Disconnected – Chapter 43: Under The Sea (pt.3)

‘Haaaa… finally.’

Gravely annoyed with how she was being treated, Serein started to question the lines in the draft and even Aiston’s words that say how the Sea Empress is the wisest among the Three Rulers.

‘Wisest creature, my ass,’ She has a lot to complain about this particular statement seeing how she just experienced something that’s strongly contrasted with it, ‘I wasn’t even given a chance to explain myself!’

She is supposed to protect Sam and Pam and ensure their safety, yet, the poor little hatchling, Sam, had to step up for her sake instead. 

‘Also, what’s with all of that creepy stuff earlier??’

Sniffing her and feeling her body up with those tentacles, no matter how you look at it, isn’t that pretty much harassment? Using common sense, of course. 

But is the Sea Empress someone who would humbly be in lines with common sense? 

‘Most likely not.’ Then? Should she consider it an act of a beast just to rationalize whatever just happened instead?

{That’s certainly the easiest way to move on, really.}

Hearing Aiston’s agreement made Serein nod inwardly to herself, it was definitely useless to be all worked up about such a trivial thing when facing one of the Three Rulers whose existences were already outside of the boundary of the usual common sense she adhered to. In addition, it wasn’t completely wrong to think of it that way, given how neither The Mutant Kind nor The Dragon Lord would consider themselves as a part of low-life such as humanity. 

That’s why Serein was mostly convinced that the Sea Empress wouldn’t be linked to humankind’s standard of mannerisms either. 

They might actually be closer beings to the beasts under their commands than the screwed beastfolk they lead forth.

Well, regardless of that…

‘I’m still vexed.’

—While fixing her clothes to be a bit more presentable in front of these royalties, she couldn’t help but throw in such a commentary in her head.

Afterall, what can she actually do other than complaint to herself? 

Her reactions are already far limited with how she’s being cornered with the pressing matter. Being reckless here would change her twisted fate from being eaten by a Sea Monster to being slaughtered by The Sea Empress.

What an amazing change of fate. 

While someone with a twisted mind may really believe it’s an amazing change, Serein felt like dying by the Sea Monsters was way better. At least she will die easily and won’t be subjected to such humiliating treatment. 

In any case, Serein absolutely preferred to live over the two options for her death, and luckily for her, she has something that would likely save her. 

A cheat sheet that’s ready to be used. 

{I will guide you through it}

Aiston, the spirit that resides in The Notebook of Certitude whispers in her head. 

While she was dangling upside down, Serein wasn’t so upset to stop thinking of ways to escape. She knows that the Empress wouldn’t just kill her in vain. At the very least she’ll make her speak on who she is working for because the Sea Empress’s egg, as she has said herself earlier, was laid and guarded heavily where monsters can’t easily enter, let alone a mere human.

And Serein was still considered a human, based on the responses from the audience in the room. Which is why dwelling on the approaching death would only bring it closer to herself. She must think of a way to control the situation, or at least divert her majesty’s anger to something or someone else if she couldn’t appease her.

When she asked Aiston by inquiring in her own mind, he ended up agreeing with the first plan. Especially when, according to that ancient spirit himself, the water spirits all around seemed to have witnessed someone suspicious who is fitting with a particular description that Aiston knows from his contractor’s memory.

‘A key character, just like Cherry and Arlia’

Realizing this, Aiston and Serein then began to form a plan on painting this key character as the antagonist of this story even if that person was not directly involved in any chaos. Serein knows for a fact that the said character was supposed to be one of the sub-villains anyway. With Aiston’s support by her side, Serein is more confident in her approach.

—Now, if only she was actually granted a moment to speak…

“How dare a human!”

“Look at that disrespect.”

“And even brainwashing such young kids…”

Whispers were fleeting around the room, She could only guess that it was due to her lack of courtesy shown towards their esteemed Empress. Afterall, while she did bow earlier, from their reactions, it’s not hard to think that she missed out on something. They’re not simply disgusted at her, they’re in a rage, though she’s not sure if the kidnapping of The Egg of the next in line was fully the cause of it.

In addition to that accusation—

‘They seemed to think that I manipulated Sam-min and Pam-min into defending me.’

Well, frankly that statement was not all wrong. Serein felt like she has enough share of dragging along the two Wyrms who were not supposed to be here as per the original draft. But knowing that the two hatchlings were actually sticking up to her by their own choice kinda made these buzzing chirpings sound cheap despite them supposedly being the leaders of their kind.

Ignoring them was actually not that hard to d—

BANG!!

Flinching over the loud sound which is then followed by a deafening silence, The Empress’s voice echoes in that hushed room.

“Be quiet.”

That monarch whose temper barely calmed down once again looked like she’s hunting for an actual kill with the look in her eyes only.

“I give this human a chance to speak. So, you shall fall silent as a dead rat unless you want to taste my wrath.” 

Such an effective threat to mute the once rowdy crowd into obedience.

{As expected from the Royal Empress}

Serein could hear Aiston comment with a whistle before then signaling her to get ready for the scary Empress to finally allow them to start this play.

As if on cue, The Empress looked back at Serein, and as her irritation increased due to the disrespectful attitude from her people, she only nodded towards Serein, indicating she should talk. 

“Your Majesty,”

With a voice that’s clear enough to be heard but reflected humility in her tone to not trigger any sort of hostility, Serein cast down her gaze as she started.

“As my companions, Sam-min and Pam-min just mentioned earlier, I was on the land when the tragedy occurred.”

To be honest, Sam did amazingly by giving this proof, despite how it may be a bit lacking, but the story is better this way and the situation has improved. 

That’s why she could continue with confidence, 

“And while I might not be able to give you any satisfactory evidence that neither I nor my benefactor was involved in this blasphemy. If I were to be given a chance to speak freely, I would like to appoint someone who might be the real culprit behind the kidnapping.”

“In other words, you’re simply tossing the blame to others even though you don’t have evidence that’s not circumstantial.”

The Empress was not impressed, and neither were their spectators.

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“Then—” The Empress cut her short, “How should we know that you’re not being deceitful in this court or even wasting our precious time?”

“Because, your majesty, while I don’t carry any proof, I would expose some things that I wouldn’t even dare to lie about even if my life depended on it.”

Which is quite a literal take on that sentence. And truthfully, while there might be some things that’s fabricated Serein actually has a good hunch on who it might be. Her guess might miss, but there’s this common enemy who keeps making their appearance in the draft. 

‘They keep meddling with a lot of affairs.’

Including the war between the merfolks and the sirens that should be happening on the east side of the continent at the moment. She remembered this one particular character as the first actual antagonist that’s ever introduced to the story.

‘Though… I can’t just immediately point blank a character like that.’ 

So as for now, she decided to keep the description general, which amazingly led her to hit the jackpot. And by that, it means that Aiston, who listened to her description, actually approved of it. Apparently, he heard from the other spirits in this place and the lesser spirits at the cave that some people similar to that description of what Serein has in mind had made an appearance here. 

“These people, have actually caused chaos in a lot of places, and I, have actually seen one of their handy work myself.” She started to build the story.

“They dressed quite similarly. The troublemaker behind the raging war in the east, the one who kidnapped the Sea’s next ruler, and the one who harmed Cevahir-min—”

Wha—??” Pam broke the silence, startled at the sudden mention. It was a tap from his big brother who pulled him back. Although, it was clear that he was just as appalled by the news. They have a lot of questions, however, they know that the situation is not fitting for them to interfere with this level of curiosity, and they understand that they need to wait.

“Are you being truthful?” 

The pressure from her words was heavy, it’s almost suffocating even though it was not loud, moreover those sharp glowing eyes who’s staring at her as if scanning for any lies slipped within. However, Bowing slightly lower, Serein merely nodded, “I wouldn’t dare to be deceitful in front of the wise and all-knowing Empress.”

‘Unnecessary flattery.’

Maybe that is what was going on inside the Empress’s head, however, she only nodded again, ushering Serein to continue, and so she did. As the start piqued the audience’s attention, she still has some more to say before they can get surprised or something.

“These individuals, while I’ve never met them myself, Surprisingly enough it seems like they have made some movement in some places. I was told by the Ancient Spirit at the Blamphemos land that my benefactor was actually harmed by a non-human acting like one”

“Plural.” The Empress’s expression scrunched a bit more when she realized this, “There’s a whole operation that is stupid enough to target the blood of The Sky, and not only that but is also more idiotic to challenge MY authority?”

After all, The Sea Empress has always been strict about the power balance in each territory. So, to invade their space with their own kinds—

“Seems like those sirens at the east were just as we’ve suspected”

From the sounds of it, The Empress seemed to just realize that those sirens were not one of her loyal subjects. Or at least it was obvious that it’s not the case anymore.

‘none of the sirens are present…’

When Serein was tangled upside down, that was one of the few things she immediately took notice of about the crowd. While the merfolks sent a delegation, the said merfolk doesn’t look like their head of monarch either. Their King was unable to be present. 

Were those sirens… a different kind? 

She was not sure. But with this new revelation, there might be more to be seen than just what’s above the surface. At last, there’ll be a little more truth regarding that question she’s been wondering about.

And it seems like the Empress was just as curious since she fixed her stance and now ushering her to speak more of what she knows on the matter.

“I am but a mercenary going around and about on the land when I was charged extra money because the sea was not safe at the moment. That is when I first found out about the war going on in the east sea. The discussion about this topic spread like wildfire among sailors since this also means some sea route is impossible to get through,” 

Sam and Pam nodded, agreeing since they too have to head the pirates talking on board.

“I wasn’t planning to pry into it at first, but later I found out from a boater who apparently takes tourists around that a fight seemed to start not long after he took a weird mysterious passenger with him to Orion Island. The rumors about the Merfolk having a civil war started to circle around a week later when I departed to Kiraan Kingdom”

“And just who is this mysterious passenger?”

It seems like the Empress no longer bothers on asking about the credibility of this story, which is good because truth be told Serein has this knowledge from the draft and not because she experienced this herself. In fact, this info shouldn’t have been known yet until a long time later when Arlia visits.

Not that it matters much, all that she needs to do now is to describe the preparatory and say that this was as much the info she has to get away from the Empress’s suspicion without getting involved too deep.

Author Note: Heyya folks! Anemic Bunnicula here~! Here goes another update for the week! Hope you all would enjoy it, and I’ll see you again in the next chapter, Chao~!

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