The Demon King's Hero Of Light - novelonlinefull.com
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Taking a breath, Aella fought to calm herself down, confused why she would be so upset over something like this. Finding her center of calm, she shut down her chaotic emotions and stood.
"Thank you, Firion. I will be back shortly. See to it that Josephine heals these lions. I may bring more if I find any. Then I will have a few short minutes to discuss anything you wish before I have to return."
Firion and Seifer nodded to her, and she teleported back to the princess's side.
"Are they alright?" asked the princess, still very upset.
The room had been ransacked, with all of the decaying corpses removed and evidence gathered into a pile in the room. The servants all looked very unhappy and slightly green. Aella didn't care. There could be more lions trapped here, and she intended to find them all.
Being mindful of more traps, it was easy to spot them, once she was aware they could exist. The servants were terrified of her by the time she was done searching the estate. The princess had taken to keeping all of the servants with her in the main room, in case Lord Avalon returned before Aella was done.
Once on her own, Aella tore through wooden walls as if they were made of parchment, breaking chains with a wave of her hand, teleporting lions and cubs in the blink of eyes, before returning to search for more. Nothing was too precious not to destroy once the evil of this elf was exposed. The needles filled with poison were knocked to the side with bursts of air barely acknowledged as she moved through the hollowed tree. Magical triggers were ignored by floating over the floor and sending streams of fire to burn any hidden triggers that might inconvenience her.
Seven more lionesses were found and thirty more cubs of varying ages. Some had wings but most did not. Aella also found two young males that were being milked to impregnate the lionesses. She didn't even want to think about what had been going on, or why. Rescuing them was quick, but it was obvious they weren't capable of handling freedom. None of these lions had ever been free. Everyone of them had been born and contained in that horrid tree.
Once she was certain no more hiding places existed in the entire tree, she returned to her throne room to watch as Josephine healed the lions.
"Aella, these cubs might be able to integrate back in with the wild lions, but these older ones have so much wrong from their captivity I don't think they will ever be able to hunt or fend for themselves," said Josephine.
"The lions are much smarter than you give them credit for," said Aella, watching as one of the young adult males attempted to stand and fell back to the ground. His muscles had atrophied from lack of use. The pain and frustration was plain on his face. The other male watched with a look of utter despair and depression. He wasn't even trying to move. His limbs were frozen in place, from being chained in one position his entire life.
"I can only do so much," sighed Josephine, returning to trying to help them.
"Aella, are you going to be returning any time soon?" asked Seifer. "It's been so long since you left."
"Are you not able to handle things? Have the n.o.bles been giving you issues?" asked Aella.
"Nothing I can't handle," he grudgingly admitted. "But I've decided being king is not something I want. You are welcome to return whenever you want."
She smiled, but couldn't bring herself to laugh. She had witnessed too much too recently for that.
"Don't worry. I don't intend for you to have the throne much longer. I am done with the dwarves and almost done with the elves. I have to visit the gnomes and halflings and then I will be back."
"Were you able to figure out a way to deal with the monster under the human lands?" asked Firion, picking imaginary dirt from his fingernails with a dagger.
Aella frowned. She had forgotten all about the monster in the drama of getting rid of the twins and the issues between the elves and dwarves. Maybe she could ask the elven king to deal with it?
"I'll take that frown as a no," he said.
"I have been very busy," she growled, turning away from him.
"Just remember, Your Majesty," Firion said before she could teleport away. "Sometimes the world doesn't need a hero… Sometimes it needs a monster."
She teleported back, thinking about his words carefully. She had been trying to be the dignified king from a different land, to give everyone a positive look of her people, but she was getting tired of acting. These elves had proven they could be just as evil as everyone else she had encountered, and it was time to hurry things along.
"Princess Daefina, I sentence these elven servants to death," declared Aella, appearing from a shadow behind them.
The looks on their faces almost made her reconsider.
"King Aella, I seriously doubt these servants had anything to do with the carnage we have witnessed in this household. And I seriously doubt they could have done anything to prevent it, short of dying themselves," argued Daefina with a scowl.
"They knew of what had been going on, even if not the full extent, and never spoke of it to get it investigated," growled Aella, glaring at the terrified elves from her black eyes.
"We would have been killed," whispered one of the maids.
"Our families would have been tortured," whispered another.
"I will spare your lives if you tell me everything," she offered. "You may be allowed to live in my kingdom, away from those who would kill you, if you give me enough information."
"What of our families?" asked another elf. He looked to be from the kitchens based on his attire.
"If you want them to go as well, then arrangements can be made, but again, it depends on the information you share with me."
Daefina looked as if she wanted to argue, but held her tongue as several of the servants jumped at the opportunity to get away from Lord Avalon.
"He has been wanting a lion born who had the rare royal bloodline of the ancient lions," said one.
"He's been working on it for thirty years," said another.
"He captured our families and threatened to kill them in horrible ways if any of us spoke up," said yet another.
A handful of the servants kept their mouths shut, but the majority of them slowly told Aella and the princess everything of what had happened within the confines of this tree.
There was a rumor in one of the books Lord Avalon came across in the royal library that spoke of a royal lion capable of doing impressive feats beyond the normal abilities of the lions they knew today. It could fly faster and roar louder than any of the others. Lord Avalon was so entranced by the thought of owning this kind of lion, he began working on ways to breed it back from the lions they had left.
The servants knew that he had killed countless lions in the past three decades in his search for the ultimate royal bloodline, and had even given the cubs with the least amount of promise to those who would use them in illegal ways for the money to keep on with his search.
Aella watched as Daefina became more and more enraged as more was revealed.
"I think the master finally succeeded in getting a cub that held the royal bloodline traits, but I don't know where he took the cub. It was of the litter you found first," said an old butler with wisps of gray in his dark hair.
"Have you checked the bas.e.m.e.nt?" asked one old maid with a crooked back. One of her eyes was pure silver, where she had gone blind.
"Bas.e.m.e.nt?" asked Daefina in confusion. "None of the trees have bas.e.m.e.nts! It would interrupt the roots."
"This one does," whispered the old maid.
Glancing around as the servants all fell quiet, Aella saw that they had all averted their eyes to their laps or their hands.
"It can't be true," whispered Daefina, giving Aella a horrified look. All of the rage was gone, replaced with such a look of horror, Aella couldn't help but wonder why it was such a big deal. "If the roots of this tree are compromised, then it might fall, making other nearby trees susceptible to falling, and thus causing a domino effect. Messing with the roots of the great trees is one of the worst offenses he could have done. This tree will have to be culled and removed piece by piece for the safety of the entire city. There won't even be a trial. He will be put to death, as will his entire household."
The servants all nodded as the only sound in the room was of tears. .h.i.tting the floor.