Chapter 209 – Choice for the Slaves
“Greetings Ancestor. It’s a been a while since one of your generation has come out in public, may I ask what you intend to do here?”
The King stepped forward and lightly bowed to the man hovering in the sky.
Given the stranger appeared to be in his thirties, it was strange for the King to address the person as an ‘Ancestor.' With a clean-shaven face, neatly-styled dark hair and glowing blue eyes, the Ancestor had a striking physique.
“Don’t mind me; I’m just here to make sure no one harms that boy. Continue on with your game.”
The man chuckled, slowly descending to the ground away from the crowd and to the exact right of the King and the Tower Lords. The moment the Ancestor made his appearance, the faces of the other Tower Lords, including Resir, instantly turned pale. Only the Patriarch of the Raizel clan had a smile on his face.
“Forgive me for appearing rude, Ancestor, but if you intervene here, the other Ancestors from the Tower clans will be forced to come, and the situation would escalate to the point neither of us wants.”
The King stood his ground, respectful but unafraid of the man before him. Although the Ancestor of the Raizel clan was indeed fearsome, the other Tower clans and the Royal family had Ancestors of their own. They were the very foundation of their clans.
“Is that a threat, boy? Let me repeat, do whatever the hell you want but don’t harm this young man. That’s it. I have no interest in the city’s affairs or you playing King here.”
The Ancestor yawned and sat down on the ground while stretching his back.
The crowd whispered amongst themselves as to the identity of the mysterious man, but none of them dared to voice their thoughts.
“What is the meaning of this, Quen?”
The King growled, turning his head to face the Patriarch.
“I thought we were here to decide the future of the ex-slaves? Is there a need to attack my clan member?”
The Patriarch nodded his head towards Calron to indicate who he was talking about.
“I have your word you won’t interfere as long as we don’t touch the young man?”
The King glared at the Patriarch for a second, and then glanced towards the Ancestor.
The man waved his hand in the air. The other Tower Lords grumbled at the Ancestor’s attitude while returning to their seats, save the King.
Meanwhile, Calron stood there silently as he contemplated everything that had happened so far. From the arrival of the Raizel clan’s Ancestor to the exchange between the King and him.
Ancestor? Is he at the peak of Heavenly stage or another realm entirely?
Unlike with the Patriarch or the other Tower Lords, Calron could not accurately measure the limits of that man’s essence. If the Ancestor had come out openly to protect him, did that mean the clan was in favor of his plan?
“Calron, let’s put this behind us and continue with the speech. I believe Lord Resir had his turn already, and now you can begin with yours.”
The King let out an exasperated sigh, trying to ignore the fact that Calron had only recently accused a Tower Lord of murder.
“Your Majesty! That runt tried to defame me by false accusations so he could manipulate the people to vote for his clan instead. This is a clear breach of morals and fair play.”
Resir stood up, objecting Calron’s right to talk to the audience.
Bastards! Stop putting me in an awkward position and finish this quarrel already!
The King inwardly seethed with rage, annoyed at the constant interruptions and delay of the speech. He had more important matters to worry about, like the incoming war with the Darklings.
“False accusations? I don’t lie, old man.”
Calron snorted. He knew from the very beginning that Resir wouldn’t accept defeat so easily, and would try to squirm his way out with the King.
It didn’t matter to Calron anymore. He knew what he had to do today.
“Clearly, he has no respect for his Elders, your Majesty. If I tried to kill him, why would I send a low ranked Saint expert after him? I was there at the battle with Zarvel, and I know someone of that caliber won’t be able to defeat Calron. This Raizel brat is just trying to denounce me!”
Resir raised his voice, persuading others with logic.
The King stared at Calron, remembering the rumors about how quickly Calron dispatched several low ranked Saint stage cultivators in the last battle. If Resir indeed tried to kill him, he would have sent someone at the peak of Saint stage or even an assassin at the Heavenly stage.
It didn’t make sense for someone as intelligent as Resir to plan such a flawed assassination.
“Oy… what is going on here? I thought there was going to be speech? These nobles are just talking among themselves…”
“Shut up, something important is about to happen!”
“What would you know, you can’t even hear their farts from here.”
Two men at the back of the crowd squabbled, bored and restless with what was happening on the stage ahead.
“Calron, are you sure it was Lord Resir? I think there has been a misunderstanding somewhere… Let’s finish the speech, and we’ll discuss the rest later. I promise to put my men into this investigation.”
The King made his decision and gestured for Calron to begin his speech.
Resir started but abruptly halted mid-sentence when he met the King’s fierce glare.
“I’m sorry, your Majesty, but I cannot let this go. Would you ignore the problem if someone tried to kill you, even if it was a Tower Lord?”
Calron shook his head. His words instantly roused two of the Tower Lords in anger, but they refrained themselves when the Ancestor subtly leaked his essence.
“You’re being too difficult, Calron. This isn't a game.”
The King started to get irritated with Calron’s stubbornness, and it showed on his face.
“Do you see me fooling around? Will you search all the nobles’ houses for illegal slaves and put Lord Resir to a trial, or not?”
Calron dropped the honorifics and addressed the King directly. Time for subtleties was over.
“You are treading on dangerous waters, young man. Is that an ultimatum you’re throwing at me?”
The King scowled, his face heating up in a fury.
Calron stated calmly, meeting the King’s eyes.
“Then I reject your conditions. The slaves shall now belong to Lord Resir.”
The King conveyed, much to the gleeful look on Resir’s face. In a moment of anger, the King lashed at Calron.
Calron turned around to face the audience. He expected that answer from the King, so it was time to put his own cards on the table.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
The King stepped forward to prevent Calron from talking to the audience, but his body was frozen in place. It was the Raizel clan’s Ancestor!
It wasn’t only the King who was trapped on stage, the guards and the other Tower Lords except the Patriarch were all firmly frozen in place, unable to move or talk.
“I’m sure you all know who I am, but for the ones that don’t, my name is Calron Raizel! I was the one who requested the King to abolish all slavery within the city and set all slaves free. No human, beast or living being deserves to be chained with bonds of servitude. The King of this city wants to take away that freedom I’ve given you by forcing you to split up and join different clans as their workers. They will provide you a salary and food, but the fact is that you will still remain a slave to that clan.”
Calron raised his voice so the thousands of people at the back could also hear him.
“I will give you a choice to decide your future, and the future of your family. The Raizel clan will be leaving Selior city and establishing our city in an unoccupied territory to the east! You will have the opportunity to own lands, farm your food and be real citizens of the new city. You don’t have to work for a clan, but you will work for yourself and your family.”
Calron took a deep breath and said his next words.
“The choice is yours.”
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