Garen scanned through the other papers. Weisman defended their action, saying the number of deaths were grossly exaggerated, and that this was a response to the Confederation Army’s provocation. 99% of the deaths were soldiers, so they didn’t violate the international laws on human rights.
Garen picked some of the more trustworthy papers and perused them in greater details.
It was already a few days since the genocide. Protests were staged in various places to demand a strong military response, and at the same time to protest against the violence against helpless citizens displayed by the Weisman Empire.
After reading through the papers, Garen silently contemplated in his seat.
The aircraft was getting ready to land as it swiftly descended.
With some minor trembling, the aircraft landed safely.
Garen alighted the plane and took the pre-arranged car out of the airport and into the city center.
Half an hour later, within minutes of entering the city, noises came flooding in from the streets as if there were lots of people yelling. They don’t sound very practiced, bordering on disorderly, even.
Garen sat inside the black car, feeling the slowing of its speed. Pulling back the curtain, he took a peek outside. There was no one on the street, the noise seemed to be coming from afar.
The driver was a female soldier arranged by the army. She answered awkwardly.
"Sir, there may be protesters in front, maybe we should reroute?"
"Protesters?" Garen asked.
As the car crawled forward, the voices became clearer.
"No more imperialism!"
"No more imperialism!"
"Avenge Moshi Port!" "Avenge…"
Sounds of the protesters echoed from the front. Someone must have led the chants before people joined in.
"Sir, we can’t move anymore. They must have closed the road off." The soldier reminded Garen loudly.
"Let’s take a different route." Garen locked his brows together, "Does Yangliu have these frequently?"
"Yes, about once a week, at least ten thousand people each time." The soldier answered, "I heard many places have marches like that."
Garen exhaled and pulled the curtain back up.
"Wasn’t the army mobilized to keep them down?"
"Not yet, they’ve only mobilized the police to keep them orderly and jailed a few people who wanted to benefit from the chaos. Now that the protest snowballed, the higher ups didn’t dare to arrest anyone as well." The soldier answered helplessly.
Garen nodded with understanding.
The car turned into another street, slowly advancing behind other cars. Police were helping to direct the traffic on their motorbikes.
A dozen minutes later, the car slowed to a stop in front of a black-painted clubhouse.
Garen stepped out of the car and marched toward the entrance, accompanied by his bodyguards.
An obese, fair man in a lieutenant outfit stood in front of the entrance, smiling at him with his hands placed behind him and looking kind.
"Mr. Garen, I’m really glad to be the mediator for this meeting. It’s been a long trip, please, come in and have a little rest." His voice sounded shrill, a little like a duck’s voice quality, it’s a little funny to Garen. He didn’t feel like an official.
"Lieutenant Lycian, is she here?" Garen asked while following him.
"She arrived about ten minutes ago." Lieutenant Lycian was a friend of Su Lin’s father. When Behemoth Gate looked for him to mediate, Garen had to give face* to Su Lin’s father.
Of course, looking at the current situation, he might have wanted to mediate himself.
The hall was lit, the floor was lined with thick red woolen carpet. There were golden decorations all around, the wallpaper is of a faint yellow. There were special forces soldiers standing at a set distance from each other.
Garen could smell the faint scent of blood from these soldiers, it was apparent they had just finished a mission, and was directly ordered to cover this space.
After all, both the Behemoth Gate General and White Cloud Gate Master were ruthless. If they couldn’t reach a consensus and started fighting without the safety precautions, this mediator role may be dangerous to take on.
Noticing how Garen looked at the soldiers, Lycian smiled, "There’s a tent outside with artillery aiming here, keeping here as peaceful as possible so the meeting could go on. I think Mr Garen would appreciate that."
"Of course." Garen nodded, "The Confederation couldn’t sustain any more internal damage. This is why I’m willing to meet with him."
Lieutenant Lycian nodded in relief.
The two entered a quiet tea room.
The tea room wall was lined with black wood. A very detailed Eastern ancient drawing hanged on the wall facing the door. It’s rectangular, and was set on the wall in a horizontal fashion. It’s about 5 meters wide, accentuating its exquisiteness.
Tens of birds were drawn on the canvas. Some were soaring, some landing, some charging ahead, and some waiting to be fed.
There were red birds, blue birds, white birds, black birds and birds with all sort of colors and sizes, highlighting its magnificence.
"Such a good picture!" Garen doesn’t know how to paint, even then, he could tell the painting must have a really high value.
On the right of the painting sat a tiny lady in black clothing. The lady was slowly pouring a cup of tea. The jade-colored tea flowed smoothly into the white jade teacup, stunning Garen a little bit before calming him.
The lady had a pretty face and looked as if she’s only in her twenties. She moved with grace and a smoothness highlighted by her fair porcelain skin.
Garen approached her with the lieutenant, and noticed she wasn’t wearing any simple black clothing, but a black silk dress with a long, floor-sweeping skirt that shone with mystery and silky smoothness.
Black hair, porcelain skin, pretty face, and a pair of soul-catching slanted eyes.
For a moment, Garen felt as if he was back in China, and the lady sitting in front of him was a classic oriental beauty, gently pouring him his tea.
The two sat down slowly with Garen facing the lady as he watched the lady handing him his tea in appreciation.
"I’m a crude guy, I don’t know the simplest things about culture, so I will be frank. You’re General Black Orchid from Behemoth Gate?" He didn’t explain much, instead admitted himself straightforwardly.
"I heard Gate Master Garen was barely twenty years old, but it seems like you’re more mature than that. Unbelievable." The lady smiled. "Yes, I am Black Orchid. General is just a title, it couldn’t compare to yours."
"My time is running out and I have other matters to attend to, so let’s not beat around the bush. The situation in the country no longer have room for infighting. About your sect, you must know, I was not the one who started the feud. You were the one who incited my senior sister’s betrayal." Garen stated expressionlessly.
"This was our fault, but White Cloud Gate was not one of our concern at that point. It was only after your ascension that this happened. Strength equals dominion, it was the law of nature. Now that you’re strong enough, we no longer have reasons to fight against each other." The lady paused, "This was also one the reason I requested Lieutenant Lycian to mediate. Only the Strong Ones may earn respect."
"And by that you mean…"
"We’ll give up on the South and will retreat completely." Black Orchid sipped her tea, "We will also abdicate from avenging Clark, that way we’ll be even."
"Even if you struggle, you won’t be able to do anything else in the South." Garen smirked. "This outcome was already in my grasp, your offer lacks sincerity."
"Kid, don’t be too arrogant…" Cold fury flashed through her face. "You are strong, but don’t you assume what you saw was the entirety of our power."
"Me? Arrogant? You were the one who initiated the mediation, but you didn’t even want to show any sincerity, and you dare to call me arrogant?" Garen responded with the same fury. "Don’t assume I don’t know that your headquarters is in the North. I wouldn’t mind a war between your sect and I, at least then I can find out whether you sect is stronger or the Immortal Palace Alliance!"
"Let’s not jump to conclusion so soon. Since both of you willingly participate in this mediation, it’s obvious both side were sincere about this. Let’s back up a little for my sake." Lycian interjected, reminding them of his presence with his kind face.
"Let’s agree to this, for my sake, Behemoth Gate will retreat from the South and will discuss with White Cloud Gate when their future operations involving the South. Likewise, White Cloud Gate will discuss with Behemoth Gate in the future whenever they need to move to the North. What do you think?
"What if the discussion didn’t happen?" General Black Orchid sneered.
"Then it’s not my fault if I kill them." Garen recomposed himself. "For Lieutenant Lycian’s honor’s sake, I agree."
"Likewise!" Clenching her jaw, Black Orchid echoed Garen.
To be honest, if it weren’t for Garen and his companions’ victory against Immortal Palace Alliance in Picardi, the Behemoth Gate wouldn’t request for a truce so readily.
Garen and Andrela were still somewhat easier to handle, at least they were more straightforward.
The difficulty lies with King of Nightmares. This person can shapeshift into any identity they choose, be it male or female, young or old. More horrifyingly, they are proficient in hypnosis and have the title of King of Hypnosis. With an enemy like this, it wasn’t their true power that was hard to manage, but their tracking and anti-tracking abilities.
With a character like this, no organizations would be able to conceal themselves completely. If a war breaks out, with King of Nightmares’ help, Garen will have the entire Behemoth Gate thrown into disarray in no time…
Black Orchid didn’t even dare to imagine when that happens.
Because of Behemoth Gate’s deviant initiation method, they have made enemies out of everyone. If they were exposed…
This was also why they requested General Black Orchid to call for a truce.