CHAPTER 79: HOPE
He looks around the bookshelves. This is his own personal libraries where he put all the rare books he acquires from all the book traders, scholars and any book of importance.
There is no dust collected, no spider webs wove loosely around the books, or dirtied shelves can be seen.
The lantern illuminate the library, candles are all prepared if anyone need to do a bit of midnight reading.
The ground is clean, sweep by the servants. Their work ethic is commendable.
‘Maybe I should give them some gold ?’ he asked himself, looking at the clean library. He strolled around the room.
This is not only his personal library but his sanctuary and a place of great nostalgic importance for him.
It reminds him of the place he died. This library also can be used by family members and close friends. Silas, Oliver were given permission to read the book here.
Arial look upon these two vassals of his, as very important. Both are very talented and fiercely loyal like Lisa and Kyle.
West, on the other hand, because of duty and honour. It seems there is….something between Lisa and him, Arial notice that.
Helia seem to know about those two relationships but she refrain from saying anything. And Arial is too shy to ask Lisa what really happen between those two.
Lisa also sometimes comes here, reading warfare stratagem and music instrument and how to play it. His mother, the Duchess is also usually could be found here. Arial could not count how many time he bump into his mother when he wanted to read here.
New books are all around him.
Mostly from Asteros where many of the original text of Lost Generation survive ‘’the burning of books and killing of scholars by Levitia.’’.
After all, most of those acts are done here, in the Human Continent and Arakath.
He looks again and his eyes shine.
His own private library with thousands of book. But it is more than just a library for Arial. It might have a cure to his salvation.
Then suddenly his eyes were turned into the disc that is hanged around the wall. It is the first thing he always do when he enters the room or when he is stumped with some problem.
He look at the disc depicting a man wearing crown, one that Michael said name Aero Carlingian, King of the First Generation.
Probably the first King of the First Generation.
He is said to be presented the Kingship twice before finally accepting it in the third time.
How does he know this?
In the back of the shield Michael has took the pains to translate this momentous moment of the Sky people.
Every 15 disc have their story, only this has been translated fully. Some have only short inscription, some have stories written, some only have the depictions.
For some reason he liked seeing the picture of this King called Aero. He doesn’t understand it but he felt a familiarity with the picture.
There is many of such scene depicted, the man slaying a Giant Lion, one of them show he is forging the famed Enochian steel.
Recently, Michael has found about 10 more discs around Aetherland and text from the Lost Generation. Michal has been busy and it seems Michael said he is onto something big.
He has asked for more money and writ of passage to explore Zettel area. The fact that Michael shows result make Arial invest more in him.
Arial also gladly write a letter to King of Zettel, to allow Michael to pass his border.
Of course he promised that anything that Michael found will be given to the royal family of Zettel but Michael will be given permission to record what he sees, or the text he found there can be written in other parchment.
It is because of that Arial also send many scholars from the University to help him copy the words, many of whom is learned in translating the words of the Lost Generation.
There is a reason why Arial keep funding Michael expedition.
Not only Arial found Michael extremely brilliant he also found him very useful.
Whether by God intervention or dumb luck, Michael has excavated a trove of treasure around a cave near Summersill estate, a complex series of house underground with books detailing many information.
There are much information in there mostly about Lost Generation belief, their religion and their way of life.
Contrary to popular held belief the Lost Generation did not worship the Lord of Light but instead they are polytheistic.
They worship seven Gods. The Gods are Aero, Arianna , Deus, Michaela, Kyle Callidus , Amanda Domus, and Dan Virtus
Aero, the Allfather, King of the Gods, Arianna the Virgin Goddess also known as the Goddess of Wisdom, Deus the God of War, Michaela Goddess of Art, Kyle Callidus ,the God of Trickery, Amanda Domus, Queen of the Gods and Goddess of Household which translates to Goddess of Marriage and Dan Virtus God of Kind Endeavour.
These are the seven Gods they worship but from what Arial could tell most of them were elevate to the status of God.
Arial doesn’t know the story about the other Gods but if he is right Aero the All father must be this Aero he said to himself looking at the disc.
Probably because what he did seem so impossible his later descendant believes him to be a god.
Then he looks back at the dozens of book he is reading today and smiles a satisfying smile. Like he said there are many information in the countless of text and manuscript that Michael found.
And one of the information that is in there is medicine.
He has been scouring and consume the book knowledge for a few days now, looking something that might cure his poison and after about a week of constant reading, perusing, he finally found the Passage.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to read it. Which is saying something.
Arial rarely found any language he could not speak or read, owing to his experience cooped up in a library for years.
Pure Tongue all the way.
Of course there are some words and phrases he can understand, but to understand the full context is impossible for him unless he begins learning Pure Tongue in entirety and with his busy schedule he could hardly add that to the list of things he need to do.
He put down the book with a sigh but at least he has hope now. Hope that he can see the end in a way that doesn’t end with him bleeding from every orifice.
He knows where to find the information needed.
Not here. Not in Aetherland. He knows he won’t find it here.
But he knows where he can find answer. From one person. That one person. If it’s him, maybe he would understand this book. He went out from his personal library to take a fresh breath.
He ordered his servant to bring him the letter he left at his bed stand. Quickly the young boy ran to his room bringing him the letter.
On receiving the letter, he looks at it. Adrian letter embossed with the seal of a spear and a broken shield.
‘An opportunity presented itself’ he said to himself
Arial look at the letter and smile. He opens it again and read it again. Adrian letter addressed to him after he report what happen, relaying everything that has happen.
The King has given his permission and he already has sent Silas on a diplomatic mission to the Demon King.
A lot has happen in this few weeks.
Harald who is the Lord of Arleans right now, ruling Aquitania and Arleans with his wife, is now being pressured both internally by the rebellion of the people of Vangua and externally by the Church.
Either way, he has received the letter from Harald just at dawn. He has agreed to sit down and negotiate but he will not come to Aetherland.
‘Smart’ Arial mused smiling.
He want Arial to come to Vangua where Harald is surely safer than if he come here. After all, here, he is a traitor.
In Vangua he is a High Lord. A powerful and formidable High Lord with tens of thousands under his command.
Arial looked at the sunset, the sun begin its descent bringing darkness to the land. Helia is at the mansion with his mother so he is busying himself with the matter of his court.
He has also sent ravens to the South urging them to once more fortify the defences at the border.
‘With my troops there, I doubt there would be anything unexpected happen.’ He said to himself.
There is still great enmity between Harald and Arial.
Arial and Harald had never had a great relationship. They are in a way rival. They never like each other, but at least Arial know to respect Harald tenacity, even his stubbornness, a quality that both of them shared.
Tonight, once again he has summoned his court to see him to discuss the matter of Harald offer.
Looking at the sun, he smiles.
“One step at a time” he said and he walks back to his room for a quick nap. His body is weaker these days.
It is not surprising considering the poison that he is afflicted with is no ordinary poison. A quick nap he said to himself and he hope h will rejuvenate himself.
There are not many present in the Council today. The usual chatter and scream of disapproving can’t be heard today.
Usually Massey and Oliver would have their famous debate, in this room both are stubborn in their ways but both unexpectedly respect each other.
They just don’t admit it to each other.
Since I always drink wine with both of these influential figures in my castle, I know that both of them have profound respect for each other.
Massey is busy doing a secret mission in Vern contacting the rebel in the Empire and providing them with military training, Oliver is in Vern petitioning the Grand Papnoticon , Silas in a secret mission for the sake of dispelling the misunderstanding between us and the demon race.
Oliver before going to Vern is in contact with a few of influential figure of the Blood Brotherhood and has set their meeting with me in a couple of days, on 1 Seedmonth 1016, the first day of the year.
I also give a job to Liao Bao as a sign of gratitude and give him the job of a diplomat sending him to Zettel to improve relation and for him to gain experience.
A few days from now he will return back and at that time I will have him accompanied the Blood Brotherhood representative as the Supervisor to the North.
Thinking about it, I do not have to join directly to destroy Vern.
I can just elevate one of the factions vying for power there by creating a discord among them. I may be angry at the Emperor but it is no reason to blindly charging in and destroys myself.
After I calm myself that day, I found other ways to solve the problem. I can use the conflict in the Empire to my advantage. I have many things to handle.
Silas on the other hand, has a very terrible responsibility on his shoulder, to persuade and convince the Demon King of our story.
And from the letters I received from him at least the Demon King is receptive to the idea and has agreed to cooperate with me.
This alleviates many of my worries. But Silas has mentioned of me of a secret alliance one that is bent on creating conflict between humans and demons.
This is humanity true enemies.
And this alliance must be destroyed for humanity to have peace. As long there is no confirmation of their destruction I couldn’t lax my guard.
But at least with the Demon King I could be at ease that he would not try a large scale attack. Not now, when he knows what is at stake.
If he really march to Human Continent, the Emperor of Vern, might think his involvement in the kidnapping of the Princess will be uncovered will kill the Princess and hide her bodies.
I hope the Princess is still alive.
If she is dead….then maybe war with the demon race is inevitable. But at least this time, I could see hope.
Hope that humanity will go out of the other side, unscathed.
Hope that my armies are enough. And that hope lets me keep fighting. It keeps me to walk and stepped onto the path I’ve dedicated myself since…..I’ve been given this second chance.
The path of humanity survival and peace.
Silas also acts as my eyes and ear. And from his reports he has write the number of the enemy’s troops.
100 thousand soldiers comprising of Orcs, Fairies, Elves, and about 20 Giants and variety of other races only heard in Old Stories during the time of Levitia.
Thank the Light that the Wall is high enough that even a giant will not be able to cross it.
This mission if successful can even stop the Invasion entirely and the Great War may not happen.
Now that I know what really happen and how it diverged from the timeline, I am calmer and I have my own theory on the vent that is happening now and the event that happen before.
In the original timeline it happens 2 years from now, the bride of the dark lord is pregnant, and then killed.
Now I might make some conjecture why she was killed before. Now that I’ve known some part of the story.
Probably she was killed because she rejects the advances of the Emperor. However this time it is different. 2 years earlier
And the supposed tragedy is that she is killed turns to she is kidnapped. There is a difference of behaviour here.
Why? There are many variables but the most important I believe is because the time of her encounter with the Emperor plays a big part in changing her supposed fates.
She is not pregnant, due to she is not yet marry the Demon King, so they never consummated their wedding, so no babes, and very young which I think contribute to kidnaping instead of killing her.
The Emperor must have thought that with enough time he can make the Princess his, and believes that if he shows her his love she would accept him.
And I also believe that this alliance not only involves the demon side but also the human side. There is someone in the Imperial Palace that urged this conflict.
In the original timeline this person might have urged the King to kill the Princess and in this timeline maybe he urged the King to kidnap the Princess.
If this is true then that means in my original timeline, the destruction of humans in the Human continent is also comes from a selfish person for whatever motive, doomed the Human continent to years of persecution and slaughters.
And from the report I received from Silas it seems the King Azrael is receptive to the idea of joining hands with me to eliminate the opposition he have on his court, have a kingly demeanour and a wise head.
He is calm and listens to reason.
He seems sensible and calm, betraying the image I have of him on my head as a bloodthirsty King.
Maybe in the original timeline his wrath is because he lost his child and his wife at the same time.
Even I could go crazy. Who wouldn’t? For now, I will take the risk.
There is no progress without some risk. With this I could focus on the problem brewing on the continent and solve the instability in Vangua.
Not to mention this problem of poison that every day I felt the pain more and more destabilising to my daily work.
Headaches and heart pains strikes me daily.
The poison is getting stronger and it takes me more time to replenish my energy. That is why I summoned them again. I must settle everything before going to meet him.
Tonight we will explain the preparation on going to Vangua.
After a long and gruelling intense discussion I decided to bring 5 thousand strong soldiers with me to Vangua with Kyle and West both leading 2 thousand troops while I will lead a thousand troops.
I am bringing the army as a precaution if somehow Harald decided to ambush the King and me. A necessary precaution.
After all, his father did such thing. It is not a ridiculous assumption to believe that Harald may imitate his old man.
We also have informed Edward in the mansion that he is invited back. Edward expressed his joy by holding a banquet at the mansion tomorrow and asking me to attend tomorrow.
The pressure we put on the Orleans is working.
Edward will return back to Vangua as a King. Then I also started a new construction project, Acro Grand Library.
After Argan Dam that helps the people in the backwater region now I decided to build a Grand Library here at Acro.
Near the dam is Arial fountain which is supplied by Argan. Arial believed it is an essential aspect in building a civilization, aqueducts and sewers.
After all aqueducts and sewers flush the filth of the city.
Water….clean water is brought to the city through the Argan Aqueducts and the most famous Acro aqueducts, clean water that flow through the city and it sewers.
It is such display of essential structure carrying so much water compared to the Triangle Tomb of Radiant Rulers of Seren.
It also shows Arrandy confidence in its own power.
Such highly visible and easily disrupted water supplies were only possible when no enemies closely threatened Arrandy. With the other region belonging to King Adrian and the South secured, Arrandy is a state, a law unto itself.
The Argan Aqueducts, the second Aqueducts after Acro are built to supply the growing population.
The water around that region had previously been supplied by Argan River or the nearby springs near the region.
Fed by a spring around the Fountain of Stillver, the aqueducts ran underground for 10miles; water is only carried above ground on arcades for about 100 yards inside the city of Rockstill.
For the most part, the aqueducts were stone limed channels carrying water underground or just above it.
There is also the construction programme. Of course, construction of new building is every day, giving the Guild a lot of work and profit but also revenue from the immigrant.
If they have money, they can spend it and the economy will be healthy
I also sent emissaries to Adrian informing that if anything goes wrong with the matter of King Edward, Aetherland will not be involved with the political fallout.
Adrian will surely agree.
His grip on the throne is not yet stable with the nobles trying to pressure him.
But Silas is gone now, the slick tongued politician that the King love and adore so much, so right now it is up to Adrian to prove he is a real King.
That he need not hide behind dragon scale or wait for the snake to strangle his enemies.
He needs to own up to his responsibilities.
Few days from now, after the preparation is all completed, I will depart to Vangua and hopefully my other plan will not be found out. With that I ended the meeting.