Chapter 234: A Great Threat
Translator:?EndlessFantasy Translation??Editor:?EndlessFantasy Translation
“Your wish came true, just like I said.”
Shiles’ expression was indifferent, as though he had forgotten about the sword in front of his throat. He swept his gaze past Putray, who stood beside Thales, and nodded in contemplation. “Congratulations on your release from prison. And Mr. Vice Diplomat, I wonder what the purpose of your visit is…”
Shiles knew that the gaunt man before him was a key figure in the Constellation Diplomat Group.
‘I just have to come to a consensus with him.’
Putray waited quietly for the prince to say something while he himself said nothing and put on a cold visage.
Thales flashed a smile. “Alright, Your Grace. Stop looking at Putray, I am the one who is here to discuss business with you today.”
Shiles stopped talking. He stared dazedly at Thales and the emotions in his eyes kept changing. He did not have this look on his face even when he first met the prince.
Shiles seemed to have recovered from the surprise, and regained his usual demeanour and mannerism. He cleared his throat and said with a smile, “So… Why do you want to put yourself in danger again?”
The marquis took a deep breath, glanced at the sword in front of his neck, and thought about his situation at hand. He cleared his throat and said with a smile, “Even though it is not very amicable to say this, but…
“I have specialized regular connections. According to our plan, the moment they lose contact with me, their first choice would usually be to inform Archduke Lampard.”
Marquis Bamra from Camus Union turned towards Thales and revealed an earnest and concerned expression. He sighed and said, “Look, you are taking such a risk—”
“Yes.” Thales nodded and waved his hand at Nicholas, signalling for Nicholas to take a step back. “I risked exposing myself to find you here. Just like how a few hours ago, you took the risk to personally fetch me… Your Grace.” Thales’ gaze turned chilly.
The Camian revealed a resigned expression and sighed as he said, “I understand how you feel. This is a saddening diplomatic journey. It was not easy for you to get out of trouble. You feel depressed and want something out of it—”
Thales interrupted him. “No… My time is limited, so I’ll make this short,” the second prince said flatly.
Shiles was somewhat startled.
The second prince took a step forward and climbed onto a bench in front of the study table. He tried his best to be on eye-level with Shiles, who was being held at knifepoint.
“First of all, when you came to fetch me, you told me that if I give up on returning to Heroic Spirit Palace, you would help me sneak out of town, and even back to Constellation.”
Shiles smiled politely and his gaze flickered.
“That was a decision you made in private behind Lampard’s back,” Thales said in a deep voice. “You are Lampard’s accomplice, but you are not his subordinate. You neither follow his orders nor have to be loyal to him. Otherwise…”
The corners of Thales’ lips curled up. “Why did he not dispatch his elite soldiers to protect you?”
Marquis Shiles nodded amiably. He seemed courteous. “I understand. You want me to betray my relationship with Archduke Lampard and help you instead?” The marquis contemplated for a bit and said calmly, “This is not a small request. If he finds out…”
Thales shook his head.
“Your contract with Lampard has already ended.” The prince stared seriously at Shiles’ face. “King Nuven is dead. Spirit of the contract, remember?”
The marquis’ gaze flickered slightly.
“I want to make a business deal with you, Your Grace,” the prince said softly. “Business deals are naturally mutually beneficial. The rewards will definitely exceed the costs.”
The moment Thales said that, the room was silent for a moment. Shiles flashed him a lopsided smile, his eyes sparkled. He was deep in thought for a while. He then raised his head and flashed a bright smile despite the fact that he was being held at knifepoint. “A business deal? …What do you want?”
Thales also flashed a smile. “I need information.”
“Information, mm-hm.” Shiles nodded. He seemed to be contemplating. “Since it is a business deal, what do you plan to give me in exchange?”
Inhaling, Thales suddenly recalled the Covendier Family’s Vine Manor and the bloody night. ‘Even though it hadn’t been too long ago, it feels like a long time ago.’
Thales recovered his attention and flashed the poised Shiles a delicate smile. “Do not worry, my offer is quite fair, you will definitely profit from it.”
Shiles lowered his head slightly. His eyes sparkled. “Oh? I’m looking forward to hearing it.”
Thales’ expression became solemn. He sternly said, “I will give you an even more important piece of information… in exchange for your information.”
Shiles blinked. “So, what is—”
“My information is that…”
Thales exhaled. For some reason, he recalled the butler of that enemy Blood Clanswoman, the old man named Chris. He then stared straight into Shiles’ eyes. “…Right now, your life is in our hands.” The prince smiled and asked, “Is this information substantial enough?”
Shiles’ face froze for a second… Two seconds…
The marquis then exhaled and shrugged. “I thought you really wanted to form a business deal with me instead of—”
“Think about it.” Thales was still smiling. “This business deal is really profitable.”
Shiles lowered his head and sighed, but he did not relent in his words.
“Business does not work that way.” The marquis narrowed his eyes. He did not seem worried at all. “All of you are in trouble with Eckstedt and are unable to even fend for yourselves. On the other hand, Camus Union is very willing to extend a helping hand. For example: sneaking you out of the kingdom, as had I mentioned earlier.”
Thales’ expression turned cold.
“King Nuven is dead,” he said coldly. “These people who have pledged their lives to protect him had no choice but to live with the White Blade Disgrace. As an accomplice, don’t you also share the blame?”
Shiles stopped talking. His face filled with suspicion as he stared at Thales.
“These people?” The marquis narrowed his eyes. “The White Blade Disgrace?”
Nicholas coldly stepped forward.
“You look like you’re not aware of the predicament you’re in yet, my dear Camian friend,” the Star Killer said coldly.
Shiles heard the man’s voice. He trembled a bit at first, then carefully scrutinized Nicholas, who was in disguise. A few seconds later, the marquis’ face turned incredibly pale—he recognized the man with the unnaturally dark skin.
“Ah, Lord Nicholas!” Shiles’ face twitched awkwardly. His expression was interesting, but he looked to be in pain. “You’re still—”
“Still alive?” Nicholas finished his sentence scornfully.
Shiles’ face was frozen as he stuttered. “Haha… haha… This- this is another surprise.”
“Yes.” Nicholas sneered. His eyes were filled with hatred and anger. “King Nuven—”
Before Nicholas could finish talking, Shiles’ countenance changed in the blink of an eye the next moment.
“Let me reconsider, Prince Thales!”
The marquis turned. He looked sternly and solemnly at Thales. Shiles earnestly enunciated each of his words.
“This is indeed a pretty good business deal… What information about Lampard do you want to know?” His words were flowed smoothly and his tone was sincere and warm. The emotions he displayed seemed real and natural. “I will try my best to clear up your confusion.”
Beside Shiles, Raphael put on a smile. Nicholas exhaled in dissatisfaction. Thales sighed and looked towards Putray, the man gave him a reassuring look.
The prince then looked at the… marquis who had come to very much understand the situation. The boy nodded at Raphael, who then lowered his sword. The marquis breathed a sigh of relief.
Thales frowned “You once said that Lampard has a distinctive outlook and bearing, while Lampard mentioned that he wants to save Eckstedt.” The prince raised his head, his gaze solemn. “Why did he say this?”
Shiles’ brows rose. ‘My God. I thought that he would ask me for proof that Lampard killed the king, or about the key players… But this question…’
“You wouldn’t understand.” Shiles shook his head and sighed. “A lot of people think of it as complete nonsense. To tell you the truth, I am still confused even now…”
Thales narrowed his eyes. “Try telling me, see if I can understand,” the Prince of Constellation said calmly, “Why does Lampard want to ‘save’ Eckstedt, and how is he going to do so?”
The marquis from Camus Union fixated on Thales. The emotions were churning in his eyes.
A few seconds later, Shiles chuckled. He softly said, “Because for Lampard… he saw a legitimate threat and a danger.”
Everyone in the room including Raphael, Putray, and Nicholas were a little startled. Only one person did not react.
“A real threat?” Thales asked without changing his expression.
“Yes. A huge, unprecedented threat that is hard to defend against.” Shiles seemed to have decided to throw all caution to the wind. With an arched eyebrow, he did not expect the people in the room to understand what he was saying. “The threat is enough to crush and destroy all of Eckstedt.
“The other archdukes are either not aware of it, or are unwilling to accept it. Only Chapman Lampard saw it. He resolutely made a decision and took action before the threat struck for real.”
Thales softly clasped his hands. ‘We’re drawing closer… Now…’
“To face this terrifying threat, he must unite all the powers in Eckstedt, right?” Thales said softly, as though he was afraid of rousing something. “Such as those four archdukes in Heroic Spirit Palace? And Dragon Clouds City?”
Thales raised his gaze, which was as sharp as a blade. “Because this isn’t a scary threat that any of them can fight against by themselves. It is unprecedented, and might even change our histories forever.”
At that moment, Shiles was truly stunned, as though he only just met the prince for the first time.
“Could it be that you have already guessed it?” Shiles muttered, “But—”
Thales interrupted him coldly, “It’s just a supposition. I still need to hear it from you to confirm it.”
The prince clenched his fists tightly, remembering everything Little Rascal had told him.
‘Mindis the Third… Centuries of strategic planning…. The foundations of a long-lived existence…’
Thales narrowed his eyes and asked one last question, “That great threat… What is it?”
Shiles seemed to have recovered from the shock Thales gave him. He exhaled loudly and frowned. A few seconds later, Shiles’ relaxed his brow… and smiled.
“My esteemed Prince Thales, you actually figured it out, didn’t you?” Shiles shook his head slowly, smiled, and said, “… The reason for everything that Chapman Lampard has been doing all this while.”
Thales’ gaze became more solemn.
Shiles’ expression was profound. He faintly said,
“What entity in this world can intimidate the Kingdom of the Great Dragon, which possesses unparalleled military power, threaten the future existence of the strongest kingdom in the Western Peninsula, and push Eckstedt, which has existed for more than six hundred years and lives with the spirit of how the great Northland operates, into an unprecedented crisis of life and death?”