Seeing the arrival of the traitor Esbern with his nonchalant attitude, coupled with the sight of his nephew in chains as he struggled to stay conscious in space, it couldn’t help but rattle the Zodiac King.
As he was trying hard to hold back the beast blood that was violently churning within him, Alduin closed his eyes for a moment, before opening them again and speaking in a calm tone.
“Did you bring me here just to threaten me?”
The question caused another smile to bloom on the female supreme magus as she casually replied and threw another question instead. “Do you feel threatened?”
Upon hearing that, Alduin glanced at Zach and still with a composed tone, he said, “No. My nephew is a warrior. He knew full well the risks of war, so just kill him already. Then we can resume our battle.”
Sounds of applause rang out from the Abyss Queen.
“Well said. I admit, you do have the charisma of a King.”
Alduin couldn’t help but frown when he heard those words. That was because he didn’t know if the other party was actually praising him or mocking him instead. Without explaining what she meant, she then continued speaking.
“If your nephew is not enough, we still have…” the Abyss Queen stopped her words before one of her grand magus leaned to her ears. Alduin paid rapt attention as the grand magus seemed to whisper a few words and, after nodding, she resumed her words.
“About two thousand acolytes of your Magus Academy… on our hand. That’s why you are here, right?” With a smile, she glanced at the people behind him and added, “That’s why you brought this bunch of puny humans with you”
Those puny humans the Abyss Queen mentioned were none other than the three grand magus instructors â€” Aurora, Api, and Ororo.
Although it might seem that way, such a description given by a supreme being like her could not be considered an insult. Hence, while they were showing reactions to those condescending words, none of the grand magus stepped out of line.
Meanwhile, King Alduin heaved a sigh before saying, “Tell me what do you want in exchange for them all?”
With a glint of a smile she said, “I want you, Alduin the Dragon King, to join me.”
The response came as a surprise, not only to the grand magus behind Alduin, but also those on the elves’ side, especially the traitor Esbern.
Silence enveloped the platform before Alduin’s voice sounded again.
“You asked me to join you… using threats?” An indescribable look on his face, the Zodiac King looked at the Abyss Queen asking. “How would that work? With just my word you would really release them?”
His answer made the latter chuckle.
“Don’t play dumb with me, Alduin. You know very well that your one word â€” the word of the King of Bloodline â€” to promise to join us will affect the entire balance of this war. I am not talking about your little kingdom, but every half blood in the universe.”
Still with a faint smile on her face, she continued, “If you are an honorable King, your words will be a great boon for our side; if you are not, it will be a huge blow that will destroy the symbol of unity between half-bloods and humans.”
“Your words flatter me too much.” Alduin chuckled to himself when he heard her words. “You think too highly of me. There will always be someone else to take my place even if I do what you ask and fall from grace.”
A hum could be heard from the Abyss Queen before she said, “Perhaps you are right, that someone could replace you. But not in a thousand years, your replacement won’t be fast enough for what’s to come.”
The two of them only exchanged a few sentences, but their conversation managed to make everyone around them involuntarily hold their breath as the tension in the atmosphere visibly increased.
An eerie silence once again covered the platform as everyone awaited the Zodiac King’s response.
“My answer is no. Never.”
However, the Abyss Queen wasn’t going to take no for an answer and was ready to make an example through Zach. However, Alduin stopped her with his words.
“I have different terms in mind. Please hear them.”
Surprised by the proposition, she nodded her head in amusement before motioning for Alduin to continue.
“Three dark elf grand magus as well as thirty magus, I will trade them all for all the acolytes, my nephew, and my master Altus Dresden who is in your hands.”
That number was the total number of captives he had obtained from the successful raids. It was the backup plan to get back the kidnapped acolytes in case the rescue mission failed.
The suggestion was met with laughter.
“Hahha, no. Of course not. That’s not a fair trade at all.” With a mocking smile on her face, the Abyss Queen said, “You can keep those fools who got themselves captured by humans. You can torture, kill, or do whatever with them.”
Knowing the other party’s notorious reputation, such a response was something to be expected. However, just as she was about to end the conversation. Alduin noticed that one of her grand magus guard’s expressions changed.
He watched as the man once again leaned and whispered something to the Abyss Queen.
“Fools! All of you! I am surrounded by a bunch of idiots!”
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Seeing such a harsh response from the Abyss Queen, Alduin couldn’t hold himself back from letting out a faint smile. Considering the current time, it was very likely the elves had finally gotten news of the mission and the more irritated she became the more successful the mission went.
Making an educated guess, Alduin predicted that if the plan went smoothly, Delbrand and the others should be escaping right about now.
The Zodiac king let out a sigh of relief and said:
“It seems my task here is complete.” Turning to Lilith and the others, he said, “Prepare for battle”
Upon hearing those words, the Abyss Queen turned towards him and said, “Hahaha, how unexpected. The Dragon King played the part of a distraction. I have to say that I’m impressed… But how do you plan to escape this battle? You are surrounded.”
Alduin looked at her and said, “You are mistaken. We are prepared to bring down as many as you as possible with us,” with such determination, showing his will to challenge the notorious supreme being.
Of course, the Abyss Queen was startle by the suicidal declaration.
“I don’t believe you! You, a king of the bloodline, are willing to sacrifice yourself here?!”
A chuckle escaped Alduin’s mouth when he saw the look on her face. “Believe what you want. I am ready to be a martyr for my kind, I hope this will be my final task that will solidify the union between human and half blood. There is no need for more talk, I am ready!”
He stood up from his seat and released his energy, which immediately alarmed all the dark elves that surrounded them. Following suit, Lilith and the other three grand magus also brandished their weapons and flared out their energy.
“Huh, to think that I would be outwitted by a youth like you.” the Abyss Queen said, chuckling.
Then, much to their surprise, her expression turned calm as she said, “Release my men you captured and you will be allowed to leave here unscathed.”
Knowing the initiative was in his hands, Alduin calmly spoke, repeating the same line she had said, “That’s not a fair trade. I want you to hand over my nephew and that traitor: that’s my price”
Unexpectedly, it didn’t take her even a second to think before she agreed to the proposal.
As soon as she said those words, Esbern’s face turned pale as he quickly turned around and fled from the platform. However, with just a slight gesture from the Abyss Queen, a grand magus figure known for their power was restrained in space, unable to move like a chicken on chopping block.
Esbern instinctually used his transformation, turning into a giant goat beast. However, his transformation somehow did not stop as his body continued to enlarge, and following his scream, he exploded into pieces.
Facing the gazes given by the human side, the Abyss Queen casually shrugged and said, “That man promised me he could convince you and bring all the half-bloods to our side, so he deserved it.”
She then seemed in no mood to continue their talk. Just as she stood up, she looked at Alduin and said, “Think again about what the human alliance has really done for you and your kind and reconsider my offer.”
Moments later, the crimson ship left the area and after exchanging the prisoners, the rest of the elven battleships escorted the Taurus out of the elven border.
It seemed the threat was over. At least for now.
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