Chapter 1974: Royal Showdown (part 2)
‘At least by dressing like this we didnt lose face to Salaark and Verhen will have to treat us with the respect that honorable guests deserve. The King said while moving forward.
What they found a few rooms later, left them gawking even more than the news of Leegaains child.
Lith walked toward them, wearing a simple white robe of the Desert.
Between his dark skin and his clothes dirty with soot and the remains of magical ingredients, he looked no different from one of the many mages they had met on their way.
“King Meron, Queen Sylpha.
Its a pleasure to meet you again.” Lith said while giving them a polite bow suitable when meeting peers, without a shred of deference.
“Im sorry for being late, but Grandma told me of your coming at the last minute and I was in the middle of an experiment.”
“What happened to your etiquette” Salaark inhaled sharply and poked at his forehead.
“You cant call me Grandma in front of our Royal guests.
Im Overlord Salaark for you now.”
“Im sorry, Grand- I mean, Overlord Salaark.” He gave her a bow much deeper than the one to the Royals.
What Meron and Sylpha witnessed scared them to the bone.
Salaark had scolded him with the familiarity of a parent instead of an offended ruler.
Lith was so used to enjoying such a degree of freedom and confidence in the Overlords domain that he had forgotten his manners.
Worst of all, however, was his aura.
Ever since they had met Lith for the first time, they had become accustomed to his cold eyes, his recurring frown, and the subtle waves of power that he seemed incapable of repressing.
Now, however, they couldnt feel anything from him.
His eyes were clear, his expression serene, and his aura was as placid as the surface of a lake during a spring day.
The calm scared them more than any storm because it could mean only one thing.
The angry boy they had met had turned into a man who was in complete control of his emotions.
The lack of any magical aura could only mean that during his second stay in the Desert, Lith had mastered his mana flow.
It was the only possible explanation for such a harmless appearance despite his recent breakthrough.
They remembered well that in Tyris hologram he had grown to 25 meters (82′) of height and had a violet aura.
Those were the signs of an adult Divine Beast, yet if not for their prior knowledge, they would have never recognized an Archmage in the person in front of them.
“Would you like to oversee our treaties, my Overlord You would be our esteemed guest.” Lith asked.
“Thanks, but Im afraid that my presence would be inappropriate.
This is an official business of the Griffon Kingdom and Im merely its host.
I dont want either you or the Royals to feel pressured due to my meddling.” Salaark led them to a finely decorated room.
The ceiling was over 30 meters (100 feet) high, allowing a fully grown Divine Beast to move with ease.
A long rectangular mahogany table was set in the middle of the room with many chairs lined on either side in equal numbers.
Along the walls, there were bookshelves filled with tomes about the laws of the three great countries and border maps.
Several cabinets contained paper sheets and plenty of ink to redact official documents, no matter the length.
Wax sticks of all colors were lined up on a tray in the middle of the table, to allow both parties to use their respective official enchanted seals.
Many bottles of fresh water and aged liquor had been placed on a cart, in the case the talks went on for too long or someone got thirsty.ᴘ ᴀꪁⅆ a ɴꪫꪚeʟ
It was the very same room where Salaark stipulated international agreements and settlements.
The Royals had been there a few times in the past and the fact that she had lent it to Lith was a clear indicator of how much she cared about the issue.
‘Not feeling pressured my Royal ass. Meron thought.
‘For being someone more inclined to the sword than the pen, Salaark is quite shrewd.
First the rumors about Liths marriage, then about his prowess, and now this.
‘Agreed. Sylpha replied.
‘The question is if she wants the treaty to succeed or fail.
‘Its likely that shes fine with both.
“Before we start discussing the price for my full pardon, Id like to lay my cards on the table.” Lith said, snapping them out of it.
“I beg your pardon” The Queen asked.
ᴘ ᴀɴ ᴅᴀ-ɴᴏᴠ ᴇʟ, ᴄ,ᴏ,ᴍ The Lith Verhen she knew and appreciated was a devious man who would always play as close to the vest as he could.
Revealing his hand without getting anything in return would have been a dumb move.
‘To win this war we need the same sneaky bastard who led the entire Kingdom by the nose for years, raking merits without anyone ever doubting his nature. Sylpha said via the mind link while clenching her husbands arm.
‘Im afraid that after staying in the Desert for so long Lith might have lost his edge.
“Let me be brutally honest.” A smirk broke on his face and the coldness in his eyes wiped away any doubt the Royals had about his mental abilities.
“I dont consider this as a legal matter, but as a business transaction.
“The terms are as follows: Im offering you my services within reason and under precise conditions.
In exchange, you are offering me a full pardon for my past crimes.
We are just trading favors, as simple as that.
“Now, its in my interest to showcase to you the power you are going to buy.
The more I have to offer you, the less likely you are to forfeit it.
On top of that, if I manage to make you interested enough, Im certain that youll offer me a discount.”
Lith took several steps away from the table, reaching an empty area of the room.
“Now, the first item is my real form.” He shapeshifted into a Tiamat, pointing out the various changes he had undergone from his last breakthrough.
“As you can see, Ive grown past the limits of an Emperor Beast.
“Im now certain to be a Divine Beast and I expect to be treated as such.
I can use Origin Flames, Cursed Flames, and I have several unique bloodline abilities that youve already witnessed from Melns broadcast.”
He gave them a quick demonstration of his prowess by purifying an ingot of Orichalcum without wasting an iota of the precious metal.
Then, he showed them the destructive power of the Void Flames on a castle gate, kindly provided by Salaark.
A single blast was enough to put a dent in the several enchantments of the reinforced double doors and to open deep cracks in its physical structure as well.
“I can do more, but focusing on my destructive abilities might be taken as an attempt to intimidate you so lets move on to the next item.” Lith then shapeshifted into the Voidfeather Dragon.
The red scales covering his body had become thicker and inside each one of them burned a different kind of Cursed Flames.
The color of the six flames resembled those of the natural elements but their light was sickening.
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