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Lord Beloc - Printable Version

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Lord Beloc - Iyoforeayo - 06-08-2019

“My lord? There’s someone here to see you…”

“There’s always someone here to see me,” the man at the desk shot back at the servant girl, barely offering her a look.

“Well aren’t you the popular one, Lord Beloc.”

The man smirked, recognizing the voice before looking up to see the familiar green cloak of Elder Iyo.

“I hope she made you wait,” Lord Beloc said with a nod toward his servant.

“She did,” Iyo said, making his way to the desk. “I refused.”

Lord Beloc smiled, extending a hand to the Naurulian Elder. These days, it was rare for the wealthiest man in Nauru to be spoken to in such a manner. Beloc found it refreshing… in small doses, of course. Behind the smile, he hoped the Elder’s visit would be brief enough that the novelty would not wear off.

“Don’t you have a tournament to be attending, Lord Elder?”

Iyo helped himself to the ornate chair. “I made an appearance. I’m not a fan of crowds, as you might imagine. I’m surprised you’re absent from it, Lord Beloc - didn’t want to see the results of your generous investment?”

“I do see the results,” Beloc replied, nodding to one of the many chests of gems around the room. “With interest. That arena’s paid for itself twice over now.”

“And the taxpayers thank you.”

Beloc laughed. The arena project had not been the first time the investor had given a generous loan to the city of Nauru, but it had certainly been the largest. And on the back end, certainly the most profitable.

“What say we go bigger this time?” the Elder said.

This time! You’ve another public works project that needs funding? I should have known the Thieflord would never grace me with his presence for a simple friendly visit…”

“Don’t fool yourself, old man, you hate ‘friendly visits.’”

The investor had to agree, though he chose not to show it. “So tell me, what is it this time? A new library? City walls? A bigger embassy?”

“All of it,” Iyo replied. “We’re rebuilding the entire city of Nauru.”

The words hung in the air between them for a few moments, before Beloc’s hearty laugh ended the silence. “The entire city! Are you mad?

“We built this city three decades ago, long before you arrived. Back then, we thought it was only a matter of time before the Obelisk stopped bringing refugees to us. But it hasn’t… and now with the war in Athera, we’ve become one of the only truly neutral places in this world. Our population soars, and the city we built is no longer tenable for our citizens.”

“A noble cause,” said Beloc. “Though I hope you’re not expecting better terms by appealing to my sympathetic side.”

“Actually, I had something different in mind.”

“You don’t want my money? Well isn’t this a first!”

“No, I do. With generous terms. But beyond that, I’d like some introductions to your investors.”

Lord Beloc was usually good at reading faces, but beneath this Elder’s damned cowl he could never tell. He did know that the novelty of this visit was fast wearing off. “And why, on this war-ravaged rock we’ve been thrown onto together, would I do something like that?”

“Because you’d be an Elder.”

For the first time in a while, Beloc found himself truly speechless. The silence that hung in the air did not end with a laugh this time - instead, the man stood up from the desk and paced the room for several moments before turning back.

“Is this how we choose leaders in the new world now?” Beloc finally asked. “Seems a bit… undemocratic, no?”

“We do what needs to be done to survive,” Iyo replied. “Sometimes the ends justify the means.”

The investor took another long moment before responding again. “And if I say no?”

“Then I suppose we’ll just build some housing outside the city, and you can continue enjoying your private life of luxury,” said the Elder. “But you and I both know you won’t do that.”

“Oh? And why is that, Lord Elder?”

“Because I was like you, once. I thought money alone would satisfy my ambitions. I never understood those who valued power over wealth, until it was thrust upon me. But now...” Iyo trailed off for a moment before continuing. “I sense those same ambitions in you, Lord Beloc. You want greater things than a hoard of gems to be buried with.”

Once again, Beloc found himself speechless, lost in thought. Iyo rose from his chair and made his way toward the door.

“I’ve given you much to think about,” said Iyo. “I’ll leave you to consider your decision--”

“Where would we start?”

The Elder paused and turned back to the room. “I beg your pardon?”

“This is a massive project, and one we can’t simply do all at once,” Beloc continued. “We’ll need to prioritize. Personally, I think we need to start by tearing down that shoddy excuse for an embassy and rebuilding it right.”

“A fair point,” Iyo said. “Bring it up at the next council meeting… Elder Beloc.”

And with that, the Thieflord left the newest leader of Nauru to his thoughts.