Moribak was satisfied that the merchant guild eventually settled on his initial plan to expand to the north. Not only was his second elder brother reprimanded harshly by his father, his eldest brother was working earnestly on hiring the other blademasters.
The word he had received during the past three days wasn't bad: the Twinhead Dragon Merchant Guild's rank 3 blademaster, Kafzo, and the rank 2 blademaster from the Forde Merchant Guild, Rolik, had both accepted the mission. As for the two blademasters of the Wessia Merchant Guild, they were not in Morante City at the moment and would only return during the end of the 12th month. Additionally, the Mayflower Merchant Guild's few blademasters were occupied with guarding the letters about glass production and couldn't afford to leave until the auction was over. Moribak believed that there wouldn't be a problem in hiring them after that.
Following that, Moribak began to gather intel seriously. He painstakingly formed three groups of loyal and elite members of the merchant guild and disguised them as a few smaller merchant guilds to sail to Silowas Island secretly. After all, if one wanted to launch a targeted attack on the enemy, one must know the enemy's whereabouts. They couldn't let the blademasters wander around like aimless flies, after all.
Moribak would never have imagined, however, that the three middle-class merchant ships he sent were all expropriated by Lorist at the Sea of Grief, along with the whole crew, who were forcefully absorbed into the ranks of Lorist's marines. It took three months for a few of them to return to the guild. However, by then, the Chikdor Merchant Guild no longer paid any heed to Lorist and Silowas Island.
Just when Moribak was patiently and confidently waiting for his plan to be carried out, a piece of news was released – shocking the whole of Morante.
At that time, Moribak was discussing the matters of the floating port with his trusted aides. The contraption was one of their trump cards and could be used at the reefs of the northern seas. The floating port was constructed by lining up and tying together huge, watertight wooden boxes and letting them float in the ocean so that goods could be transported to shore. During windy and stormy times, the wooden boxes could also be pulled onto the shore, to be redeployed after the bad weather passed.
With such a flexible method in his hands, the reefs in the shallow waters of the northern coasts would no longer pose much of a problem. Thinking back to what Saibyoeff had said, Moribak felt like laughing out loud.
Only an idiot like him can come up with something as ridiculous as land reclamation. When the guild successfully obtains Silowas Island, I will bring up this floating-box port of mine, which will instantly boost the impression the higher-ups have of me in the guild. If First Brother makes a mistake sometime in the future, then I will naturally be able to replace him as successor without any difficulties.
Just as he was drunk on his fantasies, Moribak heard a commotion outside. One of his personal attendants barged into his room and said, "Master, master, it's horrible! Something big has gone down! Just moments ago, the blademasters of the Teribo Kingdom launched an attack on the Mayflower Merchant Guild, The guild suffered huge casualties! Right now, the old master and the rest have already rushed over there..."
Moribak jumped from hearing the shocking news.
"The Te-teribo Kingdom... Why would they... against the Mayflower Merchant Guild... Thi-this... Their courage truly knows n-no bounds..." stammered he.
As the saying goes, 'one won't die if one does not seek death'. The Mayflower Merchant Guild truly had it coming for them. Had they auctioned out the two letters concerning the glass production methods on the agreed-upon date – the 5th day of the 12th month – then they would've shed the heavy burden they bore and nothing else would've happened. However, the vice president of the guild believed that it was too short notice, most of the ones who had come to the city and were interested in the two letters required more time to prepare the funds. Additionally, the merchant guild believed that they could use this opportunity to make the guild one of the biggest auctioneers on the Grindian continent by making more thorough preparations, hence the decision to delay the auction of the letters by another ten days.
The ambassador of the Teribo Kingdom had actually been sent on a supremely important mission to Morante city, accompanied by a few blademasters and gold-ranked knights. He kept his travels low key and arrived at the city on the 4th day of the 12th month. He paid a visit to the high officials of the guild the moment he arrived to discuss whether they could take back the two letters in exchange for 10 million gold Fordes.
The guild's president courteously declined, however. Since word of the auction had already spread out, it was no longer possible for them to settle the matter privately. It would cause irreparable damage to the guild’s reputation. However, the president said that t Teribo Kingdom was more than welcome to join the bidding war during the auction. He did say, however, that he felt 10 million gold Fordes would only be enough for one of the letters.
The chance to have the Teribo Kingdom join the auction was another reason it had been delayed. The kingdom needed time to prepare its funds.
If the Mayflower Merchant Guild had made the sale on the very next day, on the original date for the auction, the Teribo Kingdom wouldn't have had a chance to react. But the ten-day delay allowed the ambassador to keep in contact with Teribo VII. Letters were delivered one day after another by their messengers, but the guild didn't mind. They believed the kingdom busy gathering funds.
Little did the guild imagine that the kingdom had other means at their disposal: the destruction of the two letters themselves. In the letter Teribo VII sent to his ambassador, he expressed angrily that the production methods were the rightful property of the kingdom. and that the auction was like putting up for sale a wallet one picked up instead of returning it to its rightful owner! Despite the owner of the wallet bringing 10 million gold Fordes as a sign of gratitude to reclaim the wallet, the merchant guild still didn't yield!
Teribo VII was truly mad at the recent developments. For all of the past century, the Teribo Kingdom had provided selfless support to the trade union to fend off the invasion of the Krissen Empire at the Falik plains. Not only that, one Krissen Empire ambassador who had visited the Teribo Kingdom to garner their support was even beheaded in a show of goodwill.
Incredibly troubled, Teribo VII thought, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather... The goodwill you have shown the trade union has amounted to nothing more than feeding a hungry wolf... Back then, when the trade union was pressured into a corner by the empire, it was the Teribo Kingdom that formed an armed alliance with the other nations around us to reinforce Morante city. Only after that was it possible to defeat the Krissen Empire...
Teribo VII believed firmly that the trade union was only able to triumph over the empire because of the kingdom's support. Without them, the trade union would have long faded from existence. That was why he felt that the trade union should be thankful for them and offer them aid when they needed it to return the favor.
But to the people of the trade union, they were the ones who had to weather a whole century of assault from the Krissen Empire. It was their blood that was spilled, and it was through their own sacrifice that the various neighboring nations were able to retain their freedom and autonomy! The trade union took for granted the aid of the other nations because they felt that they deserved it. Should the trade union fall, the other nations around them wouldn't able to escape their either. They were all in the same boat, after all, if it was sunk by the Krissen Empire, all of them would sink together.
It was also the pride of the Moranites and the main source of their self-perceived superiority over the people of the other nations. During the previous century, it was the Moranites who marched to the battlefield with their heads held high while chanting their war cry! All the neighboring nations did, was provide support. Even though the resources were far from enough on the frontlines, the generous Moranites wouldn't fuss over such small matters, as it had been their own ancestors who were fighting on the battlefield bravely, saving the neighboring nations from their fate!
This was the main difference in the viewpoints of Teribo VII and the Moranites. While the big-seven merchant guilds, who were in power, weren't as shallow as the average Moranite, they couldn't help but be affected by that mindset.
For the big seven, even though they acknowledged that the Teribo Kingdom was one of the biggest supporters of the trade union, through their incredible contributions during the trade union's war with the empire, they believed that the trade union also repaid them in the form of generous benefits or conditions for the trade they had done over the years.
Other matters aside, the Teribo Kingdom was given monopolistic access to the trade union’s market for glass and were exempt from taxes. This was the way the trade union intended to pay back the kingdom’s support. It is important to note that the Teribo Kingdom was the sole producer of glass. Being the only producer of glass that was also allowed to use the trade routes from Morante city to export their products throughout the rest of the continent, the Teribo Kingdom profited greatly and eventually became one of the richest factions in the whole continent.
Over the past 20 years of peace following the successful thwarting of the empire by the trade union, disagreements had begun to sprout in the high council of the trade union concerning the benefits afforded to the Teribo Kingdom. There were also a number of representatives that thought the kingdom had profited more than ten times of what they had contributed in the first place.
In the end, the trade union is comprised of merchants who were sensitive to the profits involved in the glass trade. These smaller merchant guilds also submitted a report they worked on together detailing the lucrative profits involved in the glass trade of the Teribo Kingdom.
Chasing profits were the instincts of merchants, and the smaller merchant guilds were all quite jealous of the monopoly the kingdom had in the glass trade. Even though the trade union was considered to be the official distributor of the glass, making the kingdom the official supplier of glass products to the union, the ones involved understood that the profit gained from distributing the glass products was only a drop in the ocean.
The big-seven guilds did not lack the foresight required to govern the union. Those who were able to make it to the top were not simple minded. They were worried that the moment they changed the benefits they gave to the Teribo Kingdom in the glass trade, the nations surrounding the trade union might begin to worry about the rising power of the trade union. After all, the trade union didn't rely on drastic policy changes to widen their influence and instead resorted to subtler, sneakier methods to expand their power and influence over the other nations to develop in the trade union's favor.
That was why the big-seven guilds suppressed the opinions of the representatives of the smaller guilds and increased coverage in their newspaper on the contributions the Teribo Kingdom had made to the trade union, further cementing the rhetoric that the friendly relationship between the union and the kingdom must be upheld, thus justifying the continuation of benefits given to it in the glass trade.
In actuality, that was only one of the methods the big-seven guilds employed. The other was to put clearly the dissident opinions towards the kingdom so that they could, for themselves, in essence, say, 'Look, we here at the union have already shown the Teribo Kingdom much generosity, and it is now the kingdom's turn to give something back. As the party that profits most from the glass trade, shouldn't the kingdom take a step back? Even if the benefits given stay the same, at the very least, the kingdom should help out with some donations or charity events so that the relationship between the kingdom and the union wouldn't look so awkward.'
It was too bad that the trade union's hints were as useless as lighting a candle for a blind man. To Teribo VII, the benefits were what the kingdom deserved. He even thought that the praise the Morante Daily had for them was a sign of weakness from the trade union.
Happily, he proclaimed to his officials, "Look, those merchants can't afford to have us leave on them! That's why they are broadly publicizing our friendly relationship with them!"
Teribo VII is nothing but a simple-minded idiot! was the common opinion those of the big-seven held. It was why all of them were unanimous in the decision to use the auction of the two letters held by the Mayflower Merchant Guild to give the kingdom a huge blow. Teribo VII should know his place and treat the trade union with some respect.
Additionally, the increase of glass producers would be incredibly beneficial to the trade union. This was the difference between how nobles and merchants viewed the matter of the auction. The people of the trade union felt that the auction was nothing but a common transaction which they did not have to bother interfering with, while the nobles, especially ones as strait-laced as Terbio VII, felt that it was a matter that would threaten the existence of his kingdom. Whatever it took, he had to stop the letters from being sold.
As such, when the ambassador passed on the non-interference stance the six other members of the big-seven were taking, Teribo VII blew up completely.
Since you guys don't care about the survival of the Teribo Kingdom, then don't blame me for not giving the trade union any chances.
With a solemn expression, he gave the order for the two letters to be destroyed.
On the night of the 8th day of the 12th month, the Teribo Kingdom's ambassador once again paid another visit to the Mayflower Merchant Guild and tried hard to negotiate for the reclamation of the two letters, to no avail.
In the end, he left the merchant guild shrugging and saying, "Well, you can't say I didn't try my best," before leaving on his carriage.
Less than thirty minutes after his departure, the guild was under the assault of seven blademasters and more than 20 gold-ranked knights.
The assault was far beyond of the expectations of most. Many of those on the site were dead. The assailants were incredibly cruel, they didn't show the tiniest bit of mercy to their adversaries. Their goal was clear: head to the vault the ambassador visited before and wipe out the four blademasters that were guarding it.
However, the guild intentionally did not tell the ambassador that the letters weren't in their hands. Instead, it was guarded by the eight blademasters from the academies as well as the rank three blademaster sent by the guild. As for the letters the ambassador was shown, they were fakes forged by the guild and placed in the vault guarded by four blademasters as a decoy.
After suffering such a sudden assault, the four inattentive blademasters suffered huge casualties. Apart from a rank two blademaster that managed to escape despite being heavily injured, the other three rank one blademasters were all killed. The other guards were almost completely wiped out. The ground was littered with severed limbs and corpses.
The Teribo Kingdom had deployed a rank three blademaster, 2 rank two blademasters, and 4 rank one blademasters, as well as 27 gold-ranked knights. Apart from 1 rank one blademaster who was killed in a suicidal attack by his opponent, another rank one blademaster was injured and five other gold-ranked knights dead. Their mission could've been said to be a huge success.
The moment the rank three blademaster tore the two letters into irrecoverable pieces, they all prepared to leave. However, they were unable to do so. The Mayflower Merchant Guild was one of the big-seven guilds of the trade union, their headquarters were naturally one of the most secure areas in the city. The moment cries of pain and slaughter rang out from the guild, the city’s garrison force was put on high alert. By the time the rank two blademaster that escaped sounded the alarm, the forces stationed nearby, and the other merchant guilds, would send their men to secure the perimeter.
It didn't take long for the news of the garrison force’s devastation to be spread out. The big-seven guilds were all shocked and every one of them instantly mobilized their own blademasters. Even four of the blademasters of the academies were sent out along with the rank three blademaster of the Mayflower Merchant Guild as reinforcements.
There was no way the assailants could sneak away. After half a night of intense fighting, a third of the inner city area of Morante was devastated, with countless innocent lives sacrificed in the process. The blademasters and gold-ranked knights who realized that they could no longer escape launched into a crazed frenzy of slaughter and destruction, causing their pursuers much trouble.
In the end, one rank three blademaster of the Teribo Kingdom escaped despite his injuries, with another rank two blademaster managing to evade capture by disguising himself. The rest were all wiped out, becoming lifeless corpses that lay on the cold, hard ground.
When the president of the Mayflower Merchant Guild angrily rushed to see the ambassador with his men, the ambassador only shrugged and said, "I already tried my best."
As soon as the last words left his mouth, black blood flowed from his mouth and he died.
Such is the account of the infamous Mayflower Merchant Guild Assault Incident as documented in the history books of Grindia. However, the people back then didn't realize that this was only the opening act of the chaos that was to come. The chain of events would eventually lead to the rise to prominence of the House of the Raging Bear and the eventual formation of the mighty and prosperous Raging Bear Dynasty.