I am currently sitting on the head of the round table of the Great Colloqium. It is a big table capable of holding at least 40 persons. Standing behind me are my retainers: Army General Paimon, Chief Adviser Gremory, Aerial Knight Captain Malek and Chief Chamberlain Liliana. To my right are Elven Queen Anuriel, Dwarven High King Thormund, Dragon Newt High Priestess Aryz and the Grand Shaman Myriim.To my left is the Empire's Princess Gabrielle and opposite of me is the King of Valois, King Hector. Behind every dignitary are their retainers who are looking over each other with a light scowl. I looked at them using my All-Seeing Eyes and saw their status boards.
|Name: Hector Maxime de Bourbon de Valois||Level: 238|
|Titles: King of the Kingdom of Valois||Job/s: Advance Swordsman, Advance Warrior, Advance Berserker, Intermediate Magician|
|Health : 23780/23780||Magicka : 5400/5400|
|Stamina : 11000/11000||Strength : 12930|
|Intelligence : 5200||Agility : 18650|
|Dexterity : 17910||Vitality : 23380|
|Endurance : 10800||Luck : 41|
|Elemental Magic Lvl 14||Blunt Weapon Mastery Lvl 21|
|Long Weapon Mastery Lvl 21||Unarmed Combat Mastery Lvl 21|
|One-Handed Swordsmanship Lvl 24||Berserk Lvl 26|
|Name: Gabrielle Monique Tudor y Luxum||Level: 32|
|Titles: 3rd Princess of the Luxum Empire, ???||Job/s: Beginner Fencer, Beginner Magician, Beginner Acolyte, Beginner Archer|
|Health : 500/500||Magicka : 310/310|
|Stamina : 100/100||Strength : 30|
|Intelligence : 140||Agility : 24|
|Dexterity : 33||Vitality : 90|
|Endurance : 100||Luck : 75|
|Elemental Magic Lvl 5||Fencing Mastery Lvl 6|
|Holy Magic Lvl 4||Archery Lvl 2|
|Name: Anuriel Faelar Illithor||Level: 274|
|Titles: Queen of Elvengard, World Tree's Envoy||Job/s: Advance Nature Magician, Advance Hunter, Advance Clairvoyant, Advance Earth Magician, Advance Wind Magic|
|Health : 19980/19980||Magicka : 20420/20420|
|Stamina : 19450/9450||Strength : 5995|
|Intelligence : 20000||Agility : 26590|
|Dexterity : 27650||Vitality : 19580|
|Endurance : 19200||Luck : 86|
|Elemental Magic Lvl 25||Nature Magic Lvl 25|
|Bow Mastery Lvl 25||Earth Magic Lvl 25|
|One-Handed Swordsmanship Lvl 24||Wind Magic Lvl25|
|Nature Healing Aura||Nature Shroud|
|Name: Thormund Fellhammer||Level: 245|
|Titles: High King of the Underkingdom||Job/s: Advance Warrior, Advance Pyromancer, Advance Earth Magician, Advance Runemaster|
|Health : 27990/27990||Magicka : 9760/9760|
|Stamina : 24800/24800||Strength : 12930|
|Intelligence : 1200||Agility : 12880|
|Dexterity : 17720||Vitality : 13380|
|Endurance : 24500||Luck : 59|
|Long Weapon Mastery Lvl 24||Blunt Weapon Mastery Lvl 21|
|Axe Mastery Lvl 24||Unarmed Combat Mastery Lvl 21|
|Sword Mastery Lvl 24||Fire Magic Lvl 22|
|Earth Magic Lvl 25||Rune Magic Lvl 26|
|Intimidating Aura||Drunken Stupor|
|Name: Aryz Nabal||Level: 198|
|Titles: High Priestess of Rah Yolus Kogaan||Job/s: Advance Staff Master, Advance Dual Weapons User, Advance Sprit Magician, Advance Elemental Magician, Advance Conjurer|
|Health : 15630/15630||Magicka : 19000/19000|
|Stamina : 6700/6700||Strength : 7360|
|Intelligence : 18500||Agility : 11540|
|Dexterity : 10900||Vitality : 15400|
|Endurance : 6500||Luck : 70|
|Elemental Magic Lvl 24||Spirit Magic Lvl 24|
|Staff Mastery Lvl 21||Conjuration Magic Lvl 21|
|Dual Weapons Mastery Lvl 20||Transformation Magic (Draconian) Lvl -|
|Nature's Healing Aura||Fast Healing (Draconian)|
|Name: Myriim Nabal Mornaug||Level: 331|
|Titles: Grand Shaman of Rah Yolus Kogaan||Job/s: Elite Staff Master, Elite Spirit Magician, Elite Elemental Magician, Elite Conjurer, Elite Clairvoyant|
|Health : 29080/29080||Magicka : 33710/33710|
|Stamina : 30600/11000||Strength : 30600|
|Intelligence : 33510||Agility : 26400|
|Dexterity : 25900||Vitality : 28500|
|Endurance : 10800||Luck : 62|
|Elemental Magic Lvl 33||Spirit Magic Lvl 35|
|Staff Mastery Lvl 32||Conjuration Magic Lvl 34|
|Clairvoyancy Lvl 36||Transformation (Draconian) Lvl -|
|Nature's Healing Aura||Fast Healing (Draconian)|
Normal Stats for their levels except one. Why can't I see Gabrielle's status fully. Is she... No... Not possible... She shouldn't be... I disregarded my thoughts and began to talk.
"So, now that we are gathered here today, I would-"
I was interrupted by the princess. "Before that Lord Belial, may I ask why the demihumans are here with us? Surely they are not supposed to be part of this council. Do they have-"
I cut her of by saying "Who you have in front of you are the leaders of their races, princess. The Elven Queen Anuriel, Dwarf High King Thormund and the Grand Shaman Myriim from the Dragon Newt clans accompanied by their High Priestess Aryz. If ranks are mentioned, they are more than qualified to be in this council because, by rank and authority, they even exceed mine and yours, princess. The only person here whose rank is equal to them is my Lord Father, King Hector. So I would like you to exercise caution on your words... for it might develop into a... diplomatic problem." I said with a clear voice, hinting her.
But before the princess could reply, the knight behind her roared. "PRINCE BEALE! YOU DARE BRING THOSE DEMONIC LEADER IN FRONT OF US! YOU ARE HUMAN! WHY TALK TO THOSE UNCLEAN FIENDS?! ARE YOU IN LEAGUE WITH-"
I slammed my hand on the table which made it tremble. "It is not your place who I talk in this conclave, knight. Who are you? Should I cut your tongue? Or should I send your severed head back to the Empire to make them understand that it is not their place to command me what I should do? Hmmm?" I asked him in a cold voice. So weak. Not even worth 'Looking'.
Taken Aback with my statement, the knight trembled. "Yo-you wouldn't da-dare to a-an am-ambassador-"
"The princess is the ambassador, not you. You forget your standing, knight. I just reminded the princess earlier to watch her words and yet you, her knight, tried to berate me, a foreign prince, in my own fief. And with all the witnesses her including the imperial ambassador, Princess Gabrielle, I could condemn you and no one, not even the emperor, can rob me of that right." I then looked at the princess. "Am I correct, Princess?"
"Do forgive my knight for speaking out of place, Prince Beale. If you would allow me, I will administer his punishment on a later date. Please give me some face." the princess slightly bowed as she said that.
"There will be no next time, Princess. May I remind you that you are here due to my approval and not because of the empire's might and power. I could have rejected your emperor's message judging from how offensive it was but I am no barbarian. As a ruler and a royalty, I gave your emperor face. Now I am giving you face. How many faces should I respect after that, Princess?" I asked icilly.
"There will be none, Prince. Rest assured." the princess replied.
I then looked back at the knight behind the princess. "Rejoice, sir knight. You're tongue, or rather your life, has been spared. Cherish it for there will be no next time. Your empire have exhausted their usable 'faces' so don't push your luck."
It was then the King Hector talked. "You received a message from the emperor?"
"Yes I did, Lord Father. But the content are rather... disturbing so I'd rather not say it here." I said nonchalantly.
"I think I have a right to know what it was, Prince Beale. I am your father, king and sovereign of the Kingdom of Valois. Such a thing like the emperor communicating with my own son on my territory might raise some problem." He said, looking at me earnestly.
Thinking for a moment, I took out a letter from my pocket and inserted it in a shadow on a wine glass I am using. The letter appeared on the shadow of a trunkard in front of him. He didn't ask how I did it as he just took the letter and read it. The princess, seeing what I did, was stunned. Cold sweat began to drip on her forehead and she was looking nervously on the Valoisian King, or rather the letter on his hand. A few moments later, King Hector slammed his fist on the table.
"SUCH UNDERHANDED TACTICS! TRYING TO PRY MY SON AWAY FROM ME AND PUT TENSION BETWEEN US! TO SPLIT THE KINGDOM FROM WITHIN!" He then tried to calm himself and looked at the princess. "Judging from your reaction, it seems you know of what conspired between the emperor and my son. Tell me, princess... What is your motive of coming to my son's dominion and not the capital? If I understood the letter, you only want to make peace with my son and Agmanac, not the kingdom as a whole. May I ask why?"
"Forgive me, Your Majesty. But I came here as an envoy of the emperor to talk peace with Prince Beale. Your own arrival here was not foreseen by his Imperial Majesty. I didn't mean to undermine your authority nor am I sent to make a rift between you and Prince Beale. It is just that with the current situation of the human countries and the reports that Agmanac, not the Kingdom of Valois, had its trade and commerce thriving, the emperor wanted to get to know the prince. What he didn't expect was that Prince Beale would neglect his calls so he sent me here." the princess replied while bowing.
"Do you know what are written in this letter? What it pertains to?" King Hector asked.
"I'm afraid I am not, Your Majesty."
"It tells of the options the emperor gave my son, Prince Beale. Join the empire or create a treaty between the emperor and Agmanac." the king replied.
"I still don't-"
"It also pertains to the rewards Prince Beale would receive should he accept any of the choices he is given. If he choose to join the empire, he would given a rank of Grand Duke, rule a land bigger than Agmanac and wed you, Princess Gabrielle."
Shocked of the revelation, the princess refuted. "I have heard no such thing, Your Majesty! I-"
"If my son chose to have a treaty with the empire, the emperor will cease all offensive measures against my son's territory with the gesture that the empire will trade with Agmanac and vice versa. You, princess, are hereby sent here to finalized that treaty and remain here." King Hector then rested his chin on the back of his hands. "Is that what you were told to do, Princess Gabrielle?"
"Yes, Your Majesty. I have been sent here to confirm the Prince's answer whether he will agree to have a treaty or not." the princess confirmed.
Looking at me, the king asked. "What is your decision, Prince Beale of Agmanac?"
I looked at the now-troubled princess. "Can I ask a question, Princess?"
"Yes, Prince Beale. Please."
"Tell me, what answer did the empire expect from me?"
The princess was shocked when she heard my question. Judging from the faces of her retainers, my question struck a nerve on them. The princess, still in an stupor, answered me with a question. "I-I don't understand what you are implying, Prince Beale?"
"I am asking what answer the empire seeks of me. How do they expect me to answer this demand of theirs? What kind of answer were you told I would give?" I said while giving her a small smile.
Horrified with what I asked, the princess tried to answer but was stopped by her handmaiden. That said handmaiden stepped forward and bowed. "Prince Beale, this one's name is Carmine Housser, eldest daughter of Count Phillip Housser from the Luxum Empire and handmaiden to the Her Highness Princess Gabrielle. Please forgive this one from cutting in between your conversation with the Princess but I would like to say that the princess knows nothing of the expectations of His Imperial Majesty. We were only told that they await a positive answer from you, Prince Beale."
"Is that right? If I heard your words right, you said 'the princess knows nothing'. That implies only the princess. What about you and the knight with you?" I asked. I then looked at her Status Board.
|Name: Carmine Housser||Level: 64|
|Titles: Daughter of the Housser House, Agent of the Empire, Handmaiden of the 3rd Princess||Job/s: Intermediate Dagger User, Intermidiate Dual Dagger User, Beginner Ice Magician, Beginner Illusionist, Beginner Conjurer, Intermediate Assasin|
|Health : 510/510||Magicka : 112/500|
|Stamina : 320/320||Strength : 120|
|Intelligence : 300||Agility : 150|
|Dexterity : 130||Vitality : 200|
|Endurance : 210||Luck : 12|
|Dagger Mastery 12||Illusion Magic Lvl 7|
|Dual Dagger Mastery Lvl 10||Conjuration Magic Lvl 6|
|Ice Magic Lvl 5||Assassination Mastery Lvl 12|
Clearly surprised by my statement, the handmaiden replied. "We know of no such-"
I interrupted her by speaking again. "Don't lie straight to my face, Lady Housser. Do you know how many of your familiars I have destroyed from the time you stepped inside Agmanacian soil?" Seeing her shocked face, I continued. "You have sent a total of 94 familiars. Oh wait..."
I made a grabbing motion in the air and there, black tendrils shot out converged in front of my clenched hand. When I opened my palms and the tendrils dispersed. But what surprised everyone in the room, besides my retainers and the non-human dignitaries, is that there was a small blue bird that fell in the table. I then looked at the now-pale-faced handmaiden.
"Now, Miss Housser. Explain to me why there are familiars flying everywhere in my territory as if scouring for things? I have destroyed 41 here in the capital by myself while my soldiers destroyed the others. Surprised?"
She shakily responded to my taunting. "Tha-that is slander, Prince! I did no such AHHHHHHHHH!!!" She shouted as I squeezed the familiar in front of everybody.
"What to say? Impossible since it is just a familiar? I tapped to the magicka you used on the familiars and pulled them. Plus I made sure that you can't sever it. Nice right? So, mind if I ask what the emperor's order was? What were his expectations?" I smilingly asked, all while holding the caught familiar in my hands.
The handmaiden, clearly in pain and shaking, spoke with a trembling voice. "I-I am a-a lo-loyal servant t-to the I-Imperial Cr-crown... I-"
She was interrupted by the princess who is now standing up while supporting her pained retainer; tears forming in her eyes. "Forgive her, Prince Beale. I don't know what Lord Father ordered her to do but I swear she's a good lady. Please, have mercy..." She then bowed towards me, an act untoward on being a part of royalty.
"I didn't expect you princess to be naive. Too naive." I then stood up and walked towards the crying princess. "You came here as an envoy, a diplomatic ambassador. You came to confirm my answer to the demand of the emperor, a treaty for peace. A supposed gesture of the empire to end hostilities against Agmanac. I received you all with good will and accomodated you an accomodation that befits royalty. And yet..." I stopped just a step away from her and showed her my the familiar in my hand. "No envoy should do something that would lead to a diplomatic situation. Surveillance and espionage is not part of diplomacy and a envoy shouldn't do such things. And yet... you dare return my hospitality with hostility and betrayal. You even tried to obtain information about me and my fief through underhanded means. Tell me, dear princess of the empire, what reasons do you have that could stop me from executing you and your company for espionage, dishonesty and dishonoring me? Hmmm?"
When I said those words, the princess took a step back. The knight behind her unsheated his sword and immediately gathered magicka and ran towards me.
"YOU WOULD NOT TOUCH THE PRIN-"
I casted my magic. Immediately dark shadow tendrils rushed to the knight and encompassed his whole being, forming a giant black casket with a face of a tortured woman on top. Then by clenching my hands, the trapped knight shouted of pain. Then... there was silence. I released my grip and the casket dispersed. What remained is the dead body of the knight which was riddled by holes. Blood flowed on the floor. The princess and her handmaiden was horrified with what I did and the horrible remains of the knight. The king and his entourage became slack-jawed due to what I just did. Attacking an envoy is a clear declaration of war. The king then spoke to me.
"What you did will spark a-"
I stopped him by saying. "What are you even talking about? They were the one who acted against me. They tried to spy on me and gatehr intelligence. Then when I confronted them, they dared to point their blades at me. Tell me, King of Valois, why shouldn't I execute them?"
"But there could have been another way! There might have been-"
"There was none. If I didn't confront them, what would have happened? They would have nonchalantly gathered information about me and my fief then report it to the emperor, all while they are extending their hands for friendship. I am not that guileless. I thwarted their attempt to undermine me and to put me in a dangerous situation. They even gave false promises. I would have their answer for this." I then turned around and looked at my retainers who were all wearing a small smile on their faces. "Paimon, have someone escort the princess to a room in the west wing. Have her guarded and monitored."
"At once, my Prince." she replied to me while bowing. After a while, after she sent a telepathic order to whomever she talked with, she returned her attention to me and spoke. "They will be here in a moment, my Prince."
Just a few moments indeed as ten armored soldiers marched inside and bowed towards me. The leader then spoke. "We have come under your commands, Prince Beale. We will now escort the Imperial Princess."
"Take her then. Guard her as she is now a 'state guest'." I replied with a sarcastic remark.
"It will be done, Prince." He then vowed and literally dragged the sobbing princess who was taken away from her handmaiden.
I saw the princess get out of the room and focused my attention to the remaining handmaiden. "As for you, I have another plan for you. Shadow Hound!" I shouted and not even a second later, a shadowy figure appeared beside me.
"Your orders, milord?"
"Pry any useful information you can on this woman. Don't kill her. Just make her spill what she knows. I want to know her orders and what other things the emperor wanted."
"Your will be done." He wraps the frightened girl with darkness and disappeared without a trace.
"Liliana, tell someone to clean this mess up. Separate the head. We need it as a return gift to that demented emperor later.
"I will heed your instructions, Prince." Liliana bowed and walked away.
Looking at the shocked faces of the king and his group, I sat back down on my chair and spoke. "So... Now that I have dealt with the empire's supposed envoys, let's have yours next. Tell me, Lord Father. Why did you come here?"
"I came here to check on you personally, my son. You haven't sent even a raven to the capital. We don't have news of whether-"
"That is after your shadows were all dealt with, right?" Seeing him drenched in cold sweat, I continued. "You even sent your own shadows to spy on me. You made your men spy notonly me but my retainers and my territory as well. You did it without my consent. If you wanted to survey the lands, you could have told me and I would even have my own men escort you throughout my dominion. Wanted to know the full extent of my armies? I could have given you the exact report for it and even would have paraded it for you. You wanted to know who my retainers are? I would have made them report to you. You wanted to know how rich I am right now? I could have led you to the vaults and showed it to you personally. But you didn't." I stood up again for the last time and walked towards the king. "I didn't expect my own father to distrust me so much. I might not have been very appreciative of you but as a father who showed me love and care to me, even after what happened to us back in the capital, I would have honored you with what you deserve. You are the ruler of Valois Kingdom. I am a subject and a prince of the Royal Family. I am not the type of person that would backstab you. As you have seen earlier, I even dealt with the empire."
I then stopped just 3 paces away from him. "Your distrust towards me and you breaking your promise to me showed that you are no longer are worthy of my respect and trust, no matter how little they were. I am a member of the Royal Family. I will fulfill those duties of mine. If you are unsatisfied of me, adopt another boy or make a new son with my mother. That way, you wouldn't have to make me your heir. Maybe you could make Alaine the heir? In any way, try not to force yourself to me anymore. If you don't want my last remaining affection to you dissipate, I suggest you return to the capital. I would have you escorted up until you reach the capital with 600 soldiers, 60 warmages and 6 wyvern riders. Is there anything else you want to say?"
He looked at me with a look of dismay and bitterness. He then spoke. "I was wrong, son. So wrong. I was just afraid of you. Funny isn't it? I feared my own son. But what I did, you wouldn't want to believe me the reason on all of it."
Surprised on what he said, I asked. "And what would that reason be?"
"Did you not understand from the pattern my shadows arrived and what they were observing?" He replied with a question.
"It is. They targetted this castle simply to spy on what is happening with the fiief and-"
"No, my son. I sent them to observe you. Protect you in the shadows if your retainers cannot. And find out something about you: your likes, favorites like food and stuff like that. Those were my thoughts on sending my shadows to you."
I was taken aback by what King Hector. He thought of those things? Those men were sent to protect me? To just get some unimportant information about me? Preposterous! I looked at him icilly and spoke.
"You expect me to believe that?"
"I know you won't. My first attempts, those were the cause. But when they all turned out dead, I became paranoid of what might be happening to you so I sent another batch to look out for you. They died again but I found something else. You were the cause of their death. You ordered your men to kill them. They delivered me grave news about you having an army strong enough to defeat the empire; that you have retainers that even heroes couldn't defeat and many other reports. But you know what? My only thoughts were 'How is my son? Is he enslaved by magic? Is he being turned into a puppet?' Those thoughts ravaged me everyday. So I decided to come here. To meet you and know the truth. I came, carrying with me some of the kingdom's strongest knights and battlemages even though I know I might end up dead, I came for a chance that I might rescue you from those who wished you harm. Those were the reasons I came here, son. Those only and no other." He stopped talking and stood up. "If I might have caused you ire, please I apologise." He then bowed his head towards me.
Seeing such a scene, the king's entourage roared.
"Your Majesty, You cannot!"
"Don't bow your head, my King!"
"Don't bow towards the Prince, Your Majesty!"
The king, while bowing, roared back at them. "I am at fault and as a king, such an act of coming uninvited or spying on my son are faults that I must cleanse. He is my own son. At least let me give him what he deserves!"
One knight kneeled and spoke to me. "Prince, please forgive His Majesty. Punish me in his place. I will accept them." He then bowed.
After the said knight, the whole entourage kneeled one by one, asking me to pardon the king. Seeing such an act, I was in a stupor. It seems I am still too soft. "I accept your apology, Lord Father."
The retainers bowed even deeper saying one sentence in a chorus. """Thank you for your benevolence, Your Highness."""
"Enough of that." I then looked at my father who was still bowing. I went towards him and made him look to me. "Stand now, Lord Father. That's enough. Whatever you have done, I forgive you."
Tears started to form in King Hector's eyes but he held it back. "Thank you, my son."
I then turned around and spoke. If you want to roam around, feel free. I already lent you 666 troops. Use them however you like. If I may have a suggestion on that, use them to protect my mother and sister in the capital. They would need it."
"What are you trying to say, Beale?" He asked but from his voice, I think he already have a hunch.
I didn't answer him as I looked towards Gremory. "Ready the northern garrisons. Begin their preparations and make them ready within 2 days. Also, contact the 1st fleet. I will have a use of them."
"It will be done, Milord." Paimon bowed and vanished.
"Malek, ready the aerial armies. Have 5 thousand gryphon riders, 4 thousand hippogryph archers and lastly, a thousand wyvern riders. Have them ready near the northern border. Have them converge in the Rochechouart Bastide."
"At once, my Prince." he was then wrapped in flames then vanished as well.
"Anuriel, Thormund, Aryz, Myriim. You people ready yourselves. Guard your borders. I will start my conquest north. I will cripple the giant that have suppressed you. You may dismiss yourselves now."
""""Yes, Your Highness."""" They bowed and left with their retainers.
The king who was left speechless with what just traspired, talked to me in a shaken manner. "Ma-my son, wha-what are you do-doing? Wh-why are tho-those demi... I-I mean th-the lea-leaders of the nonhuman countries f-following you?"
"The nonhumans are now my allies as they sought for a coalition with me. As for what I am doing, I'm going to cripple the empire by invading one of the largest metal-producing and grain-making territory in the empire: the margraviate of Ceawlin. This will send him a clear idea not to mess with me." I replied cooly.
"Bu-but wouldn't that lead to an all-out war?!"
"It won't. Unless the empire wants me to destroy their whole southern front along with their harbors in the southeast, they wouldn't try to mobilize even a quarter of their armies to confront me. They are at fault and finding fault to me would be their doom. I am just sending them a clear message: Mess with me and you will be destroyed. Anyway..." I turned to look back at him. "When I acquire the territory I am going to attck, should I give it back to the kingdom?" I smiled while asking.
"No... It will become part of Agmanac. Also, if you win the battle-"
"Which I will."I interrupted.
"...If you return after the battle, I will name you as Crown Prince. Would that suffice as an apology?" He asked.
"I don't know about apology but it doesn't matter to me. I will just do things the way I see it fit."
"Good. Then I have no more further business with you. Good luck on your 'expedition', my son."
"I don't need luck. I have no use for it." I walked away from the king and went out of the Grand Colloquim. I looked at the window and saw a grey sky. It will rain soon. I then resumed my walk with Paimon at my back. Without turning, I spoke to her. "Paimon..."
"Yes, Your Highness."
"Assemble the armies. In two days, we'll begin our conquest.
Bio: Just an ordinary guy with a voracious appetite for novels. I may not be an index for novels but I have read a lot since it is one of my most defining trait: reading. Do give me some pokes if new novels are published or give me any recommendations you have. I will gratefully accept them all!