The Saga of the Emptiness Harbinger Chapter 16: The Deal

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"Dexter. Nice to see you. But it is impossible for me to leave as long as this bunch of usurpers stands with a hundred and fifty million strong army in front of my gates." Sebastian said.

Dexter Almidhsfead. The Emperor of the Almidhsfead Empire. Soldier through and through. His stature is the one of a high nobleman, unforgiving, serious and scheming. Kind of man I'm not fond of. He should die. Soon.

He said:

"I do not care about your little quarrels as long as you keep them out of my land. You know what happened when your father entered my land without authorization, right, Sebastian? And now you are an Emperor." He smirked.

'This man sure is irritating. He's lucky I'm not crazy enough to kill him just for that. Idiot.' I sighed. I may not dare to kill him at the moment, but I sure can make fun of him.

"So, you're the ruler of these wastes of uninhabited land? Nice to meet you. I'm Max."

"And I am a man who doesn't speak with idiots, assassins and especially Anonymous bitches." He scoffed.

'Ha. Hahahahaha. This guy surely is fun to talk with. So full of himself.' I laughed. Then, with a single arm movement I took off my mask and hood, revealing my face to all of them.

"I am not Nameless, sir. I am the Harbinger of Emptiness, not some dimm-wited assassin protected by an organization. And yeah, I was hunted by the Nameless and they liked the experience. I am hunted by the Garghonovs, Hidry calls me Exile of Kin and I am left with myself to finish my two tasks." I said.

"What two tasks?" Dexter asked.

"Murder and extermination. Respectively." I grinned while pointing my fingers at both Sebastian and Elisior.

"So, you signed for death sentence, Harbinger?" He smiled.

"Yeah, but not mine." I also smiled.

I have just made a friend. It is well known that Dexter promoted on of his soldiers to a general just because the later made him laugh. And even if he plans on using me for his gain, I don't care. As soon as I finish the Core's task, I'll be free to do whatever I want, on full power. Hehe.

"Now go, Harbinger. Go home and hide till this is over. For your own safety. Or can you kill over a billion men without dying? No you can't. So go home." Dexter said.

"What now, Dexter? You are gonna help this idiot?" Sebastian asked him.

"Of course, Sebastian. I'm not as stupid as you to miss a good opportunity to invest in valuable assets like himself. You are nothing but a fresh hatchling. And those are the sweetest to eat." Dexter smirked. He is right. Although Sebastian is a prodigy, he is fresh in the matters of the state. He can easily be crushed by more experienced rulers or even generals.

Take this situation for example. The Hidry family moves towards his border and he attacks them on the Almidhsfead territory. That kind of operation is bound to be stopped by Dexter.

Nobody can be great at the very beginning, not even a Garghonov.

I sighed and turned around to leave. There isn't anything for me here anymore.

Just as I passed by Lazarus, he asked me:

"What do you plan to do now, Maximilian?"

"I dunno. I'm gonna do what I have been doing for the past five years probably." I shrugged.

"You have been recommended to me by my good friend from Forx. He says that your ways are brutal yet effective. I would like to hire you. Personal business." He said.

"What exactly are you talking about?" I asked sceptically.

"I will tell you when you decide to join. Bring your group to Beogradov if you accept the term I have given you. Size of your ground doesn't matter and I advised you to come to Beogradov before the end of the next month." His friendly smile would assure anyone that everything is ok. Well, call me paranoid, but something's fishy here.

~Accept, accept, accept~

A voice echoed urging me to accept. At least they never lie.

"I accept the task, whatever it is. But keep this in mind. If it's too complicated or involves too many variables, then I'll just back out. You should know that you cannot stop me." I said.

'Not like I care what happens. As long as I succeed in killing Theodoric as soon as possible, it'll all be good.'

"Good, go wait near the helicopter. I'll be there in a minute." He seems delighted by my answer.

'Should I inform him that if he sends us to a suicide mission, he'll die before we leave his mansion or wherever he lives. And if any of my people die, Beogradov will burn.' I thought.

After twenty minute walk, I entered the small cave where I left Anna and Achilles.

"Where have you been for so long, Max?" Anna welcomed me with a question.

"What happened down there?" She added.

"The forces will most likely be dismissed. Of important figures there are Sebastian Garghonov, Dorian Hidry, Elisior Victor, Lazarus Eskil the Landygian emissary and Dexter Almidhsfead. It looks like Dexter thinks he could benefit from me, so he is a friend for now. The most important thing is that we were recommended to Lazarus. He invited us to work for him. I accepted. Now we go to his helicopter and then to Beogradov." I shortly explained the situation from the field.

"You just signed us up for an unknown task without talking to us. Is that even fair?" Anna looked like she was angry with my choice of action.

"Too bad I'm the boss here. You'll have to go with me or die here." I stated and shrugged.

"So you wanna play rough dear, huh? Let's play rough then!" Anna yelled and took out her sword. I just turned towards Achilles and said:

"If you pass out again,you will not wake up again." I then took out my pen and turned to face Anna.

"You sure you want to fight me?" I asked simply.

"Do I look like I'm joking?" She asked back.

I hate when people answer a question with a question.

I laughed sarcastically and stabbed at her with my spear. She jumped out of its reach.

"Is that all you can do? And you want to kill me?" She mocked.

"I thought that you already knew that that kind of taunting doesn't work on me. It's because I am weak, I am slow, I am stupid. And most of all, I need you. I cannot pull this out without my favorite femme fatale." I said.

'If she thinks she can brake me with simple taunting, I'll show her how weak she is.' I thought to myself. First thing Arnold taught me is to leave my feelings behind me while I fight or wage war. The feelings are a cancer that feeds on reason. Clear mind with reasonable and logical thoughts is needed in a fight.

"Now you're taunting me. But you're right. What would you do without me?" She smiled.

Jackpot. Hehe.

"Let's go then. We need to get to the chopper before Lazarus does. Or do you want to walk all the way to Beogradov?" I said while transforming the spear back to the pen.

"Right. Let's go." She said while also putting away her sword. She then took up her backpack and added me mine. Achilles took his own and off we go.

We reached the chopper after a half an hour walk. Shiny metal machine with the Landygian coat of arms and blue stripes painted on the sides stood surrounded by Landygian soldiers that are patrolling the perimeter. As they noticed us they all acted very professional. They took aim and one of them, probably of the highest rank, yelled:

"Show me your hand and get on the ground!!"

"Easy soldier! Lazarus sent me to wait for him here. I am Max, nice to meet you. May I know your respected name, soldier?" I asked merrily.

"No need for that, Max. And you will give me your pens, backpacks and then sit on the ground to wait for Lazarus." He said.

'Are these guys for real?' I sighed.

"If you want my equipment, you can only get it after you die. Do you want to die, soldier?" Anna said after hearing his words.

"My job is to die for the country, ma'am. So don't try anything funny or you'll feel the consequences." The soldier threatened.

I put my hand on Anna's shoulder in order to calm her down. We don't need the bloodshed now.

"We are here for business, boys. No need to get rough." I tried to cool down the situation. I don't believe that it is possible, but hey, it's nice to try.

He just shot the ground in front of my feet and demanded:

"Next one will not miss. Give over your weapons."

"I just say that we stand like this until Lazarus arrives. What do you say?" I proposed.

He shot me in the knee. Same knee.

A metal sound rang out. I started laughing.

"You can shoot at me all you want. I will not yield."

Anna also had a smile on her face, but Achilles' face is outrageously funny. He looks shocked, pleased that I still have my knee but most of all he looks confused. Soldiers are all like him since nobody expects a metal knee on a man.

"What's the ruckus about? Garvin, I think I ordered you to guard the chopper, not shoot people." Lazarus' voice said from the left.

"Sir." The soldiers saluted.

"They refused to put down their weapons, so I fired a warning shot. They also refused after it so I shot him in the knee. The bullet ricocheted off it, sir." The soldier named Garvin added.

"They are your new coworkers. Try not to shit up your relations too much. He is capable of killing all of you alone. And there is three of them." Lazarus stated.

"So they really are with us, sir?" Garvin seemed surprised by such a fact.

"Yeah, he's good and we need good men." Lazarus answered with a shrug.

"Let's get into the chopper. Well talk about it more when we get to the Beogradov." He added.

After that we got into the helicopter. The rotors started rotating and we slowly climbed higher and higher into the air.

The chopper then slightly tilted to the front and thus we started our journey towards the city of Beogradov.



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