Chapter #109 – The Black Raven Kingdom
It had been a gamble, but everything had worked out. Daneel had just been hoping that there wouldn’t be a hike, but the news about the 10% decrease in cost was a welcome boon.
In fact, all of what Daneel had said were mere speculations, but their potential impact was so high that Eldinor had no choice but to take them seriously. After all, when matters such as a whole continent ganging up on a single Kingdom were involved, it was best to be cautious.
As for any potential consequences, Daneel couldn’t care less unless they arrived too soon. All he needed was some time to shift the dependence on Eldinor, during which there also shouldn’t be an extra strain on the finances of the Kingdom.
Thus, he smiled wide seeing that he had accomplished this with flying colors. Of course, the sight of the arrogant Elf being made to run away especially after her overbearing actions was a delight to see. Even Daneel himself was a little shocked regarding how well everything had gone.[Achievement: Negotiator-1 obtained. 1000 EXP awarded.
Negotiator-1: By using your quick wit and creativity, you have managed to get your Kingdom out of a potentially disastrous situation. Congratulations on embarking on the path of a Master Negotiator! Please accomplish more successful negotiations to unlock higher tiers of this award.
Total EXP: 1000]
As always, the system was there to congratulate and reward him on accomplishing something significant.
In the throne room, except for Bevis, everyone else were conversing happily because the satisfaction they felt at this moment even made them forget where they were.
Allowing it to go on for a few more seconds, Daneel nodded at Kellor to resume the proceedings of the Royal Court.
With the same mute spell, everyone resumed their seats albeit with grins still on their faces.
Of the envoys, Bos had been clapping and smiling along with the others. From his pure happiness, it couldn’t even be deduced whether his was a child-like imitation of the atmosphere or whether he truly got some happiness from the Elf’s actions.
That was not the case with Skkrag. A smile that almost split his face in half had spread across his face on seeing Eldra leave. In his eyes, Daneel had seen a similar joy of seeing a common enemy defeated and made to surrender.
Finally, Bevis had had a slightly shocked expression hearing Daneel’s words and seeing Eldra’s reaction. But after that, he had mostly maintained a neutral expression except for smiling faintly on seeing the raucousness in the room.
Now, with the throne room silent again, Bevis stood up to speak.
From his coat, he took out a black bird with shining feathers. Although it looked like a raven, it had a resplendent look which made everyone in the room focus on the sight of this silent bird.
There seemed to be intelligence in its eyes, while it looked around examining the new place it had been brought to.
In the corner of his eye, Daneel noticed that Faxul, who was standing with his back to him, was shaking as if controlling something. Although it couldn’t be observed much from the front, Daneel could clearly see that his friend was very agitated about something, judging from his back which was quivering, as if he was resisting the urge to leap forward.
Seeing this, Daneel gazed at Bevis pensively, wondering what this man or his Kingdom had done in order to elicit such a reaction from his closest friend.
Alas, this was the Royal Court, and he would have to make his queries later.
“On the command of the Black Raven King, Lord Tenebrol, I present this Eminent Human-tier Guardian Beast to King Daneel. With the blessings of our legendary Protector, the Holy Black Raven, he hopes that it can be of assistance to you in the glorious reign that will surely bring much happiness and wealth to the people of Lanthanor.”
In his other hand, a silver cage appeared which he gestured towards with the hand that the raven was perched on.
Taking a leap, the raven entered the cage and kept looking around, while Bevis closed the door of the cage and handed it to Kellor.
As Daneel took the cage in his hands and gazed at the raven, it looked into his eyes seeing that someone new was holding the cage. It cocked its head, almost as if it were trying to figure out if it had seen him before.
Daneel had heard about Guardian Beasts. They were a fighter’s or mage’s best companion, but the difficulty inherent in breeding them made it so that they were priced very high. Besides, the Black Raven Kingdom was the only one which could successfully breed a Guardian Beast which could be bound with blood. This art was the most precious secret of the Kingdom, and they guarded it with their life.
Able to understand the intentions of their masters without even needing words to be spoken, a good Guardian Beast could possibly double the power of a fighter. As for mages, the best use of Guardian Beasts was to protect them and counter the weakness of their body.
With the exceptional practicality of Guardian Beasts, Daneel had been puzzled as to why the Black Raven Kingdom still hadn’t grown more powerful than the others especially given their true monopoly over the product.
The reason was at least according to what everyone else in the continent knew, Eminent Human-tier Beasts were the strongest that could be bred.
Thus, this severely decreased their value. Even then, they cost double that of what the best combat trinkets did for that level.
Setting aside the cage, Daneel motioned for Bevis to continue. He remembered this envoy’s stance during the coronation, and now wondered whether the show with the elf had changed whatever orders he had had.
Indeed, Bevis had relayed the happenings in the court to his Kingdom and had been tasked with new commands.
“Your Majesty, Lord Tenebrol requests a meeting with you at the earliest to discuss a pressing matter. He is prepared to come to the border which our Kingdoms share as soon as you give the confirmation. He also asked me to say that this concerns the ‘Big Four’.”
Bevis had originally been told to ask the new King to make a visit himself. After all, Daneel was just 16 years old, giving others a feeling of vulnerability.
Yet, his tact in dealing with Eldinor had made the other Kingdoms change their view on him, at least for now. Thus, the arrogant demand had changed into this humble request.
The ‘Big Four’ were the four superpowers in the continent who mostly kept to themselves. Daneel was puzzled regarding what could be so urgent, but he did not want to make any hasty decisions.
“All right. You will have my answer by the morrow.”, he said, making Bevis bow and sit back down.
Lastly, Skkrag stood up.
“Your Majesty, the Hidden Kill Sect sends its regards and congratulations on account of your ascension to the throne. As you must know, our Sect is the only one which specializes in training assassins. For the first time in history, our Sect has decided to extend an invitation towards your Kingdom to send 100 Fighters and 100 Mages who will be taught the art of assassination by our best masters.”
A hush came over the throne room as this proclamation was made.
The Hidden Kill Sect indeed specialized in training the one person who could strike fear into any person across the continent: an assassin. Their motto was to finish a contract once it was accepted, no matter what. In fact, they had risen to fame when they successfully carried out an assassination of a King.
This was really, as Skkrag said, an unprecedented offer. The sect had the most stringent conditions when it came to selecting potential candidates. But now, it would allow a whopping 200 members of Lanthanor’s army to learn their secret arts?
No one could even ascertain how valuable such a gift was, unlike the other gifts which had a certain monetary value.
Thus, the throne room waited for whatever shocking request the Sect would place that would make sense for it to offer something that hadn’t been seen in the known history of Angaria.