Chapter 2117 Four is a Party (Part 1)
Exactly. Milea nodded.
Yet rather than compensation, the real goal of the Council and the Royals would be to exploit Dusk\'s weakened state to coerce him to share his knowledge with no regard for his current host.
You mean the girl is still in there Kigan said in surprise, staring at Kelia who hid behind the Empress with remarkable speed.
She is not Dusk\'s tool, she is his partner.
Kelia, these two scary guys are Xenagrosh and Kigan, the two hybrids I told you about.
Xenagrosh, Kigan, this is Kelia Sunbry, second year student and rising star of the Red Emperor academy. Milea moved to the side to introduce Kelia, but she followed her like a shadow.
How come she was so brave before and now she\'s a scaredy cat Xenagrosh chuckled, softening her expression.
Because Dusk was in control until a second ago. Milea said trying and failing to get Kelia off her back.
Convincing the Horseman to join the mission had been easy.
After being locked in an academy, listening every day about the most elementary principles of magic while surrounded by youths with more hormones than brains, he craved some action.
The idea of spending some time with creatures that were mentally his peers, going back to his old life, even if for just one day, and getting the opportunity to study up close the workings of the Master was a dream come true.
On top of that, Kelia was too used to a sheltered life, relying on either Milea or Dusk for her own protection.
After the Empress had discovered their real identity back at the academy, Kelia had stopped believing herself invincible but had also become too meek.
Getting field experience would teach her how to keep her head cool in battle and how to deal with a world full of creatures more powerful than her who would stop at nothing to get their hands on her powers.
For those very same reasons, convincing Kelia had required a lot of time and effort instead.
She had just been promoted to the second year, skipping the first after just one exam.
She had her hands full catching up with her studies and working with millennia old mass murderers didn\'t sound alluring to her.
Kelia has agreed to help us… Milea put emphasis on how they were all on the same boat.
But only under precise conditions.
First, you must ensure her safety.
As any Horseman\'s host, she\'s very hard to kill but she can be still tortured and kidnapped.
What about Baba Yaga Kigan asked.
Best case scenario, she rescues Kelia and we never see either of them ever again.
Worst case scenario, the undead put her under a Sealed Space spell and she\'ll suffer a fate worse than death.
Milea\'s answer made Kigan\'s eyes twitch and become bloodshot as the image of the final moments of his niece flashed in front of him.
Second, no one, and I mean no one, outside this room must be allowed to learn about her identity and live to tell the tale.
Dusk needs to meet the undead in person because otherwise no one will openly reveal their affiliation wi the Courts but Kelia must remain a secret.
If the undead or Thrud discover about her existence, she\'d become a target.
Even after the end of the War of the Griffons, no one would let such a precious asset in the hands of the Empire.
Not after what Narchat did.
The Kingdom would be afraid of the advent of another Dead King and the Undead Courts would do everything to have him back to their side just to turn against him the moment they discover that Dusk is a shell of his former self.
I would have no choice but to shapeshift Kelia into a new identity and keep her locked inside my palace until the two of them become powerful enough to take care of themselves.
Then why do you trust us with this knowledge Xenagrosh asked.
Because if I don\'t, the Golden Griffon will keep being a thorn in everyone\'s side.
We must discover its weak point while Thrud\'s power base is still unstable.
If we get rid of the lost academy once she has conquered the Kingdom, it might not be enough to defeat her.
Even worse, she might simply convert the six great academies into copies of the Golden Griffon.
At that point, stopping the Mad Queen would be much more difficult.
The War of the Griffons is our best chance and I\'m not going to waste it out of cowardice.
The Kingdom has taken its risks by pardoning Verhen and asking me and the Council for help.
By revealing their existence to Mogar and stepping inside my domain, the Organization has gambled as well.
Now, it\'s the Empire\'s turn to take some risks.
Exactly. Kelia stuttered, the aura of the creatures in the room was almost unbearable for someone as weak as her.
The only thing that kept her from fainting on the spot due to the sheer pressure of the hybrids\' aura was the Empress shielding her.
I volunteered for this mission because I know what it means to not have a home, to always be hungry, and to live every day at the mercy of someone else.
If the Empire goes to war, that\'s what will happen to everyone.
I don\'t want to live like that ever again and I won\'t let some Kingdom bitch take my newfound home away from me.
If revealing my existence is the price for keeping Thrud away from our borders, I\'m happy to pay for it.
I wouldn\'t have made you this offer without Kelia\'s consent. Milea said.
Once you or anyone else learn her energy signature or smell, there is no changing it.
Even if she shapeshifts, there will always be the chance of someone recognizing her.
Now that she\'s made her choice, however, I\'m going to respect it.
Last, but not least, Leegaain vouched for you, Xenagrosh.
He said that if you give us your word, you\'ll keep it.
Does this answer your question
The Shadow Dragon could feel the lingering challenge in the Empress\' voice.
\'Milea is reminding me how she can speak with Dad whenever she wants and how close they are.
What she\'s really asking me is if I\'m going to let my father down again.
\'The Empress is going out on a limb because she trusts Dad, who in turn has never stopped trying to help me.
After everything I\'ve done, he still believes in me.\' Xenagrosh clenched her fists so hard that they bled.
You have my word that I\'ll protect Kelia with my life and that I won\'t reveal nothing of what you\'ve shared with me to anyone, even the other members of the Organization. She said.
What about the obvious loophole The Empress pointed at Kigan.
Their deal would mean nothing without his cooperation.
There\'s no loophole.
Xenagrosh\'s word is mine.
I swear it upon my name and core. Kigan replied.
Milea just nodded while the Dragon\'s eyes went wide in surprise.
There was little love between them and even though there was no real consequence to breaking the oath that the Phoenix had undertaken, its meaning was deep.
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