Chapter 67: A visit
Early in the morning, the people already bustling through the city streets made for a very busy atmosphere. Fully armored guards were running around getting from one place to another.
“What’s with everyone?” Asked a curious Elven archer. His friend, a dark Elfin female wearing leather armor that showed a bit of skin, shook her head. “I’ve no idea.”
Though the cold breeze of dawn hadn’t completely subsided, the people were somewhat energetic. Rather, it was the humans and beastmen alike.
As a half tiger female with chainmail passed by, the dark elf called out. “Hey.” Turning her head, the tiger female looked back with brows furrowed. “What is it? Can’t you tell I’m in a hurry??”
“Ah-... sorry..” Said the dark elf. “But I was wondering why every guard seems to be in a hurry.”
“Huh? You don’t know?” Said the female tiger. “It’s for the welcome of their highness.” Without even mentioning who. She left and continued to run, leaving the two elves looking to one another and left wondering.
In a small tavern, with quite a few people having their breakfast. A wolf beastman who had just finished his meal, was gazing at a brown haired youth around his teens and was brimming with excitement, talking about what he had saw last night.
“That fight yesterday was quite incredible ! ” Said the youth. “You saw it too, didn’t yout?”
“Indeed… it was quite splendid.” Said the wolf in a sort of calm manner. And though he had seen it, the youth couldn’t help but explain in detail.
“The way that man thrust his palm like lightning, then followed up with a low kick to the leg. Kuh-..!” The youth couldn’t help but explode in excitement. “It was really incredible!!”
The wolf chuckled a bit before showing a somewhat mature smile. “Incredible. True… however, if you’ll continue to be that loud, then-...” He then gave a side glance at the people that were giving them a glare for their disturbance. “You don’t need me to tell you what you already know..right..?”
“S-sorry...” Said the youth, lowering his flushed face. Seeing this, the wolf shrugged. “Heh-.. well, I can’t blame you for getting pumped up. After all, that man’s technique, was one I’ve never seen before.”
This time, paying close attention to the surrounding people. The youth though excited, nodded and spoke in a more hushed tone. “Y-yeah-...” Having just been scorned by the eyes of the people did have its effects in a way.
“Though his opponent had resorted to magic. That man-...” Said the wolf with a hint of admiration in his voice as he snickered. “He still didn’t use magic. I guess he was that confident in his skill.”
The youth nodded, leading his closed fist to his chest. “I too, wish to be able to fight like that someday.” Though it had been some meaningless skirmish, it did, however ignite a little flame in this youth’s heart.
As the two were preoccupied talking, they hadn’t noticed that directly behind them was a silver haired knight and a female with hair as white as snow and ears like that of a fox. Had overheard their conversation.
“Didn’t...use magic?” Repeated Eve slowly, her brows furrowing while gazing at Eris with a certain man in thought.
Eris nodded, as she too, thought it was a certain someone they knew.
Though, it could’ve been anyone. It was almost impossible for anyone else not to use magic given the situation that they’ve heard about.
“But ‘He’ wouldn’t be the type to get in that situation right..?” Said Eve, making circular motions with her fork on the empty plate. Somewhat concerned.
Eris nodded, she herself knew more than anyone else that Lazarus hated the spotlight.
Though there were few talks here and there about some brawl that had happened last night. The summary they got was. One, it was a fight between a beastman and a human. Two, the other was desperate enough to use magic while the other never showed signs of using it. And three, the beastman in question was ranked platinum five.
Eve couldn’t help but let out a soft sigh, making Eris ask. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m just worried…. I mean, aren’t you..?” Said Eve with furrowed brows. But to her surprise, Eris shook her head.
“Why?” Eve couldn’t help but ask. “The other guy for sure would’ve been bad news since rumors say he was a platinum five ranked adventurer.
“Rex-... defeated the bandit beastman…” Said Eris prompting Eve to ask a simple “So?” Eris continued, closing her eyes as if recalling the scene. “And I-... was defeated by that beastman...”
For a moment, Eve furrowed her brows and was in deep thought. And then coming to a realization, her expression softened. “Ah, that reminds me, you’re platinum three so you’re ranked higher than that plat five adventurer.”
Eris nodded. “Rex defeated Leo without a single scratch on him….”
Hearing this, Eve’s eyes widened slightly, her words almost trailing off. “Is that...how strong Rex really is..?”
“Maybe-... or perhaps even stronger.” Said Eris with a bit of uncertainty. She never saw how Lazarus actually fought so she couldn’t exactly measure how strong he really was.
But, she was relatively sure that Lazarus was definitely skilled in close combat. After all, he had stopped her sword thrust with a just his knee and elbow.
After recalling the memory, Eris’ brows furrowed. She had used some reinforcement spell at that time, but Lazarus didn’t. Rather, she knew now that he couldn’t, having realized that he was manaless.
“Then how-...” Muttered Eris coming to realization that it was an almost impossible feat for a human. Hearing her words, Eve simply raised a brow. “How what?” Eris didn’t seem to hear her as she was seemingly in deep thought.
“Hello.~? Ms.Eris you still here?” Asked Eve, waving her palm in front of Eris’ face. The silver haired knight stared for a moment before her expression turned to a mild shock. “Ah-.. sorry.”
“Well anyway.” Said Eve with a shrug of her shoulder. “Now that I have an idea of how strong Rex is, maybe I was just worried for nothing.”
“Oh-.. Uhmm...Yeah..” Replied Eris, her voice seemingly trailing off and so was her thoughts as she was focused on Lazarus. Now that the fox girl’s concern was put to rest, she stood up and dropped a few coins on the table.
“I’ll be leaving first. I need to head back to the inn.” Said Eve, walking out and waving goodbye to Eris who also waved back with her usual unchanging expression.
As the fox girl’s silhouette disappeared behind the door. Eris’ was back to her own thought, just silently sitting and staring on the table.
Her mind seemed to have focus on who this person they refer to as ‘Rex’ truly was.
Thinking closely, Eris had realized that Lazarus’ base strength and speed were nothing like that of an ordinary person, rather everything about him seemed abnormal. Even the strange knowledge he possessed when he performed a strange procedure on the sage.
Not to mention she had confirmed that there was a certain connection between Lazarus and the Valhearts.
When they had first met, the very first time they had made eye contact. There was a reason why she continued to stare. She felt something. It wasn’t some ‘love at first sight’ kind of a deal. It was different.
She had forgotten the feeling because of how Lazarus immediately broke eye contact and she had to resume her work. But now that she had recalled. It was clear.
The reason she kept on staring at his deep blue eyes was because she felt as if she had seen those eyes before.
[-Just who is Rex..?-] She wondered. The more she knew about Lazarus, the lesser she understood.
Late in the afternoon. Lazarus, who was lying on the bed, his arms tucked behind his head and was silently staring at ceiling. Was simply bored beyond relief. His agreement with Jensen would come to realization in a few days time, but until then, he had nothing to do.
The engine was finished. He didn’t really need to see anyone right now. And just going outside was a bit of a hassle.
After his little skirmish yesterday, he was thinking, the guards might’ve been out to get him but he immediately denied the possibility knowing that they arrived late in the scene. Not to mention that anyone who saw his face was likely not to remember considering it was late at night.
With a sigh, Lazarus resigned himself to boredom. That is until, his brows furrowed, hearing the sounds of trumpet.
“What’s with the noise?” Grumbled Lazarus as he stood up from his creaking bed and headed for the window. The moment he shoved the blinds to the side, the peering sunshine made him wince.
As his vision adjusted to the glaring sunlight. He noticed that there was a large crowd down below. Fully armored men kept the crowd at bay in a parallel line, clearing the streets almost as if Moses had came to part them.
Smiles and excitement riddle the faces of both adventurers and the town’s people. Waiting in anticipation. And again, some of the guards with trumpets, raised it once more.
“There they are!” Pointed a young child, riding on his father’s shoulder. And almost immediately, everyone, including Lazarus looked towards the direction.
At that moment, the crowd erupted into cheers and contrary to their cries of joy, Lazarus’ brows turned to a deep frown.
“What-...are they doing here…?” Muttered Lazarus, his jaw clenching .The sight of a several men numbering to fifty, marching behind a golden sword banner was a disturbing sight. The marching men wore polished deep blue armor with golden markings.
The design, nothing like the simple armor of the town’s guard. Their chest, seemingly protruding to a point, and their helmets almost akined to that of a dragon’s head.
“It’s the Royal Paladins of the Azure kingdom!” Shouted an excited adventurer. But what they were was the least of Lazarus’ concerns, what bothered him was the mass of carriages they were guarding. Their contents, hidden underneath a white drape.
As the Paladin’s marched passed through the City’s gates in sync. In front of them, just behind the horsemen with a banner. Were two young individuals, looking to be in around 18 with golden tiara’s adorning their heads.
One with emerald green hair swaying by the wind. Sharp, pointy cat like ears protruding from his head. His golden eyes, coupled with a deep dark slit made for a sharp yet handsome look.
And beside him, was a long emerald haired young girl his age, who almost looked identical to the young man but with a more feminine charm. Her eyes in contrast to her twin brother, did not have the sharp slit. She also lacked the cat like features her brother showed. But nevertheless she showed posture and grace.
Their clothing was a deep blue, adorned with golden laces. Almost looking identical to the uniform of the queen’s guard back on earth. Though, the girl’s was more fit and revealed her feminine curves.
Side by side, the two waved along the crowd they passed. Their smiles, returned with a cheer. And though the young man revealed a sharp pointy teeth grin, his counterpart revealed a more mature and subtle smile.
Feeling a gentle breeze from above, the young man began sniffing, his nose twitching coupled with his brows furrowing. “This scent…..” he then tapped the shoulder of his sister and called out to her. “Viktoria...”
Viktoria, his twin sister looked curiously towards him. “Is something wrong Genesis?”
Genesis, being the young demi-human cat prince, nodded. “Yeah….. “ his voice carrying a sort of discomfort.
“Is it someone from the black order?” Asked Viktoria, her brows furrowing in concern. But to her relief, Genesis shook his head. But the question still remained. “Then what..?” She asked.
“It’s the scent of the Valhearts…..” Said Genesis, continuing to sniff the air while glancing around.
Seeing nothing wrong with another royalty in the area, Viktoria scratched her cheek. “I’ve heard that Princess Anastasia and Reisha are both in Kratos, could it be them?”
“No.” Replied Genesis. “It’s-....different. But a different kind of different…. Erhmm.” Genesis couldn’t help but rub the bridge if his temples, not really finding the right words to say. “All I can say is that it’s definitely from a Valheart. But it’s from none that we know off.”
Hearing his words, Viktoria let out a soft sigh. “Then, there can only be one.”
“Who?” Said Genesis, itching to know. But to his disappointment, Viktoria shook her head. “It is not something we can discuss in public. And besides, we are forbidden from interfering with the affairs of the Valhearts.”
Genesis sighed inwardly. Though he knew Viktoria’s word carried some weight, he still looked around. Closing his eyes, he focused on his nose. Continuing to pinpoint the direction of the scent.
As he moved bobbed his head from left right, then up and down, trying to make out where the scent was the strongest, his eyes naturaly opened.
There he saw, a man on the second floor of a building, staring down at him. “Him..?” He muttered as he made eye contact with the man. Then the man suddenly closed the blinds on his window.
With the curious nature of the cat, he instinctively move towards the building. But before he could, he was grabbed by the arm.
“Do not break formation.” Said Viktoria with brows furrowed out of concern, though her voice was strict there was also a sense of warmness. “I know you’re curious. However, please realize that you carry the name of the Pendragon’s even as you walk.”
Genesis softly placed his hand on top of his sister’s that was gripping his shoulder, making her expression soften and her grip to loosen. “I understand.” he said.
“Good.” Said Viktoria with a small smile of satisfaction. “And do not forget, we are here for Eve. The last of the white fox clan.”
As their silhouette disappeared deeper into the City. Naturally, the crowd also began to disperse, some following after the marching paladin’s.
Lazarus’ who was alone in his room. Let out a sigh. “Not Good. He was definitely looking at me.”