Chapter 468: Discord in the Palace

“What!?” That’s Coldblade…” Mylin’s beautiful eyes were filled with shock as she stared at the scene in front of her. She exclaimed, “Good heavens! Could the previous heroic king of the human race really have fallen into depravity? Those damnable Night Creatures! To think that they actually stole His Majesty Coldblade’s body from the Tomb of Heroes! Those damned…”

“Who exactly is this Coldblade?”

“Nearly ten thousand years ago, the Spirit of Grief continent was destroyed and rulers like Fia and Annie started to fall in battle one after the other. After that, there appeared several great unifiers who managed to conquer the whole continent, and one of these great unifiers was Coldblade! He was born in an ancient clan and he rose from a small mercenary to become an emperor who swept away all the nations of the human race in a mere decade! He even used his unrivaled military strategy to reforge the Silver Moon Alliance. However, Coldblade still ended up dying in battle, in the capital of the Night Creatures themselves! Brave warriors retrieved Coldblade’s body and buried him in the Tomb of Heroes. So… why was he reborn in Hell?”

I grunted when I suddenly realized that one of the nine strongest bosses in the game had the same name as Coldblade. It was the boss ranked seventh, whose name was Coldblade the Infinite Storm.

Hmmm, that’s right, it was that person. Who would have thought that I’d get involved with some superboss in my fifth class-promotion mission? I really couldn’t tell if I should rejoice or despair.

“The crack in reality that connected the human world to Hell had been sealed up by the Dragon Speaker. So, logically speaking, there is no way such a huge hellish army would be able to enter the human world. Am I right, Mylin?”

“Yes, if we are following the normal rules that is. However, however…” Mylin’s eyes filled up with worry as she stared at that spindly magic staff that lay in the center of the altar. She continued, “But this is something that I have to tell you. That is the Purgatory Dragon Scepter, an item that is able to establish a spatial bridge between the dimensions themselves. I’m afraid that…”

“You suspect that Coldblade the Infinite Storm will use the Purgatory Dragon Scepter to send large amounts of Night Creatures from Hell over to Sky City, right?”

Mylin gave a heavy nod of her head. “Mhm, you also saw the scene that Teacher managed to capture. Coldblade has an identical Purgatory Dragon Scepter. As long as both Dragon Scepters are used at the same time and their magical wavelengths match, the spatial bridge will be constructed. If that happens, Sky City’s demise will not be far away…”

Mylin was looking rather flustered, and her hands balled up into tiny fists as she continued, “What do we do? What do we do? I can’t let Coldblade’s plan go so smoothly. We need to stop Coldblade’s scheme at all cost. That’s right, this must definitely be a scheme. We’ve been had! If we really activate the Purgatory Dragon Scepter, we’ll be helping Coldblade destroy the entire continent…”

I hefted my Heaven-stealing Sword as I grinned. “Then isn’t it simple? Let’s just go up to that altar and destroy that Purgatory Dragon Scepter. Won’t that solve everything?”

Mylin’s eyes were filled with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness as she looked at me and shook her head. She replied, “We can’t. His Majesty was the one who decided to activate that Purgatory Dragon Scepter. Without his orders, no one will be able to destroy that Purgatory Dragon Scepter. In fact, the Four Elders of the Mage Guild cast a restrictive spell on all of us which will rip apart anyone who tries to destroy the Dragon Scepter.”

“Bloody hell…” I cursed as I clenched my teeth. “Well then, let’s go and seek an audience with His Majesty.”

“Mmm!”

Mylin resolutely nodded her head and replied, “Come with me, we’ll go seek an audience with his Majesty right away!”

……

So that was how I was led right past the Mage Guild and straight into the royal palace. When we entered the great hall, I was shocked to discover that the old king of Sky City had already passed away. The man sitting on the throne looked to be a young king that was about 40 years of age. He was clad in golden armor and he held an adorned sword in his hand as he sat inside this splendorous and magnificent hall. He certainly had the look of a king.

It looked like nearly all the officials had gathered here today. They were all sitting down in their designated seats beneath the throne and it seemed as if they were about to start a grand meeting.

Mylin brought me straight toward the dais on which the throne sat. She stopped in front of the dais and bowed respectfully as she said, “Mylin greets His Majesty!”

The king let out a soft laugh. “Oh, it’s one of the royal magi, Lady Mylin. Aren’t you supposed to be busy activating the Purgatory Dragon Scepter at the altar? Why have you come here?”

Mylin's expression became severe as she said, “Your Majesty, I have discovered that a great calamity is about to strike us, and I am unable to simply sit back and watch it happen! Your Majesty, please stop the activation of the Purgatory Dragon Scepter! We must also destroy it! If not, Sky City will be brought to ruin!”

“What!?” The young king leapt to his feet as he bellowed in rage, “Mylin, do you know what you’re saying right now!?”

Mylin nodded her head. “Yes, I do. We need to destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter. If not, it will bring calamity down on our heads. Your Majesty, please take a look. This is the evidence that I have gathered so far!”

“Hmph!”

As the young king and all of his soldiers and officials stared at Mylin, she activated the Fragment of Phantasma, showing everyone in the hall the same scenes that we saw just now. When they saw Coldblade the Infinite Storm and the army that he had summoned, a few of the officials looked shocked, but there were more of them who didn’t even flinch throughout the entire proceedings.

Mylin put away the Fragment of Phantasma and said, “Everything is all too clear now, Your Majesty. We need to destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter. If not, Sky City will be dragged into a battle it will not be able to extricate itself from. In fact, the other human nations may very well be destroyed in the process as well. Lord Coldblade has already become a ruler of the Night Creatures, and if he could build such a strong and flourishing human empire in the past, he very well has the ability to personally destroy it!”

The young king sat back down on his throne before breathing in deeply, but he did not speak.

It was at this exact moment that an aged chancellor stood up with his magic staff in his hand. He said, “This is an extremely important strategic decision to make, so the council of elders must be the ones to decide this. I, the head of the Situ Family, the grand elder of the council of elders, will vote first in opposition to the Royal Magus Mylin’s proposal. We definitely must not destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter. It is the only thing that can act as a portal between us and the beastman tribe. If we destroy it, the beastman tribe will definitely take this opportunity to attack Sky City!

Mylin was shocked by his words. “Elder Situ, you… How can you…”

I walked up and said, “You’re afraid that the beastman tribe will attack you, but you’re willing to be invaded by an army of Night Creatures that numbers in hundreds of thousands? How does that make any sense? If Sky City is so afraid of war, then they should just drop to their knees and surrender! Ptooey!”

As a player, I didn’t need to take this sort of nonsense. If I didn’t mock these sort of gutless NPCs, I just wouldn’t feel good about myself afterward!

At this time, a military man who held a warblade in his hand stood up and said in a deep voice, “Your Majesty, even though this adventurer’s words are reckless, the royal authority of Sky City cannot be blasphemed! If he wants to fight, I’ll fight alongside him! I have hundreds of thousands of armored soldiers under my command, so why do we have to be afraid of the beastman tribe? Pushing Sky City to the edge of disaster just to deal with the beastman tribe is simply not the intelligent thing to do!”

Elder Situ suddenly slammed his magic staff into the ground, causing the floor and walls to shake. His face was a picture of rage as he pointed at the general and bellowed in a low voice, “Jacelyn, don’t you forget that this sort of national army mobilization can only be decided by His Majesty and the council of elders! A boorish man such as yourself has no right to criticize us!”

Jacelyn raised his blade in the air as he said, “The only thing I know is that when the Night Creatures come calling, when the beastmen are on the prowl, the ones who rush into the thick of the danger are boorish men such as ourselves! It is we, rough and unlettered men, who use our own blood and glory to uphold and defend the dignity of Sky City, not the pampered, licentious, and indulgent nobles such as yourself!”

I cheered him on silently before I grinned and said, “Haha, even though boorish men are not intelligent, they always uphold their honor and glory in the most simple and direct way possible! They’re thousands of times stronger than these pathetic government dogs!”

……

Bang!

A loud ringing sound resounced in the hall. The young king was finally moved to anger. He slapped his hand against his dragon throne made of pure gold, shattering it with a single strike. His expression was dark and severe and he yelled at us in a deep voice, “What use is there with this incessant quarrelling? Since there are disagreements, then we will now call the council of elders to a vote. Everyone will vote on whether we should destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter or not! I think that it is especially important for us to maintain our relationship with the beastman tribe, so we definitely must not destroy the Dragon Scepter. So I vote against it!”

Elder Situ said in a loud voice, “I also object to destroying the Purgatory Dragon Scepter! The safety of our nation must be our priority!”

One elder after another stood up to cast their votes, and all of them supported the young king’s decision. Only the three generals voted in opposition to the king as they made the case for the Purgatory Dragon Scepter’s destruction. They were not afraid of war, but they were smart enough to know that fighting Coldblade’s army of Night Creatures was a fool’s errand. That simply wasn’t a battle that they could win.”

In the end, it was 42 votes against 3.

The young king smiled appreciatively before a cold light flashed through his eyes. He said, “Then it is decided. We will continue the activation of the Purgatory Dragon Scepter! Also, in order to defend against the incursions of the undead and the countries around us, I have decided to dispatch General Jacelyn and his troops to defend the Flying Fire Fortress! General Eliza is to act as my ambassador to the Violet Empire. Your mission is to request that they give one-third of their lands to Sky City! General Drax, your age is catching up to you, so I’ve decided to grant you a noble title. I think it's about time for you to retire to your new fief and enjoy life!”

In a single instant, the three generals who had voted to destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter were all “demoted” and “sidelined” in one way or the other as they were either reassigned or relieved of their duties. No one had expected that the king would treat them so shabbily in front of the entire court!

Elder Situ said, “It’s time for us to move on to the next step. We will activate the Purgatory Dragon Scepter, and teleport the first batch of beastman warriors over to Sky City to defend it. Everyone, clap your hands if you agree.”

A chorus of claps rang out in the air as the vote was passed with no opposition.

……

Mylin’s exquisite shoulders trembled as she stood beside me. Her eyes were filled with tears as she muttered underneath her breath, “So is it over? Just like that? Dear heavens, the nobility of this kingdom has become rotten to the core. Why didn’t I trust Teacher’s words in the past? Sky City is really finished…”

Jacelyn gripped the handle of his longsword tightly as he said, “Your Majesty, this lowly general had always thought that he would die in battle, fighting the Night Creatures to the bitter end. But I had never ever imagined that I would lose all of the honor and glory I had accrued on the battlefield in this filthy court that is filled with the acrid stench of gold and sex! This blackened council of elders and this immoral court has shown me everything I never wanted to see! From here on out, I, Jacelyn, am no longer a soldier of Sky City. I will only fight for my home and family! Your Majesty, this lowly general takes his leave!”

At this time, fragments of stone flew into the air with “bang” as the Heaven-stealing Sword smashed apart the glazed tiles beneath my feet. I was utterly enraged by this farce of an imperial court.

My eyes were scarlet with anger and bloodlust as I stared at the king and his elders. I pointed my sword towards him and bellowed, “I don’t know why this dogshit council of elders is so important! I also don’t know which idiot elected a bunch of useless and imbecilic wankers such as yourselves to represent the will of the people! But I do know this! The moment war begins, the ones who will suffer the most are the ordinary citizens of Sky City. Not dogs like you who are so gutless that they’ll drift in the direction of any strong wind! To think that you would actually allow your own nation to be invaded in order to protect your own interests! That just goes to show how rotten and filthy your souls have become! As for me, I will definitely destroy the Purgatory Dragon Scepter with all due haste! And I won’t hesitate to do anything to accomplish this task!”

The king exchanged glances with his elders in dumbfounded silence. No one had expected an adventurer to so publicly rebuke the king and his court.

……

Mylin gently tugged on my arm, a look of shock blossoming on her face. “You…”

At this moment, the young king strode off the dais as he unsheathed the treasured royal sword with a “clank”. He stared at me with a severe expression on his face as his voice boomed across the hall, “Fine, since you so dearly wish to die, then I won’t hesitate to tell you even more. When one is faced with an inescapable disaster, they will have to make a choice. I’ve made my choice, a choice to protect Sky City!”

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