Saturday, June 30, 2018

Page 1852 -- CXCIII.

Hector turned and looked out the window. “That’s... good to know.”

“If I had to pick one family that I thought you should be wary of, it’d probably be them. For obvious reasons.”

Hector nodded at his own faint reflection in the glass. He could only imagine what a miserable first impression he would’ve made if he had ended up meeting the leader of House Gaolanet without even realizing who they were. “Thank you for telling me...”

“Sure.”

Hey, I could’ve told you most of that,’ said Garovel.

Then why didn’t you?’ said Hector.

You never asked. And I was planning to. On the way to Sescoria, that is.

Mm. Have you got any other information on the nobles for me, then?

Of course I do. Hector, I’ve probably been preparing for this dinner even more than you have.

Heh. Well, I’m listening.


Chapter One Hundred Ninety-Three: ‘The Gathering at Bosliat...’
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It had felt like ages since he’d last seen the royal palace, but he knew it hadn’t really been all that long. After having seen Warrenhold, the Golden Fort, Marshrock, Dunehall, and the Swallow’s Nest, Hector now felt an even greater sense of appreciation for this place. Despite all that competition, Bosliat Palace did not pale in comparison. Sure, it may not have been as big as Warrenhold or the Golden Fort; nor did it have a particularly eye-popping gimmick like Marshrock’s rock or Dunehall’s sand or the Nest’s defensive structure, but it did have a certain “regalness” to it, he thought.

Perhaps it was the national colors that did it. The more he looked at it, the more it seemed as if the blue-and-white flag of Atreya had been imbued into the building itself, somehow.

And perhaps it was, in a sense.

After receiving the invitation to the Gala, Hector’s curiosity had been piqued, so he’d been looking up the building’s history during his rare moments of downtime--which usually meant reading off his phone while he was out patrolling Gray Rock. He remembered vaguely learning about the palace in school, but he certainly didn’t remember any of his teachers telling him that it had been built as part of a declaration of independence.

Economic independence, that was. No actual rebellion had been fought, but Bosliat Palace had played a key role in accomplishing that feat--of securing the nation’s borders without bloodshed. Of course, it had also helped that the Mohssian Empire had already been fighting five other wars at the time and probably hadn’t wanted to make it six.

The idea that this building, with its turreted towers and sprawling gardens and dozens of guardhouses, was designed to be the proud, beating heart of an emerging nation, to represent Atreya as much as the sun-and-stars of the flag did--that made sense to Hector.

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