The atmosphere inside the anthropoids’ palace was oppressive. To be precise, the oppressive atmosphere was a result of the presence of the envoy wearing a black mantle. He stood in the large hall with a few boxes. He looked at the fully equipped soldiers with a scornful smile.
The Queen sat opposite him on her throne.
Logically speaking, the envoy should’ve been fearful, since he was in the enemy’s palace, yet he didn’t have a tinge of fear. To the contrary, everybody else, who was looking at him, was filled with fear.
The Queen looked at the envoy. Her voice trembled slightly as she spoke, “So, human envoy, did you come to relay some news to us in the midst of our battle? Although we are at war, we do treat guests with courtesy. However, we will not tolerate any rude remarks.”
Behind her was the elder holding his walking stick, facing the human envoy. He didn’t make any demand of his puppet, better known as the Queen, before him, and he didn’t wear a scared or resentful expression. To the contrary, he scanned the envoy as if he was scanning a good, as though he was trying to determine if this good was worth money or not.
“Esteemed Queen, I am here to send you a gift from humanity on orders of the Grand Commander of the elven and human alliance, Troy Galadriel Rosvenor,” said the envoy.
The envoy grinned, and then placed the boxes he was carrying onto the ground. Two guards came forward and opened said boxes. They wore shocked expressions upon seeing the contents within. The envoy looked at the Queen and those around her with a mocking smile. One of the guard passed the boxes to the Queen.
They were very simple boxes. The Queen scanned the boxes. There were no patterns on the boxes, but she could smell smoke from them. Written below the boxes was “Troy City.”
It was a present from Troy City. The boxes were previously used to hold gun powder. The Queen opened a box. Inside was a hand.
The Queen tossed the box away. The box rolled on the ground, and the hand inside slipped out. The hands in the four boxes didn’t belong to a single person. In other words, the four hands with different precious jewels still on them belonged to four different individuals. And the hands came from four noble tribes.
The envoy looked around at everybody’s startled reactions in the palace. He chuckled and said, “This is the present from humanity. I am very sorry, but we cannot send you the heads of these four generals, as our grand commander wishes to give Miss Ling Yue their four complete corpses to make her happy.
“You… You… You…”
The envoy looked at the entire palace in shock. He chuckled, “As you said: we are enemies. My purpose in coming this time was solely to deliver this present. I have presented our grand commander, the prince of humanity and elves, Troy Galadriel Rosvenor’s demand, as well. As the highest-ranked leader of the North, you should take charge for your nation and people. You should now surrender to the elven and human alliance as the representative of the North.”
“Do you still have the strength for another battle? Esteemed Queen, I will not force you to surrender. My task was simply to pass our grand commander’s demand on to you and to send you the gifts. I have now completed my task. You need not be courteous. I shall now return. I might see our grand commander on the way back. Esteemed Queen, think about our demand carefully. That will be all. I wish you good health.”
The envoy gave a deep bow. He then turned and suavely left the palace. He didn’t give the Queen a chance to speak. That was the composure and arrogance of a victor.
Correct. He had no intention of negotiating or discussing conditions. All he mentioned was a demand. The North no longer had any bargaining chips to negotiate with humanity. The Queen had no idea what the state of her army was in. Only the elder knew. She never imagined her army would be decimated in a single night.
Not even the Queen could believe it. She knew how large the anthropoid army was. She genuinely never imagined that her army would be annihilated in an instant.
She had never heard of their grand commander. She now knew he was a child of humanity and the elves, but she had no other information on him.
“Why is he so terrifying? All of her strength in the North got wiped out in one night?!” wondered everyone in the palace.
The entire palace went dead silent. Nobody spoke a word. It was dead silent as if the end of the world was coming.
The elder stood behind the Queen and looked at the vassals below. He looked around, and then revealed an eerie smile.
I asked Ling Yue, “The people from the four tribes are all here, although they’re all dead. Did you want their head or their corpse?”
Ling Yue looked at the four corpses in front of her. Of course, Marvel was just a head, as we couldn’t locate the rest of his body, not to mention that it’d be hard to find.
The area of snow that had been melted by the blood was now filled with corpses. It basically resembled a huge tiger’s corpse.
The engineers were at work on the large block of ice, trying to set up a path. We would reach the large area of vast and flat land of the North once we cross it. No army could stop our advance there. I had blown up the last natural moat, so we had attained victory.
“I want their heads, “ answered, Ling Yue. “I want to go home. I want to go home and throw their heads onto my home’s ruins. I want to tell my parents that I’ve avenged them.”
I nodded. I turned around and replied, “Uhm, I’ll take the corpses back, then. I’m going to hang them on Troy City’s city walls where Philes heroic soul can see them. Don’t worry about last night. I don’t actually plan to marry you, because you’d slap me again, wouldn’t you? I just wanted to improve your relationship with Shusia and Tanya. You’ll definitely stay by my side in the future…”
“I won’t,” resolutely responded Ling Yue, without any hesitation. She then looked up at me. “I won’t always stay by your side. You’ve done what you promised me, and I’ve also completed my mission. I am the last member of the Moon Fox Tribe. I must protect the land our tribe always protected. That is my tribe’s territory. I will protect it forever.”
I looked at her. Ling Yue’s eyes contained a joyous feeling of vengeance, but more responsibility.
I got it wrong all this time. By that I mean that Ling Yue was not someone “by my side.” Ling Yue was the eldest daughter of the Moon Fox Tribe. She had to maintain her last ounce pride and responsibility even if she was the last remaining member of her tribe. She just relied on me. She never thought about giving herself up to me.
I laughed, “All right, then. I suppose our relationship ends here. Ling Yue, I enjoyed my time together with you. Let’s meet again once I enter the North’s palace.”
Ling Yue responded softly, “Mm… I have one last thought, and that is for you to see me home. I don’t want to stay by your side. I am not a suited to being your or your people’s friend, so I will only make things difficult for those around you if I stay around you. That would make me feel very awkward, too. Therefore, it’s better for me to leave. Plus, the Moon Fox Tribe needs me.”
Ling Yue’s wore a very dejected expression, “I now understand my position. I shouldn’t give you so much trouble. Shusia and Tanya don’t like me… I don’t want to put you in a tough spot, and I have no reason to continue to stay with you.”
I looked at her dejected and obviously lonely expression. I smiled hopelessly and replied, “Is that so…? It appears my efforts last night were for naught…”
I couldn’t keep her. I couldn’t force her to stay, since she wanted to leave, or else, I’d have to marry her.
“No… I’m very grateful to you. Sincerely very grateful…”
A gentle warm sensation came from behind…