Chapter 165

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A hundred million gold…

One of his knights noted his grim expression and the way he was rubbing his right arm.

“Your complexion looks poor, Your Majesty. Were your injuries more severe than you first believed?”

“Rakun.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“Do we have… a hundred million gold in our treasury?”

“What?” Rakun immediately realized how rude he sounded and bowed his head. “Apologies.”

“No, it’s an absurd number even for me, don’t you think?”

“Well… My Lord, do you need such a large sum of money? There may not be 100 million gold in the entirety of the Principality…” Rakun trailed off nervously.

The biggest cities on the continent generated less than a million gold annually; Reinhardt rounded out at about 5 million. The capital of Thran made less than 3 million. In other words, the entire annual income of Thran would amount to less than half of what he needed.

“Rakun,” Ulabis suddenly asked. “How much did the Moon Gate ask for when you purchased information on Duke Altsma1?

Rakun thought about it for a moment.

“800,000 gold. Also, only a few bits of their information was noteworthy.”

Ulabis shook his head. “No. Their information was unquestionably beneficial to the war effort.”

“Oh—” Rakun seemed to have a revelation. “Did you visit Moon Gate?”

“I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stop by their headquarters at least once.”

Rakun remained silent; it was clear that Ulabis was not done speaking yet.

“No one has ever left such a powerful first impression on me as young Joshua Sanders.”

“…Even more than the Grand Duke Lucifer, you say?”

“He’s barely human. Don’t bother talking about him.” Ulabis glanced at Rakun. “It’s as Mooker said; he went to the Moon Gate for information on Joshua von Agnus when he joined Marquis Villas in Avalon.”

“…Mooker, you say?”

Many people had been touched by Ulabis’s charisma and committed themselves to the Principality. Most of them were freelancers, but some, like Mooker, were exiles from foreign nations.

“The price they demanded from Mooker for a ten-year-old kid was… one million gold.”

“O-One million!?” Rakun’s eyes bulged. That was a whole 200,000 more than what they wanted for information on Duke Altsma!

“And now… it’s a hundred million gold.”

Rakun’s jaw dropped.

“Before today, I thought that one million gold was nonsensical, but now I see the light.

“You mean—”

“That boy, Joshua Sanders? He must know where to find the thing the Moon Gate is so desperately searching for. Joshua is worth a fair sum by his own right, but for them to charge such a ludicrous sum, he must know something very special.” The Prince turned to Rakun. “We’ll see what they’re after during the Master Battle.”

“By your orders.”

“Also… I don’t want to sound like an old nag, but don’t cause a ruckus. Move discreetly.”

A dark smile crept onto Ulabis’s lips.

“Your Majesty…” Rakun clenched his fists resolutely. “It will be done.”


Contrary to what he had just told Ulabis, Jero headed straight to the fifth floor after the Prince left. Only monsters stepped into the top floor, even within the Moon Gate.

“Master. The Prince just returned.”

“Enter, please.”

The door opened smoothly just as Jero was reaching for it. He caught a brief glimpse of a slight figure beneath the silk drapes and hastily ducked his head.

“Greetings to the Master.” His whole body was stiff with nerves. Jero had been to Reinhardt a long time ago, but this was his first meeting with the Master aside from conversations through a crystal ball. The Master of the Moon Gate was a secretive creature.

“The Prince has returned?”

Jero blinked. This was no the humming, androgynous voice he heard in the hall, it was soothing and crystal clear.

“Yes. As the Master anticipated, he sought information on Joshua Sanders. I started with a commission of 100 million gold, but… as predicted, this was not taken well.”

The idea of the Master predicting the Prince’s request was almost as astonishing as the price they asked for.

“Did he ask why you requested such an absurd sum?”

Jero practically trembled with curiosity—but he couldn’t verbalize it. This mindset was an integral part of who he was.

“Everything is as according to the Master’s will.”

“You’re quite an ambitious child.” The Master giggled behind the curtain. “Now that our internal conflicts have been resolved, we are beginning to stabilize. The nations will be curious; they might consider us insane. We may be stabilizing, but we are not safe.”

Jero silently accepted the Master’s words. Indeed, the Moon Gate had spent more than thirty percent of its revenue in the last five years—tens of millions of gold, all told—and the Master had been severely hampered by Moon Gate’s internal issues. The funds weren’t wasted, of course; without the spending, the organization would be in shambles.

“It was a desperate time,” Jero said with conviction.

The Master didn’t respond for a moment.

“Particularly dealing with the three elders—”

“With them out of the way, we are now in position to prepare for the leap ahead. Don’t fret.”

“I know. I was not worried at all.”

“No?” Jero was momentarily flabbergasted. Why bring it up if you weren’t concerned?

“Are you familiar with the assassin who eliminated the three elders?”

“I’ve only heard the rumors…”

“According to recent reports, the assassin is attempting to unite all of the assassin groups on the continent.”

“What?” Jero reeled in shock. Assassins were the most closed-off and clandestine organizations in the world; they numbered in the hundreds, were scattered all over the continent, and moved regularly from place to place. Bringing them together was nigh impossible, as an information broker like Jero was well aware. “Is… Is that true?”

“I can’t believe it. The reports say that the assassin has already gathered a large following by skill alone.”

“That’s…”

“Their gender remains unknown, but some people call them… the Assassin King. Interestingly, he or she is said to have a particular relationship with Joshua Sanders.”

Jero’s eyes widened. “That’s completely unfounded—”

“That name came straight from the Assassin King’s lips. The red coin remains absolutely essential to the identity of our organization, but… now that our affairs have stabilized, we may need to adopt a more pragmatic approach.

“Watch out for Joshua Sanders,” the Master commanded. “He is indispensable to us, in several respects.”

“I shall obey.”

  1. ED/N: Originally referred to Duke Altsma as “Yawang.” ↩️

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