Chapter 75
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Dhaga and Soce appeared before the council in the Great Naga Hall. The hall walls shared the same color as the seawater, giving the impression one was still traversing through the sea. There were sections of the wall where windows were inserted that allowed those inside to see out into the ocean. The walls were very plain as the council had never deemed it necessary to add decorations. They preferred a more simple approach and, after the numerous times Dhaga entered the hall, the young naga agreed with their assessment. They had no need to show off affluence as many other races were prone to do. 

“What business do you have with the council?” 

A loud voice echoed in the hall. Dhaga and Soce both bowed down in a way that was customary for nagas. 

“I, Dhaga, wish to seek the wisdom of the council. I made a discovery that might have shed light on the fate of my sister, Seiluxr.” 

At the mention of his sister, the hall grew deadly silent. Seiluxr was a powerful sorceress who earned the respect of many. Her disappearance caused widespread panic throughout the republic, especially with the recent news of the Kraken followers growing bolder by the day. When Dhaga thought the silence would drag on, one of the council members spoke up. 

“The fact that she isn’t with you must mean she has met her demise.” 

“Yes, council. I spoke with an unknown being who confirmed the matter. Because I cannot confirm if this being was telling the truth, I have come here to seek out your wisdom.” 

The council allowed Dhaga to present what he needed help in and the young naga first shared his encounter with the being in the cave. He then presented the four orbs. Before he could proceed further with his presentation, the council demanded silence and discussed quietly between themselves. Dhaga turned to Soce whose smile helped reassure him while he waited for the council to finish their discussion. He wondered if the council members recognized the orbs. After what felt like an eternity for the young naga, Dhaga was told to approach the council. Such a request was unheard of so Dhaga hesitated. 

“Do we need to repeat ourselves? Come closer, Dhaga!” 

After seeing Soce’s nod, Dhaga approached the council cautiously. Since he was old enough to understand language, he was told to never approach the council within the Great Naga Hall. Such an action would be seen as hostile action towards the most powerful nagas. While he was given the order, the warning had stuck with him and old habits were difficult to overcome. The council members, known as elders to some, were all hidden behind a veil of water which not only served to hide their identities by hiding their silhouettes and distorting their voices but could also offer limited protection against those wishing the council harm. Dhaga was about to perform an action that would normally be punishable by execution on the spot. 

“Please present the orbs again,” asked one of the council members as soon as Dhaga was a few meters from them. 

Dhaga obeyed and, upon doing so, heard whispers from behind the veil. He waited until another council member spoke up. 

“Young Dhaga, do you have any idea what those orbs are or who the mysterious being might be?” 

“I…believe the being is the great Leviathan. It seems to be far too unlikely to encounter any other powerful being while I was inside the cavern.” 

Dhaga could only pray he was correct. Nagas weren’t supposed to speak of the Leviathan so casually. Following the Leviathan’s disappearance, many nagas questioned the cause of the disappearance. Any disrespect towards the guardian was punished severely. If he was wrong, the mention of the guardian’s name would be sufficient reason for his execution. 

“Those four orbs you have there are called the Serpent Orbs. They possess powerful magic granted by the Leviathan. During the last catastrophe, five orbs were handed out to promising nagas and those five individuals saved our republic. It seems like the orbs are needed once more.”

Another council member spoke up. 

“Where is the Leviathan now? What happened to the fifth orb?” 

Dhaga waited to collect his thoughts. 

“I do not know the location of the Leviathan. The Guardian merely left me the orbs and we didn’t speak afterwards. As for the fifth one, I absorbed it into myself. I don’t know how to make it appear again.” 

The council members discussed further among themselves. They then ordered Dhaga to keep the orbs a secret until they summoned him again. The council made Soce swear to keep the secret too. Once the two of them swore to secrecy, they were dismissed from the Great Naga Hall. The two nagas made their way out to the sea where there were flurries of activity among the naga soldiers. The recent movement of the Kraken forces had the naga military on high alert. All naga soldiers and spellcasters, whether active or in reserve, were preparing for war. 

“What now?” Soce asked Dhaga. 

“We keep our secret and go on with our lives.” Dhaga turned towards one of the naga patrols. “We can speak to my father about what’s happening. I wouldn’t be surprised if I get deployed to the front lines soon.”

“If you are going, then I’m going with you!” 

Dhaga knew the stubbornness of Soce so he merely nodded. The two of them swam towards his father when the magic sirens sounded. Dhaga knew the sirens only sounded for one reason. The naga capital was under attack.