Chapter 99 – Dandelion
Adun didn't dare to get overconfident. After fighting in the battlefield for so many years, he could feel something faint, as though there wasn't something quite right with the current atmosphere. The person before him didn't have a single shred of killing intent. As a person of the Empire that serves as Solomon's bodyguard, this couldn't be right.
For him, this fight wasn't just for his honour and reputation. It also concerned the Stuart clan's face. He had to win!
Carolyn started to observe Solomon and the kid who didn't exude a single ounce of an expert's attitude or killing intent. From his appearance, he should only be about fourteen to fifteen years old. In addition, he was still undergoing puberty, with a circular face and short hair that made appear him very adorable.
Any soldier who hadn't yet experienced the blood and fire of the battlefield could never truly be considered an expert. This applied far more to the warriors of the Empire than to the warriors of the Federation. Could this person be a relative of Solomon?
Nonsense. There wasn't a need to even look down this path. Every bodyguard was required to hand over their lives in this era.
With an explosive roar, Adun instantly launched forward, his soul power erupting throughout his body. Like a cannonball, he rumbled directly toward Enoch. Man and sword became one as his soul power fused from the heavy sword to his body, moving forth as a single entity. This was a very direct and rough method. While it seemed simple, it was the most lethal move for close quarters combat.
Yet, just as he took three steps forward, an arrow of blood was shot high into the air. In the next instant, the arm which tightly clasped the heavy sword flew into the air, severed from Adun's shoulders. It carried with it the heavy gigantic sword, which spun in the air before violently smashing into the ground not far from him.
His Potter Dash had subsequently come to a sudden halt.
W-what had happened?!
Other than Solomon and his other subordinates, almost everyone else didn't dare believe their eyes.
The silver-haired big child still stood a distance of ten meters away from Adun and maintained his previous posture. He still had an unchanged smile on his face, and the only difference to his appearance was the closed hand holding his sword.
Carolyn's surrounding bodyguards quickly had a change in expressions. On the other hand, Carolyn simple gave a slight smile and clapped her hands as she said, "Such a brilliant move. The Empire having so many experts is indeed a well-deserved reputation."
Enoch returned to Solomon's side, and the prince had a slightly embarrassed look on his face. "My deepest apologies. He's too brutal and doesn't exercise much restraint."
"Your highness is too polite. Injuries are unavoidable when comparing notes. I still have to admire Enoch for showing some restraint. His Gap-closing technique and Sword Drawing skills are extraordinarily exquisite."
When he heard Carolyn's words, Solomon felt slightly amazed. "Miss Carolyn is undoubtedly a great expert at fencing."
Enoch hadn't used any special ability and instead took a step that was at the extreme limit of humans. The Gap-closing technique was the penultimate of assassin skills and it was indeed inconceivable that such a skill would appear on this child. He was almost a freak.
While this had been slightly incidental, both sides had already achieved their objectives with Solomon displaying his strength to the Stuart clan. After all, only those who were of equal status had the qualifications to negotiate.
The night life of Stuart City was extremely beautiful. It was one of the extremely small number of cities inside the Federation that allowed one to see the stars.
Tonight's skies were extremely clear and bright. One could even see the occasional stars of the distant heavens shyly revealing themselves.
Solomon was currently watching them quietly as he stood before a luxuriously large window that offered a wide view. A glass of red wine was poised in his hand.
The place he stood in was 25 stories high. Standing there, one could have a panoramic view of the entire Stuart City.
The lights of the city were sparkled light stars, flourishing in a world of darkness.
For their negotiations talk, mutual flattery constituted the large percentage of it. Yet, Solomon had indeed stated a single true sentence—the Federation was indeed flourishing much more than the Empire.
Furthermore, this was only one of the cities amongst the hundred cities of the Federation.
"Such a fertile and flourishing world governed by such ineffective and rotten political powers." Solomon laughed lightly as he swirled the wine in his glass. He lightly shook his head before continuing, "There is a saying from the old era; If you don't accept the things god has given you, you will only bring harm to yourself. Enoch, do you understand the meaning of this phrase?"
Also within this grand hall and standing behind him, the silver-haired Enoch frowned as he ate his food. When he heard Solomon's words, he turned around and stared at him.
"Haha. I seem to have asked the wrong person," Solomon said with a light laugh. He retracted his gaze from the bustling night view and asked Enoch, "How is your opponent doing now?"
Enoch thought earnestly for a moment before saying, "From the brand I left on his broken arm, I can feel it has already been reattached. Such a mysterious method."
"The Federation's rune technology is indeed ahead of us by a huge lead. Not only do they exceed us in weapons, they are also above us in transportation and medical treatment. These are resources from the old era," said Solomon. Resources taken that year were secondary. The key point were the human talents, techniques, and technology; this had been the key factor which led to the differences between Empire and Federation. Solomon continued, "How would you grade your opponent?"
"Ah, I don't care about him," Enoch replied. He wrinkled his forehead, looked at the pork leg in his hand, then exclaimed, "Their dinner is too awful to eat!"
Solomon couldn't help but start laughing. This was what he liked about Enoch's character. In his life, there were only three simple things: Kill, eat, and loyalty.
Suddenly, Enoch's eyes lit up as he retracted his faint smile. Solomon waved his hand and a black envelope unknowingly appeared on the table. On the surface of the letter was a dandelion drawn with silver runes. This silver-coloured dandelion portrayed in a three-dimensional manner appeared very lifelike. It was almost as if a gentle breeze was all it'll take to throw the dandelion off the envelope, scattering its seeds to the winds and to various parts of the world.
A rare expression of calm appeared on Solomon's face. Even when he discussed trains and rune cannons with Carolyn, his expression hadn't ever been as serious.
After he finished reading the letter, Solomon's expression didn't change. He only breathed a small sigh of relief. This prince who proclaimed himself as inexperienced in combat to Carolyn gently crushed the surface of the letter.
No soul power fluctuations appeared, nor any other strange changes, yet the entire envelope rapidly turned a waxy yellow. It was as if it had suddenly aged a thousand years and turned to dust before thoroughly disappearing without a trace.
Within the Stuart clan's conference room, a round of discussions was held as the elders agreed with Carolyn's point of view. In the end, Solomon indeed struck a jackpot.
The rune cannons were actually placed for Solomon to see. This wasn't for the sake of flaunting their power, but for Solomon to draw an interest to them. No matter how many armoured railroads were made, the Federation earning the majority of the money wasn't very helpful for the benefit-eying Stuart clan. There were many resources in the Kaiser Empire that was highly sought after by the Stuart clan. So long as they provided the things Solomon wanted, he would be quite generous.
Indeed, when he saw the rune cannons, Solomon couldn't control himself. These were what he had been looking for all along.
Naturally, it wasn't possible to sell the newest generation rune cannons to the Empire. There were, however, quite a few older models that had been phased out and kept in storage. Keeping them would only take up space, so it was better to sell them for a sky high price to the Kaiser Empire.
The Kaiser Empire would definitely research them, but regardless of the rune technology used or its lethality, these phased out rune cannons were too weak compared to those currently used in service.
It would be difficult for the Empire to fill their hands with the rune tech available as many of the vital components were placed within the construction of the rune cannons. The most important part of the rune cannon also wasn't its body, but the cannonballs. This only added another point of obstruction for Solomon.