Chapter 96: Mourn
Abium's eyes went bloodshot for a second. But he didn't lose his calm and sighed heavily.
'That Baron is provoking me. He must be planning to make problems for us. Is count Tibal behind this?... Hmm, possible.' As he started to ponder what Baron Harry's motive was, he noticed an unfamiliar face standing at the reception hall corner and furrowed his eyebrows.
He was a fair-skinned muscular warrior with 6 feet tall height and wore brown leather armor. He had monolid brown eyes, short bluish-black color hair, and a round face.
"He is Baron Harry's soldier. He is the one who brought the news." As Viper noticed Abium's frown, he spoke in a cold tone while leaning against the wooden chair.
"What is your name?" Abium nodded his head and asked while fixing his sharp gaze on that soldier.
"Page." That soldier replied with a hint of arrogance in his tone.
'Quite an arrogant tongue. Tsk, if I let this guy talk any more words, he will definitely die by Helena's poisonous vines.' He glanced at Helena, who was picking up the glass of water with a cold expression, and continued to ask.
"How much is the ransom?"
"2000 white gold coins." Without even a slight hint of nervousness, Page said motionlessly.
"Pffff-," Helena spilled out all the water on the wooden table and stared at him with wide eyes.
"Why not just go and rob the merchant' guild locker, bastard?!" Helena instantly unsheathed the weapon and got ready to attack at any minute. Meanwhile, all of them were dumbfounded. Even Abium got stunned by the Baron's absurd demand. As they were started arguing one by one, suddenly, Viper noticed a change in Abium's facial expression and got startled.
'Heh, it seems even this young baron himself got a headache.' As he was about to ask if everything was okay, Viper saw Abium calming down.
"Okay. I agree to your request." Abium's deep voice echoed inside.
Simultaneously, everyone saw Abium nodding his head with a serious expression on his face, which made them stunned. As he noticed their gazes, he shook his head helplessly and spoke.
"First, we need to bring them safely." After that, he shifted his gaze towards Page and replied while taking out two crystalline bank cards from his spatial ring. "Take these two cards. It holds 2000 white gold coins. If Baron needs cash in hand, I can arrange it for you."
This time, Page got stunned. Before he came here, Baron Harry's grandfather Randolph clearly told him that Baron of Alastall must be a poor mage and wouldn't pay the ransom. Page thought Elder Randolph must be planning to use that reason and make Baron Abium a joker in the upcoming Grand Nobles' gathering.
'What should I do now?... Ha! I will take the money and give it back to Lord Randolph. After that, it's up to them.' He nodded rapidly and quickly walked near to Abium, then took it.
"Lord Harry will release them once I give the money back to my lord." Page said while walking out of the reception house.
"Stop! I don't trust you on this matter. Wait for here 30 minutes; I will go and get ready." Abium said, walked near to Claude, and then asked in a low voice.
"Uncle, can you get Sir Edward's dress or some important thing?"
Claude became startled by Abium's strange request and soon nodded. Then, Claude walked out of the reception hall and returned after two minutes while holding a ring and a linen shirt in his hand.
"Why do you need these for?" Claude asked in puzzlement. Abium didn't reply and shrugged his shoulder. After that, he took those things from Claude and then walked out of the reception hall. Then, he went to the second floor and arrived in front of his room's wooden door.
After inserting his room key into the keyhole, he opened the door with a click and walked in. Then, he locked it from the inside and sat on his bed while turning his face colder.
'Azolla, when I activated the Seer's Intuition spell earlier, I felt dangerous premonition. Something dangerous is hiding in that town. Someone is waiting for me.' Abium hurriedly informed Azolla.
'Oh? Are you planning to enter the mysterious space to confirm that?' Azolla asked curiously.
'Yeah, I also want to try and find out about Edward's current situation.' Abium said with a grim tone.
'Hmm, do it then.' Azolla agreed. With a nod, Abium took Edward's bronze ring and covered it with his spirit power. Then, he focused his concentration on the mysterious connection that was attached to his soul.
The next instant, he felt his soul being pulled in by some mysterious force and then found himself standing in front of the strange, mysterious fountain. Lowering his gaze, Abium saw the same bronze ring in his left palm and breathed out a sigh of relief.
'It worked. But I can feel there is a weight on my soul.' With an understanding nod, Abium quickly turned his attention to the white petal and touched it casually using his right hand. A heartbeat later, a rectangular mirror-like void appeared in front of his face. Abium threw the bronze ring into the mirror-like void and started thinking about the current whereabouts of this ring's owner.
After a sudden vibration, the mirror-like void began to distort and was replaced with an image of the execution ground near the town square. On the execution platform, Abium saw a total of five heads were arranged in line!
'Baron had already killed them and placed their heads in the execution platform!' Abium felt deep anger towards Baron Harry. The next instant, the image dispelled, and Abium opened his eyes in the physical world.
"They are dead," Abium muttered in a low tone, got out of his room, and then returned to the reception hall. As soon as he reached the reception hall, Abium asked Page to follow after him and moved out of the manor with a cold expression on his face.
Noting the serious look on his face, Helena sheathed her sword and chased after Abium. Claude and Viper also stood up and walked out of the hall. Meanwhile, Sarah, Lily, and Kuran stood rooted on the seats with gloomy faces.
"Let's arrange the accommodation place for those official guild members. Miss Lily, can you help me select which building is suitable for them?" Kuran quickly turns his face to normal and asked.
'I hope that elven kid won't kill that Baron on the spot.' He shook his head and turned his attention towards the guild documents.
Afternoon, 1 P.M. At the summit of the frozen mountain range,
After hours of travel, Abium, Page, Helena, Viper, and Claude crossed the Alastall woodlands and arrived near the underground tunnel entrance. A moment later, they noticed many human trails near the tunnel entrance and got confused.
'Baron's soldiers must have come to our territory to check.' Abium thought.
Without minding those footprints, the group directly entered the tunnel and arrived at the other side after an hour. But soon, they got surprised as they saw a check post on the other side. Unlike last time, ten guards stood there guarding the tunnel exit.
As Abium's group walked out of the underground tunnel, those soldiers noticed their arrival and blocked their path.
"Page? Why are you bringing the Baron to our territory? Haven't lord Harry told you earlier to deliver the message and get the money along with you?" A cold voice came from the crowd of soldiers. Abium squinted his eyes and soon noticed a familiar face.
Abium remembered the soldier's face. His name was Glover, and he was the one who blocked Abium's carriage when they entered the Moondale town. While Abium was analyzing him, Glover looked coldly at Abium's group for a second and then shifted his gaze towards Page.
"I got the money. But Baron said that he didn't trust me." Page said with the same arrogant voice.
"...Yeah, you do look like a criminal," Glover said with a laugh and then turned his attention towards Abium's group and said. "If you want to come to Lord Harry's land, then you have to pay ten white gold coins per person as tax amount." His words almost infuriated Helena, but she gritted her teeth and stood silently. Abium sighed and started to speak coldly.
"We will wait here until evening. If our soldiers didn't return before dusk, you and your lord would know the consequence of opposing a mage."
Glover's expression went stiff for a second, and soon nodded while taking a few steps back.
'He is a madman. I hope Elder Randolph and his family members didn't do anything foolish.' Hiding his nervousness, he asked Page to follow after him and then went towards Moondale town, leaving other soldiers behind at the check post.
Abium's group stood at the entrance of the tunnel with a gloomy expression and waited patiently. Soon, hours went by, and darkness shrouded the sky. As Helena was about to curse at those guards in anger, everyone saw a medium type carriage was moving towards their direction. Helena's and Claude's expression brightened as they saw the carriage; meanwhile, Viper and Abium remained cold.
After a few seconds, the carriage arrived in front of the checkpoint, and two new soldiers walked out while opening the curtain.
After that, both took out a bunch of leather bags from the carriage and threw those at Abium's group direction with disdain looks on their faces. Even the remaining soldiers who stood on guard were perplexed by their rude behavior and gave a questionable stare.
"This is a gift from Lord Harry." One of the soldiers shouted with a hint of mockery and soon signaled the coachman to return to the Moondale town. In a blink, the carriage vanished from their sight, leaving everyone dumbfounded.
Helena slowly sniffed the air and frowned as she noticed a rotten blood scent came from those bags.
"Head!" She called out in alarm as she opened a bag in a hurry. It was the head of a newly recruited soldier from the released slaves! Meanwhile, Claude knelt and picked up a black-haired warrior's head with a painful expression on his face. Edward was a good friend and had been with him for years, but now he died for no reason made his blood boil in a seething rage.
"Baron of Moondale send their heads in return. Young Baron, what is your next move?" Viper glanced at those bags and asked with the same cold tone as he had already expected this type of outcome.
"We are going back. We will do a proper burial for them. After that, we will think about what to do next." With an emotionless face, Abium replied.
His reply made Helena and Claude widen their eyes, and soon Helena asked with confusion on her face.
"Tell me the reason why shouldn't we go and butcher that baron?"
"Because, if we go now, there is a possibility some of us will die there." Instead of Abium, Viper responded to her while shaking his head. Still noticing the puzzlement on both Claude's and Helena's faces, he let out a sigh and started to explain.
"Baron is a not some foolish idiot to demand such an absurd amount without any backing strength. Unlike commoners, the nobles are well literate and have basic knowledge of the outside world. He should have already known the danger of opposing a mage. Even if he did something foolish like the last time, their family elder would have warned him. I think they already planned a big trap and provoking young Baron to walk into the trap."
As she heard Viper's words, Helena started to understand the seriousness and got startled inside. Meanwhile, Claude turned his gaze towards Abium and said solemnly.
"From the rotten smell coming from their heads, it seems Baron had killed them yesterday." He stopped for a second and hurriedly asked: "What about the money?"
"I know. Don't worry about the money. I didn't give the money in cash. Also, those two cards are just fake ones." Abium said while turning around and then walked into the dark, gloomy tunnel.
"You already knew?" Helena picked up those bags and followed after him while asking.
"Well, I also do divination sometimes. So, it's not a hard thing for me to see through Baron's plan." He said while glancing back at Helena.
'If Page had asked me to pay cash, then it would have ended differently.' He sighed inwardly. If he hadn't cast seer's intuition spell and hadn't used that mysterious fountain's power to check about Edward's physical condition, he would have already lost 2000 white gold to Baron Harry's family.
'No, I would have walked into the trap and got killed already.' A Bitter smiled appeared on his face.
Meanwhile, Claude, Helena, and Viper got startled inside by his reply and then followed after him into the dark tunnel in silence.
The group reached the Amara town around midnight. Within a few minutes, a woman's painful cry resounded inside the town, waking everyone up. She was none other than Edward's wife. Behind her were a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, and both looked at their father's beheaded face with tears. Soon, everyone gathered in front of Abium's new manor, and all those Claude's group members stood with a seething rage in their eyes.
A day later, in the corner of the cemetery, located near the Amara town's Southern Gate.
A large crowd gathered before a new tombstone. On it was Edward's name carved. A few feet away from there were another five graves.
Edward's wife stood before Edward's grave, without any focus on her face. Behind her stood both of her children, and both of their eyes appeared scarlet red color.
Abium, Claude, and another two warriors carried the coffin and walked over, lowering the coffin into the grave.
After individual prayers, the grave was filled with soil, covering the black coffin bit by bit. The grave was leveled, and soon a stone slab was laid over it.
Under the mournful atmosphere, all the members left one by one with an angry face.
February 23rd Night, It was around 9 P.M.
Abium stood while gazing at the night star through the window and with a void of emotion.
'What happens to you, kid?' Azolla suddenly asked.
'I felt danger when I activated seer's intuition spell in the reception hall. I can tell the one who supports this Baron Harry is also a dangerous one.' He said with a bitter smile on his face.
'Do you have any guess?' Azolla asked with a curious tone.
'I don't know. Maybe Necromancers? That possibility is very high. Also, I can't rule out the possibility of the enemy being Light church's followers.' Abium said to Azolla with a frown.
'Moreover, I also spoiled their plan earlier, and that Holy maiden might still hold some grudge against me. He started to feel an urgency from deep inside his heart. 'An omen? Or I feel like that due to fear? Ha! I must construct a first-tier spell model quickly.' He suddenly thought of checking the spirit power and said.
Race: Elf (Bloodline strength- 1%)
Class: Official Mage
Affiliation: Lawful Neutral
Divinity: Time- 1
Skills: master swordsmanship, Advanced sword aura.
Zero tier spells: Blink, Red Orb, Mirage, Dark bind, Blazing shield, storage, Seer's Intuition.]
'Azolla, can you tell me which spell is most suitable for me at the current situation?' Abium glanced at the blue screen and asked.
'You now need attack power, kid. Choose the Red orb's corresponding spell Fireball.' Azolla advised.
He also thought of constructing the fireball spell was the right choice and nodded his head.
'Before that, I need some rest.' He mumbled.
He soon laid on his bed and fell into a deep sleep while casting those worries away.