Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
“Disappear for a while? What do you mean by this?”
In the chess room in Spear District, Thales stared at the Air Mystic in front of him in shock. “How many lessons of yours have I even attended? And most of the time, we were just exchanging questions and answers in a rather baffling manner Now you’re telling me that you want to ‘disappear for a while’?”
‘Forget about Little Rascal’s moods. That’s because of her menstrual period
‘Forget about Putray’s actions. That old man is always engaged in some mysterious disappearing act
‘Forget about Lisban and Nicholas’ actions. That’s just the way they are
The prince inhaled deeply and stared at the man in blue before him in dissatisfaction. “Are you really my ‘guide’ as you said?”
While they stood at the door, Wya and Justin noticed how the prince was talking to himself after losing his composure. They met eyes and cast the prince a strange look in unison.
Thales noticed their actions. He coughed and pretended to read the lines in the collection of plays in his hand.
Wya and Lord Justin both stopped looking at him.
“Be quiet.” Asda snorted softly while he remained seated in front of Thales. “Right now, you’re like a shrimp jumping up and down in boiling water This is not a good thing, especially for a Mystic.”
Thales inhaled deeply. He put down his book and composed himself.
The Mystic slowly raised his gaze. “Your condition today is even worse than the last time. What happened?”
Thales thought of Saroma’s actions a few days ago and shook his head with an unpleasant expression.
“Nothing, just some old issues.”
The prince was not willing to elaborate. He composed his thoughts and brought the topic back. “So, how about you? What’s your reason for leaving in such a hurry?”
Asda paused for quite a while. Throughout the entire time, hekept his gaze on Thales’ face, as though doubting Thales’ words earlier.
His stare made Thales feel strangely uneasy.
However, the Air Mystic did not continue with his line of questioning. He flatly said, “Do you know about the Tower of Eradication?”
‘The Tower of Eradication?
‘Isn’t that where Wya, Kohen and the others’
Thales raised his eyebrows a little. “I’ve heard of it The cultivating place for swordsmen who claim to be independent of any influence of power, a place that only passes down skills for the sake of humanity’s future?”
The Mystic nodded.
Thales furrowed his eyebrows. “So, what does it have to do with you, with us?”
Asda chuckled softly. “As a group that worked together six hundred something years ago to suppress the calamities and a group that has always been wary of calamities for the past six hundred years, tell me, what relationship does the Tower of Eradication have with us?”
Thales made an “O” shape with his mouth.
“Umm, let me think” Thales shrugged. “The cat and the mouse?
“Or the farmer and the snake?”
Asda paid no heed to Thales’ deliberate teasing. His tone became solemn, “Lately, suspicious information has been circulating out of the Tower of Eradication. I must go over to investigate how true it is.”
Thales asked curiously, “What information could it be for it to be so important?”
Asda stroked the chess piece in his hand gently and narrowed his eyes a little.
“Even though that piece of information is very interesting, and is even considered good news to us” The Mystic nodded his head elegantly and said, “For your sake, I can’t take the risk and let you know the details.”
Thales chuckled and made a face to show that he knew that things would turn out this way. He then rolled his eyes at Asda.
The Air Mystic was unperturbed. He tapped the chess piece on the chessboard softly. “But I can tell you that this is information that can turn the Two Empresses pale with fright.”
‘Turn the Two Empresses
‘…pale with fright?’
Thales fixed his gaze on Asda’s face, wanting to see something from the Mystic’s expression just like he did with other people.
However, after staring into Asda’s eyes for about ten seconds, he eventually gave up.
“Nevermind.” Thales sighed and moved backwards in his chair with a hint of dejection as well as self-mockery. He waved his right hand at the indifferent looking Asda. “I’m used to your hobby of only telling me half of something anyway.”
Asda snorted through his nose. His emotions could not be deciphered.
They sank into silence.
Thales discarded his bad mood, which had been caused by the bad news. Then, he furrowed his eyebrows once again and thought about the situation at hand. “How long will you be away?”
“I don’t know.
“It could be a very long time.” Asda shook his head. “It isn’t easy to go near the Tower of Eradication.”
Thales scowled and stared at the Air Mystic. He exhaled, feeling irritated and helpless. He then rubbed his forehead in annoyance.
“Now, of all times”
‘This is so bad.
‘At a time when Dragon Clouds City is in its most troubled state’
“Haih.” Thales sighed softly. “You don’t seem to be worried at all. What if during the days when you’re not around, and when Dragon Clouds City isn’t peaceful, I suddenly become extremely unlucky and die in an assassination?”
The Air Mystic narrowed his eyes.
“Thales, why do you want to come out for a game of chess?”
Thales’ heart tightened.
“Child, perhaps you’re able to deceive other people,” Asda snorted coldly and said. There was a hidden meaning in his words. “But look around you. You already know where you’ll be going.”
Thales let out a cough due to his embarrassment, since he knew what Asda was implying.
While he sat in the room, he turned and looked around at the archduchess’ personal guards as well as patrols who were on the streets, in the opposite building and at the door. They surrounded him tightly. He turned and faked a deliberate, unpleasant smile at the Mystic.
The afternoon sun shone on the open-air room’s terrace and basked the prince in golden rays.
Asda, who strangely did not change color even though he was under the sun, raised his chin slowly. His voice became slightly louder, “It seems like you’re still placing hope in me?”
Thales rubbed the area between his eyebrows, where the crease was becoming increasingly prominent, and helplessly spread his hands.
“I have to admit it.” The second prince thought hard about the news from the City of Faraway Prayers. “It’s true that I see you as one of my back-up plans. If things really reach a point where they are irreparable, at least I’ll have one last option.
“But looking at things now”
Thales shook his head and did not continue to speak.
Asda’s eyes brightened a little, and he once again spoke in the kind of beguiling tone that Thales had experienced countless of times. “Actually, you can choose the ‘last option’ now.
“As long as you want it, the world of Mystics will always welcome you Do you want to go to the Tower of Eradication with me?”
But Thales just let out a soft cough, as though he did not hear the Mystic. He nodded solemnly and waved.
“Have a safe journey. I won’t be sending you off.”
Asda stared at his disrespectful student from the corners of his eyes. He was not angry. Instead, the corners of his lips curled up a little.
“Thales, be careful. Remember that the people by your side are already investigating your existence.
“Treat your special mystic energy with caution. Any suspicious actions may cause you to expose yourself.”
The Mystic’s eyes shone with a blue light. “When I’m not around, you can only depend on yourself.”
Still vexed over his plight, Thales exhaled. “You’re making it sound as if you’ve been a big help to me over the past few years.”
Asda snorted softly.
“Very well. As a parting present, Thales, let’s finish talking about the contents of our first lesson,” the Air Mystic said softly.
“The first lesson?”
“Thales.” Asda nodded. “You once asked me about how the Magic Empress betrayed us.”
His expression became somber. “It’s time to tell you about thisour biggest enemies and threats.
While Thales stared at his unusual teacher’s unusual expression, he, too, became a little anxious.
“Oh, then this really is a pleasant surprise.”
Thales nodded awkwardly. Soon after, he looked around in a very paranoid manner. “Wait, you won’t suddenly ‘end the lesson’ the next moment again, right?”
Asda’s lips curled up.
He sat up straight and placed the queen, which he had stroked with his “hand” for a long time, back on the chessboard. This was a rare thing when it came to the Air Mystic. “Speaking of the Battle of Eradication, Thales, it wasn’t a one-sided and quick war. Instead, it went on for as long as ten years and was a destructive tug of war about beliefs, points of view, resistance, and compromises.”
Thales focused. He could not help but notice that Asda did not point out whose beliefs and points of view he was referring to. Neither did he mention the parties who fought back, nor those who compromised.
“On one hand, we have the soldiers and armies from both sides of the war, the politics, and the parties involved in scheming against each other. On the other hand, the chaotic battle between the two Obscurists and the six Extremists never ceased. Even the gods, demons, dragons and the Magic Towers were involved in that war.”
“I read some incomplete records before about this,” As he listened to the Mystic’s narration, Thales muttered to himself and nodded. “About how the King of Renaissance as well as the Dragon King mediated with the countries all around and gathered the hearts of the people amid the complicated political situation. I also read about how the Church of Holy Sun put out enlistment warrants and called the people to take up arms repeatedly.
“I reckon that this war, which decided the world’s fate may not be as simple as we had imagined?”
‘According to the discussion with Hicks a few days ago, we concluded that no wars are simple, whether it’s about distinguishing between the enemy and ourselves, or about victory and defeat.’
Asda did not agree or disagree with Thales. He simply crossed his fingers and focused his gaze slightly, as per habit.
“After the Magic Towers were destroyed, the survivors of the towers continued to diligently study about the Mystics’ weaknesses. They were successful too. Soldiers equipped with anti-mystic equipment were able to be more or less immune from the abilities of some Mystics, but they were still at a loss on what to do to limit the Mystics’ actions.”
Thales caught the term, which was both familiar and unfamiliar to him at the same time.
The next moment, Asda’s tone suddenly changed.
“However, the real turning point came during the eleventh year.”
The atmosphere around them became as dark as a secret chamber with its curtains down, right when Asda’s voice gained a gloomy edge.
Even Thales could not help but furrow his eyebrows.
“Bryan was the first Mystic to be defeated,” Asda said calmly, as though he was talking about something that did not matter. Nonetheless, Thales could clearly feel that his state of mind was not the same anymore. “When he once again exerted that frightening ability of his and descended upon the nightmares of thousands of people, his chest was pierced by his only opponent who was awake at that time. That opponent did so using an unusual anti-mystic equipment.”
Thales could vaguely remember Giza mentioning this name a long time ago.
“Then”Asda narrowed his eyes a little”Bryan disappeared.”
‘After his chest was pierced by a weapon, a Mystic
The Mystic’s choice of words was very simple, but it sent a chill down the prince’s spine.
Thales stared at Asda and thought of everything he knew as well as heard from the past. In his uneasiness, he had a premonition of how the story would end.
“This news was very frightening’
“During those few days, almost all of the Mystics evolved, knocked on the Door and rose to their basic forms just to search for Bryan, whom they could not sense.” Asda’s expression remained the same, but his tone became increasingly gloomy. “Despite that, we couldn’t find any trace of Bryan anymore. There was only a lump of dead substance. which was completely without sentience in the evolved form that originally belonged to the Nightmare Mystic.”
‘A lump of dead substance.
‘Completely without sentience.’
Thales could not help but recall the moment he “knocked on the Door” in the past, and the many strange happenings he encountered in the mesmerizing darkness.
“Both the Extremists on the battlefield and us, who were living in seclusion, were shocked, confused and in a dilemma as to whether we should advance or retreat.”
Asda stared at the air. While his expression did not change, the rhythm of his speech became increasingly unsettling.
“Giza and Erik believed that the humans used some method to hide Bryan. So, they destroyed nine moats overnight and interrogated nine kings as well as suzerains just to find Bryan.
“Lebla, who was still somewhat rational, stopped being as arrogant and complacent as usual, and tried to contact us, but was forced away by Solovski’s biting sarcasm.
“Freuland made up her mind to seek for Taurus’ help, but we did not hear from her after that.
“Sora had quite a good relationship with the Obscurists, but according to her, both old Zarkel and Kirei didn’t know what actually happened.”
Thales blinked in surprise. He did not even remember being interested in asking about the people behind these names.
As Asda’s tone turned deeper and more somber, the pace in which he told his story became increasingly frantic.
“That’s when B realized that apart from Taurus, there were two more Mystics who did not respond at all after such a major incident happened.”
A strange blue light shone in Asda’s eyes. “They seemed to be very busy, not even having the time and energy to knock on the Door and check on Bryan.”
Thales could not help but hold his breath. “They were”
“Ah, Blood Spike and Hellen.”
Asda’s gaze was transfixed at a spot in the air, and he nodded slightly. “Known as the Magic Empresses after that.”
‘Blood Spike and Hellen.
‘The Two Empresses.’
Thales widened his eyes a little. “Does that mean the weapon, and the Magic Empresses, they were”
Asda turned and swept his totally emotionless eyes past Thales’ face, making the latter’s heart skip a beat.
“Unbeknownst to us, the two Mystics who always seemed to keep themselves out of things and stayed neutral had started working together with the humans, with the survivors of the Magic Towers,” the Air Mystic’s tone was cold. “In the end, with the existing anti-mystic equipment as a basis, they produced the Mystics’ greatest enemy.”
The temperature in the chess room seemed to suddenly drop.
The next moment, Asda parted his lips a little and coldly uttered the term that Thales had heard countless times.
“The legendary anti-mystic equipment.”
The silence between them lasted for quite a while.
Thales tried hard to digest the information he just received.
‘The legendary anti-mystic equipment.
‘The Two Empresses.’
“Does this mean that the legendary They w-were the Two Empresses’ creation?” Thales could not help but ask.
Asda fixed his gaze on the chessboard, as though there was something on it that he could not miss observing.
He nodded in an extremely slow manner.
“Every legendary anti-mystic equipment in the world was made by the Two Empresses. They all have corresponding abilities It’s as though they were made to restrain each of us.
“At the same time, as Mystics, once we’re harmed by these weapons, in less serious cases, we’ll be badly hurt, and recovering from the injuries will be difficult. In serious cases, we will disappear without a trace.”
The blue light in the Mystic’s eyes sparkled like the stars, then disappeared into the depths of his eyes.
“This is what we call ‘sealing’a proof of their betrayal.”
As though he was staring at scenes from the past, Asda stared at the vacant air and hazily said, “Ever since then, the ‘Three Deaths’ became ‘Three Deaths, One Prohibition’, which is part of the Mystics’ Commandments.”
Thales was startled again.
“Three Deaths, One Prohibition?” the prince said, puzzled.
“I seem to have heard this somewhere a long time ago What is this?”
Asda only shook his head and said casually in his usual manner, “You’re not at the stage where you need to know about it yet. Knowing about it too early will be nothing but harmful to you.”
Thales raised his eyebrows in dissatisfaction.
But in the end, knowing Asda’s temperament, the prince only sighed and abandoned the thought of getting to the bottom of things.
“So, what are the fundamentals of the legendary anti-mystic equipment?” Thales suppressed his diverging thoughts and moved his curiosity back to the topic at hand. “And since it’s called ‘sealing’, does it mean that the sealed Mystics are not dead? It’s only temporary like how it was for you in Eternal Star City six years ago?”
“Theoretically, the Mystics who are sealed still exist in the world. It’s just that they’ll lose consciousness, just like a patient who can’t wake up.” Ever since he started talking about this topic, Asda’s tone became very grave. This sentence was no exception. “But, the secret of the legendary anti-mystic equipment has always been in the Two Empresses’ hands. We haven’t been able to find out, even now.
“This is a yoke that has pressed down on our shoulders for almost seven hundred years.
“We still can’t figure it out.”
The prince stared at the Mystic, who did not seem to be in high spirits. He did not know what to say.
“Wait, I’ve thought of a question.” The prince’s gaze soon flickered. “If the legendary anti-mystic equipment is the Mystics’ greatest problem”
Thales looked at his guide with a confused gaze. “What about the Two Empresses?
“Wouldn’t the weapons they make be a threat to themselves?”
Thales inhaled deeply and recalled all the legendary anti-mystic equipment he had seen. The Masked Protector’s short sword, the Corleone Sisters’ black coffin, the Fortress Flower’s shield, the Kingdom’s Wrath’s big, silver and black bow, the Star Killer’s white-hilted blade, the Walton Family’s Soul Slayer Pike, as well as the Fire Knight’s golden saber
According to his experiences, they all had their own ability and were the most frightening poison and enemy to Mystics.
‘More importantly, they were all made by the Two Empresses. They’re the creation of Empress Blood Spike and Empress Hellen?
“‘My blood brother.'”
Thales forcibly suppressed the memory of the voice and spoke, as though deep in thought.
“Would anyone use the legendary anti-mystic equipment they made to fight against the Two Empresses themselves?”
At that moment, Asda’s eyes brightened.
“Good question.” The Mystic chuckled. “You’re approaching the truth of the world, Your Highness.”
Thales widened his eyes to show that he did not understand.
However, Asda only smiled in a rarely seen manner, before it gradually faded away.
“Take care, Thales.” The Air Mystic gently placed his hand on the left side of his chest and bowed elegantly. “The lesson ends here.
“I’ll see you in Eternal Star City.”
A few seconds later, astonished and speechless, Thales was left alone (again?) in the chess room.
He blinked and tried hard to digest the information he had received that day.
‘The legendary anti-mystic equipment
‘The Two Empresses
‘And Asda, who’s going on a long journey’
Thales heaved a loud and long sigh. Seemingly abandoning himself to despair, he had his head crash against the chessboard.
However, the prince’s thoughts were soon cut off.
“Prince Thales,” the former deputy commander of the White Blade Guards and Nicholas’ assistant, Lord Justin’s voice rang behind him, “are you done?”
“What’s the matter?”
Thales exhaled with great effort. He raised his head with difficulty and extended his hand to put the queen on the chessboard back into the chess box. “I believe that it is not time yet.”
Lord Justin went up to the prince and nodded in a polite, cold manner.
“The City of Faraway Prayer’s official diplomat group has already reached Dragon Clouds City.” The lord’s words made the prince recover from his slump. “The archduchess and the Prime Minister I mean the regent invited you to go to Heroic Spirit Palace with them to welcome the guests from the City of Faraway Prayers and join the welcoming banquet.”
Thales slowly furrowed his brows. “Why? It doesn’t seem appropriate for an enemy kingdom’s prince to be present for this sort of matter.”
“Because this was the guest’s request,” Justin said flatly. “It was the vehement request of Ian Roknee, the eldest son of Archduke Roknee, the heir of the Knight’s Canon, and the next Archduke of the City of Faraway Prayers.”
Thales froze for a few seconds.
“I don’t understand,” the prince said, rather puzzled. “I don’t know him.”
Justin said nothing, as another person answered on his behalf.
“I thought so too.”
Putray, whom Thales had not seen for a long time, walked in through the door of the room. He greeted Wya and Ralf with his tobacco pipe in his mouth. He then turned and said to his prince with a smile, “However, I heard that young Roknee said this in regards to the matter of extending an invitation to you”
Thales’ heart clenched while he stared at his former vice diplomat.
Putray exhaled a mouthful of smoke and shook his head in an expression of regret.
“He said, ‘An eye-witness is of course needed for a marriage proposal.'”