Wizard! Chapter 533
William wished he could see the diplomat’s face. Reading people was much easier that way. Over the phone… it was more limited. Even with high quality sound, that was only part of the picture. “It has been an age since Eclea has had any sort of diplomacy with Cruonia. In fact, there may have been none since we took on our new name… let me ask, is this an official diplomatic call on behalf of Eclea, or do you represent private citizens?”
“We have not had any foreign relations to speak of in recent years… and the position I now have has been vacant as well… but I have been officially appointed to the position, and am authorized to speak for Eclea.”
“That’s wonderful news.” In a way, it was. Even if they only had unpleasant things to say afterwards, some official communication was good. “Ah, but where are my manners. I am the Eternal King ruling over Cruonia, Josef Rutten.” The diplomat was already well aware of who he was… but it didn’t hurt to say it again.
“I am Dubaku Kamau, councilor and diplomatic liaison of Eclea.”
“Very good then. I am sure you would not have gone to all this trouble to contact us if the matter wasn’t important. Let me ask, is the matter time sensitive? If not, we could meet in Anceron… or a neutral country of your choice, if you prefer.”
“It is possible that we will send a representative- myself or some other- at a later date, but today’s matter is best settled as soon as possible.”
“Indeed? I look forward to those future opportunities. Well, since time is key, I suppose we should not delay the meat of the discussion any longer.” William was surprised at how pleasant he could sound even when he wanted to tear people to pieces. Not that he had anything against Dubaku Kamau in particular… but he was not particularly fond of Eclea at the moment.
“I have been told that you are a rather straightforward person… and it must be said at some point. Eclea has nothing to do with the current attack on Cruonia.”
“Is that so?” William retained a calm smile on his face, even though it couldn’t be seen. If Dubaku were present in person, he might have felt a heavy weight pressing down upon him. “In that case, someone is trying very hard to make it seem to be Eclea. They fly Eclean flags, sail Eclean designed ships, and travelled on Eclean controlled seaways.”
“On that last, you are sadly incorrect. We no longer control the seaways. Ah…” Dubaku paused, “Apologies, it has been so long since we spoke to any outsiders. You may not know we have had a falling out with our brothers. Over the years, many from the mainland here have migrated along the seaways to New Eclea. Chief among them were those with hatred and fear of outsiders. It was thought that separation by distance and time might make them settle down… but instead they have grown more at odds with the rest of the world… including us.”
“So you mean to say that this is a rebel group from New Eclea?”
“That is the summary, yes. Though they are not a small faction, having grown to rival us in size, even surpassing us in mere population.”
“Then by this you hope to prevent any form of retaliation upon the part of Eclea here?”
“Well… yes. We were hoping to come to some sort of agreement…”
“Fine. It’s a deal.” William paused for only a moment before continuing, “We shall sign a pact. For the duration of… let’s say a dozen years, no Cruonian troops will set foot in Eclean territory. In return, the council will agree to likewise send no troops over the border, and furthermore will not harbor ships or soldiers from New Eclea. The enforcement of such will be… the other human nations. They shall agree to combine forces against whoever breaks the pact.”
The other end of the line was silent. William expected it would take some thinking. He had intentionally spoken in such a way as to proclaim what would be done- not a suggestion or offer, but a declaration. Eclea didn’t want to be attacked, but William wasn’t just going to take their word that they were uninvolved. He didn’t think that their words were entirely impossible, but he wanted a meaningful agreement in place.
Negotiating the exact terms of that agreement took some time. There were days spent just on involving each individual country. Many drafts had to be painstakingly gone over word by word, in several languages.
The human nations other than Eclea had no real objections to the treaty. There were no penalties for them in any case. Likewise, neither Cruonia or Eclea would be inclined to break the terms of the treaty. If they had any such intentions, they would instead avoid signing it to begin with. Because of that, William barely rested until it was done… even if he didn’t do most of the drafting himself.
The council of Eclea only took objection to one of the initial terms. They reasonably brought up that the navy and military they controlled was insufficient to prevent those from new Eclea from claiming one of their ports if it came down to that. That particular detail took some time to iron out, because requiring their best effort was rather vague and hard to enforce. Eventually, everyone was satisfied with the results, at least enough to sign.
William was pleased. By the end of the negotiations he was certain of the Eclean council’s sincerity. In that case, the treaty itself was superficial… but still important. For one thing, it involved the first instance of an international treaty Eclea had been involved in since the end of the previous war, before William had even taken over as king. In fact, it was basically their first involvement in any sort of international politics since then. He’d even gotten promises of stationing diplomats in each other’s countries… and even if the diplomats in Eclea would be heavily monitored, it was significant progress. It was a shame it took a war to make it happen.
Of course, it also didn’t stop the war. Jellyfish Harbor was still occupied by New Eclea, and their end goal was still unclear. They were currently fortifying their position and not moving further inland, but they could not maintain that for long. They would need more supplies, and what they brought with them and what remained in Jellyfish Harbor wouldn’t last more than a few months.
William hoped they might just leave. However, he didn’t like to plan his action about foolish dreams, so instead he continued to gather troops and ships in the eastern part of Cruonia. There were even a good number he could move from forts on the border with Eclea. A few gross, but that was enough to offset a goodly portion of the New Eclean troops. If they didn’t act soon, they might not even have much of a numerical advantage at all- and that didn’t even factor in gevai troops greater efficiency. Perhaps they planned to fall back onto their ships and retreat… but there were plans for dealing with that as well.