A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 237: A Subsurface War (14)
King Prillecha was the only king who moved immediately after hearing Desir’s words.
But it wasn’t too long before the other kings began to gather in the designated safe area, one by one. The reason was simple: the Outsiders had begun to move.
The Outsiders had opted to use assassins led by Pierrot Mask.
They were highly skilled. They moved with precision, alacrity, and perhaps most troublingly, with great boldness. The guards charged with protecting the VIPs of the Western Kingdom Union were easily incapacitated before them. They all collapsed too easily.
If Desir had not supported their troops, perhaps all of the kings of the western nations would have been picked off.
Fortunately, Desir realized the intention of Pierrot Mask and used all of the forces at his disposal. The Paladins of the Artemis Church were firm of resolve while the magicians of the Magic Tower were incredibly powerful, so the assassination attempts of Pierrot Mask were thwarted.
Up to this point, everything happened as Desir had planned for.
As the actions of the Outsiders became visible, there were no other valid options for the kings of the western kingdoms. All they could do was follow Desir as quickly as possible. They had no one else to follow. Only Desir had presented evidence that the Outsiders were working closely with Divide, and he even suggested a way to survive the looming threat of assassination.
It was natural for humans to drop all preconceptions when faced with the threat of death. With the threat apparent before them, there was no one who wouldn’t follow him. However, Desir felt he had only prevented the worst case scenario. He definitely couldn’t say it was for the best. Many minor kings and several key figures could have been protected, instead they all died.
It was a miserable feeling.
But Desir couldn’t do anything about it. The Outsiders moved in unison, prepared for this very moment, but Desir only had limited forces at his disposal. He had no choice but to do the best he could with what he had. But he could shake the feeling of failure. Some kings hesitated to join Desir, wasting time and resources Desir could have better applied elsewhere. This was the case with Anus, the President of Arunbeth, the country closest to the Empire.
[-No way, Divide can’t be this aggressive. I’d like to speak to the King of Divide right now.]
“Even though you’ve confirmed right now that Divide is not safe and likely has connection with the Outsiders?”
In the aftermath of the tough battle, Desir was unable to move easily, so he spoke to Anus through the communication channel.
[-Thank you very much for saving us from the assassins, but isn’t there a possibility that this is just a misunderstanding? The Kingdom of Divide is already powerful. They can’t have stooped so low as to research chimeras. Even if they did, this kind of response will only lead to a diplomatic conflict.]
“If you think so, I won’t stop you.”
Desir felt a little pathetic seeing the embarrassed Anus. But he didn’t show it.
“Maybe you’re right, diplomatically speaking. Do as you please. I have provided evidence that Divide and the Outsiders are working together, and it’s the President’s choice whether or not it is something worth acting on.”
Desir spoke as if he respected his choice, no matter what he did.
“But if you make that choice, we won’t be able to protect you anymore.”
[-I mean, there’s a possibility that… ]
“We’re far past possibility, President. I’m talking about the reality of the situation.”
In such a tense situation, everyone’s nerves were on edge, so it couldn’t be helped that Desir’s tone was polite but acerbic. But Anus didn’t have the luxury of pointing that out.
What Desir said was simply the truth.
“I didn’t do this out of obligation, it was simply an offer of goodwill. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to accept it and can choose to stay here in Divide. I respect your judgment.”
While claiming that things were already bad, he hinted that things would get a great deal worse if he did not accept Desir’s proposal.
Anus looked around, only now had reality caught up with him. His eyes were tinged with fear. All around him, the corpses of his knights were strewn across the ground. It was a mess of amputated limbs and decapitated heads.
If it hadn’t been for Desir’s help, he would have been in the same boat as them.
[-… … Okay. Where should we gather?]
“I want you to follow the instructions I gave to the soldiers I sent.”
Paladins clad in white armor had appeared to save the President of Arunbeth, and whatever remained of his personal guard. Their responsibility was to ensure their targets safety, and escort them to the safehouse, should they wish it. That was how all of the remaining kings of the Western Kingdom Union, excluding the King of Divide, had come together.
With all of them finally gathered, Desir started the impromptu meeting.
The King of Divide may very well be dead. It was a situation in which the Outsiders controlled Divide. While they didn’t need to believe Desir, it was certain that Divide was no longer safe.
Desir shared a little bit more of the evidence he had obtained. He didn’t jump to any conclusion, or even offer any analysis or commentary; he simply listed the facts.
The things he had seen.
The things he went through before entering the Kingdom of Divide.
He let everyone draw their own conclusions after being presented with all of the evidence.
“So what do you say?”
What Desir was championing was the same as before. Divide had already been taken over by the Outsiders, and staying in Pittsburgh was no longer safe. The kings had to leave.
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“Hmm… … I understand.”
It was an extraordinarily difficult task to change someone’s mind over the span of a few minutes. To make matters worse, Desir had been tasked with persuading the leaders of several nations, people who by nature of their title and what they represented, had notorious amounts of pride and were unlikely to make rash decisions. But one by one, the other kings voted in agreement with Desir’s proposition to leave.
The final point Desir had made was the most decisive tool, the piece of reasoning that undeniably tied the Kingdom of Divide to the Outsiders.
While all of the leaders of the Western Kingdom Union were being hunted down and killed, Divide’s soldiers were nowhere to be seen. The Outsiders’ assassins were running amok, dealing serious damage to both the town and the security personnel of the Western Kingdoms’ leaders.
This was strange, no matter how one looked at it. It was all too strange that they were taking no action even though criminals were at large in their own country and important figures from across the continent feared for their very lives.
Eventually, all of the kings agreed with Desir.
“I think we’d better get out of here for now. We’ll have to postpone asking Divide to take responsibility for this.”
With all naysayers now silenced, Zod put forth a display that showed where the troops of Divide had gathered. Streaming live through a long-distance observation device, Divide’s soldiers stood gathered around the teleportation gate, the quickest way out of Pittsburgh.
There were a huge number of troops present, as if to prevent anyone from getting near.
Getting through them would inevitably end in conflict.
Desir rallied the combined personal forces of the Western Kingdom Union, the Holy Paladins of the Artemis Church, and the magicians of the Magic Tower. With all these powerful forces united together, the number of powerful troops under Desir’s command naturally increased.
Each one of the individuals before him were vastly powerful, so much so that they were tasked with the noble purpose of guarding their country’s king. They were the most elite troops of a religion that spanned half the continent, and they were some of the most well-trained magicians the world leader in magic technology had to offer.
[-All of Divide’s forces stationed in the capital have assembled near the teleportation gate.]
Though the number of troops they faced was large, it was only the troops present within the capital city of Divide, Pittsburgh. Even with all the power gathered under this new alliance, their strength was by no means comparable to that of the entirety of Divide’s.
This was something they could only do if they faced just the troops presently in Pittsburgh..
[-Troops are heading here, Pittsburgh, from every city in the country.]
There was no time for further delay.
A small army was already poised in front of the teleportation gate.
Divide’s soldiers had certainly gathered here to stop them, just like they had seen through the observational device.
But one unexpected thing happened.
“You noble people have come all the way here in person.”
A man approached them while speaking in a polite tone.
His face was concealed by the black helmet he wore, however the energy emanating out of his pitch-black armor was extraordinary.
He was definitely King Class.
There were only a few King Class swordsmen on the continent, let alone in a single country. Even if he hadn’t revealed his identity, it wouldn’t have taken Desir long to narrow down the list.
“I’m Brepon, temporary leader of the Wyvern Army, acting on behalf of Siegfried, head of the Janissaries. We’re deployed here to prevent terrorism.”
They were an armed group that acted on behalf of Divide’s Royal Family. They were considered the strongest armed group in Divide.
It was also the group that Aaron had been the head of.
‘Did he succeed Aaron and take his place?’
The sharpness of the force emanating from Brepon did not flow out in a frenzy, but was neatly ruffled.
Desir winked at the soldiers who stood behind him.
“Should you not be protecting your own king from these terrorists? Surely you shouldn’t be standing around here.”
Priscilla took the lead, indignant at being stopped by someone who should clearly know better.
Brepon opened his mouth after bowing towards her.
“Because our king is in a safe place already. Now, I pose you the same question. Why are you here and not in a safe place?”
“That’s our business, is it not? If you would please move out of the way, I would greatly appreciate it.”
“You’re more eloquent than I thought, Saint of Artemis. But I cannot. There’s a possibility that terrorists may attack the teleportation gate or flee through it.”
He inspected the troops of the western kingdoms with a fierce gaze. He seemed to be trying to capture each and every one of them in his glare.
“You’re saying we have a terrorist amongst us?”
“It’s a possibility we cannot ignore. We have no evidence, but we have to be prepared for the worst.”
His eyes that swivelled from one person to another soon came to rest on one person in particular.
“I said it was only a possibility, but maybe the real terrorist is here?”
Brepon looked at Desir with a curious glance. Desir was not the only one who noticed the meaning of the glare.
Zod stepped forward.
Zod deliberately made his presence felt by circulating his mana with force. The surrounding mana made a noise in response.
“We don’t want to clash with Divide’s forces. Murder is not a very good solution. Please evacuate. This is your last chance to save your lives.”
The brow of Brepon facing him slightly wrinkled.
No matter how strong a King Class he was, the threat that the Great Sage posed could not be ignored.
“I, too, do not wish to engage in combat with the kings of the Western Kingdom Union at risk, but I cannot back down. Even for someone like yourself, dealing with the entire force of Divide is not an easy task.”
The conversation ended abruptly. Neither side intended to back down.
It was Brepon who lit the fuse first.
“As the head of the Janissaries, I am recommending you back down. If you do not do so within ten seconds, you leave us no choice but to battle.”
“How rude! These are the kings of the Western Kingdom Union. How dare you!?”
The soldiers standing behind them were unable to bear this overt rudeness and became noisy.
Des1r could feel the faint sound of the Wyverns crying from the sky.
Perhaps there was an army of them waiting in the sky.
Brepon began his countdown in an even tone. None of the soldiers stepped back.