Volume 2 – Growing In Power
Chapter #72 – The Eldest Prince
20-foot tall banners were the first things that came out of the gates after the gong sounded, signaling the beginning of the funeral march.
For the first time, Daneel got a close look at the army of the Kingdom of Lanthanor. The army was actually positioned outside in a separate barracks near the Capital City. They seldom entered the city, as they always had to be on call to respond to any attacks on the borders of the Kingdom. Only the highest personnel would often come to the Capital to converse with the King if necessary.
Blue robes made from a faintly shimmering material covered the soldiers till their knees after being tightened at the waist by a leather belt. The belt had 6 pockets arranged neatly on both sides, while the trousers were made of a similar material. The boots looked especially sturdy, with what looked like spikes covering the bottom which made the marching sound even more pronounced as the procession passed past Daneel.
Light grey shoulder epaulets with a sharp edge made the uniform stand out, making Daneel suspect that they weren’t so simple as they appeared to be from his years of experience in enchanting.
The soldiers’ eyes were set straight ahead, as if they would march through anything on their path without hesitation to get their destination. This relentless determination made many move back with awe from the cordons, giving the procession even more space as the remaining members appeared from the gate.
The 5 columns of barrier bearers each containing 10 soldiers were followed by another 5 columns with slightly different uniforms.
These soldiers had red epaulets which gave one the impression that blood was dripping from their shoulders. Although the rest of the uniform was similar, their belts had 8 pockets which seemed to be filled completely.
A casket inclined at 45 degrees to the ground exited the gate next. Embroidered in gold and precious gems, the casket floated in the air letting all see the peaceful expression of one who was unconcerned of mortal matters. Daneel saw that this was, of course, the man he had glimpsed in the forest before teleporting away. A gold crown was on his head, symbolizing that he had once reigned over an entire Kingdom.
As per the information Daneel had gathered in the short time he had, a small regiment of the Mage Corp of the army was also supposed to be here. Yet, they were no where in sight.
Meanwhile, it seemed that the image of the casket containing the previous King had set off a zeal in the eyes of many watching the procession. Daneel took note of 5 such people around him, clenching their fists tight while they seemed to be waiting for some signal.
Of course, there were also some who hid these feelings well. From the system’s surveillance tool, Daneel could surmise that there were at least 10 different pairs of eyes on him. It was just that the other 5 were concealing their feelings and intentions well, not letting Daneel to pick them out easily from the crowd.
Suddenly, a foreboding feeling washed over him ; it was as if something had changed in the location he was standing in, making him feel uncomfortable and restless.[Eminent Warrior Spell: Bloodlust detection has been activated near host’s location. Would you like to cast the Anti-detection Spell?]
Alarmed, Daneel responded “Yes” before feeling relieved that the foreboding feeling was receding. Although there had only been a slim chance, Daneel did not want to take the risk to expose his intentions. The Anti-detection spell was something he had developed by using the system’s surveillance tool as the base. Like in the case of the honey trap solution, an ability of the system was developed into a spell with limited effects that he could use. Although the effects were limited, Daneel had given the specification that unlike the surveillance tool which only protected him from enemy surveillance, this spell must be able to thwart any attempts at detection no matter the method used. Bloodlust detection was just one type of detection spell, but it was already something that only an Eminent Warrior Mage could cast.
Shocked, he realized that this meant that either the previous King was faking his death, or another powerful personage had arrived who was equal to the previous King in power. Events were definitely not going like what he or the other forces had expected.
Turning around, he was taken aback to see a man in brown robes being lifted into the air while having a gruesome expression on his face. He frothed at his mouth for a few seconds before fainting and floating in place in the air, limp.
Slowly, Daneel saw more and more such figures rise into the air and faint. Looking around, he realized that some belonged to his faction too. The procession had stopped in its tracks, while the soldiers simply gazed at these unconscious people with stoic expressions. This was only taking place in the area nearest to the gate, where at least 10% of the population of the Kingdom were congregated. Yet, the people on the streets further beyond that point could also clearly see this appalling sight clearly.
Even the commoners were not spared. Children pulled at the clothes of their parents, horrified at seeing them hanging in the air as if dead. Seeing this sight, Daneel felt disgusted at who ever had cast this spell.
Three men appeared 15 feet in the air, looking down at the unconscious citizens with expressions of anger on their faces.
One of them was a young man with features similar to the King who was standing beside him; the nose was an exact replica, but where the King’s was crooked after being broken, this man’s was straight. Unlike the King’s silver hair, his shone a bright gold making him stand out among the three.
“My father, King Jeffrey spent his whole life defending this Kingdom with everything he had! How dare you people hold ill intentions against such an honored figure on the occasion of his funeral?! I should behead you all to pay tribute to my father’s sacrifices to the Kingdom!”, fumed the King, speaking in an angry tone that made many watching commoners cower in fear.
“Father, let them be. Let this act as a final warning against all those who hold ill intentions against the throne. Please spare them for my sake, as a welcoming gift for my return to the Kingdom.”
The young man spoke, giving the commoners a ray of hope. The grim atmosphere that had pervaded the area due to the King’s words was swept away by this honeyed voice, while the appalled commoners instantly felt gratitude for the man who was standing on their side.
“As you wish, son. Due to your potential, even the Vice Sect-Master of the Withering Leaf Sect graced our Kingdom with his presence. I will forgive them for one last time as a gift to you. Vice Sect-Master, please do release the spell. The Kingdom thanks you for using the Eminent Warrior Mage Spell, bloodlust detection to let me address all these people who seem to have lost faith in the Lanthanore Family. ”
The last man, who was wearing a green robe with leaves emblazoned in mesmerizing patterns, nodded in response before waving his hand.
All of the unconscious people fell to the ground with a THUD while Daneel watched this drama play out.
Seeing the grateful expressions of many of the commoners who had been fearing that their loved ones would be beheaded, Daneel applauded the King in his mind while also controlling the urge to scoff at the obviousness of the intention.
This was clearly the Eldest prince who was known to have Crimson Comprehension Level. Daneel knew that he was at a distant sect, but he had had no idea that he would make such a flashy entrance.
The bloodlust detection spell could only be cast by one at the Eminent Warrior Mage Level, which was exactly the level the previous King had reached before passing away.
Thus, in one fell swoop, the King had made it clear that there was someone on his side who could fill the void left by the previous King while also succeeding in granting a positive impression to his Eldest son in many of the peoples’ eyes.
Now, the best thing for Daneel to do was see how the rest of the forces in the Kingdom reacted to this new development.