Chapter 970: Void Curtains, Sorkoza’S Test
Chapter 970: Void Curtains, Sorkoza’s Test
The Duke continued, “If that is a concern you carry, it shows that you know nothing of how things operate at the heart of Malentansium.”
Izroth knew Duke Sorkoza’s words were not wrong. That’s because, besides the skounae, no one truly understood the inner workings of the Malentansium kingdom beyond a surface level.
It was well known that the Night King commanded the skounae, and the Night Lords beneath him maintained order on a broad scale throughout the kingdom. However, there was no concrete information regarding the kingdom’s internal power structures.
Of course, there was the matter of titles and bloodlines, but that only provided a more general insight.
To those looking in from outside of Malentansium, it had long since been accepted that the kingdom was united on all fronts under the rule of the Night King. There were no such things as factions or organizations like in other kingdoms, just the will of the Night King that must be carried out at all costs.
‘Is there something more going on under the surface? With the way the Night King exerts their influence, it is unlikely. That being said, I should not overlook an opportunity to fill a potential gap in a lack of information.’
“It’s not exactly easy for a human to roam around Malentansium, let alone gain an opportunity to understand its inner workings. Perhaps you’d care to enlighten me? That is unless you are the type of person who enjoys being right more than you like to correct what’s wrong.” Izroth said calmly.
Sorkoza narrowed his eyes and replied coldly, “You are rather bold for a human. If you had run into another Duke of the skounae, your words would have caused your head to have already been separated from your body.”
“If I offended the Duke, it was not my intention. I merely speak the truth. In order to speak the truth, at times, one must risk being offensive. Besides, If I had run into another Duke, I am rather confident when it comes to my ability to keep my head attached to my body.” Izroth responded in a carefree manner; however, he gave off a deep aura that made one feel as though they were being sucked into an endless abyss.
“Then, if I were to make a move against you right now, how confident are you in that ability of yours to keep your head attached to your body?”
After the Duke asked that question, the atmosphere grew heavy and intense.
“I’m afraid if I told you the truth, you may find it somewhat difficult to accept.”
“So, you’re saying it’s not impossible for you?”
“It’s not impossible.”
“I see. If that’s your answer, then you must be quite confident in your ability to escape.”
“If it was necessary, then yes.”
“Oh? Are you saying it wouldn’t be necessary to escape against me?”
“As I’ve said before, the truth… may be rather difficult for you to accept.”
The oppressive aura emitted from Izroth and Duke Sorkoza rose severalfold.
As Ranazera observed the two, she found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to breathe under the immense clash of auras. But, what shocked her more than anything was the fact that Izroth was not losing ground against Duke Sorkoza.
“What’s going on? Are they about to fight right here?” Ranazera thought to herself with furrowed brows as she tried her best to maintain her composure.
There was a lingering and deafening silence present. However, after a few seconds that felt like an eternity passed, the two oppressive auras receded.
At the same time, a faint expression resembling a light smile appeared on the Duke’s face.
“Alright, you pass,” Sorkoza said as he snapped his fingers.
Out of nowhere, a wavy hole in space opened up at the Duke’s back that resembled a curtain. This spatial curtain was roughly two meters high and a little more than one meter wide.
The bizarre thing about the sudden emergence of this spatial curtain was that it did not make any noise or release the faintest bit of energy. It was as though its entire existence was not actually there.
Just now, Sorkoza was testing Izroth to see whether or not he would falter in the face of conflict or stand by his words.
In the Duke’s experience, humans, especially those who were inexperienced in the ways of the world, more often times than not, went with the former of the two. This was even more so if their life was under direct threat.
However, Izroth not only showed no signs of faltering, but he was also bold enough to speak his mind without being intimidated.
In Sorkoza’s eyes, while he could not say for certain if Izroth were a trustworthy human, at the very least, he was not the same as those who carried themselves with false bravado.
‘This is… I see.’
When Izroth peered into the spatial curtain, he was met with nothing but endless darkness. Even with his Energy Vision Sense, he could not detect any traces of energy. If not for the fact that the effects of his Evil Cleansing Pill did not activate, Izroth would have thought that he was seeing an illusion.
“The truth can indeed be uncomfortable at times—both to tell and to hear. If it were not so, perhaps this world would be a much different place.”
As Sorkoza spoke, Izroth noticed a certain look in the Duke’s solemn gaze. It was one he had seen many times before during his time in the Seven Realms; the look of someone who walked a treacherous path alone and had the weight of the world on their shoulders.
“Alright, we’ll end the small talk here. The treasure I mentioned earlier is kept in the treasure room at the palace in my city. My Void Curtains will take us to the palace. From there, we will head to the treasure room and complete the arrangements to ensure your safe travel through my territory.” Sorkoza stated.
“?!” Ranazera gasped as her eyes widened in shock.
Duke Sorkoza, someone who did not even allow an official envoy from their Tempest kingdom to set foot into his city, was actually going to allow an outsider to enter?! Not only that, but they would be going to the palace!
“I don’t mind paying a visit to your city, but the princess must also accompany us. Is that fine?” Izroth mentioned.
Sorkoza looked over at Ranazera as he shook his head and replied, “Usually, I do not permit outsiders entrance into my city, especially those of royal blood from other kingdoms. However, until our exchange concludes and arrangements are made, I will allow the sixth princess of Tempest to accompany us. Of course, if either of you dares to cause trouble in my city, know that the consequences for doing so will not be light.” Sorkoza warned.
“Rest assured, we have no ill intentions,” Izroth reassured.
“As it should be. Let us depart.” Sorkoza said as he stepped into the Void Curtains before he disappeared without a trace.
Not long after he did so, Izroth and Ranazera followed behind him.
In the blink of an eye, Izroth and Ranazera appeared in a spacious courtyard surrounded by tall walls that blocked the outside view.
“This is…” Ranazera muttered to herself as her gaze wandered around the courtyard.
One moment, she was surrounded by darkness, and the next, she was in a spacious courtyard with unknown scenery.
“Do not linger about. Follow me and make sure not to stray too far away.” Sorkoza stated as he was currently walking toward a pair of large steel doors in the nearby distance.
“Let’s go,” Izroth said as he followed Sorkoza’s path.
Izroth’s words snapped Ranazera out of her curious gaze as she quickly caught up with the two.
Right now, she was still powerless. Plus, who knew what would happen now that they were within the Duke’s palace?
“This is the first time someone from my Tempest kingdom has entered Duke Sorkoza’s courtyard. It’s said that this place contains many hidden secrets of the skounae race, which is why the Duke carefully guards it under strict orders from the Night King. Even my father may not necessarily be welcome here.” Ranazera thought to herself as her gaze wandered over to Izroth.
“This person… To think they would impress the Duke to this extent. Plus, that item he offered—just what is it to make the Duke react this way? Every time I think I start to gain an understanding of him, he surprises me once more.” Ranazera sighed deeply.