Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 25: Third Episode: Chapter 7
Chapter 25: Third Episode: Chapter 7
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The sun shone into the living room through the huge ceiling-to-floor windows. Noon was the busiest time of the day. Even though from the outside, 31 Penelope Road did not seem to have any obvious differences, but the people inside were insanely busy.
"Oh god! My girls, can you hurry up?" Duchess Andrew Celia's voice was already a little hoarse since yesterday. Now if she screamed she sounded just like a witch.
"Hurry up! Quick! That thing should be put there! Ferry! Ferry!"
"I remember that we had a huge family emblem in our house in the capital. I think it was carved out of a few pieces of ivory?"
"Yes, Madame. That was specially ordered by Master when he joined the parade. It's been put in the storage ever since."
"Ah, yes! That's it. Bring it out. Think of a way to mount it in the most obvious place in the central hall."
"Ah... Madame, I believe the family emblem weighed about a hundred pounds if I'm not mistaken."
Celie frowned. She looked up and down Ferry's gigantic body size that was close to two meters and a half in height.
Ferry scratched his head, troubled, under the stare of the Madame. "Er... Yes! Rest assured. I will think of a way!"
After finished meeting with Ferry, the Madame began to run around every corner of the mansion. Every single person in the mansion was rushed by the Madame to the extent that as if they were but guinea pigs crazily carrying stuff around.
In fact, it was not hard to understand why Duchess Andrew was crazily working everyone out in the mansion. It was known that the tradition of the Andrew family had always been victory in war. However, the entertainment within the family could be said as extremely lacking. The Madame Celia was now troubled over this matter. There was not a single butler who had experience managing such a big-scaled ball in the family. Even though the Andrew family definitely did not lack the experience of organizing huge events, but that was simply limited to organizing the endless start-of-war and hero-welcoming ceremonies. Even for the winning banquet, the Andrew family had a set of traditions that had been used for centuries.
Celia obviously felt the urgency of time. One week later, and that was to say next Saturday, when her youngest son was to be officially given the title of Prince, the Andrew family needed a large-scale ball to present its own charm. At the same time, the nobles in Dulin also needed an opportunity to show their stand for their family.
Along with the readjustment of the political strategy of His Majesty the Emperor, the people had already foreseen the changes in the Andrew family and in the whole eastern territory. Thus, when Madame Celia showed the intention to organize this ball in public, a situation occurred in the circle of nobles in the Capital that had never before happened in history.
The nobles would usually convey the matter of a ball or any kind of gatherings through official invitations. Thus, no matter how much you wanted to join these events, you could only look on if you did not receive any invitation from the organizer. Although requesting an invitation had happened lots of times, but this way of doing things was considered the rudest and most embarrassing thing by the nobles. But things were different when it came to the Andrew family. After the verbal statement of Duchess Andrew, more than half of the people in the circle of nobles in the Capital expressed their intention to participate in this ball through all sorts of means, both directly and indirectly.
We had no idea what the true situation was. Duchess Andrew only became anxious after she finished writing the last invitation two days ago. The maids of the Madame did some statistics for her. To be safe, the number of people that would attend the ball would reach one thousand and six hundred people. Amongst them were seven Dukes, eleven Bishops, twenty-nine Marquis, sixty-eight Counts, and the rest of them were all Barons and Viscounts, of which their numbers were too huge to be counted. Of course, since Duchess Andrew was preparing a family-style ball event, therefore the ones who would attend would also include countless certain Madames', certain Miss' and certain Misters.
Only at this moment, Celia realized how wishful her thoughts were. She totally did not have enough manpower, resources and wealth to organize such a grand event that could be said to happen only once in a century in Dulin City. But now, she could only grit her teeth and hang on because the reputation of this ball had already reached every part of the Empire. Being the catalyst for the Andrew family to rise to the upper society in the Capital once again, this must not go wrong. Having thought about this, the Duchess could not help but fall into despair. She perpetually prayed to God of Light that a messenger of God be sent to save her seeing that her family had protected the holy land for so many years.
"Madame! Madame! Can you stop for a moment?"
Celia did not pause. In fact, nothing could make her stop now. "Baron Erbe, is it? Did you not accompany Oscar outside? That's great. Go help my poor maids. There are many things they cannot move by themselves. Oh my. We just can't count on you gentlemen when such things happen."
Ricky could simply smile bitterly, facing the complaints of the Duchess. "Madame, will you allow me to introduce you to a person? This Mister is the professional event manager for large-scale events in the country."
Celia was extremely delighted as she turned her head around. "Oh! In that case, we have two Misters now! Good! Dear Ricky, help Ferry together with this Mister. That guy is still fighting with the ivory." After saying this, the Duchess dived right back into her work.
"Ah... Madame! You are still unclear about the situation! Madame!" Ricky wiped the sweat from his forehead. He had a feeling as if he was in the middle of a construction site now.
"Alright!" Celia finally put down the estimations in her hands. "Say what you want! Little guy, what do you want?"
"Dear Duchess Andrew, please allow me to introduce myself." Unknowingly, a fatty appeared from behind Ricky. This fatty had two delicate strips of a mustache and short yet strong, firm limbs. Celia frowned. She truly did not understand why Ricky would introduce a wood carver to her house.
"Madame, I am Frank Murphy. I came from Toules. I had successfully organized the wedding ceremony of Louis XIII His Majesty of the Faran Kingdom. I had also successfully organized the Roman Carnival Ball last year. I also did..."
"Wait! Wait!" Celia's smile now seemed a bit flattering now. But God knows how excited she was. She could not have thought that her prayer would be answered so soon. She had already understood that the fatty in front of her was not only an excellent wood-carver, but also a professional that specialized in these sort of grand events.
"I said wait!" Celia was panting from the excitement. "I believe your ability, O most respected Mister Frank Murphy. Since you are here, then you are the guest of the Andrew family. I am sure you know about the difficulties I am facing right now, then may I hear your suggestions?"
Frank performed a deep bow for the Duchess. "O most respected Madame, right after I received the invitation from the respected His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, I rushed here straight away. Please rest assured. His Highness had already conveyed to me the event style of this ball that you are expecting, and I also have a probable event proposal at hand."
"Oh! Is that so?" At this moment, not even the delight on her face could describe her feelings. Her beauty, paired with the sweet smile she had made even Ricky who had a lot of life experience blush.
"Yes. And His Highness would allow me to work with an accountant for this work. To be honest, the coins that His Highness gave me for the organizing of this event was enough to organize another carnival!"
"Hahahaha! Really?" Celia's presumptuous laugh caught the attention of many people. Ricky thought that he should leave this place as soon as possible.
"O most respected Your Highness, are you sure you want to remain here?" As the clerk of the Imperial family, Midel tried to appear humble when he faced this Prince who had just received his title.
Oscar nodded slightly. The way he was now seemed really depressing.
"Yes. Baron Midel, thank you for your service. I only want to be here for a while."
Midel bowed to him politely, then he excused himself. A few moments ago, he as the clerk of the Imperial family had just calculated the inherited wealth from the deceased Princess Mica Alfa Morisette for Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette.
Princess Mica Alfa Morisette used to be the princess that was most loved by two generations of Emperors – both old and new. Her wealth could only be described as astronomical numbers. It included the solemn Kensington Palace, the strong yet exotic Swan Mountain Castle, two parts of forests located in the north countryside of Dulin and a territory that accommodated about six thousand people.
These places did not become deserted after the marrying of the Princess. His Majesty the Emperor specially instructed people to care for and manage the little Princess's property. But everything changed after the Princess passed away. His Majesty did not want to touch upon any matter related to his sister, thus the situation in these few places owned by the Princess gradually worsened.
But now, the situation is different after Alfa III His Majesty announced that Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette was to inherit everything of his mother's. The Imperial Secretariat immediately organized the wealth of the Princess at the first minute because they knew clearly that the title of Prince was simply a colorful medal on his ribbon of achievement. What truly signified the status of this Prince were the palace, land and everything that he was able to command.
This afternoon, the Imperial Secretariat was honored to invite Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette over. His Imperial Highness was undoubtedly very understanding of the situation. He simply asked to deal with the illegal farmer that had invaded his mother's land all these years immediately. Along with this, the large noble family that embezzled the Princess's territory bit by bit for all these years. This was completely understandable. The territory and land of the noble, and the land-related wealth had a very strict difference with each other. Not mentioning the scavenging farmer, but these nobles who ‘crossed the line' should be responsible for their actions. They must compensate for the illegal benefits they have attained all these years, to the rightful person.
Oscar jotted down his name at the Secretariat and stamped a seal that had his family emblem on it. Then, he put down his fingerprints on the bottom right corner of each and every page. The clerk on duty today, Baron Midel and an official witness from the Ministry of Senior Nobility also signed their names on the document. Of course, the signature and stamp of His Majesty the Emperor had already been inked on it since long before. If there was no stamp from His Majesty the Emperor, any legal document would not be effective.
After receiving the Property Transfer Document, Oscar had officially become a Prince. He knew both the young clerk and obviously drunk witness from the Ministry of Senior Nobility's gazes were heavy when they stared at his file. Of course, these few documents represented a property transfer of two hundred and seventy million Golden Ti. Anyone would have thought carefully about this.
Originally the Secretariat had planned to use two days to accompany His Imperial Highness the Prince to check through all of his land and property. However, considering the limited time the Prince had and the long distance of these lands from the Capital, thus the clerk on duty, Baron Midel simply symbolically accompanied the Prince to the most important place when the Princess was still alive – Kensington Palace for a tour.
After letting Baron Midel go, Oscar was finally relieved. For the whole morning, he was tortured by numbers and all sorts of courtesy details to the extent that he had a headache now. But it was better now. His bodyguard and himself were strolling in the grand walkway in Kensington Palace that seemed a bit lonely.
"Do you really plan to live here?" Snowstorm was stunned by the grandness of this Palace. As a disgraced knight, he still thought that he should not be in such a huge building.
"I guess so. You won't understand what this place means to me." Oscar paused for a moment, then he expressed a self-scornful smile. "To be honest, I don't even know what this place means to me. I just had a hunch that this Kensington Palace would be related to my whole life."
Snowstorm nodded. Then, he was a little excited. The books in the mansion of Duke Andrew had broadened his knowledge. He recently read a book depicting modern architecture, written by a person from Faran. There were some incredible records about Kensington Palace in it. He felt the need to show off his knowledgeable side to this child at this moment.
"Do you know that? Kensington Palace only had a history not more than half a century. Its first master should have been your maternal grandmother. Her Highness passed away not long after giving birth to your mother. She gave this Palace that was built by the previous Emperor for herself to her little girl still in the cradle."
"Yes. That was my mother and grandmother." Oscar's tone was a little grieved. As he walked, he touched the walls of the Palace. "All the happy memories of my mother were in this place. Her childhood, her teenage years, her young adulthood. During the days that she was in Dulin, she had almost never left this Palace."
Oscar stopped by a door of a room. He hesitated for a moment before walking into this room by himself. This was a spacious bedroom. The design of the bedroom was simple, but the elegance vibes from could hold a person's eyes. That clerk just told him that this was the place of birth of Princess Mica Alfa Morisette.
"This was the birthplace of my mother." Oscar sat on the large bed that was covered with white cloth. "From this moment onwards, this will be my bedroom as well."
Snowstorm nonchalantly nodded. "Yes. It should be. If you did not use this point, I'm afraid that you might not have been able to pass the Emperor!"
Oscar suddenly did not want to talk about this because it was embarrassing to talk about it. If he did not use his deceased mother's name, he would seem to have no chance at all to attain his status now. The disinterested little Prince walked out of the bedroom. He and Snowstorm walked around the place without any specific place to go. At this moment, Oscar did not even know what he wanted anymore.
Both of them stopped by the hall of the second floor walkway of Kensington Palace. The whole Palace fell dead silent when both of their footsteps vanished. The atmosphere was rather creepy for no reason, but Oscar and Snowstorm's expressions were relaxed.
"How long have you not seen servants in this Palace?" Oscar looked at Paul as he flashed an evil smile.
"Er, I did not notice that." Snowstorm answered calmly.
"Oh god! Tell me, is this how a responsible bodyguard should be? I can't believe how insensitive you are to the changes in your surroundings."
"I am the one who should say ‘oh god'! How could you blame me on this sort of matter? I thought they were instructed to avoid us! Who knows the rules of you nobles?"
Oscar was rather speechless towards Paul. "Fine then! O most respected Mr. Knight, what do you think we should do now? We seem to be abandoned by everyone else."
Paul began to scream. "Is there anyone? Hey! Anyone here?"
A number of echoes could be heard from the deeper parts of the walkway.
"Er... It seems that you are right. What should we do now?" Snowstorm threw the question back to Oscar rather irresponsibly.
"You... Fine. Just forget that I said anything!" Oscar turned around and wanted to walk away.
"Alright! Alright! Little guy, look at you! You are a Prince now. Why are you still so small-minded? I can surely tell you now that there is an Assassination Group. Yep! That is right. All signs show that it is an Assassination Group. There is an Assassination Group of ten people or more that have infiltrated your Palace, my dear Prince."
Oscar was a little interested in this. "How can you be so sure?"
Snowstorm became full of himself again. As a naïve assassin, Paul kept a cheerful attitude when he faced all sorts of things. "Hehe! Look at this, they are quite professional! There are only two ways to infiltrate this Palace: First is from the front door, but apparently there is no one helping them from the inside, so they would have to choose the other method. That is climbing into the window using hooks. Of course, having a person to help them from the inside would make things easier, so they should be hidden in every corner suitable for ambush right now. But, Your Highness, did you notice? Until now they had only made one mistake."
"What mistake?" Oscar sincerely wanted to hear the opinion of the Number One Assassin.
"You noticed that all servants had disappeared. They should be transferred to and gathered in another place and be watched over by someone, but look at the walkway behind us. All these cupboards, lamps and cotton cloths used to wipe silverware were not cleared away properly. That means three servants in this hallway had been attacked at the same time. I am not sure if you had noticed this before but that clerk mentioned that they are only eight servants managing this Palace now. Then this Assassination Group must have eight people to settle, one responsible to watch over the situation, two responsible to follow us and one more responsible to coordinate. Haha. Eleven. They have at least eleven people participating in this action."
"Oh! That makes sense!" Oscar nodded. "How about this, Paul? I recall that we have not had proper exercise for some time already. Then let the Assassination Group be the bet. If you are able to eliminate more people than me, then I shall not interfere with you courting Annie. If I eliminate more people than you, you have to teach me the secret technique Thirteen taught you before."
As if signaling the beginning of Oscar's wager, a shadow flashed at the end of the hallway all of a sudden. The sudden sound of strong wind made Oscar shivered. Suddenly, Snowstorm was holding a shiny dagger in his hands.
A glimmering black light barely touched the sharp tip of the arrow. Oscar finally avoided the arrow that aimed straight at his throat by turning his body to one side quickly. The arrow embedded itself deep in the wall. Oscar was a little worried about the force coupled on the arrow, but he felt that he had many ways to deal with these guys that were similar to snipers.
"Hey! You haven't answered me yet. Do you agree?"
Snowstorm obviously did not care about the daring moves of the assassins. "What do you even mean? You should know that no other men can fit into Annie's heart."
Oscar shrugged. "You should know that Annie and I wouldn't have a future together. But I think you are more suitable for her than I am. And aren't you guys getting along great?"
"I can treat what you're saying as words of encouragement! Right?" Snowstorm was a little excited.
"Yes. But the condition for this is that you must win this competition."
"Haha! We'll see about that, little guy. Don't treat me like I am truly a disgraced knight..."
Oscar waved his hands towards the direction at which Snowstorm's voice disappeared. "Then we shall see about that later!"
The whole Kensington Palace felt dead silent again. The nervous atmosphere in the air was depressing. "Oh well!" Oscar sighed. A sharp knife appeared at his left hand's sleeve. At the same time, his right hand reached into the pocket of his armor. The young lad suddenly whistled. That was the lullaby Oscar was most familiar with in his memory.
The holy Titan Empire was the oldest empire in the history of the Westland. Its government and every administrative department was undoubtedly the most perfect. The monarchy system of several hundred years was developed into the highly efficient and strict management department today. Take the Imperial Security Division for example, this organization that was set up in the Church's 528th year could prove the above statements perfectly.
Why did a country have so many secrets? The answer was extremely simple. Some things must not be known by others. For example, what exactly went on during the Munich Invasion of more than ten years ago and the map of the city defense of Andrew Haila, the East gate of Titan. Also, the blueprint of the Warren Fortress that was currently being built now. And those defense line maps of the nineteen army troops of the Empire. In addition to that, the investigation report of the assassination of a certain Emperor. All these matters were things that must not be known by outsiders, thus the security measures of the Empire had reached an incredible height of tight security two hundred years ago.
The workplace of the Security Division could be correctly described as a large warehouse. It was located right behind the Building of the Imperial Army. It was an old-fashioned, three-story building. Even though it looked just like a mansion but the defense there was even stricter than that of the bedroom of His Majesty the Emperor. In fact, this was totally understandable. A country could have no Emperor, but it must have its secrets.
The people working for the Security Division were never seen by others. People were not even sure that the person in charge of the Security Division even existed. But there was one rule only that was known to everyone. There were only four people who could enter this building at will. And that was the Emperor himself, the Emperor-to-be that was officially recognized by the Emperor and the Ministry of Senior Nobility, the Secretary of State of the Empire and also the Military Affairs Chancellor. Except for these four people, all that attempted to enter this mansion would be eliminated. Of course, we would not know if those guys who forcefully entered the mansion had actually died or not.
The Secretary of State, Duke Robinson Brickfield hated to work in this creepy, scary building of the Security Division. Moreover, he had not yet recovered from his cold.
"Achoo! Achoo!" Robinson curled into a ball in the guest waiting area of the Security Division. "Damn it!" This Minister of high status could not stop cursing at his cold. "Damn the project! Damn Russell! Damn this weather!"
The Duke did not stop his complaints. He even thought of His Majesty the Emperor. He must never curse His Majesty, but the doctor of His Majesty actually stopped him from seeing His Majesty. "Ah! Damn it!" The Duke complained again. To be honest, he would never have been allowed to see the Emperor when his cold was so bad. But this must have been the intention of the Emperor, since that damn doctor had a firm voice just now. Upon thinking about this, the Duke could not help but feel angry. If not for the fact that he had been disturbed by all sorts of messy stuff lately, or else he would have surely disciplined those guys who only knew how to play politics.
"Sir, is your cold not getting better?" The head of the Security Division brought a cup of hot cocoa for the poor Minister.
"Ah! Yes! But old friend, look at you! Do you think I am some kind of monster? Oh god! You even have a mask and gloves on! Damn it! It's not like I have Dark Death Disease." Robinson was truly angered now. These guys acted as if they saw a ghost when they saw him.
The old friend of the Duke obviously did not think that he would anger this Sir by his actions. "Oh, dear Robs! Forgive me. But the truth is that the cold is easily contagious. You won't want me to leave the Security Division behind, then lie on the sick bed, doing happy things right?"
Robinson acted as if he wanted to hit him badly with the gentleman's cane in his hands. "Fuck you! Only guys like you would want to do ‘happy things' all the time!"
"Alright! Alright! What you wanted! Explain! What is this about?"
The Secretary of State carefully took a bamboo tube that was sealed with a fire seal. "Ah, don't mention it! The commander of Warren Fortress a.k.a the commander of Army Troop Ten, Russell actually found that some parts of the fortress are totally different than from what was drawn in the blueprint. So he asked to send the manuscript to him as soon as possible so that he can compare. You know what old friend? Another construction group is going to have bad luck. Hehe. Russell is such a panicky person."
"Oh! Okay! Same old rules. Write the reference number of the copy of the document you are bringing out over here and write the reason for bringing it out over here..."
"Yes! Yes! And then write my name here! I got it, old friend. It is not my first day of being the Secretary of State."
"Oh! Good good! But Sir, let me remind you this. The document you took last week should have been returned by now. Of course, not returning the document is an option. I can think of ways to retrieve it myself." The head of the Security Division said to the Secretary of State with a smile on his face.
"Are you joking? What last time?" The Secretary of State had a face full of shock.
"Oh god! Could it be that you have forgotten about it? Last Thursday there was a situation in a certain village at the north side. Apparently, it was related to the one of the cult cases a few years ago. Then you took a scroll of that case from me to use as reference. Why? Are you not going to admit it now?"
The Secretary of State slapped his forehead hard. He was sickly from the cold. Now he remembered the situation. Yes, it was last week. He did not even have the time to look at the secret investigation report!
"Oh, okay! You are a devil. You don't plan to let me rest at all, huh? Alright alright! I will deliver it to you tomorrow."
The head of the Security Division sent the Secretary of State away. Then he continued with his original work. Actually, his job was really easy, because theoretically speaking he was only responsible for four people. There was no Emperor-to-be in the Empire now, so he only needed to provide services for three people.
This official that managed all the secrets of the Empire put the form that was filled in by Duke Robinson Brickfield into a special drawer. Then he opened the thick log book on his desk as usual. "Hmm? Robs seem to be rather busy?" The log book clearly recorded that the Secretary of State had already borrowed three documents of absolute secrecy for this month. The head of the Security Division did not care too much. He quickly recorded today's work on a new page.
The Secretary of State, Duke Robinson Brickfield had obtained the blueprint of the Warren Fortress. Security Level: Highest in the Empire. Received time: The Holy Titan Empire Church's 791st Year on the 13th day of the 5th month, 11 am.
"Ding, Ding, Ding... Ding, Ding" The clock reported the time with the loudest noise possible. Oscar could feel the sound wave resonate in the whole Palace.
The young Prince walked according to the loud sound of the clock while he searched for his enemy. His whole senses were spread outwards.
"Ding….."When the clock rhymed for the eleventh time, Oscar felt two swords at his back drawn almost without a sound.
The young lad dived forwards immediately. The sword behind him followed his movement. As Oscar rolled forward, he said this in a low voice. "This is Master-level!"
The two attacking assassins could definitely be described as masters. They utilized the rhymes of the clock to slowly approach Oscar and launch a sudden attack from the most advantageous position at his back. But the young lad surprised them. They actually saw this young man go out of the attacking range of their sword.
The first attack of the assassins did not bring the expected results, but the assassins continued. The frequency of the attacks of the swords was maximized. The swishing sounds could be heard loudly and clearly in the air.
Oscar undoubtedly looked flustered now. His fat little body rather clumsily dodged the attacks of the swords. The cooperation of these two swords was impeccable and perfect. The two assassins with their black outfits and black armor on agilely swung the weapons in their hands around. Oscar knife seemed to have no use at all. He had lost count of the times he dodged their swords.
There was a certain seriousness shown between the eyebrows of the young lad. He knew that he could not waste his physical energy during these dangerous moments in a spar. Oscar ducked down to avoid the sword that was aimed at the point between his eyebrows quite suddenly. Before the second sword reached him, he used all of his strength and crashed into a room's door.
Oscar utilized the time as he rolled on the floor and quickly positioned the two knives in his hands. When he faced the door, the assassins were already right on his tail.