Published at 27th of December 2018 03:17:21 PM

Chapter 5

Nirvana, Capital of Castonia

It was midday when Timothy arrived at the gates of Nirvana .

The whole journey only took 15 days as expected . On their way, they visited the city of Greenwater and Erik's father was elated to see his son again . Of course he was somehow cold to Timothy, only talking to him when necessary . He was still bitter about Erik's being a squire of Timothy . The Marquis really loves his son . If something bad happens to Erik, then the entire Western Region would rise in rebellion .

Compared to Greenwater, Timothy liked Nirvana better . The city benefited from the nearby gold and gem mines . The gold and gems sold in the city attracts merchants from all over the continent so it could be said that Nirvana was not behind Greenwater in terms of trading income . But potential-wise Greenwater trumped Nirvana . The position of Greenwater was very conducive to trade so Timothy believes that in a few years, Greenwater would be more prosperous than the Capital City .

In terms of defenses, Nirvana can be considered as one of the hardest cities to take in the continent . The walls were so high that soldiers at the top were advised not to look down lest courage escape their hearts . These walls were not so high at first, but after the sack of Nirvana 70 years ago, Timothy's great grandfather built the walls even higher . The walls were so impressive that some bards even sing of it .

The five gates of Nirvana were equally impressive . Most rams won't breach these gates . In the sack of Nirvana 70 years ago, the gates were captured only after the enemies have taken the walls . The gates were so heavy and robust that it usually takes a team of 10 people to open one of them .

Ballistae also line the walls of Nirvana . These killing machines looked like eagles waiting to snatch their prey . A single ballista could impale several men with one shot . It won't matter how good one's armor is, a ballista bolt can penetrate even the best armor in the world .

Because of its robust defenses, invaders usually ignore Nirvana and attack easier targets instead like Greenwater or Solon . But these defenses cost the city a lot . Every year, a huge chunk of Nirvana's budget goes to the cost of maintaining its defenses . Sections of the wall constantly need attention . The gates suffer from rust every time and the ballistae need constant repairs . It also takes a lot of soldiers to fully guard the walls . The bards only sing of Nirvana's great walls, but do they have an idea what it takes to keep them?

Timothy went inside the city . The streets of Nirvana greeted him with such familiarity that it flooded him with nostalgic thoughts . He missed the city of Nirvana, it's his home and the city he grew up in .

Leading his horse with his hand, Timothy walked the streets . There were merchants everywhere, selling both rare and common merchandizes . These merchants sell their goods directly to the people in retail . Many of these goods were from other nations like Vanadis, Canton, Hadea and Inkit . In return, the merchants buy gems and other precious metals from the miners in Nirvana . They will then sell these gems in other cities where the price is higher . This cycle repeats and the merchant grows richer .

Timothy couldn't help but be delighted by what he saw . The streets were even busier compared to how it was a year ago . The King seems to have put a greater emphasis on trade . For a Kingdom that maintains a large state-owned army like Castonia, income from trade was crucial . The royal coffer always suffers, and the financial department always complains . Any increase in the income of the state will always be welcomed by the treasurers with open arms .

On his way to the palace Timothy saw some merchants selling spices . Timothy was not unfamiliar with spices because cooks at the palace usually put spices in the royal family's food . But spices were rare and only the royal family and some powerful nobles were able to afford it in the past . Now there were heaps of spices sold in the street .

" Where did these spices come from?" Timothy inquired as he went closer to the merchant .

" Wismar . " The merchant said with a heavy wismarine accent "The two kingdoms just recently signed a trade agreement" he further explained

" Oh, so they finally accepted our trade request . " Timothy turned to Erik .

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" Maybe alliance is next?"

" I doubt it" Timothy demurred "It took decades just to get them accept our trade request . It'll maybe take a century for an alliance . "

The Kingdom of Wismar maintained its isolationist policy over the years . They only maintained relations to a few trading nations . With a trade agreement, Castonia would have access to unique Wismarine products like spices and exotic animals . But Timothy knew that an alliance with Wismar was still a long way to go unless the Wismarines wanted something big in return . It's a shame, with the growing aggression from other Kingdoms, every ounce of help would be good for Castonia .

But still the trade deal with Wismar was a good thing . Timothy congratulated the King in his heart . He knew that his father had always sent emissaries to Wismar to coax them . The King wanted to have good relations with Wismar . On top of trade, the Wismarine army was also incredibly strong, even stronger than the Castonian army .

Timothy thanked the merchant and left with his squires . Although he wanted to see the city more, he was too tired for that . He still needs to see the King and report his arrival .

The three of them arrived at the palace . The palace of Nirvana was not big . In fact, it looked like a common Castle . Other Kingdoms put effort in building their palaces . Take Vanadis for example . Timothy heard that the Vanadian Palace waas a place of grandeur . Everyone who had seen it had applauded its magnificence .

But the Castonian Palace in Nirvana was somewhat…plain . The design favored practicality over beauty . To maintain the walls of Nirvana, the Kingdom had already paid a great price . Having an extravagant palace was a luxury Castonia can't afford to have .

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The guard at the gate greeted Timothy . Timothy had always been popular with the guards . Even after a year, the guard still recognized him . If he was not mistaken, the guard's name was Alan and his family lives nearby . Palace guards had a higher salary than normal soldiers so his family should be living well enough . Although Allan recognized him, he still needs to inform the captain of the guards before letting Timothy inside . It was a direct order from the King . Anyone who wants to enter the palace must identify themselves first . The captain of the guards must confirm the identity of the person and decide whether he or she will be permitted to enter . It was very inconvenient for the royal family and nobles but Timothy doesn't mind . For him, it was the right thing to do . Assassination was one of the biggest fears of the nobility . If an enemy army couldn't force their way into the city, then an assassin could just easily slip by . It doesn't matter how strong Nirvana's walls were, an assassin's blade would still find its mark if the King wasn't careful .

After confirming Timothy's identity, Alan let them enter the palace . The three of them went to the stables and tied the horses . It was the same as before, Timothy thought . The castle barely changed after a year . On his way to the stables, Timothy saw several familiar faces . He subconsciously smiled, it's really good to be home .

After dealing with the horses, Timothy went to the garden to meet his father . The King was old and liked quiet places to relax . Just as he predicted, the King was in the garden . He was being watched by a team of guards . The King had always been a little paranoid when it comes to safety so he always kept a team of guards around . Timothy doesn't know why, but his father had trouble trusting people .

Before he could approach, the King already saw him . His face was riddled with wrinkles and his hair was almost white . The King allowed Timothy to approach after the guards confiscated Timothy's weapons .

Timothy bowed and knelt in front of the King "Father" greeted Timothy

" Son" The King's voice was cold, his face devoid of emotions

" I've received your letter" Timothy looked at his father

" Then…" The King tested Timothy "do you have any idea who you're going to marry?"

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" Lucia Vanadis" Timothy answered with a smile

On his way back to Nirvana, he actually thought hard of this question . Who was the woman his father chose for him? The King was an ambitious man and Timothy knew that he will not settle for any lesser noble . It must be a princess from other Kingdoms . By eliminating every person on his list, he came up with a single name- Lucia Vanadis . He had heard of Lucia before . People said that she was a good medical practitioner . She was also famous for stopping a disease in Holm from spreading . They also said that her method of helping women give birth was the safest . That's good, Timothy thought . He always liked capable people . He always admired talented individuals . It will be good to have a capable wife . Furthermore, the study of medicine in Castonia was more advanced compared to that in Vanadis . Maybe she would want to study medicine in Castonia .

Timothy also examined the political implications of this marriage . It was highly unlikely that the King, with his ambitious nature, would only settle for a royal marriage . It must be an alliance he was after . That was a good move . Vanadis was a rich Kingdom and Castonia needed money to fund its wars . On the other hand, Vanadis had a weak military and needed the protection of Castonia .

But another thing excites Timothy . Although Vanadis' army was weak, the same could not be said regarding its navy . To put it simply, Vanadis's navy was renowned for its strength . Vanadis relied heavily on trade and the best trade routes lie in the sea . For a trading kingdom to survive the wrath of pirates and competitor kingdoms, it needs to have a strong navy . Years of fighting pirates made the Vanadian navy one of the best . On the other hand, Castonian navy was puny . Castonia only had three big ports . Furthermore, there was this stigma in Castonia that soldiers of the navy were inferior . Timothy knew that such rumor was baseless, dangerous even . Castonia had already wasted a lot of trading opportunities by having a weak navy . The ocean was the greatest trade route . By relying on land trade, Castonia's trading capability had been greatly hindered . This must change in the future .

" So you knew?" The King raised his eyebrow .

" Just a hunch"

" Lucia Vanadis will arrive tomorrow . " The King wasted no time and explained "After that we'll arrange a ball the next day in celebration of your future marriage . Custom dictates that a man and woman must know each other for at least a month before they decide to marry so your marriage is scheduled next month and I will send the wedding invitations next week . In the meantime, you should get to know her . We need Vanadis and you need to be good to her so that we'll get more benefits in the future . "

After that, the King ordered Timothy to leave . Not even a welcome, he thought bitterly . They had not seen each other for a year and that's how he treats him? To be honest Timothy was slightly hurt . No, he was really hurt .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!