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The players, especially the ones who were injured after making troubles around the stronghold, looked with incredulity at Ryu then at Shiroko.
Their leader looked with some pain in her eyes but then she shook her head and gazed at everyone with firmness.
“As Shen said that one day, This is not a game and death resides at the next corner! We can’t go around playing “hero”, saying we’re saving people when, in truth, we’re only thinking about ourselves! We must grow up, face reality and try to live our lives in the most useful way, not bringing hardships to others! After everything is done here, I’ll go with everyone to the clan’s castle and talk with the others, then return to the main base of the clan and do the same. The ones who wish to come and follow me in helping Shen and Ryu to build their Kingdom shall be welcomed, while the ones who are of another mentality then they are free to leave, I’ll stop nobody. Also, the ones who are ready to come, you must be prepared for a lot of pain and sweating; because this Kingdom is the most focused on discipline. Not the military kind where they discipline people through hardships, but discipline through teamwork, researching and martial arts. Like this, everyone will be able to learn self-control, just like how Shen did after acquiring that level of power.” → Shiroko
She tried to persuade them into understanding, some were won over by the idea of being useful in building a Kingdom, others were interested of gaining powers comparable with the other residents of this fortress while some wished to work together with Shen and Ryu, the two ridiculously powerful players. Sadly, most of them weren’t shaken by her speech, looking with scorn and disappointment.
From the 300 people, 200 left, not wishing to work or to learn about self-control. They wanted to live their lives to the fullest, even if that meant stepping on others. The group left without even looking back, the ones who did mischief were exiled anyway. At this sight, Shiroko felt betrayed, but in the end, she just sighed and talked with Ryu.
“Sigh… Thank you for giving me this chance to talk, Ryu.” → Shiroko
Shiroko said with some pain in her eyes. She had a feeling that most of her people would leave her, but she never thought the numbers will be more so great. Her heart shook from the grief.
“It’s fine, I’ll make Gregor and Lissa go with you, some might think of backstabbing you if you go alone.” → Ryu
“… Understood.” → Shiroko
She said with a sad smile, then she looked in front with a firm face.
“Heh.” → Ryu
Ryu smiled after seeing her strong front then he continued.
“Now! Let me show everyone what you all wished to see from the very beginning! The flag of our kingdom!!!” → Ryu
Ryu then grabs a wooden pole as thick as his arm with an ornamented white and black flag.
“There we go!” → Ryu
Ryu then waved the flag over everyone’s heads. The pole was 3 meters long while the flag was 1.5-meter square, shining with a yellow luster from the ornamentation, giving it a regal impression.
Everyone exclaimed, applauded and whistled after they saw the banner, finally feeling like they belonged to a place. The entire fortress shook from their high spirit while the ground quaked from their hard steps.
The left part of the flag was black while the right part was white. On the black part, a sharp silvery sword was showed while on the white one, an open book with flying letters sparkled as if real. The colors looked as if they were alive, making the flag even more imposing and royal.
“Amazing, that’s not a normal flag at all, I think it was imbued with some sort of magic!”
“I heard that the Dog and Pig people worked together to make it, then the demons imbued it with some kind of spells to make it even more spectacular.”
“T-that explains the pressure it possess. It’s like an epic-graded item!”
The players looked with amazement at the flag while the residents became only prouder by the flag; a flag under which they are residents. Everyone shouted words of admiration, making the pig, dog and demon leaders feel quite proud of themselves and their respective groups. Ryu then made them quiet down by raising his hand, everyone knew what was coming, trying to keep down their excitement.
“Now, the name of our Kingdom.” → Ryu
Ryu said, making everyone nervous with anticipation.
“Think it’s a good name?”
Asked one player to another.
“It’s just a name, how good could it be?”
Answered the other one a little bit indifferent.
“I heard the name was chosen by Lord Shen, it’s bound to be something incredible.”
A bear beast-man from the fortress interjected in their conversation, looking expectant.
The two players looked baffled at the beast-man.
“But of course, once the name of the kingdom is chosen, this place will become a Kingdom, making Sir Ryu the King while Miss Bonny will be the Queen. Shen, being one of the founders, might become the Patriarch, while Miss Sylvia the Head Clerk or Arch Bishop.”
The beast-man said with a wide grin.
“Huh? Wait, which are the ranks? I’m not really sure I know the religious ranks yet.”
“Oh, then let me explain it to you. The highest rank is the Patriarch which has almost the same power as the king, if not, even more. Afterward comes the Arch Bishop which rules over every church inside the kingdom. Then the Head Clerk which rules over every school. Even though the Arch Bishop is higher in rank, they both have the same power. Afterward comes the educational and religious ranks which are, for the churches: Bishop, Head Priests, Priests, First Deacons and lastly, Secondary Deacons. The believers would be the base of the ranking pyramid. As for schools: Clerk, Cardinal, University Priest, High-Class Priest and lastly, Medium Class Priests. They have the jobs to teach the students which make the base of the pyramid. There is also the Lower Class Priests, but they are mostly met with the rare occasions when a Low-type class appears. Well, there is an entire story about this so we’ll talk later about it.”
After finishing explaining everything, the two players, which now turned into a group of more than 20, listened with wide-open eyes at the bear-man who felt somewhat pressure by so many eyes.
“… T-that’s quite amazing.”
The players looked this time with more expectations at Ryu, waiting for him to announce the name of the kingdom of which future they’re waiting.
“Coming from another world, we’re bound to name it by using words from our world! I’ll say it now! The one who named the kingdom wasn’t me but my brother, Shen! He searched through his knowledge about magic and universe and found the best name which would power up our kingdom every time it’s spoken! The name shall appear in everyone’s minds once I speak it! And everyone shall connect that name with this flag! Making it so when you see this flag, the name of our kingdom to appear in your minds! The name shall be sacred! It shall represent a place where everyone can reside and be able to achieve their goals and a place where you can call home! To represent the heart of this world! The name shall be ANTARA!!!” → Ryu
The word spoken by Ryu reverberated through the entire stronghold, shaking the dust from every building around.
Everyone was muted, the effect of the word was incredible, even Ryu was stupefied for a second. The word vibrated and echoed through the entire stronghold. From the ground, a golden-green light shone, enveloping everything: from buildings to people, to walls, clothes, everything inside the stronghold and the stronghold itself. The light then imprinted on the flag, making it flutter more and more, till it stayed straight as if it were on a table. The flag shone with a strong sacred golden-green light and on it, right in between the sword and the book, the words “आन्तर” (Antara-Supreme Soul) appeared written on it with a purple color, looking sacred and regal. Inside the stronghold a green light descended, giving vitality to the earth and making the buildings sturdier, looking as if a blessing from the gods suddenly befell over the little Kingdom.
Everyone was stupefied and petrified by the incredible result, Ryu was no exception. He looked with eyes like wheels at the flag over his head which fluttered with no wind and shone with a purple light. If it looked imposing before, right now it seemed like a flag made by the Gods themselves. In the end, Ryu finally recovered and clicked his tongue.
Damn it Shen. And here I thought that whatever you do, won’t surprise me any longer. Look at everyone, their faces are like those from pictures made on carousels from Earth, haha~ priceless. → Ryu
Ryu laughed at everyone when he spoke out with an amused voice.
“Nobody has anything to say about the name of our Kingdom?” → Ryu
Ryu asked lightly, but it was enough to wake up everyone from their daze.
They looked at the word on the banner and a word would resound in their heads, making their hearts beat faster with excitement. This was their Kingdom, their homes, the most sacred and magical ground on Sario, for them. Little by little they opened their mouths and said louder and louder in one voice.
“Antara… Antara. Antara! ANTARA!! LONG LIFE ANTARA KINGDOM!!!”
Everyone shouted, applauded and whistled yet again but this time, the noise they made was so strong, the clouds dispersed and the Earth tremored as if making even the spirits aware of who they are. Everyone continued to exclaim, the players also taking part in the voices.
“LONG LIFE ANTARA KINGDOM! LONG LIFE KING RYU! LONG LIFE PATRIARCH SHEN! WOOAAAHHH!!”
The residents partied the entire day and night. Sending the golems to patrol in case there were any waves, making Ryu give them a surplus of Energy Stones.
[We’ll take care of everything.]
Isaz and Kenaz said with serious faces, this time agreeing in fighting together for the energy stones.
Food was for everyone while they sung from improved instruments. Some more skilled players made guitars and drums, singing some songs from their world like classical rock, Folk, Instrumental Opera or even some pop. Everyone had fun singing, dancing, eating and drinking, finally feeling as if they returned even for a moment to the old days when; the players partied with their friends, while the residents with their families inside the villages. They partied in the middle of the stronghold, in the most open area, even the guards were taking it easy, as if knowing that no beast would ever try to attack again, making the walls empty and the towers closed.
[Green~ haired girl~! They kiss you~, with their gaze~. With~ their black eyes~! They stare~, but don’t dare~.
Green~ haired girl~! The hair~, of the forest~. With~ the white skin~! With the Moon’s~, shine and glint~.
The night~ with the stars~! they shine~, and they spark~. But your~ beauty green~! Steals my~, heart and it stings~…]
The demons cast spells on the instruments, making them sound as well as possible, and giving the players a chance to show their talents with the guitar, drums, flute and harp. They sang songs known in their world, while the lyrics were the ones used from this world, creating new melodies with familiar words for the residents. Even though everyone had fun and felt at ease for once, one man was still gazing in the distance from atop the wall, his eyes indifferent.
Andrew stood alone on top of the wall, indifferent about the party which took place in the middle of the stronghold, looking at the croup of golems which stood tall, intercepting even the weakest beast on its way toward the fortress. He would sometimes glance on top of the middle tower where the flag was placed, emanating a sacred aura and giving power to the stronghold and its people.
“What a wondrous thing. Lord Shen… He’s clearly an amazing person.” → Andrew
Andrew said with some respect in his eyes. He was shocked when the name was first pronounced, feeling vitality and some kind of old aura entering in him. He didn’t know what, but something was gifted to them from this word. The sacred aura that entered him together with that vitality gave him something undetectable, but he felt that, he’d feel extremely saddened if that something would ever disappear.
But what is that “something”? It also feels quite familiar… → Andrew
Andrew contemplated on top of the wall while looking around for any beasts, ignoring the screams and shouts of joy from behind him. He then started breathing in and out the element of thunder, training while staying on guard. Suddenly, he feels a strong gust of wind beside him and a sweet voice with some worry, resounds in his ear.
“Here you are, Andrew. Why did you leave? Is the party not to your liking?” → Sara
Sara asked while looking a little bit confused at the cold Andrew.
“That’s right. Besides, there are no guards. We could be ambushed anytime, someone had to stay and be sure no unforeseen events would destroy our King’s banquet.” → Andrew
Andrew said with the normal indifference.
“Haah… Andrew, why are you always so serious? The golems are staying as guards tonight so why don’t you relax for once?” → Sara
Sara asked worried, she always thought that’s Andrew’s character. But lately, she wasn’t so sure anymore. It looked more as if he tried to be as serious and indifferent as possible, trying to not get too close to anyone and not wishing to form a bond with anybody.
“… Because if I laze around, the possibility of having someone close to me die, is bigger than when I train and stay on guard all the time.” → Andrew
Andrew said with a heavy voice, his shoulders seemingly heavier.
“Andrew… do you blame yourself for the death of your wife and child?” → Sara
Sara asked while stepping toward Andrew. She heard about his family from Bernard who was able to chat it out a little bit with Andrew, but then gave up after seeing how impenetrable his soul was.
“Yes.” → Andrew
Andrew said plainly with a matter-of-fact voice. It was as if, the more he talked about painful things, the more emotionless he became, appearing more and more like a robot.
Sara didn’t expect such a direct and plain answer. She stopped on her tracts and looked down. She then asked Andrew with a sad and hushed voice.
“Can I do something for you so you could cheer up…?” → Sara
“Nothing that I could think of.” → Andrew
Andrew answered with the usual indifference then he continued.
“And I’m not the one who needs to be cheered up.” → Andrew
Sara looked with big eyes at Andrew then she smiled bitterly.
“Haha~… yes. You’re right… but I can’t cheer up… This party looks a lot like the one on which I first met my husband…” → Sara
Sara said with sadness in her eyes while looking at the sunset.
“We fell in love while dancing together… After more than 5 years of staying together, he finally asked for my hand. Haha~ he was a little cowardly. But in the end, he was able to ask me to be his wife… I loved him and he loved me… We wanted to make a family together but… While flying together over some woods, harpoons were shot towards us, trying to bring us down…” → Sara
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Sara then started to sob, not being able to control her tears from falling.