“Sire, the envoy’s ship has been spotted,” the knight knelt and spoke. Etched into the shoulder plates of his armour was the emblem of Haital Kingdom.
“Sir Aldrich, go inform the vice-secretary about the matter, I will entrust it to her. Notify her to arrange the meeting at the garden pavilion,” King Sartus was a man with a well-built body, a thin crimson robe draped over his shoulder. His black hair combed neatly to the back with his walnut coloured eyes looking down at the knight with an air of divinity.
“Understood,” Aldrich nodded and exited the office.
As the king stood up from his throne made a long sigh. Turning his head to his desk, he saw the pile of paperwork sitting there. He wished it could just disappear.
Putting that aside, the matter a few weeks ago still tugged at his mind. He wondered if he had made the right choice.
This meeting with Rozel’s envoy was an opportunity for the two kingdoms to forge a closer bond, and— to discuss something else.
Rozel had dealt with a similar incident before. King Sartus thought he could only seek advice from them.
She stepped out into the sunlight, a light breeze brushed her face. She swept her gaze over the blue horizon, whales flying about with skyships and clouds drifting in the endless sky.
Early afternoon. The sun was 80 degrees from the horizon, approximately.
Looking ahead, a row of knights lined the pier. Their armour caught light, making her squirt.
There were a few fleets of warships a distance away. Though, the place was relatively quiet. It didn’t seem to be the lively ship dock she had expected.
The vice-secretary approached her with a file in hand.
“Prince Herlock and princess Louise of Rozel Kingdom. I’m the vice secretary of Haital Kingdom, pleased to make an acquaintance. I’m glad you were able to arrive safely,” putting her hand to her abdomen, she made a bow and then looked at the two with a smile.
“The pleasure is mine, pleased to meet you too,” trying to put up a little courtesy, Louise made a curtsy.
Her dark black hair contrasted by her bright red dress fluttered in the wind. She had eyes that shine like black onyx while two similar red crystals ornaments had been tied to her hair on both sides.
The vice secretary, nodding her head, “This way, please.”
Prince Herlock, Louise’s brother had black-almond hair. He wore super gaudy imperial clothing that had golden threads interwoven between its white fabric.
The Haital Kingdom and Rozel Kingdom, both kingdoms were part of a larger coalition known as the Monarch Empire, with Trinity Kingdom acting as the capital kingdom of the union.
Cobalt Kingdom was known for its rich crystal veins. With many medium-sized sub-pillars surrounding the central pillar. Giant gryostone quarts could be found in abundance within the earth.
Crowfer Beast Kingdom was known for its peculiar pillar structure. It had a winding path that spiralled downwards from the body much like a screw. The Kingdom also had diverse cave systems that were thought to extended past the caustic barrier. Much of what lies below the abyss remained unknown, which was the diverse underground structure was the jewel of many researchers and explorers.
Rozel Kingdom was known for the humongous pillar being built on. The Kingdom’s domain was at least 4 times larger than the size of Haital Kingdom.
That wasn’t all. As if the Gods blessed the place, water reservoirs that came pouring from the sky created many lakes which made it to easy to produce bountiful harvests all year round.
Rozel Kingdom was also thought of as a nation that provided commendable hospitality to adventurers and tourists. Theatre plays, musical performances, and exhilarating duels were commonplace in the kingdom. These events would attract a lot of adventurers, merchants and tourists alike.
Besides that, there was High Peak Kingdom, a region of snow and ice.
And Froque Kingdom, a kingdom of technology.
Louise and Prince Herlock followed the vice-Secretary up the marble stairway. Closely behind the, were crew members and Rozel Kingdom’s ambassadors.
Reaching the last step, Louise raised her head.
Large twin overlapping guard towers fortifying at the outer walls with the sturdy castle at the heart. Past the colossal gate was a lush green garden, the sweet scent of flowers drifted in the air.
Louise’s lips curled at the side.
‘Vacation, here I come!’
Curtis let out a yawn. He stretched his body before settling down into a sitting position.
The sky above and the pitch-black abyss below. Curtis was sitting on Whaley with a large saddle.
Curtis turned to look at Ellis, she was still reading that novel.
“I think we’ll be arriving soon.”, Curtis returned his sight to the front, noticing the familiar pillar formations in the distance. On one of the pillars was a small town with a tall totem.
“Nn”, Ellis sounded with a nod, sounding monotonous. “I still can’t quite believe we bumped into a forest sprite.” Ellis closed the book, “Um, can you really not tell me what happened?”
“Let’s see...you got killed,” Curtis said simply, “Except, the you that was killed was your doppelgänger.”
“Er.. I already know that part?”
Curtis had been vague about what happened that night.
“So what did my doppelgänger look like? She looked just like me right?”
“No. not really,” Curtis could still envision the alluring curves on her body. Those ethereal eyes that suck his consciousness away. The sorrow and bitterness he felt.
With a puff of the cheek, Ellis pressed her head against Curtis’s back.
“Tell me already.”
“What else do you want to know...” Curtis tried to crack a laugh.
It had been about 4 hours since their previous stop. There was a little distance to go before reaching Haital Kingdom.
“Look,” Curtis held up the red crystal he found.
The dazzling lustre and iridescent refractions it created captivated Ellis. It was about the size of a large pebble with near-perfect symmetry. Ellis stopped her train of thoughts and stared right into the thing. It had a purity unmatched to those she had ever seen before. Even those crystals found in ateliers weren’t as beautiful as this.
“How.. Where did you get this?”
“I found it etched in a tree. But I think it was placed there on purpose, like bait or something.”
“Really?” Ellis’ voice sounded one pitch higher.
Red crystals, like the one Curtis acquired, was a type of Gryostone. A gryostone is defined as any rock classified substance that reacted to mana, be it a positive or negative reaction.
Green crystals could be found almost everywhere. You could find them growing in between the barks and roots of any hardwood plant. The green crystals formed from the excess mana absorbed by the plants from the soil.
Purple crystals were innately hard. It could harden or strengthen a substance when combined with its grounded dust.
Blue crystals was an excellent mana conductor. That said, it was resistant to absorbing mana but had no trouble discharge mana to its surroundings.
Orange crystals can store mana just like a blue crystal. At the will of the user, a pre-set spell would be conjured when mana is imbued into it.
Yellow crystals, or what normal people refer to as, Angel Tears, had regenerative properties. It could even be used reattached a lost limb. Though, that depended on how proficient the doctor was at controlling his magic.
Red crystals enhance and amplify magic energy. Normal market-sold red crystals could amplify a source by 150 percent. In Curtis’ case, there was a chance the crystal in his possession could reach all the way up to 200 percent.
These gryostones were a common part of house hold appliances and tools. The combined effects of these gryostones could bring about a plethora of possible innovations. The magic lamp used in most places was an example.
The reason why the crystals were called gryostones and not crystals was because crystals found naturally were chock-full of impurities. At times, it would look dull and course, resembling nothing like a crystal.
There were intensive studies done on specific properties of each colour and their combined effects. A rough example would be that a blue-green crystal had the weird property of emitting mana uncontrollably while possessing a fairly low mana storage capacity.
Whaley flew passed a school of fish, and in the distance, the pillars clusters started converged together closer and tighter. Sky Streams poured from above, forming small rivers and lakes. The river meandered through towns and fields before falling to the edge, into the abyss.
Diving into a sea of clouds, Whaley cut a path through the centre. The world opened up, and the capital of Haital Kingdom came into view. Whales and ships soared through the sky. Agriculture plantations interspersed between every few pillars. There were verdant plateaus left untouched with its pristine forests and coral reefs. Rare floating islands that gleamed in a blue shade hovering in the sky.
“Erm, Is it just me or do I feel like this crystal looks better than Haital Kingdom?”
“I’m sure crystal has its own flair doesn’t it?” Curtis wasn’t planing on rebutting her point, the crystal was indeed eye-catching.
Curtis felt an air of nostalgia sweep past him.
Before even having travelled to Haital, he had only seen painted pictures of the capital hanging in the libraries of his hometown. It was a few years later before he had the opportunity to see it with his eyes, it bore a glorious feeling of accomplishment. He knew that his beginning had started but..
“Um. So you’re really not going to tell me what happened that night?” Ellis’ gaze affixed to the sight of the Kingdom.
“Um, we should keep this hidden for now. If people found out about this, we’d be in a pinch,” Ellis returned the red crystal to Curtis.
Ellis replied with a gentle smile, but it looked forced.