25 I Was Born To Love You
(From the point of view of Vonerich Lardizabal)
I had been talking about Song Eight throughout the few minutes we have been walking towards the throne room of my father, the king. We were pretty much theorizing the entire time as to how we can make her teleport-device to work somehow. At first, I asked if she tried using real sapphire and ruby, which she then affirmed that she has used to buy only smaller quantities since it's remotely impossible to find a 4-feet tall chunk of ruby and sapphire. If they do manage to find one, the object that we would be teleporting—in this case, the ruby—would still be pulled to the south since they would need to imbue it with mana so the spell could work. At best, the conclusion we came up with is to use real gemstones and activate the teleportation spell without using mana... which is... how?
Meanwhile, Frigg was sorta just walking there with us with a confused and troubled expression, perfectly showing that he does not, at all, understand what exactly we are talking about, aha! Oh, but it's okay, I still love Frigg even if he's not the brightest man in the room; at the end of the day, his skill as a warrior far exceeds mine, and no would ever dare say that his earth magic is something to belittle. This is just not his field of expertise; I understand that, so I hope my conversation with Song Eight is not putting him in an awkward position. Haa... But I just can't stop! How can I possibly halt myself from talking about something so REVOLUTIONARY!?
Song Eight is really an intelligent, beautiful, and powerful woman, and I say all of those compliments in more ways than one. She knows the complicated jargon of magical research and also knows how to play the game of politics here in the Imperial Palace of Rumer. This lady is the kind of beauty that will entrance any living human being with her charisma alone, and her beauty far surpasses any supermodels that I have ever seen entering my mansion. Not only that, but since she's under the care and influence of one of the most influential families in the nation, the Song Family, Song Eight has a tremendous impact on the empire. Not only that, but she's also a great and renowned sorceress. She specializes in earth magic, just like Frigg, but unlike him, Song Eight uses her mana to awaken the inner potential that lay dormant in every gemstone and uses that to either protect or attack. An all-rounder through and through, Song Eight will make you faint with her glamour, but can also destroy you with her magical proficiency!
I can't even believe that she's still ranked eighth in the Song Coven! She works hard, plays smart, and swoons hard; no one could ever surpass the amount of hard work she had gone through to get this far after coming from literally nothing! All I know about her past is, just like the rest of her sisters in the Song Family, she was from a desolate place, an orphaned child after the war. As a child, her parents, friends, and loved ones all died before her, and if it weren't for the aid of her foster mother, she would have definitely died as well in the scorched streets of the war-riddled Defuntalac. It's safe to say that she has the same circumstances as Lars when my father saw him in one of the dungeons in Defuntalac, but... Song Eight is much, much luckier than Lars. Then again, no one was lucky during the Psychic Wars. In fact, I may be the most fortunate child in this corridor.
Ah, speaking of this corridor, since we're slowly approaching the throne room, it is evident that our surroundings would be filled with opulent elegance for the gods! The red terracotta in our surroundings is donned with imageries and countless artwork plastered on the walls using white and gold paint. The masterpieces painted on the red walls of this corridor talks about the history of our ancient founding fathers, the first men of Varba, and the creation of its early settlements. Most of all, it also illustrates how the God of Death, Vilhelm, aided the first kings and queens of Varba to create the greatest empire the whole has ever seen! Because of that, we regard the beautiful God of Death with such high respect that every image that shows him on the wall is plastered with gemstones, gold, silver, and rhinestones. We do not particularly worship the God of Death, just like how Caelum worship The God of the Skies. We are merely indebted to him. Thus, our works of art, literature, and dramas all showcase the coming of death as a new beginning to embrace the inevitable and return the gift that God of Death Vilhelm has given to us. A fantastic epic once told that the God of Death resides at the far south of Nihilheim; it also chronicled how the monsters there is a part of his people. We are simply visitors whom the God of Death permitted to stay in his domain, Nihilheim, which is why the citizens of his Tribal Empire, the beasts of the far south, never laid their bare fangs on us.
When we finally reached the throne room of my father, the king, what welcomed us was a large double gate made out of pure gold, embellished with the finest diamonds in Luxael, and designed by the greatest artists of modern-day Varba. At the right door shows the art of the God of Death, Vilhelm, filled with rhinestones and pieces of jewelry. What we saw is a slender and beautiful man with pale skin made out of real diamonds. The image of the God of Death is extending his arms towards the entity plastered on the left door. It showed the God of Earth facing the God of Death as they held each other's hands, forming what seemed like the doorknob of the large double door. The image of the God of Earth shows different vibrant and colorful gemstones, which showcases the amount of life that the gigantic God of Earth possesses and the amount of love he continues to give to the different races who enjoy his creations. Because of the heaviness of the message in the artwork, the doors of the King of Varba must always remain closed to honor the two gods and show our respect to the continued love they bring, not only to Varba but to the world! Even if there are important people who would meet the king, the door will remain closed and will only be opened if the king permits it so.
"I came here following an official summon from the king," I said with a bow to the two charming soldiers who are guarding the king's throne room.
The two men then flushed red when they saw my bare skin as I lowered my upper body to greet them. One of them later spoke as sternly as he could while standing perfectly still in front of the closed double door of the throne room. "The king is not present in the throne room at the moment, dearest Prince Vonerich! He is currently with his advisors and generals in the council room downstairs!" He said, almost stuttering when he spoke my name.
"... council room?" I whispered beneath my breath as I furrowed my brows firmly while thinking of the reason why the king would speak with his generals. It seems that there really is something urgent going on, and I feel like I might be treating this issue too nonchalantly. I must hurry there as soon as I can. "I see. Thank you for telling me then!" I said while smiling to the guard who had just spoken earlier. I then stepped towards the two of them and tiptoed my feet to give their cheeks one smooch each before leaving them entirely with a wink and a giggle.
"What could they be discussing there in the council room?" Frigg uttered as he hurried his steps to match with mine.
"I don't know, but it seems serious, and since the king called his generals, we might be dealing with a battle here," I mumbled as swiftly as I can as I walked as fast as I can, almost running towards the council room, making the scarf on my shoulder flutter into the wind.
"The prince is right. I remembered that Madame Song had been summoned personally by the king, so this might really be a serious matter!" Song Eight uttered as she hurried along with me on my other side. Huh. If my father indeed personally called such a powerful woman for a meeting, there really might be something going on in here.
Thus, we descended into the ground floor of the Imperial Palace of Rumer using the nearest stairway beside the throne room with hurried steps. Thoughts about what might be happening enveloped our clouded minds as our steps quickened. When we finally took our first step into the ground floor, we realized that we were in the small tulip garden inside of the palace. The colorful and rainbow-like tulips are arranged in a circular shape, surrounding what looked like a gigantic blue stone standing proudly at the very center of the Rumer Palace, nay, I say, that massive blue gemstone stood at the very center of Varba itself.
You see, Rumer Palace is not only built to protect the royal family, more than anything it is also created to house the most important monument in the entirety of Varban history. The Monument of Herald was a 12-feet monstrosity of shimmering and real sapphire, standing proudly above countless tulips surrounding it. With this colossal monument standing proudly before anyone that dared walk past it, one would not even need to know that the people come in this garden, not for the flowers. Legends say that the God of Death himself created this sapphire, not as a gift to his human visitors, but as a warning that he can always ruin and destroy Varba if we dare disrespect his land and as a reminder that he came here with noble intentions. It's a clear message from a benevolent god, yes, he's kind, yes, he's letting us stay here for free, but, if we fuck it up just one time, we're out, and we're talking about the God of Death here. Thus, if he says "no more," that doesn't mean he would just kick us out of Nihilheim, no! That means we're out, literally, forever! No more lives and no more of this bullshit living thing! When we fuck up, we die, we get that, and we respect that!
Meanwhile, the monument itself is... well, we only call it a monument, but if I'm being real, like, I'm not trying to disrespect the gods here or anything, I'm just saying facts, okay? But! As I said, if I'm being real here, this "monument" is more like a huge blue and translucent rock, standing in the middle of hundreds of colorful tulips. I am not trying to say that the God of Death's choice is bad, but... uhh... You know what I mean! To make this blue thing look a bit more special, the people who constructed the Imperial Palace of Rumer created a hole above the blue stone, so the light coming from the sun will shed its brilliance into it. However, no matter how much sun you dump into the damn thing, it just won't glow for some unknown reason; it remains darkened and bland even underneath such harsh sun!
Look, my father has spent his whole life researching what this damn rock is supposed to be, and from his findings, the world found out that there's actually a second monument that the God of Death has created in the far south! It's standing in the middle of nowhere, somewhere there with the beasts of Nihilheim, above the land's barren soil. After reading my father's research in the palace's library, I found out that the monument in the far south is named by my father and his team of researchers as Cydonia, the second magnificent monument of the God of Death, Vilhelm. The research conclusion of my father shows that the Monument of Cydonia in the far south pulls, drains, and sucks the mana out of Luxael and gathers it all inside of the second monument in Nihilheim. This is why, for the longest time, only a few people in the world can use magic because the Monument of Cydonia had been sucking the shit out of the mana in our body until we can only do, like, super irrelevant psychic abilities or none at all!...well, at least, that's what my father's research implies. It also says that the Towers of Enigma in Izrecael actually doesn't give us magic, it only provides the Monument of Cydonia enough mana so that the far south would leave our bodies alone! Sounds a bit questionable, right? Which is why I made that shield that can suck mana! I found out that, since the Monument of Herald is a gemstone, maybe the Monument of Cydonia is also a gemstone, right? To prove that my father is right, I spent almost two years trying to gather my resources, and after countless trials and errors, I found out that to succeed in my research to find a gemstone that can suck mana... the answer is just to use all of them! Yeah, it's true, when I plastered all gems that could possibly exist in this world on the surface of a gigantic shield, I found out that, indeed, gemstones can drain mana!
That is probably why the Monument of Herald couldn't suck our mana; it's because that monument is only a sapphire! A lot of people didn't want to believe the king's findings because it sounds preposterous for a benevolent god like the Vilhelm to steal our magic away from us. However, based on MY results, the king's theory can be proven to be true! Haa... Then again, there's no easy way to find out more about this other than going to the far south and investigate Cydonia itself, but... no one would EVER do that! So here we are, stuck with this blue stone thing that does nothing. Well... It actually does something, at least.
Now, a long, long time ago, the only inscription in the Monument of Herald is a giant V, probably to show that God of Death Vilhelm created it. However, in ancient times, a mystic prophet came towards the Monument of Herald and used the power bestowed by the gods for him to inscribe the message he received from the gods into the surface of the giant blue monument.
And it says:
Well, at least that's what the translators say. In truth, the message written on the Monument of Herald is written using ancient Varban language, so one could not actually read it properly unless they have an intensive knowledge of the language. Luckily for us, there are actually some people who spent their lives learning the ancient language. Legend says that the prophet who wrote that was an unnamed old man who hailed from the far south and returned back from whence he came once he had proclaimed the words of the god. To be more precise, the proclamation says that the stone will pick a random dude who will go to the far south and awaken the God of Death. Straightforward enough, right? Well, for us to know that we are the one that the gods have chosen, the Monument of Herald must shine upon us first.
However... haa... well, I guess there's no time to talk about that! We have to hurry! The council room is on the other side of this little park thing, so we walked wordlessly towards the blue stone, then...
When I looked up at the Monument of Herald with shock filling my face, I saw that the ocean-like stone suddenly lit up and covered the entire area with a blue luminance, which almost caused me to fall into the ground. If Frigg hasn't caught me midair, I would probably be feeling some wet grass on my ass right now.
But wait... Why is it glowing?
Is it because I'm... My eyes widened as I saw the shimmering blue stone tower above my small body. Could I possibly be...
"Oh, brother, you're finally here!" A familiar youthful voice resounded throughout the air behind the shining blue stone as I finally realized what was happening.
Ha... Of course not. The stone will only shine for one person.
"VENNE!" I said as I finally regained my composure! My little brother, Venne, then touched the blue stone, and when he did so, the damn thing finally stopped spewing it's harsh brilliance away from us. "Oh, I miss you so, so bad, my brother. How have you been?"
"I'm good!" The boy before me then showed a brilliant smile as he looked up at me with eyes filled with excitement. However, almost instantaneously, his smile turned into a saddened scowl. "But Father has been training me so rigorously these past few months, and then I have to study and then..." He then started scratching his head until his hair was all ruffled, making the three of us chuckle. "I REALLY MISS YOU, VONERICH!" Cheeky brat! He's not even calling me "brother" anymore! "I wish you would come back to the palace soon..."
That's right. My younger brother is the Herald that the gods have chosen. He is the hero of Legend, the man that the stone has talked about for years. And me. Well, I'm his brother. Go figure. I won't lie. I am jealous; I am drop-dead fucking insecure that my brother is the legendary hero, but... After remembering the responsibility of a hero and the fact that they are expected to go and investigate the far south, I... Look, I love my brother. I really, really, really fucking love my brother. If he has to wage war against the evil in the far south as the prophecy has spoken, then he will need the full support of the entire empire behind him. To do that, he has to be the king. HE NEEDS TO BE THE KING! I will do ANYTHING to support my brother! I am willing to risk my life and die if that's what it needs for him to succeed in doing the gods' will! My power, my body, my intellect, and my riches will all be spent for the betterment of my brother, so he could fulfill his destiny as the one who would awaken the God of Death.
I am nothing compared to the legendary hero.
When I was a boy, I was a spoiled little shit who doesn't know his place in the world, but...
When I first saw my brother, I just knew that I found the reason for my life!
And then the Monument of Herald shone for him?
That's it! That's the only thing I need for me to know where my place in the world is!
"Awww! Well, you know brother has been very busy recently, right? I'll make sure to visit more, okay?" I said as I knelt slightly before my younger brother as I hugged him as tightly as I could. It seems that he's done with his training since he's not wearing armor anymore, so I can hug him as much as I can. I feel like my tears would almost fall from my eyes when I saw him again for the first time. I have so many emotions of happiness, sadness, fear, regret, guilt, everything, all of it at once, hitting me all over my insides till I didn't know if I should laugh out loud or cry till I die! Oh, I missed him; fuck, I really, really missed him! But I can't stay here! It's for his own good, and I am willing to give an empire to him. "I promise I'll visit more often." But I will never promise to come back... "Come, come, let's go meet father now! I'm sure he's been waiting."
My brother is the legendary Herald of the God of Death. He is destined for greatness, I know that!
I was born to love him.