While the soldiers of Baymard were celebrating their first victory, things went a little down hill for Santa.
-Keyden City, the Empire of Carona-
\"Young master, are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prince's still asking you to pick a side?\"
Santa looked at the 3 opened letters on his desk and smirked.
The present King of Carona wished to step down from his throne and appoint one of his sons as the new king.
In Carona, there was no such thing as crown prince. All the prince's had a somewhat fair shot a being king..... Provided they had enough support from the nobles and knights.
It was just the male nobles and all knights within the empire that were allowed to vote.
Ordinary folks and peasants were not allowed to vote, talk less of women.
There were 3 parts to the process: Voting, Court Trials and Oaths.
After the standard voting period, all male nobles above the age of 15 were to go to court on a particular day, and sit behind the prince that chose to support.
Once seated, all the prince's would try to win over more people with there speeches and what not.
If anyone felt moved by another prince, they could go and sit on the chairs under that prince's side.
During the trials, the king would ask the prince's questions like what they would do for Carona, how they would handle threats from other empires, and so on.
As for the knights, since they voted the first time, they wouldn't need to do it again.
After the trials, all the prince's were to swear an oath, ensuring that everything they had said and promised, would be made possible if they were to be king.
At the end, the total number of people seated under each prince would be summed up and recorded down again.
Within the next 2 days, the king would discuss the result with his ministers.
The king would look at the potential and morality of all his sons, as well as the number of votes that they had gotten.
All the questions asked during the trails were to test their potentials and their hearts.
The king didn't want anyone who didn't have the interest of the people to rule, irrespective of how many votes they got. He also needed someone who could also be somewhat cruel to their enemies.
Their potential could also be evaluated from how many people they had gathered from their speeches.
To make people change their minds was not an easy feat.... So the king wanted to see how many nobles left, or added onto each prince's side.
Being a leader is knowing how to sway and control the opinions of the masses... A weak willed king could easily lead to a revolt from the people or worse.
There were always nobles who secretly opposed the idea of having 1 family rule forever.
A weak willed king would give these people the opportunity to rally up the masses against he royals.
The king had to also make sure that the future king was not cowardly, greedy or short sighted.
He definitely didn't need a prince who would sell out his empire because of greed, or one that would run away cowardly in the face of anger.
He needed a prince that would die for the empire, even if the enemy had successfully invaded the empire.
Infact, within these 2 days, the king would evaluate all his sons, and the best candidate would be chosen.
And on the 3rd day, the new ruler of Carona would be announced.
Even though the previous kings and the present king had Carona at heart, Santa knew that none of the present candidates were up to the task.
They were all proud, greedy and selfish.
Although the trails and votings all seemed like a fair deal, it was actually still filled with a lot of bloodshed and violence.
Nobles were bribed or threatened to vote by these prince's.
Most noble families would vote for all the prince's, just to be safe.
The father would vote for the 1st prince, one of his sons would vote for the 2nd prince, and so on.
Those with only daughters, could only pray and wish that they made the same choice. Or else... sigh...
What if the prince they had chosen didn't win, then wouldn't their entire families face the consequences forever?
Santa didn't want to vote because his father and brothers had already covered all the princes... So he was good for now.
But for some reason, these prince's wouldn't let him go.
For over a month now, they had been harassing him and other nobles here and there, to show their support to one of them.
If Santa really saw someone that was capable, he would definitely vote for them..... But it was too bad that non of the prince's had the taken after their father.
These stupid prince's started hiring people to cause trouble for his stores and businesses over Carona.
Over the past 2 weeks, 3 of his shops had caught fire, while some were either robbed clean or had their workers harassed daily.
Since his stores were made of stone externally, these people knocked out the guards and burnt the goods, wooden structures and other items within the store.
Luckily, 95% of his goods were kept in his estates. He would only supply enough provisions to each store, that would last for no more than a week.
This was to prevent theft and other minor issues.... Even if people broke in, they wouldn't be able to steal much from him.
And at the end of every business day, the money made was recorded and brought back to his estates.
His 12 chief assistants each had an office in his estates, and were the primary accountant's for all his stores.
Santa had over 9 estates all around Carona.
He made sure that the workers came to the estates to get paid, and so in.
The streets of Carona were not safe, even during the day.
When Santa first started business way back, he had been robbed of all his money and goods in broad daylight.
If not for his mother secretly loaning him money to restart again, Santa was sure that he would still be crying over all the money he had lost.
His mother had actually been daring enough to 'steal' money from her father's estate and give it to him.
He had eventually paid back the entire debt without his father even knowing.... mothers were truly a blessing.
That experience taught him that just because the sun was shining brightly, didn't mean that it couldn't rain all day.
Since then, he became more vigilant and observing.
These prince's might have thought that they had crippled his businesses, but they were so wrong.
How would a puny fire outbreak, robbery or business disturbances harm him?.. please!!!
He was an proper business man.
He had traveled and traded with the other empires within the Pyno continent.
He also had various stores all over the continent as well... Carona only gave him 20 % of his wealth, so he was sure that he would still be somewhat rich.
Although these disturbances still affected his cash flow, he knew that they would only be temporal.
Once a king was selected and crowned, all these childish stunts would stop.... But recently, these prince's have really been getting out of hand with him.
He needed to deal with all these issues, before leaving Carona.
This was the reason why he didn't travel to see Landon or his other customers, this time. He could only send his subordinates to the high seas in his place.
There were only 5 days left before the trail started... Although he wasnt attending, the sooner it ended the better for everyone in Carona.
\"How bad was the damage this time?\" Santa asked
\"Young master, they had gotten some gang members to cause trouble and beat up our staff!!\" His most trusted assistant, Wayne answered with a panicked tone.
\"Have you sent the injured men to the apothecary?\"
\"I did young master... but there might be some other problems as well\"
\"Go on... what exactly happened\".
\"Young master...(woo woo).. Three young men came over saying that they wanted to see what products we had....
Then one paid for something and ate it.
He later started coughing and acting as if he was dying.... A lot of people crowded around him, while trying to help him up.
Then out of no where, people from the Juba gang came and said that we were selling poisonous products to the people.
From there, they took it upon themselves to beat up our staff.
Now, people think that we are selling poisonous products!! Are reputation is almost ruined now!!..(woo woo)...
Young master, we need to address the issue immediately.\" Wayne exclaimed.
Santa looked at the overdramatic Wayne and couldn't help giggling.
\"Young master.... this isn't funny..... what do we do?\"
'Why can't the young master be serious for once?', Wayne thought as he looked at Santa helplessly.
\"Hahahah... Wayne calm down\" Santa said while trying to hold in his laughter.
The site of an anxious Wayne always made him laugh.
Wayne would always panic over any major or minor issues Santa had... Sometimes, Wayne would even go as far as losing sleep over these problems.... Santa just didn't like to worry over things that he couldn't change, or things that had already happened..... He only cared about moving forward.
Santa was the kind of person that was always one step ahead of his enemies.
\"Wayne, how long have you known me?.. Do you think that these trivial issues would affect me?\"
Wayne paused and his eyes immediately lit up.
\"Young Master, do you have a plan?\"
\"What do you think\"