Chapter 72 – A Cross Country Visit To A Volatile Countess
Devon listened intently to the captain’s history lesson, even as they boarded war carriages to depart to the site of Countess Ilyana’s reported location. Patrick boarded the same carriage as him, the hulking man dressed in full war gear this time around and armed with a large war axe, a far cry from the frock and pigtails Devon first saw him in.
Even as Devon listened to the captain speak about the Algorians and their numerous attempts at rebellion in the past, including one particularly interesting one where they snuck onto the imperial palace’s grounds disguised as an oak tree, Devon just had to wonder about one thing. From what he knew about the silvery white haired countess, he knew that she was almost like a magical bomb waiting to explode. If her emotions ever got riled up, that was possibly the end of all life within a two meter radius of her body.
So how exactly did these Algorian rebels manage to capture her safely, anyway?
Devon chewed on that thought as the carriages began to move, and they rode off to the site of Countess Ilyana’s reported location.
Listening to the horses travel across the countryside, he fiddled with his moonlight steel sword, which the curly moustached captain noticed from across the seat.
“Ah, the earl mentioned to me that you possess a moonlight steel sword. A family heirloom, I presume?”
“You could put it that way,” Devon replied enigmatically.
“Your family must have been mighty warriors, then. To possess such a sword…”
Devon shook his head. “No, I’m not a great fighter. I just have some magical talent, but even that is a bit unrefined.”
At that comment, Patrick’s eyes stirred from their usual glazed over look. “Magic. That’s what you used, before?”
Devon looked at him a bit confused, unaccustomed to speaking to the large man of few words. They didn’t exchange many words ever since Devon threatened him earlier.
“What do you mean by before?” Devon asked back.
“During the tomato game the young lady likes to play,” Patrick replied. “I thought it was the wind, but it was too strange to be just the wind.”
Devon shrugged. “Yeah, that was me. I used magic to tip the scales a bit. Hey, you could probably take my head off with a single throw if I didn’t cheat a little!”
Patrick let out a low chuckle, the first time Devon saw him show emotion. “The young lady would be angry at me if I showed restraint.”
Devon, Patrick, and the captain continued to talk throughout the ride, although Devon felt a bit of tension in the air as they neared the site of Countess Ilyana’s last reported sighting.
After quite a long ride, they finally arrived to a strange sight in the plains. Hundreds of armed human rebels with a circle emblem on their armor depicting their Algorian leaning were lined up in formation behind a single girl held in a metal cage. The cage showed signs of charring and debris, and the grass and dirt near the cage looked like it was struck by mortar rounds.
In the middle of the cage was Countess Ilyana, her hair a bit frizzy and singed, sitting with her legs crossed on a wooden stool that they provided for her for some reason. Her posture was confident, taunting almost. “You see, I told you my father would send his men~” she laughed. “Finally. You’re late. Any later and I’d need to test more magic lessons from madame Elisa’s private tutoring on this poor cage.”
It was true. To the left and right of the earl’s private brigade were the royal army and her father’s troops as well, as troops began to spill out of carriages to form three organized armies on the fields.
“Release the countess, Algorians,” the captain of Ilyana’s father’s brigade declared. As Ilyana’s family’s private army, their primary concern was their bloodline’s wellbeing.
“Stand down, Algorians. Your rebellion will not be successful,” the leader of the royal army declared. The royal army cared about Countess Ilyana, but it was clear that her safety was of less concern than the empire’s will.
An armored man with the telltale white circle on his armor stepped forward from the Algorian side. “We are here today to discuss negotiations with the kingdom. We demand secession immediately from the kingdom, and for our nation to be granted an autonomous region from the Black River to the Bezor Mountains.”