“What are you doing? Bastard, get your hands off me! I am Gaton’s son, the son of the family head! What right do you have to treat me like this? Are you trying to revolt?” Warren exclaimed at the top of his voice along the way, and resisted with all his might, but the warrior managed to carry him with the ease of carrying a little chick. His eyes were covered by a piece of black cloth, and he couldn’t see what was going on around him. And while there was a fair number of people around in the hall, nobody made a noise.
He seemed to sense something when he was brought to the centre of the hall, suddenly stopping his shouts as he involuntarily began to tremble. Gaton nodded towards the warrior, and he took off Warren’s blindfold.
The sudden, piercing brightness forced Warren to close his eyes. Only after a long time did he manage to see what was going on in the hall. He immediately realised that this was a trial, and he began trembling even more violently to the point that he couldn’t even stand up straight. Only with the warrior behind him supporting his weight did he not collapse to the ground. After seeing the state Warren was in, the old man and middle-aged man on Gaton’s left shook their heads, expressions turning cold.
Warren suddenly shouted, “Father, what’s going on? Why did they suddenly apprehend me? Save me!” Near the end, his shouts turned into wails, and he did all he could to run towards Gaton. However, the large hands of the warrior behind him were like iron, and he had no way to struggle free.
Gaton originally looked calm, with his expression deadpan, but now he began to stroke his short mustache with a smile. Only those familiar with the man would be aware that this was when he was at his scariest.
He made a small hand gesture and the warrior cupped Warren’s mouth, disallowing him from making any more sounds. When things got slightly quieter in the hall, he looked to the left and right, “Warren is here now. What are your opinions?”
Goliath sneered and said, “That half-legendary ring is iron-clad proof! Do you still need to ask me about this?”
Alice nodded as well, saying coldly, “There’s too much evidence.”
“Guilty,” the old mage said.
“Guilty,” said the middle-aged man as well.
Warren suddenly began to struggle with all his might, wanting to say something, but could not release himself from the hold of the warrior behind him no matter what he did. In a moment of desperation, he even bit at the warrior’s palm, but it was as if he was biting at elephant skin. Not only did he leave no traces behind, he almost lost his own teeth.
Gaton nodded and then said calmly and imposingly, “Fine. There is enough evidence to prove that Warren colluded with Raymond Joseph and attempted to murder Richard Archeron, causing Knight Senma, who was in charge of his protection, to end up gravely injured in a risky circumstance. Since Richard was determined to be a core member of the family by the elders, Warren’s punishment will be immediate execution.”
Warren’s struggling suddenly ceased, and as if all the strength in his body had been sapped out he slumped down. If not for the warrior still holding onto him, he would have completely crumpled to the ground.
“NOOOOO!” A piercing scream sounded from amidst the crowd, and an absolutely stunning young woman darted to the centre of the hall, embracing Warren tightly. She did her best to shove at the warrior and save Warren, but no matter how she kicked, hit, or bit him, he remained unmoving like a rock. The woman was only level 3 or 4 at best, and that was far too little for her to cause any damage to him.
The woman finally realised her actions against the warrior were in vain, and instead turned to yell at Gaton, “Richard is your son, but Warren isn’t? My Warren grew up by your side, but what about that bastard that just suddenly showed up from the mountains? Besides, isn’t he still alive and standing there well? Why are you executing Warren?”
Gaton frowned and answered calmly, “This is a meeting of the Archeron Family. You may be one of my women, Jade, but you have no right to speak here. And while I’m not in our family lands very often, don’t assume I don’t know how you’ve raised him! If not for you, he wouldn’t have such guts!”
Jade suddenly jumped up, roaring at Gaton like a lioness, “So what if it’s me? I want him to crawl towards the top and get the most power in the family and beat down all the people in his way! Gaton, don’t think I don’t know that the reason you wanted me was because I’m a half-elf, and look slightly similar to that elf who’s always in your thoughts! I know Richard is her child, which is why you’re killing my Warren for this little bastard!”
Gaton chuckled and merely said, “Jade, don’t forget yourself. You don’t have the right to speak here.”
The old mage at Gaton’s left lightly waved, and a muting spell was tossed towards Jade, resulting in her voice immediately vanishing. Two warriors charged out and forcefully dragged her to a corner.
However, she continued to struggle as if she had gone crazy. While the muting spell made it such that she could not make a sound, heartbreaking cries seemed to resound in the hall.
Goliath stared at Gaton, and let loose a booming chuckle that made him seem like a man-eating beast, “Gaton, this woman of yours really is very gutsy. What’s the punishment for interrupting a family trial? My brain hasn’t been serving me too well lately!”
Gaton turned ashen and made a sound, “Ten lashes… Alice, you do it!”
Alice had no intentions whatsoever of rejecting this. She stood up and took a leather whip from a bare-chested warrior, drawing it back slightly with her wrists before cracking it a few times in quick succession. The whip was like a toxic dragon as it struck Jade’s body, tearing her clothing up and leaving a bloody welt on her skin!
Jade suddenly gasped, and her body went stiff before she began to tremble vigorously. The whip continued to crack, hitting her body with a consistent strength. The half-elf had fainted long before the tenth, and once it was done Gaton waved for two warriors to drag her out of the trial hall.
Gaton watched Warren and then took a look around, before speaking in a low voice sternly, “While us Archerons have never been united nor do we promote unity, true Archerons will not harm each other. This is a tradition passed down from the ancestors, and nobody can defy it, not even my own son. In Faust, in Norland, in the numerous planes, we have never had a lack of enemies, which is why there is no need for enemies within our midst. If anyone else wishes to go against this principle, then let this be an example!”
Gaton raised his right hand, lay it flat, and pressed it down.
The warrior in the centre of the hall raised Warren, the muscles all over his body twisting as he then lightly knocked the middle of Warren’s back with a fist. His body went completely stiff, eyes as wide as they could ever get, and his throat moved, but he could not make a sound! His body shook a few times, and he then crumpled to the ground, the lustre in his eyes rapidly dissipating.
As he watched the life seep out of Warren’s body, Richard could not describe how he was feeling. It definitely wasn’t sympathy or pity; no, all his suspicions and the abnormalities he’d noticed linked together in that moment. It was no wonder that Warren still wanted to provoke Faulk despite his lack of battle might. No wonder that Senma was seriously injured, no wonder that the duel had actually been premeditated murder. Richard had no pity or sympathy for this boy who wanted to kill him, no. If Warren hadn’t died today, then someday in the future he would have made sure to force him into a dead end.
No, what Richard paid attention to was Jade’s words. Her description of Gaton confused him greatly. Was she speaking the truth? Had Gaton lived all these years with a certain elf in his heart?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Theo: Didn't expect that, didja? If anyone's wondering why there were more releases than usual over the past couple days, we're at nine chaps a week now. We're also doing a chapter every ten patrons, and the 160 patron one is coming tomorrow. Link's in the sidebar if you wanna patronise us!
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA