Chapter 33: A Flight For Five
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Here's the actual, EDITED version of the chapter that I totally published right. I totally didn't publish the unedited/ unfinished version of the chapter nearly ten hours ago and left it for seven hours meaning most of my reader read it. NOPE! That totally didn't happen. Author-sama is endlessly intelligent so making such a mistake is impossible!

Silently, Renold sits himself adjacent from Zeruna and Aema. The water rises from the glass and soars into the mouth of the Dark Elf under the mask. Renold leans in closer and takes a sip from his water before putting it down. Aema sits idly; she knows she probably will screw up when talking to Renold so she opts to keeping her mouth closed. She's not as charming or charismatic as Zeruna.

"So, what is that thing you wanted to tell us about? I can tell it's important since you didn't want to mention it around others," says Zeruna.

"Shi, Amy, have either of you heard of summoning magic? Not normal summoning magic, but hero summoning magic?" inquires Renold.

'Oh, no, this is probably the result of my fair and just punishment of King Adrin. Well, if he wasn't so stupid, I would not have have cut his fingers off. If I so desired, I could've killed him on the spot. That bastard should be happy, not trying to kidnap people from another world. Or. It could be that Orc King and his Sorcerer I've heard everyone speaking about. So, it may not even be my fault. However, I cannot help but feel I've contributed.'

"Summoning heroes? Like people from another world?" asks an eager Aema.

"Indeed," Renold states.

"For what reason?" Zeruna questions.

"We've all heard of that other messenger leaking the information that the Orc King's son slew him in combat and the Orc Kingdom is back to their violent ways. There's also the appearance of that suspicious sorcerer with said son that's worrying our King. Then there are the multiple appearances of Zeruna Black. Avendor, the Dragon God, has been seen flying around in the mountains where Dark Elves live; however, this is likely a farce made up by Vermillion. Even if these Avendor sightings aren't real, I believe this warrants a hero," explains Renold.

"Vermillion? Who is this Vermillion?" asks Zeruna, now genuinely intrigued at this new name.

"He's the current 'sovereign' of the Dark Elves. He took over from his mother Desmiralda who died recently. She succeeded Zeruna who was killed by the members of Azure Azur Azure and the League of Heroes. The heroes enforced a whole heap of restrictive laws on the territories, some are still standing to this day."

"How old is this Vermillion? Is he not tempting fate by angering your nation?"

"He's a child to them, to us, he's an adult. About 26 years of age. He and his mother were meant to be a puppet government; however, both Elves were more like puppet masters — both great manipulators that somehow managed to get their territories into better positions."

"And what of this new Orc King? It seems to be the topic in everyone's mouth."

"It is as you say, the Orcish Kingdoms are currently at war with the Forge Conglomerate, the ancient Dwarven nation, and the Vertell Eldership, the biggest Elven country still standing. There has also been those three other nations have already been swallowed up. Just a mere mention of one those countries is enough to get people talking. The armies of the Orcs look to be almost unstoppable. 

The Orcs were already at war with two nations and in nine months, they've taken down three hardy nations and are beginning to overwhelm two others simultaneously. Of course, we Staevians are next on the chopping block if we do nothing. That's why we've called assistance from another Elven Country. The Lizard Men City-states may get involved additionally; however, their low numbers are unlikely to massively shift the war."

"Man, those Orcs sound scary," remarks Aema. 

"They pack a big punch, an Orc toddler is about as strong as a human adolescent."

"I think that is enough of an explanation, very well, I agree to travelling to Staevia. However, I shall request that the King not force us to join a war we want no part of."

"I'm not sure he will be able to fulfil that wish, Shi," replies Renold. "Merrick has predicted that if we don't join the war, the Orcs will overwhelm the Forge Conglomerate and that Elven Gerontocracy."

"Won't that Hierocratic Church-State get involved? They are always talking about cleansing the world of non-humans. Would they not jump on the chance to take out the Orcs," asks Zeruna, recalling the political map of Chroniks that showed the countries in the world. She knows that a few Human and Elven Kingdoms have be absorbed by the Orcs and their residents being forced from the lands

"Afraid not, they're too busy worshipping the Moon and Sun Gods," chuckles Renold. "I believe they're too afraid to declare war on the Orcs."

"I'm a bit lost," mutters Aema. "All this talk of countries and names is making my mind churn."

"I'll explain it to you when we reach the capital," says Zeruna.

Renold watches as the confident female tilts her head and quietly mumbles something. If she wasn't wearing a mask, Renold wouldn't be so disturbed by the action; however, the exotic patterns laced on the mask were beginning to bother the messenger. Moments later, a green-eyed Elf and a short burly Dwarf appear. Both fully equipped, dressed and look ready for action. The Dwarf seems visibly tired, and the smell of cheap, tavern-made alcohol permeates the air around him.

"I have already informed the mayor our departure," she states.

Renold nods and holds the crystal up into the sky while reciting the activation for the crystal in another language that Zeruna somehow identifies instantly. It's heavily accented Elven language consistent with the country Anamore. She can make out every word of the message.

"Glory to our monarch, glory to Straevia."

The crystal suddenly shatters in the man's hands. Zeruna isn't exactly sure if that is intentional or not; however, the look of shock on horror on Renold's face tells her that the crystal wasn't meant to explode. She also isn't in the middle of the throne room. Yeah, it probably broke.

"Nice tech," mocks Vidir.

"Fucking unreliable Elves," he screeches before looking at Tina. "Oh, sorry."

"Watch your tongue," she hisses.

"I take it that wasn't meant to happen," comments Zeruna.

"Well, this is the reason why I brought money with me, in case something like this occurred. Well, I shall hope you have a carriage, the journey should take approximately three days by the horse. God dammit, why'd this happen to me?"

"No need," Zeruna replies.

The messenger is led outside by the four, then is shocked as the short and unassuming Elf singlehandedly and effortlessly lifts the Dwarf and starts to levitate four metres above the ground. Then Aema begins to levitate. Zeruna turns to Renold and extends her hand. The messenger stands there, dumbstruck.

"With us, I can get you there in less than one hour," states Zeruna.

"What is this?" he asks.

"We will arrive at the capital in less than an hour. We can all travel at high speeds using flying magic, thus making the journey shorter than it would be by horse."

"Flying magic, that's third tier magic, and you're telling that three of you know it!?"

"Indeed," responds Zeruna nonchalantly. "On the way there, we will still have to take various breaks. I'd prepare yourself; you will have to hold onto me while we'll be moving. Our journey to the capital via horse will take three days, the longer we keep the King waiting, the worse the situation will become. We don't want that, do we?"

Renold takes a deep breath before looking forward confidently, a look without fear on his face as he faces the cloaked woman. No, with her height, one would assume she's a half-ogre half-human hybrid.

Renold allows his hand to be grabbed by Zeruna who immediately blasts upwards like a rocket. She is followed by Aema who had been practising flying magic with Zeruna during the three-month downtime. Her practice had paid off as now she was able to fly at high speeds without the assistance of Zeruna. Aema is accompanied by Tina shooting off with Vidir clinging onto her.

There were two high-pitch screams: one was Vidir's scream of excitement and exhilaration, while the other was the terrified and shrill shriek of Renold. Zeruna laughs as she feels the little man cling to her. She was almost tempted to drop him then pick him up inches from the ground just to see his reaction. A rather cruel stunt that lingers on her mind for a few moments.

"Just know, Renold, this isn't my top speed," says an extremely entertained Zeruna.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" he pleads. "Don't go any faster. I beg of you."

"You'll be fine!" Vidir yells.

"I love this feeling!" screams Aema as she begins making circles around Zeruna in the sky.

"Go Merille, don't let them outperform us!" exclaims Vidir, his beard flapping wildly in the wind.

"No, I refuse," utters Tina. "I have too much pride to be seen doing such childish things."

'This is Zeruna Airlines, please enjoy your flight. I wish I could say this so much; however, I can't, unfortunately. Anyway, we must get to the capital post haste, I must meet the summoned hero. He'll be the third (technically) reincarnated/ transmigrated person I've met. The first is the boy the Dryad has an obsession over. Speaking of him, I don't think I saw him once while I was at the village. He's probably hiding from me because he's scared of what that Zeruna will do. How adorable!

But speaking of scared, how will I get past the King and to the hero? The King will probably have a vendetta against me. Maybe if he would've handed the item back to me, he would still have fingers. The King will probably dogpile the Orcs with the other nations; however, with that supposed sorcerer on the enemy side, it could be a catastrophe. If they do win, they'll come after me — hero included. The King will probably feed him lies. Us otherworlders need to stick together, so enabling Adrin to do so is the worst thing that I can do.'

"Enjoying the view?" Zeruna asks Renold sarcastically. She looks down to see the man has fainted from the intensity of the experience. "So fragile."

"He's out already?" asks Tina.

"Yes, it seems so."

"Dammit, I can't believe I lost a bet to a Dwarf as dumb as Vidir," Tina mumbles.

"You're either dumb or I'm actually intelligent. I managed to manipulate you into a bet in the first place!" points out Vidir with a wide, devious grin on his face.

"I could drop you now," utters Tina with a spine-chilling look on her face, the fact that it's coming from such a childish face only adds to the scariness.

"There will be no dropping here," declares Zeruna. "You are supposed to be getting along."

"Do they look like magnets to you?" whispers Aema into Zeruna's ear.

"Yes, but they're repelling forces."

Zeruna and Aema giggle together as Vidir begins pleading Tina not to drop him.

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