Chapter 122: Guardian of the Royal Treasury
A thin skeleton stood at the royal castle entrance gate and slashed its curved silver dagger skilfully while aiming at the three-meter tall metal gate. A low hum was instantly echoed from the curved silver dagger, and then the metal gate started to split into multiple pieces. A moment later, those pieces fell on the ground and made clanging sounds behind.
'Is this the power of the second-tier Necromancer's undead?' Abium muttered to himself in shock and followed after others while crossing the outer gatehouse. The group walked into the outer court before moving towards the magical blue fountain, located in front of a gorgeous white palace.
The outer court was bustling with a crowd. Their left flank was filled with ornamental trees planted for the outlook, while their right flank was filled with stables and carriage houses. Many nobles, knights, and servants, standing under those trees, suddenly stopped their chattering and gazed at Rilos's group.
Their sudden intrusion was also noticed by hundreds of foot soldiers who stood on guards at the palace entrance, and soon everyone unsheathed their swords in alarm. There were also few guests from the Light Church, who stood along with those nobles and watched them with wary eyes. With a quick scan, Abium analyzed their strength and got stunned.
'12 fifth tier holy knights and one Bishop.' Abium could tell if a fight broke out here, then the whole place would be bathed in blood and flesh.
As he watched them anxiously, a royal knight, who was in control, raised his hand and stopped the royal knights from doing anything rash. He had blonde hair, brown eyes, a pale face, and looked around 20-years-old. But what made Abium frown a little was that he felt a familiarity upon seeing that guy's face.
'He must be another spy.' Abium mused.
Meanwhile, Rilos gave a royal sealed badge to the blonde-haired knight and smiled mysteriously. Simultaneously, the blonde-haired knight took the royal sealed badge and then immediately ordered those knights to let everyone in.
'Why is he wearing a Knight Captain's uniform? What happened to Lady Roysia? It seems someone replaced her with this guy.' Abium frowned for a moment and soon paused for a moment.
'Wait... isn't his face almost look similar to Viscount Gauvain?'
Abium's amber eyes widened at that thought!
'He must be Viscount Gauvain's first son, Andrew!' He was momentarily shocked inside and soon nodded his head in understanding. After giving one in-depth look at the brown-haired Andrew, he hurried after those necromancers.
In the meantime, everyone sensed a fierce elemental fluctuation from the inside, which made them hasten their footsteps.
'That necromancer lady Yalya must have already begun her plan on distracting others. Hope Helena, Lady Tabitha, and teacher Zivior would stay safe and manage to save Prince Huggin.' Abium muttered to himself and sighed inwardly.
In the beginning, he thought of using the misfortune spell on these necromancers but soon dismissed that idea. Because he knew nothing about the Fate Divinity holder, and using such mysterious magic might attract his attention. Well, Abium wasn't worried much about Crown Prince's safety because he knew that those academic mages must have already made some plan beforehand.
If Abium hadn't intervened, the outcome might be more disastrous. But now, those academic mages were all well prepared earlier, and the possibility of Prince Huggin killed by those necromancers was very slim. Casting those thoughts away from his head, Abium looked up and noticed their group had already arrived at the entrance.
Simultaneously, two Royal Knights who stood at the entrance bowed their heads and opened that enormous door while letting everyone in without further inquiry. This scene caused Abium to stumble a little. He soon noticed that there was no soul in their bodies and grew alarmed inside.
'Sh*t, these necromancers must be killed these guys beforehand and already controlling them like a puppet. But how come they manage to fool those Holy Knights' eyes?…Wait a sec! A few days ago, I heard from Necromancer Rilos that one of the 'Order of the Dead' organization's leaders Lord Shade formed a temporary alliance with Light Church members.' Abium felt chill as he recalled those words.
'Sh*t, it seems the conspiracy is brewing very deeply.' Abium cursed silently at those Light church members and shifted his attention towards the current situation.
'I still don't understand anything about these two groups. If my memory is not wrong, there would be a battle happen between a mysterious necromancer and the cunning Bishop of the Keris Kingdom in a few months. If not for his evil plan in the past, that Keris kingdom wouldn't have fallen into Light Church's hand and then completely wiped out by the Night demons. Tsk, I couldn't understand these two parties' motives.' Abium gripped his fist tighter as he thought of the cunning Bishop and sighed once again.
Meanwhile, the group entered the palace and then passed through the corridor while not even glancing at the banquet hall. Everyone heard screams, cries, and shouts of women and men from the other side and hastened their footsteps to the garden.
'I must have some faith in those academic mages.' Abium pressed his lips and moved towards the inner garden along with others.
Along the way, the group didn't meet with any obstacles, which made everyone surprise. Even Abium was startled inside and guessed it must be academic mages' work. Only a few servants, maids, and few regular soldiers stopped them, but Rilos's white skeleton butchered all of them.
After that, they crossed a large spiral staircase to the next floor, to the throne hall, and then entered a large garden filled with unique ornamental flowers and plants. The garden was so vast, which would be enough to hold thousands of peoples inside, and at the other side of that garden stood another large three-meter tall metal gate.
'That's the path to the royal treasury!' Abium's eyes flickered as he saw the gate.
'I want to know how these guys are going to open the gate without the help of royal family members.' Abium thought curiously. After a few seconds, all of them arrived in front of the large metal gate and waited for Rilos's further orders.
Rilos, on the other hand, didn't mind their curious gazes and waved his hand while taking out a palm-sized metal disk from his spatial ring. The next instant, a bolt of purple-colored lightning conjured from the disk and stuck on the metallic door.
Like thunder, a roaring sound echoed, and then, the whole three-meter tall, gloomy metal gate crumbled into dust.
"Let's go," Rilos said with a rough voice and stepped ahead into the gloomy dark path. Meanwhile, others soon snapped out from the daze and followed after him. Abium, Yozis, Ulzez, and Aliza were the last person to enter the dark, gloomy path. As Abium stepped into the dark path, he got startled a bit and soon noticed that they were moving slightly downward.
'It feels like I'm exploring a dungeon.' Abium muttered inwardly.
As they walked further, everyone began to sweat a little due to the dense fire elemental energy and became more curious. The surrounding walls looked more like mining cave walls, which made everyone guard up a little. Except for the path to the cave's depth, all other areas were filled with pointy rocks.
After a few minutes of their walking, the group took a slight turn in the cave and saw a bright red building appeared up ahead.
Abium's eyes widened!
Because in the deep underground cave, he saw a red mansion!
It appeared like the whole building was carved from molten lava, and the surrounding walls of the cave were filled with multiple one cubic meter sized iron lockers.
In front of those each locker, Abium saw some unique numbers were engraved and became more interested.
Meantime, Rilos made a slight pause as he saw the red mansion and soon walked ahead. Simultaneously, Grazius and other red-robed second-tier necromancers also smiled and followed after Rilos as if they had understood something. Only the remaining first-tier necromancers still stood there with a dumb-stricken expression on their face, moving only after a few seconds.
All of them were deeply astounded and wondered what was hiding inside all those secret lockers. A random official tier necromancer even proposed a bold idea to try opening a locker, but soon that guy went silent after met with sharp glares from others.
Abium, on the other hand, silently studied the cave structure and soon looked up at the ceiling with wide-eyed. Because he saw multiple red-colored stalactites were hanging from the roof of the cave, and became bewitched by the beautiful scenario. Those pure bright red stones illuminated the whole underground cave, making the cave more beautiful. Unlike others, he became more startled as he saw the red mansion and the surroundings.
'This must be the red mansion I saw in the puzzle when the ghost lady from Bidora Empire pulled me into a dream.' Abium suddenly thought of the strange puzzle he saw inside the Creeper's forest.
As he was contemplating deeply, he felt a firm grip on his shoulder and noticed it was Ulzez, which made him raise his eyebrows a bit. Soon, he followed Ulzez's gaze and saw Rilos and other second-tier necromancers were looking at the entrance of that Red mansion in a daze.
Abium became puzzled, noticing some red transparent energy was covered the whole red mansion. Before Abium could ask further about the red layer to Ulzez, all six red-robed second-tier necromancers stood in line and started their chanting in a nether language.
"The Lord who has no birth and death,
The Lord who reigns behind the curtain of death,
The Lord who rules the underworld,
The Lord who controls the domain of death,
The end of all living things,
Your devour believers pray for your help to unseal the gate."
It was the longest chant Abium had heard in his life. It took almost 30 minutes for them to finish that chant. But as they completed the long chant, a furious nether elemental energy came out from their bodies and started to clash towards the invisible fire elemental power outside the door.
The battle between the two elements started to occur inside the underground place and almost lasted for another twenty minutes. Finally, as the second tier necromancers were about to exhaust their energy, the red-colored entrance door made a slight cracking noise.
After that, the cracking sound began to echo louder and louder, and finally, it broke into multiple pieces like broken glasses. Everyone then saw a deep bluish-black void appeared behind the red mansion’s entrance and got confused. This time, even Rilos started to show some puzzlement look on his face. Seeing Rilos’s confused look, Grazius asked with a frown.
"Did Lord Shade tell you anything about this mansion?"
"Yes. Lord Shade did mention that there will be a Red mansion appears at the end of the path. But he didn't mention anything about what is hiding inside the mansion. He just told me to chant the seal incantation and then follow the path. But I have a guess." Rilos said with a grim expression on his face. And before anyone could say another word, the always silent looking second-tier necromancer named Ubrauqir dashed into the void without having any slight fear.
The next instant, the other five second-tier necromancers followed after him while letting out deep sighs. Other black-robed necromancers didn't have any choice and silently followed their action one by one. Like the last time, Abium, Yozis, Ulzez, and Aliza entered the bluish-black void lastly and disappeared from the entrance.
But before Abium jumped into the void, he took out the green amulet and stored it inside his spatial ring. As he saw the mission's difficulty, Abium thought that involving Rune mage Ubius was not a good idea. Although Ubius was a second-tier mage, Abium knew his strength was not enough to protect himself from the dangers up ahead.
He soon felt a slight dizziness sensation for a split moment and then noticed the bluish-black void began to break like a bubble and replaced it with the future image he saw yesterday. But the next instant, Abium felt a suffocating feeling. He felt an enormous pressure started to suppress his very soul and trembled uncontrollably. For a moment, he felt his body and soul were burning in the fire!
Abium silently gritted his teeth and slowly glanced around his surroundings. He soon saw a similar-looking underground cave, and at the center stood a two-meter tall rectangular black stone filled with enormous runic characters. He could feel each of those characters hold some mystic power and felt those characters somehow started to hurt his eyes.
Those characters were so complicated, which caused a headache as he tried to see it clearly from afar. Without any hesitation, Abium retracted his gaze from the black stone. He then shifted his gaze towards his right side and noticed that a five-meter tall crimson feathered bird, which was almost similar to a phoenix, stood on one leg and appeared to be in a deep sleep.
A unique thing about that Redbird was that there were three long scarlet tails!
Each three-meter long tail was covered with sharp blade-like scarlet feathers and appeared scarier. Its two deep crimson wings shone in blood-red color and gave off a fearsome aura to the surroundings. Even the Redbird's beak, forehead, legs, and body feathers were dyed in crimson color, causing everyone to hold their breaths for a moment.
The red-robed necromancers and even the Ulzez showed a stunned expression on his face, which made both Abium and Aliza to pause in surprise. From Azolla's warning, Abium knew this guy came from the Abyss. But to leave this guy stunned means this five-meter tall bird's strength shouldn't be taken lightly.
'Should I try scanning this bird and finding out the real strength of this red bird?' He thought multiple times but chose to abandon it. If the Redbird somehow managed to sense his slight human-like spiritual power, he knew that even with these red-robed second-tier necromancers' help, it would be tough to escape.
'Wait a minute… Why shouldn't I use this opportunity to kill all of these guys?' He suddenly thought a bold idea but soon shivered as he heard Azolla's reply.
'You wouldn't even have any chance to escape if it opened its eyes, kid. Also, don't forget Goddess Nyara's warning.' Azolla's words were like a bucket of cold water pouring onto him. Before Abium could ask more questions, Azolla started to speak to him in his mind.
'This bird has strength equal to a peak third-tier mage, kid. Its strength should be enough to even wipe out the whole royal city in a matter of seconds.' Her words caused him both shock and puzzlement.
'Peak?' Abium asked her in curious, but before Azolla could clear his doubt, others started to move.
Rilos first signaled everyone not to make any noise while placing his forefinger on his lips and stealthily walked towards that two-meter tall rectangular stone pillar like a sneaky cat.
Others also followed after him and started to move stealthily.
But as soon as the group went near the two-meter tall rectangular pillar, the red bird slowly opened its crimson eyes. The next moment, Abium felt that the bird's stare could even see through his soul.
It slowly moved its another leg that was bent before and placed it on the red soil. But the moment that Redbird's long leg landed on the ground, a raging flame started to spread in all directions!
"Grazius! It's your turn." Rilos shouted solemnly and then shifted his gaze towards the crimson Redbird. He then took out Baxtor’s emerald pendant and cast the single third-tier spell' soul slaver.'
The whole room suddenly turned gloomy as he held the pendant with his right hand while placing another black stone on the top of the emerald pendant.
'It’s a soul gem. He is using the soul of other third-tier being's soul to enslave this Redbird.' Azolla said calmly inside his mind, after guessing what Rilos was planning to do.
A moment later, the fire stopped spreading from the red bird, and an invisible force from the emerald pendant started to attack the Redbird.
Meanwhile, Grazius turned his face solemn and took out three undead skeletons from his spatial ring. But the unique thing about those three undead skeletons was that all those skeletons' bones were entirely inscribed with runic letters and held black swords in their skeletal hands. Grazius waved his hand and controlled those three skeletons to move towards the rectangular pillar. A heartbeat later, those skeletons sprinted towards the pillar while gripping black swords in their hands and attacked it.
The next instant, that two-meter tall pillar was sliced into two, and the top rectangular pillar falls on the ground with a loud thud.
An instant later, everyone saw a two-meter radius blue void like portal appeared above the half stood broken pillar and started to suck the surrounding air!
The necromancers' complexion grew pale!
"It's not the seal!" Rilos shouted with stunned eyes.
But before he could step back, an invisible force came from the vortex and sucked Rilos into the portal.
But Abium saw Rilos's excited face before he was sucked into the bluish void and became startled inside.
He now knew Rilos was hiding something from others!
"It's a dimensional trap." While Abium was thinking about Rilos, Ulzez muttered solemnly, grabbing Aliza's hand, and then voluntarily jumped into the portal. Other necromancers were startled by his action and looked confused. Even two out of five remaining sixth second-tier necromancers stood hesitant and showed puzzlement expressions on their faces.
Meanwhile, Abium quickly heard Azolla's voice and walked into the portal while grabbing Yozis with his other hand. After that, Grazius, Ubrauqir, a female red-robed second-tier necromancer, also dashed towards the portal and jumped in.
A second later, only five first-tier necromancers and two second-tier red-robed necromancers stood there with a confused look on their face. The change was too sudden, causing everyone to hesitate a bit.
But everyone suddenly felt a massive amount of pressure smashing on to them from their backs and became horrified. Due to the sudden portal appearance, those necromancers had forgotten entirely about the peak third-tier magical beast that just got released from the third-tier ‘Soul Slaver’ spell!
"Let's hurry." A red-robed necromancer with blonde hair spoke as he snapped out from the daze and rushed forward.
But as they were about to rush forward, they saw the portal began to shrink slowly in front of their eyes and became paled.
Simultaneously, a raging sharp screeching sound came from the Redbird's crimson beak, causing the room temperature to rise at an unimaginable rate!
At the same time, they saw the Redbird opened its both crimson wings wide and flapped while infusing more fire into those feathers. The whole bird was glowed in crimson color and made other necromancers to shiver in fear!
After that, a single half-meter long crimson blade-like feather separated from the Redbird's right-wing and spurred towards those seven necromancers. In a blink, the crimson feather moved on its own and directly cut everyone's head. Before anyone could think what had happened to them, all of them felt the world began to spin!
Even those two red-robed necromancers were killed off instantly!
Meanwhile, a small Black cat silently strolled on the underground cave and soon appeared on the broken pillar while gazing at the almost vanishing portal with an amusing expression on its' face. The Red bird's crimson eyes suddenly froze as it saw that new Black cat's arrival and gave a puzzled look.
It became confused as it didn't notice this Black cat's presence a while ago and stared at the cat with exciting eyes. But the black cat didn't even look back at the Redbird and licked the golden necklace attached to its' neck. If you look closely at the golden necklace, you will find three yellow-colored trinkets were attached to it.
Seeing the cat's arrogant attitude, Redbird got annoyed a little and slashed its claw towards the black cat with full force. But to its astonishment, Redbird suddenly found that its attack was missed. Before it could think of what just happened, that black cat was nowhere to be seen!