Chapter 82: The Elves’ Secret Meeting
“Ah, I wonder why I ended up doing this”.
Eldith murmured in her heart while standing in front of a group of elves. Of course, she didn’t show them those thoughts. She tried her hardest not to show even a slight change in her expression. “I mustn’t spit out anything that could make them even more anxious”. Eldith thought. Therefore, she put up a strong front. She has always been good at acting since she was a child.
However, she couldn’t help herself. Her thoughts keep coming to her chest. She wondered why this was happening.
「Princess…We need a military force to make things happen. Besides, by doing this implies that we’ll have to defeat the other elves. Meaning that we will have to cast aside our own kin.」
Eldith’s smile didn’t vanish upon hearing one of the elves’ voice. In the darkness, the elves’ eyes were glinting brightly.
Eldith quietly sighed.
These elves once swore their loyalty to her father. Their duty was unquestionable until the coup d’état. It wouldn’t be too worrisome if they acted loyal and dutiful towards the direct bloodline of the Fin. If that were the case, then it wouldn’t be too hard to convince them since they probably felt a long-lasting repulsion against Lagias.
The problem was that they weren’t loyal nor dutiful. They sat around at this table because of something else.
Although they weren’t interested in loyalty, they were here because they wanted to gain something from this. In fact, they were deprived of their positions when Lagias began his rule. They didn’t like it when the new Fin pushed them away. The question was how far Eldith would go to pull them in to her side.
“Ah, this is what Lugis told me about. Gosh, I truly hate this”.
「I understand that some of you may still have doubts. You must be thinking if it’s okay for you to entrust your lives to the hands of this little girl.」
Eldith spoke with her fingers on her chest. Every single eye in the dark room glanced attentively at her gesture. Edith thought that she was good at masquerading, but it had been a while since she used it in a playful way. After all, she was imprisoned in the Tower for a very long time.
She slowly professed words that didn’t bite. Nonetheless, her voice resonated in the whole space and strongly pressed their abdomens.
Some of the elves were confused upon hearing Eldith’s voice, as their eyes wandered constantly in confusion. Others had their eyes wide open as if they were utterly surprised. While others had their eyes fixated on Eldith because they gazed at her with utmost regard. The reactions were varied, but there was no doubt that every elf in the room was now concentrated in her voice.
「I see. Based on your expressions, some of you might tell Lagias about this meeting. This could mean the end for me. But, at the very least, I would like you to think carefully about which side has the best odds of winning. And for you, which one would benefit you the most.」
「We understand that, but it’s still difficult for us to make a decision…Princess.」
One of the old-fashioned retainers spoke with a timid voice as if he was giving up. This type of assertion deeply worried Eldith.
That was natural. Speaking of which, how could they trust a little girl like Eldith? How could they trust her when she was stuck in the Tower for a long time? After all this time, she suddenly made up her mind to start a revolution. Therefore, it wasn’t strange that these elves had a negative feeling about this sudden approach. The elves were long-lived and long-minded. An abrupt upheaval didn’t sound very appealing. Yet, Eldith knew that the fury they once held inside of their hearts never really disappeared. That same fury continued to burn for a long, long time.
Eldith knew that asking for their help wouldn’t be enough. She knew that these people weren’t easily persuaded. There had to be a certain way that could make the smoke turn into fire once more. Eldith lightly moistened her lips and her blue eyes sparkled in the dark.
「…Okay then, let’s discuss the plan immediately. We need to talk about winning. We need to talk about pulling Lagias from the throne.」
Such a gentle but resilient voice. A strangely audible voice that slowly trickled the consciousness of all those who surrounded the table in the darkness.
Matia blinked her eyes while sitting at the end of the table.
She heard that the elf princess lived in a “box”. A princess without any knowledge of the outside world, much less the knowledge of her own kingdom. Therefore, Matia thought that this princess had no idea nor deep knowledge of tactics. How to fight. How to foresee the enemy’s movements. Matia didn’t expect much from this elf princess.
However, what was the reality? From the beginning of this meeting, the elf princess spoke as if she were looking far ahead into a future that she idealized.
Either way, those around the table had doubts. How should they win? How much honor would be given to them? Would they be called as traitors by the generations of the future? What were the disadvantages? Again, and again. Moments of confusion swirled in everybody’s minds.
These feelings of anxiety were easy to understand because Matia sat at the last row. Matia flickered her eyes to the surrounding elves.
At first, they couldn’t hide their skeptical eyes. Most of them swayed between the princess and Lagias. They fluttered on each side, because they didn’t decide who had the best qualities to rule. The heat in their eyes rose as if they were heated by the words of the princess.
“I see. So, this is charisma”. Matia nodded with her finger on her chin. A centripetal force created by noble blood that pulled everyone’s hearts and kept them at bay.
An important technique that a leader must have. Words to force the people’s hearts to burn in order to take action. Matia sharpened her lips while listening to the words professed in the meeting.
「But, Princess. The soldiers on your side are weak against the royal soldiers. Besides, we don’t even know who is on your side, and who doesn’t. We could have whistleblowers, who knows. How do you fix these problems? Are you going to show your authority? Are you going to walk on the highway immediately and make a direct attack?」
One of the elves spoke aloud. Those were pertinent questions from a voice that seemed to be blown away by the heat. Those words were words that shattered dreams into fragments.
Suddenly, Matia’s eyes turned towards the elf princess. How would the princess answer these questions? No one could deny the anxiety that Lagias inflicted on his subjects. He ruled the elves whether by power or by fear. Yet, it was difficult to overthrow this rule. Would she need a physical force in order to stop him? Would she need to go into war against her own people? This was a very sensitive subject. Her retainers could abandon her here and now.
The Fin, the king who took sides with human nations to gain some profit. What reality was this? If these elves looked carefully at their reality, they would be disappointed by what they saw. And yet, every single being was selfish to the point of blindness.
For a moment, the princess blinked her eyes and shook her long-pointed ears. Then, she collected some words in her mouth so that they would flow naturally.
「Sir. I’m not taking this action to bring our soldiers to their graveyards. I just want to discuss the plan to get our soldiers to win without any casualties. At the very least, I am not willing to sacrifice any of my fellow soldiers.」
「…That’s too idealistic. 」
An elf near Matia released his voice. It sounded as if he was against the princess. That voice proclaimed the negative feelings that everybody was hiding from this meeting. Soon, Matia began to see the truth. The truth that made Matia swallow dry unexpectedly.
From Matia’s point of view, this princess must be successful. Lagias had joined hands with the Holy Church of the Gharast Kingdom. Meaning that the Heraldic teachings didn’t have a chance anymore. Therefore, if the Heraldic Order wanted to find a way to prosper in the future, then there was no other choice but to place a new Fin to the throne. “I want to help as much as I can”. Matia thought deeply in her heart.
However, at least on this occasion, there was no choice but to leave everything in the princess’ hands. If she won’t show her main ability here and now, then there’s no way that anybody else would take the lead in her stead. No one in the world survived with loyalty alone. She had to make them all to swear allegiance to her and take proper action to change the course of events.
After receiving a few anxious and uneasy eyes from her retainers, the princess answered as if she understood the role to play.
「You might be correct. But even so. The duty of the one who stands above is to pursue that said idealism. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t make unnecessary sacrifices. Or maybe Sir, are you an unloving person?」
Her response brought a completely new sarcastic tone into this discussion.
The elf, who said that her purpose was too idealistic, smiled and said “No”. Her answer may be trivial. However, her attitude was very different. A gracious and good attitude. The princess showed with her words that she was resolute, generous, and had a certain kind of conviction in her heart. As a leader, that was what she should be. Be firm but also a caring. For that, she had to believe in herself.
Perhaps, she had learned such manners from someone else. Did she learn it from her father who was the Great Fin or from another elf?
「Well then, there are a few things that I want you to prepare. First of all…」
The tactics were professed smoothly from the princess’ mouth. As many as one could imagine. Even in this situation, Matia rounded her eyes. Even though it looked like the princess was revolting for the first time, everything seemed to be calculated in her brain as a leader. Everything, including the prospects for the future.
“I heard that she was imprisoned in the Tower for a long time. I see. However, in the meantime, I had a feeling of an unbearable emotion that stuck in my heart.”
The meeting was nearing its end. When the important agenda was already discussed, Matia raised her hand to use this timing to clear something out. She knew that it wouldn’t be ideal to stand out on this particular meeting since it was about the fate of the elves’ homeland. Nevertheless, there was one thing that had to be resolved.
「What’s wrong, Matia, our cherished human collaborator. Let’s hear your words.」
Matia thanked the princess for letting her speak. Matia observed the line of sight seen from the surroundings before letting her voice resonate in the room.
Matia began to speak with her eyes lowered down in order to show respect.
「Where is my…No…There is one precious hero that stands as an important force of the Heraldic Order, and his whereabouts are unknown in this country. May I ask if you know where he is? His name is Lugis…」
「…I don’t know! 」
The strong response was thrown into the darkness as if the tone itself devoured Matia’s words. A surprised Matia twinkled her eyes. The surrounding elves also looked up at the princess since her behavior changed abruptly.
「…I apologize. However, I’m sorry to say that I know no human except you. Well, but I promise to tell you if I know where he is.」
After that short and strange moment, the princess’ expression calmed down. She responded to Matia with a gentle voice and tiny smile.
Matia nodded to thank her.
“…I see. Now I know what game you are playing. Lugis.”
That’s right. Matia swallowed her shaking emotions as she whispered in her heart.
Wow Eldith! It seems that she wants Lugis to herself! On the other hand, Lugis is playing a 3D chess apparently…
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