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Chapter 312: Methods

 Chapter 312: Methods

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

"Suzanna is the illegitimate daughter of Duke of Gruce Principality," Yolanthe said as he sat down in a chair. He waved his hand at Anfey. "Darius had a lot of illegitimate children, though. At least a dozen."

"Really?" Anfey asked, shocked.

"The dozen that survived," Yolanthe said with a sigh. "He is a paranoid man. He believes that only his own blood could protect him. He sent all of his illegitimate children off to train to become his personal guards. Suzanna is one of the ones who survived. Those that did became extremely powerful and fiercely loyal to Darius. Did Suzanna ever tell you any of this?"

"Some of it," Anfey said, shaking his head.

Yolanthe nodded. "Poor children. Their childhoods were taken away and they were forced to grow up with pain and tears. Even though Suzanna was Shally's half sister and they are very close, Shally is much higher in status. Shally is Darius's heir apparent while Suzanna was her maid. If the rumor is true, then he had more illegitimate children than we can ever imagine. Yet only a dozen survived to adulthood."

"What about the others? What happened to them?"

"You mean Suzanna's siblings?" Yolanthe asked, frowning. "I'm not sure. Darius was paranoid and mistrustful towards others, but in the end he still trusted the wrong person. He might be cruel, but his people didn't care. As long as they had food and the right to live, they would not challenge his right to rule. His minister, though, is another story. Darius should have died of old age in his principality in peace, but his minister, Turagin, usurped his throne. After Darius disappeared, his guards did as well. So far, Suzanna is the only that has surfaced."

"I never imagine there are things you do not know, Your Majesty."

"Hurricane is still too young an organization," Yolanthe said, shaking his head. "It is only thirty years old and still relatively small. Most of my men are in Ellisen and Shansa Empire. Gruce Principality is too far from here. It is not worth my time."

"Is Hurricane the only information system here? What about before?"

"The old organization was destroyed," Yolanthe whispered, his eyes downcast.

"Destroyed? By who?" Anfey asked, surprised. "It's not Evil Mist, is it?"

"No," Yolanthe said. "By me."

Anfey sat back, his eyes wide. He knew that Yolanthe grabbed the throne after a bloody civil war, but he did not realize the scale of the conflict. If he could destroy a nation's spy system, how bad was that war? Not just the royal family, Maho Empire itself must have been affected. Anfey knew that Yolanthe must not have forgotten what had happened to him. He had not chosen his heir, yet once he did, he might clear out a path for his chosen heir to minimize damage to the empire.

"It's a shame, really," Yolanthe said. "Good men died. A lot of them."

"Then why are you so interested in Gruce now, Your Majesty?"

"Because Darius's disappearance disrupted everything," Yolanthe said. He had answered all of Anfey's questions as if he weren't a king but Anfey's friend. "Three principalities existed to the north of Ellisen Empire. Northerners are fierce, reckless people, and their land is poor. Ellisen Empire has no reason to invade those principalities. As long as the principalities stayed out of their way, Ellisen Empire did not care about them. Of course, Ellisen didn't want the principalities to get too strong, either. So they would constantly try to evoke the principalities' anger towards each other. The three principalities had no reason to unite.

"The disappearance of Dairus changed the politics of the three principalities and gave them a chance to unite. Turagin is a newcomer. The other two aren't familiar with him yet. But whoever he supports will win."

"If Turagin is smart, he should know that staying neutral would be his best bet. Otherwise Gruce would be the next target," Anfey said. Yolanthe was telling him important information and he should not hide his thoughts anymore. He needed to find a balancing point between usefulness and uselessness. He couldn't be too helpful, but he couldn't be a complete idiot, either.

"That's exactly what he did," Yolanthe said. "That's why the other two principalities had reached an agreement to attack Gruce."

"It seems like I have been outsmarted," Anfey said, shaking his head.

"You're too young still," Yolanthe said. "I don't want them to maintain that balance. The situation in Ellisen Empire isn't any better. It's significantly weakened because of the damage we dealt to Dark Moon Legion. They had moved all of their armies to the south to defend its borders against us. They don't have time to prevent the war between the three principalities. Even if they do, I can gather my armies and pull their attention back to the south.

"For us, it is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We were always caught between Ellisen and Shansa Empire, but if the three principalities unit and ally with us, Ellisen Empire is cornered. I am confident I can destroy that country." Yolanthe narrowed his eyes. "It would take at least ten years to build an army like the Dark Moon Legion. It would not take as long for me to occupy their capital."

"That is wonderful, Your Majesty," Anfey said hesitantly. "But what does that have anything to do with my wedding?"

"Because we found Darius."


"Darius escaped and somehow ended up with Archduke Kurigazu. My men had reported to me that they had reached an agreement. The Archduke would help Darius take back his throne, in exchange..."

"Is he stupid? Why would he believe that?"

"You'll be surprised what we will do when we are as desperate as Darius," Yolanthe said with a shrug. "The Archduke has his own condition, of course. He wants to marry Suzanna."

Anfey suddenly jumped up from his chair. "What?" he asked, staring at Yolanthe.

"His only condition is a marriage alliance to Suzanna."

Anfey took a deep breath to calm himself. "Why?" he asked. His fists were clenched tight. "If he wanted Gruce, shouldn't he be asking to marry Shally?"

"Shally's still too young," Yolanthe said. "He didn't want an heir. After he took Gruce, he only need an unfortunate accident to befall Darius and Shally. He would avenge their deaths and take the throne." Yolanthe paused, then continued, "He wanted Suzanna because she had made a name for herself. There are no top tier powers in the three principalities. If he could marry a potential top tier power, it would be extremely beneficial."

Yolanthe was acting natural, but in reality he was carefully observing Anfey. Anfey was clenching his fists so tight his nails were digging into his palms. His entire body was very tense as if he was trying very hard not to let his anger boil over.

"Darius agreed, of course, and signed an order. Suzanna is to return to Gruce with Shally as soon as possible," Yolanthe said.

This was all that was needed to rip away Anfey's calm facade. He felt his chest tighten and his ear ring. He had loved his parents very much and did not know how to cope with the pain after their sudden death. He did not want to love, because he was afraid to lose loved ones again. After everything they had been through, he realized that he had fallen in love with Suzanna. He did not want to lose the person he loves again. He knew Suzanna, and she would not turn away from her duty. Combined with the training she had gone through when she was young, Anfey knew he would soon face the pain of losing someone again.

"This is why I wanted you two to wed immediately," Yolanthe said. He knew that he was much more powerful than either Darius or the Archduke. He could solve Anfey's problem very easily.

"There's no use," Anfey said, his face pale. "Suzanna will go back. I know her."

"How do you know? Do you not trust your love for each other?"

Anfey frowned. "Did Darius's order reach her yet?"

"The messenger has just crossed our border."

"Do you know where he is?"

"Of course."

"Your Majesty, I am now requesting to use the transmission portal!"

"What, do you want to kill the poor man?" Yolanthe asked, smiling. "You can kill one or two messengers, but can you kill a dozen messengers? A hundred? Suzanna was the only thing between Darius and his throne. His order will not stop coming. Why do you think I told you after the wedding? She is your wife. You have to trust her. If Suzanna finds out, what will you tell her?"

Anfey froze. He stared at Yolanthe but could not say anything.

"Sit down, sit down," Yolanthe ordered. "Violence is not the solution. You're too excited. Don't worry. Suzanna is a human, is she not?"

"What?" Anfey asked.

"Darius isn't her only parent. Her mother is a maid and was very loyal to Darius. When Suzanna left to train, she even told her to protect Darius with her life. But Darius is a very paranoid person. Eleven years ago, his palace suffered a small mutiny. He was afraid that the situation would affect the mothers of his children, so he exiled them and ordered them to be drowned. Suzanna's mother was saved by a local hunter. She was heartbroken, of course, and started a new family with that hunter. After Darius's disappearance, she decided to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble. After the situation calmed down, she wanted to go look for Suzanna. Unluckily for her, Turagin was hunting for Suzanna as well. She was captured then."

"Is she alright?"

"Turagin announced that he had captured her mother and tried to get Suzanna to turn herself in. Of course, by then Suzanna is already in Maho Empire and did not know what was going on in Gruce," Yolanthe said. "My men delivered the news. I ordered a rescue mission and, thankfully, it was successful. Turagin was afraid that Suzanna's mother would die before she appeared, so he didn't want to torture her. I don't know if my men can get her back to Maho Empire alive, so I told them to help her leave a letter."

"What kind of letter?"

"She knew that Darius wanted to marry Suzanna off and was furious. She had revealed everything she knew about him, including the fact that he sentenced her to death. If Suzanna wasn't a senior swordsmaster, Darius would not hesitate at the fact that she was his daughter." Yolanthe sighed and shook his head. "Even if something happens, Hurricane would preserve the letter. I trust Suzanna to make the right decision as long as she reads that letter."

Anfey let out a sigh of relief. He sat back down onto his chair.

"I also ordered the assassination of Darius. As long as he is alive, he will always be an unknown factor. I cannot allow that," Yolanthe said. "Are you satisfied now?"

Anfey stood up and knelt down before Yolanthe. "Yes, Your Majesty," he said, his voice quivering. "Thank you so much." He knelt on his own volition. He had calmed down and his mind was working again. Turagin had Suzanna's mother, but Suzanna was a senior swordsmaster. He must be very prepared to defend his prisoner against the advance of a senior swordsmaster. This meant that Hurricane must have made great sacrifice to rescue her mother. Yolanthe had ordered them to kill Darius, which was another difficult task. Both of these tasks would lead to casualties. Without Yolanthe's help, who knows what would have happened to him and Suzanna.

Saul sighed as he watched. He had become Yolanthe's friend under similar circumstances many years ago. No matter, Yolanthe had always been a true friend.

"Don't worry about it," Yolanthe said as he helped Anfey up. "Come on, let's go back to your wedding."