Chapter 55: She Was a Nightmare
"It seems that my mother had once made you very troubled."
Thales' expression was determined. He had resolved upon finding out the identity of his mysterious mother.
Liscia chuckled lightly and scornfully. Then the lovely ritual master walked towards him with a terrifying gaze. "Troubled? It's far more than that. She was a nightmare."
'Nightmare?' Thales thought of Kessel the Fifth's coldness and disregard towards him and could not help but be stunned.
"You should leave, kingdom's blood." Liscia coldly glared at Thales from above. "I have met you, and your duty is done."
Thales regained his attention and, clenching his teeth, took a step forward.
Upon hearing this name, Liscia paused suddenly. The emotions in her gaze changed.
Thales took a deep breath and continued speaking, "This is my mother's name. I don't know what this name signifies to you, but no matter what kind of person she is, I need to know!"
Liscia lowered her head slightly and narrowed her eyes.
Suddenly, Thales realized in astonishment that all the Everlasting Lamps there were shining brighter and brighter, brightly illuminating the dim stone chamber. The flames inside the lamps, which had been quiet and gentle, started making crackling sounds!
'Is this… the Divine Arts?' He clenched his left fist tightly.
Liscia stared at Thales' gray eyes. Her frown became increasingly deeper. In the end, she waved her arm in disdain.
"You are indeed a continuation of that nightmare. Let me give you a piece of advice: Stop asking anything about your damned mother. I won't tell you anything."
Thales stared at Liscia with a dumbfounded gaze.
But he still forced down his displeasure and said in an agitated tone, "But you already told me! You told a son that his mother is a nightmare!"
Thales lifted his head and glared at Liscia's cold, black eyes, refusing to back down. "I'm curious, just whose nightmare is she? My father's?" Thales gritted his teeth and asked, "Or is she YOUR nightmare?"
A piercing light suddenly exploded from Liscia's eyes.
That was not a description, there was literally a golden light bursting out from her eyes!
Thales was unable to open his eyes! He was so shocked that he took a step backwards and lifted his left hand to cover his eyes. His right hand touched JC's dagger.
He felt horrible under that golden light.
'So this is the power that came from that so called Sunset Goddess?'
"Be careful of your words, mortal." As her eyes glowed with a powerful light, and her eyes and gaze became unclear. Liscia said flatly with a dignified expression, "In this mortal world, no one knows more than I do about how despicable and hateful your mother is."
Thales stared at her blankly.
"She is a cold, cruel, treacherous, deceitful whore who was insane and obsessed over influence and power. Every single one of her actions had an ugly motive that cannot be disclosed to others.
"Remember my words: Forget her completely, or else there will come a day when you will regret this."
Thales walked down a few steps absentmindedly, trailing behind Jines on a path in Renaissance Palace on whichever floor, he did not know.
He could not let go of what Liscia had said just now, even after a while. 'Cold, cruel, treacherous, deceitful? Insane and obsessed over influence and power?'
Just who was his mother?
Thales found that the mysteries surrounding his background were becoming greater, especially when it concerned… all the abnormalities of his person.
The boy gritted his teeth.
Jines watched Thales and shook her head lightly.
"Do not take it to heart." Jines pursed her lips, completely unbothered. "It is normal that Liscia does not like you… That woman has always been stubborn, and she cannot let things go."
Thales lifted his head in curiosity, only to hear the female official flatly say, "Before she became the ritual master, she was engaged to your father."
Thales was shocked when he heard it. "Engaged?"
"Yes… Because of various reasons, they did not manage to get married." Jines scoffed disdainfully. "Liscia… That woman, she can't survive without a man. Enraged, she ran to Sunset Temple and from then on, decided to serve the Goddess her whole life.
"So she doesn't like me, either—the king's lover."
The boy, who just heard a huge piece of gossip, opened his mouth in shock.
"But why does that matter?" At that moment, Jines recovered her experienced and capable appearance. The first-grade female official curled the corner of her lips up slightly. "Why should you let others' opinions dictate your fate? Even if it is the Gods' opinion."
At this moment, Jines stopped in front of another, bigger stone chamber, and gently pushed the door open.
"We are here. Similarly, you have to go in alone." Looking at the stone chamber, Jines' experienced and confident expression from before disappeared. She heaved a sigh in desolation. "Only you and your family can enter this place," the female official said faintly.
"Us… us?" Thales was bewildered. He finally noticed that there was something off about Jines who stood before the door.
But again, Jines pushed him into the stone chamber without any explanation.
Eternal Star City. Western City Gate.
"Wait! Are those in front the Karabeyan Family's carriage fleet? May I know if Count Karabeyan himself is there? Uncle? Uncle, is that you?"
A troop of knights who held a single-winged crow flag rushed over from the city gate and caught up with a carriage that was escorted by more than ten knights. There was an emblem of two towers and a sword carved on the carriage door.
The knights with the single-winged crow flags were led by a male noble who seemed to be over thirty years old. He sped up his horse and went in front of the carriage. He then looked at the stern and dignified old noble with graying temples who disembarked from it.
"Derek, it's you? The Kroma family's young and successful Count of Wing Fort rode a horse here?" the old noble asked gently.
The young Count of Wing Fort, Derek Kroma, smiled. "It takes at least two days and two nights to travel here by carriage, and I wouldn't have made it in time, so I decided to just ride here.
"On my way here, I bumped into the carriage fleet of the Bozdorf and the Lascia Families. They should be here soon. Then, among the thirteen Distinguished Families, all the ones from the west should be here.
"What about you, uncle? I have not seen you for such a long time… How have my cousin-brother Kohen, aunt, Kasa and Gina been?"
"After returning from the battlefield, Kohen could not sit still… I arranged for him to be a police officer in the capital city… haih." Recalling the complaint made by his old friend, Count Karabeyan heaved a deep sigh.
"As for your aunt, she is still the same, always worrying about Kohen's marriage. This has made the two little demons at home very happy. They are always urging their mother to organize balls, in the name of finding their brother a wife," the old noble said plainly.
"What?" The young Kroma was stunned for a moment. He then smiled. "She has always been like that. When I first reached adulthood, she brought almost half the girls in Walla Hill over."
Kroma then took a step forward and said in a low voice, "Then, is that matter true, that King Nuven's only son died in Constellation?"
The Count of Walla Hill, Turami Karabeyan looked at his nephew and sighed softly. "It seems to be true. I just bumped into Count Zemunto of the Arunde Family. I heard that Eckstedt's messenger is already on the way, and that their army force is being assembled now. Right now, the most anxious ones should be the Duke of Northern Territory himself and the families under him."
Kroma sighed. He leaned his body forward and said with a solemn expression, "Will there be war?"
Count Karabeyan glanced at his nephew and spoke slowly, "If no miracle happens, you should ask this instead—how bad would the war be?
"Start stocking up food supplies, and prepare for the enlistment of soldiers within the territory." As he spoke, he got down from the carriage and opened his arms to embrace Western City's director of the police station, Lord Lorbec Deira, who was welcoming him. "It's been a long time, old friend!"
"Haha, you have gotten so much plumper!"
"This is the Count of Wing Fort, and also my nephew, Derek Kroma. He is one of the nineteen vassals who are qualified to receive His Majesty's general edict."
"You are the One-Winged Savior from within the thirteen Distinguished Families, the legendary Kroma!"
"You must be the 'Horse Slayer', Lord Lorbec Deira, who rose to fame during the 'Fortress Battle' twelve years ago?"
"Hah, that damned battle…"
After Karabeyan introduced Lorbec and Kroma to each other, a melodious chime suddenly rang from a distance away.
The chime was heavy and long, and could be heard from far away.
Kroma, who did not visit the capital city often, frowned. "If I am not mistaken, is that not the Bell of Constellation? Did something significant happen?"
Lorbec, who had been in the capital city for many years, nodded. "Yes. When the Bell of Constellation rings, it means that something important would be announced at the center of all main districts. Usually, it would be the wedding of someone from the royal family or some important personage… However, lately there has been no…"
At that moment.
The long chime rang again.
Lorbec's expression changed, and he said solemnly, "The bell rang for a second time! This signifies that within a few hours, His Majesty would be convening a National Conference at Renaissance Palace's Hall of Stars."
"A National Conference? The conference that is known to be directed towards all citizens, whether they are nobles or the populace?" Kroma's face had paled. "But the news of the assassination of the Eckstedt Diplomat Group is still a secret, and only circulated among the nobles. Even the Higher Parliamentary Meeting of Constellation would only be held tonight, is it not? Why would a National Conference be convened right now?"
'True. The matters discussed in the National Conference will be announced to the entire Star Plaza, and the entire Constellation. Do you still remember the declaration of the Desert War?' Director Lorbec thought hard.
Count Derek Kroma watched the citizens of the capital city who gossiped in excitement and rushed towards Star Plaza. His expression was unpleasant. "Could it be that His Majesty is making the news public and declaring war on Eckstedt in advance?"
"Who knows?" Count Karabeyan's expression turned gloomy. "He is the 'Iron Hand King', and it is not as if he has never done anything like this before."