“You bastard! I’ll kill you!” Kaia screamed, drawing her sword and racing toward Deek.
Carmine appeared in front of her, her shield up, an impenetrable barrier that Kaia could not pass. Without attacking Carmine, she couldn’t attack Deek. As for the other three knights, they had their swords drawn, but they barely took a step before they were stopped by Garnet and Bernice. Bernice had a complicated expression on her face, but she also remembered what Nerissa had said before she died. The fey reminded her too much of demons for her to be forgiving.
“I wouldn’t move.” Bernice pulled her guns on the knights while Garnet held her hammer menacingly.
The headless body of Nerissa started to dissolve, being eaten by the dungeon.
“You… you didn’t have to do it!” Kaia cried, tears falling down her eyes.
“She was a rabid monster,” I responded darkly, glaring at Kaia. “You fey think that just because you were here first, you somehow have rights beyond the lives of others? I came here without any grudge against your people, but I won’t stand by while you abuse and demean my people either!”
“Y-you…” She had no argument, but she still glared hatefully my way.
“My lord…” Demetri spoke up, a complicated expression on his face. “Although she is fey, she saved our lives and risked her own. I’d like to beg on her behalf.”
Demetri seemed to recognize the situation better than anyone. He was still subservient to me, but he still couldn’t sit by and say nothing if I cut down Kaia. It wasn’t that he believed he could stop me, just that he had to try. With a sigh, I wave my hand, breaking the slave bond between Kaia and me. I had unlocked Cancel Slave Contract at level 35, but it had never been important to me because my blessings prevented me from using it. I decided to give it a try on her now. Her eyes popped as the bond broke. That worked pretty well. I was at a level where I didn’t even need physical contact.
Her expression flashed with reluctance. “But…”
“My lord has shown you mercy! Please leave!” It was Demetri who suddenly showed.
Her eyes flashed with shock. “You… after everything…”
Demetri bit his lip. “You are fey, and we are human. You saved me because you felt sorry for me and wanted to act against your father. However, there is a time where I will gather humans and fight back against the fey, and the fey will die. You had to have realized this.”
Her eyes flashed in surprise, and then they lowered. “This… even so…”
She wasn’t someone who thought about things in such a complicated manner. To this point, she had just been reacting to what she experienced. Although Demetri had used her help out of necessity, he was a leader capable of seeing the bigger picture. At some point, she’d either have to betray the fey, or they’d be on opposing sides.
It was clear she wasn’t satisfied with things ending this way. With her sister gone, she wanted retribution. However, she was now at a disadvantage to humans. This made her uncomfortable. Fey were always in charge and humans were weak. It was that simple. Her eyes finally flashed darkly. She had no choice but to flee. However, in just a few minutes, there would be reinforcements.
“Very well… let’s go.” She finally pulled back.
“You seem to be mistaken about something.” I stopped her as she turned to leave.
“I said you could leave. I said nothing about them!” I looked at the soldiers.
“You go too far!”
“Heh.” Elaya wore a demonic smile as she flashed, appearing behind the guards.
A black mist exploded from her body, piercing the chest of each of the three men. They let out cries, attempting to attack. However, her movements were vicious. Garnet and Bernice didn’t even have to react as she brought them down. They let out screams, but they grew weaker by the second. Kaia moved to help, but Garnet slammed her hammer down, forcing the woman to jump back. By the time she recovered, her three knights were nothing more than desiccated corpses.
I had nothing against the three knights, but the less people that survived, the better. Kaia was a bit foolish, and there was very little she could probably glean from me. Her knights might have been more observant, and while they hadn’t spoken, they might have realized things she didn’t. It was also one of the reasons I killed Nerissa. She was too observant, and I feared she might figure things out about my identity.
The other reason I killed the knights, and subsequently allowed the dungeon to consume the girl, is because of Elaya. Although the dungeon had absorbed enough mana that I could make a portal home, it would also paint a red flag to where we came from to those that were coming toward us. The only way to hide our actions would be to self-destruct the dungeon behind us, and that needed more mana than we had time to gather. The corpses of the twenty-four bodies were just enough that I could cause the dungeon to explode and hide all of our presences.
“You… monster!” Kaia shouted.
“Do you wish to join them?” Elaya asked casually.
Of everyone present, she’d be least bothered to be called a monster. In fact, calling her a human would be grossly inaccurate, despite her appearance. With the miasma leaking from her body and sucking the three knights dry, Kaia didn’t show any restraint in her revulsion. She turned away. Her hands clenched and tears fell down her face.
“This isn’t over…” She breathed.
“You’re going to threaten me like your sister? Where did it get her?” I glowered.
I normally wouldn’t act so hatefully, but the truth was that I was running out of time. We had only minutes before more fey arrived. I could even see them on the edges of my sense life. If I was going to escape and destroy the evidence, this woman definitely couldn’t be there.
Had she thought clearly about it, then she would have tried to procrastinate longer. Thankfully, she was too angry to think clearly, and instead began to walk away.
“Remember my name!” She shouted. “We’ll meet again!”
She disappeared into the forest.
“I fear you’ve created an enemy. You should have just killed her.” Elaya shrugged.
“My lord, you must escape.” Demetri finally stood up and approached us with a lowered head.
“Demetri… I live on the original continent of the Faerith. I don’t know how much you know, but humans once came from dungeons, and we forced the fey from their continent. We still live there today and thrive. Will you join us?”
Demetri shook at this news. “I had heard rumors…”
“They’re true… Now that I know what is going on here, in time, we will help free our brothers. If you come with me, then you can live a free life with less danger.”
Demetri genuinely looked tempted, but after a moment, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, my lord. I would very much like to follow the human king, but my fight is here. It may be years before you gather the strength to invade.”
That was an understatement. I wasn’t even a king. I had no clue how I was going to gain help. The only advantage I had was that I could just open a portal when the time came. At that point, my dungeon should be powerful enough to be able to do it without too much waste. In that case, it was just a matter of bringing together all my allies and then trying to collect all the humans I could. I even had a dungeon skill called advanced sense life. It could probably help me identify and find humans quickly. Well, I wasn’t going to destroy his confidence by telling him that right now.
“Then, you will stay?”
“I will do the best I can to prepare them. You will bring our people hope. Great Human King, we await the day of your return!”
I could only do my best. It sounded like the old man was giving me way too much credit. I did want to help, but I wasn’t some savior or something. Still, time was short and I couldn’t explain myself. Instead, I created a portal behind the group of incoming fey so that the humans could sneak away. The six of them gathered the remaining slaves that had still been waiting lifelessly, unaware that their fate was going to suddenly change.
“Be free!” I declared.
I first took their bonds using slave taker. Since their owners were dead, the slave bond transferred to me with ease. I then simply canceled our contract. I did the same for everyone else as well, except when I went to remove Demetri and the boys, they protested.
“Please… we’d like to remain your slaves, Master!” Demetri said.
“The power being your slave gives me… I’m not ready to give it up.” The boy stubbornly added.
“I don’t know how much benefit you’ll find from me at this distance,” I admitted. “But, it will be easier to find you when I return if I leave this bond attached. Very well.”
The two bowed in appreciation, making me feel a little awkward. Although I had been a lord for a bit, the people of Chalm didn’t go out of their way to bow or fret over me, so being treated like this was a little awkward. The way I had casually destroyed dozens of slave bonds had also had a meaningful impact on the population too. It might have been only a minute, but for a minute they all felt a surge of strength and power, and an adoration for me. That feeling lingered, and many of them cried and smiled looking at me.
I’m not your savior! Will you guys stop worshipping me! To move things along, I got them all to enter the portal. Once all of the humans left, I created a new portal. This time, I used the power of the dungeon. Miasma flowed in, and I poured it all into the portal. It finally opened up. At this moment, I heard a cry.
“It’s there! There are humans!” A fey leader shouted.
“It’s all set!’ Elaya assured me, “Let’s go!”
As the fey barreled toward us through the trees on their bear lizards, the group of us jumped through the portal. When the portal slammed shut, the dungeon core, a thing only half-formed, suddenly erupted. A massive explosion erupted, wiping out an entire contingent of fey. Naturally, the news of a dungeon spontaneously forming when one hadn’t formed in decades swept through the nation. Some people believed the dungeon exploded exactly because this continent was too resistant to such contamination. Others had a different theory.
As the rumors spread, other rumors were spreading across a different community. The human slaves began to speak to each other in whispers. A rebellion had begun, one that wouldn’t be defeated like before. This was because it was led by the Human King, a powerful hero who could break the bonds of servitude with the wave of his hand. Despite Deek’s best hopes, the legend of the Human King Hero had begun.