Chapter 2059 The Price of War (Part 1)
There\'s no point in putting Awakened lives at risk for a losing battle.
Just ask them to bring with them as many people as they can.
General Berion, the moment the evacuation is complete, I want you to activate the self-destruct mechanism of the arrays and the City Gate.
I don\'t want to leave behind anything that might be used against us. Meron said.
As you wish, Your Majesty. The storm howled and hammered through the solid stone walls of his office with such violence that he needed a Hush spell to be able to listen to the orders.
Excellent. The King nodded before turning to Vorgh.
How is the situation at Vesta and Prode
The weather mages managed to push the hot winds away from the cities and toward Thrud\'s armies.
As soon as they lost control over the storm front, they retreated without a fight.
We didn\'t lose a single soldier or Awakened.
There are just a few injured from the skirmish to buy time for the weather mages. The Brigadier General replied.
I think it\'s an outstanding result and it\'s all thanks to our strategists.
He gave Jirni and her great-great-great-great-grandaunt a deep bow.
What about Belius The rest of the Royal Court was smiling but the Queen\'s expression was as grim as the King\'s.
There\'s no saving it. Vorgh replied with a sigh.
The silver lining is that we suffered minimal losses.
The barrier arrays we set up against War Mage spells held long enough to evacuate the outer walls.
Aside from about one-third of Colonel Varegrave\'s regiment, no one died.
No human died, you mean. Jiza snarled.
We lost three Awakened elders today and each one of them was worth thousands of your insignificant soldiers, if not millions! While you ants sit behind the safety of your city wall, my people fought against the progeny of the gods!
At those words, Vorgh became livid and rage turned his face to a deep red.
And we are grateful for that. Meron stepped in before the General could compromise the frail alliance with the Council.
You have my word that their sacrifice will be honored and that we\'ll compensate their families for their loss.
Now that Thrud had Divine Beasts among her generals, the Awakened were paying the highest price at every battle.
If before a Council elder would die solely due to a cunning trap or a major blunder, now the slightest mistake was enough to cause their death.
It had led the Council to reconsider their involvement in the war and to renegotiate the deal with the Kingdom.
That\'s not enough. Jiza shook her head.
What about those who put their lives on the line and managed to survive If you want them to return to the battlefield and fight against immortals, you need to offer us more than a thank you, Your Majesty.
You are not fighting for us, you are fighting for your homeland. Queen Sylpha\'s tone was calm but her eyes were cold.
If the Kingdom is defeated, you\'ll have no army of soldiers or \'fake mages\' to throw at Thrud to test her defenses.
Our deal benefits both parties, it simply demands different sacrifices. She shoved the Small World centimeters away from Jiza\'s nose.
Imagine what would happen if the Mad Queen gets her hands on the Royal Artifacts and finds a way to use them.
We\'ll see how long your Council will last.
As the two women argued, Meron could almost see his figure replacing his wife\'s and Lith in place of Jiza.
\'Verhen has failed his mission in Belius and according to the survivors, Varegrave joined his ranks.
At this point, I can\'t stall any longer.
May the Great Mother protect us all.\' The King clenched the armrests of his throne, cursing for the umpteenth time the weight of the crown he wore and of the decisions that it forced him to make.
Ruins of Kaduria, now.
After Kamila finished bringing Lith up to speed with the events that had taken place in the throne room, he called his parents to reassure them of his well-being.
The call didn\'t last long due to his exhaustion and the tower draining his energy almost as quickly as he regained it.
Take your time. Elina was worried by how pale he looked.
Let us know the moment Solus gets better.
Are you sure that Kamila doesn\'t need to rush back to the Desert Raaz asked.
What if they take her hostage
I doubt it, Dad.
With how strained the Crown\'s relationship with the Council is, I doubt that attacking the family of one of its members is a good move.
The Royals are many things, but stupid isn\'t among them.
Let\'s hope you are right. Raaz sighed.
Get some rest.
You need it.
Lith fell asleep the moment his head touched the pillow and he didn\'t wake up for over eight hours.
When he opened his eyes again, his Council amulet blinked with several missed calls and light had returned to the tower.
\'Solus\' Lith asked, receiving only silence for an answer.
He checked his bond with every single floor of the tower, making sure that nothing had been lost or damaged during the blackout.
The Mines, the Crucible, and even the pocket dimension were in order, yet he couldn\'t perceive any trace of Solus\' presence.
Only when he checked his Council amulet and made sure that her rune was still there did he finally get free from the fear that had been gripping his heart.
\'Is Solus just asleep or has she fallen into a coma\' Lith thought, trying to make sense of the void in his mind where her light had always been.
\'Grandma said to wait until Solus wakes up, but if her mind had been damaged by the lack of energy, without Grandma\'s help she might remain unconscious for days, if not weeks or worse.
\'Yet ignoring the advice of a Guardian is beyond foolish.
I have no idea if the tower, and more importantly Solus, have regained enough strength to endure a Warp to the Desert.
\'According to the diagnostics everything is fine but they don\'t take into account Solus\' life support system.
I\'d better check with my breathing technique.\'
Lith used Demon Grasp to study the tower core, discovering that even though its size was unchanged and there were no missing runes, the core had become hazy.
It would cyclically lose cohesion as the pseudo cores that comprised it shifted out of place until the world energy forced them to align again.
To make matters worse, a quick visit to the mines revealed to Lith that even though no crystal had been lost, they had all become dull and the power they contained had been completely depleted.
\'The tower must have sucked the crystals dry while I reached the geyser to make up for the lack of world energy and keep Solus alive.
If I hadn\'t filled the Mines to the brim with crystals, Solus might have lost her body if not her memories.\' A chill ran down his spine at the thought.
Losing a floor or two would have been an annoyance, but nothing that time couldn\'t fix.
Any damage to Solus\' memory, instead, might have made her regress as a person and even alter her personality.
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