Chapter 2013 The Price of Change (Part 1)
Once Belius fell into Thrud\'s hands, the Empire would have to deal with the Divine Beasts on a daily basis.
The Mad Queen had made no mystery of her intention to restore the Kingdom\'s borders to the position they had been after Valeron.
In other words, she meant to invade the Empire and once she got past the natural barrier of the mountain range, nothing would stand in the way of her troops.
The Empress was trying to recruit as many Faes and Beasts as possible, offering equal rights for their kind, but very few had answered her call.
Thrud\'s deal was better since she also offered them Awakening and full disclosure of the secret of the violet core.
The only reason they had yet to join her army and the Mad Queen still lacked the numbers to start another campaign against the Gorgon Empire was that Awakened creatures didn\'t trust her.
The Royals had spread the news of the Unwavering Loyalty array far and wide so there was no telling if those who fought under Thrud\'s banner did it out of their free will.
Awakened feared the possibility that going to the Golden Griffon to accept her offer and gain the knowledge they sought would also mean being doomed to a lifetime of slavery.
The Awakened of the Empire unaffiliated with the Council preferred to bide their time and keep an eye on the situation while using their peers of the Kingdom as guinea pigs.
If the war ended in Thrud\'s favor, they planned to sneak past the borders and check whether her followers had truly regained their freedom or not.
If she lost, instead, it would mean that what she had to offer didn\'t amount to much, after all.
\'The Kingdom has gained a lot by bringing Verhen into their fold.\' Milea thought.
\'He became an Archmage at eighteen and single-handedly destroyed two lost cities, something unprecedented.
\'Taking one of them down usually requires decades of preparation and the intervention of the Council or a Guardian.
I checked Leegaain\'s records about Menadion\'s Desperation and his relationship with Solus is no different from that between a Horseman and their host.
\'If Dusk really cares about this girl, then with his help Kelia can reach even greater heights.
While Solus\'s worth lay on the tower\'s slow recovery, Dusk\'s current limits actually play in my favor.
\'Even without his steed, the Red Sun holds more knowledge than an entire academy but to make use of it he needs the proper facilities.
Something that only I can provide him.
\'I\'ll make Verhen regret refusing to join the Empire after he ran away from the Kingdom.
He said that I\'m too weak to guarantee him the safety he requires for his family and sadly, he\'s right.
\'The Empire has no Guardian-crafted relics of the caliber of the Royal Fortress armor, but with Kelia\'s help and Dusk\'s masteries of three of the strongest bloodline abilities, things will change.\'
The Empire would indeed gain a lot if we were to become an Archmage at your service. Dusk spoke from Kelia\'s mouth since he was still in control.
Yet survival in exchange for our servitude is not worth it.
Why should we accept your deal There\'s nothing in it for us.
Don\'t put words in my mouth, Horseman. Milea shook her head.
I never mentioned servitude.
If you become my ally, Kelia, you\'ll simply be on probation for the duration of your studies at the Red Emperor academy.
You\'ll experience how the Empire will treat you were you to become an official and I\'ll make sure that you are not just Dusk\'s puppet.
Once you reach the fourth year, I\'ll start to assign you field missions to evaluate your skills and let you gain practical experience.
If by the end of the academy we are both satisfied, we\'ll renegotiate the terms of your service.
If not, we\'ll simply part ways.
I don\'t plan on killing you just because of Dusk\'s crimes or out of fear of what you might do.
You have my word.
Kelia and Dusk pondered her words, seeing how the deal actually benefitted them both.
Let me get this straight. Kelia pushed the Horseman back, enough to speak for herself.
If everything goes well, you get yourself an Archmage and a Horseman while all I get is to stay in the academy
Of course not. Milea said with a chuckle.
To develop your mind and body to their full potential, you need a position, status, and safety.
It\'s the only way to avoid harassment and give you a taste of what I have to offer.
If you say yes, I\'m going to adopt you.
You what Kelia and Dusk said in unison.
Think about it.
You are a genius student with no family and I still have no heir.
It only makes sense that I look after such a promising youth.
My name alone will ensure that the rest of your stay in the academy will be uneventful.
It will also give me the excuse to summon you to the Imperial Palace when I need to assign you missions and also provide you with a plausible explanation for your abilities.
With me by your side, you\'ll never need to hold back or hide in the shadows.
Once you grow up, you won\'t become my servant but my right hand.
Your authority will be second only to mine and in time, you might as well take my place as Magic Empress.
Our country is in dire need of Awakened if we want to survive the incoming storm.
Alone I stand no chance against it just like you are nothing if left to fend for yourself in a world filled with people who only want to use you.
We need each other. Milea offered Kelia her hand and waited.
The young woman discussed her options with Dusk for a while before shaking it.
Griffon Kingdom, city of Valeron, right after the meeting with the Royals.
With the War of the Griffons taking a turn for the worse and Thrud having almost conquered half the Kingdom, the Royals wasted no time.
As soon as they got back from their meeting with Lith, the internal negotiations for his return started even though it was still the dead of the night.
The Mage Association drooled not only at Lith\'s offer to teach them how to switch elements, but also at his blueprint for the amulets network that already was called the web.
Great and small academies would greatly benefit just from not having to print hundreds of textbooks every year and have those in their libraries changed every time there was a major breakthrough.
Libraries needed to purchase multiple copies of the same book, but they were never enough.
Students would often have to wait their turn to borrow the most useful tomes and it would always raise the tension among youths, especially during the exams period.
Thanks to Lith\'s web, instead, textbooks and library books would be converted into a digital format.
The students would be capable of accessing them at any time without waiting for a tome to be returned.
The web would allow the academies to save hundreds of gold coins every year and invest them into their research departments or teaching equipment.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.