A lot had happened in a matter of a day. It was all so shocking, that it was hard to come to terms sooner.
Standing amidst the murmurings of an overwhelmed crowd, Kasser sighed.
It’s hard to stop the rumor…
Not many people were at the scene yesterday. After three red flares, the people probably went into an underground shelter for refuge. Most of the witnesses were warriors and soldiers.
According to the later reports, the gist of the matter was that Abu had arrived at the scene and had a confrontation with the Lark. The two monsters fought tooth and nail; bloodied and bruised the weakened Lark had fallen to the ground, eventually turning into a tree upon the queen’s touch.
Even if they included the people who had peeked out of curiosity, the rumors could have been stopped if they had only hurried to crack down on the surrounding area.
But yesterday they had no chance of thinking about it. Such a scenario was beyond the purview of many, let alone the king who was stupefied at the sight of the unconscious queen.
When he had reached the spot after slaying the Lark, it had taken him a few breaths than he normally would, to come to terms with the situation. He had carefully carried Eugene to the palace, and into her chamber placing her gently on her bed. He spoke to no one, gave no instructions, just sat by her, vacantly fixated on her unconscious figure, waiting for her to wake up.
When he came to it, it was suddenly dark around him. Looking towards the sky beyond the window, he discovered it was already night. It was the first time he’d ever sat so absent-mindedly for so long. He had his moments of mulling, and regardless of how challenging the situation was, even when he was younger, he had never been abstracted, detached, or negligent of his duties.
Alas, it was too late when he was reminded of the ‘crackdown’ and summoned Lester to check on the situation. No matter how powerful a king he was, he couldn’t zip people’s mouths or stop the stories that were traveling at lightning speed.
In hindsight, although the attack was inside the city, it didn’t do much harm. There were collateral casualties, but there was also a heroic tale that could only benefit once spread. It was a moving story, after all, bound to inspire patriotism in people and hoist the prestige of the royal family.
Kasser was a well-grounded and prudent sovereign. He would always weigh the matter from all angles before drawing to any conclusion. Thus, although the traveling tales looked rosy, they were not without their share of thorns.
He knew the matter that had been gnawing at him, the one he was afraid would occur and hoped it was later than sooner, was just around the corner. The rumors would soon make their way to Sang-je’s ears…
This whole incident involving the Larks is so strange… it’s unusual for them to have appeared in the first place. A Lark becomes a seed, not a tree… Is there even such a thing!
That tree in the town square of the Holy City, by the hands of the legendary Roxi Anika… the one with the strongest Ramita in history… It sprouted from a seed.
Just how powerful is Eugene’s Ramita?!
Lester’s cautious voice called out to the pensive king. “It’s one of the main roads of the city, if we cannot use it, it will cause a lot of inconveniences.”
The tree, now a site of wonder, was situated in the most inconvenient of places. This path was one of the roads that lead to the town square, and by virtue of location, important.
It was Lester’s job to handle the cleaning up after a battle. He had cleared the scene from yesterday as per usual, except for the tree that was beyond his scope of authority. Had it been a normal tree, he would have uprooted it already. But this one had a special identity now and had turned out to be somewhat of a hassle too.
It had garnered such attention that it was a task keeping people at bay. And since he didn’t know what was to be done with it, he had no choice but to guard. However, he was reluctant to leave a sentry next to this enormous relic. How long would he place one there for?
Heck, he couldn’t be expected to stand guard himself, he had better things to do besides protecting a tree all day long! Without a recourse, he had sought the king for instructions.
But as soon as he saw the look on the king’s face, which seemed to say, ‘Did you have to call me now?,’ he realized that he had been too impulsive. When had the king appeared vexed? Never. But he was now!
“We will put the fence high around the tree and deploy the soldiers until the rumors subside. How about paving a way by destroying the buildings around here? When the dry season begins, we will start construction in earnest.”
Kasser looked around and nodded.
Kasser immediately turned towards the warrior who had just arrived. He approached the king, bowed his head, and said, “Baroness Weis has sent a message. She asks that you hurry back to the palace.”
His eyebrows furrowed.
Lester, who’d heard the man’s words, was startled. He quickly dragged over a horse. Without wasting a moment, Kasser immediately mounted and dashed towards the palace
As he looked at the hastening king from a distance, Lester was filled with anxiety. He only hoped the matter wasn’t too serious.