DAWSID GREYSUNDER’S POV:
“Hehe… hehehe,” I pursed my lips, trying to contain the laughter building up inside me.
“Cheers, My Love, for the madness that will soon be coming to an end.” I held up my goblet as I leaned forward.
“Cheers.” My wife smiled back, touching my gla.s.s with hers to make a hollow ‘clink’.
Leaning back in the leather armchair much too big for myself, I relished the dry taste of fermented fruits that cost me about as much as a small house. Admiring the extravagant rings on each of my fingers, sparkling against the candlelight, I couldn’t help but smile widely.
“Just think, Glaundera. After this, no longer will our people be stuck in holes at the bottom of this continent. With His new rule, we, along with our people, will be there to serve directly beneath him. Dwarves will no longer need to be tools that slave away, forging weapons for the humans. We will be the chosen race that will lead this underdeveloped continent into a new era alongside Him,” I sighed.
“Was He really that powerful, Dear? You are the only one that has had direct communication with this ‘being’. What was he like?” my wife leaned her head on her arm, getting comfortable.
“It was nothing like I’d ever imagined. I’ve had my share of time fighting mana beasts when I was younger. Unlike the old dwarves that stick to their traditions, I carried no pride in the weapons that I had built. What satisfaction was there in watching someone mindlessly swing the weapon you poured your blood and sweat into crafting? No, the only weapon I ever finished, I had made for myself. Using my war axe, Full Cleave, I slayed hundreds of mana beasts of all cla.s.ses. There were some that could send shivers straight down my spine with just a pa.s.sing glance, while others could petrify even the strongest of mages with a glare” —I took another sip from my gla.s.s— ”Yet, when he first made himself known to me, I couldn’t breathe. My head felt like it was getting pounded by hammers while my whole body stung as if each pore was being stabbed by tiny needles. I’ve lingered at the gates of death countless times, but nothing had ever made me so fearful.”
Looking down at my hands, I see that they were trembling. “I told you this before, but I truly felt like I was facing a G.o.d. I had this overwhelming notion that he didn’t need me in order to achieve his goals, yet he was giving me this chance. He chose us, My Love. He chose us,” I whispered.
“I believe you, My Dear. And when he takes rule of this Continent, what was it that he promised us again?” My wife scooted next to me, cuddling against my arm as her large hands wrapped around my waist.
“He promised us everything we could ever hope for: vast wealth, magical capabilities that are beyond comprehension, more people to serve us, and best of all, an eternity to enjoy them all. Glaundera, I can finally, once again, swing Full Cleave. No more will this crippled body of mine hinder me,” I said, my voice growing louder the more excited I became.
“That’s great, My Dear. Truly, being in the Council is hindering your full potential,” my wife cooed, coaxing me as she rubbed my belly.
I leaned further back, enjoying her touch. “Hah! We three kings have a joke we say to one another. We joke around how the three kings of this generation all lack the talent and potential as mages, calling it the Dicathen’s Kings’ Complex. Screw them! Unlike the other two, I was once a great mage. Being an orange core mage by the time I was at my prime, I would have soared to greater heights if it wasn’t for that d.a.m.ned incident that left me in this pitiful state.”
What I never told my wife was that the ‘incident’ happened because I had some fun with a peasant girl.
I unconsciously licked my lips as I recalled that night. It would’ve been a lot more enjoyable if she wasn’t screaming so loudly.
I don’t know how her husband found out, but he was crafty enough to get me alone, even using his own wife as bait. Of course, I ended up killing the both of them to hide my little secret, but not before he was able to land a wound on me that would forever cripple my mana core. “Curse them! They should have just quietly accepted their fate; in fact, they should’ve seen it as an honor!” I cursed. To have put me in such a pathetic state, even torturing and killing them wasn’t enough.
“Dear, hush! The dwarves all respect you and you know that,” my wife scolded gently, snapping me out from my bitter memories.
“Respect? Bah, bull t.e.s.t.i.c.l.es! They all grudgingly obey me because of the two lances I have in my possession. I can feel it. Their eyes when they look at me, I know that they’re thinking: ‘Why is such a weak dwarf leading us?’ ‘He was just born lucky. He doesn’t deserve the crown and lances.’”
“Then we can kill all those that had once looked down on you, simple as that. And you will do it with your own two fists.” My wife moved her hand up, stroking my beard with her thick fingers as she looked up at me, her soothing smile accentuating her powerful square jaw. “You forgot one thing, though.”
“Of course. He also promised us fertility. We will finally be able to have sons and daughters of our own to carry on the Greysunders blood. In fact, why not see if he has already blessed us with it.” I put down my wine gla.s.s and shifted my body to face my wife. As I looked deep into her dirt brown eyes, I dug underneath her clothes to feel her warm, coa.r.s.e skin. I could feel her shudder from my touch as I continued softly rubbing her back, slowly reaching lower and lower.
As her eyes closed in pleasure, I used my other hand to untie her thin gown. When I slipped my hand underneath her top, she gasped in surprise from the chill of my fingers on her firm, exposed bosom.
I slipped off her gown to reveal her defined shoulders, smiling at the mesmerizing sight. I never understood the tastes of human and elf men, all wanting thin women. A real woman has to have muscles like these.
My wife inched closer impatiently as I took my sweet time undressing her; coaxing her as I spread her legs—
The door to our room slammed open, only to show my guard, who had been stationed outside, looking wide-eyed at us.
“What is the meaning of this!” I roared. “How dare you barge in without—”
Like a wooden plank, the guard leaned forward and dropped to the ground without a word. Upon realizing that there was a hole through his back where his heart should’ve been, I immediately sprang up from our previous intimate posture.
He was dead.
“My greetings, Greysunders.” A cold, hoa.r.s.e voice filled my ears. As I took a step back, I could see my wife quickly redressing, fumbling as she herself got off the couch.
“How dare you barge into this room? Do you know who I am?” I screamed, fear filling the very depth of my soul as I stared at the figure. I couldn’t make out his features from the shadows of where he stood.
“That is of no importance. You two are the only infestations I need to take care of,” he spoke evenly.
Just as a light flashed towards us, a wall of molten lava intersected just in time to stop the intruder’s attack. However, I could taste the blood that trickled down from the tip of my nose into my mouth from the glowing needle that was barely stopped in time by my lance’s magic.
“Ol-Olfred! How could you let someone just barge into my room?” Stumbling backwards, my firm rebuke to my lance ended up sounding much more like a frightened whimper.
“My apologies, Your Majesties. I do not know how he managed to get in but I have notified Mica as well. The intruder will not be leaving,” my lance stated. Even as he gave my wife and me a curt bow, his eyes never left the shadowed figure.
Mica was the second lance under my command. While she wasn’t as obedient as Olfred, her skills as a mage was enough to allow me to be lenient with her.
“Good, good. T-take care of that intruder right now! I want him alive if possible!” I pointed my finger at the figure, hoping my wife wasn’t able to see that it was trembling fiercely.
“I seek only for the Greysunders’ heads. Needless bloodshed is not my desire,” the voice spoke coolly.
I backed up against the wall involuntarily when he spoke. For some reason he left me feeling terrified. No, now with Olfred is here and Mica on her way, I should have nothing to worry about.
“Unfortunately, the thing I seek is your head,” Olfred hissed, his limbs becoming engulfed in flames as he manifested mana into them.
The bright flames emitted from my lance as he dashed towards the intruder revealed the latter’s features, and knowing exactly who I was facing did not quell the fear inside me. Instead, it made me even more horrified.
He was elderly, with long, white hair tied tightly into a ponytail, flowing down like a stream of liquid pearl. Yet, despite his age, he stood, poised, with his hands elegantly placed behind his straight back. Both of his eyes were closed, bringing further emphasis on a third, unblinking eye in his forehead that glowed a radiant purple.
As my lance casted his spell in a whisper, five soldiers made of magma were instantly conjured from beneath the intruder. However, as they reached for the elderly man, they crumbled into pieces with merely a faint blur of the intruder’s arm.
Olfred continue to conjure magma knights but each time they arose, they were just as quickly diced into little pieces by a movement too fast for my eyes.
“Bestow onto me,” Olfred chanted through gritted teeth.
My lance’s body completely erupted into dark crimson flames as he approached the intruder. As the flames subsided, I could see the intricate armor made of magma that had covered Olfred. Glowing red runes intricately covered the armor, as a cape of billowing fire flowed down his back.
“Haha! This is what you get for being so arrogant! Die!” I cheered manically. A crazed smile formed on my face as I watched my lance about to destroy the intruder that had left me in such a pathetic state.
Olfred’s first blow landed squarely on the intruder’s face, even completely decimating the wall behind him with the shockwave. My fist clenched in excitement as I awaited to see the b.l.o.o.d.y mush that his face should’ve now become.
However, as the dust cloud faded, I felt my mouth hang open from shock. The intruder’s face was intact and unblemished, yet Olfred’s armored arm was snapped in two,his fist reduced to a b.l.o.o.d.y pulp. I could see splinters of white coming out of his knuckles from where his bones snapped.
“I admire your skills for a lesser being. Your powers could prove useful for the future of this continent, but now, you are only an irritant.” As the intruder spoke, he manifested a thin, glowing blade from the tip of his finger.
His next movement was so quick, it seemed as if he had teleported, but he was simply moving at such a monstrous speed that my eyes couldn’t comprehend.
The intruder blinked a few feet to where Olfred stood on guard, and the tip of his glowing saber gently touched the center of my lance’s armored chest.
The h.e.l.l’s Amor, ranked one of the highest fire-attribute defensive spells, shattered into dust. Blood spewed out of Olfred’s mouth as he was flung across the room and into the wall that I was backed up against.
I could only stare blankly at the scene. A shiver ran down my back as I felt the intruder’s unblinking eye on me.
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My throat was too dry to even swallow, let alone utter a word. As I looked at the trembling figure of my wife, an earth-shattering sound made me whip my head back.
“h.e.l.lo King and Queen. Mica is sorry that she’s late!” a familiar voice chirped from within the cloud of dust.
“M-Mica! Your King was almost killed! Hurry up and dispose of that man!” I spouted out, holding onto my wife.
Mica was an anomaly amongst dwarves. She didn’t have any of the usual traits that would make a dwarven lady attractive. She was short but thin, with pale creamy skin instead of the usual bronze skin that was so admired.
Her features made her appear as if she was a feeble human child, her slightly pointed ears the only indication that she was really a dwarf. Despite her meagre appearance, her abilities in gravity manipulation was monstrous. Wielding a giant mace more than triple her size, she was able to freely control the weight of anything within a certain radius.
As the dust cloud dissipated, I could see that the intruder had completely dodged Mica’s surprise attack.
“Another annoyance.” The intruder’s voice sounded a bit more put off this time, but that could’ve just been me.
Before he could make his way towards me, the ground crumbled around him and my lance.
“Welcome to Mica’s world. Don’t die!” my lance giggled as she easily swung her giant morningstar.
“Excellent gravity manipulation,” the intruder nodded as he approached my lance. I could tell Mica was caught off guard when her opponent so easily walked towards her, each of his steps creating a deep imprint as the floor tiles cracked from the increased gravity.
Even with my life in danger, a nagging feeling of jealousy sprouted. This is what I desired— power to fight like this; to be at the apex of strength and magical capabilities.
“How can you move so easily? Your body weighs more than four tons!” Mica hissed as she slowly retreated, maintaining a careful distance from him.
“Is that your limit?” The man asked.
“Huh?” my lance responded, not expecting a question in response.
“It seems it is.”
“What limits? Mica has no limits!” my lance yelled as she jumped up for her final attack. Imbuing more mana into her weapon, I could see slight ripples in the s.p.a.ce around it due to the distortion of gravity. “Eat this!”
Her mace swung down with a force that I suspect could bring this entire castle to the ground, but the intruder simply lifted a single finger in response, effortlessly stopping the otherwise monstrous strike.
A wave of hopelessness overcame me Despite the magnitude of my lance’s power, I knew she couldn’t win.
I scrambled to my feet. I can’t die here. I need to escape.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of light as the intruder formed a glowing blade that pierced through Mica. From what I could see, there was no wound from where she was slashed, but it must’ve done something to her since she fell to the floor with the whites of her eyes visible, her mace crashing heavily onto the ground.
That useless brat couldn’t even provide me with enough time to escape.
The intruder turned to face my wife and I with his thin glowing blade..
Glaundera shrieked with her finger pointed menacingly at the figure, “Y-you don’t know who you’re messing with. My husband will soon be the new right hand of Agora of the Vritra, an almighty deity—”
“Shut up!” I hissed, striking her face before she could finish.
“Asura. There are no deities in this world, only asuras,” the man corrected as he slowly approached us.
“P-please, have mercy and spare me O’ Great One.” I could feel a growing warmth between my legs as I got on my knees and begged.
“Do you want to live?” he asked as his single eye looked down at me.
“Y-yes! Please! I’ll do anything!” I pleaded as I tried to wrap my head around the situation at hand. Who, in this continent, could possibly dispose of a white core mage so easily?
“I see that Agora failed to choose his p.a.w.ns with proper caution,” he continued, his voice filled with contempt.
“Please, I’ve never even met him. He only called out to me, threatening to kill my wife and my people had I not obeyed. I-I beg you. This was all against my will,” I pleaded, prostrating myself on my hands and knees as my forehead touched the warm puddle of my own urine.
“Very well. Release the two lances that you have in your possession from the oath,” he commanded, his voice even and cold.
“R-release?” I stuttered.
“Yes. Is that a problem?” His single eye narrowed.
“No, of course not.” I took off the artifact that I had always kept around my neck and imbued my mana signature into it. As I released the oath, blood dribbled down the corners of my mouth.
I was instructed by my father to never undo the oath, that it could and should never be undone. However, my life was at stake here.
As both Olfred and Mica glowed a faint red indicating that the artifact’s bind has been released, I looked back at the intruder.
“T-there! I did it.”
“Good. They were unfortunate to have such a poor master, but they will be useful pieces in the upcoming war,” he responded, nodding as he looked at the two lances.
“N-now please. Let me go.” I hated how my voice sounded so weak and desperate.
“I’m sorry, did I say I’d let you go?” As I looked up, there was a change in his expression; for the first time a small smirk formed on face.
I tried responding but nothing came out.
No words… no sound… no breath…
Looking down, I could see the gaping hole in my throat and all I could do was stare at him, my jaw slack. As my vision faded, I peeled my gaze from the intruder and glanced at my wife. She was staring back as she reached desperately for me, a hole in her chest while blood soaked her thin gown.
Everything darkened. I could feel a cold hand grasping my soul, pulling me away from my body.
“Let the game of chess begin.” The intruder’s last words echoed from afar as my consciousness drifted into whichever level of h.e.l.l the hand decided to take me.