Renault finally broke the silence. He said to the chairman with a nod, “The war on the void continent doesn’t look good. It seems we’re ready to abandon it?”
The chairman smiled faintly but didn’t reply, only gesturing for Renault to continue.
“Since we’re planning to go from a resource-battle to a bloody battle, the calculation of accomplishments should also be adjusted accordingly. Princes should only oversee the bloody battle and not be responsible for the outcome.”
The chairman said, “That’s true.” He gave it some thought before saying, “People like Princess Haimi used to be Holy Son Edward’s opponent in the past bloody battles, but human experts mature much faster than us. Maybe we should differentiate a bit?”
Renault replied indifferently, “Bloody battles are a tradition we maintain to train our youngsters. We’ve already set up a perimeter, are we going to pick weak opponents for them as well?”
The chairman laughed. “You’re right, I was overthinking it. I accept your viewpoint.”
Shaska and Amiro nodded toward Renault, indicating that they agreed to his suggestion.
Renault turned to Medanzo and Habsburg, opening a blood-colored domain with a tap of his finger.
The other powerhouses looked away tactfully, allowing the vampires to discuss the matter amongst themselves.
Renault said, “Habsburg will keep all of his spoils from the battle, and the other participating clans must each fork out ten percent for him. He may also request an extra reward of his liking.”
Medanzo said coldly, “It’s just a bloody battle, and you’ve already made sure he’s just there as an overseer…”
Renault said decisively, “If you don’t want Howard to get the benefits, just give them to Habsburg.” He turned to the latter and said, “What do you want?”
Habsburg remained silent for a good while. He then looked at Medanzo, saying, “Roman of the Federran clan, I want his blood power.” Asking for a vampire’s blood power was no different from taking his life.
Medanzo was furious. “Habsburg, he’s a grand duke! You were the same just two years ago!”
Habsburg’s sapphire eyes were so cold that they looked almost lifeless. “You can make a puppet like this anytime if you spend some effort.”
Renault raised his brows ever so slightly. He didn’t have any impression of this Federran clan; perhaps it was a vassal clan of the Dracula family. For clans of this nature, even the clan lord would be a vice-duke at best. If they had produced a grand duke, Renault’s descendants would have reported this as an important case. Their clan’s status would rise meteorically and enter the sights of the great dark monarchs.
One had to know that even for the twelve major vampire clans, their elders and clan lords would stop at the grand-duke stage if their crest in the River of Blood remained dim and no one could light it up.
The Federrans had produced a grand duke yet kept it a secret. The most likely reason was that they had a bloodline problem; for instance, the person in question could no longer be considered a descendant of the Federran clan. It could also be some other disease that couldn’t be confirmed by their clan’s blood pond.
Besides, producing a grand duke wasn’t as easy as Habsburg made it out to be. Ignoring the vast amounts of resources involved, only the blood ponds from the twelve major vampire clans possessed this capability.
Renault realized that there were unspoken assertions in this conversation. “Habsburg, reason?”
No matter how that grand duke reached his current position, he was already a grand duke. Even a great dark monarch would need a valid reason in order to punish him.
Habsburg said coldly, “I was injured while fighting Prince Greensun. The best way to treat my condition is to absorb blood power.”
This reason wasn’t fit for public ears, nor could they do it openly, but the two great monarchs could understand the concept. Throughout the long years, they themselves had done such things before in perilous situations.
“As for why I picked Roman? I’m not really interested in his under-the-table deals with the humans and demonkin, but every time he tracks my movements, I fall into dangerous situations. That makes me very unhappy. Last time, Roman went to Flaming Beacon Continent, and there, I almost fell into Li Xitang’s trap.
“Recently, he went to the Imperial Capital, and Zhang Boqian charged at me immediately. And that was in the presence of their excellencies Medanzo, Klaus, and Noxus.”
Medanzo’s expression turned odd. He opened his mouth as though he wanted to say something but didn’t know how to put it.
Habsburg’s explanation contained a lot of holes if one were to argue, but great monarchs didn’t really need a perfect logic to make their decisions. It was the same for Renault.
He nodded, saying, “Fine, I’ll send someone to notify Roman to report to you.”
Medanzo seemed to have given up on dissuasion. He said in a sinister tone, “Habsburg, you better make it clean. Things will blow up if he escapes.”
Habsburg smiled at Medanzo. “I understand.” Yet his cold eyes contained not a single hint of a smile.
Renault said at this point, “I’ll be going back into deep slumber after the bloody battle.”
The other two said nothing further.
With an agreement reached, the council meeting came to an end.
The chairman and the various powerhouses left the scene, leaving only Medanzo and Renault.
Medanzo said angrily, “Dear Renault, you spoil the children too much.”
Renault’s gentle expression turned cold and harsh. “Medanzo, old friend, I think it’s Lilith’s idea to grant Young Habsburg the same authority as you and I.”
Medanzo straightened his back. He seemed like he was about to leave with a swing of his sleeve but ultimately decided not to move. “You’re quite generous, aren’t you? This kid might be Nighteye’s rival in the future.”
Renault sighed with a softening expression. “Dear old friend, we have fewer and fewer opportunities to sit down and talk to our heart’s content. So, I still have to say it even if you’re unhappy. You’ve always disapproved of Habsburg, haven’t you? Why else have you neglected to investigate his true age?”
Medanzo was startled.
Renault continued, “The information my descendants gave me says he’ll enter his middle-age in twenty or so years, but don’t you think there’s something wrong there? Habsburg should be fairly similar to Edward of the Perth Clan.”
Medanzo’s face turned pale all of a sudden. A bloody smell drifted up to his throat as his old injury was agitated.
He recalled that Lilith had seen Habsburg before. There was no reason the Queen of the Night wouldn’t notice something Renault could, yet she didn’t mention anything.
Medanzo said, “Are you trying to imply that he’s the awakened consciousness of a certain expert?”
Renault shook his head. “That doesn’t seem to be the case, either. Sigh, too many of our race’s inheritances have been lost in the Sacred River. Haven’t we lost a good part of our memories as well? But old friend, there are two things you probably still remember.
“First, the family seal in the River of Blood isn’t limited by the primogenitor's strength. Besides, the Flaming Crown is the darkest of flames, it’s definitely not weak. Back in the year, Samael remained at the prince rank for so long because he wasn’t willing to devour his own brother.
“In addition, even if the entire race doesn’t, we as the second-generation primogenitors must remember that the rankings in the River of Blood aren’t permanent. Speaking of which, my clan’s ranking is tenth, but when was the last competition for these rankings? Was it a thousand years ago, or two thousand? Back then, Andruil was still an impetuous little boy!” Renault stood up laughing at this point, but Medanzo was in no mood for that. His face remained stiff and gloomy.
Renault patted Medanzo’s back, saying, “My dear old friend, it’s not embarrassing to revere strength. Habsburg and Edward aren’t too different in age. That means they have a hundred active years before them.”
These final words were the key. Medanzo seemed convinced as he vanished from the table with Renault.
Habsburg walked out of the hall and climbed down the ninety-nine steps of the building.
He reached out to grab his chest as soon as he arrived on flat ground. The blood amber was one of the hardest things in the world and where the essence of a vampire prince lay. A fine crack had appeared in the amber just now, then healed in the blink of an eye. It was as though nothing had happened, and it didn’t even hurt him.
However, Habsburg knew that the origin blood he had split off far away had once again collided with heaven’s mystery, or as it was better known in the Evernight world, fate.
He simply couldn’t understand it. “Lin, why would someone like you, who can see fate itself, look down upon it.”
At noon on the fifth day after Zhang Boqian’s return to the capital, Lin Xitang was finally able to move again. It was after the inner attendants had taken away the meal table and the time to see the Imperial doctor hadn’t arrived yet. The entire Divination Pavilion was drowned in silence.
Lin Xitang stood up from his recliner and stretched his limbs. Although the Imperial doctor would massage his muscles every day to prevent atrophy, he felt his feet weak after an entire month of inactivity.
The marshal walked out of the pavilion and, just as the Emperor had said, met no resistance along the way. He only needed to walk another fifty meters from the foot of the mountain to leave the forbidden zone. In that direction were the residences of the divination specialists in the Empire’s employ.
At this moment, he noticed a boxed carriage with no familial colors come to a sudden stop nearby. Seemingly waiting for him, the driver of this elegant vehicle opened the door respectfully.
Lin Xitang wasn’t surprised, either. He simply walked over while asking, “Where to?”
The driver bent his back, saying, “This lowly one was ordered to send you anywhere you want to go.”
Lin Xitang smiled. “Prince Greensun’s residence.” With that, he climbed into the carriage.
The driver closed the door calmly and jumped up to his seat, almost as though he was taking an ordinary trip with his master.
Unending Palace, Wave Hall.
The minor assembly hosted by the Radiant Emperor was just coming to an end.
The two civil officers of the cabinet were writing swiftly on the side tables, organizing the key points of the meeting and turning some of the details into perfect clauses. They had been handling military affairs since the series of proclamations yesterday. Only now did they get some time for urgent civil affairs.
The clans and families took this opportunity to form little groups and discuss some lighthearted topics. Prince Greensun’s majestic figure stood tall over the hall’s rear window. It would seem his attention had been attracted by the tall cotton tree therein.
Behind a pearl-curtain was the Radiant Emperor’s desk. Currently, he was flipping through a book in idle leisure, writing down a couple of names from time to time.
An inner attendant entered from a side-door and whispered something into the Emperor’s ears. Receiving a nod from the Emperor, he led a different attendant into the room.
That person reported in an extremely soft voice, “The duke has gotten up… yes, he’s doing well… he has gone to the monarch’s residence.” The inner attendant’s shrill voice wasn’t clear when suppressed to a whisper. It wasn’t really clear what he had said before the words, “monarch’s residence.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie