"My name is Liza, Guildmaster of the Undercity. I'm a former slave of the Cartanis family. I'm 56 years old and yes, I'm an elf. Can you let me go now? I promise I won't steal anything from you guys again." Liza said as she struggled with the chains binding her arms and legs.
"Oh please, you broke out of your restraints several minutes ago." Azura glared at her as the chains dropped to the ground and she stood up.
"Ehehe, you noticed huh?" Liza said as she scratched her cheek and Azura nodded.
"Let's hear it then, you wanted to ask something." Azura narrowed her eyes, watching the elf carefully.
"Well, first of all, exactly why are most of the seven here in Caladan? Whatever that old Empress wants, she is still too much for you all to handle." Liza said with a hint of concern.
"Because she is after me." Ai chimed in as she swung her feet while sitting on one of the smaller bookshelves. They were currently inside the old Mages Guild headquarters. It was a normally inaccessible basement underneath Caladan Tower. Azura had teleported the party after finding one of the old teleportation glyphs.
"Pft, you? Your barely Level 14! She's been capturing 20's for years! What makes you so special?" Liza said, flipping on of Ai's daggers in her hand.
"Oh, your good." Ai said as she had watched Liza use a combination of multiple [Flash Step] skills to steal the spare dagger hanging off of her side. She wanted to try to replicate this, so she channeled her mana into using [Blink] in a series. Once to appear in front of her, once to send her hand forth and catch the dagger, and once more to appear back in her original spot as she put the dagger back at her hip.
"Not bad, but I could still see every time you used that spell. That's the problem with the spellcaster version. It's teleportation rather than forced movement. I'm impressed that you could teleport a portion of your body that accurately, but I could have stopped you if I wanted. Anyways, again. Why are you special?"
"Tch..." Ai clicked her tongue as she hopped off of the bookcase. "I'm her daughter."
"Hmm... Well that would do it." She said as she appeared to be lost in thought, twirling Ai's dagger between her fingers.
Ai snapped her fingers as the dagger appeared in her hand, showing off a small glyph she inscribed on the dagger. "Not a lot surprises you, huh?"
Liza blurred across the room, once again twirling Ai's dagger in her palm. "Nope. And I know exactly who you are, Ai."
Ai raised an eyebrow, checking her disguise quickly to confirm that she was indeed disguised as 'Maria'. She said nothing and simply listened to what Liza had to say.
Liza grinned as she tossed the dagger back to Ai. "My big sister is Amaterasu."
Ai narrowed her eyes, that name sounded familiar. 'Wait, didn't that man mention that name before?' She remembered when her 'husband' carried her through Lockwood, mentioning that name.
"Mn, I lost most of my memories. Can't say I remember her." Ai shrugged as she gave up trying to remember the original 'Ai' a while back.
"Are you kidding me!? Amaterasu was one of your Handmaidens!" Liza blurted out, visibly angered by Ai's lack of memories.
"Eh? Handmaiden? Was I someone that important?" Ai raised a brow, no longer able to hold back the curiosity. Perhaps she really was a princess from a far off land. The thought made her giggle inside.
"Eh, not important. I'll tell you one day."
Liza had disappeared from her spot. Looking over to where she had blurred away, Ai snickered when she saw that Liza had attempted to take Freyr, only to knock it down on top of her, the weight of the blade holding her down.
"H-holy shit! This thing weighs a ton! A little help?" She said as she struggled in vain to push the massive blade off of her.
"Nah, think I'll just leave it there for now." Amari said with a smirk as she was focusing the blade down, making it even heavier.
"Fuuu! Alright! alright! I'll tell you! Just lemme outta here!" Liza cried out as Amari lightened the blade, but kept it against Liza, keeping her pinned to the ground.
"Ai is the Empress of the Kantai Empire. Well, was, Kantai was absorbed into the Greater Eastern Empire after my sis took over."
Ai raised an eyebrow, staring at Liza. Amari burst out with laughter.
"Bahahaha! You're funny, dark elf! Lil sis, an Empress?"
"Oi, but it's true! Ai used to have light blue hair. She was known as the Cold-Hearted Witch of Kantai." Liza explained as she pushed the blade up just enough to blur away to a nearby spot.
Amari looked at Liza in shock, then at Ai. "Wait. Wasn't she some super evil maniac that attacked the rest of the Eastern Kingdoms?" Amari asked as Liza nodded her head.
"The same, although it was more like she was trying to unify the kingdoms and empires of the east under her banner. Y'see, she suddenly disappeared one day and my sis was already attempting to take over a neighboring kingdom from the inside. She succeeded and continued Ai's plan by herself. Now, most of the Eastern Continent is unified under the Greater Eastern Empire under sis."
"So what the hell are you doing here, if your sis is now royalty?" Ai asked as she scratched her tattoo.
"Ah, well we're half-sisters. I guess if you forgot about sis, then you would have forgotten what she is. See, I'm half Dark Elf, half High Elf, but due to how High Elf bloodlines work, I appear mostly just Dark Elf. Papa was the High Elf and ma was the Dark Elf. Well, sis is similar, she is half Drow. I used to live with sis before she joined your group. Long story short, after you 'died', sis basically went on a rampage and is carrying on your 'legacy'."
"That's... quite the story." Ai furrowed her brows in thought. Was she really this evil person in her last life? The more she heard, the more things began to click in her mind, however, it still didn't seem right. Andromeda fell in love with Ai's kindness, however, every fiber of her being was telling her that the old Ai was anything but a kind person.
'I guess I'll have to consult the council of A's for this one.'
"So anyways, what are we doing now? Exploring dungeons? Sailing the seas? Fighting evil empresses?" Liza grinned as she sat up on the bookshelf that Ai had sat on before.
"'We' are interrogating our prisoner. You are answering our questions." Azura snapped as she glared at the care-free rogue. "But how did you know about our objectives?"
"A little bird told me!"
Hello everyone! So I may need to cut back on my uploads for a while. Between work ramping up and my personal life getting a little hectic, I can feel my writing getting a little stagnant and I can't stand the thought of doing something I am so passionate about so half-heartedly. So please bear with me for the time being while I get my personal life in order. Thank you so much for your understanding and I hope I can continue to write more enjoyable content later.
Thank you for reading and see you all in the next chapter!
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.