Book 3, Chapter 2

Once Lazy And Luxurious(2)

The criticism and even expletives were fine; none of it could hurt a hair on Gaton’s head, and nobody did anything too drastic. His strength was unfathomable, and few even knew the degree of his might. However, what they did know was that the demonic Mordred standing silently behind him was growing stronger by the day.

*Thud! Thud!* A red-robed man lifted his staff in the midst of the chaos, knocking it on the table to quiet everyone down. He stood up and surveyed his surroundings, stating sternly. “In view of Marquess Gaton using the family’s resources to fight meaningless wars, I suggest that he be stripped of his role as the family head. Island 7-2 should be managed by the family council.”

“I agree!”

“As do I!”

The moment his words rang out, voices seconding him rang out in succession. At least seven Archerons raised their hands in agreement, nearly half the people there. A few hesitated a bit, but in the end their hands were raised as well. This way, more than half of those present were in agreement. Based on the idea of these new rules, this decision would be passed.

However, it was only the small lords that were speaking up. Most of the powerhouses of the Archeron Family had not made their stand known. The representative of Marquess Sauron merely rested his head on his chin, as if deep in thought. Earl Goliath was leaned back into his chair with his eyes closed, while Alice was trimming her nails with her longsword that was almost at the level of a divine weapon.

Gaton finally reacted to it all. He opened his eyes, glancing at the red-robed old mage and sneering as he spat. Thick phlegm landed on the floor.

This only served to make the mage furious; the spit had effectively landed on his face. He was angered beyond belief, knocking the table with his staff once more as he yelled out, “Marquess Gaton! Take note of your actions! You are no longer the head of the Archerons, we do not need a leader who only thinks for himself! All your powers as head, including Blackrose Castle, are to be shifted to the family council!”

Gaton seemed not to have heard the old mage’s snarls, merely saying lazily, “Wine cup.”

Blood Paladin Senma immediately handed him a goblet that was astonishingly large, filled with half a bottle of red wine. Gaton swirled the liquid around; despite the enormous size of the cup, his movements looked elegant and practised. The liquid released a faint aroma, as would happen when one was tasting wise.

The mage only grew more enraged, this was another act of humiliation. He was about to break out into a vehement speech, but the goblet in Gaton’s hand suddenly appeared in front of him and exploded on his face. The impact sent him flying backwards, crashing to the ground like a pathetic doll.

The old mage struggled to stand up, his face a mix of blood and wine. He raised his trembling fingers towards Gaton, lips shaking, but words would not come out of his mouth. The fellow started swaying before he fell to the ground once more, unable to get back up.

This act had intimidated everyone into focusing on Gaton. Only then did the Archeron family head take his feet off the table and stand up, scanning through everyone and saying coldly, “Leadership of the Archeron Family has always been decided through battle. Since when were things chosen?”

His thunderous voice echoed throughout the meeting room, leaving nobody able to refute. He rapped at the table and laughed coldly, “I don’t care what you think, and I don’t care about this whatever family council that popped out of nowhere. I became the head through battle, and anyone who wants to take that from me and live in Blackrose Castle needs to use their fists to chase me out. Now tell me. Who wants to be the head?”

Gaton’s gaze landed on Sauron’s representative, “Does Uncle have such a thing in mind?”

The representative of Marquess Sauron was the young Baron Sua, his son. Although only just twenty years of age, the youth wasn’t flustered at all under Gaton’s forceful gaze. His cheek didn’t even leave his hand as he replied, “Father told me that I’m just here to watch the show.”

An intelligent glint shone in Gaton’s eyes as he nodded, “Not bad. Seems like Sauron’s got a good son.”

Baron Sua smiled, but he did not speak.

Gaton’s gaze then landed on Goliath, “What about you, my dearest brother?”

The man with a large physique burst into laughter, “I need to get a few more pieces of land and a new personal plane. Once I become a Marquess as well, I’ll start considering going to war.”

Gaton nodded, looking towards Alice next. Before he could even say anything she spread her right hand and waved it in his direction, “Five rune knights will be enough to bribe me. Don’t try to fool me with grade 1’s.”

Gaton stroked his beard, unable to help but laugh, “Bribe you? Why should I bribe you?”

“If you’re going out in full strength, your nest might be destroyed by others. If Richard suddenly returns, I can be his protector. I just need five rune knights in exchange.”

Gaton chuckled in response, “There are quite a few people who want to kill that kid. If I’m not around, do you really have the guts to get him?”

Alice returned to trimming her nails as if nobody was around, speaking dully, “What’s there to be scared of? There’s nobody in existence who hasn’t regretted picking a fight with me, forget the pieces of trash in this room.

“Oh, and if any of you has anything to say about me I’ll take that as a declaration of war. We’ll start battling tomorrow, and it will be to the death.” Alice’s voice wasn’t loud, but her exceptional strength was enough to suppress the clamour. All the curses immediately faded away; everyone knew that she really would do as she had said. It wasn’t wrong to speak freely in the meeting, but if those words resulted in war that wouldn’t be any good.

Gaton took it all in, “The meeting is over. I’ve decided that the war will continue. Also, this council or whatever is to be dissolved immediately; I better not hear anything about it in the future. The elders will uphold the family rules, and the rules state that he who has the power shall possess Blackrose Castle. If you want to join the ranks of the elders, power speaks for itself. If you don’t even have that right, stop grumbling.

“As for the rest, do as you like. Those who want to stay here for a few days to have fun are welcome to, but your costs will be on you alone.” Having said this, Gaton left the hall. All the Archerons within broke into discussion, while the old mage was helped up and left. He was only a level 14 mage, and not the sturdy kind that came from the Deepblue. How could he withstand a hit from Gaton, even if it was casual? He was left without the strength to walk on his own.

And thus, the first Archeron family council meeting ended in violence, curses, intimidation, and threats.

Alice stood up after most of the others had left, stretching lazily before heading outside. Baron Sua had not left first either, his twinkling eyes not moving off her in the slightest. Seeing her prepare to leave, he took large strides towards her as he asked with a smile, “Beautiful Earl Alice, may I have the honour of sharing dinner with you?”

Alice looked towards him with interest, the short red hair that looked like a fire giving her a blazing charm. The youth was outstanding in his own right, having made major contributions in planar wars. His personal strength at level 15 was more than enough to show that he had great talent. Although this wasn’t unfathomable for his age, he was of the rare breed that had no obvious weaknesses in any category. On top of being handsome, he also had the natural pride and unyielding character of the Archerons. In many situations, this was a fatal attraction.

“Dinner would just be the start, right?”

“Of course! if there’s a chance of it going further, I definitely won’t give up,” Sua admitted honestly.

“For a partner?” Alice asked bluntly.

“No, for marriage!” Sua was very resolute.

Alice smiled slightly, “But we don’t know each other.”

Sua’s eyes shone as he said in a low voice, “We will become comrades who fight side by side, companions who scheme great things; partners who live and die together. Love is merely an adornment in this process. Passion is like a volcano; after it erupts, all that’s left is cold ashes.”

Alice could not help but laugh, “A person with ambition! Ha!”

“A true wolf!’ Sua added. His bright eyes were fixed on Alice’s beautiful face.

Alice shook her head, “I know what you’re thinking very well. What’s the point of making things so troublesome? I’m actually a very easy person to woo. Let’s put it simply: two rune knights for a dinner together, five for a kiss. Seven to touch my breasts, ten for sex, and twenty to be partners. Like I said before, don’t dupe me with mere grade 1’s.”

Sua was stunned.

“What, aren’t my prices clear enough?” Alice asked, confused.                                           

“Ah, no, no… This… Let me think about it…” Baron Sua was completely speechless. No matter how he thought about it, he could never have imagined this situation. It was difficult for him to even find the words to answer. Only now did he begin to understand how Alice’s enemies felt. This beauty always did the unexpected.

Sua truly felt like she was an ideal partner, and she had realised this as well. He didn’t doubt that she would do as said. As long as he had the necessary rune knights, she would eat, sleep, even have children with him just as promised.

However, that was what left him at a loss. He was Baron Sua, not Marquess Sua. He didn’t even have a single grade 2 rune knight on hand. Only if he took over all of Sauron’s lands and became a Marquess could he have the funds to buy Alice. And yet, his father had six daughters and eleven sons. Even though he was rather outstanding amongst his siblings, there was still a long way to go until he was a Marquess.

And when he really did become a Marquess, he definitely wouldn’t be willing to pay such an amount.

Unable to pay when one wanted to, not wanting to pay when they could. Such was life, full of helplessness.

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Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo