CYNTHIA GOODSKY’S POV:
Standing before the heavy iron doors, I took a deep breath. Beyond this entrance were the six former kings and queens of this continent. It wasn’t their titles that were making me apprehensive, but more so the fact that they were ultimately the ones who would shape or destroy the future of this continent.
Even with an augmented hearing spell, I was unable to clearly hear what was being discussed on the other side, leaving me to wonder what their course of action might be.
What was I to tell them?
What was I able to tell them? I truly had to be meticulous in the words and actions I used.
I’d only gotten a glimpse of the consequences I would face if I didn’t abide and I knew there was no way around it.
It just wasn’t worth it…not at this point.
Was there really no other way to avoid this? Was I to just sit and watch this peaceful continent that I’d grown to love crumble without being able to do anything?
It couldn’t be helped; I’d deviated too far from what I was originally supposed to do.
My hopes in establishing myself and the foundations of Xyrus Academy up to what it was today was for the sake of this continent. That we might have some hope…
It’d been too long since the time of war, though. Students wanted to get strong; not to protect and fight for what was right but for their own conceited pride. It’d been an ongoing struggle to not only shape up the level of magic in this continent, but also instill proper values.
The only thing I could do for this country now was prepare the next generation as well as get rid of anything that might hinder their plans. I’d been personally getting rid of more and more spies that were being sent out from my homeland.
They were getting impatient. I could tell by some of the toxic traces affecting the dungeons that they were beginning their next phase.
It was beginning to become rather difficult for me to keep up my current pace, though. I could tell Arthur was becoming rather suspicious at times. I had been careless in exposing the wound I received from one of the affected mana beasts.
I was just not sure anymore…
Was I doing the right thing? Would what I was doing even give us a chance?
I once thought so, but I wasn’t so optimistic anymore.
The two mages standing guard on either side of the door were carefully observing me, probably wondering why I wasn’t going in. I noticed one was at the Initial Silver core stage while the other, slightly thinner mage, was at the Mid-Silver core stage; they would be considered peaks in this continent, but only in this continent.
I signaled to the guards that I was ready to go inside, letting them inform The Council.
“You may enter,” the knights announced, opening the doors fully.
“—AND I SAID THAT WE CAN’T JUST BE LYING HERE ON OUR ASSES WAITING FOR MORE DEATHS! ALDUIN, MERIAL, WHY AREN’T YOU SAYING ANYTHING?! ONE OF YOUR LANCES IS DEAD!” I saw Dawsid Greysunders, former king of the dwarves, standing up with his finger pointed at Alduin Eralith, former king of the elves, who was seated with his arms crossed and eyes closed.
“Calm yourself, Dawsid. Before we rashly try and hunt down whoever or whatever killed Alea, we need more information. This might be somehow linked to the communication failures with the Dicatheous. What if, like we suspected, the unknown continent is involved and we end up… Ah, Director Goodsky. We received your sound transmission; please, have a seat.” Blaine Glayder, the former king of the humans stretched his arm to direct me to a nearby empty seat.
“Yes, but it seems that my message was unnecessary,” I responded while taking a small bow before sitting down. King Greysunders also reluctantly took a seat in the chair that seemed a bit too big for him.
“Yes, Alduin was alerted almost immediately after Alea passed; unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how she was killed. Do you happen to know anything, Director Cynthia?” Merial Eralith, former queen of the elves, as well as the mother of my only disciple, asked me.
I should’ve realized that they might’ve already known thanks to those bestowed artifacts I was informed about.
“I apologize. Truth be told, I was not the one that found her body.” Taking out the adamantium tag that belonged to Alea, I handed it over to Lady Eralith.
“Who was it that found her body? We need to bring that person here.” Glaundera Greysunders, former queen of the dwarves, slammed her palms on the table we were situated around.
“That… may be a bit troublesome,” I said, hesitantly. “You see, the person that found her body was one of my students, and that was only by accident.”
“No matter! Just bring that student here. We need as much detail about this disaster as possible before we can start slowly unfolding it to the public,” Lady Greysunders continued.
“I ensure you that the student does not know any more than what we might be able to guess. This student simply stumbled into the scene after the battle was long over,” I replied while shaking my head.
“Still, are you sure he wasn’t hiding anything from you?” King Eralith spoke up solemnly.
“This student is but a child that recently enrolled. He has no reason to hide any details from me. I fear he will only be more intimidated if we brought him here, causing him to make up details to gain The Council’s favor,” I lied.
I didn’t want to involve Arthur in all of this. Not yet. He wasn’t ready.
“Cynthia offers a valid point. There’s no use interrogating a student that might make up facts to feel like a hero. Besides, she already questioned the student,” Priscilla Glayder, former queen of the humans, defended.
“Yes, I was even able to find the scene of Ale…Code Aureate’s death,” I hurriedly replied. Maybe they would be able to find something. Indirectly helping them like this might prove to be fruitful.
The plan that I was informed of before I had come here seemed to have hastened for some reason, but I knew for a fact that it would still take years before the first course were to come to fruition. Until then, I had to somehow indirectly help them prepare for whatever was coming. Hopefully, I had enough time.
“All right. Then the next course of action is settled.” King Glayder motioned for a secretary to come. “Dispatch our best tracking mages. We’ll have them find any sort of evidence that the perpetrator might’ve left. In the meantime, what is the current status of the remaining Lances?”
“Yes, Your Highness, our best trackers are already assembled and ready. As for the Lances, Codes Zero, Ohmwrecker, and Balrog were the first to arrive. We’ve received word that Code Thunderlord and Code Phantasm entered the premise not too long ago,” the secretary hurriedly announced with his head bowed.
“Good. We’ll update them soon. Until then, make sure not a single word gets out that one of the Lances was killed,” King Glayder finished his statement while looking at me.
“Rest assured, the student is not the type to let this information out so easily. I will be sure to make it of utmost importance that he keeps the information he has a secre,” I answered back at The Council that was waiting for me to respond.
After I was escorted out, Lady Eralith followed along and pulled me aside, away from everyone’s view. “Director Cynthia. How’s my Tessia? I’ve yet to hear back from my father-in-law,” her voice quaked with concern.
I shook my head. “I was not updated with the situation either. However, Tessia has both Arthur and Virion looking after her. She should be okay, Merial.”
“Mm, I hope so. I’ve barely been able to focus on everything going on because of Tessia’s condition. Let me know as soon as you’re updated. This way, at least Alduin and I will have the peace of mind to focus on this mess,” she says while handing me a sound transmission scroll.
Sound transmission devices were exceedingly costly so most did not have access to one, but The Council always had these in stock to send and receive information quickly.
“I’ll be sure to tell you as soon as I find out.” I gave her a reassuring smile before letting her go back to the meeting hall.
Five silhouettes could be seen waiting in the dimly lit chamber on the bottom-most floor. Although the shadows covered the five’s faces, their voices could be clearly heard.
“So Alea died already?” a well-built man scoffed as he leaned against the back wall with crossed arms.
“Bairon… watch your tone,” an authoritative, icy voice rang from a proportioned slender figure sitting with one leg over the other.
“It can’t be helped that I’m irritated; her dying so pathetically is trampling on the Lances’ name,” the man replied.
“Poor Alea. Mica feels bad for her,” a sweet voice chimed from a figure whose body resembled that of a child.
“Me too. I’ll miss sharing cream puffs with Alea…” sighed a woman, whose seductive figure could not be hidden by the shadows.
“It’s improper to pity a General Alea. She died a lance’s death after all,” a gruff voice sounded from another figure.
“Well I can’t help it when Alea’s death was a pitiful one, old man,” the child-like figure pouted back.
“Nevertheless, it would be wise of you to act your age and not your infantile appearance,” he replied calmly.
“Olfred, you jerk!”
“Now now, don’t pick on our cute Mica,” she chastised as she wrapped her arms around Mica.
“A-Aya, your lumps of—mmmph—fat are choking Mica!”
“Stop acting like hyperactive children. As the strongest mages in this country, this shouldn’t phase us!”
“Oh my, Bairon’s cranky again today.”
“Tch… says the cow that has no sense of time, getting here the latest.”
“Enough. What did The Council say our next course of action was?”
“They are still discussing. It seems that unlike our king, the human and elf leaders seem to only care for their own,” the old lance replied.
“Mica disagrees. King Greysunders is pretty selfish too.”
“It’s common sense that, as the king that has most influence throughout the continent, King Glayder takes into account the elves and dwarves well.”
“Mica thinks Bairon should stop acting like he’s our leader.”
“And I think that you should know your place. You have neither the background nor strength to talk that way to the next head of the Wykes—”
“Everyone… let’s all get along. Let’s not make Varay mad,” Alea coaxed gently.