LORD SHADOW CHAPTER 168: RECLAIM

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CAW!

The sound of that black raven pierced the silence of the area as the people rushed quickly around that large structure, whispering under their breath.

Many Ravens was perched on the gothic like structure of the Palace of Bones, overlooking the street with drenched blood.

The sight was truly ghastly

Where it once stood the King Palace, now stood a colossal twenty foot Palace of Bones emanating a powerful deathly aura that creates some kind of black red mist surrounding the base of the Palace

Guarding the Palace is skeletons soldiers, with straight back and on the empty eye socket is blue flame with all of them possessing the power of Orb Condensing High Realm.

The people who look at the Palace all avert their gaze fear to attract the attention of the creator of such ghastly structure.

They whispered in silence, and their eyes look down on the ground, fear is evident in the way they carry themselves.

The cold wind blows and the ravens flies off.

This is the palace of the Death Monarch.

Azief uses his Death Source to control the dead, making the skeletons of the fallen dead around Southern Krakow to emerge from the ground.

The scene was truly terrifying for those that was present during the awakening of these skeleton soldiers.

Skeleton hands clawed out from the ground, some have full intact skeletons others only possesses partial bones as they heed the call of Death Monarch.

Azief turn them into skeleton soldiers, lacking any intelligence and only knows how to follow his will.

Around the palace, darkness reigns as dark clouds were formed from the Death Force surrounding the area.

While the other patch of sky seems warm and full of light only the area on top of the Palace is covered by dark clouds.

The plants near the palace would wither and any monster that dares to approach will rot and decay into mushy goo.

But for his skeleton soldiers the longer they stay in that mist of darkness, the stronger they became.

Since they were billions of people that died since the Fall, the world was full of Death Force. It was this force that supplies Azief the power to use his Death Source.

This power relies heavily in destruction and death. In a world where so many people have died, Azief Death Source almost seems unlimited.

Azief is in his Throne Room alone, sitting on a chair made by green stones, a mineral called Draecite, which focus element energy.

He was closing his eyes. In his mind he could feel all the people in this city. He saw Fairy of the Stars Somi leading the White Tiger Battalion in the place of Wang Jian.

From what Azief found out, Wang Jian disappeared after rushing off somewhere. And Somi suspect the World Government might be behind this.

When Azief reveal his power that day in the battle between him and the forces of Center Krakow, many people senses his return.

As Azief concentrates harder, he could see in his mind, Sina in his alchemy lab concocting another batch of Seven Refinement Pills.

This pill could quickly elevate someone into the many stages of Energy Disperse Stage.

Now, some of Azief questions were answered.

Azief noticed that there is many Energy Disperse Stage expert in the world right now. But Azief also notices that the concentration of their energy is not pure.

It is negligible and could not easily be detected but for Azief he could sense that something is missing.

Thankfully Sina already explain this to the world that while this pill could help people immediately level up their body in Energy Disperse Stage, nothing beats absorbing the EXP of defeated monsters or quest.

Azief realizes he is evolving into something very different from the rest of humanity.

When Azief ask Sina a few days ago, Azief was surprised to find out even though Sina was already at Seed Forming Stage, the quest windows always pooping up and Sina could decide whether to accept or decline a quest.

Azief then theorizes something. He remembers that fire and how the threads unraveled from him.

Maybe….it might means he was no longer under the control of the World Orb.

But a thread is still lingering on Azief body. Which is why he could still summon his status window.

But even his status window could not determine how powerful he really is. Azief then move his mind to somewhere else.

His Divine Sense that rested upon a person. It was a builder. He was repairing the Battlestar that he brought.

It was Budiman. Azief did ask how he arrived a few days ago. The answer to the question made Azief felt that this is Loki doing.

When Budiman was asked how he came to Poland, he said he didn’t remember. He then move his Divine Sense to a residence and he saw her.

Her eyes was like the clear bright moon, and as he gazes upon her it was like was an immortal fairy and he a mortal.

That is the effect of her otherworldly beauty. She broke through Red Palace Forming after the battle.

Azief fears that there is hidden injury which is why he decided to check her with his Divine Sense.

Katarina also felt that Divine Sense as she look toward the outside of her windows and it was like their eyes meet each other.

Azief knows Katarina could sense him. For a moment, it felt like time stopped. Katarina knows Azief is just checking up on her.

She smiles and her smile like always…is beautiful.

Not that Azief would tell her that. But he always like to see her smiles. Always. It is always better to see her smiling.

Because when she frowned, there is this loneliness that is hanging on her forehead.

And every time Azief saw that, he wanted to touch her forehead gently and melt that loneliness in her heart.

Because…she reminded him of herself. And when he saw that frown, he could not help but want to tell her…that it will be alright.

And when she laughs, unaware of it, Azief also wanted to laugh with her. And Azief don’t know….if that is alright….doing that to her.

His heart has always felt guilty. What should he do with his heart? And what should he do with their hearts?

Unaware of what Azief is feeling right now, Katarina continue to smile. Her heart beats and her body felt warmer even as snow fell inside her residence

Azief was gazing from afar. His heart want but it could not be spoken.

If only Azief could understood love…the causes and consequences… then maybe he would not be so indecisive.

Katarina was like him in a way. Sofia… was better than him…both in coping with her pain. Both were broken by life. Just like him

Then as the wind blows a sigh could be heard. Katarina heard it. And she bitterly smile. Then like the wind and the world sees it, a faint voice echoes

‘When spring blossom falls, let us see it.’ Katarina heard it and there is a little budding smile forming.

Azief then retract back his Divine Sense, a little smile on the edge of his mouth.

Then slowly he opens his eyes as his mind becomes clear, his body is still sitting on his throne. Then he went to his expressionless mode.

He is contemplating his next move.

Right now, he wanted to gather information first especially about Wang Jian and Sofia. It is impossible that after that battle those two still did not come to see him.

Something must have happen. He also wanted to wait for his people to gather. There is still Athena and Freya.

By now, it is impossible what is happening in Poland could be covered up. Azief has made it as grand as possible.

Hamad and Hatta while they were important member in League of Freedom, they were not in the upper echelons in their organization and don’t know sensitive question.

Of course he could contact Boris using Thunderbird but Azief deign to meet Boris. Azief knows Boris would use Katarina name to stabilize his position.

Of course Azief misunderstand Katarina brother. Boris would use anyone in the world but he would never use his own sister.

But Azief has always felt that Boris is a bad influence for Katarina. If Boris heard this he would certainly feel shocked. Since Boris believes Azief is a bad influence for his sister.

Azief knows how much power Boris has over his sister.

And that is why he worries.

But ironically Boris also shares the same opinion about Azief.

Katarina has never disobey her brother because Katarina knows all that Boris does is to keep her safe.

This has been the case since they were a child. But, Katarina disobey her brother wishes and still went to save Azief in the Weronian War.

This shows how much control Azief have over Katarina.

But they also share one thing in common. They both want what’s best for Katarina. Azief got up from his throne as he slightly floated, his feet did not touch the ground.

He then slowly floated toward the open balcony and then rises up over his Palace of Bones.

The dark red mist that surrounded the Palace thickens as they covered Azief ascent to the top of his Palace.

He slowly floats upwards as he look down.

Azief look down at the Palace he created.

It was a beautiful palace exquisite yet uninviting. Because the palace is made of bones and lined with vein like designs that resembles human capillary veins.

But…..There is beauty even under the guise of such terrifying structure. How many people have died in that battle.

But if they did not obstruct would Azief mindlessly kill them. It is because they were too stubborn, and did not recognize the chance he was giving them that they died.

Though Azief also met someone he respected in that battle. He hopes that person survives

‘Death’ Azief muttered. He stand up from his throne as he walk to the balcony of his throne room.

Looking at the Heaven above, he saw the dark clouds, and he sighed. Horse hooves thunder on the background as he gently sighs.

‘What is right and what is wrong?’ he seems to ask the Heaven before smiling

‘As long as I have no regrets, let others judge whatever they want to.’

*****************************************************************************

FEW DAYS BEFORE

Azief flies toward Krakow Center riding his terrifying Steed of Abigor. The semi skeletal winged horse brings a legion of shadows that darkens the bright skies.

Dark mist swirling under its hooves, the sight send chills to anyone who could see it.

Behind him snow falls from the skies as a woman steps on the air, like she was gliding along the air

On the ground, a hundred men followed the two person on the sky, riding warhorses, trampling the flowers on the ground as they are heading toward the Duke Palace on the Southern Krakow.

The scouts stationed on tall mountains, and those that uses the Sky Ship to scout the area seeing this ghastly procession reported the happening at a rapid pace to the Palace.

They of course recognize the two person leading the hundred men. The Death Monarch and the Snow Princess.

How could they not tremble at the sight of the two great figures of the Weronian War? The scouts were set up along the road that leads to the King Palace.

After the letter was sent to the Palace, the kingdom was in a state of vigilance. The King even send a message to the World Government headquarters asking for assistance.

But with the barrier in place they could only send the message using the Bolt of Transmission. And they did not dare open it in case of a sneak attack by the enemy

The Bolt of Transmission is a special arrow made by the Thunder Monarch, forged from a lightning bolt and could only be sent when there is a catastrophic event in the allied nations of World Government.

The drawback of this type of message is that only the Thunder Monarch could see the message since the Bolt of Transmission would be melded with the sky.

The moment Artur retrieve the Bolt he quickly recorded a voice message into the bolt before he throws it into the sky as the skies thundered for one second.

Then he waited.

Artur thought even though the Death Monarch did send his warning he would not immediately come to his palace.

He was wrong.

Azief immediately march after Frederick ask for his help.

These shocked the King who was trembling on his throne after hearing the report. The ministers and advisors were also shocked with this sudden development.

‘What the fuck!’ He cursed on his throne, spit coming out of his mouth as he could not hide his anxiousness.

‘When did I offend him? Why does he wanted to come here?’ He ask, looking at his advisors.

The advisors all look down like they were something interesting on the ground, not daring looking at their King right now.

The advisors of the King all shut up. They too felt suffocated. They all know this is above their capabilities.

Some of them guessed this is because of the bad blood between the Death Monarch and the World Government.

And some of them remembers the rumors of two years ago saying that it was the World Government that tries to assassinate the Death Monarch.

They all believe this is the matters of World Government and the Death Monarch business and they were the victims that was stuck in the middle.

Little did they know that the reason why Azief move against Poland royalty is simply because Frederick asked for his help.

He did not think the implication of what happens if he kills the royalty of Poland that is crowned by the World Government.

He didn’t think that will slap the face and degrade the reputation of the World Government in the world.

Does this means Azief did not think that his actions would have far reaching consequence and might pit him against the World Government?

It is not that Azief didn’t think about it, but he simply does not care.

To the world the position of the World Government deserve respect and fear. But to Azief…what does a mere organization like that worth in front of his eyes?

He saw a Jotnar that lives for millenniums, powerful beings that could destroy planet with one swish of their sleeves, he saws Asuras and Devas, Demons and Ghost, unexplained beings that roams the vast universe.

What does some organization worth in Azief eyes?

Meanwhile inside the throne room, King Artur is on the verge of a panic attack as he ask one of his General that is inside the throne room

‘General Tyrone how is the battle going?’ A black man look up as his gaze stares at the King, his eyes was sharp and power exudes from him.

He was six feet six, with muscly body and military style haircut. General Tyrone come from United States of America before the Fall and used to serve under Raymond when Raymond become King.

He then was sent to Poland by the orders of the Quorum and hold a powerful position in Poland.

Tyrone then answer the King to ease his worries

‘I have set up a net to delay him until the assistance from Headquarters could come. I have ordered one of the Legion to take part’

‘Which Legion?’ King Artur asked, his voice slowly regains back that calmness.

‘The Black Tiger Legion.’ Tyrone said

The King sat back down at his throne and clearly felt a little more relaxed.

The Black Tiger Legion is comprised of elite battalion all of whom in the Orb Condensing with half of them in Energy Disperse Stage Low Realm.

This kind of Legion would make people tremble just by its ferocity.

‘Huu’ he released his relieved sigh.

He did not want to run. If he runs, the headquarters would surely oust him from the position of king and crown a new king.

In the years since he become King, he made many enemies left and right. Even his countrymen hate him.

Without the protection of the World Government, he would not have a happy ending.

Now, he could only hope that the measures his General has done could delay that calamity until the big guns from the Island could come.

But this did not dispel the fear he had of the Death Monarch. This is a legendary figure that shakes the world and dictate an era.

When he was around, the Death Monarch commands the respect of the world, with none of the crime families dares to reveal themselves in fear of making themselves a target.

When Artur was still in Orb Condensing the guy was already at Seed Forming.

Before Artur become King he was a mercenary. He of course knows the battle between the Death Monarch and the World Government.

At that time, all the elites of the World government tries to stop him with none of them succeeding.

Oreki, Hikigaya, Raymond, Arno, the Holy Lady of the World Government , Hirate, these illustrious figures all could not match the force of one person.

The World Government Island at that time, was split into two with one slash of a saber.

Artur still remembers the recording of that battle.

The saber splits off the sky and quake the earth, tsunamis were formed and storms ravaged the seas and the shores.

He saw how such a large island were split into two as easily a burning knife cuts butter.

How could he not feel afraid right now?

Not to mention, based on the fact that the Death Monarch decided to immediately march toward his castle shows his decisiveness, intelligence, and bravery befitting of a legendary figure.

‘Hmm. I am unresigned to just be a pawn in this large chessboard’ Artur thought to himself, his face was still grim.

He felt uneasy, like an invisible pressure weighing on his mind. The entire court are all in a tense mood.

Each hour the scouts reported at a rapid pace, departing and landing constantly, to report of the enemy’s position.

The scouts bared in without decorum and the King allowed it because now is a time of war. So, the scouts keep coming and going reporting the happenings of the procession.

“Report! The enemy is estimated to be a few hours travel away!”

“Report! The enemy is accelerating! They broke the Ward!”

“Report! The Wardens of the South was impaled on the South Gate!”

“Report! The Wardens of the North and West tries to delay the Death Monarch march and they were split into two by the Death March saber leaving only ashes”

The more the reports came the paler the faces in the throne room became. It was like the only news the messenger brought was designed to instill more fear in their hearts

“Report! The Black Tiger Legion was decimated by the Snow Princess!” This time General Tyrone face turns ugly.

This is one of his most elite battalion and they were decimated.

But General Tyrone did not dare to say anything. He think this is unavoidable. They are facing that person after all.

He knows his strength.

If he met the Death Monarch, he would surely died. After all he heard the news about the other Wardens that tries to delay the Death Monarch.

They all died without fail. He would be no different.

As the enemy came closer to Krakow Center and the Palace, the atmosphere suddenly grew tense.

The pressure of the impending battle caused the entire Palace, the army, the garrison to tense, their muscles taut and their forehead sweats.

It is kind of a psychological torture. Everyone that is inside Krakow Center protection became nervous.

Many of the general that had been through hundreds of battles had stern faces and threads of worry, praying for the reinforcement to come as quickly as possible.

They all know experts like Death Monarch must be dealt by another expert.

Formation could delay an expert but if the gap is too big, then even a formation would prove useless unless a formation experts is inside the formation

King Artur feeling the atmosphere of his territory could not help but smiling bitterly.

The other was clearly only comprised of a hundred person, and not even ten thousand people.

But for some reason, an invisible yet great pressure was on each person’s mind and that was because the fact that it was led by the Death Monarch and Snow Princess.

In their absence people might have given the title of the strongest man and woman to Raymond and Sofia but now that those two monsters have returned, who knows?

They might reclaim back their title as the strongest man and woman on Earth.

The enemy that is about to come was not unknown.

They had proven their strength to the world. And that is precisely why the pressure bearing down on them is so great.

Because everybody knows the Death Monarch and the Snow Princess.

The army of almost forty thousand people prepared to face a great enemy.

The fact that Artur could still have a private army of forty thousand people is good enough considering the low population of the world right now.

Not to mention his army also has many Energy Disperse Stage Middle Realm because of the pills in the dark market.

They waited, for the reinforcement but then a cracking sound pierce the uneasiness in their hearts.

Thunder and lightning rack the skies as black clouds roils and covers the previously calm blue skies.

BOOM!

The sound shakes everyone heart as they knew this is not the reinforcement they were waiting for, as all their face paled.

Some have trembling all over their body and some fall down in shock hearing such a shocking sound.

Artur got up from his throne again as he saw the dark clouds and he thought to himself

‘Fuck. I had it with this. I need to run’

The soldiers in the inside of the Palace grip their weapons and are ready to engage the enemy regardless of the fear in their hearts.

The mood was unusually nervous and strict. Then with another sound of thunder, two black dots appeared in the sky, as everyone’s hearts jumped.

‘Shit, he has come!’ Artur cursed as he got up and almost fall down from the stairs of his throne.

Tyrone know he could no longer shift his responsibilities. So, he close his eyes, take a deep breath as the visage of his old commander flashed inside his mind.

‘Raymond always seems so strong and fearless’ he thought to himself. He smiles for a bit as he opens his eyes, the previous fears and uneasiness disappears like the wind.

He immediately went out and jump down from the balcony landing on the courtyard as he shouted

‘Prepare to fight the invaders!!’

Artur was ready to teleport away when a cold voice resounded all over the sky of Poland.

This voice disturb the vibration of energy and seems to even tamper with the Laws that govern this world.

‘Seal Space!’

The voice was like a decree as one could feel the Laws of the World slightly shifted.

Artur ignore the voice and run down from his throne and took one of the Teleport Stone he prepared beforehand.

The other advisors seeing even their king has intention to abandoned the Palace also follow suits as they all produced their own Teleport Stone as Artur look at them dumbfounded.

It seems he was not the only one who thought of running.

Teleport stone is expensive but for people like the King and his minister they could afford to buy it from the Golden Syndicate.

Artur looking at his minister that were all ready to flee could not help but jeer on them. They were already preparing to run Artur thought to himself.

Artur then crush the teleport stone and he waits for that sensation of teleporting take over him when his face fell.

When he opens his eyes, he found in his shock that he did not teleport anywhere.

He was still standing at the same place

The same thing is happening to the minister and all over Krakow Center for those people that want to teleport away.

Then they all looked at each other with dumbfounded expression before fear seeps in their heart.

They then remembers the voice.

Seal Space!

Could it be the Death Monarch could even seal Space preventing them from teleporting! This time everyone face turns pale like corpse as they all trembles and some fainted on the spot.

Artur then knows he no longer have any choice

‘Get up! We have no other choice. We just have to surrender!’ But before he could say another word, another General look towards Artur.

This General name is General Shinji and used to work under the Thunder Monarch Oreki.

He was six feet five, wearing a samurai armor, with clear pale white skin and have thin physique.

His body did not emit any fluctuation of power almost like he was a normal man. Yet, there is something that in dissonance with the way energy flow through him.

It was almost like he did not exist.

But when he spoke it was like his existence was the only thing that is present in the throne room.

He was the only one who was calm during all the chaos, not that anybody notice. He shouted to Artur

‘Artur, the moment you surrender, this General will reap your head! Either you win, or you die!’ Shinji said as he unsheathe his sharp katana, the sharpness could be seen by the sound it emitted when it was unsheathed

The shing sound of his katana bear down on the entire throne room as even the tile crack beneath the feet of General Shinji.

Sword intent exploded as sharp energy burst slices through the pillars of the throne room leaving a clean slice mark

He did not even call Artur King, he straight up said his name disregarding his title.

This General once ruled the entire Kansai region before he was transferred because he offended Hikigaya.

He is dutiful and loyal. And that is his problem. And the reason why he was transferred. Artur who was ready, gulp. This time, one of the minister shouted back

‘You dar-‘he was about to scold Shinji when that katana moves and the minister head flies off from his body, rolling forward on the now red drenched tiles of the throne room.

That slice even slices one of the pillars of the throne room but it did not fall simply because of how fast and flawless that slicing attack was.

If anyone were to push that pillar, that pillar would surely fall down.

This time everyone shut up and look at this General in a new light. He was always silent and suddenly today this General suddenly explodes.

‘Ok! Ok! I won’t surrender’ Artur shouted, his eyes did not leave the katana as he was gulping in fear.

This time he was stuck in between two powerful entity.

Now, even his life isn’t his anymore.

As the internal struggle inside the throne room is being settled with the forceful method of General Shinji that little black dot on the sky arrived with quick speed.

On the sky, two person could be seen approaching while only a hundred cavalry on the ground as their warhorses stomping the ground with ferocity.

Shinji tighten his grip on his katana, his eyes survey the throne room looking to kill anyone who wishes to sully the name of the World Government.

Meanwhile, on the palace ground, Tyrone is preparing himself to meet the hundred men that Azief has brought.

Artur still standing, is now sweating on his back.

The enemy were clearly could not even be considered an army but with the powerful display of such terrifying theatrics that is assaulting the Heaven and Earth, it made people feel as though there were tens of thousands demons from hell that is roaring and is about to charge at them.

Everyone’s hearts uncontrollably shook!

With the thunders roaring, and the lightning that accompanied that hellish looking steed of the Death Monarch, it almost seems like there is nothing in Heaven and Earth that could stop this force

But Tyrone still unsheathe his saber, and Shinji still readied his stance. Artur could see these two is truly loyal to the World Government.

As the Death Monarch and the Snow Princess slowly about to reach the Protection Dome all the people inside Center Krakow become stern and nervous.

The bellowing thunder did not stop as even the wind roars like an anguished beast.

The ministers also have managed to calm themselves down and their eyes become determined. They already could not teleport out and they could not surrender.

Either they die under the blade of the World Government or the Death Monarch, they would die either way.

If that is true why not try fighting and maybe a chance would open for them to escape?

It was then Azief suddenly stop, his body only one meter away from the protection barrier.

And Katarina also stops.

The white mist that always materialize beneath her feet hardened and solidified creating a platform for her to stand on the air.

The wind around her hardened and snow falls down like winter has come again. The snow originate from her platform but the surrounding areas slowly become cold.

Azief then take a deep breath, calming his mind, his Divine Sense survey the area. Then he look down.

It was a simple action.

And Azief didn’t mean anything by it.

He simply look down because he is high beyond the city. So, he look down. But in the eyes of the weak, his action was like a God looking down upon mortals.

The fact Azief did not even bother hiding his aura make himself even more formidable and almost seem to be undefeatable.

As he silently look down, the thunder keep roaring, and lightning exploded in the background behind him like it was his backdrop.

With his action of him looking down, it was like he was a God that comes down from his realm to exact his wrath upon disobedient creation.

Azief look coldly down and he said

‘Civilians of Center Krakow. Enter you home and shut the door. I will not inflict any harm to those that stay in their home. Those who is outside don’t blame me for being ruthless.’

Tyrone who was in the courtyard uses his Artifact to fly on the air, looking at Azief, who is standing only one meter away from the protection Barrier.

Then looking in front of him, his face turns grim as he look toward that towering figures and he said

‘What do you want Death Monarch? Let us talk.’ Katarina looking at this attitude could only scoff.

Azief, like always…have that expressionless face.

His eyes was cold as he look back at Tyrone.

Thunder boomed once again as it lights up the dark and showing that terrifying figure on the sky of Center Krakow.

Floating on the air with such a fearsome aura emanating out of him, overbearing to the extreme, and looking at the world with disdain, there is no one in this world that could imitate such actions.

Today, Azief will make the name Death Monarch to be spoken in the four corners of the world. Today, is the day he reclaim back the title of the strongest.

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Hahahaha. Another cliff. It has been a long time. This time it is quite long don’t you think. It has about five thousand three hundred word.

I include most of the thing in this chapter. There is a bit of drama. There is the dramatic arrival. Only the battle has not yet started.

I ended it at the most frustrating point. Hahahaha.

Next chapter title is Overlord of an Era. I hope you like this chapter and leave some comments.

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