Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
As time passed, the domestic chaos in Swabia showed signs of peace. Both the opposing parties have seized their nonstopping military operation. For reasons unknown, they remained no major actions across an invisible line on the map.
Chaos, mutiny, slaughter were all disastrous events to common people’s eyes. However, nothing can stop the advancement of time. As the time river slowly, unstoppably progressed, finally, the last bell that signified the end of the year’s last day and the dawn of another year rang.
The New Year was here.
(Carson Province, capital Carson City.)
Carson was located between Divine City and Dark. It has been serving as a crucial military base in front of the capital city.
The province was so important that its viceroy was personally appointed by King Luhrmann himself. Before the rebellion, even before Cohen Kheda was crowned the king, Carson’s viceroy was Luhrmann’s pawn and he has not changed till today.
Like Carson’s viceroy, there were 3 other viceroys who have been loyal to Luhrmann. They were the lord of Hoarfrost, Dew and Taj.
During the week of New Year’s day, these 4 viceroys have received tons of awards from the king. Carriages loaded with gorgeous fabrics, gold, wines went in and out of their mansions for days.
“See, my love,” The wife of Carson’s viceroy joyfully told her husband, “Minister is such a generous lord…”
“It’s a king, king!” The viceroy approached, “I’ve told you many times. The next time you said the wrong title, you’ll be blamed by the etiquette minister.”
“Okay, fine. I will the next time.” The wife said her sorry, “I need to prepare for the New Year Ball. All the lords are coming, remember?”
“Go make yourself beautiful. Show them how the king values us.” The viceroy said, “By the way, there might be a special envoy from the capital during the dance. We need to be noticed. Make sure you get something for him as our thank-you.”
“Special envoy? I thought we’ve done that.”
“It’s a gift.” The viceroy gloated as he combed his beard, “Don’t think your husband’s title is going to be promoted again during the new year?”
“Ah, in that case, I’ll be the first countess after tonight?” The wife crossed her forearms on her chest, cheeks blushed out of excitement, “My love… I… Let me get changed!”
In his best moment, the viceroy told his 2 sons to get changed formal garments, then went to the hall door with his wife, ready to welcome the guests.
As a man who stood firmly behind Luhrmann, Carson’s viceroy has received much higher attention than all the neutral viceroys who swayed between Luhrmann and Kheda. And tonight, everything he’s been working for will yield.
One after another expensive vehicle parked at the gate before all the classy and distinguished nobility lords entered the dancing hall. A spree of chitchat with the viceroy couple was taking place.
It was also one of the missions from King Luhrmann to welcome his guests. He must be nice to the nobilities in order to show the sincerity of the king and eliminate their wariness for stabilization purposes.
Once the New Year has passed, King Luhrmann was going to ascend the throne. When that came, Kheda won’t be able to do anything to change it.
The first piece of music began, many dancers started entering the dancing floor.
“Darling, I’m nervous.” Viceroy’s wife leaned her head on her man’s chest, “To think you’re being promoted again…”
“Darling, don’t be. Everything I do, I do it for my family and children.” The viceroy said, “Actually, supporting King Luhrmann is essentially a good idea. And we succeeded. What else is better than leaving our sons with huge property and feats.”
“Don’t worry. Every house needs to depend on someone more powerful. It’s not odd that many people chose the king. We’re just one step earlier than others.” The viceroy said softly, “The winners write history books. We’ll do better.”
As one piece finished, a eunuch announced, “Presenting Lord Viceroy’s New Year speech!”
All stopped their doings and put their attention on the viceroy as he stepped onto the stage.
(Outside Carson City, by a commercial route.)
A dark figure went up a shallow hill and began staring at the city that hasn’t been contaminated by the war. He remained standing as night breeze whipped his clothes. His eyes caught all the colorfulness from the city as well as the light decorations for the New Year.
“Sir, we’re ready.” An exceptionally tall figure approached the black figure.
“Malphite, have you see this sword?” The black figure raised his hand that’s holding a blade.
“It’s an expensive black steel sword forged by the dwarf grandmaster. I got it as a gift for Fischer when I was studying with the elves.” The black figure felt the sheath with his fingers, he said slowly, “Fischer was still a prince at that time so he cannot accept a court member’s gift. So I saved it and wait for when he became a king. But that moment never came and it was the opportunity I could never have.”
Malphite didn’t know how to reply.
“I shall take this sword tonight. Put it in the box for me.” The black figure handed Malphite the blade, “Move out.”
Not long after, several carriages and a team of knights approached the closed city gate. They slowly entered the range of the magic lights on the wall.
“Fleet, halt!” The duty officer on the wall yelled, “Identify yourselves!”
“The king’s envoy from Divine City.” One of the knights replied, “Who is tonight’s duty officer? Come down and stamp our travel paper before it’s too late for you.”
“Wait here, we’ll be right down.” The duty officer quickly sent his men down the wall for the inspection, then he asked his deputy to inform the viceroy that DC’s special envoy was here.
Soon a captain officer verified the envoy’s papers and cleared the customs.
Hence Carson City’s 2 heaviest doors gradually opened. All city garrison at that gate came down and lined on both sides of the gate channel to welcome the royal envoy.
The envoy dismounted. He started walking as he engaged in small talks with officers aside while urging the vehicles to go faster.
Anyone can tell what was on that carriage must be exceptionally heavy because of the non-stopping squeak from the axle.
“My Lord,” An officer offered a bag of water, “Hell of a way here, right. What a heavy cart.”
“Not bad. We had army escorts.” The envoy said with a smile, “Now that we’re inside the city, I’m relieved. You know I can’t afford this load of things even if you sold me on the market.”
“Rest assured, once you’re in the city, you’re safe.”
Just as the officer said that, a giant noise came from below the vehicle. The axle broke and the carriage fell.
A brief moment later, a furious roar burst from the envoy’s mouth. He tossed the water bag, fetched his whip, rained numerous slashes on the driver’s body.
“You bastard! It’s the viceroy award from the king!” Eyes reddened, the envoy’s whip aimed at the driver who curled up at a root of a wall, “I’m not gonna end well here!”
“My lord, easy, easy now…” The officer tried to comfort the envoy, “It’s just an accident. It’s ok if we carry everything inside with hands.”
“You tell me how!” The envoy nearly cried, “This van is protected by magic. Only the viceroy’s gem can open it or the van is gonna explode…”
“Er… you can’t mean you want Lord Viceroy to come here personally.”
Just as the uproar was unstoppably going on, the viceroy’s deputy rode at the spot with a few guards. After making clear of the situation, the astute deputy quickly came up with a solution.
“You there, I’m gonna need you to stay put with the vehicle, do not move around. I’ll bring the gem here.” The deputy told the gate officer, then turned to the envoy, “Your Excellency, let’s head to the mansion first. Everyone is waiting for you.”
“It can only be this way. Thank you.” The envoy shook the deputy’s hand, then once again stressed, “Don’t keep your eyes away from it.”
The officer bumped his chest and took the job. Only after the special envoy left did he realize the work was not so easy after all, because the carriage was unable to move and it was preventing the gate from closing.
Therefore he brought 300 men, use the vehicle as the center then clotted the gate channel.
Finally, it was safe.
The viceroy’s mansion was decorated from head to foot with colorful lights, ribbons and of course, joyfulness.
“Presenting His Majesty’s special envoy!”
“Presenting His Majesty’s special envoy!”
In high spirits, the servants announced with a high-pitched voice.
The young envoy undressed his jacket and confidently entered the hall accompanied by the deputy.
He put on a smile.
“What a young man.” Some party guests voiced.
“You have no idea. King Luhrmann has an inventory of young, capable civil servants and generals.” A guest explained.
The envoy from the capital swept the hall with his eyes before he spotted the well-dressed hosts of the dancing party: the viceroy couple.
“Lord Viceroy of Carson?” He stepped forward, nodded to say hi, “I have to apologize in advance for the intrusion. Sorry, but I’m carrying the king’s decree.”
“You’re most welcome.” Viceroy also stepped forward with a smile, “We’re here to serve the king whenever he needs us.”
“You’re being very polite, lord viceroy.” The envoy reached for a sealed scroll from his inner tunic, “Let’s begin, my lord.”
The viceroy then verified the seal was intact. He stepped backward, lowered on one knee, all the male knelt as well, nobility in the front, then the military officers, commoners in the back.
Hence the envoy unscrolled the paper and began reading, “Special royal decree in reward for the viceroy of Carson…”
Halfway into the first sentence, the 10 guards at the front gate of the viceroy’s mansion fell to the ground and died. As soon as the sentence finished, they were back on their feet.
“… to accommodate Carson City’s viceroy of his dedicated work for the people and his loyalty to the empire, on this New Year’s day…”
Almost in an instance, a layer of an invisible magic shield shrouded the entire mansion. Multiple black figures began popping up between walls.
The next moment, sounds of low cries echoed. All guards and servants were killed by suddenly appeared black men. Hot, steaming blood splashed on beautifully engraved pillars, expensive carpets. Mists of blood made a short stay in the air, refracted by colorful magic lights, making an uncanny red.
“… now I am giving you the first earl of Viceroy of Carson. Rewards also go to all sub-members of the province. I hope the rest of the court members will take him as an example. All hail Swabia.”
The parents of Carson’s viceroy lived above the hall. Due to their physical conditions, they did not join the party. Suddenly, their door was banged open.
The 2 men who crashed the door didn’t say a word but dragged the old couple by the hair. The pair of aged bodies traveled against their will past dozens of stairs. The pain and agony made their hands slipping in the empty air, throats making dull, unclear but patterned groan.
In the hall, the envoy has finished reading the royal decree. He handed the scroll to the viceroy’s deputy before the deputy unscrolled the paper to present it to the guests.
By the window, a man secretly waved a gesture.
“Earl, your honoring ceremony will be held once you arrived at DC.” The envoy snapped his finger.
Quickly, a servant brought a long, squared wooden case, “The king brought this for you and he hopes you can wear it when you are in the capital.”
“Appreciate the king!” The viceroy stood up and accepted the case.
He opened it and found a skillfully crafted single-hand-held long sword rested within. The viceroy can tell the weapon was forged in black steel, marked with golden runes, along with 5 magic crystals that shone piercing cold reflection.
“This… this is black steel.” He couldn’t steer his greedy eyes away from the blade, the viceroy talked excitedly, “Please bring my gratitude to the king.”
“You’re welcome.” The young envoy smiled as he said an overstepping reply.
The viceroy was only inches away, he raised his eyes out of surprise, but when his eyes made contact with the man’s eyes in front of him, suddenly, the viceroy’s heartbeat increased.
The young man gazed at the viceroy. His golden purple gradually turned to a bizarre black as his last smile froze on his face. Suddenly, his kind face turned ugly. A name struck the viceroy as his hands started trembling, making the long wooden case tremble with it.
The rest of the room has not been told to rise, save for the nobilities who were reading the scroll. Only the viceroy’s wife noticed her husband has been acting strangely. Before she pinched her husband, the young envoy reached out his hand for the black long sword from the wooden case.
The viceroy’s legs turned to jelly. He dropped on his knees again. Unlike earlier, he wept.
Without any emotions, the envoy looked at the man at his feet with the calmest eyes. Then he pressed the trigger so that the blade popped a bit from the sheath.
Only until this moment did people in the ballroom notice something went wrong. An arrow shot on the viceroy’s deputy’s chest before he turned his head. Several officers were killed the same way before they could stand up.
Starting with the above, the envoy’s subordinates that he brought into the hall revealed their weapons hiding under their caps and began slaughtering. Later on, a dozen men filled the tunnel that led to the back hall where another massacre was about to take place. Moments later, half of the nobilities who used to stand no longer breathed.
Men, even women were killed especially couples. The killer would take a man’s life in front of his wife then sent the bleeding edge into the wife’s chest the next moment.
However, some of the nobilities were not harmed.
“Kneel, if you still want to live.” Each of them was warned.
The killers also spared the priest’s life for now. However angry he was, he received a heavy knee punch on his fat belly before his accusation came out of his mouth. This god’s servant astonishingly froze and dropped on his knees with both hands on his stomach.
“Have mercy!” The viceroy cried, “I know what you want. Take my life! Let my wife, boys and parents go!”
“What a headstrong idea.” The young envoy shook his head, then asked softly, “How can you bring up such an unreasonable demand?”
The next moment saw a lightning-fast blade chopping the viceroy’s left arm off his body. The limb stayed on the tip of the sword for half a second then dropped in the front of 2 young boys, scaring the dozen-year-old boys and making them curl even closer.
Blood erupted from the viceroy’s left shoulder. Cold buds of sweat shaped on his face.
“Spare my family, everything I did, I did it alone. My families have nothing to do with the rebellion.” The viceroy did his final plea, “At least let my sons go. Kill me, I won’t hate you.”
The viceroy’s wife passed out from the start.
“What a poor man.” The envoy remained graceful, “Let me ask you.”
“By all means.” Hope lit up in his eyes, “I’m nothing but answers.”
“When Luhrmann rebelled,” The envoy slowly said, “are any members of the Summers still alive?”
Having heard that, the hope of living dispersed, the viceroy’s face paled.
“COHEN KHEDA! I CURSE YOU! YOU’LL GO TO HELL!”
The black blade sliced the right arm off his body.
“Sir, we’ve apprehended his parents.” A man entered the hall as the viceroy’s cry soared.
Cohen Kheda dragged the viceroy on his hair to face his own parents. This armless man gazed at his own mom and dad, crying, while the hellish scene had already scared the 2 old couple’s souls out of their bodies.
“Like what you’ve done in the past.” The envoy whispered by the viceroy, “I’m replaying everything, to make you remember.”
Then he nodded to the masked man who took control of the old couple. Next moment, the latter broke their necks among the viceroy’s desperate cry.
“Ah, I almost forgot your wife.” The envoy chuckled, he whispered again, “You should feel lucky that you only have 1 wife. Want a clean death for her?”
“Don’t… kill…” The viceroy desperately shook his head.
Although she was comatose, the acute pain as her body was lifted woke her. The next moment, the woman’s shrill echoed in the hall, then abruptly seized.
He tossed the woman’s body on the floor. A masked man stepped over her body and took one of her sons.
“Ah, boys, lovely boys…” The envoy said with love in his eyes, but his killing voice terrified the viceroy, “They’re your world, your hope, the future of your family. Look at them, pale faces, helpless eyes. Oh no, a hint of shy blush is hiding there. And the anger behind those eyes…”
“You, Cohen Kheda…” The viceroy said with his dying breathe, “We’re enemies, indeed… but what you did is cruel!”
“No, no, no.” The envoy smiled, “What you have is cruelty, what I did to you is pure happiness. Where did your wealth come from, remember? DO IT!”
The last word was for his subordinates. Quickly, the masked man who took the kids raised his dagger. Two young but hoarse shrill also abruptly stopped like their mother’s.
The hall was soaked with blood smell. All who were not killed trembled or went unconscious, waiting for their final judgment.
The envoy turned to these people while keeping the deformed, bleeding and dying viceroy in his hand.
He raised his right hand that’s holding the dark blade.
“You’re all nobilities who swore your loyalty to the empire, loved and paid by the people. But don’t forget where all those came from.” The envoy’s soft voice and the nauseating smell blood bizarrely intertwined. It has been marked for life on all guests’ memories, “If you like to fall and make friends with the rebels, be my guests and I’ll certainly be yours one day, like tonight.”
Then he pushed the sharp edge into the skin of the viceroy’s neck.
“Well then, excuse me for my late-night intrusion.” The envoy swung his right hand, throwing the remaining blood off the sword, then told the rest, speechless guests, “I hope you all have a good New Year, bye.”
When he walked passed the priest, the black sword once again tasted blood. This god’s servant was left to die while his spasm and howling made him resembled the likes of a dying animal.
Taking off their bloodstained outfits, the envoy and his men rode out of the city with the viceroy’s token.
As the last rider rode past the city gate, he tossed a giant fireball into the gate tunnel where the broken carriage was left. The vehicle quickly exploded, claiming 300 more victims for the night.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.