Second World - Chapter 987
The night on the day of Duke Alfredo's visit, Jack heard the door of the dungeon being opened again.
'Didn't the duke say he will visit tomorrow morning if he agrees to help? Did he want to discuss more?' Jack thought. He heard footsteps. It was lighter steps, and also slower. It was not Duke Alfredo.
Before long, a figure appeared on the opposite side of Jack's cell. The figure was an elegant woman wearing a royal gown, Princess Sindral.
"Your Highness…," Jack greeted.
"Mister Storm Wind," the Princess greeted back. She had a lovely face, but her countenance showed sadness.
"What can I do for you, Your Highness?" Jack asked.
The princess seemed hesitant for a second. She then asked, "I've always known you as my little brother's best friend. So why…? Why do you murder Alonzo?"
"I didn't," Jack answered.
"Are you telling the truth?" Sindral asked.
"I do," Jack said firmly.
"But… I heard from Mason. All the evidence and discussions in the court point to you as the murderer."
"I am not the murderer," Jack said again.
Princess Sindral displayed a conflicted expression. She then said, "I want to believe you, mister Storm Wind. Alonzo always spoke highly of you. He considered you one of his true friends. I believe in his judgment, so I will believe you as well. Tell me how I can help?"
"That is very kind of you, princess. But unless you can influence the court to decide that I am not the murderer, I don't see how you can help… I heard that the court will be convening for the last time today afternoon. It is already night now, has the verdict been decided?"
"They are still convening now. That's why I'm here. I believed that you are innocent. I need something to persuade the court, but I have nothing. You must have something that I can use to persuade them. Tell me what you know and I will try my best."
"… There is indeed something in my mind," Jack said.
"Tell me. I will do my best to help," Princess Sindral said. Her tone was caring and her expression showed sympathy.
"I think you coming here is not because you are concerned about me," Jack said.
"What do you mean, mister Storm Wind?" Sindral asked with a confused expression.
"I think you come here because of Commander Quintus. You know that the commander met with me yesterday before he went on an investigation and found something. Something that caused him to be murdered as well. You suspected the commander performed the investigation because he talked to me. Hence, you wanted to find out what I know. To decide whether what I know can be used against you."
"I don't understand what you are saying, mister Storm Wind. Used against me for what?" Sindral asked.
"For questioning your ascension to the throne. You don't want any doubts to spread that could threaten your rise to power."
Sindral was still wearing that confused expression. She stared at Jack as if she didn't understand what Jack was saying. Then her countenance slowly changed. Her current expression made Jack feel as if this was the first time he had met this woman.
Although Jack only saw the princess a few times, the princess he remembered always displayed a humble and kind look. That was also the woman he saw a while ago. But at this moment, although the woman he saw in front of his cell still wore the same face, she looked completely different. Her expression was cold. Her chin was lifted. Her eyes were condescending.
Jack was sure then that his suspicion was not mistaken.
The two just stared at one another in silence. It was Jack who broke the silence first. "It seems that you no longer bother to conceal your true self."
The sides of Princess Sindral's mouth curved up. However, the smile she displayed was not a kind one.
"What else do you know?" She asked.
Princess Sindral chuckled. "I'll let you in on something. The court has already concluded an hour ago. The verdict has been passed. My little brother's murderer will be executed by noon tomorrow."
"Oh? Do you mind letting me meet this murderer as well? There are so many things I want to ask him," Jack said.
The curve on Princess Sindral's mouth turned sharper.
"You can still joke? Well, after observing outworlders for a year, we do see that most of you can't be described as serious people. After all, you people are immortal. You come back to life again after getting killed. How can folk with no fear of their mortality can ever be serious about their lives?"
"Thank you for your compliment," Jack said. "I'm also impressed by the princess' seriousness in fooling everyone. To make everyone think that you are a kind and graceful person. To be able to put on that façade all the time, your dedication is admirable."
"Being a woman in a house of power that respects only the males, it is more of a necessity," Princess Sindral replied. "I very much like to see your expression tomorrow when we force you to return to level 1. And also when we lock you inside an unbreakable prison. See if you can still joke then?"
"Alonzo sincerely loved you. How can you kill him?" Jack asked.
"I didn't. You are the murderer, remember?" Sindral said with a wicked smile. "It is funny for a murderer to call another person murderer."
"There are only the two of us here," Jack said. "We both know the truth. Whatever I said to the others, no one will believe me anyway. So, there is no need for you to pretend. But at least tell me the truth before my execution tomorrow. Why do you kill your own brother? Is it for the throne?"
"As I said, you have been decided by everyone to be the one who murdered my brother. So, there is no need to discuss this anymore. Well, a spectacular chat we have here. I will leave you now to ponder about tomorrow's execution."
When Sindral walked away, Jack said, "The fact that you come here to check what I know means you still worry. Even though no one believes me, if I say something during my execution tomorrow, it will cast doubt on your ascension!"
Sindral paused a few seconds, but she didn't turn back. She resumed her walk again. Jack saw her exit the dungeon.
Jack sighed. Unfortunately, he couldn't access his storage bag. Otherwise, he would have been able to use the recording stone inside his bag to record Princess Sindral's true face.
Jack thought about tomorrow. Whatever happened, he knew that after tomorrow, nothing would be the same anymore.
When Jack was facing the predicament of being executed by the Themisphere kingdom, someone whom he considered a friend was having her own problem.
She had gone around several countries looking for someone. She was none other than Red Death, in her search for the true leader of Death Associates, Black Death.
After a long search, she finally found a reliable clue in Hydrurond Dominion, the country of the Draconian race. She followed this clue which brought him deep into the wilderness of Hydrurond Dominion. A place filled with mountains and nigh untraversable terrains.
She had tricked Blackjack, who followed her, to go somewhere else. Because the place she was heading to, had a very high chance that she won't come out safely. It's not that she cared so much for his martial brother. It's just that even if he accompanied her, he wouldn't make any difference.
She came to one of the mountains which was also an active volcano. She climbed to where the crater was. A lava pool filled the crater. Some of the lava overflowed and formed rivers of lava that flowed down the mountain.
Around the crater were a few paths that one who was skillful enough could take. Red Death was taking one of these paths. The path brought her to a cave mouth next to the bubbling lava pool. She entered the cave.
As she entered deeper into the cave, she encountered several magma golems. They were mostly level 60 special elites. Red Death didn't have difficulty dealing with these golems. She was at level 57. Although she didn't join the invasion war in Themisphere, her level was still above average players.
She came out into an enormous cave hall where it had no bottom. She stood on a bridge that connected to an island at the center of the cave hall. This island was supported by a single pillar that went down a long way. Red Death peered down from the bridge. There was only an abyss.
At that central island, a cascade of lava fell from the ceiling onto this island, which then formed a small pool before cascading down into the abyss below.
At the center of the lava pool was some kind of crystal throne. Sitting on this crystal throne was a woman. Beside her were seven maids serving her. Each of the maids came from the seven main races.
Red Death was too far away to see the woman on the throne clearly. However, she was sure that this woman was staring at her. And as she felt her stare, she found that she had difficulty moving.
She heard a voice in her head, "What does an outworlder doing here in my sanctum? I sensed that you come here on purpose despite knowing this is my place. Tell me now. Depending on what you say, you might experience my mercy, or my wrath."