Chapter 540 Stepping Into The Tiger“s Den?
Several moments later...
Izroth arrived outside a building with two knights guarding the entrance. These knights bore an identical crest to the ones that ambushed Venare.
'This should be the place.'
Initially, the young knight was reluctant to answer any of Izroth's questions; therefore, how could the young knight be willing to give up the location where they were supposed to deliver Venare after his capture?
At first, the young knight remained silent. But, when Izroth expressed his interest in Prime's sword and the silver crystal embedded into it, the young knight's attitude changed.
Izroth had a vague feeling that Prime's weapon was important; however, he did not expect such a complete shift in the young knight's stance.
Izroth informed the young knight that as long as they revealed where they were going to take Venare, he would personally bring the sword to its rightful owner.
The young knight was hesitant, but if there was even the slightest possibility of the Aura Cell being returned to his lord, he had to take the gamble. If he did nothing, then this foreign stranger would get their hands on a priceless Aura Cell. If it were leaked into enemy hands, the First Knight Prime he respected would become the kingdom's biggest traitor!
Not to mention, even if this man were strong enough to defeat Prime and had bad intentions against his lord, he would stand no chance against the lord's personal knights. In the end, a mixture of fear, self-reassurance, and inexperience caused the young knight to finally give up the location.
Immediately after he did so, Izroth dispatched the young knight. At the moment, besides himself and Venare, the young knight was the only one aware of what took place during the ambush.
As he knew too much, letting him live was out of the question as it had the potential to spiral into more uncontrollable Tale Variations. After all, Izroth had not forgotten Venare's warning concerning total blanking.
Fortunately, not everything had a grim outlook. After blocking Venare's capture and getting rid of the knights, the story underwent a positive transformation.
Now, not only was Queen Nixpera going to live, but Hunter Venare's fate had also morphed into a favorable one. This meant that if there were no further changes or complications, two out of three of his allies would survive the Dream Domain!
'The outside is not as heavily guarded as I anticipated. Is this Fraun's way of trying to maintain a low profile? Or...'
Two knights were safeguarding the door, along with a third knight patrolling around the building. For the second most influential person in the kingdom, having only three guards seemed careless, even if it was during peace times. But, Izroth understood that sometimes what was right before one's eyes could be misleading.
Izroth approached the building's entrance and instantly attracted the attention of the two guarding knights.
"Halt! This place is off-limits to the public by orders of Lord Fraun! Turn back at once!" One of the guards declared.
Izroth stopped around four meters away from the knights and said, "I have been entrusted to deliver a certain item to your lord. I must meet him without delay."
One of the knights frowned and responded, "Delivery? I have not been notified of any such delivery! Leave; otherwise, I can not guarantee your life stays intact!"
The two knights unsheathed their swords in unison. At the same time, the third knight carefully watched from the side with his sword drawn as well.
Izroth reached for the sword on his right side and removed it from his leather belt, which caused one of the knights guarding the entrance to charge forward!
"Siege, wait!" The other knight that stood guard commanded as his eyes locked onto the sword in Izroth's hands.
The knight charging forward came to an abrupt halt.
"Why did you stop me, Morel?" Siege asked as he kept a close eye on Izroth's actions.
"That sword—doesn't it look familiar?" Morel stated.
"What are you-" As Siege took a closer look at the sword in Izroth's hands, his expression darkened.
"Impossible...! Isn't that Sir Prime's Silverclaw?! He would never allow it to fall into the hands of another, unless-!" Siege exclaimed.
"You are correct. Which is why we need a proper answer." Morel said.
He then inquired, "Explain yourself. How did you come to possess that sword?"
Unless one was a genuine Aura user, it was absurd to believe that Prime would die at their hands. Morel knew that the person before him was not from his kingdom; therefore, they could not possibly be a genuine Aura user. After all, Aura would never be gifted to those who were not loyal to the kingdom.
As for someone with an Aura Cell defeating Prime, even then, a person with the First Knight's strength should have been able to, at the very least, escape with his life. The fact that Silverclaw had fallen into the hands of a total stranger could only mean one thing—First Knight Prime had met his end.
"I made a promise with a dying knight to return this sword to its rightful owner. I have come to keep this promise. Unfortunately, this is all I can say regarding the matter." Izroth answered calmly.
Morel frowned and furrowed his brows. Who in this kingdom had the guts to kill one of his lord's men within the inner palace walls? This situation was too strange.
However, if this person wanted, they could have tried to escape and smuggle the Aura Cell out of the kingdom back to their homeland. Not to mention, even if he was under the threat of death, Morel knew that Sir Prime would never disclose the location of his lord to a hostile person. To come here himself—perhaps this man was one of his word.
"Hand over the sword. We will make certain that it finds its way to our lord." Siege said.
"I'm afraid I can't do that. The promise was for me to return it to its rightful owner. As an honorable knight, are you asking me to go back on my word? I must personally deliver this to your lord. Even if I have to force my way inside, I intend to keep my word—as I am sure you would do the same." Izroth stated.
Siege looked as if he wanted to respond to Izroth's words but did not know how to do so.
Morel released a heavy sigh and said, "Siege, go inform the lord of the situation. Ask what his orders are."
Siege nodded and entered the building to carry out Morel's command.
"In the meantime, I'll have to ask that you remain here until we receive word from our lord," Morel said.
"Naturally, I have no issue with this," Izroth replied with a carefree smile.
Not even a full minute passed before Siege returned. Siege's orders were to accept Izroth's request and guide him indoors under close supervision.
When Izroth entered the building, he was greeted by a scene of approximately one hundred knights. Several knights were already fully equipped, while others were running from place to place as if they were making last-minute preparations. In all sense of the phrase, it truly was stepping into the tiger's den!
'I suppose it's a good thing I did not have to force my way into this place.'
With his current restricted strength, Izroth may be able to handle two or three knights like Prime, but any more than that would be troublesome. Not to mention, Izroth had used up quite a bit of his role's limited skills to take down Prime.
Izroth and Siege soon came before a door guarded by two knights releasing an air of intimidation. From their presence alone, Izroth estimated their strength was equal to or maybe even a bit higher than that of Prime's.
Since the knights were aware of Siege's orders, he and Izroth were able to enter the room without issue.
The room was more spacious than its outside appearance led one to believe. Its layout resembled the combination of an office and strategy room.
Just as there were two guards outside, an additional two guards stood at each side of a desk located at the back of the room's center. Behind this desk sat a man with dark blonde hair and gray eyes.
With a single glance, Izroth immediately recognized that it was the person he came here in search of, the Nobleman Fraun.
However, with Izroth's arrival, the atmosphere in the room became heavy.