"What's wrong, my liege?"
Fyndar noticed an unusual presence. Even though Joshua only took a glance, a heavy pressure grew in the air.
"Why is there a party of elite clergymen in Morlaix Palace?"
The red-haired knight continued to lead the way. Joshua asked a little doubtfully, "Their strengths are beyond the ordinary. Half of them have already reached the threshold of Gold. They are powerful enough to become archbishops already. This is really unusual."
"Oh, they are the ambassadors sent by the church to attend the celebration. So, it makes sense that they are all strong and powerful. Not to mention that their leader, Robzek of the Knight's Order going by the name [Hammer of Liberation], is already a Supreme-tier holy knight now. However, the Emperor is currently holding an audience with that man right now. They are discussing something that seems extremely important."
Fyndar smiled and nodded as he explained everything to the warrior. This handsome red-haired knight seemed to be a true hearty person. "Sometimes, kingdoms and forces across the continent would send their ambassadors to seek an audience with the Emperor. The church is also one of them, but most of the ambassadors have gone back to their kingdoms and homelands. These clergymen stayed back for some obvious reasons. They have unfinished business here with the city."
Fyndar sounded a little rueful as he added, "It was truly a shame that the celebration went on without your presence. Your absence was a loss to all of us. It was a celebration of the century. Many of the elder families came to the Imperial City for it Speaking of which, many nobles showed quite some interest in knowing you personally."
"Thank you as for the celebration, I am also feeling regretful for not being able to be here. However, it has come to pass and there is nothing more we can do about it."
Joshua nodded and expressed that he was well aware and knew the identities of the nobles. He had to save a world from perishing. That was why, he could not attend the celebration.
As the warrior and the others arrived at Black Swan Palace, he remained doubtful about the familiar presence he sensed from the woman that walked by with the clergymen.
After walking out of the corridor, a garden that was filled with delicate flowers lied before them. Right on the opposite side of the garden in Black Swan Palace, stood an ancient palace that looked over a hundred years old. This palace was built by the third-generation Emperor of the city. When he passed away, the place was renovated into the Royal Library. As time passed, the black rock wall on the outside of the palace was covered with ivy and mosses. The current Emperor seemed fond of that. So, he left the walls of the palace unattended to keep the appearance of the library.
Currently, the evening rays of the sun were getting dimmer by the second. The sound of a bell ringing from afar announced the end of the day.
The Royal Library was one of the most important places in Morlaix Palace. Hence, there were many patrols along the way. Joshua could even sense the presence of sentries in many corners and blind spots. Their formation was like a huge pattern of web, covering every single corner of Black Swan Palacenothing could get in or out of the place unnoticed.
All the guards along the path seemed to know Fyndar very well. Seeing Fyndar leading on the front, the guards knew very well that the persons behind Fyndar must be some people of great importance. So none of them went up to the warrior and the others to interrogate.
Soon, they were in Black Swan Palace.
Inside the palace, The Grand Royal Library of the Imperial, in a dust-covered library.
"This has no value at all."
Between the shelves, under the cold light of the pyroxene lamp, a white-haired old man sighed helplessly. He closed his dusty, ancient book and set it aside. As he sighed again, another ancient book drifted across the air into the hand of the old man.
There were hundreds, or maybe even thousands of book floating near the old man. Each book was being supported by a bright blue light. The books flipped page by page on their own as if they were being read by some invisible force. Once a book had reached its final page, it would close and be placed aside. After that, another dozen books would be taken off the shelves by magic energy. The same process repeated itself over and over again.
The old man was Nostradamus. He was tidying up the ancient books in the library.
The Northern City's royal family had a long history. The large library they built had the same collection of books as the library in the sacred ground of the elves by the Lake of Eternity. Perhaps the library here was just slightly inferior to the secret vault that belonged to the older Mage Association of the Council of the Seven. Most of the ancient books in this very library were the original books that were written long ago. They contained much more information than transcripts and the fake versions of themselves.
However, everything seemed to be pointless and meaningless.
Having read hundreds of books at the same time, it did not take long before Nostradamus finished reading up half of the books in the library. He waved his hand as the Magic energy began to place all of the books back to where they were.
The old mage was utterly disappointed with his findings.
"Many knowledge in many books in this library had been eliminated with the past era that has already passed."
He muttered to himself, "The curse spells and secrets from hundreds of years ago have now become the common knowledge to all people in the world. Many of the ancient prophecies have been fulfilled. These books have no longer carry any value. They can only be sealed up, serving as historical records. Maybe I will have to look up more things at the museum later."
He did not seem to feel much about it. He only felt regretful as his efforts in the library had been fruitless. The old mage walked towards the other bookshelf as he frowned, "It feels that the Three Hundred Lost Years is still something fresh to these people. Why don't the books have even the slightest record of the Glorious Era then?"
That was the real reason why Nostradamus was feeling disappointed.
Ever since the City had discovered the ancient ritual ground beneath the surface of the earth, more ruins of different scales were discovered across the entire continent. The one with the most shocking value would be the ruins of the ancient city that was uncovered underneath the Central Dark Forest by the Skypiercing White Tower.
That immediately set off an upsurge of archaeological research in the academic world. Naturally, Nostradamus was very interested in this. He took over the task of organizing ancient books in the large library to find related information from those dusty books. He wanted to look for any traces that might lead to understanding relics from the ruins.
It would not be possible to wipe out all traces of a race, their lives, and the existence of an entire city without making a mark. They would have definitely left some clues in some books, he thought. Despite all his effort spent on searching through books in the library, it was all in vain. There was not even a single trace in the entire history of the world that mentioned the Glorious Era.
Perhaps this is the so-called 'Three Hundred Lost Years'. Nostradamus could not help but speculate.
Having its whole existence completely erased means that there might be some sort of taboo in that period of time in the history that human must not explore.
Meanwhile, in the living hall of Black Swan Palace.
Joshua and the others had arrived at the Royal Library.
"My apology, Master Nostradamus is currently occupied in the library. He did mention that it would be best not to disturb him, so"
A maid dressed in a gray tunic awkwardly stood in front of Fyndar as she shook her head, "It would be better for you to wait for Master Nostradamus to come out. It's about dinner time, Master Nostradamus might be coming out soon"
The structure of the Royal Library was similar to the structures of other libraries. Pyrotechnic lamps gleamed between the bookshelves, releasing a gentle silvery glow into the surroundings. There was no luxurious decoration or any surprising structure in the Royal Library. Everything seemed ordinary.The only thing that was out of the ordinary was the space of the library. It was extremely vast and large.
There were even a dozen basements in the Royal Library. The library was so large that people with a bad sense of direction would easily get lost. There had been many records of such incidents in history. Even the Emperors of this generation got lost in the labyrinth of the library when he was young.
In a place like this, it was obviously unrealistic to find someone without a proper guidance. Fyndar looked for the maid who served the library to get to Master Nostradamus. However, he was greeted with a disappointing response.
"Did Master Nostradamus say that himself?"
Joshua asked, finally breaking out of silence. He implied for the red-haired knight to take a step back. "If that's the case, we shall wait then."
"Yes yes, of course!"
Upon seeing Joshua, the maid instantly lost her voice. Cold sweats began to drip from her forehead. She seemed extremely anxious all of a sudden and slowly backed away. She tried speaking to the warrior formally, "If you have decided to stay and wait Then please proceed to lounge No.3. We shall notify you the moment Master Nostradamus steps out of the library."
"In that case, it's time almost for me to leave."
Knowing that his task was now over, the red-haired Knight bowed slightly at the warrior as the warrior nodded back at him and said, "Thank you."
"It is my pleasure to be able to serve you."
After that, Fyndar turned around and walked toward the door leading outside.
The maid escorted the warrior and the others over to the third lounge.
The lounge was actually a place for people who wanted to read a book. It was a square hall with tables and chairs and even bookshelves at the corners of the hall. There were quite a lot of people in the lounge reading. Most of them were young noblemen. It was obvious because the coat they wore had academic badges on them.
Most of them seemed to be in their twenties or maybe thirties. It was time for these people to learn about the nobles, or perhaps they could also learn something about Extraordinary power from the books as well. At a corner of the hall, a few middle-age mages wearing long robes held some books a few times thicker than the other books. It seemed that those books recorded some important information and data.
In the beginning, the entire lounge felt quite peaceful. Besides the people in the lounge, the entire library looked just like an ordinary library. Though some young nobles chatted with each other at a low volume, their voices did not affect the busy mages reading their books.
However, the peace of the place was broken the moment Joshua set foot into the hall.
When the warrior arrived at the lounge, the maid, who led him and the others, bowed at the warrior in a hurry and left the hall as if she was running away from something terrifying. The people in the lounge had also felt a chill running down their spines. They could not help but turn their heads to look towards the direction of the door to the hall.
Some nobles who recognized Joshua exclaimed, "Why is he here in the Imperial City?! He was absent from the celebration!"
Most of the people in the lounge knew Joshua. The few that had yet to meet Joshua had also heard about him.
Ever since he slew dragons and a gigantic demon in the Imperial City, his reputation had become significantly greater. He was the same tier and level as these young nobles. But today, the warrior became so famous and powerful that he could even be level with all of his ancestors. Perhaps he had far exceeded the power and reputation any of his ancestors could ever have. After all, most of these nobles are far from crossing into Gold. Not to mention that the warrior was confirmed by the words of the Emperor himself that he would become a Legendary-tier champion in the days to come.
Those were of two completely different worlds.
They could also vaguely sense that the energy coming from the body of the warrior was getting heavier by the second. The atmosphere in the lounge was getting tenser. The young nobles were feeling as if they were slowly sinking into the deep sea. It felt just like the pressure was suffocating them.
The warrior was not bothered by that at all. He just simply picked an empty spot and sat down with Ying and Ling. The three of them were ready to wait for Nostradamus to be done with his chores.
"I'm sorry, I feel a little uncomfortable today..."
While Joshua sat, a young nobleman who was sitting near to him instantly stood up. He gulped down his saliva as goose bumps rose all over his body. His voice was trembling as he spoke, "My friends, please forgive me for being impolite I'm not feeling well. I'm leaving the gathering today a little earlier"
Right after he finished his words, he quickly picked up his books and walked out of the lounge. While he was about to pass by the warrior, he unintentionally circled around the warrior as he made his way towards the door of the lounge.
"Speaking of which"
"Actually I'm also feeling"
After a moment of silence, many more people stood up and claimed to feel unwell all of a sudden. The entire lounge seemed to be getting dimmer. Although the pyroxene lamps still gleamed brightly, the lights not completely shine on the shadows deep in the corner of their souls. So seeing someone who took the initiative to leave, the rest followed. They quietly praised the first person who got up first for providing them a good excuse for them to leave as well.
It did not take long before almost everyone in the lounge left. The mages at the corner had also felt that something was off.
" Let's take the rest of our work back to the laboratory then. We'll finish it there. It's getting colder here. Strange."
Softly muttering to one another, a middle-aged mage called his partners. The two of them immediately picked up their books before swiftly making their way out of the lounge. While they were at it, they also complained about the heating system of the library. Their voices were soft, however, they could still be heard by the warrior and the divine armaments.
As a result, the rest of the people left the lounge with other various excuses.
Joshua had arrived at the lounge only a few moments ago, and now the entire lounge was empty.
"Didn't I already brought the magic equipment along with me?"
Looking at the empty lounge, Joshua remained in silence for a brief moment. Then he furrowed his brows as he turned around helplessly before he spoke to Ying and Ling, "The effect of the Misty Pocket Watch is extremely powerful. The pedestrians had yet to notice the energy from my body while we were walking on the streets. But why is everyone so anxious and cautious against me the moment I stepped into Morlaix Palace?"
" presumably because Master was just passing by before this. The pedestrians naturally had no time to notice the energy from your body"
Ling thought about it before he spoke with uncertainty, "Maybe, the nobles and the mages were able to truly see your face. They are obviously well aware of your identity too, master. So, they had been focused on you. Maybe because of that, the effect of the Misty Pocket Watch was diminished?"
After listening to Ling's assumption, Joshua nodded slightly. However, before he could speak his mind, another voice came from the other corner of the lounge, "Not a bad explanation, not at all. However, you have missed the real point."
A tall figure moved from the corner of the hall from behind a tall bookshelf. His voice was low and yet crystal clear, "No matter how much effort was put into concealing its own existence, a beast would remain a beast. You can't just wish that people would not fear the night leopards that could ambush people from the dark shadows during the night, or the male lion that was half asleep."
"Not to mention you, Joshua van Radcliffe, the man who slaughtered an archdemon with his bare hands!"