Chapter 40 – Beneath the same moon
Somewhere in the Capital, a princess was throwing a tantrum and breaking everything she could touch or see. She had never been this angry in her life.
“That slut! How dare she scold me! How dare she look down on me!” She wanted to vent but the more things she broke, the angrier she got.
In the corner of the secret room stood her confidante. She was unphased by the outburst of violence. She stood there, still and silent. Her eyes were lowered and expressionless. The princess threw a fit for a whole hour before settling down.
“Send people to retrieve the rest of the heroes. Be discreet, make sure that none of my brothers gets wind of this.” The princess paused. “Don’t alert the other side. Tell them that everything is alright and on schedule.”
The confidante bowed then left.
The princess looked at the cold moon outside. She understood that she wasn’t prepared enough.
“Next time. Next time…”
By the opened window of an inn lost in the middle of nowhere sat someone cloaked in crimson. In his hand was a bottle of wine; at his feet, warm and moist, lay the corpse of a delicate and charming woman.
“What is it?” asked the one in crimson.
“General, something happened.” A shadow appeared and knelt.
The body on the floor didn’t even enter their eyes. They waited and spoke after being allowed to. “The Mage Tower is holding a secret meeting with all their higher-ups. There has been news of a large mana disturbance 6 days ago and many mages have reported anomalies. They must be launching an investigation.”
“Do they know the point of origin?”
“It came from Zivia Kingdom, Eastward. According to the latest report, the point of origin is a city named Linestones.” answered the shadow.
“We are waiting for more reports. According to spies, the human churches’ representatives were also invited to a secret meeting in 2 days time. We have no clue so far if it concerns the mana disturbances or the demon subjugation.”
“Hmph. Human arrogance. As if banding together will help them!” The crimson one threw his bottle outside. Bathed in the moonlight, the person underneath the cloak irradiated a cold viciousness. As if they thought of something, they asked, “Where did that foolish princess make a move?”
The kneeling shadow was stunned for a second and couldn’t hide a grimace. “This… It’s Eastward… in Linestone city.”
It took several minutes for the crimson-clad to speak.
Under their hood, beads of cold sweat ran through the shadow’s forehead. “She sent a new high priest to Linestone City to do the summoning. She requested 15 people from us to act as an escort team in addition to the agreed resources at the last minute. So, we had to reallocate some resources to accommodate her.”
The shadow paused and tried to gauge the general’s reaction. “The disturbance event matches the day of the summoning. I just received word that something happened and 12 heroes have been summoned. I believe that this was the cause of the disturbance.”
The general revealed a rare expression of surprise on his face. “Twelve?” He roared with laughter. “Twelve heroes! It looks like fate is on our side and wants to doom humanity! Hahaha! Good, very good! Where are they heading?”
“They left Linesto-” The shadow paused, lowered head in concentration.
Faint mana vibrations spread in the air. The general kept silent as he knew it meant that a report was being transmitted. He waited patiently, admiring the moon, a bright smile on his face. Originally, he agreed to cooperate with the princess because he wanted to create chaos and move the undercurrents. He never believed that he would receive such a gift. This was going to change the power balance in their entire world.
The voice tore him from his reverie.
“Something bad has happened…”
Violent mana waves crashed on the subordinate. Their heart skipped a beat.
“Speak!” The crimson general threatened.
“The convoy was attacked by demon beasts. The number of survivors is unknown. The status of the heroes is unknown. Furthermore, it appears that a group of otherworlders organised a mutiny and…” The shadow wiped away some sweat on their forehead. “The main culprit who tortured the priest during interrogation can even alter her appearance.”
“Her? What about her tracker?”
“She managed to avoid wearing the ring but it seems like the tracking mark is still active.”
“Send a team to retrieve the survivors. As for that girl, I want her. If she’s a shape-shifter, our demon clan will rule above the others. I need her alive. If she’s really crafty enough to torture a high priest, put a reward on her head. Find and bring her to me no matter what.”
End of season 1