Infracto Animo

by

Kurayn-sensei

Chapter 32: No Respite for the Corrupt

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A note from Kurayn-sensei

Hi there! Sorry for the very late release. The utility post near our house got damaged, causing a power outage in the area near surrounding it. All of my unsaved drafts were all gone so I have to write from the scratch. Not to mention the shitty internet connection due to the typhoon, I had my hands full with IRL problems as well (i.e. Health and work). Anyway, do post on the comments if there are mistakes and I'll try to edit it when I can. Thanks and happy reading.

Belial POV

 

 

 

The light that enveloped us earlier disappeared and we arrived at our destination, the Marseilles Palace Throne Room. We arrived at the middle where I once stood as a kid. Everyone in the room, be it the King or the Nobles are shocked with what I did. I then spoke to the highest ranking person here, King Hector.

 

"It has been a while, King Hector. How are you?"

Shaking in his throne, King Hector shakily spoke. "Ye-yes. I-it has been a-a while, Bea-"

I shortly cut off his words. "Careful, King of Valois. I have already cut off our relationship so don't casually call my name. As a fellow monarch, I warn you not to casually talk to a fellow king in the presence of your subjects. I am not your subject. I am King Beale Maxime Thierry de Agmanac, Great King of the Agmanac Kingdom and leader of the Northern Triumverate. I think I deserve to be called as such for I earned that title."

Thrown back by my words, King Hector straightened himself and said. "Forgive my attitude, King Beale. I mean no disrespect."

"Enough. I am here to talk to you about certain things. You wouldn't mind, right?"

"No, of course not." He answered though he is sweating up to his forehead.

Before I could even speak, a noble spoke to me. "King Beale, you are at the presence of King Hector of Valois. Please remove your weapons as decorum demands."

I looked at the noble and said. "If I wanted to kill you all here, I wouldn't even need to lift my finger much less use my weapon. During the crusades where you made the Central Powers cross your land to reach us, I would have conquered all of Valois and kill you off with war as reason. But I would like to ask you, whoever you are. Is it your call to berate a foreign king about him carrying weapons? In the first place, it is my right to carry them and I am obligated to carry them. I am a king, not a measly noble. I am a head of a country, thus I need to be able to protect myself in all times. Regardless of whether it is needed or not, it is within my rights to carry weapons and guards. Am I right?"

Clearly shaken by my sound reasoning, the noble began to have second thoughts. "Ki-king Beale, I-I just..."

"Enough, Marquess Clarent. What King Beale said is sound and just. It is within his rights to carry a personal weapon and an entourage."

"But Your Majesty! He-"

"Besides..." He started to show a bitter smile. "If he really does intend to cause me harm, none would be able to stop him." He then looked at me and said. "Forgive my retainer, King Beale. He meant no disrespect."

"Whether I forgive him or not is something I will decide myself. But killing such an insignificant individual, of no reason at all, would only make others see me as a tyrant. So I will refrain myself from any killing. Besides, it is not what I came here to do."
"Then why are you here, King Beale?" asked King Hector.

"First, a question. Why, in four years straight, did you let the Central Powers march through your lands in order to invade Agmanac?"

Shakily, King Hector answered. "Ki-king Beale... I wanted to remain neutral between their fight against you. The reason is clear. You are my son. I don't want any harm done to you. I know how impregnable your defences are. I know how formidable your armies are. I know how powerful your retainers are. I know you by yourself can kill them singlehandedly. So I let them march through my lands rather than they play dirty and do something to you in the shadows. I know I am being obnoxious but I'd rather prefer them fighting you in a frontal battle than those that involves espionage. As to why I made them march through my lands, what can I do? If I side with them, you'll destroy me. If I side with you, they'll destroy me. And with more than 20 million troops, how could my kingdom defend against the Central Powers. So I decided to make Valois neutral in their war against you. I have no choice but to do that. As a ruler, I think you know what I mean."

"I'm afraid I do not." I answered him coldly. "I ruled a principality before and that principality is even smaller than your kingdom, Hector. And yet I have created an army that could match the imperial armies. I conquered a country 5 times larger than Valois with only my armies and power. Valois is 6 times larger than Agmanac yet I managed to destroy the empire that is at constant war with Valois for almost 300 years. So I cannot fathom how a large kingdom like yours, who have the resources and capability, fails to defend itself against forces from the Central Powers."

Standing up, King Hector exclaimed. "I am not you, King Beale! Stop your incessant questioning! You are the one who declared Agmanac's independence! I remained neutral for the sake of my people, I would be facing not just one but multiple enemies in different directions! Unlike you, I am not that strong and I don't know the ways to create an 'immortal' army like yours! I love you and care for you but I know I don't have the power to protect you eventhough I am a king of a big kingdom!I cannot move the armies without the Noble Council! I cannot move anyone without first declaring why and after excessive deliberation! I am tied, King Beale! I may be a king but I don't have the power to move my people unlike you!"

I looked at the trembling king in front of me. After a while, I spoke. "So... are you finished with telling me how incompetent and unreliable you are? I would like to clarify something. First, I don't need your help. Second, I'm not berating you. I am only asking why. Lastly, I didn't demand you to lower yourself. I didn't even make you come down from your throne eventhough I am a fellow king and as equals, must see each other in equal footing. So cut that 'pity party' you are doing. I need none of those."

"You-"

"Now, I would like to ask. Where is Queen Victoria?"

"She is preparing to go to your country as an envoy. She-"

"Why would that be needed when I am already here?" After a few moments, I continued. "Why send an envoy? The Queen at that? What do you want from me?"

"I... I will be frank. The kingdom is in dire need of assistance and we need your help to fix it. The kingdon's coffers are almost empty. The food production is so small and insignificant that many people are now famished and malnourished. The animals raised to be food are now dwindling. We are decaying and we have no way to fix it. That's why I made my dear wife as an envoy so that she could talk to you on how miseable our situation is right now. We are in desperate need of help. And you, King of the northernmost kingdom and the richest man in the whole continent, could help us in this hour of need."

"Why not ask your allies from the Central Powers? Surely, they could provide some assistance to you. Why ask me?"

"With their countries also in deep recession, I fear they don't have much to share with us. And with their failed crusade against you, their resources and debts must be astronomical. If we, who didn't participate in the war, are experiencing this right now... I can't begin to fathom how much they are suffering right now."

"Hmmm... Reasonable explanation. War is expensive. Ending a war is more expensive. Those countries are surely on their toes right now. But this begs the question of 'Why do you want ME to help you?'. Can you answer that, King of Valois?"

Seriously, he said. "I have considered the odds. Should I ask the defeated Central Powers for assistance? Or should I ask my blood-related son from the northern kingdom? In the end, it all comes down to the thickness of my skin. I asked YOU. As to why, it is because choosing between the winner and the loser of the last war, I would pick the winner. To be more specific than being roundabout, I am relying on our blood relationship to try and convince you to help us. I know I am being a hypocrite but I really need help. My country really needs help."

Looking at his face, I suddenly remembered my time with him as a kid.

 

{Beale, what are you doing?}

{Drawing.}

{I-I see. May Papa take a look?}

{No.}

{I-Is that so? Eherm. What are you drawing then?}

{Plans.}

{Plans?}

{Troop deployment, Supply and provision, communication, flanking techniques, ambush styles, Navi-}

{Wait wait wait. You are making plans for war?}

{Yes.}

{Why? But erase that. How could you even think of such things as such a young age? Who did you learn it from?}

{No one.}

{Then where did you learn it?}

{Books.}

{I see.} He then carried me through my armpit and put me in his lap. {Would you teach Papa?}

{Fine.}

{Hahahaha!!! I wish you would be more child-like, son. That way I could play with you. But this is also good. Bonding between father and son through war planning. Hahahaha!!!}

{Annoying.}

{Sorry sorry. So, let's start.} And we then proceeded to enact troop movement and made comments about it.

 

I remember him smiling a gentle smile at that time. Feeling a pain in my head, I squinted my brows. I am getting too sentimental. He is nothing more than my biological father. Nothing more. Erasing my sentimental thoughts in my mind, I began to talk to King Hector.

 

"You want my help? Sure. I will help."

 

Suprise was shown in his face then it changed to extreme happiness then later change to something more befitting a ruler, a cautious face. While his retainers rejoiced, he spoke to me.

 

"What are your conditions?"

 

As soon as this words resounded the chamber, it fell quiet. So quiet that een the sound of a pin hitting the floor would be heard. I smiled and replied.

 

"Tell me, King Hector. What can you offer me in return?"

He just looked at me and said. "What is it that you want in return, King Beale? Please don't keep me in a loop."

I laughed at him and said. "Such indecisiveness. You really want me to answer your question knowing that you already know what I want?" Seeing as he is not speaking, I continued speaking. This time, with a serious and cold tone. "I want the entirety of Valois to be under my rule. All existing nobles will be displaced and the territories they leave behind will be manned by my own retainers. The royal family will stay in Ludwigsburg Palace in the former imperial capital of Celtrieze. In return, I will make Valois more prosperous than it has ever been. What say you, King of Valois?"

Before he could even speak, a noble spoke first. "YOU ARE INSANE, KING BEALE! MY FAMILY HAVE LIVED IN OUR FIEF LONGER THAN EVEN THE KINGDOM WAS CREATED! WE WERE THE PILLARS THAT CREATED THE KINGDOM! WITHOUT US, THIS KINGDOM WOULD NEVER EXIST! AND YET YOU WANT TO TAKE AWAY OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS FOR YOUR GREED AND LUST FOR POWER! RIDICULOUS! YOU-"

I cut him off by speaking to him. "You speak as if you were there. Were you there when this kingdom was created, sir noble?"

'I-I wasn't... But-"

"Then how can you speak as if you were the person who was present at the creation of this kingdom? Besides, that was your forefather, not you. Your forefather strived to enrich and develop his territory. That's why you have your so-called 'ancestral land' now. Tell me, sir noble. Did you do the same thing your forefather did in his time?"

"Of course I did! I made my fief richer than it has ever been. I have-"

"Then why is your king pleading me to help this kingdom on its current crisis? Why need my help to deal with your financial, agricultural and domestic problems? If you and the other nobles have, and I quote: 'Made your fief richer than it has ever been', why ask my aid?"

"Tha-that is because of-"

"That is because of your ego, ignorance and lack of foresight. I have been managing my former fief and the entirety of the former imperial territories plus the elves and dwarves. Such a huge patch of land, you think that is easy to enrich? In your case, yes. In mine, no. Don't ask why. I have alread shown results in mine. And I did it in my lifetime. Now, do you have any other rebuttals?"
It was at this time that King Hector spoke. "Can't we... become a... a vassal kingdom under yours?"

"No. And the reason for that will take me at least a day to explain."

"At least give us a shortened explanation, King Beale. I mean, this concerns the wellfare of this kingdom after all."

"First, my technology. If you are a vassal state, naturally I will use my technology to aid your kingdom. That means that I have to share to you my own works and weapons. That is my biggest concern. You people are greedy, no doubt about that. If I hand to you some of my weapons, some will definitely try to smuggle it out or take some for their own and try to replicate it. Or much worst, sell it outside for profit. Second is resources. If I make you a vassal country, I would be the one providing you with aid and supplies. Meaning, you will only be leeches to me with no significant value at all. Last is trust. Frankly speaking, I don't trust any of you present here. Making you a vassal eventhough I don't trust you is not the best idea. I think you know of this, King of Valois?"

"Ye-yes. Trust is a major issue but-"

"This is funny. You want me to help you but you don't give anything in return. What would you give me? Gold? I have lots of gold. Land? I am bigger than your kingdom by five times. Materials? With my vast dominion and my friendship with the elves and dwarves, I have everything I need. Men? I have the largest army in the continent. You have nothing to offer. You offer your allegiance? I have no use for it. I can easily crush my opposition with sheer number and technology. So why would I help you if you offer nothing in return?"

"But if we give what you demand, this kingdom will end! It is as if we destroyed ourselves should we decide to be consumed by your kingdom!"

"So you would choose ruin over pride, King Hector? So be it. This offer will only be given once. The next time the Central Powers march through your lands to attack me, I would crush your kingdom under my merciless blade. Seraphiel, Kapharel, Sygax, let's go." I then turned around and was followed by my retainers.

"Wai-wait, King Beale! Wait!" A woman's voice resounded in the hall.

 

I turned around and saw Queen Victoria, King Hector's wife and my blood-related mother in this life. She is currently panting and I could imagine why. Of all the humans in the world, I couldn't bring myself to hurt either my birth mother and my sister. I am still weak-hearted. I am still soft. I stared at her for a few moments and when I saw that she has regained her breathing, I spoke.

 

"It has been a while, Mother."

"Yes. It has been a while, Beale. You are already leaving? Without seeing me?"

"You are always welcome back in my country, Mother. We can always talk there. But please, tell me why are you running? You were panting when you arrived."

"I heard that you are currently in this palace while I was preparing for my journey to your kingdom. So when I received that information, I hurriedly ran here to see you and if possible, talk to you."

"Since it is you... Very well. What is it that you want to tell me?"

"I would like to get your pledge that you would help us right now in our time of need."

I then changed my tone from amiable to stern. "Is this a request from a queen and monarch or from my mother?"

"As a ruler of Valois and its people, Beale."

"Then I will tell you this as a ruler of Agmanac. Your country provides nothing as compensation for such aid. If you can offer me a deal that could compensate my assistance then please, do say. I have already conducted such a deal with your husband, King Hector, but he declined when I made a demand. As such, if you can give me a good offer, I might help you in your current predicament."

"We could offer you the northern Valoisian border as compensation to your aid. If not enough, we will try to pay you in gold annually until we finish paying our balance. I, as queen of Valois, will act as a guarantee so that the kingdom will remain true to its word and pay you back for the aid that we borrowed."

"And in return, what do you want?"

"We would like to borrow some of your troops to help us defend our borders. We would also like to borrow some gold from you in order to estabilize the economy. Lastly, we would like your help to acquire some elven help for our farms. The help of the dwarves will also be appreciated and if you have some connections with the beastmen clans, we would also appreciate if you could mediate between us and them."

I stared at her for a good while then shook my head. I then spoke. "Queen Victoria, what you are demanding may not be a tall order but... Even in a five hundred years, you might not be able to pay me back. Gold, I can readily give you some for aid but depends on how much. As for the elven, dwarven and beastmen aid, that will their decision. I will talk to them in a neutral manner. Whether they help you or not is up to them. Now here's the troublesome part. Borrowing my troops like they are some mercenary group is a no go. You see, first flaw with me letting you borrow my troops is the chain of command. Do you want to be the one commanding them? If yes, are you sure you will not be using this opportunity to do something shady like making them spill out the secrets for their so-called 'immortality'. You might ask for technology from them or to be straight, use them for your own self satisfaction. I have told King Hector of my thoughts with him and his retainers. They don't have my trust. Why would I do something that could possibly tarnish my reputation due to the misconduct of others. My pride wouldn't accept that. So, unless you have a more 'plausible' demand, then do revise the one you just gave. I am not running a charity here and I am not willing to invest in something that won't yield me anything in return."

The queen showed a flabbergasted expression for a while then returned to her dignified expression. "Then, King Beale. What would be more plausible for you to accept?"

"You are the ones making the request, Queen Victoria, not me. Please don't return the question to me. This will become a repeat of what transpired earlier before you arrived." I said, eyeing King Hector.

Seeing that, she sighed and spoke. "King Beale, I know that you don't have that much emotion regarding Valois but... This is where I grew up. This is where I learned everything. This is where I found love. This is where I found happiness. This is where I gave birth to you and raised you. I loved this country that created you. Will you cherish it if it falls to your hands?"

Many gasped with the Queen's comment but I replied. "I will just do what I promised to do. But it will be by my terms. If you want my help, give me something of equal value. So, what would be your decision?"

 

Many nobles began protesting. Some even had arguments that are no longer part of the subject. When it became too rowdy, the hot-headed marquess earlier began speaking again.

 

"You are being too greedy, King Beale. We are a nation with history. We have our pride, honor and integrity. You, a barbaric conqueror, who does nothing but wage war can never hope to realize what it is like to-"

"To have the honor of an ancient and prominent house. Am I right, mister noble?" I cut him off then turned my attention towards him. "Did every distinguished family start of with what they are now? What YOU are now? No. They started like me: someone with a grand ambition. Did kingdoms and empires rose up because of charity? NO! They were brought up through blood, gold and power. You mister noble, who never experienced what it is like to have your face and dignity in the mud, can never understand what I feel. I am a barbaric conqueror? Then what of your ancestors, whose hands were stained by the blood of the innocent, when they conquered your so-called 'ancestral land'? I don't want to speak of hypocrisy here but since you want to talk that way, fine." I looked behind me and shouted.

"WHO AMONG YOU HERE ARE LANDED NOBLES?! WHO AMONG YOU HERE ARE ASSOCIATE NOBLES?! WHO AMONG YOU HERE ARE HEREDITARY NOBLES?! WHO AMONG YOU HERE BECAME NOBLES BECAUSE OF A DISTINGUISHING FEAT IN THE BATTLEFIELD?! SPEAK!" All nobles began standing, whether it is through fear or mere truth. I continued. "WHOSE FAMILY CAN TELL ME THAT THEIR HANDS AREN'T STAINED BY THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT?! WHOSE FAMILY CAN TELL ME THAT THEY GOT THEIR LANDS THROUGH PEACEFUL MEANS?! NO ONE! YOUR ANCESTORS, PREDECESSORS AND YOU HAD THE BLOOD OF THOSE INNOCENT PEOPLE IN YOUR HANDS! NO ONE IN THIS ROOM CAN SAY THEY ARE CLEAN! SOME OF YOU USED WEAPONS! OTHERS USED POISON AND SPELLS WHILE THE REST USED ASSASSINS TO DO THEIR DIRTY DEED! NOW, IF I AM A BARBARIC CONQUEROR, WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE?! BANDITS?! MURDERERS?! SCUM?! YOU ARE ALL STANDING HERE BECAUSE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SPILLED BLOOD TO HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE NOW: AN EASY LIFE OF A NOBLE." I turned around and faced the royal couple.

"This is the situation you have on your plate right now. Since you are not offering me options, I will. Surrender all of Valois Kingdom to me. Displace and remove all nobles in your court as I have no use for such a useless group. While the transition is happening, no one is allowed to leave the borders. I know this sacks of wine are just waiting for the right time to jump out of Valoisian land with all the gold they have hoarded for such a long time. Lastly, all believers of the new church must be contained within a single place. My subordinates will handle them. Those are my conditions. Is there a counter proposal you can give me?"

The talkative marquess tried to talk but I immediately shut him off. "I have wasted enough of my time and effort to you people and my patience have reached its peak. Now choose, be conquered peacefully or be conquered forcefully? Mind you. It doesn't necessarily mean I am the one who would conquer you forcefully."

Queen Victoria then spoke. "What do you mean?"

"With the growing recession, the need for fertile land, resources and people will drive those sane people to madness. Tell me. What would happen if, let's say, a big country with its open plains and mineral lodes just sits there to be the eye-candy of those who seeks for such resources? Desperation will make people do irrational things. And with your country in shambles, your nobles plotting behind your backs and your people without morale, how could those people make a pass on such a wonderful meal in front of their eyes."

King Hector shakily spoke. "Yo-you mean... The Central Powers... Our allies will... Betray us?"

"Oh no, King Hector. They already did. For more information regarding that topic, seek your southern nobles. They have already sold most of their lands to the Union and the Dukedoms in your borders. See? I even gave you a free info. But enough of this nonsense. What will be your decision? Submit to me or to the Central Powers?"

Queen Victoria immediately kneeled. "I submit myself to your service, King Beale."

"Why the quick response?"

She smiled and said. "I already planned to surrender myself to your rule. It is the only way I could preserve both my family and my dignity. Besides, you are my son. I am sure you won't treat me badly."

"So you will surrender yourself and the duchy under your family to me, Queen Victoria. I see." I then looked at King Hector. "What about you?"

"There will be civil war. The nobles will revolt. The people will revolt. Chaos will engulf the kingdom that stood for hundreds of years. But..." He looked at me with a serious expression. "Upon the ashes, it will rise again. King Beale..." He kneeled which shocked the whole noble side. "I submit to your will and command. Valois is yours. It has always been yours since the start. Do as you see fit."

I instantly called upon my trusted army general through our connection mentally. [Paimon.]

[Yes, My King. What are your orders?]

[Come to Valois and bring 10 million men. Deploy them in strategic point surrounding this kingdom. Have them march in groups of one hundred thousand. I will leave you and Asmodeus in charge of this place.]

[Are we also going to build an extention of the wall around the entire Valoisian border?]

[Yes. Tell Zagan what needs to be done. Now, instruct Bathin that he'll be cooperating with Murmur in order to send in an advance army of five hundred thousand with you leading it. Be here in 2 minutes.]

[I will do it in one, sire.]

[Excellent. Bring Gremory with you so that she could deal with the problems here and have her prepare gold. Around four hundred million. She will need it here.]

[By your will, sire. Is there anything else you want to add?]

[That is all.]

[Yes, sire.]

 

The connection was then cut off and I returned my attention to the kneeling couple in front of me. They are looking at me with bewildered faces, maybe thinking why I paused for a while.

 

"I called upon my subordinates. They will come here with an advance party to help defend the capital from enemy attacks. I have also intructed them to carry with them the gold you need to stabilized your economy. Lastly, my subordinates will now takeover your kingdom. Pleasure doing business with you." A magic circle then appeared below me as I finished speaking.

The king immediately exclaimed. "Wha-what about the anouncement?! You must be here for the people to see that we have capitulated under you. Plus-"

"You can tell them that yourself. I have things I need to do."

The queen who is still kneeling, bowed. "I wish you good fortune, Your Majesty."

"Mm." Light engulfed me and my subordinates and in a few seconds, we disappeared from the Valoisian throne room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Victoria POV

 

 

I watched as my son was wrapped up by runes and light then vanished into thin air. Transference Magic. An ancient spell that was lost during the War of Supremacy. How did my son acquire such power? Being shown of such magic twice in one day already proves my theory. While the whole room was silent, I spoke to break the ice.

 

"Valois Kingdom is now under the rule of King Beale of Agmanac Kingdom and we citizens are now under his rule and command. Nobles, or should I say former nobles, remain here for the time being while we send messengers to your families. We will tell them to pack up their things and-"

I wasn't able to finish when Marquess Clarent spoke again. "Don't speak to us as if we are your subjects. You and your family are now under that brat's kingdom but not me! I have tolled myself for many years and my predecessors before that! I declare myself independent from the lapdogs of that obnoxious kid in the north! I am a noble by birth! I am not a cannon fodder nor am I a chess piece that you could move at your whim!"

I just chuckled at the marquess who is throwing a fir and said. "Such an attitude. Tell me. Why didn't you do something like this earlier, when King Beale was around? If you are such a brave person and an upright noble, why wait for the Hydra King to leave before throwing a tantrum? Hmmm?" I asked him with a sarcastic tone.

Clearly enraged by my remarks, the marquess blew his top. "DON'T TALK TO ME AS IF YOU ARE MY LIEGE LORD, WHORE! THE MOMENT YOU BOWED DOWN TO A FOREIGN RULER, YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE RIGHT TO MOCK ME! YOU, WHO CREATED THAT ABOMINATION, IS NOT MY QUEEN AND NOT MY MONARCH! BECAUSE OF YOU, OUR COUNTRY THAT FLOURISHED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS DIES TODAY! I WILL NOT DISHONOR MY ANCESTORS BY BOWING DOWN TO A FOREIGN RULER WITHOUT A FIGHT!"

Before I could reply, an indifirent voice resounded inside the room. "Is that so? Then... By the decree of my King, I have been given the authority to strike down any who dare to take up arms against him and his country. By declaring yourself independent from Valois and by showing clear animosity against my King, I hereby decree that you, along with nine generations of your family, shall die for lese majeste!"

Clearly terrified, Marquess Clarent turned around to gaze on the one that gave the verdict and roared. "WHO ARE YOU TO CONVICT ME?! I AM-"

"I am Margrave Paimon, Ruler of Ceawin and Commanding General of His Majesty, King Beale's armies. I have been tasked to organize this country and to stabilize it. To my right is Lady Gremory, His Majesty's Chief Adviser. While to my left is Lord Asmodeus, Commander of the Aerial Legions. We have come as our King decreed, along with five hundred thousand men."

Marquess Clarent went pale when he saw the people who just arrivedd. Paimon continued. "Lady Victoria, where can I find this ranting former noble's fief?"

I immediately replied. "He holds the southern marquisate that is facing the Volhynia Kingdom. They are..." I suddenly had a realization when I remembered his fief location and his incessant ramblings. Could it be...? "...the first Valoisian land to open its borders for the Central Powers to march into."

"I see." Paimon then turned to his left and spoke. "Lord Asmodeus, may I ask you to do the honor of extinguishing this fool's family and relatives?"

"Gladly, Lady Paimon. I will bring with me a hundred thousand of the men we brought. 20 thousand members from the 4th to 9th Aerial Legions are now on their way here. I will have five thousand be sent to me down south to enhance the defences. I would have been enough to deal with any army but I will follow King Beale's plans and orders." He then turned around and walked out.

Lady Paimon then turned around and unsheated her sword. "Marquess Clarent, any last words?"

The Marquess shakily replied. "A-a-anything bu-bu-but my li-life. I-I-I can-"

Before he could even continue speaking, his head flew and separated itself from his body. Lady Paimon then sheated her sword and spoke to me. "Lady Victoria, where is Lady Alaine?"

"She is currently on her fief in Carolingnia. It is near this plaee so there is no threat to her life. Should I-"

"We will contact her from our side. Now, let us move to a room where we can sit and discuss." She then loocked at me in a serious tone. "We have work to do."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belial POV

 

 

We arrived at a place bordering Valois and the Merchant Union. We passed by the toll gate by paying some gold. I did this so that we wouldn't rouse any suspicion of who we are and what our objectives are. We went through it without any problems and proceeded to walk towards our first objective destination, the Great Prairie. 7 days of travelling and we arrived at a bustling city of Catanzaro. We immediately went to a nearby inn to reserve a room for us to use later.

We went inside and went to the counter where a woman was standing.

 

"I would like to book your most largest and expensive room. We will only use it for a night."

The woman stared at me for quiet a while and spoke. "Uhmm... That would be 200 gold, sir. The prize is such because-"

"Is it available or not?" I asked her sternly.

"Ye-yes, it is available." The flustered woman answered.

"Here." I handed her a pouch with 250 gold inside. "We would purchase mounts later so the extra is for fodder and materials. Does the payment include our meals?"

"Ye-yes, sir. I-it is al-already included." She said while averting her eyes.

"Mm." I turned around and spoke. "Kapharel, Sygax, You remain in the room for the mean time. Seraphiel and I will buy something first."

""Yes, milord."" They said in unison.

I turned back to face the receptionist and said. "The keys?"

The woman became flustered and said. "Ye-yes sir. He-here. Your room is at the top floor. The whole top floor is your room and it is already equipped with its own bathroom and study." She handed me a golden key.

I took it and gave it to Kapharel. "Here. Make yourselves at home. And behave yourselves."

"Yes, milord." Kapharel bowed then took our luggage and went up with Sygax on tow.

"Let's go." I gestured Seraphiel who was beside me.

"Yes, milord."

 

We walked through the busy streets while looking for stores that are selling mounts. Multiple pickpockets tried to steal my coin pouch but they ended up with broken fingers and dislocated wrists. I didn't make a distinction, be it man or woman. They all suffered from trying to pickpocket me. Soon, a town guard came shouting.

 

"Hey! Stop! You in the black cloak! Stop!" I didn't stop though. I know he is calling to me but he dares make me, a great king, stop on his behest?

"I said stop! As this town's guard, I demand that you seize your footsteps or I will strike you for not listening to my words!" I still continued to walk though, not minding him.

 

I heard a sword unsheath and the guard shouted at me while striking me from behind. I didn't do anything and the sword hit my shoulders. This was the time that I turned around and stared at the guard menacingly.

 

"What?" I said while showing a displeased face.

The guard shivered and said. "I-I was ca-calling you e-earlier but-"

"What is it that you want that you dared bother me and struck me down in a crowded road? You better give me a proper explanation or else..." I threatened him. I didn't bother releasing my intent and bloodlust. All people around me might die due to the heaviness of the pressure.

"A-a-a woman a-a-asked for m-my help! Sh-she said yo-you di-dislocated her wrist a-and fingers!"

"The pickpocket, you mean?"

"I am no pickpocket! You dare lie!" A woman then screamed at me and continued. "You said you wanted me to have a night with you while grabbing my hand but I refused so you twisted my hand!"

Such nonsense. I turned my attention to the hooded Seraphiel. "Seraphiel, did I do that?"

She then removed her cloak and spoke. "You didn't, milord. We were just walking to find mounts."

 

Everyone had their mouths hanging after seeing Seraphiel. Who wouldn't? With an angelic beauty and countenance, how could one who is her companion think of any other woman? I looked at the guard and said.

 

"My woman said I didn't. In the first place, why would I want any other woman when I have her?" I asked the guard.

"Ye-yes... It-it is as you say. Sorry for the inconvenience, milord." He then bowed down deeply towards me.

"I will let it slip just this once. It will never happen again." I then turned around and said. "Seraphiel, hoods on. Let's go."

"Yes, Milord." She hid her face with her hood again and we disappeared from the crowd.

 

A few minutes later, seeing that there is no one following us, we moved back to looking for mounts. We arrived at a big building at the outskirts of the city that featured some of their mounts at the store front. I went inside and saw a man with a woman sitting on his lap. As if he didn't see me, he continued to frolic with the woman. I released some of my pressure and directed it to the couple. They both paled when they felt it and immediatelyjumped out of the chair. They looked at me but I looked at them with unguilty eyes. The man propped himself up and spoke.

 

"Welcome to our humble firm, customers. Forgive me for my earlier actions. I mean no offense. I-"

"Do you have mounts that can travel at great distances?"

"Are you trying to get an ordinary mont or an attack mount?"

"What's the difference?" I asked.

"Ordinary mounts like warboars, rock stags and gila walkers are used as mounts but cannot fight back if attacked. Attack mounts like shadow saber, ice leopards, earth lions and salamanders can fight back depending on the enemy."

"Then, what are best mounts for long distance travel that could fend for itself."

"Those would be the shadow sabers, sir. The lions are strong but lacks the stamina. Leopards have the stamina but cannot run for long distances. Salamanders are slow and unreliable in long distances."

"You seem to be ery honest with your assessment?"

"With one such as yourself, I dare not lie. I am shrewd but not stupid, sir."

"Mm. I would like to see them."

"This way, sir."

 

We were led to a large room where the attack mounts are caged and locked away. We then reached a corner by which glowing yellow eyes could be seen even in the dark. Before the man from the counter spoke, I directed my attention to Seraphiel.

 

"Do the picking. I will look around to look at the other mounts they have."

"By your will, milord."

 

I left Seraphiel and went around the cages, eyeing something that would interest me. Soon, it led me to a very large room with a huge cage in the middle. I then moved closer to look at what is inside when it suddenly, someone spoke to me telepathically.

 

[Who are you and why are you here? Judging from your aura, you are not human.]

[Introduce and reveal yourself first. That's common courtesy.]

[The one bound in front of you is the one talking to you. I have no name nor do I remember any moniker on myself. I am a Simir and I am the last of my kind.]

[I am here to purchase mounts to use in my travels to the Great Prairiedown to the Sundering Sea. I want a mount that would be strong enough to defend for itself.]

[There are many mounts where you just came from. Perhaps what you need is in there and not here.]

[Perhaps. But if I say I am on a quest for world domination and the extinction of the human race, would you believe me?]

[That is... You know that mankind have God's backing, right? Such a move is suicidal, even for one as strong as you.]

[You won't know unless you go out of your cage. Choose. Come with me or live your life here.]

[Even if I am willing, I cannot go out of here. I am shackled with some sort of mineral that makes me unable to use magicka and my strength. I am abound in this place and only the owner could release me. The chains are cursed and it is effective to anyone who dares touch it without the key.]

Before I could answer the animal, the man from the counter approached me. "Sir, I... I am afraid that is not for sale."

Without turning around, I asked. "Why?"

"Well... That creature is too powerful that my ancestor bound it with specialized mithril chains that could only be removed with the proper key. We made such a decision because that creature killed 4 customers who wanted to buy it."

"How much?"

"Wha-what sir?"

"How much for this mount?"

"Didn't you hear wat I just told you sir?! That thing is dangerous!"

"Just tell me how much and I'll buy it." I said with a commanding voice.

"Tha-that creature was supposed to be sold for... uhmmm... A hundred thousand gold but... since that thing is hazardous both to me and my firm, I'll sell it to you ofr half the prize."

I turned around and threw to him a big bag containing 60 thousand gold coins. "I gave you an extra 10 thousand for the saddles of the mounts including the one my servant chose. I don't think that will cost more than the amount I gave you."

"Ye-yes, it is enough."

"Good." I then handed him a piece of paper. "Go to that inn and deliver our mounts. I will take this one out first."

"Ye-yes sir. He-here is the key to its chains. Sir, whatever happens-"

"Shut up."

"Ye-yes. I-I will now shu-shut up." He hushed his mouth as I went inside the cage and unlocked the beast.

 

When the chain fell off, the beast stretched itself and let out a loud roar. Afterwards, it looked at me as if it was challenging me. Natrally, I released my pressure by releasing my restraint to my passive skill, 'Dominion'. Soon, the beast felt the pressure coming out of me. After a few moments, it bowed down and said telepathically.

 

[Forgive me for testing you, master. I am willing to serve you with the best of my capabilities.]

[Mm. I, King Belial, thus name you Avestan. Serve me well.]

[Yes, master.]

 

I then looked into its status.

 

Name: Avestan Level: 700
Titles: Matriach of the Simir, Last Decendant of the Simir, The Betrayed
Species: Simir (Simurgh)
Health: 504/49500 Magicka: 509/74250
Stamina: 612/42000 Strength: 26250
Intelligence: 11140 Agility: 60450
Dexterity: 52750 Vitality: 49000
Endurance: 41000 Luck: 27
Active Skills
Pyromancy Lvl 37 Poison Magic Lvl 25
Life Magic Lvl 34 Barrier Magic Lvl 31
Passive Skills
Windrunner Nature Blessing (Nature's Aura)
Fire Blessing (Heat Aura) Devotion
Status
Weakened Cursed (Minor)
Malnourished Master: King Belial

 

Seeing her status, I could deduce that she had been chained for a while now. I reached out on my pouch and showed her a purple potion.

 

"Drink this. It will make you recover your strength faster."

 

I shoved the potion into Avestan's throat and empied it. When Seraphiel arrived at my side as she finished up with the purchase, we decided to return to our inn as there was nothing here to see anymore. We walked to the now sparsely populated streets and soon arrived att our in. I went inside to talk to the receptionist about Avestan while living her to Seraphiel's capable hands. Soon, she was escorted to the stables. Seraphiel and I then went upstairs and changed our clothes. After a while, we went down with Sygax and Kapharel. We asked for some supper in the counter and then went to a vacant table where we sat, waiting for our meals. It was then that Sygax spoke.

 

"Master, why the pretense? Why do we have to act like humans and do what they are doing? Can't we just ravage this town and make it submit through sheer might?"

"And make the church identify and tag us? Not happening."

"Are you... scared of the church?"

I looked at Sygax's careless remark and said with a cold voice. "If you weren't a servant and subordinate of mine, I would have killed you on the spot."

She shivered and said. "I mean no disrespect, Master but-"

"The reason is that I needed to lay low for a while. I may be strong but I am not yet ready to face Heaven's biggest weapons yet. I am making precautions, Sygax. Heaven's eyes only ever focus on big happenings and there was never an instance that Heaven looked for a specific person. I am not Helel. I may have my pride bt I am not stupid. Courage is different from recklessness. I want everything to be in order before I could confront Heaven and its heralds."

"Is that so? I thought that you would go on a rampage the first moment you obtained the power you have now but I guess you are right. Caution is better than rash actions."

 

We then silently enjoyed our meals when suddenly, a pompous fat man with 6 guards behind him approached our table. He then eyed my companions and smiled shrewedly. He then sat down and spoke.

 

"I heard you assaulted someone earlier and I also heard that you are currently occupying the room that I, Don Milan, have reserved first. Such affront to the great me... Tell me, boy. How are you going to pay for your transgressions toward the son of the Fiore Merchant Union? Hmmm?"

 

I only stared at the fat pig and thought. Such a cliche moment. And with a terrible plot from a badly written novel, I can't even begin to fathom how I triggered such an event. I just smiled and said.

 

"Tell me, Fatass. In what way do you want to be served? Roasted, fried, sauteed or raw?"

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About the author

Kurayn-sensei

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!

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