Chapter 544 A Predictably Unpredictable Nature
"Which is all the more reason why we have to survive. If those two should fail, we will have to act as the first line of defense while everyone retreats." Venare stated as he stood up straight.
Nixpera knew that Venare's choice was the correct one, but leaving in this manner left a bad taste in her mouth. However, she was also aware of her current situation. In this dreamworld, she had no combat power to her name. In the end, she would only end up being a burden and erasing the effort that everyone went through to help her escape from the palace.
Nixpera gave a reluctant nod to display her acceptance of Venare's outlook.
"Since you all seem to be in agreement, follow me. I have prepared one of Lord Fraun's personal carriages outside. Given my Lord's reputation, those guards at the entrance won't dare to block our path out even if the town is under strict lockdown." Osen asserted.
"Then, from this moment on, we'll be in your care, Sir Osen," Venare commented.
Osen guided Nixpera, Venare, and Nixere to a grand horse-drawn carriage surrounded by ten knights—two of which were mounted on horses.
After everyone was safely inside the carriage, Osen took the driver's seat out front and grabbed the reigns, commanding the horses onward.
Having a noble knight escort, it did not take long for the carriage to reach the gates. Fortunately, it had not deteriorated to a point where the numerous gates within the tunnel were dropped down.
"Halt! The town is in a state of emergency! No one is allowed in or out until-" One of the guards near the entrance of the tunnel warned; however, he quickly halted his words when he witnessed the crest located on the side of the carriage.
"You dare to block the path of my Lord's carriage?! Impudent! I should slay you where you stand!" Osen roared with a vicious glare.
"I-I meant no offense! Please, go ahead. I hope honorable sir knight can overlook my rude behavior just this once!" The guard said, visibly shaken as he bowed deeply.
Osen scoffed arrogantly, "Hmph, count your fortune that my Lord is in a good mood today; otherwise, your head would not still be attached to your body!"
Osen ordered the carriage forward into the tunnel and swiftly made it to the end, reaching the final checkpoint. However, when Osen saw the knight standing guard at the entrance, his facial expression became grim.
"Stop!" A knight stepped directly in front of the carriage, startling the horses and causing them to come to an awkward stop.
"Sir Tempo, my Lord has urgent business to attend to. Why do you block our path?" Osen inquired.
"So it's Sir Osen. The king has ordered that no one, regardless of their status, may enter or leave until the future queen is found. Surely, Sir Osen is not implying that the will of your Lord is above that of the king, are you?" Tempo said with a piercing gaze.
"You jest. My Lord only has the highest respect for the king. In fact, he has already deployed others to assist in the search for our future queen. That's why I hope Sir Tempo can show my Lord some face as this matter is of the utmost importance." Osen replied calmly.
Tempo was not some random guard that could be brushed aside with one's words or status alone. He was one of the two Grand Protectors of the kingdom—a powerful wielder of genuine Aura that bowed only to the king!
The last thing Osen anticipated was that King Sonamus would send one of the kingdom's Grand Protectors to perform something as insignificant as gate guard duty. Was it just a coincidence? If not, then things were about to become troublesome.
"I'm sure Lord Fraun can understand that I'm merely following my king's orders. I advise you to turn back while I am asking politely, Sir Osen. I have spoken." Tempo said as he rested his hand on the hilt of the blade at his side.
The atmosphere became increasingly tense, and both sides looked as if they would explode at any second.
Osen was first to break the silence, "Very well, Sir Tempo. We shall turn back at once. However, I ask that you be the one to wake my Lord from his slumber and inform him of the situation. If it comes from Sir Tempo, then my Lord will understand that I am not to blame."
"Ahahaha, if you were scared to wake your Lord, why didn't you just say so sooner? As a fellow knight, how can I allow you to suffer in my sights? I shall lend you a hand in notifying your Lord." Tempo said as he stepped out of the carriage's way and moved towards the side door.
However, just before he was about to open the side door, Osen snapped the reigns in his hands as the horses charged forward at full speed! The two knights on horseback also sped ahead without looking back.
"Osen! You must have two lives to dare deceive me!" Tempo shouted. He was enraged!
"Don't let him catch up to Sir Osen!"
The remaining eight knights who accompanied the carriage formed a defensive perimeter to obstruct Tempo and the other guards' pursuit.
"Deploy the 5th light calvary! Do not let them escape! And you all-" Tempo unsheathed his sword as he glared towards the eight knights. The blade was deep blue, and the hilt turned from black to white as a white aura encompassed its edge.
"Consider your lives forfeit." Tempo swept his blade outward in a horizontal arc.
A mighty gale was released from his blade that mercilessly crashed into the eight knights, sweeping them aside in one stroke. If they had not died from the initial impact, they would soon be dead from the severe injuries brought about by the attack!
"Osen, you bastard...! Wait and see how I deal with you!" Tempo tossed his sword into the air as he jumped up after it.
A thick and durable white aura formed around the sword creating a circular platform that Tempo landed on. The platform carried Tempo forward at incredible speeds in the same direction the carriage traveled!
Meanwhile, somewhere within the main palace...
Izroth, Fraun, and his elite force of twelve knights capitalized on the town in a semi-lockdown state to infiltrate the main palace.
They ran into several guards who were still roaming throughout the palace; however, with Fraun's status, no one questioned his intentions. After all, in their eyes, Fraun was assisting the king in his search for the culprit.
But, regardless of being able to walk directly through the palace's front entrance without issue, Fraun could not help but feel as though something was off.
"Is it just me, or is it a bit too quiet for a palace that just had their future queen kidnapped?" Fraun questioned.
"A similar thought crossed my mind. In all likelihood, we are marching into a trap." Izroth stated nonchalantly.
"I hate to say it, but you're probably right. There's a 90% chance that this is a trap. Though this is a good sign, wouldn't you agree?" Fraun noted.
"Indeed. The truly powerful have no need for traps. This can only mean one of two things. The first is that he is doing so for pure amusement. The second—he's feeling vulnerable and has uncertainties about dealing with the backlash of the dreamworld." Izroth commented.
"Let's hope it's the second reason. The fragmenting skies are a sign that the dreamworld will soon crumble apart. This is likely that blue wolf's doing. By now, I'm sure he has distinguished ally from foe. If I were in their shoes, I would stall until the collapse of the dreamworld and get rid of my enemies in one fell swoop." Fraun explained.
"Whatever the case may be, it seems we are about to receive our answer," Izroth came to a sudden standstill before a pair of large metal doors.
These doors were the entrance into the throne room where the ceremony was held earlier; however, there were no servants in view this time around.
Two of Fraun's knights pushed open the doors upon his orders as the group stepped inside.
There was only one person in the throne room sat indifferently on the largest throne at the top center of the steps.
"You actually came. How amusing. I suppose humans are well known for their unpredictability. However, when everything you do is unpredictable, ironically, you become oh so predictable." King Sonamus stated as he tapped the armrest of his throne twice.
Suddenly, the doors to the throne room slammed shut, sealing off Izroth and his group's sole path of retreat!