Wizard! Chapter 507
Lord Cerman stood on the walls of his castle, looking down at the lone person standing below. Not that he was actually alone beneath the castle. Behind him was the camp for Lord Cerman’s army. That army was currently responding to the sudden commotion, which involved readying weapons including spears and the newly made guns. “How did he even get down there?” Lord Cerman muttered.
“Like anyone else… I walked.” The figure below responded to Lord Cerman’s mutterings. “Now, how about that surrender? It’s the best choice for your men, and for your castle.” After looking over him more, Lord Cerman was sure it was the Eternal King. The new one, of course. From this angle he didn’t look so imposing as he did on his throne, with his nearly black skin and that blue crystal staff.
“Oh? Why should we surrender? You’ve nicely delivered yourself to us. You’re surrounded by our army behind you, and we have cannons on the walls readying even now.” Lord Cerman stood proudly, looking down. No matter how strong the man was, he could not defeat an army alone. “If you were going to give yourself up, you could have just agreed to our terms to begin with.”
The Eternal King looked up at Lord Cerman, but when he spoke it was projected in all directions. “If you move even an inch closer to that cannon you’ll not live to regret it.” Lord Cerman was going to respond to that point, but then the Eternal King spoke again, “Fools.”
Gerolf wouldn’t consider himself a smart man, but he knew how to piece things together. He worked for Lord Cerman- and though it had started out as a way to live, now it was a way to not get killed. If he kept getting paid while not getting killed? That was a nice side effect.
It wasn’t like he was doing anything wrong. Sure, he had learned how to operate the cannons that Lord Cerman definitely wasn’t supposed to have, but he wasn’t going to use them. Not even in the upcoming war Lord Cerman planned. He wasn’t the type to risk ignoring orders, but he was assigned to the castle. He didn’t think the fighting would reach the castle, so it would be fine.
Then he heard the voice outside. That put him in a bit of a pickle. Obviously the fighting had reached them, which was strange because the fighting hadn’t even started yet. However, Gerolf had ears, and the words that were spoken were fighting words, not friendly visit words. People usually didn’t shout those anyway.
Lord Cerman responded, and Gerolf heard the implicit order to ready the cannons. Well, ignoring orders wasn’t a good idea, was it. He looked toward his fellow cannoneer, Osgar, and then out the front of the castle. There was something about the wizard out there… Gerolf pieced together that information with the short conversation he heard. Then he got it. That dark skin. That staff. Those were good clues, but the chills running down his spine as he stood unafraid directly between a hostile army and castle was really what gave it away. When Gerolf heard the Eternal King’s statement about moving closer to the cannons, he almost felt it was directed just at him- even though there were a handful of other cannon stations. Then again, perhaps they felt the same way as him.
Osgar was still moving toward the cannon, and Gerolf shook his head and waved him back. “Better not.”
Osgar tilted his head, “Really?” He shrugged and stepped back. Gerolf was the one in charge anyway. If they got in trouble, he’d just rat him out to Lord Cerman.
There were a few moments of silence, then the Eternal King’s voice rang out once more. “Fools.”
That was what Gerolf thought he said, but the section of walls he was standing on shook violently and there were loud noises- many times louder than just the firing of a cannon. Gerolf barely managed to keep his feet, and couldn’t hear whatever Osgar was saying in a panic in front of him. He just turned to look where Osgar was pointing.
It was another section of the wall. Well, what had been another section of the wall. Now it was just a pile of rubble. Along with most of the other cannon emplacements. That was the sort of thing that being trained to use the cannons had warned about- being careful with open flames so as to avoid exploding everything all at once. Bits and pieces of the magically reinforced wall segments still stood, but only just barely. Gerolf just tried to avoid looking to see if there were bits and pieces of the cannoneers anywhere.
Lord Cerman looked around his castle. Most of it was still there, but it wasn’t a castle anymore- just a manor. After all, castles had solid walls and not walls interchanged with half-walls. Down below where his army was stationed there were also a few smouldering craters. “You- how did you…?”
“That’s ‘Your Majesty’, not ‘you’,” the Eternal King corrected him, “And it’s trivial to use just a tiny bit of magic past a barrier. Especially one so weak as this one.”
“But I… paid for the best barrier money could buy! The head of the eastern academy himself set these up!” Lord Cerman was still shaking from the explosions. Fortunately the center of the wall had been far enough away from the nearest cannons so he could still somewhat hear what was being said.
“In that case… he didn’t like you very much.” The figure down below shook his head, “Now then, surrender yourselves.”
“We- we’re not done yet! Men, shoot him!” Lord Cerman saw that less than half of those with guns obeyed his orders, but that was still dozens of men. He supposed some of them might not have been able to hear… but there were still going to be punishments later.
The men lowered their guns and fired. Lord Cerman grinned. There was no way anyone could survive that- not without something like an adamantine tower shield, which the new Eternal King obviously didn’t have with him. Then he noticed something. There was no body. Lord Cerman had his faults, but he wasn’t so foolish as to believe that guns would completely leave no trace of the body- in fact, it should still be mostly intact.
Then he felt a sudden pull on his body, and found himself being launched into the battlements with Lords Alvey and Ivers. The magically reinforced stone held, but Lord Cerman found his shoulder didn’t.
“Not that most of them would have hit me at that distance… but only an idiot would stand there to get shot anyway.” That was the last thing Lord Cerman heard before he fell unconscious.