Chapter #120 – Aftermath
Resisting the urge to hit his own head in order to snap out, Daneel somehow managed to bring his wit together and open his mouth.
This was a crucial time, and the words he would say now would impact the impression the people would have of him.
“People of Lanthanor, enemies have managed to infiltrate our midst and leave with those who have done grave crimes against all of us. As your King, I promise that death shall chase those who have had the gall to try to escape the rightful punishment they deserve. For now, we shall continue with the execution. Elites, take your position around the stage. Grand Court Mage, please take care of the Court Mage and replace him if need be.”
In times of distress, it was a calm voice that was the most valuable. Thus, as Daneel’s words resounded across the plaza, the fear that had been born in the hearts of the people abated, replaced by the certainty that their King would protect them.
Sighing with relief seeing that his words had had effect, Daneel nodded at Kellor to proceed. Regardless of what had happened, the rest had to be executed. His goal was that although a large part of the people who had gathered wouldn’t witness the justice they yearned for today, they would still be able to go to their beds knowing that the King they had chosen would definitely make sure that those who had escaped would reach the same end as those on the stage.
The rest of the execution was more subdued, with Kellor taking the previous Grand Court Mage’s place. The latter had had to be moved to the infirmary while word had reached Daneel that his condition was stable.
While looking at the proceedings, Daneel tried to order the questions floating in his head.
Why had Jonah not asked him directly if he wanted to take possession of a prisoner? Of course, Daneel had no idea if he would agree. In fact, he would have leaned more towards rejecting him due to the sheer amount of infractions that noble had committed.
Who had lent him the trinket which enabled him to break the barrier? Daneel knew for a fact that with his Master’s power, it would be impossible to break through the barrier like he had done. The penetration had definitely been facilitated by the golden lance he had been holding in his hands.
What had been the reason behind his increased power and why had he been wheezing so much throughout the event?
As for the reason why he had been able to teleport out, that was Daneel’s fault. That man had after all been the Master who helped him a lot on his journey. For this reason, he had been quite startled seeing his actions and had thus hesitated a bit before ordering the system to deploy the dragon claw. That gap had been enough for him to leave.
More than anything, it was the look he had given Daneel before proceeding towards his target.
If he wasn’t wrong, that look contained an unwillingness, as if he regretted what he was doing, but had no other choice.
This hadn’t been the case with the other man. Due to the abruptness of Jonah’s attack, there had been enough of a gap between the breaking of the barrier and the teleportation of the man for Daneel to deploy the claw and try to stop the man from taking away the prince.
He shuddered as he remembered what had happened next. Was this the power of those one-time trinkets he had confiscated from the attacking parties before?
The power had just been a bit too astonishing. Now, Daneel understood why a Champion level powerhouse could directly level a Kingdom such as his with just a little effort. The crane beak’s attack had just been one strike on that power level.
Who was this man and what force did he come from to be able to use such a valuable trinket to take away the Eldest Prince? What was so valuable about the prince in the first place to warrant such an effort?
So many questions, yet all he had were suspicions.
The execution finally came to a close, yet the atmosphere of joy that was supposed to be there was absent. Although many were happy, a portion of the populace still had morose expressions on their faces.
Before he left, Daneel gazed at all these people and etched them into his memory, choosing to say one last thing.
“My people, justice delayed is not justice denied. Trust in me, and you will not regret it.”
With these words, the people in the plaza knelt as one, resulting in a magnificent sight of a sea of bent backs.
This was enough for Daneel to know that his efforts had been successful. Nodding to himself as if coming to a decision, Daneel flicked his finger to set alight the tinder that had been placed below the stage.
The corpses of the nobles were placed standing in the middle of the stage by Kellor, with their heads hanging low.
As the flames roared into life and started consuming the bodies, the people stood up and watched, not saying a single word.
This was the last sight he saw before going back to the palace. The fire which devoured the stage seemed to mimic that present in those watching.
At this moment, Lanthanor stood as one, watching the fire burn away the miserable history of the once-great Kingdom.
And at this moment, they believed in the promise their King had made.
Getting back to the palace, Daneel collapsed into a chair in a large meeting room.
“System, show me the Kingdom Statistics.”[Kingdom Management Statistics:
Satisfaction Level: 17%
Dissatisfaction Level: 35%]
Indeed, there hadn’t been as much of a decrease in the dissatisfaction level as he had hoped. Things would definitely have been different if events hadn’t turned out in the way they had, mused Daneel while he gestured the commanders and the others in his retinue to take a seat.
“Commanders, how did this happen?”, he asked, opting to first listen to the opinions of the two whom he respected after hearing so much about.
The past few days had been very hectic, what with all the decisions that had been pending regarding various matters. Thus, he felt that he had neglected the wealth of experience that the two individuals had. In fact, he had heard that the third was actually the most senior, but he always chose to stay at the border for some personal reason.
Cassandra and Aran shared a look between the two of them when Daneel asked them the question.
“My King, we have already alerted the border to immediately notify us if there are any attempts to teleport outside. All scheduled departures have also been stopped.”
The Fire Demon was the first to speak after flicking her red hair over her shoulders. Her eyes also had a smoldering fury inside, and she seemed to be controlling her emotions in order to speak evenly with the King.
“Your Majesty, it is most possible that these individuals were in the Capital since before the oath was sworn with the three forces. Either they belong to a force other than these three, or it is possible that there was some way to circumvent the oath that was sworn.”
Just as Daneel was about to respond, a knock sounded on the door.
Puzzled, he ordered a guard to open the door to see that it was Felix.
Entering, he first looked at the soldiers in the room before glancing towards Daneel.
Understanding what he meant, Daneel dismissed the elites, leaving only Faxul, Cassandra, Aran, Kellor and Felix in the room.
“Daneel, this parchment was left in my room this morning with a note indicating that it was for you. You had already reached the execution before I chanced upon it.”
Taking the parchment into his hand, Daneel realized that it was the type which needed to be bound.
Breaking the tip of his finger with his nail, he let a drop of blood fall on the parchment.
As the others in the room watched on, his eyes widened with surprise as he heard the voice of his Master and now traitor of the Lanthanor Kingdom, Jonah Castle, speak in his mind.