Chapter 145 – Lumea Prophecy (Part 2)
It’s neither loud nor soft. As if speaking to someone standing right beside him, but all of them hear his voice quite firmly “Not former. My father is still the Headmaster of these premises. Don’t you get ahead of yourself and forget your place Tyell.”
A tinge of pity flashed past eyes the eyes of a few of the professors around Tyell. They bit back the words that were stuck in their throats. They wanted to say something, but in the current situation they knew that there was nothing they could do if Taeger had truly taken offense. If it were any other situation with perhaps any other person, they would have immediately retaliated without any thought of consequences, but Taeger held a particularly neutral and special position in the university. Moreover his ability truly was indispensable to the academy.
Everyone was well aware that the position of Headmaster would soon have to be officially appointed, and Taeger’s opinion would be instrumental in either approving the current Vice-Headmaster who by the rules should receive the position despite his lack of “power” or the most powerful of the elders Tyell who was still gaining support in the shadows.
Thus the atmosphere within the courtyard and Tyell’s flushed face as he realized the mistake he had earlier made by inadvertently saying “former” Headmaster.
None the less, he knew that the reason they were here far superseded any blunder he may have just committed due to wording “That was an oversight on my part. Although I think it far more important that we discuss why we’ve been convened. If you’ve called us because you’ve “seen” something… I believe that is of concern to all of us.” Tyell almost immediately retorted.
Taeger was clearly unhappy, but his attitude seemed to have a dramatic shift the moment he was reminded of why he had convened a meeting. “Let us enter.”
Tywin glanced at the Vice-Headmaster but it was Taeger who opened the gate to the “main area”. He was the blood-son of the Headmaster and so he was the only one who currently had access to his residence. He was the only one who could open these gates and the tension in the air only seemed to increase as the council’s divide was very evident as two groups entered on both sides.
They began following Taeger as he made his way into the courtyard and despite his closed eyes, easily followed the paved path to the Castle as the doors merely opened as he stepped before them.
The tense air continued as despite the granduer of the premises everybody was focused on one another. Only Tyell had a slightly greedy glance as he looked around his surroundings briefly everywhere he passed with a desire that burned his mind that he kept tightly shut from seeping outwards.
The atmosphere was growing more tense as they knew that Taeger calling a meeting could only mean that something big would soon occur… Depending on how it was handled… It could very well decide the future of Lumea Academy and in essence, the city and all of its inhabitants.
Taeger had predicted many things over the years, including various beast attacks from the surroundings that would have cost many lives. The most notably thing he’d predicted was the disappearance of the status windows. Something he was viewed as crazy for saying and ridiculed endlessly until it came to pass. Afterwards the value given to him (aside from being the son of the Headmaster) put him in a position of power regardless of his parentage.
Moreover the situation was quite tense at the moment…
The Headmaster had left in search of the Queen a few years ago and they had yet to hear back from him. A lot of the people within the academy were even questioning whether he was still alive. Despite his power and ability, there were many creatures in this wide-world and no one would be surprised if there was an existence that even surpassed the Headmaster. Moreover, everyone found it strange that he had not sent some form of communication despite having various tools at his disposal that had been created by the Vice-Headmaster.
The Headmaster was gone and after 5 years, the rules of the academy were clear that the Vice-Headmaster was to take charge as the Acting Headmaster, which no one openly opposed, even though few openly supported this. It was only as they discussed the future of Lumea and the Vice-Headmaster openly discussed his platform of expanding Lumea and sending their forces out both to look for the Headmaster and spread their influence and gain a deeper understanding of their surroundings that dissension began spreading amongst the elders.
Tyell had begun gathering support for himself. He was the first to openly recognize the possibility of the Headmaster either being dead or unable to return and under the platform of leading Lumea in the opposite direction as Stanislas, who wanted to expand where-as he wanted to remain within the hemisphere of Lumea and the safety of their borders. It was a combination of both his direction and the fact that Stanislas was a man who’d focused his efforts on gaining skills of utility and not power. He was viewed as weak by several of the elders. Regardless of how useful he was and the contributions he’d given to the academy of the years, some of them didn’t believe he was fit to be their leader.
Unfortunately he only had support of 4 of the elders and therefore it was stuck at a 5-5 split. Therefore even with the support he’d gathered, he was still powerless to do anything but watch as the Vice-Headmaster became the “Acting Headmaster” while keeping the same position of Vice-Headmaster towards the public.
Thus Stanislas began his first expedition towards the west. He sent over 20 professors led by two of the elders that supported his vision. The west encompassed what had grown to be called “Bull-Wind Forest”. It was seen as dangerous, but it was a section that had been heavily explored in the past, and therefore seen as the ‘safest’ route for exploration at the time.
Various reports were sent back daily, until 6 months into the expedition the entire group had come across a bull-like monster. Despite its power and terrifying appearance, the group decided to go through it. They soon understood that this bull-monster had a human-like intelligence and decided to try to tame it. That was the beginning of a calamity that befell them almost instantly. The 22 professors had easily cornered the Bull-like existence and despite their efforts could not tame it, and were forced to kill it.
Not long after its death did a god-like entity began pursing them and killing them one by one. In a battle where most of them were brutally killed by an entity that even combined they couldn’t kill regardless of the attacks they used, they were forced to retreat to what turned out to be the core of the forest. It was there that the god-like entity chose to progress no further, but unfortunately for them…
The few survivors then came across a like-like mist. The mist began devouring them, as if it was alive!
In the end, only one professor survived at the cost of 3 of his comrades lives. They utilized all of their mana to break through the surrounding’s interference and forced a return void-transfer. Returning that one professor back to the grounds outside of Bull-Wind Forest. That one survivor returned to report back the death of all of his comrades.
The entire expedition was viewed as a horrific failure despite the valuable information that they had gained. It was also the first time that they had gone so deeply into Bull-Wind Forest, but the loss of life of important figures over-shadowed the gains.
Tyell used this “failure” to entrench his support among the professors within the academy even further. Moreover, although two of the elder-professors had died, two new ones needed to be picked. Despite her age, Lydia was seen as the best candidate and therefore even against Tyell’s plans she was voted into the council. The second figure was his own pupil Tywin who was on the shortlist among a few other applicants. Due to his own urgings though, he was appointed the position. This turned the tides of power within the council from a stalemate of 5-5 to 6-4.
After passing through various corridors who were all well lit due to burning torches all of the wall. The torches burned resplendently as a never ending fuel source of mana kept these torches lit and the castle clean. They soon made their way to a giant hall with a long mahogany table.
Everyone took their seats on the two long sides, but Tyell hesitated for a moment before sitting down as he glanced at the Headmaster’s seat at the end of the table. A glance that did not go unnoticed by Stanislas at the other end. Tyell only realized what a novice mistake he’d made as Taeger sat down in his father’s chair as if it was only natural and began speaking.
“I wouldn’t have called you hear if it wasn’t important. I wouldn’t have left my home if it wasn’t important.” he took a deep breath as his words lingered at the tip of his tongue.
Even though everybody was feeling anxious at what he would say, no one showed their impatience as they noticed the wary look that seemed to age Taeger almost instantly.
“Two things will soon occur… Lumea will be visited by an emissary. This person or being… I couldn’t see clearly… Will come to Lumea from another place. This being will be the force that will plunge us into despair, because this being will begin a war with us.”
“War? How can their be war?”
“Will there be an uprising?”
“How certain are you? When will it happen?”
“Other place? Are you saying that this person won’t be from Lumea? One of the outside villages? Those bastards! How dare they revolt! Commoners!”
“What do you mean person or being? Will it not be human??”
“How bad will it be?”
Nonstop questions began pouring in. All of them aside from Tywin had already come to accept the validity of the information Taeger provided and therefore could only try to understand the circumstances rather than question them.
Taeger’s face looked drained as he expected as much from these people “I say being, because for some reason I am not certain that it will be a human. It won’t be a revolt. It will be a war. This being will be a catalyst for us going to war. I don’t know with who, but I do know that their numbers will far surpass us.”
Stanislas spoke with an even tone “Is there any way for us to identify this being before hand to prevent this catastrophe? If not, will we win this war?”
“Maybe, but if there is, I don’t know. All I can say for sure is that this being won’t be from Lumea or any place we ourselves know of. As for the war….”
“Hahah! Calm down everybody! How can we possibly lose? We are protected by the gods! We just need to begin stock piling food!” Tyell began trying to rally both sides.
“He’d right! If we have less numbers, it’ll be a battle of attrition, but we have the advantage!”
“Yes! Although I think we should wipe out any outside threats that we can find, just in case it is somebody from one of the outer villages!”
“Don’t you realize how stupid that is!? How can we win a prolonged battle of attrition? Food is already a concern! Feeding the city is already a taxing burden, how can we do that if we have no access to outside sources of food!?”
“That’s easy! Just because they’ll have greater numbers, doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to get around those numbers! I doubt the numbers will be so large that the entire sphere of the city will be watched all day and night!”
Everybody was arguing back and forth, Stanislas stayed quiet as he watched Tyell try to convince the others of their options. It was clear he was *trying* to act like a leader and take command, but he himself was stuck staring at Taeger. ‘He said he had two things to say.’ he thought to himself as he watched Taeger’s face. He looked aged as he heard the back and forth and seemed to be waiting for a lull in the conversations.
Finally that lull arrived.
“The protection of the gods which we have relied upon since the catastrophe 110 Years ago will soon be gone. The barrier we’ve come to depend on will be gone. In this war, we will not have a barrier to hide behind. We will not be able to rely on the gods. We will not be able to hide, we will be forced to fight.”
Taeger’s words rung out within the room as silence fell upon the entire group as their eyes opened wide in surprise, concern and finally… Fear.