Chris didn't know much about the Hephatantian people as a whole, but one thing he could confidently say was that they knew how to throw one hell of a party. From a hotel room that was in the upper levels of the massive skyscraper that stood at the center of the city he had a eagle eyed view of the colourful and vibrant spectacles going on below.
The sounds of the loud vibrant music and the rowdy merry crowds below could be heard from were he was. If he looked down and concentrated enough, he could see some Avalonians staggering out of bars tipsy from how much alcohol they had consumed or other's joining the colourful musical groups in the streets in both singing and dancing.
"I know, i wish that i was down there too" Mulengu said to him with a sigh, echoing Chris's envy at his fellow Avalonians merriment.
"What makes you think that i want to be down there?" Chris asked him, wondering how he had figured it out and Mulengu simply smirked.
"Your looking down at it like a child would at a theme park if they had been denied entry. I am not as smart as... " Mulengu stopped himself from saying that name and paused for a second as if dwelling upon his next words carefully but he forced it out anyway "... Ursa, but i can still read you like a primary school text book Chris, you make it too easy".
The chaos knight was seated upon the giant hotel room bed as he played a game of cards with Asi, who was losing horribly on account of his horrible poker face. To this day Chris had never seen anyone so incapable of making a neutral or even faking one.
" he is a new born, why are you surprised that he is a terrible liar " his subconscious reprimanded him as he looked at Asi who once again failed to make a neutral face. Instead making what appeared to be an ever escalating cringe facial expression.
The young dragon had challenged Mulengu to the game and Chris was sure that Asi was coming to greatly regret such a rush choice as he kept losing repeatedly.
Thor was seated in front of the hotels television set that had been mounted upon the wall. He kept flipping through the Hephatantian television stations unending, they all seemed to have the same news, their arrival to the port city of Vant.
" The news is loving us" Thor said as he finally reached a channel were a interview with a foreign correspondent upon another matter than the crew of the Charter specifically was being carried out.
"... This is the eighteenth Lunar Empire military outpost reported to have been captured by the forces of the kingdom of Avalon... " the correspondent said before Thor jumped passed the network and Chris would have tried to stop him as the news of Avalon's military success was important news but there were other things upon his mind than this, it would have to wait.
"The troops at home have been busy" Pyrrha stated " They have moved out faster than i honestly expected".
"As was to be expected after that little stunt they had pulled off in little Geneva, oh Lunar empire how i pity thee" Thor had started developing a passion for poetry and the works of the ancient famous author and poet Montgomery Horos. So it had led to an annoying habit of him using thee, verily, thine and quoting the poets literature.
Though Mulengu had been the most irritated by this and unlike the others he didn't bother to hide his displeasure by pulling a face.
Pyrrha on the other hand was simply cleaning her spear with a white cloth in relative silence again. The way she rubbed it was more akin to the way one would take care of a child rather than a weapon. She smiled as she passed the cloth across the shaft with a knowing smile hanging from her face, leaving Chris wondering if she truly loved the exercise that much.
One could say that the whole team was here... Well everyone that is with the sole exception for one purple coloured falcon archer. Ursa had refused to join them here despite their pleading with her and it had almost left them all in the foulest of moods.
Chris just didn't understand why she refused to let them near her to help. She was causing them harm to see their friend in such a horrible state and to have her continuously tell them to leave her alone. He had thought that maybe telling her that the past incident with the Anjin and dark energy was forgiven and behind them but Ursa was as stubborn as her earth element, she would not budge.
"The joys of being an ambassador" Chris knew that it sounded like he was whinnying but he would deny should the others have asked him.
As he neared Thor who was now watching some kind of game of chariot racing upon the television that was actually quite interesting and dramatic.
"Nice game, never really got good at chariot races. Wouldn't mind giving this a go" he said to Thor, whose head snapped towards him a bit confused as he had been so invested into the game that he failed to notice Chris or anyone else in the room for that matter.
"And I doubt that you would be able do it. Ishtar wouldn't want to see her younger sibling acting rowdy. I mean she did stop us from joining in the fun below " Mulengu said as he won another round against Asi who seemed ready to rip out his own hair at this point.
It had been Ishtar who had forbade them from joining their fellow knights in the pure concentrated merriment across the streets of Vant. They had a meeting with the Hephatantian delegation and their leader Hanno Magnus in a few minutes. It wouldn't look good if Chris was smelling of alcohol.
"Well, you are the guy who kept saying he wanted more responsibility to her and your parents" Mulengu added on as he won yet another match against Asi who looked ready to suffer a nervous breakdown at his twentieth loss in a roll.
"Yeah, i know that Mulengu, it's just that i wouldn't mind having some time to relax, to properly deflate. It's just that so much crazy stuff has happened and i haven't really had time to properly adjust and comprehending all of this" he answered his friend and Chris could feel a heavy boulder upon his shoulder.
"Now is no time to relax Christian. We are in too delicate a situation to act so recklessly" Pyrrha said taking some time away from her spear.
He wanted to argue with her but her voice had a do not dare question me hint to it that silenced him.
"Dad, Dad, Dad!" Asi began to shout in order to gain his attention and Chris would have reprimanded him for once again falsely referring to Chris as his father but he had lost all interest in repeating the same gimmick with the young dragon.
"What is it Asi" he answered him as the thought popped into the head " Deus above i even sound like an old man ".
" Uncle Mulengu is cheating at cards" the young dragon pleaded as he pointed Mulengu who looked equal parts flabbergasted and seemly amused at the accusation.
"Excuse me?!" Mulengu demanded but Asi would not back down from the challenge. The young dragon growled and showed his many rows of teeth at Mulengu.
" You cheated, there is no way that you could beat me at cards so many times. The odds are just improbable!" steam was boiling off of Asi's head while red sparks of chaos energy danced around Mulengu.
Mulengu's face shifted into a mischievous grin, he had something up his sleeve and the only one who didn't know was Asi.
"You poor fool " Chris thought sympathetically.
" I beat you, because your poker face is as easy to see through as the wind, buddy!" Mulengu retorted with his finger poking into Asi's chest and he continued his tirade " In fact i am sure even a blind person could easily see past it".
"Guys... " Chris tried to say stopping this but the argument escalated into such shouting that he wouldn't be surprised if the people at the bottom of the hotel heard these two.
" Ursa was better at breaking up these sorts of things than me " he thought as he readied himself to shout and possibly end this most petty of grievances.
Thankfully the door did that for him as a loud knock echoed through the room. Everyone halted from what they were doing and remained frozen in silence.
Pyrrha arose with Gae-Assail in hand and she opened the door which revealed a female elf dressed in important Hephatantian robes with four armed guards flanking her on both sides.
"Prince Christian, i am Dido Utica. I have been instructed to escort you to the meeting by the orders of high council Hanno Magnus" she said respectfully and Chris outstretched his hand and they both shook though Chris couldn't help but feel her grip was too strong to simply be a politician.
"Exmilitary maybe " he thought as he let go of her firm grip.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance madam Utica" he replied before turning to the others " It's time to go".
Mulengu and Asi exited the room first with the young dragon childishly sticking his tongue at Mulengu who was utterly oblivious to it. Thor followed and last was Pyrrha, still tightly gripping Gae-Assail.
Chris placed his had on her shoulder halting her and he drew in closer until his hot breath was beating against her flesh and he could feel her trembling in his grip.
"Christian, what are you doing?" She demanded in a strained voice.
"I think that it is for the best to leave our weapons here. We are trying softer negotiations, showing a big stick won't do us any good" he whispered into her ear ignoring her protests.
Her shivering and squirming ceased as he pulled back and Chris couldn't help but see the hints of the emotion of disappointment across her face.
"What the hell do you think you are doing Roland!?" a parliamentarian demanded from him " You not only let the Naga into our lands, but you give them citizenship just like that, have you gone mad!?".
"Calm down, Umesh and hear him out first before jumping to conclusions" old Apollo the prime minister said but that just seemed to anger this parliamentarian and his supporter's.
"You are not someone to tell me to calm down old man, your incompetence as prime minister has led to this situation and a whole host of screw ups!" Was shouted at the old man followed by " This government is need of change!".
" Oh great this again, we are not even in a election year " Roland always took a long step back in terms of partisan politics, it was such a pity then that they always reared their ugly head everywhere. The shouting amongst the parties increased louder and louder.
Roland had enough of the insolence so he grabbed Longinus and slammed it into the ground unleashing a burst of power that shook the entire room, silencing everyone.
"Are you all quite finished?!" He demanded from them but none dared speak out " Now let me speak my peace and listen good. I could not send the Naga back to the sea or else we would be boggled down with more foes at sea. They fought and died alongside our men against the Lunar empire, unless any of you want to explain to the people why we treat our allies who bled besides us with such dishonor then go right ahead and force them back into the deep. The Naga might still be a threat to us, that is why i have moved them to the Cencon district so that i can keep a constant eye on them. But if you geniuses have a better plan, please enlighten me or shut up!".
Were there had been a great shouting were men and women considering his wisdom and unable to find him lacking.
" Excuse me miss Utica " Chris said to the woman on his side as the thought that had been bouncing around in his skull so much that he couldn't contain it any longer and he just had to ask.
" Of course your majesty" She answered as she led them to an elevator.
"Well, i am sorry if i am bothering you, but i am wondering about your nations history?" the question sounded as stupid as he had thought that it would.
As the elevator waited to open, Utica shot him a facial expression of confusion, as if she couldn't understand what he had just said.
"Were you not debriefed about this?" She asked him as the elevator opened and they all walked into it.
"Just the basics, former puppet state of the Lunar empire that rebelled five years ago and has become a state of its own, nothing detailed or even precise" he stated though he wondered what Ursa would think if she saw him not even such knowledge on the foreign state that he was in.
"Our island was once a proud nation, but five hundred years ago our land was conquered by the ocean lords and then the Lunar empire conquered us in turn. We only managed to regain our autonomy five years ago through rebellion led by high council Magnus" she explained as they all entered the elevator and it's doors closed shut.
" I am sure that the Lunar empire took that well " he knew enough as was needed about the Lunar empire.
"They weren't the only ones" she whispered though Chris didn't know what she meant.
The elevator door opened and as they walked out, a elf stomped passed them rather recklessly, even bumping into Chris's shoulder rather roughly.
"Hey, watch it!" Chris shouted at the elf who paused and turned to face him with a scowl upon his face that stopped as the elf looked at him as if he was looking at a ghost.
The elf opened his mouth to speak but only a wheezing sound left his mouth. Sweat rolled off his face as if a bucket of water had been dumped on his head and his eyes were so wide Chris feared that his eyeballs would simply roll out of the socket.
"Council Gela, is there anything that is bothering you, you do not seem well" Utica said to the elf who overcame his confused state and sneered at her.
"I am not in need of your care, Twelmp. I will leave you to your company! " he spat out before turning and entering the elevator and as the elevators doors closed, Chris swore that the elf was giving them a glare so hateful and filled with such venom that it could slay a mythical creature.
"What did he mean when he called you Twelmp?" Thor asked her and Chris was wondering if it was some kind of Hephatantian insult.
"Nothing more than partisan politics my friends. My lot is thrown in with the Twelmp and the likes of council Gela are of the Helmp. But that doesn't matter, please come with me" Utica answered Thor while trying to keep a calm demeanor but everyone here could see a silent anger bubbling under her demeanor.
The rest of the walk to the meeting room was uneventful and silent as Utica remained silently stewing upon her anger and everyone felt too awkward to ask her anything. The room that they were meeting in was the uppermost level of the hotel, big and filled with a near hundred people.
A long wooden table ran across the room with seats on the left and right side of it. On the right side sat the Hephatantian with high council Hanno Magnus taking the central seat while on the other side, Ishtar took a similar seat with Avalonians taking that as their side.
"General Utica, welcome" the high council greeted her with a deep booming voice " prince Christian, we welcome your presence ".
" It is my pleasure to be here high council " Chris answered as he bowed his head and he lead his team to the Avalonian seats.
"Took you long enough" whispered to him.
"I always love a fashionably late entrance sister, i thought you would know that" he answered back causing her to grin.
"Now that we have everyone here... " the high council began to speak but a loud rather angry and attention getting cough rang out across the room.
"By the sky father not now" the high council silently cursed as a fae from the Hephatantian council arose with a angry expression upon their face.
"Everyone isn't here high council, i did not think you blind" the term high council was stated with such obvious disgust it was frankly astounding " In fact if my eyes don't deceive me i could say that this may as well be a Twelmp council rather than a council for the whole of Hephatan ".
" I invited the entire Helmp party to this gathering but half of your members out right refused to come while the others have kept walking out. I have tried to uphold the doctrine of good government, you can not blame me if the other party refuses to play ball " the high councils answer only seemed to anger the council.
"Oh, now you try to make yourself a democratic man. Where was this democracy, high council Magnus when you ignored the wishes of the council six years ago?!" The ranting of the council only grew louder and angrier.
" Council Agathocles please " the high councils tone of voice was layered with a thick warning, but council Agathocles didn't care.
"How the house of Magnus has fallen with you Hanno. You invite these people to our lands and spurn our oldest and truest friends for your own delusions and shameless ambitions of being king in all but name. Oh how your father must be weeping in his grave!" These words must have gone too far because high council Magnus slammed his fist upon the table so hard that it was almost cracked in two.
"Council Agathocles, unless you have anything of any value in this meeting i suggest you leave or shut up!" Hanno fixed Agathocles with a strong glare.
Agathocles answered by spitting upon the ground and beginning to walk out of the room flanked by twelve angry looking fae and elves who must have been fellows of the Helmp party. As he walked past the high council he shouted.
"Keep your false government and make your false friends, in time your wickedness shall be brought to ruin and this great nation shall be cleansed of your radicals and treasonous brood serpents!".
When the man and what Chris assumed was the remaining Helmp party had departed, the high council sighed and hung his head as his rubbed his face in an exhausted manner.
" If you would accept my humblest of apologizes my friends, i had no intention nor idea that would happen " the high council apologized though Chris couldn't blame him for that.
"There is no need high council, if you forgive my asking but what was that?" Ishtar asked him looking positively dumbfounded.
"The Helmp party, they have never liked that we forced our autonomy back from the Lunar empire. They have never forgiven me for ignoring their majority vote and declaring Hephatan a independent state. They hold no love for you as you would imagine".
" But the Lunar empire were oppressors who ruled yours nation and treated you as second class citizens within it" Ishtar like Chris still couldn't understand this love for the Lunar empire.
"Most of the Helmp are old blood with gold flowing through their veins. Their forebears were rich settlers from the Lunar empire, the old way was good for them and i don't think that they would ever forgive me for rounding up twenty percent of all their assets for the public, they have always been the penny pinching type" the high council answered with a chuckle that sent a deep laughter amongst the Hephatantian council.
"Of course" Ishtar said chuckling a bit as she reached for a paper in her bag " High council we are asking for aid in repairing our vessel. In compensation we promise eight million Geld and this ".
She reached forward and handed the paper to the high council who spent ten full minutes reading it.
" This is a trading deal with Avalon for timber at a lowered price" the high council said shocked as he looked at Ishtar in surprise.
"We are aware that the Lunar empire almost stripped mined your island for timber and what's left be conserved. We are willing to sign this exclusive four year deal with your people to sell you timber at half the price with no export taxes" Ishtar answered.
The high council looked at his fellow Hephatantians and asked them " Is there any opposition to this?".
No one said anything and Chris couldn't fault them. The deal was good, not only would they be gaining an important resources that they were lacking but Ishtar was throwing eight million Geld on top of it.
The high council arose and so did Ishtar. The both of them stretched their hands across the table and they shook solidifying the deal.
A loud applause went across the room, this atmosphere was ended when the building shook as if an earthquake had struck it.
"What is happening!?" High council Hanno Magnus demanded.
" This country is being saved" from the door walked in council Gela with many armed military men and women behind him replied " It's over Magnus, surrendered and spare us any lose of life".
"Gela, what have you done!?" Utica angrily demanded.
"The Lunar empire has come, it's over my friends. Surrender the Avalonians and the dragon" the traitorous council demanded.
"Over my dead body" the high council angrily answered as a burst of fire erupted upon his fists.
"I should not have left my spear" Pyrrha bitterly whisper and Chris tried to face her.
"So be it, take them!" Gela ordered his men and they all readied themselves for battle.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos