Chapter 45: Morat Hansen (Two)
In Mindis Hall, the guards invited the visiting guests to proceed to the second floor of the reception room. Then, they closed the door in an orderly fashion.
"Say what you want to say, and then leave." In the hall fully illuminated by the Everlasting Lamp, the old man in black looked at Jines, who was standing in front of Thales and was currently speaking to him harshly.
Thales calmly gazed at the old man leaning on the walking stick as though he was about to collapse. The old man was looking at everyone with suspicion.
"Still so cold, Officer Bajkovic?" Morat's old and hoarse voice passed through Thales' ears from the other side of the spacious hall. It was very unpleasant and indescribably strained. The man then mockingly said, "After all, we have cooperated more than once."
Jines sneered. "Cooperated? Who would cooperate with a poisonous snake? It was His Majesty's command and I had to comply with it at that time."
Morat shook his head regretfully as though he was really sad. "How disappointing. I had thought that we fought on the same side. You know, I have always imagined you as my daughter."
In between his words, Morat's eyes gleamed. "You know, the biological daughter I personally raised up."
Morat stressed on the word 'biological'.
Thales was surprised to see the expression of the usually proud Jines suddenly change. It was as though she was being grabbed by the throat.
The proud and imposing female court official immediately turned around so that the others could no longer see her expression.
"With all due respect!"
By the side, Gilbert interrupted the conversation and solemnly bowed. "Lord Hansen, you know all too well the importance of everything here to the Kingdom. Please leave out unnecessary probes and pleasantries."
Thales was even more surprised to see Gilbert, who always had manners befitting all occasions, appearing to become angry.
Gilbert's eyes had a dazzling gleam and his words were sharp. "We all know that you are the Chief of Secret Intelligence. You are in charge of the Kingdom's Secret Intelligence and you have contributed greatly for Constellation. That is why you came earlier than planned to meet the future 'king'. In that case, let us not delay further — This is Sir Thales."
Gilbert had specifically said the words 'Chief of Secret Intelligence' and 'Lord'.
Thales suddenly realized that the former was for Thales' ears while the latter was a warning to Morat.
'The biggest boss in the gathering of intelligence.' Thales filed this information in his mind.
The atmosphere surrounding the room was not too good.
Gilbert respectfully took a step back, exposing Thales before Morat's sight.
Morat gazed at the boy, who was now in everyone's full view.
At that moment, Thales felt as though the man's pitch-black eyes had some kind of magic. It was like the eyes could penetrate through him.
Thales even had the feeling of not being able to breathe.
Morat slowly walked forward while tapping on the ground with his walking stick, creating an ominous rhythm in the process.
Behind him, the Masked Protector Yodel also stepped forward slowly.
"This is far enough," Gilbert said coldly.
The sounds of Morat's footsteps and walking stick continued. He gazed unwaveringly at Thales, but he continued to walk forward. His hoarse voice was then heard. "Count Caso truly deserves to be the Royal Family's most trusted chamberlain. I really admire your loyalty to the Lord, whether it was to the previous king, or to his 'successor' now."
Thales noticed that the word 'successor' was heavily stressed.
The moment Morat's voice ceased, Thales suddenly felt the imposing air on the sharp-tongued Gilbert vanishing.
Gilbert frowned as if he was thinking about something that had gone wrong.
The well-spoken and quick-witted former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Caso ended up gritting his teeth. He no longer spoke, bearing with Morat's approach.
Thales felt cold sweat flowing down his back as he saw the old man in black closing in on him.
'What is his role?
'With just a few words and a heavy tone, the powerful Jines and the shrewd, experienced Gilbert retreated without a sound?'
"So, this little gentleman," Morat said with a wrinkly smile. He sounded warm before coldly asking, "It must have been difficult, escaping from Red Street Market and the Mystic."
Jines and Gilbert both lifted their heads. They looked at Thales in surprise when they heard this.
Thales' heart shook violently. He instinctively looked behind Morat. The secret guard was standing there silently. However, Thales was acutely aware that the guard seemed somewhat stiff and tense.
'Yodel. Did you tell him everything about my secret?'
Morat laughed again. The eyes on his wrinkled face were sharp. "In fact, there are some minor questions I want to ask you… privately."
"No. Thales cannot be with him alone!" Jines was the first to react. She then glanced grimly at Gilbert, as if asking for help.
Gilbert looked at Morat with a foul expression as well. "Sir Thales has a respected status. He has the right to choose whether he is to be accompanied by his retinue when coming into contact with the Kingdom's Chief of Intelligence."
Thales frowned and looked at Morat.
'What does he want to ask me?'
This time, Morat leaned on his walking stick respectfully and bowed politely. He then said, "Of course, of course. Whether or not he wants to talk to me is also his choice."
"After all, he will become my king in the future, assuming my old bones could live that long."
Gilbert glanced strangely at the Black Prophet, seemingly suspicious of why the Chief of Secret Intelligence was being so friendly. Only Jines' expression changed as she looked at Thales.
Thales felt relieved.
However, just as Thales was about to say that he was not feeling well that day, Morat's said something which made him pause.
"In fact, I would also like to report some things to you in private."
Morat again bowed submissively.
When the old man looked up again, he had a smile on his face. "For example, things about three children from the Lower City District and a young bartender... According to the information I gathered, the Brotherhood is dealing with a matter regarding an escape of its members from the Brotherhood..."
At that moment, Thales clenched his right fist.
'Three children from the Lower City District?
Thales' pupils contracted.
'Sinti, Ryan, Coria and also… Jala.'
Thales ignored Jines' anxious expression and Gilbert's surprised look. He took a step forward and resolutely said, "Let us talk privately."
Morat, whose face was crowded with his smile and wrinkles, turned to the side and said, "Then let us move to the study."
At this moment, someone's voice shot into the air.
"Discuss it here."
Thales turned around in surprise.
The one who spoke was the man standing behind Morat. It was Yodel, who had been silent throughout the entire night.
The hoarse voice came from the strange, masked man. "We can leave. Only by doing this can I ensure his safety."
Morat seemed to be stunned for a moment as he turned his head and frowned.
After Gilbert snapped out of his stupor, he exchanged a glance with Jines. The two then nodded with determination. "Just discuss things here."
Morat leaned on his walking stick and turned around to look at Yodel.
"Why does everyone assume that I, who have served Constellation for decades, would endanger its only heir, the blood of the Kingdom?" Morat's eyes turned cold, but an unpleasant smile immediately formed across his face.
"Fine. Let us discuss here then."
Yodel nodded slightly. He then loosened his grip on the Supreme Sword that he had been holding the entire night.
"But you better not play any tricks, shadow attendant." Morat smiled at the masked guard. He then pointed at his head. "I will know where you are no matter where you hide."
Thales clenched his fists as he saw Morat's strange smile.