Volume 2 – Growing In Power
Chapter #69 – Setting Plans Into Motion
A huge, red pouch was on the table, which the minister gestured to before saying, “This is 20,000 of the 100,000 Gold Lans that were earned in the sale. I will be setting up a warehouse where honey will be stored. Your master can simply convert as much as he wants into honey trap solution and notify me so that I can deliver them to the palace. The rest of the gold is in the 4th room in that corridor which is opened by this key. You can use that room however you like, and all payments will be deposited there. Daneel, be careful. There are too many undercurrents in the Kingdom and I don’t want you to get caught up in any of them.”
The minister handed a golden key to him before giving a broad smile and leaving with the waiting space mage.
Taking the red bag into his hands, Daneel felt for the first time how it was to be rich.
Walking towards the room indicated, he used the key and came upon a sight he would never forget for the rest of his life.
Piles of gold coins were stacked in the room, in neat rows that glittered with the light that came in due to the door opening.
With patience and joy, Daneel counted 80 rows, which meant that each row was 1,000 Gold coins.
Everything had worked out! His risks, fears, and efforts all felt like they had paid off at this moment when he gazed at this sight in front of him and rejoiced that henceforth, there would be no want of wealth for him and his followers.
Taking the red pouch, Daneel left the manor and first went to his room. It was time to sit Faxul down and explain everything to him.
On hearing that Daneel was building his own faction, his friend simply nodded before asking what he needed to do, making Daneel wonder if his ambitions were that clear.
Faxul was tasked with finding more recruits who fit the criteria: hardworking and oppressed, with a desire to take revenge. His job was to coordinate with Joshua and track down all such individuals in the academy before collecting data on them. Of course, this had to be done as discreetly as possible.
The fact that very few people were carrying out this task meant that the chances of it leaking were slim. Yet, just to be safe, Daneel decided to implement oaths early.
He was after all a respected figure in the academy, known to have stood up against the nobility and even succeeding in beating the best of them. Thus, there were some like Joshua who were ready to follow as soon as the opportunity arose.
Although this number was slim, Daneel did not want to waste the opportunity they presented. Thus, he had the system develop a magical vow spell before telling Faxul and Joshua to secretly meet him in case any such candidates arose to take the oath.
The problem of surveillance was solved by using the gold to buy a trinket that covered the area he was in. Because he was already in possession of the anti-surveillance tool, Daneel could now tell whether he was being spied on by someone. If it was the case, he would simply either choose a different time and place or use the trinket in case that wasn’t an option. This rare trinket itself costs 20,000 Gold Lans and had to be provided by the minister.
The next thing Daneel did was visit Ripley again to observe some basic defense and offense trinkets and develop the techniques required to enchant them. His goal was to have a stock of defense and offense trinkets that he would be able to hand out to the members of his faction when the time arose.
Of course, due to the almost unlimited amount of wealth he now possessed, buying up trinkets was also an option, yet this would arouse too much suspicion if too many were purchased too fast. The only option he had was to slowly buy some each time with different people, but this wouldn’t be enough to reach the target he had in mind.
Hence, he set out to enchant trinkets himself.
Daneel had expected that it would be a piece of cake due to having the technique, but he was shocked to see that the system only used the Heads Up Display to give an indication of the actions he must do.
On inquiring with the system, he realized that there were two ways to learn enchanting: one, enchant materials forged by others and two, learn the forging himself and accompany the trinket in every step of the way.
Ripley used the second. On asking the system, Daneel found that using the latter way, one would have greater chances of success because each and every fault and imperfection in the metal would already be known by the Enchanter. Many enchanters, in fact, learned from common blacksmiths first before even starting to think about embarking on the path of enchantment. This was also mainly because of the success rate: the former typically resulted in trinkets being successfully enchanted two out of ten tries, while the latter resulted in at least a 50% success rate.
Although he was a bit tempted to choose the former to save time, Daneel went with his instincts which made him feel that the latter would allow him to build a solid base which would definitely show its value later. But, he did not have enough time to go learn blacksmithing first before coming back to enchanting.
Luckily, he had the system to train him. The Heads Up Display showed him everything, from the curve in which his arm should move to the position that he must be in to exert maximum power. Now, the only thing he needed was time and practice, to make his muscles and mind used to complex movements that accompanied enchanting.
The last problem that he needed to solve was the nobility. Since the fight between Varanel and Joshua, Daneel had been waiting for the nobles to retaliate and either increase their activities of oppression or challenge again knowing that the strategy had only worked by a fluke because they had taken their victory for granted.
Yet, what was puzzling was that in the days that followed, some of the nobles who would often find joy in stepping down on the commoners slowly started to suppress their actions. This also included Varanel, which made Daneel wonder exactly what had changed their mindsets. Was it the threat of impending doom? But this was unlikely, as that information was secret and only few knew about it.
Whatever the reason, it was too little too late. The suffering the general populace had endured was now branded into their minds, and such small changes in attitude would do almost nothing in changing that.
With everything settled, Daneel plunged back into a hectic schedule much like the one he had in his first year. Enchantment, body and mageroot training, recruitment discussions, honey trap solution synthesis, resources distribution and implementing some plans that would add more tricks up his sleeve. He tackled each of these tasks with the singular discipline of one who knew exactly how precious each and every second was.
Only, Daneel knew that this was the peace that symbolized the calm before the incoming storm that would decide the future of the Kingdom of Lanthanor.