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Noradriana didn’t hesitate to interrupt my provocation in order to try to catch me off guard with her null-magic zone and prevent me from escaping.
‘At least my flight continues to be effective within a null-magic area.’
It was the result I was hoping for, because I felt that flight had become an innate ability which didn’t require an incantation to cast.
“Undead King your flight isn’t magic! Regardless, there is no way you can best us in this space!”
The red dragon was the first to rush towards me. Since they also couldn’t use any magic spells, they had no choice but to rely on their physical attack and breath. The only thing that I was worried about was their claws that caused both physical and magic damage at the same time. Although I had high physical and magic resistance, an attack that combined both would be capable of breaking my defenses.
I pulled out a magic jewel from my pocket. I had learned from Gnoss that these jewels could store a limited amount of magic, allowing me to cast some spells despite being in a restricted area.
The red dragon’s claws swiped through my previous location, but I had already landed upon his forehead.
“You need to learn to stay quiet and be more humble.”
I reached out with my hand, and using my Death God’s view latched onto one of his larger life strands. It quickly turned black from my mere touch and his vitality was severely crippled. I then used the power within the jewel to teleport away.
Speuugh Kuu Woong!
The dragon puked out blood and his HP had dropped drastically. The harmful abilities brought about by the touch of my palm were innate, this meant that although I couldn’t control it, it also remained functional within this null-magic zone.
“What have you done undead King? How is it possible for you to be using magic here?”
The other three dragon flocked to their sibling’s again and asked me worriedly.
“You’d best clear this magic blocking song of yours and focus on healing him Noradriana, if left alone his vitality will drop. You don’t want him to die now do you?”
I continued to deliberately provoke her.
She stopped her song and I patiently waited with my arms crossed, allowing her to help the red dragon recover. I was confident that I could reproduce the same result regardless of how many times we went at it.
“Ok, let’s do this one more time!”
Despite being healed, the red dragon continue to suffer from a great mental trauma. My Aura of Terror was doing wonders on him after having suffered from my touch of death. He and his siblings were now easily suppressed before me and had it not been for Noradriana’s presence, they would have long submitted.
“King, you are indeed evil and mighty!”
“Is that supposed to be some praise?”
“Noradriana, You are quite talkative for someone who’s on the back foot in a 5 versus 1!”
Valenor decided to join in from the side, provoking them by attacking their ego.
“ I have a question for you, King!”
“Oh are we battling with words now? Sure go ahead.”
“How did you receive the Divine Grace to remain lucid as a Demi-lich?”
I quickly asked Gnoss.
‘Is that something that I should reveal?’
‘No problem, please tell them that you’ve made an oath with Gnoss. After all it might just be my greatest lifetime achievement.’
Gnoss spoke to me proudly through our telepathy. Although I didn’t like his smug tone, it was true that he had risked his life to protect my sanity.
“It was a gift given to me by the Supreme Sage, at the cost of his own life.”
“Was is that guy named Gnoss? Damn why would that female warrior mark you as an enemy then? How pathetic, am I expected to attempt to purify you at the cost of my own life, there isn’t any real reason to do so if you were accepted by a Supreme Sage. How should I proceed? Please Gaia show me the way….”
“What are you doing in the middle of a fight? And what, you want exchange your life to purify to me? just go ahead and try.”
Although I was truthfully a little worried when she mentioned a special ability to cleanse me, I felt reassured knowing that I had my Life Vessel as an insurance.
‘Johra you need to remain cautious. Don’t forget as a pseudo-Messiah, Noradriana carries some Divine Grace from Gaia, so the results can be unpredictable.’
‘Gnoss… Why didn’t you mention this before? ‘
‘Sorry it had slipped my mind, anyways be careful because I don’t know what kind of special ability she has.’
I kept acting nonchalantly on the outside, but I was in fact watching her every move with rapt attention.
“I will ask you one last thing undead King!”
What pledge did the Supreme Sage require you to make before bestowing on you his last Divine Grace? Knowing him he would surely not take the oath lightly. I’ll hear the weight of your pledge and choose my actions accordingly!”
“He asked me to vow not to bring destruction upon this world. Are you done talking now, can we continue with our duel? This is getting boring….”
As I finished talking I noticed the five dragons before me had lowered their heads to the ground. It was the same posture Valenor had taken when I defeated her in our duel.
‘You’ve won Johra, that’s the dragons posture for defeat and subservience.’
“From this day forth, we pledge to be the eternal guardians of the Pit and the Lord.”
“Not just the Pit, you have to defend your King’s entire Kingdom! And don’t forget that I’m second in command so you also need to follow me!”
Valenor arrived beside me and spoke brusquely to the dragons.
“We are not under the King’s command, we simply keep to our vow of defending the Pit.”
Noradriana answered her in a soft voice.
“I shall believe in your vow.”
“Lord, we hope that you don’t go astray and fall to the darkness.”
The pale blue dragon spoke out to me.
“That has yet to be determined, I only lash out to those that my come and provoke me just as you have. Let’s get going Valenor.”
I hopped onto her back and returned to my observatory tower.
‘Lord, I have gathered the Asmodians which you asked for.’
‘Good, help them dismantle all the traps and proceed with transforming the land into agricultural fields.
‘I will see to it.’
The large plains surrounding the Palace were quickly being transformed into fields that could sustain large-scale planting. The High-Arachnids, Orcs and Hobgoblins were all pitching in to till the land and expand the fields.
The Antilliens helped by digging underground waterways which were used to create an elaborate irrigation system, and the Blue dragon had a spell which could summon the rain, making my lands very fertile.
‘Lord, the dwarves have returned with the gold and seeds for our crops.’
A long procession of caravans were seen approaching from afar, carrying a tremendous amount of goods and materials.
‘Soak the seeds for at least four days in the World’s nectar before planting them.’
There were still many unknown benefits from the nectar. Even Gnoss didn’t have a complete knowledge regarding it, so I was eager to experiment. Because it was currently late spring, our main crops to plant at the moment was the soybean. Although I currently had enough for my people to survive in this world, I was instead envisioning an empire that could thrive and be prosperous.
‘Johra, last time you mentioned that you had some friends to introduce me to, is that still possible?’
Ian had contacted me telepathically when she had recovered her condition. When they had returned from Wetheros she was one of the first to rush towards me and had suffered as a consequence, so now she learned to only speak to me telepathically.
‘I’m also worried about the well being of my friends since I haven’t seen them in quite some time. Please go and meet them Ian, and take the chance to make some new friends’
I sent Arin to lead Ian, Gwyn and Mallepi to the city of Gartmar. They would kind of be my secret spies sent under the guise of a militia using the name of Gartmar’s savior, Gaspard.
In but a few days I received a message from Ian.
‘Johra, I’ve met up with them and Kishande, Miranda and Ashe are all very kind. Everyone is doing great and have asked several times about your wellbeing. Did you really disappeared without mentioning anything?
‘Well… there’s a story behind it….’
‘Johra is such a bad man, leaving behind people who care about you and just walking away! At least everyone here even thinks of Gaspard as their great hero, so I’m happy to be here. Mallepi is always following me around so people have asked if he is my pet. Gwyn and Kishande have also become close. I should have listened your advice much earlier, am I such a bad girl for not doing so?
‘I don’t think so, well anyways I was worried about them but I’m glad to hear they’re doing well. Stay there for the next little while, I will send you the necessary supplies through Arin. I might also requires you to make some purchases of items we require here….’
‘Yeah! I do my job properly Captain!’
‘Isn’t that what they called you when you were the mighty Gaspard that led them into battle against the Goblins?’
I was glad to learn from Ian that the city was safe and doing well. I was worried that they would suffer from the aftershocks of the elves invasion due to their proximity.
The cultivating of new lands was progressing smoothly and the fields were getting greener by the day. Weapons, armors and ornaments were produced with help from my Jewel Creation ability and the Dwarves’ workshop which was always running. These products crafted by the dwarves had made waves in other villages and became our primary source of revenue.
We used the funds raised from these operations to create new fortifications and buildings. It also went into buying livestock and material used to expand our city. We hired skilled workers and worked on a design that grew the city while keeping the Pit’s Palace at the very center.
The dragons showed interest in my plans for developments and had elected to help out from time to time. While expanding, they helped break down mountains and carried the large chunks of stone to the stonemasons for them to work on. They also helped develop enormous furnaces for the dwarves with their Dragon’s Fire.
Surrounding tribes quickly heard rumors of our new city and migrated their clans to join us. It was soon recognized as a paradise where non-humans of all races could coexist peacefully.
Through Alpeon’s diligent management, districts were set up in such a way that rival clans were less likely to meet, and the peace of my city was ensured. Our population and growth was explosive due to all these people and creatures joining us in such large numbers. It began with the talented fairies, then more dwarves joined with their highly skilled labor. We even had some gnomes come who were capable of producing mechanical products and great feats of engineering. All our unique products were then exported to the world which came to know us as Necropolis. The profits created from these new businesses and ventures helped catapult the city into a new age of prosperity.
At the heart of all the operation was Alpeon and her Antilliens. Because the insects innately very Hierarchical and loyal, I never had to worry about corrupt bureaucrats. They were also an effective police force who would travel the streets and solve all sorts of conflicts, playing an important role in my city’s development.
One of our greatest industries was husbandry. The crops which grew from seeds that had soaked in the World Root’s nectar were nutritious and plentiful. Likewise the cattle that was raised and fed these crops provided meat and milk of a superior quality.
After a few merchants had exported these goods to the outside world, the demand for them never dropped and a healthy commerce industry was established. Nobles from across the land would start bidding wars for said meat because of its delicious taste and limited quantity. People began to recognize it as the legendary city of the Undead King and as such was termed Necropolis.
However, unlike what the name might suggest, it was a vibrant city for the living, where all creatures who weren’t human could thrive. A place where art and technology flourished, in an environment which condemned discrimination on account of race and where hard work was rewarded with a proper standard of living. Where special delicacies as well as finely crafted works by the dwarven artisans were plentiful.
Because the only humans allowed in were the merchants, it was natural for myths and legends to travel the world as forms of gossip. Stories of rarely seen monster races living in harmony and tales of 6 dragons guarding the gates of the legendary city Necropolis spread far and wide, exaggerated as rumours usually are.
The merchants who were allowed to visit and trade with Necropolis soon gained a unique status in the human world. They had gained more respect and power than many nobles simply by virtue of having access to Necropolis’ goods.
Within but a year and a half of my city’s expansion plan, stories of Necropolis were spoken across the continent. They were often filled with praise and awe, and few people remembered about nor mentioned the war with the elves or the conflict with the League of Reincarnators.
“Damn it! Why is everyone jumping on board with this new city of Undead? Don’t they realize how evil that guy is? He is using this as a foundation to later conquer the world!”
In a dingy bar, a woman dressed as a warrior was in the middle of a drunken rant. The ones sitting nearby by had no choice but to listen in while trying to enjoy their wine.
“Lorina, considering all the good their city has brought, would it be bad for him to conquer the world in such a way? The truth of the matter is that he isn’t hurting anyone.”
Lorina was sitting together with the little vampire girl Roslin. They had separated from their original group of Reincarnators and were now known as the Warriors, because Matilda and the others didn’t share their views. At first they had been in agreement to kill Johra, but after the Elves’ no one would support them.
The elves which had been mobilized by the tribe of dragons had been thoroughly defeated and the dragons involved had even ended up serving the Undead Lich. After stories of how Johra had spared the Elves’ lives had spread, the Messiahs of the High-Gods had chosen not to intervene and simply act as observers.
Gnoss’ plan had succeeded with that change of public opinion, therefore Lorina and Roslin’s voices were largely ignored by the masses. The success of the Necropolis had been instrumental in this.
“That villain is but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, how could everyone not see him for who he truly is!”
“How could Matilda be right? An undead not being evil, it’s simply not possible! Damn it all, this world is going to shit!”
“That’s enough Lorina, you’ve been drinking way too much. Let’s try to come up with a proper plan tomorrow when ours heads are clear.”
Roslin left the drunken Lorina to return to her house in the middle of the night. She owned a large mansion which had been bestowed to her my the kingdom due to the contributions of her party.
“Huh, royal guards in front of my house?”
She was surprised by the heavily armed guards standing before her gates. She was mystified by the situation and was not prepared for a fight. Was she not part of the great adventurer party which had served the kingdom and stood against evil on so many occasions? Roslin walked up to the guards and shouted out.
“What is the meaning of this, why do you guards block the entrance to my property?”
“We have been waiting for you miss Roslin, you have been charged with treason and by order of his majesty we are here to arrest you. We do not wish to use force and hope you follow us peacefully to keep your dignity as a great warrior.”
“What did you just say?”
Roslin couldn’t help but think she had heard wrong. How could the humans have turned on her.