The Consequence of Saving the World
“Hey, your majesty!”
Hey? Did Remus really just interject King Graven’s words with a ‘hey’? I was just a villager, but even I knew what insolence was.
Remus lazily lifted his hand up. He was leaning back into his seat, balancing the chair with its two rear legs.
“I know we all want to get this damn meeting done and go home for a beer, but don’t cha think my pal Evan over here should tell everyone why he came late?”
This little piece of—
Relax Evan. No bloodlust. This was merely a test. Relax.
“It’s fine, isn’t it? Hero Evansmith is present with us now, that’s all that matters—”
“I’m afraid I have to agree with the drunkard, your majesty.”
E-Eh? Even Azelia? Well, to be precise, her familiar. The sharp, hawk-like eyes of the familiar turned to face me before continuing:
“It’s not that I don’t trust you or anything, it’s just that earlier, Sereya over here said that you were occupied and couldn’t make it, which I find highly suspicious.
Were you trying to sabotage the summit or something, Ms. Merciful Blade?”
Crap! Why is she dragging Sereya into this?
Sereya’s expression remained unmoved, cool as ice in the face of the question from the burning bird. Even then, I could tell that she had no way out of this one.
“Your majesty,” I wanted to bail her out, but my body accidentally stood up from my seat.
Damn it Evan calm down!
If I did something by accident, I needed to make it look deliberate. Since I was up from my seat, I decided to purposely and slowly turn around as I scanned the audience.
Good, everyone’s sights were on me, their gaze burning with anticipation.
“Everyone, friends from all nations, I was indeed occupied, as mentioned by Sereya. For that, I apologise.”
I bowed my head down to appear sincere when in actuality, I was using that time to think of what to say next.
“What could be more pressing than the Seven Heroes Summit? This assembly pertains to the fate of the world!”
A disgruntled emissary behind me threw that heated question.
“I arrived at the palace at the same time with Sereya, but I had to meet with the Legendary Sage Ordis beforehand. I made a discovery, an invention that could potentially change the lives of all peoples. I was so excited, I had to share it with Ordis first.”
I could hear some of the emissaries going “wooh”, excited by the prospect of a life-changing invention. Sorry Ordis for throwing you under the bus, but like you said, the fate of the world was at hand here!
“What invention could this be?”
Another voice from amongst the crowd, this time from a man at the corner of my eyes.
“I’m already pretty drained from explaining to Ordis, so just stay tuned to the Sage for more news.”
Wait what? Sereya got up and also started speaking?
“I thought that Ordis would kidnap you for the whole day! My bad, hehe~”
Whew, she scared me there. Good one, Sereya! And sorry that you had to join me in my lying!
“Well, in the future, inform the palace in advance then, Hero Evansmith.”
I nodded my head and bowed to King Graven. He was a pretty chill king, I thought he would be a lot scarier and unreasonable, but he was nice. Maybe a bit too nice, though—you shouldn’t let a lowlife like Remus cut you off.
His Majesty continued, “I take it we have no further queries then?”
Silence travelled across the hall, until I heard a small creaking noise from my right.
This bastard Remus was placing his feet on the table! Did his vulgarity know no bounds? Those filthy boots of his smelt even worse than his stench of alcohol!
I looked around, praying for someone to admonish him. Oh come on! The other heroes didn’t even bat an eye! Did they not have a sense of smell or something?
And you too, Your Majesty! Can you not see this swine putting his legs on this table? Say something!
“Alright then, we shall proceed. I formally call this meeting to order. Lord Eustace, if you may.”
I nearly let out a sigh of annoyance due to the lack of action towards Remus, but I was more curious about this Eustace fellow. He was seated way behind at the back, somewhere at the top tier of this hall. The man was overweight, his clothes extravagant—exactly what I imagined of a noble.
Lord Eustace hobbled down the steps towards our table, but he did not join us. Instead, he stood by the edge and announced with his breathy voice:
“I, Eustace McBrian, Lord of Conningway, on behalf of the lords and wise men gathered with us here today, am continuing my role as presiding officer. With the attendance of Hero Evansmith Mattheld, the motion of ‘Human Rights Before Heroes’ shall resume debate.”
Motion? Presiding officer? What?
“May we ha—”
“—Thanks Lord Eustace, but you don’t need to tell us whose turn it is to speak anymore.”
Just like that, Azelia’s familiar cut off the presiding officer and took control of the discussion. Why was I not surprised that Lord Eustace or anyone else opposed her? The whole structure of this meeting was weird—these emissaries were trying to get us to do something, but the Seven Heroes had too much power. Nobody was brave enough to address any misbehaviour from us.
The fiery bird proceeded:
“We just needed to hear Evan’s thoughts on the matter.”
Once more, she was passing the ball to me. I barely had a clue what this human rights thingy was about. Was it alright if I asked?
“Before Evan gives his opinion, I think it is only right that he knows where each of us stands,” Sereya explained. Nice backup!
“Hmm, for once, I agree with you, Sereya,” Azelia’s familiar responded. Its beak continued to mouth out human words with great confidence and clarity:
“All of this started due to a well-mannered gentleman called Remus Whiteaxe. If he didn’t go off sacking the town of Ostura, murdering innocent lives, we wouldn’t need to waste our time in the first place.”
Ah, so Remus was being Remus. We were finally doing something about his behaviour, yes? You can have my support!
Remus, however, looked upset. He placed his feet down on the ground and glared at the familiar.
“I’ll say this one last time, ya roast turkey. And listen damn well, Evan. This was a trick. Ostura attacked me first! What was I supposed to do, let my boys get killed as I stand there and watch?!”
“Master Remus, we are not interested in the details of the rescue of your mercenaries. The fact was that you stained your hands with the lives of the innocent! The only reason why you escaped punishment was due to your status as a Hero, which is unjust!”
Uriah shared my sentiments exactly.
“You shut yer flap, pretty boy! You’re not even one of the Seven Heroes, and I never agreed to ya being here in the first place! Call yer daddy over here, and then we can have a talk.”
“Mock me as you may, but don’t you dare mock my father! He made the decision to send me here, and I will prove to all of you here today that he made the right decision!”
Nerves were popping out of Uriah’s face. He gradually stood up from his seat.
“I am in full favour of Human Rights Before Heroes! It is always wrong, under any circumstances, for those who wield power as great as the Seven Heroes to take the lives of unarmed civilians without consequence! If any of the Seven Heroes did that, then the rest of the Heroes—nay, the entire world is duty-bound to strike him down!”
So that was what this discussion was about. Heroes cannot kill innocent lives and go away scot-free. That made sense.
“People like you with yer heads in the clouds don’t know crap! This human rights thing is a scam! I never asked to be a Hero in the first place, and I was only doing what was right!”
Fat words coming from Remus.
“Actually, I couldn’t care less. If we didn’t do anything wrong, why feel the need to be afraid of the motion in the first place? Honestly, I do not really have a stand, but I’m in favour of this motion just because I dislike you, Remus.”
“You watch yer back, bird! I’ll stuff you and hang you on a wall!”
Wait a second.
Uriah and Azelia were in favour of the motion. Remus was obviously against. If they needed my vote here, didn’t that mean—
“Evan, everyone, listen. Remus is right, it isn’t as simple as you think. I agree we shouldn’t take innocent lives at a whim, but this motion restricts us in such a way that we become nothing more than puppets. For that, I am against this motion.”
The situation became a lot more complicated. Crap, I wasn't expecting it to be like this!
“So Evan, let’s hear it from you,” said Azelia.
“What does the one who slew the Demon Lord think about this?”