Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Theodore and Black stopped their fight at once, because there was an extreme pressure akin to natural disaster descending upon them from the half-summit.
As if a mountain was crumbling, the colossal will was large enough to blanket the skies and inject a sense of inescapable doom in the hearts of men. All who felt it would neither resist nor raise their heads in defiance.
And thus both half-dragon and brown-haired mage knewtheir duel had ended.
In a flash, a gale sped into the middle of their battle grounds and the black-haired man appeared on the blackened land. He looked around at the razed lakeside, and shook his head.
Upon seeing Joshua, Black, who had been running rampant like one of those evil dragons in knight tales sat down quietly. It lifted its tail and suddenly look totally docile and obedient, as well as giving a little roar to greet its owner.
To be truthful, the half-dragon was in both disbelief and reproach. It thought that several instructors from the academy would come to mediate; it never knew that the warrior, of all people, would show his face here.
“Looking closely, you’ve really grown a lot.”
Joshua surveyed his mount closely, petting its smooth-shell tail and tutted. “You were just ten meters tall then, but now you’ve grown half that size, and is almost taller than my residence tower.”
Then, turning towards the unsettled brown-haired mage, Joshua sighed. “Tell me, Theodore. What happened? You two had always been quite friendly towards each otherand Black here won’t attack you unprovoked.”
The warrior wasn’t hiding his own fault. He merely knew Black’s behavior, and that Theodore was one of the half-dragon’s finer acquaintance amongst humansa friend, even. That was why it was bizarre that they would go at it so viciously for a little misunderstanding.
The lake, their battlefield, had suffered so many dragon breaths that some locations crystalized, as if bombarded by an alchemical cannon.
Since he won’t get a thing by asking Black, it was easier to ask the brown-haired mage what in the name of purgatory happened.
“My liege, it started like this”
Theodore did not dare to tarry at Joshua’s question, and quickly confessed everything as it is after a brief consideration of his own wording. He did not try to argue for himself when he reached the part about him forgetting himself and spewing out some words that were just a little bit inciteful.
Though the man himself had always been that plain and truthful; he knew that there was no point in lying to the warrior since he could tell at once.
Having understood it that, Joshua’s expression changed subtly. First, he glared helplessly at the fool of a mage as if saying he deserved it, before turning and glaring viciously at the half-dragon.
“Black! Although Theodore doesn’t have a way with words, you don’t have to blow the entire thing out of proportion. Just a little lesson would donow look around, you clearly wanted to end him!”
The lake beneath Mount Nissia had boasted a scenic pine forest, but half of it was now scorched and vaporized. Even if it did not cause ecological harm, it looked quite devastating now.
Black quickly admitted his mistake while twitching uncomfortably. Facing the slightly irked Joshua, of course it would not add that it had been found it rather fun to use a slightly lethal force, and simply resigned itself to being scolded.
Since it was not really a huge fuss, Joshua did not keep digging. After briefly reprimanding man and dragon, he started to inquire about the dragon egg.
“Professor Drake,” the warrior’s tone became somber as he spoke; he was even using Theodore’s real title appropriate title. “Are you certain that to nurture human behavior within, the infant dragon must be guided by a giant dragon who is close to humans?”
“No. In theory, there are other ways, but that’s the one way we have right now.”
At the mention of his own specialty, Theodore had calmed and put down the container with the dragon egg. “As anyone knows,” he explained seriously, “powerful magical beasts possess blood inheritance. It was the same for dragons too, even though they had already broken past that threshold to become an incredible specimen in itself.”
“Deep within their bodies, the descendants carry a memory within them. It allows them to instinctively learn hunting and unleashing their power without guidance. They would also gradually realize the way to nurture their young, which in turn made them slightly incompatible with lifeforms that are not dragons.
“It’s naturally the same for humans. An adult dragon must be made subservient by forceor it would never bond with humans. That was why infant dragons are more malleable, since their inheritance hasn’t surfaced yet.”
Sophia and Dier had reached the lake, but quickly made themselves scarce when they saw both Theodore and Joshua were in a discussion. The students still had lessonssince the matter was settled, they should not be wasting time.
Theodore, meanwhile, was getting animated. He had flipped open his magic manual, and presented several magic circles to Joshua. “Look, my liege. This is a circle that could present a hint into the infant’s soul. It could perfectly evade its natural inheritance and get the hatchling to be friendlier towards humans. The other circles are brainwashing for more stubborn chicks, but those are more time-consuming.”
The brown-haired mage appeared crestfallen as he pointed towards the dragon egg in the silver box. “How should I say this It seems that I’ve cared for it so well that the eggs are too healthy. They could hatch anytime from now until a few weeks. Those magical formations need months at bestit’s definitely too late.”
“So the only thing to do is get Black to guide the babies, huh” Glancing sideways at the nervous Black, Joshua asked doubtfully for a moment. “Wait. Just leading? What happened to sitting over the eggs? It sounds almost the same but the difference is actually hugeand Black probably wouldn’t try to teach you a lesson just now.”
Stumped, the mage hesitated. “Because it would be too much of a hassle to send each infant to him,” he confessed. “That’s why I thought I should simply push it all too Black I got ahead of myself!”
At that, he closed his eyes and bunched up his face in worry.
Black widened its eyes and bellowed at Theodore’s words, but pulled back under Joshua’s cautioning glare. Still, it scowled at the mage threateningly, as if trying to kill him by its stare alone.
It was only after Black finished growling that Theodore slowly opened his eyes and found Joshua nodding to gesture for him to continue. He cleared his throat.
“One way or the other, time is short and Black has to lead the newborn dragons and grow them into near-human temperament. Naturally, it would be even better to have a few knights live alongside them until they reach adulthood, which would form an ideal rapport.”
“That’s not a problem.” Joshua nodded thoughtfullyin fact, he was looking forward to have dragon-riding knights. Towards the end of Starfall and the latter half of the Second War against the Dark Abyss, only the combination between gigantic airships and dragon-riding platoons could resist flying demons that blanketed the sky.
The dragons had also donned runic steel armor then. In other words, they were quite simply a flying fortress, albeit smaller.
“Still. Won’t it take too long to wait for a dragon to reach adulthood?” The warrior asked the most pressing question after a brief consideration. “When the young dragons finally mature, most of the knights would be old or won’t be at their peak. They probably won’t get use to flight or aerial dashes.”
“To be frank, I have a few ways to nurture them into steeds in a shorter period.” Theodore said slowly, scratching his head as he closed his tome. “But I’ll need plenty of draconic blood and draconic bone powder. Though different species can use that of other species’, it was also better to use those of their own kind. Plus, I’ve also heard that your Liegeship had sold most of those ingredients when you slew those dragonsso it probably won’t be enough.”
“Hmmm” Joshua mumbled.
It was indeed a problem. He never was good with governing and financial matters. His property and money were usually managed by Alphonso from the far-away Imperial Capitalor Ling. After his massacre of those dragons, the Dark Forest Fortress and the town area happened to be in need of funds for several new facilities. That was why he summarily sold most of those ingredients off and kept a scarce few as a memento.
And those would definitely not be the ‘plenty’ Theodore would need. But with the northern white dragons wiped out, where would he find more dragons?
Joshua shook his head and gave up.
“Let’s put that aside for a moment. Black, what do you think?” He turned towards the half-dragon and asked seriously. “Would you raise the hatchlings? It’s fine if you don’tthere are ways I could get the kids to cooperate.”
Clearly, to build a dragon-riding squad, it was necessary to get into grips with the half-dragon’s mood after all. The warrior was not the type of person who puts his own allies on the spot too.
Shaking its head, Black gestured that it wasn’t unwilling. In truth he was not resistant against the idea of nurturing the young onesafter all, it could stave off boredom with them around. Its only misgiving was against having to sit over the eggs. Even for a dragon, it was equal to bearing children out of wedlock.
“Then that’s settled.”
Since Black did not protest, Joshua quickly made up his mind. “Theodore, I guess you’ve learned your lesson then. Just wait until they hatch, and hand the hatchlings one by one over to Black. Don’t be petulant about doing extra work.
Seeing that the brown-haired mage had nodded, the warrior paused and slowly said, “However, chasing and bombarding you for so long is overdoing it Just wait until the little guys hatch. I’ve talked it over with Nostradamusyou can pick one as your familiar.”
Joshua had never been one who was stingy with rewards. Furthermore, the eggs would probably never hatch without Theodorand even if they did, they would not be easy to nurture. In truth, it was almost insufficient to award him with just one dragon.
That being said, Theodore was thrilled. “My liege Is that for real?” He asked happily.
“I don’t easily make promises, but I would always see them through when I do.”
With the warrior’s tremendous assurance, the mage exhaled sharply, and turned to look at the silver case as if seeing the eggs beneath.
His long wish was finally about to come true. All his headwork had paid off, but even as he rejoiced he warned himself not to get too emotional like before.
The future was still far ahead, and there was still a road to tread before he became a dragon mage. Nevertheless, Theodore knew for certain that this was his first step towards his ideal, even if the coming days would be busy.
“You have my sincere gratitude, Count Radcliffe.” Having calmed himself, Theodore finally conveyed his gratitude with a low but distinct tone as well as a bow. “You’re such a generous manthe Truth would definitely keep you.”
“It’s fine,” Joshua smiled in return. “There’s no need to stand on occasion. It’s a happy day for both you and me Don’t you think you should repay Black too?” He asked as he slapped its tail, prompting a few doubtful grunts from the half-dragon.
Getting the hint, the mage quickly made his own promise. “It’s my mistake. I’ve been reckless and said things I shouldn’t Black, do you want some cod?”
At that, the mage slapped on his tome heavily, and said determinedly, “When I have tomorrow, I’ll go fishing at the boundless see! You can get as many as you want!”
Himself being a biological lecturer, Theodore knew that cod was not in season in April or May. However, he did know where the fishing spots were, and there were enough to satisfy a dragon’s appetite.
Knowledge is power!
There was no loss of love between them. Black, having assaulted the mage so relentlessly just now, innocently agreed to it. Food was more important than any sort of disgruntlement after all. Nonetheless, man and dragon made peace.
Since the issue of the dragon egg was resolved, Black returned to its underwater exploration of the lake while Joshua and Theodore made the long trek back to Winter Fort Academy on the track the warrior created when he came.
“Tell me about the academy.” Joshua brought up the topic halfway throughhe also wanted to know how the institution in his domain was developing. “Is there anything the school needs? Or some talented student?”
“I guess the school needs more instructors on for other disciplines,” Theodore replied slowly as he frowned in thought. “Most of the mageing courses already have lecturers assigned. Myself, Sophia, and Dier could basically handle all the subjects while some others would handle those we weren’t that good at. And then there are a few members from the Royal Mage Guild who would occasionally give classes, that’s why we aren’t shorthanded on that aspect.”
“That being said, the academy isn’t planning to become merely a learning place exclusively for mages. That’s why we need instructors familiar with breathing skills and aura, as well as knights and patrolling warriors. Although we did find several of them, us mages aren’t that familiar with their teachings. Perhaps we’ll need your verification, my liege.”
As he said that, the brown-haired mage shoved in a praise too. “You’re the most powerful warrior of the land after all.”
“I see. That’s fine.” Joshua nodded calmly, as if considering. “I will give my opinion when I have the time, now let’s talk about other things.”
“Talented students Well, there are two great candidates.” Silhouettes of the familiar pair made their way into Theodore’s mind. He nodded, and spoke in an awed tone, “Amelia Makarov and Ivan Makarov If there’s anything in the academy that surprises us and Professor Nostradamus, it’s the siblings.”
Theodore then went on to talk about their daily diligence and their natural aptitude for spells. As the younger one, Amelia’s mana detection and rune formation was considerable and above that of Silver-tier mages. It was merely inexperience of magic control that stops her from being promoted as a mage right-away.
Her brother, Ivan, while possessing a more ordinary disposition, displayed unexpected flair in handling magical creatures and enchanted mechanics. Like Theodore, he possessed extreme spiritual strength that allowed him to communicate with beasts. Although this ability tends to be incompatible with a younger age and lack of know-how, he would definitely fully grasp the finer details of those disciplines after some molding.
Beyond his spiritual prowess, Ivan was head and shoulders above his fellow students in the study of intricate enchanted mechanisms. He was quite interested in this field too, and would often draw runes by himself to design some interesting playthings.
Having said that, Theodore pulled out an unusual cylindrical machine from his robes. “My liege, please look,” he smiled towards Joshua. “This is something Ivan himself designed. Through turning gears, it calculates the time has passed. Although it lacks precision, it’s remarkable for a child below twenty.”
“The two kids are that gifted?”
Joshua could not conceal his surprise, and obviously understood the meaning of the device the mage held in his palm. “Apart from the almost unnatural caliber of the younger sister, to be able to design such a machine was truly a genius.”
“That’s for sure,” Theodore agreed chipperly and inhaled deeply. His eyes were brimming with excitement, although he spoke firmly, “The two childrenAmelia and Ivan, are always working hard, never idling. As such every instructor believes that they have bright days ahead of them. Them two alone made being an instructor in the northern realms meaningful.”
The warrior was quiet as the mage pondered in awe.
He had never heard of those two names in his past life.
Theodore had mentioned the siblings, Ameliawho would have an incredible future as a witch, and Ivan, who has an affinity with mechanics and magical creatures. But he had never received a notification or message regarding their achievements.
And it was not the warrior being a forgetful personthey simply never existed.
For the powerful warrior who remembers everything, this meant two things. Either they had vanished into the crowd and their talents were left undiscovered, or they had died early, and was never given a chance to grow.
“Ivan, Amelia The two children who survived after their village was destroyed by a dragon.” Joshua suddenly mumbled to himself as he recalled the event. “Right, maybe they did die early in that manner in their past life, never having the chance to enter academy to learn.”
“Because of me.”
And exactly that.
Since the 15th of October, Starfall Year 831, after Joshua had broken through the barrier between realms, he had changed the flow of many events.
Through his existence alone, Radcliffe’s ancient clan of guardians had fulfilled their destiny despite being on the edge. The future Sacred Swordsman of the EmpireBrandon Kaos, his wife and their two daughters also survived the Dark Tide thanks to him.
Because he was there, Karlis’s 03 Artifical Intelligence did not die of the apocalypse of that world. He also helped Illgner’s Father Nature, so that He did not succumb to the Evil God of Calamity and fell to eternal slumber, and merely went into a temporary deep sleep insteadfor a deity, that is.
His ability was simply so great that he turned the wheels of destiny with his bare hands.
This was exactly the case for the siblings. From the fate of being undiscovered or perhaps meeting an early demise, they were now the center of their lecturer’s attention and would definitely do great things in the future.
Only now did Joshua realized that he was such a gigantic vortex that turned the fortunes of everything and everyone around him And all things now are set on a path distinctly different from the pre-existence.
“It’s not a bad thing I guess.”
As Theodore threw him a baffled look, Joshua’s lips curled into a smile. His eyes had a distant look as if his gaze could penetrate space and time. “That reminds me to take the initiative even more. Changing everything isn’t that hard after all.”
The two approached Winter Fort Academy where the building stood sturdily. Two flags were waving loudly in the cold wind, bringing some sound to the quiet environment.
Ling and Ying were waiting at the entrance, awaiting their master’s return.