Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 216
Chapter 216: The Latecomer
Chapter 216: The Latecomer
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The first person to react was Tolja.
The Fire Knight's hand tightened slightly and Thales felt the chill by his neck deepen—the back of the golden saber was stuck directly onto his skin.
For fear of a backhand from Tolja and the consequent splash of bright red on his neck, the second prince did not dare move an inch.
"A strange, black sword?" Tolja narrowed his eyes. "A man with practically no unique traits?"
Thales could only nod his head.
"Interesting." Tolja raised the corner of his mouth slightly, and his eyes spilled with a heavy desire for battle. "An acquaintance."
Raphael furrowed his brows. The gaze he cast on Thales was extremely complicated.
Calshan clasped her hands lightly. "You're talking about Black Sword of Black Street Brotherhood?"
Upon hearing this piece of information, Kohen was immediately stunned.
'Why would Black Street Brotherhood of Constellation…'
"I don't know. Most probably," Thales had his eyes wide opened as he spoke carefully. He was afraid that with any movement, his throat would come into contact with the edge of Tolja's blade.
Calshan looked at him quietly.
"The Secret Intelligence Department gave Black Sword the Staff of Constellation?" the Red Witch asked softly.
Raphael did not utter a word. He just watched Thales in silence, and even ignored Kohen nudging him from behind him.
Thales conjured an awkward and unpleasant smile, indicating his tacit agreement.
'God knows what the Staff of Constellation is.
'And that Raphael has no intention of speaking up at all.'
Trembling in fear, Thales thought, 'Mister Black Sword, old man, I have no choice but to use you as a cover. I don't think you'll mind—you won't lose a piece of flesh anyway.'
However, just a few seconds later, the old woman suddenly laughed out loud.
"Hahaha." Calsan smiled and shook her head. Her eyes were filled with the frustration and delight of watching children fight. "Morat must have found you to be a headache.
"A child who likes to lie."
Thales' eyes widened slightly. "Huh?"
The Red Witch sighed.
"How did you think I found out about the Secret Intelligence Department's plans beforehand?" Calshan raised her eyes, which were lined with crow's feet, and they exuded a deep coldness. "How did you think I found out that they wanted to use the calamities to launch their schemes?"
Thales was momentarily stunned.
"When you were still on your way to Dragon Clouds City, Prince Thales…
"An old friend from Black Street Brotherhood sought help from us through a messenger crow." Calshan glanced at the surrounding people. Her gaze lingered for a moment, particularly on Raphael. "He was being forced north by Blood Bottle Gang, so he couldn't help but seek shelter in your diplomat group."
Thales spent a few seconds to understand the meaning of this sentence. Then, he quivered slightly—his brain made all the links in an instant.
"An old friend from the Brotherhood?" Thales said incredulously.
At that time, he did not even care about the blade on his neck. "You mean Ramon?
"It was him?"
Calshan revealed a strange smile.
Raphael's expression remained calm. He did not utter a single word.
Wya and Ralf exchanged glances, ineffably surprised.
"So, that's how it was. On the road, Ramon did not intend to contact Black Street Brotherhood when he requested a messenger crow from me." Thales came to realization and he murmured absent-mindedly, "It was to contact you."
The Red Witch sighed faintly, her eyes hidden in depth.
"Ramon has a nimble mind. He figured out that the predicament he was in had possibly been written by the hands of the Secret Intelligence Department, so he contacted the Secret Room directly," Calshan said calmly.
"And I know Morat all too well. He must have been planning something."
Upon hearing that, Raphael heaved a sigh.
The person from the Secret Intelligence Department glanced at Thales with a strange expression. "Why would a doctor of unknown origin be allowed to use the diplomat group or Black Sand Region's messenger crow?
"And you didn't pay attention to exactly where he was sending his message to?"
Thales was stunned for a moment. He immediately recalled the past communications between Ramon and himself. He could not help but look embarrassed.
He could not say that Ramon had seen Thales using his mystic energy, then had volunteered to tell him all his knowledge regarding magic as an exchange for Thales to keep quiet about his messages, right?
But this was not the most pressing issue on hand anymore.
"The Brotherhood's people told us the Secret Intelligence's plot." The Red Witch walked past the figures of several people and shook her head at him. "And you said that there was a collusion between the Brotherhood and Secret Intelligence Department, and even gave the Staff of Constellation to the Head of the Brotherhood?"
Thales could only express a bitter smile.
"I'm not as amazing as Morat," Calshan said flatly, "but I can still identify a lie."
Under her gaze, Thales felt his skin crawl.
'This is really bad.'
Calshan laughed as she snorted and looked back at Raphael.
"Stop beating around the bush, child." The Red Witch's gaze began to turn serious. "You may not have it with you… but I know that you have a way of retrieving it."
Raphael faintly furrowed his brows.
Kohen and Miranda could not help but look at the youngster from the Secret Intelligence Department.
"The Secret Intelligence Department of Constellation has mastered a sort of transmission method a long time ago." Calshan raised the corner of her mouth slightly.
"Things as small as voice messages or as big as weapons, equipment and even living humans… You can disregard distance and transport them to your destination in an instant." The Red Witch's eyes were filled with deep interest.
Thales was stunned.
Kohen's complexion changed. Miranda frowned too while Wya had a face full of suspicions.
'That black hole on Raphael's arms earlier, the one that looks like the mouth of some living thing…'
Raphael did not speak. He remained calm as he looked at the Red Witch.
It seemed as though he was not even present.
The head of the Secret Room looked as gentle and kind as before, but her words had grown sterner, "Give me the Staff of Constellation if you don't wish to see your prince encounter an unfortunate incident."
Thales' face paled instantly.
Tolja snorted discontentedly.
At this moment, a fine voice that nobody had heard in a while rang weakly from a corner of the prison cell.
It was filled with grief and downcast emotion.
"From a very long time ago, a very long time ago, you…
"Have already found out about these things?"
Everyone paused for a moment and looked towards the corner where the voice had come from.
With the back of the sword against his neck, Thales could not turn his head around. However, he was also startled, because he recognized the owner of the voice.
That neglected girl, Little Rascal was leaning against the wall. Her small face was pale as she trembled and looked at Calshan.
"Aren't you someone from the Secret Room?" Little Rascal bit her lower lip tightly, her eyes filled with pain and terror.
"The Secret Room is a shadow cast by the Dragon's wings," Little Rascal murmured. "But why…"
Little Rascal's expression shifted as if she had just recalled the most unbearable memory.
"Why didn't you report to His Highness?" Tears welled up in Little Rascal's eyes as her entire body trembled. "You just waited for the calamities, waited for those calamities… You watched them... at Dragon Clouds City... to all the people…"
He remembered those people running for their lives, those who suffocated in air, those who had their blood and flesh separated from them, as well as the complete destruction of Shield District.
Calshan seemed somewhat surprised. With a complex expression, she glanced back at the dirty girl in the corner.
A few seconds later, she sighed deeply.
"I'm very sorry, Lady Alex Walton." Out of everyone's expectations, the Red Witch actually bowed slightly in Little Rascal's direction.
Kohen's eyes widened suddenly as he looked at Little Rascal in disbelief.
Miranda raised her eyebrows.
Upon hearing the name, Little Rascal apparently jumped in surprise. She looked at Thales in a frightened manner.
But Thales still had the back of the sword against his neck and he could not see her expression at all.
"Even if we knew that Morat was up to his tricks…" the Red Witch's voice rang.
"The Secret Room was still unable to take any sort of action," Calshan said with sincerity and sadness. "The Secret Intelligence Department concealed all news and their tracks too well."
The Red Witch straightened her back and shook her head.
"It was too late anyway.
"The Blood Mystic arrived very early in Dragon Clouds City. We didn't know the Secret Intelligence Department's plans, so we didn't have any way to take guard," Calshan's voice was low and her gaze was mournful. "We could only look on helplessly as the mission neared."
Little Rascal recovered from her shock and terror. She clenched her fist and trembled as she raised her head.
"Then you should've reported to His Highness!" The girl gritted her teeth as tears flowed continuously from her eyes. "He was the king of all Eckstedtians! So many people died in Dragon Clouds City… He could have been able to prevent all these things from happening!"
The Red Witch raised her head abruptly. Her eyes glimmered as she solemnly looked at Little Rascal.
"Our king?" Lady Calshan muttered softly and spat the king's name out.
"Nuven Raikaru Kahn Walton?"
The person in charge of the Secret Room smiled faintly.
"Believe me that in the past thirty years, I've had incomparable respect for him." She nodded, her eyes exuding reverence and commemoration. "At least, for the most part, he was a good king—I was already prepared to report to him."
Calshan's expression shifted as she spat the following words.
"If only he did not hide from me his plans to sell Dragon Clouds City to Constellation, to betray Eckstedt in order to extend his family line."
Everyone else's face changed.
"What?" a surprised Kohen could not help but say.
Little Rascal's face paled. She stared blankly at Calshan.
"Yes, my dear young lady." The Red Witch sighed faintly. "I intercepted the messenger crow King Nuven sent to the Supreme King of Constellation.
"He wanted to rely on the powers of the Nine-Pointed Star to save Cloud Dragon Spear that was facing imminent danger. He wanted to intimidate the new king with your marriage to the prince." Calshan's gaze turned incomparably sharp. "For those reasons, he did not hesitate to let Constellation gain this bargaining chip of being able to interfere with Eckstedtian affairs.
"He even did not hesitate to have a successor with the blood of a Jadestar take the first Eckstedtian territory in the future."
Apart from Raphael and Thales, almost all the others had their eyes wide opened.
Even Tolja could not help but turn around and look back.
Everyone successively cast their gazes on Little Rascal, back at Calshan and finally at the captured second prince.
In that moment, Thales could only feel a mix of complicated emotions.
The scene of King Nuven passing a ring into Little Rascal's hand surfaced before his eyes.
"Oh God." Kohen's mouth hung open. He stared directly at Thales. "This is the truth about what you said regarding King Nuven's desire to form an alliance, Your Highness?
"To allow the future generations of the Jadestar Royal Family and Walton Family inherit the title of Archduke of Dragon Clouds City?"
The Red Witch shook her head slowly. "As King of Eckstedt, he shouldn't have done that.
"For Eckstedt, I could've only done one thing."
Raphael raised his head, and a strange ray of light flashed across his bloodshot eyes.
"So you went to seek Lampard," he softly said.
Calshan did not speak. She only looked at her enemies before her eyes with a calm expression on her face.
Thales stared blankly at the Red Witch.
He felt like his mind was in a scattered mess.
"This is indeed the biggest joke," the second prince muttered without realizing. "As it turns out, your betrayals were not an accident.
"For that… you all wanted King Nuven's life."
Thales closed his eyes, and exhaled deeply. He could only feel both physically and mentally exhausted.
"The Secret Intelligence Department and Secret Room both wanted his life—that practically equates to you working together to…
"Under such circumstances, even if King Nuven had Dragon Clouds City troops as his backup and the White Blade Guards as his barrier…"
Thales silently said the next line of words in his heart, 'How could he have not died?'
In that instant, he felt extremely fed up with this world.
Calshan snorted softly. Her expression was one of subtle emotion.
"It's been centuries. The Secret Intelligence Department has always kept silent, quietly weaving an astonishing thunderclap among the heavy clouds." The Red Witch's eyes were shrouded in a strange luster. Like a triumphant chess player, she said, "In comparison, those positioned in the passive Secret Room could only hatch their eggs in another's nest; so through the thunder and lightning of the Secret Intelligence Department, we broke through all obstructions in Eckstedt."
"You want to watch the vassals of Eckstedt fight with incessant bloodshed like beasts?" Calshan smiled faintly. "We will make sure that the fighting ends in the first round."
As he heard this all, Raphael could not help but clench his fist tightly.
"You want a death duel between two evenly matched parties." The Red Witch gathered her hands in her sleeves again. "Then we will push the situation completely towards one side."
Kohen and Miranda exchanged looks. They saw the astonishment in each other's eyes.
"You want the Eckstedt after Nuven to sink into a chaotic state of incessant disputes for the throne, and endless misgivings for power?"
The leader of the Secret Room shook her head slightly.
"Then we will give you Chapman Lampard."
Raphael pursed his lips and shut his eyes as he sighed.
"Consequently, Nuven lost both his eyes and ears. In the face of the calamities and Lampard, he had no retaliation power whatsoever." He stared blankly at the ground. "Our reserves all failed."
"It was I, who lost," Raphael said downheartedly.
Calshan snorted lightly and her expression regained its kindness.
"I know what you're thinking, child." The Red Witch nodded lightly and looked at Little Rascal, who was sobbing. "Since we things did not progress according to your plan, then why not capture someone of Walton's bloodline back to Constellation as a bargaining chip, right?
"What a pity…"
Calshan shook her head, seemingly with regret.
In the next moment, her expression turned grave.
"Morat, why was he in such a rush?" The Red Witch raised her head. There was a fine glimmer in her eyes. "And to even let a baby boy like you come do such a thing?
"Why was he in such a rush to groom you like a successor?
The silent Raphael still did not say a word.
Miranda thought of something and became frightened.
Calshan did not get a reply, yet she revealed a confident smile. She then spoke up softly, her voice heavy with exhaustion and gloom.
"He doesn't have much time left, am I right?"
Once she said those words, all the Constellatiates paused for a moment.
Raphael furrowed his eyebrows.
"Tell me, how many more years will he live?" the Red Witch said flatly. Her tone was laced with faint concern.
"Five years, or ten years?"
Raphael pursed his lips.
In a daze, Thales looked at Calshan. Morat's figure surfaced in his heart.
'That old man who can force Gilbert as well as Jines to retreat with words, and see through lies with his eyes.
'He is actually…'
At the next second, Calshan took a deep breath, seemingly trying to inhale all her emotions and put them away.
"Fine, let us not talk about him." She raised the side of her mouth slightly. "Let us get back to the main topic."
The Red Witch clapped her hands.
Following her clap, many people walked in through the heavy door.
There were Black Sand Region troops in patrol uniforms. There were also ordinary people—both men and women—who seemed like citizens, wearing different outfits.
But they all looked at the people in the prison cell with hostile expressions.
The troops of Black Sand Region held their weapons as they walked into the prison cell. They then stopped before the Constellatiates.
The 'citizens' quietly walked behind Calshan and did not say a word.
Thales heaved a sigh.
However, Tolja laughed softly instead.
Looking at the situation around them, Miranda's expression changed as Kohen dropped his head in anguish.
"What do we do now?" the police officer said softly as he gritted his teeth in frustration.
"Keep calm," Raphael answered in a low voice.
The Red Witch smiled faintly. "If you're still unwilling to hand over the Staff of Constellation… Well, you know… that I can threaten you not only with the prince alone.
"There are also your partners."
Raphael looked coldly at Calshan.
The Red Witch gave him a slight bow, nodded and revealed her customary kind smile.
But Thales watched the soldiers stand in formation as they blocked the exit. A chill ran through his heart.
'We're done for.'
As he felt the chill on his neck, he glimpsed at the indifferent looking Tolja. 'Now, what do I do?'
But at this very moment...
An extremely loud rumbling intruded the prison.
Calshan suddenly raised her head!
Crushed rocks and debris fell down from above again. A cloud of dust erupted instantly in the prison cell!
The Black Sand Region troops instinctively unsheathed their weapons.
Before everyone could react, several figures suddenly descended from the sky.
Just like Tolja had previously.
The Fire Knight found something amiss and reacted rapidly. Thales suddenly felt a tight grip around his arm. Tolja had immediately grasped his right hand and kept him firmly in front of him.
Thales could not open his eyes amid the bewilderment caused by the billowing dust. He could only rely on his hearing to decipher the situation.
While human figures flashed around, the sounds of battle shot up in the clouds of dust, the clashing of metal as well as bellowing of soldiers resounded in waves!
"Watch out… Uh!"
In a short ten seconds, the chaotic noise faded in its entirety following the sound of a few human bodies falling to the ground. Silence slowly fell upon the scene.
Finally, the smoke and dust gradually dispersed.
Thales remained in Tolja's firm grasp, and the edge of his blade did not leave his neck. The Fire Knight furrowed his brows tightly as he coldly observed the state of affairs in the prison cell.
The prince saw everything clearly before his eyes.
Shock assaulted his heart.
The ceiling right above the position where the Red Witch was standing earlier had shattered into a big hole.
The troops of Black Sand Region, including the people of the Secret Room all retreated behind the heavy door. With identical tensed and astonished expressions, they looked at the uninvited guests before them—intruders who had descended from the sky.
They were valiant warriors numbering to a dozen. Their eyes were ferocious, and their movements nimble. Donned in light, gray armor, they were also masked and wielded machetes.
Some of them were even equipped with excellent arm shields and crossbows.
At this moment, the intruders were gathering into formation. They tenaciously blocked the path of the Black Sand Region troops, separating them from the Constellatiates in the prison cell and Tolja.
Next to these warriors who had suddenly appeared, there were already many fallen enemies—even after they got into formation, the Red Witch continued to stand in front of Raphael and the rest with an unpleasant expression, away from her own people's protection.
Calshan was caught in a very bad situation—there was a long, strangely arced blade with a white hilt across her neck. At the same time, her right arm was being firmly detained.
The detainer behind her coldly said to the troops of Black Sand Region, "Everyone, move back for the sake of this lady's carotid artery."
Kohen stared blankly at the intruders. He met the gazes of Miranda and Wya's, unable to hide the bewilderment in his heart.
Everyone was caught unprepared in the event of this sudden incident.
"And who are these people?" the police officer said in a low voice.
Miranda shook her head and looked at Raphael, who was as silent as before.
As he looked at the warriors who appeared out of a sudden, Thales' pupils contracted.
'Wait a minute.
He meticulously scrutinized the warriors' equipment, and then, his mouth dropped wide in astonishment.
Thales recognized them.
The silent confrontation continued for a few minutes.
Until the detained Red Witch sighed.
"So, the rumors are true."
She drew her gaze from the blade on her neck and spoke to the detainer standing behind her.
"You really built an emergency secret passage in the gatehouse?"
The Red Witch narrowed her eyes, glanced at the intruders around her and then at her own subordinates—they were forced back out of the heavy door—her tone was downcast. "You concealed it even from the Secret Room… I really underestimated all of you."
A low chuckle sounded behind her.
"Since the day Eckstedt was founded, we, the Snow Blade and Dragon's Wings have been instigating, overthrowing and impeding each other."
Her captor revealed his pale face, lowered his body and whispered into Calshan's ear, "Watching and guarding against the Secret Room's every movement has always been what we were supposed to do."
Raphael saw the newcomer's face and frowned.
Under Miranda and Kohen's astonished gaze, Raphael walked forward with a hostile expression on his face. He stopped next to Calshan and the intruder.
"You almost caused all our deaths!" the youngster from the Secret Intelligence Department coldly said to the newcomer.
The newcomer raised his brows and his pale face shifted slightly.
"I had to go through a process to gather my scattered brothers." The newcomer glanced at Raphael.
He looked at Tolja, who was detaining Thales. Without fear, he cast a provoking glance at the Fire Knight. "Hey, Tolja, thanks for the noise you created. Otherwise, we would've had to search even longer."
Tolja frowned, emitting an unfriendly, low growl from his throat.
Thales blankly stared at the pale-faced man and could not help but breathe a sigh of relief.
The newcomer raised a brow. His gaze hovered over Little Rascal in the corner, lingering momentarily.
"Besides, you better be polite." The pale-faced man swung the blade in front of Calshan's neck. "After all, I'm saving your life...
"Barren Bone brat from the Secret Intelligence Department," Soray Nicholas, the commander of the White Blade Guards, leader of King Nuven's personal guards, foe of the Jadestar Royal Family, the Star Killer, and one of the Five War Generals of Eckstedt, calmly said to Raphael.