Central Integra, No Man’s Land.
“Sir…here are the reports regarding that one incident.” A young man dressed in a military green uniform stood with his hands up in a salute. In his left hand, rested a stack of papers almost 200 pages long. They contained all details and information regarding the catastrophe just a week prior.
The young man looked no older than 20. His beard had just barely begun to grow a little bit of stubble. Yet in his eyes held a wisdom and conviction that was atypical of his age. In truth, he was only 17. His honesty and work ethic had led him quite far up the ladder.
Now he was the direct assistant of the Great Chancellor himself. In this country of No Man’s Land, there was not any other being greater than the Chancellor. Unlike most countries, no man’s land did not operate under the rule of a king. Instead, the citizens appoint a chancellor great enough to truly guide the people of this city. Because one could not be birthed into the position, there was never an unfit chancellor throughout the many years.
The people here could not afford to disgrace themselves and the entire world by appointing an incompetent chancellor. After all, this was the country built by the unmatched wizard, Merlin. Around 140 years ago, Merlin had established this city and changed the entirety of the world.
By creating the adventurers guild within this country, he kept it free of all external influences. Adventurers from all countries could join and participate in its ranking system. Thus, many great heroes were born and many calamities were averted by these adventurers. Because it’s base of operations resided in No Man’s Land, a country without an active military power, they kept the adventurers guild from being politicized.
An adventurer that joined the guild had to rid themselves of their original country’s bind. Part of the oath for becoming an adventurer is to not raise your sword against others unless a mission was at stake. Once countries were in war with each other, adventurer’s contracts against any participating party were barred.
Because the adventurers guild was created to rid the world of highly dangerous beings and monsters, they oftentimes were barred from participating in assassinations, or espionage. It was also forbidden that adventurer’s guild members target other guild members.
Truthfully, the idea was great in theory and had proven largely effective, but there are many loopholes around it. For instance, with the events that had occurred in Carthage. Since Lusha was suspected of being a monster, she was liable to having been the target of extermination.
Though it was not possible to create a contract wishing the extermination of other guild members, since the request was created prior to her joining the adventurer’s guild, it still stood as an effective contract.
“Good work, Rouen. Please do kindly brief me on everything here.” The Chancellor's voice was calm and soothing. It was almost as if he was singing while talking. It could soothe the ears of many foul beasts instantly. That is perhaps why he had won his appointment to Chancellor status. During his election, he had won against the opposing party with a 92% approval rating.
There wasn’t a man alive that disliked the current chancellor— Kings and commoners alike.
Rouen smiled and bowed, “Yes! Your Excellency.” The young child handed the chancellor the rest of the report and paused for a second, thinking where to begin.
The chancellor could tell by his face that he must be hesitating. “Start from the beginning, Rouen.”
“Y-yes!- Your Excellency” He uprighted himself. “As per reports we received from Gomei, the capital had received an SOS message from Carthage just 20 minutes prior to the massive energy their sensors had picked up.”
Almost as if he had photographic memory he began to recount the details. “Since the city of Carthage is almost 140 miles away from the capital city Endi, it had to be a demon. There are only 2 adventurers capable of releasing energy to that extent, and both of them are on the southern continent. Thus, they surmised that this had to be the work of a demon. Having been prepared for a demon invasion, they had amassed an army of 240,000 strong and utilized their system to respond to the scenario.”
He paused. “Though…- by the time they arrived at the city several hours later, everyone had already died. Not a single life had been spared.”
“Is that so….?” The chancellor stopped to think for a second. The last time a demon had entered East Gomei’s capital city of Godon, it had caused devastation beyond their imagination. However, at least 30% of the city survived. The fact that this one had killed every civilian within a single day was an extremely profound difference in power.
Could it be that the previous demon general that had appeared was not that strong? As per his statement, he was one of 12 demon generals. Surely there is a possibility that the others were much stronger than him. If they were dealing with a demon, then this one was much more ruthless and efficient than the previous. It was like comparing a being that was out for pure destruction, to one that only wanted to have fun.
What was even more perplexing was that Nuon had been at the scene of such a catastrophe, and had also perished in battle. When an adventurer dies, their glowing tag ceases to glow, letting everyone know who has passed.
But there was one particular issue bothering him. Something didn’t sit right within his heart, yet he could not put his finger on it. “Go on, what is the rest of the report.”
“Around 65 adventurers had died instantly. The guild base in Carthage had of course been destroyed, but it seems like this was done by the counterforce themselves.” His voice suddenly grew very bold, and stern- as if to emphasize these next few details with great importance.
“As per the adventurer deaths, Nuon had died 20 minutes prior to all the other adventurers— at around the same time that the SOS message was sent out. It’s quite possible that Nuon had engaged this enemy in combat, perished, and due to the nature of the threat, they released an SOS signal. Many adventurers fled the city after hearing the call to arms and the SOS signal. ”
“And what about this Lusha Viscirilis?”
The boy cleared his throat. “Ahem… yes that’s the part of the report that’s odd, According to reports, the young girl had just recently joined the adventurers guild. In fact, she had just joined 5 minutes prior to the massacre of several adventurers that had based themselves out in Carthage. However, her essence tag remains very much active. We scoured the area to see if she may have simply succumbed to injury, yet luckily remained alive somehow, but no such details have become prevalent.”
“I see… so the young girl is the most unusual survivor in this case. And what of the quest that Villes Valkyrie placed?”
“Well, the request was never made official, but several of the members say that they witnessed the request being handed to Nuon by various officials. Unfortunately, neither Nuon’s body, nor the request were placed within the guild data-base.”
When the city had recruited several of the guild members, upon learning the level of the mission, many of them refused and fled prior to the witch’s return. Due to the fact that she had defeated Nuon alone, many adventurers abandoned their honor and fled. Others fled the moment an emergency order was called.
Due to the fear of one of the 12 demon generals appearing again, there were only 65 present out of the 342 adventurers that were there. In this case, while some may have called them cowards, it was clear they made the right choice in the matter, for they had lived and the others had not
“While it is entirely possible that somehow there was an error in her survivability, every other adventurer died. It would be negligent to ignore her unusual spot in this whole situation. Surely she knows something”
“Well… it never reached the guild base, sir. I’m aware that Valkyrie had placed a request in action, but not a single person knows of it, nor do they know what the request was for. Our sources surmise that the request was most-likely placed in to deal with the monster that had caused such mass devastation.”
The Chancellor, Vixail, yawned. This was not typical of him, but he had stayed up for several days the past week. The man was someone that never stopped thinking regardless of the scenario. The more he kept thinking, the more he kept glossing over details he might have forgotten.
At the far off center of the city, there was a giant tree made of bronze. The Tree had been built over a hundred years ago by the previous chancellor and was supposed to be a symbol of the city’s ever growing hope. As far as the tree expanded, so did its roots. It was there that they found the body of Villes Valkyrie. It seemed he had hung himself. When they cut down his body, it appeared as if he was crying blood.
The harrowing accounts of the scattered bodies of the task force members were unsettling. If it’s possible that that one single entity could cause all of this, they may have to pull many of the Hero rankers back from the southern continent. The catastrophe could be unparalleled if they were to experience yet another attack.
“Have Elim and Soka been debriefed on everything yet?”
“Yes!” He bowed
“Good. Bring them over. I’ll have them embark on their mission at once.”
The boy promptly left the room, leaving Vixail to himself. “Lusha Viscirilis of team Infinite… it can’t be the same one... no. Nevermind. Those were just tales.” He brushed it off as a story Merlin had once recounted of his former teacher. However, there was no way one single individual could survive for so long.
He couldn’t dismiss the possibility that this lady Lusha Viscirilis was indeed the teacher of Merlin. Perhaps she had used the same method of preserving herself that Merlin had done. No. That doesn’t sound right. The most-likely explanation is that with the influence that Merlin had, there were many families that owe a lot to Merlin and often name their children after things regarding that man.
Afterall, Merlin was one of the most popular names in this era. Perhaps it was a friend from generations that sought to honor his tale. That is most-likely the closest explanation.
But still, an inkling of doubt stuck within his mind, given the nature of the situation. In any case, he would find out the truth of the situation once Elim and Soka, of team Unfathom arrived at their destination. Elim and Soka were both S-ranked warriors.
Having observed the adventurer's guild throughout the ages, the heights of which he thought possible continued to rise and rise. He knew now that there were many adventurers that rivaled Merlin's power and ability. Elim and Soka were one such duo. They were frighteningly powerful when working together. #11 ranked Hero and #17 ranked Hero.