Chapter 116: Betting The Future Of A Kingdom (Part 2)

Another voice resounded and Bernard appeared from between the ruins. But he wasn’t the only one:

“Some sheltered kids thinking of jumping over mountains?” → Jack
“I-I still think we shouldn’t be too hard on them, right? I mean, nobody died!” → Aura
Yet. But if we let them free, who knows what will happen later. I’m with Ryu; we should eliminate any danger.” → Gregor
“Wow~ Gregor, since when were you so cruel?” → Ronald
“Right, right. I still think Miss Aura is right. We shouldn’t be too harsh.” → Marina
Hmph! Just a bunch of ignorant insects.” → Bururiba
“Insects or not, we shan’t underestimate them. They’re still the heroes after all.” → Tian
“Hah! Heroes? I heard Lord Shen bashed the heads of hundreds of self-called heroes before just by himself. What are 15 more?” → Black Fang
“For now… let’s just wait and observe. Something interesting might happen.” → Lissa

Jack, Aura, Gregor, Ronald, Marina, Bururiba, Jian, Black Fang. Lissa and all the other mighty warriors of the Antara Kingdom arrived in less than five minutes from a side of the kingdom to the other. They all surrounded the elites and heroes while emanating their own battle-aura. Because of all the battles they’ve gone through, the aura manifested by them together made even the air to vibrate and twist, making for a wild wind to blow.

“Ugh!”

The elites and heroes felt hard-pressed by the pressure, having a hard time only breathing.

W-what the Hell?! How can there be so many mighty characters in just one place and have this place unknown to anyone?! → Leorio

Leorio thought while trying to stand tall without having his legs shake from the pressure.

“[Enough]” → Shen

This time it was my turn to lash out. With one word I was able to nullify the pressure over the elites and heroes.

“?!”

Everyone else was shocked by the spell. I used a power-word to command their power to retract. It was effective enough to have the Victoria group have a breathing moment.

“Shen, what are you doing?” → Ryu

Ryu asked while looking my way with his dragon eyes.

“It seems the transformation also affected your head. I thought I made myself clear through that harpy that there should be no Antara warrior take one step on the Northern district. No?” → Shen

“And I think you forgot who was appointed as king, right? You can’t simply take commands on your own like this. Otherwise there won’t be any kind of discipline or order through our ranks anymore.” → Ryu

“Don’t forget on whose back you’re doing this.” → Shen

“And you, don’t forget who asked for my help in the first place.” → Ryu

“…”

I and Ryu fought with words while unconsciously emanating a destructive aura against each other. Sparks started to fly between us while the others, be them from Antara or Victoria, stared at us confused and quite dumbfounded.

I-is this some kind of internal strife?

What are the Lords doing?

Should we take the initiative and strike now?

Everyone wondered what was happening, while only Zhin thought of going for the kill.

“Master Shen, King Ryu. Please calm down now.” → Bonny

In the end, Bonny came in-between us and pacified the spirits.

“First of all, master Shen. King Ryu is right. By appointing him as the king, you need to at least report back any kind of order you might give out. And if is an order which the kingdom as the price, then even more you had to inform us. Please take responsibility when you make a decision.” → Bonny

“…The disciple is scolding the master. I lived to see this one.” → Shen

“And Ryu, you can’t simply summon everyone for war when we don’t even know the full picture yet. We first need to know the entire story for us to make a meaningful move, right? Let’s first understand what’s happening, and now that everyone is present we’ll also have them take part in this.” → Bonny

Sigh~… You were always so diplomatic. Fine, let’s hear what they have to say.” → Ryu

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While I grumped a little bit annoyed, Ryu sighed calmly, even somewhat amused. Both of us felt extremely ridiculous. We both were tired, injured and with internal struggles inside our minds and souls. Having to deal with one another was the last thing we wished right now, both knowing just how difficult is the other one while annoyed and tired.

“…”

Everyone’s reaction was pretty easy to imagine: some tried not to laugh, while some smiled meaningfully. However, there were some who thought for themselves that Bonny was the true ruler while I and Ryu were simply the Shield and Sword of the kingdom.

“These two brats are really quick to anger lately.” → Gregor

“We just had to deal with a calamity. Anyone would feel tired.” → Lissa

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Gregor sighed while shocking his head and Lissa slightly giggled beside him.

While everyone was present, Ryu, Bonny, Yuri, Leorio and I had a conversation right in the middle of the ruins under the gazes of everyone there.

“Before anything, may I ask Lord Shen to return our fallen companions? I can give my name and heart while promising that we won’t try anything the moment you’ll show them to us.” → Leorio

Leorio said with a sincere and calm voice, insinuating that he won’t strike in case the other heroes are dead.

“Hmph, of course you won’t. Here.” → Shen

I united again with the dark stone then from inside my shadow, five unconscious heroes appeared on the ground. They all were one over the other in the order I knocked them out: with Stefano as the base, and that fire-fairy Rosy as the tip.

“Here for you. Ready to be transported or crippled.” → Shen

I grinned while Ryu looked unamused at the five who attacked his kingdom.

“Serve them right!”

A wild young voice resounded from somewhere further away. Atop a run-down tower, a young demonic-boy was shouting with a happy face while rising his fist to the sky. He seemed extremely pleased after seeing the pile of heroes on the ground.

“Ah…”

He finally understood that he was no longer hidden after blurting out his excitement and felt how everyone detected him.

“Who is he? That brat?”

“He’s a demon child, he seems to be one of ours then.”

“Yeah, possible.”

The warriors looked and discussed with relaxed faces. Nobody had any kind of worries because anyone could feel the protective barrier around him coming from the shiny stone inside his hand.

“Oy brat! Come here!” → Shen

I shouted amused after seeing his delighted face. It seems he really hated these people who destroyed his home.

“Y-yes, milord!”

The brat got down from the tower then stepped right behind me. He felt extremely pressured from being beside such mighty characters but because of the protective barrier, the auras and wild mana around us affected him with nothing. Patting his shoulder to calm him down, I asked with a little grin and sharp eyes.

“Let me ask you brat, do you hate these people?” → Shen

“Huh?”

The little demon was a little bit confused by my question, but after seeing my relaxed smile on, he nodded with a fire inside his eyes.

“Yes! Especially that witch!”

He pointed at the blonde Cecilia with hate and narrated what she did to him.

“She continued to slap me for no reason then brutally tear my horn from my head! If not for Lord Shen, I would’ve been with only one horn and two useless limbs! I hate her the most! I wish she could just die!”

Unable to control his rage, the little demon burst out in tears and stamped his food from anger.

Hoho~ quite the angry fellow. → Shen

I looked at him amused then patted his head to calm him down. We continued to discuss what we should do now, and in the end, we reached a conclusion. Bonny started to announce to the others what the outcome will be from our discussion to everyone present.

“Thank you for waiting for the conclusion of our conversation. First of all, the order for war will be close to impossible to accomplish. We do not have enough resources and it seems the other camp does not wish for such an outcome either.” → Bonny

“WOAAAHH~!”

Everyone exclaimed vigorously. They were already too tired to partake in another war so knowing that there won’t be any for the time being made them breathe out a sigh of relief. However, there were also those who wished to show off their powers as a new rising kingdom in front of the neighboring kingdoms, now somewhat disappointed.

“Second of all, the destruction created by the heroes will be paid by the Victoria Kingdom and to make sure a good connection will remain between the Victoria and Antara, a trading road will open between the two kingdoms, making us able to trade our well-reserved goods from the demonic waves at the normal marketing-price!” → Bonny

“WHOAAAAHHH~~!”

Bonny exclaimed happily while the others shouted out in high spirit, only I was a little bit dissatisfied but I let it slide. If they were finally able to trade with another kingdom, then they could also trade for different varieties of food and furniture needed by any family and so much more other things.

“And now the third, there will also be a duel between Master Shen of Antara Kingdom and Mister Yuri of the Victoria Kingdom! If Master Shen wins, then a representative of Antara kingdom will acquire a noble title inside the Victoria Kingdom and take part inside the Royal Meetings, gain information and work as a representative of our kingdom inside their ranks. Also, the entire Elite group from the Victoria Kingdom will assist us in any major wars we’ll have! While if Mister Yuri wins, a representative of the Antara Kingdom will acquire a seat inside Victoria’s main School as a Higher Class Priest and have the obligation to teach the future warriors of Victoria for two full years, everything they knows about magic, martial arts or cultivation techniques!” → Bonny

“!!!”

Everyone was shocked after hearing what Bonny announced. In a more detailed form: if Shen was to win, then Antara kingdom would have one open ear over all the information circulating through the Victoria Kingdom with no censorship and also acquire their military might and support from the group of elites, making anyone understand that once a war was to start, Victoria will have no choice but to ally with us while in case they had to go to war, we had no obligation of helping them. In short, they can be called something like a vassal power to Antara.

While if Yuri were to win, then Victoria would gain their secrets over a quick growth in power and incredible skills and knowledge. Even though as a teacher the respective person would also gain a high status and authority inside the Victoria Kingdom, it would still be a loss, knowing that a neighboring kingdom acquired knowledge and power comparable to them when they are still so outnumbered. What was at stake was incredibly heavy for both Kingdoms and this one duel would bring forth for a strong connection between the Antara Kingdom and the entire Vestria Continent.

“Also.” → Shen

I smiled devilishly while looking at the brat beside me.

“Being such important figures, we have no ability to kill these 5 sinners yet. However, the only ones who are actually paying are just the Victoria Kingdom, while these 5 won’t pay a coin. So why don’t we make them feel the same way we felt?” → Shen

“…”

The warriors of the Antara Kingdom looked at each other, at first confused, then with a mocking smile on their faces.

“Let me ask you, brat. How did they make you feel?” → Shen

“Shameful, hateful, lowly!”

“Shouldn’t we make them feel the same, then?!” → Shen

“YEAH~!”

Not only the demon brat, but the other warriors as well shouted in agreement.

“I don’t like where this is going…” → Caila

Caila said while having a bad premonition. The others also felt like something troublesome might come to be after seeing the troubled faces of Yuri and Leorio as they returned to their group.

“Then there is only one thing we should do~. Ryu, if you could make the honors please.” → Shen

I bowed my head to Ryu and he stepped up with a wide and amused smile on. However, his eyes were sharp and ruthless.

“For so many crimes that I’m already tired of enumerating, I say we should simply strip these sinners butt-naked, make them bald, have Shen play for a while with their minds and tie them in front of the central tower in front of everyone to observe and maybe learn some biology!” → Ryu

“BOAHAAHAHAAHA~!”

The residents laughed out loud, the mothers were sure to hide their children from the central area, the elites remained dumbfounded, even the other heroes also started laughing or hide their faces in shame, while Bonny and some other women massaged their temples from tiredness.

I understand that we have to make them pay… But isn’t there a better way? → Bonny

Bonny sighed and asked herself, feeling some pity especially for the three young girls. For a woman, losing her hair was almost equal to dying so she was already able to feel their future sorrows. Also, as young girls being seen naked by so many people would leave a great black stain on their consciousness in the future, making them form a phobia of crowds and of Shen especially.

Yuri got closer to Leorio and asked sheepishly.

“S-sir… Is it fine to let them do this?” → Yuri

“It’s not… But we have no other choice. The fact that they can forgive their misbehaviors without killing or crippling them is already a great accomplishment. Sigh~… Maybe like this, those five heroes would understand that they don’t sit on the top of the world.” → Leorio

Leorio massaged his forehead then explained with a tired face.

“Yeah but still…” → Yuri

“Just focus on the duel for now… It seems that they’ll need one week to prepare, so I think is a good idea to get ready ourselves.” → Leorio

“Fine…” → Yuri

Yuri sighed helplessly as he observed how the five heroes were dragged away by the Antara elites, and followed Ryu, Bonny, me and the others inside a more welcoming area.

After everyone got more accommodated, four days passed from the incident and other things happened: The five heroes were tied by a pedestal each close to the central tower, butt-naked with their baldness shining in the sun while wearing anti-magic handcuffs. To be sure they won’t try anything funny after being freed, I had to scare them a little bit with my mental-waves, giving them an illusory experience of a death-sentence well-known in my country from the Middle Ages. At some parts I crossed the line a little bit and had Yuri stop me together with Leorio. If I continued anymore, I would’ve broken their minds completely. Initially, they had to stay like that for the entire week, but some residents started to feel pity for the crying girls so, in the end, we had to let them go on the third day.

After they were walked to their rooms, nobody heard a word from them afterward, mostly because of the traumatic event with the mental-waves and being exposed in the public.

On the fourth day, Ryu summoned Yuri to have a serious conversation about the upcoming duel. Yuri accepted and walked toward the Middle Tower where Ryu and I still had a heated conversation. Right before he could enter inside Ryu’s office, he heard loud shouts and angry voices. He stopped and activated his [Soul Eyes] to observe what happened inside. Because of all the destruction that happened outside, everyone had to help to rebuild the fortress, having no one guard Ryu’s front door.

“…And I’m telling you we can’t do such a thing! Everyone is injured and tired from the Calamity that just passed with Thanatos and his minions. You know that too well! Besides, we already got a lot of casualties, sending out an expedition group toward Eihwaz again it’s a ridiculous request! We need every man here!”

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