Chapter 1830: Truths and Secrets (Part 2)
“My dear citizen, I bring you good news.” The hologram of King Meron and Queen Sylpha materialized, making the entire Kingdom sigh in relief.
“The last time you heard my voice it was to announce the beginning of the war against the Mad Queen, Thrud Griffon, yet even though l bring you important news, theres nothing to be scared about.”
King Meron unrolled a parchment and started to read out loud.
“With the following Royal Decree, the Crovm, the Mage Association,
and the Army unanimously absolve Archmage Lith Verhen from all the charges related to the thieving Divine Beast Tiamat, and the traitor Meln Narchat, the Dead King.
“It has been presented to the Royal Court irrefutable evidence that Meln Narchat alone conspired with the Undead Courts.
He built his strength beyond our borders, in the Gorgon Empire, without ever having contact with the rest of his family.“
He presented the scans of several documents that Kamila recognized as those that Vladion had procured at the risk of his eternal life.
“After Archmage Verhens parents disowned his mad brother, he did all he could to warn the Kingdom about the threat Narchat posed to us, but we didnt listen to him.
Its only our fault if good people like Count Lark, Marchioness Distar, and Archmage Manohar are dead.
“Despite our many shortcomings, Archmage Verhen has never ceased to protect the Kingdom to the best of his abilities.
lts thanks to him that many cities have been recaptured.
lts thanks to him that two Lost Cities have been destroyed.
“lts thanks to him that the plague of Kandria was eradicated.
To Archmage Verhen goes our gratitude.
This message will be repeated at noon and hung on the plazas of our cities for everyone to read.
“Ungrateful bastard!” Zinya said with a snarl, leaving Kamila ﬂabbergasted.
“Please, Kami, tell me that all that lip service was just because Meron is afraid that Lith might run off to the Desert and not because hes really engaged with that stupid Princess.”
“Calm down, Zin.
As far as I know, its the Royals‘ way to apologize for Morn charging Lith with treason.” Kamila said.
“Why are you so angry
They were good news, like the King promised.”
“lm angry because hes all nice with people like Lith, yet didnt say a word about those like Zogar who risk their lives as well every day,
dirtying their hands so that the Royal Family can keep their own clean.” Zinya replied, pacing around the room with fury.
“What are you talking about, Zin Is this the reason why you and Vastor argue” Kamila asked.
“Among many, yes.” She nodded.
“1 didnt notice it at ﬁrst because we slept in different rooms, but after we got married, l couldnt miss how Zogar never gets away from his staff.
“There are nights when he wakes up screaming and tries to clean his hands from blood that only he can see.
I asked him many times what was wrong, but he never answers.
“That was the ﬁrst crack in our happiness that only got worse when one night he was so shaken that he told me some of the things he did for this Kingdom.
Terrible things no one knows about but that still haunt him.
“I told Zogar to stop being a Highmaster, that we could have moved anywhere and that I dont care for a big house or a noble title.
Yet he refused, saying something stupid about honor and the promise he made to Manohar.”
A maid knocked on the door but Zinya sent her away and brought the cart inside herself.
“Its easy to say such nonsense when you are not the one that stays at home, spending every second afraid to receive the condolence call.
When its not you who have to witness the man you love being incapable of having a good nights sleep because of how guilty he feels.”
“Thats something that every man or woman married to a soldier has to experience during a war.” Kamila replied.
“Thats not true.
All the missions that Lith performs bring him glory,
honors, and medals.
Those the Royals assign Zogar, instead, remain hidden to the public and give him nightmares.”
Zinya set up the table for them and served her sister a tasty soup.
They ate in silence for a while, before Kamila found the strength to ask:
“You said you also argue for other reasons.
Whats the matter”
“Kami, despite what everyone seems to think, Im not stupid.” Zinya put her spoon down before answering.
“Zogars nieces and nephews are not his relatives at all.
Ive seen the portraits of his children and ex—wife.
“How do you think it makes me feel being surrounded by women younger, smarter, wiser, and way more beautiful than me Women who also spend lots of time with my husband, doing the gods know what, and that call him Dad”
Kamila froze, realizing that Zinya had come to believe that the female hybrids had to be either Vastors bastard daughters or his lovers.
“At ﬁrst, l thought he had one or more mistresses, but after living with Fallmug for so long, it wasnt hard understanding that it wasnt the case.
Vastor never has the smell of another woman on him, never neglects me, nor does he give me gifts out of guilt.
“Yet the fact that he still feels emotionally distant from me its unbearable.
I know what Tezka is and Im pretty sure that the rest of thefamily is no different.
I hate it that Zogar refuses to explain to me how they met and what they do together in that secret lab of theirs.”
“What if he is doing it to protect you” Kamila said, incapable of raising her eyes from the ﬂoor.
“What if he is just afraid that you would divorce him if you knew the truth and wants to protect your happiness”
“ls this why you broke up with Lith” Zinya asked after lifting her sisters chin and forcing Kamila to look her in the eyes.
“Yes.” Kamila couldnt help but draw a comparison between them.
She was the one who knew the truth, yet it had cost her the man she loved, the family she dreamed to have, and the parents she had never had.
Kamila often wished that Lith had never come clean with her.
“Did he cheat on you” Zinya said.
“Did he do something you would be ashamed of or that would break the trust you have in him“
He did some stuff—”
“Then you made a mistake.” Zinya cut her short.
“Ever since I started living with Zogar, seeing what this country demands from him, and the scars he bears in his soul, l understood how cruel the life of a mage is.
“They have the power of the gods and everyone expects them to use it wisely and to be infallible.
But in the end, they are just people like you and me.
They make mistakes like everyone else but theirs have terrible consequences.
“The same powers that make them great when they do good, make them monsters when they do evil.
With the same effort that takes me to slap a rude man Zogar can wipe out a city.
“I cant even imagine the burden and the temptation that having such power implies.
I know very little about Zogars past mistakes, but its enough to admit that I cant judge him as if he was just a farmer or a merchant.”
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