Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 210: Twenty-fourth Episode: Chapter 2
Chapter 210: Twenty-fourth Episode: Chapter 2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Speaking from a historical perspective, the city of Vielonna reached its current scale in the mid-late era of the sixth century.
Initially, when the Titan Empire's Morisette Dynasty had just completed the handover from the old to the new, Vielonna was only an ordinary small town in the south. However, after the Gaul people of the Kingdom of Faran grew stronger with each passing day, the prince of Titan, who was responsible for the defenses of the south, thoroughly changed the appearance of the small town. This member of the Imperial Household constructed the presently-called old city walls, built pillboxes and introduced a great number of local nobles to grow in Vielonna.
This kind of development lasted for four centuries. It could be said that... Vielonna having its pride today was entirely due to the Imperial Household of Morisette running this legendary metropolis the right way. However, presently... the practical actions of His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette already proved that the eccentric tendencies of the southern nobles who gathered in the capital city of music were extremely serious.
Since the ancient times, the spirits of Vielonna had been cheerful, rich, open, and diverse! In addition to the landmark buildings and palatial streetscapes in the city, the main reason for people lingering in Vielonna was naturally music. Music was the concentrated embodiment of the city's spirit.
Music was the primary entertaining activity for the people of Vielonna. In hotels, bars, restaurants, streets, and in the corner of one's family courtyard, having artists performing with their musical instruments, and having traveling bards humming ancient ballads were the most delightful scenery in the city. Those music halls that were built on a hundred-year foundation often hosted free concerts, especially when welcoming the Holy Day of God. Every dance hall, noble opera house, and dance theatres, more often than not, would run hour-long shows lasting until midnight of the New Year.
His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette had a natural affection toward Vielonna. When he listened to the music, he always thought of his mother's singing. He felt that all the music that was played were the melodies to his mother's ballad. Regardless of whether it was a symphony or a musical, he could always find the melody belonging to his mother in the complicated syllables.
According to the explanation by his psychiatrist… this was just an auditory hallucination produced by the Prince's mind. The music of Vielonna was not the ballad of Her Highness Princess Mica. Rather, it integrated the emotional signs of a motherly affection, warmth, peacefulness, and harmony. Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette's response to these signs was the fragmental memories from childhood. Actually… this was not any psychological problem. The psychiatrist concluded this condition as a human nature.
Anyway, Oscar soon fell in love with Vielonna and its music. He felt at home here. Whenever he and his knights appeared on the streets, the enthusiastic citizens always put down the work on their hands. The people would crowd around the hero of the nation, listening to him talk about the battle stories of the past.
Those most interested in the stories of His Highness the Prince was naturally the children. They would poke out from all sorts of places like mice and surround the young Prince of the Empire. Oscar could only send them with stories. As for the common people on the streets, their desires were very limited. For these lower class citizens, being able to take off their hats and salute His Imperial Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette was enough for them to be satisfied.
When he was young, His Highness the Prince was always followed around by shadow. Perhaps it was because they had parted from each other for too long, or that Sasha and her brother had never carefully gotten along with… the Mistress of Andrew.
Oh, that's right! Sasha was already the mistress of Andrew. This was released as a piece of public news by the Duchess of the previous generation to the outside world some time ago.
So, Sasha remained by her husband's side at all times. Instead of saying that she was studying the ways of becoming a good mistress of Andrew, one might as well say that she was practicing the method of becoming a wife. Just as that of her understanding, she had never been a good wife, or a good lover, because she had no idea just what the man who was almost within her reach wanted!
What did Oscar want? He had never brought up that strange dream to anyone. However, the 'reality' in the dream made him came to understand many things. Regardless of whether Marquis Glenn Alpré in the dream was blathering nonsense, there was at least one thing he was right about.
"The water of wisdom, filled with vitality, that gushes out from the fountain of the Creator will never dry up. It bestows those who possess a goal and a plan to have the authority to give orders to others!"– If a person had no goals and plans, then this person was destined to be bossed around by others. This was the truth. Oscar did not want to be controlled by anyone else. So… he had formulated a plan and racked his brains for the realization of this plan.
On the 13th day of the 3rd month. 13, this ominous figure determined that, on this day, some unfortunate things were destined to happen. Prince O'Neil received the special investigating officer from the capital in the Serevan Palace. These mature-looking Secret Service agents were reverent as though they were meeting with an Emperor. They kept their backs bowed when they spoke to His Highness the Prince. This left Oscar at a loss for words.
The Special Task Force notified the latest findings of the Sukhoi Family's series of major corruption cases. In the face of hard evidence, Duke Sukhoi had already self-requested a transfer of his title, his feudal fiefdoms, and hereditary nobility titles. Apart from the old Duke, seventeen Sukhoi Family members, who were direct descents, were arrested, and nearly 30 extended family members had been terminated from their public office, waiting for the "Double Rules".
Oscar held up his chin with his hand. He listened to the report absent-mindedly. When the unsightly secret service agent brought up about the right time to arrest the mistress of Sukhoi, Madam Vijdeline, His Imperial Highness the Prince impatiently called for the guards and announced that the meeting was over. The head of the Special Task Force had no choice but to remind His Highness the Prince, saying that the people all knew that Madam Vijdeline was hiding in the Serevan Palace. Oscar ignored the stupid guy and only replied, "Vij isn't here, if you don't believe it, then go ahead and search."
With that... the meeting ended. The leader of the task force was not as stupid as His Imperial Highness the Prince thought him to be; at least not that stupid as to search for the fields of the Serevan Palace.
After this, the depressed young Prince had no choice but to engross himself with work as usual. He wanted to conduct an analysis on the intelligence gathered by the Southern sub-bureau in order to carry out an assessment on the covert operations on the Slovenian side. He also wanted to discuss the proposal of expanding the reserves with the representative of the Southern Army Group. Finally, he still had to go to the United Government building where there would be a detailed meeting on financial topics.
By the time all these were settled, it was already early evening. The setting sun stopped over the far end of Don River. At the furthest end, as far as the eye could reach, the fiery red sunset lit up the clouds, rivers, and silhouette of the city. The crowd returning home and the carriages that shuttled back and forth ceaselessly transformed the street into an alley. The overflowing and powerful stream of people only gradually thinned out after passing through the old city walls to the south and north of the city. Most carriages entered the noble merchant and aristocrat-inhabited areas, while the crowds were digested by the old houses and shacks.
At this time, the taverns and restaurants with lace curtains came alive. The inferior common people would enjoy their lives in the bars and brothels. They gathered around an enormous hot iron plate, drinking cheap beer and absinthe. On the huge iron plate, beef and pork ribs drenched with blood were spread out and being grilled red through and through. It only took around a dozen Ti coins to buy a large slab of meat, it was just that all the meat were not fresh, and some were even emitting the stench of corpses.
In the restaurants with good-looking shop fronts, the situation was naturally greatly different from the bars on the streets. Clothed in tuxedos with a gentleman's cane in hand, the noble Lords and their ladies (most were mistresses and courtesans) relished in the culinary delicacies of various countries in the restaurants. This was a city called "Vielonna". These restaurants naturally could not do without bands or artists that performed all sorts of instruments.
The nobles' dining tables would usually be in the best position to listen to the music in the restaurant. A great attention was also paid to the service and decor in this area. The wealthy merchants and upstarts of various names should say that high society was not very welcoming to them. However, the high society did not think it was good to reject the wealth of such people. So, in the secluded corners of the restaurant, the Titan Empire's very best great merchants sat. They were already in the same room as the nobles, but they still lowered their voices when they spoke, trying their best to avoid having the noble lords, who were enjoying fine food and music, cast contemptuous gazes at them. The merchants were only too familiar with those looks.
It was as if they were saying, "behold, a group of uncultivated monkeys..."
At 33rd Palace Garden Avenue, the Bruckwim Restaurant had a history of more than 100 years. It was rated a four-star restaurant by the Vielonna Food and Beverage Industry Association. It mainly served palace-style main courses of freshwater fish and authentic flavors. In Vielonna, there were not many that who dared use palace dishes as their specialty; Sir Bruckwim was the only one. He had once been the private chef of Emperor Morisette, and after quitting his job due to a misfortune, he went far away from Vielonna and opened this restaurant. However, as of now, everyone under the restaurant now was already Bruckwim's grandchildren.
As per custom, Prince O'Neil, who paid a visit to the restaurant, first greeted the owner. The owner greeted the Imperial husband with utmost respect using the palace's etiquette, he then led His Highness the Prince to the private Shalon of the restaurant. The owner of the restaurant, who had already been informed by the court, had closed the salon. There would only be one guest here tonight: O'Neil Andrew Morisette.
When His Imperial Highness the Prince had settled down on the sofa, the restaurant owner passed him a menu, but he did not introduce the menu to His Highness. Instead, he recommended a worthless meal set in accordance with the custom of receiving an honored guest. When he saw that there was not anything on his restrictions, Oscar gladly accepted the recommendation of the host owner.
The salon had quieted down and the owner of the restaurant had personally gone off to the kitchen to set up the meal. The Military Intelligence secret agents in the salon... oh no! Now those following His Highness the Prince should be the secret operation personnel under the Andrew's Military Investigation Bureau, posted in the South of the Empire. They tapped here and there and surveyed the place. It was only after a quarter of an hour did they ascertain that the soundproofing condition was not bad; there were also no eavesdropping devices.
Not long after, "Bruckwim" brought in the pre-dinner wine and Tremella Bracken Soup and Oscar gazed at the clock above the built-in cupboard, frowning. He did not expect his guests to be late.
However, fortunately, when Oscar was complaining about this, the great oak doors of the salon were already opened. A middle-aged man, with his face covered with a beard and a wig on his head, barged in boldly. Behind this man were a few fierce-looking mercenary thugs carrying cutting tools!
The atmosphere in the room instantly became tense, and the secret agents following the Prince kept their hands over the hilt of their swords. Only the King of Assassin and the Imperial assassin were indifferent to everything before them.
Oscar quickly stood up after seeing the other person. He stepped out of his seat and hugged the other warmly. After that, His Imperial Highness the Prince beckoned to his left and right, and all the secret agents and entourage of the mysterious figure retreated from the salon until the great oak doors were closed tightly.
"My apologies..." Oscar said as he pulled the other person into the seat. "It was Lady Vijdeline who invited you, but you know, it is inconvenient for her to move about now!"
"It's understandable!" the mysterious guest took off his cloak and removed his wig. He revealed a pair of shiny eyes. "Empress I issued the ultimate ruling on the Sukhoi Family. If it were not for you protecting Lady Vijdeline, the five-year plan of the Imperial Military Industry will have fallen through!"
Oscar shrugged, and he truly understood the reason Alanis had to target Vijdeline!
"My Lord! The Andrews and Titania are close neighbors, but I remember that... we don't visit each other much!"
The mysterious guest grinned. His gaze fell on the table, and Oscar said nothing more and merely shot a glance at the Black Devil in the corner. Shaw Curlink understood intuitively. He walked to the door and rang the golden bell. The oak doors opened again and the owner of the restaurant personally pushed in a dining cart filled with scrumptious, fine food. The attendant who followed him from behind then arranged the dishes on the dining cart onto the table.
Oscar waved his hand, and the attendant removed the pre-dinner wine and thick soup, and then set the main course for the prominent figure and the mysterious man. The main dishes were Susilo roasted foie gras, smoked oysters, mashed potatoes and leek sauce mixed with white wine. The side dishes included Lohan fishballs and mutton balls in onion red wine stew.
"Ola... I'm very satisfied!" Oscar nodded his head slightly at the owner of the restaurant. The owner burst into laughter, still abiding by the old customs. Sir Bruckwim took out the beverage list, but he did not let His Highness the Prince see it. Instead, he recommended a mixed Rochette pre-adjusted cocktail and the special champagne of Faran lemon-sweet liquor.
Sipping champagne and relishing in the fine palace food of the reputable place, Oscar could not help but gasp at the owner's attentive effort. The people of the world all knew that the Titan prince had intestines that were in a disastrous state. The chef of the restaurant chef had specifically gotten rid of the meat from the oysters that were the most difficult to be digested, while the meatballs and leek sauce were also adjusted to be soft and tasty.
"Then... as for my proposal in the letter, what do you plan to do?" Oscar scrutinized the other's face.
General of the Guards, Duke Hank Brutnort Titania returned the look of the Imperial Prince, who was a little overbearing. To be honest, he was still considering O'Neil Andrew Morisette's proposal, but…
"As head of Titania, one of the four major military houses, you know just how special a situation my family and I are in in the Empire. I must consider the capital's reaction."
Oscar nodded and shook his head again, "You should say that it is the three major military families!"
"Oh yes!" the middle-aged man smiled for a while. "Hagrid is already a term of history! I believe this name will only take up a single space in Dulin University's history exam."
Oscar rolled his eyes. He was somewhat baffled. As a previous generation of the Imperial Household, Titania was naturally in a very special position in the Empire! However, just what was special about it? If this problem was not clarified, Oscar was already aware that he would be sending the helve after the hatchet.
"I don't really understand!" the Prince of Empire felt that it was still necessary to clarify the problem.
"Your leader ancestors established the official name of Titan, then when the Moriceite family took over the imperial throne and reset the Imperial System, why would TItania accept the arrangements of the new emperor? You were once the ruler of this empire. What made your ancestors feel willing to lead a province with a miserable land, to be a Duke?"
"You don't know?" General Hank Brutnort ripped off his fake beard, his grave and stern face immediately enhanced his monotonous expression greatly.
"I don't know! There are no clear records with the Imperial Historian!"
The Duke Titania nodded, "It should be like this!"
"Why... should it be like this? Just how is this like?" Oscar frowned.
Hank shrugged. He was as melancholic as all the middle-aged people, just that he had the additional grave and stern manner, and a dignity distinctive of the top-notch nobles.
"At that time, four hundred years ago, my ancestors lost the prestige of continuing to rule Titan. Be it the nobles or the subjects of this country, they all needed a strong, fearless, heroic character to lead Titan out of the crisis and hold off the large-scale invasion by the Persian-armored cavalry."
The Duke of Titania paused here. He was thinking about a way to express something. After a long while, he continued to say, "but, of course… we can only put it this way today, four hundred years later. If it were at that time, the situation in the country may be even grimmer, one couldn't say for sure."
"You haven't directly answered my question!" Oscar persisted.
General Hank only sighed. Obviously, the question was not easy to answer, "Because... 400 years ago, the Morisette Family's Emperor, who founded the country, was just a shrewd, valiant politician. He did not have any kinship with my ancestors, which meant that… even though he occupied the leading position due to a popular vote, he was not eligible to take over the Imperial System! He was not a legitimate successor, and the Morisette Household did not have any granted title as well. But the truth is... he was still crowned as emperor in the end. You know what we should call such an illegal and unreasonable situation?"
Oscar nodded, "a schemed crusade to seize the throne!"
"Hehe!" Duke Titania nodded repeatedly. "Yes, yes, a schemed crusade to seize the throne! The oriental rhetorics has always been close-fitting!"
Oscar again fell into doubt, "But is this illegal and unreasonable?"
General Hank waved his hand, "I'm going to address your problem! Even though... I'm not too clear about the plans of my ancestors and the current Imperial Household, the Morisette Family possesses the legal foundation of accession through inheritance, Titan, and titles, plus…"
"Plus the intermarriage with the Titania Family... just these?" Oscar looked at the previous generation of Imperial descendant with a sense of distrust.
Hank muttered to himself for a long time. In the end, he said, "yes, just these!"
The salon fell silent. Prince O'Neil had already turned his head away. He knew that Duke Titania was bound to be concealing certain hidden stories!
Although this was enough to explain the reason why the Titanic family was spared in the successive great purge initiated by the New Emperor, it was just as Vijdeline suspected, the pact between the new and old dynasties would not be as simple as a matter of merely intermarriage and inheritance. There was probably a deeply-rooted reason, a reason why the Imperial Household of Morisette did not dare put it down into the historical records, one which caused the Titania Family to keep their lips sealed.
"Let us not talk about this!" Oscar chuckled. "Surely you must have heard of the rumors between Lady Vijdeline and me! So I can tell you here, the rumors... are not just rumors!"
"I understand!" General Hank nodded. "At a time like this, you will do everything to protect Lady Vijdeline."
Oscar nodded. "I just hope for you to know that I will unwaveringly preserve the safety of Lady Vijdeline! So… I've chosen you and your family! Because Vijdeline originally would have attempted to establish the first modernized army in the history of our country! I think there isn't anyone better-suited to be her guardian than you. "
Without waiting for General Hank to speak, Oscar waved his hand impatiently. He continued to bring up the proposal, "If you bring Lady Vijdeline into the protection of the Titania Family, I think… even Her Majesty Alanis I will be lenient with you. Just as you said, "the Titania Family is in a very special situation! Moreover… the noble leader is very close to the Andrews. In the event that any incident happens, or perhaps... someone dares challenge my resolution in protecting Vijdeline, the Front, which the Narcissus Knights set up at the provincial boundaries of the noble leader, will react in the first instance. "
General Hank Brutnort Titania suddenly raised his eyebrows. He sarcastically looked at the young man who was brimming with self-confidence up and down, "I want to know… are you threatening me?"
Oscar shook his head, "I'm just putting forth an initiative to an old neighbor. With this initiative as a foundation, the Titania Family can possess the most modernized army in the world, while I can also protect my intimate lover.
"If this is the case… your Narcissus Knights need not respond to anything." General Hank finally nodded.
Oscar embraced the 'old neighbor' with great joy. The significance of him emphasizing the address of 'old neighbor' was still for it to be a threat! The Narcissus Knights deployed to the provincial borders of Great Titania could reach the feudal fiefdom of the former Imperial Family within two days. Before a threat of such a degree, Hank Brutnort did not have much room for in-depth consideration, "So in other words... I can entrust the adult and child to you?"
"That's right! But I dare not guarantee whether Her Majesty I will secretly have any drastic actions!" Hank again heaved a sigh. "I only know that… at least by honor, with me acting as the guardian of Lady Vijdeline Van Sukhoi, Her Majesty will not have any objections!"
Oscar once again embraced the final-generation of the Imperial family. "Titania will be an everlasting friend of the Andrews!"
Hank beamed, "We have always been friends!"
Oscar stared blankly. The other person's smile had a strangeness to it that he could not quite put his finger on. On the 3rd, later in the evening, the night finally descended over Vielonna. Yet, this happened to be the time when the music capital showed the most fascinating scenes. The St. Stephen Cathedral that was newly refurbished by the nobles and great merchants had been reopened again in the past year. The ever-increasing number of joss sticks burned night and day. Nearly ten thousand candles lit the cathedral up against the background.
The cruise ships on the Don River were still traveling back and forth. These single-masted sailboats were of various sizes, traveling along under the curtain of night, with little specks of kerosene lamps burning, like the fireflies flying about everywhere, suddenly coming closer or going far away. If the ships happened to be close to the riverbank, one would hear the laughter of the men and women on the ship traveling out.
Brilliant starlight shone in the skies above the city. The cluster of stars in the heart of the city twinkled! The musicians and performing team from all over the world sent generous gifts to Vielonna. If one wanted to watch acrobatics, one could go to the Schindlerdie Open Air Theater and Victory Monument Square in the north of the city. If one wanted to listen to concerts, then one could go to the national opera house, the Hosden Music Hall, New Year's Music Hall, and the Imperial Palace Opera House. If one wanted to watch operas, ballets, stage plays, melodramas, then… please, It's Vielonna! Any random café in Vielonna would have such performances.
It was on such a night that made one indulge and lose themselves. His Imperial Highness the Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette chose the Imperial Palace Opera House – constructed with the contribution from the Imperial Household, the world's most luxurious opera house that possessed the perfect acoustic structure.
If one of the citizens of Vielonna said, "I'm going to the palace tonight!" He must be bragging, but what he called the "Imperial Palace" must be referring to the Imperial Palace Opera House. The Imperial Palace Opera House was located at the middle part of the ring road. Beside the sixteenth arched bridge in Basink. The people could take a carriage or a cruise ship to the Imperial Palace Opera House's high marble staircase which was twenty-three meters high. After ascending the stone steps, one would enter a huge gate inlaid with gold carvings.
The circular stairs that led up to the boxes upstairs and the ordinary seats downstairs were right before one's eyes.
The ceiling above the circular stairs was also inlaid with painted works that were popular centuries ago. The numerous crystal chandeliers and the mirrored walls that extended directly to the ceiling caused the entire great hall to shine with a breathtaking splendor. Following the flow of the people ascending the stairs, going downward would allow one to arrive at the stage lounge while going upwards or walking on to either side would be the boxes.
Prince O'Neil's box was naturally a seat special for the Imperial Household. This box would not be open to others even if the Imperial Household members did not turn up. The soprano singer dressed up in splendid attire was waiting at the entrance of the box. Without an invitation from the master, Elizabeth's status was still not enough for her to have the privileges exclusive to the Imperial Household.
Oscar took hold of his charming, adopted daughter and strolled into the box. The curtains of the box were already opened. The scene displayed before the Imperial Prince immediately widened. This was indeed the best listening position in the opera house. When the silhouette of the Imperial Prince appeared suddenly, a wave of orderly-standing sound echoed above and below the stage. The nobles and gentlemen from all walks of life who came in applauded O'Neil Andrew Morisette in succession. It was only after His Imperial Highness took off his hat did the people return to their seats.
Oscar took the small telescope that Paul had handed over to him. Viscount Lukas Diyabaker who was accompanying him immediately pointed at a box.
"The man with a bouquet of daisies! The Prince of Engels - William Steward!"
Oscar observed through the telescope for a while. After that, he turned towards Lukas and said to the university student in a frivolous tone, "it's just that, he doesn't look as charming as you!"
Viscount Diyabaker smiled and he subconsciously shot a glance at the expressionless soprano singer, "But he's a Prince of Engels. Just this point is enough to make him more adorable than a Colonel of the Guards!"
Oscar gave an exclamation of Ola. It was not because he could not tell that the Colonel of the Guards was mocking Elizabeth. It was just that… he didn't care at all.
"Has everything been arranged?" The Imperial Empire turned towards the Head of Secret Operations Office, Baron Spencer Balung.
Baron Balung blinked his grey eagle eyes several times. He also pointed towards the box, "All arrangements have been made! However, according to our preliminary investigations, the old man sitting beside Prince William is the overall person in charge of the Engel's Overseas Operation Department under the Department of Ocean Measurement. The people in his circle call him Sir James. No one knows his real name." That old man with graying hair on both temples is James?" Oscar lifted the telescope again. He wanted to verify whether the old man before his eyes was the world's most renowned super terrorist of the intelligence community! It was said that… since the birth of gunpowder, in every ten explosion cases in the Westland, there were four that were connected to this Sir James.
"In a while more... you are most likely to be negotiating with him!" the person in charge of the Secret Operations Office muttered with a slight sense of worry.
Before this, he did not expect the Engelish to send such a highly dangerous person to Titan.
"The show is starting!" Elizabeth gently reminded the man. She did not wish to let the men continue the subject.
Oscar immediately sat upright and still. Baron Balung and Viscount Diyabaker also put on a look of 'being immersed'.
Following the deafening applause, the huge, red curtains on the stage drew open. The conductor and opera composer walked out among a thousand candlelight. After a short speech by the playwright, Oscar learned that the four-act comedy tonight was the famous 'Hewart'. It told the absurd tale of the ruler, King Hewart, who used to rule over Italia.
The orchestra conductor was one of the most famous masters in the world. He used impeccable gestures to drive the baton and bowed towards His Highness the Prince in the first box to the right of the second floor of the theater. Oscar lifted up the glass that was ready on hand. Following the customs, the glass filled with the water from the Don River symbolized the highest respect of the owner here towards the artists.
Next... when the band started playing the first note, the operatives of Southern sub-bureau of Titan's Military Intelligence Bureau requested all the people idling around in the hallway to leave. And then… according to the plan agreed upon in advance, the soprano singer, Lady Elizabeth Kate stepped forth. His Royal Highness the Prince who came from the Kingdom of Engels was formally introduced to the Prince of the Titan Empire, O'Neil Andrew Morisette. Prince O'Neil politely invited the Prince of Engels into the box of the Imperial Household. During the evening's repertoire, both parties held cordial and friendly discussions regarding the relations between the countries, Engels and Titan…
Speaking of which... this resembled the tone of the Press and Publications Agency! It was reckoned that the newspapers on the 13th day of the 3rd month would indeed send out messages this way. However, on the evening of the 13th day of the 3rd month, in the Imperial box of Vielonna's Imperial Palace Opera House, we know that what happened was definitely not the case.
It was interesting to note that the hosts and guests had taken their seats. The head of the Secret Operations office and the intelligent university student were seated on both sides of Oscar, while on the Engel's side, Prince William Steward had the spymaster and the charming Lady Elizabeth Kate by his side. Oscar did not look at his stressed-out, adopted daughter in the eye from the beginning to the end. Although this situation had saved Elizabeth from being awkwardly distressed, this woman with a delicate mind nevertheless still felt a little anxious.
It should be said that... a Prince of Engels and a Prince of Titan being in the same room would not raise any unnecessary suspicions. The Kingdom of Engels had just established unity only two centuries ago, and it was only the unity in the form of an island nation. Regardless of whichever way one understood it, such an isolated country abroad could not be compared with the gigantic Titan. Historically, there was not any form of disputes between the two countries and association that involved the interests of both parties.
However... it was Church's year 801, placing Titan and Engels in this great historical environment from the seventh century to the end of the eighth century. The opportunity for the two countries to strive for common growth had finally emerged!
Prince William had a pair of deep eyes and a towering eagle nose that was unique to the Engelish. He appeared young, but his age had already passed thirty.
The subtle difference between him and the usual Engelish was that Prince William preferred speaking in a concise manner. He used two sentences to convey the standpoint of Engel's Royal family clearly!
William said to the Prince Titan in front of him, "Your Highness, let us collaborate! You must know that, to the both of us, this is a good thing for mutual benefit!"
Oscar cast a subconscious glance at the university student beside him, and Lukas practically got the meaning in his eyes immediately. He spread his hands at William and spoke to the foreign prince with moderation.
"My apologies Your Highness, collaboration isn't necessary for us. I believe that you also know the truth of the matter. Without collaborating, my country can still accomplish the determined strategy independently."
"Who are you?" William glanced unhappily at the young university student, and then he turned towards Oscar, who had yet to utter a word. That gaze was as if he were accusing O'neil Andrew Morisette's lack of responsibility. The Prince of Titan should personally respond to this question.
"You know who I am!" Lukas could not help but laugh. Perhaps all the prominent figures in the world were like this. They knew exactly the kind of person the man standing before them were, but they just liked to look at them with a superior, unfamiliar air.
William simply closed his mouth. His upbringing and rationality did not allow him to quarrel with a little Major of the Guards.
The senile Sir James suddenly let out a wave of violent coughing. Prince O'Neil turned to scrutinize Westland's most renowned destruction expert, leader of the spies, and professional terrorist. Although these nicknames completely did not fit the old man in front of him, Oscar knew that those were all him! This understanding was somewhat absurd. It was just like having your eyes tell you that a creature before you was a white goose, but your rationality told you that it was the devil.
"Previously... I had the privilege of meeting your country's Secretary of State once!" the old man suddenly dropped without giving any details.
"Titan's Secretary of State?" Oscar looked up, slightly baffled. There was no news indicating that the number one spy from Engelish had ever come into contact with the Imperial officials. "Who are you referring to?"
Sir James' mouth drew into a beautiful arc. One could see that this King of Destruction must have been the kind of gorgeous man who was a woman-killer during his youth.
"It's the Secretary of State of your country... Duke Kachev Drakas Ferdinand!"
"Where? When?" Oscar sat upright. His face had become entirely cold.
Sir James lifted his head as if recalling something, "probably... it was just some time ago."
Oscar and his own Head of the Secret Operations Office locked eyes for a brief moment. Baron Spencer Balung immediately took over the topic. He spoke while filling up the teacup of the illustrious person in the same profession as him.
"James, I hope I can address you this way. So... I also hope that you can be clear about one thing. Kachev Drakas Ferdinand is not a Duke. neither is he the former Secretary of State of my country. He is just a shameful traitor, a killer, a hypocrite who deceived the Emperor, and an internationally-wanted criminal! You must have seen our country's Ministry of Justice request the Supreme Vatican to issue a wanted order to all religious countries, right?"
The old man nodded and he turned towards O'Neil Andrew Morisette, whose face was still cold.
"Your Highness, regarding this matter, my country has no objections, but the Kachev Drakas Ferdinand I met is just a sick old man. He must rely on the help of his friends to barely scratch through the days. Prisons and trials... those are not really necessary for such an old man, right?"
Oscar suddenly laughed, not because he learned of news about his old enemy, but because of a funny section in the repertoire. After this, the Prince of Titan seemed to be completely captivated by the performances on the stage. He clapped and cheered as loudly as all the enthusiastic spectators! Sometimes he would even blow a cadence whistle in response to the enthusiastic atmosphere on the scene.
Prince William and the leader of the spies exchanged looks. They were very astonished, and they were greatly curious regarding the Titan Prince's response. According to the prior prediction, the current generation of the Head of Andrew was very much interested in collaborative matters. However, although Prince O'Neil's lukewarm attitude was very fake, at the very least it could also explain a few issues. Before the Andrew and Titan's navy were formed, getting themselves tangled up with the Engelish was indeed not such an urgent matter.
Act II had just begun. O'Neil Andrew Morisette finally smiled and turned toward the prince who had come from afar.
"People who have visited Vielonna will fall in love with this place. What about you?"
William also chuckled. However, when he replied to the question, he was instead looking at the singer beside him.
"Yes Your Highness, people who have visited Vielonna will fall in love with this place. I'm not exempted from this custom as well," Oscar exclaimed with an Ola. "I thought that… the Engelish only loved the sea!"
The prince nodded, "I know what you mean! But I also have to admit that the sea is the favorite of our countrymen. Just that… some want to use conquest to express such love, and some want to use exploration to understand this love."
"Then, which feeling is the Royal Household of your country more inclined towards?"
William thought about it for a moment, "I think... I am for both! Take my King father, for an example, he is keen to explore new territorial waters and continents. He often fishes out his own money to finance the expedition fleets of various countries. Even if the other side was a trickster, he would not show any interest in it. As for me… I'm conflicted because… when I discover new territorial waters or new continents, I feel like conquering them!"
Oscar shook his head, "Then what you love is not the sea, but conquering! Or it's the joy that the process of conquest brings you and…"
"Gold!" William broke off the Titan Prince's words. "Slovenia has gold! If you can conquer this kingdom, conquer that sea, then everything there will be yours!"
Oscar snorted coldly, "Gold, Slovenia, the sea! I believe all these have absolutely nothing to do with your country!"
William shrugged, "Your Highness, let us both just get to the point, shall we? I don't know what you are being anxious over. If you are concerned about my country's sincerity in the collaboration issue, then very well! Sir James can guarantee that the internationally-wanted criminal will definitely be returned."
Oscar waved his hand, "Who cares about a sick old man?"
The Prince subconsciously glared at the talkative James. This chap should not give the Titan Prince a cause to gossip.
"Then, Your Highness... be frank with me! How then can I allow you to believe in me?"
Oscar chuckled, "Your Highness, it's not that I despise your country's naval force, but the fact is that West Percy, the Invincible Fleet, and countless shore-based fortresses firmly control the gateway to the Disin Sea. When I need help, can I look towards the Open Ocean Fleet of the Engelish and pass through Jebrotoh Strait smoothly?"
William contemplated for a long while. The Titan Prince delivered an argument that hit the nail on the head! What he had just said was precisely the main reason why the Engelish hoped to seek a safe harbor at the Disin Sea's hinterland as soon as possible. The West Percian and the Farans firmly controlled Disin Sea, and they had imposed heavy taxes onto Engel's merchant ships and navy escort fleet. The Engelish hoped that they could obtain a harbor at Disin Sea or deeper into the territorial waters. It would be best if it were a natural harbor to develop the navy. Not only must this harbor receive an ample protection from the army on land, it should also have extremely high safety systems!
Titan planned in advance to send troops to Slovenia. This was a crucial turning point for the Engelish. If both parties could reach an agreement, then the Engelish fleet would possess a safe foothold in a strategic location close to the Disin Sea. This foothold would not easily suffer from attacks by West Percy and the Faran. If both of these countries do not wish to experience the revenge of the Narcissus Knights on the land, they would not launch an offensive at the Andrew's occupied territory. That was why… everything was so perfect! In addition to that, if the Engel's Navy were to gain a foothold in the Aldrif and Eichin Sea, West Percy and Faran would experience the danger of a converging attack from both sides.
"Your Highness! I can guarantee that you will not lose anything. On the contrary, the things that you can achieve will definitely be beyond your imagination!"
Oscar rolled his eyes. "Come on! I'm losing now!"
"What do you mean?"
Oscar looked at Elizabeth, "My adopted daughter! Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about!"
William stumbled, and he suddenly stood up in annoyance, "Your Highness Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette! Matters regarding Elizabeth shouldn't appear in our conversation. She is not a bargaining chip on the table! The education I received tells me to do things honorably. However, since you've just put it that way just now, then… I shall take my leave!"
Oscar, who did not even cast a glance backward, trained his eyes onto the performance on stage. However, he still said to Elizabeth, "William is a good lad."
Elizabeth did not hear it. The raging tears and incessant sobbing had blocked up her eardrums…
"What's next?" Oscar asked the followers by his side, loudly.
"The Third Act –'The King's Grudges'."