Volume 2 – Growing In Power
Chapter #84 – The Forces Gather
The soldiers who had been tasked with guarding the King’s Central Chamber were all ones who had been on a battlefield multiple times.
They had the instincts of a veteran who knew when things were going south. Now, although that instinct was telling them that everything that could go south was going south, they had no choice but to stand and follow their orders.
As for the Mage Corp, they were used to sitting back and casting spells as soldiers marched forward. Now, under the attack of a force that seemed unstoppable, they could not help but feel extremely wary.
Seeing someone walk down the corridor towards them, all the soldiers went on high alert.
As a single unit, the 50 soldiers divided into rows of 10 each. Each row had activated a particular type of trinket: the first row all had shields, blocking the ones behind from view. The second had lances in their hands with the tips pointing forward through holes in the shields. The 3rd and 4th rows had close combat weapons like swords, daggers and maces depending on each soldier’s specialty. The last had already nocked arrows, ready to shoot.
The Mage Corp had simply vanished into the air, but a round ball of earth blazing with fire had suddenly formed above the soldiers’ heads.
“It’s a noble!”, came the shout from the captain of the squad whose job was to identify threats and order attacks.
“Stand down! Let him in after verifying his identity!”
Daneel, who had disguised himself as Varanel, had suddenly put on a panicked expression on seeing the soldiers get into formation and point weapons at him. His plan was to wait and order the system to crack the verification method as soon as he found out what it was. He had allowed the panic to come on his face because that was the expression Varanel would put in this situation. After all, Daneel had seen a panicking Varanel in person when he impersonated as the ‘master’ and met him and Laravel in the barren field.
But before the soldiers even relaxed their formation, the door opened to reveal Kellor.
“Whats the matter?”, he asked, seeing the unit of soldiers pointing their weapons at Varanel.
“Your excellency! This noble was just walking down the passageway! We were just about to get him to verify his identity.”
Hearing this, Kellor walked forward and saw the teen who had an alarmed expression on his face.
“Varanel? Why are you here?”, he asked, as the soldiers finally minimized their trinkets and went back to guarding the door. Even the blazing ball above had disappeared and the Mages were back, standing near the soldiers and looking around.
“Is it possible to enter and see what is going on?”
Kellor’s answer was cut off even before he opened his mouth as he wondered whether he had seen an illusion. For a split second, he could swear that Varanel’s face had morphed into Daneel’s before changing back.
Remembering the moment he had decided to help Daneel as best as he could, Kellor understood what was going on.
“Did you tear your clothes?”, he asked, to confirm if his suspicion were true. Only the both of them knew of the conversation in his room when Kellor examined his clothes which had torn due to him activating the disguise for the first time.
Hearing the reply, Kellor raised his hand and waved it in front of Daneel.
A purple beam of light flashed over his body, after which the light turned green.
“Verification successful. He wants to see the King beat back the forces who think they have a chance against the Noble Lanthanore Family. Long live Lanthanor!”
“Long Live Lanthanor!”
The Court Mage was the King’s trusted advisor, and it had been him who had arranged the additional protocol to verify one’s identity out of caution. Seeing him do the verification personally, none of the soldiers or mages asked further and let them enter.
Following the Court Mage amid the cheer from the soldiers, Daneel felt lucky that he had this ally inside the palace. Although what he could do was limited thanks to the oaths that bound him and the constant scrutiny of the Grand Court Mage, he had still done everything he could.
Entering the room, the green arrow vanished as the heart he had been searching for finally appeared in front of Daneel.
Seeing the sight in front of him, he could not help but let his jaw drop.
It was a large square room, measuring at least 100 feet in width and length.
GLUB DUB. GLUB DUB. GLUB DUB.
A gigantic heart in the middle of the room was floating on top of a circular groove on the floor that shone with a white halo. Although there was no blood on top of it, the red heart still beat as if pumping out something.
A barrier was around the heart, in which four people stood looking at panels in the air which showed what was happening outside.
This was actually not the first time Daneel was seeing panels such as these. Two years ago, he had seen a broken panel in one of the piles in Ripley’s house. On asking, he had found out that such panels were very advanced trinkets which were manufactured by an ancient organization in this world. Just this broken piece had cost Ripley a fortune to buy because apparently, the enchantment was so complex that it required at least a 4th Grade Enchanter.
4th Grade Enchanter! Considering that the top enchanter in Lanthanor was only 2nd Grade, Daneel had been quite shocked. The minimum requirements to become a 1st Grade enchanter were that one needed to be an Eminent Human Mage and also needed to have become adept in the art of enchantment, which took years of practice. Even then, they could only make trinkets usable by 1st, 2nd or 3rd Grade Human Mages or Fighters.
Going by this metric, a 4th Grade Enchanter would have to be someone who had advanced to the Warrior Mage level while also spending time to learn enchanting. Such a feat was simply impossible by anyone in the Kingdom.
Thus, it made sense why those trinkets would cost so much.
In fact, that had been the point at which Daneel’s plans had actually begun to become concrete.
“Varanel? Stand to the side and don’t make a sound.”
Daneel was brought back to the present on hearing the King’s voice. Bowing, he nodded with respect and went to the side to join some other members of the nobility who were already there.
In his mind, he cursed the barrier stopping him from coming into contact with the heart. After asking the system, he had just found out that it was directly made by the formation and was hence at the level of a Peak Warrior Mage. There was no way he would be able to break through it no matter what he did.
All he could do was wait for a chance. There were more than 40 nobles standing all around the room, their eyes transfixed on the images on the panels. Thus, only a few of them simply nodded seeing Varanel arrive and then went back to staring.
Reaching an empty spot, Daneel also turned towards the panels in the center to finally find out just what exactly was going on outside.