Supreme Magus (Web Novel)-Chapter 1864: From the Rubble (Part 2)
"Come on, guys. This is too a good day to spend it holed up home." Salaark walked into the tower, forcing everyone to follow her outside. "I moved my capitol here just for you."
The Heavenly Plume city had relocated near one of the mountain ranges of the Desert. It cast shadows that were a rarity and that along with the presence of a huge lake lowered the temperature.
On top of that, trees and glades grew all around the lake, giving the Verhens a small taste of home. The kids weren't convinced, but the magical beasts were drawn by the foreign smells and the fresh water.
Aran and Leria would never let their furred friends go alone so they quickly followed them. Before they knew it, they were playing in the water and building sand castles with magic.
"Kids." Salaark said with a warm smile on her face as the sight of their smiles and the sound of their innocent laughter lightened the mood of the adults. "They are so weak and yet so strong."
Rena, Senton, and Tista decided to join them, bathing in both water and sun. Lith and Solus wanted to follow suit, but Salaark stopped them.
"I'm sorry, but I couldn't tell this in front of the others. Follow me, you have visitors. Do you want to receive them in my palace or your tower? They are all good friends."
"The tower, please. It will help Solus to recover faster." Lith replied.
Whoever the visitors were, he could always say that the building belonged to the Overlord and no one would have doubted it.
Salaark nodded, Warping them and their guests back into the tower's sitting room.
"Lith, thank the gods you are alright!" Quylla rushed to him, embracing him with so much strength that Lith actually felt it.
"Wow, little one, you have gotten really strong. You would have crushed a man's spine with that hug." Lith said.
"Yeah, sorry. I'm still learning how to control my strength and Spirit Magic. At least with people like you and my sisters I can afford to make mistakes."
Friya, Phloria, and Faluel were there as well, hugging Lith and Solus in turn and expressing their relief.
"How did you get here?" Solus asked.
"Warp Gates from the Kingdom are blocked, but the Council's Warping Arrays work just fine. The girls came to me and I brought them to you after asking Salaark's permission." The Hydra said.
"Sit down, Lith." There's something you should know." Phloria pushed him gently away but kept holding his hands and brought him to his favorite armchair.
Faluel took hot tea, a bottle of Red Dragon, and her delicious biscuits out of her dimensional amulet, arranging them in front of the tower's masters.
"This is going to be bad." Lith said, taking a cup of tea and spiking it with a few drops of liquor.
"Very bad." Solus added one drop but filled her saucer with biscuits, munching them nervously.
Then, the four women took turns sharing with them the events that had taken place in the Royal Court the previous day. How the Royals had confronted Morn to a standstill until Jirni's and Kamila's arrival with their allies had turned the tables.
"I want you to know that everyone fought for you like a lioness defending her cubs, even Peonia." Phloria said with a grunt.
"Why are you angry with Peonia?" Lith asked.
"Because even though she was as fierce as Mom and as passionate as Kamila, she always defended Archmage Verhen. She worried about protecting the power you represent, not you as a person." Quylla crushed a biscuit with her grip in anger.
"It's fine." Lith shrugged. "Our relationship has always been shallow and Peonia made her intentions clear from the beginning. She was willing to marry me and give me children as a way to seize my talent and assets.
"Everything else is just a sideshow to her. It's the reason I didn't date her seriously nor any Emperor Beast. No offense, Faluel."
"None taken." She replied
"Morn has been trialed and imprisoned." Friya said with disgust. "He's currently being tortured and will be until the day of the execution."
"Good news, then." Solus said.
"No. Not at all." Quylla shook her head. "He's not going to bother Lith anymore, but all the charges on his head remain. Meln has exposed Lith's crimes and his double nature, making scorched earth around him.
"He's wanted for the theft of the Shaman's Crystal, Syrook's remains and equipment, and of several artifacts that he's suspected of having stolen while working as a Ranger.
"To make matters worse, Lith, you are also charged with high treason and the slaughter of the Hogum Household with Forbidden Magic."
"High treason?" Lith echoed.
"Yeas." Friya nodded. "Stealing while in the line of duty is a big deal. You dishonored the uniform, broke your oaths, and betrayed the trust that the Kingdom had in you.
"As for the slaughter, you gave a confession and plenty of evidence. For whatever reason Baronet Hogum kidnapped and tortured your Dad, Raaz was still alive. Your response is considered excessive for the crime.
"If only you didn't kill him and with Forbidden Magic at that, the situation wouldn't be so dire. Hogum would still die at the hands of an Executioner, but after being trialed and interrogated about his dealings with Meln.
"You have destroyed the gods know how much evidence and slaughtered even his wife who was, allegedly, innocent. Don't get me started about the damage you've dealt to the landscape.
"Mom has calculated that not even by consuming all of your Royal Pardons and calling in the favors that the Royals owe you can your slate get out of this mess clean."
"I'm already in exile. Why should I care?" Lith asked.
"Because your house has been seized." Phloria said, shedding a few tears. "And so was your mansion and your silver mines. All of your life work is lost, ready to be sold to whoever can afford it."
Lith didn't care much about the Verhen Mansion, but the idea of losing his home and the mines sent pangs through his heart. His happiest memories were linked to that house, a place that he had renovated bit by bit over the years.
Without the mines, he wouldn't have a steady income of money and silver. Sooner or later, he would lack the materials necessary for his experiments and to refill the tower's Crucible.
"Are you alright, Lith?" Solus could feel his distress and took his hand, threading her fingers into his.
"I'll survive. I always do." He emptied his cup in one gulp and put it down before his grip crushed it. "Now, I'd like to have your opinion on a few things."
Lith created a mind link with them, showing everything that had happened at the Heavenly Wolf restaurant first and then at the Hogum Mansion. He emphasized the presence of the clouds, of the quake.
How both times he had come close to a world tribulation and a breakthrough, yet neither of them had succeeded.
Quylla, Friya, and Phloria, almost puked at the sight of Raaz's condition upon his rescue and of the torture Lith had put Hogum, his wife, and everyone involved.