Chapter 1402 - Pain and Sorrow (Part 2)
Mirim rolled on the floor, dodging the fire and the freeze ray, but she was forced to use the little mana she had left to boost the Featherwalker armor and conjure a barrier to stop the remaining three.
She pressed the emergency rune on her amulet, yet nothing happened.
I\'ve made sure that no one will interrupt us, dear Marchioness. The blue-robed figure kept pouring one spell after another, forcing Mirim to sacrifice her favorite furniture to save her own life.
The good thing about common items enchanted to last was that they offered a brief but decent protection.
How did you manage to do this She asked in the hope to buy some time.
She had no spell at the ready, little mana, and a battered body whereas her opponent had ambushed her while at his peak condition.
Unlike Mirim, he had spent the night in the comfort of his home, waiting for the opportunity to strike at any of those who had received one of his cards.
The problem of hosting so many parties, of having so many guests in your home, is that studying its defenses is easy.
One needs just to scan them one bit at a time in order to understand their workings. He replied while casting non-stop.
How does it feel to be trapped inside the place that was supposed to keep you safe To have your personal fortress turned into a prison The enchantments protecting the house made it impossible for Mirim to burst through a window while the air blocking array he had lay kept her from flying, Blinking, and even from using her amulet.
You may have violated this place, but I still have the home advantage. The Marchioness inserted the small violet crystal in the fissure of her amulet, so as to trigger the Emergency Gate as soon as it gained a shred of a signal.
Then, she threw the amulet with all of her might against a corner of the room.
She hadn\'t survived that long without planning even for the most unlikely scenario.
The corner hid a very small trapdoor that could only be opened from the inside.
When the amulet hit it, the trapdoor offered only minimal resistance before letting it fly out of the house and in the middle of the street, outside the area of effect of the air sealing array.
No playtime, then.
What a pity. He said with a sight.
Bring it on. Mirim said while holding her polearm in a defensive stance.
The moment the army amulet connected with the Kingdom\'s emergency line, the distress signal went through and Royal Guards came out of the Gate that the Marchioness had opened.
All they found was a hole in the wall of the living room and her butchered body left in plain view.
The culprit had left the word Past written on the wall with her entrails.
He had also hung her intestines to the ceiling after wrapping them around her limbs, making Mirim look like a puppet held by an invisible hand through bloodied strings.
City of Lightkeep, Haug\'s Travelling Tavern, now.
I\'m really sorry, Lith, but Balkor\'s copycat just killed the Marchioness.
We arrived a few seconds after the Gate opened, just like with Lark, but it was already too late. Jirni showed him the images of the crime scene through the army amulet.
It had taken Orion quite some effort to boost the signal enough to reach Lightkeep.
Jirni wanted to give him the news in person and answer any questions he might have.
How Just how She was no pushover! Lith remembered well their conversation about the Corpse and Spirit Magic.
He and Solus had used their respective mystical senses to study her.
Mirim had a bright violet core and a perfectly refined body that made her a nut almost impossible to crack.
Solus wanted to weep as much as Lith, but there was no time for that.
Lith was doing his best to keep his Abomination side from going haywire, but with limited success.
His right hand had turned black and it took both of them effort just to not make it spread.
I know that as well.
After the murder, I was informed about her side job so that I wouldn\'t waste my time investigating dead ends. Jirni still knew nothing about Awakened and the Corpse, she only knew that Mirim was a decorated officer of a black ops squad.
Whoever did this, they are much more cunning, patient, and powerful than I predicted.
They timed the attack in the worst possible moment not only for the Marchioness, but for the Kingdom itself, just like during the Blackest Day.
On top of that, to kill Mirim and arrange her corpse like that in such a short time, they must have overwhelming power.
Mirim may have been exhausted, but managing to kill her so quickly speaks volumes about our opponent. Jirni said.
Agreed. Lith said with a snarl.
The relationship he had with Mirim was more about business than feelings yet her death hit him as badly as Lark\'s.
The Marchioness hadn\'t just been the ruler of his region, she was also the Lord Commander of the Queen\'s Corps and his most reliable political ally.
It was only thanks to Marchioness Distar that not one, but three units of the Corps had been assigned to his family.
All the arrays, the rewards, and the security measures he had built over time were also partly her doing.
Whenever people like Deirus, Archmage Kwart, the head of the Mage Association, Headmaster Onia of the Black Griffon, or any disgruntled Lord of the Kellar region had tried to harm Lith\'s career, Mirim had been his most stalwart defender.
Unlike Jirni, she had no hidden agenda, she only did it because she considered it the right thing to do.
Now, for the first time ever since he had enrolled in the White Griffon, both his family and his public reputation were left unguarded.
For all those years, Mirim Distar had been the safety net behind his family\'s protection and Lith\'s neutral political stand.
A safety net that now had been taken away from him, leaving the evaluation of every action he would take from that moment in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians who had never spent a single day in the field.
People who cared more about protocol and official procedure than efficiency.
People who could be bribed or swayed for their own gains.
Lith had always taken Mirim\'s absolute loyalty for granted and now Mogar crumbled below his feet.
How long will it take to have a new Lord Commander Lith asked as his aura clawed to escape and his eyes burned akin to small suns.
It\'s a very important political charge.
Maybe weeks, if not months. Jirni said, worried by the lights in her house flickering as more of the shadows in the room came to life with each passing second.
The small dimensional door the amulets created was enough to carry a sliver of Lith\'s fury over to the Ernas household that, unlike the Tavern, had never been shielded against Awakened.
I\'ll call you back as soon as I discover something.
Jirni out. She hung up the call and the room returned to normal.
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