Chapter 25: marriage alliance
“To your right, is a painting of me painted by Auester from Ardo city. Doesn’t it perfectly mirror my glamour? It costed me a gold coin to have this painted. But to me, it’s priceless.” Donner introduced as he guided Gamberdash and Shiina down the main hall.
“It just means than your ‘glamour’ is only worth a single gold coin.” Gamberdash whispered, lowering his voice so that only Shiina can hear.
“To your left, is a painting of me painted by Bert from Bewl city. Doesn’t it perfectly mirror my glamour? It costed me 2 gold coins to have this painted. But to me, it’s priceless.” Donner introduced yet again less than a minute later.
“This painting is trash compared to the first one. Yet it cost more? Are you blind?” Gamberdash sneered behind Donner’s back.
“...” Shiina silently followed behind the two.
5 minutes later, they stopped in front of a room located at a corner of the mansion.
“Come in! Come in!” Donner laughed as he opened the door.
Moderately decorated with some beautiful flowers and a giant table at the centre, the room emitted a calming aura of humbleness. Compared to the extravagant hallway, the simple room looked completely out of place. The only telltale sign that it was still part of the Tyrant’s Mansion was that there is a giant, framed painting of Donner at the opposite side of the room.
“JUDOM!!!” Donner suddenly screamed out.
“I’m here, Lord Donner.” A well-groomed young man with a bright red necklace answered as he walked down the hallway.
“Didn’t I tell you to prepare the conference room?” Donner scolded.
“And didn’t I do so?” Judom replied with a confused look.
“BULLSHIT!!!” Donner screamed out. “Can’t you see that it’s not grand enough? Where is the gold? The beautiful crystalwood table?”
“Those are obviously outside our budget. Besides, this is the most optimal setting for a discussion. The flowers that I have specifically chosen is lavendet which is capable of calming your spirits. Other than the painting, there is practically nothing distracting. In terms of cost effectiveness, this is the best arrangement.” Judom calmly answered.
Before Donner could continue his argument with Judom, Gamberdash let out a small cough.
“This is?” He asked.
“Oh... him?” Donner instantly snapped out of his anger and replied with a laugh. “This is Judom, my advisor. With his intellect and my greatness, the overall strength of the Tyrant boar clan has already increased by at least 50% over the past 10 years!”
“Oh?” Gamberdash looked at Judom with a shocked expression.
“It's an honour to finally meet you, Duke Gamberdash.” Judom greeted with a smile.
Gamberdash nodded his acknowledgment before moving his sight back to Donner. “I wish to keep the content of our discussion between just you and me. So can we…”
“Lord Donner had just drank some strong wine and is a little tipsy. Therefore, I'm afraid that you would not be able to have a satisfying discussion.” Judom cut in before Gamberdash could finish his sentence. “I apologise, but may I participate in this discussion?”
“Impudent!!!” Gamberdash exclaimed. “For a mere advisor to dare disrupt a conversation between Dukes!!!”
“That's right!!! Impudent!!!” Donner cheered from the side.
“No, I wouldn't dare!” Judom hurriedly defended himself. “With his mighty horns that pierces the heavens, sharp eyes that can peer into your soul and tongue so sharp that can pierce through all loopholes, the exalt Lord Donner excels in everything. As you are a fellow duke, although Lord Donner is drunk, how can I allow you to be in such a disadvantage during the discussion?”
Hearing this, Donner’s eyes shone.
“How dare you...” Gamberdash tried to retort in shame but was disrupted by a strong slap from the back.
Donner lightly coughed.
“With his level of contribution to the clan, Judom has almost the same amount of authority as me. It should be fine for him to join our discussion.” Donner persuaded.
“But…” Gamberdash gritted his teeth and was about to reinforce his stand, when Judom cut in yet again.
“Why are you so obstinate in not allowing me to join in?” Judom said with a smile. “Could it be that the topic of the discussion can only be spoken to the drunk Lord Donner? Only when he cannot make a clear-minded decision?”
Hearing that, Donner seemed to have realised something and looked at Gamberdash wit suspicious eyes.
“Of course not!” Gamberdash coughed lightly. “Fine. You can join in. But, I wish for the contents of the discussion to remain confidential.”
“I thank you for your understanding.” Judom performed a bow with a sincere smile on his face.
“Now that that is done, come in and have a seat.” Donner laughed as he entered the room.
Behind Donner, Gamberdash revealed a cold look before quickly changing it to a flattering smile.
In the conference room, Shiina and Gamberdash sat at one side of the rectangular table while Judom and Donner sat the opposite end.
“I shall not beat around the bush. I would like you to consider an marriage alliance between our two clans! Of course, with the Husband being Donner and the Wife being my daughter.” Gamberdash declared.
“Agreed!” Donner’s eyes shone as he accepted Gamberdash’s suggestion without a second of hesitation.
“Wait!” Judom hurriedly said. “Duke Gamberdash, not to be rude, but are you aware of the implications of marrying your daughter off?”
“Of course, I am aware.” Gamberdash looked down sadly. “According to traditions, marrying a duke’s child off for a marriage alliance can be considered as a type of submission. And that is what I am intending to do .”
“With your Tyrant boar clan’s meteoric rise in power in the last few years, I am sure that in the selection of the next king, which will occur in a few more years, Donner will have a high chance of being chosen. By allying the one-horned ogre clan with your Tyrant boar clan, I am confident of increasing the chance of Donner being chosen by 50%. When Donner becomes king, all I ask for is that during the yearly resource allocation, 25% must go to my one-horned ogre clan. Of that 25%, one tenth of it must be chosen by me.” Gamberdash continued.
“By marrying your daughter in, with the king’s clan having access to 40% of the resources, your original share of 20% will increase by 5%, not only that, a tenth of it will be chosen by yourself…” Judom thought aloud. “Having the support of the one-horned ogre clan will certainly increase Lord Donner’s chance of being chosen to be the next king, which will in turn drastically increase our yearly resources…”
“There is nothing to lose. I agree!!!” Donner hurriedly said while his lustful eyes remained on Shiina.
Ignoring Donner, Judom closed his eyes and fell into deep thought.
A few seconds later, he opened his eyes and looked at Gamberdash with a smile. “Before coming to a decision, please allow me to ask some minor questions.”
“Firstly, what is your level? What magic talent do you have? What strengthening skill have you learnt? Finally, what cultivation method have you used?” Judom looked over to Shiina and bombarded him with questions.
“My level is merely 23, I have middle tier elemental magic talent with middle tier magic capacity. I have yet to learn any strengthening skill. As for cultivation method, I do not know what that is.” Shiina slightly lowered his head slightly as he answered.
“Level 23 at such a young age without using a cultivation method?” Judom looked at Shiina with some shock in his eyes.
“Even with good talent, she should be around rank F...not strong enough to harm Lord Donner” Judom muttered silently, but just loud enough for Donner to hear.
“Alright. The Tyrant boar clan shall from a marriage alliance with the one-horned ogre clan.” Judom said with a smile.
“Thank you very much!” Gamberdash hurriedly said. “But please do keep this a secret. It wouldn’t do to have Duke Blake and King Zavior know about this and prepare a way to counter our preparations.”
“Understood.” Judom said with a smile.
After discussing the finer details of the alliance, Judom drew up a contract which was signed by Gamberdash.
The moment the last document was signed, Donner laughed and swept Shiina of his feet. “To maintain absolute secrecy, there is no need for a wedding ceremony. Lets proceed to consummate our marriage, Wife.”
Before the worn out Judom and Gamberdash could understand what was going on, Donner exited the room with Shiina in his arms and rushed towards the bedroom.
“Emp. Take over.” Within Shiina’s soul, Saigo ordered.
Emp took over Shiina’s body without saying a word. At the same time, Shiina’s consciousness condensed and appeared in the room within his own soul. This trick was taught to him by Saigo during his stay in the forest. By doing this, Shiina was able to remain conscious while someone was possessing him.
Less than a minute after leaving the conference room, Donner arrive before his bedroom.
He randomly acknowledged the two guards standing outside the room as he entered.
After shutting the door behind him, the lust within his eyes intensified and he pounced on Shiina(Emp).
A few hours later, leaving the asleep Shiina in the room, Donner exited.
Less than a minute after Donner left, Shiina’s eyes sprung open and he got up.
“Why did you stop me from killing him?” He asked with some anger in his eyes.
In the middle of all the ‘action’, Shiina wrapped his arms around Donner’s neck and gathered the natural mana from the surroundings to create a dagger. However, before he could stab it into Donner, Saigo took over his body for a split second and dispersed the skill.
“We did not have enough information.” Saigo simply replied. “Although Gamberdash had said that all Dukes in this kingdom have around the same level of strength, who knows what tricks he has up his sleeves. Besides, even if we manage to kill Donner, since Gamberdash is still here, won't we be the prime suspect? We need to get more information and get stronger before making our move.”
“…fine.” Shiina stamped his feet in anger before jumping back onto the bed and falling asleep within seconds.
“There is still plenty of time left but you left the investigation to me?” Saigo shook his head in helplessness. “Well... that’s fine I guess...”