Chapter 999 Bonds of Trust Part 1
Awakened mages and their bloodlines ruled the only human cities remaining on the Jiera continent, but things didn\'t go any better for Thrud there.
Somehow, the Awakened would become suspicious of her the moment she used her powers and refused to grant her hospitality.
Unbeknownst to Thrud, it was due to the vortex her rainbow mana core generated to imitate the effects of Invigoration and provide her with unlimited mana.
Her long existence coupled with a lifetime of murder and secrets weighed heavily on her psyche.
Thrud was on the run ever since she could remember, to protect her father\'s legacy from Tyris\'s clutches and fulfill his dream to unify the Garlen continent under an immortal ruler.
I was supposed to be enjoying my wealth and find a way to extend the gift of immortality to the future Imperial family, not scavenge for food and sew my own clothes! What good are gold and jewels in a place where a piece of fresh bread is a myth
Her rants were becoming more and more frequent, in an attempt to fill the silence surrounding her.
She was an extraordinary hunter and tailor, skills that would make her welcome in any human settlement, but only if Thrud stopped using her magic and lived like a commoner.
Doing that would mean to trample over her pride as the true Queen of the Griffon Kingdom and give up on the luxuries she felt entitled to.
All the human Awakened of the Jiera continent were actually in her same boat, but she didn\'t care.
With the loss of craftsmen, farmers and stockbreeders had become the new rich.
Even Awakened kept them in high regard because all the magic in Mogar couldn\'t create food.
On top of that, to pass down the practical knowledge necessary to grow all the edible plants and vegetables would take years.
If once the ancient mages\' main worry had been to develop their skills, now they were focused on avoiding that a single bad harvest or common cold could wipe out what remained of the human race.
Beasts and plants had no such worries.
They usually moved around naked and considered food anyone who trespassed on their turf.
The Beast Empire that had been born after the fall of human civilization was now the most advanced and wealthy on Jiera, but humans had a hard time adapting to the beasts\' morals.
Emperor Beasts would take in anyone, but only as long as they behaved.
The beasts would teach kids how to read and write, and to adults how to hunt, farm, or whatever job they were talented for.
At the same time, however, the concept of redemption, fair trial, or prisons didn\'t exist in their society.
The moment someone committed a crime for no acceptable reason, the culprit would be put down like a rabid dog.
Some people couldn\'t accept such a harsh and wild social order where everyone had to either make themselves useful or scram the moment they came of age.
Yet most remained because the beasts offered them shelter from the weather, protection from the monsters that were now free to roam the lands, and healthcare.
Humans had tried to Awaken everyone to repopulate the continent faster and make all humans capable of wielding magic, but it had been a disaster.
Children wouldn\'t get ill, but they would kill themselves or their parents using spells like toys.
Many meek and gentle adults, once they got a taste of true power would become overbearing toward their less talented peers and enforce the law of the jungle until their victims or their masters killed them.
To make things worse, very few had the patience to practice Accumulation for years to become stronger.
With the constant threat of bad weather, monsters, starvation, and their own neighbors, many rushed their body development and exploded like gruesome fireworks.
In the end, less than a tenth of those who had become Awakened without a full-time tutor survived, so the experiment was deemed a failure and postponed to a moment when the masters could dedicate more time to classes.
All the remaining humans had been collected in a few megalopolises that couldn\'t survive without their Awakened rulers enforcing the law, treating diseases before they turned into plagues, and protecting the fields.
I can\'t believe they Awakened even those useless cripples whose only talent is to be naturally immune to the plague whereas they refused to teach me! Thrud roared.
I\'m so close, so damn close, yet I can never figure out the last piece of the puzzle.
All living creatures have a core that acts like a heart for the mana flow, but only the so-called Awakened are capable to train their core and make it stronger over time.
I use my father\'s machine to feed my core with those of others, yet I never managed to sense the pulse of mana.
The machine renews my life force and rids my body of the impurities that make people grow old, to the point that I reached human perfection.
My flesh offers no resistance to mana.
I can cast countless spells without putting any stress on my physique, so it can\'t be a matter of something being wrong with my body or lack of talent.
I mastered all the damn specializations, for the gods\' sake! What am I lacking
Only her echo replied to the question and Thrud finally snapped.
She chanted her spell, hating each word she spoke and hand sign she drew, considering each one of them a reminder of her constant failures.
Purple flames invaded the empty halls of the house that she had spent years to build while earth magic caused a quake that split the ground and made the walls crumble.
To her, the sound of destruction was now a better alternative to silence.
Thrud then walked through the rubble and started to destroy Hervor, the capital of her own Grand Duchy that she had named after her mother.
It had taken Thrud generations to reach such a position.
She had introduced herself as a mage, became a noble, and then faked her aging while introducing one of her meat puppets as her daughter before taking her place, starting the cycle from young to old again.
She knew Hervor\'s every stone and every tree because she had shaped the city according to the memories of her birthplace.
She loved it with all her heart because it reminded her of the old times, back when she was still the Princess of the Griffon Kingdom and her future was carved in stone.
Tyris was supposed to acknowledge her father\'s genius and become his spouse.
Arthan\'s achievements would have surpassed even Valeron\'s and with her help, he would have unified the Garlen continent.
Then, once he grew tired of bearing the weight of the crown and the responsibilities it carried, Thrud would have taken the throne and made sure that her subjects thrived.
Yet now her capital was just like all the stories Thrud\'s mother told her as a child, an empty lie, and the Mad Queen hated Hervor for it.
There was no one to serve her, no one left that would admire her beauty or talent.
Thrud felt as if Mogar had turned its back on her one time too many.
Why everyone leaves me in the end Not even her heart-wrenching sobs hindered the Mad Queen\'s spellcasting as she razed the city that once had been her pride and joy.
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