- H-H ... How ...?!
The King of the Rathlands refrained himself from bursting into tears, clenching his teeth.
"Don't give in. Do not break in front of one of my subjects, else my person will be discredited ..." He ordered himself mentally, shocked by the news he've just been fed.
The messenger in front of him, nervous, bowed her head, avoiding the almost pathetic sight of her sovereign. Uncomfortable, she snapped her tail pincer several times. Then she took a slow breath, and repeated slowly :
- Your daughter is dead, my Lord ... The convoy was attacked near the Rakurian border this morning ... No witnesses. The driver and the guards were all killed.
He couldn't believe it. He couldn't hear this.
" It's impossible. ... It is not possible ! » He roared inwardly.
- Tourmaline ... My dear Tourmaline is ... the king murmured in a hushed voice.
The Astalos refrained from repeating her remarks, and remained silent. Khryselios hardly regained his calm, remaining relatively stunned and dismayed.
- Who ... Who could have compromised this marriage? It was a promise of peace !
This time, the spy had to answer him, even if he wasn't really listening to her.
- I'm not sure, your Majesty. Maybe Rathien rebels ? We count about a hundred revolutionaries in all the kingdom.
The Silver Rathalos gave her a fierce look for a moment, then plunged back into thought, pacing.
- No ... It is not credible. Civilians, even armed, would not have succeeded in killing four soldiers trained and protected by armors ... Even with ten against one. It cannot be a traitor, because we all know that we must obtain this peace... He thought, gesturing his wings, as if to illustrate his words.
- The bodies were found lacerated, like a blade would do. The precision of the cut wounds makes us think that an assassin could be behind all this, the dragonfly-like wyvern specified.
- However, no kingdom or state could wish for the death of my daughter! the King of the Rathlands snarled.
"It's simply unthinkable ... Where would this murderer come from ? And who, by extension, would be willing to resume this war ? "
- Unless ... the female soldier thought aloud.
- What do you suggest as another hypothesis, Astalian?
The so-called Astalian wiggled from one leg to the other, hesitant.
- Well ... maybe it's a provocation ... from Rakurai.
Khryselios's eyes widened, bewildered.
"On one hand, it could make sense ... But would Rakuraï be so deceitful ? To the point of wanting to dishonor myself by planning the murder of my eldest daughter ? After asking me to offer her as a tribute for peace? To better crush us then ? A real Nordic would not do such a thing ... But it's the only possible explanation ... By the two Lions ... How would he dare ... "
- No exploitable trace to find this cursed criminal ? the silver Rathalos asked, bitter.
- Search for clues is still underway around the area, but I'm afraid we're dealing with a professional, the spy replied.
- So be it. Until we have proof, I declare the Rakurai Empire guilty of this murder, the sovereign scolded.
The female Astalos looked up quickly. Her crest shivered with anxiety.
- But, my Lord ! We are no longer able to continue this war!
- We'll have to, Astalian. I cannot ignore such outrage at the Rathlands' royal family, Khryselios harshly said.
He saw panic arise in the insectoid wyvern, who forced herself to remain calm.
- Should I warn General Tinarg of the resumption of the war ?
The king of the Rathlands straightened up, and let his anger appear on his face.
- Yes. We will launch an offensive on Voltarr in a week, unless we get evidence of the innocence of the Rakurians before.
- WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY « SHE'S DEAD » ?! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN ?! The Rakurian Emperor thundered.
He broke his silver cup filled with mead in a fit of rage. The Barioth in front of him shuddered, but did not blink.
- Wasn't she accompanied by four Rathian guards ?! He went on, calming down a bit.
- The convoy appeared to be attacked by an assassin, Your Excellence. The four Rathalos who guarded her all had their throats cut, as well as the princess herself. No tracks to find the culprit. But I think we can say we are looking for a flying individual, pretty much light, and who knows how to handle blades, the flying saber-toothed tiger replied calmly.
- This kind of description does not allow to suspect a Rakurian ... the electric wolf muttered.
The Thunderlord Zinogre seemed to think for a moment.
- It hampers my plans tremendously ... he growled. This princess, in addition to ... distracting me, would have allowed me to have a grip on Rathlands, to hold them at my mercy, to ...
"Ah, Khryselios ... You would have been so stupid that if I had raised my finger on your dear daughter, you would have offered me your wife without any remorse ... Or your kingdom ... Who knows, maybe even both ..." He thought with delight.
"But fate decided otherwise, so be it. But I'm not done yet. This isn't going to ruin my dreams of conquest. "
Rakurai engulfed himself.
- This is a shame. The soft method can not therefore be used ... Mmmhh ... What grieves me is the fact we have no clues about this murderer, he meditated, scratching his chin. Who knows, for lack of evidence, I could find the Rathlands guilty of treason ... And finish the job I started ...
"And take another princess hostage ..."
He discovered his fangs in an eager smile.
- You can go, Blizzard. This event is not so tragic, after all ... We will take Ignis by storm in a week.
Said Blizzard again had a slight shiver.
- It'll be done, Your Excellence. How many men should I get ? Five hundred ?
The emperor's pupils narrowed in excitement.
- A thousand. I want a thousand men.
There was a silence during which he contemplated his claws.
- The war is not over, and I wish a grand victory, he explained, tightening his claws on his right palm. Overwhelming. Gorgeous. Quick ... I want Akalash at the palace by tomorrow. Do your best to bring him back to me, he finally finished.
The Barioth this time moved back.
- Emperor Rakurai, I don't think he will accept ...
- Wasn't I clear? He cut him off in a threatening tone.
- I-indeed, Your Excellence, the spy gave up before retiring.
Resuming his meditation position, the Zinogre plunged back into his expansionist dreams.
"I will finally be able to get my hands on the Rathlands ... Our soldiers have nothing to fear from the Rathiens. They will strike them down like flies ... On the other hand, we will make only a mouthful of Ignis and its defenses ... We will kill the princes, the nobles, and **** their wives ... As for their unhappy king, he will have nothing left than his eyes to cry ... I envy this day ... It's only a matter of time. "
He concludes his reflection with a patient and sadistic smile.
"Soon, very soon, I will reign over the Rathlands ..."