Chapter 12 – Chaos to the Meeting Room
It wasn’t meant to turn out like this.
The meeting hall was brightly lit by the magical orbs floating close to the ceiling. In the raised throne for the king sat King Ballow, looking over the meeting hall in frustration. They were discussing the future actions even now when the sun has set over the horizon many hours ago. The king’s irritated expression got worse by the minute as every man in the room talked over each other, filling the room with impatient chatters.
It was about a month ago.
The young mages of the nation were ordered to get rid of the gargoyles that roamed around the agricultural area. Once the gargoyles were wiped out, the nation was planning to reopen the area for farming again. However, before they knew it, the contract between the nation and the mages has been disabled and all of them have joined the protest group. Not only that, there was an uproar by all of the citizens in the nation and were now protesting right near the capital’s border. The messenger who was sent by the king had returned and told that the citizens wanted the current king to retire and promote someone else who will treat the citizens fairly. Not being able to cope with the frustration and the humiliation, the king fired the messenger on the spot.
This was unforgivable.
Being betrayed by the mages, the mages who were merely a pet to him was bad enough. But for them to try and drag him off his throne? That, was unforgivable.
This pain, this humiliation, it was all becoming unbearable for him. If the current king falls, there will be people who would struggle to afford their living afterwards. And not all hope is lost, the citizens in the capital haven’t turned against him yet. They still had soldiers and mages who were loyal to the nation. However, the number was very small compared to the protest group outside. So, they shut the only gate into the capital, locking themselves in, and called out for this urgent meeting. So far, the meeting was heading off in the direction of killing off everyone who is in the protest group.
However, the king wasn’t completely heartless. The thought of killing off his own citizens brought a sense of discomfort to him. Approximately one-third of the mages and the soldiers were now in the protest group. Before, all he had to do was to order the mages and soldiers to attack, and all the dirty work would have been done for him. But that is no longer an option. Never in his life, did he expect that his own soldiers would turn against him.
In the urban areas, there were rumors going around that the increasing gargoyle attacks in the nation were all just a lie told by the government.
The king did not care if the conservation of magic into the ground caused the animals to turn into gargoyles.
If it is for producing higher-quality crops, then gargoyles were nothing to him. After all, it was only one small village that was demolished by the gargoyles. They’re all making a fuss out of this! Why should anyone doubt the safety of the magic when the elder mage has confirmed that it is safe magic to use? The king thought that everything would have been fine if they just prioritized fighting gargoyles over the dragon. If only they have prioritized gargoyles, all those mages and soldiers would have been eaten alive and no chaos would have occurred. That’s all.
In the first place, everything started going downhill when that dragon appeared in that forest. So many mages and soldiers needed to be sent over to the dragon, their response to the gargoyles were delayed.
Then, he had an idea.
⌈That’s right! We just need to get the dragon to attack the protest group!⌋
This sudden shout from the king brought silence to the room.
⌈Your majesty, how are we to do that?⌋
⌈Wasn’t there a report by someone? That the dragon has left the forest and have been spotted in the agricultural area? I don’t know the intention of that beast but it can move. Provoke it by attacking it and lead it towards the protest group.⌋
⌈However, your majesty! We have no chance against that beast! There are even reports stating that it can talk! Using such a tactic against a creature with intelligence is…⌋
⌈Even better. I heard that it’s the legendary Flame Chaos Dragon. Offer it a treasure, food, sacrifice, anything! And get it to work for us! It has caused enough damage to our country. Surely it wouldn’t mind listening to a little favour from us.⌋
It was a very sudden suggestion, and one of the guards noticed a hint of insanity was now visible in king’s eyes.
As annoying as it is, the king is a petty person.
Now, the meeting must continue in the direction which the king has suggested. However, their opponent is an invincible beast which the strength of a thousand men could not take down. Who in their right minds would willingly volunteer to go and meet such a beast? Swallowing down their spit nervously, all the men in the meeting hall took a glance at each other and the atmosphere in the room has now become tense.
Suddenly, a cool night breeze blew into the room.
⌈Good evening, isn’t it a lovely night?⌋
Everyone in the hall turned to look at the window where the calm, female voice came from.
There on the window sill was a beautiful woman. All the men in the hall just stared and admired her beauty for a moment. She sat on the window sill which has been opened without anyone’s notice. Her elegant, night coloured dress swayed gently in the wind.
Her skin was very pale yet her lips were bright red.
Her hair which reached down to her hip was as black as the night sky and it had few bright red strands mixed into it. It looked like a veil which was delicately woven and the dark colour of it made her features stand out, enhancing her beauty even greater.
⌈Who ….. !⌋
Coming back to reality, the king tried to call out for his guards but his mouth was forcibly shut as the woman gave her golden coloured eyes a glance at him. Even the elder mage was impressed by the high-level of magic control she demonstrated.
Not only that, some of the men who felt envy over the unbroken eye contact with the woman has refused to follow the king’s order and glared at him with jealousy.
The king too admired her beauty. However, he was frustrated that a woman managed to get a hold of him. The anger getting the better of him, he managed to speak up.
⌈Who on earth are you? Do you know where you are and what is going on right now?⌋
⌈Oh, I thought you wanted to talk to me. Didn’t you?⌋
⌈……. Could it be, that you’re the dragon in the forest!?⌋
To the king’s statement, all the men in the room started to murmur in disbelief. However, when the woman smiled as if to say “well done!”, their doubt has changed to a certainty. They did realize that she wasn’t a human being. After all, she possessed an unbelievable sense of presence around her. However, no one would have thought that she, out of all the creatures would be a dragon. They all knew that dragons could change forms. Yet they couldn’t believe that a creature who could appear to be such a beautiful woman would be able to cause that much destruction.
The king silently congratulated her for sneaking into the palace without being noticed and for performing such high-level magic on the king himself. After all, he was surrounded by all those mages and guards in the room at that very moment. If the dragon was in a form of a woman and could speak the same language as them then he had more advantage in this situation than the dragon did. Is what the king thought at the time.
⌈Perfect timing! There was a favor I wanted to ask you. The protest group is already up against the gate, wipe them out!⌋
⌈Your, your majesty!⌋ one of the men called out.
⌈If you succeed, I will give you anything you want for a reward. We will even listen to any of your favors from now on. So just get rid of those petty mages away from my nation.⌋
Her laughter which seemed to mock his statement made the king furious.
⌈What’s so funny?⌋
⌈You’re the one who sent out all those soldiers to attack me in the first place. And now you’re using that as a reason to make me help you? Just because I knocked down so many of your weak men to defend myself? What’s not there laugh at? Those annoying little fireballs were just unbearable!⌋
⌈I sent out my men because you suddenly decided to accommodate yourself in that forest. Not only will I turn a blind to that incident but I’m also offering you a reward. Doesn’t this sound like a great deal to you?⌋
⌈I see, well in that case……⌋
She paused for a moment and smiled sweetly.
⌈I want the head of every single person in this room right now.⌋
Every single person who was in that room couldn’t process what they have just heard.
⌈Today, I came here to claim the tribute you owe me.⌋
The woman stepped off the window sill elegantly and silently, then she slowly started to walk towards the king.
⌈Wha, What the …..⌋
The king tried to speak but the woman’s sharp intent has prevented him from doing so.
⌈Hey, don’t you get it? I am irritated by this nation’s rudeness. You guys seemed to be in trouble, so I turned a blind eye on all the times you have attacked me, tidy up the magical cycle in this area, and I fought off all the gargoyles in the forest. But not even once did the people in this nation thank me. I was just devastated by this behavior, so I decided to just take it all. You know, the heads of all the important people in this nation.⌋
When the woman came to a stop right in front of the king’s seat, she laughed innocently.
⌈It’s only fair, right? King Ballow the 11th.⌋
In that smile of hers, the king could only see the gleaming eyes of a predator looking at its prey. Those eyes of hers convinced him that there is no way for anyone in this room to avoid their fate.
One of the men who saw her smile rushed towards the door but no matter how he turned the knob, it would not open. From this, everyone knew that they were trapped in this room. With no chance of escaping.
⌈Don’t you dare try to run away, Elder Mage Gilm.⌋
With one leap, she was standing in front of the elder mage who was bagging at the door violently. His face was soaked with his own tears. As she faced him, she smiled at him sweetly and cut off his throat with a dagger. Suddenly, the blood shot out from the cut like a water fountain. The woman turned around, holding the elder mage’s head and looked around the room lovingly.
From there, everyone hoped it was all just a gruesome nightmare.
By the time they heard the woman call out their name, their head has already been cut off. One by one, the men dropped dead on the floor, blood spilling out from their neck. Soon, the fearful screams pleading for their lives died down. Everything in the room was dyed red with the blood of all the men laying on the ground motionlessly. The only people who were still standing in the room was the woman and the king.
⌈Well then, after the duke would be you, King.⌋
The heads which the woman had cut off laid all over the floor. The king gave an agonising scream as she walked towards him humming to herself. In his seat, he thought hard and found the one and only way to save his life.
⌈Hold, hold on! I am no longer the king!!⌋
The woman suddenly stopped and looked at him in confusion.
⌈My retirement was decided during the meeting just then! The new king is one of the members of the pro… the new royal army. The large group gathered just outside of the capital’s gate!⌋
It was a very sudden, not-thought-through idea. If the woman has heard all of the topics which were discussed during the meeting, his lie would have been exposed immediately. However, the woman seems to buy his lie.
⌈So King Ballow the 11th here is no longer the king.⌋
The king felt relieved to have escaped the alluring pressure of the woman.
⌈That, that’s right! So killing me won’t change anything.⌋
⌈Oh, how unfortunate.⌋
The king sighed in relief as he saw the woman drop her dagger beside her with a disappointed expression. As long as he could save his own life, something will work out in the future. Then at that very moment, the woman suddenly appeared right in front of him. He felt goosebumps creep up all over his body. The gleaming golden iris of hers had a pupil which stretched out horizontally, giving it an unnatural look.
⌈Well then, I would just have to go back home tonight would I. But if you’re still sitting in that seat the next time I come……⌋
Prepare yourself, okay?
He was so scared he didn’t even realize the unearthly smell of liquid which filled the room. Smiling satisfyingly at the king who was nodding his head furiously, the woman walked towards the window. As if she suddenly lost interest in the whole matter, and threw herself out of the window. With a loud sound of wings flapping, a large shadow cast over the windows and flew away.
As the king’s consciousness thinned down by the seconds, he smelt the odd odor of the liquid which was coming out from him. Then he thought to himself.
The room is painted with blood, so why isn’t there the slightest scent of blood in this room? Before he could answer that question, he has lost his consciousness.