GDK 407 – Bigwigs
When Han Shuo obtained the information that he couldn't enter the next level before becoming a sacred magus necromancer, he didn't force matters and withdrew along his original path.
Numerous magical spells and practice methods had been imprinted on Han Shuo's mind. However, if he wanted to succeed in practicing all of them, it wasn't an easy thing to do. Hence, Han Shuo didn't stay in the Cemetery of Death any longer and instead returned to his mansion in Ossen City through the teleportation array.
Having left Ossen City for a few days, Han Shuo sought out Steward Kallas once he returned to find out what has been happening in Ossen City.
King Uhtred has already made known his stance in the last few days. He had steeled his heart to help Lawrence ascend the throne. The entire Lancelot Empire was momentarily in shock, unable to understand why Uhtred made this decision.
When the Dark Mantle Organization, King Uhtred's hand in the shadows, suddenly having closer relations with Lawrence, many already guessed that they were also leaning toward Lawrence. The Empire's legendary figure sacred swordmaster Karel also no longer sat on the fence, finally announcing officially that he supported Lawrence to be the next king.
With King Uhtred's help, Lawrence's trusted aides gradually started to grasp power within the empire. His foster father and uncle Boris received important positions, becoming influential ministers within the empire. Everyone could make out Uhtred's intentions.
In this period of time, the other princes and the powers under them visited the palace more often. Duke Ashburn and Prince Charles even visited the palace a few times a day, attempting to rely on their own abilities to change His Majesty's decision.
There were also some stubborn conservative ministers who allied and petitioned Uhtred to change his mind. They believed that as an illegitimate child, Lawrence simply wasn't fit for the honor of being at the apex of power in the Lancelot Empire. These people were old officials and their old-fashioned noble traditions caused them to be unable to accept the matter. They felt that this was blasphemy towards the royal family of the Lancelot Empire.
King Uther’s queen and his favored concubines had also joined the opposing side one after another in order to get an answer from him. In a short time, Ossen City descended into chaos. Yet at this time, Uhtred's illness suddenly relapsed and he fell into a coma, even showing signs of being able to hold on.
When the princes saw such a situation happen, they followed King Uhtred orders overtly, but secretly started to assemble their forces in preparation for purging the incoming powers. Within the seemingly tranquil Ossen City, many unfamiliar faces started to appear as a storm was slowly brewing.
Once King Uhtred died, the long-anticipated storm would inevitably break out with a bang. At that time, it would be difficult to say if it would engulf the entire Lancelot Empire. At this moment, the commander of the Southern border, Firenze suddenly returned to Ossen City. This baleful star would cause the already chaotic Ossen City to be filled with even more variables.
As he listened to Steward Kallas's description, Han Shuo was stunned. He really didn't anticipate that in just a few days, Ossen City would actually experience such drastic changes. It seems that ever since King Uhtred knew that his days were numbered, his swift and decisive actions played a huge role.
In the few days where Han Shuo was away, Phoebe had come to look for him three times while Lawrence came twice. Emily and some of the nobles in Ossen City had also come to visit him. When Kallas finished his report, Han Shuo thought for a moment before immediately heading for Lawrence's residence.
Lawrence was currently the focus of all of Ossen City. In the cruel contest for the throne, Lawrence could not fail. Only with Lawrence's ascension could Han Shuo's interests be maintained and even progress to the next level.
After hurrying into Lawrence's residence, he was informed by the steward that Lawrence was currently in a secret discussion with others. However, the steward clearly knew of the unusual relationship between Han Shuo and Lawrence. When he saw Han Shuo arrive, he immediately went to report. After a while, the steward returned and respectfully led Han Shuo to Lawrence's secret meeting.
Han Shuo saw many acquaintances within Lawrence's secret room, including Lawrence's adoptive father, Eevee, Uncle Boris, Phoebe, Emily, Betteridge Family's Old Hahn and ten other unfamiliar nobles who seemed to also be supporting Lawrence.
When Han Shuo arrived, Lawrence immediately stood up and smiled as he went up to him and said "Where did you run off to. Why have you only arrived now?"
Lawrence had also gone to the palace many times in recent days. When Uhtred met with him alone, he repeatedly urged Lawrence to keep Han Shuo firmly by his side and that Han Shuo was the key to his future.
Although Uhtred did not divulge astrologer Grace's evaluation of Han Shuo, Lawrence was an extremely smart person. He already figured out what was going on from the attitudes of the people around him and understood that Han Shuo would be his life's benefactor.
It was precisely because of this that as soon as Han Shuo walked inside, Lawrence was still the first to stand up and personally welcomed Han Shuo inside in an extremely amiable manner. This came as a slight surprise to some of his supporters who weren't familiar with Han Shuo.
"Nothing much. I had some stuff to settle so I went out for a while. Wow! There are so many people!" Han Shuo casually fobbed Lawrence off. He couldn't help but exclaim when he saw the surrounding people.
"Ha. Bryan, you are really amazing. In such a short period of time, you have become a Marquis. I indeed didn't evaluate you wrongly." Lawrence's uncle Boris laughed as he greeted Han Shuo.
Originally, Lawrence had arranged for Han Shuo to hold a post within Boris's Northern Army in order to let Han Shuo gain military merit. Boris himself was only just a Count. Who would have thought that Han Shuo had risen up the ranks in such a short time? Based on their current authority, Han Shuo had clearly surpassed him.
However, while in the Northern Army, Boris was extremely friendly toward Han Shuo as he knew of Han Shuo's prospective growth. Their relationship in private was also pretty good. Hence when he saw Han Shuo coming in, he immediately greeted him amicably.
"Hehe. Lord Boris over-praises me!" Han Shuo smiled as he bowed to Borris.
Sitting next to Boris were Emily and Phoebe. The two of them were extremely close to each other, constantly whispering softly. Only after Han Shuo came in did their bright eyes stay fixed on him. Seated beside Emily was old Hahn, hence she turned her head after glancing at Han Shuo so as to avoid arousing suspicion.
However, Phoebe seemed to still harbor some residual anger as she couldn't resist glaring at Han Shuo a few more times. Her beautiful big eyes revealed an angry overtone, seeming to rebuke him for his mysterious disappearance.
"Young man, not bad. I still haven't had the time to thank you for saving me previously! Haha. I've told you that when you have time, come over and have some fun. I will definitely entertain you well. I didn't expect that till now you still haven't visited. What's the matter? Could it be that you look down on my Betteridge family?"Old Hahn smiled as he greeted Han Shuo before pretending to be angry as he spoke.
I've already gone to the Betteridge Family and even snatched your daughter-in-law. Han Shuo said inwardly as he kept a wronged expression on his face. He innocently spread his arms and explained, "You are also aware that I have always been at Brettel City and only got back recently. There are too many matters to handle. Ha, I will definitely visit the next time I have time!"
"Okay then. I was just joking with you. I know that you are now a very busy person. Looking at you, I truly feel somewhat amazed. You saved my life the last time we met, but at that time, you were still an unknown. Who would have thought that in just a few years you have already become a formidable figure within the Empire? Awesome!" Old Hahn smiled with emotion.
As Old Hahn was talking, Lawrence had already brought Han Shuo to his side and pointed at the chair next to him, indicating for Han Shuo to sit. Only then did he introduce the strangers around him to Han Shuo. "Hehe, I won't introduce these people as you already know them anyway. However, you are perhaps unfamiliar with these people, but in the future, we will all be on the same side. This is the current Lord of Valen City…"
Each time Lawrence introduced someone, Han Shuo would nod in respect. These people were either lord of their cities or either a Count or a Marquis. They all are top characters among the nobles. With Lawrence's introduction, Han Shuo slowly understood the powers under his control.
Three Counts and two Marquis. They were all powerful figures within Ossen City and were all middle-aged. They were either in charge of a big Family, held key positions under King Uhtred or had military power. It seemed like only the people of their age would not stubbornly hold onto the idea that an illegitimate child could not obtain the throne.
As Lawrence introduced them, the nobles would nod amicably toward Han Shuo. Currently, Han Shuo had the authority over Brettel City and was favored by the king. His status as a Marquis was similar to their own status. In addition, they were now in the same faction. It would be odd if they were unfriendly toward Han Shuo!
When Lawrence finished the introductions, Han Shuo was more or less familiar with Lawrence's current strength. These Marquises and Counts were people that held true power. In addition, he had the support of the Betteridge Family and the Dark Mantle. Furthermore, there were still a few experts that surpassed worldly powers that supported him. In this case, Lawrence truly possessed the means to oppose Eldest Prince Charles.
It seemed like that Uhtred's swift and decisive actions had indeed brought about the greatest benefit to Lawrence. It caused Lawrence's power to rise greatly while also convincing more nobles to support him, allowing Lawrence to possess the qualifications to go against Charles and vie for the throne.
After Lawrence introduced the nobles that Han Shuo were not familiar with, he paused for a while before continuing, "We were just discussing a few matters. Let me summarize them for you. Currently, we should use our forces to their maximum potential and let the talents under us acquire power while my father is still alive.
On the other hand, based on our current foundation, we still need to obtain stronger support in preparation for Charles and others' desperate actions. The empire's authority is basically in the hands of the nobles. Even though my royal father clearly supports me, if those nobles support Charles, they would still collaborate with Charles to resist me when my royal father dies. This matter is extremely hard to solve.
Ah. The most important issue is my identity. Those stubborn fellows clearly would not choose me but they hold too much power in their hands that without them making mistakes, my father has no means whatsoever to reduce the authority in their hands. This really is a headache-inducing problem."
Han Shuo didn't say a word after he sat down, only listening to Lawrence's descriptions. When Lawrence finished talking, Han Shuo understood that the situation was not as ideal as he had imagined. It seemed like even though they had Uhtred's support, Charles' prior advantage was too huge. Lawrence would never be able to peacefully ascend the throne
"Your Highness, Duke Ashburn has an enormous influence within the empire. The bigwigs he has made friends with include the majority of nobles. With him supporting the eldest Prince, they would be extremely hard to deal with. Currently, His Majesty is able to suppress him but if he dies, Duke Ashburn would surely oppose with all his strength.The power in his hands is enough to alter the entire situation. This is really difficult to manage!" A Count named Talric said to Lawrence.
"That's right. Once His Majesty meets his demise, no one can control Duke Ashburn. This is truly hard to handle!" Lawrence's foster father, Eevee said while frowning.
"Hehe, you all neglected the person that just got to Ossen City. If Lawrence can obtain this person's support, I think the situation would be totally different!" Old Hahn suddenly chuckled and said.
When they heard those words, everyone was moved but they sighed soon after. Boris replied, "That unreasonable madman is indeed no ordinary person but he doesn't even listen to His Majesty's orders. Who would be able to convince him?"
Lawrence was distracted for a moment, before looking fervently at Han Shuo. However, when he saw Emily and Phoebe, he hurriedly retracted his gaze.
Han Shuo realized simply from Lawrence's expression that he knew of the relationship between Fanny and the madman Firenze. He cannot help but sigh inwardly. He knew that Lawrence definitely had a goal when Lawrence painstakingly made friends with himself. Lawrence had actually started to rope him in so long ago. It seems that of all the princes, Lawrence had planned the furthest ahead.