Chapter 150: Eternal Night (3)
Just change your name.
That was Eternal Night’s only requirement.
Kelesda was stunned. “Change names? Whose name?”
“Fate’s Hands, and your own as well,” Eternal Night replied. “You can call yourself anything you want, but you cannot call yourself Kelesda from this day onwards. The same goes for Fate’s Hands.”
Kelesda was stunned. The other Harpies were also beginning to react to what had just happened.
Eternal Night was giving Kelesda and Fate’s Hands a second chance at life.
Even so, this seemingly superficial change was very important.
If the country’s subjects were to find out that Fate’s Hands had achieved legitimate status, it would definitely be a huge blow to their morale.
Changing this outward appearance would make the pill much easier to swallow for the country’s subjects.
As long as no one spread the news, who would know that this new power was once Fate’s Hands?
The same went for Kelesda.
His identity was far too obvious. Changing his name and going under a different identity would benefit everyone.
Was that too much of a request?
Not at all.
Kelesda had changed identities countless times to avoid being captured in the past. Not using the name Kelesda was a piece of cake for him.
However, he was a bit unwilling to change the name of Fate’s Hands.
“Fate’s Hands is a name passed down by our founder. This name holds the hopes of countless surviving members of my race……” he said.
Eternal Night simply said, “Fate’s Hands no longer exists.”
Kelesda felt his heart tighten with pain.
Yes, Fate’s Hands no longer existed.
Even if it were to be rebuilt, it would need to be from the ground up. What was changing a name in comparison to an opportunity to rebuild?
Even so, saying that the name was completely pointless also wasn’t true.
As long as an army was still present in name, it could be filled with strong soldiers again even if all the soldiers in that army were killed in action.
Why? Because the name of the army was the soul of the army. With the soul present, it was always possible to rebuild.
Fate’s Hands represented the hopes and dreams of countless Arcanists within Harpy territory, symbolizing their combined efforts in that direction. Without that name, their backbone would have been gone.
For this reason, changing names was also not a small matter.
But just as Eternal Night had said, Fate’s Hands no longer existed.
It had been destroyed!
Kelesda wanted to rebuild. Even though changing its name might make some of the Arcanists who were lucky enough to survive uncomfortable, it would also afford them more opportunities.
The heart of an army wasn’t impossible to rebuild as well.
Kelesda’s request to Eternal Night was like a slap to the face of the Harpies. Eternal Night’s request, therefore, wasn’t extravagant in the least.
Actually, Kelesda had already been planning on negotiating with Eternal Night but hadn’t expected to be asked to pay such a cheap price.
It had to be said, however, that this price was an important one to demand for the sake of Sky Country.
As such, Kelesda could only agree. “That’s fine. What are the rules you insist on?”
“You cannot betray the Harpies. That’s not too much to ask, is it?” Eternal Night asked.
“Well……” Yet another totally reasonable request.
Fate’s Hands was a terrorist organization, and now Eternal Night was demanding that they not betray the Harpies. That was obviously against what their core principles were - the Arcanist remnants obviously wanted to restore the Arcana Kingdom to its former glory. How could they never rebel?
But in another sense, convincing the Harpies to support an organization that would eventually turn on them would be impossible.
Even if Eternal Night agreed to it today, someone else would overturn it the next day.
Kelesda also was keenly aware of this fact, but he also knew that agreeing to this condition would cause the fundamental nature of his organization to change.
Changing names was the same as changing a military squad’s callsign. It would require rebuilding of the army’s heart.
This demand, however, was basically changing the fundamental attribute of the army’s heart itself.
Eternal Night had countered Kelesda’s advance quite well. You want to be cleansed? Fine, then clean yourself a little more thoroughly. You cannot be covered in mud and claim that you are clean.
If you want to abandon your boat and return to shore, you needed to demonstrate that through your actions.
As long as Kelesda agreed, then the matter would be settled with much less commotion.
This was not the revival of Fate’s Hands, but the creation of a kind of country-backed organization that no longer had anything to do with Fate’s Hands.
Even if the truth of the situation were to come to light, it could be explained away by claiming that Eternal Night and Serene Dream Lotus Crown were forced to acquiesce to Kelesda because of the threat of the Desolate Beast. And it was their wit and heroism that convinced Kelesda to turn to the light and join them in fighting back against the Desolate Beast.
There was room in the books of history for this kind of mediation, and plenty of precedent for this kind of thing to happen.
Many people didn’t realize that sometimes changing an individual’s moniker would alter the direction of their life.
Those names appeared so simple and straightforward when recorded on the pages of books, but there were all kinds of impacts as a result.
If an organization constantly espoused their love for their country and demonstrated their loyalty in so many ways, then suddenly changed values and rebelled, how many people would be willing to swear loyalty to that kind of an organization? How many people would believe in it? How much influence would that organization then wield?
If Kelesda wanted to create a new organization, this was a truth he absolutely needed to consider carefully.
If you want to abandon your boat and return to shore, you needed to demonstrate that through your actions.
How could he make a profit if he didn’t pay a price in the first place?
Eternal Night was not being forced by Kelesda; he was intentionally positioning himself to ally with Fate’s Hands. Not only so, but Fate’s Hands would probably have to step in if ever the Harpies were to find themselves in trouble.
These two bitter enemies had suddenly reached a mutual agreement under the conditions that Eternal Night had listed.
Even Kelesda was taken aback.
Of course, he would never insist on still being able to betray the Harpies while relying on their protection.
His original intention was to establish a relationship like the one between the Ravagers and Resurrection Door. Now, the opportunity was here to do so, so why did it still feel so awkward?
Serene Dream Lotus Crown saw Kelesda’s struggle and chuckled in a low voice, covering her mouth. “His Majesty is truly as wise as he has ever been.”
Her gaze was filled with admiration.
Eternal Night coughed slightly. Serene Dream Lotus Crown realized her error and fell silent.
After considering it for a while, Kelesda realized that he had no grounds to negotiate and sighed, “I am truly awed by Your Majesty’s wisdom. I was originally hoping to find an opportunity to rebuild, but now you have enlisted my help by offering amnesty. But so be it. At the very least, I have an opportunity to be enlisted now.”
Eternal Night didn’t waste any more time talking. He stretched out his hand and said, “Bring it here.”
Kelesda pulled out an item without hesitating and tossed it to Eternal Night.
The recipe for the incomplete antidote.
It was impossible for any diplomat to immediately start handing out benefits over the other party’s word alone. Even so, the fact that they were both important individuals amongst the Primordial Continent influenced the way that they did things. Eternal Night would never renege on a promise he had made in front of so many people, and Kelesda believed in Eternal Night’s sincerity without question.
Eternal Night handed over the recipe to one of his subordinates. “Start making this immediately.”
When they heard this, everyone basically realized what Eternal Night’s attitude towards the Desolate Beast was going to be.
Indeed, Eternal Night said, “I know you do not want to fight with the Desolate Beast, and I can understand where you are coming from. Battles always involve the loss of life, but this fight is unavoidable. The Desolate Beast is already closing in on us due to our opponent’s actions. We cannot redirect it, because only Sky City is capable of wiping out that monster. If we send it anywhere else, we will only cause more death and bloodshed. In addition, potent poison emanates from the beast like a sea, and it will probably take centuries for the environment to recover. If we send it around a few more times, we might lose much more habitable space.”
This was why the Thousand Poisons Toad was so frightening. It destroyed any environment that it passed by.
Typically, the destruction caused by a Desolate Beast was repairable.
The poison from the Thousand Poisons Toad, however, didn’t dissipate easily.
Anywhere that the toad had passed through was completely uninhabitable due to how potent the poison it left in its wake was.
It was only natural that Eternal Night could not ignore this responsibility.
“Letting it wander as it pleases until it dies is too passive and not something that we should do as servants of our country. It will almost certainly cause more destruction before it dies. We must fight this battle, and only Sky City is strong enough to destroy the beast,” Eternal Night said.
Sky City had defeated Desolate Beasts before. Eternal Night and the others were confident in their ability to claim victory. In addition, the Thousand Poisons Toad’s poison was the real threat, which Kelesda’s antidote would be a great help in dealing with. Sky City’s victory was even more assured.
Eternal Night began to make plans for the battle.
“Sect Master Serene Dream, I must ask you to mobilize the troops,” Eternal Night said.
Eternal Night was talented in diplomatic tactics, but raising the morale of the city and their desire to fight was Serene Dream Lotus Crown’s domain.
Serene Dream Lotus Crown smiled slightly as she nodded.
“Skyclimb, get in contact with Profound Water and Azure Light. Tell them to bring the Chaos Tower and the Origin Energy Demonic City with them.”
“What? We’re mobilizing two more floating castles?” The Harpies began to chatter amongst themselves when they heard this.
Eternal Night said, “We need to strike with full force at our enemies, using our height advantage to steamroll them. Only this way will we minimize our losses. Also, Sky City cannot move, so if the Thousand Poisons Toad tries to escape, the two other floating castles can give chase. That is better than letting it run rampant, unleashing clouds of poisonous smoke as it flees.”
“His Majesty is truly wise!”
Eternal Night turned to glance at Kelesda.
Kelesda said with a slight smile. “I suppose I will be responsible for taking care of the fake Halcyon Wing Streak, then.”
Eternal Night, however, shook his head. “No, you will remain by my side and await my orders.”
Kelesda was taken aback. “What?”
Eternal Night replied with a slight smile, “Don’t misunderstand me. I am keeping you by my side to give everyone an opportunity to get to know you. Of course, you will probably need to change your appearance. Of course, I want to experience ordering around a legendary Arcana Master for myself.”
Everyone chuckled when they heard this.
Kelesda asked, “Then what about that fake?”
“Don’t worry about him. I have plans for him,” Eternal Night said. “Also, we need to determine the Halcyon Wing Clan’s punishment.”
“Halcyon Wing Clan? Isn’t this Halcyon Wing Streak fake? Why do we need to punish the Halcyon Wing Clan?” Everyone didn’t understand.
Eternal Night replied, “We are only hypothesizing that Halcyon Wing Streak is a fake, because we have no concrete evidence to prove this. There is still a possibility that Halcyon Wing Streak is actually a Harpy. And even if he is a fake, the Halcyon Wing Clan bears some responsibility for not noticing the infiltration of an enemy spy. That is a big sin.”
This was a bit like giving a scapegoat a bad name before hanging him.
But no Harpy would stand up to Eternal Night because of it.
Eternal Night said, “The Halcyon Wing Clan’s guilt is undeniable. Only by punishing them will we be able to quell the anger of our subjects and fulfill our duties. Also, we need some suicidal troops stationed on the front lines in our fight against the Desolate Beast…… It seems that the Halcyon Wing Clan will be the ones to bear that burden.”
Eternal Night’s true intentions had finally been revealed.
Cannon fodder was necessary in any battle. No group was more suited for that task than the Halcyon Wing Clan.