Chapter 379: Elder
Usual reminder that this chapter is not edited, etvolare is stopping at chapter 380, blah blah.
The Dark Mantle stronghold in the Valley of Sunshine wasn’t very large, and it lacked both personnel and resources compared to ones in other cities, but the oldest member here was actually the one sitting in the most esteemed position!
Even Han Shuo had ignored the existence of this person in the Valley of Sunshine the entire time. All Han Shuo knew about him was that he smiled all day as he guarded the shop in order to conceal the existence of the Dark Mantle base within. He never imagined that the man was a founding member of the Dark Mantle.
The old man looked at Han Shuo with shining eyes. Laughing, he nodded his head at Han Shuo, saying “What, do you not recognize me?”
“No, it’s just that I didn’t expect to see you here. I’m just surprised.” Han Shuo earnestly said.
“Brian, this is Teacher Sabakas. He is the previous Fifth Dark Sun. The Valley of Sunshine is the place where Teacher Sabakas has retired to, so that identity was naturally false.” Candice retained his sinister look. However, he stood up when he was introducing Sabakas to Han Shuo, as a sign of respect for the former.
Han Shuo was actually unable to feel any hint of the elements from Sabakas, causing him to be shocked. He immediately understood that Sabakas was either a normal person who didn’t know any spells or fighting techniques, or was a powerful person that even Han Shuo couldn’t tell the strength of. The fact that he could sit in such a spot naturally meant that he wasn’t a normal person that didn’t know anything, thus, Han Shuo could already imagine just how powerful Sabakas was.
“Greetings, old sir!” Han Shuo bowed respectfully and greeted him with a smile.
Sabakas nodded and waved his left hand. The space around Emily twisted for a moment, before a alabaster chair identical to theirs landed beside Emily. Sabakas smiled towards Han Shuo, “Go ahead and take a seat.”
Han Shuo thanked the elder, he walked over to the chair to sit down, leaning against Emily. After Han Shuo sat down, Emily leaned close to Han Shuo and whispered, “Sabakas is Cecilia’s grandfather, the space sacred magus of the Lancelot Empire. The dean of your Babylon Academy of Magic and Force, Emma, was taught by him as well. The large scale magic teleportation formations as well as all of the teleportation formations here were set up by him.”
Han Shuo was shocked and couldn’t help but look at Sabakas once again, remembering what Emily had said to him in the underground the previous time. Emily had said that Cecilia’s grandfather was a really amazing person, and Han Shuo had seen him before. Han Shuo was unable to think of who it was for a long time, and now he finally understood.
An old woman with loose skin that creased into ravines on her face sat with Sabakas. Her two hands continuously turned and toyed with a crystal ball, while her grey eyes were full of loneliness, causing her to seem different from the other people there.
When Han Shuo entered, the old woman who looked like a witch didn’t pay any attention to him at all. She merely sat there silently as if she was asleep. However, the crystal ball in her hands continued to rotate, as if reminding everyone else that she was still listening to their conversation.
“That is the mysterious seer, Grace. I only just found out about her existence from my older brother, but I don’t know what she does exactly. However, the mysterious existence of a seer was apparently able to see the future. I don’t know whether it was true or not either.” Emily explained for Han Shuo once again when she saw him look towards that old witch.
Han Shuo sat properly without saying anything, and merely nodded slightly in order to show that he’d heard Emily’s introduction. He swept his glance over Sabakas and the witch-like old seer, Grace. His heart was filled with shock. One of them was a space sacred magus, the other was a seer who was beyond mysterious.
These two people should be people on the level of an elder in the Dark Mantle. Adding onto the fact that the three heavyweights of the Dark Mantle were present, Han Shuo truly felt a bit of anticipation for the upcoming meeting. He sat there without moving an inch, and prepared himself to listen to what they were going to talk about.
“Bryan, I know all about what you did within the Valley of Sunshine. Hehe, you’re not bad hmm? We can all have our own opinions when we discuss here. Since you sit here, then you can speak out your opinion for things we discuss here as well.” Sabakas chuckled as he looked towards Han Shuo.
Han Shuo thanked him before continuing to sitting with a proper posture and saying too much. Han Shuo took a look at the thirteen people present, and understood that the ones that could sit here must be the true senior executives within the Dark Mantle organization. His heart was filled with curiosity, because he didn’t know what sort of thing could actually make these people gather together.
After a while, Han Shuo gradually understood why these people gathered. It was also because of the battle of power between the princes.
When a new king needed to be chosen in a country, the country would face another gory bloodbath. Regardless of what power a person belonged to, it was improbable to remove themselves entirely. Even normally neutral organizations such as the Dark Mantle needed to make this headache-inducing choice as well.
This Dark Mantle organization that directly served the king would also become the hand of shadows for the new king. After the new king is selected, he would definitely choose the person he trust most to manage this huge powerful organization. If the Dark Mantle chose the wrong side right now, the Dark Mantle management would be washed clean in the future.
After listening to it for a while, Han Shuo noticed that they seemed to want to remain neutral, but several princes had already sent a clear invitation to them. All three of the Dark Mantle heavyweights had been invited by the princes, but all three of them had declined the invitations and displayed a neutral standing. However, they understood that if they truly remained neutral, then any of the princes would exclude them out of their trusted followers.
The Dark Mantle organization has always been the most trusted existence of the king, if they were unable to gain the trust of the new king, then the management within would be refreshed. When that happens, it would be unknown whether the three heavyweights would continue to be the current three.
Out of these thirteen people, some of them did lean towards the first prince, Charles, who was the most powerful right now. They felt that Charles had the most right to the throne. Of course, one or two did choose the other two princes for their own reasons. However, nobody thought well of Lawrence, the bastard son, so nobody mentioned him.
“Bryan, I heard that you’re close with Lawrence, what do you think about this?” Cecilia suddenly glanced at Han Shuo. While the Third and Fourth Dark Suns had already expressed their opinions, the two elders and the three heavyweights hadn’t yet.
Han Shuo had remained silent and merely listened to everyone’s discussion, so he was a bit shocked as he did not expect Cecilia to suddenly ask him a question.
All of a sudden, the gazes of all thirteen people within the room fell onto Han Shuo. Han Shuo, recently become extremely influential in both the Dark Mantle and the imperial structure, was in a slightly different position towards them. As a city in the east, Brettel City was beyond vibrant. As the city lord, Han Shuo had enough chips to side with anyone.
Han Shuo drew a blank for a moment, then thought about it without smiling, “I will help Lawrence with my identity as the city lord of Brettel City. Repaying favors is my policy, no matter how bad you think his chances are, I will support him.”
“Lawrence, that bastard son Lawrence?” Cecilia said in disdain and shook her head. “Anyone has a chance except him.”
Han Shuo smiled without speaking and understood that the people there all wouldn’t think that Lawrence had good chances. Some of the other envoys also carried disdain on their faces as they ignored Han Shuo’s attitude. Then, they looked away from Han Shuo and towards Cecilia and the other higher-ups.
At this moment, the crystal ball in Grace the old seer’s hand suddenly emitted a soft light. At the same time, Grace’s eyes slowly cleared as she moved her heavy eyelids to stare at shimmering light within the pale-green fog of the crystal ball in her hands.
The smiling expression of space sacred magus, Sabakas, suddenly tensed as he looked solemnly at the old seer. Candide and the rest of the three heavyweights were also very shocked as they looked at the old seer, Grace, who’d seemed to be asleep ever since Han Shuo had entered the room.
As the light in the crystal ball she held suddenly faded, the deep wrinkles on Grace’s face suddenly trembled slightly. Then she started to cough intensely, seeming like her life would end at any time, like a candle extinguished in the wind. Her coughs seemed like they would tear herself apart, and in the end, she even coughed up a mouthful of blood onto the crystal ball.
The crystal ball she held suddenly shattered, while Grace’s body shook and she nearly fell down from her sitting position. After a while, her intense coughing gradually stopped as her eyes were filled with an unfocused white once again, as if her old eyes were unable to see the surrounding clearly.
The Third and Fourth Dark Suns only found it strange, but Sabakas and the three heavyweights looked at Grace with shining eyes, as if they didn’t dare to breath, just like they were waiting for something.
Grace, who hadn’t uttered a single word since the start of the meeting, suddenly looked towards Sabakas and the three heavyweights with her blurred and lifeless grey eyes. In the end, she finally set her gaze upon Han SHuo, who was sitting in the corner. Sabakas and the three heavyweights were suddenly shocked as well as they set their gazes upon Han Shuo.
“What path should we take for the future?” Sabakas looked at Han Shuo in shock, then looked towards the old seer and asked a bit cautiously.
“Sabakas, I’m a bit tired.” The old seer replied with a tremble. She’d already retracted her gaze from Han Shuo as if it was just a casual glance.
Sabakas nodded, then looked towards Candide and the rest of the three heavyweights, “I’ll take her back to rest first. You guys continue to chat, but don’t make your decision yet.”
All three heavyweights stood up together and saluted both Sabakas and Grace, before respectfully sending Sabakas, the Dark Mantle elder out.
Sabakas smiled as a cloud of light wrapped around him and Grace. The two of them disappeared with the fading of the light. Even Han Shuo was unable to feel even a hint of their aura, so they seemed to have already left the place.
After Sabakas and Grace left, the three heavyweights no longer said anything about the future path that the Dark Mantle should take, seeming to await the guidance of Sakabas and Grace. During the remaining time, all they discussed about were the great events happening with the Dark Mantle recently. The Third and Fourth Dark Suns all reported the issues they had, then spoke about all the strange situations and situations that threatened the safety of the Empire which occurred within their region.
“Bryan, how is the situation with Brettel City and the seven grand duchies?” Candide took a look at Han Shuo after everyone else finished reporting and directed a question to Han Shuo.
Although Han Shuo was the city lord of Brettel City, he was merely a Rank Two Dark Sun envoy, making his position the lowest there. Hearing Candide’s question, Han Shuo stood up from his seat and said with ease, “The Dark Mantle stronghold within Brettel City is developing well. Currently, its points had already spread out to every single major city within the seven grand duchies with Brettel City as the center. They would use letters to report all major events that were occurring locally to the Brettel City through letters.”
“Very good. The seven grand duchies should indeed be properly watched, they have always been discontent with their place,” Candide replied.
“My lord, do you know about Stratholme of Stranglethorn Valley within the seven duchies?” Han Shuo thought about it, then suddenly asked Candide before sitting down.
The moment he said that, the eleven people remaining after Sabakas and Grace had left all wore ugly expressions. Candide even shook his head helplessly with a sullen expression and then looked at Han Shuo in shock, “You met that old monster?”
Han Shuo shook his head, “No, but I did hear that he was the previous imperial adviser of the Vanerdun Dynasty. He originally had the strength of a sacred swordsmaster the last time the Empire entered the seven grand duchies. Apparently he issued a warning to the experts on our side. I wonder if this really occurred?”
Candide shook his head helplessly, “This is the shame of the empire, if it wasn’t for the existence of this old monster, the seven grand duchies would have already been conquered. How could the seven grand duchies stand up against us without a single sacred magus?. The only reason we haven’t attacked with sacred magi is because of the existence of this old monster.”
Han Shuo was rather shocked when he heard Candide admit it. He fixed Stratholme more firmly in his heart, and thought about whether he should be more vigilant against the seven duchies.