Book 1 Chapter 32.1 - Long Journey
Early in the morning, before the sun even rose, the sky was already extremely bright. Strange lights criss-crossed in the skies, and occasionally, lumps of transparent fog would float upwards, releasing multicolored rays of light, bringing a layer of pure and crystal-like radiance to Auburn Palace Valley’s trees and buildings.
The normally peaceful manor was already bustling with activity so early in the morning. Vehicles moved towards the manor in an endless stream, converging from all directions. They entered through the manor’s large gates one after another in a rather slow manner, to the point where they would even come to a temporary stop at the gates occasionally due to the large number of vehicles. The vehicles that were waiting to get in were of all different shapes and designs. There were classic cars from the olden era, lengthened limousines that imitated the olden era, and there was even a carriage pulled by four black horses!
The road that led into the manor wasn’t that wide, just enough for two vehicles to proceed side by side. Tall ancient trees lined both sides of the road, and around this time of year, there weren’t many leaves on these trees anymore. On the smooth road rested some yellow leaves, providing this manor hidden within the mountains a sense of tranquility.
This road that basked under the shade of the trees, as well as the walled garden that lined both sides, displayed the Arthur family’s powerful strength and history. In this day and age, to possess so many surviving ancient trees, flowers, and plants purely for the sake of decoration was naturally an outrageous thing, and the daily protection and delaying of mutation for these plants illustrated the family’s cutting edge technology.
At eight o’clock, all of the vehicles already parked themselves in the vacant space at the side of the main residence. Within the main residence dining room, breakfast already began.
At the end of the long dining table, O’Brien dressed in formal attire was sitting alone in the host’s seat, focused on his silver plate’s food. His body was perfectly straight, and not a single flaw could be seen from his movements, etiquette, or expression. Even though his delicate and pretty face didn’t match his respected position, his body was already beginning to release an imposing aura. At the very least, when he sat in this position, no one felt that O’Brien was too young.
Seated at both sides of the dining were a dozen or so men, their ages ranging from thirties to more than sixty. They similarly ate their food in a quiet manner, and from time to time, they exchanged a few looks. On the other end that faced O’Brien’s position was a rather imposing-looking old man that was over fifty years in age. His half-white hair was combed meticulously. This old man was Persephone and O’Brien’s father, Borriello Arthur.
Three maids that weren’t particularly beautiful but possessed charming and heartwarming smiles busily moved about, delivering fragrant and delicious-looking dishes in front of everyone’s faces. At the same time, they nimbly switched out plates that had been used previously.
Breakfast ended promptly at eight twenty. Everyone entered the conference room and sat down in their designated spot. At the center of the room was a long oval table, and as the current head of the family, O’Brien naturally sat in the high-up master seat, while Borriello Arthur and the seventeen others sat together. What was rather eye-catching was that there was a free seat in the conference table, which was originally supposed to be Persephone’s seat.
This was the Arthur family’s meeting of elders. Typically, they would convene once every two months, and those that participated were all typically Arthur family’s side branch leaders or other important figures. Before O’Brien assumed the position of family leader, he didn’t even have the qualifications of joining this meeting of elders. Back then, the Arthur family’s leader was Borriello, and most political and economic affairs were managed by Persephone. During the two years that Persephone was in charge of the family’s political and economic affairs, the Arthur family’s power and influence steadily developed. Even though it wasn’t as fast as the Morgan or William family, the distance wasn’t that far apart. For such a young woman, this was already an extremely praiseworthy achievement. During these two years of methodically arranged advancement, the elders saw calmness, patience, courageousness, great efficiency, swift decision-making, and other outstanding qualities. She set her eyes on long-term goals, but she also paid attention to details as well as having the expertise to handle a dangerous crisis. What was the most praiseworthy was the ‘Poseidon’s Trident’ that she completely reorganized during these two years, a group with military force that completely separated itself from other branch families. It was a group of super elites that eventually became comparable to any of the William or Morgan families’ troops. Arthur family’s weakness of lacking a bit in military power, had been completely made up for.
Even before taking charge of the family’s affairs, the youngest Black Dragonrider general had already proven her abilities. However, through these two years, the elders once again deeply felt that Persephone had boundless prospects.
Originally, after a few years, when O’Brien turned 24, he would replace Persephone’s position, and Persephone would focus solely on her development as a Black Dragonrider while leading the family’s military force. If everything went according to plan, then within a few years, two young geniuses with ample training would have been produced one after another in the Arthur family while Borriello was still full of vigor. At that time, in terms of the family’s geniuses, the Arthur family would completely suppress the William and Morgan families.
However, the unforeseen events that happened one after another during these recent months caught the elders somewhat unprepared. O’Brien forcefully seized the position, and not only was Persephone pushed out from the family, he incorporated all of the military force she possessed, only leaving Persephone with the various facilities Persephone established in the Black Dragonriders. This left almost all of the elders feeling as if this was a bit ridiculous, but when their eyes looked at Borriello and saw that he maintained his silence, after some deep thought, the elders approved of this replacement. After all, the family’s matters couldn’t be handed over long-term to a woman, even if that woman was Persephone.
In a few months, O’Brien quickly changed. From his original inexperienced and somewhat timid nature, he seemed to have become just as courageous and forceful as Persephone. The elders often felt as if they were seeing some type of illusion, as if they were watching a caterpillar break out from its cocoon into a butterfly.
O’Brien completely abandoned his interests in the arts, and apart from dealing with the family’s affairs, he spent all of his remaining time in ability training. In this short period of time, his abilities matured at a great speed. At the very least, in the Magic Domain, O’Brien seemed to possess a level of talent that didn’t seem inferior to his artistic talents. The many tests for potential already showed that O’Brien, currently at the fifth level of Magic Domain ability, had the potential to reach the eighth level.
Apart from abilities, his talent in managing the family’s affairs also began to show. His incorporation of Poseidon’s Trident into the family’s military force went extremely stably, and after carefully studying the structure and order of this troop, O’Brien maintained all of it and even appropriately added funding for them. As for other affairs, he was becoming more seasoned and decisive by the day. Perhaps in the beginning, he had Borriello’s secret assistance, but it was quite clear now that O’Brien was already starting to make his own decisions.
The elders felt as if they saw the Persephone from two years ago again. Unfortunately, she wasn’t present in this conference, and neither would she be in the future. These old men were all intelligent, and they were also tired. Most of them were quite willing to see the brother and sister sitting together, because that would mean that their years ahead would be spent rather leisurely, only needing to assign funding to their target designation or newly established region and wait for their dividends. Borriello, his wife, and son were all fair and just in nature. They wouldn’t use underhanded methods when issuing dividends, nor would they purposely weaken branch families.
The main family had produced monsters like Persephone and O’Brien one after the other, so there was absolutely no need to try and weaken their rivals. Focusing on strengthening themselves would instead close the distance between themselves and their competitors.
As this was a routine meeting, all the subjects of discussion were relatively fixed. The core of the discussion revolved around new investment projects, the expansionary progress of new regions, as well as the allocation of funds towards the military force and corresponding facilities. Towards these projects, the elders were already prepared as to how to handle them, so less than an hour later, everything had already been decided. If they had followed the normal agenda, then the meeting would have ended here. After a lunchtime meal, they would either linger about in small groups for a bit or leave on their own. Borriello didn’t live in the old residence either. He built a wooden house by the southern river and brought over two dogs with him. Every day, he would either go fishing or hunting.
However, it didn’t seem like today’s meeting would end that easily. A middle-aged man that had just turned forty tapped on the table, drawing everyone’s attention. His body leaned forward, and while looking at O’Brien, he said, “I have a temporary proposal. We should admit Persephone back to the family, or at least grant her financial or technological support to help her overcome her present crisis.”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter