Vile Evil Hides Under The Veil - Chapter 1274
Swish. Zoom. Boom.
The atmosphere aboard Brewmaster's Bounty was suffused with the acrid scent of blood, as the fierce battle raged on without respite. The forces of House Slughorn found themselves outnumbered and cornered by their adversaries.
Nina, Levine, and Jiana—each of them standing with unwavering vigilance, ensuring that Sebastian and Silas could not slip away from their grasp. The once grand deck of the ship now bore witness to a gruesome spectacle, strewn with the lifeless bodies of House Slughorn members and Sebastian's loyal subordinates. Among the chaos, only twelve survivors remained, their hearts heavy with grief and despair.
One of Sebastian's remaining subordinates approached him, bearing grim tidings. Despite their desperate attempt to seek aid from Port Erbaia, their pleas fell upon deaf ears. The absence of a response painted a bleak picture, revealing the true extent of their dire circumstances. It became clear to everyone present that the secret of House Slughorn's potential betrayal of the Kingdom of Edinburgh had been exposed, and the kingdom had launched a merciless preemptive strike in retaliation.
Sebastian's gaze turned to the horizon, seeking solace in the hope of reinforcements led by Sorin Windrider from the city of Erbaia. However, upon learning of the lack of response, the Myriad Potioner's countenance sank even further, mirroring the weight of his thoughts. With the kingdom of Edinburgh closing in on House Slughorn and their clandestine activities laid bare, Sebastian understood the inevitable escalation of their dire predicament. He surmised that House Remus must have divulged their plans, plunging them into this nightmarish ordeal.
Recalling his conversation with Birmond regarding a potential alliance, Sebastian's heart grew heavy with regret. Birmond had feigned understanding and had vowed to assist House Slughorn in their pursuit of a new allegiance. Little did Sebastian know that Birmond was merely playing a part.
The truth had come to light—the bargaining chip House Slughorn had offered to the Kingdom of Layos was a concoction of debilitating potions specifically tailored for the Edinburgh-affiliated rankers. Shockingly, this included members of House Remus.
Birmond, fueled by fury and a desire to protect his clan, swiftly intervened, contacting the White Raven Guild through Dianna Remus. He refused to leave the safety of his clan members in the hands of an old man's desperate machinations. Even Sebastian's assurance that the potions would not be used against Birmond's kin stationed at the kingdom's borders failed to convince him. Birmond could not gamble on such an assurance, for House Slughorn would find sanctuary within the confines of the Kingdom of Layos once the potions were unleashed by the Layosian army.
Within the span of another minute, the joint forces of House Remus and the White Raven Guild decimated House Slughorn's dwindling numbers. As the battle reached its climax, both factions came to a stalemate, their attention riveted to the gruesome aftermath—the mounting pile of corpses, lingering elemental manifestations, smoldering fires, and residual spells dividing them.
Amidst the chaos, a figure materialized by Naya's side, marking the turning point of the conflict. Birmond Remus, a man in his late thirties with a square-shaped face, stood before them.
His dark brown hair, neatly trimmed beard, and closed black eyes hinted at wisdom and experience, as if he could perceive the world through his very eyelids. Clad in an ensemble befitting his role as a leader and warrior, he donned a sturdy leather armor adorned with an intricately crafted cape cascading down his back.
A medallion, gleaming as a pendant, hung around his neck, while a gleaming sword was tightly gripped in his right hand. Birmond's gaze met Sebastian's, and a heavy sigh escaped his lips before he responded to the accusations hurled at him.
"You should never have betrayed the kingdom, old man. Especially when the interests of my clan are intricately tied to the survival and prosperity of Edinburgh.
Your short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness have clouded your judgment, as you blindly sought a new foundation for your clan," Birmond uttered, his voice tinged with disappointment and a touch of regret.
Birmond Remus, despite his youth, had reached the pinnacle of his abilities as a Master-ranked individual, standing on equal footing with Sebastian Slughorn. Initially, Birmond had no intentions of participating in the battle that unfolded aboard Brewmaster's Bounty. However, the unexpected presence of Sebastian took everyone by surprise, including Birmond himself.
If House Remus and the White Raven Guild had known Sebastian would be on board, they would have prepared additional trump cards, for Sebastian, a formidable ranker in his prime, defied the stereotype of a mere potioner, typically considered nerdy and harmless.
His exploits in the treacherous Badlands, coupled with his ruthless utilization of his Ability, had earned him the revered title of Myriad Potioner from the Kingdom of Edinburgh. Though the old man's days were numbered, his impending demise did little to diminish the danger he posed.
Birmond's sharp eyes immediately identified Sebastian's presence, prompting a swift adjustment to his plans. He instructed Jiana to act as a decoy, diverting Sebastian's attention, while focusing Naya's deadly abilities solely on assassinating the Myriad Potioner.
Birmond understood the difficulty of dispatching Sebastian in one attempt, given his ability to replicate the effects of any potion. Nonetheless, he aimed to inflict a debilitating blow through Naya's skillful hands.
Though not a trained assassin, Naya possessed the qualities of a panther-type demon—remarkable agility and a fierce nature. Birmond orchestrated the strategy, with Jiana captivating Sebastian's focus, creating a fleeting window of opportunity for Naya to launch a lethal strike at the Myriad Potioner.
As Sebastian braced himself to respond to Birmond's incendiary words that ignited an unquenchable fury within him, it became evident that House Remus and the White Raven Guild had exhausted their patience for further discourse.
In a decisive moment, Nina materialized behind Birmond, recognizing her role as a healer and choosing to remain in reserve, ready to provide aid if her side required it. Jiana and Levine closed in on Sebastian from opposing sides, tightening the net around him. Standing beside Birmond, Naya raised her hand, prepared to execute her assigned task.
Then, in an instant, Sebastian felt as though his heart had descended into a frigid abyss. Agonizing cold enveloped him as the mended wound inflicted by the dagger seemed to rupture anew. Like icy stakes driven through his heart, piercing his flesh from within, the excruciating pain paralyzed him momentarily.