Chapter 99

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“Your Majesty—Young Master Babel von Agnus, the pride and talent of the Empire, is waiting for you in the reception area.”

“Oh, he’s here?” The Emperor looked up and smiled, straightening his clothes and his posture. “Evergrant,” he asked, “that thing I asked you for—is it done?”

“This is it, Your Majesty.” Evergrant drew something from his sleeves and offered it to the Emperor.

Marcus grinned deeply as he examined the clear, swirling contents of the handcrafted vial. It was small, yet mesmerizing.

“This is the elixir that restores long-lost memories, right?”

“That is true, Your Majesty?”

“Side effects? Expected results?”

“This is for reviving old memories, not creating new ones. The impact will be excellent, and we are expecting no side effects.”

“As expected of Wizard Evergrant.” The Emperor returned Evergrant’s smile with satisfaction. “How about mass-producing the Elixir, now that an antidote has been created?”

Evergrant’s face became worried.

“It’s not possible, Your Majesty. Unlike the antidote, I didn’t create the Elixir itself.”

“Hmm. I can see you’re hesitant.” Marcus eyed the unhappy wizard. “I heard the Magic Tower offered to make you the next Magician of Thunder. Is it true?”

Evergrant’s eyes widened, though his expression remained unchanged.

“Seeing your shock, I’d like to remind you that I have eyes and ears all over the continent.” The Emperor shrugged. “You’re a pretty capable magician yourself; it’s not a question of whether or not you can fit in the Seven. I’m just a little sad, you see, that the great Avalon will lose a great talent like you. There are not many people like you nowadays.”

“You see…” Evergrant appeared to ponder something, then opened his mouth with renewed determination. “I already rejected their proposal. I will never leave Your Majesty’s side.”

“Huh?” Marcus smiled, but it was a strange smile. “Is it because of the Fourth Prince, after all?”

“The—” Evergrant stopped.

Emperor Marcus could read his subjects like an open book, to say nothing of events happening in the Imperial Palace.

“I see the Fourth Prince as a snob with no regard for anything. So how was he able to fish up a talent like you?”

“Your Majesty,” Evergrant said, “I serve Your Majesty, the Sun of the Empire, exclusively.”

“That is true.” Marcus chuckled. “And the Fourth Prince will have to keep his eyes open; if he meets my expectations, who knows? Maybe he will be the next one on the throne.”

The Emperor tapped his palm against his throne.

“It was nice to see you, but I won’t beat around the bush anymore. The Elixir is complete—do you need something in return? I’ll hear it. If you want a title, I’ll give it to you. Women? I can give you one that will hang onto your every word. I can give it to you, because it is within my power.”

It was impossible to contradict that statement, arrogant as it was. This was none other than the Emperor of Avalon, Marcus von Britten.

“Your Majesty,” Evergrant responded, eyes bright. “I would like your approval to access the Royal Archives.”

“The Archives?” Marcus tilted his head curiously. “What an odd request. Isn’t there something else you want? That’s a bit… I mean, I can give you anything you want.”

“No, Your Majesty. I’m looking for something, and I know that I can find it in the Royal Archives.”

“You’ve been looking for this for a long time now?” It seemed like Evergrant had piqued Emperor Marcus’s interest.

“Your Majesty, I’m looking for a book.”

“A book?” Marcus leaned back into his throne, examining Evergrant with a smoldering curiosity. “I’m afraid that what you’re looking for will be hard to find. It’s like something an old-fashioned wizard would want.”

The Emperor waved his hand.

“Jacken.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” A man clad entirely in black appeared.

“As soon as the work is finished, open the Archives.”

“I hear and obey.”

“Very good. Then—” Emperor Marcus pulled himself from his seat, casting a meaningful gaze towards the door. “Tell Babel von Agnus to proceed to the court.”


I can’t believe what I just saw. I don’t want to believe it, even if it’s true.

Kases has begun his career as a mercenary—a rare occurrence for an Imperial Knight.

The mercenary guild of Igrant divided their ranks by skills and experience, as if imitating the Knights. Missions like running an errand, subjugating monsters, and participating in minor territorial disputes were 1-2 stars.

For the guild to acknowledge someone as a true mercenary, a “gold card,” they needed to complete at least a hundred 3-4 star quests. The chances of that happening were astronomical—of a million mercenaries, only a hundred would receive the gold card.

Kases had managed this feat before he reached the age of forty—one of Kases’s 4-star quests was taking the head of a B-Class Knight. He went on to become a mercenary knight in Aradia, the land of opportunity, and eventually even an Imperial Knight. Still, the long, slow journey had not sated his ambition.

Up until this moment, he’d done as he wished. He knew he could move up to the top battalions—if he had the skills. The knights of the 11th and 12th Battalions struggled to climb to higher battalions, and were scorned for it.

The young man in front of him was just stating the truth that Kases was trying to avoid. What’s more, the boy had already mastered Aura at the tender age of ten.

“Don’t try to mock me!” Kases scoffed at the blue-haired boy. “That can’t be Aura! C-Class is a stretch of the imagination already, but now you’re a B-Class? You’re just a brat covering up your little tricks with the Duke’s power!

“You should be ashamed!” Kases screamed, red-faced. “Don’t you understand how your childish behavior is harming the Duke’s reputation?”

Joshua just laughed.

“Are you smiling!?” Kases’s brow furrowed.

“Do the 11th and 12th Battalions fight the Bloody Battle with their tongues?”

“What?”

“Why don’t we give this a shot instead?” Joshua brandished Lugia at the dumbfounded knight. “Are you scared?”

“Goddammit!” Kases didn’t wait for someone to tell them to start—he leapt off the ground and sprinted towards Joshua, channeling his rage into the lethal edge of his blade. It looked like he wanted to split Joshua’s strangely-shaped artifact in two, but that was dangerous.

“Kases! Wait!” Ranger shouted at Kases, but it was too late. He could only watch in horror. This is bad, he’ll be injured at this rate!

Joshua watched Kases rush at him with dark eyes, clenching his hand around Lugia.

If he tries to cut it in half, it could backfire. He should definitely observe his attack patterns first.

Kases approached, bringing his four-foot blade down at Lugia.

If that’s how you want it, then so be it. Joshua’s eyes sparkled as he stretched out Lugia to meet Kases’s longsword.

Kases’s eyes widened, but his reason had returned too late. Joshua was moving too fast for Kases to comprehend, much less avoid the confrontation with his Aura.

Their weapons collided with a deafening roar, Joshua’s spear meeting the tip of Kases’s sword head-on. Ranger and some of the other knights turned their heads away and squeezed their eyes shut, imagining Joshua puking blood and passing out.

But—

“Ugh.”

The knights didn’t know if they should be surprised or worried.

“This is fucking crazy,” Ranger spat.

The Agnus boy wasn’t the one spitting blood. It was his colleague, Kases, Imperial Knight of the 12th Battalion.

“I… eugh… lost.” Kases gazed up at Joshua with trembling eyes.

Joshua slowly raised Lugia.

“W-wait!” Ranger fearfully called out.

“Stop!”

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