Supreme Magus - Chapter 1023 Dangerous Wishes Part 1
Chapter 1023 Dangerous Wishes Part 1
“Why does Nandi say that we’re imprisoned here? Nana, are you going to use us and the children for your experiments?” Friya asked while the identity of their host became clearer by the second.
Her mind refused to believe that the protagonist of a cautionary fairy tale might be real, but the more she heard, the more legends made sense.
“Not at all.” Nana shook her head.
“You’re free to go whenever you want. I will not move a finger to harm you, but I’m afraid that those waiting for you outside will not be as kind. I’m offering you a choice.
“Stay here with me and help me with my research. Not only will I save your lives, but I will also give you power beyond your wildest dreams. Or you can leave these caves and die a dog’s death at the hands of the very people you considered your allies.”
Phloria took all of her amulets out of her dimensional necklace, discovering that none of them worked. She thought about how the upper floors of the mines were so clean despite Belin’s findings, about how well-timed the attack had been and suddenly everything made sense.
Outside the crystal mines, a few minutes after the Ghouls’ ambush.
Captain Kortus of the original expedition, Captain Lotta who led the reinforcements, Tlea, the Royal Prospectors’ foreman, and Wyra, vice-head of the Crystal Shield guild, were dining together while waiting for the Ernas sisters to return.
Each one of them was interested in a different member of the Ernas family. Kortus and Eras were itching for some trouble to arise so that they could prove to be Phloria’s match, if not even her betters.
Tlea kept rehearsing in her mind the speeches she had prepared to convince Quylla to become her apprentice. Between her talent and the political prowess of the Ernas family, Tlea was certain that with Quylla by her side, the sky was the limit to how rich her Ormann household could become.
Only Wyra was worried about their safety and kept looking at her communication amulet in the hope to receive a call.
‘I know that it’s dumb worrying for god, but I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong.’ Wyra Yunja was a young woman in her early twenties, about 1.7 meters (5’7″) tall, with a pixie cut and a round face.
She could’ve been considered cute, if not for her thick muscular build and her square jaw. Coupled with her fierce eyes, her physique gave her a cold demeanor that made Wyra look like a disgruntled drill sergeant always ready to dish out punishment.
All the reports she had received from the guild members tasked with keeping the high officials under surveillance had yet to reveal anything suspicious, yet it only made Wyra more anxious.
She didn’t expect all of them to commit high treason or to indulge in unspeakable vices, but they were too clean for her taste. The background check Archon Ernas had performed on Friya’s request had revealed nothing new and the daily activities of the three mages had stuck to the military code bordering on obsession.
‘It doesn’t make sense. I could believe if one high officer was a spotless goody-two-shoes, but all of them?
‘An incompetent man like Kortus should take out his anger on the soldiers while I would expect that a shrewd social climber like Lotta would regularly call her contacts and try to make Captain Ernas look bad.
‘Tlea Ormann is the only one I managed to predict. She works all day in the caves and when she gets back to the camp, she barely has the energy left to eat before going to sleep.
‘Yet the only possible reason I can find to explain why the undead didn’t detonate the mines is that there is one or more of them among us, waiting for the opportunity to strike.’ Wyra thought.
While she stared at her steak as if it could provide her with an epiphany, a soldier pulled the curtain of the tent to the side, letting a handsome man in.
“Great Mage Nuragor, what a lovely surprise.” Captain Lotta stood up and gave him a small bow. “To what do we owe the pleasure? Searching for crystal veins is hardly a task worthy of a Great Mage.”
Everyone else present felt insulted at those words, especially Tlea. Hearing Lotta belittle her job just to suck up to a certified loser like Kallion made her want to puke.
“Alas, I bear bad news. Plan A was an utter failure. We lost contact will all members of the special unit tasked with retrieving the package. It’s time for Plan B, Captain Lotta.”
Clefas Lotta was a woman in her mid-twenties, about 1.6 meters (5’3″) tall with wheat-blonde hair and hazel eyes, born and raised in the north. She always wore make-up to lighten the pallor of her skin, but hearing those words made her turn so white that everyone thought that she was about to faint.
“Attention, this is not a drill.” She said into her communication amulet the moment she recovered from the shock. “Activate lockdown protocol. Password Blue, Dragon, 9, 7.”
“What the heck does that mean?” Tlea stood up while pointing a darkness wand at Eras’s face and her tier four magic holding ring at Kallion’s heart.
Wyra had no idea what was happening, but seeing her communication amulet forcefully turned off was enough to make her weave her best spells while keeping an eye on the newcomer.
“Prospector Orman is right, Lotta. What reason do you have to enforce the dimensional sealing array and put the guards on alert? What the heck is this beanpole talking about? I never heard about any plan being implemented.” Kortus said.
“Please, let me do the talking, Clefas.” Kallion put his hands in the air in a sign of submission, quickly followed by Lotta. With their hands away from the weapons and their rings pointing at the ceiling, the other three mages felt a bit more in control.
“I apologize for the sudden intrusion, but Captain Lotta and I are working for the good of the Kingdom. The war with the Undead Courts is killing the best warriors from both sides and the price to pay for each victory makes them hollow.” Kallion said.
“I come on behalf of Archmage Deirus and the Undead Courts who have resolved for a peaceful solution. The Undead Courts are willing to settle for 25% of the mined crystals in exchange to waive their rights over the veins and all Archmage Deirus asks is the life of the three Ernas sisters.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Tlea couldn’t believe her own ears. “Why the heck would we do something like that?”
“I’m glad you asked. First, in case you failed to notice, the army sent an entire battalion to protect the mines and all of them are either on Deirus’s payroll or thralls.
“We took our time so that the moment our undead allies stage their attack to seize the mines, all your soldiers who didn’t switch sides during the last few days will tragically die during the ensuing battle.
“Second, if you join us, you’ll be acclaimed as heroes. All of you will be promoted and receive enough riches to never have to worry again about your future whereas if you refuse, you’ll just rise the body count.
“Third, even if somehow you manage to kill both of us and escape, you’ll be killed either by Captain Lotta’s soldiers or by the undead army that has stepped inside the camp the moment the lockdown started.”