5, Month Fall-Amberine, Year 2763 B.A.
06:30, Leogella Tribe - Leogella Mansion
[Leogella tribe Welcome the Umbra tribe]
Multiple signs of welcoming and surrendering were seen along the town, starting from the entrance gate to the town square.
Filled with decoration, every street in the Leogella tribe should be in a festive mood. Yet one could see that not any person in the tribe was smiling at all. Everyone’s face was stiff and there was pain in their eyes. Most tribesmen’s tail was down, devoid of any energy. The street was still bustling with energy, especially the main street, but there was no denying that something was different.
Aila looked at all this through the window from her room blankly. Her black eyes were slightly red from all the crying she had done for the past days.
Even until now, her gaze never broke away from the entrance for more than an hour. It was as if she was waiting for some figure to appear there.
It was as if she was waiting for someone to appear.
But there was no one.
Not the day before yesterday, not yesterday, and not today either.
The only people who went through the gate were the merchants from the nearby tribe, her tribesmen, and some of the people from the Yao tribe. Many people came in, but they were not the ones she was looking for.
Where are you?
On the table beside her, there was a letter on top of it and the emblem that she had given to someone, an emblem that shouldn’t be here. A maid gave her this letter to her around 2 days ago, the time when Aila started to feel that something was amiss.
The way to the Umbra tribe was long indeed, but currently, Yao was residing in one of his villas at the outskirt of the Leogella tribe. For a perfect circle mage to go there, it shouldn’t take longer than 6 hours.
Yet even until then, Isabella still hadn’t come back. At first, she thought that it was her friend ignoring her because of the way they arguing together before. Aila tried to ask around, but it seemed like nobody had seen Isabella at all after that day. It was as if she had disappeared since then.
Aila wanted to start a search then, but that was when a maid had come to deliver a letter to her. When she knew that the letter was from her friend, she couldn’t help but had an ominous feeling. They had known each other for at least 20 years, after all. When Aila saw the letter and thought back about the argument they had, she knew exactly what happened.
It was the first time in her life that she was hoping her understanding of Isabella was wrong.
But life would never be as people wanted. It was cruel and fickle. The content in the letter was exactly what she had expected. Isabella had written down her plan to assassinate Yao Umbra.
She also wrote that if she didn’t come back, her plan probably resulted in failure.
Isabella didn’t detail what was her plan to escape after it failed. Knowing her, she probably didn’t have much. Isabella knew she was going on a suicide mission and she would die as a result of it.
Aila didn’t remember what happened after she read the letter. The past 2 days were blurry to her. It was as if it went by in a flash. She vaguely remembered that she tried to dash out of the town but got held down by her servants. She remembered she cried herself day and night that her tear had run out.
But even then, there was nothing that came after it. Isabella didn’t come back.
“...Princess, it is time to get ready.”
Aila then looked away from the window and faced the maid behind her. The maid was bowing her head respectfully with a beautiful white dress in her hand. Behind her was a group of maids followed behind.
“You have to get some makeup done first.” the maid said after looking at Aila’s face which, while still beautiful, looked quite haggard.
“Okay.” she said listlessly and followed the maid to where she would be getting ready. Today was the day that she and her tribe would submit themselves under the Umbra tribe.
With or without Isabella, life would continue to go on. Aila had to put the thought behind her and got to the matter at hand first. She had to do as the letter said at the end.
She would try to live happily, even if it was impossible to do so.
5, Month Fall-Amberine, Year 2763 B.A.
08:30, Leogella Tribe - Town Square
The Leogella tribesmen numbered around 300,000 and they all gathered in the town square right now. Catpeople and Beastmen were everywhere on the streets, buildings, and even on some rooftops.
They were all currently looking toward the stage currently occupied by the high-ranking members of the tribe. Halamar, dressed in his usual black robe, was the most prominent on the stage as there was currently no one higher-rank than him appearing yet. He was laughing along with some officials from the Umbra tribe.
They looked close. Those who didn’t know would think that they were knowing each other for a long time already. That wasn’t the truth, of course. This was actually the first time they were conversing with each other. But, as one-side was trying to get to the good side of the other, the conversation was coming along smoothly.
It was then the entourage of Yao Umbra arrived. They only numbered 3 men, but the aura that radiated from them was opposing as if they were thousands.
Yao was in front. The bearman stood tall at 3 meters. He dressed in a loose-fitting black shirt and same color pants that seemed to blend with his black fur, amplifying his dominating aura. The two that followed behind him were his closet aide. They were two of the three perfect circle mages that chased after Isabella before.
The town became silent as everyone looked at the trio that strolled through the crowd casually.
The officials from the Umbra tribe were the one that reacted first. They saluted respectfully at their leader.
“Everyone bows at the sight of the son of heaven. Yao Umbra!” one of them shouted. His voice, rang through the town, caused anyone that was below heptagon level to bow down subconsciously. Some even knelt down. Others that were above that level also followed along shortly after, when they saw that everyone was doing so.
Yao looked at the submissive sight that all this tribe displayed and sneered. He shook his head and continued to the stage without even returned the greeting even once. On the stage, Halamar who was kneeling silently stood up. He backed down from the center spot on the stage and allowed the true owner of it to occupy.
“Please, your highness.”
“Um.” Yao responded dismissively. He stood at the center of the stage and turned around—facing everyone in the town. There was no trace of nervousness in his manner. He looked casual as if he was in his own home.
“Everyone has gathered here. Listen to me.” he spoke. His voice wasn’t loud, but it reached everyone in the town.
“The reason you are here is because of one thing. It is because all of you are weak!”
“Why? You disagree?” Yao asked. There was no one answering him, of course. He then shook his head disapprovingly.
“You are weak! So weak so that you couldn’t put up any proper fight to us at all. You are all just a pathetic cat that could only play around in your town. Without actual strength, no one could decide their own fate. The weak’s fate was only one thing. They are to serve the strong. From now on, your tribe is no more. From now on, there will only be one tribe that exists in here! The Umbra tribe!”
“All hail the emperor!”
“Long live the emperor!”
“Long live the emperor!”
“Long live the emperor!”
The crowd cheered. First, it was only from the Umbra tribe. But with their gaze stared menacingly at the Leogella tribe men, how could the poor people resisted. They slowly followed along. Shouting “Long live the emperor!”
From now on, their tribe was no more.
Their emperor was Yao Umbra.
The shouting continued for about 10 minutes. It only died down when there was a new development on the stage.
Zula Leogella, the king of Leogella, stepped onto the stage. Followed behind him was his daughter, Aila Leogella, who dressed in a luxurious white dress. The dress, with the contrasting color to her black hair, highlighted her beauty perfectly. She looked as if she was an angel that had fallen from heaven.
The makeup on her face was only minimal, only to hide the crying she had done. This was because she didn’t need any makeup at all. Her skin was without any flaw in the first place. Her long black hair was up in a simple bun today, exposing her pure white nape, causing some men to gulp subconsciously.
There was a hint of fragility in her as if she would break at the slightest touch. But that only made her all the more lovely.
Even Yao looked slightly stunned at the sight of the princess.
“Greeting, my emperor.” Zula knelt before Yao. His eyes showed a bit of unwillingness. But as the king, the thing that he could do best was hiding his true emotion. His greeting was perfect, like a loyal subject he was.
“Greeting, my emperor.” Aila followed suit.
“You would make a fine addition to my harem, princess.” Yao said while admiring the beautiful girl in front of him. His gaze never broke away from her body even once after she appeared.
“Thank you very much, my emperor.” Aila said while bowing her head. No one could see her face when she said it, and her voice was devoid of any emotion. The only one that knew what she was thinking at that moment was probably only herself.
“As a tribute to our better relationship in the future, Aila Leogella has agreed to become one of the concubines of Yao the emperor. From now on, our tribe will be under your rule, my emperor.” Zula said.
Yao shook his head slightly at their response, but he didn’t reject it. He put his hand around the shoulder of the princess and turned toward the crowd.
“Is there any objection?” he asked casually. It was just a formality. After all, no one in the tribe wanted to antagonize him anymore. Doing so would result in certain death for sure. The tribesmen from the Leogella tribe all looked downward, casting their gaze on the floor.
They didn’t want to make eye contact with Yao, and at the same time, they were shameful to look at the princess.
The town was in silence. There was no one speaking at all. Even Zula, the king of Leogella, was silent. He hung his head, looking only at his feet.
Seeing that no one speaking at all, Halamar went up and spoke, trying to continue with the ceremony.
“Since they were no one objecting, the next—”
It was then a voice rang out. It was soft, yet somehow everyone in the town heard it clearly. Multiple gulp sounds were heard, but the one who made it tried to became silent again immediately after. It was as if they didn’t want to get implicated by this mess.
Nobody was moving, except those who were next to the speaker before. They inched away slowly, avoiding them like plaque.
Like the sea that got divided, suddenly the packed crowd separated and became two. In the middle, there was only a person was standing there, alone.
She was a young woman in black leather armor.
“I object.” the speaker, Isabella, said again.
She looked aloof, as if the gaze from others didn’t bother her at all.