Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 231
Chapter 231: Lampards Plan
Chapter 231: Lampards Plan
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Three seconds had passed and no one said a thing.
"Enough with the nonsense." Intentionally or unintentionally, Nicholas tilted his head and revealed the hilt of his blade, which was hanging behind his back. Revealing a fierce gaze, his words were as cold as ice. "Or are you just joking around?"
Kohen narrowed his eyes.
Even Little Rascal shook her head.
Thales raised his eyebrows and flashed an awkward smile. "But I'm being serious"
Thales stared at everyone's unpleasant and puzzled gazes. His heart skipped a beat.
Finally, the prince had no choice but to shake his head. "Alright, let's get to the main point"
"Starting from the time King Nuven was assassinated, I collected a lot of information while I fled." Thales sighed. "I have many details related to Lampard's plan."
Putray and Raphael met eyes. They were amazed in their hearts.
Miranda furrowed her eyebrows a little. "You were collecting information while you were fleeing?"
Thales shrugged. "I couldn't just blindly flee for my life."
Nicholas' gaze focused. "Information such as?"
"Such as Lampard's true intention." Thales' breathing slowly calmed. "He did not need to bring his army, or show himself. This far exceeded the domain of 'fighting against Nuven to protect himself.'"
"We talked about this in the prison," the sharp-witted Miranda said. "Have you found out why?"
Under everybody's stares, Thales lowered his head slightly.
He recalled the extremely tense conversation in the carriage.
"When I fell into Lampard's hands after King Nuven's death, he said something to me." Replaying the scene in his mind, the second prince absentmindedly said, "Those words have been bothering me until now."
Without being aware of it, Raphael leaned forward slightly and narrowed his eyes.
Imitating the ambitious and powerful man's tone, Thales said in a deep voice. "Chapman Lampard's original words were...
"'I'm going to save this kingdom.'"
Everyone other than Little Rascal was startled.
There were a few more seconds of silence.
"What?" Putray was surprised and bewildered.
On the other hand, Raphael and Miranda lowered their heads in contemplation.
"Hmph." Nicholas shook his head and exchanged glances with Mirk. "This is a shameless person's self defense, a king slayer's cunning words."
But Thales shook his head solemnly.
The prince sighed. His gaze was extremely grim. "No, I could feel that he was serious. Lampard really thought that what he was doing would save Eckstedt."
Nicholas' expression slowly froze.
Kohen scratched his head. "Perhaps we should stop this guessing game and be straightforward. Why don't we talk about something I can understand instead?"
"These words are problematic." Putray inhaled a mouthful of smoke. His gaze was filled with suspicion. "What is there to save about this kingdom?"
"Maybe he was talking about overthrowing King Nuven?" Miranda crossed her arms and thought carefully. "From what I know, the archdukes respected and feared King Nuven throughout his thirty-year reign.
"And for Lampard, Nuven's death would be the country's rebirth as they would finally be free from the oppression of the Walton Family and Dragon Clouds City?"
But the prince shook his head.
Thales inhaled and said, "The main reason Lampard wanted to overthrow King Nuven was because he was afraid that King Nuven would exact revenge on Black Sand Region. It was to protect himself.
"But this problem has already been solved." Thales raised his head and organized every element in his mind. "King Nuven is dead, and he will not come back from hell to seek for Lampard."
Raphael said nothing. He suddenly smiled.
The young man from the Kingdom's Secret Intelligence Department revealed a scrutinizing gaze. "According to Lampard's original words, he was 'going to' save this kingdom. But according to the order of events, King Nuven was already dead at the time Lampard said this. So, he could not have been talking about overthrowing King Nuven."
Thales nodded absentmindedly, then said flatly, "Unless Lampard never went for grammar classes, and couldn't even differentiate between the present and future tense then what he meant by saving the kingdom"
Thales raised his head. His gaze was extremely solemn. "Was more than just overthrowing King Nuven. It was more than just freeing himself from Dragon Clouds City's oppression and bringing about a change of the king.
"He wants more.
"He wants an unprecedented change.
"He wants to thoroughly 'save this kingdom'."
Everyone went silent.
Thales exhaled. His tone was stern and serious. "I bet that this is why Lampard brought his army to Dragon Clouds City, and why he is heading to Heroic Spirit Palace right now. It's also the key for us to fight back against him."
"He can save the kingdom by bringing his army to Heroic Spirit Palace?" Kohen said, feeling puzzled. "What does he want to do? Kill all the nobles in Dragon Clouds City, from the archdukes to the counts?"
"I learned something during the first half of my life." Exhaling a puff of smoke, the vice diplomat said airily, "Among all the problem-solving tactics, violence takes the shortest time, and is the simplest. However, it's the least effective. It is better used as a last resort."
Thales sighed. All the clues in his mind became increasingly clear.
"I heard another detail during that memorable trip."
Everyone stared at the prince once again.
"The Shadow Shield told Lampard that before Charleton assassinated King Nuven, he spent a long time tracking down the king," Thales said.
Putray abruptly raised his head as though he had thought of something.
Raphael also widened his mouth in surprise.
On the other hand, Thales lowered his head.
'Thank you, Kaslan
'Thank you for telling me Gu's hiding place.
'Or else, I probably wouldn't have witnessed the meeting between Lampard and Shadow Shield,' he thought.
Wya raised his eyebrows. "Is there something wrong?"
"Very wrong." Putray's eyebrows were tightly furrowed, and his tone was anxious. "To plan for an assassination and not be able to confirm the target's location, and when the murder can be carried out"
The gaunt man's gaze became solemn. "For an assassination operation that took prior planning and thorough preparation, this is one of the most fatal and unforgivable mistakes ever."
"This means an accident the Shadow Shield and Charleton never expected must have happened during the assassination."
"Oh." Next to Putray, Kohen slapped his head in realization. He then gave a thumbs up and sincerely said, "Seems like you are very rich in experience."
At that moment, Putray's gaze dimmed.
Thales took a deep breath and raised his head.
"The Migratory Locust Blade killed the king by jumping down from the Cliff of the Sky," the prince said solemnly. "Before that, he was hiding on the cliff."
'Even Asda and Black Sword didn't notice his presence.'
Thales clenched his fists tightly. He contemplated and arranged the information in his mind.
"How did he get up there?" Nicholas said, doubtful. "Even if it was last night, it was impossible for Charleton to climb up the Cliff of the Sky undetected."
Thales shook his head.
"That isn't important."
"The important thing is, the Cliff of the Sky is only connected to one place." The second prince's pupils constricted slightly.
There was a tremble in Lord Mirk's gaze. Since he was the Imperial Administrator for many years, he answered, "Heroic Spirit Palace."
No one said anything as they all knew what that signified.
Thales nodded slightly. "In other words, Bannette Charleton planned to enter Heroic Spirit Palace through the Cliff of the Sky and assassinate King Nuven there.
"According to their original plan, King Nuven should have died in Heroic Spirit Palace."
Raphael flashed a strange smile and stared quietly at the prince.
Thales thought pensively. "The fact that Lampard appeared with his army after King Nuven was assassinated wasn't reasonable. He even tried to cover up his crime by killing us But he would not have made these unwise moves that would only bring suspicion upon himself."
Thales punched his palm and his eyes shone.
"Now I understand why Lampard and his army were there." He exhaled. "Because something went wrong in the assassination plan. King Nuven should have died in Heroic Spirit Palace instead of Shield District. Just like how something went wrong in Dragon's Blood."
"As Charleton was not able to find the king in Heroic Spirit Palace, Lampard had no choice but to take the risk to dispatch troops to Shield District, anxiously searching everywhere for King Nuven." Thales clenched his fists. "And after it was confirmed that Charleton successfully killed the king, the first thing Lampard could think of was to silence the witnesses by killing them."
Meanwhile, Nicholas went pale. There was pain in his eyes.
"King Nuven..." The Star Killer bitterly said, "When we launched an attack on the calamity, he was supposed to stay in the safe confines of the palace. But he chose to leave the palace together with the White Blade Guards.
"According to him, he believed that wherever the White Blade Guards were, it would be the safest place in the world."
Mirk lowered his head. His voice was hoarse, "All of us failed to perform our duties."
Thales' eyes dimmed. "Even though he could not escape the tragedy of being killed, choosing to leave the palace was perhaps the old king's wisest choice before he died.
"He gave us a lease on life."
The police officer raised his hand.
"What does this mean?" Waving his hand, Kohen thought hard and said, "That Lampard did not want people outside the palace to know that Nuven was dead?"
Miranda raised her head. Her gaze was icy.
"If King Nuven died mysteriously in Heroic Spirit Palace according to Lampard's original plan, how would the situation have been?" the swordswoman asked coldly.
Putray shook his head. "It is not about the situation"
Thales hummed in agreement. A few influential and powerful figures appeared in his mind. Ruminating, he continued the vice diplomat's words, "It's about our four friendly and amiable old friends who were also at Heroic Spirit Palace
"It's what would happen to them."
Thales raised his gaze abruptly and looked at everyone.
"Let's go," he said, leaving no room for doubt.
"Where are we going?" Nicholas narrowed his eyes.
Thales flashed a smile.
"To confirm my final supposition, and find Lampard's weakness," the prince said softly.
At the same time, the conversation between the five archdukes in Heroic Spirit Palace's Hall of Heroes became increasingly tense.
"Regarding His Majesty's misfortune"
Chapman Lampard stared at the four archdukes with a cold expression. "All of you look like you have something to say?"
Roknee of the City of Faraway Prayers snorted coldly.
"Don't take your fellow archdukes for idiots."
Archduke Roknee coldly said, "We are not one of those flat noble characters in novels about knights who only serve as a foil to the main character, and even let the main character f*ck their daughters for no reason."
Lampard narrowed his eyes.
The full-bearded Olsius raised his chin and crossed his arms. His expression was grave. "Even though you are His Majesty's biggest foe, Chapman, you learned about his death so much earlier than us. Isn't this remarkable?"
The Archduke of Black Sand Region snorted softly.
"And you came just at the right time, not long after His Majesty was assassinated." Archduke Trentida hid half of his face in the shadows where the braziers could not illuminate. Stroking his beard, he sarcastically said, "It looks like the horses in Black Sand Region are really fast, almost as fast as the Great Dragon. Why don't you sell me some?"
The corners of Archduke Lampard's lips curled up a little.
"I'm thinking." The experienced and steady Archduke Lecco shook his head, making his baldness even more prominent. Once in a while, his eyes shone with a bright light. "If you're just here to have a chat with us don't you think that you brought too many 'attendants' with you?
"And how did you get through the First Gatehouse? Did those soldiers let all of you pass just like that?"
Raising his head, Chapman Lampard glanced at the stone carving of the Cloud Dragon Spear above him.
He placed his hand on the old saber by his waist.
The next moment, he nodded slowly.
However, Lampard was unsmiling and his gaze became increasingly cold.
"I didn't know that all of you started learning to act in plays." Archduke Lampard lowered his head and snorted softly. He swept his gaze across the four archdukes.
"Delivering one line each?"
Archduke Roknee threw a hard punch on the long table. His gaze was cold.
"Enough with the nonsense," the Archduke of the City of Faraway Prayers said fiercely. "What in the world is that mind of yours, which has been exposed to wind from the south for forty ,thinking?
"You killed the king and destroyed the biggest rule as well as the tacit agreement that we have adhered to for more than six hundred years.
"Did you think that you would be able to escape?"
Staring coldly at Lampard, the archdukes did not continue Roknee's words.
Lampard on the other hand, furrowed his brows at Roknee's questioning.
A few seconds later...
"I thought that all of you would be very happy," Lampard said softly. His voice was a little hoarse. "After all, with his death, all of you are finally free from that tyrant.
"Free from his officials.
"Free from his unreasonable demands.
"Free from his increasingly greedy desires.
"Free from his growing power.
"Free from his utterly unjustifiable interference of the affairs in your respective territories."
Chapman Lampard coldly swept his gaze across the archdukes. "Aren't you all?"
At that moment, each archduke's gaze differed.
There was a fleeting silence.
The Archduke of Prestige Orchid, Reybien Olsius walked forward.
The bearded archduke flashed a smile. He said in a grim tone, "But this is not how the game is played.
"You cannot overturn the chessboard just because you are in an inferior position."
He narrowed his eyes. "You are acting like a reckless gambler and this is making us very anxious."
Lampard snorted coldly. He seemed to be scornful.
He extended his hand and slapped his chest before he said in a deep voice, "Examine your own conscience and ask yourselves, my fellow archdukes.
"For the past thirty, sixty or even ninety years..." Lampard's expression was as cold as ice, and his words were as sharp as a knife. "Which of us made your more anxious? Me, or those kings from the Walton Family, who used various tactics and violence to oppress all of you to near suffocation?"
The archdukes said nothing. They were used to hiding their emotions after years of experience. Not all of them were as young as Poffret.
Lampard walked towards the long table.
"Of course, Nuven and the entire Walton Family were experts at this game. He managed his chessboard well," Lampard said coldly. "Look at that throne. It has been in Dragon Clouds City for almost a hundred years!"
The Archduke of Black Sand Region waved his hand and pointed at King Nuven's seat. His gaze was icy. "Don't all of you find it strange?"
Archduke Olsius spat loudly.
"That has nothing to do with us." The Archduke of Prestige Orchid went up to Lampard and stood opposite him without backing down. "You have beyond all doubt, broken the Joint Ruling Pledge. His Majesty was still your common-elected king."
Lampard took an abrupt step forward!
His forehead had almost touched Olsius'.
But Olsius did not back down at all. His gaze was fierce.
The atmosphere between the two archdukes became increasingly tense.
Lampard narrowed his eyes. Enunciating each word, he sounded especially eerie, "Then all of you should know that, if he were still alive, two months later, my head would be placed in a box for all of you to see.
"How do all of you know that the next head in the box wouldn't belong to one of you?"
"Stop this nonsense." The oldest among them, Archduke Lecco raised his head, which was rarely seen from him. His gaze was extremely stern. "It isn't a good idea to divert our focus by making us believe that the Prince of Constellation murdered the king."
"As Northlanders, we have our way of doing things." Roknee continued Lecco's words in a deep voice. "We just have to abide by it."
Archduke Lampard narrowed his eyes. He seemed quite dissatisfied.
Archduke Trentida clapped his hands.
"I don't think he intends to abide by the Northlanders' way of doing things." The Archduke of Reformation Tower, renowned for being cunning, tilted his head. "Look at those stupid soldiers out there."
Archduke Roknee snorted coldly. "Oh? Do you plan to kill all of us here?"
Staring at the four archdukes, Lampard's expression became increasingly cold.
He clenched his fists tightly.
But the four archdukes showed no signs of flinching. Some were seated while others were standing. They stared coldly at Lampard, uncompromising.
After a while...
Lampard relaxed his fists. Lowering his chest, he exhaled slowly.
"I'm neither here to threaten, nor harm all of you," the Archduke of Black Sand said solemnly.
Archduke Lecco narrowed his eyes as though deep in thought.
Lampard then raised his head abruptly. "I'm here today for Eckstedt's sake."
Meeting eyes, Archduke Olsius and Archduke Roknee sneered at the same time.
"For goodness sake." Roknee shook his head. "The king slayer wants to set the terms?"
"For Eckstedt's future," Lampard said solemnly, "I have an important suggestion for all of you."
The Archduke of Black Sand Region raised his head. His expression was cold, but his gaze was fiery.
It was like fire burning within ice.
"Dragon Clouds City doesn't have a direct heir to the throne anymore," he said flatly. "I reckon that both the selfish Walton Family and this territory, which has encumbered Eckstedt for more than six hundred years
"...shouldn't exist anymore."
Trentida revealed a puzzled expression.
Archduke Lecco's expression changed.
Pursing his lips, Olsius was a little shocked.
On the other hand, Roknee's smile froze.
But Lampard continued talking.
"The western part of Dragon Clouds City can go under the jurisdiction of the City of Faraway Prayers," he said bluntly, as though he was talking about the most trivial matter.
"There's no harm in entrusting the northern part to Defense City.
"The rest" Narrowing his eyes, Lampard stared at Olsius and Trentida. "...can be divided between Prestige Orchid Region and Reformation Tower."
The archduke stopped talking and waited for the others to respond.
No one said anything.
It was as though the air had frozen.
That was until Archduke Lecco's disbelieving and trembling voice rang.
"What do you mean?"
Lampard turned towards him.
"You heard what I said." Lampard widened his eyes a little and said in a deep voice, "We will rule this land together
"And make Dragon Clouds City
"...our new territory."