Chapter 36: Nysel and Azumith
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Chapter 36: Nysel and Azumith

 

The Inferno. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had expected. The squad that brought me here tied me up next to two other people, one male and one female, and confiscated my weapon and shield, placing it on a table in front of some robed people. The male and female I sat near had blue garb that was quite tattered and ruined, gaping holes and rips throughout it. We were each against a tall pole as we sat up on a raised platform that was lit up by torches on each corner. It sort of seemed like it was a witch hunt fiasco and we would be burned at the stake.

 

The Inferno, however, was a group of pyromancers - the ones behind the table, clothed in robes similar in fashion to the armor worn by the Nysel Kingdom soldiers - red, orange, and yellow. Their emblem differed slightly from the dragon wrapped in fire, instead, their capes had a dragon wrapping around the sun. There were six pyromancers that made up the Inferno, and they seemed impatient. 

 

“Quickly see if there are any more rebels to be caught,” one of the pyromancers began speaking, “the ceremony will begin at the first sign of daybreak.”

 

The soldiers saluted the pyromancer, “Then that gives us plenty of time, sir.” 

 

I watched as they left this open town-square like area before feeling like my body regained mobility. Perhaps it was an effect of being a certain distance away from that paralyzing tool they had. So, I turned to the man who I was sat beside. His hair was short and scraggly, a dark-brown that differed from the woman just past him, whose hair was blonde and long. Her hair, however, seemed to have been partially burned at the ends. They both were struggling against the ropes that bound them, though the Inferno didn’t seem to care much. 

 

I tried to use various abilities, but even though I was far away from the pole that silenced me, I still seemed restrained, unable to use them. Looking for a different method, I thought it’d be a good idea to try and get some understanding here, so I struck up a conversation, “So you two are rebels, right?”

 

They both stopped what they were doing before the raspy voice of the man whispered, “You… don’t know who we are?” He looked me up and down quickly, “I guess I didn’t notice when you came up here because of the torchlight, but you aren’t wearing the Nysel colors.”

 

I dropped my voice to a whisper as well, “Nope, though I guess my shield somewhat resembles the redness of the Nysel colors.”

 

“Red? You sully our kingdom. Everyone knows we carry the color blue, signifying our devotion to the Goddess of Vehement Torrents. You are either very unintelligent or purposefully mocking us. Which is it?” The man coughed, he seemed quite drained and had a lack of hydration, perhaps. The cough got the attention of the Inferno pyromancers, but they returned to conversing with one another.

 

“I am a bit unintelligent, trust me. I have no idea what is going on, care to fill me in? I just… stumbled across this place. I’m a, well,” thinking back to the quest, I guessed it was safe to say, “I’m a mercenary. Was supposed to meet someone, haven’t found them yet.”

 

My eyes met the woman beside the man as I looked between the two, giving the short explanation. Both these rebels had blue eyes, though something seemed familiar about hers. She also spoke quietly, “You just stumbled across this place? You somehow stumble into a kingdom at war without knowing anything about it? Alright then, who are you supposed to meet, hmm?”

 

“Look, I’m up here restrained like the both of you. And apparently, we are here until sunrise, so a little information would be nice. What else is there to do?”

 

“Idiot,” was all the woman left for me as she went back to fiddling with her rope. The man gave a short sigh, whispering much quieter than before, practically mouthing the words, “Try being married to her.” 

 

Oh my. 

 

His voice afterwards raised a bit and he explained a bit, “My name is Vesin, this wife of mine is Caroline.” He gave me a look, then continued, “So those names don’t ring a bell. Alright.” He rubbed his head on his knees before looking back at me, “Where should I start? Rebels. So, that is what they call us and I suppose that is what we are, in a sense. We fight because we want the removal of the Azumith. Their prior king, Herald Azumith II, initiated a deal with our Nysel Kingdom - marriage or war. Do you know this much?”

 

“Not at all,” I shook my head, “it’s news to me.” From what I gathered, the rebels were the Nysel Kingdom citizens, and the soldiers weren’t actually Nysel Kingdom soldiers, yet were labeled as such by my {Area Scan}. I needed to listen a bit more, sunrise seemed quite far away still.

 

“Even if you aren’t one for history, as a mercenary you should at least be knowledgeable about the ongoings of the world. Anyhow, our deceased queen agreed to the marriage proposal, but her sister, who had long left the kingdom, received word of this. A plan had been concocted to prevent the wedding and assassinate the Azumith Kingdom’s tyrant king.” He took a pause, reading my face. Some of this information seemed a little different than what I knew, unless it was just a repeat of my quest. I nodded my head to see what else I could get.

 

“The plan went awry, information leaking from who knows where, and the princess was captured. Our deceased queen married the king to prevent the war and get freedom for her sister, who was cast out of Nysel Kingdom. Eventually, the king and queen bore a child, and bearing that child was the last thing our queen would do. The tyrant king personally beheaded Queen Elizabeth Briggs, burning her body as the Kingdom of Fire does, and placing her head on a pike for the Nysel Kingdom to see.”

 

I didn’t understand. Did the game jump timelines? I couldn’t help but ask, “Then the sister—”

 

“Yes. She had been gathering forces, and we, the rebellion, are here to reclaim Nysel Kingdom. The new King, child of the two, now rules. His father succumbed to a disease seven years ago, and the prior tyrant king’s sister, who had raised our deceased queen’s child after the beheading, is the force behind King Azumith III. Our job is to rid both of them, and reclaim the throne to where it belongs—the true blood of Nysel that flows through the Briggs’s family. Only three remain, one of which needs to be purged...” 

 

“Who… are the other two?” I asked, quite curious how all this was working. If I understood correctly, then, the princess, or captain, was now leading the rebellion. Perhaps they knew her location.

 

He looked around, eyed his wife who was pretending not to listen and was working on her rope, and returned focus to me, “Queen Madelyn Briggs, and one I cannot say.”

 

I nodded my head in understanding, “I need to join the rebellion. I was requested to be here—like I said, I’m a mercenary.”

 

The woman, Caroline, raised her head, staring me down, slowly speaking, “The queen never asks for outsiders’ help.” I kept my eyes locked with hers, feeling an unknown pressure emanating through her words. Something was pulling me, tugging at me.

 

“We’ll see,” I had a quest, so I knew there was something I had to do, but wouldn’t get the answer from here, probably. Now, I just needed to escape and find more rebels. “Then, do either of you know how long this silencing thing lasts?”

 

“Silencing thing?” Vesin asked, “You must mean the Hush. Once you leave its proximity, you will be released from it after an hour or so—you should be coming clear of it soon.” 

 

“Alright then, we should be free soon then, too.” I flashed a smirk, hopefully letting them on to my intentions.

 

“No. The plan is to wait. They will come—no, they have to come. And the Azumith Kingdom knows that.”

 

I didn’t want to wait, but I didn’t really have a way out of the bindings, either. I had an idea, of course, but I didn’t know if it would work. I had to at least wait until I regained my abilities, so I thanked Vesin and Caroline, and waited. They fiddled with their rope, though they didn’t seem to get much done, so I started on mine. I had high stats, but working my way out of a rope seemed much more troubling than I expected.

 

I could see the heat from the torches having an effect on the two. Timed passed, at least three hours, before some chatter came from the pyromancers as soldiers walked up, holding another restrained rebel, and bringing him up to the platform. He was in poor shape, blood soaking his blue armor. He had been placed near me, and immediately spoke past me, “Vesin—I… I had to get captured. I have news for you, and it isn’t good news, either.”

 

Vesin looked up at the new arrival, “Dear Goddess, what happened to you, Timothy? What is this news?” Caroline also studied this Timothy.

 

“I ran into and fought a couple brutes. I need to tell you—the rescue is on their way. But!” He paused as he needed to catch his breath, heaving up some blood in the process, “But, they…” he nodded over to the Inferno, “they know who Caroline is. I heard it come in on the Voice Transitor the soldiers had. They won’t wait for the sun this time, they—”

 

The pyromancers of the Inferno got up in unison, standing parallel to the platform we were restrained on. They put their hands in front of themselves, palm to palm, before slowly bringing them outward. They created fire, and the fire began to grow as its shape changed. 

 

“They won’t be here in time,” Timothy whined. The rescue was delayed and the Inferno decided they needed to hurriedly take out us ‘rebels’. I hoped that the idea I had would work, as I focused on a torch beside me. I stared into the fire—hoping that I could will it towards my hand. I had {Wield Element: Fire} but I wasn’t sure if I could think of controlling it vice actually using my hands to control it. I concentrated as the Inferno began a chant.

 

“Glory to the King. Honor for the Sun. Glory to the King. Honor for the Sun.” The chanting grew louder, and a crowd of soldiers began gathering around. 

 

Move, fire. Move. Spark or something, just reach my rope. Reach. Reach. The fire from the torch rushed toward my hand, burning the rope binding me. The Inferno’s fire shot into the air before it started descending over us. I quickly stood up, but I wasn’t alone. Caroline actually managed her way out of the rope, and she threw her hands up, water forming over them as she shot it towards the incoming flames. But it wasn’t enough. 

 

I had the fire resistance to at least yield most of the damage off me, but I doubted these three here could withstand it. The pyromancers kept feeding mana into it, and I stared at the incoming blaze. Sometimes, things happened for a reason. That's what I always heard growing up in life, that everything happens for a reason. 

 

Something inside me was telling me that there was much more than there seemed. Though the system abandoned me, I could feel that something changed. I can change this.

 

I felt mana surge through my body as I stared at the fire. I could wield fire. I was able to will it to myself. I could do more. So I brought my hands to meet the flames as I felt change spread through me.

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