Chapter 2023 Cranky Mood (Part 1)
Lith studied the map for a while, calculating how long would it take him to get to safety and running several simulations in his head with Solus\' help.
\'This might not be as bad as it seems.\' He thought.
\'From this distance, the army won\'t get the opportunity to study my techniques.
If I employ the Golems and you give me a hand, Solus, the first wave of enemies will have a nasty surprise.\'
\'Do you want me to just conjure the Hands and Mouth and use them in your stead or do you want me to take part in the battle in my human form to support you\' She asked.
\'Let\'s save your strength for emergencies.
Start with the Hands and Mouth, we\'ll play the rest by ear.\' He replied.
I\'m sorry, but you couldn\'t possibly expect to be fully pardoned without giving proof of your goodwill first. Berion misunderstood the prolonged silence for hesitation.
If it\'s of any consolation, the Council has sent its troops here.
You can agree on a strategy with them or just spend the time before the battle with your kin if you want.
Maybe you didn\'t read the memo, General.
I\'m part human and work for the Kingdom.
You are part of my kin just like everybody else. Lith said, not liking the implications of Berion\'s words one bit.
If someone who actually knew and respected him considered him a monster, what point could it possibly have risking his life for the Kingdom
I read it alright, Major. The General said with a shrug.
Part human, part undead, and part Divine Beast.
Lith nodded and Berion continued.
I\'ll admit that I have no idea what you are, but I\'m pretty sure about what you\'re not.
Humans aren\'t covered in scales, don\'t have more than two eyes, and most certainly aren\'t 25 meters (82\') tall.
That\'s what everybody knows about you and there\'s no scientific jargon that can change it.
Running to the Desert and coming back only after taking your sweet time while people died every single day sure didn\'t help.
Getting yourself a deal to bury your past misdeeds was just the icing on the cake.
I don\'t hate you, Verhen.
I understand what you did and why, yet that doesn\'t mean that I have to like it.
Those who don\'t, however, are terrified.
If you want to change my mind and that of the rest of the Kingdom, you\'ll need more than nice words and the fancy title of Magus.
Actions speak the loudest.
Remember that when you are on the battlefield.
\'Berion has a point, Lith.\' Solus said.
\'From the Kingdom perspective, the only difference between you and Thrud is that you can be reasoned with.
If you take a walk, there\'s no telling how regular people might react.
\'The General didn\'t mean to offend you.
He was simply suggesting you avoid useless conflicts.\'
Where can I find the members of the Council Lith asked while inwardly nodding.
They are all in this building.
When they introduced themselves in their human form, they triggered quite some panic.
You can\'t distinguish an Emperor Beast from a human, no matter how carefully you look at them.
It made our soldiers nervous as heck, but it was nothing compared to what happened with those who refused to shapeshift.
The people here are getting so paranoid that if Thrud doesn\'t come here quickly, we\'ll soon jump at each other\'s throat.
Lith and Berion exchanged their respective communication runes so that the Tiamat could reach his battle position the moment the enemy was spotted.
Then, he left the room and walked into the hallway.
Even though he wore the uniform of an army Major and the deep blue robe of an Archmage, those he met didn\'t show him any respect for his rank.
They would yelp and flinch at his appearance, running away without even giving him the salute.
The few who managed to keep their cool looked at him with spite, without bothering to hide the revulsion they felt at his presence.
\'If this is how people behave with me despite knowing that I can kill them with a snap, I can understand how hard a time Kami must have been having.\' Lith thought.
\'What did you expect\' Solus said with a sigh.
\'You heard Berion.
Those who admired you didn\'t take well the revelation that you aren\'t human while your rivals used it as an excuse to belittle everything you have achieved.\'
I didn\'t become a Tiamat until Lightkeep.
I had already been honorably discharged by then.\'
\'They don\'t know that and even if you told them, at this point nobody would believe you anyway.\'
The army base was silent, but not because of Lith.
Everyone was so focused on their tasks that they would raise their eyes from their amulets or papers only when they heard footsteps approaching.
Once Belius\'s soldiers had been proud and confident in their skill to protect the city like they had done in the past centuries.
Yet Night\'s attack first and now the repeated raids of Thrud\'s forces had been an unpleasant wake-up call.
The city had almost fallen before Vastor\'s arrival and every attempt to raid the city had made hundreds of victims.
The only reason none had succeeded was thanks to the Council\'s help.
Lith\'s pardon had dealt the final blow to their pride, shattering it.
After witnessing the might of the Awakened of both sides, the soldiers of the Kingdom had realized their limits.
As he walked towards the room where the Awakened forces had been stationed, Lith could hear an increasing number of voices coming from a distance.
By following the noise, he reached the main hall of the base that had been repurposed into a hostel.
Bunk beds were lined up against the walls, filled with people fast asleep or writing their personal journals.
Several round tables had been arranged in the middle of the room, where the Awakened talked, drank, and gambled.
Most of them were in human form, but a few humanoid Faes had kept their original appearance and so had a few beasts who sat on the floor since there was no piece of furniture big enough to accommodate them.
Even then they were tall enough to be at eye level with the others.
Their casual clothes and relaxed attitude were in stark contrast with the gloomy atmosphere of the army base.
Glad to see that you\'ve finally made it. Faluel walked toward him and gave him a big hug.
What are you doing here Lith asked.
Nice to meet you too, jerk. She said with a sneer.
I asked to be assigned to Belius because I wanted you to have someone you can trust and because of our special synergy.
The Hands of Menadion flickered into existence for a second.
What about the others Lith nodded.
While you had fun in the Desert, Phloria has trained her Awakened troops until she drilled discipline and teamwork in their thick skulls.
The problem is that she can\'t lead them into battle without revealing her nature as Awakened.
The same stands for Friya and Quylla.
They are too worried about involving their household in their own mess to step into the light. Faluel replied.
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