Chapter 689: A Gift from Holy Rock City (Part 1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Duke Bard followed the cue, smiled, and said, “Irene, does Your Highness, Saleen, have the intention of joining Holy Rock City in attacking the Tanggulasi Empire?”
“Duke, you will have to discuss this with my King yourself. The only way to get to Tanggulasi from Metatrin is through Luolan.”
Although Irene did not hold a rank of nobility in the past, she was still a member of a noble family. With regards to such probing questions, she knew that the right thing to do was to not give an outright answer. If she had given the wrong answer, Saleen would be unhappy.
“You can pass through Laiyin Duchy as well,” Duke Bard said with a smile. His expression was a friendly one and it was as if his dispute with Irene just now never happened.
“Provided Sikeqinya is agreeable, otherwise wouldn’t we be giving Holy Rock City trouble?” Irene replied calmly.
Bard did not manage to obtain any information. He thought to himself, “This Saleen gave the title of ‘Duke’ to four people just as he was still building up his Kingdom. Although it sounds ridiculous, it was actually a good way to tie the noble families to his side. This Irene is already a Duke at such a young age, there is no way others will be able to tempt her away from Saleen.”
Holy Rock City could not possibly give her the privileges of a Duke. Since it was not possible, there was no loophole in what Saleen did. Before he left, Prince Safilos had tasked Bard with observing how the internal affairs of Metatrin were run. At the moment, he could see no weaknesses. Of the four Dukes, this lady from the Williams family should be the easiest to be bought over.
Bard reached Metatrin City with a conflicted feeling. The city walls of Metatrin City were so grand that Bard felt giddy looking at them. This time around, even the sorcerers, Tiffany and Stephanie, were impressed. Holy Rock City did not send any spies and only obtained information from some merchants. Without the support of magic projection, no one knew how majestic Metatrin City looked.
By right, sorcerers from Holy Rock City should not be thinking this way. The snow-white city walls of Metatrin City looked so flawless, it was as if they were cut out using magic. Even though a battle had just taken place not long ago, it was already thoroughly cleaned up with magic. Dante’s Sequence extended through several miles. Any mage that came before the city wall would not be able to help but feel awed.
“This must be worth quite a fortune!” Tiffany was impressed.
This time, Stephanie did not say much. Dante’s Sequence surpassed the Figaro Magic Formula so a lot of materials must have been used to build up this city wall.
The city gates opened and magic gun salutes sounded. Even the low-ranking officers in the group of envoys had to give Metatrin some respect. They were originally chatting away by themselves, but the moment they saw Metatrin City, they naturally shut up.
This city had the looks of the capital of a Kingdom. It was even fit to be the royal capital of an Empire.
Saleen still did not come forth to extend his welcome. Instead, it was Daniel who received them in the city. As someone who was in charge of the daily political duties of the city and as a grade-6 death mage, it was still befitting of his status to receive an Empire’s Duke.
Daniel’s welcome was another blow to Bard. When Saleen reorganized his forces, he specially ensured that there would be an army of spirits of the dead. Even though Daniel was in charge of the daily political duties, he was also the leader of this army of spirits of the dead.
Therefore, when Daniel came forth to extend his welcome, he was riding on the gigantic pikoosi and hundreds of spirits of the dead soldiers followed behind. These soldiers were not skeletons, instead they were zombies of a higher level. These zombies wore armor and did not smell at all. They had all been cleansed with death magic and the soul flames in their eyes were purple in color.
Daniel was all smiles as Tiffany came closer to Bard. Daniel was courteous and performed a mage’s greeting to Grand Sorcerer Tiffany first before saying to Bard, “Your Grace, welcome to Metatrin City!”
Although he sounded courteous and respectful, Daniel did not dismount from the pikoosi. He instead stood on the pikoosi’s forehead and it was as if he was looking down on them.
Bard did not dare to approach so he could only reciprocate the greeting as he was afraid that Daniel would get closer. If Daniel got too close, Bard’s warhorse would not be able to take it. Their mount’s difference in grades was too great. Bard’s warhorse was probably only a grade-2 magic beast.
The pikoosi’s three enormous heads swung to the left and right. When they saw the two mages behind Bard, they stopped dead in their tracks.
“My Lord invites everyone to the palace straightaway,” Daniel noticed the grade-8 sorcerers in the party as well and was in awe. He spoke with more respect now.
By right, the three-thousand soldiers that had escorted the group of envoys should stay in western town. Saleen did not give such a command so everyone was led to Metatrin City. Under Daniel’s command, his own officers took over the escorting of Bard and the group of envoys so that the soldiers could be led to the campsites in the city.
The streets were extremely wide and Saleen had arranged for crowds to gather on both sides. The low-ranking officials in the group took out some coins and threw them to the sides. The people that made up the crowd were mainly soldiers that were on leave so only a few kids bothered to pick up the coins.
Irene was assured. From the beginning, Saleen’s soldiers were trained in discipline instead of combat skills. Without their officer’s order, none of the soldiers picked up the coins. The coins thrown out were all bronze coins so they were not that attractive anyway.
No one seemmed to care much, practically no one in Metatrin City was free now since everyone was busy at work. Saleen had no choice but to use the soldiers that were on leave. He left those that were busy at training alone.
Bard felt bothered. It was clear to him that the commoners on both sides of the street did not come forth voluntarily. The people of Metatrin City must be a bunch that had yet to see the real world.
If they were a bunch of people that had yet to see the real world, they should be in a rush to witness this sight instead!
The palace was built in the north of the city and was smaller than half of the temple. The walls were not tall and the gardens were modest in size, but its front door was unusually majestic.
Tiffany only needed a glance to know that the front door of the palace was one yard shorter than that of the palace of Holy Rock City. This was definitely not unintentional. A mage’s eyes could easily detect a difference as small as a strand of hair.
The guards in the group were led to a nearby space to set up camp. It was forbidden for soldiers that were fully armed to enter the palace. Aside from Duke Bard and the two mages, the entire group of envoys were now left with about one-hundred people.
Daniel dismounted from the pikoosi and patted one of its heads signaling it to leave. Tiffany observed this and gained a deeper understanding of the people around Saleen.
All of them were extraordinary. This gigantic spirit of the dead could roam around the city freely and did not need to be controlled by a mage. This must be a high-level spirit of the dead with intelligence. On top of that, the people in the city would not panic because of this spirit of the dead. That meant that they were all already used to how Saleen’s subordinates and noble families went about doing things. No one would be surprised to see this huge spirit of the dead roaming around the city on its own.
Looks like his Majesty’s judgment was accurate. Saleen’s foundation was solid and had a lot of support behind him.
There were actually slight errors in Tiffany’s deduction. It was purely by accident that Saleen gained such a capable assistant like Daniel and the latter’s spirit of the dead also came to him by accident. The people of Metatrin City had just survived a terrifying battle in which the spirits of the dead played a major role that greatly reduced casualties. These citizens mostly came from Qin and so, they did not fear death mages. The pikoosi also possessed intelligence so it would not harass ordinary people. Within one to two months, everyone had already gotten used to this gigantic creature’s existence.
As for his Majesty, Ojarvis believed in Saleen’s ability largely because of his sister. In Ojarvis’ heart, Lex was someone who was a better judge of character and more intelligent than his uncle. A person who had been spoken highly of by Lex must possess a certain standard.
This palace was usually the campsite of the palace swordsmen battalion. Saleen usually did not stay there and only used this location to conduct meetings with the noble families. His temple was his private space and no outsiders were allowed to enter.
The soldiers in the palace looked imposing as they were clad in grand-looking armor and armed with long swords. These armors were as useful as a sheet of paper in a real battle, but it was comfortable to wear and could conserve energy when the soldiers were patrolling or performing sentry duties.
These ten-thousand Caucasus people that had been picked by Saleen were not meant to fight in battles. They would change into another set of clothes and equipment when it was time for their training.
Only the Grand Hall, that was used to perform administrative duties, looked more majestic than the rest of the castle. When the group of envoys were invited into the Grand Hall, Saleen finally appeared. He was wearing the devil armor suit that Joey had refined for him, except for the mask.
Saleen did not restrain himself this time and walked out of the palace to welcome the group. He could not afford to be discourteous to the grade-8 sorcerers in the group.
Nicholas accompanied Saleen. The former whispered in the latter’s ear. With a smile, Saleen bowed to the two mages behind Bard and said, “Grand Mage Tiffany… May I know who this Grand Mage is?”
Tiffany stared at Nicholas and said honestly, “This is Grand Mage Stephanie.”
“I am honored by the presence of two Grand Mages. It must have been a long journey for you and Duke Bard.” Saleen’s tone was now gentler and he appeared very civilized.
“Your Highness, you are too kind,” Tiffany replied. In Qin, a King could only be addressed as ‘Your Highness’. In the past, a King in Cloudflow could be addressed as ‘Your Majesty’ as well, but that was forcefully changed by the Cloudflow Emperor. Since then, there were no more Kings in the entire Mainland and the Kings of Duchies were reduced to Dukes. Now that Saleen has proclaimed himself to be a King and this had been acknowledged by Holy Rock City, he could not be addressed as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Your Excellency’.
Behind Saleen were Aini and the rest, including the twelve Earls. They had all come to see the group of envoys from Qin.
“Let us talk inside,” Saleen’s youthful face broke into a smile. He had thought that this day would come only a few years later. Now that Holy Rock City had given him face, he must not be disrespectful!
He was the King and had already been recognized by the Qin Emperor. No one would deny him of his bloodline now. In the future, he would be able to officially award ranks of nobility and send out expeditions.