Chapter 102 The Honeysuckle and the Elk Families (Part 1)
After nightfall, the Elk Manson was brightly lit, while holding his invitation, Petrov was welcomed into the hall. The banquet to celebrate the birthday of the 3rd young lady of the Elk family, Aurelia had just begun.
Only people with a prestigious or aristocratic background in Longsong Stronghold were allowed to attend the banquet. As for the Count himself, the birthday banquet was also very important. A woolen carpet was spread throughout the whole hall and all the chamberlains wore a custom-made uniform so that they would easily be recognized. After all, it was Aurelia’s sixteens birthday, which means that she reached the marriageable age.
String music sounded throughout the hall, and attendants were walking in the crowd and handing out glasses of wine. The steaming food was placed on circular tables which were spread within the hall. Aurelia, the protagonist of the birthday banquet was wearing a canary dress and stood in a corner of the hall surrounded by a group of friends, seeming to be having a very lively chat with them.
This was a new popular trend to celebrate, directly coming from the King’s city. Previously the banquets were held like this: Usually, there was a long wooden table placed in the hall and all the guests were sitting at the table, waiting for the chef to serve the meal. Then huge bowls with pork and whole chickens was served with butter and bread. In addition, there was also double-sided fried eggs served together with a large pot of lettuce leaves.
But some years ago the king came up with a new way to celebrate and today this was now a mimic of the new style but only in form.
For example, the glasses given out were all made of different colors, instead of the normally transparent glasses. Within them, the wine was unable to bring out its mellow color. The circular tables are also covered with white tablecloths, rather than the greasy tablecloths they had used. As for the cooked food, the Elk family was still serving the old western style – very greasy and coarse. Seeing this, Petrov shook his head, the cook could at least have cut the meat into several small pieces.
As usual, Petrov had already filled his stomach at home in advance, since he didn’t want to cut the big pieces of meat like a surgeon. He was invited to this birthday party as the representative of his family, so he had to eat at least a mouthful of this oily food, even if it was only to save face. After all, Petrov didn’t want to become a joke for the ladies.
"Long time no seen, man," Suddenly his neck was hooked by someone from behind,
"I heard you've been appointed as the Duke's messenger? How was the harvest of ore in Border Town. Were you able to steal a lot from them?
Hearing this familiar voice, Petrov immediately knew that it was Rene, the second son of the Elk Family, who was bent on becoming a knight, even though there wasn't any territory for him to manage, such an idiot. As a friend Rene would count as "not bad," but Petrov still didn’t want to speak about what he had encountered in Border Town. So he changed the topic, "Shouldn’t you be in the camp at the Cold Wind Mountain Range at this moment? I thought you were sitting in a tavern and trembling."
"Damn," Rene pushed Petrov away, "it seems your mouth is unable to speak a single word of praise. This time, I wasn’t even able to enter the New Holy City. The day before the departure for the border guard, I got infected with a cold and had to lie for a whole week in bed.
"Good, you seem to have improved compared to the last time, but skipping the journey saved the guards a lot of inconvenience."
"This time you’re wrong," Rene said suddenly, while a mysterious smile spread over his face. "If I hadn’t been lying in bed for a week because of the cold, I'd now be lying on the icy walls of the New Holy City forever."
"What do you mean?" Petrov raised his eyebrows in confusion.
"Listen, I have something to tell you," Rene the second son of the Elk family came close to Petrov’s ear and whispered, "The New Holy City almost fell, the demonic beasts were even able to rush into the inner city, if not for the church’s timing to release their strongest warriors, they would have been unable to hold the city. But during the fight, the armies of the four kingdoms had suffered heavy losses, only a few soldiers of the Cold Wind Mountain Range were able to come back alive. In just a month, there are many wives who had become widows, without any savings..." He winked his eyes, then stretched out two fingers, "and now they will get two silver royals as compensation. Hey, don’t use that look on me, I can't do anything about it.”
"Are you sure this news is true? What happen to the border guards?"
"Of course, I've seen it with my own eyes, when the Lord received the news he fell ill." Rene shrugged, "As for the guards... What else could they do, instead of slowly recruiting new guards. Now the North is desperately in need of experienced soldiers, if not for my call to come home, I would be commanding a cavalry squad right now.”
That isn’t the important point, Petrov thought to himself, the border guards from the Cold Wind Mountain Range was also the primary defense against the Church’s Army of Judges, now the generals and soldiers of the four kingdom are buried at the Hermes, if that doesn’t taste a little bit of a conspiracy, then I don't know what does. If they plotted to attack us, the North of the Kingdom of Graycastle which is now like a nearly stripped-bare woman, "How many soldiers are lost in the Army of Judges?”
"They didn’t fare much better than the other four armies, think about it, they always rush to the front like fanatics. On the other hand, if the Army of Judges didn’t attack, the soldiers of the other four kingdoms certainly wouldn't have moved," Rene said in disdain. “Knights shouldn’t be like this, always speaking about honor, but when they have to confront demonic beasts, shrinking back like little girls.”
"You mean knights like the one in front of me now?" Perot smiled, perhaps I'm just thinking too much into this. Even if the Church wants to start a war against the North, it will have nothing to do with us here in Longsong Stronghold. Should the new king get headaches from thinking about this.
"Unfortunately, until now, no one has accepted my allegiance, or, perhaps they just don’t have the qualification to take me in," Rene paused, looked towards the door, "The people of the Wolf Family have come, I’m just going to greet them, and then I'll come back.”
"Go, but don’t come back."
"Oh, that’s right," Rene retorted as he looked back. "Have you noticed the handkerchief in the invitation?"
"Were you the one that put it in?" Petrov asked.
"Oh, if it was me, I'd only have given you some two day’s old socks," Rene shook his finger, "That, was my youngers sister's personal decision. Although the age gap is rather big, but as long as you have the intention; I can only say that you shouldn’t wait my friend. After all, you’re already twenty-two years old by now.”
Petrov gave him a dirty look, but Rene just whistled innocently, then turned around and laughingly went away.
After taking a glass of wine from an attendant, Petrov strolled by himself to the corner, while quietly looking through the lively hall. He noticed that Aurelia was still busy talking lively with her friends. But at the very same time as himself, she also took a secret look at himself, so that for a short moment, their eyes met. But immediately afterwards Petrov saw that Aurelia quickly changed her line of sight and on her cheeks emerged a touch of red of embarrassment.
Petrov in return just smiled kindly. In his view, the other was just a little girl.
All of a sudden, the sounds of a fierce discussion came from the other side of the hall, attracting the eyes of all the people present.
"What! He dared to say that?"
"Yes. Cornelius, that coward, unexpectedly didn’t even dare to let out a fart, he just came back with his tail between his legs," said the man with the loudest voice, "Shaming the whole of Longsong Stronghold!”
Petrov knew the man, if he remembered correctly he was called Simon Elliott, a member of the Wolf Branch Family, who was also married to a very pretty woman. Petrov had seen the woman once, she really was charming.
"It seems as if you have a way to solve the problem." Someone teased.
"I may not be able to do it alone, but if you can get the Duke to notice of this ridiculous affair, I don’t believe Roland Wimbledon would still dare to act so rampant any longer!"
Hearing the familiar name, Petrov was startled and started to follow the conversation, fully interested.
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