CHAPTER 51 - The Promise (4)
“I’d ask why you want to know, but I imagine you will only reply with more threats.”
“And you would be correct. So, out with it. What is so special about that man that you would leave the safety of your castle and risk the dangers of the world?”
Celia frowned as she realized there was no way she was getting out of this. No longer attempting to maintain her pleasant façade, she looked at Aundell and began speaking.
“You seem to already be aware of our failed attempt at summoning a Hero. You also appear to know the price, and possibly the reason, for such an attempt. The fact is that a war is coming. It might already be here, actually. Of course, no full-blown conflicts have occurred, as of yet. But that is not to say that they aren’t coming.
“Raistra’s mages are among the best in the world, but they are too few in number. Our neighbors are amassing manpower, focusing it on the borders. We need to defend ourselves, no matter the cost.”
Aundell nodded. Dragons may be aloof, when compared to the short-lived humans, but they were not ignorant. She had seen the fires of armies near Raistra’s borders from the sky for some time, now.
“And how does he fit into all of this, if he is not the Hero you sought?”
Celia bit her lip, considering how much she could reveal. She leaned forward, her voice dropping to a whisper, as if not to be overheard in the otherwise empty room.
“He will return home, to his ‘Earth.’ But first, something far more important will happen. His status plate bears an odd entry, naming him ‘The Master of the Archives.’”
At this point, Aundell’s eyes went wide.
“I need him to unlock the secrets within the Archives, for the sake of my kingdom.”
Alex sat there in silence as he digested the story Treya had finished moments before. The lines on his forehead deepened as his brow furrowed in thought. The elf waited, knowing it wouldn’t be something easy to process. Quinn seemed to be a bit faster on the uptake, however, as he spoke out.
“I believe the situation to be entirely different.”
The others both looked at him, as if surprised that he was there. He ignored their gazes and continued.
“A demon with a similar appearance attacked your unit because of some unknown reason. He slaughtered your soldiers without mercy, much as Alex had with the ones attacking the village. So, you fled simply because Ser Jaeger reminded you of this other demon, but you must agree that his anger was justified, while you cannot say the same of the demon.”
Treya nodded as the attention was shifted to her. She bit her lip, knowing full well that Quinn was correct.
“My issue is that the demon must have had his own reason, or he wouldn’t have attained that power.”
It was at this point that Alex finally spoke up.
“Ya know, I don’t think that’s the case. I told you, this guy named ‘Wrath’ is in my head. As far as I can figure, he’s like the embodiment of the deadly sin, and he likes giving his powers to people who are… well, angry.”
[I feel as though I should be offended, boy.]
“Oh, shut up. I’m talking about you, not to you.”
Treya and Quinn looked at Alex with puzzled faces. He shrugged and pointed at his head, as if that explained everything.
“So, like… I dunno, but hear me out, here. What if that demon was just some edgy scrub who was having a bad day because his dog died or something? If he gave into his anger enough, it was Wrath that did all those things using the demon’s body. Right?”
As his companions started to nod understandingly, Alex kept going.
“So, it sounds like that demon was just weak, mentally speaking. Sure, I gave in and did some admittedly terrible things. But I snapped out of it with my own power.”
“Yes, ALICE, you helped. Good job, want a cookie?”
“No, those things clog up my browser.”
“Not the… You know what, never mind. My point is that I think I can control this ‘Wrath’, whether he likes it or not.”
“And just what makes you think you’ve got the balls to do so, boy? I am Sin, itself. Do you really think you can manipulate me, an existence far above your own?”
All three of them looked up in unison. In the center of their small circle, floating several feet above their seated heads, was a flickering black flame, no bigger than that from a lighter. Alex smiled his crooked grin and leaned back on his hands, casually addressing the flame.
“About time you showed up, for real. As for your question, yes, I do.”
While Quinn continued to stare at the flame, scowling like he felt a deep hatred for it, Treya instead peered at Alex. Her face was that of someone who was about to make a very big decision, depending on what happened next. Alex ignored both of them and continued to speak, confidence oozing from his voice.
“After all, aren’t we all taught to ‘control our temper?’”