Chapter 176: Royal Audience
“What do you mean? Please explain.” King Edwin prompted.
“Ahem…” A voice sounded from the side.
The King turned his head. “Yes, Edward, do you have something you would like to add?”
The Prince stepped forward and gave his father an odd smile. “I just thought it would be better to wait for the room to adapt to Mistress Swan before we continue. As of right now…” He looked around. “It seems that only Your Highness, Advisor Gerald, myself, and Lord Avery have heard anything since Mistress Swan first spoke.”
“Ah… yes… she does have that effect on people. Very well. We will wait until Advisor Musgrave and the Princess are able to take part.” The King said.
Gerald continued to stare at Alanah with daggers. He was strong enough that his recent visit to the Crown had allowed him to somewhat withstand Alanahs voice. Alanah shot Gerald a look and rolled her eyes.
“King Edwin.” Alanah spoke. “While I am willing to wait for a short while, I am very busy preparing auctions currently.” She thought now would be the perfect time to tempt the Royal Family.
“Auctions?” King Edwin asked. “As in… more than one?”
Alanah released a charming smile towards the King. “Exactly. We plan to hold the initial auction in Savannah before the second, which will be held here in the Capital.”
“May I ask what the difference between the auctions is?” The King leaned forward.
Alanah knew that what the King had the least of right now was time. He had a high Vitality, everybody knew that, but he was pushing 300 years old, and was already as high a level as he could manage, so he could no longer obtain stat points to increase his Vitality towards max.
Every point of Vitality he could find was a possible increase to his already long life. Therefore, Void Beast auctions were of utmost importance to the Royal Family. It was also why the Crown Prince didnt hesitate to give the Void Beast to Alanah in exchange for one meal. Obviously, she was on the winning end of the deal, but beggars couldnt be choosers.
Of course, King Edwin didnt fail to use his membership to attend that auction to get hold of another meal. Alanah was sure she would see the King again at both the auction in Savannah and the one here in the Capital.
“Of course, King Edwin.” Her smile deepened. “I have recently come into possession of multiple Void Beasts.” She said. As soon as she announced the auction to the public, everyone would know about her having more than one beast, so there was nothing wrong with her telling the King and his people here. If anything, it may prove useful by tempting the King into a good mood.
“Multiple Void Beasts?” The King was ecstatic.
Alanah nodded. “Yes, multiple.” She confirmed. “Thats not all. The first auction, the one to be held in Savannah, will provide a beast that was slightly stronger than the one brought to us by your son, the Crown Prince.”
“What?” The Prince asked. “Ive heard nothing of another Void Beast of that level appearing in the Kingdom.”
Alanah shrugged. “Yet, I have one.”
“And the other Void Beast?” The King asked.
Alanah went as far as showing her teeth, almost in a predatory smile. “Was intelligent. The stats that it will provide are second to none. The price, however… will be second to none as well. It is the first beast of intelligence I have obtained, and the one with the greatest possibilities.”
The King shot up from his throne. “You must allow me to purchase the meals.”
“Please, King Edwin. Sit… you will have the same chance to obtain a meal from that Void Beast as everyone else. I am opening the auction to all members, not just those of a higher tier.” She smiled. “But thats still not the main course.”
“Theres more? More than a Void Beast so strong that it had intelligence?” The Prince asked.
“Yes.” Alanah nodded. She had both the King and Prince hooked. Off to the side of the King, Gerald could do nothing but grit his teeth and fume in silence. “A third beast was delivered. This Void Beast has a… peculiar constitution.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, thought its meat and most other organs provide minimal increase to stats when consumed… its blood and heard are different. Just one sip of its blood will increase your vitality.”
“Amazing.” The King muttered.
“Indeed…” She took a step forward and leaned in, almost as if she was whispering where only the King could hear it. “And that was without me refining it.”
The Kings face turned red as he breathed heavily in excitement. Alanah took a step back to stand beside Avery. She hoped the excitement the King was experiencing didnt cause him to injure himself.
“Thats great, father!” A melodic voice chimed from the side. It seemed that Princess Eloise was the first to break out of her daze.
Alanah hadnt noticed how long she had been listening, but it was still a surprise to see her gain control back so soon. Her willpower and Wisdom must have been on par with that of Stellas.
“Princess Eloise.” Alanah said. “It seems you have gotten much stronger since last we met. Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Lady Swan.” The Princess bowed.
The King smiled at the Princess. “It is great. I hope I can obtain some blood of this unique Void Beast.”
The King calmed down, and the group went silent for some time. Finally, ten minutes later, Advisor Musgrave broke out of his daze. Surprisingly, all of Prince Edwards Generals snapped out of their daze before the Advisor.
“This has been all well and good, but can we please get back to the topic and hand?” Gerald broke the silence. “I do not believe we need to wait for a bunch of lady maids to ready themselves before we continue.”
King Edwin shot Gerald an annoyed look. “I guess we do not.” He said. “Alanah, will you please continue?”
Alanah smiled. The King had stopped being formal and shifted to casual talk. It was what she wanted. “Of course, Edwin.” She glanced at Gerald in victory. “As I said before, Advisor Geralds son and grandson brought everything that happened on themselves.”
Gerald snorted. But didnt speak after the King shot him a disapproving look.
“You see, I have been in contact with Derek Hunt for almost as long as he has been in the Kingdom” Alanah explained.
“And you are able to talk with him? Personally?” The King questioned.
“Oh, yes. Dereks ability isnt any less than anybodys in this room.” She said.
“Hes only a Gold Ranked Adventurer!” Gerald cut her off.
Alanah rolled her eyes. “Idiot.” She didnt bother to hide her disdain for the man. “He was a Gold Ranked Adventurer only because that was the highest rank he could obtain in Torith. Since arriving in Savannah, he has already received his Onyx Ranked Badge, and its only a matter of time before he arrives in the Capital and becomes Diamond Ranked.”
Gerald closed his mouth shut and stared wide eyed.
“Really, Gerald. It isnt like you to not know who youre messing with. Youre usually much more careful that this.” Alanah chided. “What did you think happened to Bones and Ogre after you sent them to take care of Derek? It was like sending children who hadnt even unlocked the Great System up against King Edwin. You should be ashamed.”
Geralds face turned red in anger. “I dont know what youre talking about. I would never associate with the likes of those assassins.”
“Oh, Im terribly sorry. I didnt mean to offend you.” Alanah answered. “Well, Derek has done the Kingdom a favor in culling the two assassins, no matter who sent them.”
“Indeed.” Prince Edward agreed. “I will have to meet this man.”
Alanah smiled at the Prince. She knew that he held a particular disgust for assassins. More than one attempt on his life had been made as he grew up. “If you find yourself in Savannah, my manager, Stella, will introduce the two of you. Hes just taken up residence.” She told the Prince, and he nodded back.
“What did all of this have to do with the Advisors son and grandson?” The King asked.
“Well, Derek is a peculiar man. When he arrived in the Kingdom, he rescued a young boy and, because somewhat of a mentor to him. He brought the boy with him to Torith, where they met Geralds grandson.” Alanah continued on to tell the King about the events that happened between Thomas and Clay. “You see, I thought he was very generous in letting Malcolm and his son off with a warning.”
The King looked at Gerald. “Yes… it would seem that way.”
“Imagine my surprise when I heard about what happened next.” Alanah then went on to explain about the kidnapping of Brandi and Malorie, leaving out the details she had already gathered about the girl. She made it seem like a genuine revenge kidnapping to get back at Derek.
“Is that true?” The King shouted at Gerald.
“N-no… of course not.” Gerald muttered.
“I will send my own people out to get the truth. If I find out you are lying…” The King threatened.
“W-wait…” Gerald pleaded. “I… I heard about the kidnapping. I didnt know that they were Derek Hunts companions, I swear.”
“What makes you think you have the right to kidnap someone in MY KINGDOM!” The King was furious now.
“I… I didnt.” Gerald pleaded. “I- it was my son who did it. I had no knowledge until after the fact.”
“And you still have the gull to plead your sons case. If he were still alive, I would kill him myself.” The King looked back at Alanah. “Alanah, thank you for your explanation. You are dismissed. Gerald and I have many things to discuss.”
Alanah nodded. “Very well, Edwin.” She smiled. “I look forward to seeing you at the auction later. I will send someone with the details soon.” She glanced at the Prince and Princess. “It was good seeing you two again.”
With that, Alanah and Avery turned and left the Royal Palace.
When they got back to the Crown and to Alanahs office, she spoke, “Honestly, how did that man think that was going to go? I used to think he was at least a little competent, but it seems that his emotions have taken control of him.”
“It would seem that way.”
“Everything is up to Edwin now. I wonder how he will handle Gerald after that farce. I hope he wont disappoint me. Luckily, the Prince was there to witness as well.” Alanah leaned back in her chair. “Im sure your students are anxiously awaiting your return. You can go.”
Avery bowed. “Thank you.” He turned and left.
Alanah stared at the closing door. What an interesting day.
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