Chapter 369 – Mantis
When Zhao Hai arrived at the dining hall, Smith was already waiting for him. Upon arriving, Smith asked him to sit down.
After Zhao Hai sat down, a waited immediately placed new tableware in front of him. At this time, Smith turned to Zhao Hai and said, “Things have been settled. After we prepare everything, we’ll immediately begin to deal with Lionheart.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “That’s good, do you need me to do anything?”
Smith smiled and replied, “Not at this time, as long as everything goes as planned, Lionheart shouldn’t be able to escape. The Shelley Family had already prepared to break his link with the Royal Clan, as long as the Royal Clan don’t interfere, he’s done for.”
Zhao Hai gave a nod, “That’s great as well, but will the Royal Clan really agree? He is a Grand Duke after all.”
Smith smiled faintly, “What about a Grand Duke? As long as you have enough money, the Royal Clan would even agree if you want to get rid of ten of them. Moreover, Lionheart has been very unruly recently, the Royal Clan has long been seeing him as unpleasant. Even if the Shelley Family didn’t move, the Royal Clan would still deal with him given some time. And now that someone wanted to pay just for a mere word from them? Of course they would undoubtedly agree.”
Zhao Hai actually just asked this question deliberately. He already heard Smith and Marriott’s discussion, he just didn’t want Smith to get any ideas that he had been listening.
Zhao Hai still frowned and said, “Lionheart is still a Grand Duke, after all. He still has his Duchy, if he returns back to his territory, he could organize his army, that would be troublesome.”
Smith showed a faint smiled and said, “The Shelley Family’s money has been spread out, so long as someone appears and accuses Lionheart, he would be stripped of his title of Grand Duke before the Emperor and his Council. When he isn’t a Grand Duke anymore, dealing with him would be much smoother.”
Zhao Hai understood what Smith wanted to do, it was very ruthless. They would make the Rosen Empire strip Lionheart off his title, making him unable to mobilize the soldiers in his territory. When that time came, they could to anything they want to him.
Zhao Hai nodded, “Still, Lionheart’s Clan is also a Great Noble Clan, even if they cannot ask the empire for soldiers, they should still have their own private army. Also, the fighting strength of these soldiers shouldn’t be weak.”
Smith just showed Zhao Hai a faint smiled and said, “Little Hai, did you forget what we are? We are Dark Mages, when did the opponent’s numbers matter to us? Aren’t you underestimating us a little?”
Zhao Hai smiled faintly, “I actually forgot, that’s good. If there’s anything I need to do, just let me know.”
Smith nodded, for this matter, he didn’t plan anything for Zhao Hai to do. He wished to show Zhao Hai the might of the Calci Family.
In the following days, the entire Rosen Empire was calm. But they heard that Grand Duke Lionheart has returned to his own duchy to handle some matters. This was also what Zhao Hai expected, Grand Duke Lionheart wasn’t totally stupid, he knew that if his plans for Megan were to fail, the Calci Family would certainly know that he did it. Now he did what Zhao Hai just expected, heading back to his territory and stubbornly resist .
Zhao Hai didn’t know that when Lionheart received the news that his plan had failed, he immediately sought the help of the Rosen Emperor. He wanted the Emperor to come forward and talk with the Calci Family and say that Lionheart was willing to pay any price to resolve this matter.
But Lionheart didn’t expect that the Emperor would actually decline while also giving him the cold shoulder. This made Lionheart know that the Emperor had already given up on him. So as soon as he could, he rode his horse and left Carson City for his own territory.
His response was very quick. If he was any slower, there would be no chance for him to escape since the Calci and Shelley Family’s troops have already been gathered to deal with him.
Every person of status in the Empire knew of this matter, but they didn’t make a move since they already received the bribes from the Shelley Family. All of them kept mum and just watched Lionheart with a look of schadenfreude. They just waited for Lionheart to fall, then they would take all of his belongings.
If Lionheart falls, his fief would become ownerless. When that time comes, it would be divided up by the Nobles. In addition to the bribes that Shelley Family provided them, the Grand Duke had also offended the Calci Family, thus, no Noble Family came to help Lionheart.
Zhao Hai observed the entire situation with cold eyes. He knew that he couldn’t openly participate in this matter. All Nobles’ eyes were red from waiting for the benefits they’ll get. At this time, if he were to participate, the profits would still be divided, and he was sure that he wouldn’t get anything great.
But Zhao Hai didn’t shut himself in, three days after he met with Marriot, he sent them the 100 thousand jin of vegetables he promised to supply. Now that the vegetables were sent to the Shelley Hotel, it was up to them as to how to divide it among themselves.
However, Zhao Hai didn’t supply Marriott with fire fishes this time, those fishes were too delicate. He wanted to wait until this storm has passed before he gets a boat to send the fire fishes here. This action isn’t strange, one must know that spatial items present on the continent couldn’t hold living beings. If Marriott saw Zhao Hai bring out some fire fishes, he would certainly be surprised.
The movements of Shelley Family and Calci Family were very quick, they only took seven days to prepare everything. Then Calci family began to accuse Grand Duke Lionheart of sending an assassin to the Calci Family, this violated the Empire’s law.
Hearing the accusation of the Calci Family, all of the Nobles smiled, it was not because there wasn’t such law inside Rosen Empire. On the contrary, the Empire did have such a law, it was just that is wasn’t honored. If there were two nobles who had enmity with each other, what would be the most optimal thing to do? Of course it was assassination, because of this aspect, nobody actually respected that law.
Now that the Calci Family came out to enact this law, it was very clear that it was just an excuse. However, these Nobles also understood that this meant that the Calci Family would begin suppressing Grand Duke Lionheart.
Everyone was just watching the fun from the sideline, not speaking a word. Moreover, the Emperor received the accusation given by the Calci Family and immediately moved to convene the Council. Right then and there, Grand Duke Lionheart has been declared guilty and was stripped off of his position and title. From the date of today’s verdict, he was not a nobleman anymore. It also made it possible for Lionheart to mobilize the troops of the empire.
At the same time as the verdict came down, the Shelley Family and the Calci Family began their operations. In just three days, all of the Lionheart’s outside influence were removed very easily. What was strange was the fact the the Calci and Shelley Family did so with little to no resistance.
This made the two families feel strange. They didn’t know what Lionheart was doing, did he give up resisting? Absolutely not. According to his previous actions, he would definitely fight back, it was impossible for him to just give up.
Nevertheless, the two families didn’t think much of it and immediately rushed to Lionheart’s territory. They encircled the Grand Duke’s Palace, but when they were about to rush in, the palace suddenly burst into flames! After the fire was extinguished, a troop division immediately rushed into the palace. The entire place was burnt down, moreover, they couldn’t find the secret passage of the place. And most of all, Grand Duke Lionheart’s family had mysteriously vanished!
The disappearance of Grand Duke Lionheart threw the entire Rosen Empire into turmoil. They didn’t expect the Grand Duke to play such an excellent hand. He played both the Calci and Shelley family. And more importantly, nobody in the continent knew where he went.
Nobody knew, save for a single person, and that person was exactly Zhao Hai. Zhao Hai sent a Blood Hawk beforehand to observe the territory as soon as Lionheart went back. Zhao Hai didn’t want to participate in such a thing nor did he want to gain any benefits. But he was clear about his enmity with Lionheart. If Lionheart manages to escape, Zhao Hai wouldn’t be able to sleep well in the future. So he carefully observed Lionheart and made sure that he wouldn’t be able to escape.
And just as he observed Lionheart, one thing came to surface. Grand Duke Lionheart actually had a connection with the Radiant Church! And this time’s escape was exactly orchestrated by them.
Although their teachings were very weak inside the empire, one shouldn’t forget that they were currently the largest organization in the continent. The Rosen Empire didn’t permit the Radiant Church to proselytize inside their territory, which gave the impression that the Church’s influence inside the empire was very weak. They didn’t think that the Church would actually pull such enormous wool over their own eyes.
This time, a total of six 8th rank Mages were sent to aid Lionheart. Simultaneously, they also made their secret hideouts inside the empire to participate in their action. It was the help of the members within these hideouts that Lionheart could manage to leave his territory without alerting anyone.
Zhao Hai didn’t stop Lionheart and the Church’s actions but instead kept watching the entire time. He didn’t disrupt their operations since he wanted to see the true strength of the Church inside the Rosen Empire.
It didn’t take another glance to see that the Church had a massive following inside the empire. There were at least tens of thousands of people scattered among these hideouts, and these people belonged to all walks of life. There were even some of them who were small nobles who hardly revealed their true identity.
What Zhao Hai didn’t understand was the motive of the Radiant Church to spend this much resources just to help Lionheart. Was it because of his properties?