19 Safe and Sound
(From the point of view of Damian Carmichael and Violet Belladonna; refer to the Map of Luxael in the novel's description for this chapter)
"Sir Damian!" A teenage boy hurriedly ran towards me as I stood before countless other men and women who're desperately trying to learn how to wield a weapon properly.
"Y-yes?" I stuttered with a flummoxed expression upon seeing the ashen expression of the boy.
"Terrible news, sir..." The boy uttered as he panted before me. "The giants have started moving towards Valencia!"
"What?" I said, finally seeing the gravity of the situation as my lips began to tremble. "But it's only been a week! Are you sure?"
"Yes, sir! It's news I got from the Naval Commander, sir." The young boy said after finally starting to regain his composure.
"What? How come you got this from the Naval Commander? Isn't this an official administrative matter?" I said as I finally started feeling the tension filling through the open park, where I decided to train the people of Duibhne. "Where's the Chief of Staff!?"
"Well... You see, sir..."
"HE ESCAPED!?" My shrill voice echoed throughout the empty warehouse as I stood before some of my young students who were trying to unlock their untapped magical potential.
"Yes, Madame Belladonna, when we went to his office earlier, the only thing we found is a note saying that he will leave for Valencia." The teenage girl told me with teary eyes as I stood before her with a wave of seething anger creeping up to my shocked expression. "I showed it to the Lord Supreme, but he immediately tore it to pieces when he saw it, so we have no other way to show them to you."
"OH TO HELL WITH THE LETTER, I don't need to see more of that man's spineless bullshit!" I said, trying my hardest not to lose my cool before this poor young messenger who's already about to have a mental breakdown. I need to show my calmness to the people of Duibhne now more than ever. "Is the Lord Supreme still sick?"
"Yes, Madame, he forced himself to move earlier, but he fainted immediately after taking a few steps..."
"Gods... Then who's handling the administrative works?" I said as I placed my forehead on my palm.
"The Naval Commander volunteered to do it, Madame, but he's also been swamped because of the preparations, and..."
"... Of course, he will be..." I then gritted my teeth as I imagined the cowardly grin on the Chief of Staff's face before his escape. "THE DEVIL TAKE THAT COWARD CHIEF OF STAFF! Lead me to his office; I'll handle the administrative work myself!" I then looked at the stunned people around me. "Listen up, people, I want you all to focus on the lesson we had today and continue calling the mana inside of your heart until it materializes from out of your body. If the message we got today is to be believed, then the giants will be here in Duibhne after—"
"—eight days!" I said as I looked around at the people around me. I instructed them to gather around me to look at the map I laid out on the limestone floor of the park. "Since we heard the news about them heading towards Valencia, then I am sure it would take longer than that. However," I then pointed at the river flowing beside Valencia on the map before us. "The giants can also decide to ignore Valencia all together and head towards the village below the walled-city." I then gulped as I pointed at the area below Valencia. There stood a small and almost insignificant country village called Kahz. "The giants will first defeat the people of Kahz, use their port at the end of Valencia River, and head directly to us here in Duibhne."
"Wouldn't they have to cross an area above Varba first if they follow such a route? Can't we expect the Crimson King to intercept the movement of their ships first before we start worrying about them heading towards us first?" A middle-aged man who stood among the crowd before me had uttered as he pointed at the area on the map where the magical kingdom of Varba stood.
I then nodded as I heard this inference from the man in the crowd as I laid my head on my tightened knuckles. "It's perfectly fine to hope for such a thing to happen since Varba would not at all allow foreign powers to just waltz into their front door without giving them a bit of welcoming gift. However..."I then shook my head after remembering that Varba's specialty lies solely on the magical strength of its citizens. "I don't remember Varba having an impressive navy force. Since the giants we're facing had the audacity to ignore Valencia and Varba entirely just to attack us, then they must be confident of their ability to defeat anyone in the ground and the sea. The best thing for us to do now is to—"
"—create makeshift walls! I want everything Duibhne has to be placed in the southern part of the city! I believe we have a few unused cannons in the Merchant's Guild, am I correct, Lord Guild Leader?" I said as I swiftly pointed my forefinger to the dazed Merchant's Guild Leader.
"Th-that is correct, Madame Belladonna." The stunned Merchant's Guild Leader said as sweat started to trickle down his forehead.
"Great! I want it everywhere in the south. I've already instructed some of our people to stop gathering wood from the outskirts of the city after hearing that they will be planning to build some kind of makeshift wall. That will not at all save us—in fact, it would even endanger us if the giants cast fire magic towards them. I've already trained a huge portion of our citizens to use psychic powers. If my theory is correct, we can use psychic magic to divert the trajectory of our cannonballs right towards the giants' engine room, so it would hopefully destroy a huge chunk of their ship." I said while imagining a scene where about five to eight people use their magic together to move a swiftly moving cannonball in the air to move it easily towards our targets. If the giants are using the same steam-powered technology we have when it comes to shipbuilding, then a cannonball hitting their engine room would hopefully be enough to make a massive chunk of their ship explode. "We have to destroy these giants before they could dock into our ports."
The Merchant's Guild Leader then nodded gravely upon hearing what I had said as he said, "I believe we have enough cannonballs in our storages to last for a week-long battle. I will also inform my members to create more cannons and cannonballs while we're waiting for the giants' arrival."
I then nodded my head back at him with my hands holding my chest tightly. "The city would greatly appreciate the Guild's effort in this trying time, my Lord. Allow me to thank you right now already on behalf of every man and woman in Duibhne."
The Merchant's Guild's Leader then flinched slightly after hearing what I had just said before chuckling and saying, "Your words bring nothing but happiness to my heart, Madame Chief of Staff."
I then raised my head in shock after hearing what he had just said. The fact that a high-ranking official of Duibhne has acknowledged my authority in the city almost made me feel like I'm living a dream. Then again, if this is truly a dream, I hope I could awaken in the confines of Izrecael's peaceful walls.
"But in the off chance that the giants managed to dock on our ports," Before I could add anything to what he had just said, the Merchant's Guild Leader asked, "how would our citizens respond?"
"Well... if that does happen—"
"—the best we can do is to combine our swords and our magic!" I clearly articulated while facing the nodding crowd before me. With a flaming gaze, I uttered, "I believe that Madame Violet taught half of the city how to use psychic abilities, while half of you are taught how to cast strong magical barriers. I want each citizen of the city to pair up wherein someone will protect the other using barriers, while the other will fight through psychic abilities." I then raised a sword and poured a violet potion at it. "This potion contains a strong poison that will stick to metals tightly. Meanwhile, if it touches your skin, it will melt it easily, like cheese on a bonfire. What I want you to do is to have your pair stand about five meters away from the giants. The barrier-makers will prevent anyone and anything from harming your pair while the psychics will hurl the poisonous blades right towards the giants' skin. You don't need to approach them. You just need to stand five-meters away from them, so you can easily react if they cast or hurl something at you."
"But, Sir Damian, what will happen if the giants still managed to approach us?" A curious young man among the crowd said to me with pleading eyes.
"Well, if that's the case, then the training we did here in the park will not be useless. If and only if, those giants do manage to approach you..." said as I planted my gaze at every person standing before me. "The best thing I can say to you by then is 'good luck.'"
Two weeks have passed since that news arrived in Duibhne...
"I heard the giants have successfully infiltrated Kahz," I said as I quietly stood behind Damian.
"OH MY GOODNESS!" Damian said as he turned his body to face me with a panicked expression. "You scared me, Violet! How did you get in here?"
I then pointed at his door before closing it tightly. "Your door is unlocked," I said as I slowly slid the door's lock tightly, making it impossible for anyone outside to enter.
"I see... I heard about it earlier... Some Crespas even flew towards here to inform us that the giants are already docking their ships." Damian said as he sat on his bed. "I am scared, Violet, very scared. The worst part of this is that I can't even show how scared I am to the people since it would only worsen the already broken spirit of Duibhne."
I then stood before Damian, towering his slumping figure as my shadows fell upon his trembling body. "They will probably be here before sundown tomorrow."
"Yeah..." Damian articulated, not even looking at me as he dropped his gaze onto the floor. His trembling hands showed that my presence here is not enough to ease his nerves.
"I'm ready to die tomorrow, Damian," I said firmly as I slowly started unbuttoning the three buttons of my dress.
Damian finally looked up at me with fear after hearing my words. "That's—" However, his voice instantly stopped coming out of his throat when he suddenly saw my dress fall onto the floor.
"I want you, Damian." I then slowly raised my hands to tell him that my naked body is for him to take to his liking. "Take me before I die."
"STOP THIS, VIOLET! This is not the right way to deal with this!" Damian suddenly shouted as he moved his head away from my exposed bosom with a reddened face. "I do not want to do this with you simply because you're afraid to die!"
"I'm not doing this because of death, Damian." I then slowly gripped on Damian's jaw and moved his reddened face to gaze upon my gift to him. "I'm doing this because I chose you." Without further ado, I kissed Damian's hesitating lips, making my tongue play along with his, as I pushed his body to the floor.
And as the two moons slowly play along with the skies, I, too, decided to have my fill of Damian's now willing heat all for myself. I pinned Damian's body on the bed, making his almost supernatural strength turn into nothing while my insides ravaged his pulsating member. With sweat dripping all over my bare skin, I led his hands to discover every nook and cranny of my body, allowing his every touch to worship me as I laid on top of his shaking waist.
"I-I feel weird, Violet!" Damian's innocent whisper mingled in the air along with my moans of absolute pleasure as I allowed my sweat to drip onto his soaking tunic. "I don't... I don't know what's happening to me!"
"Let it all out inside of me, Damian!" I said as I plastered Damian's hands on my chest. "I want you now, and I want you forever!"
And as our screams desecrated the tranquil stillness of Duibhne below the evening skies, I felt all of Damian rushing towards my insides...
"SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU TWO! I'M TRYING TO SLEEP!" The sound of Uncle Bert's screaming almost made the two of us stop, but oddly enough, it just made me want to continue doing it until Damian and I both blacked out.
I gazed at the people around me as I marched towards the southern port of Duibhne. I saw hundreds of cannons surrounding Duibhne's sandy shore while two people knelt behind each barrel together. Some citizens of Duibhne who are not manning the barrels are standing five feet away from the shore. I noticed that they seemed to have their blades and violet potions on their hands already. It looks like some of them have even tied themselves on their partner's waists, so they would never let each other go.
"DO WE STILL HAVE GUNFIRE!?" I heard my Uncle Bert scream from a distance. I saw that it was coming from what seemed like a steam-filled warehouse. I would have gone there willingly to have a final talk with him, but... just imagining the smell of that place is enough to make me just laugh the idea off my head.
I then stood before the Merchant's Guild Leader as he looked above the southern horizon of Duibhne with the Naval Commander. Meanwhile, the Duibhne police force's Commander In Chief marches all over the shore to see if the cannons are functioning correctly.
"We wouldn't have needed the cannons if the city has better magicians." The Merchant's Guild Leader said beneath his breath as I stood beside him.
I then chuckled upon hearing the Merchant Guild's Leader's words. "That's not the problem here, Lord Guild Leader. The problem is these giants. Not everyone should be a great magician and spend the rest of their lives harnessing magic. What will ever happen to Luxael if there are no merchants left to feed our overworking magicians?"
The Merchant's Guild Leader then laughed heartily upon hearing what I had said, but none of the people around us even batted an eye on his totally out of place laughter. "You're right, Sir Knight. We're all just victims of circumstances."
I nodded as I looked at the sun on the western horizon. The sun turned into a soft orange tint as the skies devoured the falling sun, making the world know that night would soon fall upon the earth.
I then felt a soft, thin hand wrap around my waist, which made me flinch in fright. "Should we tie a rope around our waist too?" The woman's familiar voice rang around my ears as she placed her head on my shoulders.
"Isn't it uncomfortable to lay your head on hard metal?" I said while looking at how Violet eagerly laid her head on my shoulder plates.
"I'm quite used to the feeling of laying my head on hard surfaces," Violet then raised her head to gaze at me with a dazzling pair of eyes. "just like how I laid my head on your shoulders last night." She playfully uttered with a snicker.
I sighed with a relaxed smile. "Now's not the time Violet."
"INCOMING!" The Naval Commander shouted as he pointed at something appearing from a distance.
The people then braced themselves: those around the cannons immediately placed cannonballs inside of their artillery while the ones standing five feet away from the shore had already cast their barrier and psychic magic, ready for the worst to come.
"However, instead of ships, what I saw flying towards us is a flock of seven gigantic flying beings approaching the southern port of Duibhne.
"Are those... Crespas?" I whispered as I knitted my eyes while looking at the approaching figures.
"They are Crespas!" Violet uttered as the figures slowly formed towards us.
After a few moments, the Crespas finally landed beside us. The one in the middle who's wearing a golden linen tuning approached us and said with a stern expression, "Where is the Lord Supreme?" As much as I would love to ogle over the number of expensive brimstones and authentic gold on his opulent linen tunic, what took my attention the most is the head that he's rolling and kicking around his chicken-like feet as if it's a ball with a face.
The rest of the people around us then started to talk about the sudden arrival of the Crespas. Still, most of all, we are all curious about the gigantic head that the Crespa, who's wearing a golden tunic, is gleefully gripping with his talons. Seeing as how the head looked exponentially bigger than an average human head, I realized that perhaps... perhaps there's still hope for Duibhne.
Violet then immediately replied and approached the Crespas. "The Lord Supreme is currently resting on his quarters with his grandchildren, Lord Crespa! I am the acting Chief of Staff, this is the Merchant's Guild Leader, and the gentleman there is the Naval Commander. The three of us will accept every message directed to the Lord Supreme."
After a while, I saw the people who are working in the steamy warehouse with Uncle Bert had come out to the shore to gaze at what the Crespa had to say. For once, I saw Uncle Bert not saying anything and was just holding his breath to anticipate what is to come.
The Crespa, who's wearing a golden tunic, then took a scroll out of his small leather bag and gave it to Violet. "A message from the Crimson King."
"F-from Varba?" Violet stuttered before opening the scroll and placing it on an angle wherein the Guild Leader and the Naval Commander can read along with her. "Is this... Is this real!?" Violet said to the golden Crespa as she gave the letter to me. I then saw the Crimson King's gigantic stamp below the long scroll and saw immediately that the letter truly is a message from the king of Varba.
There in the letter, a few small sentences immediately took my breath away.
"... the giants have been successfully intercepted by the wizards of our kingdom, Varba..."
"The giants, thus, are now fleeing away from Izrecael to head in the far north..."
"... Varba will further preserve Duibhne's peace in the future in the event that the giants return..."
"Glory be to Varba! Glory be to Duibhne! Yours truly, with all respect and adoration, King Devyn Lardizabal."
"... the giants have been defeated?" I swiftly murmured as I laid my eyes upon the letter I have on my hands. The people around me must have heard what I said because they started circulating it around the people with them.
"Indeed, it is true. Varba has taken the liberty to defeat our enemies." The stern-looking Crespa said, but this time, a soft smile appeared on his owl-like face.
"THE GIANTS HAVE BEEN DEFEATED!" I roared, making my voice echo throughout the stillness of the city. I don't even know how Varba managed to defeat an enemy at sea or why they did so to defend Duibhne, but my joy is overwhelming that I started to jump around with joy as I felt a tear leaving my eye. "VARBA HAS DESTROYED THE GIANTS!"
The people around me slowly looked at me with shocked and awe-filled expressions as they slowly dropped their weapons and barriers. After a while, in unison, the entirety of Duibhne's citizens erupted into a deafening scream of absolute joy, celebrating another day being alive. Everyone started hugging each other and leaping from one place to another and crying with a massive grin on their faces and hurling a few cannonballs in the air. The Naval Commander started to bawl with his knees on the ground. Meanwhile, the Merchant's Guild Leader started to hug and kiss the stern-looking golden Crespa before the annoyed winged-man pointed the tip of his tail at him. I could even see some of the younger men and women of Varba literally playing and kicking the giant head all around them, making the other Crespa along with the one wearing gold to laugh in joy... which I found a bit gruesome since they're literally desecrating a corpse. Then again, I would probably kick that head sometime in the future too.
As I looked at the celebration around us, I suddenly pulled the still stunned Violet towards me and kissed her deeper than I have ever done in my whole life.
"CALL THE MAGISTRATES!" I said as I held the love of my life in my hands. "CALL THEM ALL NOW! I AM MARRYING THIS WOMAN RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW!"
Suddenly, the people started placing a white veil on Violet's head while one of the people beside the cannons swiftly pulled his partner towards us and told us all that he's a magistrate.
Thus, on the same day that the miraculous message of the King of Varba arrived on the shores of Duibhne, I successfully granted my promise to Violet with a deep seethed kiss.