280 211. Radiant Churchs Plot.


    In a private room in the restaurant, Lord Prime Minister and Duke Norman got to business after offering their greetings.

    Hasse drank his cup of wine and spoke solemnly, "It seems Lord Duke has finally made his decision. are you sure you won't regret it? Because you will make an enemy Prince Hector in the future."

    Hasse meanwhile thought as he looked back to today's events in the Imperial court, 'It is anyway better to break the alliance between Duke Norman and Prince Hector. I am sure Prince Hector is harboring a grudge against me for first supporting the peace-trade deal previously. There is also a favor that I owe to the Grand Duke of Norman family so I should pay it back today.'

    Duke thought a bit and decided to bare out some of his intentions, "Well, I already decided when I decided to meet you. I do have my reservations when it comes to one man in Lord Hector's camp. But the thing is Lord Hector has a lot of personality flaws which is very difficult to manage. I think you already saw Lord Hector's behavior in the Court session in the morning. When it comes to his enemies, he can't think with a clear mind when he is enraged. However, this engagement of Mary and Prince Hector was made by father and his Majesty so it is a peculiar situation for us currently."

    Hasse nodded and spoke, "I guess you are worried about Alistair who trained under Lord Lukavv for a brief period when he was young? Well, he does have his credentials when it comes to scheming and saving Hector's ass as well as his martial talent. For Alistair. you can buy him at a great price if Prince Hector is neck-deep in debt. As far as I know, Prince Hector doesn't feel anything of him, he is just better than an ant for him. My only suggestion is that you should strictly keep a business relationship with Lord Hector and wait for him to make a mistake before you reveal your intentions as you are currently tied to Lord Hector's pirate ship. I would just give you one suggestion i.e. you should follow the lead of Queen Cecelia's family and create an artificial public distance by using Mary with him and a close private relationship so that he won't doubt you. I am sure you noticed Queen Cecelia and her family's distancing from Prince Hector in today's session in the court. From what I know, they took this decision after they received Lord Endo's letter from Sky and also their future plans."

    Hasse sighed and continued to speak, "As for funding from the Royal family in your previous research plan in regards to medicines. The royal family is going to highly fund experiments for making prototypes of those weapons called Guns and also cultivate spy merchants who can try to get their hands on those weapons from Sky since the demons and dwarves too would have started their research and spying activities so we need to be prepared for future confrontations at our borders. In my opinion, The last war was only a warm-up, The next war will certainly shake up the whole continent when more of such weapons are developed by other countries and I am sure even other continents would be shaken by this war. So currently we don't have any intentions of conflict with Sky or we would most likely get swallowed up by the demons and beasts in the western borders. Also, Aelius is currently quite unstable because of the previous war. A lot of groups are planning uprisings and power grab with the funding of the Fire-abyss kingdom and the Radiant Church. The most unstable groups currently are Prince Lukavv, Duke Fjord and the Radiant Church with Prince Felix. However, the Radiant church poses the biggest challenge to us currently. The entry of Sky in Aelius with regards trade is also to fill the power vacuum in Aelius after our loss and to nullify Radiant Church's Influence. This will unconsciously increase the conflict between Sky and the Radiant Church which will inevitably divert the focus of Radiant Church towards Sky."

    Duke Norman deeply nodded as he understood the significance of this message from Hasse and spoke, "Thank you lord Hasse for his continuous help. Our family would never forget this important piece of information."

    Hasse thought of the past and spoke, "It is only because your father the Grand Duke had helped me in the past that I am helping you right now. Additionally, I had previous engagements with him and hence I am only fulfilling my previous promise to him."

    Duke nodded and asked, "Lord Hasse, I am quite confused because of the actions of Lord John in the previous war. From what I know, Lord John's army was quite strong enough to occupy Baron Mendez's domain as well as the other nearby domains so why didn't he occupy and consolidate it? Additionally, If I or any other noble was in his place then we would have certainly Occupied the Eastern Port City of Mendez's domain as it is quite a gold pot since a lot of trade with Dwarves, Beasts and Elves take place over there."

    Hasse nodded as he deeply thought and spoke, "Even I was quite confused with his actions. Plato and I were prepared for the worst when we lost on both the theater's i.e. Sea as well as Land for a defense. My most likely guess is that he didn't want to confront the Dragon Knights if they officially consolidated Dolores which will most likely expose the weakness of his weapons as well as a shortage of troops to Dwarven Kingdom, Fire-abyss Kingdom and us the humans at Aelius as it would also expand the war in all the directions. And that is also the reason why they didn't chase down our army to expand their borders beyond Mendez's domain or chase down the Dwarves till their port. And the second reason might be the number of Combatants that they could deploy. The third reason might be the chaos created by the insurgents of Radiant Church and Aelius in the occupied territories which will only increase the number of casualties so he most likely made a favorable deal with Baron Mendez and directly earn his benefits and at the same time earning his favor. And the last reason might be that he deliberately didn't occupy it as he has bigger plans for the future. However, those technological changes have certainly changed the future of warfare and from now on, Normal Civilians will also become a big backbone in the army. The difference is that We at Aelius Cultivated Individuals to prepare for war while Lord John Cultivated an Army and Team of Strategists as seen from their actions when they faced Black Death disease as well. From this peace-trade deal, I can see that he has bigger ambitions since he has gone to such lengths just to get people to strengthen Sky for Future Wars. Well, we too are going to extract benefits from Sky in exchange for people. And we anyway have a lot of it. Additionally, your previous point that they are giving back the land so that we can keep our face is also true to stabilize the internal turmoil of Aelius."

    Duke Norman nodded as he understood the importance of this information and thought, 'It seems I will tread on thin ice from now on since I have to balance my position with Sky as well as Aelius or else our borders will get hot where I will certainly face annihilation from Friedreich and John's forces and lose land slowly. And also I don't want the help from the Royal family in keeping my borders.'

    Duke Norman brought a paper and gave it to Hasse as he spoke with a very serious expression, "Lord Hasse, I hope this piece of information is enough and can help you. We have just discovered a plot from the Radiant church that they are going to go with the policies of stopping slavery of humans to rally more people. Currently, they are also working on creating a magic that can unseal a slave without any backlash like the one that was created by Sky. I think you know where this proposed policy will go. I think this move of theirs is to oppose our previous decision to send people to Sky and to keep hostilities with Sky. I can see that with the influence they have over masses they might also rebel with Prince Felix as a center."

    Prime Minister Hasse was quite startled as he saw the official internal letter of Radiant Church and understood the implications, He spoke with a calm but ruthless gaze, "Abolishing slavery is a no-go for Aelius. This is tied with the interests of all the nobles. And even if we abolish slavery, Ministers tied with noble families will undoubtedly oppose it and this also might create a civil war because of the big business interests of the Nobles. Quite a low-hand by the Radiant Church. It seems they are preparing for a civil war and that too on a bigger scale and will prepare for a few years before they start. And from the looks of it, the Radiant church is intending to increase the conflict with other races. I want to know Who in the Radiant Church proposed this plan and when was it proposed?"

    Duke Norman sighed and spoke, "Today a lot of heads from the Radiant Church were present in the Capital because of today's political fiasco and this news was only found today by my family spies. And it seems this proposal was given by Pope David's First Disciple and also the next designated pope by Lord Irmela directly via his oracle. He took this decision after the court decided to make a peace-trade deal with King John. From what I know, they will be proposing the abolishment of slavery step by step by their spies using Lord John's name and use the previous loss in the war to undermine the Royal family. Meanwhile, the Priests and Bishop will only seek the abolishment of slavery for humans publicly when asked by commoners in private. And there is also other news which can be significant or insignificant for us."

    Prime Minister Hasse nodded and spoke, "Continue. I am listening."

    Norman nodded and continued, "The Radiant Church is intending to Ban Theater, Dramas and other forms of arts as it falls apart the propaganda and narrative of the Radiant Church. This is because Lord John has funded a lot of Theater's and other artists indirectly so that they can expose the Radiant Church's Inhuman activities and create animosity among the commoners for the Radiant Church. Previously we too were intending to ban theaters but because of the ease of tensions between Sky and Aelius after Lord Plato's talks with Minister Taylor, the plan was squashed. Additionally, not a lot of people are educated in Aelius and hence the effect of the newspapers which we will distribute will reduce drastically and hence they have only banned Theater so it doesn't reach the illiterate masses. And my reason for keeping distance with Lord Hector is because he supports this ban and is trying to court the men from Radiant Church but doesn't do so openly as he fears making Prince Lukavv his enemy."

    Prime Minister Hasse nodded satisfyingly as he finally understood why Duke Norman had a big change in his policies towards Prince Hector, He nodded as he spoke, "It seems I still owe your family a favor Duke Norman for this important piece of information. I guess your Old father didn't pick you as a successor for no reason. An ability to unlearn things to learn new things is quite hard for stubborn people but stubbornness is deeply rooted in living beings with high status and only reality makes them understand it. And those who can't unlearn the bad are fated to be doomed in some part of history. I guess the previous war changed your views and made you think practically. Well, this change in thinking is still good for your family. My only advice for you would be to keep a balance between the two factions in your Northern Domain, i.e. Faction of Prince Hector and the Faction opposing Prince Hector or the ones that are interested in trade with Sky. You should know that any lord wouldn't like to live in high debts and be at other lord's mercy. Your subtle change in policies will be noted by the Ministers in Aelius and you will face fewer problems in borders against Sky. One good policy can be, reduction of tariffs at Borders since you are running low on money because of the previous war. This will also allay the fears among the nobles and also stimulate trade which will inevitably increase tax income. Now I will take my leave and go to meet His Majesty for now. Don't look at me like that, I too was quite stubborn a long time ago and facing reality made me change my mindset. There is also another plan which can help you in the long-term. But I don't know if you would like it."

    Norman nodded for Hasse to continue.

    Hasse smiled a bit and spoke, "A Secret marriage alliance with the Fire-abyss Kingdom. If you have a good daughter then you should try courting Prince Chad to be engaged with one of your Daughters or a capable heir then try courting Princes Trish however this will undoubtedly enrage Lord Hector so you must take this decision carefully and also execute it carefully in secret. Anyway, lets leave for now."

    As if a star sparkling in the dark, Lord Norman thought deeply, 'Why did I never thought of an alliance with Demons or other races. I guess I always narrowed my perspectives politically. This way I can also solve my problems at the borders in case Sky tries to invade my domain. Now that I think critically It seems I had disdain for other races subconsciously due to the Radiant Church.'

    Duke Norman nodded deeply and spoke, "Thank you very much Lord Hasse for enlightening me."

    Both Duke Norman and Minister Hasse nodded and prepared to leave to finish their duties.

    Hasse thought as he left for the Imperial Court, 'I hope this scheme of mine can change the fate of Aelius and divert it towards the Fire-abyss Kingdom. Even if Lord John remained loyal, he would have inevitably rebelled as Prince Hector had become his enemy in his early days which meant that they would clash even if Lord John became a Duke and this is also the reason why the elders and ministers didn't favor to support Lord John in the clash between him and Fjord.'

    Meanwhile, Duke Norman had a smile on his face because of his chance encounter with Minister Hasse with meaningful talks was quite successful for his future plans.

    Duke's nephew spoke as he saw the Duke, "It seems you had quite a successful meeting Uncle. So have they decided to propose your policies and go with it?"

    Duke didn't mind his nephew's non-etiquette behavior as he spoke with a smile, "Nope, but we did gain some benefits. Come back to the Manor with me. I need to inform Lord father and elders of our gains and losses."

    Duke gleefully thought, 'I should secretly arrange a meeting with Prince Chad now that Lord Friedreich is out of his domain and inflame his anger against Bluesea family for trying to marry off Princess Diana. If my scheme succeeds then I can give a big blow to Sky for certain and at the same time increase the power of our family. I should deeply discuss this with Elders for our future course of action.'
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