251 The biggest threat of all
"It's been a long time... My love..." commented the king of Greyart.
He was a young man who seemed to be in his early twenties, very similar to Evlin herself. He was wearing a long grey robe and had a crown in his head that looked so big that it could fall off at any moment. A long red cape covered his back and in his right hand there was a magician's staff the same one he used in his fight with Evlin many years ago, the first fight she ever had and the first fight she ever won.
"Oh... Please tell me this isn't happening..." Evlin muttered.
"Evlin? What's wrong??" Marcus asked as he saw the concern in her face.
"This guy was the pervert that brought me to this world to force me to marry him!!" she whispered.
"What!!??" Marcus yelled, which caught the attention of all of those present.
The Greyart king just raised an eyebrow while looking like he was waiting to see if Marcus had anything to say.
"Is there a problem...?"
"You were the one that summoned Evlin??" Marcus yelled.
"Ah! I wish! No, no... I merely requested that she was summoned... While I am a rather skilled and talented magician if I do say so myself..."
"Isn't skilled and talented the same thing...?" Ria whispered to Auren.
The king continued, "...the one that actually performed the act of summoning the now incredibly famous crossbow mage was none other than my current right-hand man..."
"I think you can be talented without being skilled... As in... You can be born being good at something but you can also improve how good you are by practicing it..." Auren commented in an attempt to reply to Ria's question.
"If only I knew that the little girl that I was planning to take as my woman would turn out to be such an amazing person..." the king added.
"Wait, do you guys really believe in things like talent? Nobody is born good at something, everything comes from practice and hard work!" Evlin whispered while joining the conversation.
"Are you seriously saying that when you get a power boost in your magic just because you are from another world?" Ashley debated.
"That doesn't mean I'm talented, I worked hard to master my magic! Just because I can reach higher levels of its power doesn't mean I was just born good at it!!"
"..." The king started to notice that nobody was paying attention to him, "... It truly must have been fate that brought us toge-"
"Wait, so you don't believe in talent, Evlin?" Ria asked.
"Of course not! Who the heck is just born better at things than others?? Anytime someone tells me I'm talented at something it always feels so insulting as if I didn't put effort into my skills..."
"I guess I can see that... But don't you think there are people in this world that are just naturally better at some things than others?" Gustav commented.
"He's got a point..." Daren added, "I don't think I would ever be as good with a sword as Lilith even if I spent everyday training as hard as her... She's a genius!"
"Ah! Thanks, Daren..." Lilith whispered.
"I don't believe that..." Leona interrupted, "I think as long as you focus on it you can accomplish anything you want!"
"Agreed! I believe in effort and hard-work way more than natural gifts or talent..." Evlin muttered.
"Uuhh..." Marcus just gazed around as his whole group began to debate over a meaningless topic which was making the king pop a couple of veins on his forehead.
"AM I BORING YOU???" he finally screamed.
"Ah! No, your highness!" the group said at the same time.
"A little bit, to be honest..." Ria added at the end with a low voice.
"..." The king just continued to try and take a deep breath in an attempt to recover his composure, "As I was saying..."
"Wait, what WAS he saying...? I completely zoned out..." Ria whispered again.
"Evlin! The crossbow queen and most powerful master of re-creation and earth magic!" the king shouted.
Evlin began to gain sparkles in her eyes, "Oh!! I like this combination of words!!"
"I call upon you now to resume what we started years ago and make you my wife!!"
Evlin began to lose the sparkles in her eyes, "Oh... I don't like this combination of words..."
"We shall start preparations for the ceremony immediately!!"
"No thanks... I'm good..." Evlin replied.
"I said I'm good... I didn't want to marry you nine years ago, and I don't wanna marry you now... Honestly, I think I wanna marry you even less now..."
"I don't think you understand what you're saying... Do you not remember who I am?"
"... Actually, I completely forgot you even existed until a couple of seconds ago... And considering how much crazy nonsense I have to deal with on a daily basis, I think I deserve a freaking prize for even remembering about one annoying guy that tried to capture me when my life has been nothing but annoying people trying to capture me..."
"..." the kind began to glare at her and banged the floor with his staff which caused it to ignite in magic energy, "I don't think you quite understand who you are dealing with... I am the king and one of the greatest mages of this era... You should be respecting me more..."
Evlin began to smile, "Pffft... Pffft... Buahahahahahaha!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh my God, my stomach hurts!! Hahahahaha!!"
Ashley and her group just continued to watch as Evlin started to tear up from laughing so hard.
"Stop laughing!!!" the king demanded, "I SAID STOP LAUGHING!!!!"
"Hahahahahaha! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! It's just... It's not your fault, really... It's just, it's just... After dealing with psychotic mages, angry mobs, monsters, spirits, demons, high-demons, leader demons, demon dragons, demon hunters, lots of demon-related things now that I think about it... Immortal twelve-year-olds, the gods themselves, and now a dragon that can only be killed by terminal fire that's going around blowing up temples left and right... The image of you standing there and yelling 'Feaaaaar me!!!!' just cracks me the hell up!!
My God!! I wish you could be a problem I could give a damn about!! I WISH my life was still so simple that an annoying spoiled brat like you could be the biggest of my problems! Hahahahahaha!!!"
The king started to grit his teeth, "Are you done?"
"Oh, Lord... Oh God, that was so good... Thank you, I really needed that... Please, don't mind me... Continue your attempt in trying to look imposing and powerful... I'm sure you're making your mommy really proud right now..."
Gustav just traded glances with his friends.
[We're not going to get the king's support, are we...?]
Ria just shrugged, [Probably not, but look at how happy she is right now... Just let her have this...]
"Listen to me, you insolent peasant... I'm the reason you are as big as you are right now... I'm the reason you are here!! You owe me!!! You owe me for your success!!"
Evlin stared at him, "... Well... Joke's on you... I don't have any money..."
"You think this is funny!!?? Do you not understand the power I hold in my hands? I could order you and your friends to be hanged right now!!"
Evlin just stared at Auren and Ria while resting her chin on Ashley's head, "Mom, Dad... I'm bored now... Can we go home...?"
"Eh...?" Auren gasped, "Evlin, are we really going to just treat the king like this??"
Ashley just sighed, "Let it go, Auren... Evlin is in her child mode right now... She's probably just counting the seconds in her head right now to see how long it will take for us to leave while coming up with even more ways to mock the king... We should go before he gets even angrier..."
"Cool... Let me make a portal to get us out of here..." Ria commented.
"Wait, Ria!" Daren shouted for her to stop and looked at the king, "I need to ask... How did you know we were in that inn?"
"Ah! I finally got your attention!" he smirked, "It's all thanks to my right-hand man! He told me you all were coming and I devised the perfect situation to get you all to come here!"
"Your right-hand man...?" Evlin mumbled, still resting her cheek on Ashley's hair.
"Indeed! You might remember him as the one who performed the summoning spell that brought you here!" the king explained as he waved his hand and signaled for someone to enter the room.
It was the mage that Evlin first met when she came to this world. Evlin never actually saw his face since he was wearing a hood back then, so she wondered if she would recognize him.
"Oh, cool... I thought I had gotten him fired after I stole his staff... I'm glad he managed to keep his- Ah!!"
Evlin took another look at him and felt that she recognized that face. Not from when she first arrived in the castle though. This was a face that appeared in her recent memories, the man that she met in Stonehenge when she was stuck inside Mia, the weird tacky tourist with a massive camera that guided them to the location of the demon stones.
"I present you all, the one responsible for bringing the crossbow mage into this world!" the king exclaimed, "My right-hand man, Knucker!"
And just like he said, there he stood, the same person she saw in England, a young-looking man with wild white hair, orange eyes, and wearing a red twin-tailed jacket.
knucker looked at Evlin's wide-open mouth and waved at her while laughing, "Hi again! Did you find the stones?"
"... ... ..." Evlin's brain felt like it was about to malfunction, "You gotta be F*@#!% kidding me..."