Chapter 519 Aftermath
A few moments ago, Aurie and Maeva, along with approximately 150 War Brigade soldiers, positioned themselves at the Unsanctioned Zone's Amaharpe and Malentansium border.
After Empyrean delivered the first message to Aurie, against her expectations, he followed up with a second message so soon. The message this time? Instead of two hours, Izroth wanted them to be ready within one hour! Not only that, but she also received some shocking news. A Penumbra Inquisitor was on their way to Vostracane! If someone from the Penumbra Circle arrived on the battlefield, it would cause a major shift in power balance as Malentansium would undoubtedly have the upper hand. But, if Empyrean spoke the truth, Aurie understood that was all the more reason for her not to dismiss his words. However, with a Penumbra Inquisitor on the way, no matter how she looked at it, Aurie could not imagine Izroth's bold promise coming to fruition.
Meanwhile, Maeva had a troubled expression as she stared at the well-fortified Vostracane in the distance. Since Empyrean could relay Izroth's messages, she knew that he must still be safe. However, she was worried about the promise Izroth made to Aurie. This was even more so after she learned of just how powerful a Penumbra Inquisitor could be.
Maeva issued a faint sigh as she said to herself, "The Palace Master is too reckless. I just hope the Commander won't be too harsh on him if things don't go as planned."
"Commander Aurie, this Captain from the GSU and that strange man—can their words be trusted?" One of the individuals next to Aurie questioned. This person had an ordinary appearance as he wore light armor and had a greatsword placed upon his back. He was the 4th Division Captain of the War Brigade's 2nd Unit, Gritt.
NPC Name: War Brigade 2nd Unit Captain of the 4th Division Gritt(Rare)
NPC Level: 57
NPC HP: ???(100%)
"Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, we cannot ignore the potential arrival of a Penumbra Inquisitor. Besides, Captain-" Aurie replied as she set her sights on Vostracane.
She then continued, "Have I ever led you astray?"
Gritt sighed as he shook his head and answered, "How can that be? I would follow you to the Netherworld and back, Commander."
"Who says I want your company if I'm headed to the Netherworld?" Aurie stated.
"You are not allowed to die. Otherwise, I will drag you back from the Netherworld and kill you myself—aren't these your words, Commander? Not even you are exempt from this rule." Gritt replied with a smirk.
Aurie remained silent at first as a slight smile found its way to her face, and she responded, "Yes, I suppose I'm not."
A couple of minutes passed by as the one hour mark approached. Gritt made sure that everyone and everything within the 4th division was in order. Meanwhile, Aurie and Maeva's gazes never wandered away from Vostracane.
Then, out of nowhere, a huge eruption of light emerged from Vostracane, followed by the earth beneath the War Brigade's feet violently shaking. A few moments later, a high pitched screech filled their ears as a powerful shockwave washed over them. This shockwave was great enough to disorientate many of the War Brigade members.
Soon after, the screeching noise disappeared and was replaced by total silence.
Maeva was one of the individuals affected by the shockwave's disorientating effects; however, she quickly regained awareness of her surroundings. But, her ears had not stopped ringing. When she took a look around her, she noticed that Aurie and Gritt were shouting what seemed to be orders with the majority of the War Brigade members in a state of confusion.
As the ringing in Maeva's ears finally began to fade, she made out a few of Aurie's words.
"Ta...e... o...ver...! ...Take cover!" Aurie warned as she knew that it was not over. She had witnessed that type of destructive force once before when a City Magic Grid malfunctioned and lost control. However, the chances of a City Magic Grid losing control was less than 0.000001%! Aurie was willing to bet on the fact that this was no mere coincidence. Could it have something to do with that Captain of the GSU?
"How did you do it..? You reckless-" Aurie muttered to herself as the light that originated from Vostracane increased in its intensity. For that brief moment, it was as though daytime had found its way into the night.
A massive explosion took place that could be felt from Vostracane to Xanaharpe to the nearby Rosentarus stronghold.
After a few seconds passed, the brilliant light began to weaken as the tremors stopped.
Once the light subsided, Maeva got a clear view of Vostracane; however, her eyes widened from disbelief as she could not believe what she was seeing.
"It's gone!" One of the War Brigade members commented with a shaky voice.
Vostracane, the stronghold city of the Skounae near the Unsanctioned Zone that once stood proudly, was now in a state of ruins! In the blink of an eye, the entire city had been flattened, and its grand walls stood no longer. It was a scene of utter destruction.
Meanwhile, back in Vostracane...
Three individuals stood on the land where the once grand castle at Vostracane's heart occupied—two of which were placed within black protective spheres. These two were Earls of the Skounae's Immortal Umbra Horde, Salokin, and Essirie. As for the remaining person, it was, of course, the Antumbra of Decay, Night Lord Zarolas.
"Salokin, where did you find that human?" Zarolas questioned as a slight smile crept onto his face.
However, Salokin was speechless. His city! What happened to his city?! His eyes darted around different areas of Vostracane, but there was no one. Outside of himself and the two present, there was no other Skounae survivor! Thousands... That was thousands of Skounae lives! Gone, just like that!
Essirie shivered as she beheld the spectacle of death. If the Night Lord had not protected her, then she would have shared a fate similar to the other Immortal Umbra Horde troops. She secretly glared at Salokin. This was all his fault... Everything! If only he did not deviate from the original plan, then they could have already conquered the Unsanctioned Zone, and she would not have almost needlessly squandered her life!
The protective sphere around Salokin popped as he suddenly felt a tight pressure around his throat.
Zarolas lifted Salokin before him by his neck with one arm and said, "Does this lord need to repeat his words for your amusement?"
Salokin's heart dropped as he felt an overwhelming force press down against him. The bloodline in his body was reacting to Zarolas as if driving Salokin to follow his will.
"The battlefield... Near the Unsanctioned Zone's border! I don't know more than that, honorable Night Lord! I swear by the name of the Night King!" Salokin swiftly responded as he tried to look down—not daring to make direct eye contact with Zarolas.
"Your decision to perform the Night King's Rite on this human was a correct one. Though it is an embarrassment, you failed to realize..." Zarolas stated as he tightened his grip around Salokin's neck.
"H-have mercy...! Honorable Night Lord, have-!"
"You were too far out of your depth." Zarolas lifted his other hand as he tapped Salokin's forehead with his index finger. A black wisp developed as it mercilessly ate away at Salokin.
"Ahhhhhhh!" Salokin's screams filled the atmosphere; however, it only lasted a few seconds as even his skeleton was turned to ashes that dispersed with the wind.
Zarolas glanced back towards Essirie, who had a look of terror on her face.
"Have mercy!" Essirie bowed as she shivered uncontrollably.
"Relax, Earl Essirie. This lord does not lack a heart. Your Silver-Eyed Cloud Snake venom still holds great value." Zarolas said as his gaze locked onto a specific location within the wreckage of Vostracane.
He then continued, "After all, it would seem that we have a survivor to greet."
Survivor?! Essirie was dumbfounded. How could anyone survive that level of destruction?!
Clouds of debris flooded Vostracane and had yet to fully disperse. There was a visible silhouette at the center of the aftermath.
'It's been a while since I've done something this rash. Though I have to say, it's not necessarily a bad feeling.'
A figure walked out of the dust cloud just as it started to settle down. This person was none other than Izroth!