . He acknowledged His Majesty the King and Her Imperial Highness The Princess . Opareal, in turn, made an inviting gesture, signifying that the annual grand music celebration was about to begin!
Oscar sat in a corner of his box, finding Einsenstein continuously amusing as he watched him . Finally, the advanced prisoner from t.i.tan made the Deiss court’s senior officer lose his patience .
"Can you tell me, just what are you laughing at?"
Oscar confronted Einsenstein and shrugged nonchalantly, "I heard… that you and Her Imperial Highness The Princess has held a wedding ceremony?"
"Yes, that’s right!" Einsenstein nodded, he was aware that his fiancé beside him was looking over at them, "Imperial Highness Prince O’Neil, are you… disappointed?"
"Ola! Why would I be?" Oscar blurted out his catchphrase with ease, "I am merely awed by the fate of you two!"
"Oh?" Einsenstein twisted his head dubiously .
"If I have the opportunity to return to my country, I believe I will also marry a Princess!" Oscar gasped softly, "Distinguished Chief of Palace, believe me, that marrying a Princess is absolutely strenuous and unrewarding…"
"That’s enough!" Opareal suddenly broke off their exchange, having heard everything, "Could the beautiful music not make you both shush?"
"Look!" Oscar prodded Einsenstein’s arm, and under his breath, he said to the young Palace Chief, "She has already revealed the makings of a queen! Your life after marriage is one worth being concerned over!"
"You don’t have to worry about this! You better…" Einsenstein suddenly trailed off . It turned out that his fiancé was shooting a leer with a dangerous glint in her eyes . Perhaps… His Highness The Prince of t.i.tan had been right about just one thing, that is… Opareal indeed portrayed the prestige of a queen!
Paul was hiding on the top floor of the opera house . To be more exact, it was a corner where junks were placed, in the vicinity where the dome murals adjoined with the stairs of the top floor . This corner that was heaped up with picture frames and stage props had been searched by the bodyguards protecting the scene an infinite number of times but aside from alarming rats and stirring up dust, they came up empty-handed . Actually, all these were a cover that Paul had fixed up . He was scared that he himself might forget how he successfully got through the sentries and was concealing himself here, bored!
Snowstorm did not understand why he would switch from the tranquil river surface to this risky, narrow s.p.a.ce . He only felt an unexplainable blaze stirring inside of him and the heat emitted from it made him restless . He did not understand this feeling and he would definitely not stir up a fight in this place that was br.i.m.m.i.n.g with security guards . He only had a feeling that this ma.s.sive building from which sweet-sounding melodies flowed out had something that he was more looking forward to than saving his young companion .
Before the interval of the ensemble, the n.o.bles of Deiss would evaluate Her Imperial Highness The Princess’ box . They were aware that the hero from t.i.tan was there because, before the opening of the concert, Marshal Schneiven was courteously invited by Marquis Harriens, with being the arrival of that Imperial Highness Prince . There were many rumors circulating within the borders of Deiss regarding O’Neil Andrew Morisette . From his being imprisoned since young to him becoming the national hero of t.i.tan, these experiences itself were sufficient to be weaved into a riveting novel for the yearning people .
The performance escalated to reach an overwhelming cadence and the first act came to an end! The conductor of the orchestra acknowledged the cheering crowd that had stood up . However, this professional conductor did not appear that excited . There were still the second, third and fourth acts; this music festival was far from being finished .
The curtains gradually closed! The audience who were seated at the very front of the stage suddenly gave startled cries! They caught sight of, to their horror, the drummer who played the ba.s.s drum, tautening an arrow on his longbow aimed at the audience .
Upon hearing the chaotic cries of horror, the paladins who were responsible for guarding the King and Princess immediately aligned their bodies in the direction of the stage, completely obscuring the box . Suddenly, at the last possible moment, before the curtains folded, an arrow shot through between the two ma.s.sive red curtains at breakneck speed . The nock of the arrow let out a high-pitched whistle and with just a flash under the colossal crystal chandelier, it vanished into thin air!
It was… the centermost box on the second level, directly facing the stage! The experienced paladins had judged the destination of the arrow based on its trajectory . A horde of guards made their way to the box among all the screaming . They all knew that that was the seat of Deiss’ Highest Commanding Officer, Marquis Harriens Van Rousted!
Harriens was raving in horror with a hoa.r.s.e guttural voice . Right beside him, the Kingdom’s Head of Supreme High Command had a long arrow embedded in his chest . The arrowhead which had pierced all the way through as he fell was glinting like the twinkling stars! Having fought for the Kingdom of Deiss for half a century, establishing a lot of military services, Marshal Schneiven breathed his last without even having uttered a sound!
Einsenstein came rushing into the box closely after the guards . He gazed at the body of the Marshal before flicking his gaze towards Harriens who was scared stiff and this loyal warrior of the Kingdom finally let out an earth-shaking bellow!
Perhaps it was in response to Einsenstein’s roar, the fiery red curtain fell onto the ground without warning . The former stage was swamped with knights wielding swords in their hands!
Coup d’etat? Rebellion? The n.o.bles of Deiss below the stage guessed in alarm! Being confronted with knights who were flooding the stage, they gave ear-splitting shrieks and retreated towards the theater’s exit helter-skelter!
Einsenstein sized up the stage . The Knights definitely had not identified the a.s.sa.s.sin . The guards were just staring blankly at the chaotic scene before them .
The Palace Chief’s eyes darted towards the completely emptied Royal Household box . Good, His Majesty had already been evacuated safely! Einsenstein pulled out his sword and shouted towards the area beyond the box!
"Lock down the theater! Close off the streets! Seal off the capital! Those who leave without authorization, kill on sight! Find the killer! Find him! Find him! For the Kingdom’s revenge! To avenge Marshal Schneiven!"
The moving torches lit up the night sky of Borensberg . Under the starry sky that was br.i.m.m.i.n.g with a secretive air, ear-piercing screams and dreadful wails could be heard! The horse hooves of the Teutonic knights sounded as closely packed drum beats on the ancient city roads . With torches and weapons in hand, they streaked past before the people .
Using the opera house as the center, the infantries who were out to track down and arrest the a.s.sa.s.sins herded each family’s members of all ages onto the streets . They warned the horrified crowd that whoever left without authorization would be killed on sight and then begun their hunt, turning over every corner of the buildings and houses in the city!
It was the sixth time that this military group galloped past this block . The last knight of the cavalry suddenly heard a bizarre movement coming from above their heads . This knight hurriedly pulled against the reigns and the unwilling fine steed neighed, circling on the spot . The knight lifted his head and discovered that a few shattered tiles were rolling down the roof of this tremendous building before him!
There was no
no doubt! "He’s here!" The Knight yelled!
A warrior cloaked in darkness watched the gradually a.s.sembling Deiss below and could not help but spit lightly . Although this was the escape route he had calculated well earlier on, he did not foresee the house being run down by years . On this bare roof, no cover could be found!
The Deiss’ footsteps and shouts of commands traveled up from below . The a.s.sa.s.sin in the dark must make a decision! The master a.s.sa.s.sin put away his hook cable! He did not heed the arrows that were being shot up from the streets . After bursting into a takeoff run, he soared up . The black silhouette traversed swiftly over the pavements between the two buildings . Under the startled cries of the Deiss, he pulled himself up firmly onto the roof, then, kicking down a wooden window, he barged into the other building . The arrows of the Teutonic Knights were shot into the shattered wooden window without order . The impatient cavalry had their horses slam down the building’s door sideways and they went ahead and intruded the building .
Soon, the Deiss soldiers who swarmed into the building heard a brief hand-to-hand combat coming from inside . With a flash of clashing swords, the shout of one being at the brink of death, the patter of military boots on the floorboards, the sound of a body smashing onto the ground from a height was heard! In short, the soldiers who ventured into the building lost a commander and direction . It was only until the very end, when everything quietened down, had they realized that event their target had gone missing!
In a location at the other corner of the street, a soldier clad in the Deiss infantry armor intended to distance himself from the place . He strode urgently along the alley beneath the roof . Infantries continued to brush past him; the men were rushing toward the scene of the accident . Very soon, an officer finally noticed the soldier who intended to flee and he positioned his horse to bar his way .
"Private! Tell me your team and unit designation! And what is up with the blood on your body?"
"d.a.m.n it!" The a.s.sa.s.sin cursed under his breath . So long as he spoke, his shoddy Deiss would be revealed!
"Private, answer me!"
The a.s.sa.s.sin gave a quiet sigh . Being an a.s.sa.s.sin, he was bound to encounter his last moments!
Under the terrifying gaze of the Deiss officer, the private, who was clothed in infantry armor, suddenly leaped up . Just when the officer decided to pull out his sword, the blood that spattered out from his throat caused him to meet his demise!
"What are you doing?" A knight of Deiss who had witnessed everything questioned the private who was stealing the horse loudly .
The private urged the horse and charged over, but the Knight had already noticed the dagger that his opponent was using to attack! The dagger was too quick and the Knight unwillingly fell to the ground . However, before that, he had sounded a booming alarm to his surroundings and the all the soldiers on the pavement turned their heads .
The fine steed carried the a.s.sa.s.sin and dashed with all its might! Very quickly, the a.s.sa.s.sin realized that he was trapped! The soldiers on his tail continued to fire arrows, and the road ahead of him was lined by a phalanx and completely packed by infantries with their shields held high, barring the road off .
The master a.s.sa.s.sin swung his legs up, leaped onto the horse and strived to maintain his balance on the galloping steed by crouching down . A section of the roof was protruding out onto the street, and the a.s.sa.s.sin used the horse's back as footing and made a leap . He managed to climb onto the eaves but the arrows that came after penetrated his shoulder bone just at the moment when he was rolling on to the roof!
The a.s.sa.s.sin who clambered up on to the roof cursed his luck silently . This building was too low, leaving him completely incapable of making it on to the building to his left .
The Deiss rushed to the building in no time and a horde of archers had a.s.sembled at a location not far off, preparing to launch their cover attack!
Without warning, the a.s.sa.s.sin, who had no way out, noticed a thick hook cable being swung over from the towering building opposite him . Without having any time to think, the a.s.sa.s.sin grabbed the hook cable tightly and swung out! The thick rope brought the a.s.sa.s.sin cross over the street, over the heads of the many soldiers giving chase, through the effect of inertia . The Deiss finally released a mult.i.tude of arrows only to realize that not a soul was on the hook cable and rope after the hail of arrows!
"That street! Hurry to the opposite street!" The officers shouted loudly . The soldiers started forwards promptly and appeared as if they were heading towards the night sky where the a.s.sa.s.sin had vanished .
The sound of cavalry traveled out from the streets . One moment, it was the huge boots of the infantries, and another moment it was the sound of men cursing and women and children crying . The Deiss once again ushered the residents to the pavements and they started searching door to door .
Beneath the pavement, or to be more precise, in a sewer that was sealed off by metal grills, two men were huddled together in this narrow s.p.a.ce .
"We meet again!" The King of a.s.sa.s.sin Snowstorm inclined his head and gazed at the a.s.sa.s.sin beside him .
"Yes, we meet again!" The Black Devil nodded his head ever so slightly .
"Do you still remember the last time?" Paul adopted a distant look, "If it weren’t for you stabbing 13 in the back, my friend would not have been caught!"
Black Devil nodded, "Indeed! But I really wish to go up against 13 . However, you know, I have my mission!"
"Mission?" Paul sneered, "Is your mission to delve into how to be a good dog to the Morisette Imperial Household?"
The Black Devil turned his head and both of them engaged in a relentless stare, "To be honest, I did not expect you to be my savior, but… Do you want to settle this here with me?"
Paul tried to move about, this wretched place was truly just too narrow! After the two men lay down, even rats would not be able to pa.s.s through this route .
"It is evident that now is not the time!" The King of a.s.sa.s.sin sighed in a low voice .
"You know? This… . May be the last time that our paths cross!" Black Devil fixed his gaze at his old rival .
"Indeed! You’ve been exposed!" Paul adopted a delighted expression, "Quite a few hundred people saw your appearance . There is no way for you to return to t.i.tan to report back to your master because he will not acknowledge your existence, and so you can only resort to fending for yourself!"
"Sigh…" The Black Devil sighed . As an a.s.sa.s.sin trained up by the Imperial Household, he knew that such a day would come .
"Hehe! I really didn’t expect… That such a day will arrive so soon!" Alfa III increased the brightness of the lamp . Overjoyed, he took the unconditional ceasefire doc.u.ment signed by the Riel Kingdom from Marshal Alan .
"The reign of the Arthur Dynasty in Riel is still short . They do not have a foundation as strong as that of the Belrius Kingdom or the Czerroc Kingdom," Marshal Alan did not try to suppress the glee on his face .
"Yes, that’s right!" Alfa III nodded, "Hehe, both similarly small nations . The Belrians and Czerrocans are brighter than the Rielese! In order to survive among the Great Powers, they have to be quick-witted, siding with whichever party that was more resilient! So, all these puny nations are unworthy of trust!"
The Emperor of t.i.tan said these while flinging the destructive ceasefire contract to the side .
"Your Majesty!" Alfa once again resumed his grave and stern expression, "The armed intervention force of Faran and the West Percy Kingdom already appeared on the borders of the Belrius Kingdom and the Riel Kingdom . Their Royal mediator is also about to arrive at Riel’s capital, you see…"
"Mediator?" Alfa III knitted his brows, "Since Faran and the West Percy Kingdom wants to be a mediator of the war, then why did they still dispatch troops to the border?"
"I think they do not wish to see Riel being swallowed up by our nation, or…"
"Or, they are waiting for the Imperial Guards to have complete control over the whole Riel border, and then use their military force to threaten us into dividing up this small kingdom!"
Alan agreed, "Your Majesty, you are right!"
"Hehe!" Alfa III gave a cold laugh, "Command all the units of the guards to be on standby at their current positions . From the 19th day of the 8th month, which is seven days from now, stop all military offensive against the Rielese . I will not allow Faran and West Percy’s wishes to be fulfilled . If they want to act as a mediator then it is up to them, I only wish for the idea of occupying Riel Kingdom’s Eastern territories . "
Marshal Alan furrowed his brows, "Your Majesty, since we have already ceased fire, we are unable to retain the idea of wanting to hold it long term, we…"
"No!" Alfa III again broke off the Marshal’s words . "Why do I want Riel for? This small nation could be considered as a strategic buffer zone to the Western side of the Empire . Without it, the Farans and West Percians will flood in! Isn’t Duke Steinberger busy tearing down houses? I do not mind in the slightest! Let our General, who enjoys destruction, tear them down!"
Alan could not help but break into a smile, "Yes, that’s right! The military of Duke Steinberger’s family has already taken the twelfth fort of the Rielese . They have torn down ten out of them . According to his progress, the Rielese’s military installations will not be able to restore even within a hundred years . "
Alfa III nodded, "My Marshal, I have handed over all the matters discussed with the Rielese to you, uhhh… Simply find a few men to deal with Faran and West Percy . I do not which to have anything to do with these two old wolves . Aside from taking advantage of situations, there are no other decent things they are capable of!"
"Yes Your Majesty!"
"How about the Narcissus Knights?" Bringing this up, the Emperor could not help but drop his easy-going att.i.tude .
Alan opened up his hardwood folder, "The Military Investigation Bureau just reported Duke Andrew’s position . He and his newly-formed Red Tiger Cavalry Corps have already entered the turf of the Nineteenth Region . I believe that they will make it to Dulin latest by the end of the month . "
"How are things at the Deiss-Czerroc border?"
Alan again opened a folder, "The Narcissus Knight Independent Army that is patrolling by ship at the Deiss-Czerroc border have already started to pull back . However, they do not intend to return to Narcissus County . It seems that… We will have to put off the discussion until Marshal Dortmund’s arrival in Dulin . "
"Mhm! Honestly speaking, I really somewhat miss my old friend!" Alfa III adopted a fond expression but suddenly scrunched up his eyebrows . "Or perhaps… This way! Arrange for the welcoming of Duke Andrew and the honor-awarding ceremony for the Red Tiger a.s.sault Division’s surviving men to take place together and divide the new Red Tiger Cavalry Corps to be stationed at the various Forts of the First Region . Once the ceremony ends in Dulin, immediately order them to start launching a military offensive at the Deiss frontier army at the Northern Border!"
"As you wish Your Majesty!" Alan again acknowledged, "You are very thorough and this way, nothing will go wrong . The newly-established Red Tiger Cavalry Corps has concentrated the Narcissus Knight’s best battle resources of every branch of armed forces . These knights are veterans who had served in hundreds of battles and letting them remain close to the capital will indeed pose a great risk . "
"I think so too!" The Emperor did not try to conceal his fear of the Andrews at all .
"But… One more thing!" Alfa III flung a thick folder over, "My Military Affairs Chancellor, if the Secret Service Department captured the guard’s Chief of Staff, Marshal Valier Cypress with the charge of treason, then… Will this cause the Imperial army…"
"Your Majesty!" Alan suddenly cut the Emperor off, "If the criminal charge is treason, then the consequences will be catastrophic! Marshal Valier Cypress has served in the Imperial Army for forty years . His subordinates and disciples are distributed across all posts of the guards . As soon as the Secret Service Department captures this Marshal with outstanding achievements, I fear that it will stimulate an intense backlash within the army! To be honest Your Majesty, I myself as a military personnel as well, under a condition with no definitive evidence, I do not wish to…"
"That’s enough!" The Emperor broke off the Silver Fox in frustration . Actually, that had been His Majesty’s concern all the while . Valier Cypress’ guards possessed considerable prestige . Although the Marshal’s nature with a propensity for l.u.s.t had already won him a bad name in Dulin, the military men did not care about this . The military only cherished the relationship between subordinates and Division Commanders and thus would not betray their commander! Just like General Fabia Munlurgh who was previously only an ordinary Tactical Staff Officer . It was Valier who got the General to the prominent position he is in now! This Commander of the Capital’s Home Base had been indefinitely loyal to the guard’s Chief of Staff! Once Alfa III thought about his capital defenders, he felt deeply troubled!
"If the Secret Service Department could further seize the solid facts of Valier crime of selling out the country’s interests, will the court-marshal be able to issue a sentence that is convincing to the Empire’s military?" The Emperor again queried .
"Your Majesty, even if it can’t be done, this is the only means! The crimes of military personnel need to receive judgment from the court-marshal . If the Secret Service Department carries out drastic measures on Marshal Valier Cypress, I fear that…"
"A military mutiny?" Alfa III voiced his guess incredulously .
"Yes, Your Majesty!" Alan nodded, "Now it is up to the standard of proof in which the Secret Service can take within their grasp against Marshal Valier . If the facts are undoubtedly authentic, then I believe that the military men loyal to Valier will remain silent . "
The ruler of t.i.tan shook his head repeatedly . Just when the entire elite Cavalry Corps led by Duke Andrew was about to arrive in the capital, a traitor that could stimulate a mutiny of the soldiers emerged from the midst of the guards! If Dulin fell into the turmoil of war and Duke Andrew’s cavalry occupied the capital in the name of quelling the rebellion… Alfa III suddenly dared not finish his thoughts because he was clueless to the aftermath of such a presumption . He only questioned how things could coincide so miraculously .
"Yes, indeed! How can it be this coincidental?" The Cabinet Chancellor, Duke Kachev Drakas Ferdinand gazed at his few subordinates present there, gloomily . "So it turns out that everyone has actually realized this! So… Does anyone care to explain?"
The present crowd sank deep into thought; the recent political tornado that had swirled up in Dulin was indeed too outrageous! First, it was the Empire’s State Council whose authority was once again cut down, next was the appointment of the Secretary of State who had already been in office for a full five years, Duke Kachev as the Cabinet Chancellor . After that, the Imperial Army brazenly bore arms against the Riel Kingdom . Following close after, a completely new Intelligence Department was secretly opened for business within the depths of the military compound . However, the most preposterous thing was His Majesty III personal admonition order towards the guard’s Chief of Staff, Marshal Valier Cypress!
To keep the sole commander of the guards away from his eroded life, His Majesty Emperor actually requested his Chief of Staff to shut himself up at home and mull over his mistakes! Seriously, curse it! It is unheard of any ruler caring about things such as this .
However, the following course of the wind had changed! Rumors of a traitor started spreading in Dulin . Initially, it was in the Shalon where the military men had gathered . The General of the Guards who enjoyed debating were all baffled by the development of the defending war at Saijo Mountain! They actively tried to dig out a problem! Which as it turned out, was the Deiss’ purpose . There must be an objective for the surprise attack . So, what was the goal of the Deiss? These officers who had great imagination immediately started to suspect that the Empire’s secrets had been leaked out! This was the best explanation! The Deiss launched the attack based on this military secret!
After that, the family of the guard’s Chief of Staff announced another scandal! Marshal G.o.ddaughter had gone missing! Based on the investigation done by the Ministry of Justice, the beautiful missing girl possessed pure blood of the Deiss!
Finally! The Secret Service Department intervened with the investigation . Count Rudolf Hoss did not try to cover up anything like he did before when he conducted the secret interrogation, but instead publicly summoned the a.s.sistant and family accountant of Marshal Valier Cypress as witnesses .
"Then… Could it be… That everything had been premeditated?" A prominent figure asked the Cabinet Chancellor .
"Premeditated?" A sn.i.g.g.e.r suddenly escaped Old Kachev . Within the short span of half a month, the Secret Service Department had dug out all the old affairs of the guard’s Chief of Staff . If this was not considered premeditated, then what was? Looking on at the idiot, the old man gestured with his hands .
"Now, I can practically be certain of Marshal Valier Cypress’ tragic fate! Anyone or anything that has any connection with treason and this man will already be considered half dead! I just do not understand though, the secret in the region close to Saijo Mountain must be a highly cla.s.sified matter that only the Emperor and military men know about . So… Was the appearance of Prince O’Neil a coincidence, or is it a carefully laid out conspiracy?"
The Old Duke stood up, for the long period of sitting had made his back numb .
"All evidence points that the appearance of His Imperial Highness Prince is purely coincidental, but what about what comes after? Everything that happened in Dulin following that is directly connected! I think… Someone is carefully pulling all the strings . Moreover… The hour for the final act is almost upon us!"
"We… We do not quite understand what you said!" Another officer exclaimed at the Old Cabinet Chancellor .
"Of course!" Old Kachev laughed lightly, "You all are not experts in the field of the military! Why not… We open up our eyes a little wider?"
"Year 791, A hired mercenary group of the Italians launched an ambush on Her Imperial Highness The Princess and His Imperial Highness The Prince, and Emperor III brazenly issued the Fire Beacon Decree! The following military operation of the Southern Region attained victory in the battle against Italia! After that… The uprising broke out! The Southern Region threw in all their military strengths to suppress this intense revolt! Then, within the following six years, they continued to engage in battle with the remaining army of the insurgents! It can be said that the Empire’s Southern Army Group received a good opportunity at real combat . They have trained for an extended period of time, and is capable of dealing with all sorts of crisis!"
Having said all that, the old man gulped down a mouthful of bitter coffee . He felt that his train of thought was clearer and wider!
"So… On the 31st of the 3rd month this year, in the Great Northwest of the Empire, a fierce skirmish erupted with the lead character being our Highness The Prince . Compared to six years ago, O’Neil Andrew Morisette has grown far more powerful! He successfully subdued the invaders for the Empire! Soon after… The Empire’s Western Army Group and the Steinberger Family, who had defended the Northwest for generations, started a large-scale retaliation operation . As of today, they even managed to control one-third of Riel Kingdom’s territories!"
"Fellow men!" Old Kachev nodded while giving a smile, "Could it be that everyone has not noticed, during these repeated sudden incidents, who is the ultimate beneficiary?"
The entire room of respected men exchanged dismayed glances . Beneficiary? Had a beneficiary arisen from the two crises? The Southern uprising in Year 791 produced such an immense loss! The defending war at Saijo Mountain was again a tragic military campaign! The Empire had sacrificed the lives of too many soldiers, and even His Imperial Highness The Prince O’Neil Andrew Morisette was taken as a prisoner of war! Could a beneficiary be born from the disgrace of having enemies infiltrate into one’s homeland?
Looking at the perplexed ministers, Old Kachev shook his head in disappointment!
"Let me tell you, the final beneficiary is the Imperial Guards! During the peaceful era, the guards obtained the opportunity of training and actual combat . Both the crises caused the Empire to inadvertently alter the strategic position it had to abide by for more than a century! Our t.i.tan has gone from holding a pa.s.sive, defensive stance to taking the initiative in going on the offensive! Perhaps this has not come to our Majesty Emperor’s attention, but as a man in the military, I believe that other’s in the military will have seen through it clearly!"
"You are saying… Every single incident, is the conspiracy initiated by the Empire’s military to complete their transformation strategy?" One of the respected men shouted in astonishment!
"Perhaps… All these are the set up by the Chief of Staff, Marshal Valier Cypress! This Old Fox indeed cooks up brilliant stratagems!"
"But… Isn’t His Distinguished Chief of Staff locked up at home? He will definitely be charged with the crime of treason!"
"Yes, that’s right! It should not be him as he is done for! How can it be his plot?"
"Can it be that young prince’s conspiracy?"
"You’re hopeless! How can it be that child? He has even been taken captive by the Deiss!"
"Then… The only one left who can mobilize the guards is Marshal Alan!"
Watching the cabinet ministers who were making a racket, Old Kachev suddenly broke into a smile . There were some things absolutely could not be revealed! For example… Why could Marshal Alan not be the one who caused everything? Alan’s treatment of the Imperial Guards could be equaled to the way he served the G.o.d of Light . He had utmost feelings of respect towards the nation and the military and his influence within the military may well surpa.s.s that of t.i.tan’s ruler!
Take this time’s Saijo Mountain incident as an example . Were any of the decisions made by His Majesty Emperor not the result of Alan playing the decisive role? Were any of them not personally arranged by Alan? The attack on Riel, the establishment of the Imperial Intelligence Bureau, and the invitation extended to Duke Andrew .
Then… supposing that they were Silver Fox Alan’s black operations! Leaking the military secret of the area close to Saijo Mountain to the Deiss and tempting the Deiss to launch a surprise attack . If it weren’t for His Imperial Highness Prince’s success in defending, the Deiss would have possibly succeeded! In that case, the Empire may immediately declare war against Riel and Deiss . There would be a major mobilization of the guard’s Western Army Group and the Northern Army Group!
Next up would be the elimination of dissidents! The notorious Marshal Valier Cypress would undoubtedly be the best option! If Silver Fox Alan were deployed long enough, he would cover up the leak of secrets flawlessly and frame the poor and incautious Valier! Perhaps, another possibility was that Valier was the traitor that sold out the country’s benefits! And that Silver Fox just happened to find the perfect opportunity to strike! In short, the Silver Fox ingeniously shifted the blame to his colleague and arranged for all sorts of coincidences to come together, forcing His Majesty III to take action in dealing with them as soon as possible! And it is likely that not long after, the Silver Fox will offer up the most reliable evidence and by that time… Perhaps even the G.o.d of Light will be incapable of amending the accusations against Marshal Valier!
Old Kachev suddenly broke into a smirk by himself . Superb! Ingenious! He had to admit that he had always underestimated the Commander of the Guards known as the Silver Fox! Van Hewitt Alan had hidden away in the small villa of the military, putting up a façade of retirement, but instead was using the most compelling move to transform the whole military and even the Empire! Marshal Alan’s strategic foresight, patience before making a move, meticulous arrangements down to the smallest detail, boldness in sacrificing a little in exchange for an overall benefit, caused the Cabinet Chancellor to be deeply impressed!
Old Kachev was praying that, in the coming political crisis, Alan would by all means, not evade his challenge!