Chapter 543 The Fragmenting Dreamworld
When Izroth heard the loud banging sound coming from outside the building, he immediately likened it to a signal of sorts. If it was related to the palace, there was a good chance it meant Nixpera, Nixere, and Venare escaped successfully.
'Have they already arrived at the rendezvous point?'
Knock. Knock. Knock.
"Enter," Fraun said.
The door opened as a fully armored knight rushed in and quickly gave a knight's salute.
"Speak. What's going on outside?" Fraun asked.
"Reporting! An unknown assailant has breached the palace! The knights guarding the future Queen Nixpera's chambers were found dead! In addition, both the future queen and her younger sister Princess Nixere have gone missing! Lord Fraun, we have been requested to provide our forces to help search for the culprit! We await your orders!" The armored knight stated.
Fraun stood up from his seat and said, "Tell everyone to remain on standby."
"Lord? Shouldn't we-" The armored knight looked visibly confused. The future queen had been kidnapped, and they were being told to stay on standby?
The armored knight soon found two spears pointed at his throat. These spears belonged to the two knights who acted as Fraun's personal guards.
"You dare to question your Lord's orders?" The knight on the right said with a fierce gaze.
"Nysteffor, Rain, that's far enough. We have more important matters to tend to." Fraun spoke calmly.
"As you will, Lord!" The knight on the right, Nysteffor, and the knight on the left, Rain, declared in unison.
"Go, carry out your duty as I ordered. If you thoughtlessly question me again, next time, I won't stop them." Fraun stated coldly.
"Y-yes, my Lord! I shall remember your mercy this day!" The armored knight replied nervously as cold sweats ran down their back. He then hastily took his leave to carry out Fraun's command.
"It's time. Are you sure you want to go through with this? No one will call you a coward if you back out now." Fraun said as he faced Izroth.
A carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face as he stood to his feet and replied, "We may not get such a good opportunity again. Besides, even if we escape this place alive, our chances of survival once we leave the dreamworld are not very high. This is our only chance. Naturally, we cannot allow it to slip between our fingers."
"I'm in full agreement." Fraun sighed as a helpless expression found its way onto his face.
He then continued, "The Commander's not going to be too happy about this one. However, if we can pull this off, our lives will be but a small price to pay."
"Rain, summon the others of my private guard and tell them that we are pushing ahead of schedule. We will move under the guise of helping to sweep the city for the intruders. Nysteffor, after you confirm that everyone is in place, you are to join us without delay. Are my orders understood?"
"Yes, Lord!" The two knights sounded as they marched forward.
"Now then, Captain Izroth- No, Viselo—shall we go slay us a blue wolf in sheep's clothing?" Fraun said with a heavy tone.
Nixpera, Nixere, and Venare reached the inn where they promised to meet up with Izroth.
There were a few close calls while the group was on their way to the inn, but fortunately, they arrived at the rendezvous point without trouble.
At the moment, the group of three was patiently waiting inside a spacious room within the inn.
"What's taking cousin so long?" Nixere questioned with a frown. It was already ten minutes past the time they arranged to meet. She was beginning to worry that Viselo may have run into a few problems along the way.
"I, too, am concerned about his well being. But, he is more than capable of taking care of himself. I'm sure our worries are unwarranted." Nixpera commented.
Nixpera, or rather, Maeva, had not traveled with Izroth for long, but for the short time they were together, she discovered that the Palace Master was too reckless.
First, he charged into a battle between high-level NPCs. Then, he goes on to blow up an entire city!
There existed a thin line between confidence and arrogance. At first, Maeva thought that Izroth leaned more towards the latter. After all, a player who had accomplished what he had in RML deserved the right to be arrogant. However, after spending more time with him and seeing Izroth in action firsthand, Maeva found that she could not have been further from the truth.
There was no arrogance in Izroth's actions—only confidence. Absolute confidence in oneself. She did not think it was possible to have total confidence without a shadow of vanity, but she did not know how else to explain it.
Though she was sure of one thing. For some reason, Maeva felt that as long as she followed Izroth, she may reach new heights that she previously deemed impossible!
Knock! Knock! Knock! Tap. Tap.
Suddenly, three loud knocks followed by two light taps came from the other side of the door. This was the code that Izroth was told to perform by Nixere if the town was under tight security.
"He's finally here. It looks like you were right about our worries being unwarranted, dear sister." Nixere said as she walked over to the door.
However, the moment Nixere opened it, her heart drop. What welcomed her was not the sight of her cousin as she expected, but rather a fully armored knight!
Venare and Nixere did not hesitate to draw their weapons as they prepared for a fight. But, against all expectations, the armored knight placed his right fist over his chest and performed a slight bow.
"I mean you no harm. I am called Osen of the Red Night—Sir Viselo and Lord Fraun have sent me to aid in your departure from the inner walls." The armored knight, Osen, stated.
Nixere frowned and kept her guard up, "I don't believe my cousin would betray us... Nevertheless, how can we trust your words? For all we know, you might try to lead us into a trap. Besides, if you're here, where is my cousin? Why is he not with you?"
"I am an honorable knight of the Red Night. I give you my word that the words I speak contain only the essence of truth. As for your cousin, if you are referring to Sir Viselo, he should be accompanying my Lord and his private guards to the main palace." Osen answered.
"The palace?! Why is he going to the palace?" Nixere exclaimed. However, she was not the only one in shock.
"He can be trusted. If his word is not good enough, I will give you mine." Venare commented with a sigh as she sheathed her weapon.
"I also believe him to be trustworthy, Nixere," Nixpera said with a weak smile. This type of wild behavior—who else could it be but the Palace Master?
The moment Osen mentioned that Izroth was moving towards the palace instead of the exit to the inner town, Nixpera and Venare immediately understood what he wanted to do.
"If he is invading the palace, that indicates Nobleman Fraun's role must have been given to Captain Gritt. No doubt, he also had a hand in this reckless plan. Those fools...!" Venare thought to himself.
Nixere narrowed her eyes before she placed her daggers back into their sheaths. While she still had some reserves, if her elder sister and brother-in-law vouched for them, they must have a good reason for doing so.
"Are we really just going to leave Viselo behind while we escape to safety?" Nixpera questioned.
"That's exactly what we're going to do," Venare answered without wavering.
He then leaned close to Nixpera and spoke quietly, "The dreamworld is rapidly fragmenting and decaying. It won't be too long before it collapses in on itself and forcibly expels everyone within. Once that happens, there will be nothing left to stop that monster. I shouldn't have to tell you the results. While that monster's bound by the rules of the dreamworld, those two want to take advantage of the opportunity to eliminate him. Though even I'm uncertain whether or not it will work regardless of their success."
"?!" Nixpera silently took in Venare's words. So she didn't just see things back there! The sky of the dreamworld was indeed fragmenting!