“For the Alliance” is no Longer a Slogan (Part 17)
The national banquet was held in the evening. Therefore, it was when the palace was most bustling and busy. There were many people who were clearly officials or nobles. All of the nobles of Troy City were excited about the ball. The invitation to the banquet was the most financially valuable thing in Troy City. In reality, the nobles, humans and elves who attended were divided into nobles and servants. However, very few nobles from the North attended. The reason for that was straightforward: Freya had killed most of the nobles in the North.
Freya sent out lots of invitations to nobles in Troy City, and she sent out lots of invitations that could be sold. Hence, the wealthy merchants in Troy City spent exorbitant sums to buy the remaining invitations. Then, they retailed them at even higher prices. Subsequently, lots of the costs in the palace for the event were reimbursed. With that said, though, I felt sorry for the people who bought the invites, because it was meaningless to attend.
The ball had yet to officially commence, but there was already a long line of horse carriages at the palace. The men dressed in extravagant clothing were accompanied by their even more extravagant female partners. Even those who had only met once were particularly close. After all, it was a very rare opportunity to be allowed here, so there was nothing wrong with getting to know each other better.
The women were dressed in their most premium clothing, flaunting themselves as if they were peacocks. Their makeup and fragrances mixed with the men’s money and authority filled the palace. Because of the ball in the Imperial Palace, all areas of the palace were open. Choose a random strolling in the flower garden, and chances were they were a noble. The lowest ranked nobles present in Troy City’s Imperial Palace were, in actual fact, high ranking leaders of specific regions.
Additionally, there were the diplomats dressed in simple but systematically uniformed uniforms. To them, it wasn’t just a ball but their battlefield. With all sorts of nobles, barons and so forth attending the ball, every person they were able to recruit under their banner was a victory for them.
Humanity’s idea wasn’t firm. They just heard a different voice, so they had to rethink. The more they deliberated it, the more they questioned themselves. Generals forced their enemies to change their attitude by defeating them on the battlefield. The diplomats tried to change things through those around the ruler or the ruler directly. While their life wouldn’t be at risk, the job, which was oftentimes to act as a spy, of theirs does put them at risk.
From the perspective of diplomats, women were their strongest weapon. Generals liked men, because men could bravely cut down enemies on the battlefield. With diplomats, however, a few words from a woman who slept with a man could convince him to open the doors to his city that countless men couldn’t break down. Women were very well-versed in that sort of stuff. Money, power and women were three things that men can’t resist the allure of. Women could easily be convinced, but they produced the most impactful results. It was just that they were heavily handicapped this time, as their targets they had to seduce were Vyvyan and Troy, who didn’t bring his wife.
The only woman with Troy was a woman they’d never seen before, and she was never alone. As for Luna, she wore a polite smile and refused to interact with anyone. She also refused all gifts and prohibited anybody from approaching the King’s living quarters. They didn’t even get to see Freya.
I gave Dragon Mom a smile. Her dark purple skin covered her veins that could scare people; hence, she strongly resembled an enchanting mature woman. She nervously checked her clothes. Her clothes were authentic and expensive. They weren’t scales. She had clothes provided before, but nobody could tell if she wasn’t dressed. She didn’t like clothes too much. She felt that they were too stuffy.
When you see Dragon Mom’s fluttering dress, realise that it may not be her clothes. She may very well be completely naked… and they were just her scales… If you wanted to touch her, be prepared to have your skin shaved off by her scales. I always wrestled with myself whenever I saw Dragon Mom daily. Logically, she should be nude, because she wasn’t wearing clothes, but what do you consider scales then? Are they clothes or not?
I told Dragon Mom I hoped to see her wear specific formal clothes I had prepared. That was why she was dressed for the event. She nervously tugged on her clothes: “Son, do I look good in this?”
“Uhm, it’s very becoming of you, Mom.”
“Really?!” Mom’s immediately revealed a cheerful look. She was the same as a child. She let out a breath of relief and excitedly examined herself. She then exclaimed, “Since you think I look good in it, I’ll wear it every day for you to see!”
I shook my head with a smile: “I think it’s better not to. It’s tough to wear it on.”
Mom lightly spun around with a smile then grabbed hold of my hand. I was initially worried she would have problems due to not being used to clothes, but she looked fine. I held her hand and nodded, “This is a very formal banquet, Mom. Will you feel slightly nervous, since the first banquet you’re attending is so grand?”
“Mommy is fine as long as you are by Mommy’s side.”
Dragon Mom looked nervous to me despite saying that. I looked into her eyes and shook my head with a smile: “It’s all right, Mom. You don’t have to worry. It’s an important banquet, but it has nothing to do with you, so you just need to remain polite. Oh, right, one more thing. When people approach you to talk about my business, just come to me.”
Dragon Mom gave me a firm nod: “Uhm, understood.”
I knew she had repeated to herself what she needed to remember in her mind countless times, and therefore wasn’t worried. In actuality, my last reminder was pointless, as they couldn’t change the situation even if they did do something to her.
When the two of us stepped outside, Luna , with a smile, bowed: “Your Majesty, are you ready? All of the guests have arrived. You need to commence the event. Have you prepared somebody to dance with?”
I nodded; then I pulled over Dragon Mom: “I’m dancing with Mom.”
Luna revealed a look of surprise. She never expected me to dance the opening dance with Dragon Mom. Usually, I’d dance with Vyvyan, Elizabeth or, at the very least, Lucia. Lucia was my officially acknowledged Queen. Nier was acknowledged in the palace, too, but Lucia was the one who appeared at events. If Nier wanted to accompany me at such a formal occasion, she’d have to accompany me as a bodyguard.
Needless to say, I didn’t dare thoughtlessly dance with Vyvyan or Elizabeth, for I could only dance with one of them. Both of them put a lot of weight on it. If I pulled one of them away for a dance, the other would definitely be enraged, consequently impacting the alliance. The only way we could ensure the success of the alliance was if I ensured they were in the right mood.
The ball venue took up an entire hall. Being there felt different. I attended several balls in humanity’s lands, and they were marvellous balls. We also held a ball at Troy City before, but it didn’t feel so large at the time. Elizabeth and Vyvyan’s appearances were breathtaking as usual. The two seemed as though all of the beauty on the continent was collected on them.
Vyvyan wore a tight dress with the elves’ unique emerald, generously revealing the top half of her breasts. I had no idea if her fashion style had begun to change or what. I remember she used to wear a loose dress. Mommy Elizabeth wore a dress, which was still a rare sight to behold. She wore a black crystal necklace that went with her black eyes and long hair. If my memory does me justice, it was the first time she did her hair. Her soft hair was splayed behind her, but her eyes were still void of gentleness.
Mommy Vyvyan and Mommy Elizabeth looked at me. I responded with a very apologetic expression and then pulled over Dragon Mom. The two of them froze up first. Then they gave me a smile to signal for me not to worry. It seemed they knew why I had to choose Dragon Mom.
Dragon Mom held my hand. With a smile, she followed me to the centre, where we began to dance to the music.
Vyvyan whispered to Elizabeth, “If it wasn’t for you, I would be the one dancing with my son right now.”
Elizabeth grumpily fired back at Vyvyan, “Right back at you.”
Vyvyan softly chuckled: “You want to watch her win while we fight?”
Elizabeth peered at Vyvyan with a hint of surprise. She had no idea what the elf was planning. Vyvyan extended her hand out with a smile: “Do you still know how to dance after killing so many for over all these years?”
“What do you want?”
Elizabeth took hold of Vyvyan’s hand without so much as a clue as to what Vyvyan was up to. Vyvyan yanked her over with a smile, pulling Elizabeth into her arms. Vyvyan laughed: “Let’s go destroy their dance. Let’s do it as we once did. Didn’t you used to dance together with me long ago? If you still remember how to dance, then let’s do it again.”
A ridiculing smile crept up on Elizabeth’s face. She took hold of Vyvyan’s hand: “I’m certainly all right, but how about you, Vyvyan? You’ve never been a very good dancer.”
“Let’s see for ourselves, then. Let’s see if you’ve aged or not.”