Chapter 1952: Bait And Switch (part 2)
“My master sent me here solely because she is curious to understand the reason for your stunt.
If you really wanted to mess with the Council, you wouldnt have announced your presence and intentions.
“Your threat is a bluff that you expected us to call.
Unless Im wrong and you really are crazy, I demand you to explain why you didnt request a formal meeting through the official channels.” Tryssa said.
After gauging her opponent, Zoreth dropped the pretenses and a sly smile appeared on her face.
The Fae wasnt an idiot, but just like the Shadow Dragon had expected, the Councils ego had backfired on them.
Sending someone young and irrelevant as their ambassador was another way to humiliate the unwanted guests, just like making them wait for hours without a single reply.
Yet it played straight into Zoreths hand.
Tryssa had the full authority to speak on behalf of the Council and none of the wits necessary for the task.
Sending a youth to deal with old monsters was akin to throwing the live bait in the river without the hook.
A free meal for the fish.
“The answer is simple.
I dont trust you.” The Shadow Dragon replied.
“I dont trust being surrounded by a bunch of old fossils in their own home.
Not when I demand them to hand me the Mouth of Menadion and the bastard who stole it.”
At the mention of one of the most treasured secrets of the Council, Tryssa took a step back.
She looked around the room, activating Life Vision for the first time since her coming and looking for traps.
“I dont know what you are talking about.” She quickly regained her composure and looked at Zoreth like at a madwoman.
“Instead you do.” The Dragon stood up, growing her size a little to stare at the plant in the eyes.
“I am old enough to know that all the artifacts crafted with a piece of the Menadion set carry a specific energy signature.
“It was one of the safeguards in case one of her apprentices was killed.
A Forgemastering tool is pointless if its creations cant be sold or used.
It allowed Menadion to track her apprentices and study their progress.”
“Even if what you say is true, I doubt that Menadion would have shared such a secret with you, unless you forced her to spill it before killing her.” Tryssa moved on the offensive, threatening Zoreth to charge her with the death of the First Ruler of the Flames.
“You are right, she didnt share it with me.
Menadion told her other apprentices though, so that they could look out for each other.” Zoreth waved at Bytra who stood up as well.
“Allow me to introduce you Bytra the Raiju.
Fourth Ruler of the Flames and Menadions apprentice.”
“I know of Vesthas death, but I ignore the identity of his killer.” Bytra shrouded the table for a split second as she shapeshifted back and forth from her beast form.
“I demand the Mouth back and justice for my fellow apprentice.”
“Even if you are who you claim to be, you have no right over the Mouth.” Tryssa took another step back, suddenly feeling cornered.
She now recognized Bytra.
Both her human and beast appearances were identical to the paintings in her mentors office.
Very few knew what the inventor of the modern runes looked like and no one would dare pretend to be them.To make matters worse, the aura that the Raiju released was no bluff.
Even though neither her master nor Bytra had gone all-out in front of her, Tryssa could tell that even the millennia-old Firbolg was no match for the Ruler of the Flames.
“Oh, we have plenty of right.” Zoreth replied.
“Menadion lived in Garlen and so did her apprentice.
The Mouth was stolen, not sold or inherited.
As members of the Garlen Council, we demand to have it back.
“Fail to comply and well inform the rest of the Awakened community of how Verendi makes deals with murderers instead of dealing with them.” She put her Council amulet on the table as proof of her words.
Tryssa swallowed loudly, not knowing what to do.
The matter was way beyond her capabilities but she couldnt back down without tremendous political repercussions.
If the Garlen Council was informed, there might be a war between the two continents.
“I understand your point, but this issue is centuries old.
People gets killed every day and their legacy stolen.” Tryssa said slowly, to buy the time to find the right words.
“If you demanded justice right after it happened, we would have gladly complied but we would have still kept the Mouth.
“Vestha had no heir and with Menadion gone, the rules of the game are simple.
You have my respect for your talent and the many teachings you shared, Lady Bytra, but they dont give you any right over the Mouth.
“Menadion had hundreds of disciples, even among the people of Verendi, and they have the same claims over the artifacts that you do.” Tryssa gave her a deep bow to hide the smug grin for escaping the enemys trap.
“Feel free to tell the Garlen Council about the Mouth.
If its a war you want, well gladly bring it to your door.
Yet with Thrud already thinning your numbers, it would be a damn shame if the Mad Queen suddenly had new allies.”
“Your closing every sentence with a threat is becoming annoying, kid.” Zoreth snorted.
“Know that we have yet to inform the Garlen Council for the same reason we resorted to that façade this morning.
“We dont trust them more than we trust you.
Even if we won the war, the Mouth would be split among the winners whereas we want to give it back to its rightful heir.”
Elphyn Menadion.” Solus had remained sitting until that moment, giving her back to Tryssa.
The young Awakened recognized her from a painting and her knees buckled.
Solus looked exactly like the teenager Elphyn from Threins drawings down to the smallest details.
The full lips, the golden eyes brimming with power, and the perfection of her proportions were nothing like the real Solus but they matched how her father saw her through his loving eyes.
“Thats bull**!” Tryssa had to sit down.
“Elphyn Menadion disappeared for centuries right after her mother.
I dont know who you are or how you managed to shapeshift yourself in such form, but you cant be her.
“You are too young and weak.” Her voice lacked conviction even after Life Vision showed her Soluss blue aura.
Shapeshifting had limits.
Resembling someone and being identical to someone were two entirely different matters.
Either the person in front of her was the true Elphyn Menadion or someone old enough to have met her in person.
“I am Elphyn Menadion.” Solus stepped forward, looking down on the Awakened.
“My mothers murderer killed me first and then exploited Menadions attempt to revive me to kill her as well.
“My mother died and the tower was stolen, but she still managed to partially succeed in saving my life.
The procedure left me in a coma and crippled me.
Before dying, Menadion sent me to the Desert, where I slumbered until a few years ago.”
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