Chapter 122 Father and Son
The dungeons of the castle were not so dark and wet as the prison of Border Town, maybe the Duke didn’t want to turn his basement into a haunted house, or smell the nauseating stench as soon as he descended the stairs. Generally speaking, the dungeon was still relatively clean. The cells were also differently decorated accordingly to its grade, some were empty, some were not only decorated with a bed, they even had a wardrobe, a desk and chandeliers were also readily available. Probably the cells were also a place for the Duke to keep some of the nobility, so the basic etiquette had to be guaranteed.
Roland also found a special cell in the corner, within it stood a large bed taking more than half the room, there were also chains hanging down from the ceiling, but the chain for the neck and hands were wrapped in layers of sheepskin and on the wall hung a variety of whips. It seems that Duke Ryan had also done conducted research in some areas, he thought, it’s a pity that I have to leave in a few days, so I cannot analyze it carefully.
As the most valuable prisoner, Lord Hull was naturally in the best cell. If someone didn’t focus on the external iron railings, they could think this was a luxury bedroom. Furthermore, he also had to share the room with Count Maple Leaf, Viscount Wolf, the eldest son of the Wild Rose Family and the second son of the Elk Family, together with the Ryan family these were the six ruling family of the Longsong Stronghold – of course, the Ryan Family had been destroyed by Roland, so his wife and his sons were kept in a cell next door.
When the other people saw that the Prince had appeared in the dungeon, the nobles stood up, not waiting for them to start their questioning, Roland began first: “I will take Count Honeysuckle with me, so you can come out. As for the rest of you, we are still waiting for the ransom, the moment they pay I will let you out.”
“Father,” shouted Petrov at the moment when he saw him, then he glanced at his friend, and then to Roland, “Your Highness, I didn’t see the name of Count Elk on the list, if he died on the battlefield, the eldest son of the Elk Family should be now the head of the family, but at the moment he isn’t at home, so there is no one who could take over this job and Rene cannot be redeemed. But if you let him out, he could go home and organize his self-redeeming? I am willing to give a guarantee for him.”
“Do you mean the eldest son of the Elk Family, Jacques Medde?” Roland shook his head. “He already came back. Not only did he come back to the stronghold, no he even came to the castle yesterday, but… I don’t believe he will pay the ransom.”
Hearing this, Rene dashed to the front of the cage, “Why?”
“He said since you didn’t protect your father on the battlefield, it was the same as you being his executioner.”
“Why did he say this, the one who killed our father –” Rene immediately closed his mouth.
Roland didn’t take his outburst seriously “What you wanted to say, that it was obviously me who killed the count, right?” He went in front the cage. “Previously to the Months of the Demons, your father sent intruders into my castle, trying to burn my food reserves,” said Roland. “And now he followed the Duke onto the battlefield, taking his knights to attack my territory. I merely started a counterattack, to repel the invaders. But now I’m the murderer? Shouldn’t it be Duke Ryan who had ordered your father to act be the one who gets condemned? In addition, if it were not for Hills’s statement that you did not know anything about the attempt to burn my food, you would already be a dead man by now.”
“…” Rene was left speechless.
“Your Royal Highness,” Petrov asked, worried. “If his brother doesn’t pay the ransom for him, will you kill Rene?”
“No that won’t be the case, after all, I’m always kind,” Roland grinned, “Most probably I will take him with me to Border Town, there he will work twenty years in the North Slope Mine to redeem himself.”
“How much is his ransom?”
“As a second son, he has no chance to inherit the title, the price for him is much smaller than for Count Honeysuckle, as long as someone pays a value of 1000 points in materials he can go.” Roland looked at him with interest, “How is it? Do you want to pay the ransom for him?”
“What value, a thousand gold royals?” Count Honeysuckle interrupted their talk.
“Your son will inform you later of what it means,” the Prince gave them the signal to move, “Come on, there is nothing for us to do down here. Since he is the second son of the Elk Family there is no need to rush it for a while yet, so you can go back and then slowly consider it.”
The entire group finally left the prison, when they came to the gate of the castle, the Count suddenly stopped, “Your Royal Highness, I know Duke Ryan acted sinfully and it’s unforgivable, but… His wife and son are innocent.”
“Perhaps,” Roland couldn’t deny his words, “I did not intend to sentence them to be exiled or to hang them and so on. I will just take them with me to Border Town and place them into the prison there.” Until the day I ascend the throne, he thought. Now it is not the time to be benevolent to a woman. Even if they aren’t guilty, he would get no benefits if he was to release them, furthermore, he would only bring another source of problems to himself – after all, the eldest son has had legal right of succession.
“What did you just say?” asked Shalafi Hull disbelieving and stared with open mouth at Petrov. “His Royal Highness doesn’t intend to live in Longsong Stronghold, and furthermore he even wants you to govern the stronghold for him?”
When they were back to Count Honeysuckle’s castle, Petrov immediately told his father everything that had happened during the last three days, when the other one heard about the representative’s contract, the Count couldn’t bear to wait for another confirmation. He jumped up and walked through the study in circles, obviously feeling a very complicated emotion.
“Father, are you all right?” Asked Perot worriedly.
“So it seems that our opponents are mainly Elk Family. Compared to them, the other three have neither the heritage nor the strength, so they shouldn’t be a problem for us.”
“What?” He couldn’t follow what his father meant.
“You’re such a disappointment,” said the Count, “You really let me down, His Highness gave you such a good chance, but even now you haven’t figured out who your opponents are.”
“Uh, aren’t you surprised?”
“You mean the fact that the Prince insists on going back to Border Town? Of course, I also think it’s strange,” the Count grasped his beard, “But his reasons have nothing to do with us, for us it’s only important that the contract is true.”
This is indeed the case, Petrov thought, I cannot believe that His Highness would go through all this trouble only to make fun of me, as for why he loves to live in Border Town, later I will have enough time to find out the true reasons. But I would never have thought that my father’s ability to accept the new circumstance was this strong.
“Did I hear it right, is that Meede boy your friend?” Shalafi suddenly stood in front of Petrov, “Tomorrow, you will go over and redeem him.”
“You agree that I spend a thousand gold royals to redeem him?” Petrov got startled.
“Think about it, Count Elk died and the eldest son doesn’t want to redeem the second son, and during the battle, with the exception of a few knights, they had almost no losses. Once Jacques Medde took over the title, he will try to hinder your success in the future… No,” said the Count, “Why Jacques did not want didn’t want to redeem Rene is because he is afraid that the other will be a threat him.”
Alright, it turns out this was the true reason, Perot smiled in his heart. But he also knew that his father was correct, Rene had grown up with swords and spears, furthermore, he was much closer to the knights within their territory, unlike Jacques the eldest son, who doesn’t have the body and air of a Lord, instead he preferred the debauched life of a noble.
Although Rene had repeatedly shown that he wanted to be a knight, but that was the time where he had no chance to inherent. But now that the Count was dead, who could guarantee that he wouldn’t ask for the help of the other knights, who could kill the eldest son for him? So why redeem a person who would later become a problem to himself, Jacques’s decision was very simple and ruthless.
“My friend would never do that,” he assured.
“Perhaps, but after you have redeemed him, Jacques will get a headache, whether he has any intention of doing so or not.” Shalafi further explained, “As for the materials worth 1000 points, we can just choose some more craftsmen.”
“When I prepared the ransom for you, I have already transferred some of our craftsmen, and in the case, I will now transfer even more, we won’t have enough craftsmen in our own territory.”
“Do not worry about it, you know that the North has become quite a mess?” explained the Count confidently, “Most of the four Kingdoms forces were killed at Hermes, so everywhere the Lords have forced the people into their armies, there is now a large number of refugees. We can just take this opportunity to eat a little more, like this we can even save some of our monthly payment.”
Hearing all these explanations, Petrov discovered that his father was also an expert businessman – at least his business ability was much stronger than his ability on the battlefield.