Chapter 1957: The Die is Cast (part 1)
“Enough!” Ozak slammed his heavy fist on the Adamant table to quell the anger of his peers.
“Lets reconsider the situation from the beginning and make a decision instead of wasting more time with recriminations.
“The past is beyond our reach and if we dont focus on the present, well have no future because well be all dead.”
After silence returned to the Council Hall, the human representative continued:
“The situation is not as dire as it seems.
Our agents in Garlen have confirmed that the local Council is still unaware that we are in possession of the Mouth of Menadion.
Ourguests want to keep the information and the artifact for themselves and this plays in our favor.
“Also, where you guys only see a disaster, I see an opportunity.
If we get rid of the intruders, well kill several birds with one stone.
Their death will weaken the Garlen Council, the Organization, and well finally get justice for the countless lives that those Eldritches took through the centuries.
“After that, we just need to be careful with the Mouth and sell the artifacts crafted with it solely to trustworthy people who will keep the secret about their origin.
The War of the Griffons is a blessing in disguise because it gives us the time that we need to step up our game.
“As long as Garlen has to face Thrud, a political matter like the death of a few ambassadors will have to wait.
Once the war ends, we just have to strike before the winner recovers, no matter who it is, to achieve a quick victory.”
“I like your idea.” Xergovs severed head rested on the table so her body had to lift it and shake it with its hands to make her nod.
“But theres another way that would avoid a pointless war.
We can just claim that we played no role in the attack.
“That the grief-stricken families of the victims acted on their own after learning of the presence of their sworn enemies.
At that point, we might even close the issue by offering a few scapegoats.
“After all, if we leave no witnesses, no one will trigger a full-scale conflict based on hearsay.”
“Agreed.” Rokuno said.
“But we must act swiftly and decisively.
If even one of them survives and manages to escape to Garlen, things will escalate.
Even if we win, many of us might not come out of it alive.
“It would be of great help to the cause if you joined our efforts, Ileza.
You are the Guardian of Life and avoiding the conflict between Councils would save countless lives.”
“Nice try, but no.
Im not an idiot and this is your agenda, not mine.” The Bastets eyes flared with mana and fury, making the other representatives quiver in their boots.
“Fine.” Senara raised her hands in surrender.
“You could at least clean up your own home and get rid of the Red Carnival for us.
Theseus is your son.
His actions and the blood on his hands also fall on you.”
“I would agree if it was still the old him.” Ileza said.
“My son had taken a path from which there was no redemption and Ive sworn to kill him with my own hands if I ever found him again.
“Thanks to the Master, however, hes gotten a fresh start, and the illness that twisted his mind is gone.
I will always be grateful to the Master for saving my child and Im not going to harm this new Theseus unless he proves to be no different from the old one.
“Besides, it was you who against my advice granted Visante a full pardon and your protection in exchange for his services.
You glossed over his crimes so that he could grow your power by sharing the Mouth with each one of you in turns.
“He is now a respected mage of our community and if the truth about him were to be revealed, you would be all in trouble.
Elphyn Menadion is the legitimate heir of the Mouth and I wont move a finger against her either.”
“Do you mean that shes the real deal Does she have the tower” Senara asked and the others nodded, their eyes lit by greed like a bunch of Dragons.
“Shes the real deal but the tower is lost.
The killer took it away” Senara lied through her teeth, unwilling to cause Elphyn any trouble.
“So you are going to abandon us, like always.” Xergov the Dullahan said.
“Im not abandoning you.
You have decided to ride toward a cliff and I refuse to follow, end of the story.” The Bastet stood up, opening a Warp Gate back to her lair.
“One last word of advice.
“My son was brilliant as a Bastet and once he turned into an Abomination, his brilliance was twisted into a monstrosity.
He became more powerful and more dangerous than he had ever been.
“Now, he has transcended beyond even that.
I wouldnt cross him if I were you.”
Then, she left before they could reply.
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“All in favor to get rid of the intruders before Garlen learns about the Mouth” Ozak asked, and the motion was unanimously approved.
Penaka hill, in the middle of nowhere and of the Seota plains.
The more Lith studied the area that the Council had chosen as neutral ground for the negotiations, the more it looked like the perfect place for a trap.
There was no settlement nearby so no witnesses either.
The Penaka hill was an isolated plateau far from the borders of Garlen, with nowhere to hide for dozens of kilometers.
In the case someone was forced to run, the pursuers would have a clear line of sight on their target.
No matter if one flew at high speed or Blinked, it would take a miracle to escape.
“Now I understand why you decided to come here as soon as they communicated to us the meeting place even though we are hours early.” Lith said.
“You didnt want to give them the time to prepare traps.”
“Correct.” Zoreth nodded.
“I gave them such a short deadline so that they were forced to improvise.
Even if they contacted us after starting the preparations, building huge arrays isnt something that you can do in a few hours.
“Even if they sent us to some secluded execution spot, weve cast array detection spells on our way here to avoid surprises.”
“This is still a trap, though.” Lith replied.
The alleged reason for choosing this place is to allow us to have a clear sight of the members of the delegation and have many escape routes if something goes south.
“Yet we know that even if they send just one person, it takes a single Warping array to move dozens if not hundreds of Awakened at a time.” Zoreth said.
“If this is a trap and we know it, why are we even here” Theseus asked.
“Between Chaos and Spirit Warp, theres nothing that can stop us from reaching Garlen.
Lets spill the beans with the Council and let them sort this out.”
“I agree.” Solus said.
This will be a pointless battle.” Dolgus sighed.
“Not really.” Lith shook his head as he turned around to look Solus in the eyes.
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