Anasthasia's golden eyes dilated when she saw two masses converge and occupied the hall. She glanced left and right to see brave soldiers of the Brotzmann Empire and her people who revolted against her, respectively.
It was a disaster that trembled her soul when she noticed the latter. But that didn't hurt her the most.
Eyes shut as she imagined the weapons pointed at her.
"You..." Anasthasia's heart broke when she heard that familiar voice. The one she sought refuge would be the one to end her life miserably.
Anasthasia recognized this power. It was so heavy— an entire world weighed upon her body. Her muscles tensed from the severe effects of the force. She barely held on due to the gentleman who tucked her arms at the back.
Her eyes got droopy and then sensed the palpitations on her chest.
"I'm sorry..." Edward spoke softly near her delicate ears.
"Well, well, well—" A deep voice boomed near the hall entrance, "What do we have here?"
The aura the young man gave off was overbearing that the crowd made way for him. The enemy soldiers remained steadfast while the traitors trembled with every step he took.
Anasthasia's ears perked up as she heard that familiar tone, she gritted her teeth as soon as the young man graced his appearance.
"If it isn't the heir apparent to the throne of the Brotzmann Empire..." The voice of the Empress was low, but enough for everyone to witness.
"You're right." A dry chuckle escaped from his soft lips. "This already lasted a decade, it's time to end this farce!"
Anasthasia tittered with his ambitious remarks, "You better dream on, you need to have capabilities first." Thus revealed a smirk on her face.
"You—!" The young man's impeccable face contorted slightly but regained composure when he smiled right away. "I bet you have forgotten something."
"Oh?" Anasthasia raised her eyebrows as an attempt to challenge him. "Pray tell, Prince Julius." She thought things would turn out fine, but it backfired terribly.
"Bring them in here!" Prince Julius roared with arrogance.
It didn't take long for the empress to notice the sudden chatter and commotion that lurked behind the masses. She jaunted when she saw how her trusted subordinates were ruthlessly carried by a group of giant ogres. All of them were armed with sturdy armor.
Anasthasia noticed how the ogres treated them, trying to break free from the clutches of Edward's prominent magical power. She continued to struggle until her body froze when all of them slammed and dropped on the floor indifferently.
"No!" Anasthasia screamed on top of her lungs, she turned her head with all her might and faced Edward. "Let go of me, Sir Edward!"
"I can't do that..." Edward only averted his gaze as he remained soft-spoken.
Their moment was utterly disturbed by Julius's cackle. "This is one hilarious scene I have ever witnessed in my whole life!"
Edward and Anasthasia looked at him with animosity.
'This fool dared to laugh at my predicament!' Anasthasia thought genuinely and cursed inwardly.
"I may not be able to hurt you, Empress of the Prismatic Empire, but I sure can incapacitate those who hold an important place in your heart."
In the end, only Anasthasia's laugh thrived, "You think you can hurt them that easily? Perhaps you are naive after all—"
Julius remained unperturbed and cut her off "—don't you count them?"
Anasthasia stopped as she gazed at him dead on the eye, "...Pardon?"
"Why don't you properly count them off?" Julius slowly swung his arm towards her subordinates that laid with no vitality.
Eyes drifted away from Julius and glanced at her subordinates, she slowly counted and gasped when she noticed the dubious situation.
"No way! Where is—"
Julius cackled devilishly, "Correct! Allow me to introduce you to this special friend of mine, who happened to be yours as well!" He trudged to the side.
It was enough for Anasthasia to boil her blood and grind him down to the bone.
A once-trusted subordinate turned out to be a traitor for the Prismatic Empire.
"Arnold..." Anasthasia clenched her teeth after she mentioned his name. Her vision slowly blurred as she recalled the seamless coincidences that happened for a long time. Finally, she connected the dots enough to shiver her spine. "You mean—"
"My apologies." Arnold reacted crisply, "But you don't deserve all of this." His smoky purple eyes continued to glare Anasthasia
In bewilderment, Anasthasia creased her forehead. "What do you mean I don't deserve—?"
"Ever since you took away and changed the Prismatic Legacy yourself!" Arnold roared back in displeasure, "You showed nothing but selfishness!"
Her eyebrows creased further as she reacted to his delusion; she hollered back, "What kind of nonsense is that?!"
Arnold remained unperturbed and continued the dispute, "That's not nonsense at all! For you to change, it is equivalent to tarnishing the legacy itself!" He then shook his head slowly.
Anasthasia clicked her tongue as she glared. "Are you still holding a grudge for that?" She eventually exuded a pressure enough to stagger everyone in the area caught by her sight.
"I—" Arnold stumped.
"Tell me!" Anasthasia shrieked out of disappointment, "Is that the sole reason you did all of this?!"
Arnold now kneeled. He still dared to make contact with his purple eyes glistened. "...Yes!" He responded sharply, "You're a disgrace to the legacy itself!"
Loud commotions started to intensify the area, which caused mass confusion, most notably to the rebels.
'What is he even trying to point at' Anasthasia pondered heavily.
"What do you even get any benefit from changing it?!" As he spoke further, Arnold bellowed, "You'll only get nothing but misfortune with that boldness—"
"You do know, right?" Anasthasia's eyes glistened with wisdom, "There's no end to this legacy, we're all a victim in this absurdity."
She spoke gracefully, voice coated with confidence and compassion as she started her monologue. She shut her eyes.
"Throughout this journey, all I ever wished was complete harmony. I did whatever I can to achieve a place where everyone belonged together. Moreover, I'm not only doing this for myself, but also for you, for the subordinates, and for the people I truly cared who lived peacefully here!"
Anasthasia abruptly opened her eyes declaring, "If you tell me what I did the whole time was wrong, then I don't want to be right!"
The rebels looked at each other with guilt plastered on their faces.
Prince Julius was beyond irritated.
Arnold gritted his teeth. "—You think I killed all of them?!"
"What is it this time?" Anasthasia muttered inaudibly thus had stopped the immense pressure.
Arnold grabbed the opportunity, stood up. "Why don't you ask—" He then flung his arms and pointed. "—The person behind you?!"
"What—" Edward got himself in an awkward situation; his forehead began to sweat.
"How true is that?" Anasthasia tried to turn her head.
His sharp grey eyes dilated greatly quivering at a rapid rate. "My Lady, I—"
Arnold's face twisted with a baleful gaze. "You never knew how much of the details I could go on just for the sake of—"
"Arnold! I thought we had the deal already!" Edward howled back in panic.
"Oh, I knew nothing about that." Arnold whistled nonchalantly.
"This won't end well," Edward muttered softly, "My Lady, I know you have lots of things swirled in your mind, but believe me."
Anasthasia was lost in her thoughts when she noticed those grey eyes she knew for so long, the dagger was slowly removed from her and released from the clutches. Edward stepped forward, several steps away from her.
"This will be quick."
Arnold pointed at him and watched in horror, "Edward, I thought—"
"I will bring you all down with me!" Edward bellowed in anger as he mustered his remaining strength.
A sudden thump struck their body that tripped everyone's balance. Before everyone could make a move, the sudden formation of a black vortex coalesced right in front of Edward, which raised Anasthasia's senses at an alarming rate!
"Edward! No! Don't use that spell!" She frantically cried as she tried to reach her arms.
Edward whispered, "Too late..."
Under his command, people nearby got sucked from the tremendous vacuum caused by the tiny vortex. Armors and weapons disintegrated, floor shattered, and bodies ripped.
The black vortex was ruthless.
A lot of them scurried away, but it was futile. Every single one of them devoured quickly.
Prince Julius wasn't an exception.
All of Anasthasia's subordinates were no exception.
It ate everything away—allies or enemies.
Even Edward Marshall had to pay the price.
"No!" Anasthasia cried havoc, "Stop! Stop!" She saw how his body turned out. Like a block of limestone cracked and slowly pulverized. Before she could rush in, she was thrashed away by a powerful force, not enough to hurt her.
He threw her away but she still witnessed it at the very end. His lips moved, which shook her heart.
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