A study room in a villa somewhere.
A woman, probably in her early thirties, was sitting at a desk and shuffling through the documents on it. She would go through them one by one and put a stamp on them according to the contents.
Silhouetted by the madder red of the evening, her lustrous brown hair flowing in the gentle breeze from the window, the incarnation of beauty was interrupted by an abrupt knock on the door.
She replied in a soft, sweet voice, and the door opened. In stepped a butler in his fifties, in his hand some more documents for his lady.
“What are these?”
The lady took off her reading glasses and leaned back in her chair, perhaps taking this moment to relax a bit as her subordinate reported to her.
“I have brought in the data for the Adventurers you asked for, my lady.”
“Oh?” His words gained her interest, and she put on her glasses again. “Give them to me.”
The butler handed the two documents to his lady. The lady silently went through them, making mental notes regarding a few points, while underlining the other, more important ones.
“Is this all?”
“The security has been stricter recently. Clearly a work of the Third Princess. As I’ve been saying-”
“Enough.” A single word in his lady’s stern stone was enough to shut the butler up. “Cecile is just a little child; playing ‘Princess’ in her small, little world. Her insignificant actions have no meaning to us. We can easily deal with her if the need arises.”
“It is as you say, my lady.”
The butler bowed in reverence to his lady’s intellect and benevolence. While all he could think of was eliminating the hindrance, his lady was magnanimous enough to ‘let the child play’.
“You can go back now.”
The lady gracefully put the documents down and ordered her subordinate to leave.
The butler elegantly bowed and left the room without making any sound. As the door to the room closed, the lady smiled in satisfaction over her subordinate’s love and went back to the documents he had brought her.
“Samael and Mary.”
She read aloud the names on those documents. She put aside the document of Mary, and focused solely on Samael’s, especially the part where it said that he wore a mask.
A man who wears a mask does it to hide his true self. And laying bare these true selves was what this lady excelled in.
The one known as the ‘Gluttonous Fairy’, the true mastermind of humanity’s side, smacked her lips and smiled lasciviously.
“I wonder, how would he taste?”
Elsewhere, in a large room.
The room befitted the status of being owned by a royal, and no expense had been spared. The most prominent thing about it was how vast it was, large enough to accommodate 100 people. Ample sunlight shone in through the large windows, and the elegant white curtains with golden threads were pulled to the side.
And yet, inside such a room was just a large table with 7 chairs placed along it. Embodiment of grace and grandeur, the table and chairs were currently empty.
However, a magic areia appeared behind the chair at the head of the table, and out came a woman in her twenties. Donning a shiny white armour with golden engravings on it, she swiftly took the seat. After confirming for herself that she was the first, she clapped once.
Five more magic areias appeared behind the chairs, and the 4 men and 1 woman that walked out took their respective seats.
After nodding in satisfaction, the woman at the head of the table announced.
“I hereby begin the 17th meeting of the Council.”
Everyone eagerly looked at her to begin with the reason they were summoned here.
“The Owl has informed us of the existence of a Level 2 individual in Sia.”
“A Level 2?” The woman seated on the second seat on the Head’s left turned to the man sitting diagonally opposite to her. “Is it true?”
The man, Owl, nodded and took out a document from the inside of his long robe. The woman took the document from him and gave it a brief read, passing it to the others after finishing. After everyone had given it a read, Owl spoke.
“As is clear from the information, the Ruby ranked adventurer Samael has shown outstanding performance no matter the Trial thrown at him. Currently, he’s participating in the ‘Contest of Champions’, and we have reasons to believe that the Third Princess intends to pit him against either Sir Lantz or the Hero Michael Fortner.”
Everyone raised their eyebrows at the mention of the Hero. Not only was the Hero the hope of humanity, he was one of the strongest among them. It was a different story that he was still no match for the Demon King, the empty seat at the table a grim reminder of that.
To make an Adventurer fight against the Hero would require two reasons: the former was just that strong, or the one making them fight was just stupid.
Alas, since it was the Third Princess who was handling the tournament this time, the Council stood to reason that Samael was just that strong.
“Just being put in the same class as the Hero is enough to make him Level 2. The results of the championship will help us determine his ranking.”
Everyone nodded. The sudden appearance of a Level 2 individual was no joke for the Council; depending on how he was used, Samael could upset the power balance greatly.
“I hereby propose that the Council dispatch the Fae Lord Leige to keep an eye on this individual, and if given the chance, recruit him for our noble cause. Those who do not concur, please raise your hands.”
But as expected, no one raised their hand, and the Owl’s proposal was passed without any opposition.
“The Council will hereby focus on the individual Samael and determine whether he is the person from the ‘Prophecy’.” The Head started the summarisation of the meeting. “If it is ascertained that he is indeed that person, then the Council shall strike.”
Finally, everyone crossed their right arm over their heart, and recited their vow.
“For the glory of mankind!”
One of the most interesting things out there.
Those with power believe they carve their fate with their own hands.
Those without power think fate is something they cannot control.
And then there are those, those who exist solely to trample on ‘Fate’.
Samuel Hayden, a man with immense power and influence, had started to attract those similar to him.
Those working inside and outside the shadows to protect humanity had laid their sights on him, and had decided to make contact.
Those working to protect demonkind revered him as their God, and followed his will to the letter.
The others simply observed his exploits with great interest.
And Samuel was aware of all of that.
The dies had been cast; the moves had been made; the plans had been conjured; and the sacrifices had been decided.
And so, it was finally time-
For the game to begin.