Chapter 207 – Speech
The sound of birds chirping outside eventually woke up the lone figure sleeping inside the small hut.
With the sunlight blazing on his eyelids, Calron let out a tired yawn and stretched his body while still in bed. He couldn’t sleep the entire night as he lay awake thinking about today’s speech and what he was going to say.
In the end, he came up with nothing. He had nothing to offer the ex-slaves besides his aid and a promise that he would look after them and not abuse his power.
“This is going to be a long day.”
Calron rubbed his eyes to rouse himself awake and finally got out of the bed. Ellie had taken Rebran to the inn with her, so Calron was alone in the hut. Since everyone would be gathering for the speech soon, he’ll see them again soon enough.
Detecting the presence of a stranger heading towards his hut, Calron began to put on some clothes and wash his face. If that person was here, then it must be time to get ready for the speech.
After a soft knock, Yelin popped her head inside to look for Calron.
“Yo, I’m almost done. How was your stay here?”
Calron greeted the nervous ex-slave while donning a shirt.
“Ah, it was incredible! I thought the Raizel clan would be scary but they were all very welcoming, and I had a great time. Aren’t you worried about today?”
Yelin asked with worry in her voice.
Even if Calron accused Lord Resir of treachery, the King would not straight out punish one of the Tower Lords. They were the pillars of the city, and if one of them rebelled, it would cause havoc in the area.
“Regardless of how much I worry, the situation won’t change until we do something about it. Don’t fret too much and just follow my lead.”
Calron laughed at the nervous woman and tried to settle her nerves.
Yelin started before being interrupted by Calron.
“Let’s go. Everything will be all right.”
Calron placed his hand on her shoulder and gave her a warm smile.
Seeing the confidence in Calron’s blue eyes, Yelin nodded after a brief pause and followed behind as Calron left the hut.
I believe in him.
That was her only thought.
“Make sure that at least two of you keep an eye on him at all times, while three of you always scout the area he is about to enter. Five of you should guard any spots from where he might be attacked from a distance, and one of you has to always cover his blind spot in case of a sudden assault. I trust in your abilities, so don’t let me down.”
The Patriarch commanded in a stern tone as he glanced down at the dozen warriors kneeling before him.
Unlike the traditional Raizel clan guards, the twelve warriors adorned the highest quality soul armor, and weapons fit for peak Saint stage experts. Each equipment on their body was on par with any artifact belonging to the other major clans in the city.
They were part of the Patriarch’s personal guard unit.
The warriors replied in a firm and unified voice.
“If you require additional manpower, you have my permission to enlist more warriors from the clan. If any of the other Tower clan’s people discover you, kill them. If they try to attack him, kill them. I’ll handle everything later.”
The Patriarch ended his orders and dismissed the dozen gathered warriors to begin their new mission.
It was a mission to protect Calron secretly.
“Elder, the speech is about to begin in a few minutes. Do you require anything else?”
A cultivator with a mysterious emblem on his robe stated while bowing to an old man was seated on top of a hill. It had the perfect view of the podium below where the speeches were currently taking place.
People were already starting to gather and crowd the podium to occupy the best seats and view. Most of them were ex-slaves, but a lot of commoners and nobles as well came to see the event today.
The VIP thrones for the King and the six Tower Lords were yet to be filled.
“And what of our scout sent to retrieve information on that particular area inside the Raizel clan?”
The old man asked, his gaze fixed below.
“Sorry Elder, but the scout couldn’t infiltrate that area as it was strictly guarded by Saint stage experts and our scout could not possibly sneak inside under that heavy surveillance.”
The cultivator replied hesitantly, worried the old man would be enraged. Contrary to his expectations, the old man reacted differently.
“So, the young man’s still alive.”
Matias flashed a grin, his interest in the speech elevated to another level.
After a few hours.
“…eagerly waiting for this moment, so I’ll not waste any of your precious time. I welcome the Tower Lord Resir to come up to the podium and make his speech for the newest citizens of our city.”
A pot-bellied man noble stood on the stage and introduced the Tower Lord. The role of setting up the event and organizing was given to him by the King, so he made to explain to the people at the start what this speech entailed and how it would affect the future of this city.
Only two parties participating in the speech, and if the rumors were to be believed, everyone knew who the likely victor was going to be.
“Thank you to all citizens of this glorious city. I come before you as we face a crisis of the likes this city has never seen before. Our economy is on the verge of breaking down, and food shortages will soon occur if we don’t resolve it immediately. I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about: the abolishment of slavery.”
Resir began his speech with the applause of nobles on his side and a few scattered claps within the audience.
The King and the other five Tower Lords remained silent and calmly spectated the procession. The Patriarch of the Raizel clan gently tapped his fingers on the armrest, appearing casual but his eyes glinted with alertness.
“Abolishment of slavery was a good thing, and I don’t disagree with that change. However, we need to now think about how to suddenly provide jobs for the thousands of ex-slaves and give them housing. For the past few days, many of you have been living in the slums and worrying about food for tomorrow. I have a simple solution that will fix all of this, and the final decision lies in your hands.”
Resir stopped to glance around the crowd.
“If you join as people of my clan or any of our other noble clans, we will provide you jobs based on your expertise and also build new houses for you within our territories. Of course, all of this cannot be done in a few days, but we’ll construct them as quickly as we can. You can work as a guard, blacksmith, merchant, whatever you want in our businesses as long as you’re qualified for it.”
Pausing yet again to gauge the audience, Resir saw that none seemed to take much interest in his world.
He cursed inwardly and continued, changing his tactic.
“Most of you might be thinking, why do we need to split ourselves when we can instead just join the Raizel clan? Correct? Then, I have some grave news for you. The Raizel clan might be powerful and have fearsome warriors, but they don’t have much control over the farms this city has and the resources to fund new infrastructure like buildings. They will not be able to provide jobs or food for you, and you’ll be starving eventually.”
Hearing Resir’s words, the crowd shuffled to a frenzy and began chattering amongst themselves as they contemplated the truth behind his statements.
Seeing his arrow starting to pierce the bark of the tree, Resir pushed his momentum.
“The funny thing is that the person and the very reason you are joining the Raizel clan for is already dead! Their members have hidden this truth, so they could convince you to join their clan and kept this under the wraps so no one could find out. Is that the kind of deceptive clan you want to work for?”
Resir raised his voice to the cheering of the nobles on his faction. His words also threw the other Tower Lords and the King into a frenzy.
“Is this true!?”
The King turned to the Patriarch and yelled in an anxious voice. The other Tower Lords all looked at the old man to give his answer. However, the Patriarch remained silent and continued to tap his fingers.
“He talks eloquently…”
Linda muttered from the audience. Along with Asra, Rain, Harol, Roran, Ellie, and Rebran, the whole group was here to support Calron.
“More like a snake.”
Rain commented, his eyes glaring at the Tower Lord giving his speech. The group had found out that Resir tried to assassinate Calron during his mission, and it was the reason why they haven’t seen him since then. If not for the Patriarch’s orders and knowing that Calron was safe, they would have barged on stage and attacked Resir, regardless of his status of a Tower Lord.
“Don’t do anything stupid, Rain. The Patriarch and the Elders said to wait for Calron to make a move before we do anything. I don’t know the exact details, but the situation seems extremely volatile right now.”
Asra advised from the back, patting Rain on the back.
“Big brother will definitely have a plan! We need to believe in him.”
Roran clenched his fists and continued to watch the speech.
Ellie and the mini-Rebran nodded at the side, steadfast in their trust of Calron.
Yelin whispered to Calron. The two were currently disguised within the crowd and have been there since the speech started.
Calron whispered back, removing his hood from his head to reveal his face. No one from the crowd had yet to realize his identity as they were all focused on Resir.
“What’s the plan?”
“As I said before, just follow my lead.”
Calron smiled and began walking to the front of the crowd. Yelin shrugged her shoulder and trailed behind him. Gazing at Calron’s confident back, she knew this young man would make history today.
Shit, I only have a minute left to think of a plan.
Calron’s thoughts raced desperately as he walked ahead to the podium.
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