Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
The news brought by 03 did not change anything. Everyone back in the liege’s residence carried out their chores as usual.
Ying stayed with Black as the two of them reorganized some of the things in the liege’s residence. They occasionally took the two daughters of Brandon and Vale Dani out for a walk in the main city. They wandered around looking at interesting things and teasing each other from time to time. Most of the residents in Moldavia had become familiar with the faces of the young maid of the liege’s residence. Hence, no one dared to interrupt them from playing on the street.
On the other hand, Ling moved back and forth Winter Fort Academy and the liege’s residence. He was tasked to handle most of the official affairs in the territory for Joshua. The young man who had a minor workaholic tendency had gotten used working till late. His tendency to work had always impressed 03 that she kept praising him for his good work. That had made Joshua wonder if he had unintentionally exploited the boy.
Artanis had also paid a few visits to the liege’s residence. After learning about the warrior’s experience back in the Sacred Mountain, the old archbishop expressed his gratitude towards Joshua again and again. The warrior only knew that a few apprentices and known acquaintances of Artanis were stationed at the defense line on the west side of the Sacred Mountain. Hearing the news that his friends were safe and sound, the old man stopped worrying.
Joshua had also been communicating with the world as usual. He would resonate with the ionized energy in the atmosphere and slowly enhance his strength and strengthen body bit by bit every single day.
It was turning late autumn. The winter in the North was coming. Whether it was the farmers or the hunters, the adventurers or the explorers, it was a season where everyone was at their busiest. They were busy harvesting crops and hunting fat and tough beasts. They were taking the opportunity to make their last trip into the Mount Great Ajax before the winter and the storms arrived. They were hoping that they could bring back some resources in order to trade for the rewards from the liege’s residence. Moldavia had become lively and busy at that time. Everyone had their part to play.
The warrior was standing right in the middle of a wasteland which was approximately ten kilometers away from the main city. Both his eyes were shut as he controlled his breath. His chest was moving up and down at a rhythmic pace. A hundred-degree-Celsius temperature radiated into the surroundings from his body like an oven, causing an area across the wasteland to be burnt into ash and dust.
Ever since the battle with the Red Dragon Evian where the warrior experienced the impact of detonating the Nuclear Star called the ‘Fire Mastery’, also known to be the nature of the ‘Stoner Sunshine’, the warrior had always wanted to master that power and wield it.
The Joshua today had an incomparably strong basic quality of the body, will, spirit, and combat aura. There was no doubt that he was truthfully a champion of the Supreme-tier. However, his expertise and gifts have not caught up with his strength. He did not have the time to practice his ‘Steel Armor Kokyu-ho’ that could be enhanced slowly but indefinitely because of the skill’s attribute Permanent Enhancement Status.
After all, it was just two years since he attained this tier. He had gone on adventures all around the world. He had even gone to the other worlds to explore. That had undoubtedly increased his level rapidly. However, because of spending time on all that, he had yet to keep up with the other aspects. During the battle with Mandagar back in the Blood Moon and Evian on the Sacred Mountain, the warrior noticed that he could not just leave out the other aspects. The battles had proven that his lack of those aspects could be fatal for him during the battleshe did not possess any reliable range attack besides throwing Ying and Ling at his targets.
The special ability ‘Stoner Sunshine’ was extremely powerful. It was very suitable for Joshua to use for his range attack. The warrior had deliberately spent some of the precious time he managed to squeeze out of his tight schedule to create a brand new technique that he could use to control his power and master the power of flame and the sunknown as the ‘Infernal Flame’.
Infernal Flame was an internal circulation system of a unique energy. Its ability was to improve the individual’s resistance against Magic and allow the individual to grasp the supernatural ability corresponding to it. Judging from the actual effect, the resistance ability that comes along with this unique Kokyu-ho was an additional effect to the supernatural ability one could obtain by completing the training. It would be like adding a pair of wings to a tiger if Joshua, a warrior who could combine high heat and blazing fire to form elementals with his combat aura, could learn this ability. Even the time required for his training would be reduced by a lot.
Currently, the warrior was near the completion of mastering the Infernal Flame. Joshua would only need to charge up his Combat Aura before he could create a high heat that exceeded the temperature on the surface of the sun. He could vaporize steel and iron with ease and break most of the defenses in this world. With that sort of power to back him up, it would be much easier for him to master the ‘Stoner Sunshine’.
The hot air in the atmosphere slowly faded away as the distorting air slowly recovered. Joshua had stopped his training his Combat Aura. The sun was sinking. The daily training for today was finally over. He was ready to return to the liege’s residence to handle the remaining official affairs.
The flying speed of a Supreme-tier champion was far better than the flying speed of a Gold-tier champion. It did not take long before Joshua flew back from the wasteland to the liege’s residence. He stood in the air high above in the sky as he looked at his own territory and the crowd which was slowly dispersing as everyone returned to their homes.
The harvest festival was just around the corner. Joshua thought about it. It was a large-scale celebration that was held every autumn annually. As the liege of this territory, he was responsible to oversee the entire process and made sure that the celebration was a success. Not only that, the other lieges and leaders in all territories in the entire kingdom, even the Emperor himself would host such celebration in their own territories.
“Since that’s the case” The warrior muttered to himself, “It’s about time”
Just as he was deep in thoughts, Joshua suddenly felt something that made him turned around immediately. He stared at the horizon and saw that there was a white horse galloping rapidly along the path to the main city of Moldavia.
The bloodline of that horse appeared to be excellent. It was pretty obvious that the horse had a bloodline that was already mixed with the blood of a draconic beast. After experiencing an extremely long period of running, its stamina was still strong as the horse could still hiss for the people and the carriages in its way to give way. An exhausted red-haired teenager rode on the back of that horse. He seemed to be almost dead after a long journey.
The white horse approached the main city from a distance. Joshua stared at the horse and the teenager.
He slowly descended to the ground before the city gate and waited for the horse and the teenage to arrive.
The crowd made some commotion when they saw a man descending from the sky. However, a few seconds later, the crowd calmed down.
Most of the citizens from the territory had already seen their young liege during the festivals and celebrations in the past. Some of them were children who were currently seeking knowledge in Winter Fort Academy as apprentices. Confirming that it was Joshua who descended from the sky, silence also fell in that area. Even the carriages stopped moving. The pedestrians and other people stopped moving until Joshua gestured for them to be at ease. The warrior waved everyone to return to the city as soon as they could so that they would not block the entrance of the city.
Everyone looked at their liege with respect as they made their way out of the main gate.
Time passed. The crowd in front of the gate was getting smaller as the sun was about to sink into the horizon. The night was descending. Joshua stood in front of the city gate. He waited for the arrival of the white horse, and it did arrive.
At the end of the road, the red-haired teenager who rode on the back of the horse saw the warrior from a distance. The teenage immediately pulled the reins on the horse to stop it. The teenager instantly hopped off from the horse and ran towards the warrior.
The red-haired teenager seemed a little too pale and sickly. It was quite obvious that his skin was pale from lack of sun exposure. His palms were full of blood blisters from holding on too tightly to the reins of the horse. Glancing quickly, the warrior knew that this teenage boy rarely stepped out of his house and was suddenly forced to ride a horse.
The moment he arrived before the warrior, his eyes were filled with tears. The red-haired boy wanted to say something but could not. He did not even have the time to wonder why Joshua was standing at the city gate. The boy just knelt down with his head down. His expression was filled with respect and fear at the same time.
After waiting for a long time and seeing the boy kneeling down straight away without saying anything besides his own name, Joshua said, “You are the eldest son of Alphonso. What brought you back to Moldavia?”
The red-haired teenager trembled violently at the warrior’s question. He lifted his head slightly but was not brave enough to look Joshua in the eye. Then he spoke in a trembling voice, “My liege my my father”
Joshua looked at the teenage boy who was too afraid to look at him. His eyes narrowed as he recalled when he first met this young boy about two years backduring that time, the warrior was still a young man. Alphonso introduced the warrior to his own son and revealed that his son was willing to be a hostage at the liege’s residence as a leverage for the warrior to use against himself. The man was trying to prove his loyalty to the warrior. However, after seeing Alphonso’s sincerity, he believed that it was not necessary and rejected the offer.
Things had changed since. The warrior said, “Alphonso Carlos, also your father, is dead. I have already known about it.”
Perhaps because Joshua’s tone sounded a little cold, Alderman stiffened. After hesitating for a brief moment, he immediately responded to the warrior miserably, “My liege, my father is dead My uncle Derek and the others are also dead!”
His words had caused a disturbance among the passing pedestrians. Many people looked at each other as they were not sure of what exactly was going on. However, no one dared to stop in order to listen to the boy.
Joshua did not bother himself with the crowd. He continued, “Be more specific. What happened?”
“One night, two weeks ago, father was summarizing the calculation on the bills.” Since he was already here and things had turned for the worst, Alderman had also calmed himself. He gulped and quickly explained, “However, when I got into the study room to bring him some warm drink, I have discovered that father was already deadwithout any clues. He just stopped breathing! I had just greeted him and spoken to him a few minutes before he was found dead!”
Alderman facially expressed all his pain of losing a father. Tears began to form in his eyes before falling down his cheeks. “Once in every few days, someone in the house would be found dead. After my father, Uncle Sin’Dall was the first. Then it was Uncle Derek! I don’t know if anyone else has died when I was on my journey here”
Joshua shook his head disappointedly. His voice was very cold and emotionless. “Other than that, do you not have anything else to report to me?”
Alderman was intimidated by the warrior’s aura. He could not speak properly. However, it appeared to the warrior that he was not willing to tell the warrior anything else.
Joshua lifted his head and looked into the dark sky. The two moons slowly rose to the sky. He was silent for a brief moment. Then he said, “The death of Alphonso Carlos was reported to me a few days ago. I had planned to travel to the Imperial City right after I found out about his death. I wanted to find the person who is responsible for his death. I wanted to seek vengeance for Alphonso. However, 03 reminded me of something very important.”
Lowering his head, he looked at the trembling red-haired boy and then spoke softly, “Although I have no idea why, but you, Alderman, you are the one who faked the financial reports. Even though you are good at forging your father’s writings, your work is too bad for me and 03 to not notice.”
“The fact that you are trying to hide the truth has led to the delay on reporting in your father’s death for over two weeks.” The warrior’s tone was calm, “Explain yourself.”
The red-haired teenage boy immediately lifted his head, overwhelmed by fear. He wanted to explain himself immediately. However, under the cold glare of the warrior, Alderman slowly lower his head down and was forced to tell the truth.
The moment when 03 received the new financial reports, she had confirmed that the reports were indeed forged by the hands of Alderman and a few helpers of Alphonso in order to keep the news secret.
They thought that Alphonso suddenly died because he had worked too hard or perhaps his old wounds in his body had finally killed him. None of them had suspected that it might be a planned murder. As Alderman was worried about the possibilities of the liege sending some men over to take over the industry in the Imperial City that the Carlos Family had been handling, Alderman, Sin’Dall, and Derek decided to momentarily forge the financial reports until they could confirm that they would be taking over Alphonso’s given authority. Only then would they report the death of Alphonso.
For the sake of authority and money, even ordinary people would do something until a second death and the third death happened.
Sin’Dall, Derek, and even the other servants in the house, did one after another, causing Alderman to fear for his life. He instantly understood that everything that was happening was aimed at the Radcliffe Family. Someone was obviously testing Joshua’s patience. The action of the red-haired teenage of not reporting had been treated as Joshua’s weakness, causing those unknown people to act even wilder than before.
Alderman, who was scared to the point that his mental state was on the brink of a break down, had no choice left but to take his mount, which he rarely rode, and head straight towards a small city outside the Imperial City. He immediately teleported himself back to the border of the North and went straight towards the main city of Moldavia. The red-haired teenage intended to hide his conspiracy to take over the power from the warrior in the beginning. However, he had never expected to be seen right through by the warrior.
“This is just pathetic and ugly.”
Shaking his head, Joshua closed his eyes. He did not want to even look at the pathetic face of the boy in front of him. Then, Joshua spoke calmly, “You people had remained in the Imperial City longer than me. You should be more aware of the situation over there than I do Alderman, who do you think is responsible for killing your father and all of his helpers?”
The warrior did not bother himself with the fact that the boy tried to hide the truth from him because it was unnecessary. Joshua only wanted to know one thing. He wanted to know who the enemy was.
“ The Feltham Family who runs the weaponry retail store ‘Iron Fist of the Imperial Kingdom’, and the Suward Family who owns the largest land of mining ore in the Northwest.”
After realizing that Joshua did not punish him for trying to conceal the truth, Alderman thought about it. Then he named two families. He thought more about it before he named the third family. “Perhaps the Toledo Family is also involved Their industry sells magic scrolls. They do not have anything to do with us. However, the rumors had it that our late Count had hurt their family when he was still young So it is all just an assumption of my own”
After saying all that, the red-haired teenage boy was overwhelmed by fear. After all, he was also not sure if all of the names he mentioned were involved in the murder of his father and his uncles. Nevertheless, those families were the worst competitors to the Radcliffe Family recently. So they were the prime suspects.
“Very well then.” Joshua nodded, no longer caring about the young teenage boy who was still kneeling on the ground as his weak body trembled. “Your guilt shall never be pardoned. You shall be faced with justice. Punishment will be given to you, but not now.”
The warrior slowly levitated into the air and vanished into the darkness. His cold voice echoed from the sky, “Repent before revenge is fulfilled.”