Siva (Volume 6) Chapter 101 to 105
 

Apologies for being unable to post for two weeks. Last last week, I was processing my passport and other documents while trying my luck for any work I can find during the day; and this past week, perhaps due to fatigue, I got sick for four days and so was unable to write anything. I can't even use Facebook.

Still, I am deeply ashamed that my performance this past month was really lacking and I bow me head in apology for this.

Also, I only got back to writing today thanks to my grandmother's benevolence and so I shall be dedicating the entire night and day until tomorrow writing the chapters of Siva.

We are closing in on the climax of the volume as I have painstakingly edited the original blueprint to insert three volumes' worth of content into one volume with this Volume 6.

Volume 6 might get around 170+ chapters or even total up to 200...

I will do my best to write this as awesome and as enticing as possible. I ill be waiting for your reviews after the volume. Now back to work...

Enjoy the chapters.
 

================================
Chapter 101: Open the Gates
================================

A mission was announced in the Mission Boards across the city: certain resources are needed and must be brought to Warehouse 27 within two hours.

The difficulty was S-Rank.

Time limit is 2 hours.

Reward: National Contribution Points

By the power of the Council of Elders, all of the Factions and their corresponding Knight Orders all had to forget whatever it is they were doing and only focus on completing the mission that is pasted on the board.

Basically, if one person had at least one of the 10 things the Council had listed, they will be given as a reward the rare National Contribution Points.

It was a set of points that only the Elders of the Council can give away as rewards to the missions they give —aside from the Royal Family which is non-existent at the moment.

Once one had enough points, they can exchange it for certain perks that is either access to certain places, services, even treasures, or even certain information that cannot be obtained elsewhere.

Also, the more points you have, the better your social standing in the country as a whole. You will be treated as a patriotic hero.

For players and gamers who had a high sense of vanity to themselves, this was a rare chance to be hailed as a famous face amongst the crowds.

Thus, many players compromised these items and ‘sold’ them for points to Warehouse 27.

In here, Jules personally overserved the entire operation while Draco ran here and there; trying to get as much of the items he could get from the resources of The Kingdom… no… of the Council.

But even then, the resources the council was able to provide weren’t enough so they were forced to issue the Resource Gathering Mission.

The rest of the council divided the task they have confidence of in completing; the resources that’s needed and could be provided immediately were all delivered as soon as possible.

It was a nation-wide scale of resource movement, the biggest the world has ever seen.

40 minutes later, Jules discovered that a problem lies in the Elemental Stones. Even with the entire resources of Jeremiah were drained, all they can produce were 9 megatons of each elements.

“Shit… are we really going to be forced to pull out resources from our personal treasury?” one of the Council Elders lamented regretfully. “Argh! No time to hesitate! Fuck. Even just a Megaton of one of these stones can support an Army of 10K for an entire month! And he needed 100 of each of them! This is preposterous!”

In the end, the elders had no choice but to pull out stocks from their own personal pockets to fill the gaps of what was missing on their designated item… or even on what was still needing of filling.

An hour passed…

Jules sent the message to the Council Members:

[We are still missing 4K Frag Grenades, 10K Fire Bombs, 40 Megatons of Tesla Coils, 2 Mega-Crates of Glandanium Alloys, 1 Megaton of Water Stones, and 3 Megatons of Cryogenic Elements.]

“Then pull out more from your personal stocks!”

[I’ve already pulled out all of my Elemental Stones from my own pockets! I don’t have any to support even my own household forces!]

“Me as well.”

“I have no more of the items needed in me.”

“What about the Battle-AIs and the Blacksmith?”

[The Council Head is yet to contact us from his visit to Pandora.] All of the Council Members were beginning to feel the desperation. [We have no other choice. Let’s buy them from outside.]

“Right. Buy them.”

“No matter the price.”

“We must not lose the country from our hands.”

[The Council will persist.]

“““The Council will persist.”””

Forget about dignity. The council wouldn’t let the superpower country called “Jeremiah” slip passed their fingers. As much as they can, they will not let their control of the country go no matter what.

Through the generations of Council that went and go, Jeremiah, from the inception since the ancient times until now, had always been in the clutches and beck and call of the Council of Elders.

It’s their property. The country is theirs to control.

This was their sacred volition… a volition that also turned into tradition… 

…a tradition that converted into an obsession.

—an obsession that became the law.

Thus, as humiliating as it may be, for the first time in a very, very long time, they contacted the other powers in Terroa, and not the other way around.

Transactions were made, compromises were also promised, debts were owed, and faces were given… 15 minutes before the 2hr deadline, the teleport lights flashed six times around the West Quadrant Area of the Central Region of the city.

In those six lights, Draco and five cursing red-faced old fellows in their respective regalia of an Elder of the Council of Elders, appeared almost in the same time as the others.

“I will remember this.” Draco cursed and similar curses were also spouted off from the mouths of the other five elders. “I got the last of the Water Stones.”

“I’m good with the 20 Megatons of Tesla Coils.”

“I got the last Fire Bombs and a Mega-Crate of Glandanium Alloy.”

“I got the Water Stones.”

“I got the last Mega-Crate of Glandanium Alloy.”

“I fucking have to bow my head to get the last 3 Megatons of Cryogenic Elements to that wife of that sick Emperor! She dares to call herself Empress in front of me! Fuck it! FUCK IT!!! She fucking made me bow my head to her!”

For the Council, for the 50 years, they are the new and should only be the strongest force in Terroa. None… was allowed to make them bow their heads.

As they heard this cursing old man, Draco and the rest also felt the anger rise up on them. They felt that they, too, were humiliated by this fact.

The last set of curses made their situation a bit hectic. In but an instant, they had no choice but to go to other countries themselves just to buy the last remaining items on the list.

It’s not that they can’t send ambassadors to do the job but it’s just that the countries had felt that the Council of Jeremiah were moving puzzlingly thus they decided to choke the stock and see if The Council would make the trip themselves.

But this feeling… it was spot on.

When the council felt that the resources were being choked in the market, they knew they had to personally make a visit to the powers themselves.

And for the initial resources… though it was only 20% of their entire reservoir, this ‘reservoir’ was meant to sustain the needs of the country, as well as something that must be saved up for in case of a national emergency.

The 20% was pulled out from their treasury but it was still not enough to completely fill out the list of items they needed.

And so, they had to issue the mission and yet even that is not enough so they went personally to other countries who export them to buy in double, even triple their usual prices.

They swallowed their ego, threw away pride, and have to give face to unpleasant enemies… just so they could persist and save their grip in the seat of power in Jeremiah.

They arrived at Warehouse 27 and registered the items. Jules gave a nod as Draco asked, “What about the Council Head?”

Jules turned his gaze to a corner where three men wearing [Human Clothes] called ‘black suits and black ties’ and had black sunglasses in their eyes, were seated on a bench.

The three doesn’t emit Mana unlike the ones who had ‘woken up’ in Terroa, thus, Draco thought that perhaps these three weren’t pure Humans.

—or maybe they are biomechanical bodies?

—right, perhaps the latter.

—if so, then are they the Battle-AIs themselves?

“And yet, what were in those cases they carry?”

Each of the three ‘men in black’ carried aluminum-looking attaché cases with cufflinks that connects their arms to the handle of the case.

“Who knows?” Jules shrugged her shoulders. “I personally don’t care. They’re anti-social and so I don’t like them one bit.”

No matter how much time passes by, no matter the circumstances, those who are in power will never glance at a competition with kind eyes. This was the truth especially in The Council of Elders.

Even if the entire Terran-Human Alliance say that their relationship is solid, the fact will still remain that despite the Humans contributing greatly to the survival of their planet, they are still outsiders and there will be some, especially those who are in power, which will not look at that angle happily.

The three men were all humans. Tall, bulky, with a snappy poise and militaristic presences… these three may not be magically strong, but they are all humans —they have [Technology] on their side.

“Draco.” five minutes before the deadline, Draco heard the Council Head’s voice behind him. All of the members stood in attention at his presence.

Draco knew his mistakes and he bowed his head.

“Grand Elder.”

“““Grand Elder.”””

Everyone greeted the Council Head.

“This matter will not end here. Tomorrow is the official opening of the King Tests and the throne will be available for the taking. We have done this many times so I assume that you will know what should be done. This incident will serve as lesson for you. In the future, you must completely seize both and all opportunities to control any possible kinds of situation with initiative. I know that you have the preferential treatment with that King Candidate that had caused all this because of his ability, but it was also because of that that you gave him too much freedom and power that he caused all this. I don’t want a second event like this happening in the future… ever again. And this advice applies to all of you, do we understand each other?”

“““Yes, Grand Elder.”””

“Good. Now then, Draco, please call him.”

*****

There were people in front of Warehouse 27.

It was a jam-packed crowd, in fact, that in a quick eye would give you the impression of not having any space left to even put a pin in the middle.

“This is a rather surprising event.”

“It’s because the Council of Elders issued a very rare Nation-Wide special mission; a Resource Gathering Mission with a special reward. Usually, you only get that kind of Mission when it is an emergency.”

“Is that so…”

Siva’s group was ‘standing’ just outside the crowd of people and by merely just standing there, they were already catching attention.

Yet, the crowd that they were staring at right now seemed to not care about them as they all just tried to take a peek and see what was going on inside Warehouse 27.

Of course, while all of these are happening, Siva wasn’t wasting his time here and from yesterday until now, he’s been trying to prolong his and Cortana’s [Link] ability.

“Whew… Cortana, you may begin.”

[Yes sir.]

—link.

After taking in a deep breath, he issued an order and a sharp jolt of pain assaulted his mind as the sounds in the entire surroundings were delivered to his ‘hearing’ with a permissible 0.01% latency from the actual moment they were processed.

“…!!’

Siva groaned but the words from the crowd never stopped coming to his ears.

“I saw. I saw it!”

“Me too! There’s a mountain of them in there!”

“Just what kind of event is it this time?”

“Those resources they listed, I made my inquiries and they said that Black Ironwood Alloy can be used to make Garuda-class and Lambda-Class Warships and that the Glandanium Alloy is used to create heavy-armoured Knight-Class Warships!”

“Geezer’s Mice! Are they really going to create a fleet of warships?”

“If it’s a tiny fleet of three-four ships, then these resources will be enough. But I doubt it.”

“I second this.”

“The Council wouldn’t dare it. Long ago, Queen Lunette’s Decree stated that Jeremiah will never build warships. Its power will solely rely on its people as a sign of its trust and as well as her vow to the people who founded her Kingdom that Jeremiah will forever stand as the vanguard of the Terrans against the invaders.”

“Ah… I’m in love with this queen. A pity she died more than 30 years ago.”

“But her son, King Altair, inherited this promise.”

“Yeah, well, where is he now?!”

“…”

“I understand that. During her time, Terroa is a united planet and there was actually no need for us to build those warships. But…”

“—don’t worry in there. The Council will not build warships.”

“““Hoooo!!!”””

“What makes you say that?”

“Trust…… I trust the Royal Family.”

“Your grandma’s underarm! The Royal Family you speak of only has one member left and he’s been missing for three decades!”

“Ha! What a treacherous claim! How can you call yourself a citizen of Jeremiah if you can’t even put your trust to our King?”

“Oh, I trust our country alright. But I can’t trust a King who doesn’t want to carry his title’s weight and so chose to run away and go missing.”

“I second this notion!”

I third this notion!!”

I second the third notion!!”

“Treason! Treason, I say! These resources are all for the betterment of the country. The Council of Elders will never break that vow. Trust, and you shall have prosperity.”

“Use your eyes! What are those resources for?!”

Within the nearest 100m of Siva, he was hearing these words through the [Absolute Domain]’s integrated sonar and sonometer functions.

By combining their aspects, the receiving sound input from the noises picked up, or rather, those ‘sounds’ hitting the walls of the [Absolute Domain] became information for the sonometer to read. 

The sonar function interprets them as not location coordinates but rather literal sounds… translated into actual words Cortana calculates in 1/10,000th the speed of the blink of an eye.

Within the range of the 100m radius from Siva, any sound encompassed by this ‘domain’ became audible information directly fed to his brain using the [Link] that he shared with Cortana.

And not only that; through the ‘domain’ as well, all of the people’s faces, actions, and locations, were all ‘seen’ by him as if he was everywhere.

If Siva so chose, in fact, during battle, the [Link] is also able to provide him the ability of being able to be conscious of his surroundings down to its very smallest detail in a much broader scale.

This is that ability he called [Focus].

You can even say that Siva’s [Focus] enables him to be ‘conscious’ of his surroundings but through the [Absolute Domain], this range expands.

Using [Focus] alongside Cortana’s processes of the [Absolute Domain] (control of the BM-Puppets and the integrated “Auricle Scan” within), if she activates [Link] to share these information to Siva, then Siva, within the span of time that he can use [Focus], will become the strongest existence in a battlefield for being ‘aware’ of every single thing.

Siva generally summarized this ability as plainly just [Focus]. The larger the [Absolute Domain] is, the larger his [Focus] range will be.

It is a great ‘ability’, but the price to use it is high.

Behind his mask, Siva was frowning. If one could see through the black smoke skin curse on his face, they would see him sweating profusely.

“Gugh…!!” the sound of Siva’s groan rung beside Scion and she looked at him in surprise, using her arms to support him.

“Rex! What’s wrong?”

The entire team also became surprised.

[Cooldown in 1 minute]

Cortana’s voice said on Siva’s ears.

[You’ve lasted 2 seconds, sir. It’s a new record.]

Siva heaved a weak breath, “Thanks, Mandy. I’m okay.” he didn’t want her to worry. “I was just in the middle of performing a brain task.”

Although it wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t the entire truth.

His mind right now is really hurting and while it is so, one could only imagine just what is happening to his ‘real body’ outside the game world.

“I don’t know what you mean but are you really okay? You sounded like you’ve been holding that pain in for quite some time.”

“I’m okay… really, I’m okay.” Siva’s head felt like it was going to split in half from the pain. Holding his head through the faceless helmet also wasn’t helping even just a bit.

From the back, to the side, to the front, and to the top of his head… every definition and meaning behind the mystery of a ‘headache’ is there and Siva was trying to hold back the urge to give in and roll his eyes up to sleep and rest.

“It’s just mental fatigue.” He told Scion who then put his arm around her shoulder to support him.

“Even so… let’s just try to rest up for a bit.”

They were in a corner of a block 100m away from the Warehouse District. It wasn’t in a hidden place so there are still a few people who could see their group and murmur a bit regarding them.

Upon Scion’s suggestion, Scarlet made a cover for Siva with their team so she helped him lean on the wall of the building while supporting him.

Siva heaved, and sighed, and groaned.

[40 seconds until cooldown.]

“Thanks, Cortana.”

[Shouldn’t you have taken this slower, boss? The mental strain isn’t something you can just grit your teeth and endure just like last time.]

The ‘last time’ she was referring to is during that instance when Siva officially tested [Focus] for the first time. Back then, he only lasted 1 second but the headache (cooldown) lasted 30 seconds.

If it wasn’t for Cortana, Siva would have collapsed there and then. It was thanks to Cortana’s control of the BMA through the [Orbiter Bracelet] that he was able to stay upright despite the blackening pain of his head.

“We don’t have much time.” Siva hissed through his teeth. Being able to last 2 seconds is already his limit but increasing the strain he could endure within four days since the first time he discovered it is already a blessing.

A minute passed and the pain subsided.

“Rex?” Scion’s soft and gentle voice could melt any man’s heart, especially when she is this very concerned and endearingly worried when tending to her beloved.

Siva patted her arm, “I’m alright now.”

His breathing normalized and Scion bit her lip as if she was reluctant to not care for Siva.

For some reason, Siva had a notion that perhaps Scion was really the kind to be like a big sister to a lover, or maybe like a hen to her chick… Siva is her diamond —her treasure.

And so, for some reason, realizing this, Siva could clearly tell that somewhere in his body, there was someone who dearly wished to receive that care.

[Boss… ehem…]

“…!!”

He almost forgot about Cortana. Sense of shame for letting a ‘woman’ —despite her declaration that she wasn’t a woman at all— know his thoughts draped his nape and Siva could tell that if his skin wasn’t cursed, he would be deeply blushing.

At that time, Cortana informed him, [Boss, there is a call from Draco.]

Siva rolled his sight to the clock on his vision.

“It’s almost time…” he gave his mental affirmation so the video call got connected. “Draco. I assume you have completed your task?”

[We have indeed, sir.]

His tone contained a submissive intent. Draco had lost his high and mighty disposition when in front of Siva since Siva had managed to use Eleanor’s acquiescent attitude two hours ago to his play.

Turning a troublesome situation into something of a blessing needed not only cleverness and strong courage, but also a wild imagination and of course assertiveness and experience.

Siva’s [Memories] showed a view vision where he had conned a few mighty figures… and even his own experiences as Rex Kingsley before all of this even begun, all helped in him successfully pulling that stunt earlier.

If he wasn’t observant enough, he couldn’t have pulled out that play earlier.

—all of these added up, the result was convincing in the Council of Elders that he was someone of a higher stance than Eleanor who came from the Circle of Magi.

And… with a short meeting with FlowerLord’s team earlier, he became aware of the situation that had befallen the city regarding Julia.

—I’ll deal with that later.

Siva played an annoyed card at Draco, “Cut me all that crap. I’m getting those resources to build a better defense zone for my country. There is no need for you all to know where it will be but I can assure you that within the boundaries that the Circle of Magi had set up on specific places, your Jeremiah will be safe as long as you repent and do not stand in my way. Oh, I almost forgot. I want to see that bastard severely punished. Do we make ourselves, clear?”

Draco affirmed, [Yes sir.]

Siva nodded and then straightened his poise as he led his team. “Well then, open the gates.”

.

.

================================
Chapter 102: Encounter with The Naturals
================================

Siva was led by Draco, Jules, and the Council Head inside the Warehouse 27’s compound. The guards, led by that familiar gatekeeper, blocked off the people who had wanted to barge in and take a peek inside.

The rest of The Council was waiting for them in the entrance of the warehouse and they all wore flattering smiles on their faces.

“Lead the way.”

Siva didn’t want the pleasantries so he directly bid the Council Head to lead them inside.

But… as soon as Siva entered the warehouse, a crisp voice of concern erupted from the silent and supposedly indifferent-looking Cortana.

[Boss!]

Siva stopped walking.

Call it sixth sense or something, but an intuition in his subconscious told him something akin to a dip in a pool —cold yet invisible, but still there— had just ‘scanned’ him.

“This feeling again!”

It was the familiar feeling he felt last night when that “Julia” scried his memories with an item. This was the sensation of magic being used in him!

[Boss, someone had just scanned you.]

“Yeah I felt it as well. But how did you… oh, I see, so that means it was not only a magical scan but also a scan of that sort as well.”

[The scan came from those three people in the corner, far away from our group. They’ve now discovered that your BMA and Prison Armors are all Inventions. The man in the left side said that you have a high density of Mana and that your body should be stronger than normal; the man on the right had just finished analyzing your equipment set and had finished reporting it to the man in the middle.]

“What?! Shit. Block off all data connections from the outside!”

[Already done. Right now, they have AIs trying to hack my control over the local data network. Hah, thankfully sir, I am me. It’s quite a sight to look at those three Battle-AIs struggling.]

Siva doesn’t want his secret reported to their HQ.

Although Cortana wasn’t laughing, Siva imagined Cortana as a giant being looking at the ants as they tried to ‘hack’ their way through the blockade and literal “firewall” that she created.

Still, Siva frowned at this. He felt the emergency.

He couldn’t let these three know of his secrets so he turned to his left and gave an order to Scarlet.

“Seal off the warehouse!” it was a yell of anger.

“Yes sir.” Scarlet felt the urgency on the tone of this command so she didn’t dally and immediately made her way to order the High Magistrates to set up their former Tier-7 Barrier Magic.

Siva didn’t even bat an eye to the Council Elders as he made his way towards the ‘Humans’ who had just ‘scanned’ him both magically and electronically —who had thought that he won’t be able to discover their deed.

“It seems that there are stupid people trying to test my patience!” Siva hissed as he ‘walked’ with impatient steps towards the three men in black.

But the three men thought otherwise.

“This firewall is his doing!”

“He’s coming this way.”

“Prepare for battle!”

The man in the middle gave the order as they, simultaneously and expertly, raised the ‘cases’ in their hands alongside an activation thought.

ZOOM!!!

CLANG!CLANG!!CLANG~!!!

With the sounds of clanging metals, the ‘attachés’ in their hands formed into armors —from their arms, to their legs, to their chest, then to their heads— just like how BMA converts from one [form] to another, like how Galvatron transforms from its robotic form into its ‘truck’ form, their attaché cases became their equipment gears.

Though unlike Siva’s full-body armor, theirs were lighter in their appearances but still had the sturdy ‘feel’ as if it was the BMA’s replica. What more…

*****

“This feeling… is it resonance? No. It’s too weak to be resonance but there is no mistaking that this feeling is a familiar Mana emission. This is Magic!”

[I can’t ‘feel’ this “resonance” you speak of boss, but based on your thoughts, I concluded that my inability to detect Mana hinders my functionalities and is limited by the receptors I am installed with.]

“You mean to say that you need to be installed by something capable of scanning Mana?”

[I apologize, boss. I will have to trouble you to find such modulators for me. I can conclude that since this is in the game for it to be linked to me and be used by me, it should be equipped in you in the form of an Accessory —just like a second Orbiter Bracelet.]

“So these three guys are the key on finding it?”

Though Siva’s and Cortana’s conversations at times are composed of multiple words that may last a few moments, Cortana’s prompts were all in rapid responses with Siva’s thoughts—

She processes his memories/thoughts and replies to them via a thought impulse —much like how an idea or an original thought is made in the mind— Cortana’s replies are delivered directly to Siva’s brain.

In a way, it was a technical interpretation of how [Telepathy] worked between the two of them.

If not using [Focus], this is the most minimum of all the capabilities of Cortana’s [Link].

—and so the only spent time delivering their reply to each other’s words were only but a moment.

*****

Siva stopped his briskly ‘walking’ and hovered in a distance 10m away from the three Humans —who did not attack but instead only ‘prepared’ for a battle that might ensue.

[I really can’t seem to scan their equipments, sir. Something is barring me from inspecting their grades and make.]

“I can feel Mana radiating from their equipments. It has the same feel as to when I am testing the Rune Sword [Land Sword of Monalisa] in terms of Mana emissions.”

[So you have to get those receptors for me sir.]

“I will when I get the chance.”

[You have to….]

“…”

[….as soon as possible.]

“…”

Siva narrowed his eyes as he looked at the three.

The Council Elders were stupefied. They did not expect that these people would start out in this kind of atmosphere.

Within the next few moments, a fight will break out and they, the Council Elders, will be stuck in the middle of this bout.

Their gears only needed a moment to completely set up in their bodies. When this was done, a light flashed off in the three’s chests as a core similar in appearance to the BMA’s [core] fixed itself on their chest plates like a bead ornament.

Their armor looked metallic; silver in color, in fact, that with one look will tell you that this is the exact opposite of a BlackTech.

—is it called WhiteTech?

For some obvious reason, Siva had that thought.

[Hm? Sir, they’re emitting a similar electronic-kind of ‘domain’ like our own [Absolute Domain]. But as it was ‘electronic’, I managed to restrict it a meter away from their bodies using our Domain. But that’s the limit, sir. I can’t seem to detect what it is that’s making me unable to suppress their domain further than that range. Though, I still succeeded in determining that their domains are focused on movement augmentation, just like ours, and so the only limit there is, is if whether their bodies can take the stress or not.]

—if that’s the case, it’s either their bodies should be made of metal, just like my puppets, or they’re also tempered in some way just like my body.

—these guys’ technology, they were similar to what I am chasing…

—but something’s not right.

—they’re emitting magical pulses unlike my BMA.

—Cortana can’t detect magical pulses but I do.

[Does that mean, sir, that that’s the reason why I can’t determine what’s making me unable to crush their domains?]

Siva depended on Cortana’s ability to read his mind so he answered with affirmation, “That should be it.”

[Then you really should prioritize my receptor, sir.]

“…”

—she’s insisting.

—has her pride been hit?

but then again, does she even have a pride to her capabilities to begin with?

She might not sound like it but Siva could feel that she was really somewhat brooding over not being able to ‘detect’ Mana the way she could influence the default NanoField of his Absolute Domain.

He knew that Cortana felt the concern he had in this weakness of hers. And although he already knew that she ‘knew’ it from the day he defeated that True Dragon and pursued to improve BMA to that direction, Siva still insisted that Cortana reply to his thoughts to joggle his motivation and also his imagination to finish this task.

—my BMA’s greatest weakness became visible in this situation thanks to these three’s armors.

—the difference between theirs and mine is that I have a superior AI that can proactively control the [Absolute Domain] and counter their domains’ electronic aspect. But I can’t do anything against their domains’ magical aspect. What should I do if they managed to report this to their higher ups?

—I’d be in trouble. With the Humans’ technology and imagination, it wouldn’t be difficult for them to analyze my weaknesses and develop a counter to it in the shortest of time.

—after all, they hold Terroa in their palms.

I can’t let that happen.

These thoughts were running like a flash of light in Siva’s mind right now.

From the moment he stopped ‘walking’ and just hovered there in front of the three Humans 10m away, only a few moments had gone past.

One thought and counter-thought after another, it piled up into holes in his plan and so in order to be able to move unhindered, he had to use up all his mental powers to process these problems and think of a solution to it.

…….whether by force or by a more violent force!

—their magical domain is really troublesome.

—but to be able to resist up to at least one meter away from their bodies means that their domains are all only 80% or so electronic and 20% magic.

—it’s similar to what I want for my BMA but it’s also not the exact result I wanted.

Meaning…

—it’s both these guys and the technologies they have in their arsenal are either the lowest or just a prototype, and they themselves are mere foot soldiers of the Humans’ Army.

—it’s either they have disposable technologies in them or them themselves and their [gears] are all disposable pawns…

—Shit. I can’t land into a conclusion unless I am sure of what direction I should go.

There are two matters that concerned Siva with these three Humans.

1) their Nano-Magic combination Technology
2) if these three are real ‘Humans’ themselves.

Because if the second is the truth, then it means that the Humans’ technology in this game had now reached the level of them being able to deploy [Clone Warriors] at any given time… and that spells trouble to him and his plans.

After all, Siva’s pursuit of “absolute power” to be able to protect his Asgard can threaten ‘Powers’ that will not tolerate any additional competitions over the throne of superiority in Terroa.

“Cortana, are you able to tell if they are Humans?”

At least he wanted to know that much.

[I cannot determine. Just like how I can block their attempts of a deeper scan, I can’t seem to breach this invisible barrier. This barrier is the reason I can’t scan them completely, sir.]

—their domains are movement-augmentation domains using a NanoField and a kind of magic.

……..meaning…

—these guys are either enhanced humans or they have also tempered their bodies like me.

for them to be able to withstand the bodily strain resulting in the enhanced movement augmentation of that kind of domain, only those two options above are my only assumptions.

By now, three moments have already passed.

Siva turned to look at Scarlet on the back. “Did you guys ever taught these people magic of this level?”

Being a High Magistrate, Scarlet seemed to have felt the weird fluctuations of Mana from the three men as well so she understood where Siva was coming from with his inquiry.

Considering what she had learned in the events as of late, she had vaguely patched through a few things that can prove that this Magic Knight is not just some ‘knight’ whom Pistareen had nurtured.

Especially that call earlier where an actual Envoy from the Circle of Magi addressed him as a ‘Lord’.

She wasn’t stupid as to not realize what it meant.

In regards to his question, if the Circle of Magi he belonged to “did not” teach this kind of magic, it can only mean that it’s either them who had taught this kind of magic. But—

“Apologies, My Lord. But aside from the members of the Grand Temple, higher tier magic spells that reaches Tier-5 are strictly regulated and all of the people who had been granted ownership of their talismans are all recorded. These three, however, are not on that list. I stake my status as a High Magistrate for this claim.”

“I will trust you then.” Siva ignored the shocked looks on the Council Elders.

How could they not be scared by this?

A High Magistrate has the same status as a Grand Knight’s deputy commander. A High Elder has the same status as a Grand Knight. Grand Elders has the same status as a country’s rulers… or them, the Council of Elders, in that regard.

But in the entire Enchantment Temple as a whole, those who had been given the title of Grand Elder can be counted in a single hand: none.

It’s not that nobody can, it’s just that nobody is yet to be qualified to take one of those positions.

Even the title “Grand Elder Mage” is only given to the head of the Enchantment Temple. And yet, it does not mean that he is higher in status as a “Grand Elder”… just like how it is in the Council of Elders, and specifically, to the Council Head.

Meaning, it’s just like how the Council of Elders works. The Enchantment Temple just so happens to have no one qualified on that position.

And yet… to have High Magistrates as followers, although the Council Elders had already been aware of the identity of this Magic Knight, they still couldn’t fathom this single fact.

Even they, the esteemed and respected Council Elders couldn’t get a Grand Knight to be their own personal follower.

And yet this guy has seven of them.

SEVEN Grand Knight-level personalities as his personal followers.

Just what kind of status does this knight really has in the Circle of Magi?

Then, Cortana voiced a suggestion.

[Boss, I completed analysis of the situation.]

“Oh?”

[We can use this as an opportunity.]

“How?”

Cortana ‘sent’ her suggestion through the default sharing channel through their [Link] and this idea made Siva smile.

“We can use that. Good job. You’ve used my past ideas and archived thoughts for this plan. I do recall thinking about this plan before.”

[Yes sir.]

*****

Seemingly feeling the atmosphere changing, the leader of the human group spoke up his personal set of concerns in the current situation.

From the moment he gave the order to ‘prepare’ up to now where they finished preparations, only a few seconds had passed.

“We don’t remember ever issuing that kind of AI, Magic Knight. I wonder then… how did you get that AI? You couldn’t have been able to build it in the current set of technology Terroa has since we never published any such software in this planet.”

This is the reason why the Terran-Human Alliance hold so much power in Terroa.

Though they are neutral, they are still considered as an overlord at the same level of deterrence and ruling podium as the Circle of Magi.

In fact… there are actually three of them.

The Circle of Magi…

Terran-Human Alliance —or simply The Alliance.

..…and then the Magus of the mysterious Magus Archive —the most mysterious of the three powers that rule over Terroa behind the curtains.

“You’re right.” Siva said, his tone becoming bland as he took notice that despite the Human having a battle stance, there was no ill-intent in the hostility that exists within them. “My Battle-AI came from a place not from Terroa.”

The man’s expression —who wore a headgear— stiffened into an ugly frown. This was a face that only military-trained men who had experiences in their backs could create.

“I can’t scan you but I am also getting notifications that you can’t scan us as well. We’re in a deadlock in here but I am not stupid enough to assume that you are some easy prick to deal with.”

Siva raised a brow. Then he laughed. “I’m actually quite surprised by your technology. This is really a very clever way to use magic. You combined the technology of humans and the omnipotence of Mana, and created magic that is a deviation of the ones taught by the Circle of Magi. If I should call it something, this should be… Sorcery. Right. If the Terrans has their [Magic], then you Humans have your [Sorcery].”

The man in the middle smiled at Siva, a sword that radiated golden lights appeared on his right hand while on his left appeared a round buckler.

—both weapons had a similar kind of feel as what Siva had described it to be comparable to. 

Runes!

And yet, these equipment items aren’t Runes as they are clearly weaker than Runes but are faintly stronger than Siva’s BMA who is SS-Rank.

FLASH! FLASH!

While this happened, the two other men also had the same sword and shield materialize on their arms and hands.

Unlike Siva, they don’t have capes and so they looked more like Spartans or Trojans rather than European medieval knights like Siva and his team.

Although Siva was also a ‘Human’, in the game, he is from the Apollo Race, a Terran… so he couldn’t help feel a bit desolate when facing against them.

“Sorcery, you say? Hah! Is this your AI speaking for you or is it your own imagination?”

Siva shook his head, “No. It is merely my original theory. Actually… I’ve long since had the thought of fusing the two as well. But who would have thought that I’d already been beaten to the chase by you Humans?”

The leader frowned further. “It seems that you’re not just any normal person either. Who are you?”

“I don’t want to tell that to people who are bearing swords to an unarmed individual. More than that, it’s even three to one.” Siva said half-jokingly.

His relaxed manner was contrary to his words and this is what the three Humans picked up as pure confidence in his skill and ability.

At this point, an imaginary spark was continuously being ignited between their gazes.

The human chuckled. The entire warehouse was surrounded by a fog and any Magic below Tier-7 quality is ‘shut away’ from the outside world.

“You’ve locked us here yet you still spout these things… are you not afraid of incurring the wrath of the heavens for faking your worry?”

Siva’s brow arched.

“Is that something I should be concerned about?”

The man laughed, “No it’s not.” then, he looked at the flustered Council Elders who, although they are not necessarily weaker than any of them, still had to maintain their neutral stance in regards to the matter between two representatives of the forces that could cover Terroa with one hand. “I apologize, Council Head, but it seems that we will have to solve this issue in a different way. The Alliance cannot give away a valuable asset to a person who wishes to use it in a different manner than intended.”

The Council Head felt his scalp go numb. Is he serious? If they can’t give those three Battle-AIs he demanded, Jeremiah might actually burn to the ground because of it.

But then, before he could voice his fear, the man continued smilingly at Siva, “Rather than that. I am positive that the reason why you’re trying to get our Battle-AI Technology isn’t actually for them, but for us… or rather… a meeting with us from The Alliance, am I correct? IF you really wanted one, you could have just requested only one and yet you deliberately made it hard for us by actually demanding three so you’d be sure to summon at least a representative to see this through.”

This statement surprised everyone else, including Scarlet and even Siva.

Is this really his plan? They all thought.

“Cortana, we’ve been discovered.”

[Good work, boss.]

“Yet again, I’m amazed by your calculations.”

[It’s because of the materials floating in the Net.]

“…”

Siva smiled under the mask and released his pure battle intent. This was different from bloodlust but closely related; a “battle intent” is something only those who accepted the situation and determined to go into blows to resolve a matter, can release.

For normal people who grew up in a world full of peace and quiet, one’s battle intent can already put their minds into a state of panic whereas pure bloodlust could kill them with a heart attack.

This is the difference between a warrior and a common street face.

Having felt the battle intent, the leader of the human group beamed a merry grin —his white teeth broadly savouring the boiling feelings of the impending battle.

Looking at him now, Siva was reminded greatly of Hagrid and Cramer —these guys have the same blood flowing in their veins.

“Your AI is pretty impressive, Knight. I could only guess that you’ve already taken control of the entire outer shell of this city’s local network that’s why we can’t connect to our HQ.”

Siva laughed, “And I’m impressed that you’ve still yet to fall despite feeling how strong I am.”

“Hehehe! It’s not everyday I get to meet someone who I feel I can go all out without worrying about injuries.”

—Che! This guy is strong!

—Heh! This one is strong!

Siva and the Human had the same thoughts. But they have different interpretations.

While the Human is enjoying the imminent clash, Siva could only feel irritated. As fast as possible, he wanted to proceed with the plan Cortana had spoken of and get on point with the business.

A clash of battle-intent could be ‘felt’ within the entirety of the warehouse and those low-ranking knights who were trapped inside with them began to shiver at the pressure they were feeling.

They even heard something akin to the sound of static electricity flying off somewhere.

Unable to hold it in, Draco stepped and tried to be a mediator, “Gentlemen, please, let’s resolve this in a more peaceful manner.”

“Shut up.” a calm rebuke came from Siva. “Who do you think is the cause of all this mess, huh? I wouldn’t be here wasting my time if only you and your brainless lot weren’t so audacious to actually target my wife beside me. If it wasn’t for her kind-heartedness, I really would have destroyed this city from the moment you’ve ticked my patience… and I’m not even adding the fact that you delayed my schedule for another two hours!”

Draco felt his scalp go numb. He couldn’t even find his courage to refute and deny this rebuke.

“When I talk, you shut up and listen. You do not talk back unless you are only permitted to. Do I make myself clear, lowly knight?”

.

.

================================
Chapter 103: Heavenly Oath
================================

Being scolded like a young cadet in front of all of these knights made Draco burn in fury. But as he thought about exploding here, the Council Head stepped in as he patted Draco’s head and bowed together with him.

“Please, forgive my subordinate for his disrespect Sir Knight. He was only thinking about the safety of the innocent people in the vicinity.”

“Hmp.” Siva snorted and then faced the Human. “I have lost interest in playing pretenses here. I will admit that you are right. I want a meeting with who it is that is encharged of this city’s Alliance Staff.”

The man became dejected, “We’re not gonna be fighting, then?”

“Sorry. It’s not that I am underestimating you, but I really don’t have time for that. If you want a fight, I can introduce you to an idiot who’s always ready to fight anytime. I promise you, getting injuries is the least of yours and his concern.”

The man looked at Siva and then, with a flash of light, dissolved the quasi-Rune weapons as he laughed so loud and so joyfully that his face was pointed to the ceiling while his shoulders shook.

After this skit, he signaled for the two men to stand down so they, too, dissolved their hostility.

“Knight, I am called Gaspar and these are my two partners, Melchior and Balthazar. If you’re looking for representatives from The Alliance, you can be assured that we are them… here in the Capital of Jeremiah.”

Siva dissolved his hostility as well as he and the man named Gaspar met in the middle to shake hands as a sign of a gentlemanly treaty.

“Kingsley.” Siva said. “Call me Knight Kingsley as I have a name that might sound overbearing to you and may cause displeasure.”

Gaspar grasped the offered hand firmly. “Nice to meet you then, Knight Kingsley. Although we are yet to be called friends, at least we aren’t enemies either. Allow me to tell you this first, we really can’t give you what you demanded but we can talk about the matters you wanted to talk about in this elaborate hoax to summon us.”

Siva felt the ‘manly’ intent in this person as he bid a gesture of sincerity by looking straight on his mask to where he felt Siva’s eyes were.

“Actually, I only wanted to conduct an honest kind of business with you from The Alliance. But don’t worry though as what I am going to offer you will be far more valuable as an asset than your Battle-AI’s worth.”

The man raised a brow, intrigued, “Is that so? It seems that your AI is not Muan but rather... of the true Terrans in terms of quality?”

Gaspar implied something on his tone and his hand that grasps Siva’s tightened, telling Siva the man’s intent and sincerity on this transaction.

Siva took up the challenge. “It’s not about my own AI but rather what I have that will be of worth your and my own time.”

A silence descended between them and even the Council Head felt the air became chilly. It wasn’t a bloodlust-sort of feeling that could send chills to everyone’s spines but rather the scale of the two’s business proposals. 

One contained the words ‘True Terrans’ and the other referred to an advanced ‘Battle-AI’ —in addition to the fact that they had considered the other party someone of the same level as them.

This was a transaction on the level of Overlords.

It was not a mere Country Leader-level such as a Council Head could manage to join.

—if so, why did we even have to gather all these resources for? Is he toying with us?

Draco wanted to cry out. He thought then, since the beginning, this Knight named “Kingsley” never treated them, the leader of the country his feet are stepping into, as personalities.

He, from the very beginning, had held them in disdain…

—if that bastard Zelga had never provoked this devil, we wouldn’t have been humiliated like this.

From a small incident, this issue became a large mess. Draco was really angry right now.

He looked around him.

These knights weren’t stupid. They, too, had now understood where the Council of Elders stand in the eyes of this Knight called “Kingsley”. They, the Council Elders, were nothing more than ants and they, the foot soldiers, were nothing more than a speck of dust with no count.

Draco was shaking in anger. His pride and ego is being toyed with by this White Knight.

—bastard.

—Bastard!

—BASTARD!!!

He cursed Siva from the bottom of his heart over and over again.

Then, before he could even begin to raise his head to glare at him, he saw Siva gestured his left hand towards the pile of resources.

And with a fluctuation of space… a portion of the treasures vanished.

“Eh?”

“Huh?”

“Just what…”

Everyone’s eyes bulged out of their sockets. Just now, with a simple gesture of a hand waving in the emptiness of air, the mountains and piles of resources they painstakingly gathered within two hours… vanished.

Not even the Humans from The Alliance were able to comprehend what had just happened.

Not only that, Siva only took a step forward and he zoomed out from in front of Gaspar, appearing 20m away from his previous location and followed by a sonic boom.

He then repeated the same gesture and the rest of the resources they gathered vanished into thin air. After that, Siva ‘zoomed’ in again to Gaspar’s location with a quick step.

“Where did—” Gaspar wanted to ask but Siva cut him off as he spoke to him.

“Let’s go, Mr. Gaspar. Time is wasting.”

“R-Right…” still confused, he then looked behind him to address his two companions, “Let’s go.”

The pile of resources, treasures that could make any country salivate, vanished in but a few moments.

Logic couldn’t properly explain what had just happened in front of them.

The knights, the High Magistrates, the Humans, even the Council Elders —they were caught off-guard by this impious phenomena towards logic.

“Just what did he do?” Draco couldn’t help but get wild thoughts with this, and, since he had already seen ‘Kingsley’ as an enemy, his thoughts also did not carry any hint of holding back. “It must be a Spatial Artifact of the highest kind. Kill him. I must kill him. I must get my hand on that Artifact!”

While Draco was on his greedy thoughts at the far back of his group, Siva turned to them one last time and glared at them as a group.

“Don’t think you’re off the hook yet. I will come back for that Master Blacksmith after I am done in my transactions.” After a pause, Siva released the full extent of his violent malice towards the group called the Council of Elders. “At that time, you can be sure that my wrath will be unleashed in this puny country of yours if you fail to meet my demand.”

It was a clear and unbridled contempt.

He just directly and openly threatened the bones off the very people that ruled a country.

This… was the shape of Siva’s resolve.

I won’t show mercy…

the innocent me doesn’t have that freedom.

saving my brother needs an iron fist.

*****

Siva was not aware of Draco’s malevolent ideas and followed the three Humans towards the main entrance of the warehouse.

Gaspar faced him, “The walls, please…” and bid a prompt for Siva.

Siva didn’t move immediately and told him, “Let’s make the deal here.” He says, pulling out a piece of paper, it was the «Contract Paper».

Of all the items in Terroa, this item alone has the power to bind anyone and anything to any rules and conditions signed within its blank sides.

He gave it to Gaspar then spoke as he pointed to himself with a gesture and then to the sky, “Let it be settled through the power of the Law of Heavens that I, in my identity as a Magic Knight, be punished by Heavenly Lightning if I do not follow the rules and conditions set in this contract if it will be signed.”

Gaspar and the others were startled to hear such unique set of words.

And yet, as soon as he finished speaking, there was the sound of crashing lightning outside the warehouse startling everyone into reacting afraid to its sudden boom.

“What is that?!” the knights were frightened.

It was a very loud and very sudden crackling of thunder that it sounded as if a lightning had just hit their vicinity.

The sound was so loud that they could feel it on their skin, the rattling echoes of the thunder clap even spread in the horizons, traveling further and further until there was no more.

Gaspar was also aghast. “What was that?”

Siva, though he himself wasn’t exactly aware how that system of [Oath to the Heavenly Laws] works, just detailed the information he could vaguely explain himself from his [memories]: “All living beings in this world is bound to the Heavenly Laws; their life and death are part of the Cycle of Rebirth and that this world in itself is also governed by those Laws. Promising an oath with the Heavenly Laws is an insult to its power so, if a soul utters promises, with the Heavenly Laws as a witness, breaking it will remove that soul from the Cycle of Rebirth and thus means that his soul will perish for eternity.”

Gaspar wore a look that told Siva he didn’t believe a speck of what he just said.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t let you expose my Invention and my AI’s existences.”

This was the summarization of Siva’s contract.

Gaspar believed that although he and Siva had an agreement as gentlemen, he had enough reason to demand the contents of this piece of paper.

Firstly, he could feel that although the difference between him and Siva in strength wasn’t that big, Siva is still a Terran. In addition…

“He has an Archmage as a support.” Gaspar made a quick glance to the clinging gracefully gorgeous woman beside Siva. He was but an Ambassador of The Alliance. In terms of rankings, he only has the same status of Lady Envoy, Eleanor.

The problem is that Siva is a “Lord” even to a big figure like Lady Eleanor.

It means his status is greater than him or her.

As much as he wanted to insist that he can make a promise not to divulge anything about Siva’s AI and the existence of an SS-Grade Invention that does not have the “data-encoding” of their PNFs, he had no choice but to acquiesce to his demand.

“You just had to follow the script in the contract and swear the oath. Then, sign it. I didn’t include any other clause there for any demand so you are assured that I will not mistreat the promise.”

Gaspar inhaled deep as he pondered over the clause of oath in the piece of paper.

.

.

.

[Let it be established, with the Heavenly Laws as witness, that I —along with the other observers in my party within the grounds of my knowing, with the power and authority of my identity as the representative of the Terran-Human Alliance serving as shackle and a bind to my promise— be punished by Heavenly Lightning until true death if we as much as make any kind or form of attempt to disclose or even record clues about anything that has to do with what had happened here in this location I consecrate this oath, written or not, without the authority and approval of the subject and owner of such secrets; from this day forth until it is lifted by the owner of the secrets, or prior authorization have been granted for the dissemination of such secrets in a particular given manner; I hereby solemnly swear with my, and everyone who became witness to this event’s lives, on the line, that we’ll keep these secrets to ourselves alone and will not, in any other form or kind, tell it to anybody else… intended or not.]

.

.

.

It was a lengthy oath and yet it was concise and to the point: Gaspar, and everybody else under their authority’s jurisdiction, isn’t allowed to tell anyone about Knight Kingsley’s secrets.

This included their Battle-AIs.

Just like how they heard the clap of thunder a few moments ago, this was the kind of vow that defies any known kind and form of science.

For Humans… this was one of those miracles that technology is yet to explain.

……………yet… to explain……

As they are yet to know the science and secrets behind this phenomenon, if they wanted to proceed from here, he will have no choice but to speak the oath.

In addition, in the following clause, Siva also had a vow of his own that he and anyone who had made the vow of initiation as part of the Magic Knight Corpse shall be subjected to Heavenly Lightning as well.

It was fair as far as the oaths are concerned.

“So?” Siva was positive that he had no holes on this proposition.

Cortana had analyzed the enemies and had thrown all kinds of baits and prompts for Gaspar.

He was programmed to believe the oath.

“How do I go with this oath?”

“All you have to do is sign it with Mana Signature and then speak the oath to finalize it. The contract will serve as our copies and the Heavenly Oath as our witness. We will not need any other reliable jury to judge who is a sinner since the Heavenly Laws will not tolerate oath breakers. Besides, the conditions are simple: just don’t tell anyone what happened here and there should be no problem.”

Gaspar coolly glared at Siva. His carefree attitude was something to be wary of since from start to end, although he did not make a move himself, he was apparently the one in control of everything.

The warehouse was in a lockdown.

The Council of Elders tied on their heels.

Even they, the representatives of The Alliance, were tongue-tied with the contents of his offer.

The only reason why Gaspar was entertaining the man is because of the orders of the Higher-ups.

“But this contract clearly says that [any witnesses within the grounds of my knowing and within the scope of my authority as representative of The Alliance] will also be subjected to the oath to the Heavenly Laws. Isn’t it unfair to them since they are not part of the event that took place in this place? And adding to that, the oath you promised earlier regarding the contents of this contract, it only says everything about you and no one else. I think this is an unfair contract.”

Gaspar wanted his stance known. The two of them may have landed on a mutual agreement of listening to each other’s proposals, but it doesn’t mean that he had acquiesced to Siva’s demands.

“You have no choice.” Siva said with a tinge of indifference and yet also layered with the pressure of his battle intent. “If you wanted to blame someone, blame the bastards who chose to offend me time and time again instead of quietly regretting their actions.”

When he spoke to here, both men looked at the direction of the Council of Elders —no, towards Draco who became surprised since he was still in the middle of scheming against Siva.

“See?” Siva laughingly spoke. “Even right now, he has yet to learn his lesson and is still planning his way to get revenge on me.”

Gaspar wasn’t stupid as he also saw the look of malice on Draco’s eyes when they abruptly turned to look at him.

He felt disappointed within.

The Council Head, feeling the layers of ridicule in the words spoken by Siva, looked at Draco who just then lowered his head as he clenched his fists, trembling in anger and humiliation.

He himself knew the man and so learnt of the hidden meaning on Siva’s words. Although Draco had bribed his way to the Council of Elders, his “secret” history of scheming against the former Grand Knights of the Wall of Jeremiah was one of his most notorious personas.

He wouldn’t take this lightly, he knew, and that’s also the reason why the Council Head felt that he and the rest of The Council of Elders, had already lost all their credibility and dignity in front of the mysterious White Knight.

“I will make sure that anything like this incident won’t happen again, Sir Knight.”

Siva scoffed, “I doubt it. That King Candidate is a bastard under Draco’s wings. I doubt this is the end of all these. But, well, I will welcome you all anytime. As long as you are ready to accept your punishments, I will gladly play with all of you.”

Cruel

This was a word that can be associated with this mysterious White Knight.

After saying it, he turned to Gaspar. “So? Shall we stay here and play poker, or shall we proceed with the deal?”

Gaspar, learning of Siva’s stalwart intentions did not have a choice.

In fact, they could have chosen to go against him and use a T-Device to escape this place and then report everything once outside. But if he did that, Jeremiah would burn from Siva’s anger and this incident might even be pointed against The Alliance using the given reasons of why all of this had even begun.

In the end, Gaspar judged that following the man and keeping his secrets a secret, was the wisest choice to do here.

He swore the oath.

A lightning bolt threatened to crash on the roof of the warehouse and the sound of a crisp crackling of thunder resounded throughout their skins.

Then, with a swipe of a hand, the contract floating in front of Gaspar flashed with a bright light. After that, a copy floated towards Siva and he took it, folded it, and stored it on his inventory.

“That’s it.” Siva joyfully spoke, “Now, we are just business partners from this moment onwards.”

Scarlet sensed the right timing and ordered that they release the barrier.

When the misty clouds surrounding the interior of the warehouse vanished, the commotional rackets outside came back like a tide of noises.

The warehouse doors opened and the people on the gates as well as the gatekeepers all looked at their directions with expectations.

“This way please.” Gaspar motioned for them to go to the parking bay where nothing was waiting.

“Shouldn’t we go to your office or something?”

“We are.” Gaspar said and pulled out an irregular-sized T-Device. “We are going there directly.”

“I see.” Siva thought and then motioned for his team to stay close to him as he put a hand on that soft waist of Scion.

She blushed under the mask but didn’t say a word or even made any sound. All these time, she was nothing more than an observer. Siva had told her to watch carefully and observe everything as much as she can. Because he had no other way to teach her on how to judge people but to show her what they are capable of.

“This wouldn’t take a minute.” Gaspar said. “Stay close to me please.”

Melchior and Balthazar stayed close so Siva and his entourage also made the same.

“Cortana…”

[I’m unable to scan the device but I can at least hear the place given our proximity, even if he tries his best to murmur the location.]

“Good.”

Gaspar didn’t know the thoughts of Siva and so he pressed the button but… didn’t say a word.

Siva was given a report and he sighed dryly.

“Of course he wouldn’t. If I can use you without moving my hands, why can’t they use their AI the same way?”

[My apologies, sir.]

“Nah, don’t sweat it.”

With a flash of light, the group disappeared. The people who were watching the scene could only lament at the fact that the event had ended.

*****

“They’re gone.” The Council Head sighed then turned to face Draco, “You’re not really planning to scheme against him, are you?”

Hearing this, the rest of the Elders in the Council frowned as they already had an inkling that Draco was indeed already scheming something against the White Knight.

Draco, with a look of utter rage and unwillingness clenched his hands and roared at the Head, “Are you just going to stand here and accept this kind of humiliation? We were treated like dogs! We were all roused as workers he can trample on his feet and extort all those resources! We toiled like his slaves… and then for what? Only to be put down and threatened? This is Jeremiah! This is the strongest country in the planet! Why should we bow our heads and submit to him?!”

There was clearly no kind of remorse or guilt on Draco’s expression. He had already succumbed to his anger and thought that he wasn’t the only person who should be angry and this humiliation.

Just like he claimed, this is Jeremiah. This is the strongest country in Terroa and they are the ones controlling Jeremiah, the Council of Elders.

Why must they bow their heads down against a single man?

All those resources he took were all going to be used for his country. They endured humiliation to the other countries and bought overpriced items while damaging their prides…

Why indeed must they accept it like this?

“I think you are mistaken about something here, Draco.”

This reply felt like a cold damp of water to him as he processed the implications on these words as well as the look of anger directed to him by the rest of the members of the Council.

“W-What do you mean by that?”

“Haven’t you realized it yet, Draco? This is clearly all your fault.”

The Council Head pressed a painful index on his chest that although it wasn’t physically painful to him, Draco still took a step back as that finger was pressed on his chest.

.

.

================================
Chapter 104: Scripted
================================

Draco raised a hand to touch where the finger had pressed and looked at the faces of the other Council Members. Even Jules, his ally, could only bow her head at the anger of the Council Head.

The Council Head stood straight, his back to the rest of the Council Members, and spoke with a voice of anger, “Your short-sighted pursuit and greed for power is what caused all of this mess. I and everyone in the council know the law that a Council Member must follow: we must not favour any one of the factions in the country, to preserve and maintain our degree of control, to uphold the decree of the King in the Alliance!”

He glared at Draco minaciously, “And yet, in lieu of all your contributions and efforts for the betterment of the country back then, with the fact that you defeated the invasion of that Dragon in Misty Peaks, we overlooked the fact that you are a part of one of the factions, and even put you in the chair you are seated right now!”

“But to actually favor a King Candidate that became the very root cause of all these mess; adding to that the fact that you also gave him an entire battalion force for his personal use in exchange for his cooperation; and then you even plotted against an Envoy using his own subordinate… tell me then, Draco, with your blunders and even pardoning the series of violations to the rules of the Council you have committed in succession, why must we listen to your suggestion right now?” Words of anger, of admonishment, of contempt, of a superior to an incompetent junior.

The Council Head went in front of Draco and only now did he realize that the old bones behind that brown-colored wizard robe of the Council were still that frightening existence that covered the sky of Jeremiah for the past 60 years.

“Tell me then, Draco, should we really stake the safety of the nation just so you could vent your anger whose root cause is your very own selfish and greed-ingrained mistakes? Tell me! Convince me, Draco! Why must we plan our hands against the Circle of Magi?”

Everyone inside the Warehouse heard this angry roar of the Council Head.

In the country, they are the prestigious Council of Elders; the rulers of Jeremiah; the King’s trusted advisers, the country’s pillars; and the frightening shadows behind the light that is the factions of the kingdom.

Before, these knights could only hear their names and look at their shadows from afar whenever the Factions’ leaders were called into a meeting. Now, however, because of these events, they can see them all in a new light —they were also people and not the mighty beings they were told about.

People… are susceptible to committing blunders.

What more, they could also hear and see them all in flesh rebuking and scolding a Grand Knight like a child on his trousers.

They didn’t even see Draco as a member of the Council of Elders; they could only see him as one of the subordinates of The Council, a lowly fellow of one of the Factions of Jeremiah that the Elders can yell at any time.

And yet, there were those who were here at the gates last night who connected the dots with that coercion that Zelga attempted.

There were over 40 of them.

Good thing they were inside the warehouse so the commotion wasn’t heard outside. The Council Head was so furious, in fact, that he didn’t even chose to vent his anger in a more suitable place.

“So it wasn’t just Zelga…”

“It’s because Elder Draco gave him the right to act as he pleased.”

“Bastard…”

“The two of them are bastards.”

“Jeremiah will fall because of them.”

Of course, these ‘knights’ —or more accurately, gatekeepers— didn’t voice out their displeasure.

Still, those murmurs and the dagger-like feeling of their gazes that stabbed Draco’s back were all on his perception range. He could feel it with a very clear intensity.

‘Just wait until I finish this, you fuckers. I will be the Grand Ruler of Jeremiah, and you will all bow your heads to me!’

Draco could only accede to the Council Head’s for now since the plan he’s been slowly building for the past two decades was yet to ripen.

‘Just a bit more…’

Draco gritted his teeth.

‘That god damned Zelga! If he spoils my plan, I will make sure that he lives over and over again as I torture him. He’ll regret ever being an Immortal if he affects my plans…’

While he gritted his teeth in fury and did his best to suppress his rage, he could only bow down his head to the situation he did create.

“I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

It wasn’t a knight’s posture but a man’s stance as a sinner and a delinquent officer.

The Council Head glared at him as he heaved his chest up and down, trying to control his own set of surging emotions.

Eventually, he raised his head to face the ceiling and then heaved a long sigh.

“What’s done is done. When that King Candidate comes back, make sure he gets punished for all the things he created.

“Yes sir.”

The Council Head faced the rest of the members and eyed the 40+ gatekeepers who saw all of the unbecoming scenes earlier.

“You all……… just do your jobs right.” He says in a low, weak voice, “In the level of countries, we’re indeed the strongest nation because the legacy of the Council of Elders dates back as old as the Flowerion Empire in the west. But that does not mean that we are invincible.”

He gazed outside the huge open doors of the warehouse, towards the trees beyond the streets of the compound, beyond the fences 100m away, to the crowd who wanted to have a scoop of what was happening in their location…

……while thinking and reflecting about what had happened with the same furious heart as Draco.

After he felt he had calmed down, “Jules.”

“Sir.”

Elder Jules, the 60+ year old-looking woman of the Council of Elders, took a step forward behind him and slightly bowed.

“As the Manager of the Intelligence Division, how are the results of your investigations about this so called [Kingsley]?”

Jules, with a placidly stiff face that hid her anger at everything that had happened, reported, “My deepest apologies sir. Because he appeared out of nowhere and that because of Lady Eleanor’s influence, the Quad Tower Hotel had refused to cooperate with us.”

“That’s understandable. The Quad Tower Hotel is still a Privately-owned Establishment although it’s management and operations are entrusted to the faction it belonged to.” He then eyed Draco, “And what about that contact from The Mansion?”

Draco, recalling Lord Malory’s pratfall, fumed in his heart when he answered: “Unfortunately, sir, he was caught by the White Knight.”

“God da—grrrrrhhhmmmmm… it’s as if he knew we will check up on him so he left no trail to even track. If this is so, then I can only suggest that we grit our teeth in this case. Lady Eleanor is one of the biggest proofs that he is a higher of the Circle of Magi. The Alliance had already intervened so I order you all to forget about this and do your best to NEVER REPEAT THIS MISTAKE AGAIN. Am I making myself clear?”

The Council Elders replied with a unified accord.

He then looked at Draco, “You have your order.”

“Yes sir.” during all this, Draco never lifted his gaze from the floor and reflexively only clenched his fists that made the Council Head squint his eyes on him.

“Let’s go. The Official Start of the King Test is already tomorrow. We have to prepare… as usual and as discreet as we can.” He led the way out but only Draco was left in the warehouse.

A limousine parked through the curve before the warehouse. Before getting into the car, he spoke without looking at the other Elders: “Heed this command. From this day forth, anyone who wears a mask of any kind shall be imprisoned and interrogated without pardons. This way, we can differentiate who is the White Knight or not within the citizens and the crowd of Immortals. And this will be effective today.”

Jules bowed dutifully, “Yes sir.”

*****

The gatekeepers, since there was nothing to even clean or recover in the place, made their way out as fast as possible.

When Draco was left alone, he stomped his foot to the floor and made a hole with his feet along with a tremble and a loud bang.

“God damn it. Circle of Magi…. shit… shit! Don’t you guys ever think that being a Hegemon in The Alliance will make you invincible! Someday, I will make you pay with this humiliation.”

With that, Draco, with a flip of his hand to brush off his cape, went out of the empty warehouse.

Coincidentally, the sol was already setting and the shadow he made through the warehouse doors looked menacing in that empty space.

*****

When Siva and the company appeared, they were in a metal-walled large hall.

In a quick glance, it looked nothing like a place in Terroa for it looked more like the real world’s own designs of a lobby of a corporate building.

There was a reception and the ‘symbol’ of the company was behind the receptionist’s head: the symbol of two planets joined together… it was the emblem of the Terran-Human Alliance.

Gaspar and the other two were surprised and their shoulders, jolted when they saw where they were currently located.

“Captain Morris.” The male receptionist greeted the group with a warm, professional smile. “The Assembly is waiting for you inside.”

Siva’s ears were piqued. “So you planned on this to happen?”

Gaspar shook his head, “No. To be honest, this is actually surprising. We were only supposed to be meeting the President and the Staffs.”

Siva looked at the receptionist and remembered what he said, “So what is this assembly?”

The receptionist felt the battle intent and although the pressure broke his warm professional smile, he still did his job and effortfully suppressed the urge to shrink from fear.

"The Assembly, sir, is the assembly of the people that can represent our side in the Alliance. They are The Ambassadors.”

Typical of the human society, they call their inter-continental envoys Ambassadors.

“Why are they waiting for me?”

Siva shot Gaspar a glance that shook his head.

“I actually have no idea as well.”

At this awkward pause, the receptionist spoke, “I am not authorized to speak of such matters but the Assembly had requested for Sir Knight, Your Excellency the Archmage, and Gaspar, to attend the conference.”

Siva paused to think then turned to Gaspar. “You have our promise. Please disseminate the rules to the ones in the scope of your promise. And don’t worry about my own as you can be assured that I will make sure to keep my end of the deal.”

“…” 

Gaspar couldn’t help it. If he hadn’t taken that oath, he would have been stuck their like a prisoner and The Alliance would have made an enemy of someone who can intimidate even the greatest and country in Terroa, Jeremiah.

Besides, the “scope of promise” Siva sworn an oath to in the contract is that he wouldn’t speak of these events to anyone and that he wouldn’t tell anyone of the things and even the location of The Humans to anyone in Terroa, or he and the entire Magic Knight Corps he control will be disbanded by Heavenly Lightning.

When Gaspar sworn his own side of the oath, the oath that the White Knight had sworn had become effective right then and there.

After a few moments, he agreed to Siva’s appeal.

Siva then turned to his escorts and then looked at the side of the large reception hall, towards the area meant for escorts such as them to wait in.

He snapped his fingers and a clacking noise rung in the hall.

Everyone was awed at the sight of Siva’s white armor detaching itself from his body without him even moving so.

Floating parts flew off from Siva’s body and then reformed itself into a standing armor display with a new head —a faceless mask.

Gaspar commented. “The size of that armor and the volume that you wore doesn’t match.”

Siva only shrugged and didn’t reply.

That was his secret. How could he tell them that the rest of that armor came from his inventory?

As the Inventory Plus Ultra didn’t require sync from the Inventory Function, there was no flash of light and only the fluctuation of space. And yet as well could only be felt by really powerful Mages with stats as high as his.

‘Well then, to finish it…’

As the standing unmoving heavy armor was only 15m away from them, Siva gave it a thought and “charged” the armor from within using a single spark grenade.

The solid-looking armor set lighted up with lines and details, giving the impression of a robot that just got its power source.

It didn’t move in place and only did that much but Siva was satisfied as he faced the receptionist.

“One hour. That’s it.”

By now, Siva was only wearing pure white cothes; white slacks, white shoes, white long sleeve polo with a burning fire-like design on the left sleeve.

The male receptionist understood his words and led the way, Scarlet and the rest of the squad could only chase them with their eyes as they made their positions around that piece of armor.

*****

It was a dark room.

Nine figures —eight are [email protected] holograms— sat on a long table desk… a reminiscent of corporate board meeting.

On the very front, or top that is, sat Higginson Bollard, a stout man on his mid-forties with a large build and a pair of sharp eyes.

He alone was the sole person in this conference room that is not made up [email protected] hologram.

And while he do sat there in the middle like the CEO of a company, his eyes stared intently at the man who had just become the infamously acknowledged to be someone who can threaten a country with just his power.

The greetings were already over since earlier but the reason why there was this silence in the room right now along with a hostile atmosphere are all because of the words Siva had just said.

“You……. want to know who the members of The Alliance are, how we design our Battle-AIs, how the Panel Options works, how the T-Devices works, and how we managed to combine our own technology with magic…”

“That’s it.” Siva said with a confident and carefree tone. “Don’t worry. I will make it worth your time.”

After he spoke, he glanced over Gaspar who also wore an incredulous expression.

“That’s ab——surd!”

“Ridiculous!”

“Outrageous bastard!”

“Who do you think you are?!”

Of course, these reactions are all expected. All of the Humans in this room only viewed him as one of the Terrans nothing more.

Siva… behind his mask was frowning; the reason being that all of this right now wasn’t part of his plan at all.

“Cortana…”

[I have already analyzed their reactions and their personalities through their reactions, sir. I have analyzed over 800 million materials from the Net and devised 340 possible reactions from your first statement. Their reactions were normal. But I suggest paying attention to the third man from our left and the blonde woman second to the last from our right.]

The two people Cortana mentioned were cool and calm in contrast to Higginson Bollard and the rest of the people in this Assembly.

“I will trust you then.”

[I will provide you your script sir.]

Siva eyes dragged from that direction. The two people mentioned were all around their late twenties and were all quite young considering the position they have in the Assembly.

In Jeremiah, the Ambassador, and as well as the President of the entire Human Sect of the entire Alliance, was Higginson Bollard. 

Naturally the folded Gaspar beside Siva was that man’s subordinate.

He was young in age for his position but when it was considering the fact that the entire Human Race in this world was already an endangered species, politics was the last of their concerns as the entire Human Race focused only on the very survival and propagation of their kind itself.

This is probably the reason why the location of their ‘civilization’ was a secret that is tightly guarded no matter what —even as much as to be worth the lives of all of the Ambassadors outside of their sanctuary themselves.

Siva could at least understand that much and also understood the reason why these guys were all fuming in rage right now.

Higginson heaved a long sigh, “Master Knight, I am very sorry. Honestly, I can tell you now that the [Panel Options Technology] and as well as over half of the technology that the T-Devices have in them is not ours… it was provided to us by that mysterious benefactor who called himself ‘The Teacher’ decades ago. No, to be exact, he had merely given us the task of managing it. Us, the people you call Naturals, along with the entire Terran-Alliance as a whole, were nothing more than caretakers of that man’s technologies.”

—meaning; two of the things Siva demanded from the Humans were all “highly classified” information, and yet, all inhabitants of Terroa had the right to know of this given that they have the right authority to.

Siva, having reached the level where he can be a threat to the rulers of a country, definitely is a personage who earned the right to know of it.

After all, such information concerned the very planet they call their home.

The Humans, being outsiders and mere refugees, were just what Higginson Bollard implied them to be: Caretakers.

‘I should have known.’

[Well, at least we cleared a few of the things that have been bothering you, Boss.]

‘Right. Your script did work at least.’

[Your welcome, sir.]

“Nyaaaaa….”

“…”

Siva glanced over Cortana who was seated on a stool near the wall behind the Ambassadors on his left side.

The sight of her petting the cat that had this face (||_||) even when it yawned was slowly crawling its way into his consciousness.

‘I’m getting used to it, damn it.’

Siva marked the ‘personage’ that Higginson had spoken about, The Teacher.

“I think I understand now.” He said and this made all the angry people in the room stop their loud exclaims and waited for him to finish his words.

Siva nodded, “I happen to know of this Teacher through the Magus of the Magus Archive.”

The Ambassadors of other countries became a bit flustered —flabbergasted— in fact, that their eyes widened and their expressions all became silly.

“You’ve met…”

“Did you mean that elusive figure?”

“That legend…”

“Is it true? You met the Magus?”

Even Higginson Ballard couldn’t hold his surprise.

Although he had surmised that in this exchange, the one with the top “identity” to consider would be the one to dictate the flow of the exchange; he still didn’t expect that the White Knight would blurt this thing out of the blue.

“How can we be sure that you’ve met him? We did not even know if you’re telling the truth.”

“T-That’s right. You might be lying.”

“What reason is there for us to believe you?”

“Cough… cough…”

The antagonistic ones and the neutral ones all had their own view of the ‘thing’ Siva just said.

To meet a legendary Hegemon of the planet is an honor worth a life time of glorious bragging. It should remembered that there exists only three so called “Overlords” that can deter every country in Terroa….. 

First is the Circle of Magi, the protector of Terroa that existed since the start of time; Neutral in the overall power balance in the planet and also is the one rumoured to be the founders of the institute that is the Enchantment Temple.

Second was the Terran-Human Alliance by which is the established Hegemon of the planet; with every country as the body and representative, and had the voice to speak their thoughts —although it is also globally recognized by each of the Rulers of countries that only those with real great powers are the ones to have the right to call the shots on which direction the current society of Terrans should be taking... and in which regard the Flowerion Empire and the Council of Elders are only two of the other still hidden major voices in this alliance.

And then the third… that mysterious entity that had only shown himself once and even at that time he is veiled in a shadow… the Magus who’d proclaimed himself to be a neutral major power, a Hegemon, that the Circle of Magi recognized to be on the same level as them.

But then… the Alliance Chiefs, with Higginson Bollard being a major voice in that congress, in The Alliance, have all been informed by the Circle of Magi and the Magus that there exists one sole supreme being in the planet.

The Teacher….

He was an existence that those two feared and also respected with veneration.

50+ years ago, when The Alliance first came into being, the Circle of Magi delivered that object to them and was told that it was a task that they had been entrusted with to take care of by The Teacher himself.

Having been briefed by The Teacher’s identity, The Alliance chiefs did not tarry and implemented the instructions given to them.

And the one to stress the importance of this task is none other than The Magus.

He was just like the Hegemonic Image he was as the Circle of Magi had described him to be; one with a very short temper and a straight forward attitude.

The result…

Everyone in The Alliance came to fear and respect The Magus of the Magus Archive.

Through him…… by synching with the object that ‘The Teacher’ had entrusted to The Alliance, the T-Device Technology came to be.

As such, as Ambassadors of the Human Society in every country as part of The Alliance, every soul in this conference room were aware of just who The Magus was.

And yet now… Siva had just said he met him?

Everyone will, of course, be surprised. Shocked, even, that they became silent and their faces all had a silly look of bewilderment and repulsion on the fact that someone was able to meet him.

“Why should we believe you?” it was a question with no offensive tone and purely out of curiosity in itself.

When the other Ambassadors spoke of this, they all sounded as if Siva was a liar, but when it was Higginson Bollard who spoke that question, it was now an honest inquiry of pure curiosity.

Siva naturally understood about it, “You don’t have to believe me. But I did meet the grumpy guy twice already. In fact, both times, he stated that he hates me with all of his heart but because I am someone entrusted of a mission by The Teacher, he couldn’t even touch a single strand of my hair.”

.

.

  

================================
Chapter 105: The Purpose of it All
================================

Bollard went silent.

In his heart he already accepted Siva’s words to be truth.

Psychological analysis of that event five decades ago regarding the Magus indicated that he had an unusual level of ‘worship’ towards The Teacher.

When they received the task of keeping that item in their care and developing said Panel Options Technology to attach to it, The Magus had been a really irritating individual who was so meticulous to the smallest of the tiniest details regarding the task.

Only when the mission was done that the Human Ambassadors at the time managed to get The Magus off their backs.

Higginson smiled and chuckled.

This did not escape the notice of the other people in the room. Their gazes spoke of that obvious question: what’s so funny?

“I’m sorry, I just… to be honest, I don’t think you are lying to us.”

“President!”

“Do not be easily fooled, President.”

There were many objections like this and so he can only calm them down by an explanation.

“Everyone, please calm down.” He waved his hand and then looked at Siva straight in the eyes, “I only have a small request; can you describe to us how the Magus looked like?”

“Heh. Alright. Silvery blonde hair, imperious presence, a very short temper, and can appear and disappear instantaneously with a snap of his fingers.”

The ambassadors all became quiet. Higginson bid him a smile and chuckled, “So you did meet him.”

“Yes. And both times, he did not miss the chance to express his hate on me.”

Higginson stared at him with seriousness, “Can you tell us why?”

Siva sharply met his gaze, albeit, under the cover of a mask. Still, Higginson narrowed his eyes as he felt the pressure from that gaze suppressing his being like an invisible weight.

Eventually, Siva heaved a sigh and closed his eyes so the pressure vanished.

“I’m sorry, it’s just too personal to for me to tell it to anyone I do not fully trust yet.”

Again, Higginson chuckled, “I won’t force you.”

“I appreciate the gesture.”

Higginson clapped his hands once and then he straightened his back. “To business.”

“To business.” Siva seconded and the rest of the Ambassadors in the assembly were all left with no choice since the President had already agreed to proceed with the reason for this meeting.

“Going back to the things you requested, we do can’t give you our Battle-AI technology. It is one of our race’s lifelines and since you also have an advanced-AI in you, I could only wonder why you are still seeking our technology.”

“It’s a really simple matter, really,” Siva sported a very leisurely disposition and waved a dismissive hand to the matter, “I only want to see what the differences my own AI has from your own.”

—in truth, Siva wanted to ‘copy’ the structure of this [world]’s AI to be used for his mass-produced version of ‘Helpers’.

Right now, in his inventory, there was a prototype that Cortana had already finished, ready for her to write an AI-algorithm based on her own sets of programming as the finishing touch.

But Siva didn’t want to put that dot to the last stage of that plan yet because he still wanted to have a ‘different opinion’ in that AI. Also, he was afraid… that if the ‘Helper’ that had the same AI algorithm as that of Cortana were to be stolen and hacked into, there was a very big chance that it might get used against him or anyone of his allies in the future.

After all, Cortana’s design was that powerful.

Thus, he wanted to at least see how this world had managed to program their AIs that it had their own real temperaments and was also capable of creating original thoughts… like Willard Newgate who he actually thought was a real person.

‘If it wasn’t for Cortana, I would never know that that guy is an AI. But then again, what’s up with that body? When we shook hands back then, he clearly had a presence just like a person.’

—an AI using Cortana as blueprint carries too much of a risk so it is but a last resort.

—in fact, I can always just ‘copy’ an Up-to-Ground AI with Cortana’s security program. The only thing is that its responses would be extremely limited and it wouldn’t be capable of accurate responses.

—no, in fact… it would be too accurate and very limited, in fact, that its limited algorithms can be predicted by these Humans’ smart AI’s.

When Siva heard of the plan that Cortana proposed earlier in the warehouse, he had also thought of using this chance to get as much from the Humans of this world as possible.

Right now, his plate was full of the things he had to accomplish before lifting the curse plaguing his body.

In order to save Baron, he must first search for him and when he finds him, he also had to have the strength to protect him until he wakes up or at least until he can find a way to assure his safety… or everything will just be in vain.

‘Because the enemies are powerful and because I have to protect the Genesis Chamber as well so I have to become more powerful using anything and all available resources as much as possible.’

Siva was going to exploit the tiniest of holes in the game’s system according to his wishes.

He had the advantage of an advanced AI and the rare chance of acquiring an illegal Portable Nano-Furnace. Why would he limit himself in the name f moral obligations?

This so called ‘morality’ won’t save his brother.

—and if I have to, I will even resort to tricking the gods and devils to gamble with their own lives just to protect his!

Siva was doing both tasks at the same time.

His basic outline for the Asgard that would serve as Baron’s sanctuary was slowly being drawn, yet, there are still so many things that he needed to acquire and even improve upon.

He decided to do it one step at a time while still planning on how to do it and acquire all things he needed as fast as possible.

Why not exploit these humans as well?

‘Should I reveal myself here?’

Siva knew… in this business transaction, his main weapon is the fact that he had Dragon Materials that everyone covets.

‘But that would also reveal my identity.’

Although he wasn’t afraid now, unlike before he had tempered his body and became strong, it was still a drag to make The Alliance his enemy.

……though it’s only an early notion.

At least, before that happened, he must make use of his usable aces before drawing his trump card.

“What about just a glance?” Siva proposed.

“I’m sorry, we also can’t.”

“Can you tell me why?”

Higginson stared at him seriously. “Because there is a possibility that you will use our own technology against us… wouldn’t that be too ironic”

Siva chuckled, ‘We have the same worries.’

“Then let me change my terms. Tell me how this world works, from your perspective… or at least, tell me the truth behind the fact regarding the items that you have introduced in Terroa.”

Higginson became silent for a while before he closed his eyes and said with concern, “I can’t help but be astounded at your curiosity Sir Knight, as it was unlike the other people… of your kind… who only cares about how many items they can get or how they will become strong.”

After a brief pause, he looked straight at Siva. 

“But I still have to apologize, although it wouldn’t cost us much for you to know it despite the fact that you should know it by now since you’re from The Circle of Magi… but the information that you seek is part of the packages we have promised to protect from when the time we have signed that pact with the Magus of The Archive.”

Siva hurled a sigh, controlling his disappointment.

Then he proposed, “What about swearing an oath to the Heavenly Laws?”

Everyone’s expressions lit up in curiosity.

Higginson also wore a curious expression, “I am also wondering about this. This is actually the first time I have heard of such a thing. Promising while making this so called [Heavenly Laws] as witness has only been seen and heard in fictional creations by bright imaginative minds… and even if we consider it true, all this time, not even The Magus or the Circle of Magi had spoken anything about it. When we had signed the agreement during the establishment of The Alliance back then, there was a magic that we have used that did not require any heavenly oaths or anything of that kind and yet it still did the same trick.”

Siva’s interest was piqued, “Oh? What is that?”

“The unbreakable vow.”

“….!!”

When Siva heard these words, his vision went black as [memories] began to appear in his head in the form of constantly flashing images.

It finished not even a moment’s time later in front of these people but for Siva, the entire vision and its message(s) went so far as an entire 2 minutes. 

[I can’t see the visions themselves, boss, but I can at least read the impressions of them on your thoughts when you try to remember them.]

There was a snap of pain on his head and he grabbed it to support himself from blacking out in the conference room.

‘Gah! This entire [memory] thing is really painful.’

The images on the [Memories] stuck itself on his mind and with each and every new [memory] that’s being revealed; the visions were becoming longer and longer as the pain also becomes greater in the end.

“Are you okay?” Gaspar beside him asked and he only then remembered where he was and what had just happened.

‘It felt like I was trapped in the visions for a very long time.’

[Around two minutes’ worth of thoughts, sir.]

Cortana’s promptly reply to his thoughts made Siva sigh inwardly.

There are certain triggers for his [memories] and he had just activated one. Synchronizing on these [memories] weren’t simple since it imparted to him lumps of information that he had no choice but to accept as his and as is.

“I’m alright.” Siva told Gaspar and then faced the confused Higginson, “Pardon me. What were you saying again?”

“About the [Unbreakable Vow].”

Information flooded Siva’s mind and he suddenly understood the intricacies of that term.

“I see. Actually, the Unbreakable Vow is just a tiny fraction of the more useful Heavenly Oath. The former’s usage is limited only from one person to another and if the vow were to be broken, the only ones to suffer will be the person who had taken the vow. The consequence of decisions ends there and then. If the offender had nothing to lose, he can jeopardize an entire organization’s well-being by just being a sinner who doesn’t keep his word.”

—actually, there are different advantages among the two and that’s the reason why there are two of them and not just one.

—an Unbreakable Vow will only [bind] the person with a fixed punishment of ‘death’…

Siva explained, “But the Heavenly Oath is rather simplified yet all-encompassing, emphasizing the weight of the promise made. A pledge sealed with the Heavenly Laws as witness is more stringent but also flexible with its punishment and the consequences of breaking the promise affects all members of the breaker’s party involved in the scope of promise.”

—shit! How am I able to say these things?!!

The lengthy explanation made the people inside the room gasp. It was their first time hearing it.

Basically, this so called “Heavenly Oath” was a lot severe than the Unbreakable Vow, yet can also be modified between the parties involved —is what he was trying to tell them.

“But why didn’t the Circle of Magi suggest it back then?” This was a question that even Siva himself was only capable of answering today because of the [memories] he recovered.

Siva replied, “It’s because only when someone with an enough amount of affinity with Mana is present that the Heavenly Oath can be initiated to witness the pledge.”

“If that’s the case, wouldn’t The Magus have been able to make us promise using that Heavenly Oath back then?”

good question.

Truthfully, Siva wanted to dodge this question as honestly he really had no idea. Firstly the matter had long been in the past; secondly, he wasn’t in the parties involved in that event so how should he know anything about it?!

Still, if he snaps here, then the ‘image’ he wanted to create on them will crumble into dust.

Having read his dilemma, Cortana provided the light on Siva’s darkness.

[You can use this script boss.]

DING!

Siva laughed inwardly.

ah! Nice!

“E-Ehem. It’s probably because they wanted you to have more freedom in your oaths. It is a sort of margin that can allow you to learn of your own limits and also to practice restraint while upholding honor when preserving the promise made.”

nonsensical!

Siva regretted not reading the words earlier on.

[At least it’s confusing enough to block any other question regarding the matter.]

‘…..’

These words made true to the feeling they have within the scope of the ‘promise’. Every time Chiefs of The Alliance are changed, the entire assembly had to retake the vow to each member of the Alliance like a courtesy call.

It was in this reason why there was a [Term] that a Chief Ambassador must have and whether one is still capable or not is irrelevant: every member of a seat in The Alliance must take the vow when a new Term begins.

It was a tedious task that takes months to even be completed and they had to do it every time one of the ambassadors’ [Term] ended.

What’s tiresome is that a term ends almost as frequent as every two years.

“Does this Heavenly Oath… a continuous thing?”

This was one of the main concerns of Higginson as he felt this question itself reflected on the eyes of those seated in the room.

“Yes.” Siva nodded at him, “In addition, the Heavenly Oath works word for word. So if you are not careful, you might swear an oath that will make you and your future generations slave to a particular condition for all eternity. Of course, the Heavenly Oath can only be sealed and called ‘effective’ when the parties involved wholeheartedly agrees to the spoken conditions of the oath. An important factor to also consider is that unlike the [Unbreakable Vow] that works as a personal promise, a Heavenly Oath can only be treated as a genuine Heavenly Oath if there are two or more parties involved who had agreed on a certain set of conditions —no matter how shallow one party’s conditions are. ”

While he answered the question, Siva has also informed them of the loophole in the “Heavenly Oath” magic… albeit, he worded them to be hid in his seemingly eloquent speech.

When swearing a Heavenly Oath, if not careful, an unfair condition could be implied and this can be exploited to a few very unfair kinds of ways towards an unknowing victim.

Of course, he was someone exploiting this oath as well —but only we already know that.

The Humans, however, do not. But because they are also “fellow Humans” like him that Siva sighed inwardly so he gave them a clue as a service.

“Basically,” Siva finished, “What those two magic spells have in common is that the heart does not matter when making the promise… it is the words used. And while they can be both activated with the use of Mana, the Heavenly Oath can only be initiated when one of the parties involved in the oath has Mana Affinity high enough for the Heavenly Laws to recognize as worthy.”

Higginson and the rest of the group of envoys of the Human Race wore a look of understanding as they also inhaled a cold breath.

‘So the rumours about these existences…’

‘These so called Immortals can control things we of this planet can’t!’

After a few moments of silent contemplation, Siva decided to break the ice; “Well, now that we have that cleared, let me show you my trading item.”

[Space] fluctuated in the space behind them and that 15m large space was filled with a lot of items.

“What are those?!”

Small and large boxes and jars, drums, and even a few bundles of odd-looking, weirdly shaped items were stacked together in a pile.

The eyes of the Ambassadors bulged.

“Dragon Scales and blood…” Siva teased with a smugly voice, “From the same dragon that appeared in Alexandria.”

“…!!”

They gasped and looked at him with suspicions.

Siva leisurely defended, “Don’t get the wrong idea here. There are tons of them back then when the dragon suddenly vanished and a few of my subordinates managed to hoard a few tons of them dragon resource so this here is just a small amount of the stuffs I have.”

The blonde lady on his right asked with a sharp look, “What else do you have?”

“How much Dragon Blood do you have?” asked the man on the left side of the long table. Dragon Blood was a valuable resource when it’s fresh but when it’s in its ‘cooled state’, its other purposes were either to be equipment and talisman material or for final coating of armor sets and arrows.

Siva nodded, “I have two 70m large spikes, a lot of Dragon Blood… and these scales.”

“Dragon Spikes?” asked the man.

“Yes. Dragon Spikes. Very hard Dragon Bones used as projectile weapons. Just one of them is already 50m in size and I have two of them.”

“…!!”

The Ambassadors all inhaled cold air. This is a very tempting business transaction.

In the next moment, space fluctuated and the items behind Siva disappeared and went back to his inventory.

“So?” he asked, “Since I’ve already showed you my cards, let me amend my earlier requirements in this deal. And as I’ve already told you earlier, I am only curious about a few things and only requests to see your AI blueprint. Fromm the ones I’ve already spoken of earlier, most of my requests remain the same. I just want to know who the members of The Alliance are, how you design our Battle-AIs, how the Panel Options works, how the T-Devices work; and to stress on a certain matter I’ve been finding to be curiously bewildering… how can your [Item Analyzers] tell an item’s name and manufacturer or maker when even history books does not have a record of the said items?”

Siva was talking about the secret as to how that device called [Item Analyzer] sold in stores were able to perfectly analyze and identify 90% of the items information.

Yes… this is supposed to be a game…

But because of his [memories] he knew that this world is not just a game world. It was real. The people in it are real.

So why…

How…

The [Trinity Gods] doesn’t have that ability to know all items and resources in this universe and categorize and catalog them on a certain database.

And even if they, the Trinity Gods, can do that and connects it to that [secret] that the Humans of The Alliance were tasked to protect…… just what is this [secret] exactly? Or… better yet…

Where is this [database] coming from?

Siva’s inquisitive curiosity was triggered.

No matter what, he at least needed to know it for he could use that [secret] itself and exploit it to be able to establish his country much greater and even stronger to at least be able to stand a chance to defend itself against Mefisto and his lot.

‘If I can know how they’re doing it, I can at least understand how to kill them… the Devils.’

“I am merely curious. My purpose for coming and meeting you guys here has an important purpose and since we are already in the topic, I can even swear a Heavenly Oath, or an Unbreakable Vow, and tell you that I do not aim to use said information to harm you Humans, or anyone in this planet intentionally.”

Higginson may not be able to see his face but he was reading his stance in this matter through his voice and body language.

From what he can see, Siva looked like he was really sincere with them.

But… as the President and an Ambassador, he can’t just trust plain and empty words such as these.

“In addition,” Siva finished, “I honestly just want to know how you guys managed to combine Terran Magic and Human Technology.”

So basically, Siva just wanted to know:
 1) How the [Item Database] works
 2) How the [Options Panel] works
 3) How the [T-Devices] works
 4) How they designed their AI
 5) lastly, how the humans’ AI Technology and the Terrans’ Magic integration works

*****

Higginson remained silent. He then leaned closer, elbows to the table, mouth behind his intertwined fingers; he stared at Siva’s eyes behind his mask.

Then, his eyes squinted and it seemed that he was smiling. This made Siva frown and check the panel window on his vision.

It was Cortana’s script and in there were possible events that might happen and what options he has as reaction to that.

With the help of Cortana, the list of reactions was scrolled and a new list appeared after he heard Higginson’s next set of words:

“Alright then, we will agree. We want at least 80% of the stocks you have and those two spikes that you got in exchange to your demands. But there is one additional thing we, no, I want.”

The list on Siva’s vision showed eight options and Siva’s eyes focused on one with the red label of “possible mission is compromised”.

Alas, such was the words Higginson said: “I want to see the face under your mask.”

Siva creased his brows in annoyance. His battle intent surged out, pressuring the man enough to make him frown painfully.

Siva’s bloodlust triggers the [Killing Zone] but his battle intent only sends his ‘intent’ to beat him up with his fists.…. violently. It’s like water and that Higginson is the rock. It can send ripples into the water and try to counter it, but water will ultimately just pass through the rock with the ‘intent’ freshly and strongly preserved.

This was amplified by the fact that his body is tempered with dragon blood that exuded the chill felt of being in front of a real dragon!

People sensitive to danger and psychological hints are all able to tell whether one is dangerous or not when face to face with him.

In this regard, Gaspar scowled as he became wary of Siva while Higginson Bollard also felt the pressure of the pair of eyes hidden behind Siva’s faceless mask.

Gugh…” Higginson did his best to remain calm and not show the slightest of ripple in him. He even unconsciously held his breath.

It was a suffocating feeling. Siva thought it over; if only he knew this secret to Dragon’s Blood much earlier, he would’ve imprisoned that Black Dragon back then and made it bleed enough to increase his stats to at least half more of how it is now.

That way…… everything would have been much easier and perhaps, following the train of events that led to him getting Cortana and defeating True Dragon Labrador, his stats right now would have been optimistically measured around 900!

If he uses the Artemis MOD, then his stats except for SPI would be tripled.

Then, adding the BMA to his arsenal… he would have been the strongest person in this planet.

“If I show my face to you, then I would have to destroy this place or at least kill you.”

The Ambassadors, of course, wouldn’t let this act of belittlement slide off just like that.

“Impudent!”

“You motherf…”

“Impertinent fool! How dare you threaten us?!!”

Siva only gave them precursory glances but from under his mask, their threatening acts were futile since no one else will see it and that he also didn’t care about them —not a speck.

Besides, because they are only in their hologram form because of [email protected] so since they can’t see him, no one else could feel the pressure and understand the predicament of the situation.

—all except for Higginson Bollard.

With his elbows on the table, his mouth hidden on his intertwined fingers, although his eyes were hidden by the reflection of the lightstones in the room on his square-rimmed glasses, the sweat that formed on his forehead were evident of the pressure he was feeling. Even his eyeglasses are starting to become moist from nervousness.

Gaspar, who had training on himself, weren’t out of the matter since he was the one closest to Siva all this time.

All he could do is crunch his fists and raise his alertness to the highest level in case they break their pretenses here and now.

Siva glanced at the options Cortana gave him on his vision; most of them were options that led to him fighting here; and there were a few that led to them compromising a few things to not break this business meeting.

—one such option was ‘masterfully’ leading him to use their demand to show his face in exchange for even a bigger deal.

It made Siva smile thinking how Cortana was able to predict this scenario.

I can use this.

“The reason why I am hiding my face is not for the fact that I am ugly, but because if I do so, it’ll complicate our relationship in addition to the fact that it will also compromise the future missions of my Magic Knight Corps. As you know, secrecy is one of our weapons.”

Higginson, through his sweat-filled back, wanted to curse at him, I didn’t know that!

The rumours about the existence of the Magic Knights were all only in circulation in Jeremiah and the other Knight Orders in the planet. 

Even these rumours themselves are only spoken to in passing by the higher-ups of those factions, not by the lower elements in their command.

“Is that so…” but Higginson was adamant to know his identity since on his vision, there was a panel that showed a request from the Human Council.

[Know his identity at all cost.]

Higginson sent a microscopic glance over the man on his right side.

“Yes. It is so.” Siva confirmed.

Higginson spoke again, “Then how about we also throw in something else for you. Add another item on your demands and if we can do it, then we will add it to the exchange. It might not be too much for you, but it is an important matter to us Humans regarding our security.”

no! He’s going to exploit us!!!

Gaspar frowned and cried in his heart at this.

This was the same trap that the Council of Elders fell on to. Siva was on a trip here in the Capital to buy a few things to be used to strengthen the defenses of his home city, he said, and because Draco made a wrong move, everything fell apart and the Council of Elders had suffered exploitation and humiliation.

He wanted to give his warning but unconsciously chose to shut his mouth when Siva spoke.

“I’m happy to entertain your proposal.” There was a tinge of happiness on his voice. “But you will have to swear an oath to never speak of what you will see to anyone else.”

Gaspar knew where this was leading and so he interjected, “This is the heavenly oath’s purpose, President, and it will mysteriously bind us to the promise that can kill us as an organization.”

“Heavenly Oath…” Higginson whispered.

His way to summarize the Heavenly Oath made Siva praise Gaspar’s ability to grasp the situation.

The President of the Human Society made a hum as he thought over that matter but on his vision, a series of panels and files were pulled by his own Battle-AI from their earthen archives.

In it were a bunch of surprising references.

As he remained silent, he listened to the details his Battle-AI was giving to him. After a good while, Higginson looked at Siva, feeling the sense of a very heavy feeling of impending realization.

This was a flag, he could feel it. Siva was going to say something that might shake the foundations of their beliefs of the universe as Human Beings.

Higginson, just to be sure, looked at Gaspar, “By any chance have you tried this so called Heavenly Oath, Captain?”

“Y-Yes sir. Before coming here.” Gaspar’s voice was weak and submissive. This made Higginson frown as the gravity of the situation had turned on a more serious turn.

He asked, “Is it concerning the entire colony?”

“No sir.”

“Our assets?”

“No sir.”

“Is it personal?”

“In a way, yes sir, it is.”

Higginson paused for a second then asked, “Is it concerning your safety?”

Gaspar inhaled deeply and exhaled lightly, “Yes.”

He glanced over at Siva and even though his face was covered with his blank mask, everyone in this room could feel the apathy coming from him.

Higginson reorganized his impression of him; he is someone who doesn’t care about anything not related to him.

He also realized just now that Gaspar’s short time on the surface had led to him to incur a plague that might become a scourge that will eat away at them as a society.

Inhaling cold air, Higginson, despite being a normal Human, glared deeply at Siva then asked Gaspar in a serious manner, “Are you perhaps in a slave contract?”

Gaspar smiled and shook his head, “No sir.”

Higginson heaved a short sigh of relief. “At least he has his freedom. But if he had taken this Oath himself, then it could only be something used to bind him of something…”

Higginson Bollard became the President of the Human Society because of his ability and not in a corrupted manner.

At this point in time, internal disputes were a thing of the past.

The Humans of today are an endangered species and so that useless piece of shit called [Politics] was the last of their concern.

Unity will ensure their survival and that’s also the reason why those who were born and was raised in the colony for the past decades like him and Gaspar, all had that unbreakable sense of unity, unlike those fools who only woke up from their long sleep inside the tubes and still retained their old ways of thinking that centered to power, glory, and selfish pursuit of their personal desires.

That’s the reason why they were all living outside the colony and had very limited access to what’s actually happening inside the Colony.

(A/N: remember that Terran Players are all called Immortals while Human Players are all those who woke up from cryo-sleep, thus the context above)

Higginson felt a simple feeling of relief knowing that one of them, Gaspar, was not bound to one of those ‘slave contracts’ —if this reference from his Battle-AI is indeed the truth.

‘But if it is, then it only complicates things. To think that these movies and novels from the 21st century would actually apply in this world... it’s a really frightening thought. Just how are all these things happening?! Are these authors and writers all prophets or something? Even the existence of Mana is but an article of fiction to us Humans and yet in this world, it exists as the foundation of life!’

If Siva could only read his mind, he would be in a deep sense of fear and perhaps even his pursuit of the [Truth of this World] that’s connected to an island called “Chronos” would even get its first ray of light after a very long while.

But alas, as close as the information he needed is, Siva was a victim of fate.

The things he needed and wanted to know and have, were all in a hand’s reach but still miles and miles away from him.

The other Ambassadors could only shut their lips as they waited for the decision of the President.

“Gaspar.” Higginson called.

“Sir.”

“No, sorry… White Knight, did you perhaps made my subordinate swear an Oath to hide a certain piece of information?”

Siva was surprised but in the next instant, he could not help laughing as he appreciated and also praised Higginson’s instincts.

“Brilliant!” he exclaimed, “Ahaha! Truly wonderful of you to land on that conclusion with just a few tiny sparks of clues and your instincts.”

Siva’s roar apprehended the hearts of the other Ambassadors. This unconcealed indifference and unbridled mockery for who they are, spoke so much of his confidence to himself —and more!

And although it was disrespectful to an honorable dignitary —an esteemed VIP, the President of the Human Society, they couldn’t find any word to speak of the matter since as a matter of fact, they were all here as nothing more but audience in this short meeting.

“So I take it that it’s a fact.”

Siva crossed his arms and laid his back on the soft backrest of his office chair, moving his feet to a 4-posture.

“I told you, didn’t I? My identity is my asset. It just so happen that Gaspar here had stumbled on a certain bulk on my assets so in order to not let the information travel outside the people that’re allowed know of it, I had no choice but to make him promise not to tell a soul of my secrets. After all, it was a fair deal and no party came out hurt.”

Gaspar almost choked at these words.

what do you mean a fair deal?!

I could not have been able to escape that place if you hadn’t made me swear that oath!

you held everyone I know as hostage!

If it was only him going to get hurt, he could have been able to take it and sacrifice himself. But Siva made him promise that not only him but everyone under him would also suffer that heavenly wrath or something if he ever spoke of Siva’s secrets.

Gaspar wanted to curse but held it in. He could only cry in his heart as he realized just now how brazenly shrewd and sly this bastard was.

He was just cruel… he lamented. So cruel. T.T

Gaspar’s dignified presence from the time Siva and him had met was gone. The person seated beside Siva right now was someone whose wings had folded and whose momentum faded away.

In front of these Ambassadors and the President, he was nothing more than but a Captain-ranked Military Officer. Gaspar’s imposing presence from earlier was just like a fleeting page on a picture book; every page is different from the next.

Right now, Gaspar was on a page where he was just a mere ‘subordinate’ and that’s the reason he was ‘folded’ there like a piece of cloth.

In short, he has no presence. 

Higginson could only sigh. As fearful as he was and as surprised as he was with these facts in front of him, he had no choice but to just accept the facts that was presented up front.

“Well then, if I swear this oath to not tell a soul of your secrets, would you be able to show me who you are underneath that mask?”

Siva smiled and Higginson could feel it.

“Of course. A deal is a deal. We both can swear an oath to keep these matters to ourselves. When it comes down to it, we can even sign a contract that will bind my assets to you guys if I ever break my oath. What do you say?”

“Deal.”

“Hmmm… I wonder though, is discovering my real identity really that important to you? Is it worth it?”

Doubts. Higginson had doubts. But he still gave a nod, “At least, after knowing who you are, we can recognize who we will condemn to hell if we ever gets the short edge of that cruel insidious stick.”

There was no need to hide the truth of the fact why he was insistent to discover his identity. This is not a matter of plain business anymore.

Gaspar’s attitude and words implied that the secrets he had discovered were enough to make him the enemy of the heavens —if what his Battle-AI said were true— and that means that his life was on jeopardy because of it.

And this White Knight… was the source of it all.

Whether he was insidious or not, using the old references his Battle-AI presented him, he can at least get a clue as to how this will turn out.

“President,” the blonde woman spoke up, “I don’t think this is a good idea. It’s not worth trusting his words over with your life, sir.”

“I concur.” Said the man from the other side, “The huge possibility exists; he can use this chance to make us dance at his own music.”

The other Ambassadors agreed and a flurry of comments flew towards Siva’s direction.

“Everyone,” Higginson raised his hands to calm his subjects as he fixed his glasses, “There is indeed the possibility… but the truth still remains that we are in need of the items he has. We, as a society, is lacking in everything. We depend on our mutual agreement with the Terrans in order to survive and along with that is the task that in the war against the LAGRAM Alliance, we are the vanguard of the legion. It’s also a fact that we are nothing more than refugees in their planet. When they agreed for us to stay here, we are bound to share to them our technology while having the privilege to use their planet and their resources. In the end of the day, it comes down to us being nothing more than beggars. We have no choice but to acquiesce, regardless of how much irrational the demands will be.”

CHUG~!

It was the sound of something piercing a heart.

Who’s heart?

Siva’s! He felt a pinch in his heart. Higginson had just used the compassion card.

DIRIRING!!

[Compassion Trump Card]
—Deals 100% compassion damage. Cannot be avoided nor blocked. If you can avoid damage from this card, then it means you’re the worst of the bunch of scums that are still alive and kicking.
—Damage from this card will never heal unless you give in to the demands of the user’s Bambi Eyes.
—Cooldown: in the blink of an eye

‘Cortana, please, take that fake notification panel away from my eyes.’

[Ehehe… sorry boss. Just trying.]

Gah! This….. girl is growing up the wrong way!

True or not, Siva’s logic told him that everything he said were all logical facts about the Humans in this planet.

this sly bastard!

As a Human Being himself (secretly), how could he not show compassion to these people?

damn it… he stole my initiative!

[Boss, he’s not the President for nothing. His skill level in politics is over 10,000.]

‘I know!’

Every one of the Ambassadors looked at Siva with a ‘pleading’ expression. Even their earlier hostility vanished and there were only… Bambi Eyes!

Higginson fixed his glasses with his right index, and then put his elbows on the table and spoke: “I agree to your proposition. In exchange to all of the resources you presented, I ask that you will be magnanimous enough to also swear an oath to that whatever heavens and promise to never try to do anything that will harm my people. You can now state your demands; aside from the things I said to be impossible to comply with, this seat will do everything that is within its power to fulfill your wish.”

Siva was silent for a good while.

[It really seems that we cannot force ourselves to know those information, boss.]

‘Yes. It seems to be.’

Siva spoke to him, “Then tell me, before I speak my demand, what are the things you can offer to me in exchange to my resources?”

Higginson met the eyes hidden behind his mask and spoke with conviction: “If you swear an oath to never tell a soul about what you’re going to see then this seat will allow you an escorted tour.”

“President!”

Higginson raised a hand to stop the rise of further objection to his decision.

“The tour will include authorized limited sharing of information that all Terrans with legit qualifications are entitled to know. That is this seat’s sincerity in regards to your initial offer.”

[Boss, the way he’s implying it. He is speaking as the President and not as Higginson Bollard.]

‘Yes. He’s taking full responsibility with it and he’s also using that card to its fullest extent.’

[Based on my downloaded references, he’s at the same slyness-scale as Pistareen.]

‘…’

Siva could only sigh. If he doesn’t give in, they won’t get anywhere.

‘Besides, this result is still part of the script.’

[My projections are surprisingly 68% accurate.]

‘Well done.’

it can’t be helped. It’s not that the resources we presented were all limited anyways. I still have two spikes left in me.

At that moment, Cortana on his vision stopped stroking the cat and bid him a charming smile.

‘What is it?’

[Boss, I just finished installing the prototype SS-Generator to the Mage.]

Siva was surprised by this sudden good news and he smiled widely.

‘Well now… isn’t that just wonderful?’

Now, this isn’t luck. This is part of his preparation.

Siva had long believed that the more PNF he had, the better its performance will be. Now, however, he had proven it.

With two PNFs its performance was (5x) better than it was originally. Of course, its speed of processing his designs was faster as well.

“So?” Higginson prompted to break his silence.

The silent Scion beside him squeezed his hand as to wake him as well. He had long told her what his original goal was. It will never change.

Siva looked at her and nodded, “Alright, I will be blunt then. I—” Siva paused, inhaling. “—I want you to search for a person… a kid… around 3-years old.”

Huh?

Not one soul, even Gaspar, was spared and weren’t surprised by this sudden request.

“He’s my brother and he’s missing.”

Scion squeezed his hand and he did so too. How could he not use this chance to use the network of the Humans?

.

.

================================
Everything was for this purpose…
The search for Baron takes in a new curve!!
================================

.

.

.

.

.

Next Chapter: Will Siva reveal himself or…

.

For latest updates and news regarding my releases, please follow me on Facebook @facebook.com/JEReddcliffe, and/or on twitter @twitter.com/jereddcliffe; and finally at my blog as well @jereddcliffe.wordpress.com where I will be posting exclusive chapters for some of my stories in the future, including the Mortal King.