The aisles were dark and covered with mold. Rusty armors and tarnished paintings were but a grim decoration. The ceiling was crumbling down and several floor tiles were loose. The stained glass windows were covered with wooden boards. Despite the run-down condition of the Chateau du Noir-Éspoir, a radiance of faded glory could still be sensed in the air and a faint vestige of pride echoed in the distance. It was perfect.
Gio Hacekas walked with confidence, although he was aware his every move was under the most acute scrutiny. The castle servants seemed dull and frail, but the Mad Coach knew their masters were creatures of immense power. They could see through the eyes of their henchmen and peer right into one’s soul. No secret could be kept from their infinite wisdom and there was no room for guile against them.
– We know why you are here Gio Hacekas. You’ve come to recruit us to play Blood Bowl… and we are not interested. We’ve followed your pitiful career as a Coach and how the teams you’ve managed have crumbled into oblivion. Your once mighty Khemri now gather dust in the Trophy Cabinet and your Deadly Dames could not last a whole season. The sole reason you are now before us is because we also know about your infamous reputation and decided to amuse ourselves by hearing you out.
Duke Halfoff was not completely wrong… but he definitely wasn’t right. The fact is that the Bangle Pharaohs had been an extraordinary team and could come back any time. Furthermore, he had lead them proudly and helped them complete their holy quest… while amassing a vast fortune for himself in the process. The Deadly Dames had been but an excuse to generate even more profit to finance his next enterprise. They were still a formidable team that could come back to the Challenger League; but, in all truth, they served to create interest for Amazon teams in other Coaches… allowing the Mad Coach to get the best prices whenever they needed a Transfer.
– Your thoughts betray you, Gio Hacekas. Do you really believe you can convince us that your participation in the MML can be considered a success? Or are you such a fool to believe that you can seduce us with the promise of riches? Although our haven is much humbler today, it is still our pride and joy. Our thralls are loyal and there is absolutely nothing from the outside world that we could desire. Moreover, we’ve recently struck a patron who has decided to restore the castle and its whereabouts because they were recently declared a historical patrimony.
Marquis de Wholesale spoke with the high-pitched voice that bankrupted aristocrats try to use to intimidate common folk. His demeanor was flamboyant and he seemed completely out of place, especially when taking into account that he currently spent his unlife in these god-forgotten ruins. His petulance blinded him and lead him to forget there is a greater power than nobility; even greater than the mystical blood that run through their vampiric veins and granted them eternal life. The fact is, whoever buys a land is the landlord… and the owner of everything therein.
– I tip my hat to you, Gio Hacekas. It seems you have outplayed us by far. We thought we could find it entertaining to hear your proposals and pleas; however, we have made fools out of ourselves. I guess purchasing these lands merely caused a dent in your fortune… and that you also bought our thralls… as well as our nobility titles. And this means that we thought we could laugh at your offer because we had found a patron, when in fact you came to see your new property… of which you are… the Master.
Earl Lee Chris Mass bent the knee as he uttered that last word. He seemed the most sensible and smart among the three. It was clear that he knew this change was for the best, there’s no point in holding on to the past… however glorious it may have been. The Chateau du Noir-Éspoir would soon be renewed and teeming with activity… of course it would soon be renamed as Black Friday… it seems a more suitable name for a Stadium.
Gio Hacekas turned around and left without having spoken a single word…