184 115. What about him?


    At the same time In one of the Chambers of Dolores,

    Baron Mendez handed over a letter to one of his trusted guards and spoke, "Please hand this letter of Count John. This is a conspiracy by Antonio and Prince Hector. Please ask for his reply immediately."

    The guard nodded without saying anything and headed to give his letter to a trusted spy of Baron Mendez.

    Baron Mendez sighed and murmured, "I hope Count John isn't pissed off with my earlier actions. That Unfilial son of mine dares to conspire against me. I really shouldn't have trusted Duke and Prince Hector. They will discard anyone by any means if they aren't of use to achieve their goals. After the arrival of Count John, life here in the north certainly got better. Those guys will understand the consequences of offending Count John when they receive fewer taxes from both the commoners and the merchants. Sigh, they don't understand the gravity of the situation as a lot of our income is dependent on North-frontier Domain. Nor do they understand the consequences if our land becomes their warzone. It is such a hard thing to balance two powers that are at odds with each other while not becoming either one's pawn."


    The Royal Palace, Imperial City.

    After hearing all the arguments, Lionheart decided.

    King Lionheart nodded and spoke with an aura of grandeur, "Very well, I have decided. Count John is certainly acting suspiciously after the last verdict where he was in an unfavorable position and we can see that there is no respect for the royal family on his part which shows his disdain for the Aelius family. I am guessing he wanted to show his power to everyone at Greenwoods village because of his current circumstances but he got carried away a bit too much. My opinion is that A Lord drunk in power is more dangerous to the populace than a corrupt Lord. From this moment onward I hope The house of Fjord and House Sapphire make a ceasefire and stop being hostile to each other so that there are fewer conflicts and chaos in the kingdom. From now on we will be deploying royal units both to the south and one at the north. The very fact that a former Pirate leads the forces of North-frontier domain is very disturbing to everyone present here and hence the root of suspicion. From now on there will be full complete sanctions on North-frontier city regarding any trade in the Aelius Kingdom unless they hand over that Pirate Blake and the guys who killed 104 brave knights from Baron's domain especially their head Eric. There is another thing which has raised interest from us, There are certain miscreants at Black and White Publishers who are slandering the Royal family day in and day out while the count is being influenced by those miscreants. The royal family would like to buy the Printing press at the right prices and have the right to oversee the operations of the printing press. Though it may be hard on the common populace because of the sanctions however sometimes it is the common populace who has to fight a lord drunk in power. The royal family expects Count John to hand over his slave Jake, Captain Eric and his Navy general Blake so that we can conduct a fair trial. We also hope that Count apologizes to the royal family for his past offenses. We are also open negotiations if Count John wishes it to however it is up to him."

    Lionheart continued, "Additionally we will also be deploying a small unit of Magic Guardian knights at the northern frontier to oversee the mercenaries and their activities. We will not be interfering in the private matters of the lords. Unless the count agrees on all these conditions, the sanctions will have no limit."

    Everyone in the Hall murmured at the mention of deploying Magic Guardian knights and sighed as they heard King's verdict which was like a nail in the coffin for Count John.

    One of the nobles, Marquis Chris sighed and spoke, "It seems Count John has certainly pissed off King Lionheart bigtime as he still didn't send any representative this time around."

    Rob too nodded and agreed with Chris this time around, "No wonder the king took such hard decisions against the North-frontier domain."

    Casey spoke with a grave tone, "However I don't expect all of the lords to follow the decree as everyone has their own interests. Some will readily sell their food at premium prices to Count John whether anyone likes it or not. Baron Mendez's health condition has certainly surprised me a lot as he was quite healthy the last time I met him. I too smell something fishy. It's better to be cautious of Prince Hector. However, I am sure of one thing, that Count won't hand over his men if they are in right. I expect a big war coming this time. I would rather prepare myself this time around as my domain is near that count's domain."

    Chris shook his head and showed him a map, "Well it is fishy for sure. As far as the other thing goes the nobles will have to follow the decree, since North-frontier town is landlocked, now that the Eastern port is blocked for North-frontier city. Their only way is the North where beasts reside. Well, I don't know, I think that count might change his mind if he sees enemies on all the sides."

    Casey smiled and murmured with a joke, "Who knows, they might as well clear off the forests with those ballistas and make their way to the sea from north."

    Minister Brandon sighed and muttered after hearing King's verdict, "I guess this is really the nail in the coffin. It seems the royal family is finally ready to move. There will no turning back of relations. I wonder if allying with Count John is a wise choice. It seems Duke is Influenced by the alliance of Elves and Count John."

    He thought, 'I hope the king finished this farce soon enough.'

    Prince Hector and Antonio smiled as they heard King Lionheart's decision.

    Eanred shook his head while Plato was still contemplating something.

    Earnred thought, 'I certainly feel that there will be big consequences for this. I am sure that those demons will give full support to that Count. I just need a key to solve this puzzle. I guess I will go back and try one last time to predict about this war.'

    Plato thought, 'I expected Count John to send in someone this time around and renegotiate with us as we squeeze him out. What sort of trump card does he have that he is so confident even against the royal family that he shows no fear or is he really so dumb that he doesn't understand power and politics? Maybe I should consider Eanred warning, Nah Nah who am I kidding, I am going senile because of these weird decisions taken by that Count. That guy is just a small lord. If worse comes to worst we still have the dragon knights and magicians to protect us and get rid of him in case he allies with other countries. At the same time, we already have the magic metal Ballistas which are far better than the original Ballistas. That Lorr family's kid certainly did a good job this time around. I guess they want to come again in power with the Royal family's help after such a long wait.'

    With this, the Meeting for the North Domain was concluded at the Royal Palace. With King's decision, the tone of the meeting was set and hence the decision's taken.


    King's decision was not yet publicized as they intended to publicize it a day later. Because of this, the information didn't spread as the nobles were waiting for the Royal family to speak without misunderstanding anything.

    At John's castle currently he was passed a letter by Taylor, it read:

    "Please help me escape I will willingly support you and expose Prince Hector for what he is. As for Antonio, you can do whatever you want with him. I know I was wrong and I want to right my wrongs. This is a call for help from one Lord to another Lord. I can guarantee on my honor that I will fulfill my promises."

    John read the letter of Baron Mendez and understood what was going on. John ordered Taylor, "No need to bother about him, he certainly milked out a lot before getting kicked in the balls for not heeding their wishes. He thought he can continue this status quo forever and milk both the sides out. It's good that now that domain is headed by that idiot Antonio and it will be much easier for us instead of that cunning Baron. No one will believe us anyway if we expose this letter. I would rather like to give a bloody nose to all of them. Nah, tell him that it would be very hard with all the enemies on all the sides. We are already busy as it is and now the new conspiracy. Tell him if he is willing to do our bidding later on and defy King's order then we can help him later on after the war starts because this letter can't stop this war. So practically there will be some strings attached like he would have to surrender all the slaves. Keep this letter and give it to that spy."

    Taylor understood John's intention and John didn't wish to expose this as no one would believe him and most particularly it was not in their interests currently, "Ok, Sir I will send that fellow back with the letter." Taylor took the signed and wax stamped letter from John and delivered it to the spy.

    The expectant spy looked at Taylor and immediately understood the reply however he still appreciated the reply.

    Taylor told the spy, "You see it's quite hard for the lord as he is surrounded on all the sides. However, he can help you guys later with the help of Demons and there are some conditions that your lord would most likely understand. So what's your name?"

    Spy smiled and consoled himself, "I guess this is still better than nothing. My lord really appreciates a reply from Count John. My name is Stephen Longman. Our family used to be spies of Baron's family since the time this Barony was founded. Our ancestors were one of the founders of this barony."

    Taylor nodded and sent him off, "Ok, have a safe journey."

    The next day, without even waiting for the king's declaration. John had started his next biggest operation.

    There was a big meeting going on between John and others at the administrative headquarters for further line of action against the perpetrators.

    John spoke with a grave expression, "I am sure everyone here knows about the current situation, right? I want straight answers and solutions for those mercenaries."

    One of the Ghosts came in a disguise and spoke, "Lord, as per the information provided by that villager, we immediately started tracking Gold Rush Mercenaries and we found that. Their base is currently located at a village North-west of Dolores right under Prince Hector's nose. It is as if they are Prince Hector's lackeys, no wonder they tried to create a ruckus in North-frontier City previously. If we want to invade them then we would need those ballistas and that too the ones with a bigger range or the cannons because they too are armed with 6 ballistas currently. They are additionally armed with 3000 men. So it would be tough. We are still not able to identify the real culprit behind this massacre. However, it most likely points towards Prince Hector."

    Taylor asked with furrowed brows, "Why do you say so?"

    The Ghost spoke with his report, "We just received news that Mendez's domain will now be headed by Antonio Mendez and this came just before the massacre. However, there was a problem and it was because of the blockade made by the knights of Mendez's domain at borders suddenly without any notice and hence the delay in information. I am guessing this was planned by Prince Hector but Since Mendez was against this plan, he instead used Antonio to do his bidding which enabled prince hector's men safe passage and his knights were able to cross the borders undetected and made that massacre."

    Taylor nodded at the hypothesis, "It seems his involvement seems very likely possible, But Gold Rush Mercenaries are still working for Fjord so it's very hard to believe this collaboration. And this fight at the borders would be in the interests of Fjord so Fjord may have a hand in this massacre which may be indicated by their hand on port's blockade and their amicable relationship currently."

    Tornwall shook his head and spoke, "However this isn't possible without the complicity of Baron Antonio Mendez as he is the one who controls his borders. So I too think it most likely points towards Prince Hector as he has control over both Mendez and Norman. Maybe we can get this information out from Gold Rush Mercenaries if we catch their Head."

    John nodded and agreed with Tornwall's proposition, "Yes, this is a better idea. We will go with this approach."

    Jay raised a suggestion, "Why don't we target the Gold Rush Mercenaries when they are out hunting? They are anyway poking their noses every day near North-frontier city borders."

    John nodded and spoke, "Ok, we will go with both the suggestions, we will first start killing them in the wilds with ambushes and then we will start targeting their base at west with ambushes after a few days. We can try this for all the mercenaries out there. Since they like to act like thugs we too will act like thugs."

    One of the officials raised a question, "What If Prince Hector interferes personally? won't it get out of proportions"

    John smiled cunningly as he gave a cruel smile and spoke, "What about him? You see there are a lot of mercenaries in the wilds these days so we can't guarantee their safety, it is their problem. You guys understand what I am saying, right?"
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