“Remember the people who attacked us? If I’m not wrong, we hurt the attacker’s commander leg. … On the same side as his.”
“… Then, it can’t be…”
“It is just a possibility. For now, keep your guard up.”
After he was done whispering, Wayne urged the guide to continue.
Shortly after, they arrived in front of a big door.
“This would be the place for the audience. Please wait for a moment…”
The officer disappeared as he entered the door, while Wayne and the others wait. In the meantime, he noticed the picture hanging on the sidewall.
“…. This is a bit different…”
Wayne nodded in response to Raklum voice.
“A merchant and a scale. A picture of a merchant who had died with a vast amount of wealth, but as his accumulated virtue put on the scale, the result he ended up in hell. However… I see…”
“Is there anything?”
“No, compared to the paintings in the main hall, this one is quite severe but, at the same time, the topic its represent was very common. However, since the panting is being placed here, meaning this is a very important one…”
As Wayne was about to answer his question, an official appeared from behind the door.
“The preparation is complete. Everyone, please enter.”
Finally. As they passed through the door with extreme caution, Wayne glanced at Raklum.
Several guards and vassals were inside of the hall, and a man was sitting on the throne.
The man who was sitting on the throne dressed in colorful attire, and on his head, he was wearing a brilliant crown. Wayne could feel the weight he carries as the man who had been supporting the country for many years.
He was the King of Cabarine, and also one of the saint lords, Ordorasse.
Step by step, Wayne was getting closer to the throne. He could feel strong distrust coming from the surrounding.
(It seems we’re not being welcomed, huh?)
So far, the situation was something he had expected. On the other hand, the one that was on his man was Ordorasse who sits on the throne. Wayne didn’t feel any hostility from him.
While feeling the discrepancy between the King and his vassals, Wayne stops ten steps away from the throne and paid his courtesy.
“This is our first time meeting, King Ordorasse. I am the crown prince of the Kingdom of Natra, Wayne Salema Albarest. I would like to thank you for inviting me to your country—…”
It was around that time when he was delivering his words.
Suddenly, King Ordorasse stood up.
He walked toward Wayne and then without hesitation took Wayne’s hand.
“I’m Cabarine’s King, Ordorasse. Thank you for coming all the way here. Welcome, Prince Wayne.”
Wayne was taken aback due to his sudden behavior. It was not unusual for a King to walk to messengers and shake their hands. If King Ordorasse had such temper, then it would be more confusing why his vassals had such behavior.
“I’ve always wanted to exchange words with you. I’m very thankful that you would spare your time and accepted my invitation…”
That said, Ordorasse continued his welcoming words…
“We can’t talk leisurely here. First, let us move to a different place. There are also some people I want to introduce to you, so let me guide you…”
As soon as he finished his words, Ordorasse begins to walk, and his vassals immediately followed behind him.
Wayne then glanced at Raklum.
“… What should we do?”
“… Well, we have no choice but to go…”
Wayne then walked following the King, while feeling worried by the unpredictable behavior of the King.
During the time Wayne arrived in the throne room.
Zeno was hiding behind the back alley shadow, alone.
She gazed at a large mansion. Guards were patrolling the area, indicating the mansion belonged to a noble family.
Here, in this section of the city was what called the noble residences district. Normal citizens rarely passed this district, and even the hustle-bustle holy spirit festival didn’t reach this place much.
Then, as Zeno was being nervous, a carriage stopped in front of the mansion.
The man that came down from the carriage was— Horonie…
At that moment, Zeno’s eyes opened wide and her hand extended to her sword. She bent her knees and regulate her breath, in the meantime, Horonie turned his back toward Zeno, unaware of her presence—…
A dagger was struck at her throat without her noticing.
Ninim stood behind Zeno, as she opened his eyes in surprise.
“I don’t want to move a corpse here if possible…”
“If you going to follow my order, then take off your hand from the sword.”
Zeno bites her lips. During such a brief conversation, Horonie had entered the mansion. It was clear, that she had lost her time. She then decided to slowly relax her hand holding the sword.
“I was curious about your plan for today but, I never thought that you would attempt to assassinate an important person of this country in broad daylight…”
As Ninim drew a dagger from her neck, Zeno stared at her.
“You’re in the way…”
“Of course. I would be in your way.”
Zeno was a person that Wayne brought in. Regardless of the success of her assassination attempt, her allegation alone would jeopardize Wayne’s position. Thus, her action was something that Ninim could not overlook.
(Rather, we’ve already considered this kind of possibility…)
But, Zeno’s expression was filled with a grudge. While she could predict some of the reasons but, she didn’t seem to plan on sabotaging the Natra-Cabarine alliance.
“For the time being, let us move. it would be troublesome if we’re accused of criminal activity…”
Although she looks going to rebel, Zeno still followed Ninim steps.
Ninim then headed further away from the aristocrats’ district. After walking for a while, they arrived in front of a small building in the middle of the noise of the festival and entered.
“… This place?”
“This is one of the safe houses for our spy.”
Ninim sat down on a nearby chair. Zeno also sits on a chair after being urged by her.
“… Is it fine to show me this place?”
“Not really. But, I need a place to calm down.”
Zeno then looked down and looking at her own hands. Ninim noticed her trembling hands but she didn’t say anything.
Eventually, Zeno was the one who opened her mouth first.
“The royal palace was in turmoil when the news that Cabarine broke through the border arrived. It was natural, after all, most of the army was preoccupied with Natra.”
“Still, we’re trying our best to gather as many soldiers as we could, in hope of holding the capital while waiting for the army to withdraw from the gold mine. In fact, we should’ve been able to protect it.”
Zeno clenched her fist as hard as she could.
“But that man, Horonue, betrayed us, and opened the capital gate!”
*I see,* Ninim thought.
She had thought Cabarine surprise attack aside, the Marden surrendering their capital was too fast. Turn out, behind that, it was the result of a close vassal betrayal.
With that information, she could understand why Zeno bear such a grudge against Horonie. And as a result of his service, Horonie was being hired by the Cabarine.
“If that traitor didn’t sell our country, my father would still…”
“Your family is one of the victims during the royal capital attacks?”
Ninim asked the question in response to Zeno’s words but, in response to her, Zeno was flustered instead.
“A-Ah… RIght. They got caught up…”
Ninim thought her reaction was strange. But, if she tried to step in, Zeno might draw some distance. If she wanted to build some trust, she needs to pay attention and switchgear…
“I understand your situation. But even with that, I can’t just allow you to assassinate Horonie. In my opinion, if you think about your homeland, you should make contact with all of the saint lords than attempting for an assassination.”
“That is impossible. I’m only a member of staff, how am I going to do that…”
“The reason why his highness Wayne was being invited here, there’s a high probability it was related to the holy conference.”
“… Which means, there’s an opportunity, huh?”
“Compared to causing confusion, I think that is better?”
Zeno closed her eyes and sighed.
“… I understand. There is something that I need to check, so I guess I will see the situation for now.”
“If you’ve decided that then, it would save us a lot.”
It seems she won’t just lose control. But of course, Ninim didn’t have any plan to let her guard down.
“Still… A traitor, huh?”
Zeno tiled her head in response to Ninim muttering.
“No, well, I just thought if Wayne heard this, I wonder how he would respond…”
As Ninim smiled, Zeno grew more confused.
(—This is weird…)
Currently, Wayne was walking along the corridor of the royal palace.
Next to him was Ordorasse, who walks and explaining the paintings and sculptures along the way, while Wayne responded suitably as he indulges in his own thought.
(This welcome attitude was consistent with the report. They want to have a friendly relation with Natra.)
However, this welcoming behavior was a bit too much for that— As he thought that, he decided to put this matter aside. The following thought was what he need to consider…
(But, if Ordorasse wants a friendly relationship with us, then what was that ambush all about?)
Wayne had predicted that ambush was done by Cabarine. However, they might also actually a bandit group, unrelated to Cabarine. Which was the correct answer…
He tried to put together the puzzle in the back of his mind and draw a conclusion but, it didn’t work. There was not enough information.
Due to his unexpected call, Wayne ended his thought and turn his gaze toward King Ordorasse. Then he continues talking with a mysterious look on his face.
“Since I heard you’re a smart person, I believe you have some insight but, there is a reason why I’ve invited you at this time.”
“A reason is it? Now then, I wonder what is it?”
“There’s nothing to worry. Since this would be something you would’ve welcomed as well…”
As he said that, Ordorasse stopped walking. In front of them was a door.
“King Ordorasse, the one you want to introduce to me is here?”
Wayne showed some expectations toward the person Ordorasse going to introduce. While feeling fully convinced.
(The person behind this door definitely one of the seven saint lords, I wonder which one…)
Having the King saying he wants to introduce someone to Wayne during the day the holy conference was being held, it was not hard to guess… Behind this door, there was probably a saint lord who was close to King Ordorasse.
(Seeing Ordorasse behavior, it would be reasonable or me to think that the saint lords side also wants to have a friendly conversation with me… I guess they want to add Natra to their strength, as we had predicted huh?)
Other than that, they might be aiming at the Gold mine. Instead of giving a country from their own faction a favor, they were going to use that excuse to get Wayne in… And after looking at the situation movement, they decided that they should strengthen their relationship with Natra.
(Fine then, let me take part. However…)
He was not sure of how many people inside the room but, he was sure that the people inside the room were those who start all of this situation.
(Let me tell you guys, it won’t be easy to bring me to your side. I will make sure that the other side get the message)
As Wayne being enthusiastic, the door was opened in front of him.
Wayne and Ordorasse then entered the room. Inside, several people were waiting.
6 people to be more precise.
Somehow there were a lot of them.
There were currently seven saint lords including the holy king.
If he includes Ordorasse, there were 7 people already.
Which coincidentally the same amount of people.
(Wait a moment… This is…)
“Let me introduce him, this is Prince Wayne.”
As Ordorasse declared, Wayne’s cheek twitched.
“And these people are those who support Levetianism. They are the saint lords who gathered in the Kingdom of Cabarine for the sake of holy conference.”
(Wait a moment please?!)
Wayne shouted inside his mind.
(Don’t joke around, you moron! To pull me in front of everyone like this so suddenly, what are you trying to do?!)
This place, where the seven saint lords gathered was the place where the holy conference would be held.
The holy conference was one of the most important international conferences in the western part of the continent. Everyone present here had a huge influence.
Which made Wayne’s reaction -who was a prince from a small country- normal. He had anticipated one or two of them waited inside the room but, for all of them to be inside the room was unexpected for him.
“… Ordorasse, what does this mean?”
“To make us wait this long, I was wondering what is going on but… Prince Wayne huh?”
(Wait, you guys also didn’t know all about this?!)
Seeing the confused reaction from the six people, Wayne realized that all of this was Ordorasse personal idea.
At the same time, Wayne feels chills run down his spine. Wayne and the saint lords, was all Ordorasse action was only for the sake of introducing him to the saint lords?
No, the answer would be impossible.
(This is bad, I’m completely being swallowed by the flow!)
Wayne desperately pondered the situation, but it was too late. The path to turning back had already been closed.
“For all saint lords present here, I would like to bring out a proposal.”
Ordorasse, ignoring the situation opened his mouth and caused further chaos.
“This Wayne Salema Albarest, I want to recommend him to be a new saint lord!”
Thus, immediately following Ordorasse’s remark, everything went chaotic.