Sudden Death of the Emperor
"What happened after I killed Nidhogg?" Leguna asked.
Alissanda replied after a moment of silence. "Nothing. You fainted after that and Soulslay used a fixed portal to send you lot back."
"It's a kind of shadow magic--" Alissanda shrugged. "--Soulslay is somewhat practised in that field, apart from being an assassin.""It's too bad for his two elder brothers though," Leguna said with a sigh. The moment Godslay and Heartslay came out, they were killed instantly. If the three of them were fighters as well as magi, the three were undisputedly talented.
Alissanda kept silent. He didn't tell Leguna that actually, they weren't triplets at all. Godslay and Heartslay were merely shadow doubles created using shadow magic. It was a secret spell that the empire's intelligence outfit had.
Though, Soulslay's true nature didn't really matter to Leguna, so Alissanda didn't choose to share it. Not to mention, he hid many other things as well.
"Come to think of it, how long was I out?"
"Five days have passed from the day you killed Nidhogg."
"Alright, let's not waste words. We should go," Geoffrey said, not inclined to stay in the cell any longer.
"Um, apologies. We really do have much to tend to lately."
"Remember. Release me in three days." He waved for them to be gone. What he didn't understand was why Alissanda and Geoffrey seemed to get along so well.
However, he couldn't really be bothered to overthink the matters between two brothers. Since they made the decision, there wasn't much he could do about it. He set his mind on leaving Hocke with Annelotte and the others after he was released. Naturally, he would be haggling Larwin for some money before that. After that, they could head to the Dusk Zone to find Marolyt as he promised.
As for the future… He kept on pondering what he would do after all that. Where would he go? He couldn't help but let his mind wander home.
There were different definitions of what one could call a home. The way Leguna saw it, a home had to be grand, but pleasant to live in. It had to have a bedroom, a living room, a dining room, but most importantly, it had to have people he was close to and liked. So, he didn't see the slums of Melindor where he spent his childhood as his home, nor did he think the same of the grand mansion the empire assigned him. The former had really poor living conditions, and the latter involved Leguna in too many plots and schemes of the empire. It wouldn't do his mind any favors if he stayed there for long.
In the end, he came to a rather surprising conclusion. The ideal home in his eyes was the inn he had stayed in Starfall before, Shining Star. It was where everything had begun, where he got to know many of the people he treasured the most today, namely, Annelotte, Kurdak and Vera. Wouldn't it be great if he returned there with Eirinn and Innilis as well?
He cracked a smile at the thought of that. Alright, let's settle on that for now. Once we find pops, I'll go back to Starfall and buy the inn. Annie will be the female owner, Eirinn will be the beautiful chef and Innie will be headmaid. I'll enjoy the envious glares of the guests all day long! And from time to time, I'll drink and boast with Kurdak and when we get bored, we can go on mercenary missions. Darn, life's going to be just perfect!
He continued to mutter until he fell asleep. That night, another visitor came to him.
"Miss, you can't enter," said a guard from outside the cell. Leguna awoke from the sound, as most alert assassins would.
"Buzz off!" Leguna was surprised to recognize the voice. Why would that person visit him that late in the night?
"It's the prince's orders."
Leguna then heard the sound of a sword being drawn. A few short seconds later, the visitor said, "Don't force me. You should know you're not my match, and killing you is no big deal for my status."
"Understood…" The guard finally submitted.
"And, don't tell this to anyone, or you're dead all the same," she said as she sheathed her weapon.
Soon, the door was pushed open. Leguna saw a hooded figure and couldn't help but smile. "Why are you dressed up so heavily just to visit me?"
"You're still in the mood to joke around?" She removed her hood and revealed her pink head of hair. "Do you know what kind of trouble you're in right now?"
"Me?" He looked at the cuffs and mocked, "What else can I do now? That prick Alissanda locked me up here and said he would release me two days later. I say, you better keep him on a tight leash and not let him get over your head."
"Listen here. It's not as simple as you think." Lisana didn't appear to be in the mood to joke around. She looked closely at him and said, "Looks like you really don't know what's going on."
"Know? Is there something I should be aware of?" He had never seen her so stern before.
"His Imperial Majesty Larwin is dead."
"What?!" His eyes widened with shock. "Dead, how?"
"I don't know. We heard he died all of a sudden during the night of our mission," she said with a hint of grief. While she wasn't too close to him, she had begun to consider him her future father-in-law.
"A sudden death?!" He instantly thought back to the final spell Nidhogg dictated. Was Larwin's death the result of that? But what did that mean? Nidhogg had said that the reason he did so was Leguna, but Larwin wasn't his dad or anything. Or could he actually be Larwin's illegitimate son? That would be too far fetched!
He pondered a moment in silence and decided to hide the matter of the spell. "What else?"
"Well…" She hesitated for a moment. "Promise me you'll remain calm."
"Alright." He took a deep breath to soothe himself. He felt a bad premonition, but he couldn't imagine what would go wrong.
"Annie, Eirinn and Innie are… confined in First Magic Academy by Geoffrey."
"That bastard!" he spat, though he forced himself to stay calm. He knew rashness won't do him any good. "Why did he do that?"
"It's said that they weren't too happy about you being locked up, so they were confined as well. I'm sorry… I only woke up three days ago and so many things have transpired. I couldn't make any sense of it, but I feel that it probably won't bode well for you. So, I came to warn you."
"Thanks," he said sincerely. Among all of them, he was probably most indebted to Lisana. She had saved him many a time with her kindness.
"Is there anything I can do to help you now?" she asked. Since she couldn't tell what was going on, she decided to leave the decision to Leguna.
"If possible, can you find a way to let me out?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter