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Thinking of this possibility, Dyon nodded. That had to be it.
Dyon decided to give the Shruti the benefit of the doubt. The fact they were even allowing refugees into the city in the first place was a good a thing, if that was in fact what was happening. But… The age of the shacks and the attrition of the poverty-stricken areas told a different story. It hadn't been long enough for it to reach that state.
Unfortunately, using divine sense feelers and being so careful, it was difficult for Dyon to gain a bigger view of the situation.
Soon, Dyon reached the outer palace walls. Much like a castle, Shruti Palace was split into outer, inner and core regions. Nobles of a certain standing were allowed territory in the inner region, those of even higher standing were allow in the inner regions, while the royal family took their positions in the core region.
In order to enter, one had to have a certain level of status. And though Dyon was certain he only needed to give his name to reach the core region, the less people who knew he was here, the better.
Before his cultivation breakthrough, it would have been impossible to sneak into this place. But now… It wasn't much of an issue for him.
Without another thought, he stepped forward past the guards of the outer gate as though they weren't even there.
Within Shruti Palace's core region, the solemn atmosphere had spread to a gathering of nobles. Though the grandeur of the meeting hall couldn't compare to Dyon's Mortal Meeting Hall, it was respectable. After all, it wasn't as though architects capable of wielding Feng Shui will grew on trees. Meiying was a very special case, the only one of her kind after her mother passed on.
Dyon had come to know the three strongest families of the Shruti Empire long ago. While Saru was attempting to complete her coming of age trial, one of these families followed her, while the third was obvious her own Shruti Clan.
These two families were known as the Dharmic Protector Clans, while the Shruti were the Dharma Incarnate.
The family Dyon had met were the Hanu. In fact, King, or rather, Patriarch Mino's wife was a Hanu. Her name was still currently Hanu as she hadn't taken up the Mino name, or else it would be taken as slandering her duty as Saru's Death Guard.
The second Dharmic Protector Clan was the Vata Clan.
In truth, it was customary for both Clans to follow a member of the Dharma Incarnate Clan to their trial, for some reason, only the Hanu Clan had followed. As for the reason…Emperor Atlas and Shruti sat side by side, ugly expressions on their faces.
[Author's Note: Before, out of force of habit, I called them both Kings. But this was a mistake on my part. Since they both rule Emperor God Clans, they're both Emperors].
This wasn't how these matters should have gone. With the Atlas Clans silent support, even if they didn't wipe the Kitsune out, it should have been alright to push them back. Then, they'd be able to use the Federation's hands to put an end to the Kitsune for good.
At first, Emperor Shruti found it ridiculous that the Kitsune would actually not attend the Federation meeting. After all, it wasn't as though beasts were barred. The Pegasus Clan, the Dragons, and even the Hydra Clan were all key participants. Even if they wanted to go into seclusion, the Kitsune should have definitely sent someone.
But now he knew that the choice wasn't so ridiculous after all. Whoever was at the back of the Kitsune definitely didn't have to fear the Federation. In fact, it wasn't impossible to say that they were beyond them.
"… Your majesty… You've truly made a mistake this time…"
A calm voice spread through the meeting hall. None of them needed to look to know these words came from an old man who seemed to have a single foot in the grave already. In fact, he hadn't even opened his eyes to speak these words.
To show a blatant disregard for one's Emperor, not even bothering to look at him before speaking, one could imagine the kind of chaos the Shruti's cabinet had fallen to.
This man called himself the Grand Elder of the Vata Clan, but the reality was that he should have been an Ancestor who entered his slumber. For reasons unknown, he held on stubbornly, unwilling to. Or rather, the reasons might be very obvious to those familiar with the Shruti Empire.
"… You assured us all that with the Atlas Clan's support, this victory would be all but assured. You also claimed that with Princess Saru leading the Eastern Army, we'd be able to grasp an opportunity at Faith…
"… I rejected not just one, but both of these proposals… However, using outside sources, Your Majesty suppressed my opinions and the face of my Vata Clan…"
"Are you treating me as though I am not here?!"
Another old man who only looked marginally more vital than Grand Elder Vata spoke. He was Emperor Shruti's grandfather, the current Grand Elder of the Shruti Clan. Even if he was nowhere near as power as Grand Elder Vata, it wasn't to the point where the latter could completely ignore him like this.
Grand Elder Hanu sighed and remained silent. No matter how abrasive Grand Elder Vata was, his words weren't wrong. In this case, he couldn't step out to defend Emperor and Grand Elder Shruti.
"… Am I speaking falsehoods?… Did I not say that there was something wrong with the Kitsune Clan's situation?… Did I not say a woman is not fit to lead men?… Did His Majesty not use the hammer of the Atlas Clan to silence me?…"
Grand Elder Shruti's expressions turned red, white and purple. He had anger to vent, but didn't know where to vent it.
Something wrong with the Kitsune Clan?
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