Chapter 96:

The Enemy Unveiled

Draconia Offline

For several long moments, I have no idea what I’m looking at. The holographic image is floating in front of me, showing us an alien being which the Divementis call the Enemy. I don’t know what I was expecting, to be honest. Probably just another alien race that is technologically more advanced than Draconians since they can travel through dimensions. Definitely not… ‘that’.

“That’s the Enemy,” my father repeats as if we haven’t heard him the first time. “The emphasis on a singular and a capital letter.”

Everybody is too shocked to react. I feel Erik almost crushing my left hand and Gotrid is desperately trying to calm himself by clutching my feathers. I keep staring at the projection, dumbfounded. The Enemy… that… thing… isn’t even remotely humanoid.

If I had to compare it to anything I knew to get my head around it, I would have to go back to twentieth-century horror fiction, especially H. P. Lovecraft’s myth of Cthulhu. And that would still be too humanoid and friendly-looking compared to the Enemy.

“How b-big is that thing?” I manage to ask, stuttering.

“We don’t have a precise measurement because we’ve never seen it stretch, but we guess around sixty metres in this state,” Sythara says.

I gulp and study its countless tentacles and numerous red glowing eyes. I don’t see any mouth, but I don’t doubt it’s there somewhere, hidden and lurking. How does something monstrous like this even move? How does it build things?

“As you already know, the Enemy is also telepathic,” my father continues. “It controls the monsters who serve it. In case you’re wondering, monsters aren’t a natural part of Draconia’s fauna. They came with the Enemy through the rifts.”

I try to imagine how hellish the Enemy’s home dimension must be to give birth to something like this. That being isn’t some magical mystical creature. It must have undergone evolution just as Draconians and humans.

“And you expect Ryuuto to fight that thing?!” Erik loses it. “He would be squished like an ant instantly!”

“Of course not,” my father shakes his head. “Not directly I mean. The Enemy is extremely sturdy, cutting off a few tentacles accomplishes nothing. Trust me, the Dragonkin and Clawfangs tried to attack it head-on many times. Besides, it’s protected by a hoard of ferocious monsters. The only method of defeating it is to invade its very mind and kill it telepathically.”

“What’s its objective?” Liana finally manages to catch her breath and her analytical thinking kicks back in.

“We never had an actual chat with it, there was never any room for negotiations even though the Enemy did learn our language,” Nyx speaks up. “Still, it’s obvious that the Enemy is after resources and dominance. We assume that its home dimension must have been rough, but one species was able to merge into one super consciousness. When it invented dimensional travel, it started jumping from one dimension to another, conquering, feeding and taking what it needed.”

I recall when the Enemy invaded my mind. If I didn’t pull back immediately and didn’t receive basic telepathic training, it would kill me almost instantly and I had the Royal bloodline. I can’t imagine a regular Divementis standing a chance.

“Son, we do have a real chance now,” my father assures me because he can see the panic in my eyes. “We’ve been working relentlessly on bringing back extinct Draconian races and this time we are sure to cooperate. We’ve been also working on a technology capable of shielding our minds from its telepathic influence. Last but not least, we have you now.”

“How could I make a difference?” I shudder. “I’m just a bit stronger telepath than other Divementis.”

“You’re not just a bit stronger, Your Majesty,” Nyx claims vehemently. “You managed to talk to the Enemy and not go insane. We estimated that with the combined power of all revived Draconian races, we had a 20% chance of winning. With you, it might be 40%. You raised the odds astronomically.”

“Your Highness,” Chancellor Sythara addresses me with my Divementis title, “after we learned about your existence and confirmed your strength, we re-evaluated the entire battle plan. With you leading the united Draconian forces, our chances might go even higher than 40%. For the first time ever, we have real hope.”

“I…,” my throat gets dry and my heart is beating wildly. Are they really putting all their hope on me?! 20% without me, 40% with me. The odds are still against us no matter how I look at it. I do want to protect Draconians, but when I look at the Enemy, confidence leaves me. My legs start shaking and it’s suddenly hard to breathe.

“I think our Emperor is having a panic attack!” Gotrid raises an alarm and pushes me to his chest before I lose balance.

“I need… air…,” I gasp for breath.

They somehow get me into the elevator, my partners trying to calm me down without much effect. I do feel less dizzy when a breeze blows into my feathers, but I can’t shake off the dread. All this time I thought that we were going to fight an alien species similar to us or maybe resembling ingame monsters, but the Divementis want me to fight a 60-metre-tall telepathic Cthulhu himself?!

“You aren’t alone in this, son,” my father squeezes through the Celestials who flocked in panic around me and puts his hand on my right wing. “I might not have been there for you when you were growing up, but I am here now.”

I realise that this is the first time he has ever touched me, but I can’t stop my mind from automatically connecting to him. I expect him to have his mental shield up and repel me so it takes me by surprise when I effortlessly access his mind.


“You’re not afraid of me?” my father asks a young woman with blue eyes and messy red hair who is standing in front of him. He just revealed his true appearance to her and she didn’t even flinch.

“No,” she answers confidently. “I knew you were an alien.”

“Knowing and actually seeing are two different things,” he studies her intently. “Besides, we’re telepaths. Aren’t you afraid I’m going to invade your mind?”

“Can you erase my memories? Or force me to do something against my will?” she asks.

“I can’t,” he shakes his head, mesmerised by this brave human.

“Then why should I be afraid?” she shrugs. “Sure, I have some embarrassing memories and quirky hobbies, but I have nothing to hide.”

“Humans find our appearance unnerving,” he points out.

“I find you beautiful,” she says cheekily.

The Divementis Emperor ponders. Did she mean the Divementis in general or him? And why is her tone flirty? Does this human have no instinct for self-preservation? She should know by now not only what he is, but also who he is.

“Is my rite of initiation over then? Did I pass?” she tilts her head. “If so, I’d like to move to the Divementis premises immediately and start working on Draconia Online.”

“Yes, you passed, Amelia,” he smiles. “Come with me.”


“Do you feel better, son?” my father pulls his mind back and fortifies himself again. He wanted me to see this particular memory to calm me down.

I take a deep breath and feel my heart slowing down. The worst of a panic attack seems to be over. My beloved partners would be able to calm me down eventually, but certainly not so quickly.

“We’re not putting all the responsibility on your shoulders, Aefener,” my father assures me. “Yes, our chances increased significantly thanks to your unique abilities, but we still need all Draconians and possibly even humans to back you up. You’re not alone in this, far from it.”

I look at him and my father doesn’t look as alien and unapproachable as he did before. Now I see him for what he truly is—the last leader of a decimated nation desperately struggling for survival who lost his partner and didn’t even know that he had a son.

“I’m okay now,” I say to Erik and Gotrid. “Let’s go back and listen to the rest.”


“The Enemy doesn’t feel like one single being,” Chancellor of Science Sythara continues his explanation as if there was no interruption. “That’s why we came to believe that the Enemy is ‘they’ rather than ‘it’. We think they are a conglomerate of their whole race which merged, creating not only one monstrous body but also a uniform super consciousness.”

“Which is both an advantage and a disadvantage,” Nyx points out. “Sure, the Enemy is extremely powerful in this state, but they make a single target. We take that colossus down and the remaining monsters will lose their coordination and revert to the autonomous creatures they used to be, much easier to kill.”

“What’s the plan then?” I ask. I’m still shaken, but I can think rationally again.

“Our problem was that Draconian races, in their hubris, refused to cooperate which was foolish of us,” Nyx sighs. “When we finally realised our mistake, it was too late. We won’t make the same mistake twice, though. Thanks to the ingame training and meticulous conditioning, we made sure that the transformed players would be more than eager to cooperate.”

“You want to combine the forces of all five races and take that thing head-on?” Gotrid frowns, trying to imagine that.

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple,” my father shakes his head. “The Enemy might be a single target, but there are many obstacles in between. First of all, we don’t know their current location so we’ll have to send secret recon missions to learn about their hideout. Secondly, the Enemy is protected by countless monsters that plague Draconia and must have multiplied even more during our absence. We can’t avoid fighting on multiple fronts.”

“The Enemy doesn’t have unlimited brain power, it’s still a living organism,” Nyx says optimistically. “The plan is to keep the Enemy occupied enough to make it distracted. While part of our forces will be battling monsters, other squadrons will attack it head-on to distract it further. The Divementis will then use the commotion and try to fry its brain telepathically.”

“How do we stay protected from its telepathic influence?” Liana asks. “Our Emperor has been in contact with the Enemy for just a minute or so and suffered a telepathic concussion.”

“Non-telepathic races are actually safe,” Sythara admits reluctantly. “The Enemy can’t control sentient races, only animals and monsters. The Divementis are extremely vulnerable to the Enemy’s telepathic influence because we function on the same mental wavelength, but our single minds are much weaker than their united super consciousness.”

“How do we protect our Emperor if he’s supposed to be an essential part of your battle plan then?” Liana frowns.

“As we hinted already, we’ve been working on a shielding device,” Sythara reminds us. “When attached to one’s temples, it should protect its bearer from the Enemy’s telepathic influence.”

“Should?” Liana doesn’t miss the uncertainty in the chancellor’s voice.

“We need a much stronger power source than we currently have,” the Divementis chancellor admits. “Our technology would normally be enough, but we escaped with just one cruiser, a few smaller vessels and a handful of scientists. We hope that the device could be powered by Celestial mana crystals.”

“We send for our research team,” I propose. “I might be the embodiment of magic and do spells intuitively, but I’m no scientist. How secretive do we still need to be?”

“We’ve sent the former dungeon masters to their race rulers and they are allowed to tell them everything,” my father says. “We’re also considering telling the whole truth to the Japanese government and possibly even the European Union. As for involving common Draconians, we want to do so very soon, but not yet. We can’t afford global panic.”

“The Royal research team is fine then,” I conclude. “Can you accommodate twelve more Celestials?”

“We can, we have allocated extra capacity,” my father nods. “I told you that forty is the limit for your entourage because we needed to save space for other races and we also counted on you bringing more of your subjects eventually. Besides, you’re absolutely safe here. There is no need for your protectors to be so wary.”

None of my protectors show any signs of easing. They don’t trust the Divementis.

“You said that you were trying to prevent the invasion of Earth before,” Liana coughs to change the subject.

“We still are,” Sythara sets the record straight. “The Earth is not flooded with monsters because we’ve been blocking the rifts from opening. However, it was only a temporary solution. Once the Enemy started to truly push because they discovered that we hid in this dimension, we couldn’t always block all rifts. That’s when monsters started appearing randomly around the world.”

“Was it really random?” Gotrid doubts. “Monsters appeared three times in our close vicinity—for the first time in New York during the conference, then when we returned to Prague and last time when we arrived in Japan. Most Draconians either haven’t had a chance to fight at all or they participated in only one battle so far.”

“We think the Enemy can sometimes successfully detect where’s the densest accumulation of Draconians and sends their forces there,” Sythara presents a hypothesis. “Since our Prince has always many Celestials accompanying him and he alone possesses very strong magic, the Enemy primarily targets that. Until recently, the Enemy had no idea that we resurrected the extinct Draconian races so they must have thought it was only the Divementis.”

“I thought that the Enemy can’t telepathically enter this world?” I ask, scared by that.

“Not, not directly,” Sythara assures me. “They can reckon through the monsters under their control, though.”

“Our powers are different,” my father takes the word again. “The Enemy can control less developed minds like those of animals and monsters. We can’t do that. However, the Divementis can store the knowledge of our entire race in our consciousness while staying individual beings. The Enemy can’t, they had to merge into one.”

“What about illusions?” Erik is curious.

“Right, we’re very proficient at that,” my father smiles proudly. “The Enemy is capable of casting illusions as well, but, fortunately, they can influence only other telepaths. It seems they have evolved in a world where they were the only sentient race. They didn’t have to adapt to non-telepaths so they lack in this aspect.”

“So, Celestials and other races are relatively safe?” Liana summarises.

“Relatively,” my father emphasises that word. “The Enemy will throw all kinds of monsters at you, but, at the very least, they can’t hack your minds.”

“What about me?” I ask and a shiver goes down my spine. I might be the embodiment of magic and the Divementis Prince, but as I got the strongest powers of both races, I also got their weaknesses doubled.

“We don’t know yet,” he admits honestly. “You’re certainly vulnerable towards the Enemy as any other Divementis or you wouldn’t have suffered that telepathic concussion. At the same time, you defended yourself against the Enemy for much longer than even the previous Divementis Empress could. If anyone can oppose the Enemy’s direct telepathic attack, it’s you, my son.”

“Not right away, of course, with training,” Nyx adds quickly when she notices my sceptical expression. “Now then, I believe it’s time for lunch, let’s take a break.”


We demand to eat in private and the Divementis allow it. They just bring food to our apartment and leave us. Liana, Soren, Gavreel and other Celestial political representatives we took with us squeeze into our small lounge because we need to discuss how to approach our cooperation with the Divementis.

I’d prefer to start right away, but everyone is too hungry for that. For several minutes, there’s only a sound of cutlery hitting plates. I don’t have any appetite after seeing the Enemy, but I eat without protest so that my father can’t accuse my subjects again for not feeding me properly. I make sure that Erik eats a lot as well so that he doesn’t faint again. The same goes for Gotrid, of course.

“Your Majesty, are we going to cooperate with the Divementis?” Gavreel asks openly after we’ve eaten.

“Do we have any other option?” I sigh.

“If you refuse, I think other race rulers will follow your lead,” Liana says.

“If we don’t cooperate, we might end up as our predecessors,” I remark darkly. “I’m not saying that I trust the Divementis just because I’m one of them, but I’m willing to give them a chance to prove their genuine intentions. I don’t think that they are lying to us.”

“Are you able to tell for sure, Your Majesty?” Soren doubts.

“I can’t read my father unless he lets me,” I admit. “However, I can detect emotions from the people around him. They might look alien to you, but believe me, they are scared shitless just as we are. Their feelings aren’t any different from ours. Besides, there’s no reason to keep calling them aliens—they are fellow Draconians.”

“Right,” Liana chews her lip.

I notice that Erik gets stiff when he hears that. Shit, it slipped my mind—they are still aliens to him because he’s human. I take his right hand and kiss it, trying to reassure him that it’s going to be fine. He usually smiles when I do that, but, this time, he gives me a painful look.

At first, I think that it’s because he’s still shaken about the Enemy and he is, but it’s not only that. More than ever before, Erik is painfully aware that he’s the only human among us.

“Not now, Ryuu,” he shakes me off when I want to connect to him. “I’m fine.”

Except he’s not ‘fine,’ I can feel it.

You’re my absolute priority, I send him a tender thought. That will never change.

“My Emperor,” Gavreel calls out to get my attention. “How do we proceed?”

“We get our research team here ASAP,” I decide. “Let’s contact Rina, Nestelle and the others and tell them everything. I guess the Divementis could send their cruiser to pick them up.”


Since our research team knew nothing about my involvement with the Divementis in Japan, they are astonished when I tell them to pack their stuff and equipment and wait for an alien spaceship to pick them up above the Draconian embassy.

“Is it safe, Your Majesty?” Rina is extremely nervous about the endeavour and she’s not the only one. “Weren’t the Divementis our enemies until now or have I missed something?”

“It turns out they were never our enemies to begin with,” I explain. “I’m sure they won’t hurt you nor they will invade your minds during the journey or they would antagonise me and they can’t afford that.”

“Are you really their prince, my liege?” Nestelle squeezes into the camera’s scope.

“I’m afraid I am,” I say with a heavy heart because Celestials don’t like hearing that. They want me for themselves which is understandable—the Emperor’s attention shouldn’t be divided. Also, they might be worried about a potential conflict of interest in future.

“Let’s start packing then,” Rina says enthusiastically to the rest of the team. “If our Emperor says it’s safe, it’s safe. Guys, we have a rare chance to see alien tech!”

I smile faintly. Rina sure knows how to motivate her fellow scientists.

Father? I send a telepathic message, wondering if he’s tuned to me all the time.

Yes, son? he answers without any delay.

My research team agreed to come, I tell him. Can you send the cruiser to the Draconian embassy to pick them up?

I will send a smaller vessel if that is alright with you. It’s very taxing to shield a ship this big outside our premises.

Okay, no problem. Just keep in mind that my whole research team is coming, Celestials take much more space than the Divementis and they are bringing scientific equipment, I remind him in case he wanted to send just a small transporter like the one they used to transport Noage and our luggage from the mansion to their flagship.

Noted. If you’re finished consulting with your people, we would like you to join us again, he says. We still have a lot of explaining to do.

“Ryuu,” Erik shakes me all of a sudden and looks bewildered. “Who are you talking to?”

“My father?” I say as if it wasn’t obvious. Who else besides them is there?

“Is it that effortless for you now?” he narrows his eyes. “I thought it’s just us, your husbands.”

“You… and my father,” I say guiltily and look at Gotrid. He doesn’t look happy about it either. “Sorry, I keep forgetting that I’m spacing out when I do that.”

“We never minded before because it was with us,” Gotrid says. “Now we see it from the other perspective. No wonder it’s making the Viceroy crazy.”

After the strategic meeting, we reunite with my father and Nyx and go back to the laboratories. It’s a nice change to be walking outside after a year of being confined in a skyscraper if only there weren’t so many Divementis all around staring at me.

Is it just my feeling or have they been waiting for you to show up? Erik complains in his mind.

Our beloved is their newly found Prince, Gotrid comments. The Divementis seem to revere their rulers almost with the same intensity as Celestials.

“They are just curious, Your Majesty,” Nyx turns to us, overhearing our telepathic conversation.

I frown for two reasons. First, Nyx is supposed to be my aunt and she’s using honorifics with me. Second, how the hell do I shield against being overheard? I can hide my private thoughts, but every time I reach out to my partners, we’re hopelessly exposed.

The session continues and chancellors present their battle plans to us. The strategy looks promising, the Divementis weren’t wasting those two hundred years since they came to Earth. Still, all those clever plans count on peerless cooperation between all Draconian races and human governments backing us up with funding and material support.

Can we make it work somehow? It’s hard to make humans cooperate and we’re supposed to establish cooperation between six very distinct races which is something our predecessors tragically failed to do.

“Let’s finish here for today,” my father says when the afternoon progresses and it’s almost half past six.

I expect us to go back to our apartment, have a meal there and go to sleep, but my father stops me from leaving just yet.

“Aefener, I wanted to ask you and your Consorts to have dinner with us,” he invites us.

“With the Divementis?” I wrinkle my nose. “I’m not in the mood for a reception, Father. I might be the Crown Prince, but I won’t let you parade me and…”

“No, I mean…,” he bites his lip and it’s the first time I see him flustered. “I meant with your family. Just me, Nyx and your cousins.”

I freeze. Wait, I have cousins?!