Chapter 2

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Cough.

Joshua’s eyes snapped open when his excruciating headache peaked. He immediately scanned his surroundings, though blurry silhouettes were all that welcomed him.

He expected to see a gorgeous chandelier hanging above his head.

He expected luxurious carpets to gently cover the cold marble floor.

He expected various war trophies to adorn the maroon wall.

But when he opened his trembling eyes once again, his vision was cleared. Joshua was not at all where he expected to be.

There was no trace of luxury in this place.

The shabby wooden roof was bare, coarse straw and haystacks littered the ground beneath him, and only horse dung perfumed the air.

This was obviously not the Duke’s chambers, but it was familiar nonetheless. Even if he wanted to, he could not hide the fact that this was his humble origins.

He got up and examined his surroundings once more.

Hey, what is this?

Joshua’s throbbing headache was forgotten as he looked around.

It was undoubtedly the residence of Duke Agnus’s family. This is where he lived but not quite his home.

No way…

A sudden thought had him running like a madman towards the corner of the stable.

Here horses can quench their thirst and can receive enough sunlight for the day. The windows are open and sunlight is streamed freely into the stable.

It was also where he used to work out when he was a kid.

What’s happening? How am I here?

He slammed the stable doors open. And…

The sight left Joshua momentarily slack-jawed.

An enormous, beautiful garden was arrayed before him. The flowers’ sweet aroma permeates the air outside, overpowering the smell of dung and evoking the depths of the forest.

Blue roses scattered throughout the garden convinced him,

I’m really back.

The rare blue roses could only be found in the Agnus territory.

He spotted his reflection in a nearby puddle: a young boy with barely a wisp on his chin. And unlike his familiar head of bleached hair, his scalp was decorated with dark blue locks. His eyes were a deep blue which seemed to suck people in.

It’s obvious now that I’ve gone back in time.

Joshua felt a rush of both joy and sorrow. The raw emotions were enough to make him shiver and clench his fist. It was a strange expression indeed, and it made his face look rather creepy.

Kaiser Van Britten!

Joshua was in his early 50s before he returned. He didn’t know his exact current age but it was clear that he’d moved at least 40 years into the past.

Kaiser was probably the same age as him. He’d be the fourth Prince once again, with a long, arduous struggle for power and admiration—and the throne.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…!

Joshua laughed maniacally. He was ecstatic because, for the first time, he can dream of getting revenge from Kaiser.

And then...

"Hey!"

Joshua turned his attention to the man's voice in his ears.

These guys…

Joshua frowned softly. It was faint, but he could remember them. Or at least what they did to him.

They were the Duke’s soldiers, who tormented him as a child. Knights of their status would not dare to harass a child of the Duke, but Joshua was different. His mother was the exclusive maid of the Agnus family, and he was the Duke’s lowly illegitimate child..

Joshua was conceived when the Duke forcefully bedded Joshua’s mother.

The Duke at least provided them a place to stay. Even if the Duke didn’t care for him like a father should, Joshua was satisfied with his situation.

In the Duke’s eyes, Joshua is just the byproduct of his larking; nothing more and nothing less. Knowing this, the soldiers abused Joshua his entire childhood. They derived a strange satisfaction from tormenting someone with noble blood.

Particularly the three in front of me…

The Duke’s centurions: Rols, Roid, and Gort. He promised to make them pay.

“What’re you doing out here? Didn’t they tell you to muck out the stables?”

“Did you forget? This bastard is a dumb mute… Of course you’re not going to get an answer!”

"Hah!”

“Remember the Duchess’s promise? Even if we rape that bitch Lucia and kill that asshole, the Duchess will take care of it.”

Rols and Roid began giggling as if they were really considering it.

“Ah, what a shame. I wish the Duke would give us a taste of that Lucia.”

“Same.”

“Crazy—!”

Something in Joshua snapped when the two men giggled and passed their vulgar jokes and plans back and forth.

Lucia.

She was Joshua's mother, the poor victim of their despicable desires.

I was going to take revenge slowly, without attracting attention.

But he could not ignore the people who insulted his dearest mother.

Will it work?

Joshua closed his eyes and quietly examined his body.

The mana technique Joshua learned was unique; he found it in ancient ruins along with Lugia. It was powerful enough to shake the heavens and earth, and he can achieve its optimal state in only a short amount of time.

Most importantly, Joshua’s mana technique operated completely differently.

Instead of accumulating and drawing mana into the mana hall, located just beneath the stomach, the existing mana is used as-is. It’s not limited to the contents of the man hall, either—instead it draws mana from throughout the body. And then he can concentrate the mana where it is needed and ignite it all at once..

As a result, Joshua could skip the process of creating his mana hall which everyone else went through.

“Enough chatting! Let’s go beat his ass. If I don't blow off some steam right now, I'll go crazy." Gort spoke up for the first time, shaking his head from side to side.

“Did you get rejected by your crush again?”

"Shut up! It’s not like that!” Gort growled at Rols and Roid, who burst into laughter, before turning to Joshua.

“I’m gonna let loose today. Got it?”

Despite the chilling threat in Gort’s voice, Joshua kept his eyes shut and didn’t respond.

“Did he pass out standing up? Are you that afraid?”

“Closing your eyes, huh? Is that how you want it?”

The three soldiers laughed but Joshua’s concentration never wavered. This was a very crucial moment for beginning his revenge.

Just a handful—I need to move just a handful of mana.

It takes an average of 5 years for a normal knight with a decent mana technique to construct their mana hall. Considering that, Joshua was twice as slow: before his return, it took him 10 years to move a handful of mana.

But when Joshua finally moved a little bit of mana, he steamrolled the other knights.

I know how to do it.

Joshua’s eyes snapped open and a blue light flashed through them.

The sight made Gort hesitate. Joshua, however, focused his gaze on his right fist and slowly manipulated the mana around him.

It’s more difficult to infuse mana directly on the body than on an object.

However…

Whoosh

A sound resonated from the stable and carried across the grounds.

“…”

Joshua's expression brightened; finally, a pale blue mana lingered on his fists.

I did it!

Joshua’s sneer made Gort burn with anger.

“You’re making fun of people, huh? Bastard!”

Gort’s club shot towards Joshua’s young head.

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