[Nameless Hero - Chapter 18]
Inside the room was no less impressive than outside.
The ceiling was covered with crystal ornamentation, the furniture all crafted out of marble by an obvious master craftsmen turning the stone into a true ornamental pieces of art.
The floor shone with a deep blue, a deep, dark blue, that held the hero simply captivated by. To her, it was as if she were walking atop the ocean as hints of green and other blues were mixed within. As it would turn out, this stone happened to be yet another rare gemstone, but one only originating within the world the hero had entered.
The large bed was covered in a deep purple fabric and embroidered with what could only be golden thread. The structure itself was most likely either silver, or white gold, as it gave off a silvery luster. Atop and surrounding the structure was a white-silver drapery that served to add a more matured and elegant feel, giving the sense that Royalty truly did reside here.
Beyond that, there was a single rug near a large mirror in the corner that, even from the hero’s distance, was obviously velvet which she thought of as odd. Though, what the hero actually didn’t know was that during more medieval and ancient times, to create velvet was one thing, but the actual cost of velvet was astronomical. In this room, the carpet was in no less inexpensive to anything else within the entire room.
As the hero walked up to the mirror, she found herself sighing as not even that was normal. The frame itself was crafted with gold as each corner was delicately crafted and turned into works of art. Behind the mirror was not the usual silver or copper background, but an unbelievably polished golden mirror. They had actually used this much gold to make a mirror…. the hero was besides herself to the point where she simply had to give up on the matter. She was within the room of the Heir to a Kingdom… there was simply nothing she could do about this glamour…
Looking around, the hero noticed several black doors, each as dark as night, yet the longer one stared at them, the deeper the black seemed to become, as if trying to swallow you within. The hero shrugged, thinking that it was just some stone she had no knowledge of, which would be correct. While not nearly as rare as the other gemstones, this door was made of a solid gemstone known as Ocalite, a slightly transparent gemstone. When made as thick as it was for the door, it truly felt as if it were pulling you in due to the fact that your eyes were looking deeper into the door, causing an illusion to your brain. The material itself was not actually that expensive nor rare, due to the discovery of an entire quarry of the material, a full acre of the gemstone. Naturally the stone was devalued, but obtaining several specimens that were both flawless, and bringing them the near twenty miles to the Royal capital without a scratch, and then turning them into these doors via master craftsmen. Certainly the price would escalate to ‘Royal’ levels. Originally the Royal Palace had ordered nearly a hundred of these doors, but only these few within the Princess’s domain were flawless.
Hearing footsteps behind her, the hero put both hands behind her head, not turning to the source and speaking.
“Well… it seems you sure live in the lap of luxury little princess.”
With a *Hmph*, Sophia entered the room the hero had wandered into, as it happens, the hero had wandered until she found Sophia’s bedroom. Surely enough, not only was this room filled with visual delight, but every room. Yes, this room was not the only room, but one of several individual chambers that Sophia used for her various purposes, the size of each room was no less than two thousand square feet. When thinking of the size, one should go back to the game of cat and mouse that Isaac and the hero played on Dorian and Gregory for several hours, in which they had rarely gone through the same place more than once. The Royal Palace is a massive structure of an unbelievable technical innovation that spans no less than almost three square miles and almost four hundred meters in height. In modern terms, it is even higher than the Eiffel tower.
The reason such an architectural marvel could be created was due to the exceptionally tough and dense stone used for the creation of the Palace’s structure. This stone was the deep red material known to Kremor engineers as the ‘King’s stone’ or Ambaragon. Placed onto the Mohs scale for toughness used to rank such things as diamonds, rubies, and the lot, the Ambaragon stone would rank at an unbelievable 7.8, making the only materials capable of realistically scratching it diamonds, rubies, topaz, and very, very determined craftsmen using very large machines to smash at the stone. This was because when the Ambaragon stone was shattered with large force, instead of blowing into pieces, it would crack alone very fine and smooth chunks from either a few meters to even several dozen meters in length.
While the engineers believed they were breaking the stone, in actuality, studies made in the future would detail Ambaragon’s growth to be similar to that of emerald as it forms large pillars of the material, growing side by side with countless other pillars of the stone. While growing next to one another, they never fused in structure, thus not forming a seal. What the engineers were breaking up was actually normal minerals that had formed in between the gaps that had taken on a similar red color. To actually separate the stone at each end required days, dozens of metal tools, and around the clock shifts of workers to cause the stone to whether. This had been the official writing, but some historians believe the engineers had a chemical solution to weaken the stone at the ends, allowing the harvest, though there was never any proof discovered and all attempts to discover such a solution failed.
The high density of the stone ranks out at a 10.5, higher than even some metals such as silver which ranks out 9.6 or iron that ranks out roughly around a ~7.6. Now one might be able to imagine why such a stone could be used to create such a marvel. Impacting the large stone would lead to premade beams to be already cut out, only requiring determined craftsmen beating and chipping away at the ends to remove the heavy material.
The full time that was required to build the majestic Royal Palace had been long since lost to the Royalty, but records hidden away within the Mortcombe family indicate that the Royal Palace required between two hundred and three hundred and fifty years to complete. Records showed that roughly half way through the process, the King at the time had grown tired of the red color, and had ordered a white stone to cover up the red structure. He had originally wished to replace the use of red stone with white, but after a major collapse detailed to have caused almost three hundred deaths, the idea of abandoning the Ambaragon stone’s usage was abolished. Records also state that nearing the end of the construction, the legendary ‘King’s Quarry’ had run out of Ambaragon, leaving the project’s planned height of almost 700 meters, abandoned.
To this day, another source of the King’s stone has yet to be found and historians wonder if the majestic source of the Ambaragon might not have been a meteorite as records show the quarry to be of a spherical nature. The engineers at the time had to re-evaluate the structure’s design which resulted in the structure known today. The Walls surrounding the Royal Palace that had been made fully out of Ambaragon were remade to only use Ambaragon as the internal structure with only pillars making up the top twenty meters of the wall. Internally, the bottom was completely solid with Ambaragon pillars sinking nearly fifteen meters into the soil, not merely placed upon the ground as many walls tended to be. This idea had been due to the planning of the historic founder of the Mortcombe family, Caspian set Mortcombe, famed throughout history as the man who designed the Royal Palace of the Kremor Kingdom. The Origins and meaning behind the ‘set’ lead cannot be found within books, but has been associated similarly to that of ‘von’ and not an actual title.
Even after the unknown hundreds or thousands of years that had passed since the structure’s completion, there remains not even the slightest sign of age. This was due to while stone’s weakness is corrosion, and metal will rust or corrode in similar fashion, as Ambaragon stone possessed both such a tough molecular structure as well as great density, the normal corrosion risks of rain, wind, and sun would have almost no effect on this stone. After all, if the stone’s Mohs scale rating is a 7.8, that is only 2.2 away from diamond itself, and one cannot ever imagine a diamond being corroded by water or because it sat out in the sun or wind too long.
As Sophia entered the room, she noticed the hero’s expression as it wandered quickly throughout the room and decided to throw something back at the hero who had been playing with her emotions since her arrival. Surely enough, Sophia had heard the hero’s every word, listened to every thought, knew every detail, even more clearly than the hero herself could remember. This being due to Sophia being exposed directly to the hero’s memories less than an hour previous. The annoying thoughts and realistic observations about her, the princess’s, character left her wanting to strike back.
(Sophia) “Yes yes, you love the shiny room. I get you lived in that small house of yours, but you truly do need to get over the culture gap girl. I’m the heir to the throne, and not only are you within a castle, you are within ‘The’ Royal Castle, of course there’s going to be luxury and fine living within.”
Without looking back, the hero spoke towards the mirror that had Sophia’s figure in it.
“Hail Princess Sophia!! Inheritor of the pretty stones capable of making the common folk feel poorer than you!”
Saying this, the hero bowed towards the mirror, an odd movement, but the meaning certainly not lost.
Slightly annoyed at the hero’s continued poking at her emotions, the Princess walked over to the hero and pulls her by the ear.
Why the ear!?
Wait… what?!?! What are you… Kyaaaaa!?”
Sophia had dragged the hero into the center of the room and had begun undoing the hero’s top wrapping.
Being about as surprised as anyone would be from having someone undoing your clothes, especially for a woman, the hero jumps back.
What in the world are you up to Sophia?! What’s your game..?
Well, not that I mind, but… a little forward aren’t we?”
Making a sly face, the hero looks over with a provocative expression as if suggesting that Sophia had complicated intentions. Even though Sophia knew the hero’s joke, she still felt her heart beat slightly faster, her face slightly red and her words flustered, especially when the hero started walking over.
Surprised at the hero’s advancement, Sophia’s mind couldn’t convince her heart as it beat faster and faster…
(Sophia) “W… waa. waah… what? I wasn’-”
Right as the hero’s face was right before Sophia’s, each able to feel one another’s breaths, the hero leaned in, Sophia’s body growing weak as the hero’s aura eroded her mind, slowly going blank…
“Kiding, it’s because of the blood right?”
Just as Sophia had started to tremble and her eyes closed, the hero left out such a statement. The sudden change in atmosphere made Sophia jump and tense.
“Wait… oh my… were you actually interested?
Oh… well… this is so sudden… I don’t know what to say… we’re both women but… maybe…”
The hero once again awoke her playful voice. Though this time, while she tried to dawn her sly face, she could not keep the edges of her mouth from curling upwards.
Realizing she had been completely tricked again, Sophia’s face turned bright red, but not for the same reasons as before.
(Sophia) “Oh! you… You!... You!!... guuuh….
Just take those bloody clothes off already… yo-”
Without giving her time to finish the sentence, the hero made yet another jab.
“Still so forward! If you were so interested, you only needed to s-”
Before the hero could finish her playful taunt, Sophia slapped the back of the hero’s head just as she was forming an ‘s’, causing her tongue to be closest to her teeth.
“Ahk, et… et… bit my tongue!”
As the hero was feeling her tongue, Sophia crossed her arms.
(Sophia) “Hmph, serves you right!
Now hurry up already, I want to be ready before Isaac returns.”
The hero shrugs and begins to under her wrappings herself.
After several seconds, the hero spoke again, but as if a subconscious reaction, Sophia’s shoulders tensed slightly, causing the hero to smirk.
“So I did speak to Old Isaac for a few hours, but do tell me a bit about him.”
Sophia had a puzzled look on her face due to the hero’s out of context question.
She thought to herself for a moment, mostly wondering why the hero wanted to know more about Isaac. It wasn’t as if the memories she had showed the hero distrusted Lord Isaac…
In truth, it was probably the first time she had ever heard anyone asking about Lord Isaac, thus the question actually served to throw Sophia off, if only slightly.
Just as Sophia was about to ask the hero to clarify, the hero finished undoing the lengthy wrapping and turned to Sophia.
“I mostly want to know just how big that man is. I could recognize on the spot that he was important, but does he really have such connections to the nobility and common folk? All i’ve been able to get from people are their expressions showing that he’s a really important person. Rich, old, and he had taught some of you Royals.”
Sophia’s right eye twitched slightly at being referred to as a ‘Royal’ as if such a term were derogatory, but ignored it, she knew what type of person she was talking to after all… she even plays with people subconsciously…. That… and because she had to, the playful look had surfaced in the hero’s expression, if only slightly. She was not going to buy into her game again!
(Sophia) “Lord Isaac is the Kremor Kingdom’s Treasurer and Lord of the Estate.”
Puzzled, the hero frowned as if she had some other worldly expectations for something and had been greatly underwhelmed.
(Sophia) “He is also the founder of the merchant’s guild, headmaster of the Stewards Academy…. head of the great noble houses… he founded …. I actually can’t remember the number… something like a dozen cities and another half dozen castles… He sponsors the peasantry to enter into his various institutions… He makes more in a month that we, the Royal Family, makes in an entire year, though that is as much as the average noble makes in several decades…. Oh! He is also the person who crowned my father during succession dispute some fifty years ago… wow… my father’s actually really old, never thought about it…”
The hero’s eyes had grown rather wide after listening to Sophia’s rendition. Her surprise rising as Sophia’s list continued to grow, citing various incredible achievements as if they were basic trivia.
In light, Sophia hadn’t even come close to citing them all, but those were the only ones she could remember.
“Why the heck isn’t Isaac on the throne yet!?
I know the man is far brighter than the average man, perhaps even for the average person in my world, but really! … …
He did all that and hasn’t sat himself down on the throne?”
Sophia frowned as she unfolded her crossed arms.
(Sophia) “What’s with the sudden interest into Lord Isaac’s intentions?
He helps more people each day than I can count, why doubt him?”
“It is precisely because he does such things that there is room to doubt. Nobility are all about power, so where is his power lust? Especially when he was younger, surely he can’t be much older than seventy, so he actually put the King on the throne and then left him for fifty years? Come on Sophia, you saw my memories and the history, more or less, you know that nobles in the standard story don’t keep kings, they use and remove them!
It is because the more skilled one is at gaining power, the greater the purpose behind it!
No matter who you are, you won’t go on and do what he’s been doing without some serious hidden agenda.
The fact that he’s already done what he has and hadn’t just taken the throne is a serious question.
Have none of you actually ever questioned Isaac’s intentions? Even once?”
To the hero’s question, Sophia’s gloomy face had turned confused as her head tilted.
(Sophia) “Lord Isaac’s plans and wisdom are far beyond just about anyone’s abilities. He hasn’t ever failed to do anything he’s set out to do, everything that he does and is is simply great.
Why would there be a need to question Isaac’s purity?”
Seeing that Sophia wasn’t joking caused the hero to break out in a cold sweat, even if it was but ever so lightly.
When people are brought up with a belief that something is absolute and unquestionable… their minds don’t grow up with the capacity to question what is beyond that point, eventually losing the ability to think beyond at all. In the hero’s world, devotionalism under a two monotheologies had grasped the world in a stranglehold for almost two millennia before science and pragmatism has resurfaced to question that which was once called ‘Absolute’. At any time, in any world, within all planes, there is always something greater or beyond understanding. It is within those who see such understanding, and instead of merely accepting what is unknown for an unknown, to actually dare to pursue it, climbing ever higher within the reaches of the universe.
In essence, devotionalism is the policy of stagnation and narrow mindedness.
The hero then came to her own realization that Isaac had never truly been a person in Sophia’s eyes, or even perhaps a majority of the people around her, he was practically a divine individual!
The fact, however, that he wasn’t worshipped openly spoke wonders for his character. It most likely wasn’t Isaac’s direct influence that caused this, rather his uncountable achievements over the course of time. If Sophia had worshipped or blindly praised Isaac, it could have only meant that Isaac was one of the most frightening types of leader, the ‘God’ King.
While they had always turned out to less than divine, their followers would almost always behave like zealots.
If that had been the case, then Isaac would be able to turn every last human being on the entire continent against her…
Luckily it was only to the extent that people had stopped questioning him and lost sight of their ability to see fault within his character.
When the hero pondered over it for a moment, such a situation was rather common in medieval times when great rulers were in question.
But before the hero could continue her train of thought, Sophia grabbed her from behind.
Since the hero had gotten lost in thought, Sophia was able to completely bypass every one of the hero’s defenses…
[NH Chapter 18 - END]