Chapter 58

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The radiance gradually dissipated.

“Wow, this thing…” Cain stared at the ring with wide, shocked eyes. “Isn’t this the Orbis heirloom that we were just talking about?”

The heirloom was just an ordinary ring, with a plain surface and a lovely tinge. However, when the seal broke to reveal its true form, it was bizarre to look at. It had the appearance of a conventional woman’s ring, but, despite its slim width, ancient runes were densely etched on its smooth, leaf-like, rust-colored surface.

Is it possible to engrave runes in such detail with current human technology?

“You’re going to swallow a fly.”

“Ah.” Cain regained his composure and shifted his attention to Joshua.

“—Young Master! Are you all right!” Cain dashed over to his master.

Joshua watched him run over with silent curiosity, but his body was drenched with sweat. One might even think that someone had poured water on him.

It was unavoidable. Using ordinary runes demanded intense concentration, but these were ancient runes.

“A doctor, yes! No, I’ll summon a priest!”

“Don’t be so noisy. It’s all right.”

“But— Young Master—”

“It’s all right.” Joshua proudly squared his shoulder, adopting a picture-perfect posture.

“I… I trust you, Master.” Cain stepped back. A knight simply had to trust and obey his master.

Joshua turned back to the floating object. “Do you, perhaps, know what this thing is called?”

“I… do not know.”

“Some call it the ‘Elf’s Tear’.”

“The Elf’s… Tear?”

Joshua nodded. “Elves are an inherently pure race. They are one of the few species with the same intelligence as humans, but they are entirely distinct in that they lack the same plethora of desires that humans have.

“Their race is incapable of telling a single lie. This ‘Elf’s Tear’ is shed by elves—the high elves, known as the King of Elves, in particular—out of genuine sadness. Dwarves, the artists of the gods, etched these runes.”

“Oh my God…” Cain’s jaw dropped.

Dwarves and elves. Both were hostile to humans and highly isolationist; it was rare for the average person to see either even once in their life.

The dwarven race had an unrivaled capacity for creation—even the simplest dwarf-made longsword held incredible value. Similarly, the high magical potential of the elves would allow them to create high-value artifacts.

However, a relic crafted from the Elf’s Tears and dwarven runes was unprecedented. Cain had no idea how much an object like that would cost, never mind what abilities it would hold.

“I… I’m not sure if it’s acceptable for me to ask what kind of power this object has… But I am very curious.”

“I know a little bit about its power… I believe that in an emergency, a magical barrier—shield magic—will activate to protect the user until they’re safe.”

“Young Master!” Cain dropped to his knees, to Joshua’s bemusement. “Can you use the artifact?” Joshua stared incredulously at the knight. “No, I mean… since the Young Master is a monster, I guess you don’t need such an artifact. Ugh, what am I doing… What am I saying?”

“Unfortunately, I am unable to use this artifact.” Joshua gave Cain a small smile. The knight’s face rapidly shifted from surprise to disappointment.

“I’m sorry,” Joshua continued, “but it seems you misunderstand something: the ring isn’t flawed or anything. If I tried to use it, it would just be a pretty ring on my calloused fingers.”

“You mean…?”

“The High Elves created this ring for the Orbis family’s children. They couldn’t find the patriarch, Jerath Dick Orbis, so this protects his offspring in his stead.”

“Then… is it forbidden for anyone other than the Orbis children?”

“Well, a man can’t use it… Because Jerath Dick Orbis’s child was a woman.”

“Ah!” Cain let out a short exclamation, much to Joshua’s amusement.

“I had an idea, but I didn’t know you had such an outspoken personality.”

“It’s not ‘outspoken,’ it’s ‘honest’! A straightforward person like me will never attack someone from behind.”

However, Cain’s complaints only made Joshua laugh more.

Cain grumbled and pushed himself to his feet. “What are you planning on doing with the artifact?”

“I’m going to give this to my mother.”

“With the best knights and the most powerful artifact protecting her, no one could harm Lady Lucia.” Cain bowed deeply, hiding a sneaky smile from the perplexed Joshua. “So, Young Master… Leave Lady Lucia’s safety in my hands. I guarantee the safety of Lady Lucia, even if it costs me my life.”

Joshua’s lips curled upward.

“I believe you.”

One could easily lose themselves in the house’s many rooms. However, it remained deserted; the only thing it held was a mana crystal ball for communication, deep in the center.

The sound of footfalls echoed through the chamber, breaking the motionless silence. A man’s figure emerged. It was Jero, the man who introduced himself to Joshua as the manager of Moon Gate’s Arcadia branch.

He approached the crystal ball and laid his hand on it, causing it to sparkle brilliantly and resonate. The light revealed why the space was so large: a magic communication circle occupied half the floor, centered around the crystal ball. The circle blocked any disturbances from passing through its circumference. The exorbitant amount of money invested into this modest magical circle was just another demonstration of the Moon Gate’s enormous power.

The balls’ resonance reached a crest, giving birth to a figure slowly rising above the circle.

“I greet you, Master.” Jero’s posture was incredibly polite, despite the vague projection.

“Your rush to contact me is, after all, because of that child?” The voice coming from the ball sounded filtered, disguising the speaker’s gender.

“Yes… There was a small incident. I believe Joshua von Agnus is more than he appears.”

“I had a feeling he was one-of-a-kind.”

“It’s not just a feeling; he really is one-of-a-kind—”

“The tower is already making its move.” The doll in the crystal ball cut off the end of Jero’s sentence.

“Are you talking about the Magic Tower?” Jero’s pupils shrank.

“There are rumors that one of the Seven Magicians is about to move personally to investigate rumors that Enslot’s progeny had appeared. I have been looking for that man in the Tower for a long time.”

Jero’s face flushed with surprise. “Enslot’s descendants!”

“Of course, that’s only a surface explanation for the ruckus that’s stirring up the Tower. Most likely, the Origin Stone is the true reason. It’s more believable than that sort of rumor, you know.”

“The rumor… I’m curious about the rumored descendant of Enslot.” Jero’s belied his disbelief.

The hitherto-unheard-of magic swordsman, and the mysterious disappearance of his descendants…

“Joshua von Agnus. The rumor revolves around that child.”

“Oh my god.”

“It makes no difference if the rumors are true or not,” the figure continued. “Inevitably, great powers will converge on that child. The Imperial family of Avalon, the Magic Tower…” Startlingly, the figure continued to speak to Jero. “Until I know if the red coin was there or not— No, no… The tremendous tides of fate will surely pull that child under. I wish I could return to Arcadia, but…”

Jero quickly regained his composure. “Are you going to approach the master directly?”

“...The company’s internal conflict is still ongoing. Going back is unrealistic—and I’m not sure if that child is genuinely looking for the red coin.”

“Yes, I understand.”

Jero’s face hardened. I had assured the Young master that the conflict within the company was over, but this was not the case. It was simply hidden because there was no need to show all of our cards right away. Perhaps it is the only card that could put a clean end to the company’s long, awful civil war.

“Hail the master!” Jero hastily knelt as the light in the mana orb began to dim.

Jero pulled himself up and stared into the vast, empty space when the light faded away.

“Hahhhh… What do I do now?”

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