Richard continued the conversation with some questions, “Oh yeah, why isn’t everyone still sitting in that stupid auditorium? It seems like it would still be happening…”
More figures walked into the room, including Elena’s father… the king. “It’s simple, really. That whole emergency meeting was actually called on the title of duke held by the Oulbriph family, and thus it can be called off with the same authority.”
“I… don’t follow. Did his father or something call it off?”
Mr. Smith cleared his throat, “His father is dead.” Richard thought there was some more meaning to that than just the face value.
“Well… I doubt he called it off. In addition to being a stupid, scheming jerk, he seemed the stubborn type.”
The king nodded. “You’re right, he didn’t. You did, though.”
“And that worked because… I beat him up?”
“Well, I wouldn’t have put it like that. But yes. His title is now yours.”
“That… can happen? I’m not a Noxian though. Was there such a component to duels?”
“There were various means by which it could have been transferred. I could have stripped the title from him for his crimes and given it to you for your services, for example. Giving it to you in such a manner might have ruffled some feathers, as there isn’t precedent. However, in the case of nobility challenging others to duels, titles are transferred to the winner. There are some rules about surviving kin and such… but there wasn’t anything to worry about in Geran’s case. There is even precedent for titles going to a non-Noxian… once… a mere six hundred years ago. Geran will be quite annoyed that he brought this upon himself, but he won’t be for long.”
“Why is that?”
“He’ll be dead.”
“I… don’t think I beat him up that much. Not that I would mind him dying, but…”
The king shook his head. “Oh, no. He’s being executed for treason, among other things. We take lying about fertility very seriously.”
Elena coughed. “Especially when the princess is involved.”
“Officially that has nothing to do with it. Unofficially… it is just another reason. His infertility has been verified by about two dozen other doctors by now, and his family’s personal doctor will be dealt with appropriate to his level of falsification. That is… death. It is not a major crime to be incorrect, but with the level of rigor that is required of doctors of nobles, he would not be accidentally incorrect. Falsification is quite a serious crime from both parties involved. Those who had been supporting Geran seem to have genuinely not known about those lies, and most of them are quite on board with the execution… with the rest staying pleasantly silent.”
“That’s… great.” Richard’s stomach rumbled. Richard looked at Jot, who shrugged.
“They don’t sell Cal Pals here, for some strange reason.” Contrary to his words, Jot seemed to find it perfectly rational that a Noxian planet wouldn’t have food aimed specifically at Xevaronians.
The king smiled, and clapped his hands. Into the room came an attendant bearing a tray of food. “Well, I suppose you have no need of people crowding around while you eat. We shall speak more at a later time.” With that, he left.
Richard looked down at his tray. While he didn’t recognize the exact dishes, there was some kind of bread and soup. Unlike what many people thought, Noxians didn’t eat dishes dripping with toxins and poisons. Not that they couldn’t eat a number of poisonous or toxic things that most others found deadly, but that didn’t make it the preferred option. For one thing, many of those things just had lesser health complications, instead of being perfectly safe. Some of them were even to the point of only being unhealthy over a very long term, like junk food, but there was generally no reason to consume them unless they tasted particularly good. Thus, the core part of the Noxian diet overlapped with what a human would eat. Humans and Noxians still needed some vitamins and minerals that the other didn’t, but many were the same. Richard could tell the food brought to him was safe, though. Not that he really had questioned it, because he was sure the cook had done their research, but he still idly checked. Actually, that was because the energy part of him was desperate for stimulus. The senses it had barely extended beyond his body now. Richard didn’t feel like there would be any permanent damage… but he didn’t know how to tell. However, he currently felt about the same as when he was on the ship to Maropa, except with a bit more awareness of what was going on. Hopefully that meant that with food and rest he would recover fully. He didn’t feel any pain, but he didn’t know if he could so that wasn’t a great measure.
Richard’s spoon clanked on the bottom of the bowl. It was empty, and the bread was gone. The soup had been good, though it was quite spicy. It was quite different from Xevaronian style cooking… and Richard was glad his senses were tuned to that instead of Xevaronian style, because he didn’t think he could easily change that right now. Jot hadn’t had a particularly fun time with the food, but at least he had managed to get some “plain” food. That meant it was just unpleasantly spicy, from his perspective, instead of being so strong he couldn’t stand to smell it. That food was still around him, though, but Jot had kept a stoic face.
While Richard couldn’t say he was full, he wasn’t hungry anymore either. He imagined his appetite would be very strong for the near future, though. Right now it was just a bit less because he was very tired. He soon found himself asleep.