《Apex Immortal: a LitRPG system rampage》Chapter 4: Shitstorm
A procession of five cars and four motorcycles with side-carts makes its way down the square towards us. All the cars are large, shiny and silver. The middle car is boxier, larger and shinier by far with completely tinted windows, Its heavily armoured body exudes the wealth and power that only very expensive vehicles made to order from a luxury security car company can provide. All the vehicles bear flags. The central car has the same coat of arms emblazoned on the bonnet.
The police chief halts and bows low as the cars pass.
“Hmm,” I murmur to myself, “too early for the Premier to appear. Likely the local boss.”
Jana shoots me an appraising glance.
“That’s the provincial governor’s standard, Master. Now, if I may be excused, I need to do my job.”
I nod and she beckons her crew to a spot, placing herself to one side. After patting her hair down, applying some powder and a quick urgent call on her phone, she faces the camera.
“Honoured viewers, I apologise for the interruption but as you can see I have been given an unprecedented level of access, a front row seat if you will, to what is possibly the greatest crisis our glorious fatherland has faced since the Midnight Wars. The illustrious governor of New Taisaya, the famously conservative Duke Kajal, is even now approaching to confront this monstrous enigma. Is he here to negotiate or to do battle? What other impossible powers will the enigma exert? Keep watching to find out and as always don’t forget my patrons in the banner below, especially SlimTone the only supplement that will lighten your body and your skin at the same time.”
The guards get off their motorcycles and form a line. The cars begin to disgorge their occupants, starting with the smaller cars. The first group to emerge are eight richly dressed officials in robes and plumed hats, gold chains of office around their necks. The second group are eight young black females wearing nothing but gold jewelry. They kneel on the ground in a row, faces firmly pointing downwards.
Finally, a guard bigger than most mortals opens the door of the central car and the Duke steps out. He is a thin male mortal with excellent hair wearing a white linen three piece suit. A white satin half-cloak hangs off one shoulder. A short sword hangs off one hip from a bejeweled belt. He holds a short ivory switch casually in his right hand. His sharp features are tight as he peers over impractically tiny wire-framed spectacles in orchestrated disdain. His carefully manufactured facade cracks only a little when he looks at me. For a moment, a hint of uncertainty flickers in his eyes before a practised sneer flicks up.
He wiggles a ringed finger and an official steps forward.
“His grace, honourable governor of New Taisaya, Duke of Natalio, Kajal Achanta. Demon, you may address the Duke as his grace,” the mortal announces.
“And he can call me Master,” I reply.
The mortals gasp audibly in shock. Faces pale, chests puff out, hands reach for weapons. If noble women were present, one or two of them may well have fainted.
“You dare!” The official shouts, hence covering all expressions of outraged nobility.
“Also,” I continue, taking advantage of their loss for words, “foreheads on the ground until I’m sick of seeing your asses in the air.”
>User parameter discovered: [Aura of Annihilation]
Your aura can quite easily wipe out all life on a planet. Fortunately, you have very fine-tuned control over it. Unfortunately, the lowest setting you can get to is “the really angry apex predator is eyeing you with an unhealthy amount of interest”. Smiling only takes it up to the next lowest setting. Sorry buddy, making friends and influencing people is just not your forte.
>: Dominus, you are using the basic command-line text interface. Initialise avatar? [y/N]
One by one, the mortals crumple into kowtows as i unleash my aura by infinitesimal gradients. The police chief is the last to give in. By then, a couple of the mortals have lost consciousness, some have pissed themselves and many are stifling sobs of fear. Even though I’ve excluded Jana and her crew, the edge of my aura is still sufficient for them to sink to the ground.
To my surprise, both at the mortal’s resilience and that her feed has not been cut, Jana continues to report:
“Incredible scenes here at Patriot Square. The house of Natalio may never recover from this humiliation. Viewers please understand, somehow the Master is projecting imminent mortal threat of such intensity that I doubt anyone is able to withstand it. Do not judge the flowers of our nobility you see here crushed into the ground, they are as helpless to the Master as if they were actual flowers. It is more and more evident to this reporter after witnessing so many impossible feats that as a flower is to a human, so are we mortals to the Master.”
Ok, that’s getting way too much. I ease up on the aura.
“You can get up now.” I say.
I give them a bit of time to recover. It takes longer than expected. A couple of them don’t make it up and stay in foetal positions. One of them is the Duke.
I may have overdone the whole crushing aura thing.
Eventually, a couple of officials have to help the Duke to stand. As the primary focus of my attention, he had borne the full brunt and it shows. A thin line of drool leaks down the side of his mouth, his eyes are wide and dart from side to side as he whimpers and starts at nothing in particular. He has shat himself.
He does not look like a man who will recover from this.
The men supporting him clearly share my opinion. They are trembling with fear but there is grief mixed in and underneath that resentment and anger.
I had not intended to permanently break the mortal. I sigh inwardly in disappointment and pause to see if I have a healing ability. My interface does not ring. I imagine a small cut on a mortal’s finger and try to recall a way of healing that. The only knowledge that floats up after a moment is that amputation is warranted if it has turned black and smells.
I sigh again. This time audibly. Nothing to be done now but carry on.
“Anyone else remember why you came?” I ask.
There is an uncomfortable silence as the mortals glance at each other from the side of their eyes.
“Let me guess, it probably went along the lines of having to do every simple thing himself and showing a savage what a noble of the fatherland is capable of with a bribe of women and gold to soften the sting of authority? And after that, perhaps a good old rant about the aristocracy for good measure?”
Some of the officials start in surprise, one surreptitiously makes a sign of some sort while muttering a prayer. A couple gaze at me in awe. “His very words!” A guard in the back row exclaims.
I’ve stopped tank shells with the power of my frigging mind and guessing the script of a stereotyped highborn villain is what gets through to them? I mean, he was one monocle short of twirling his moustache.
“Did anyone try to tell it was a dumb idea?”
An official, shorter and smaller than the rest with a smaller hat, put his hand up. I nod at him encouragingly.
“Lord Gerbold Pacey did, Master. He believed strongly that his Grace’s approach would cause offence and that his Grace would be needlessly putting himself in grave danger. He argued his position quite passionately but alas was unable to convince his Grace.”
“Smart guy. Is he here?”
“No, Master. His Grace ordered him to come but Lord Pacey was taken ill from a bad oyster at the last minute, just before the convoy left.”
“Tell Lord Pacey to see me in my palace quick smart and I don’t care how many bad oysters he’s eaten. You can all go. Except the police man, looks like he still has a load on his chest.”
The official bows then straightens up, frowning in confusion.
“Begging your pardon, Master,” he says, “but where is the location of your palace?”
I swing a holo-panel around and maximise it. A distinguished man with a square jaw is speaking seriously to the camera, maintaining good eye contact and strong audience connection:
“We have just got word that Premier Vilte Toma will soon be making a statement in response to the atrocities we have all seen taking place in Liberty Square. He has chosen to address the nation from the famous Dawn Balcony. The balcony that every declaration of war has been made from since the founding of our glorious Fatherland ten thousand years ago. Are we going to war? This reporter is saying, yes and that he will be amongst the first in the enlistment office.”
The man stands up, solemnly placing a hand on his heart while the camera zooms out over his shoulder and pans in on a vast marble building with a central dome surrounded by four balconied towers, one at each cardinal point. A crowd has gathered beneath one of the towers. By some trick of the light, the building is glowing like a massive pearl.
I point at it.
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