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459 A Discussion in the Hidden Room, The King of Duendes Decision and The Good News

 Day ▊▊ - ▊▊:▊▊ ▊▊ - Secret Room, Stone Fortress, Eastern Mountain

Inside the Stone Fortress, several small hidden passages connected the Throne Room, Meeting Room, The Room of Knowledge, and the Armory. These passages were hard to see as the entrances were not only small to fit a Duende but were concealed with various layers of protection.

At the end of these passages, a hidden room could be found. It was a place that only the royals of the Duendes in the Eastern Mountain, and their close and trusted aides knew. Right now, there were four people inside the hidden room. The Rey and Reina of Eastern Mountain, Morana, and the Heneral Merio.

Morana, who had just arrived back here in the fortress, had to report to the king and queen about what had happened. She did not accompany Mei and the others just to assist as a guide. The royal aide was there to observe the members of their group individually.

Furthermore, she was not just an aide, by role, she was a person trained to fight, and protect the queen when necessary. She was a calm person and serious about her work. Even during the time they were surrounded by the Tikbalangs, she was not totally startled and still took the chance to observe everyone closer.

Her report was not really that urgent and was scheduled during nightfall. However, the situation when the group returned made the king call her to report. After all, everyone in the Stone Fortress witnessed the guards dragging the captured Tikbalangs. It would not be surprising if they were just some regular Tikbalangs. However, it became a huge issue when the captured ones were known to be the strongest and most unruly of the Tikabalang Tribes that gathered around the fortress.

That was something that not even the whole fortress working together would be able to do at all. And more than that, all three golden hairs were taken away from the mane of each Tikbalangs. While this would not grant the capturer their loyalty, it guaranteed their absolute obedience.

The king needed to address the situation. Of course, they would not make Mei return the golden hair strands from the Tikbalangs. However, he needed to know what really had happened.

Morana reported everything from the start. She told the details from when they went out of the Stone Fortress, the time they browsed the items on stalls in the trade area, the attention they gathered as they walked around, Mei and the other's disappearance, and lastly, when they encountered the brigands.

The whole report sounded fine and normal, except for the two last parts.

Mei' and the others vanishing in the way Morana described was quite astonishing. While they heard of some individuals stealing in the Trade Area as the security was quite lax, something like this was never heard before.

And lastly, the situation with the brigands. The goals of these brigands were not surprising. Mei and the others looked above average. Furthermore, Mei even had the beauty that could be compared with the Diwatas. It was hard not to expect to see some of the races with lustful tendencies to come after her.

This was one thing the king worried about when he sent guards to be with them. In fact, the number of guards around Mei's group at that time was more than the number that was guarding the safety of the whole trade area. This was the particular reason no one in the Trade Area tried to mess with their group despite the great number of people there.

However, it seemed that the worry was unnecessary. Hearing how Mei dealt with the Tikbalangs in a blink of an eye, the king managed to feel relieved about Mark volunteering to deal with the threat in the Kingdom of Sylphs. The wife was strong and talented, what more of the husband?

Furthermore, according to Morana's observation, their whole group was ready to fight rather than flee during the time they were surrounded. Even the little girls was not an exception. Furthermore, there was also that blob of reddish-black slime that appeared out of nowhere and released Miasma to cancel the illusion of the Tikbalangs.

"In my assessment, this group of humans is not to be looked down upon." Morana gave her thought. "Even though some of them are Blood Demons, as their leader claimed, the abilities they have shown so far are not among what they should have as people belonging to that race. Furthermore, we have yet to see what the other members could do aside from Miss Mei, Miss Amihan, and Miss Aephelia."

"This meant that they can be best as allies and the worst as enemies. There are a lot of unknown factors to them, but it did not matter as long as they are on our side."

King Hieromano surmised.

"Yes, my Rey."

Morana affirmed.

"How about you, my dear wife?" The king of Duendes turned to his queen. "Did our unfilial daughter told you anything?"

Those words, however, caused the king to receive a heavy glare from the queen.

"I already told you multiple times to stop calling our daughter that. Continue, and you will also lose a wife."

Queen Malabinia said with a serious expression. She was not joking at all, which made Heiromano reconsider his thoughts. Still, he could not get over the fact that Felenia left the Kingdom and eloped with that womanizer.

The king had great plans for his daughter. Tying her knots with the current general that was loyal to the throne and was hounding achievements was already good. However, she fell in love with someone else. It could have been fine if the person was someone from their kingdom. However, Teremillio was not. The worst thing was that...

Teremillio was a 9th Prince of the Kingdom of the Black Duendes to the south. Although their race was not totally evil, they were known for their wicked tendencies.

As for the Duendes of the Stone Fortress, they were not total enemies with the Black Duendes. In colors, they were categorized as the Brown Duendes, that specialized with earth magic. Even if that was the case, the Brown Duendes did not like the Black ones like how they were hated by the White Duendes.

Heiromano sighed.

Seeing that, Malabinia reminded the king.

"Remember that Teremillio saved your daughter from harm. Without him, we won't even have her anymore. You kept pushing her to the point of leaving. Don't ever think that I have already forgiven you for that."

Those words did not only struck Hieromano but also Merio, who was in front of them. He was the supposed husband of Felenia before until Teremillio appeared out of nowhere. Thinking about the queen said, his hate for Teremillio lowered a bit. He was just overwhelmed to see them together for the first time after dozens of years.

"I apologize." The king sighed. "I mean it. Although I can't say that I will accept that bastard."

"That is fine enough."

The queen seemed to be satisfied with how dismayed the king looked.

"Then, did our daughter say anything?"

Hieromano went back to the topic.

"There is." Malabinia nodded. "Currently, Teremillio formed a Tribe of different races and had other wives besides our daughter."

"That bastard!"

The king made an outburst and stood up.

"Shut up."

The queen glared fiercely.

"..."

Heiromano fell silent and slowly sat down.

"I'll continue," Malabinia said. "Their tribe right now is working with humans for safety. Remember what had happened when the King of Sylphs sent people to investigate what is happening in the Mortal World? It seemed that it is affected Spirit and Elemental Races in there, losing some of their abilities, primarily, making themselves invisible to the eyes of Mortals or being able to enter their home trees. That is why our daughter is with these humans."

"Is that so..." The king caressed his beard. "Their leader did not mention anything about that..."

"No one asked him," Malabinia said. "He only gave us what we want to know about the cause of this catastrophe and the state of the mortal world. He probably did not know about the scouts they sent, and no one asked him about the races in the Mortal World."

"That is... I guess you're right." The king agreed. "What else?"

"The place they currently reside has many people with strange abilities. Although most of them seemed to be Physical, there are those with Magical and Psychic abilities. The people in this group, apparently, they are the strongest among them."

"I see." The king nodded. "Then, we could assume that we will get good news about that thing in the Kingdom of Sylphs."

"The chances are high if we look at the current evidence. My Rey."

Merio agreed.

"And also one more thing." The queen added. "Felenia mentioned about their leader being able to gather pure energy into crystals. She said that he uses those crystals to increase the strength of the Sylphs directly under him. It would justify how strong that Amihan is."

"That's..." Not only the king, even Merio and Morana was stumped, after hearing that.

"No, wait..."

Morana realized something.

"What is wrong, Morana?"

The king asked.

"I just remembered that when Miss Mei and the others vanished, I said that she returned with some rare things that they traded with a mysterious old man. Thinking about it, they should have nothing to trade with that would interest any of us. Unless they actually traded those crystals."

Those words caused the other three to ponder. That was very likely.

"Should we try to trade for some of those crystals?"

The king suggested.

"My Rey," Merio replied. "It is better that we confirm it first before we do some movements. They might not take it positively. If that happened, it will be bad for our relations with them."

"That is also true." The king nodded. "Then, we will do this. We will wait for the return of their leader, and I will personally talk to him about it. Felenia might not lie to us, but I still want to see those crystals and assess its worth. Just in case..."

The king turned to his queen and his aide.

"Prepare some of our treasures for exchange. Choose some that might take the interests of humans."

"Yes, my dear."

"Yes, my Rey."

Malabinia and Morana replied respectively.

Then, the king turned to Merio.

"Also check for the slaves. Morana mentioned about Miss Mei speaking about their leader wanting to tame or having slaves."

"Yes, my Rey."

Merio replied.

The meeting continued and unfortunately, they were not able to come up with anything to do with the brigands. Thus, they decided to ask the Representative of Anggitays and Tikbalangs later on. She should know what to do since the brigands belonged to their race.

***

The long day had passed and sunset was about to come.

At this time, Silhouettes appeared from the mountain to the west. The sentries immediately reported to the King as they saw Diwata Danaya and Mark returning. However, they could not see the fat giant anywhere, and instead, there was an orange armored giant with them carrying a large box made of metal on his back.

The news immediately spread in the whole fortress. After all, many anticipated the outcome of this. The greatest threat they were facing now was the drought caused by that water-absorbing carpet of pulsating flesh.

Thus, their return was faced with more people. They were led by the King and Queen of the Stone Fortress, together with the representatives of the races. Lastly, Mei and everyone were also present.

Danaya and Mark emerged from the illusion covered forest and saw the commotion. Mark could only sigh and turned to the tired-looking Danaya.

"It's your duty now."

He said as he led Aephelia and Logan towards Mei and the others. The others were confused about his conduct, and leaving Diwata Danaya, who was looking a bit ragged, to face everyone.

Danaya bitterly composed herself. In front of everyone, she said the news.

"Everyone." She smiled. "The threat in the Kingdom of Sylphs is no more! We can now stay in this place with less worries!"

The news caused a commotion in a very positive way. The king and queen fo the Duendes and the other representatives could not wait to hear the details. Of course, they approached her positively and respectively.

Everyone was happy, and the situation was like a festival that night. A small occasion was opened, and everyone had a share of good food that they never had for weeks.

Well, that was fine for everyone, except the brigands that faced the glare of the reaper, and the representatives of the Anggitays, Amayana, begging not to kill them, as they could serve better purpose alive than just a pile of corpses.