Cthulhu Gonfalon Book 5 Chapter 738
Cthulhu Gonfalon Volume 6 Chapter 738 Vol V 98
"The merchant party and aristocratic party are going to battle?" Clito asked. He was baffled. "Haven't they already divided the sphere of influence? That's the equivalent of a separation. Why are they still going to fight?"
The intelligence officer responsible for the arraignment was clearly well aware of the entire matter. Right away, he replied, "According to the merchant party, the aristocratic party sent their troops to attack the trade caravans in the guise of pirates. So the merchant party confronted the aristocratic party and requested that they hand over the culprits. Not only did the aristocratic party refuse to hand over the assassins, but they also turned about and falsely accused the merchant party, saying that the other party had been harassing them on the border during this period. They got so angry that they started a fight."
"Then what did the aristocratic party have to say?" Clito asked again.
"The aristocratic party feels that, first, the merchant party deliberately provoked them. Then they schemed and fabricated false charges against them. Yet in the end, the merchant party was actually the side to make the first move. It was really unreasonable!"
Clito nodded. After pondering for a moment, he asked, "What is our stand in regards to this matter?"
"Chief Easter told me that it's not our place as the Republic of Northwest to take a stand. If we must really choose a side to take, that would be to call for peace and mediate between the two parties."
Clito laughed and said, "This is a good stand; I like it!"
Clito was not a warmonger who believed that "the moment the cannons of war began, the chance to earn a fortune arrived." Nor was he a war maniac who clamored for war by saying that "only iron and blood could resolve the problem." Though he was in truth, quite a bellicose character, he was more inclined towards a peace-loving stance on a large political scale.
It was naturally best if everyone led safe and stable lives without fighting each other. But if there was really a fight, the thing he would hope to do most of all, was to mediate it and not to take advantage of the situation to reap some benefits.
From his viewpoint, the Republic of Northwest was very rich and was not significantly lacking in population. In general, things were well for the Republic. There was really nothing that special for them to rob.
Wrong! Even if they did lack anything, it also would not justify the need for them to rob others!
The merchant party and aristocratic party of the Commonwealth of Gold Coins were going to battle; that was their civil war. As a neutral party, the Republic of Northwest should, of course, try its best to persuade them to stop the war and restore peace. This would be the right thing to do.
Anyway, this was what Clito thought.
Yet after smiling, his brows furrowed into a frown again. He thought for a moment, then asked, "Did Chief Easter analyze the situation to find out exactly who was the culprit?"
"Chief Easter said that he felt that there are two possibilities. One possibility is that soldiers from both sides of the border are dishonest and were attacking each other's civilians. Such a thing is not uncommon and has happened so often throughout history. It's really a commonplace thing that can happen between two hostile forces."
Clito nodded and asked, "What about the other possibility?"
"The other possibility is that someone is plotting behind the scenes and playing underhand means. By disguising oneself as someone from both sides, this someone is attacking the sentries and civilians from both sides to instigate a war. Such a thing is also very commonly seen. It's a kind of strategy that's fairly common, yet very useful."
Clito froze and thought for a while with a deep frown.
"How could this happen? The merchant party and aristocratic party going to war who would want them to go to war? If they really start to fight, who will benefit from it?" he muttered to himself as he fell into deep thought.
Even after the intelligence officer left, he was still struggling in deep thought as he pondered over what was happening.
He was fully convinced of Easter's vision. Since Easter felt that there was a possibility that someone might be playing underhand means behind the scenes, then such a possibility certainly existed. And it was not a small one at that.
Clito even felt that perhaps Easter already had a conclusion in mind. The reason why Easter sent that intelligence officer over to tell him about the two possibilities might just be to take this opportunity to test him and see what his judgment would be.
So he chose not to say anything though clearly, he could go to Sui Xiong and ask him about it. Instead, he buried himself in his thoughts as he pondered over what exactly was going on.
"Which one of the two do you think has a higher possibility?" A shadow flashed within the God's Kingdom, and a clone of Sui Xiong appeared beside Easter, asking, "What do you think of this intense internal conflict between the two forces of the Commonwealth of Gold Coins?"
"Is there even a need to ask? Someone is stirring up trouble," Easter said. He put down his pen, then smiled and said, "The merchant party and aristocratic party are currently seeking stability. They both want steady development. The merchant party is training new soldiers, so they need time to get their new army in shape. The aristocratic party needs to stabilize agricultural production, and also need to appease the lords who have just changed their territories. How would they possibly find the time and energy to fight a war now? However, other than the Commonwealth of Gold Coins, I'm certain there must be other people who don't wish to see both sides settle down so stably and peacefully. So they can't wait to provoke the two parties into waging war with one another and also hope for their war to get as intense as possible. The more intense it is, the better it will be."
"So which force do you think it'll be?" Sui Xiong asked?
"The greatest possibility, of course, is the Duchy of Thunder. There is also a possibility that it might be the Kingdom of Eagle," Easter said. "After all, wanting to benefit from its civil war, it only makes sense if the other force was located someplace contiguous to the Commonwealth of Gold Coins."
He thought for a while, then said, "In fact, it might possibly be the Dhaka Commercial Association too. Both the Dhaka Commercial Association and the Commonwealth of Gold Coins are purely commercial states, so there's always intense competition between them. If a civil war breaks out within the Commonwealth of Gold Coins, the Dhaka Commercial Association can make use of the opportunity to conquer and dominate many more markets. From this point of view, perhaps it's the likelier one to want to instigate a civil war within the Commonwealth of Gold Coins.
"Are there no other forces?" Sui Xiong asked.
Easter thought about it very carefully for a long time. Then he shook his head and said, "At least I can't think of anything else. There might be other forces that could possibly benefit from a civil war, but these benefits are clearly not enough to make up for any advantages. Take the Church of the God of Aristocracy, for example. I'm sure they will be able to gain some benefits from this civil war, but how can they guarantee that victory of the civil war will definitely go to the aristocratic party? If the merchant party wins, they will lose everything."
"But if the aristocratic party wins, they will make a fortune, won't they?"
Easter nodded first, then he shook his head.
"It's unreasonable to use 10% of capital to pursue 20% of profits and also face the risk of losing everything," he said. "Even if you did earn something, the earlier investment would be much too great, and it would definitely impair the strength of the aristocratic party itself. If there's no wish to impair the strength of the aristocratic party, then you'd have to damage that of Church of the God of Aristocracythe aristocrats are no fools. If you are going to make them fight against the merchant party, the Church of the God of Aristocracy will spare no effort and money. They would at least send out a great number of Sacred Warriors, priests and pontifex to fight the war. Though they have been established for hundreds of years and also have the heritage of the former Church of the God of Royalty, fighting such a battle would certainly deal a great blow to their vitality"
"What if they don't send anyone to war?" Sui Xiong asked.
"Then that would affect the influence of the Church of the God of Aristocracy. How can a church expect the aristocrats to support it when it gets other people to fight wars but, in the end, not send any soldiers to render them support?"
Sui Xiong thought about it, and it did seem like there was truth to what Easter said.
Wanting others to put their all on the line for him, yet unwilling to put in one's own capital? Who would be able to believe in such a person?
"So, it's indeed highly unlikely that the Church of the God of Aristocracy is the troublemaker here?"
"Unless there is some inside info that I don't know of, then I really don't see the need for Church of the God of Aristocracy to fight this war," Easter replied as such, but not with much confidence. "It's just that the matters of the gods are simply unfathomable. I'm not too sure myself whether there could have been some other reason that I have not thought of."
Sui Xiong smiled and said, "Don't worry. I'll look into it. There will be results soon."
Having said that, he went to Javier's to inquire more about the situation.
To name the most well-informed of the gods, apart from those professionals who specialized in intelligence gathering, it would be none other than the God of Pleasure. He was the expert in indulging in good food, fine wine and merry-making, and he had friends all over the world.
If the God of Aristocracy truly had some tricks up his sleeves or was devising some plot, Javier would more or less always be able to find a little clue.
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