Wizard! Chapter 441
Simon Dragonfoe stepped into the throne room. He immediately became aware of how large the room was- stretching on forever before reaching the steps up to the dais. He hadn’t been afraid of the new gevai king- whether he was an Eternal King or a Demon King. At least, not until he stepped into the room and saw him.
Then he saw the near-black skin, the horns, the staff, and the red robes. All of those together combined into an image that sent chills down his spine. As a knight, he was no stranger to combat. He had learned how to assess an enemy’s strength, but here he couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing. Even if he had his weapons… no, even if he was fully equipped and this man had nothing, he didn’t feel a chance for victory. He’d never seen anything like it, even when fighting against some powerful magical beasts that were intruding on human territory. This Eternal King was nothing like what had been described to him.
What finally shook him out of his dazed state and set him to walking forward was the announcement of the next ambassador.
“Ambassadors Sun Xia and Zhou Heng from Liaoyang!”
A few moments later the next name was called, “Ambassador Vasanta Joshi from Eclea!”
“Ambassador Kurosh Ahmed from Ustil!”
Simon continued to walk forward steadily after his momentary faltering. His training was good for that, at least. He had been proud to be the first to be called in, but realized that didn’t necessarily make him important. Not to someone like this. Perhaps the ordering wasn’t based on anything in particular… or it was based on something geographical proximity. After all, these weren’t long-established relations between known factions. This was the new king of the gevai- those who had only gone by demons for as long as history books recorded, and whose king had theoretically not changed during that time even when he was killed.
This wasn’t a younger man, as his features might indicate. Simon realized he could be much older- perhaps a dozen human lifetimes. That would explain the fear he felt. Simon internally shook his head, calming his breathing. He wasn’t here to fight. At least, not on the battlefield. He was here to negotiate, to set the basis for the relations between Ostana and the gevai. He would be going down in history- and he didn’t want it to be as the one who completely fumbled his first diplomatic meeting.
After Simon arrived at the foot of the dais, and the others stood next to him he was glad to realize that he wasn’t the only one who was nervous. The others were also obviously affected by the oppressive atmosphere.
Simon only barely managed to stumble out some sort of proper greeting. He couldn’t even remember what he said, but there didn’t seem to be any problems. At least, the Eternal King’s expression remained neutral.
Simon didn’t doubt he could be killed if the king was displeased. Of course, killing ambassadors was an act of war, but Simon wasn’t sure if this king cared. Perhaps all of the intonations of peace had just been a ploy to buy time for the civil war. He knew he was not the only one worried about that… but he had been instructed to act as if the intentions were sincere.
If they weren’t… Simon himself would probably die, but at least the humans had some times to recover from the war- and the gevai had just been through a civil war. Simon took some comfort in that, but beyond just caring for his personal safety he was concerned. They couldn’t know for sure how much they would have been weakened from a civil war. More importantly, he knew all of the stories of the Demon King in battle… and this new king had taken his place. He would undoubtedly be more terrifying.
Simon struggled to listen as the king spoke. It wasn’t that he was bored, but the oppressive atmosphere made it difficult.
“… but this is not the place to prepare treaties and discuss individual concerns. This is a place for announcements!” Simon was almost surprised when the king’s toothy smile didn’t reveal rows of sharp teeth, but instead perfectly normal teeth. “The name for the nation of gevai has long been lost to history. The former king had no interest in a name… and the humans wouldn’t have heard it anyway. No longer will you have to refer to the lands north of our mountainous border as ‘the northern lands’, ‘the demon lands’, ‘hell’, or anything of the sort! With the change in our eternal status of war with humanity, we will also have a new name! This year marks the official founding of the nation of Cruonia, and the start of a new age!”
“A wonderful name, your majesty.” Simon hadn’t expected such an announcement, but he found himself somewhat relieved. While a name meant nothing by itself, a new name was a good sign of change. While it was possible it was just a continuing pretense, if a false peace lasted for long enough it might even become real.
When Simon later found himself outside of the throne room, he felt relieved. He was still afraid of the new Eternal King… but the nation of Cruonia and talk of peace and trade didn’t frighten him at all. While the figure of the king himself was imposing, his words and ideas were sound. Trade itself was a very interesting thought. There were many resources in the northern lands that the humans had limited access to- and most of that was through smuggling which was not only very expensive but set a bad precedent when it was allowed.
Simon looked over the other ambassadors. The younger ambassador from Liaoyang had lost some of his bluster, but the older was also more subdued in a different way. Meanwhile, the ambassador from Eclea looked slightly flustered. Only the representative from Ustil had returned to a calm demeanor. Simon shook his head. He couldn’t understand what a nation that trusted in prophecies was like.