Chapter #166 – Meeting Again
In the north of Elfaven, there was a building which had been abandoned around 10 years ago. Apparently, the owner had been someone who had taken loans amounting to the equivalent of 100,000 gold Lans after giving this building as surety.
In the end, it turned out that the building was owned by someone else in the countryside who didn’t even know that they had inherited it. Finally, the government had intervened to take over the building as the original owner had waived all his rights of ownership due to not wanting to get involved in such a scandal.
At midnight, two days after the meeting in the Elvish Carnival, a woman quietly made her way over before looking around and entering this building after ensuring that no one was surveilling her.
Inside, the same pot-bellied man was sitting at a broken table on a chair which only had three legs.
Seeing him, the woman who entered heaved a sigh of relief before making her way over and taking a seat on the other end of the table.
“I gathered that the information about the first meeting was leaked without you wanting it to?”
Hearing the man talk directly in this way without giving any greeting, Eldra frowned slightly before saying, “Yes, your man was dumb enough to give me something so important in a place which is covered by surveillance equipment. The Queen saw me opening the parchment and I had no choice but to hand it over”.
Smiling to himself, Daneel realized that the meeting was already going well. Indeed, he had chosen this location from Olfax’s suggestion that it was a place which was seldom patrolled due to its location out of the way of all the main roads.
Seeing the man just smile to himself and look at her with piercing green eyes, Eldra tapped on the table and said, “Good job choosing this place. If I didn’t make my way over in the morning to temporarily deactivate the trinkets surrounding it, you would be having a meeting with the Queen right now”.
Raising his eyebrows, Daneel realized that he had once again escaped a close brush with failure. Of course, he wasn’t very worried because this was again a clone which was disposable.
Putting his hands on the table, he decided to get to the point.
“I wish to put all pretenses aside. Allow me to introduce myself again.”
While Eldra watched on with a bewildered expression, the face and the body of the man in front of her began wriggling as if there were ants under his skin. A few minutes later, an individual who had tormented her dreams appeared in front of her wearing the loose clothes of the potbellied man he had just been a few moments ago.
Getting up with shock, Eldra pointed a finger at him and spoke in a shuddering voice, “Why-why are you here?”
At this moment, her brain went blank as she realized that the so-called rebel was actually the king of Lanthanor.
“Take a seat. Let me get straight to the point. I have the means to make you the Queen, and I wish to do so because I want to take control over the Kingdom of the Elves. I propose a simple deal: if you provide news which can incriminate the present Queen, I will make sure that that news will reach each and every voter inside the entire Kingdom of Eldinor. Along with that, I will bear all the expenses required in the campaigning to make you Queen. In return, I want you to swear an oath to me that you will follow my every command.”
As she heard the details of the deal, Eldra couldn’t help but sit down shakily after coming to terms with the fact that she was currently conspiring with an enemy nation.
Yet, moments later, she realized that it really didn’t matter. The reason she was here was that she wanted all the activities of the Queen to stop.
In fact, if she was being completely honest with herself, she would realize that this wasn’t the only reason. Since as long as she could remember, she had been being trained by her mother to take her place as the Queen when the time came.
This training had been accompanied by many many instances where she had been beaten down and cursed at even though she did her best.
Like in all things, her mother pursued perfection. Although Eldra was talented, try as she may, she just couldn’t reach the high standards which her mother set.
Whenever she was put in a scenario where her mother would test her to see what she would do if she was the Queen, Eldra would imagine herself in a position where she could do what she wanted without her mother’s shadow behind her.
At this moment, when she pondered over her options, she realized that she had already made the decision to not be controlled anymore no matter what. She had both selfish and selfless reasons to become Queen; selfish because she wanted to take a decision about her own life herself for once. Selfless because she knew that she would be able to stop and potentially reverse all the atrocities committed by her mother to stay on the throne.
Seeing her in deep thought, Daneel waited for a while before throwing out the bait which would seal the deal.
“In return, I am ready to make an oath to you that I will never ask you to do something which might mean the ruin of the Elves without due reason.”
This was him taking a step back. Although this oath was a little ambiguous, it still had its value.
Hearing this, Eldra found that just as she had thought, she had been clear about what she wanted as soon as she saw the parchment in the corridor.
Of course, although this meant that Eldinor might become a puppet under an enemy nation, this was something that did not concern her right now. All she saw was the smile of those little Elves who had thought that they were saved when she opened the door of the cart in which they had been kept, and the darkness of her mother’s shadow which always engulfed her.
Looking up, she saw the King of Lanthanor waiting for her decision.
Without a word, she took out two trinkets that she had already prepared and placed them on the table before nodding.
Seeing this, Daneel was initially a little startled.
It was just as he had thought. From everything he had seen of the elf in front of him, he knew that she was a very emotional person rather than a rational one.
This had clearly been evident both when he had made the threats in the throne room which had made her practically run away and in all the transmissions that he had intercepted through Olfax.
Apart from these, it was her expression when she saw him inside the Elvish Carnival that had led him to believe that she definitely had enough reasons to take this deal.
This was not to say that Eldra was a simple person whom he had managed to hoodwink.
If anything, the credit would go to his perfect timing which enabled him to make use of the emotions inside her to push her to make this decision.
Taking the trinkets, he noticed that one was a recording trinket while the other was for communication. Listening to the first one briefly, his eyes widened as he realized that it was a full record of all the crimes of the Queen of Eldinor.
Chuckling to himself in the happiness of striking the deal, Daneel immediately took out the oath stone to take the oath which would change the future of the Kingdom of the Elves forever.