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The Last Space King - Chapter 23

Published at 20th of March 2020 02:10:06 PM

Chapter 23

"Is anyone alive over there?" A feminine voice jolted Riza awake as her eyelids sprung open . She sat up and immediately felt pain . Within the dark and stalagmite-filled cave, Riza saw Sonalius silently sleeping behind her and two people in front of her .

They instinctively stepped back when Riza woke up . Straining her eyes, Riza's vision fell on them . They had blue skin, a short stature, and were decorated in fair clothes . One was a man with short hair, and the other a woman with blonde hair in a bun . The man gave a warm smile with his entire face and plump body . The woman, however, gave a cold glance as she was poised to draw her sword within a moment's notice . Woven from fiery red silk, their robes gave off an oppressive presence . On their chests was a depiction of a man grabbing the stars in the palm of his hand . As Riza was captivated by it, she heard noises coming from the crest while the hand seemed to tighten its grasp on the stars .

After she understood the two's appearances, Riza shivered and her breathing became heavy . Her heart skipped a beat as she winced . Soreness radiated from her body and made her feel woozy . She saw the intruder's eyes soften, and could feel their gaze tracing her wounds . Seeing their pity, adrenaline pumped through Riza's veins as her muscles tightened, ready to spring into action . The moment had come; her chance . Clearing all distractions and pain, she leaped forward and tucked her blade neatly around the man's throat .

"Another ambush from the lychnus race, have you no shame‽" Riza shouted, her head throbbing as she struggled to keep upright . Gritting her teeth, Riza steadied herself .

"Hold up! We mean you no harm!" The man spoke with genuine fear, sweat forming on his face . "We were just checking if you're okay!"

"Enough games! Does king Sig'car think I'm a fool‽ Has the Lychni forgotten their code of honor too‽" Riza tightened her grip and shouted .

As soon as Riza mentioned his name, killing intent formed around her . With a cruel face, the woman stepped forward and gripped her sword to the point where her veins were popping .

"Let him go, you are breaking the Sun Empire law . You dare speak such disgrace to us, you delusional girl!" She spoke with a deep retaliation that was difficult to mimic . Riza stared at the woman for what seemed to be an eternity for the man .

'Do they really not know anything?' Riza debated as she cautiously looked at the woman and back at her sword for a while .

"Sonalius!" Riza suddenly called out in a loud voice . She waited for a few more seconds but it still didn't wake Sonalius up . Feeling dizzy, she finally relented . "Fine, I trust you two," Riza sighed as she put her knife back .

"Trust your mom! You were practically gonna faint just by standing!" The man cursed as he distanced himself while rubbing his neck . Riza waved dismissively as she started to fall backward . Her vision blurred as she saw a shadow move to stop her fall .

"What did I tell you last time, Riza? Stay put and sleep . " Sonalius' voice drifted into her ears as she felt a light tap on her head, making her fall unconscious once more . "Overexerting your body while it's still recovering from the last time, tsk!" He spoke with annoyance while setting Riza down slowly .

"Who are you?" The woman asked while adjusting her sword .

"My name is Sonalius . " He spoke from the shadows . "Scouts… Which branch are you from?" He looked directly at the man, causing him to shiver .

"T-the 12th branch, sir!" He hurriedly responded .

"So you're under Tyrien's law . Fine, send a message to Tyrien that I'll be in Yytar within 3 days . I need to have a word with her regarding a fellow lychnus named Sig'car . " Sonalius stated, which scared the two lychni .

"Tyrien… Matriarch Tyrien‽ What's your relationship with matriarch Tyrien?" The man gulped .

"Tell her that the Jade Lion is back and requests for her help . "

"Jade Lion . . . " The woman said aloud while trying to remember where she had heard that name before . While she was thinking, Sonalius reached into a pocket and threw each of them a coin . The coin was a red-bronze color and had the same image of a man holding the stars . Both of them instinctively grabbed the coins . As soon as they did, they exclaimed .

"This . . . this is a whole month's salary for us!"

"That's how much importance I put on your message . Now go, tell Tyrien already . "

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"Yes!" The two of them said . The woman picked up her sword and they headed out, leaving Sonalius and Riza inside the cave .

After a few more hours of rest, Riza woke up feeling slightly better . Her body ached and flared with pain, but she could stay conscious now . Sonalius kept on watch and protected Riza as she slept . No other mishaps occurred with Sonalius masking their lifeforce and keeping them hidden .

"Come on . We got three days to travel a couple of hundred kilometers . " Sonalius told Riza everything that he told the two lychni .

"I still don't understand, there are other settlements of lychni?" Riza asked .

"Of course, did you think that we were the only human town out there too?" Sonalius laughed . "The place we're going to, Yytar, is part of the Sun empire . It's filled with lychni, humans, shades, and many other races . Lorea is just on the outskirts of the Sun empire so they don't pay regard to it often . I may be strong in Lorea, but the Sun empire? I'm only comparable to an elite soldier . " Sonalius shook his head . "Matriarch Tyrien is a representative of the humans in the Sun empire . I served under her command before I met your father and came to Lorea . "

As Riza stared at sonalius, taking in all the information, she saw him experience a variety of emotions .
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"You lived here?" Riza inquired .

Sonalius nodded, "I was born in the Sun Empire . All citizens over 20 years old are required to serve 5 years within the army . I left shortly after my 3rd year was up . "

"Left after your third year . . . what about the other two years required?" Riza was confused .

After a long pause, Sonalius muttered, "Too many bad memories…" He lifted his head and held out his hand towards Riza . "Come . There should be another city up ahead that have better doctors and medicine for your injuries . "

Riza winced as she got to her feet and pulled closer to Sonalius . Sunlight shone on her skin and revealed red burns across half of her body . Sonalius bitterly smiled as he carried Riza out of the cave and walked barefoot on the hot, rocky ground; he showed little discomfort as he turned to look at Riza who rested on his back .

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After an hour of walking through rocky terrain, Sonalius espied a dirt road nearby . Vegetation flourished the longer they walked until they saw the outline of a city on a hill . With trees to cover the hot sun beating down on them, they felt a cool breeze run through their clothes and onto their skin . Riza softly sighed and her face relaxed .

Soon after, the two of them heard rumbling behind them . A bronze carriage with a man and a woman approached them in the distance . It seemed to be moving on its own, however, as there was no beast or creature pulling on it . When Sonalius saw who the two were, he cursed out with rage .

"You bastards! You two had a carriage and didn't even offer to take us along at the cave‽" Sonalius set Riza down up against the roadside and stood in the way of the wheels barreling toward him . The two looked pale and stopped the cart before him .

"W-what do you want now? We're urgently delivering the message you gave us!" The man shook as he fumbled to explain .

"How can an injured man holding a half-dead girl be faster than you too if you were so 'urgent?'" Sonalius repressed the urge to kick the man in the face . That was a month's salary he forked up! Just thinking of it made him lose his cool .

The man had no words to say, and so the woman spoke instead . "We still have duties to do . We cannot abandon the rest of our scouting points for a suspicious old man!" Sonalius' eyebrows twitched as he looked ready to pounce .

'Suspicious old man your mother!' Sonalius shouted in his heart, but as he glanced over at Riza, he dropped his anger . The fat man looked frightened, and the woman glared at Sonalius for stopping them .

"Let us ride with you to the next city, she is not fairing as well as I thought . Her injuries are beyond my healing . " Sonalius sighed and looked at the two .

"We cannot," the woman replied before the man could, which made his palms sweaty, "it is against the rules under-" The woman was explaining as Sonalius rushed to her . Shocked, she sat motionless as he kicked her off of the carriage .

"You-!" She shouted in disbelief, and before she was able to say another word, a punch was thrown toward her blue face . She blinked and got to her feet once more .

"You can ride with us to the next city . " Pressing onto her cheek, the woman meekly replied . The man on the carriage was so scared that he heaved his chest up and down, not daring to look at Sonalius .

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"Good, then it's settled . We humbly ask for your help . " Sonalius bowed, making the man feel miserable .

'The hell‽ You can be that shameless to beat up my partner and then say you are being humble and asking‽' The man didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this point . At least Sonalius paid him .

Sonalius, Riza, and the other two lychni departed again as they closed in on the city . Nobody talked as the two were tense, whereas Sonalius focused Riza . He healed what he could for her, but the rest of her injuries needed time and energy from her own body; it wasn't something Sonalius could accomplish with natural healing .

Gradually, the dirt road turned into brick and mortar . The wind kicked up as the man poured energy into the cart, making its wheels turn faster as they crept up the hill, stopping at the gates . Tall stone walls entrenched the city with soldiers lined at the top . They glanced at Sonalius and the unconscious girl, then back at the fat man and the bruised woman . The fat man nodded and the guards made way for the carriage to enter .

"Since we brought you in," the man spoke but didn't dare look at Sonalius, "please be courteous and respectful of our Sun Empire, sir!"

"Sure," Sonalius stated casually, making the man sweat and become more fearful .

Sonalius held Riza as he climbed off and onto the brick streets . People cast various glances of fear as they backed away from the man . He looked around and realized the city had become more developed than he last remembered, and the majority of them were Lychni, Humans, and Shades . After asking around a few times, he found a healer for Riza . Sonalius walked into a stone building and a man greeted him .

He looked middle-aged, with dark skin and long orange hair with a goatee . His presence was unique, however . The man's shadow was pure black and seemed to run along his veins . In the middle of his palms was a faint circle as well .

'A shade? Most are blood-borne warriors, but this one is a doctor it seems . ' The man seemed intrigued by Riza's wounds and Sonalius' obvious exhaustion .

"Help in get her onto the table in the back . " The man sighed as he softly grabbed Riza's hands and helped shoulder the weight . Sonalius snapped out of his daze and followed along through a curtain and into a wide room . In the center of the room were 5 separate beds with various bottles, and instruments around the sides of the room . Together they slowly lowered Riza onto the bed as the man examined her .
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