A convoy of ten men can be seen approaching the proud and beautiful Atria, capital of the Holy Kingdom of Aria. But that group was special because they are guarding an iron cage, where a single man is laying on the ground. His clothes are ripped at multiple locations, and his former elegant and prestigious posture can't be seen anymore. The sad end of a noble fallen in disgrace, condemned by the Church for the vile acts that he committed. Of course, while the Church can do such thing against nearly everyone, they still have to pass the judgment of the men in that case. The kingdom, and more importantly the king, won't let any noble be executed without a trial.
Even with the power of the Church, they still have to comply with the rules in place. Otherwise, why would they need a king in a first place? As for the trial, no one is foolish enough to think that it will make a difference. No one condemned by the Church has ever escaped death after the judgment. This time, it will not happen either. Of course, to do that against a noble, they can't just do it in a country bumpkin city, like Ronta. No, it has, and always will, be in the capital, in front of the king, all the ministers, and the rest of the nobles.
As for the charges pressed against the desperate man, they are all very grave. Treason, at first, for betraying humankind and their friends, most importantly, the dwarves. An attempt of murder against the emissary of the King of the Mountain, who miraculously survive the terrible attempt. The two archbishops present were all very perturbed by that thing, that was done right in front of them. Colluding with the ratmen kin, probably the worst of all. No one really knows how it was possible, but the fact that the poison was later identified as a ratman poison leaves no doubt about his culpability.
For Graeme, it was all a bad dream. Just offering a drink, no, the dwarf literally threw himself on that bottle. And he escaped death thanks to this, only to be charged and probably sentenced to death right after that. The worst thing he heard was a brave attempt by both Archbishop Mathews and the Great Magus Aesseryn. Later, they identified and recognized the poison as the one that killed the two receptionists of the Adventurer Guild. And they brought the proof to the Church, the answer?
Mathews was sent to the North front, at the frontier of Nortongrod. Aesseryn was locked up in her tower, with the order to not leave before the former mayor was out of Ronta. The Church realized that he was innocent, but still, since they had made it public, they will kill him no matter what. At this ridiculous thing, the mayor lost all hope that he previously had. For the Church, it is better to kill an innocent and hardworking man, if they had previously labeled him as a criminal. That way, the Church will never be wrong.
When Graeme looks at the capital getting closer, he begins to remember all that happened. Born in a family with neither big powers or weak, but still highly respectable. Married young to a lovely wife, until she caught the Red Flue. They never had a child, that was his only true regret. During the years, he saw his wife slowly die, with no alchemists capable of helping them. And his family was respected by the nobles, for their opinion about the importance of the king against the Church. Meaning, that seeking the help of an archbishop was useless. After the death of his wife, he was offered a post at Ronta, where the city flourished.
But in the end, the Church always wins. Probably because he is in that state of thinking, but he is the first to notice something weird with the faraway capital. After a few more seconds, searching desperately what seems off, he finds out. The silence, the city is totally silent. Why? That the thought that he discusses with the guards nearby. They are from Ronta, and worked with him for those last years. Some in the guards believed the lies told by the Church, but none of them are near him right now.
Of course, those discussions don't escape the ears of the two archbishops at the front of the convoy. They quickly reach the iron cage and tell to the mayor to shut up. Having nothing to lose, Graeme decides to argue, since it will probably the last time he will be able to do that.
-You framed me and are planning to execute me, and I still can't talk one last time with my men?
-They are no longer your men, traitor. The Church isn't wrong; you are some vermin needed to be exterminated for your crimes. Guards, don't listen to the perverted words on this heretic, he will lead you to a path where you will all die!
-No, but! All he has said are lies, the Church has always sought justice and truth, and protects you. Have faith in our kingdom, in our goddess.
-But, he is right! The capital is really silent!
-Nonsense, how can …
But after hearing that, the archbishops, and everyone begins to stop talking and listen. For nearly a minute, no one talked, all hoping that even a scream will break this disturbing silence. But, the previously always busy and dirty slums, filled with outlaws and criminals, rapists and beggars, are too quiet. They are still too far to see in detail the ramparts of the first wall, but no one manages to see anything moving in the streets.
Until someone, in the back, shouts while pointing at something. A zombie, why a zombie is so close to the capital? The mayor and the guards are trying to get as far as possible, as quickly as possible too. But one is still trapped in a cage. Hopefully, the two archbishops, after a short moment of shock, quickly approach the weak undead. For them, a zombie is no threat at all.
-Be gone, creature of Darkness! [Purification]!
Following that, a huge light leaves the body of the priest, and fly toward the zombie. For a few seconds, the spell keeps going, and when he stops, everyone is baffled. The zombie didn't get hurt at all. Now, even the archbishops are getting slightly worried, why such a resistant zombie is here? The two of them, keep casting every spell they know. Only after more than 10 spells, exhausting the men of the Church. Only after that important number, the zombie falls to the ground.
-Why is a zombie here?
-Have you seen how resistant he was?
-Are the archbishops that weak?
That last question was important. Because even the two persons that were casting the spells felt something weird. Like, they weren't capable of unleashing their power, their true power. They scan their bodies and discover that they are far weaker than normal. And that scares them, but they have to hide it from the normal men. They have to discuss that with the pope and the voice of the goddess. It is a huge problem.
But while everyone was looking at the corpse of the undead, Graeme turned around and saw something that petrified him. A huge army of undead, hundreds of lich, more black zombies, and at its head, a ghostly ratman. And he realized why the capital was so silent. When he fell to his knees in front of such truth, the local guards finally turned around. Some died of fear, others were no better than the mayor.
The archbishops, hearing the commotion, finally saw the situation they are in. They are doomed since this army is so big. Knowing this, they try one last thing, before dying.
After that, the blood of everyone around the cage could be seen leaking from the faces of the humans. The men of the Church, the guards, everyone except one, was killed in seconds. The mayor didn't understand why he was still alive, why he was spared. After that, the ratman approached his cage and faced him.
-Wh-Who are you?
The mayor took several seconds before he was able to talk. He was still scared of everything he saw, but he was born and educated in one of the most prestigious family. He finally recovered his calm and answered the ghost floating in front of me.
-I am Graeme Sorrel, from the Tyne Family. Mayor of, well, former mayor of Ronta, noble of the Holy Kingdom of Aria. What are your intentions with the Tyne Family?
Shortly after, a light laugh could be heard from the eerie form. The mayor didn't understand what is happening, but, to preserve his honor, he will at least not die on his knees. He stood up, even in this cage.
-Wh-why are you in thisss cage, sleek sleek?
-An unfortunate event, I was offering a bottle coming from the Green Coast to a dwarf, and then, he was poisoned. Later, someone found the link between this and the assassination perpetrated in the Adventurer Guild. But, since I was the one in possession of such a drink, I was condemned by the Church. My trial awaits me at Atria, but I think no one is capable of judging me anymore.
Now, the previous light laugh was turned into an enormous laugh. The mayor could even see the form in front of him slapping his tight with his hand, but the hand went through. After a minute hearing the ratman, Graeme saw that he was calm once again.
-Ma-Mayor, I have a lot of ressspect for you, sleek sleek. Your job wasss ve-very hard, and you have do-done it well. But, you are a hu-human, so, I will have to ki-kill you.
That was expected, the mayor didn't have any idea of surviving this day in the first place. At least, it will be better than suffering the atrocious torments reserved to the traitors. Seeing that ratman raising his hand once more, Graeme thought of one last thing.
-If, if you respect me, please, can you kill me, without me feeling any pain?
The ghost though for one second, before saying something.
The last image that Graeme Sorrel Tyne saw, was a dark shadow coming toward him.
Last chapter of the Holy Kingdom Arc
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
Complete daily missions to get rewards.Learn more about the rules
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.