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After going over our overall plan for a second time, a wolf beastkin then stepped forward.
“Are you mad? You’re a dragon1dragonspeciesnewt, so you must know how hard it is to attack that pass.” (Wolf Beastkin)
I then looked at my lady with a smile.
“I know how hard it is to attack from the front. I survived two sieges upon that place. However, those walls are built facing the north. There is almost nothing there from the south through the dwarven underground pass.” (Empress)
The wolf beastkin paused, unsure of what to say next.
‘Tell him he doesn’t have to come with us.’ (Emperor)
She looked at me, then she nodded.
“Of course, even with this plan, we know that there’s a slim chance for us to even make it that far, but we see no alternative. However, if we succeed, then the armies in the dragon lands will be forced to fight in a position of their strongest fortress. My pure bred kin aren’t fools. While we’re caught in a pincer attack from the north and the south, they’ll pincer attack the forces of the north between us in retaliation. The hard part will begin after that.” (Empress)
The wolfkin then took a step back in surprise. She talked so nonchalantly about a battle taking place like nothing before it in their current generation as the easy part of their plan. What nonsense! That’s probably what he’s thinking at least. I think I would be in a similar state if I didn’t have the foreknowledge of the plan myself. As I observed him, a small wolfkin girl moved over to his leg, seeing his worry. She said something I couldn’t understand, then I closed my eyes, unsure about the current conversation.
“You’re free to leave if you want. We will of course keep the slave mark on you sealed like the others.” (Empress)
She then put a hand on my shoulder.
“We aren’t tyrants either. We’re asking for the insane, so of course we have to accomplish the unreasonable. However, for us, the only alternative is death. We both chose death over losing our freedom again after all.” (Empress)
I nod, agreeing with her. Another person from the crowd spoke after that. This one was an elderly cat lady.
“Why does he not speak his desires then?” (Elderly Cat Beastkin)
I sadly closed my eyes, then focused on my menu to make it appear before all of them. This is something my lady helped me do during the day. The burden on my body was already heavy, and this taxed my mind as well. What I intended to show them was my mute trait. It’s a trait that makes me completely unable to cast magic5magicstory mechanic, but also allows a high resistance to it as a balance. However, another person looked at different information on my menu.
“He has the title of hero!” (Random Person in the Crowd)
They all looked at me while surprised. I’m uncertain what that meant, but my focus slipped, causing me to lean forward in intensified pain.
“Be at ease. You’re still recovering.” (Empress)
I nod to her a few times, then lean back onto her arm. I soon found my head in her lap.
“Continuing on from before…. We plan to create our own nation from the blood of the humans, and on the backs of the freed slaves. We aren’t forcing anybody to join us either. If you want to leave, then you’ll be given food rations and a blade. However, if you leave, we wash our hands with you completely. We will not attempt a second rescue. In fact, if you’re captured and we learn about it, we will be left with little choice but to return your curse to you tenfold.” (Empress)
I closed my eyes after hearing her say that before responding telepathically.
‘You just lied to them!’ (Emperor)
She only smiled at me before continuing.
“We aren’t savages. If we are to form a nation, we must have rules. What happened when we freed you will not happen again. We won’t let the indiscriminate killing, raping, pillaging, and chaos ever occur again.” (Empress)
The wolfkin seemed almost relieved hearing those words, as a lion person then stepped forward. He was larger than my lady in size and his muscles bulged. He was obviously strong in other ways as well.
“What’s keeping you from stopping me from taking command of this group of rogues then? With that human that you baby, we can free many more slaves than we ever imagined possible. We can create an army and march across these lands unimpeded. When we reach my people in the south, we will be welcomed by them with open arms.” (Lion Beastkin)
I sighed as I put a hand on the ground and loudly directed my thoughts outward. Ability, ‘Telepathy’ acquired. I was amused as I got to my feet, wondering what I’ve been doing until now, but I didn’t let it reflect in my thoughts.
‘Are you making light of my burden? Do you plan to usurp my command right now?’ (Emperor)
The entire crowd was shocked, as my lady didn’t correct me in who held the power to command. ‘Were you not just told that I will rather die than be used by another person unwillingly?’ (Emperor)
The lion beastkin looked down at me in response. He was easily a head bigger, and his mass must be at least three times mine, if not more.
‘If you follow me, then you must obey my rules. If you think you’re wiser than me and can handle my burden, then just try and take it!’ (Emperor)
In response to my taunt, the lion beastkin grabbed my neck with his giant clawed hand. He easily picked me up by the neck and handled my entire weight. I then grip his arm in response. He laughed out loud before saying.
“YOU’RE a heavy burden?” (Lion Beastkin)
The pain barely started to register, as black miasma was released from by body and started to enter his hand and arm where our flesh made contact. He lifted me completely off the ground victoriously, until the moment that his arm dropped weakly. My neck was let go, but my grip remained.
‘Is that all you can muster just carrying your own curse and mine? Let me add the dragonnewts curses6cursesstory mechanic as well!’ (Emperor)
The golden fur on his arm started to turn black, then he fell to his knees. He tried to grip my arm to make me let go, but I spoke before he had the chance.
‘Now, let me add ten more.’ (Emperor)
The lion beastkin yelled soon after.
“I beg of you, no more! Please stop! I can’t bare it!” (Lion Beastkin in pain)
I closed my eyes and absorbed the curses again, but I left him with a low level child curse as a reminder.
‘Don’t ever doubt the weight on my shoulders again. Not until you’re ready to carry the burden yourself, because I will gladly hand it over to whoever wants it.’ (Emperor)
This is rumored to be the first time that the ultimate weapon of the empire, the emperor’s domination, was ever used in history. Some historians say that it was first used in the duel of Grand Keep during the second war, but the lore handed down through history shows that it was used at least one time before that. However, the exact point in time can’t be confirmed. Needless to say, what is considered to be the foundation of the emperor’s power for the future after the first raid was this move. For twenty years after that, since the empires founding, the emperor held the power of the emperor’s curse for his own. It’s this very reason that his enemies, and even his allies, call him a demon. It’s recorded in one conversation after his death that his empress, after handing the empire down to their eldest son, stated that even she was afraid of that power to a certain degree.
That’s perhaps why, when the first emperor severed his own arm, he sealed its power and enshrined it in a secret vault when he abdicated his throne to their son. There was some, who, in future generations, raided said vault for such power. Those foolish enough to seek such power unjustly always received the curse they wished to control in full. Even his own decedents weren’t immune to the curse. However, during times of crisis, the power will always appear among the citizens. Be it invasions or tyrannical rule, the black flame of the curse will always appear when the empire is in times of peril. It should also be noted that it’s not always the blood relations to the first couple of the empire that this power goes to either.
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