112 43. Duke Fjords anger.

    Prince Hector was quite prepared as he had bought off one of the guys from the entourage who gave a fake log on the events that took place near riverside town to Duke Fjord.

    He accused Henry of running off with the transfer scroll while he and his team fought tooth and nail with Count John's men.

    Henry was declared a traitor by Duke Fjord in anger as he concluded that Henry used the transfer scroll himself to save his life.

    Duke Fjord roared in the court to his officials, "That Count has quite the guts to kill my son so openly and brazenly. And that coward Henry, his family will pay for his sins. He thought I didn't know about his past endeavors where he used to save people from Evan's hands if someone mistakenly offended him? I always used to ignore it but it seems they need to be taught a lesson and it is also because of this that he was never accepted in the main knight order even if he was comparable to Darius."

    Ralph smiled as he saw the events that unfolded, 'It seems Prince Hector succeeded in killing Evan. There will be a big show to watch from now on. I guess even Darius would be happy as he was itching for action for a while.'

    Duke Fjord ordered Darius, "Darius, bring Henry's family to the gallows. from now on you will join Shannon in the raiding fleets. You can bring the magicians to raid them from now on. It seems they think that I am a pushover. They need to be taught a lesson so they learn the might of house Laguna."

    Ralph commented as he heard him, "Father, I don't think it would be possible as new reports suggest that Duke Sapphire just met that Count 2 days back and they completed some deal where Duke Sapphire's fleets will be deployed with those new ballistas as Duke's entourage was seen deploying new Ballistas in their fleet."

    Duke was quite angered as he spoke to both Ralph and Grim, "So what! Do you think we can't deal with them with our armies just because they have those ballistas? Hmph, we still have the best ships in the whole region and they will see the might of our armies with the best ships. I will declare it now, between both of you brothers, whoever brings the head of that Count would become the next Duke."

    Grim replied, "Yes, father."

    Grim was a man with an average height of 5 feet 8 inches, he had blue eyes, brown hair and it seems he was more on his mother's side when it came to physical features. The same was the case with Ralph who was a bit taller. However both Ralph and Grim had different mothers.

    Ralph intentionally asked his father keeping his eyes locked on Grim, "Father, what if this matter isn't done by that Count but someone else and is a conspiracy?" He indirectly wanted to point the fingers to his brother Grim even though he was one of the men who conspired against Evan.

    Duke rebuked him as he heard him, "It doesn't matter. Since he offended us he will pay for it. And it is because of him that Evan was injured and died. That very poison proves that he was killed by that slave. I will declare it again, both you will target that upstart to get my position."

    Grim nodded and added, "That's true, that very poison is different from all the poisons used, and the very fact that he is the disciple of Vlad doubles the fact that Evan was most likely killed by that upstart or his slave. However, since that upstart was meeting Duke Sapphire then it is most likely that slave. And it is reported from our spies that, Jake had hurriedly left the North-frontier Town one day before Evan's death so the direction of this most likely points that Evan was likely killed by that Slave. And there is one more thing. Bring those assassins in."

    Those two assassins came in with Grim's men.

    Grim narrated in front of his father, "I got to know from these assassins that Evan had put a bounty on that Slave's family and that is also likely the reason that Evan was killed on the orders of that Count as he wanted to show solidarity with his important men. "

    Grim then moved his gaze towards the assassins and asked, "So is it right that Evan gave you money to kill that slave's family?"

    Both of them showed the bag full of gold coins to everyone in the court, "Yes, this was the advance and token given by Prince Evan to complete our mission. And this was the token given by Lord Evan."

    Duke Fjord nodded and said, "As expected, Grim, you made a full investigation regarding this event. Now does anyone have any doubt regarding Evan's death? Both of you will still continue with the assassination."

    Both assassins looked at Grim who then helped them out, "Father it would be difficult as this plot was already uncovered by that Count. We would need more thorough preparations to kill that count and that slave's immediate family members as this operation was already leaked. I think it was most likely leaked by Henry as was witnessed by Sebastian."

    Duke Fjord nodded and understood, "Hmm... Yes, we will make more thorough preparations before another assassination attempt. Hire more men so that we can have greater success. Now, do you have any doubts regarding Evan's death?"

    Ralph thought, 'It seems, as I predicted father has lost all the decorum in the face of anger. From the fact that Count John acted so quick and sold those ballistas to Duke, it means that he might already know about Evan's assassination and didn't stop it intentionally when he sent his men to riverside town. I need to be careful as that Count seems quite dangerous as he doesn't seem afraid from enemies at all the sides, I should have allied with that Count instead of conspiring together with Prince Hector. And it seems Henry's predictions were true, I guess I need to at least protect his family in case of some conspiracy as I would like strong men in my knight order.'

    Ralph saluted his father, "No Father, I don't have any more doubts, We will follow your orders. As elder brother, Grim explained the whole situation concerning Evan's death there shouldn't be any problems."


    In the western side of Aelius kingdom, in the mansion,

    Prince Lukav read the reports and concluded, "It seems this was the plan that Hector was planning all this while, it was most likely planned by Alistair as Hector isn't smart enough to plan these conspiracies."

    Duncan nodded and commented, "Alistair's plan most likely involved to gauge those ballistas by making Duke Fjord as the vanguard before taking any concrete actions. Quite a well-crafted plan however in front of the absolute power of those ballistas it would be nothing. Meanwhile, they have also increased the taxes of that port town to increase pressure."

    Duncan continued, "That port town will become a hot potato after some time. It is also likely that Duke Fjord will announce war against Count John. Even the royal family is hesitating to take any position on this matter as they think Duke would open the eastern fronts in his rage because of his son's death."

    Lukav smiled and shrugged, "Well, we don't need to worry as long as the battlefield is only the sea. it will only change if the battle shifts to land and for that Duke Fjord would need to invade that east port town. Have you heard anything about that pirate which John intends to make his naval admiral."

    "He is a pirate who only looted big fleets of the kingdom. he is quite strong as he is adept at Water magic, he particularly targets the fleets that deal in the slave trade. He was formerly a small captain in Aelius Navy. During the war, his family was captured and slaved by a Marquis in the east. His immediate superiors and kingdom didn't help him as this would become a big scandal and hence this case was shrugged off the table. So you can understand what happened, right?"
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