Chapter 51 : Collision
High up above the clouds, feeling the cold night breeze and gazing at the forest from above was breathtaking to Lazarus. Especially if he was riding on top of a wyvern, a creature that only existed in fairy tales back on earth.
There was a sort of excitement surging in Lazarus’ heart, he wasn’t exactly sure whether it really was excitement or just the hanging bridge effect. The wyvern would often flap a few times, before gliding through the wind, making the ride relatively smooth. The only downside was that the seat wasn’t as comfortable as riding on a plane, it felt rough and somewhat bumpy.
But nevertheless, the brand new experience was something Lazarus enjoyed. A subtle smile formed across his face as he continued to glance down below, clumps of mana were forming small blue spherical light that hovered into the air.
It was as if, there were hundreds of fireflies down below at the forest. It was quite the scenery.
“Rex…?” Eris who was behind Lazarus, whispered.
Lazarus smile immediately disappeared, as he shook his head, trying to get his head back in the game. “-I shouldn’t get distracted-” he thought, before answering Eris. “Hmm?”
Eris was silently for a moment, she had this curious look but was hesitating. Lazarus in turn felt something was off, Eris wasn’t one to usually hold back so it was strange. He waited for her to say something but then she averted her gaze. “It’s nothing…. Nevermind.”
“-Strange-” This made Lazarus curious, but the moment he turned his gaze around. He caught Sonia, who was seated in front of him, staring. She immediately averted her gaze and seemingly gazed up at the stars to hide the fact that she was staring at him. It was a relatively useless trick, but Lazarus didn’t bother thinking too much about it.
Lazarus glanced at the corner of his screen, where a radar, showing circular green lines was constantly blinking a small green dot just beside the center. This green dot was none other than Rufus who was clutched on to Lazarus, his invisibility and ability to erase his presence was something else. So Lazarus would often glance at his radar just to make sure he was still there.
Lazarus was kind of curious what face Rufus would make while riding on top of a huge wyvern. If the little guy wasn’t invisible, maybe he would be squeeking miserably and would stare at Lazarus with its red beady eyes, hoping for him to get down. The thought was kind of amusing and it made him chuckle inwardly.
For the entirety of the trip, Lazarus had noticed Sonia constantly shifting her gaze to him. She was relatively bad at hiding it so Lazarus simply pretended that he didn’t notice. If it was once, then it could just be a coincidence, but more often than that, it meant something was up. There was also Eris’ question that somehow lingered in his mind. He didn’t want to talk too much, since Syphi was just in front of Sonia, she might hear it, so he simply held back and put the thought aside for now.
After several hours of traveling, morning came. They arrived at another forest, that was separated by a river from the monster infested forest. The sunlight was peeking through the mountain valleys and the warmth it carried, somehow made it refreshing.
And upon closer inspection. The forest they were headed for had peculiar groupings of trees, rather it was somewhat unnatural considering that they formed one giant spiral.
“We’re here !” Syrawi who was seated at the foremost front, shouted. A faint smile formed on Sonia, as she gazed down at her home. “I’m finally back….” she muttered softly herself.
The wyvern slowly descended down and when they were closer to the forest, Lazarus could see several figures gathering at a large open area where the wyvern was headed. The wyvern let out draconic like roars, as if to announce its arrival and several elven people came popping out from a makeshift door, carved from their tree homes.
Lazarus knew that elves were one of the more peaceful race so he was expecting a subtle welcome. But just out of caution, he wore his hood to hide his face.
As the wyvern touched down. The elven people gathered around them. But because of the large wing span of the beast, the people couldn’t see behind Syrawi and neither could they be seen by Sonia and the rest.
Syrawi jumped down and the people began cheering. “It’s Lady Syrawi!”
“I’m home everyone!” Syrawi let out a heartfelt smile as she gazed at her people.
Sylphi who was seated in front of Helven, took a quick glimpse of Lazarus before she muttered something to Helven. Helven placed a hand on his chin and was seemingly in deep thought. He then faced Sonia and whispered something into her ear. Lazarus was wondering what they were whispering about, and after a few moments, Sonia glanced at Lazarus.
“Can the both of you wait here for a second?” Sonia had a worried look as she said those words.
Lazarus didn’t say a word and simply nodded in response. Eris also didn’t seem to have a problem with it so the both of them simply waited as Sonia, Helven and Sylphi jumped down from the wyvern.
“Sonia! You’re back!” The elven people greeted her with smiles and cheers, but Lazarus wasn’t exactly sure what kind of face they were making since he was behind the large creature.
They had small talks about what happened and the little things, as well as a series of questions. It wasn’t long till they arrived at the certain topic.
“So where’s this manaless individual you spoke off??” A rigid and deep voice resounded. “Did you bring this person with you??”
“Yeah….and uhmm...” Sonia hesitated and glance towards Syrawi, expecting her to do the talking since she was somewhat nervous.
Syrawi nodded. “The truth is, the person that Sonia mentioned…. was a human.”
The moment Syrawi spoke those words, the crowd became silent, Lazarus glance towards Eris, expecting some thoughts from her. But she simply shook her head as she also didn’t have the slightest clue about what was happening.
The silence continued until a worried voice spoke out. “A human….?” Then the murmering started, some muttering curses under their breath.
“And uhmm….. We also brought another human.” - Sonia
“What???” The rigid voice spoke with anger. “You never bothered telling us this person was a human, and now you brought another one? Do you even realise the gravity of this situation??” The welcoming atmosphere vanished, just like that, and turned to a sour one.
Sonia panicked, and couldn’t utter a word so Syrawi stepped in and spoke. “She has, but she only told me.”
It was silent yet again.
They couldn’t exactly question the elven priestess, since she was one of the highest authorities. But their silence was all Lazarus needed to know that things weren’t gonna go as smoothly as he expected.
Syrawi explained. “The other person was someone who accompanied Sonia through the Veritas forest. And as such, I have allowed Sonia to let her in.”
“V-veritas forest…” The voice sounded worried. “Why did you pass there?”
“I-I’m sorry…… but there was no other way. ”
“You could have died there!”
“I know…. But when I heard that grandpa’s conditioned worsen…. I-...” Sonia’s tone gradually became softer. “I’m sorry….”
“Nevermind.” The man sighed. “So where’s this person?”
“Rex….. Eris, Zaiyus would like to meet you.” Syrawi called out.
Lazarus glanced at Eris as she nodded to him, signaling to him that she was ready. It felt like he was going to walk on stage and have a grand speech, it was somewhat nerve wracking.
The two went around the wyvern, and not just several, there were hundreds of elves, staring at them. Some had a look of curiosity but most of them were giving fearful gazes..
“This is the manaless individual we were talking about. Rex.” - Syrawi
With lavish sky blue eyes and a fiery crimson red hair, wearing only leather pants revealing his muscular toned body. The large elven man turned his piercing gaze towards Lazarus. He eyed him from head to toe with a frown, sizing him up, before turning his gaze towards Eris. “Humans….” he had an irritated look as he said those words.
Syrawi chuckled. “This is Zaiyus, headguard of the Solarian forest. He might look intimidating and rough but his kind of soft… Come on Zai, stop with that serious look and smile a bit. You’re intimidating our guest.” Syrawi teased.
Zaiyus’ brows twitched for a moment, his serious face was a bright red from the embarrassment and he felt as if he wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But he held back, as he cleared his throat.
“Ehemm.. In any case, let’s get going.” he then took a quick glimpse at the crowd.
Sonia was trying to stomach her laughter. But the hooded man barely reacted and Sylphi was a bit out of it, she was seemingly in deep thought and would often let out sighs while Eris was the same as always.
“If this gets to the human kings...were dead…..” One elf muttered. “We shouldn’t let them leave...” another elf whispered. The crowd began murmering disturbing words and of course, Lazarus could hear them all too well with his enhanced hearing. He simply wondered why the people were on edge for something so little, of course, he had no idea that Sonia’s grandfather was the elven sage but he had a rough guess that he might’ve been someone important.
Syrawi nodded as she knew that her people were getting more nervous the more they saw the humans. Sylphi on the other hand was silent for the rest of the trip, Lazarus was wondering why, considering she was extremely loud and annoying when they first met.
After walking for a bit, they arrived at the center of the forest where, like any other elven forest, the largest tree were at the center, reserved for the important individuals.
As they entered through the room, Lazarus and Eris were offered a seat and a drink with some sort of tea by Syrawi while Sylphi simply leaned against the wall with her arms crossed.
Zaiyus spoke. “Before we get to business, I’d like to have a word with lady Syrawi and Sonia….. There are matters we need to discuss first.”
“I’ll be taking part in this discussion as well.” - Helven
Village elders were always ranked higher than guards, so he couldn’t decline even if he wanted to, left with no other choice, Zaiyus simply scratched his head and sighed. “Alright….”
“And Sylph, keep our guest company.” Helven added. But it was quite clear that he simply wanted someone to keep watch, to make sure that Lazarus and Eris wouldn’t try to sneak and listen in on their conversation.
Sylphi glance at Helven for a moment before she nodded, then gazed back down again. Seemingly lost again in her thought.
As the elves left the room, Lazarus whispered. “Rufus, you know what to do.” And on command, the small green dot in his screen began moving.
It became quiet the moment Sonia and the other elves left. It was only Sylphi, Eris and Lazarus left in the room.
Lazarus couldn’t stop recalling Ana now that he was with Sylphi. His memories of his life in the kingdom was somewhat hazy since he spent 100 years in the VR. But he never forgot when Emilia slapped him so hard he flew, and he couldn’t forget his isolation. He only wondered how Ana was disciplined to become such a bitch.
And something was still bugging Lazarus up until now. Why would Reisha even look for him? He could only wonder.
By the balcony of the great castle of the Twilight Kingdom, a black haired beauty wearing a one piece white dress with a blue mantle, calmly watched several maids as they gently tended to the roses in the garden. The black haired girl’s hair reached up to her back and she had a tiara decorating the top of her head.
Her emerald green eyes reflected the subtle greenery of the garden as her soft cherry lips parted, letting out a sigh of loneliness.
Emilia, remembered the fight she had with Reisha. Ultimately filling her thoughts of the boy she once called Lazarus, whom she had chosen to exile herself.
In a desperate attempt to make herself feel good she whispered softly to herself. “It was for Reisha… I had no choice…..I-... had no choice...” But it was futile.
She remembered those few moments when they would often meet in the castle where she simply greeted Lazarus. As she thought about it, she realized that she barely even knew her very own son.
What did he do during those times…? Did he always stay in his own room? Emilia thought.
Emilia couldn’t help but let out another sigh, it was 10 years ago but she had kept remembering the same night over and over again. The night she had abandoned all her rights as his mother.
Lost in her very own thoughts, Emilia was suddenly snapped back into reality when she suddenly heard the sound of steel armor clacking against the cobblestone floor followed by a soft feminine voice shouting. “W-wait Princess!”
Emilia stood up and glanced at the door decorated by several colors of tainted glass. Then she felt a very familiar surge of mana, the mana she felt was warm.., no it was better to say it was hot.
The door suddenly slammed open as the figure of a beautiful young princess went through.
The princess resembled her to some degree, but her frowning face had somewhat left Emilia speechless.
“Mother...” Reisha calmly spoke, but the air around her was hot. The pressure was making the air hard to breathe, Emilia was somewhat stunned, at first she didn’t respond but as she collected her thoughts. Emilia spoke.“R-reisha… what brings you here…?”
With a frown and her fist balled, Reisha answered Calmly. “Where’s father?” but the white hot anger in her voice couldn’t be hidden.
It was quite clear that she was incredibly pissed off. Emilia answered “He had left to attend an emergency meeting…. The Black Order had begun to move…..”
Right now, Reisha couldn’t care less. As her heart burned in fury, she tried to suppress the anger and looked towards Emilia, before speaking in a low tone. “Did you know…..?”
“About what…?” - Emilia
“I see…...So that’s how it is…….” - Reisha
Curious and concerned Emilia asked in a relatively soft and gentle tone. “Did something happen?”
Reisha frowned and rubbed her temples. She had realized that Emilia was kept in the dark, like the usual. And since she was the very person who had agreed to the exile of Lazarus, she thought that there was no need to even tell her about the son she had abandoned. Rather, she had no right to know.
With a sigh, Reisha simply said. “Nothing you need to concern yourself with…. mother.”
Celine suddenly appeared from behind the door, her breath ragged and sweat trickling down her forehead. “P-princess…..haa….haa…. I-”
“Celine. Get Falon here right now. I’m quite sure that he should have some knowledge regarding this ordeal to some degree.” - Reisha
Celine sighed. “Understood...”
There was a bit of silence between Emilia and Reisha, the maids who were watching all continued their tasks and, one by one left the scenery as they felt somewhat uncomfortable with the pressure in the atmosphere.
With her arms crossed and her steel boots constantly clacking on the floor, Reisha simply stared silently at the garden with a frown.
Emilia was somewhat frightened to ask in detail but the more the seconds passed the more she felt that she had to know what it was.
Emilia kept on flickering her gaze at Reisha, before she finally mustered a bit of courage and spoke “Reisha dear, would you please tell me what is going on..?” but her question simply made Reisha’s head throb even more violently as her chest burned even hotter.
In a strict and irritated tone, Reisha tried to suppress her anger and answered. “As I’ve told you it’s something you need to concern yourself with.” But it simply made Emilia more concerned as she kept pushing through and asked again “Why can’t you just tell me..?”
Just like a dormant volcano, Reisha kept calm and decided to ignore her before walking away. But before she could, Emilia grabbed her hand, making Reisha return a menacing glare. “Dear….I’m simply worried, so please….”
“Let go….” Reisha calmly asked. She thought that she would simply be wasting her breath telling someone who would simply abandon him yet again.
But Emilia’s grip simply tightened as she kept on pestering her, constantly bombing her with questions like a concerned mother would.
Little by little the air around them became hotter. But Emilia didn’t notice and continued.
And with each question Emilia asked, Reisha’s head began throbbing more violently. She didn’t have time, she was in a hurry, all the while that at this very moment, Lazarus could be running for his dear life while Ana chases him like some sort of animal.
A shadow loomed over Reisha’s eyes as Emilia continued to ask. “Please, would you just tell me? I’m simply worried that you mi-”
“SHUT IT!” Reisha erupted with a shout before flinging Emilia’s hand so hard that she had to take a few steps back to regain balance. Emilia was stunned. She didn’t have the slightest clue why Reisha snapped and called out to her worriedly. “R-reisha..?”
“You-...have no right to know..” Reisha gaze was filled with contempt and anger that Emilia instinctively knew why she was angry, there was only one person who could trigger her anger.
Reisha’s hand balled to a fist as her chest felt like a volcano constantly erupting with fire. ”You’ve long since abandoned him yet you still want to know!?”
“Abandoned..? You mean… Lazarus? This was about Lazarus?”
In an attempt to calm herself, Reisha squeezed her fist so hard that her nails dug through her skin. It was useless to even get angry at Emilia and Reisha knew this so she tried to calm herself before speaking in a very gentle tone that would seem that her anger before would seem like a lie. “Goodbye. Mother.”
Emilia didn’t have the time to voice her reply as Reisha immediately walked out on her after speaking those few words.
As Reisha was about to head for the door. A voice called out to her. “Princess, you’ve summoned me?”
“ Falon ” Reisha softly whispered before turning her menacing glare towards Falon who was beside Celine.
“I’ve heard your chat with her highness.” A smirk appeared on Falon’s face as he walked towards Reisha and said. “And I believe we have very much to discuss.”
Reisha frowned. “You’re awfully cooperative I must say. Though, all I needed from you is to see if Ana had-”
Falon placed a finger on his lips with a smile. Signaling Reisha that this wasn’t the place to talk about it. Reisha glanced around and noticed that the guards were all staring at the both of them.
She didn’t feel the need to hide it since if it was known that Ana had been going after Lazarus then she wanted to leave a message to the King, a threat to be precise.
But Falon insisted that they talk it out somewhere else. With no other choice, Reisha sighed and decided to see what Falon had to say first. The three together with Celine went outside and mounted their horses.
They walked for several minutes before Falon raised his palm, making a blue magical circle form above and beneath them.
The runic circle emitted a bright light before the circles converged, and as the circles passed though their bodies, their figures turned into shimmering bright blue ball of lights that danced into the air until the three completely disappeared from plain sight.
They later reappeared in a grassy field, surrounded by several trees. Reisha wasn’t exactly sure if they were in a forest or someplace else. She expanded her mana and could feel that, other than the three of them, there wasn’t anyone else in this place.
Reisha looked towards Celine, who was also looking around, she realized that Celine also had no idea where they were so she simply sighed.
Falon clapped his hands together and said. “We’re in the forest of just beside the kingdom since my teleportation is only tier 3 so you don’t need to worry.”
“Well at least you have the convenience only angels and demons would enjoy. Well, that is a given since you’re a half demon yourself.” - Celine
“Did you need the feel to point that out? Well, anyway. Back to business. I already know what you want princess and all you need to know is right here in this letter.” Falon took out a scroll from his sachel and handed it to Reisha who had been looking at him with suspicion.
“Rei’s letter…?” Reisha untied the ribbon on the scroll and began reading the contents. But before she continued, she glanced back to Falon with brows raised and said “What’s in this for you?” she knew Falon since she was young and have long since noticed that whatever he did was only for himself.
A smirk appeared on Falon’s face. “Read it.”
Reisha huffed and continued to read the contents. Falon noticed that Celine had been staring at him and said. “What?”
“Nothing.” - Celine
It didn’t take long before Reisha finished reading the contents. And when she lowered the scroll, a frown appeared on her face, it was obvious that she wasn’t pleased with what she found.
“And I believe you’ve asked me before. What’s in it for me?” Falon snickered. “I wanted to see this so called Technology Magic of our young Exiled prince.”
Emilia who was left behind had her mind filled with questions. Something was happening with Lazarus, and if Reisha was that angry and was looking for Veyron. Then it certainly means that it had something to do with him.
She felt her heart squeeze at the thought of her husband hiding something from her. But there was so many things that were happening that she could barely think straight, and all of this was happening without her knowledge.
“-Thinking won’t help….. But what else can I do? I don’t know where Lazarus is… I don’t know when Veyron will come back……. -“
Emilia began pacing around the castle. She kept telling herself there was nothing she could do. But she knew, that these were only excuses to herself. She was somewhat disgusted with herself, how she always took the easy way out.
But it wasn’t easy……. It wasn’t easy to ignore the son she held dear, simply because the thought of her husband beating him up was something she had feared the most. In the end, she still lost him.
And because she knew what she did was wrong, she couldn’t face him. Not even on the final night when he was sent away….. She had felt that putting Reisha’s safety was more important, than the son who was already a lost cause.
It was only logical… right?
But no matter how she tried to console herself, the guilt that she had tried to push to the corner of her mind, began resurfacing.
It felt as if a dagger was stuck in between her chest. With each beat of her heart, it felt painful and made it harder to breath. She wanted to know……
Clenching her fist, Emilia knew that she could only ask one person. And she could only wait for that person to come back…. And hopefully….. No, he should answer. Emilia thought.