Chapter 73:

The Viceroy

Draconia Offline

Liana has no idea what’s happening, but everyone in the Royal Office is suddenly standing up and pointing outside. She hurries to the window and sees hundreds of transfiguration symbols materialising in the space around the skyscraper.

“W-what?” the Viceroy gasps, both terrified and astonished.

She doesn’t understand a thing, but it’s obvious that it must be the Emperor’s doing. The shield is pulsating with beautiful rainbow colours and the transfiguration symbols interweaved into each section are made with the precision only Aefener is capable of.

She wants to call the Royal Guards, who are currently on duty, to ask what the hell is going on, but a deafening explosion roars, startling everyone. There’s a flash of ominous light and then it’s quiet again. Whatever that thing was, the shield stopped it. Their Emperor stopped it. Their embodiment of magic did something amazing again. Something miraculous.

“The guards aren’t picking up,” Ingri says all panicky. She didn’t need the Viceroy to tell her what to do, she isn’t her assistant for nothing.

Liana hurries to the nearest balcony, her own guards following her. She takes off immediately, even though her ceremonial robe isn’t exactly made for flying.

“Gotrid!” she sees the Royal Consort taking off from a balcony a few floors below and shouts after him.

“I can’t feel his consciousness, Viceroy!” Gotrid is scared shitless, but the adrenaline is pumping him. He won’t rest until his partner is found.

Fortunately, it’s never hard to pinpoint Aefener’s location. All Celestials feel in which general direction their embodiment of magic is all the time. They fly a bit higher and spot their Emperor almost immediately because he’s hovering just a few metres above the building.

Hovering…? Is that the right word? It’s the strangest sight. Their Emperor is levitating and looks like a huge feathery cocoon. The air around him is sparkling with residual mana, keeping his unconscious body afloat. His guards are circling around him, unsure what to do because the sparkles are making their feathers stand.

“My love!” Gotrid is on the verge of tears.

He quickly conjures a levitation platform, folds his wings close to his body and, ignoring the tingles, approaches the floating Emperor. Liana follows him.

“It looks like Aefener fainted, but his residual mana is serving as a cushion,” she comments, amazed. She never heard of such a phenomenon.

“The air itself loves him,” Gotrid vehemently presents his own theory. “Our racial element would never let him fall.”

With extreme caution, they untangle the feathered cocoon. Aefener doesn’t look hurt, at least something, but they can tell that his mind is closed completely. Their Emperor is deeply unconscious and his mana level is dangerously low. He gave his everything to create this shield.

Gotrid gently takes Aefener into his arms and the residual mana dissolves completely. It seems it was holding Aefener for as long was necessary for him to be retrieved safely. Was it his doing? Or does the air truly love its ruler?

They land on the balcony closest to the Royal Office and his second Royal Consort Erik is impatiently awaiting their return.

“Ryuu,” Erik bursts into tears when he sees his partner unconscious.

He kisses Aefener’s forehead, trying to wake him up, but nothing happens. The Emperor doesn’t open his eyes even for a few seconds. Gotrid won’t let him carry Aefener, clutching the Emperor to his chest, so Erik carries his wings instead. Celestials are extremely light, but hard to carry at the same time. When they can’t fold their wings, feathers are suddenly everywhere.

As expected, they are met with frightened and panicking Celestials. Royal Guards are a bit calmer than the rest because they received training for emergency situations, but they aren’t immune towards panic. Every Celestial loses their mind when something’s wrong with their embodiment of magic. And, right now, all Celestials feel their Emperor isn’t okay, even if he isn’t physically hurt.

Transporting Aefener to the infirmary isn’t easy because concerned Celestials are plugging the halls, but the guards manage to make them a clear passage. Doctors Julia and Noage are waiting for them, even more confused than the Celestials. Gotrid carefully puts the Emperor on the special hospital bed adjusted for Celestials while Erik and Liana help adjust his wings so that he’s comfortable.

“No pupil reaction, but his breath is steady,” Julia says after quickly checking his vitals. “I suspect His Majesty is in a coma.”

Noage rolls up his right sleeve and connects his rooty tentacles to Aefener’s arm. He stays like that for a few moments during which the spectators almost forget to breathe.

“Total exhaustion,” Noage confirms. “His Majesty must have used almost all his mana which doesn’t surprise me, just look outside.”

“How come the shield is still standing, though?” Liana doesn’t understand. “Spells naturally dissolve when the caster isn’t focusing on them anymore.”

“You tell me, Viceroy, I can’t feel Celestial mana,” Noage retorts a little, his voice full of anxiety. He didn’t mean to be rude, but his Earthborn powers aren’t of much help right now.

Liana frowns and gently takes Aefener’s left hand into hers. She can’t connect to him the way Earthborn do and she isn’t a telepath, but she should be able to feel his mana at least. She closes her eyes to concentrate better and she feels it immediately—a small amount of mana is pouring out of Aefener’s wings.

“He’s still powering the shield,” she says, opening her eyes only to widen them in horror. “What do we do? Can we somehow end the spell ourselves? It’s draining him!”

“I don’t think we can,” Gotrid shakes his head and starts petting Aefener’s wings with trembling hands. “Whatever that attack was, we can’t be sure it’s over. Aefener’s shield is the only thing keeping us safe. I think he linked the shield to himself permanently on purpose.”

“But it’s draining him!” Liana repeats frantically. “Not even our embodiment of magic can keep a spell of such magnitude for long.”

“Ryuu, wake up,” Erik is desperately calling his unconscious partner, no doubt trying to shout also in his mind to reach him telepathically.

“I don’t think His Majesty will wake up by himself unless you cut the shield off him,” Julia chews her lip. “Once he uses all the mana stored in his feathers, it’ll start taking a toll on the rest of his body. You need to find a way to power up the shield yourself. If you take over, he might subconsciously let go.”

“Stay with him, I’ll do something about it,” Liana orders the Consorts.

“There’s no force on the planet that could make us leave our beloved,” Erik rolls his eyes because what she said was redundant. “Do your part while we do ours.”

The Viceroy nods gratefully and runs out of the infirmary, telling Luviael who’s been following her like a shadow to call for the research team immediately. They get to the lab in under five minutes and since nobody left, the whole team is gathered.

“Your Excellency, what happened?!” the Minister of Magic Research Rina is worried sick. Everyone is. That attack must have frightened all Draconians in the skyscraper.

“No time for lengthy introductions, we need to find a way how to keep that shield running without our Emperor powering it,” Liana blurts out, panting from the run. “His Majesty is in a coma and won’t wake up unless we cut him off.”

Rina and her team members gasp for breath. Nobody expected they would be tested on a life-and-death assignment right from the start. Is the Viceroy trying to say that the life of their Emperor depends on them?

“We could take over for His Majesty until we develop some long-term solution?” Rina’s assistant Nestelle starts to come up with ideas right away. “It would take a lot of casters, but we can try?”

“There are thousands of shields, how many transfiguration symbols can you keep up?” Rina opposes. “Besides, have you mastered the Shield spell yet? I surely didn’t.”

“They were already created by His Majesty, we just need mana to sustain them,” Nestelle argues.

“We can test those crystals that you ordered for experiments?” Haldis suggests shyly because spells are exclusively Celestial domain, but they are determined to express their idea. “They won’t work for the Dragonkin, but surely Celestials could try to imbue them with mana?”

“Hmm, if we imbue crystals, we wouldn’t have to focus on maintaining the spell,” Rina gets thinking. “We’d need a lot of them, though. Moreover, it’s something we haven’t tested before, it might not work the same way as in the game.”

“I’ll ask Rien to send the Clawfangs to all esoteric shops in Prague and buy their entire stock,” Liana waves her hand. “In the meanwhile, start experimenting with what you got already. I want a working prototype ready when they return.”

“How much time do we have, Your Excellency?” Rina gulps.

“I don’t know,” Liana admits, sighing. “Even in his weakened state, His Majesty still has a tremendous amount of mana, but his minimum is very different to ours. The sooner we get it done, the faster his recovery will be.”


Liana trusts that the research team will do everything in their power to come up with a solution and quickly returns to the Royal Quarters. She finds that she likes having people she can truly depend on around. That was never a thing when she was still human and led her company.

“What are you doing?” Liana narrows her eyes at Noage who’s drinking one smoothie drink after another while still connected with his tentacles to the Emperor.

“Feeding His Majesty intravenously,” he explains. “I’m eating in his stead and sending nutrients directly to his veins.”

“It’s highly experimental, but it’s been working really well so far,” Julia assures the Viceroy. “Mana are calories are interlinked, so if we keep feeding His Majesty, we should gain more time.”

“The rate works against us, though,” Noage sighs. “His Majesty is channelling out more mana than he’s able to restore over time even when I’m feeding him. Still, it bought us a few hours.”

“Excellent,” Liana appreciates, gently pets Aefener’s feathers and looks at the Royal Consorts.

As expected, Erik and Gotrid are worried sick. Well, everyone is, of course, but Emperor’s partners are taking it tenfold worse. Originally, Liana wanted to ask one of them to help her calm down the people in the skyscraper, but it’s obvious nothing in the world would persuade them to leave their precious partner right now.

“Your Excellency, we need you in the conference room,” Luviael silently comes in and her eyes water when she sees the Emperor in such a weakened defenceless state.

Liana nods, anticipating exactly that, and they leave the infirmary in a hurry. Barely thirty minutes elapsed since Aefener put up the shield, so the whole skyscraper is only starting to fully realise that they’ve been attacked for real and that the Emperor is unconscious.

“Your Excellency, what happened?! Nobody knows anything!” Laurin is nervously stepping in front of the conference room and he isn’t alone—the Czech Prime Minister is with him because he was meeting her today.

“Liana,” Bauerova’s voice is trembling when she addresses her. “Was it a monster attack? We didn’t see it, just heard the impact.”

“Let’s come inside, Katerina,” Liana invites her in without a second thought, even though the Council is supposed to be Draconian only. All the ministers have gathered already and the atmosphere is extremely tense.

“Your Excellency, is His Majesty…?” Celestial Ministers flock to her and their wings are shaking.

“The Consorts and the doctors are taking care of him,” she assures them. “We won’t help him when panicking. Sit, we have a lot to discuss. Is it on the internet yet?”

“For a few minutes now,” Luviael confirms grimly. “The skyscraper is closely monitored by police and media drones all the time. They have a recording of the whole thing including our Emperor casting the shield. The media are streaming it non-stop.”

Liana clutches her hands, but she didn’t expect otherwise.

“How did he know?” Forent doesn’t understand. “We didn’t feel a rift opening, it couldn’t have been a monster attack.”

“No, it wasn’t,” Luviael says slowly. “The media slow-motioned the recording, look.”

She puts the video on the 3D projector and everyone watches the moment that thing hit the shield in slow motion. It’s a bit blurry, but the proof is undeniable.

“A missile,” Liana feels numb all of a sudden and her lips go dry.

“Whoever it was, the EU has no part in it, I’m sure!” Bauerova exclaims defensively. “They knew I was meeting the Draconian Minister of Foreign Affairs today.”

“I hope,” Liana says darkly. “I don’t think they would have a problem sacrificing you, though.”

“It wasn’t the EU!” Bauerova insists and shakes her head violently. “I attended the EU conference just two days ago and every European state was more than eager to accept Draconian protection against monsters.”

“The EU President is on the line,” Luviael announces. “Putting him through.”

“Your Majesty, it wasn’t us!!!” Bennett blurts out before he can even make out who’s actually on the camera.

“His Majesty is resting, I’m acting in his stead,” Liana says, her voice cold. “If it wasn’t you, care to explain how could a missile slip through your air defence without anyone noticing?”

“We’re investigating that,” Bennett clears his throat nervously. “Your Excellency, I swear we have nothing to do with it.”

“I want to believe you,” Liana says. “Still, this was an act of open aggression, someone wanted to get rid of the whole Draconian government at once and waited when most of us have gathered in one place. I’m sorry, Mr President, but we’re forced to assume that we might be at war.”

“With humanity?” Bennett forgets to breathe for a second.

“No, with the part of humanity that’s responsible,” Liana purses her lips. “You’re still forgetting we’re not you, we would never blame everyone for the actions of a few.”

It looks like Bennett remembered how to breathe again. His relief is obvious.

“Panic and riots are erupting all over the world, we have to stop it before it gets serious,” he pleads.

“We’ll do our best to calm Draconians in allied countries,” Liana promises. “As for the rest, screw them. In fact, I’ll implore our people to move out of hostile countries entirely as soon as possible. I’m sure the EU will welcome more Draconians immigrating?”

“We will,” Bennett nods furiously several times.

“Great, continue with your investigation and contact us when you find out new information,” Liana says and ends the call.

“I have to go,” Bauerova stands up, even though she’s just sat down. “I need to make an official proclamation and calm down Czech citizens.”

“Thanks, Katerina, really,” Liana appreciates. “We’ll keep you posted. Don’t worry, open war between our races is the last thing our Emperor would want. We’ll do everything in our power to avoid such a scenario.”

When the Czech Prime Minister leaves, Forent stands up. He looks angry and confused.

“How did His Majesty know the missile was coming?” he repeats his original question, this time with more emphasis.

“That we don’t know,” Liana sighs. “Luvi, did anything strange happen when Aefener was meeting the research team?”

“Everything was perfectly normal until it wasn’t,” Luviael recalls. “One second His Majesty is greeting our new scientists, then he’s suddenly hurrying to the window.”

“He must have sensed something,” Liana thinks hard. Still, it doesn’t make any sense. How could he sense a missile? That has nothing to do with telepathy.

“The Celestial Emperor is too miraculous,” Forent narrows his eyes, demanding an explanation. “Other race rulers don’t come even close. Is there something you’re not telling us, Your Excellency? Giving out blessings isn’t even in our lore.”

Liana bites her lip. It’s difficult to make crucial decisions in their Emperor’s absence. Yet, this is exactly her role. Being the Viceroy means having the responsibility to carry out even the most important matters when the Emperor is indisposed. She was entrusted with this task.

“We demand answers, Viceroy,” Forent presses on. “We’re supposed to trust each other at this Council, yet Celestials are keeping secrets.”

“Darling,” his wife Evaniel leans in to grab his hand, but Forent evades her.

“You know something that I don’t,” he frowns at her. “Yesterday, after you stayed behind with His Majesty, they told you something important.”

“Your Excellency, I know His Majesty isn’t here to decide, but I think at least all Ministers should know,” Evaniel implores the Viceroy. It’s obvious that she hates being on bad terms with her husband and keeping things from him.

“You’re right,” Liana sighs after a quick consideration and gives in. She watches how Forent’s and Rien’s jaws drop when she tells them about Aefener’s telepathy and that his father is involved in developing Draconia Online.

“For obvious reasons, we want to avoid humans finding out for as long as possible,” she adds urgently. “You can talk about it with Celestials and other race rulers. Only Julia, Noage and Ingri know besides that.”

“Of course, naturally,” Rien and Forent nod, still shocked by the revelation.

“What’s our stance, Viceroy?” Laurin impatiently returns to the main topic, not bothering to give Forent and Rien more time to digest the information. “We need to be united about this and stand strong.”

“Let’s get in touch with other race rulers first,” Liana suggests and tries calling Emi, Deminas, Twyla and Werden.

Deminas picks up right away, but he’s on his phone and obviously on the run.

“We heard,” he says, steam coming out of his mouth. “We’re relocating to a secret safe house as we speak.”

“You suspect you might be next?” Liana asks anxiously.

“Suspect? We don’t have your Emperor to conveniently create a magical shield, so we don’t have the luxury to suspect,” Deminas grunts and quickly says something to his subjects in Russian. “We left the building immediately after we heard and…”

He doesn’t finish the sentence, though. There’s an overwhelming bang and Deminas’s phone either loses signal or gets damaged in the blast because the call is interrupted. The conference room gets unnaturally silent for a moment before more panic erupts.

“Another missile?” the Ministers are downright terrified now.

“Emi isn’t picking up,” Liana quickly checks other simultaneous phone calls. “Nothing from Twyla and Werden either.”

“Our Supreme Alpha is always on the move, it would be impossible to send a missile her way,” Rien says with careful hope, but his voice doesn’t sound confident.

“So the only thing currently protecting us is His Majesty’s shield,” Sarayah summarises, almost whispering. The tips of her colourful feathers are shaking uncontrollably. She’s scared. Everyone is.

“Oh no, that is…!” Luviael exclaims out of the blue.

She doesn’t wait for Liana’s approval and switches on the 3D projector again. There’s a live streaming of two completely destroyed buildings.

“It’s the Dragonkin residence and Twyla and Werden’s ranch,” Evaniel gets all teary and she’s not the only one.

When sadness settles a bit, it transforms into anger and hatred. Liana herself is barely suppressing her Celestial wrath. If she knew who was behind the attacks, she would take all high-level battle mages and go destroy the culprits. No, to annihilate them.

Her phone rings unexpectedly and interrupts her emotions building up.

“We managed to escape!” Deminas’s scaly head appears on the screen. “If they didn’t attack you first and we didn’t get a head start, we’d be dead by now.”

“Where are you?” Liana asks, overjoyed to see that he’s alive. At least some good news.

“We split so that they can’t target all of us again,” he says. “I’m sending Fefnir to you earlier, you need your Minister of Defence and it seems the Draconian tower is the safest place one can be right now anyway.”

“The Earthborn ranch has been destroyed as well,” Liana tells him grimly. “We don’t know if they managed to escape. It happened around the same time as the attack on you, but maybe they weren’t warned in time.”

There’s an excited murmur around the Dragonkin Patriarch and he continues running again.

“We need to reach our safe house, see you soon and best of luck,” Deminas ends the call abruptly which leaves the conference room in tense silence once again.


“How is he?” Liana quietly enters the infirmary, even though there’s no way she would wake His Majesty up. That would actually be a good thing in this case.

“Certainly not better, but stable at least,” Erik answers. He’s lying next to his Royal partner and keeps caressing his hair. Gotrid is doing the same with his feathers. Liana hopes Aefener subconsciously feels their comforting presence.

“I’m sorry, Your Excellency, but I don’t think I can keep this up much longer. I need you to find someone to take over,” Noage informs the Viceroy wearily.

“I heard there’s a young Earthborn prodigy healer in the research division,” Julia recalls. “Is it okay with Your Excellency to send for him?”

“What about Ingri?” Liana tilts her head. She wants to avoid involving more people unless absolutely necessary.

“We need an experienced healer,” Noages breathes out and looks on the verge of collapsing. “I know Ingri is very proficient, but she focuses on botany rather than healing.”

“Okay, bring Danaheim,” Liana allows and sends one of the guards to fetch him.

She sits next to the Emperor and gently pets his snow-white wings. If he wasn’t so pale, he would look like he’s just taking a nap. But when she touches him, she doesn’t feel the presence of his powerful mind as she normally would. She feels his mana pouring out, though.

“He’s still protecting us,” she shakes her head in disbelief. “He’s doing everything in his power to protect us despite the fact that it’s hurting him.”

“Those who did it deserve no mercy, Viceroy,” Gotrid hisses. “When we uncover the culprit, we should mobilise our warriors and go annihilate them.”

“Annihilate?” Erik shudders. “You can’t be serious, Gotrid. Sure, justice has to be served, but there should be a proper investigation, then a trial and…”

“You want to bring to court someone who nuked us?” Gotrid doesn’t believe his ears.

“It’s up to our Emperor to decide,” Liana interrupts them, even though she sides with Gotrid.

Obviously, the human perspective on the matter and the Celestial perspective differ greatly and that’s understandable, but she hates to see them arguing. Sure, they are bickering all the time, but this time the tension was too much. Aefener wouldn’t want to see his beloved partners like that.

“Danaheim is here, Your Excellency,” Vermiel lets the Earthborn scientist in.

Under normal circumstances, Dahaneim would need to be thoroughly briefed by either Julia or Noage and ideally approved by the Council before taking care of His Majesty’s health, but these aren’t normal circumstances and they need a first-class healer now, not later.

“You called for me, Your Excellency?” Dahaneim slips from behind the curtain and freezes.

Aefener looks as beautiful as ever, but his skin is pale and his breath shallow. It might be a shock to see the mighty Celestial Emperor like that and this is only the second time Danaheim is meeting him in person.

“Danaheim, can you take over?” Noage asks wearily. “I’ve been feeding His Majesty non-stop for three hours now and I’m reaching my limit.”

“Intravenously?” Danaheim gets the gist immediately after one glance at Noage’s tentacles stuck to His Majesty’s arm and a bunch of empty smoothie cups.

“That’s right, can you do it?” Noage makes sure.

“Of course, it would be an honour,” Danaheim nods, his expression perfectly calm. Liana appreciates it, there are a lot of panicking Celestials as it is. To have someone who can remain calm under all circumstances is a huge asset.

Noage releases his tentacles with a relieved sigh and Danaheim replaces him in an instant with precision nobody would expect from still a high schooler. He drinks his first smoothie and assures everyone that there’s no problem.

“Your Excellency, the Minister of Magic Research calls for you,” Luviael announces with evident hope. “She says they have something.”


“Tell me you have good news,” Liana says while staring at several tables covered with huge piles of quartz crystals.

“We do,” Rina nods with a hint of a careful smile. “Fortunately, the shield let the Clawfangs out and back in, so they managed to procure us a decent amount of quartz. We think it should be enough.”

“The shield let them out?” Liana is surprised. “They didn’t need to use the underground passage?”

“It turns out Draconians have no problem passing the shield, but humans can only get out, not back in,” Nestelle explains. “For obvious reasons, we didn’t have time to examine it further.”

“Can crystals absorb our mana in the same way it worked in the game?” Liana is curious and takes one of the smaller crystals into her hands. “Oh, it’s warm!”

“They can,” Rina confirms. “And these have been charged already, we distributed them to all Celestials in the building who were free and everyone was more than eager to contribute with their mana.”

“Did crystals always have these properties and we just didn’t know?” Luviael asks and examines one of the quartz herself.

“People interested in esoteric stuff were claiming crystals had these properties for centuries,” Nestelle sets the record straight. “The only problem was that humans don’t produce mana, so there was no way they could prove it and harness its true power.”

“Charging the crystals was easier than we expected, now the actual hard part,” Rina bites her lip. “Is there someone who actually succeeded in casting the Shield spell besides His Majesty? We need to attune the crystals or we would just have a huge battery we can’t plug in.”

“Taranah almost did once during our training sessions,” Liana recalls. “Normally, he would be here, but he’s still on cleaning duty as a punishment I gave him.”

“Unless you can do it yourself, Your Excellency, we need him,” Rina insists. “We tried several times already, but, unfortunately, we haven’t succeeded. I’m sure we would eventually, but time is of the essence right now.”

“It would also be a great chance for Taranah to redeem himself,” Liana admits and tells Luviael to call him.

It doesn’t take even five minutes and Taranah storms into the lab. He’s wearing a simple and more practical version of a Celestial robe and he forgot to take off his rubber gloves for cleaning, but his eyes are glowing with eagerness.

“Your Excellency, I’d do anything for His Majesty,” he blurts out enthusiastically and his wings are shaking with anticipation.

“Any Celestial would, but we need your magical proficiency in particular,” Liana explains. “We need you to imbue these crystals with the Shield spell.”

“All of them?” Taranah widens his eyes. “I’ll do my best, but…”

“Just one successful spell should do,” Rina calms him down. “We don’t need to imbue each individual crystal, but vibrate them with the right frequency. We’re going to back you up and try to link the crystals to the shield outside. Focus only on the spell itself and leave the rest to us.”

“O-okay,” Taranah gulps, steps closer to the huge pile and starts casting.

A respective transfiguration symbol does appear and the scientists almost start celebrating, but it’s too faint and breaks after a few seconds.

“I guess I’m nervous,” Taranah mumbles and flutters his wings anxiously. “I know His Majesty depends on me right now, but…”

“Taranah,” Liana approaches him and puts her hand on his shoulder. “You’re the third-best caster after Aefener and me and I don’t have nearly as much time to train as you. If anyone can do it, it’s you.”

“I heard His Majesty won’t wake up unless we make this work,” he starts to panic.

“Taranah,” Liana repeats his name, this time with more tenderness. “Aefener trusts you. I made you clean toilets because you threatened that trust, but you realised your error and you can fully redeem yourself. We didn’t name you a minister only because Aefener felt you wouldn’t want it.”

“I know,” he nods. “I’m an Imperial battle mage, not a politician.”

“So do what you do best, you were always a great caster,” Liana encourages him.

Taranah looks at her gratefully, takes a deep breath and tries again. He doesn’t rush this time and devotes a minute to precise mana channelling and then another full minute to materialising a transfiguration symbol. The scientists stay quiet until he fixates the symbol so that it won’t dissolve.

“The crystals are reacting!” Nestelle shouts excitedly. “Can you feel it? They started vibrating.”

Rina jumps to the pile and joins her assistant in their combined effort to link the crystals to the shields outside. At first, nothing happens, but they continue channelling the energy because failure is not an option. Finally, the crystals start glowing like lightbulbs.

“Are they connected to the shield now?” Liana is almost afraid to jinx it, but the crystals keep glowing without any fluctuation.

“Yes, I can feel the mana in them flowing outside,” Rina says victoriously and Nestelle is nodding furiously in confirmation.

Liana’s phone starts ringing at that very moment. She picks it up immediately because the name on the screen reveals that it’s Erik.

“Ryuuto woke up!” Erik screams into the receiver happily. “Just for a few seconds, but Danaheim assured us that he’s sleeping normally now.”

“The shield is holding,” Luviael quickly checks the outside and everyone in the room starts celebrating.

“We did it,” Liana whispers and collapses in the nearest chair.

She feels relieved as if a huge boulder has been lifted from her chest. However, at the same time, she knows that saving Aefener is just the beginning. Race rulers all over the world were attacked and unless a miracle happens, a war between Draconians and humans is imminent.

Liana clutches her hands into fists and looks out of the window. The shield is beautiful and the only thing protecting them from another missile. If it wasn’t for their divine embodiment of magic, all of them would be dead by now. She can’t help it—there’s a part of her that wishes her Emperor would call for a conquest.