"No matter what, he's still a comrade who had fought by your side for years. I didn't think you'd really do it," the orc said at the sight of the damaged Leguna.
"This is a human matter! It has nothing to do with you orcs!" Alissanda raised Lunaminous and charged in again. He still wasn't aware of who that orc was, but based on the strength of his blow, he would only be as strong as a 19th-stratum warrior at most. Alissanda didn't think a saint like him would lose.
But when he approached that orc once more, he knew how wrong he had been. Just as he was about to cut that orc's head off, a thick and bestial aura blasted out from the orc. In the instant Alissanda froze, the orc moved and delivered a straight punch. It seemed like a plain attack without an ounce of skill. However, its unstoppable power and unmatched speed was terrifying.
The orc slammed his fist into Alissanda's chest. The shockwave of the punch was stronger than those a magus's fireball would generate, and that was from a casual strike!
Alissanda was sent flying once more, but unlike before, he felt his sternum break. His heart even stopped beating for a few seconds from the sheer pressure. If not for the constant healing Host of Radiance granted him, the casual punch might've killed him in an instant!
The huge blow knocked him out for some ten seconds. When he opened his eyes again, the orc still hadn't left. He stood beside Leguna and put some medicinal paste on him. The mysterious paste seemed to help him recover his torn-up body nonstop. Even his severed limbs were being regrown.
"It's sacred medicine lil' Olly made for me. This brat really got a great deal," the orc muttered as he continued applying the paste on Leguna with his thick fingers.
Alissanda's expression turned grim at the sight. In a few short exchanges, he had guessed the orc's identity. Seeing the orc treat Leguna so well, he knew there was no way he could kill Leguna today.
However, he didn't give up. He struggled to stand with his sword as support. "Might you be the one they call Blood-colored Wargod, Kreighdon?"
"Looks like I still have a reputation. I didn't think a human from another continent would know my name," he said without batting an eye as he continued applying the paste.
"Then, do you know the person beside you?" Alissanda asked.
"Of course. He's Leguna Dark Requiem, the little assassin that never learns," Kreighdon said in a flat tone, as if he didn't know that the little assassin almost destroyed Melindor.
"Then, do you know that this Leguna is the mastermind behind the disaster that almost wiped all humans out on Chino? He almost destroyed the whole of Melindor just now!"
"What kind of response do you expect from me? What you said has nothing to do with me," he said, seemingly done with Leguna's treatment. "Listen, human brat, I don't know about your little schemes and tricks. They have nothing to do with me. However, our great chieftain is indebted to this brat here. We orcs pay our dues. Since he has earned our great chieftain's favor, I shall protect this brat. If you dare to stop me, you're free to try."
"Are you trying to start a war between the orcs and the humans of Chino?!" Alissanda's glare chilled.
"Mind your words, kid!" Kreighdon roared like a dragon, "I don't care what kind of status you have among humans. Even if you have the ability to rally all the humans on Chino, I do not fear you. You Chinoan humans are on the brink thanks to your war and the disaster. You're on the brink of collapse. So, tell me, do you want to fight a war with us now?"
Alissanda didn't say a word. He knew that Hocke would have no way of starting another war. He was only trying to bluff Kreighdon into retreating.
"If you really want war, then come!" Kreighdon said as he hauled Leguna up with one hand. "We revel in battle! Come to think of it, the peace we have with the Federation of Nine Cities is getting a little long and boring. Perhaps we ought to start a fight with you Chinoans instead."
"You!" Alissanda was rendered speechless. He didn't think Kreighdon would give such a brash reply.
"Hmph!" Kreighdon shot him a contemptuous glare before launching off into the skies like a cannonball.
Seeing the orc leave, Alissanda finally collapsed. His vision blacked out and he fainted from his wounds.
He only woke up a few days later.
"Your Majesty is awake?!" Alissanda could hear a court maidservant yell. He felt another bout of dizziness before he fainted again.
A few hours later, he woke up proper. He seemed far better this time around.
"Your Imperial Majesty…" He opened his eyes to see Alfreid kneeling beside him.
"Oh, it's you, Alfreid." He tried to sit up.
Alfreid hurried to help. "Your Imperial Majesty, after everyone left, nothing happened in Melindor. So, I took a few warriors with me back there and found Your Imperial Majesty lying there. Leguna is…"
Alissanda pondered in a moment of silence, before he honestly said, "He was taken away by Kreighdon. His current whereabouts are unknown."
"Kreighdon? The Blood-covered Wargod?" Alfreid asked, blinking in surprise.
"What a monster…"
"Then, what should we say about Leguna's matter?"
He gave it some thought. "Let's keep this matter a secret. We'll announce that he is dead. The empire has managed to evade another crisis."
"Understood. Your Majesty, the ministers are waiting for you in the meeting hall since they heard about Your Imperial Majesty's reawakening. Should I let them in?"
"Ah… Yes. Let them in." He rubbed his temples. He didn't realize that Alfreid had changed his form of address.
Not long after, the ministers entered the room. They were relieved to see Alissanda in one piece. With Andro taking the lead, the ministers all kneeled. "Congratulations, Your Imperial Majesty, for recovering."
"Your Imperial Majesty?" He only seemed to notice how he was addressed.
"The late emperor, Larwin, has passed, and Prince Geoffrey has been assassinated by Leguna. Now, the empire needs Your Majesty to lead it," Alfreid said.
Alissanda looked at the ministers in a long moment of silence and sighed. "Make an announcement that from tomorrow onwards, I, Alissanda Hocke, will become the third reigning emperor. Also, pass on my decree for a month of grieving. The whole empire, from the emperor down to the slaves, is to be forbidden from eating meat and taking lives for no good reason. We shall use this chance to honor the heroes that perished in the southern war and the Tide of Death."Previous Chapter Next Chapter