Second World - Chapter 1000
Outside Thereath, the two large forces faced one another. Most of the players were nervous. Now that the native army showed up before them, the sensation was completely different from when they were simply massing out here without any adversary.
Despite many of the players have reached a level that allowed them to confront native's average troops, the thought of going against the natives was still unsettling. They had been spending the majority of this year thinking that natives were beings whom they shouldn't offend. Many of the higher-ups of the native force also had levels much higher than theirs.
Of course, they had fought against natives during the wars. But a majority did it with another native force at their side. Now, they were pure player force facing the natives. The thought that they had done a mistake continued to hammer their minds. This was especially true for those from guilds other than Everlasting Heavenly Legends. The player whom they came here for was not their member. Why should they bear the natives' ire as well?
These members kept on glancing at their leaders, waiting for their commands to retreat. But their leaders just stood there, so they had no choice but to stay as well.
Unbeknownst to them, those leaders also had the same turmoil. The leaders were only better at masking their feeling. They looked at the backs of John and Jeanny who stood some distance away, conversing with the leaders from the native force. Those two had promised that this was just a show of force. There won't be a battle. They hoped those two didn't lie to them.
"As I said, all we wanted is just a fair trial," Jeanny said. Emris, Claudius, and Duchess Isabelle were opposite her. She and John had been negotiating for some time with these three since the native force came out to meet them.
"And as I said. He was already given a trial. The trial had reached a verdict," Emris said.
"But is it fair? He is one of us. We should be present in his trial," John said.
"Where we came from, a fair trial is one where the accused is given the chance to defend his case," Jeanny said. "He should be allowed a representative that helps him through the trial and we should be given time to examine the evidence. He should be considered innocent until proven guilty."
"If you are so keen on your fair trial, how about you just go back where you came from?" Claudius uttered. "No one forced you to stay here! It is just one trouble after another ever since you, outworlders, showed up."
"Unfortunately, we don't have a choice in that," Jeanny explained. "We can't go back even if we want to."
"Well then, go somewhere else! Just out of our country. You are no longer welcome here!" Claudius didn't relent.
Duchess Isabelle gave Claudius a gesture to calm down. "Let us all cool ourselves. None of us want a conflict to happen here. It will just hurt our two forces. Lord Marshall, in light of their contributions during the war. We should try to find a common ground between us."
Emris gave a contemplative expression. "Duchess, I don't see how we can…"
His words stopped when he heard a rumble from behind. Everyone looked back in the direction of the capital. On top of the palace in the distance, they saw a huge yellow dragon perched on one of the palace's roofs. The dragon was banging on the roof and causing loud thumps.
"What the…" Claudius was speechless at the sight.
"That's… That is Tiemezzys! Our country's guardian!" Emris recognized the yellow dragon. "What is he doing attacking the palace?"
Duchess Isabelle also knew of the guardian. But since she knew her husband's plan, she was more apprehensive. Her face was pale when she realized the place where the dragon was attacking. It was where her husband had arranged for Jack to meet Mason and Sindral. 'What exactly is happening inside that hall? What could have triggered the country's guardian to come?' She thought worriedly.
"Our country guardian? The one that dwells on top of Mount Thenias behind our capital?" Claudius asked. He never laid eyes on the guardian, but he had heard tales of it.
"I need to go check. Stay here and guard our city's entrance!" Emris gave the order to Claudius.
Before he took to the sky, he said to Jeanny and John. "This has better not be your doing, or you won't find anything to negotiate about anymore!"
"I will come as well!" Duchess Isabelle said and took to the sky following Emris.
John and Jeanny looked over at the dragon in the distance. 'The hell is Jack doing?' Both of them thought.
"No… NOOO…!!!" Tiemezzys bellowed when he saw Themos' slumped body. The rune diagrams on the wall stopped sending healing light after Themos' HP dropped to zero. Many loots fell near Themos' body. Jack had used his Runestone of Luck when he drove the knife into Themos's belly.
"You, murderer…!!" Tiemezzys opened his jaws and unleashed his divine earth breath. He couldn't care less about leaving the hall intact anymore.
The thick yellow fume blasted the area where Jack and the others were at. However, no matter how hard Tiemezzys spewed his breath, it couldn't go past the soft green wall erected by Serenity.
"Stop, Tiemezzys. Calm yourself," Serenity said soothingly. Her voice penetrated the dragon's mind and made him slightly drowsy.
His breath stopped. He was reeling back and shook his head heavily. "Get out of my head, serenity!" He hollered. "Why do you defend this outworlder so? He just killed a sovereign of a country!"
"He is… my ward," Serenity said with a pause. She then turned to Jack. Her gaze went to Themos' body who was on the ground before looking back at Jack.
"Revive Themos! I know you can do it!" Tiemezzys demanded.
Instead of following Serenity's demand, Serenity asked Jack instead. "Care to tell me what is going on here?"
"I think it's better if we show you," Jack said. He took out the recording stone the duke gave him earlier. He activated it and a 3D image appeared. It was the image of Jack with Mason and Sindral.
All of them watched the projected scene silently. The scene continued until Themos came in and arrogantly admitted his scheme. It stopped when the battle started.
"So what?! It is as he said. This country is his. He is free to use it as he wishes!" Tiemezzys insisted. "Now, revive him!"
"Watch your tone, dragon!" Serenity said back. Her voice was still soft but it was no longer soothing. Instead, it caused the heart of everyone to tremble.
"I understand your anger but the Themos here is no longer the Themos you knew from the past. He had been corrupted by the vampire's blood that turned him. His mind was no longer his own. You should see that as well after knowing what he did. He exterminated his entire offspring for his vampire master. Which parent would do such a thing? He is clearly not sane anymore. Reviving him will only bring calamity to this country."
Tiemezzys bared his teeth. He growled menacingly, but Serenity stood her ground. She didn't show any sign of yielding to the dragon's demand.
The dragon's anger was plain for everyone to see. It was apparent that his relationship with Themos wasn't shallow. But Tiemezzys knew he won't be able to defy the Goddess. He stomped his feet in resentment and harrumphed, "Hmph! With the sovereign dead and no available heir, this country is doomed. I have had enough of this! To hell with all of you!"
Tiemezzys glanced at Jack before flapping his wings and lifting off. His speed was incredible. In just a short time, the great dragon was a speck in the distance. The dragon didn't return to its lair on Mount Thenias.
Duke Alfredo slumped to his knees. His expression was dispirited. "The dragon is right. We have no king. No heirs. No guardian… this country is doomed. People will revolt, nobles will fight among each other to vie for power… Perhaps… Perhaps we should revive Themos… Even if he is a corrupt king, at least this country will still be united…"
"Please tell me you are not seriously considering that…," Jack said. "No good will come of a country ruled by a king who murdered his own children. This country will find a way to survive. We will make sure of it."
Alfredo didn't say anything in return, he continued to kneel dispiritedly on the ground. Jack left him be. He didn't think anything he said would cheer the duke up. Jack's eyes turned instead to Arlcard who had retreated to a corner. But instead of seeing his vampire companion, he instead saw a strange bag of soft tissue, like a cocoon.
"What is that…?" Jack asked. "Where is Arlcard?"
"He is metamorphosing!" Peniel exclaimed. "He must have triggered the state due to drinking Themos' blood."
"Does this mean he will get stronger?"
"A vampire who undergoes this state is sure to increase his grade by one after finishing the process."
"Wow!" Jack remarked. He was excited by the prospect of having a mythical-grade companion. Now, he didn't lose to Paytowin.
"This is a very rare incident," Peniel said. "It might be his bloodline is unique, or Themos' blood is unique, or a side effect from the Ancient Blood Awakening Potion, or a combination of all three. Anyway, we must make sure that he is not disturbed."
Jack was no longer paying attention. A voice notification had just sounded inside his head.
"Congratulations on solving Alonzo's murder. Receive rewards of 2,000,000 exp, 100 gold coins, and 50,000 merit points. Congratulations on completing the chain kingdom faction quest, Throne of Themisphere. Receive rewards of 6,000,000 exp, 200 gold coins, 1,000 mana cores, 100,000 merit points, and the chance to become the King of Themisphere."
Jack was dazed after hearing the notification. "King… King of Themisphere…?"