The obsidian walls of Morlaix Palace were so sturdy that even the battering winds and the frost over hundred of years could do nothing to them.
On the side of the royal palace where a seal of the sun was painted, there was a broad garden where statues of the sages and emperors of the past were being placed there. Pure white marble was used to build the pathways in the middle of the garden, dividing the garden into two section. Meanwhile, the pathway led directly to a hall at the side of it. The supreme emperor would often lie on his dragon armchair, reading some books as for leisure, other than handling all crucial matters of the Empire.
However, currently, the atmosphere in the royal study room was heavy and tense. It felt as if a storm was brewing in that room.
A cold laughter was heard resounded across the study room. A tall man with dark golden shoulder- length hair was standing in front of his desk. He glanced at a warrior who stood respectfully in front of him. Then he spoke coldly, "I don't want to hear anything about the disturbance in the city from you. Nash, what makes you think that I don't know about the incident?"
"No, Your Majesty."
Wearing a chainmail with a sword by his side, the warrior by the name Nash lowered his head that was initially lowered even further. Then he whispered, "With your strength, you must have known the cause of this matter"
"Then let's cut the crap and get to the point."
Interrupting the words of his subordinate, Israel Diamond, the ruler of the Empire had eyes cold as ice. "So tell me, when can we begin out purge on those cultists in our holy city?"
"I'm afraid We'll need a little more time to prepare, Your Majesty."
Clenching his teeth together, Nash did not dare to look directly at the emperor's gaze. Cold sweat started to appear on his forehead. "Your Majesty, the city guards have already begun implementing martial law across the city. They are blocking the teleportation circles and forbidding outsiders from entering and leaving the holy city. But it is truly strange that we've yet to discover any clues about the incident this time. We don't even have a lead to start with our investigation. There's not even the slightest scent of Chaos. And no one has detected even the slightest detail about anything suspicious. We have no idea where to start at all."
Seeing that Israel did not continue to scold him in rage, the warrior was finally relieved. Perhaps because the almighty emperor had been with the military for years. Hence, he was not an emperor that would not listen to reason. He merely disliked people that beat around the bush. After a while, he only added, "All four members of the family that got blown up are confirmed dead. The corpses that were burned into ash have been found in the basement. They had suffered great pain and suffering before they were killed. Thus, we could not confirm their time of death. We have reasons to believe that this was a premeditated attack. The cultists may have begun preparing for this a week ago."
"There are still no traces of any cultist activities today, but the celebration feast is only a few days from now..."
Speaking of which, Nash's heart had already begun to beat at an insanely fast pace. However, even though he might risk himself enraging Emperor Israel, he had to speak his mind out about how he assessed the situation about that explosion incident. "So, Your Majesty, I also have reasons to believe that we need to temporarily postpone the celebration feast until we can round the god damn cultists up and put a rest to this incident."
"Because there might be an attack on the crowd during the celebration, so for the sake of safety, you're suggesting to postpone the celebration feast Is that right?"
At that time, Israel's tone was normal again. Then he calmly said, "A reasonable judgment, as a courtier, you are doing your job well."
Before Nash could lay down the heavy stone in his heart, the voice of the emperor was heard in his ears once more.
The emperor of the Imperial City walked to the front of his desk. Then he lifted his head and looked at the insignia [Pentastar Ring of the Sun] on the dome-shaped ceiling right above him. "I'm the emperor of the Imperial City."
"The holy city is the capital of the Empire Kingdom."
"Two days later, that banquet will bring together the messengers of the vast majority of kingdoms on this continent. Nobles from all over the Empire would all be here. Even the elves and the dwarves underground would send their representatives to come and congratulate us. Not to mention the envoys of the Church of the Seven Gods would all be here as well."
Israel turned his head around and looked at the warrior who was already bathed in cold sweat. Then he calmly said, "Those cultists are attempting to wound not only my face, but also the face of Imperial City, the entire Empire, and also the royals."
"Nash, you are the commander of [Shadow Corps], my sharpest blade and also my best pair of ears. I don't want to hear about anything that says the banquet must only be held after we've captured all of the cultists. I want every single uncertainty and unsteady factor eliminated."
"I will grant equal rights. So listen up, my warrior. You shall be commanding all the city guards, half of my guards and thirty [Mars Guardians]. So, tell me now. Do you have the confidence to ensure the safety of Imperial City?"
In between the silence, a seal representing power appeared right before the eyes of Nash. Meanwhile, this Perfect Gold-tier champion on the verge of crossing into Supreme tier actually did not even notice the slightest sign that he would be given the seal of 'power'. However, he was already gotten used to the immense power of the emperor that seemed boundless. Hence, he did not show even the slightest shock ever. Nash respectfully picked up the seal. Then he roared out with strength, "Yes! Your Majesty!"
After that, Nash did not dare to gasp. Also, he did not even dare to lift his head and look at the face of the emperor. On the other hand, Israel was very satisfied with Nash's refreshing reply. He nodded and said, "I'm counting on you."
"You may leave now."
Hearing the order given by emperor, the warrior placed his right hand that was holding the seal on his chest as he back away slowly from the emperor. The chainmail and the weapons on his waist were rubbing against each other, causing loud sounds of metals colliding with each other. Upon hearing the main door shut, Israel went silent once again. He let out a sigh and spoke to the air beside him as if he was speaking into a void without anyone there. "Teacher, so you've come."
Along with the emperor's words, a blue light appeared and glowed across the room. The only white-haired mage in the entire palace who had the ability to teleport came into the study room from the blue light just like that. Nostradamus seemed awkward, by the look on his face though. He looked at his apprentice who had surpassed him and attained Legendary tier. At first, he had a lot to speak with the young emperor. However, he only let out a long sigh instead. "Israel, did your old problem resurface again?"
Slowly sitting on the dragon armchair behind the desk, the honorable emperor looked just like an ordinary man with frustrations on his mind. His face looked a little tired. He no longer revealed the aura that he was revealing when he was talking to Nash. "Tens of years ago while I was killing the orcs and they fought back violently trying to kill me as well, the previous great priest of the orcs had cursed me and inflicted quite a blow to my backbone. And now, my backbone has yet to heal. I've been afflicted too long that the curse had already gone deep into my core. Even though I've achieved Legendary tier, I can only barely suppress it."
"This time, the messenger that represents the elves will be arriving with the sprout of the Tree of Life."
Nostradamus walked slowly to the desk. He originally came here to discuss matters regarding the cultists and the celebratory feast with the emperor. However, after seeing Israel's current state, the old mage would not be able to shift his attention away to other matters. It was not appropriate to bring up other matters when the emperor was not in a good shape. So with a serious look on his face, he said, "That the purest item in the entire world that gathers the purest vitality in within it. By having one, perhaps you can rid of the 'problem' of your backbone once and for all."
"Of course. I've been planning cure my old 'problem' right after the celebratory feast. After that, I shall attempt to break through the barrier of Upper Legendary tier."
Slowly closing his eyes, Israel sneered. "Those god damned pests. They actually attempted to affect the dignity of Imperial City while I'm not in good shape. After the celebratory feast, I shall completely rid all of the cultists from the territory of Empire Kingdom. Purging them all should be good."
The emperor spoke with strength and firm resolution. Anyone who heard what he said with such power in his tone and his voice would not question his resolution.
Meanwhile, at the mage association.
The Royal Mage Guild was located in the most prosperous area in the inner circle of the Imperial City. It could even be regarded as the center of the inner city. All of the six main streets of the city that connected the outer city and the inner city from all six different directions were connected right at the front of the association. The point area where all six streets met was also the area of the city where a fountain plaza was built. In the surroundings of the plaza, there were large and tall buildings which looked like a conference and city hall. However, the most exquisite and magnificent building among all within that area still belonged to the Royal Mage Guild.
After observing the scene where the explosion happened, Joshua and the other two men, along with Ying and Ling continued their way deeper into the inner city by riding on the carriage. Upon arriving at their destination, Nostradamus looked hasty as if he had something to handle. After informing the others, he activated his dimensional spell and teleported away from the scene, leaving Brandon and the warrior in the guild.
Brandon seemed to be a regular visitor here. Along the way, the guards and the passing mages knew him. Surprisingly, some of them also knew Joshua and a small number of people even went up to the warrior trying to shake his hand with joy and excitement as if they had just met their idol.
It seemed that these people were well aware of the warrior's past achievements. Well, it was actually quite normal for people in the Northern Empire Kingdom to admire or even worship a champion like that. Joshua was quite astonished though. He had never thought possible that he would become a renowned person with a bunch of fans and followers.
The interior of the guild was very spacious. Joshua had some doubts that the guild had used some sort of dimensional technology to make it that way. Meanwhile, Brandon had proven Joshua to be right on that by providing some explanationthe interior of the guild was as spacious as an entire large-scale plaza. The spell experimental labs, the alchemy labs and other dangerous labs were all within the same space. In such a way, even if something really extremely dangerous were to happen, at most, only the sections or the entire interior space of the guild would be destroyed. None of the buildings in the city such as the city hall and the houses would be affected. In other words, the guild had maximized the safety precautions by doing so.
"I've been researching on the Berserk Dragon Virus recently."
Brandon walked up to the front of the hallway of the guild. He was leading Joshua and the two Divine Armaments, trying to show them around. The blond-haired swordsman was very enthusiastic, "Now, what I'm about to show you even though there might not be anyone left in the lab during this hour, but at least let me show you the recent fruits of our labor."
"I assure you, you're going to be astounded."