The Reincarnation of Alysara - Chapter 192
Sentaro Klaman hides in the corner of the meeting place, a building built on a lake, standing on piles driven deep into the lake bed. The Runalymo airship is parked next to the building with a ramp lowered onto the short pier.
The building is clearly of Runalymo make, although it’s odd that they’d build the house on the lake, not just on the shore. There is a large round table in the middle of the room with ornate carvings over its surface.
There is no food served, which would be insulting if the hosts weren’t Runalymo. No one knows what to expect from them as they have such a different culture. That doesn’t mean that each country doesn’t have its own, but everybody knows what to expect from each other and how to treat them.
It is an odd choice that the Runalymo would negotiate trade with everyone at once; it’s a tactic no one has ever done. Normally these deals are done individually, so the details of each trade are kept secret; it’s the best way to get the most out of each deal.
It could just be a cultural thing, or it might not; the uncertainty of the situation bothers him; as an assassin and the Empires spy, it is his job to know.
“Thank you all for coming,” Alysara translates for the speaker of the numerous Elders. “We have gifts for you all, examples of what we have to trade.”
Servants enter the building, carrying goods of all sorts, from fine crafts to rare gems and strange foodstuffs. Each delegate receives a gift tailored to them, with Caerym receiving mana silk clothes enchanted to stay comfortable in all weather and Forren receiving fancy Forron saddles. Vocanna doesn’t receive anything, but it’s obvious they’ve already secured trade with the Runalymo.
“Our enchantments do not ever degrade,” Alysara continues. “Our crafts are sturdy and will serve loyally for many decades, and our metals and gems are saturated with mana, making them quality crafting materials. We have many naturally grown mana crystals and gems.”
The delegates examine their gifts and talk with their advisors, the Elders patiently waiting for everyone to finish. They’ve certainly piqued everyone’s interest as mana saturated materials are hard to come by, and if what Alysara said is true, then they most certainly have superior enchanters if they can make permanent enchantments.
“How can you guarantee permanent enchantments?” King Caerym Farandor asks cautiously. “It might last long, perhaps even outlasting lifetimes, but it’s hard to believe it won’t ever degrade.”
“It is a breakthrough in the [Enchanting] Skill,” Alysara answers. “As the most knowledgeable expert in mana, you have my promise that even after ten thousand years, the enchantments will still hold and will continue to hold until the item itself is destroyed. Not only are our enchantments longer lasting, but they are stronger, as you can see.”
Enchantments already last about a lifetime before needing to be renewed and are usually on the scale of minor tier items, with the best being upper adept tier; from what he can see, these ones are middle major tier, a clear step up proving that the Runalymo are better enchanters.
“Are these your personal enchantments, Alysara?” Lord Viksen Fikron of the independent city Kayron asks.
“No, these are the works of others,” Alysara answers.
“Then I assume that your work is much better?” Lord Fikron asks.
Alysara flicks a gold-tipped tail, but her expression remains neutral.
“Yes,” Is all she says.
After several more questions, interest in trade grows in the eyes of the delegations. The prospect of superior materials and craftsmen will serve to bolster their economy, but the next announcement from the Runalymo makes the whole room fall silent.
“Now that you all know what we have to offer, we have some conditions,” Alysara translates. “We cannot afford to establish trade with all of you; we simply cannot make enough goods for everyone; therefore, we will only maintain five trade routes. Since Vocana has already secured one, there are only four more routes available.”
They want a bidding war.
Klaman grins as the pieces of the puzzle are revealed. Now it makes sense why they want everyone here at the same time. This will also serve as a great opportunity since they can upsell the goods to countries that have not secured a trade route. This also means that each of the independent cities will try their best to secure trade; they are the home of the Order of Merchants, after all; this will vastly enrich their pockets.
As for his empire and Forren, this does not bode well. Luna is bankrupt, and Forren has a war to support, so they need to secure trade no matter what.
“We believe that trade with Luna will be most beneficial for you” Steward Velaren Fenor jumps into the negotiations making Klaman proud of his readiness and initiative. “We have coral from the Emerald Reef, which is steeped in the rare emerald essence, as well as many mana crystals of that essence. We also have means of obtaining powerful monster materials and have a stockpile of leviathan materials.”
That lying little shit!
He will have to work more and slay those powerful monsters just to make good on the offer, but he can’t complain; this will help bolster the empire’s economy. As much as he hates having to slay leviathans for the benefit of other factions, this is the best choice. The Runalymo are too far removed to worry about receiving leviathan materials anyway, and will bring the best profit for the empire than any other alternative.
The mention of leviathan materials encourages murmurs around the table. Not many will be able to match that offer, but they don’t have to. Steward Fenor’s strong first offer has the others bidding over the remaining spots, and Klaman begins to notice a fortunate turn of events. The independent cities, although numerous, have little in actual resources. He thought they’d use their wealth to obtain the trade routes, but the Runalymo show little interest in what they have to offer.
This all but guarantees the Empire’s place in trade. Plus, with the empire being a short ship ride from the independent cities, Luna will be the first to upsell to them. As the negotiations continue, Klaman glances out the window, admiring the mountains in the distance, when he notices the pier is soaked in water as if a large wave has washed over the building.
Looking down, he notices a pool of water seeping in from under the door. Looking back outside the window, he thinks he catches a glint of pink under the water but quickly disregards it as a trick of the light.
What had caused the wave?
Klaman can’t help but feel a sense of Deja Vu but can’t quite place what it is. The more he tries to think about it, the more it seems to escape his grasp. He doesn’t feel any danger, so whatever it is must not be immediately dangerous, but he will still keep an eye out for anything strange.
The negotiations eventually come to a close, with the Luna Empire, Helikan, Forren, and Caerym securing a trade deal. None of the independent cities managed to convince the Elders that they have anything worth trading for. However, the meeting doesn’t end there; the delegations split up to meet with the other delegations and go into their own separate rooms where they activate soundproofing enchantments for privacy.
Many of the Runalymo Elders return to their ship, but a few stay with two guards, both with overly large weapons strapped to their backs.
“I’ve thought about your offer and still came to the conclusion that I have no reason to accept your challenge” Klaman whirls around, a sword instantly drawn but sees another Alysara, another clone.
No one else notices this clone; only he does.
How had she seen me? Klaman’s mind races; no one should be able to see through his perfect invisibility.
“How?—” But before Klaman can continue, Alysara interrupts him.
“I’m not telling you; you are a potential enemy to me.”
Klaman has to at least respect her for that. Many would brag, but she is not arrogant like that; in his eyes, this makes her all the more fitting for being Empress.
“You have no leverage,” Alysara continues. “And the debt for the healing I can easily pay in valuable knowledge or items.”
“The payment for that is—”
“No!” Alysara sternly says as if she’s channeling the defiance and authority of a true ruler. “You never gave me the chance to even decline your payment; you can’t just ask for whatever you want! Here’s my offer: I can make you a powerful item using the materials you give me, or I can tell you one thing about magic or mana you wish. That’s my payment, take it or leave it!” Alysara stands firm, practically oozing authority, and he can’t help but feel a tinge of beauty in the air. Not the mana, but her Bond.
Last time she had seemed like an unsure princess, talented but not used to giving commands. Now she is like a seasoned queen, but there’s something… not quite right. It’s almost like she’s not herself, like she is taking the role of a decisive ruler, but she can learn, and even if she’s not talented in ruling, her skill can cover that weakness.
There is no candidate better than her.
Klaman has made up his mind; he will get Alysara to willingly become his Empress no matter the cost. She still has lots to learn, but she has the potential to become the world’s greatest empress. She can finally unite the land and much more.
I’m too greedy.
He wanted her to continue his friend’s bloodline, but his promise was to protect the bloodline and see his empire continue, not to keep his bloodline in the seat of power. He can settle for another Runalymo with the correct trait to continue the bloodline. In the end, Alysara has royal blue hair, and that gives her claim to the throne, and perhaps hers and the Luna bloodline can become one later down the line, but she needs to be the last empress to rule; she needs to be immortal.
That will be easy; Lanya can heal her age until she reaches the legendary tier for her race if she has not yet done so. With two legendary tiered beings, no one will be able to resist the empire.
“Very well, then for payment, I’d like to know how you managed to see past my stealth,” Klaman says. He needs to know this apparent weakness so he can fix it.
“That’s technically not related to mana or magic, but it is equivalent,” Alysara sighs before explaining. “You cast a shadow into other spatial layers; technically, everything does.”
Klaman blinked. “It’s that simple? So I just need to remove my shadow, then.”
“You know what layers are?” Alysara asks.
“Yes, a protege of mine discovered them, but there’s nothing in them, and they are quite dangerous to traverse; please stay away from them.” Klaman answers but quickly realizes that Alysara must be able to see into them if she can see his shadow.
“I know full well their danger,” Alysara says. “But now that my debt is paid, I will take my leave.”
“Wait!” Just before Alysara dissolves her clone, Klaman stops her, even going as far as using his bond to cancel her attempts to dispose of the illusion. “I’d like to reissue my challenge but for slightly different stakes. If I win, you become Luna’s empress; I won’t force you to marry anyone. If you win, I will help you obtain a legendary point.”
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