On this day, the Fallen Angel Capital welcomed the most important guests.
The Dark Shadow Empire, which gathered a large number of troops on the border of the Fallen Angel Empire, finally sent new envoys after Shea speedily ascended the throne. They entered the Fallen Angel Empire via Tekula Fortress and arrived at the capital.
This time the envoys were “acquaintances.” The leader was Third General Crawford of the Dark Shadow Empire, and the deputy envoy was Celine, the new matriarch of the Custer Family, the top commercial family of the Dark Shadow Empire.
Crawford was an old friend of Shea. Shea had a bilateral visit when she was in the Dark Moon and had close cooperation with him. Celine’s Custer Family was the earliest commercial family to settle in the Dark Moon Estate. They even established a joint chamber of commerce with several families with the Dark Moon. Both sides had inextricably close relations. Both of them being the envoys should be a positive signal that implied a change in Catherine’s attitude.
Shea immediately led a group of officials to formally greet Crawford in the palace hall. At this time, the candidates for the prime ministers were not agreed while the financial minister and minister of military affairs were still held by the candidates recruited by the elder families.
“Greetings to Your Majesty Shea.” Crawford entered the hall with Celine behind him, and they bowed and saluted Shea.
Shea was no longer the lord back then, and an empress representing an empire. In this situation where the 2 empires were bordering each other, she did not treat the 2 acquaintances with joy. Instead, she said faintly, “Both envoys came from afar. You must have a tough journey.”
Crawford stood up straight and said without arrogance, “This time, I’m here on the order of Her Majesty Catherine to congratulate Your Majesty on becoming the Fallen Angel Empire’s ruler, and the other is to re-discuss the cooperation between both empires.”
“Thanks to the congratulations from Empress Catherine. The friendly relationship between the Fallen Angel Empire and the Dark Shadow Empire has a long history, but Her Majesty Catherine gathered heavy soldiers at the 2 borders of my empire. This does not seem to be a gesture of friendship?”
Crawford explained, “The reason for the gathering of troops was the unstable situation of your empire after Your Majesty Shea defeated Prince Obsidian in Town Leith Wilderness. In order to prevent internal strife, Her Majesty Catherine prepared to send troops to help Your Majesty Shea stabilize the political situation.”
This explanation was naturally just an excuse which was also used by Liliz in the Dark Moon.
“Before Her Majesty Catherine lent a ‘helping hand’, I had successfully ascended the throne, so I can only acknowledge her good intentions. I don’t know how long your empire’s way of showing ‘friendliness’ is going to continue?”
Crawford knew that the so-called “friendliness” meant the army on the border. He smiled slightly, “This is related to my second purpose here. Her Majesty Catherine hopes to establish friendly neighbor relations with Her Majesty Shea again after Regent Obsidian to renegotiate and sign a cooperation treaty between both empires to jointly move toward prosperity.
Without such an army, this was still a normal diplomatic relations establishment, but if there were army hoarding on the border, these words inevitably contained a hint of threat. The implication was that Obsidian and Shea were different. The Dark Shadow Empire could continue to live in peace with the Fallen Angel Empire, but they must sign a cooperation treaty that satisfies Catherine. Otherwise, the army was definitely not for display.
“I’m very optimistic about the prospects of friendly cooperation between both empires. My empire will support, go hand in hand, and create brilliance together with friends; if it is an enemy with unpredictable motives, even if the enemy is holding a sharp blade, the Fallen Angel Empire will not hesitate to directly and fearlessly face the difficulties. We would rather be crushed with the enemy than to abandon faith and dignity.” At the last sentence, Shea slowly stood up from the throne and looked at Crawford quietly.
There were only 2 steps to the throne. Even if Shea stood up, she was only of equivalent height to the tall Crawford. However, at this moment, Crawford was in a trance like he was really looking up at Shea. This woman who used to keep pace with him had risen to the level of an empress whom he most revered.
Not only Crawford, many ministers and elders in the hall, including Angley, had a strange feeling. Shea’s unrelenting strength and courage were exactly what Obsidian did not have before.
Crawford quickly recovered to his senses and took out a lacquered envelope, “I have seen Your Majesty Shea’s determination. Here is a letter written by Her Majesty Empress, please have a look at it, Your Majesty.”
Stiller, who was next to Shea took a few steps forward, took the envelope and handed it to Shea. In the process, Stiller had used 4 methods to test and found no danger. As Shea noticed Stiller’s gaze, she took the letter and opened it. After looking at it for a while, her eyes suddenly became a bit fierce. With a puff, a black flame ignited in her hand. The letter was instantly burned to ashes.
Doing this in front of Crawford was obviously very unfriendly. Judging from Shea’s expression, the content of the letter should be quite excessive. In any case, Shea was the empress of the Fallen Angel Empire after all. Her humiliation was the humiliation of the entire empire. Whether it was genuine anger or pretentious gestures, almost everyone had shown hostility toward Crawford and Celine. It was as if both envoys of the Dark Shadow Empire would be annihilated once an order was received.
The intangible pressure made Celine reveal a trace of fear while Crawford remained unchanged, “Your Majesty, I didn’t know the specific content of this letter beforehand, but I came to negotiate with your empire with the sincerity of the Dark Shadow Empire. When I came, Her Majesty Catherine had specially ordered that after Her Majesty Shea read the letter, I have 2 choices. First, immediately return to the Dark Shadow Empire; second, stay and continue to discuss cooperation matters. Your Majesty Shea please give me a choice now.”
This choice was actually given to Shea by Catherine, but Crawford’s language was very euphemistic, and it became Shea’s choice for him as an envoy. If Crawford was allowed to go back immediately, it would definitely mean that the discussion was unsuccessful. Then, it was very likely that the Fallen Angel Empire would really prepare for a tough war which was obviously not the intention of the Fallen Angel Empire.
“Her Majesty Catherine’s appetite is not small…” The purple light in Shea’s eyes changed as she took a deep breath. She sat down slowly and said calmly, “However, since the envoys are here to negotiate, there are a lot of uncertain matters before the result is determined. We can sit down and talk. It’s too late now, General Crawford and Ms. Celine must be tired after traveling around. Please stay in the Royal Hotel to rest first. I will host a banquet in the evening to entertain my Dark Shadow Empire’s friends.”
When the ministers and elders on both sides heard the first sentence, they had faintly guessed that Catherine must have made a request that touched Shea’s bottom line such as ceding the Dark Moon Estate. However, Shea quickly recovered her calmness and even planned to sit and negotiate with the Dark Shadow Empire’s envoys.
“Thank you for Your Majesty’s hospitality, then we shall not reject it.” Crawford bowed with Celine, and left the palace hall to go to the county hotel accompanied by the minister of foreign affairs. After the Dark Shadow Empire’s envoys left, Shea spoke up, “Everyone, although Catherine’s intention is not to fight us till death, the power of the Dark Shadow Empire is above us after all. Once a war is really triggered in a certain situation, then comparing the strengths of both empires, the result is likely to be death on our side and injuries on her side. On one hand, we must prepare for the war and prepare for the worst. On the other hand, we must be careful to deal with the Dark Shadow Empire’s envoys. Stiller and Disjaro will be in charge of the negotiation matters. Stebil, Angley, Redotan, and Merlotta will assist you. Delay the negotiation deadline. You can try to get in touch with those 2 envoys to get an idea of the bottom line. Catherine the Great has a big appetite. If we really sit down and negotiate peacefully, we who are weaker will definitely suffer a loss. How big this loss is and whether we can lean on the path of mutual benefit as much as possible depends on our efforts during this period of time.”
Angley and others had suppressed Shea previously, but the negotiation was the most important issue at the moment, and it was related to the fate of the entire empire. Therefore, they acted according to her orders.
After the meeting, Shea came to the side hall. Chen Rui and Isabella were waiting for her there. Chen Rui’s current identity was only deputy commander of the palace imperial guards, and Isabella’s identity was not suitable for public appearance, so they did not attend the meeting just now. However, they could see things very clearly behind the hall, especially the scene where Shea burned Catherine’s letter.
“What exactly is written in Catherine’s letter?” Chen Rui was now very curious about this incident. Generally speaking, Shea would not make such a move with her calmness.
Shea glanced at him, “Even you can’t guess it?”
“Don’t overestimate me. If the opponent is Catherine, even 10 of me may not be able to see through her.” Chen Rui’s mind was slightly rippling as he suddenly remembered those black eyes that were as deep as the lake water. He hadn’t seen the master of these eyes for a long time.
“You don’t have to look down at yourself, but Catherine is indeed a terrifying opponent.” Shea sighed, “But I burned that letter deliberately. It’s surprising, Catherine gave me an amazing plan in the letter. This plan…”
“Could it be… exactly the same as what we planned?” Isabella continued.
“It’s more powerful than what we planned,” Shea nodded slightly and sighed softly, “She has insight into everything, including the desperate attitude I want to make. I’m now subject to the suppression of the elder families. Her plan is to use the Blood and Iron Policy at an unpredictable time in order to take the opportunity to remove the obstacles. As a condition, she could use the army to build momentum on the border and help me to hold down or even eliminate Baroco and others. This will quell the opposition in the empire and let me completely control the power of the empire! The implication behind this plan is that she can use this in turn against me. If I do not agree, Catherine will also deliberately divulge the ‘cooperation’ plan and take the corresponding actions to show that she and I will work together to eradicate the elder families and other obstructive forces. On the verge of life and death, the elder families will surely rise up and resist. As a result, the capital and even the empire will end up in internal strife. Then she will take advantage of the situation to send troops, then it’s hard to drag the Dark Shadow Empire to perish together even if I want to…”
Isabella and Chen Rui looked at each other and saw the surprise in each other’s eyes. They finally understood why Shea feigned to burn the letter.
Chen Rui asked, “What are the conditions for Catherine?”
Shea took a deep look at him, “It’s even more demanding than last time. It’s simply unacceptable. She particularly emphasized that she wants the talent “Chen Rui”. It seems that you are more popular than I thought. Even the first beauty of the Demon Realm can’t forget you.
“I have no choice as my reputation is out there. “The Demon Realm’s First Minister”, right?” Chen Rui scratched his head guiltily with a vague bad omen.
Isabella noticed Chen Rui’s expression, and she suddenly chuckled, “Actually, there is a way.”
As soon as she said this, the eyes of Shea and Chen Rui were fixed on her at the same time, and Ms. Secret Intelligence smiled. Even though she was behind the veil, her moving style could still be felt.
TL: 😏is it sending the “The Demon Realm’s First Minister” to negotiate with Catherine herself?
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