Edited by Jiem the Princess
Please click on the character names for their illustrations, if any.
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Fischer Summers: Cohen’s friend and the prince of the Swabia Empire.
- Sherlock Knarch: The Protoss younger princess.
- Michael Knarch: The Protoss elder princess.
- Venina & Eve: Protoss maidens.
- David: The Protoss God of War.
- LeToux: A prince of Tansey Empire
- Rivera: A prince of Symbia Empire.
“[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Lord of Death was not born as an Asmodian. Rather, he was a human from the Protoss Alliance. He was tempted by the Asmodians and turned into our enemy thereafter. He was also crowned by the Asmodian King as the very first Lord of Death. Since then, his physical body and soul were completely demonized.” Michael’s voice sounded ethereal, “It occurred before the war by less than a year and was a crucial juncture in history. Within half a year, more than twenty emperors, bureaucrats, and generals who were serving the Alliance were assassinated by him. For months on end, every empire was biting their nails while thinking of a way to deal with him. His actions had a great impact on the result of that war.”
“To prevent him from killing more innocents, the Protoss Alliance deployed their best men, and our War God David had personally led the twelve Protoss captains in the pursuit of the Lord of Death. By the time they had finally sieged him in a desert, more than three hundred elite soldiers and warlocks had sacrificed their lives to set his death in stone. In that year alone, there was a total of seven magisters who died originating from the Peace Continent and five from the Protoss Alliance. This is the greatest record of magisters dead within a period of time, and they were all dead because of the Lord of Death.”
“He had once walked these stairs and met me. However, I couldn’t find any familiar features from that young man surrounded by David and his men when I arrived at the desert. In front of me, was an Asmodian through and through.”
“Defeated by David and the twelve captains, he kept on laughing. His laughter was calm and utterly carefree. It was as if he had waited his entire life for this fight and his defeat. He could even take an immense number of human lives during the short intervals between the swings of combat.”
“A man like him who was so skilled in martial arts could not be vanquished by a mere increase in the number of soldiers joining the battle. He was immune to almost every type of magic. Naturally, the twelve Protoss captains spent a great deal of effort to fight against him. Even David suffered injuries.”
“However, they were eventually able to kill him. His laughter was ceaseless till the moment he died. The Asmodians who he had been serving had never arrived to save him. He was unyielding and unwilling to die in any manner other than standing on the battlefield. With his head raised high, he appeared to be proud yet lonely, too. ”
I listened to the story while feeling neither anger nor sorrow. The thought of it being a pity that I was unable to witness the Lord of Death’s intrepid disposition with my own eyes occupied my mind.
“Did you have anything to do with his death?” I asked quietly Princess Michael, “You were there.”
“Before he died, I removed his armor.” Princess said, “Which is the one you’re wearing right now.”
“I granted him this armor when he once came here to meet me. Its original appearance was gold in color.” Michael looked at me and said, “It turned black later on due to the enchanted curse placed on it by the Asmodians. I brought it back and pleaded my father to remove the curse. However, it was incapable of returning to its original form. Are you aware as to why I’m telling you this story?”
I shook my head.
“You’re wild in nature and arrogant, which is similar to his disposition. However, that doesn’t mean we, the Protoss, cannot indulge you.” She said, “I require your understanding that if you were to betray our Alliance one day, I will…”
“Personally execute me!” I said, “You’ve mentioned that tons of times!”
Michael gazed at me deeply, “He was not as straightforward, nor as capable of attracting hate as you are.”
“Then, if I may ask of you,” I sat down on the steps of the staircase and looked up at her, “When did this event occur? I am, for heaven’s sake, a viceroy. Why is it that I’ve never once heard of this tale?”
“It happened more than three thousand years ago.”
“Three… thou… thousand…” I was stupefied, “So… you… you must be…”
“What about me?”
“No… no… no… nothing.” I gestured at the path down the hill, “Look, they’re almost down the road!”
Michael nodded lightly, “Now, off you go! Remember to not act in a rude manner when facing Princess Charlotte.”
“Yes, Your Grace!”
Seeing as Michael had stopped talking, I retreated and went down the path while putting on my helmet and thought, “I actually spent time with a goddess who is three-thousand-years old! That means that she could be my great-great-great-great-grandma. What if her body was actually aged and appeared miserable and nasty? Thank god I didn’t peek at her! However, it may appear attractive, nonetheless!””
“Never mind!” I thought, “I could find a way to look up the physiology of Protoss maidens. If her body is truly exemplary, I’ll keep her for myself. If not, Fischer can have her. Hah!” I grinned.
Furthermore, there was still her sister, Charlotte! If that elder princess was already this stunning, my anticipation towards the younger princesses appearance was immense. I drooled.
“Governor Cohen!” A voice echoed by me.
I looked up to find David, the War God. He sounded much gentler than before.
“Your Highness!” I came to a sudden realization and carried out a military salute to him in case he demanded me to kneel.
David nodded at me and said, “The rest have almost arrived. For now, you may stand beside me!”
I stood by his side obediently when David turned to gaze at me.
“Your Highness!” I was slightly surprised by the look in his eyes, “Is there anything wrong with me?”
“That circular shield on your arm.” War God said, “Has Princess Michael informed you of its function?”
I shook my head.
The War God frowned, “I see! I suppose you will have to find out for yourself.”
“Your Highness, it’s just a shield.” I asked confusedly, “What else is there to know about it?”
David shook his head at me and said, “I’ll make this clear: every item Princess Michael has bestowed upon you is aimed at your traits. None of the things within her collection are mundane. You must not disappoint Her Highness’ expectations for you.”
I was speechless. What kind of additional effect was there for me to expect from a shield? Would it enable my body to twirl in mid-air?
“However, there is one thing that I am sure of,” The War God said, “This is not a mere shield.”
“Yeah!” I thought, “If I wanted to, I can use it as a chopping board.”
Fischer and the rest of the group then reached the place we awaited for their arrival. Vienna led them forward to meet David.
“Everyone,” Vienna’s voice was pleasing to the ears but dull, “This is the God of War, David.”
Prince LeToux from the Tansey Empire was amongst the people standing at the front of the group. Once he heard Vienna’s introduction, he immediately walked three steps forward and cited the Protoss Praise piece while sticking his whole body to the ground.
This chapter is originally published on WuxiaNation.com, any actions of copy are as shameless as shit.
David remained silent and gestured for him to rise. Who would have known that once Prince LeToux stood up, he then once again immediately knelt before me and kissed my combat boots!
I then realized that my face was shielded by the armor I wore which came with a helmet. Furthermore, my entire body was equipped in armor and the cape, causing my appearance to look imposing. The other humans did not know who was this awesome guy standing beside the War God. Regardless, they would rather kneel than act disrespectfully.
David truly was a badass. He remained silent even after watching Prince LeToux kiss my boots. Thus, I would indulge Prince LeToux and allow him to continue.
“Prince LeToux.” After a few moments of him kissing my boots, I took off my helmet and said,“What are ya’ doing?”
“Ah! You!” LeToux was startled, “How dare you to fool me!”
“I didn’t fool you!” I said innocently, “I returned after serving the great Protoss Lords and intended to take a nap here. Who knew that when I woke up, I would see you in front of me. In what way did I fool you?”
I was not lying regarding the fact that I could fall asleep while standing.
“Everyone.” David finished greeting the other two princes and approached us, “It’s time to continue our walk.”
I ignored LeToux and approached Fischer to chat while we walked.
Fischer admired my cape while my other brothers admired my armor.
“You’ll get one, too.” I said with a smile, “If you’re lucky enough!”
The War God led us to a grand palace before leaving us with two other female Protosses.
This palace was designed differently from Princess Michael’s palace. It resembled an enormous garden more than a palace due to the inner structures being surrounded by exotic flora and rare herbs. Compared to the cold weather outside, the temperature within the palace was warm.
The two Protoss females led us to a small platform furnished with several high stone armchairs that circled the stone stools placed in the middle. It was similar to the setup of a meeting room.
“May all present be seated.” One of the female Protoss who led us here declared, “Her Grace Charlotte will arrive shortly.”
The eleven of us sat in three respective groups. I found myself beside Fischer and my three other friends sat beside us.
However, the place remained completely silent even after quite a while. Not a single bird flew over our heads and I could hear my own heartbeat due to the silence.
Waiting was an utterly unpleasant thing regardless of who I had to wait for. I turned to look at the other guests and found them staring straight ahead with a leveled gaze without moving one bit. Fischer was calm and acted as if he was pondering over something.
When the absurdity of it all began to make me feel the urge to do a headstand, they finally came.
I knew by instinct that the one who came was Princess Charlotte; the female Protoss walking in front of the four maidservants made the place brighten up.
Her face and clothing looked exactly the same as her sister.
If one were to describe the beauty of the elder Princess Michael, she would be capricious; Charlotte’s beauty was rather eternal, an everlasting beauty.
Her beauty was tenebrous and gentle, but it made others feel breathless from her grace! I gazed at her without blinking. If I blinked, I wouldn’t be able to look at her visage when my eyes closed. Though her face and brows remained unchanged, one would be captured by her beauty even deeper the longer they looked at her.
She made eye contact with everyone present. Immediately, there were several people whose breathing roughened, and there were a few who were even gasping for breath!
Seeing the way she glanced at us, I finally knew where the three Cardinals learned their way of looking at others! They had learned it from Princess Charlotte, who was standing in front us right now! This could absolutely count as a violation of her eyes.
Fischer maintained his calm breathing and expressed prudence, but his eyes seemed to glow. It was the first time I saw such an expression on his face. He had fallen for her.
I admit that the way I treated women was subpar when compared to Fischer. Once I fell for a woman, I would always look at her with a feverish and serious gaze. All I thought of the methods I would carry out to clear the obstacles in front of me and take hold of her.
Fischer would rather do whatever he could to make the woman he loved happy, no matter the cost.
“Your Grace, Princess Charlotte.” While the others were still stupefied by Princess Charlotte, Fischer had stood up and acted courteously, “I am Fischer, from Swabia. My sincerest regards.”
“Prince Fischer, have a seat.” Charlotte nodded faintly, “This is not a formal audience. You do not need to be overly polite.”
The princes and bureaucrats from the other two empires had finally realized the minor embarrassment they had and hurried to go to the front and saluted. Princess Charlotte did not care much for such actions and nodded to everyone. Everyone has seated once again.
I knew that this must be the ‘test’ she was in charge of, like the ‘test’ Michael gave me earlier on. I wish I could have passed it, too.
“Prince Rivera,” After all courtesies were made, Charlotte maintained her composure and began to speak, “How’s Symbia’s yields this year?”
“Yes, Your Grace.” The thin and tall prince called Rivera rose with his right hand placed on his chest and bowed, “The past few years have reaped abundant results, which will be more than enough to support the Alliance during the upcoming war. Besides that, the Symbian army has already been deployed into training. The magnitude of which is greater than the last one.”
“Symbia indeed had its fair amount of glorious moments during the last war. I hope Prince Rivera will live up to your elder’s name.”
“Yes, Your Grace.” Prince Rivera said, “Now, please allow my subordinates to give their report regarding the detailed catalogs.”
Princess Charlotte nodded whereas I harrumphed quietly, “According to my observations, Prince Rivera was a man who likes to show off, and he would never offer such a chance to his men. If he isn’t even aware of his own empire’s matters, he is absolutely unworthy of his status as a prince.”
Two bureaucrats from Symbia rose and a series choppy numbers began to be spouted out of their mouths. The two words that appeared the most in their report was ‘possible’ and ‘probably’.
The two of them were utterly inept at reporting. It was absurd to think that they were truly in charge of Symbia’s daily affairs. Nonetheless, Princess Charlotte seemed to show tremendous interest towards the information given. Though, I was sure that she knew about the real situation in Symbia.
“Prince LeToux,” Princess Charlotte turned to the prince of Tansey, “How in the preparation for war doing in Tansey?”
“Your Grace,” Prince LeToux replied reverently, “Tansey is low in yields by nature. In order to show our loyalty, we have nothing to offer except for training more elite troops.”
“Since the last war, all of Tansey’s citizens, as well as officials and nobility have been exerting their greatest effort in working together to become even stronger. As of now, our great troops have been trained into shape and are ready for battle!” Prince LeToux certainly knew his empire well and what he said seemed to be worth listening to, “Tansey’s newly built expedition army now numbers at a total of three million; all of them are elites beyond elites! The army consists of 13 legions which are under the command of our best generals.”
“Within which lies 8 heavy-armored knight legions totaling to 200,000 men, and four hoplite legions totaling at 50,000. I have been entrusted the role as the commander of the royal legion which totals to 50,000 men.” LeToux’s report expressed his utter faith in his army.
“The required armor and weapon have all been prepared! Specialty units have finished training as well! We, the Tansey empire, will be fighting the war against the Asmodians with the strictest and most orderly of formations, as well as the highest morale!”
“Well said, Prince LeToux.” Princess Charlotte raised her arm, “I heard that you once resided in the camps for four years without returning to your mansion. Such acts are a rarity amongst the latest generation of royalty. You may be seated.”
“I am utterly grateful, Your Grace!” Prince LeToux returned to his seat with a subtle smile on his face.
Finally, Princess Charlotte laid her eyes upon Fischer.
“Prince Fischer, Swabia is located at the frontmost of the war zone; are you prepared?”
“Yes, Your Grace. Everything needed in preparation for the war is steadily in progress.” Fischer stood up and said, “All proceeds for the allied forces have been completed, except for the army provisions which will be ready after summer harvest next year.”
“Other countries have completed their shares ahead of time,” Charlotte inquired, “Why is it that Swabia is the only empire which has failed in doing so?”
“The reason lies in Swabia’s crop failure for the past three years.” Fischer answered calmly, “Furthermore, innumerable refugees from the Protoss/Asmodian borders have come to our lands to seek shelter every year They do not have a land to farm with, nor do they have a leader capable of guiding them and were famished. Once we were done handling those who have just arrived, a new batch of refugees would follow soon after.”
Charlotte nodded slightly and asked, “If that is the case, how does Swabia establish their well-beings?”
“We have come up with a foolproof plan regarding this issue. There is a newly-found province, the Dark City. It is vast yet sparsely populated. Dark City’s rich amount of land allows for millions of people to farm.” Fischer continued, “Though the province is still under construction, we have already proceeded with the migration of the refugees. By the planting of seeds in the next spring, Dark City’s population is expected to reach a total of three million. By the next summer’s harvest, Dark City will no longer require support from the authorities and would become a self-sufficient province.”
“How is Dark City managed?”
“Dark City is under the authority of our very own renowned family’s third son, Viceroy Cohen Kheda.” Fischer glanced over at me and I hinted at him to continue, “He has managed to keep the project going smoothly and come up with a complete set of governance. He’s entirely capable of making the refugees accept the grace of Protoss.”
Fischer’s report had come to an end, but Princess Charlotte remained silent. Her encouraging gaze swept over everyone present.
My heart thrilled, “Here we go!”
“How could you delay the Protoss’s trust for a few refugees?” Rivera humphed, “And even make the effort to establish a province for them? Just kill them all!”
Princess Charlotte smiled faintly and did not intend to stop him. Regardless, I began to hold a grudge against Rivera. Let me see how will Fischer will retaliate.
“Prince Rivera, Swabia’s condition is not similar to that of Symbia’s.” Fischer shook his head, “My country is unique in geography, such that killing unreasonably will easily cause a mass uprising which will then lead to an uproar. That, in retrospect, would be considered causing a delay. Moreover, by the next summer harvest, Swabia will still be able to complete our portion of shares punctually. It’s essentially not a delay.”
“What Swabia has done,” Rivera persisted, “is essentially showing disrespect to the Gods!”
“The Gods are to determine whether we show them respect, or not,” Fischer said, “The situations of different countries would naturally have the need to approach several matters differently for fear of an uproar. One should deal with issues in accordance with the conditions laid out. Do you understand?”
Fischer’s first half of the sentence was said using the Priest Archaism tone, which a fool like Rivera was incapable of understanding. However, he feared that he would be shamed in front of the Protoss Princess should he voice out a retort and could only nod obediently like a newly-enrolled pupil. He, who fell for Fischer’s ‘do you understand’ trap was instantly dispirited and became unwilling to speak.
Even if a person couldn’t comprehend the first half of Fischer’s sentence, anyone could retaliate the second half with ease. Only an imbecile like Rivera who was cowardly and smattering of managing a country would remain silent in such a situation.
As for Fischer, though he was usually like a soft pile of marshmallows, he clarified the stupidity of Rivera with just a few words. His counterstrike was accurate and ruthless, clearly exposing Rivera’s shallow knowledge to such matters. I applauded Fischer’s ingenious mind.
Princess Charlotte remained silent with a smile on her face, whereas the three guys from Tansey were rather amused by the clown show Rivera acted out.
“Prince LeToux,” It seemed like Princess Charlotte wasn’t giving anyone a pass regarding this topic, “What’s your take on this matter?”
“Your Grace, I’m but a humble military commander. However, I have given it much thought,” LeToux said, “Prince Fischer’s solution is indeed feasible.”
LeToux was an asshole! He expressed that he was both knowledgeable and modest using only one sentence and commented on Fischer’s report as if he was his superior!
Fischer smiled and kept quiet, showing that he hadn’t caught onto the underlying message in LeToux’s words. Since Fischer didn’t understand, I would help him hold the grudge against LeToux.
“If that is so, Prince Fischer shall go through the trouble to carry out the plan. I hope for Swabia’s faster completion regarding their portion of shares.” Princess Charlotte rose from her seat and said, “I noticed the flowers in the garden on my way here. You will join me to admire them.”