Chapter 969: A Full Retreat, Izroth’S Plan
Chapter 969: A Full Retreat, Izroth’s Plan
Vincent was left stunned by Sorkoza’s choice. Not only did he seem to have accepted the request, the Duke even went so far as to offer a treasure on top of it!
Just what was that cube capable of to be able to make the cold and unwavering Duke react this way?
Vincent quickly snapped out of his daze. He was uncertain of what treasure was being offered forth. But whatever the case, Vincent knew he could not sit back and allow the deal to proceed. After all, if Izroth successfully made a deal with Duke Sorkoza to enter his territory, there would be no way to follow him without the risk of offending the Duke.
The sixth princess would also be out of their grasp. And if that old monster at the head of their Order discovered their actions, who knew what the consequences would be?
“Duke Sorkoza, that man is from the kingdom of Amaharpe, an enemy of our two allied kingdoms. I do not think it is appropriate to make a deal with-” Vincent spoke out; however, his words soon fell silent as a heavy force descended upon him.
“Who are you to interrupt when I am in the middle of my personal business? I have already shown a great deal of mercy by stopping that brat you’re carrying from becoming useless trash and sparing your lives. Yet, you still have the audacity to tell me what is and is not appropriate? Audacious!” Sorkoza bellowed.
At the same time, a powerful wave of energy swept past Vincent that blew him back several meters along with the unconscious Aurelius.
Vincent was able to brace himself while simultaneously protecting Aurelius as he took on the brunt of the force.
“Ahk!” Vincent had the wind knocked out of him as he unleashed a series of harsh coughs paired with a pale expression.
As much as he wanted to protest, Vincent had no choice but to bite his tongue and swallow his words. However, he still believed the Duke’s actions to be too much!
How could he treat his own allies this way while befriending an enemy? Even if he was a Duke of the skounae, this kind of behavior was unacceptable!
“It’s no use. For the time being, we have no choice but to accept our failure and fall back to the gates. Our only hope is to contact the Windstorm family and have them send someone to clean up the young lord’s mess. This problem has already grown beyond our control.” Vincent contemplated.
Vincent struggled to his feet. As he did so, the other soldiers rushed to his side and helped carry the unconscious Aurelius.
“We’re returning to the gates,” Vincent stated solemnly.
The soldiers were left baffled by Vincent’s decision. If they retreated here, was that not the same as asking all of them to accept the inevitable punishment that would follow?
“What do you mean we’re returning? If we do not at least return with the sixth princess, how can we explain things to that old monster?” One of the soldiers questioned in a frantic manner.
“That’s right…! Can you afford to take responsibility for those orders of yours?” Another soldier commented.
“Whether or not I can afford it, there is nothing else to be done here. Our immediate priority is to ensure the safe return of the Windstorm family’s young lord and the Prime Eques of our Order. As for the old monster—there is no need for them to be made aware of our actions today. I will send word to the Windstorm family. They will not remain idle after what transpired here.” Vincent said as his cold gaze locked onto Izroth.
After Vincent spoke, the soldiers could not find any words of retort.
That’s right, if it was the Windstorm family, surely, it was possible to fix everything without creating a huge scandal in the process—this was the thought that flowed through the soldiers’ minds.
Vincent turned to face the Duke and said respectfully, “Forgive me if I’ve offended you, Duke Sorkoza. We have long overstayed our welcome. We shall accept your gracious offer and retreat from the border of your territory.”
“Hmph, you should have just done that to begin with. Go, and do not return to this place.” Sorkoza responded without sparing a glance in Vincent’s direction.
Vincent looked over at Ranazera with a troubled expression. He released a helpless sigh as he shook his head. Not long after, he began to make his way toward the Gates of Aegis along with the soldiers of his Order.
As Vincent and the soldiers retreated, Izroth did not pay it much mind. Even if they planned to call for reinforcements, he would be long gone by then. Besides, even if they decided to return, it was not as if Izroth feared a direct confrontation.
Izroth pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind as he returned to his previous trail of thought regarding Sorkoza.
‘His temperament is greater than the previous members of the skounae race that I’ve come across. It seems that giving the Sphere of Morning Totality to him may not be such a high-risk gamble, after all.’
Even though Izroth wanted to cross Duke Sorkoza’s territory, he was not the type to simply hand over a treasure to satisfy the other party.
In truth, Izroth had another reason for taking out the Sphere of Morning Totality.
The skounae were a race that had ties to the Nether Realm and Netherworld Monarch. The Nether Realm and Mortal Realm were eternal enemies; therefore, the skounae could be seen as a disease to the Mortal Realm that had to be removed at some point.
However, that much was easier said than done. The skounae were a strong race who were ready to live and die at the command of the Night King without question. Even if all the kingdoms in the Mortal Realm set aside their differences and joined hands, it was still unlikely that the skounae could be dealt with effectively. This was mostly thanks to organizations like the League of the Eidolon.
There were numerous hidden forces in the Mortal Realm that secretly worshipped the Netherworld Monarch because of organizations like the League of the Eidolon. And, although it was only Izroth’s guess, he believed there was a good chance that even people in high positions of power were a part of it. Rather, it was a statistical improbability that, among those high-ranking officials of the kingdoms, none of them were involved.
That’s why when Izroth first analyzed the Sphere of Morning Totality, he devised a plan.
Initially, it involved him locating a member of the skounae race born outside of Malentansium and somehow gaining their trust. However, if it was someone like Sorkoza, perhaps going that uncertain route was unnecessary.
‘I never considered a Vretis because I thought all of them were subservient and docile due to the Night King’s influence over the skounae bloodline, but… If it’s a Vretis capable of earning the title of Duke, it may work. Rather, isn’t it more likely to succeed this way?’
Izroth’s plan was one of the utmost simplicity. But, it was the prerequisite for it to be set into action that made it somewhat troublesome to implement freely.
Since the Sphere of Morning Totality could split one’s bloodline and unlock its true potential, it may be possible to rid oneself of the Night King’s curse. In other words, they would no longer be bound to do the bidding of others against their will!
However, it was a potential double-edged sword. Seeing as how the Sphere of Morning Totality could improve one’s bloodline, Izroth understood that there was the possibility of his plans backfiring.
If Sorkoza chose to abuse the relic’s powers, Izroth might end up creating a different faction of skounae who was not just stronger but also not restricted by the orders of those with a superior bloodline.
Nevertheless, Izroth was confident in his ability to judge others. Right now, his instinct told him to entrust the Sphere of Morning Totality to Duke Sorkoza. If it turned out that he somehow misjudged the Duke, Izroth was not afraid to make sure that his mistake was “corrected”.
As for the treasure Duke Sorkoza mentioned, it was well outside of Izroth’s expectations. But, it did offer him some insight into the Duke’s character.
“Are you sure it’s okay to hand out treasures to your enemy?” Izroth asked with a carefree smile.
“A useless outlook. What history is there between the two of us for such a meaningless label to exist?” Sorkoza scoffed.