About five minutes later, the southern barons finally submitted to Mary and stated their intentions clearly, also assuring her that they would leave right away.
After getting the promise she sought, Mary stood up and left.
The young princess had no further intention to stay in the southern reinforcement camp, not just because of the hypocrites around her, but also because of… the extra coffin in the tent.
Peders, the second son of the old duke, could still be heard sobbing from time to time.
Losing his father and brother at once, plus learning that his brother was the murderer of his father, it was quite the news for any common person to take in. Peders was no exception.
Mary understood him because she lost her mother before and the killer was also the one she once regarded as the dearest person to her in the world.
Though, she would not comfort Peders. Comfort could only go so far in some matters.
One had to completely rely on himself to get through. Comfort wasn’t needed at those certain times.
Mary held Kieran’s hand and walked out of the camp, the southern barons followed tightly behind them until the exit. When Mary was about to board the wagon, one of the barons said, “Your Highness, I swear that I didn’t know anything about Duke Will’s incident.”
When the baron spoke, the five others behind him swore a vicious oath in unison.
After Mary heard the oaths, she nodded without making a clear comment and went into the carriage. The barons then quickly turned their attentions to Kieran.
In fact, whether it was the little conversation just now or the current send-off, the southern barons didn’t take their eyes off Kieran for a second.
They were quietly sizing up Kieran’s countenance, trying their best to not let anything unexpected slip through.
Unfortunately, to their disappointment, Kieran didn’t do anything worthy of their attention from the start till end. He was as dull and calm as ever like everything was logical and reasonable.
What’s wrong with things being reasonable for a powerhouse like Kieran?
When the thoughts naturally came into their hearts, the barons became even more respectful and reverent as they slowly returned to the camp.
Almost instantaneously, when the barons returned to the camp, the whole site became busy.
Decamping procedures were carried out in an orderly fashion under the barons’ lead.
As for Eldar, the duke-in-name, and Bosco, the king’s consultant?
The barons didn’t even lay eyes on them.
They were fed up with the former already; him leaving was also a good thing for the southern lands.
As for the latter?
There was no reason for them to even talk to Bosco anymore.
No one was tired of living and looking to provoke the Warren royal family at this time.
With that ominous black figure beside Mary, Warren’s royal family was destined to become the biggest winner of this war.
Think about Riverdale’s wealth!
Those idiotic nobles that fled during the invasion automatically gave up their titles and positions, and now, it would be impossible for them to ever return.
Again, think of the fertile grassland!
Without the Prairies King, the remaining people were nothing but scattered tribes, allowing the Warren soldiers to slaughter them freely. Some even speculated if those tribesmen with sufficient wealth were already on their way to Riverdale, asking for peace and seeking help.
Every one of the tribesmen wanted to become the new king of the grassland, even if it meant becoming a puppet of the Warren Kingdom.
Time would change all of this.
What the barons thought of, Mary thought of too, but the young princess didn’t have the time to care about all of these.
“Duke Eldar, please come with me,” Mary said officially.
The invitation was at the behest of her father and also the respect from her own heart because she knew how much this friend of her father had sacrificed for the entire Warren royal family.
When he heard Mary’s invitation, the elderly duke laughed.
“After 20 years, I am returning to Riverdale; I should be walking back. I want to feel every inch of the land with my feet, breathe the air of the land. It…it has been appearing in my dreams countless times and now, I’m finally returning.”
As the elderly duke spoke, the smile on his face slowly faded, his words then somehow starting to turn into sobs.
Bosco, who was beside him, quickly walked over, trying to help the elderly duke but was rejected by a wave of his hand.
Just like what the elderly duke said, he started to walk towards Riverdale.
“Bosco, take good care of Duke Eldar.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Bosco quickly gave chase to Eldar after Mary’s order, and the other person who followed behind was Ganarde under Kieran’s order.
Although the Prairies invaders and southern reinforcements had retreated, it didn’t mean Riverdale was safe, hence those orders, which were given to his attendant in order to calm his mind.
Despite knowing almost nothing about Duke Eldar, he knew how he should treat the elderly based on how respectful Mary was to the man.
Boarding the wagon, Kieran took a seat opposite of Mary.
“2567, do you know about Duke Eldar?”
When Kieran shook his head, Mary began to tell him the story of Eldar from what she heard from her father and the news she had gathered.
“Eldar is my father’s friend and was once the imperial envoy of Warren’s royal family. He was sent to the south 20 years ago and was somehow gifted dukedom without land. Although the initial plan was for him to stay in the south for a month, accidents happened endlessly and his return was stalled for up to 20 years. After my aunt became the Royal Marshal of Ceremonies, Eldar’s life got worse. Without the support of the royal family, he had to write to people most of the time, struggling to survive. Did you see his robe? That brown robe of his was the only outfit he never repaired.
“A duke-in-name, that was Eldar’s title. The southern nobles bullied him relentlessly since he once represented the Warren royal family. Each time they bullied him, they would feel satisfaction on many different levels, and each time was a nightmare for Eldar,” said Mary with a sigh.
“2567, must we be strong to acquire everything? Pride, honor, wealth, authority, everything is closely related to power, and without power, one will only become a joke like Eldar in the southerners’ eyes.” Mary looked at Kieran, anticipating an answer.
“Do you think Eldar is a joke?” Kieran asked her back.
“No, he is a respectable person,” Mary answered seriously.
“Yes, he is indeed a respectable person. And as for acquiring everything because of power? That is not real power, it’s ego!”
Kieran raised his hand and drew a circle in the air, continuing, “Increasing your strength is like drawing a circle. The stronger you are, the bigger the circle will be and the more you will encounter. You will notice that there will always be mountains beyond mountains.”
“Mountains beyond mountains, eh? Then what is true strength?” Mary asked again after mumbling a few times.
“True strength is your heart! A heart of vigilance without losing its keenness, indomitable and able to see through despair,” Kieran said, each and every word spoken with firmness.