Chapter #168 – Planning
Since antiquity, the crime which was the most frowned upon by each and every elf was the slavery of their own kind.
In fact, many wars had been fought before with nations which had dared to engage in this trade until it became known throughout Central Angaria that this was the bottom line of the proud elves of Eldinor.
Since then, elf slavery had become a black market occupation with high risks and correspondingly high rewards.
The news of the daughter of the Queen engaging in this horrific act simply shook the entire Kingdom. In almost each and every household, indignant discussions took place where the main topic of argument was regarding how the culprit should be punished.
Torture? Life imprisonment? Instant death? These were the options being considered.
Newspaper sales were at an all-time high, with the Big Three showing their dominance by being the first to break this story.
The facts had even been neatly divided up between them so that no particular organization would have a decisive advantage over others.
Although some were still skeptical after seeing the news, this story had already swayed the majority of the population of Eldinor.
In the same room which had been rented by Daneel and the others when they had entered Elfaven, Eldra stood clutching a news pamphlet and staring at it with bloodshot eyes.
It was all here. All the dealing she had undertaken for her mother, including the past locations and amounts of money that had been transferred under her name to enlist the services of the news organizations.
Of course, the ‘proof’ that had been touted in the title was simply testimonies from a few ‘anonymous’ soldiers who apparently opened their mouths because they couldn’t see the atrocities go on anymore.
Both Eldra and her mother had always been careful not to leave behind any paper trails or clues which would lead these dealings back to them. Yet, Eldra had been the one who had always been in the front of such dealings.
She had always thought that it was just training to handle people from all backgrounds.
Never in her wildest dreams had she expected her mother to use this against her in this way.
The truth was that despite there not being solid evidence, these clues were enough to make and connect dots which did not even exist.
Daneel sat on the chair in the center of the room with his index finger tapping his chin.
As someone who was from Earth, he knew exactly how effective a scandal was in defaming the person.
Along with the release of this news, multiple ‘eyewitness reports’ of people seeing Eldra engaging in many criminal activities poured into the news organizations, giving them so much content that even special editions had been released to cover everything regarding this topic.
Of course, the power of this news lay more in its content than its validity. Thus, even though the council which was in control of the government released a statement that an investigation had begun but no suspects were currently being questioned, it did nothing to stop the elves from feeling indignation and disgust at the daughter of the Queen.
Daneel had been as shocked as Eldra when he initially saw the Queen’s move.
Resisting the urge to clap at her brilliant maneuver, he had decided to wait a little while to see the effects.
Now, with time, it was quite clear that Eldra’s reputation would only plummet. Even if she was still awarded with protection from the government for being a contestant who only had unproven charges against her, it wouldn’t be enough to save her from the wrath of the people who had already been brainwashed to believe that she was the culprit.
The timing of the Queen had truly been perfect. Daneel and Eldra had both chosen the next day to publish the news using the Voice of Eldinor to give it fame so that it could also serve to proliferate the Network of Angaria throughout the Kingdom of the Elves.
Now, this plan had already been shelved because it would only prove futile at this point.
Apart from this, the Queen had already capitalized on the situation to publicly denounce her own daughter during her campaigns.
Of course, Eldra was currently absconding and had no charges against her, so the empty threats of Eldara to bring her to justice even though she was of her own blood were just that: empty.
Yet, they had a purpose which they fulfilled beautifully: sympathy was growing for the former Queen who was even ready to punish her own family to stand on the side of justice.
The predictions had already changed, and they now showed that the former Queen would make a clean sweep after easily defeating all the opponents who had no points as strong as hers to campaign with.
All this had been accomplished in just three days by just a single move.
A political veteran indeed, mused Daneel, while he tried to decide what to do next.
Silence pervaded the room, while Eldra read the things being said about her over and over again.
Finally, she collapsed into a chair and looked into the air aimlessly while having no clue what to do.
“We need proof.”, said Daneel after a few minutes.
He had already eliminated all other options, and this was the last one remaining.
“What proof? My mother was always sure not to involve herself in these things. Besides, the three individuals who I always spoke to are also not people we can reach. What other proof can be there which can get us out of this mess?”
Hearing these words said out of frustration by Eldra, Daneel frowned.
Thinking back to his time on Earth, he tried to look for situations where or events which he could use to get an idea for a solution.
As he did so, he was reminded of the image of a small girl speaking out to the whole world.
Getting up immediately, Daneel looked into Eldra’s flustered eyes and said:
“We need living proof.”
Meanwhile, in the catacombs that were located under the manor of the former Queen of Eldinor.
These underground tunnels had been constructed without the knowledge of the government using secretive methods which cost a fortune.
Yet, that fortune had already paid itself back multiple times due to all the secret meetings that had already taken place here.
In a plush room decorated with numerous paintings of sceneries, Eldara sat with the same three men whom Eldra had spoken to before.
Yet, unlike the formal environment before, all four individuals had wine glasses in their hands which they savored while chatting amiably.
“Poor brat. All along, she thought we were the majority stakeholders. Little did she know that her own mother was a part of our circle.”
It was the elf who spoke while looking straight at Eldara to see if there would be any change in expression.
Hearing this, Eldara only smiled faintly before saying, “She is still too naïve, and she thinks she can stand against me in the elections. If she gets over this somehow, maybe I would consider calling her my daughter again.”
These words served to make the Elf raise one corner of her lips while taking another sip from wine glass in her hand.
Indeed, although it looked as if these four individuals were partners, there were hidden undercurrents between them which was evident by the hidden expressions of calculation that could occasionally be seen if one were observant enough.
After speaking about the next news which the three organizations would print, Eldara closed the meeting after giving a single order.
“Make sure all the activities have been stopped, and secure each and every cargo. If even one of them gets attacked, I want to know about it the next second. We can’t move them yet, as the news has the army on high alert. But there’s no way they can find them.”