Chapter 28:

The Adventurer King

How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

King Garion Pierce, the first of his name, The Tyrant Killer, Piercer of Dragons. He had gotten these names two decades ago, when he took Tirim for himself. Back then the capital was called DragonSkull, due to the cliff face that looked like a giant dragon head. Garion missed those days now, things were so simple back then. Now he had to manage crops, make allegiances, and rule a land he wasn't ready for.

The halls of the Dragonbone Palace were decorated with glow crystals from Kyrit Depths. Long blue carpets covered the hard stone floors, quieting the steps of Garion as he marched, two guards flanking both of his sides. He looked at the paintings that lined the walls, they all depicted great scenes in Tirim’s history. The paintings of Garion and his friends' adventures were the newest.

The double doors stood in front of Garion, he pushed them open and saw the council all rise to their feet. Four men were on their feet, looking at Garion as he entered the room. The first was Ezek, an old friend of Garion that had helped him claim the throne, he was much older now then he used to be, but there were still signs of the Archer of the Dreadfields, the title he earned. The next was Loci, the treasurer and one that was brought on during Garion’s rebellion to help their army stay financed. Mosti stood with a slight bow, his hand on his large sword, the expected pose of the Master of Arms. finally was Percival, he was one of the few friends that had helped him in his fight against the dragon king who did not wish to take land, instead choosing to stay by Garions side as an advisor.

“Please sit.” Garion said, his stoic voice compelling his people to follow. Garion made his way in, the guards closing the doors and standing outside. “We have much to discuss and not enough time to do it. Loci, what have we heard from Kyol?” He took his seat at the large round table with many empty seats, ones that his other lords would fill when they arrived.

“Tatalis has yet to move on Fort Bolin just yet.” Loci said, pushing back his small framed glasses. He had large stacks of papers in front of him, and somehow he knew what was where. “The king fears that it won't be long before he makes his move.”

Garion nodded in understanding. “Ezek, you came all this way, how are Shore Breakers troops coming along?”

Ezek leaned back in his chair, pushing back the slick black hair he was so proud of. “You think I would come without anything to report? We're all ready, I send the word and they will march east. I have a good ten thousand for you, rest need to protect the homeland and all that.”

“Good, glad I can count on you.” Garion said with a smile. “Have we any word from GreyHold, High Watch, or Istval’s Retreat?”

“Lord Orsin has said that Istval will be ready soon.” Loci said, pulling free another note. Loci was the only reason that Garion could manage this kingdom, he handled most of the politics for Garion. “He can send about two thousand now, and more in the next few months.”

“Good, the others?” Garion asked.

“We have no reports from Tix yet.” Loci said, peering over more papers. “His last report said he was laying siege to that naga Fortress, we can use that as a stronghold should we need to.”

“He will handle it.” Garion said with a nod, folding his hands in front of his face. “Once it is taken, have him assign a member of his court to man it, give him a thousand men to keep it. Tix army was large, so I have no worries.”

“Lord Yun is rushing his men.” Loci continued. “He wishes to help his homeland as soon as possible, but those bandits from the Untamed are making that bothersome.”

“Send a letter to Yun.” Garion said with a sigh. “Tell him to focus on keeping our borders safe, only spare men that he can, if he cannot send that is fine.”

“Of course your grace.” Loci said, pulling a quill out from his long sleeve.

“Masti, how is our army looking?” Garion said, turning to the master of arms.

“Our numbers are large.” Masti said, pulling out a scroll and handing it to Garion. It listed the current troop count they had. “We are lacking on Olues, but we can make due with horses if need be.”

“I like these numbers Masti, good work.” Garion looked over the numbers in depthed. “We should send word to Kyol, King Rota should prepare for the arrival of more soldiers. Percival, has any of the guilds reported?”

Percival straightened, looking over his own notes. “The Flaming Brotherhood, Ariel Gem, Iron Stride, and Lightfellow Guilds are all headed to DreadFort. Reports say that they all have set up small strongholds at the Dreadfort, meaning Tatalis won't be sneaking in from the south.”

Garion leaned back in his chair. A Demon Lord, most Demon Lords have been sitting in their territory, but Tatalis is making moves. Lightkiller sat in the south east, just holding his small piece of land, even farther east the MoldMaker sat in his castle, nothing leaving or entering it for decades. Why was the Raging Storm making a move?

Garion gritted his teeth, he longed to fight this Demon Lord. The Adventuring King, it was an unofficial title, but one he loved so very much. He explored Kyrit Depths in his youth, the DreadFort, and then went south to Deep Wood. Never once did he finish any of those three dungeons, but he longed to go back. The challenge of a Demon Lord was so much to him, he wanted the thrill of that fight, to take down the most powerful foe he had known of.

“We should prepare to ride out soon.” Garion said with a smile.

“Your grace.” Percival stated, the room all looking awkwardly at Garion. “We have gone over this, you cannot come.”

Garion leaned back in his chair again, defeat filling him. “Yes you are right, the king must rule his kingdom. Though wouldn't it inspire the troops more if I came? Fought alongside them.”

“Yes but we shall be away for far too long.” Percival stated. Garion had appointed Percival to lead Pierce's army in his place. “You cannot leave your people without a leader for that long, who knows what will happen.”

Garion sighed deeply. “Yes you are right old friend, I just yearn to fight again.”

“You are a king.” Loci stated. “You already did your fighting in the rebellion, now let others fight for you, perhaps you should take the time to find a mate? I have received a request by The Oak crowned King, he says his daughter would make a good match. It would strengthen our alliance with the elves.”

“Exial wants to send a princess here?” Percival said with a little laugh. “That Oak guy is just trying to marry off any of his children. I hear a rumor he is talking to Oni’s about a marriage, Oni’s of all things!”

“They are good assassins.” Ezek said with a laugh. “I wouldn't mind getting a few on our side.”

“They are monsters!” Percival yelled out.

“Truth.” Ezek said with a shrug. “I think the marriage would be good, the one to Garion here. He needs an heir, he's not getting any younger.”

Garion sighed. He didn't like this topic, he promised himself to someone already. However, the Dragon King had killed her in front of his eyes. Ever since he hadn't even thought of that, however they were right, he needed an heir. “Perhaps this would be a good thing.” He said begrudgingly. “The people could use an event to raise their morale in these times. A Royal wedding would be just the thing. However I think it should wait till after we defeat Tatalis.”

“If that is his Grace’s wish.” Loci said, pushing the note to the side. “Let us move to the next topic, the Adventurer badges have been handed out to most of the known adventurers in Tirim, perhaps this will make problems go away now?”

“You talk of Criss.” Garion said, he straightened in his seat, then leaned forward with his hands folded in front of his face. Criss was killing off his Adventurers, the ones he sent to get strong to fight off threats to the kingdom, and they killed them.

“Yes, your grace.” Loci said cautiously. “We have also told all Adventurers to avoid the area for the time being.”

“Do we have any other reports from there?” Garion asked.

“Well. There have been reports of kobolds.” Percival chimed in. “As well, our tax collector reported that they have begun mining silver. He also said that they are accepting of our plan to place a lord, they even have begun to build a fortress for him. Soon they shall be back in the fold even stronger than before.”

Garion nodded slowly. “When we place the lord, I would like him to find the one that was killing the adventurers and bring him to me, and kill the kobolds of course. Cant have monsters running around our people.”

“Of course your Grace.” Percival said. “We can place Lord.” He was stopped as a knock rattled on the door.

“Your Grace.” A guard said, slipping his head in the door. “I apologize for the interruption, but I felt that this was an urgent matter.”

“What is it?” Garion said, facing the guard. He opened the door, revealing a Halfling. The Halfling’s body looked beat and broken, his eyes sunken into his skull, his arms and legs scratched. The sunken eyes darted back and forth all around, and he held his hands close to his chest, making him look even smaller than he already was. “Who is this?” Garion asked.

“He calls himself Elixa.” The guard said. “He says he is a part of Lord Tix court.”

Garion got to his feet, his mouth wide. “Elixa?” He said, looking over the halfling. He had met Elixa before, he was a fun loving fellow who took nothing seriously and loved his flute. The man before him looked like a husk of who Elixa used to be. “What happened to you!”

“Ti. Tix.” Elixa said shakenly. “De De Dead.”

“What!” Garion yelled out, rushing around the table to Elixa’s side, pulling a seat for him to sit on. “What happened! Those nagas got the better of him?”

“N, no” Elixa said, he did not meet Garion’s eye as he spoke, instead looking at all ways in to the room. “De De Demon.”

“A demon?” Garion stated. “You make no sense, Tatalis is far east, he was seen only a week ago.”

Elixa shivered. The guard stepped up to Garion. “The man has lost his mind, your Grace. Scouts found him running from the south, he ran for days straight, fear guiding his steps.”

“What can you tell us?” Garion asked.

“Kobold. Minotaur.” Elixa said with a shaky voice. “He, he lead them, took Nagas. Took them for his army. He will destroy us, that aura, he killed Tix. he took his head. That Demon.”

Garion turned to the guard. “Get this man to a healer. Give him food, anything he needs.” the guard nodded and led Elixa out of the room. Garion returned to his council. “What do you all make of that.”

“A Demon Lord in Tirim?” Percival questioned. “Cant be, we haven't gotten any reports of it.”

“Tix is dead huh.” Ezek said somberly. “Hey guard! Get us something to drink!” the remaining guard rushed off at Ezek’s request. “He said kobolds, do you think?”

“I do.” Garion said, his anger overflowing. “Ezek, can I count on you?”

“For what your majesty?” Ezek said smiggly. “Want me to kill a Demon Lord for ya?”

“No.” Garion said “I just want you to scout out Criss, look for any signs of a Demon Lord, and report back. Do not move in without my permission you understand?”

“Of course your grace!” Ezek said with a laugh, tilting his chair back and looking up to the ceiling. “Wow, imagine a Demon Lord here.”

“Send word to Kyol and our Lords, we cannot send troops just yet.” Garion stated. “If a Demon Lord has appeared in the middle of the kingdom, then we have to deal with that then help Kyol.”

“Of course your Grace!” Loci said, scribbling on sheets of paper.

Garion furrowed his brow, he wanted to fight a Demon Lord, and one might have appeared before him. What are the odds of this? He couldn't be happy about it, because Tix had to die for him to learn of this fact. Garion took his seat again, deciding that he would find Tix killer, and bring him to justice. 

This Novel Contains Mature Content

Show This Chapter?