LORD SHADOW CHAPTER 180: LAST WISH

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His black robe floats silently a few inches from the tile marble floor. Broken tiles and cracked walls and pillars could be seen.

That black robe continues to move forward.

Azief enter the building calmly and without any rush. He spread his Divine Sense but his Divine Sense was being reflected back.

The tiles, the cement if the buildings is made by Anti Sensing materials.

Azief only smirk at this as he takes another step, the echoes of his footsteps reverberates inside the large hall

A lot have changed since the days when the world still do not know how to guard themselves against divine sense surveillance or something of the same manner

Azief smiles bitterly as he discover he could not canvass the area with his Divine Sense

It seems fighting with the Will of the World drain him more than he cares to admit. If not even the anti-sensing material will not be able to hinder him considering the power he now commands.

All of his Disk are spent and are slowly recovering.

Even now as he is walking he is absorbing the worldly energy and that energy are converted into other forms of energy by his All Source disk

But even if he did not have his sensing abilities he did not fear that anyone would run. If they run outside, no matter how far they run they could not run faster than him.

Meanwhile on the now calm sky, the Battlestar belonging to the Death Monarch faction returns back to the Island, their cannons, gun turrets, archers, warriors, gunman, snipers all aiming their weapons towards the island.

If anybody that is affiliated with the World Government dares step out of the Island, they are to be executed.

But they do not stop people that wanted to enter. They saw Storm Tide also approaching but they turn a blind eye on the four tortoise.

But the spectators that is seeing the Battlestar returning notice that there is only six Battlestar. What happen to the other one?

At the same time on Paris, France on the large forest that ravage the once beautiful city there is a clearing on one spot of the forest.

On that clearing is one of the Battlestar, shield barrier was erected around the Battlestar.

Any monsters that dares near the Battlestar is exterminated with the energy cannons and Ethelion gun ray.

It is the Battlestar that belonged to the Immortal Couple. Xu Cong is on the sick bay looking over at his girlfriend pale face

Xu Cong found her on a boulder at the shore of the World Government coastline, unconscious and lacking any powers

And he did not saw anyone near her that shot the emergency shot that enables them to find Lihua.

All this events happened while Azief was walking inside the Quorum building.

As Azief walk the halls he look at the beautiful clear white tiles and the large ceiling full of frescoes and beautiful painting so vivid like that the paintings looks like a statue.

It reminds him the painting on the ceiling of the Summer Palace of Napoleon he once saw on a book

He takes his steps slow and calm, almost deliberately, his dark robe swinging about gently. He was like a calm lake.

But the more he is like this, the more pressure he emitted that lies in his silence and his calmness.

He saw no one is running which is puzzling, he heard some noise going out of the room before. Then he heard it again.

Swishing sounds of wind ripping could be heard as Azief could hear the song even from this far away.

Now that he is slowly recovering, his Divine Sense is slowly getting powerful as he could see the people running away on the back door of the building.

Azief smiles and then clench his fist. Energy around the building was suddenly restricted like they were being controlled by someone.

Those people running away on the outside who is already kilometers away exploded almost immediately, turning into red mist, the sound of screaming sounded only for a second before the sound dissipated.

Azief is still inside the Quorum building, his eyes shows his bloodthirstiness that is akin of a murderous beast.

He recognize most of the people he killed that are fleeing outside are soldiers and he did not saw anyone that is one of the Council members.

Azief has scan this building before he merged with the world and he saw all the council members.

He did not saw Pandikar or the others and especially not the man with the wolf fur. For some reason Azief felt unease when his Divine Sense caught onto that man wearing wolf fur.

He then arrive in front of the Quorum Council room. Azief simply waved his hand as a gust of winds pushed the door

With a smashing sound the door almost flew its hinges when the door smashes with the back of the wall.

Instead of the expected scene of people begging him or people ambushing him all Azief saw is blood.

Red blood.

All over the walls were blood dripping, brain matter scattered around the floor and mutilated flesh seems to be present in all corners of the room,

And sitting on the end of a huge long table is Pandikar. His face is full of blood. Azief could conclude that the blood that is dripping from his face is not his blood

Azief now could think calmly after making sure that Sofia is safe.

Of course Wang Jian whereabouts is still not determined but Azief had trust that Wang Jian is safe.

Also because he understand that the World Government wanted to use Sofia and Wang Jian as a bargaining chip to force him to capitulate.

Even amidst the anger and condemnation words he uttered onto the World Government, he knew why the war was fought and he also knew what the World Government wanted of him.

Then why he did not give it to the World Government instead of inciting a war? Because…then it will never end.

The World Government did not want war. Azief was confident if he bow down his head, the World Government will not push him that far and return Sofia and Wang Jian to him.

But if he back down now, then what is to say that the next time, they will not use other people when they don’t get what they want?

It will never end. Give an inch and they will take a yard. He would always be at a disadvantage position if he bows down.

The one thing they underestimated was how powerful the Death Monarch really is.

Just because the script has been written, Azief is not an actor and he surely would never do things he didn’t want to do.

If he truly bow down like that even though he has the power to rip the script, how could he expect to become a powerful being in the Universe?

It is because of that confidence he dares attack the World Government.

And if somehow, the World Government really kill the Divine Archer, Azief would bury the entire World Government supporters into the sea

A berserk Death Monarch is not a situation any factions in the world wanted.

‘You have come’ Pandikar said, blood slowly dripping from his face to the ground.

Azief did not reply. His eyes look at the mess inside the room and ask

‘You did this?’

Pandikar nodded solemnly

‘Why?’

‘Because I think it is better to be killed by me than be tortured by you.’ He reply as he look at the massacre he committed

Azief was not impressed, his eyes is looking at Pandikar coldly. He could take one step and eradicate the perpetrator in the kidnapping incident in a matter of seconds

But instead he ask

‘And you? Why didn’t you kill yourself?’

‘Because I want to talk to you.’ Azief snorted at Pandikar reply

‘You are truly arrogant. What makes you think I would even give you that chance? I could kill you with one finger in the time span it took you to say my name’

Pandikar laughed

‘Indeed. I do not doubt that. Then let’s just say I plead to speak with you.’

Azief smirk

‘Are you thinking that if you talk to me I would spare your life?’ Azief ask.

Because while normally many of his enemies did ask him to spare their lives, none were as calm as Pandikar or as fearless as him

Pandikar laughed again as he shake his head

‘I know I will not be spared. You will kill me…. No, to be more accurate you have no choice but to kill me.’ He smiles and then he added

‘You and I are quite similar Death Monarch.’

Hearing this Azief eyebrows rises up

It piqued his interest as he waves his hand on one of the chairs.

The chair that was splattered with blood was cleansed with one waves of his hand. He then sit down on the opposite end of the long table.

‘What do you mean?’

Pandikar then said

‘We both use fear as our weapon.’ Then smiling bitterly he said

‘I was a dictator before. Fear is an effective tool to govern.’

Azief eyes shines.

‘But I must admit my inferiority. You wield it better than I. I only uses fear and that is my mistake. Fear alone…..will one day crumble. You on the other hand wielded it almost wisely. Wrapped up with that air of mystery you got going on, even your name chills people heart. It is a different kind of fear. Admiration is mixed in, creating the image you are more than just a man. You are a symbol. And symbol…..are eternal. As long as people keep believing in it.’

Azief smirk. He knows Pandikar understand why he must be killed. Reputation. Fear…as long a people believes Azief is as fearsome as before, then it became his shield.

And sometimes people needs to be reminded why they fear him. Actions speaks louder than words.

And Azief intends to remind people why when he was around almost three years ago, no one would readily knowingly offend him or touch his family.

Then Pandikar said

‘Did you know that Hirate and Raymond killed more people than you? But they were not feared or admired as you are. Why?’

And the smiling bitterly Pandikar answer his own question

‘It is a matter of image. You cultivated an image of mystery and add with that your loose cannon attitude that seems to disregard everything, your image turns you into this transcendent figure. Unfathomable, unpredictable. And nothing is more fearsome than an unpredictable enemy. Add to that you are the most powerful person in the world, one could imagine the influence you have over the world.’

‘I sure killed a lot more than they did today.’ Azief said, his eyes glances at the destruction on the outside of the Quorum building.

Stuffs are still blowing up and chaos seems to spreading all over the Island. Pandikar nodded

‘You truly did. In the end I failed my gamble’

‘Epically’ Azief said And Pandikar nodded.

‘Yes, epically.’ He even had the courage to laugh, treating it like this is an afternoon tea. Azief is perplexed about Pandikar at the utter devoid of fear of his own impending doom

‘Are you talking to me to compliment on a job well done?’ and hearing this Pandikar laugh.

His laugh is carefree. Pandikar accepted his death already. So, he could be carefree and without worries.

‘Do not worry. That is not the reason I want to talk to you and waste your time.’

Azief while he is talking with Pandikar also had the chance to gather his thoughts.

He thought of all the events including the Coffin in the sky and the Demonic army and he saw the dark hands of Loki in that event

He is somewhat related to that event. And the prison from where Sofia and Raymond was being broke out of…who is planning the breakout?

Once again, Azief believe Loki had a hand on this.

So many schemes….and deep and profound plots.

This is Loki ways of doing this.

Azief do not dare to say he understand Loki completely but he knows a deal a lot more than anybody about Loki than anyone else.

Azief views Loki as the younger brother he never had. Azief family was broken …a long time before the Fall ever descended.

Maybe….that is why he is always attracted to something broken.

Something like him.

And yet…of all the people he attracted to….they have been broken…and they have healed.

But not him.

He….is still broken. Like a defective toy…..his heart is closed and hesitance filled his every move….broken and flawed.

Maybe…maybe that is why he pursue perfection so obsessively. He was attracted to broken things, yet he himself wanted to be perfect.

There is always this nagging feeling that…that broken part of him would repulse anyone that truly saw him.

That everything he touch…would break. So, he dares not touch anything beautiful. He looks at it and dreams of it….but he never held out his hand to touch it.

So, he was trapped. Always in that darkness.

But…Sofia accepted that part of him even though it hurts her more than she cares to admit. That broken and flawed parts of him.

She never did understands why he was always hesitating. Because….she is beautiful. And Azief is fearful.

Fearful, that this beautiful thing that have been broken by life and healed….will be broken again by him.

While Sofia accepted that part Katarina embraces his flaws. Probably because she understand it too.

To be trapped in darkness, to look at beautiful things and be fearful of breaking it with one touch.

But Azief could not understand them. Why…would they ever love a broken thing?

But Loki?

Loki saw him exactly for what he was. A broken man. And he did not embrace or accept that broken part of him.

Loki rejected it with all of his being. He disdained that hidden weakness of the Death Monarch.

He believes…..almost a belief that near to faith that he…would transcend that. Believing that he is somehow destined for greatness.

When he is with Loki he could feel it from the way Loki look at him. It was more than just admiration.

It was a reverence and a gaze that contains almost an abundance of hope.

Loki believe that he is much more than just a broken man and that belief of him sometime even infected Azief enthusiasm.

When he found out that Loki is from the future, even Azief felt somewhat excited. Could that explain the look Loki had when looking at him?

Is he truly destined for greatness? Was that what it is? But when Loki said he would be the cause of the destruction of the Universe, Azief hopes was dashed.

But…is that is truly the truth? Will he truly destroy the Universe? And if he did…why does Loki does not hate him?

Why not end the threat?

Loki is a person that speaks in half-truth. Never the entire story. There is always something. And all of this reeks of Loki schemes.

Azief thought of all this in the moment Pandikar is speaking. Azief look at Pandikar and said

‘What is it you want to talk to me about? I have little time. You after all let a few people run out. Your private soldiers I assume’ Pandikar nodded.

‘I know they would not escape your eyes.’

‘Yet, you still let them go. And you killed the Council members while letting the soldiers go. Explain’ Azief orders

Pandikar sighed and then said

‘If any of these Council members follow the soldiers out I could say with certainty that they would all be massacred to the last man. Since they were destined to die either way, then at least I could end it with my own hand. And let the soldiers that is only following orders a chance at survival.’

‘Do you think I would spare them?’ Azief ask calmly. Pandikar shakes his head

‘No.’

‘Your reputation compels you to hunt them down and kills them. But maybe, just maybe, if some of them are truly lucky and God bless their souls, that they would manage to escape and hide in some remote cloners of the world.

‘My reputation compels me?’ Azief ask

‘You think I don’t know what you are doing? You are killing the monkey to warn the chicken or was it the other way around?’ And he laugh a bit at his own joke.

‘Since you have already decided to use that tactic you could not be soft hearted at the end could you? That is your weapon…isn’t it? Fear. You will instill fear to the whole world…and with your action today you are declaring to the world that nobody should ever think of touching your family. Actions after all works better than just words’

Pandikar look at the open ceiling, looking at the calm skies and said

‘I bet after today, nobody would even dare look your people in the eyes. You announce your return with a bloody massacre and warn the whole world….and then you would return to your position as an observer.’ And he said that last word with disgust.

Azief of course notices this.

‘What are you trying to say, Pandikar?’

‘Today, mark the end of my life and the old order of the World Government. But tomorrow, tomorrow the world will not be the same.’

He lamented at this fact

‘What is your move after this Death Monarch? Would you simply…’ and he paused before asking

‘Simply walk away? After killing all of your enemies, emerging victorious will you truly walk away and let the world remains at it is? Would you establish a base somewhere in the world, and stay there, unbothered with the worldly affairs.’ He ask and more like asking he is judging

‘When you step outside this island later, tomorrow, a world of chaos would descend. The status quo has been broken. Before the World Government has restrained the Republic and the League of Freedom.’

Azief frowned.

While he did not meddle much in international affair he of course knew the stalemate between these forces when he was present.

It is not an exaggeration to say that it is his presence on the world that prompted the stalemate between the World Government and the Revolutionary Army at the time.

Pandikar on the other hand continue speaking

‘Say what you want about the corruption and the foul means of the World Government but isn’t it true, that if not for the existence of the World Government that humanity would break down faster during the Weronian Invasion? If not for the World Government, the damage wrought by the crime families that is emerging all over the world would be even bigger?’

‘That is…’and Azief did not know what to say. Pandikar sigh with regret

‘Why did you never tried to take the helm of power? Fine, you don’t want to bow your head to the World Government. I could accept that. But why did you never try to usurp it? Why not become the head of the world largest organization? Why is it your response is always destroying it? I don’t understand. With your power….with your influence, you could have united the world and bring humanity into a united front. Yet….you are always an observer, and neutral. One might even call you a pacifist from your stance.

Azief could understand the irony.

He was the most fearsome man, an unstable elements on the quest of world peace in the world yet he was the one that prompted the situation where the world was at peace.

At least in the surface.

‘Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’ Pandikar said

‘Would you be happy then if I throw my lot with the Republic?’ Azief ask

‘I would not say I would be happy but that would be more acceptable than you remaining neutral.’

Pandikar shot back.

‘When we first created the status quo that keep the world peace we all have our considerations. But almost three years have passed since then. There is a lot of more factors to consider and more evil and darkness in the world than before. And there is more threat than before.’

‘Threat that we are too ill equip to fight. Humanity…is being weakened…..every day at every moment. And out there’ and Pandikar pointed his finger to the open roof above his head, pointed his finger to the sky,

‘There are probably millions of races from outer space eyeing us….waiting and probably planning an invasion just like the Weronian.’

There is silence. This talk has deviated slightly but Azief finally understand why Pandikar did all this. Why he risk a war with him?

No…Pandikar did not risk a war. He wanted the war to happen. For one last gamble. He was prepared to die if he failed.

And…Azief could respect that. And he also understand.

But understanding did not mean like. Azief has met many men and women he respected and understand…yet they all still died under his hand

Then he answers

‘Power corrupts.’ Azief said and Pandikar scoffed as he countered back

‘In my life as a dictator I wield power. So I can say this. No, power does not corrupt. It is the fear of losing power that corrupt men.’

Azief look at Pandikar and in his eyes he saw something more than just an enemy he needs to kill.

He saw a man…in his last hour….probably because he is about to die, braver in all of his entire life.

The conviction in his eyes, in his tone of speech could even infect Azief thought and will.

‘So…what are you trying to say….?’

‘The balance of the world is at stake. The moment you stepped out of the island, the Republic will conquer Europe. The League of Freedom will wreak havoc in other uncontested region. Rebellions will erupt everywhere in World Government dominion. The world….will be in chaos. So many sufferings and so many death that it will make the casualties you dealt today look like child’s play. It is why I gambled everything on this. Lose, I die. Win…and the world would have peace. But I lose.’ But then Pandikar smiles.

‘Yet, there is still a chance for peace.’  Nearing his end of life….giving up almost everything except that burning desire to protect the world, his mind become clear

‘You would not mind if you die?’ Azief ask.

Looking at Pandikar that disregard any value of his death somehow makes Azief blurt the question out

Pandikar smiles terribly and then he confesses

‘I have done many terrible things on this Earth. I have killed. I have raped and I have gained happiness from other people pain. I made all the bad choices, for all the wrong reasons. I made my bed a long time ago. I always knew deep in my heart that someday I will have to pay for all that. There is a Price to be paid’ And he smirks a bit.

Pandikar was reminded of someone that spoke to him about the fact that everything have a price.

That man spoke about Karma and consequences, about causes and effect and he promise Pandikar that one day, like all the others before him….the Price will come and he would knew that there is truly a price for everything.

So he have always been prepared to die.

Looking at the Death Monarch he said

‘At the end of my life, I found the light. I…believe that if I win….the world will truly be at peace. That the world could be united.’ He then smiles bitterly

‘But maybe….just like the me before…I am still grasping inside the darkness. Maybe…I’m still wrong. Maybe this time I made the wrong choice for the right reason. In the end, I truly would not know. So…I only could request this shamelessly of you. Don’t abandon us. That’s it. That is all the only thing I wanted to say to you. My last wish.’

Azief close his eyes. He took a deep breath and think about what Pandikar said to him and reflected on his actions in the past.

Was he wrong? Or was Pandikar wrong? Or is it the fault of the whole world? Then he opens his eyes, release his breath and he said to Pandikar calmly

‘You….kidnapped my people, incited a war between me and the World Government, impersonate Hirate, release an ungodly beast and forge false orders leading to the deaths of millions and you still dare to ask this of me?’

And Pandikar nodded. And then he said

‘I think….you and me….are not that different’ and he look at the Death Monarch eyes.

‘There is still compassion in your heart.’ He said. The reason why he uses fear as a weapon is to mask his compassion.

Pandikar hated that he lost but he accepted it. And he hated the Death Monarch yet he could not help but trust him

Azief sighed and then he just nodded. He got up from his seat and walk to the end of the table. Pandikar did not run, he just waited.

With each steps, Pandikar thought back to the horrible things he have done in his life, the killings, the screams and cries of his victims and he could only console himself that at least at the last moment of his life, he truly dedicated his life to the safety of the world

At least he wanted to believe that his effort was not in vain…that the souls of the people that he killed will not be that aggrieved

He knew he had a bed made for him in Hell. But at least he hope that this talk he had with the Death Monarch means something.

Azief is only four steps away from Pandikar. Azief take another step and Pandikar closes his eyes.

Azief take another step. There is only two steps away. It was then suddenly like Pandikar was broken form his reveries he opens his eyes and then he ask

‘Who broke out the Divine Archer and the Earthshaker?’ Azief stop.

‘It is probably Loki schemes’ Azief replies. Pandikar smiles and release a chuckle. Azief took another step forward and Pandikar said, looking straight at Azief eyes and said

‘A word of advice. Hirate fears Loki more than he fears you. I would be careful around him if I were you’ Pandikar said before closing his eyes.

Azief took that last step and with one swish of his hand Pandikar head was separated from his body, rolling down on the pool of blood on the tile floor of the room.

Azief look at the head and shakes his head

‘Why does my enemies always like to talk before they died? You are a brave person….but not a great mastermind. And you threaten my family. Pity’

But his face shows no remorse or pity at all. But Pandikar last wish does echoes in his mind. And Azief don’t know what to do about it.

So, he only shakes his head once again

Azief then took the head and walk out of the building. On the sky six Battlestar is waiting for him.

On the background were a land of fires and holes fills the areas around Azief battle site.

Waiting for him below the staircase is Raymond, Sofia, Oreki and Hirate. Raymond is beside Sofia ordering some personnel to do rescue efforts.

Even as he was standing beside Sofia, he has created ten meters walls of earth in many areas around fires and flooding from the rivers around the Central area of the island.

Sofia was drinking potion as Sina Battlestar is slowly landing not far away, no doubt to see Sofia.

Hirate was leaning on Oreki shoulder but he went straight as a pole when he saw the Death Monarch.

Azief held up the head high up in the air, and the people on the Battlestar cheers. Sina Battlestar has already landed.

Athena and Freya is riding the Pegasus down to report probably.

Fairy of the Stars Somi rides her sword below her feet as she sails the wind with six sword hovering beside her, creating a ring of protection around her.

The Shadow Guards led by Sasha is also slowly landing their Battlestar near Sina Battlestar.

On the other area, Budiman and his teams of engineers is repairing the shield barriers, the gun turrets and the cannon on the other Battlestar that was damaged when Azief battled the Chimera

Azief throw the head of Pandikar away from his hand as it rolls down from the top to the bottom of the staircase.

Azief then look at Hirate, pondering for a while. He was staring like a beast staring at its prey, deliberating on what to do. Then his eyes glint

Hirate looking at Azief staring at him and he felt something. A foreboding feeling. And then he understand it.

Azief rush forward, the propulsion of his feet exerted a powerful impact and the tile below his feet exploded as sound barriers is broken creating an ear deafening sound waves.

Like lightning, his hand in a drill like movement is aiming at Hirate head.

Hirate did not even had the time to scream when a pair of hand grips Azief hand and Azief hand stopped a few inches away from Hirate head.

Raymond and Sofia was shocked with the appearance of that person. Even Hirate did not expect that his life would be rescued by that person.

‘Long time no see’ that person speak with a smile on his face. And the whole world watches as the possibilities of a new conflict brewing

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How was it? Who do you think stop Azief attack? And Pandikar ideals and wishes was relayed to the Death Monarch.

AND we now know what Azief thought of himself. Most of the times we heard what is his evaluations from other people who don’t know him.

Like he is mysterious and unfathomable and that he is like that. That is his cultivated persona, a face he wants to show the world and true for most of the time.

But in love and his social life, especially relating to relationship he believes himself to be broken.

Anyway, chapter 181 has been posted in patreon. Hope you like the chapter. Do hope you could keep supporting me and leaving some comments.

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