William was almost disappointed when the envoys finally returned. His training had started to go extremely well. He would need every bit of strength for what would be upcoming in the future… but he had to get to that point first.
As he watched the large group of humans riding closer, he was happy to see more diversity in their numbers. They carried flags representing each country, though he could also see their different styles of dress.
He waited in the tent left behind by the group from Ustil. He supposed the group could be coming to attack him, but if more than just the diplomats moved beyond a certain point, Joel had orders to advance. If necessary, William could yell orders across the distance between them, but he hoped it wasn’t.
He had not needed to worry, because the main part of the escort group stopped at the agreed upon distance. Out from them rode the same handful from Ustil, a knight and wizard from Ostana, a pair from Eclea, and two martial artists from Liaoyang. This contrasted with William, who was alone- or at most with just Chris, if he counted. Their superior numbers didn’t concern William. He knew he could hold them off or kill them by himself. Purposefully or not, they represented an approximate ratio of the populations of humans and gevai, and also combat strength.
“Greetings.” William offered in Ostanan. It could be useful to maintain the illusion that he only spoke Ostanan and Eclean, so he kept his words simple. The envoys responded similarly. Though Ostanan was not the first language of most of them, it was the only common language, being the most central. Ustil also bordered the other three countries, but they had been rather insular politically until recent years. Perhaps some of the envoys spoke all of the human languages, but picking one language to stick to was easiest.
There were only a small amount of political niceties available for sides at war, even those discussing peace, so they quickly got into the meat of the discussion. Perhaps because they had been the initial group to arrive, the group from Ustil spearheaded the operation. “Before we get too far… we do need to know you have the authority to bring peace.”
“Of course. Though they could not be here in person, I am in direct contact with several dozen of the other lords, and less direct contact with more. They are all in agreement that peace between our nations would be for the best.” William reached down to a box on his side, then placed the object inside on the table. It was determined by both himself and Lorelei to be necessary to reveal the phone. William watched the reaction of the envoys, but all the showed was mild interest. “I requested the presence of the one who came up with the design for the train. Were they unable to make it?” William looked especially toward the pair from Eclea.
“I’m afraid that is impossible. She’s dead.”
William frowned. “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask how?”
The man shrugged, “It is merely a result of the passage of time. Though I cannot say I have such grand ideas, I was her apprentice.”
William hadn’t even considered the possibility, though he should have. The person who came up with the train could easily have reincarnated from Earth shortly after the Demon King war. The fact that they had arrived sometime after the mark a gross of years later was actually somewhat extraordinary, but still enough time for a human to die of old age. It was just about two gross years, the end of the time the Demon King would reincarnate at. “That’s unfortunate… we might have had some things to talk about. However, your presence is also quite useful. Perhaps you will be able to confirm that this device truly functions, and isn’t a trick.” William cleared his throat. “Lorelei?”
“Yes, I hear you,” Lorelei’s voice came from the device. It had apparently been a pain to set it up so that Lorelei and some of the lords could hear the device, but she could also translate for the rest without providing feedback or constantly speaking through the phone.
“Excellent. Why don’t we get some introductions. How about lord Carmichael?”
A number of lords introduced themselves, and relevantly the regions in which they operated and their banners. This allowed the humans to match them up to specific armies and somewhat verify their identities.
William saw a shining in the eyes of the ‘apprentice’. He was old enough to be a head researcher. “You may inspect the device. Be gentle. It’s not particularly fragile, but it is one-of-a-kind.” William didn’t mention that he could probably make more and better ones given some time.
The man took the phone and spoke excitedly. “This design… oh yes. I hadn’t thought about using these materials… The idea of a single reciprocating pair linked together is fascinating…”
After a few minutes of that, the other Eclean envoy tapped him on the shoulder. “Kaspar.”
“Hmm? Oh, yes. It does appear to be a fully functioning auditory transference device.” He set it down carefully in its position on the table. “There should be a number of real people at the other end, and we should be able to hear each other.”
With that out of the way, William went on to list some of those who had not been identified, as well as those who were not in attendance but had given their support.to negotiate for peace. “As you can see, we have a majority open to negotiation, and certainly even more would approve but have not yet voiced it through messages.” William tactfully didn’t mention that some lords would disapprove of peace with humans in all cases, and others would only agree vocally and secretly wish for more war.
“Very well then, the negotiations can begin.” The leading representative from Ustil nodded seriously. “Is there anyone who has any concerns before we begin?”
At this point, one of the representatives from Liaoyang spoke, “There is one concern we have. Lord Rutten… Have you ever been to Liaoyang?”