141 71. Pandoras Box.

    Judd saw that Swann was still making a face as if he found something and immediately dismissed him so as to not raise any of his suspicions, "Okay we will leave for now. Go and rest."

    Judd thought as he decided to go to his quarters quietly, 'Damn, the kids these days are so hard to handle, they doubt every damn thing just because of my reputation. Can't they just respect me as a senior?'

    Meanwhile, Bran was just behind Judd when he heard him lecturing Swann, Bran smiled and asked both of them, "Judd why don't we report this matter to Blake. I don't think anyone would mind."

    Judd was immediately alarmed as he heard Bran from behind, "No Bran, no, he is just a kid so it's nothing serious everyone has an exploring spirit, right?"

    He then whispered into his ears, "Damn fatty, okay you win, don't make me lose face in front of this kid, he will gossip about this to everyone for sure if I lose face. I can give you that new bottle of wine which I stole from Blake's room earlier. How about it, Deal? Don't make me lose face, Please."

    Bran smiled and saw his haggard expression and gave the signal that he agreed and spoke to Swann, "Okay Judd, on your account I won't report this. Kid, Go back, We have to go into the forest tomorrow for exploration."

    Swann thought before he left, 'Something is definitely fishy here. That Selfish Asshole Judd is helping me this time around, I can't believe it. Both of them are definitely planning something. Anyway, I better make preparations for tomorrow as we will try to find those horses.'


    Meanwhile, Judd was in Blake's room as he reported about Swann's encounter in the forest today.

    Blake thought as he heard him, "Hmmm, So this time that brat found some unique horses which could be quite helpful for us. I think they would be quite hard to tame since they live on this island and might be dangerous. However, it would be worth a shot if they can be tamed, if what he claims that they can swim in water is true. Then These horses could add a completely new dimension to naval and land warfare. Okay, you make your preparations to explore the forest tomorrow. Take more men with you to catch them."

    Judd was surprised and asked Blake, "You aren't angry at that kid even after that previous incident?"

    Blake shook his head and said with a smile on his face, "Nah, Men should be free and their wings open if they wish to grow. We had made our choices and we shouldn't mull over it. That kid is just like you: unbridled and uncontrollable, of course, that is only applicable for you. Meanwhile take care when you guys explore the forest, take extra ammunition in case of emergencies."


    Royal Family's reaction to war.

    King Lionheart meanwhile saw a report from Ambassador Luke,

    King Lionheart roared as soon as he saw the report, "What, that shorty is starting a war with him just because his son died? Did he really announce it? Doesn't he know this would unintentionally involve that half-elf as well and create a civil war if that elf decides to help that count no matter the cost?"

    Ambassador Luke then reported to him another thing, "Yes, he announced it at his banquet. They have already started propaganda in Laguna east domain. This time even the radiant church is funding them from behind the scenes because of the humiliation faced by Francis at the hands of Count John. This is also one of the reasons why Fjord is uncontrollable this time as he has the funding of the Radiant Church while he has gathered enough lords for his campaign."

    Luke continued as he reported about the eastern borders, "Additionally, the dwarves too have increased their patrols on our eastern borders and hence indirectly Fjord is warning us if we take any actions. This is also one of the reasons why the ministers are reluctant to sanction Fjord or this would be more problematic as Fjord would think that we are prioritizing the Count more while he is higher in the hierarchy. I too think taking a neutral stand is the best course of action this time around based on the current events."

    Lionheart thought with a calm head and asked, "Okay, What about those ballistas? Has he delivered the blueprints yet? Winter is just 2 months away."

    Luke thought and spoke, "Yes, they are going to be delivered in a few days. He hopes that we give him political support this time around."

    Luke then continued as he spoke, "I have promised him that as long as he and his men are innocent then we will support him as the radiant church is supporting Fjord from behind the scenes. What do you think, Lord?"

    Lionheart shook his head and spoke, "Cancel that promise as soon as you receive the Ballista blueprints. Give him reasons that investigation is still going and drag this matter till the end of the war."

    Luke surprisingly looked at Lionheart and asked, "Are you sure, Milord?"

    Lionheart arrogantly spoke, "Yes, he has no other use than his ballistas. And once we have it, what can we get from him? We will strike him if given a chance at the end of the war or make a deal to take those new technologies in the war when he is in dire straits to take them legally. Yes, we will make the most out of this war. This war can subsequently weaken Fjord, Meanwhile, the threat of Dwarves can be solved as long as we those Blueprints and ballistas fitted onto our naval assets."

    Lionheart was quite proud of his plan as he planned to strengthen the royal family's power this time around.

    Luke reminded as the king was in his dreams of dominating everything, "What about the Bluesea house, This could be a pandora's box if not controlled well? After investing so much I don't think they would easily give up their investment which they made in that count. We could suffer the consequences in the form of assassinations."

    Lionheart huffed angrily as he spoke, "That shorty already opened the Pandora's box so nothing can be done. We have to make our choices and I guess that court will get the short end of it this time around. I am only thinking of measures which can give the best results for us. Bring in Plato and Master Eanred as well. This time we would require their counsel so that we can control this war from the shadows."

    Lionheart smiled mysteriously and added, "As for Bluesea house, we don't need to worry about them as we have prepared something for them as well. I was quite reluctant about their proposal before but I can consider it this time around since the circumstances demand us right now."

    Luke's spine chilled as he heard him and remembered the Fire-Abyss prince's secret arrival just a few days ago and understood what King Lionheart was thinking.

    'I guess something big will happen since the king is considering their proposal. However, I wonder why is that count doing the stupidity of giving his weapons to us so early. Is there some trap or is he overconfident in himself?'

    Luke left to bring in Plato and Eanred so that their meeting and discussions could start.


    Both Plato and Eanred met in the hall when they were going to King Lionheart's Chambers.

    Eanred spoke in a grumpy voice as soon as he saw Plato, "It seems something serious is taking place since both of us are called. Even that Brat Luke is here today. I guess this is all because of that shorty."

    Plato smiled and spoke as he heard Eanred, "Well, I expected this meeting to take place after Fjord's announcement. I have a pretty good solution for this time's problem. Meanwhile, how was your ritual when you and your old friends tried it last time around? Were there any results?"

    Eanred sighed as he remembered about the previous ritual that took place, "Don't even make me remember it, this was a complete failure, I think it is the future that is constantly changing so it is very hard to predict the major events that will occur in the north this time around. What we saw was a lot of dead bodies that can't be identified how they died, The eye of the storm being the borders of North-frontier city. I sense something ominous is going to occur this time around. and rest was all a fog of war. Such an amount of resources spent and we can't even see the face of that Count and predict from his reaction on what would happen next. Well, lets go in and see what will happen, in the end, it is the decision of the king, we can only counsel and guide him."
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