Book 1 Chapter 32.2 - Long Journey
The meeting room suddenly quieted down, and most of the elders’ eyes looked towards O’Brien. After all, the first proposal O’Brien gave after occupying the leadership position was to expel Persephone from the family. At least up until now, the result of this proposal wasn’t really inappropriate. Persephone entered a dangerous situation, but she brought that onto herself. Meanwhile, the benefits the Arthur family received from the Fabregas family were enough to cover the loss of Persephone, with the ones that had the quickest visible effects already incorporated into various systems. From these few months, apart from lacking experience, O’Brien’s competence in dealing with matters did not seem to be inferior to Persephone’s.
Almost without any hesitation, O’Brien rejected this proposal. He looked into the middle-aged man’s eyes and said in a calm voice, “Overruled. Arthur family and Fabregas family’s secret pact cannot be broken. Expeling Persephone was one of the most important parts of the agreement.”
O’Brien turned back to the other elders and then continued, “Losing Persephone is a great loss, but we received ample compensation. I believe all of the venerable elders present can agree with me on this. The Arthur family has its ancient reputation, and Fabregas has been our long-term ally. Our contract of alliance with the Fabregas family will ensure our family’s protection for a long time, and it will also allow us to gradually close the gap between our family and the Morgan or William family. From the last ten years of reports, the wise elders here can clearly see this point. From a long-term perspective, trust is what will ensure a family’s survival and development. If we could casually break such an important agreement, then in just a few years, everyone will then find that we wouldn’t have any friends anymore. What I am saying is that a single genius cannot save the world, and abandoning a family’s future for the sake of a single person is not something worth doing.”
These words made the elders nod inwardly. However, the middle-aged male sneered and said, “What I don’t understand is that if the Arthur family’s genius Persephone falls into becoming the plaything of another family, would that really be helpful to our family’s reputation? O’Brien, everyone knows why you expelled Persephone! You can turn a blind eye as your own sister is being ridden on by men from other families, but these are slaps to the faces of everyone in the family! What is the Fabregas family? It is just a bit of money and some technology. Anything that money could buy does not contain true value. I wish to ask everyone present, which one of you can purchase a Black Dragonrider general? If any of the elders here feel like they can, then they can cast my vote for me.”
According to the Arthur family’s regulations, O’Brien who assumed the position of clan leader could veto any proposals, but if two thirds of the elders approved it, then the proposal would still be forcefully pushed through.
O’Brien’s face became somewhat pale from anger, but he still controlled himself. Slowing down his words with difficulty, he said, “Venerable Uncle Scardi, the issue you are suggesting and the matter of Persephone being expelled are two separate matters. In spite of the family’s long-term relationship with the Fabregas family, she still allowed Su to become a Black Dragonrider. The consequences of doing something like this is a breach of our contract of alliance. Please remember clearly that she was the one that first decided to place our long-term interests aside!”
Scardi didn’t seemed to treat O’Brien’s explanation as a big deal. He continued to laugh coldly and said, “You’ve been talking about Fabregas this entire time. However, since we can give up a Black Dragonrider general, why can’t they give up a fourth position inheritor? After all, are we one of the three great influential families, or are they part of the three great influential families? My dear O’Brien, in my opinion, the main reason is because you cannot let go of your hatred towards Laiknar’s death! I heard that one of the Trial Division’s three giants, Madeline, personally paid Larven Forest Manor a visit. Not only did she smash apart their great gates, she even slaughtered their third position inheritor. What could that old dog from the Fabregas family do? Apart from barking a few times in the parliament, he couldn’t accomplish anything! Honestly speaking, I feel that Persephone’s decision back then was correct. Su’s current value already isn’t inferior to Laiknar’s, and his room for future growth is quite outstanding as well. In addition, it is quite clear that Su and that Madeline from the Trial Division, who is already starting to make others feel great fear, are somehow related.”
O’Brien calmly listened, but his face became more and more pale.
Scardi looked at O’Brien’s face and suddenly revealed a fiendish smile. “I feel like what is strange is not how persistent Persephone is towards Su, but rather your attachment with Laiknar. Even though we can all accept non-conventional emotions, you are the family leader now, and ought to have at the very least shown respect for our ancient inheritance on the surface. Furthermore, I personally feel that your underhanded methods for pursuing Madeline aren’t all that honest. She isn’t someone you can casually make a fool out of…”
O’Brien’s gray hair suddenly stood on end, and the temperature of the room decreased more than ten degrees. O’Brien’s right hand that was placed on top of the table revealed a strange layer of blue frost, causing the wooden conference table to suddenly crack apart. A blade like chilliness shot forward along the cracks towards Scardi! Deadly cold air proliferated in all directions, shooting towards the other elders at the conference table.
When the blade formed from condensed cold air reached a meter from Scardi, it suddenly released large amounts of white smoke before disappearing. Scardi sneered as he sat in his seat without any intention of moving. He didn’t even raise his hand. In his eyes, O’Brien’s level of attack was simply child’s play.
Among the elders participating in the meeting, there were a few who weren’t particularly strong in terms of ability, to the point where the oldest one’s ability had practically all vanished. However, when faced with the sudden attack, they all seemed to turn a blind eye, not even revealing a shocked expression. The proliferating coldness didn’t even exceed the conference table, and it was unknown which elder secretly made a move. However, the wooden table couldn’t support this type of power. Its color became duller, and then with a pa sound, it split apart in forty or fifty pieces.
“My dear O’Brien, are you trying to kill me in the meeting of elders? All because I uncovered the things in your heart?” Scardi asked in a calm and unruffled manner in the midst of this chaos. He even kept his arm where it was when it was supported by the table. Leaning forward slightly, it almost seemed as if the conference table was still in its original place.
“You…” O’Brien’s face became ashen. He hatefully stared at Scardi, but he knew that he had already made a mistake by his moment of impulse. Right now, he could only forcefully endure it.
At this moment, the oldest elder suddenly opened his drowsy eyes and said, “Alright, it’s almost lunchtime. I’m getting old, and I can’t remain as energetic as you all. Let’s cast our votes on Elder Scardi’s proposal.”
The elders for the most part retained indifferent expressions. Some of them raised their hands in support, while others had their hands down on the table that should be there to express their opposition. Some of them had their arms crossed, expressing that they were abstaining from the vote.
What left O’Brien somewhat grateful was that only less than half supported Scardi, far less than the two-thirds that was enough to reject his overrule. However, he also noted that the number of elders that agreed with Scardi was far greater than what he had previously anticipated.
Scardi seemed to have long predicted this result. He gave O’Brien a mocking chuckle before getting up to leave the meeting. The other elders also got up one after another, with most of them staying behind to eat a meal first while others needed to leave immediately to deal with their own matters.
The routine meeting concluded just like that. At the end of the meeting, the atmosphere could not be said to be good.
In the evening, when the final carriage left Auburn Palace Manor, O’Brien was called by Borriello into the main residence’s western smoking room.
“Your performance tonight was not good. In other words, you’ve left me extremely disappointed.” Borriello used a silver knife to slowly cut the cigar.
O’Brien sat down in front of his father. Only after taking a deep breath did he say, “Scardi isn’t truly trying to help Persephone, you should also know about his attempts at older sister.”
Borriello finished cutting the cigar, but he took some time to admire his work instead of lighting it. Hearing O’Brien’s explanation, he laughed and said, “Scardi is my own brother, so how could I not know what he is thinking? When Persephone was ten, Scardi already revealed his lust for her. Your older sister’s current situation is actually quite good for him. If it was still like before, perhaps he might not even have a chance to even touch one of your older sister’s fingers even after twenty or more years. On Persephone’s matter, your decision wasn’t incorrect. Of course, to enter her current situation, she should have her own reasons, only that she decided not to explain it to us.”
O’Brien remained silent for a while. Then, he said, “Towards today’s meeting, I am deeply sorry. However, Scardi insulted my feelings for Madeline, which is something that I cannot tolerate.”
“I am aware. Even though I do not see much prospects between you and Madeline, as a father, I will still offer you my blessings.” Borriello lit the cigar, and after taking a deep breath, he looked at O’Brien and said, “Scardi’s true goal today was to make you lose self-control and show the elders your immaturity. You have to remember to keep your composure at all times and to not easily reveal your inner thoughts. Winter is coming. I have a feeling that this winter won’t be a peaceful one. You need to grow up quickly and not allow hatred, anger, or jealousy dominate your decisions. Also, friends and enemies are all today and yesterday’s matters. As for what is to come, no one knows.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter