Wizard! Chapter 508
Gerolf looked down from his section of wall as the Eternal King walked away, dragging the three lords behind him with short pieces of rope tied around their ankles. Nobody saw him arrive, but everyone saw him leave. At least, everyone still alive. A good number of those near cannons had died in the explosions. Gerolf had lived, but he didn’t think it was a coincidence. Osgar was still sitting next to him on the ground in shock, but that wasn’t so bad as sitting in a crater.
Not all of the cannons had been destroyed. If Gerolf were to bet, he would say that only those who had listened to his warning had survived. When he later asked, it was confirmed by the others. A few of them had just hesitated, but that was enough.
Gerolf didn’t think about how the cannons on the walls were affected through the wards. There wasn’t much to think about. It was the Eternal King. He didn’t know much about him, except the legends. Gerolf was around for the war, but not a participant. However, he’d heard how the new Eternal King killed all of the most powerful enemy lords himself. Sometimes with one arm tied behind his back. There was even a story about him beating another lord to death with his bare hands- one in full armor. Then there was the story where he wrestled a dragon out of the sky. In another he dived into the sea and killed a kraken just by glaring at it.
Gerolf didn’t know how much of those legends were true. It certainly couldn’t be all of it… but perhaps it was not as little as some people thought. Sure, the cannons exploded because their powder was stupidly volatile… but Gerolf couldn’t have set off even one of them at the distance the Eternal King did, let alone all of them at once. All he’d seen is all of the mana in the area stop its dance and tremble as one the moment before the explosion.
Now, the Eternal King was dragging the lords who dared to oppose him through the camp of their army. Right past all the soldiers. One of the fools pointed a gun at him… and fell over dead, just from a glance. Most of the rest of the soldiers dropped their weapons and backed off. A few of them just stood there, stunned, clutching tightly to their guns or their spears.
Lord Cerman woke up. His face and the back of his head hurt. The rest of him… didn’t feel like much, actually. He thought his shoulder should be hurting. He spit out some dirt that had found its way into his mouth. He couldn’t see his body, and was having trouble sitting up. He still had ki senses though. As he tried to utilise them, there was a sudden pain that shot through him. He only managed a brief glimpse of his immediate surroundings. He only had a rope tied around his ankle, but he wasn’t otherwise restrained.
He put more effort into sitting up, but nothing happened. He tried moving his arm… his leg… nothing. He blinked. His eyes worked. His tongue could move. His ears worked, even if they hurt a bit.
“I bet you’re wondering why you can’t move,” Lord Cerman heard from above him. “Don’t worry, you still have your arms and legs and everything. You just can’t ever use them or feel them again.” The Eternal King’s face appeared above his own, “Don’t worry though, you’ll be dead soon enough. Then it won’t matter.”
“You… you bastard.” Lord Cerman found he could still speak, though it hurt somewhat.
“Really now… am I the one who wanted to start a civil war so you could treat fellow gevai like slaves? Am I the one who chose to use force to settle things? You did that. Now you’re suffering the consequences.”
Lord Cerman tried to gather his ki for an attack. Without being able to move his limbs it wouldn’t be much, but there was always a chance to catch the Eternal King by surprise and injure him. As he concentrated, he felt the splitting pain again. He felt ki bleeding out of him, slowly but surely. It was as if he had been torn open from his very core.
“You also don’t get to do that. It would be annoying to deal with.” The Eternal King shook his head, “Well, break time’s over.”
Lord Cerman found himself being dragged along, which explained the soreness he felt, where he still could feel. Being dragged across dirt and stone wouldn’t cause any real damage to him, not with his level of body training… but it still wasn’t pleasant to get mud up his nose or in his eyes. However, what came next was even worse.
Lord Cerman had no control over whether he was face up or face down, but as he flipped up to see the sky he also saw buildings around him. He recognized the style as the down village near his castle. Then he heard the voices.
They weren’t loud, but he had excellent hearing. It was a useful ability to have, most of the time. It wasn’t so nice in the current circumstances.
“Look, it’s that sack of dung, ‘lord’ Cerman,” a voice whispered, “Doesn’t look so high and mighty now with mud all over his face.”
“I barely even recognized him…” another voice replied, “Doesn’t look like much next to the Eternal King, does he?”
Soon enough, Lord Cerman was dragged out of range of those voices… but there were more whispers… and more humiliating mud.
As William dragged the lords along the road, he was passed by people traveling in either direction. Riders came from behind him, and passed around him… far around him, just barely in sight of the road. Those coming from in front of him got somewhat closer before staying well to the side, looking.
William didn’t need to drag the lords by hand. He could have put them on a horse, or ridden the horse while they were dragged along. He didn’t feel like it. It felt better this way. Sure, it would take longer, but it wouldn’t be too long before he was back at his castle and the lords were executed. The important thing was people needed to see them. Maybe they would think he was cruel, but if that was what it took to keep them from trying to get everyone killed, so be it.
Of course, they wouldn’t be the only ones executed. Those who had sold them the cannons and guns would be too. If those people hadn’t stolen the plans, even more people were going to be executed. The weapons themselves weren’t too dangerous yet, but the point wasn’t the weapons but the laws. He thought he’d made it very clear how and when they could be sold… but clearly he hadn’t been clear enough. Then again, those who had done the selling had probably thought themselves safe… but the lords knew who they were, and that meant William knew.
William even considered putting their heads on pikes, but that was too much. He couldn’t wait until photos were possible… then people could ship them all across the country for newspapers. William wondered if that would stop people from trying to cause trouble… but thought it probably wouldn’t.