Chapter 30 – Slave Dawn
It did not take long for the Medjed to take over the fortress.
While Stan scouted the surrounding area, the Medjed, now led by the elves, left the fortress with Menew and Ralph.
Most of the chaos had subsided by then. Though, that mainly just meant that there were no more shouting humans left.
The survivors…which were about one tenth of their original number, were in tatters as they were blocked off by the Medjed.
The leader and few members were then gathered together near the fortress…it was a strange sight.
Menew had ordered the Medjed to capture them alive in advance.
If they all died, then they could not spread the word that it was ‘dangerous to anger the elves.’
Menew had thought that far ahead, as he wanted to help Mamnak and the others.
“Thank you, Lord Medjed.”
He petted one of them, and the others gathered around as well. Though, they still had to watch the fortress and gather items.
Once the fortress was completely empty, the Medjed stood apart at equal distances and surrounded the area in a big circle.
“Mamnak. Raise your arm like this, and then swing it down…yes, yes. Say it when I give the signal.”
Menew taught Mamnak as he made the Medjed bring the witnesses before them.
“Sit there and watch. …Mamnak, do it.”
“Hm? Are you sure? Very well… Burn it down!”
Mamnak said while lowering her arm, and then the Medject unleashed beams of light from their eyes all at once.
The fortress burned. In a flash, it was enveloped in light and evaporated, leaving nothing.
The ground was now flat, and smooth like glass.
Harl, Garland and the others were speechless as they watched.
“The elves are protected by the guardian deities. Any further attempt to hurt them will be dangerous for you. I would not advise it.”
Menew said as he squatted in front of Harl, causing the man to shriek before falling unconscious.
On further inspection, the others had fainted as well.
(While I was the one who instructed her, it definitely was shocking.)
Their home had been demolished in an instant.
As their business required them to stay in one place for a long time, it was all the more shocking.
It didn’t matter if they were in a building. Barriers meant nothing. There was the fear that anywhere, and at any time, they could be killed.
“What will you do now, queen?”
Menew asked as he pointed at the unconscious men.
(They could be executed. I have no idea how much pain the elves experienced at their hands. And if they were part of a larger organization, then there was likely someone watching from a distance anyway… Though, this one is supposed to be the leader…)
He could hand them over to the Knights Guild. Their testimony there would spread, and then they could be executed.
Or he could just have them die now, so the elves could get their revenge.
Though this was an issue that could affect the future lives of the elves, Menew was not thinking about it too deeply.
Mamnak laughed. For the first time in her life, she raised her voice and laughed.
It had only been a few hours since they met, and yet she had already been allowed to taste freedom. And he was also allowing the elves to make this decision.
Had Menew instead demanded that the elves become his underlings, they would have obeyed. But he had given them guardian gods. In a way, he was like a higher god to them.
It was funny that he would even ask. She held her stomach as she burst into laughter.
“Are you alright? Did I say something strange?”
Menew said frantically as he tried to help her. And then Mamnak regained her calm.
“They should be judged by the law. That way, word will spread to the other villages.”
She declared with a refreshed expression.
Her first decision as queen.
“Then that is what I will do. But what will you and the elves do now?”
“Menew. Do you really mean to give those gods to us?”
It was such a great power. Was Menew not scared about giving such a thing to elves that he just met?
“Huh? I can’t take them with me. They will draw too much attention. And I want to travel like a normal person.”
“I do not want to travel with them either.”
Ralph agreed with a slightly bitter voice.
“You two. I attacked you on sight, just because you are human. And yet you are not worried?”
Menew and Ralph looked at each other, as if they had forgotten about this.
Yes, these elves saw humans as enemies. If they wanted, they could easily take over a human city with these Medjeds.
“Mamnak. Do you mean to have your revenge on the humans?”
“No. I will not.”
If it was not Mamnak, then Menew would have surely not left the Medjed with them. He would have made them so that they would be erased after finishing their work.
Other elves would have killed these humans themselves, and then sought revenge on the others.
But Mamnak had sucked the lives from other slaves for years, and had a different kind of burden on her shoulders. Instead of being consumed by hatred, she had decided that the criminals should be judged by the law.
“As their queen, I must be proud and just.”
Menew had not realized it yet. Mamnak did not realize it either.
That when she declared the words in the prison, the mana had reacted and shone.
This was a contract. A promise with the world.
It was impossible for Mamnak to go back on her word. Even if she made mistakes, she would not betray them.
Because the world had accepted her as the queen of the slaves.
“For now, we will rely on help from the nearby village, and think of what to do. Menew, if you are ever close by, we will welcome you gladly. And so we will work hard in order to be ready.”
“In that case, I’ll take my time, and then come back one day. I am looking forward to your welcome.”
And then Mamnak laughed happily.
The elves were determined. They would help their queen and live.
After Menew and Mamnak shook hands, and then they each went on their way.
The bandits were bound up by rope, and then Stan carried them to the town and tossed them in front of the Knights Guild.
The rest would be explained from their own mouths.
The queen would continue to free slaves in the following years. And with the help of magic that was above human skills, she developed the deep parts of the forest and became independent.
They said that the queen had ten elf attendants and numerous guardian gods.
But that was still far in the future. And Menew had no idea that it would happen.
Bonus chapter courtesy of Sean. Thank you so much!