Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
With anger burning in him, Thales rode past the First Gatehouse back to Heroic Spirit Palace under heavy protection. There were countless questions in his mind.
According to Asda, there were not many Mystics to begin with, but they still divided themselves into various factions.
The Extremists led by B started the war, and they were once the most powerful faction. They were the true “calamities” who had committed numerous crimes. According to Asda, they were a bunch of complete lunatics who destroyed the world and themselves at the same time. But, was that true? Thales had always felt that even the unreasonable Giza did not seem like such an insane existence.
Then, there were the Moderators who rejected war. Asda was one of them. Asda described themselves as a bunch of pacifists who remained detached from worldly affairs and were scattered around the world, disunited. However, from what Thales could see right now, be it controlling the underworld of Constellation or chasing after Thales, the Air Mystic was the most proactive one in his desire to change the current situation of the Mystics.
The two Obscurists who fought against the Extremists because they saw themselves as human Asda’s attitude towards them was very strange. He neither despised nor approved of them. Instead, he was filled with strong compassion towards him. Where were the two of them now, and what was their current condition?
‘Lastly.’ Once he arrived at his next train of thought, Thales’ heart clenched.
‘Blood Spike and Hellen.’
The betrayers of the Mystics known as the Magic Empresses were the ones most shrouded in mystery. Why and how did they carry out their betrayal? Why did Asda’s hatred toward them exceed the hatred he felt for the Obscurists, who sided with the world? How were they doing now?
Thales sighed and dismounted next to Heroic Spirit Palace’s stable. He took out the book from his saddle and passed the reins to the horsekeeper as he pacified Jennie, who was reluctant to part with him.
After he attended his “first lesson”, the confusion in his mind regarding the world did not decrease. Instead, it increased. The more he knew, the more questions he had.
While he was deep in thought, Wya nudged the teenage prince from behind. His tone was careful and vigilant, “Your Highness.”
Thales snapped back to attention and raised his head. He then saw someone who made both Wya and Ralf rather unsettled.
It was a pale-faced man. He leaned against the stable with his arms crossed, and a saber with a black hilt was tied diagonally to his back.
He raised his head and revealed a sharp, hostile gaze to the prince as well as his entourage. The Archduchess’ Guards and the palace guards, including Lord Justin nodded their heads to greet him. His entire being radiated with a dangerous presence, which prohibited strangers from going near him.
It was just like the time he first met with Thales.
“It’s already six,” the man said coldly. “I said, five.”
Feeling resigned, Thales rolled his eyes at the setting sun.
“Aren’t you supposed to be busy protecting the archduchess from danger?” The prince swept the dust off his body, then bade farewell to Jennie. Once again, he saw the beautiful filly causing an uproar among her fellow horses after she was brought into the stable.
“Why do you have time to come and see a powerless foreign prince who has accomplished nothing, Lord Nicholas?”
Soray Nicholas, the legendary commander who was demoted from being a White Blade Guard to the Archduchess’ Guard was already a middle-aged man. After the events leading to the drastic changes six years ago, and as the wrinkles in the corners of his eyes increased, this personal guard whom King Nuven once trusted the most became even more level-headed and dependable. He also became more meticulous and careful.
Wya anxiously turned and tried to search for Aida’s figure. But a few seconds later, he turned back, sighing. That shorty probably left the prince behind and went by to the suburbs to hunt on her own again.
The Star Killer snorted coldly.
“Others may think that you’re an unremarkable boy who you only reads and plays chess, that at most, you’re either playing truant or a game of hide and seek.” As usual, Nicholas stared at his target with a repelling, scrutinizing gaze. His tone was unpleasant, “But I know”
The Star Killer put down his arms. His gaze was sharp.
“You are the most troublesome person in Heroic Spirit Palace.”
Thales sighed helplessly and turned to walk out of the stable, brushing past Nicholas.
“Thank you for your praise, excuse me while I”
At this moment, Thales’ shoulder suddenly sank!
The prince tilted his head and stared at the Star Killer’s hand, which was pressed on his shoulder. He furrowed his eyebrows a little.
Wya and Ralf reacted quickly. The attendant placed his hand on his single-edged sword, while the Phantom Wind Follower pulled out a portion of the two short swords by his waist.
The people around them also reacted rapidly. The Constellatiates conscientiously formed a semicircle and blocked the Northlanders, who also became anxious as they stood outside the semicircle.
“Let go of the prince.”
Wya stared at them and warned with a grave expression.
“Relax, relax.” Before the situation got out of control, Thales exhaled and waved his hand, signaling his subordinates to step back. “Lord Nicholas often likes to joke with me.”
He then stared at the Star Killer, who still had his hand on his shoulder. The prince arched an eyebrow as he said, “Right?”
Nicholas stared at him for a whole five seconds before he released the teenager in front of him.
Next to them, the vigilant Wya heaved a sigh of relief. The aggressive atmosphere around them also eased up.
But the moment Thales shrugged, the Star Killer suddenly extended his hand again.
Nicholas’ movement was so fast that it was hard to follow. The prince was not able to react at all. He could only look on helplessly as the Star Killer extended his hand and snatched away the thick, brown-covered book he brought out of the palace!
At that moment, like a furious, young lion, Thales’ expression changed drastically.
Like the most loyal friend, the Sin of Hell’s River rose from every inch of his body and surged into his left arm, filling every joint from his shoulder and elbow to his wrist.
The moment the book left his hand, Thales rapidly stretched out his left arm. His speed was a few times quicker than usual, and he grabbed the book with a back hand.
He had a hard grip on the book’s spine!
The Sin of Hell’s River surged again and filled the muscles in Thales’ arm, gradually increasing the strength of his hand. He did not relent at all.
The attendants placed their hands on their weapons again as the atmosphere became tense once more.
“Your Highness!” Wya shouted anxiously. “Be careful with your”
“Step back, Wya!” Thales said with a solemn expression, stopping his subordinate from whipping out the weapon by his waist. “This is a very big joke from Lord Nicholas, that’s all.”
‘This man’ Thales fixed his gaze on Nicholas.
‘He just refuses to make things easy for me.’
The brown-covered book hung in the air The Prince of Constellation and Star Killer grabbed one side of the book respectively. Both of them refused to budge.
“Oh, this is quite rare.” Once he felt the strength in his hand increasing, it became difficult for Nicholas to hide the shock in his eyes. “If you could also display such a performance during your usual sword practices”
“You would probably f*ck me up even worse,” Thales coldly cut him off, refusing to let go of the book in his hand even in the slightest.
The corners of Nicholas’ mouth curled up.
“You know, I have always been very curious.” The Star Killer’s eyes shone with a strange, cold light. “Aren’t you sick of playing chess by yourself in an empty box for three consecutive years?”
“What else am I supposed to do?” Thales showed no signs of weakness. “You can’t play chess, and the archduchess’ skills are awfully bad.”
“Is that so?” Nicholas sneered. “There are definitely people who know how to play chess in the Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Department, right?”
Thales gritted his teeth hard and thought that things were progressing in a bad direction.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t act so boorishly towards me.” The prince sighed. Trembling in the trial of strength, his arm gradually started to ache. “The archduchess”
“The archduchess definitely remembers how her grandfather passed away!” Nicholas cut Thales off with an expression akin to a hunter who had just succeeded in catching his prey.
Thales was immediately at a loss for words.
The next moment, Nicholas pushed the book in his hand, and pulled it again right after!
Thales could not get a grasp of his opponent’s abrupt change in technique and strength. The agility and force brought about by the Sin of Hell’s River were of no use at all. He could only stare helplessly as Nicholas snatched the book away once again.
“I didn’t know that you were still interested in the Temple of Knights.” Nicholas stared at the title of the book on the cover before he glanced at the pale-faced Prince of Constellation with considerable interest. “But”
The Star Killer tapped the spine of the book with one hand, and the book automatically opened to the most-used page. It lay flat on Nicholas’ wide, calloused palm.
A thin, sky blue piece of paper was lodged in the middle of the page.
Thales clenched his fists hard. His breathing became more rapid.
“Oh, this explains it” Nicholas narrowed his eyes and curled up the corners of his lips. He gently picked up the thin, blue piece of paper and stared at Thales’ livid expression, expressing some interest.
“A message? Is this why you wanted to go for a game of chess?”
‘That’s the invitation,’ Thales thought.
He suppressed the worry in his heart and extended his hand to stop his subordinates from taking action.
“There’s only a meaningless sentence on it,” the prince said calmly. “You know”
Nicholas cut him off with a chuckle.
“Then, let us take a look” With the kind of smile one had when victory was in one’s hands, Nicholas flung open the thin piece of paper right in front of the prince and read the words on it.
But after he read the first word, the expression on Nicholas’ pale face changed a little.
He raised his head abruptly and shifted his gaze from the thin piece of paper back to Thales.
“Is this some kind of joke, Little Prince?” the Star Killer said coldly.
Nicholas turned the thick cover in his hand, and the thin, sky blue piece of paper lay open before Thales’ eyes.
Both Wya and Ralf extended their heads forward.
There was only a line of words on the thin piece of paper in Nicholas’ hands. It was in the common language, written neatly in standard decorative font.
[The Star Killer is an idiot.]
Ralf whistled and drew his head back.
Wya muttered something under his breath and restrained his smile. He did not look at Nicholas’ expression.
“See, I told you. It’s just a meaningless sentence.” Thales scratched his head in embarrassment, using this movement to relieve the ache caused by the Sin of Hell’s River. “You were the one who insisted on reading it.”
Nicholas stared into the prince’s eyes with a fiery gaze.
Nicholas’ assistant, Lord Justin furrowed his eyebrows a little. He went forward and reminded Nicholas, “Boss, it’s getting late.”
The Star Killer shut his mouth in dissatisfaction and snorted through his nose.
With an unpleasant expression, Nicholas crumpled the thin piece of paper in his hand into a ball and tossed the book back to Thales.
“Little Prince, you better be more careful.”
“Why don’t you say something else next time?” Thales caught the book and pretended to blow the dust off it. “I’m used to that line.”
“What I meant was,” Nicholas’ gaze became cold, and his words were profound, “be on guard.”
At that moment, Thales’ pupils constricted.
“What do you mean?” the prince asked faintly.
Thales sensed something unusual in Nicholas’ words.
“I meant what I said, literally.”
Nicholas calmly tore the thin piece of paper in his hand into pieces. “Dragon Clouds City hasn’t been very peaceful lately.
“And you’re the most interesting bargaining chip here.”
While he tore the paper, the Star Killer walked forward slowly and inched his face towards Thales’ in an oppressive manner, speaking in an increasingly scary tone, “Of course, if you and the hand behind you try to do something”
Thales furrowed his eyebrows hard.
At this moment…
It was a crisp and clear female voice. It sounded rather youthful, and it rang from the empty piece of land outside the stable.
Thales exhaled, while Nicholas responded with a cold snort of annoyance.
Wya’s expression relaxed. He turned and mouthed to Ralf that they were “safe now”.
Footsteps rang outside the stable.
A blonde girl in a formal, dark brown dress went up to the stable while she was protected by the Archduchess’ Guards on both sides. A noble who was old, but had a very regal bearing walked beside her with powerful steps, whereas the old-fashioned Madam Ginghes followed behind them with two maidservants.
Beside the stable, the Archduchess’ Guards as well as the palace guards stepped back in unison and saluted politely.
“Lord Nicholas,” the maiden who suddenly arrived continued to speak in a clear voice. She sounded like a softly-chirping skylark, giving off a feeling that the setting sun would rise again. “Prince Thales is our distinguished guest and Dragon Clouds City’s ally. He represents our friendship with the Jadestar Family and Constellation.
“You should show the bearings and behavior fitting to your honor as a Northlander and the leader of my team of personal guards.”
The maiden stared straight at Nicholas, who was in a stalemate with Thales. Her expression was calm, but there was a baffling apathy to it.
“After all, we once fought side by side with him.”
The Star Killer inhaled softly and shot a glance at the prince. He then took a step back and bowed slightly before the maiden.
“Of course,” Nicholas said coldly. “As you wish, Your Grace.”
Thales shrugged. He turned and flashed a friendly smile at the maiden who got him out of his predicament.
The slovenly Little Rascal he met six years ago had unknowingly become a bright and beautiful maiden who was about fifteen or sixteen years old now. Although as Prince Soria’s daughter in name, she was supposed to be eighteen years old.
Her transformation into the current Archduchess of Dragon Clouds City, Saroma Walton surprised even Thales, who faced her day and night.
The maiden’s bluish-green eyes were even livelier than they used to be. The curve of her nose was adorable, making it hard for people to resist extending their hands and pinching it softly; her lips were slightly thick with a special appearance; her bright and clear face also had a healthy, pinkish glow to it, making her platinum hair, which fell to front of her chest seem even brighter.
The only thing about her that ruined this brightness was probably the large and thick, black-rimmed glasses on her face.
“Good evening, my esteemed and noble Archduchess of Dragon Clouds City, the beautiful and elegant Lady Saroma.” Thales smiled, feeling relaxed. He raised his right hand at Saroma before placing it over the left side of his chest. Then, he bowed so elegantly and decently that no one could find any fault with it. “Lord Nicholas was only fooling around with me. Please do not be too harsh on him.
The maiden, Saroma stared quietly at him. The emotions in her eyes could not be deciphered.
“Nevertheless, I still thank you for your concern. I will keep this gratitude in my heart.” The prince curled up the corners of his lips to what Madam Ginghes called the optimum arc, and nodded slightly. “I hope you’ve had a good day today, My Lady.”
“As well as both of you Count Lisban and Madam Ginghes.” Thales arched an eyebrow and looked on as the solemn-faced Lisban and calm-looking Ginghes returned his salute.
Finally, Saroma furrowed her eyebrows a little and pursed her slightly curved lips. This made her seem even cuter. She slowly walked forward and stared at Thales at eye-level.
Once she arrived in front of him, the maiden pouted and extended her hands to elegantly lift the folds of her dress. She revealed a pair of tiny, exquisite buckskin boots and a pair of splendidly curved calves in the process.
Thales straightened his body. He could not help but notice that the girl’s once dirty hands were now fair and smooth. They were resting lightly by the sides of her waist. Accentuated by her well-fitted formal dress, her neck looked slim and her waist seemed erect. Her considerably formed breasts were tightly bound by her tight undershirt. Her entire being just radiated with the vitality of youth.
However, just as Thales thought that the archduchess had lifted her dress to bow in return of his salute
Thales cried out in pain and took two steps back, crashing into the stable behind him.
He bent down in pain and rubbed the part of his leg that was kicked.
Behind the maiden, Count Lisban and Madam Ginghes furrowed their eyebrows in unison, while the two maidservants covered their mouths and cried out in shock. Nicholas scratched his neck and shook his head slowly.
Saroma snorted coldly as she drew back her extended boot. She shook her hands, then threw down the folds of her dress angrily. Complementing the archduchess’ mischievous movements, the tiara made of gemstones on her tall forehead glimmered under the setting sun. Even the Cloud Dragon Spear emblem on her sleeve suddenly seemed more colorful.
The Prince of Constellation raised his head with a look of disbelief after he was kicked for no apparent reason.
“Hey.” Feeling the pain in his leg and having a stomach full of bitterness, Thales protested in dissatisfaction, “Why?”
Saroma went up to Thales, and she appeared to be slightly taller than him. She curled up the corners of her lips and stared at the guests from Constellation with a look of annoyance.
Wya and Ralf stared at each other before they wisely took a step back in unison, choosing to abandon their duty and leave their prince behind.
With a cold expression, the maiden emphasized the pronunciation on some of her words, “Constellation’s esteemed, noble and handsome Prince Thales! ‘Your Highness’!”
Very unhappy, the archduchess shot a glance at the large black steed, who was peacefully chewing her fodder and calmly watching everything. She threatened Thales angrily with her crisp and bright voice, “If you talk to me in that tone again, don’t bother staying in the court anymore Go to the stable and sleep with your beloved Jennie!”
Saroma snorted softly. She turned abruptly and walked away angrily, stomping her deerskin boots on the ground so hard that her footsteps could be heard twenty meters away.
The maiden’s long hair whipped past Thales’ cheek, and hints of fragrance traveled into his nostrils.
But the unfortunate prince did not have the energy to care about these little pleasantries at all. With a wronged expression, he raised his head to look at Count Lisban, who had an apathetic expression.
Madam Ginghes and the two maidservants hurriedly followed the archduchess. The former even shot a glance at Thales with furrowed eyebrows as though everything was his fault.
“Ciel, I am already very tired today.” The archduchess’ crisp voice rang in a respectful and polite manner. It was a sharp contrast to her behavior earlier. “Let us talk about it tomorrow. I will entrust the rest to you.”
The Regent of Dragon Clouds City, Count Lisban, who was also clad in formal clothes, sighed and nodded lightly behind the maiden. “Of course, My Lady.”
The Star Killer shook his head in disdain and followed the archduchess.
Saroma’s footsteps receded.
Thales straightened his body and exhaled in dissatisfaction. He asked Lisban, “Who upset her again in today’s council hearing?”
“No one.” The regent shook his head without changing his expression. But then, he nodded contradictorily, and his expression darkened.
Thales revealed a puzzled expression and said in dissatisfaction, “In that case, do I deserve to be made the unfortunate target?”
Count Ciel Lisban, the Regent of Dragon Clouds City who was over sixty years old probably did not really like Thales since the very first time he laid eyes on him. But strangely this time, the count shook his head and apologized to Thales.
“I apologize for the lady’s behavior on her behalf Her actions earlier were indeed inappropriate, Prince Thales,” Regent Lisban said earnestly. “I will remonstrate her at the right moment.
“Trust me, this is not how she’s usually like.”
Thales, who had just been put through a hard time, rolled his eyes.
“I shall excuse myself first, Prince Thales,” Regent Lisban said slowly as he stared at the archduchess’ figure from the back. “Please convey my gratitude to Lord Putray.”
Having no choice, Thales nodded.
Accompanied by his attendants, the regent turned and left.
Thales’ heart sank a little as he watched Lisban’s retreating figure.
‘What Lisban said what in the world happened during the council hearing?
‘Nicholas also warned me that “Dragon Clouds City hasn’t been very peaceful lately.” Then there’s his rather baffling but hostile search too…
‘Putray has also come to Dragon Clouds City at this time.’
While deep in thought, Thales raised his head. He felt slightly uneasy.
Something serious had happened.
He had to find Putray as soon as possible and listen to the lord’s report.
The large, black steed extended her head out of the fence and nuzzled the prince’s cheek playfully.
“As expected.” Thales diverted his attention away from his complicated thoughts for the time being. He hugged Jennie’s head and heaved a long sigh. “You’re still the better one, Jennie.”
At this moment, after disappearing for a long time, Aida suddenly hopped out of nowhere.
She held two dead rabbits in each hand and spoke jubilantly in front of Wya as well as Ralf, who had their eyes and mouth wide open. “Hey, Little Thales, look what I caught. Tonight, we can light a fire. It will definitely”
The prince turned solemnly towards her.
“Aida.” Thales’ expression changed. He revealed a fierce expression and snorted coldly at the elf. “If you leave us and go hunting again
“…Don’t bother staying in the court anymore.
“Move here and sleep with Jennie!”
Aida froze where she was standing.
At this moment, the archduchess’ dissatisfied and furious yells rang from afar once again.
“Why are you dilly dallying?!
“Do you still want to eat dinner?!”
Thales inhaled deeply and tugged at his face with his hands to change his expression from that of a “wronged prince” to a “joyful teenager”.
‘Of course I want to.
‘I just don’t feel like eating with a certain angry, little lioness.’
The teenage prince could only look up at the sky and heave a long sigh. Muttering to himself about “how cute the archduchess used to be when she was young”, he shouted that he was coming, though it was done in a listless tone.
Thales turned without delay and walked in Saroma’s direction, leaving Aida behind. She was holding on to the rabbits with a baffled expression. She, Wya and Ralf just stared at one another.
In the stable, Jennie snorted as she lowered her head and continued to enjoy her feast.
“What’s up with the two kids?” Aida glanced at Jennie under her cloak and shook the rabbits in her hands.
“You know.” Wya sighed and touched his nose.
“It’s so good to be young.”
A distance away, Count Lisban stopped walking. He turned slowly and shot a glance in the stable’s direction.
‘Yes. The archduchess used you as a target to release her anger, Prince Thales. However, she only knows how to use you as a “target”.
‘This is where the problem lies.’
With a profound gaze, Regent Lisban turned and left.