1

"What happened here?!"

While Jack was still unsure what to make of the notification, a voice was heard from the hole that was made by Tiemezzys. Everyone turned and saw Emris and Duchess Isabelle floating there.

The two flew down and entered the hall. Their eyes immediately fell on Themos who was laying on the floor.

"Your majesty…!" Emris shouted and hurriedly came to the body. Duchess Isabelle saw her dispirited husband and went to him.

"Who did this…?!" Emris uttered. He then saw Sindral's body and also another charred body that was unidentifiable. His eyes fell on Jack who was nearby.

"You…! Why are you not bound?! Are you the one who did this…?!"

"Partly, yes," Jack admitted. The king and the princess were indeed his kills, but charred Mason was not.

"You! I will punish you for this atrocity!!" Emris shouted and a spell formation started forming.

A soothing wind blew past Emris, and his spell formation fizzled before it was completed.

The lord marshall was sensitive enough to understand the cause of his failed spell-casting. He turned and saw a green-haired beauty. "You… You are… Goddess of Serenity!"

Emris never met the Goddess, but he had seen a depiction of her in one of the temples that worshipped her.

"My Goddess, why are you here… What exactly happened here?" Emris asked.

Instead of answering, Serenity gestured to Jack. "Show him."

Jack complied. Jack again replayed the scene from his recording stone.

After watching the recording, Emris was similarly downcast. He was the same as Duke Alfredo, thinking that their country is finished now.

Seeing everyone's down expression, Jack had no choice but to take charge. "We need to keep a lid on this for the time being, while we think of how to proceed. I suggest we have a meeting among ourselves to discuss what we should do and what to tell the country about this incident."

Both Emris and Alfredo remained quiet. Duchess Isabelle stepped up to back Jack's suggestion. "I agree with Storm Wind. Let's move to the meeting room to discuss this. But we will need to bring in a few other officials as well. We can't just do this among us."

Jack nodded and added, "Can I invite two of my friends as well? I believe they will be able to help in the discussion."

Isabelle looked at her husband and Emris who were still mum. She made the decision herself then. "Give me their names, I will let the soldiers escort them here."

Jack told the duchess. The people he asked for were of course John and Jeanny. He then turned to Serenity. "Goddess, may I trouble you to watch over this discussion? I understand it is against the rule for you to interfere with mortals' affairs, but the fate of a country is at stake here."

Serenity hesitated at first, but then she nodded to Jack's request.

Peniel rolled her eyes. She knew that the real reason Jack asked Serenity to be present was so the more powerful natives won't dare do anything to him during the meeting.

Jack also asked Duchess Isabelle to station guards in the hall to protect Arlcard who was still in a cocoon state. The rest of them went into a meeting room with a round table.

Soon, more people gathered. The natives were especially confused when they saw Jack who was a convict inside the meeting room, but Duchess Isabelle just told them to sit down and wait until everyone gathered.

Among the natives were Emris, Duke Alfredo, Duchess Isabelle, Meryl, Claudius, Armstrong, and three other officials who used to be Mason's aides.

Claudius was especially antagonistic when he saw Jack amongst them, but Serenity's presence kept him constrained.

They started the meeting with Jack showing them the recording stone. Those who saw the recording for the first time were extremely shocked by the revelation. After the projection ended, Duke Alfredo narrated the subsequent battle which ended with Themos' death. This drew another shocked breath from them.

There was a long period of silence where everyone tried to cope with the reality they had just been presented with. This was especially disheartening for Claudius, who always believed that outworlders were at fault. It turned out it was their own kind all along. Even what had befallen his previous lord, Therribus, was all but Themos' machination.

Eventually, everyone started to ask about what they should do. What will happen to the kingdom, and how they could prevent the kingdom from spiraling into chaos without a leader?

The talk slowly deteriorated into arguments and heated debate. It was getting almost out of control that Serenity had to remind everyone of her presence by clearing her throat.

"Everyone, every problem has a solution, but you need to keep a calm mind to find it," Serenity said to them. Her voice doused the frustration and fear inside their hearts, allowing them to talk more reasonably.

Yet, Serenity could sense that even with her influence, these people were close to surrendering themselves to despair. There was nothing she could do about it. She herself was uncomfortable about being here. Even just by staying here, she was sure she would get criticized by the other Gods.

While the others were arguing and bickering, Jack was conversing with Jeanny and John via messages.

"The chance to what…?!" John asked, he wasn't sure he had read it right.

"The chance to become the king of this country," Jack repeated what he had told them.

"Are you shitting me?" John asked again.

"He is telling the truth," Peniel said to John in the open. She could read Jack's chat messages. The others were too heated in their discussion to pay attention to her.

"But how are you going to do that?" Jeanny asked in messages. "I don't think these people are going to just let you be their new king just because the notification said so."

Jack shrugged.

"The notification said it is a chance, right? Meaning you still have to work for it. At least now we know that the slot is open for you," John offered his opinion. "The way I see it, there are normally three ways someone is named a monarchy outside of lineage inheritance."

"Which is?"

"Public support. When someone had the complete support of the people, the people can overthrow the ruling monarchy and establish the person they support as their new ruler."

"Why don't you just call it a bloody revolt?" Jack grumbled. "We can rule that out. The natives obviously won't give me their complete support. What are the other two?"

"I am actually surprised you want to be one," Jeanny said to Jack. "I thought you would have avoided being a king even if you have the chance."

"I honestly don't want to. But this country is now in a big mess partly because of me. I owed Duke Alfredo my life. If he didn't trust me enough to follow my plan, I would have been executed and lost everything and will probably have to spend the rest of my life locked in an underground dungeon. The least I can do to help him back is fix this Goddamned kingdom."

"Plus, imagine the military power we will have if he truly becomes the king. It will allow us a better chance against World Maker who controls Liguritudum," John added.

"So, what're the other two?" Jack asked John again.

"By force!" John exclaimed. "Beat the shit out of the current kingdom and install yourself as the king."

"Motherf*cker. How's that different from the first?"

"Of course, it's different. The second one is done without public support. You just rely on your military power."

"He is actually not wrong, you know," Peniel told them. "If a force can storm into the palace, kill the sovereign, and destroy the throne. The leader of that force will be installed as the new ruler of that kingdom, overthrowing the current one. For the current Themisphere, the king and his successors are already gone. So, all one has to do is destroy the throne."

"See?" John said.

"But the throne has very high HP. Once you attack the throne, every soldier of the country will receive notification," Peniel said. "They will come swarming at you. If you still manage to destroy the throne under that condition, this world system will recognize you as the new sovereign."

"Then that is even more unavailable to us. They won't let us bring too many players into the palace. Do you think the three of us have the chance to beat all these natives when they come swarming at us?"

"Then we are down to the last option," John said.

"And that is?"

"Divine interference."

"Huh?" Jack gave John a confused expression.

"You clearly don't read history a lot, do you?" John scoffed. "Many of our ancient monarchs believed themselves to be chosen by God. You can call it the divine right of kings or the mandate of heaven. The point is, if you can make the public believe that you are supported by God, then they will accept you as their king. I mean, who would dare to defy the will of God now, right?"

"And where do you suppose I find this divine inter…," Jack's thought trailed off as he realized something. His eyes turned to Serenity who was surprisingly looking back at him.

Jack heard Serenity's voice in his mind then. "Are you asking me to interfere even more in this affair of mortals?"