Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
At that moment, Thales’ eyes nervously glanced at both sides of the confrontation. Lampard’s plans and goals were shattered, and the two countries had avoided war.
But if he just stopped here
‘It’s not enough.’
Saroma’s life, his own life, and so many lives of the people who fought in Heroic Spirit Palace…
Who would save them?
Saroma stared at him under the table worriedly and whispered to him, telling him to come down, but Thales balled up his fists.
His battle was not over yet. There was still one last step to take.
In Constellation’s National Conference, when Thales fiercely retorted the Guardian Duke of the Land of Cliffs Region, the ‘One-Eyed Dragon’ Koshder, Gilbert had approved of his actions, but had also told Thales with a sigh that the counterattack the prince delivered to his heart’s content and had been so fierce that Koshder was forced into a corner was in fact, ‘not a clever move in politics.’
In the end, Thales understood, after going through so many things, that the game of power, only those beginners who lacked experience and hot-headed fools would act those protagonists of those stories about knights, where they would seek revenge against every slight committed against them. They would aim for a momentary feeling of pleasure and use fierce, ruthless attacks to force down their political enemies, leaving them with no way of retreat. Thales, for example, seemed triumphant, victorious, but he eventually forced Koshder to become his sworn enemy. The prince’s unrelenting style also made many vassals’ hearts fill with woe. In the end, they chose to stand on the One-Eyed Dragon’s side and refused to recognize Thales’ inheritance as an illegitimate child.
Politics was not a sword fight where both sides fought to the death. Instead, it was a series of connected events linking the people involved in the game of politics. From the methods they used to the end results, every move involved benefitting approaches of multiple parties.
Like just now, after Thales relentlessly refuted Lampard until he was rendered speechless, he inevitably intensified the conflict between the archdukes and Lampard, which might mean that Lampard had ended up digging his own grave. In order to protect himself, the Archduke of Black Sand Region would annihilate them all here.
A perfect ending was much harder to achieve than a smooth victory, but it was also more importantthis was what Gilbert wanted to tell Thales in the Hall of Stars.
Because victories often meant further confrontation, and ending things in a peaceful manner require maximum compromise.
Thales exhales deeply. He needed to do this.
As for the ‘suggestions’ given by Asda, he did not even think about it. It was left it in the back of his head. If he chose it, the consequences would not be much better than falling out with Lampard.
However, as he was about to open his mouth,
There was a harsh, sharp metallic sound that echoed in the hall.
It was not clear who had made the first move, but Lampard’s sword was already half-drawn when it collided with Roknee’s long sword.
Immediately, from outside the hall came the corresponding sounds of intense fighting.
“Block them! Get the ones with light armor first!”
In the same hallnow filled with a dangerous situationLampard and Roknee had already exchanged two sword strikes in one moment. Both of them had fierce expressions and shifted back and forth, going into their fighting stances.
Thales stood at the square table, his eyes round and almost fainted.
‘F*ck! These Northlanders! Do they not listen to people?’
Thales glanced anxiously at the door. Even though he could not see anything, he knew that Lampard had strength and overwhelming advantage. Even if they could make Black Sand Region suffer the consequences of their actions, all of them in the hall sans Lampard would still undoubtedly die.
Without heeding the gazes of the other people, Thales looked up again when Roknee and Lampard clashed swords for the second time, and yelled,
“Chapman Lampard! Are you going to give up your dreams just like that? Give up on the chance to save Eckstedt, let it sink into chaos and let Constellation overtake you all?”
‘How ironic,’ an anxious Thales complained to himself at that moment. A few minutes ago, he was talking about the dangers of Lampard’s thoughts in front of the disdainful archdukes. A few minutes later, he actually had to bitterly encourage the desperate Lampard to relive his desires!
Lampard scowled and took a few steps back, parrying Olsius, who came hacking at him from the side.
“You told me that what you want it more than self-protection, more than revenge, and you want it slightly more the destruction of King Nuven and Dragon Clouds City!” Thales tried to shout loudly while Lampard and the archdukes were temporarily apart from each other. “For that ‘little bit’, you paid so much, all for the sake of seizing that last chance of survival in this situation where you are already doomed!”
Because of the unusual state in the hall, the fights outside still continued.
In the chaos, Thales screamed, “Why don’t you take the risk again and see if you can get a new life? Think about your brother and father!”
Lampard jerked his head up as his face contorted.
“You brat! I’m fed up with your blabbering!” The Archduke of Black Sand Region gritted his teeth as he returned a slash at Olsius. “You just want to save your own life, don’t you? Go away!”
Anger rushed into Thales’s heart.
Under Saroma’s cries, Thales exhaled and resolutely jumped off the table!
With the sound of fighting outside, the prince stepped forward desperately despite the pain in his legs. Under everyone’s bewildered gazes, he used his arms to shield his head and charged forward, straight into the spot where Lampard, Roknee and Olsius fought!
Saroma’s outstretched hand could only touch his sleeves.
Lecco and Trentida’s eyes widened, watching in disbelief as the prince tried to dig his own grave.
Roknee’s pupils shrank. He was about to attack by thrusting forward, but his hands were forced to stop in the air. Olsius, who was at his side, also stopped moving. Lampard gawked in surprise and did not move forward.
Thales, filled with agitation, forcefully stopped his footsteps. He stopped at the center of the circle of three people, forcefully calmed his heart racing against his chest, and raised his arms to the three sword-wielding men!
Like the most fearless warrior, the prince stood between the three men, and forced them to stop.
Roknee glared at him unpleasantly and said, “You’re crazy! Do you have a death wish?!”
The angry prince replied unceremoniously, “What about it? I’ll be killed anyway!”
Thales, while feeling the cold swords on either side of him, turned his head and cleared his hoarse throat. He felt as if his tears and snot were about to flow out.
“Lampard, would you give it a try if you had the chance to return to the beginning; return to the starting point, and gamble with us once more; try to remold your Eckstedt again instead of accepting the current failure? You have to save this country!”
Lampard stared at him incredulously with gritted teeth as his sword quivered.
The prince could not even care about catching his breath. He turned his head around, first sweeping his gaze past the displeased Olsius and Roknee, then moving his gaze to stare at the surprised Archduke Lecco behind the table as well as Trentida, who had, at some point of time, moved beside Lecco. He waved his fist furiously. “I swear upon my life that we have a way to save ourselves. We do not need to die in vain here!”
Roknee and Olsius looked at each other, their muscles still tense. The fight outside the hall was as intense as ever.
It was uncertain how many have died.
The short confrontation was immediately broken by Lampard. The Archduke of Black Sand Region suppressed his emotions and asked, “What the hell are you going to do?”
“Just like you said, I want to save ‘your’ life.” The prince wracked his brain with every ounce of his strength, thinking of a solution. “And save everyone else altogether!”
“Prince Thales, we are all impressed by you.” Archduke Lecco’s voice was cold and full of dissatisfaction. “But right now, this is an internal affair of Eckstedt.”
He was obviously dissatisfied with the prince’s statement of ‘saving a life’.
“Of course!” the anxious Thales shouted.
“That’s why I have to be responsible of making suggestions and try to persuade all of you to stop!” Thales said loudly, “To choose or not, it’s all up to you!
“But can you wait for another two minutes before you try to kill each other, you Northlanders?!”
It was uncertain if it was his wild behaviour that earned their respect and attention, or if it was the effective yet insulting way he said ‘Northlanders’, but the hall immediately fell silent.
For a moment, there was only the heavy breathing of the crowd. At this time, the sounds of fighting outside the hall became increasingly piercing to the ears.
“Two minutes!” Thales repeated, a little antsy.
Archduke Lecco glared at him as his flared his nostrils.Lampard’s gaze was sharp yet hesitant. Saroma watchedhim worriedly.
Just as Thales could not support both his arms anymore
Lampard inhaled deeply, and then exhaled, his decision made.
He put down the blade by fiercely stabbing it into the ground.
“Be steady, Black Sand Region!” Lampard said with some anger. “Without my orders, no movement is allowed!”
The noises outside the hall subsided somewhat.
Thales immediately turned his gaze on Archduke Lecco. The old archduke had a strange expression on his face. He closed his eyes slowly, then suddenly opened them again.
“Lord Justin!” the bald archduke said, “I apologize to trouble you, but hold back your troops for now!”
“Your Grace,” Lord Justin’s voice traveled into the hall, “do you require assistance?”
Lecco and Lampard’s gazes met across the space. “No.”
After a few seconds, the noise outside the hall stopped completely.
Roknee and Olsius looked at each other, one refusing to give in, but the other resentfully laid down his weapon.
After watching the situation, Trentida blew a whistle and seemed content, until the tip of Archduke Lecco’s knife made a sudden attack.
“Two minutes,” Lecco said coldly.
Thales sighed in relief, putting down aching arms. Nevertheless, he could not relax… because every gaze in the entire hall was on him again, more serious, colder, and more difficult to bear than the ones before.
The prince pinched his thighs to increase his alertness, he then looked up at both parties, who were riled up and who had unpleasant expressions on their faces at that moment.
One side wished to break the system of the Joint Ruling Pledge, end the independent rule of the archdukes, and rebuild Eckstedt with more centralized power.
The other side wished to maintain the framework of the Joint Ruling Pledge, eliminate their traitors, and protect their own gains.
And he only had two minutes to convince the two greatly conflicting parties, on the fundamental purpose and the basic interests…
of forgive and forget.
He was also the one who pointed out this huge contradiction!
Under the angry glares from both sides, Thales sincerely felt in that moment compared to this, the seemingly unreasonable Giza and Asda were like docile kittens and puppiesobedient and easy to persuade.
Alas, he did not have a choice. Saroma and himself were still here, and their other companions were still struggling hard. He did not even know how many people had fallen.
He had to win!
The next second, not waiting for a response from the others, Thales thrust out his chest and cried urgently,
He spoke quickly. “You are worried that after you leave from here, the archdukes will work together to go against you, or even destroy you, am I right?”
Archduke Lampard, who was leaning on his sword, licked his lips with a cold look and did not say a word. Thales had no time to consider his response. The prince suddenly turned to look at the other four people,
“Dear archdukes, now, your greatest desire is to walk out of the Heroic Spirit Palace controlled by Lampard, out of this tight encirclement that overpowers you, and return to your own territories to protect your families, correct?”
The four looked at each other and said nothing, dissatisfied and angry. Saroma stared at Thales, worried about his situation between the two sides.
Thales shook his head and sighed, trying to make himself more sober. He clenched his teeth and stared at the Cloud Dragon Spear’s stone inscription above.
“So, one of you wants to be able to live in the future and avoid the threat brought by the archdukes, and the others want to be able to remain alive and avoid Black Sand Region’s siege.
Thales felt a pang in his chest, but he forcefully spat the words from his mouth. “To this end, you have to come to a consensus here to cover up King Nuven’s true cause of death: Lampard does not take the name of a king slayer out of Heroic Spirit Palace, and the archdukes will relent on attempts aimed to bring him harm.”
Lecco snorted coldly.
“Lampard, spare our lives now, let us live.” The prince said coldly, “Exchange the present for the future.”
Lampard opened his mouth, baring his teeth.
“It’s useless.” The Archduke of Black Sand Region shook his head dismissively. “Thanks to you, they are wary of me now, they fear me and will not let me get away with this.”
Lampard stared at the archdukes coldly. “Even if it is not regicide, sooner or later, for one reason or another, they will bring their troops to destroy me.”
Roknee promptly tapped his sword. “Smart.”
Thales had never hated the tactless Roknee as much as he did at that moment.
‘Sh*t! I have to get straight to the point as soon as possible.’
Thales looked up and spoke to Lampard while he sped up his words. “Yes, they won’t let you go, because you are the one who trampled on the Joint Ruling Pledge with regicide, and even tried to use a revolt to completely destroy it.
“In order to maintain the Joint Ruling Pledge, and for their own benefit, the four archdukes will definitely join forces to destroy you!”
Seeing Lampard’s gaze gradually turn unpleasant, Thales became solemn and he changed the topic in an instant. “Unless”
Under everyone’s gaze, Thales sternly said,
“Unless Chapman Lampard’s life is tied to the Joint Ruling Pledge, which means destroying you is as tantamount as destroying the Joint Ruling Pledge and the system it represents!”
Right when he said these words…
Along with Lampard, the four archdukes’ eyes grew round and watched Thales incredulously.
Saroma tilted her head thoughtfully and seemed to understand something. But the prince surprised the men once again.
Thales Jadestar took a deep breath, his eyes were resolute, his tone was firm. Anxiously and decisively, he swung his arms!
“I propose, gentlemen…”
Archduke Lecco raised his eyebrows and looked at him doubtfully, but the prince had not finished yet.
“Following the great tradition of Eckstedt from ancient times, in accordance with the continuous practice of Kahn’s Joint Ruling Pledge…”
Thales clenched his teeth, closed his eyes, and quickly recalled what Gilbert had taught him.
‘A satisfactory conclusion. Political compromise. Binding interests.’
“After the unfortunate death of King Nuven, and with the presence of the archdukes here and now” The prince suddenly opened his eyes.
“Let’s convene the king selection!”
At that moment, the expressions of the five archdukes changed simultaneously!
“You will jointly elect the Archduke of Black Sand Region, Chapman Lampard For the sake of the mighty Eckstedt”
Thales’s arm pointed at the stupefied Archduke of Black Sand Region, and said aloud,
“… As the next common-elected king!”
At that moment, the flames in all the braziers in the hall seemed to flicker. The room was suddenly quiet.
After Thales finished speaking, he pressed his hands over his racing heart and panted vigorously.
A second or two passed in the quiet hall, Trentida blinked in shock and took three deep breaths. Roknee and Olsius were like stone statues rooted in the same place, only having their gazes fixed on the prince. Archduke Lecco had an indifferent expression, but his eyebrows and upper lip were constantly twitching and wrinkling.
A moment ago, they were fighting for life and death, now it was as if the hostile atmosphere had been dispelled in an instant.
Even Saroma, who was in deep thought, forgot to think for a moment and stared at Thales with wide eyes.
Chapman Lampard, whom Thales had been focused on, stared at the Prince of Constellation incredulously with an unprecedentedly surprised gaze.
At that moment, the murderous Archduke of Black Sand gulped.
‘This boy The words he said just now What did he say? Common-elected