Chapter 536 Message Received!
Maeva, or rather, Queen Nixpera, gave a small nod of approval in response to Izroth's request as he went on to present his poem.
Two paths cross on the stairs of the beginning,
Their new home lies in the realm of a mystical palace,
Together, they journey toward the unknown,
With the trust of family and a true love in their hearts,
How joyous these paths have united.
"I have composed this poem just for you, cousin. I hope my words find you well." Izroth said as his time ended and the guards on duty called him away. For a brief moment, Izroth witnessed a hint of shock flash through Queen Nixpera's eyes as he recited his poem.
The sound of clapping filled the room as Izroth finished. Since it was something dedicated to wishing good fortune upon their king and future queen's joining, how could they not applaud and give words of praise?
'From her reaction, my message should have gotten through. If it's her, she should be able to understand my intentions well enough. Hopefully, it did not draw his attention as well.'
While Izroth's poem appeared to be congratulating the king and future queen on their forthcoming union, in reality, it was a message meant explicitly for Maeva!
"Two paths cross on the stairs of the beginning" was the time when Izroth ran into Maeva, who was too late to pick her own war branch, on the stairs that led into the Event Center.
"Their new home lies in the realm of a mystical palace" naturally referred to Izroth's shop, the Mystical Realm Palace.
"Together, they journey toward the unknown" was their journey from Amaharpe's capital city to the Unsanctioned Zone border.
"With the trust of family and a true love in their hearts" was a way to inform Maeva that she could trust him and Nixere, as well as Venare in this dreamworld.
"How joyous these paths have united" was related to Izroth and Maeva's parting of ways on the battlefield. This was the first time since that moment they were face to face again—at least, as face to face as one could be within the dreamworld.
After that, his last few words were simply to reinforce his message and ensure that Maeva did not merely brush it off. Of course, Izroth would not use this method for just anyone.
Maeva was quite intelligent and was a craftsman with one of the fastest learning abilities in the Mystical Realm Palace. She picked up things at incredible speeds, and in terms of natural talent in their respective fields, perhaps only Gu Chao and Worldly Skies were a step or two above her—at least, for the being.
Izroth rejoined Nixere, who had been waiting for him to finish up. However, as he approached Nixere, he noticed a playful smile on her face.
"I had no idea you dabbled in the art of words, cousin. I always believed the only art you were interested in was that of the sword." Nixere stated.
"There are times when words hold more power than a sword. Though if I had to choose, of course, I would always pick the sword. After all, there's only so much you can do to protect yourself with words alone." Izroth commented.
Nixere sighed and shook her head as she said, "Why am I not surprised? Well, I don't blame you. In fact, a part of me envies you. In this world, you can do everything right without mistake but still find yourself on the losing end. At a certain point, you have to come to the realization that sometimes there's nothing you could have done differently for a favorable outcome—that sometimes, that's just how life works. Finding even one thing you love and being able to enjoy it with all your heart... I wonder if you're aware of just how fortunate you are, dear cousin." Nixere smiled weakly.
'Sometimes, that's just how life works, is it?'
The ceremony stayed on schedule without any abrupt surprises. Izroth and Nixere had several individuals approach them after hearing that they were related to the future queen.
Izroth let Nixere do most of the talking as she seemed to have a fair amount of experience dealing with these types of nobles and merchants. As Nixere spoke, she did so with elegance as the smile on her face never waned. It was as if she were a completely different person compared to the one who had been speaking so casually with Izroth.
A few moments later, the time of the ceremony's closing arrived as the king was the first to depart from the throne room.
Queen Nixpera looked in Izroth's direction, which immediately caught his attention. She then mouthed a few words before she stepped down from the throne and headed back through the doors she initially used to enter the throne room.
A carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face as the great doors closed behind Queen Nixpera. The words she mouthed to Izroth was, "Message received, Palace Master."
'That takes care of one problem. But I can't waste any more time here if I want to deal with the next. By now, Fraun's men should be waiting to ambush Venare. I have it make it there before they take him to meet with the Nobleman Fraun. Otherwise, I'll have to search every corner of the city on foot to uncover their hideout.'
"I apologize; I must end our conversation here. It has been my honor to meet with such esteemed individuals as yourselves on this night. I pray that our paths meet again." Nixere said politely as she bid farewell to those around her before she moved to Izroth's side.
She then whispered, "I am going to speak in private with my elder sister. Are you leaving to take care of things on your end?"
"I was just getting ready to depart," Izroth stated.
Nixere nodded and replied, "Good, we will rendezvous at the inn after we've finished our tasks. Good luck, cousin. And stay safe."
"I'll return the same words to you," Izroth responded.
After their exchange ended, Izroth and Nixere parted ways. As the future queen's younger sister, Nixere should have no trouble holding a private conversation with Nixpera. To be honest, Izroth would have liked to go along with her, but his presence was needed elsewhere.
'It may be the worst-case scenario, but that does not mean things are hopeless. Now—shall I create my own tale variation?'
Several moments later...
Izroth was hidden in the cover of the night at a specific area outside the main palace. Not too far from this place should be the location where Fraun's men would apprehend Venare. However, Izroth had his own plans for this part of the story.
Just as he expected, Izroth saw at least eight suspicious individuals spread throughout the area. There was a seasoned aura to them that made those gathered at the Blue Heart Inn look like newborns by comparison. Izroth knew that these eight were skilled combatants. To someone passing by, their actions would not look out of place; however, if one was intentionally searching for it in the same manner as Izroth, their behavior was unquestionably fabricated.
Around two minutes later, Izroth witnessed a hooded figure darting through the shadows.
After the hooded figure's appearance, a fight broke out between them and the eight individuals who performed the ambush.
The figure had their hood damage and slashed off by one of Fraun's men, revealing the face of Hunter Venare!
"Lower your weapons and come with us peacefully. You will not be harmed. I should also clarify that this is not a request but an order. Our lord wishes to meet with you." One of the men with a scar over his eye said. He was the leader of the group who ambushed Venare.
"How can I trust the words of a stranger who points their sword towards me before speaking?" Venare stated as he kept his guard up. They attacked without warning, and now they wanted him to buy their whole peaceful message routine?
"If you could not survive something of this level, then naturally, our lord would have no use for you. However, I acknowledge that you do have the skill to meet with our lord." The man with the scar replied.
"Oh? And just what's the name of this lord of yours?" Venare questioned.
"You will find out after you come with us. But, if you refuse—I'm afraid we will have to be impolite." The man with the scar held up his hand as the other seven individuals encircled Venare!