Chapter 26:

Chapter 23 “King of Clubs”

Age of Ember beta

The weekend had finally arrived, and it was time for their long-awaited night at the club. Everyone had picked out stunning club attire the day before. As they got ready, Ziggy and Sabrina were prepared to depart to see the King.
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“Alright, Sarah, best behavior,” Ziggy reminded her after seeing her choice of clothing. Sabrina rolled her eyes, seeing how nervous he was.Bookmark here

“How come you don’t tell that to Odrian or Landon?” Sarah protested. Ziggy wasn’t expecting this question.Bookmark here

“Well, uh, they’re…”Bookmark here

“Ziggy, that’s enough,” Sabrina decided to jump in the conversation. “She’s a young woman now.”Bookmark here

“SHE WILL ALWAYS BE MY LITTLE GIRL!” Ziggy wiped a tear away.Bookmark here

“Mom, why does dad have to be so cringy?” Sarah looked over at Sabrina to see her shrug her shoulders.Bookmark here

“We’ll be heading out,” Sabrina announced with a smile as she dragged Ziggy out with her. “You all have fun!”Bookmark here

“Make good choices, Sarah!” Ziggy begged before the door closed in front of him. “Daddy loves you!”Bookmark here

“Dad,” Sarah blushed in embarrassment as she turned to the rest of the room that was giggling to what had just transpired.Bookmark here

It was approaching midnight, the 47th hour of the day, or 23pm. Odrian and the others went to Aurora Nightclub. They walked onto the floor that was covered in a knee-deep mist with spectacular lights flowing throughout the entire building. At the forefront of the building was a vast stage. In front of the stage was the dancefloor with a bar to the left. The private seating was off to the side of the bar. Bookmark here

Waiters and waitresses walked around, handing out free shots; everyone decided to partaken in. They grabbed seating before more people arrived. With the slow trickling of people, the music playing was relatively calm but had an alluring rhythm. It was nothing that would amp anyone elseBookmark here

“This is really nice,” Verona complimented while gazing around the environment. Bookmark here

“Just wait till everything starts in 10 minutes,” Arachnia told everyone. Bookmark here

Landon’s interest was peaked, but his understanding wasn’t clear. The liquor was already affected him.Bookmark here

“So,” Victor threw his hand over Landon’s shoulders and pulled him in. “How about drinks on you since you owe me one.” Bookmark here

“Sure, sure,” Landon drunkenly agreed. Ziggy transferred a few thousand dollars into everyone's account so they could have fun for the night. Although they were on a quest, none of them outside Landon had been paid before. Bookmark here

“Thanks, Landon,” everyone said as they picked up their drink and food menu. As Landon picked up his menu, his heart dropped as the prices were way higher than he would’ve thought.Bookmark here

As the room dimmed, their drinks arrived. The spotlights focused on the stage as a man and woman emerged from opposite sides. The young woman had blond, shoulder-length hair covering half her face; her green eyes had a scorpion-like biohazard symbol in it. Her dress glowed as the lights reflected off it. The man had dark brown hair styled upwards and hazel eyes with a similar biohazard symbol in it. He was wearing a black t-shirt with a leather jacket over it and black slacks. Some parts of his outfit glowed as well.Bookmark here

“Is he really wearing sunglasses?” Victor took notice to someone in the crowd and wasn’t sure how to process it.Bookmark here

“At night? Pfft,” Landon said as he chugged down his drink.Bookmark here

“Welcome everyone to Aurora Night Club,” The man and the woman both said in unison while holding out their phones, broadcasting themselves on screens throughout the city. The mist on the floor also switched colors. Bookmark here

“This is our second time performing,” The young woman smiled. “So, be nice to us!”Bookmark here

Their presence was infectious as everyone cheered them on.Bookmark here

“I’m Rona, and this is my brother Kyoya” Rona paused with a smile, watching as everyone got out their seats and converge onto the dance floor.Bookmark here

“OMG, I wonder how this is going to be,” Sarah went to the front of the crowd to cheer on.Bookmark here

“C’mon, Odrian,” Verona said excitedly. “I wanna join in too!”Bookmark here

“Hold up,” Odrian grabbed his drink as everyone left. Verona pulling him along.Bookmark here

“I’ll join you guys later,” Ararchnia told Odrian as he was being pulled away. She remained seated, taking one final sip of elven margarita.Bookmark here

Odrian wanted to ask if everything was okay. Verona wasn’t letting go of him and continued to pull him forward. Caught up in the crowd, she vanished from sight when he looked at the empty table. Bookmark here

“Come on, tonight we need to have fun your training starts soon,” Victor reminded Odrian. Bookmark here

“We’ll be performing our hit song, Quake,” Kyoya said as he placed his phone into his pocket. “We hope you enjoy it!”Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Ziggy and Sabrina arrive at the elven king's throne room. Guards aligned all along the pathway, leading up to the throne where the king watched on. Bookmark here

“I don’t think you need this much security for little old me,” Ziggy joked as he stood before a seated king. With a cracked smile, the king waved his hand, signaling all the guards to leave. As the final guard walked out of the room, the king stood towering well above Ziggy and Sabrina. He gave off an aura of authority and respect. His hair was black with golden accents, and the cold eyes of a warrior. He wore his royal armor, giving off a status superiority.Bookmark here

“You never kneel, do you Ziggy?” the king changed his demeanor once his guards left. “Don’t let your wife follow in your terrible footsteps. I am royalty now.”Bookmark here

“It’s more like he follows in my footsteps,” Sabrina spoke up.Bookmark here

“The Gravity Grim Reaper speaks?” The king was surprised to see how much she has changed. “Wow, what has this man done to you? You were always destructive and quiet.”Bookmark here

“I became a wife and a mother. I no longer go by that,” Sabrina insisted politely.Bookmark here

“I’ll keep that in mind,” The king nodded out of respect to her. “Onto more pressing matters... Ziggy, I gave you that quest over 20 years ago. Corsol is still here destroying the mountain range and eating off wildlife. We had to outsource a lot of food for our city and halt production on the Guardians.” Bookmark here

“Unfortunately, I’m sworn to secrecy over what happened,” Ziggy responded accordingly. “I had to take care of our 3 kids, and hunting him was going to cause more harm to the world than me taking care of them. So, I want to ask for a raise for this hunt.Bookmark here

“You come to me with excuses?” The king replied in repressed anger. “Corsol has ransacked our ecosystem, but you put yourself above duty? Then you dare to ask for a raise on something that should be dead by now?”Bookmark here

“Y-yeah.”Bookmark here

“If we weren’t friends, you would’ve been killed in the cruelest way imaginable already. The city has lost much because of your incompetence. I don’t care about your excuses, I demand results. I will honor this raise, but if you fail me, expect death as your reward.”Bookmark here

“Think of it as extra insurance because I'll be coming along,” Sabrina reassured the king, who coldly looked upon them.Bookmark here

“Uh, babe,” Ziggy said under his breath.Bookmark here

“Sabrina, this is inexcusable to not just myself but the city.” The king spoke with great fury.Bookmark here

“If you sent those guardians out there, it would come at a great cost,” Sabrina added in some excellent points. She was adept at pointing out the reality of a situation. Bookmark here

“Who else will hunt a Corsol for less than 6 million? We only want 3 million... that’s about half-”Bookmark here

“Enough,” The king interrupted. He had to concede that Sabrina was correct. Sabrina defiantly stood before the king. Ziggy looked over to his wife, who didn’t seem phased. “It seems you know how to add gravity to debates, just as much as you do in fights.”Bookmark here

“Out of curiosity, why haven’t you handled this by now?”Bookmark here

Ziggy looked at her like she was crazy as she was questioning the most powerful ruler in the land.Bookmark here

“Simply put, we haven’t the resources to spare,” The king’s temper dissipated. “Corsal consumed the nearby mountain range and had remained there. Hunting is difficult since life is rare in that region. Mining for resources is an incredibly dangerous endeavor.”Bookmark here

“And the guardians?”Bookmark here

“The guardians are made of a special material derived from the ancient mountain range. My ancestors were tied to the land and blessed it with magical properties. Corsal ransacking the land hinders us from expanding further. We can’t send the guardians out knowing it would be difficult to rebuild more.”Bookmark here

“Then, considering you have us to handle it. It will no longer be a problem for you!”Bookmark here

“Hmph, such confidence! Do you know how much it would actually cost killing a Corsal the size of a mountain range? 100 million! The last one that suggested that he was incinerated for all to see!”Bookmark here

“The power of friendship, yeah?” Ziggy smiled, interrupting the tone of the conversation. The king and Sabrina sighed.Bookmark here

“The raise, consider it done,” The king agreed. “But, I want it dead in less than a week, and I demand a visual confirmation upon slaying it! Is that understood?”Bookmark here

“Yes, thank you,” Sabrina bowed as Ziggyso stood still.Bookmark here

“You are dismissed,” The king acknowledged their response.Bookmark here

“I look forward to seeing you once this is done, friend,” Ziggy looked back at the king as he walked away. The king sat back down in his throne.Bookmark here

“To think that corsal was the size of a large warehouse 20 years ago,” The king uttered as he leaned into his throne.Bookmark here

As Ziggy and Sabrina left the entrance of the castle, Ziggy stopped her at the edge.Bookmark here

“That went well, huh?” Ziggy was relieved by the outcome of the conversation. Sabrina turned to him with a smile on her face. “You were bold.”Bookmark here

“You were already fumbling the conversation,” Sabrina couldn’t help but laugh.Bookmark here

“Beauty and brains, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean? I’ll always be by your side.”Bookmark here

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