Titan Beneath the Heavens
Chapter 255: Twenty-seventh Episode: Chapter 4-2
Chapter 255: Twenty-seventh Episode: Chapter 4-2
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Kenshin Palace was extremely quiet. It was slightly different than the Hamilton Palace on the Road of Kings. There were no noisy nobles and information brokers waiting outside of the palace. The servants of the Kenshin Palace had already fallen asleep. Only the Prince's secretary, Colonel Vick, was running about non-stop.
Colonel Vick had always stayed in Dulin. His position and influence were not obvious. Outsiders even thought that his position was of no importance at all. However, only Colonel Vick knew clearly how difficult the mission the Prince had given him was. In Damorga, Vick was only a captain and had to serve the Head of Prison. However, after following O'Neil Andrew Morisette and arriving in Dulin, he began to manage all contacts of the Prince's mansion to the outside world especially when the Prince was out. Colonel Vick's actions in the Capital represented his master; he adopted a direct attitude for this.
Vick had managed the business in the mansion recently. Most of them were requests to meet from the officers in the Capital. He had to make the decision for his master. These soldiers that came to visit the Prince were not always the ones that opposed the Empress. They were mostly here to get some news so that they could make the choice that was least harmful to them in the end.
Surely, O'Neil Andrew Morisette did not concern himself much with these people, but Vick was different. The secretary of the Titan Prince was extremely good at public relations. He had a good reputation in the social circle in Dulin. Even though his title was not great, the nobles in the Capital still valued the deep meaning behind Vick Keegan's name, especially the secret agent system of the Military Intelligence Bureau that was directly under the control of Prince O'Neil. When the secret agents had received information that could not be easily told to their higher-ups or that had not been proven, they would usually talk about it with Colonel Vick out of habit.
At this time, Colonel Vick was having a headache. He just met with a local young noble. Even though this person was a member of the secret agents, Vick did not trust this kind of information broker that only maximized their profit.
When Oscar was out, he would not pay particular attention to the matters in Dulin. However, once he was back in the Capital, Vick was the follower whom he trusted the most. Maybe people had always thought the followers of the Prince were Lukas, Murat, Alpré and a few members of the Military Intelligence Bureau. Yet, taking the time Oscar spent in the Damorga Prison, Colonel Vick was the one that truly understood him and watched him grow.
Vick found the Prince who just had a late-night snack in the huge study room in the Kenshin Palace. After he greeted the Prince, he said to Oscar in a serious tone, "It's bad!"
"Come over here and sit down, old friend!" Oscar waved his hands at his secretary. "Tell me what has happened."
Vick sat down, but he shook his head. "Your Highness, don't mind about what has happened for now. I just need to confirm one thing from you. If Major General Tove Van Sukhoi's cannon division is controlled by the Secret Service Department... What will happen to us?" Oscar did not answer this question as the answer was obvious. Would Torry turn the cannon on him? This was unbelievable!
Viscount Lukas Diyabaker was still the Head of Analysis Division after all. He simply asked one question of the depressed Colonel Vick.
Vick shook his head. "The evidence is not sufficient. I can even say that this is not related to Major General Tove Van Sukhoi at all! But, someone saw Torry's wife, Madam Lado Boude, come out from a hotel in the city! And after ten minutes, another person came out of the back door of this hotel!"
"Who is that?" Oscar frowned. He indeed had a bad premonition about this.
"Major Gabriel Van Sukhoi! Torry's cousin!"
"Does no one know of this yet?" Oscar turned to the members of the Military Intelligence Bureau sitting in the room that included the Head of the Secret Action Unit, the Head of the Internal Security Department and others. All of them shook their heads.
Colonel Vick waved his hands. He took back the Prince's attention. "The person that told me that got this information from the boss of the hotel. Madam Lado Boude and Major Gabriel Van Sukhoi have been in the same room for more than two hours! The person even checked that room. Hmm... There were hints of making love on the bed sheets!"
"Oh, no... Poor Torry!" Someone exclaimed in the study room.
"Are you sure about this?" Oscar spread his hands helplessly, "I thought Lady Lado Boude is a serious lady! But... How does this concern the Secret Service Department?"
"A little complicated!" Colonel Vick said, "The person that told me this has a special identity. He is a little related to Count Rudolf Hoss, the Head of the Secret Service Department. He has always worked in the Secret Service Department main office in the Capital. Also, he is a generous person, so the secret agents are very close to him. However, after Viscount Federick is given the post, he is isolated by his co-workers. In a fit of fury, he joined the Military Intelligence Bureau. However, the bureau did not pay much attention to him due to his relationship with Count Rudolf Hoss, so... He can be seen as an isolated person in this field. He usually uses the useless internal information to earn his livings!"
"What do you think?" O'Neil Andrew Morisette kept asking. He knew Vick's personality. If this matter was not huge, Vick would not talk about it so clearly in front of all members of the bureau! Torry was an important piece he placed in the Capital. If things were as described in the information, the main members of the Military Intelligence Bureau must not have done their duty properly.
The secretary of the Titan Prince looked around. The members of the bureau all gazed at him with pleading eyes! These people were experts in manipulating the truth. They all knew the content of this information was not much different from the truth.
"I... can't trust the news of an information broker completely at this time! But, he pointed out the carriage in which Madam Lado Boude rode when she left the hotel and pointed out that the one driving the carriage is a secret agent of the Secret Service Department... He had already known before!"
Oscar was silent for a while. Suddenly, he turned to Sir Brayson, the Head of the Internal Security Department.
"What is Torry doing? I mean... What has he been up to lately?"
Sir Brayson shrugged. "A whole company of secret agents is protecting the Major General. They did not find anything unusual. As for Torry... After he began the second defending war, he seldom returns home. Most of the time, he stays in his office and only talks to the companions that he trusts."
"I wish his brain knows who he can actually trust!" Oscar could only say that, "What did he do after he received the action plan sent by the southern branch?"
The Head of Secret Action Unit Baron Spencer Balung approached him after his companion had finished talking.
"Your Highness! Regardless of whether the plan is known, Major Gabriel Van Sukhoi's post in the Capital's cannon division is also extremely important! The company he leads is the only cannon unit that stays within Dulin city. The other two companies are all on the outskirts! They are strictly under the surveillance of the Capital's Defense Force."
"Does this Major Gabriel know of our action plan yet?" Oscar widened his eyes in disbelief. To think such a thing actually happened at this urgent time. He still could not accept it now.
The members of the bureau all exchanged glances. They could not verify it at all! All action plans that were involved in this Dulin trip had been sent to all battle units through secret passages one month ago. Until now, there had not been any unusual report from any unit. However, the company commander who was responsible for the Capital's defense duty was accused of having contact with the members of the Secret Service Department! If this was true, then would things still carry on as they had planned?
"Why don't we... contact Torry secretly?" The Head of the Internal Security Division, Sir Brayson, asked carefully.
"No! We can't risk that!" Oscar pushed the cup of tea away in fury. "At this time, we can't contact Torry. The Secret Service Department must have set up all sort of traps around our old friend. The agents that protect him may have been bought or have some problems! If Madam Lado Boude has problems, then these problems did not just happen in one or two days. She may have..."
"She may have been working for the Secret Service Department all along!" Viscount Lukas Diyabaker mumbled in frustration, "Maybe it is planned by the ex-Head of Secret Service Department, Count Rudolf Hoss. If this is really so... The Secret Service Department must have infiltrated the cannon units since long ago. We can't trust the cannon division in the Capital anymore!"
O'Neil Andrew Morisette shook his head. "I don't believe Torry will be so careless when he controls his own unit! If Lado Boude is such an important piece, the Secret Service Department won't risk the chance of losing everything to let her come up front. Seducing the company commander of the cannon unit using women may be something out of desperation! They want to control Torry and find someone that can give orders instead of Torry during emergency situations as well!"
"That's right!" The Head of Analysis Division nodded in certainty. "No matter what is happening to Torry, simply controlling him is still risky. So… The Secret Service Department found Major Gabriel Van Sukhoi. He is one of the Sukhoi and also the cousin of the cannon general. If Torry refuses to betray you... I assume that he will definitely be in a bad situation! At this time, Major Gabriel will have enough reason to take over his cannon division!"
"Ola..." Oscar leaned against his Polar Bear Sofa whilst looking upwards. This night was destined to be a sleepless night. "Who can tell me? Why will such a situation happen at the most important time and in the most important unit?"
No one could answer the Prince's question. The whole room fell into an unbearable silence. This unusual silence made the soldiers at the corridor nervous. Heavy breathing sounds were all over the Kenshin Palace.
O'Neil Andrew Morisette waved his hands suddenly as if he had just made some decision. This was not the time to be scared and hesitant.
"Let's do this..."
The members of the Military Intelligence Bureau all looked at him attentively.
"Firstly..." The Prince knocked on the detailed map of Dulin city that was on the table with his knuckles.
"Don't let Torry feel isolated, and don't change the current action plan. Keep the contact with the cannon division. But... get a group of secret agents from Sparjoxin or the First Region. Change the current team the protects Torry away. So, this new group must be reliable and new! After the Secret Service Department found them, they will naturally doubt them. It's possible that they will pause their actions."
"I will deal with that!" The Head of Secret Action Unit, Baron Spencer Balung, promised this determinedly.
"Next..." Oscar scanned his followers. "This should be our last time being careless, taking our enemies lightly and getting tied down by the Secret Service Department! From now on, until the last moment of initiation of our plan, all units of the Military Intelligence Bureau must not have any form of contact with the outer world again. Communications should only be done between all units and be compressed and minimized to the least! Now, convey this point to all of our people!"
Lieutenant Colonel Muktha Singh, who had always been behind the Prince, immediately walked out of the room. Not long after, they all heard the sounds of horse hooves that galloped away in the palace square.
"Lastly..." Oscar touched his nose. This habitual move meant that he was about to do something bad. "We only guessed about Torry's situation and his wife! But we can't sit still always!"
"You mean..." Viscount Lukas Diyabaker seemed to want to say something. He only wanted to confirm the Prince's next order.
"My companions!" Oscar suddenly spoke softly. He rarely called the soldiers that followed him this nicely. "I believe everyone understands our situation. If we lose, everything is over! Victory... At least I still can't see the hope of victory yet. So... I am sorry! To win this, we can't even allow single-sided doubts! This reason that I have yet to verify is enough to bring me doubts. Those whom everyone doubts will lose their lives! No matter who he is or what he has done. Once doubted, he has to leave the ground of competition."
"Lado Boude and Gabriel Van Sukhoi!" The Head of the Analysis Division had completely understood what his master had meant. As he said the names, he turned to his own companions.
"The target is already clear! Who will deal with it?"
"Shouldn't we at least tell General Tove Van Sukhoi?" A member suddenly asked, "One is his wife, and another his cousin. Moreover, we don't have sufficient evidence."
Oscar shook his head. "I have already said it! If we contact Torry now, we will definitely be caught by the Secret Service Department. That will ruin everything. If we have the time and energy, we should check what sort of relationship Lado Boude has with the Secret Service Department!"
"I will deal with it!" A normal-looking, tall guy stood up from the seat. Oscar nodded to him in relief. This quiet guy who did not appear very usually was the Head of Military Intelligence Bureau Fifth Branch and the officer of the Secret Communications Division.
"We still have some minimum contact with the Secret Service Department's main office. I can ask about the matter of Madam Lado Boude through secret means to the high officers in the Secret Service Department!"
"Won't there be trouble?" Oscar asked him.
"No!" The Head shook his head. "We already knew each other well, being in the same field. No one will want to deal with each other violently. If Madam Lado Boude has some relationship with the Secret Service Department, then there should surely be some hints in their main office."
"Take some money with you from the General Affairs Office!" Oscar waved his hands at the guy. "I don't believe that the Secret Service Department is so stubborn."
"No, there's no need for that!" The Head actually shook his head. "If those officers are willing to give us the information at this time, they didn't do it for the money. They want to have a good end after everything is over."
"Be quick!" Oscar did not want to hear anything useless anymore.
The Head stood up from his seat. "Please be rest assured. I will give you an answer before afternoon today."
After Oscar sent this smart subordinate out of the room, he turned to the soldiers in the room.
"What do you want to have for breakfast?"
The people looked around. It seemed the outside world had gotten rid of the dark night. There was a bright string of light appearing in the eastern sky! The Capital of the Titan Empire had welcomed the dawn of the 22nd day of the 2nd month in Year 802 of the Church Calendar.
The light shone upon the whole land in a blink of an eye. The ancient building and the white rocky road showed the marks left by time and storm. The streets from the Hamilton Palace to the Capital Garrison Unit stood soldiers who were fully armed. After a busy night, the Capital Garrison unit had built barricades and isolation trench in focused areas in the palace. Maybe they still thought that the defense was not good enough. The Dulin City Defense Law had been activated again after hundreds of years. Numerous archers were posted in the archery tower in all tall buildings. Sharp arrows were pointed right at the streets below them.
This situation they were in that resembled them facing an incredible enemy was more obvious in areas near the Kenshin Palace. Even though the Red Tiger warriors who followed Prince O'Neil into the palace only had a division arrangement without heavy armors, the Capital soldiers who had not experienced war for a long time still gazed at these knights from faraway places with eyes that seemed to look at monsters. They were praying to the God above to not bring any unhappy memories to the God-chosen warriors during their Dulin trip.
In the Hamilton Palace, the paladins that protected the Empress had changed out of their usual palace uniform. They were covered in armors and equipped with helmets. They stayed guarded at every dangerous position like statues. These iron-clad people were like decorations that had no life. They sacrificed their youths and loyalty to the Morisette Dynasty. Today, they might realize that the dynasty had welcomed the most critical survival crisis in history.
Even if they did not realize it, that was alright! The nobles were still gathered in the palace. Who would be able to sleep well at this time? The people gathered at the walkway in groups as they discussed carefully in low voices. They kept stealing glances at the Empress's study room. Sometimes, they would glare at the team of paladins guarding outside of the door.
Through a thick oak door, Alanis could not hear the low murmur outside the door. The things she was thinking in her heart had a distinct difference from those that were thought by her subordinates. Rather... She did not wish to see her own husband cast out of the Capital because no one knew what would happen then! As the ruler, Alanis had to bear the responsibilities given by this position alone. Until now, she realized that her will was not as determined as she thought.
If her ending with Oscar was to go separate ways, what would happen between the Titan and Morisette Dynasty? Alanis had thought about this question for a long time, but she could not come to an answer! Andrew's strength was obvious and Andrew's expansion was out of control! As the ruler of the Empire, Alanis must make some moves toward Andrew, but no one told her if what she did was right or wrong.
Until now, Alanis realized the control of the Morisette Imperial Family over this country had reached its lowest point due to the peace talks of the second defending war! When the House of Lords announced the crime of O'Neil Andrew Morisette, most of the nobles were prepared to sneer at the Imperial Family. The southern people did it most directly. They simply left their seats without saying a word.
The country could not go on like this. Be it the Morisette or Andrew. Someone had to rule Titan! Alanis thought about banishing her own husband because she wanted to continue the dynasty. Then, it was inevitable to completely break off with her husband that represented Andrew and the southern force!
Surrendering was not a good method for this. Alanis knew that at least. The honor of holy Titan and the soul of Titan soldiers and people would be largely affected due to this matter. However, Alanis only wanted to make this surrender a temporary matter. She could not imagine what would happen after the Guards had lost Marshal Alan. She also could not imagine what pride and influence O'Neil Andrew Morisette would have after possibly winning the second defending war.
If there was no participation from the Narcissus Knights, the defending war could hardly be won. This was the undeniable truth. However, at that time... She would have to face the strong Narcissus Knights internally and the pressure from the Guards. If Oscar wanted to take the throne, it would be a piece of cake for him! Alanis did not want to face this result no matter what. She knew the current situation would not be any better than the situation at that time. In fact, it could only be worse.
It was best to do it first! This was the truth concluded by the eastern people! Yet, Alanis had her doubts. Could her arrangement in all aspects, along with the abilities of the nobles, regain the control over the Empire after this event? Would the Westland Kingdom Alliance initiate their attacks again after the threat of Andrew disappeared? If the Empire experienced another world war, who from the Morisette Imperial Family could lead the soldiers and control the whole situation?
Marshal Robin could not be trusted! The members of the Capital were all useless! Alanis had a headache. She could not believe that she could only rely on her husband. It couldn't be that Titan would not be the past giant without O'Neil Andrew Morisette, right?
Yet... Even if they could reach an agreement with the Westland Kingdom Alliance, under the circumstances that the Empire did not have Narcissus Knights, who could control the cunning southern people? Where would Oscar, who returned to the Narcissus County, go? Moreover, would he willingly give up everything in his hands now? Would Andrew's leader still stay at the eastern border of the Empire, playing great warriors like before?
Alanis could not ignore these questions, yet she could not answer them. She did not dare to think. She did not dare to ask her heart. To make this the past, she must face the current crisis straight on.
Upon thinking about this, the Empress took the Empress's stamp and stamped her name on a document on the table. It meant the highest order given by the Empress.
"Go... Arrest him!" The Empress threw the still-wet document at the Head of the Secret Service Department who had already become impatient.
Along with this, Prince O'Neil Andrew Morisette, who was enjoying his smoked sausages and fried eggs in the Kenshin Palace, sneezed.
The strings of light seemed to disappear along with the sneeze. The sky changed its clothes at the speed of lightning.
Thunder rolled, and the storm was about to arrive!