Book 1, Chapter 39A

Terror

The bottom of the glass had been seen once again, but there was still no news. Steven had grown slightly dizzy, wondering if he’d drunk the alcohol too quickly. Minnie, on the other hand, poured him another round; this one a full glass. It rekindled the dragon warlock’s hope, and he began to savour it slowly once more. This was a critical moment, and every person of greatness would have moments such as this. The commonality between those who were great was that they grew calmer the more crucial it was. Steven, for all his ambitions, had read many biographies at a young age. He naturally knew such things well. He thus kept his cool, remaining proud in his patience.

The glass was emptied again; and filled again, and emptied again. Once he’d gotten through the entire bottle, Steven could maintain his calm no more. It had been two whole hours! That was more than enough to kill an entire street of people! However, the news was like a stone that had sunk into the sea, nowhere in sight. It never came. Be it success or failure, he didn’t know!

Cold sweat suddenly broke out and soaked his clothes through. When he raised his head and widened his eyes, he saw a Minnie that was just as pale in his blurred vision holding the empty bottle and trembling slightly. She grew shocked when he grabbed her hand, to the point that the bottle crashed down and shattered to pieces. Steven did not get mad over that, however, instead grasping her hand and stroking it gently.

Minnie’s hands were ice-cold in her worry and fear, as if they had just been washed in ice water. In the past she could consider herself separate from the matter and watch on as a bystander, but now she was deeply involved in this conspiracy. Her fate was tightly linked to Steven’s own.

Minnie did not even dare consider the consequences of this conspiracy failing. Even Randolph’s end wouldn’t be a reasonable punishment if she was found out.

“So? Should we flee?” Steven suddenly asked. Fear had already taken over his heart, causing him to lose his rationality. All he wanted now was to leave the Deepblue as quickly as possible and flee to his family’s territory. His future, being a runemaster, the glory— everything that he’d once been willing to give up everything for was suddenly so insignificant compared to his life.

On the contrary, Minnie remained calm in this moment. She drew her hand back and grabbed Steven’s palm, speaking in as calm a voice as she could muster, “No, we can’t flee. Floe Bay is over six thousand kilometres from the Sacred Tree Empire, escape wouldn’t be practical. Besides, are you confident in being able to escape a legendary mage? We wouldn’t be able to escape even one of the seventeen grand mages for more than a hundred kilometres.”

These words finally calmed Steven down a bit, and he began to count on a fluke, “Perhaps they’ve already succeeded…” However, halfway through his sentence, he halted. Even when the alcohol had dulled his senses and his mind he knew that conjecture was laughable.

"What should we do now?” Steven was now completely at a loss. Minnie, who still remained calm, was the only thing he could grasp at to steady himself.

“Don’t do anything!”

“Are we just going to wait?”

Minnie shook her head, “Of course not. I’m saying that we can’t execute any more schemes to target Richard. Nothing at all. Now, if we want to keep ourselves alive, we can only ask for help from our families. Tell them everything that’s happened, and see what they can do for us. If our families are willing to offer enough compensation, then Her Excellency might forgive us.”

Minnie’s words left Steven dismayed and full of despair. He hung his head and grasped at his hair, mumbling, “What can they help me with? There’s nothing! What I’ve done is no trivial matter. The person I want to kill is Richard, the legendary mage’s little lover! Even Father can’t do anything. Though he hasn’t said anything, I know that he must have lost the battle with Sharon… Ah, no! There’s one more way! Declare war! Declare war on the Deepblue! Deepblue has a bunch of mages, but not enough military! Why didn’t I think of this? I should get my father to lead an army to attack the Deepblue…”

Minnie shook Steven as hard as she could, but the dragon warlock’s brain had completely been taken over by the alcohol, and the more he said, the louder he got. While this was his personal residence, Minnie was not sure that there was no magic surveillance or any peeping devices secretly installed here.

Declare war? Declare war on the Deepblue? Even if the Deepblue’s military power was weak, Solam would have to fight through six thousand kilometres of the Sacred Alliance to get to it!

Seeing that this wasn’t enough to stop Steven, Minnie simply carried a basin of ice-cold water and splashed it over his head.

Steven shivered and immediately jumped up. The cold that seeped into his very bones dispelled the effects of the alcohol, and helped him become sober. Seeing the slightly panicked Minnie, he then took another basin of could water and poured it over his head, shaking hard. With a clang, he tossed the copper basin to the ground.

“We haven’t reached the point of complete despair yet…” Steven said slowly. While his voice had gone completely hoarse, the dragon warlock could still give confidence. He pondered over this and walked around in circles. The effects of the alcohol were quickly vanishing, and after suppressing the panic and terror that had been difficult to hold in, various ways of dealing with the matter arose in his mind. While the chances of success were miniscule, there was still hope.

After walking a few rounds like this, Steven quickly made a decision, “Every action can be made up for. Prepare some magic paper and a pen for me, I want to write a few letters. You should also write a letter to Marquess Niall. At this point, he shouldn’t think this has nothing to do with him!”

Minnie quickly perked up, and prepared everything quickly. Steven sat at the table, his pen flying as he quickly wrote four letters. One was to the duke, and two others to Saint Klaus and his own mother. Unexpectedly, the recipient of the last letter was Blackgold.

After seeing the contents of the four letters, Minnie was silently startled. Steven was basically threatening Duke Solam. If the duke did not help him get past this, then he wouldn’t mind making a few things that the duke had been doing public. While he had only touched upon this briefly, even Minnie could see the seriousness of these things done in the dark. While they had nothing to do with the legendary mage, the moment they were made public, the emperor of the Sacred Alliance would immediately be furious. However, the most furious person here would not be that bloodthirsty sovereign of the Alliance, but Peter The Great, Emperor of the Sacred Tree Empire!

The letter to Blackgold was simple. It only showed that Steven was willing to discuss terms with him, and he was willing to consider anything.

Seeing Steven placing the letters into the magic formation, Minnie could not hold it back and asked, “Can this really work? There won’t be any turning back for you and your family!”

“Turning back?” Steven sneered, “Only if we can live past this can we even consider turning back.”

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