Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 465: Messengers

Chapter 464: Somewhere Else (12)

Prince Mur was violently stroking his head fins when he heard the news. It was the equivalent of a human tearing their hair in agitation. He had just gotten the news that the Chrona Empires Evaluation ended in a spectacular finale.

And he had missed it.

He had been ordered to return to Theta and lost his excuse to delay his departure when the broadcasts fell silent. The Crown Prince ultimately failed to conquer Beta and to make matters worse, he had withdrawn most of their troops from Theta.

While many of their drones were lost or changed faction to the irregular Adam, Theta had been completely unprotected.

In the words of the elder council:

“The crown prince could not be blamed for leaving Pataloosia Minor unprotected as it and the surroundings were pacified”

At least that was their excuse for the loss of their bridgehead in Urth. Nobody knew exactly what happened, but the communication with the few soldiers stationed there suddenly broke up one day, and supply goods from Theta completely broke off, leaving the last surviving troops in Beta stranded.

Not only were these last remnants of their invasion force stranded without supply goods, but also without a leader- The fine crown prince left them behind and returned heavily injured to the empire after falling for one of the enemys schemes.

Now, Mur was hurriedly ordered to return to clean up the mess. He was not even given the time to rewatch the evaluations final. After a short briefing, he and a regiment of troops and drones were sent to Beta using the last functioning gate.

The only real contribution the crown Prince had done in this whole ordeal. Despite his failure, they managed to construct a makeshift gate to the pathworks in Beta. Things would have looked bleak otherwise, as none of the scouts they sent through the gate to Theta returned.

Murs task was not overly complex. He had to collect the remaining forces the prince had left behind and try to find out what happened to Theta. If they had asked him to still try and conquer beta, he might have refused, even if they put him under arrest.

This mission left him enough room to finagle some things and get back alive. The prince returned to Urth through the gate, located at the shore of beta. The ocean of Urth prickled on his skin, as it had a higher salt content than the one of his homeworld.

It had been some time since he had been here last. Looking at the horizon he saw the enormous silhouettes of Betas skyline. Despite the battle scars and ruins among it, it impressed him every time to see these structures that easily compared or surpassed his peoples deep-sea spires.

Although they were barbarians in the sense of magic or knowledge of the system, these worlds that strived without any magic or gods had to be admired. Outwardly, just one of these cities was comparable to Chrona Empires capital and probably held more people in their prime.

Lamenting the narrow-mindedness of the Elder Council he trudged to land, followed by the troops he was given as support. Pataloosia Magna, their naming sense was even more pathetic than their ambitions and excuses.

“Secure a safety parameter. Send scouts to look for the scattered soldiers that are still loyal to us,” he ordered his subordinates. With a whip of mental power, he also made the drones move to his commands.

Suddenly he felt a wave of mental power wash over him. Even he had slight trouble withstanding its pressure. The troops and drones around him stood still as if frozen in fear.

“That wont be necessary. You are already surrounded.” a voice said, and rows of enemies rose from the sands around them. Some were mermen, some were drones, and others were weird chimeras with mixed features.

“Adam, I presume?” Mur stated, not showing a reaction to the ambush.

“Ay, you should be Prince Mur, correct? The merman that conquered Theta.” Adams eyes were fixed on him.

It was the first time Mur saw this man face to face. Outwardly he looked almost like a merman, but something was off. It was uncanny and Mur was unable to describe it, but it was obvious that he was not a real merman.

The merman prince scratched his cheek a little lost for words.

“I wouldnt call that a conquest. The city was mostly empty when we arrived. One could even call it a peaceful occupation, really.” he mumbled.

“You seem awfully relaxed for someone who fell into the hands of his enemy,” Adam commented Murs attitude, looking at him with squinted eyes.

“I mean… are we enemies?” Mur put a bold statement into the room.

Intrigued, Adam lowered his weapon.

“Hoh? Elaborate.” he gave the prince a lease on life. Mur sighed.

This was quite a hard nut to crack, as the prince had only a rough idea of Adams motivations. The hybrid was the result of an experiment the humans did on their own people. One would think that he would hold a grudge against them, but instead, Adam stood here as the greatest contributor to the crown princes failure.

“You probably have your reason to hate us for invading your land and I wont say you are wrong to hate us for what we did.” Mur paused for a moment.

“But we, Me, and these people are just soldiers who did not make this decision.”

“Arent you a prince? Dont you think it is a little farfetched to compare yourself to a soldier?” Adam interrupted him.

Mur laughed in self-irony.

“A prince? Yeah, I inherited royal blood, but it means even more that I can only follow orders. Do you think I would be here if I had any authority? Why would a prince go on such a mission without even a single guard?”

Adam observed the regiment that came with the prince, but they could not count as royal guards. The prince was speaking the truth. As the hybrid was still in thought, Mur kept ranting.

“If I was in charge, I wouldnt waste resources on this stupid expansion plan. Its just a way for those incompetent wrinkleheads of the council to distract from their corruption and terrible management of the state.”

Adam didnt know what happened, but Mur simply kept going on his own.

“…I mean, can you believe it? That perv is over 400 years old and uses state funds to buy illegal slaves… The old coot openly promotes the people of his maternal family… Im sure they were involved in the assassination of… and I found out they…” he kept going on and on about the corruption in the royal court to the point that Adam stopped listening.

“And that is, why I am not your enemy. Im only trying to fulfill the bare minimum of my duties to keep my life.” the merman prince finally ended his emotional speech.

“So?” Adam asked bored. He had lost all interest to listen somewhere in the middle and left the prince alone with his monologue.

“Didnt you listen?” Mur asked exasperated. He had put his all into this speech.

“No. Summarize it for me in one sentence.” the hybrid simply commanded.

“Errm… In fact, we are allies, and if you agree to help me, I should be able to help you get revenge on the people truly responsible.”

Mur couldnt explain the overflowing strength of the hybrid in front of him. Maybe because he had no idea what those people had done to him, to turn him into this. However, he knew one thing for certain.

If he could get Adam on his side, then getting rid of the Elder Council was no pipe dream any longer. With the man from Urth having his supporter, he might even have a chance to become the emperor. He was sure Adam would have demands of his own, but Mur was ready to do anything to survive.

After finishing his summary, Adam looked at his ponderingly.

“I will take you into custody for now and think about your proposal.” he finally said.

The merman prince sighed. Although it was not the best outcome, at least he was not immediately lynched. He did not resist the capture and followed Adam into the city.

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