189 Chapter 186 No More Heroes
"What happened?" asked William, frowning at Joseph's apparent upbeat mood.
"That spell, that I just twisted her soul into? That hurt NURKONG so much, he disengaged from his mental attacks on me. I no longer feel the rage that I've been struggling with."
William nodded in understanding, but was still very much unhappy, as Joseph turned back to Mona.
Injecting his mana into her, as he released her from her fantasy, he immediately trapped her into his own. She barely had time to look around in confusion before he proceeded to eradicate every single loop, node, and pathway in her mana circuit.
"You were given the power of magic, from a god. You never studied it. You never learned how to use it. My people spend years learning magic, that you were given for free. And then, you used that magic to kill my people. The children of my people. I sentence you to think about what you've done."
BODY OF STONE.
He left out the ability for her to be able to move, and trapped her, fully conscious and alive, inside of stone.
"Do you see that? It's the galaxy as it spins slowly. And by slowly, I mean millions of years. In fact, it will happen so slowly, you will never be able to tell that it's actually moving. In about 400 million years, that galaxy over there, will crash into this one, and you will get to watch the whole thing. Slowly."
He carved RELIEVE MADNESS onto her chest.
"That will keep you from going insane. I would hate for you to miss any of this."
He turned, as if to leave, then turned back, as if he had just remembered something.
"Oh, and that excruciating pain that you're feeling right now, where I just ripped out your mana circuit? That will never go away. Maybe you'll get used to it…"
Joseph exited the new fantasy, leaving her trapped in it, and nodded to Theon.
This wasn't a spell they got to practice often, so Joseph was making this a teaching opportunity. As Theon placed the second stone in its own box, Joseph turned to the last girl, Tiffany.
Entering her fantasy, he allowed her to see him this time. She turned from her adoring crowd, and stopped, not expecting to see him.
"Who are you?" she demanded, then her eyes went wide as she seemed to recognize him, which he thought was interesting because none of them had ever actually seen him before.
"We beat you. You're the demon king. What happened?"
Joseph didn't say a word as he took his spear/staff, and dashed forward, cutting off her arms and legs before she could react.
"AGHH!" she screamed.
Joseph stepped forward and punched her in the face, breaking her teeth, before he kicked her in the stomach, sending her flying into the wall. She hit so hard, that the breath was knocked out of her, and she stopped screaming.
He stopped the bleeding, and closed the wounds on the end of her stumps, but didn't regrow her limbs. Then, as she was recovering, he walked up to her and ripped out her tongue. It was surprisingly difficult to do, and he was glad this was in a fantasy, instead of real life.
He stopped her bleeding, again, and crouched down in front of her, while he imagined a towel into being, to wipe his hand off with.
"Tiffany, because you work for NURKONG, I'm not going to kill you. He would just send you back again, and we would have to do this all over again, and again, and again. Instead, I'm going to leave you like this."
"There, that will keep you from dying. We're going to throw you into the bottom of a tower, and let you lie there. Someone will come by every day, to feed you, and if you ask politely, they may clean up after you mess yourself. Good luck trying to relearn how to talk. I have faith you can do it. Take her away."
Standing up, he had imaginary guards come and pick her up, as the crowd began to boo and hiss at her.
Joseph left the fantasy, and as her despair reached its peak, he motioned for Theon to cast SOUL STONE for a third time. He was getting tired, so Joseph had to help him a little, but it was a valuable experience for him.
"Here, Nidhogg. Take these stones and guard them, as the treasurer, they are valuable items of the kingdom."
Nidhogg took the three cases with the rocks, that had become gemstones as the souls were placed into them, and left.
"Joseph, the army is still an hour out, what do you want to happen, now?" asked William, uncertain of his son.
Joseph turned to look at his dad, and realized that the man had no clue everything Joseph had been through since he had been left to run part of a kingdom at the age of seven. He had to make some very adult decisions to keep the people around him alive. If anyone thought he was going to be lenient on those looking to cause his people harm, they were mistaken.
"I want the ILLUSION mages to place scenes in the sky, of the army's precious hero being turned into a slurpy. Then I want the SOUND mages to send out the message, 'Surrender and become slaves, or fight and be destroyed'. Everyone did so well in the last round of fighting, that I'll take this round. Hopefully, it's the last."
William nodded, and with a frown still on his face, he turned to the mages, who were already on the move.
Joseph took Stella's hand and they teleported to the top tower of his castle, to look over the incoming army. There were thousands of people. From the looks of it, most of the farmers and innocent people were in the front, condemned to quick deaths as fodder. The middle of the army was made up of paid mercenaries, who looked very excited at the upcoming battle. The very back of the army looked to be proper soldiers, who had probably received actual training, but were doubtless hoping to not see any real fighting.
He watched them carefully as the illusion was played for them, three times, and then the demand was broadcast out over them all. Squeezing Stella's hand, he turned to her with a smile.
"Time to make an impression."