Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Everything in the world would change as time passes. The sun would rise, so does the moon. What was once the sea is now mulberry fields. Plains would eventually dry up and turn into deserts. The lava would solidify into an island at the sea. Even the mountains could crumble in an event of an earthquake. The world itself could one day be completely destroyed.
But some things would never change.
Collin let out a terrified, sharp scream as a shadow charged towards him. The old assistant in his fifties did not dare to look at the man who was floating in the middle of the sky. He hastily turned away and looked at his own master, the second son of the Seward Family. However, Collin could not make any sound.
The invisible twisted airflow shrouded Kleinman. Before the middle-aged man could even say anything, his body began to burn with an intense fire that illuminated the dark surroundings. But he was not in misery because the high temperature had already burnt his skin, flesh and bone almost instantly. Kleinman was instantly turned into ash and dust that drifted with the wind.
In the sky, a voice echoed.
“You’re not innocent, too.”
That voice sounded like steel clashing into each other. It was cold and sharp. When Collin heard that voice, he only responded knowing that he was standing in the middle of a sea of fire. The unbearable heat tore his soul bit by bit. He shut his eyes as tightly as he could. The scene where Kleinman was turned into ashes before him was traumatizing and kept replaying in Collin’s mind.
Joshua arrived about the manor and listened to the entire conversation between Kleinman and Collin. He stared at the wrecked manor and what was remained of it. Then he looked at the middle-aged man, who was kneeling and trembling on the ground. Then the warrior spoke calmly, “But I never kill without reason. I have only killed six of you because six of my men died. So, tell me, who are the other conspirators and where are they hiding. Tell me and I shall spare your life.”
Although all nobles possessed a house in the Imperial City, not everyone lived in the Holy City of the Triplet Mountain. The power of the Emperor covered the entire city, and thus, all conspiracies were revealed the moment they surfaced. Be it the Feltham Family or the Seward Family, all of them had estates and holiday homes that were used for working on regular days.
Although Alderman Carlos was a young man, an imbecile greedy for power and authority, he knew some information after working so long alongside Alphonso. For instance, the location of the manor that belonged to the Seward Family.
“Lord Count We are not the true planner of this whole conspiracy”
With a burst of sound of burning woods, the entire manor was on fire. Collin struggled to open his mouth. He forced himself to suppress the overwhelming fear in hi as with a trembling voice, “The Feltham! The Feltham Family is the mastermind! Although we have reached an agreement on aiding them, they are the ones who had been planning and executing the plan!”
If the man was still unclear about the identity of the other party, then he was not qualified to be the assistant of the Seward Family in the Imperial City. The warrior who killed Kleinman in a blink of an eye must be Joshua van Radcliffe, the renowned liege in the North, the public enemy of the dragons, the warrior who could take on an entire legion of dragons all by himself.
His sudden arrival had intimidated Collin so much that he could not even think straight. It did not matter whether it was him or Kleinman, none of them ever expected that the man of the Radcliffe Family would personally handle the deaths of his few spokespersons. Collin would have thought that to be an absurd thing a few minutes ago. However, now that it had happened before his eyes, he had changed his mind.
“About a few days ago…” Collin did not look at the warrior in the eyes as he knelt with his forehead on the ground because the blazing light in the warrior’s eyes scared him. Then he spoke with both of his hands covering his face, “That bunch of people from the Feltham Family have have returned to the Imperial City They are just staying at their own manors!”
Joshua nodded and did not intend to waste his breath further. He swung his greatsword in his hand and the air shook the other half of the manor. While the rocks and debris fell, Collin stayed on the same spot, overwhelmed with fear. Even though the power that destroyed the entire manor was crude and wild, it was actually extremely precise. Because the warrior had perfect control over what he wanted to destroy, none of the debris even touched Collin’s body.
The red flame suddenly flickered as the howling winds blew past the wreckages of the manor. In the blink of an eye, the warrior left the area, leaving the assistant among the rubles of the manor. After a while, the man managed to stand on his feet. After he confirmed that he was still safe, the man cried and laughed at the same time, for he was still alive and well.
Along the way, a messenger by the name Nack hid among the trees. The horse had been long gone. He trembled in fear in his hiding spotNack had witnessed how the entire Seward Family’s manor was turned to ashes in a sea of flames. The heavy presence of a Supreme-tier champion spread across the area, causing the Gold-tier knight to immediately hide in fear.
Soon after that, a red stream of light flashed across the sky. Nack could sense a cold chill in his body the moment the red light appeared. His attempt to hide was futile, just like how an ostrich would hide only its head in the ground. It appeared that the red light did not intend to stop. It went through the sky in a straight line as it made its way towards the Imperial City.
-A near-death experience, the knight was stunned for a few seconds until the light had vanished completely from the sky before he responded. He knew that he was still alive not because of his strength. It was simply because the ‘thing’ that flashed across the sky did not intend to kill him. The idea was simple, it just like how an ordinary human would not step on ants on purpose.
In the meantime, in the Imperial City.
In the Feltham Family’s manor.
Instead of being a manor or a mansion that nobles are fond of, the Feltham Family’s manor in the northern part of the Imperial City was more like a small-scale but incredibly tough fortress. It was completely black. The entire manor was built using the Sparkling Black Rock found in the Ballard Wildlands in the northwest of the Empire. The Sparkling Black Rock was a type of tough rock enhanced with Magic-Resistance property used by the dwarves to build shrines. The Feltham Family used that to build their own manor.
Unlike the houses that were filled with artistic beauty, the ambiance was so different that it felt out of place. The walls were over twelve feet high and were built with giant rocks. They used liquid iron to fill in the gaps between the rocks to strengthen the walls. There were even four small watchtowers with one flag installed on each of the towers at all four corners of the mansion. There were also vigilant guards guarding at each tower.
The Feltham Family who founded their family name through contributions to the military and their businesses in the weaponry industry would never forget their own roots. These nobles with the dwarves’ bloodline were always alert, waiting for any possible battle to happen. Each member of the Feltham Family was sent out into the battlefield before they were even adults. If they could get through a battle alive, only then would they truly become an adult and an official member of the family.
Tahm Feltham stood in his own manor at the top of his own fortress. He held a smoking pipe in his hand, deep in thoughts.
He stared at the other manors and houses on the side of the streets. The crowd on the streets in the northern region of the Imperial City had become smaller than in other regions. Before dawn, there were almost no one walking on the streets. Tahm was a little absent-minded as he lit the pipe in his hand. No matter how hard he tried, he could not even make a spark. He did not bother himself with that. After shaking his smoking pipe for a bit, he stopped trying.
“Young and energetic”
Sighing out loud, the short half-dwarf adult man brushed his beard. His eyes focused. He was thinking about his few brothers who were in the underground basement. Then he shook his head. “Those young fellas They know nothing.”
There were many family members, sons, and daughters, in the Feltham Family. However, there were only a few of them who really met the ‘criteria’ of the official members of the family. Tahm was the sixth descendant in the family. However, he was the third most important person after the eldest son and the fourth son of the family. He was tasked to run the industrial area of the family in the Imperial City. He was also tasked to be the spokesperson of the industry in the Imperial City.
Tahm sighed because he was really worried about his brotherssince a few months ago, the family had been using ‘observe and learn’ as their excuse to send two of the brothers to the Imperial City. Since then, Tahm had never gotten a peace of mind. The young and reckless half-dwarves knew how to fight on the battlefield. However, they knew nothing about business. They had been pointing fingers and ordering Tahm to perform their requests and orders. However, they had yet to come up with a plan that could really work. Especially this time.
Tahm tried to light the smoking pipe again and succeeded. So, he took inhaled on the pipe. The fire in the pipe glowed and faded away, followed by white smoke coming out from the pipe.
When those young men arrived at the Imperial City, they felt extremely indignant about the declining volume of their family’s trading. They did not understand anything about the market at all and so they finally questioned Tahm’s capability. They thought Tahm incapable of handling their family’s industry. The Feltham Family’s pocket was getting tighter day by day. Tahm did not intend to change himself because of the others’ thoughts of him. He was not even bothered to entertain or educate his brothers, who obviously lack intelligence. Instead, he just let them be as they attempted to stir things up in their family businesses.
The plan to attack the Radcliffe’s industry and to assassinate the persons in charge of the businesses came from these nincompoops. It was probably because they were still too young. They did not even feel any fear facing the wrath of the Radcliffe Family that might lead to retaliation on the Feltham Family. They even questioned Joshua’s strength. Those ignorant young men were not willing to admit that there was someone of their age who was Supreme-tier. Hence, they decided to make their move on the Radcliffe Family.
Tahm did not stop them at all. He just went along with their plan. If that plan could really settle his two brothers, the half-dwarf thought that it was probably not a bad thing. However, it was questionable that the Radcliffe Family did not respond to Alphonso Carlos’ death, the spokesperson of the Radcliffe Family. Joshua remained silent as if nothing happened.
Tahm could feel that something was not right. He tried to talk his two brothers out of it. However, the two young men laughed sarcastically at Tahm’s caution, calling it an act of cowardice and incompetence. They thought Joshua weak for not responding to Alphonso’s death, they stopped worrying and did what they thought was good. In just a few days, the Carlos Family had lost over half of their own family members. The Radcliffe Family in the central region of the Imperial City had basically lost direct contact with the main family who dealt for them in the market as their businesses had fallen into a paralyzed state. The Feltham Family had also swiftly took back quite a number of their businesses from the market during that time. The Seward family, who worked with them had also earned quite a number of orders on ores and mining materials.
Everything seemed almost perfect besides the Radcliffe Family’s behavior. Thinking about his two younger brothers who looked down on him, Tahm inhaled on the pipe and exhaled white smoke. Of course, he knew that removing their competitors was the most convenient way to cripple their competitors in the same industry. However, that would not last long. They would definitely have to deal with the wrath of the competing families and their retaliation later on. They might even suffer a greater loss than they could imagine.
But how would the message be conveyed to the young and energetic half-dwarves then? Since Tahm had no intention in educating his brothers for he only cared for himself. Besides, his father should be the one responsible for educating his brothers.
After looking around his own mansion, Tahm nodded and felt relieved.
The Feltham Family’s home was built based on the prototype of their fortress in the Northwest territory. Most of the Feltham Family’s members grew up in this fortress. They even gave birth to the next generation in that fortress. Even though that fortress, Black Flag, was not the toughest fortress in the Empire, it was undoubtedly one of the solid fortresses that can withstand a lot in the entire northwest region. In history, during the time when the orcs were at their most prosperous, the orcs had sent troops to sweep the entire northwest region of the Empire several times. The Feltham Family relied heavily on the Black Flag.
The instinct from the bloodline of the dwarf was the reason why Tahm was so fond of fortresses that were built with great rocks. It made him feel much safer for staying in one. It was also true. Besides the Morlaix Palace where the Emperor lived and the Imperial Mage Academy where mages gathered, there were no other fortresses out there that was tougher than the Feltham Family’s mansion.
Other than facing the relatively humid and cold environment, there was nothing more important than safety.
But suddenly, he felt a horrible chill down his spine.
In the distant sky, a red stream of light suddenly appeared. That light moved so fast that it looked just like a meteor crossing the sky. Tahm stood at the top of his mansion as he witnessed the meteor flew across the gap between the three mountains. Without any reason, he found it not beautiful at all as it felt like something bad was about to happen.
He quickly put out the fire in the smoking pipe as he squinted to observe the red light. However, the thing he saw shook him up real badhe took a few breaths looking at the red light, that light had already crossed a long distance and had arrived near the three mountains.
An enormous power energy wave instantly triggered the Defensive Circles around the Imperial City. With a long buzzing sound, large-scale Magic Circles began to appear around the Triplet Mountains. A tremendous amount Magic Energy began to activate the Defensive System of the Imperial City in an attempt to suppress the red meteor that was behaving dangerously unstable.
However, the attempts were futile. The meteor was like a long spear that could penetrate anything. All the barriers and obstacles around the Imperial City were broken through as if they were not even there. Twenty-four layers of translucent air barriers were easily torn apart, making the sound of shattered glass. However, before the sound could even be heard by anyone, that red flowing light had already arrived above the Imperial City’s wall.
The defense of the Imperial City was more stable than the defense system installed around the Triplet Mountains. Golden chains began to rise from the white walls as the chains slowly rolled themselves over the red light to form a light-emitting cocoon. It was an attempt to stop the red light from moving further towards the Imperial City. However, a mass of flame was shot from the red flowing light as the light chains were shattered by that fire attack.
At that time, Tahm was only able to respond towards the alarm and the warnings sounded by the guards on the towers. He was ready to get back into the mansion to warn his two other brothers so that everyone could fully prepare themselves to defend against the threat that was rapidly approaching. However, the red flowing light had already arrived right above the mansion that was as tough as the defensive of a fortress.
There was no sonicboom, nor did there be violent winds being hurled across the atmosphere of the air in the surroundings. The air seemed to be pushed away by a strange force though. After that, it forcibly stabilized itself. The red flowing light was so intimidating and yet silent as it moved into the vicinity. Even many residents of the Imperial City who remained the windows of their horses shut did not even notice the arrival of the red flowing light.
Tahm turned his head around. His face looked as if he was shocked to the core as he was staring right at the red flowing light. After that, he let out a miserable scream the light was too bright for his eyes as he was almost blinded by the intense light shining straight into his eyes. However, even though that was the case, the warrior who just managed to cross into the realm of the Beginner’s Gold-Tier was momentarily blinded.
However, before that, Tahm had already saw the identity of the person that came into the vicinity along with the red light. And that had caused his chest to feel extremely tightened in an instant.
The current man of the Radcliffe Family!
He actually arrived at the Imperial City and he actually came here like a barbaric being that never interested in negotiating. He could be completely deemed as an intruder that broke through the entire heavy defense system of the Imperial City!
So what exactly does he want to do?!
Before Tahm could even understand anything, the warrior had already lifted the greatsword in his hand. The movement of Joshua had always been faster than the thoughts of his enemies. That was not an exception as well
With a swing of his sword, the power of Infernal Breath was activated. The high temperature of thousands of degree Celsius had been condensed into shockwaves of vacuum, followed by a trajectory of a gigantic sword extending towards the tough black fortress as it was smashed upon the black fortress from top to bottom.
The ripples spread s as impact followed. Right between the moment, a tremendous outburst of rumble came along as the main body of the entire fortress was smashed in. The spots that were struck by that assault instantly crumbled to dust. Golden lava had neatly cut the black mansion in half.
That strike of the sword was so precise and swift. During the last shockwave of the sword sweeping across into the surroundings, the entire mansion of the Feltham Family had been completely split apart. Through the gigantic gap, it remained obvious to be seen that the servants and maids who were shocked to the point their legs went soft as they were sitting on the ground in terror, wondering what just happened. The guards who remain stationed on the four towers on four corners of the mansion could not stand steadily because the mansion had been tilted. Some of them were almost thrown off from the towers they were standing guard on.
However, none of the innocents died though. The power that was being controlled to the extreme did not even startle the neighbors in the surroundings of the mansion. In merely shorter than two seconds, the two young men of the family who remained in the underground basement of the Feltham Family had been completely reduced to nothing the moment they came into contact with the scorching air pressure of the sword that was deemed to be as blazingly hot as the sun. There was not even a single trace of ash and dust remained within the vicinity.
Tahm had yet to die.
Among the rubbles of the mansion, the half-dwarf who already had his lower body scorched into ash and dust was currently buried among the shattered pieces of Sparkling Black Rocks. He fixed his raging eyes upon the warrior who kept his greatsword back as his eyes were filled merely with marvel and fury at the same time.
“Feltham Family will definitely retaliate!” the temper of the half-dwarf was even tougher than the rock. Even though every part of his muscle was trembling in fear, he remained conscious to spit words in an attempt to threaten Joshua. After being buried among the rubbles, Tahm spat some blood out of his mouth after getting hit by the rebound impact of the shockwave. He forcibly resisted the intense feeling to prevent himself from passing out as he looked into the sky with his half-blinded eyes. Then he forced out his voice as he cursed the warrior in the sky with foul words. “You unruly bastard! The Noblemen of the northwest will all beCough!”
After speaking for a while, he spat another mouthful of blood out. His pupils scattered right after that. Then he died.
In that regard, Joshua did not say anything or respond to it. He only turned his head around and look towards the south where the Morlaix Palace was located at.
In the meantime, the dimension suddenly shattered.
The furious Legendary-tier champion had arrived right before the warrior.
Israel Diamond was in his pajamas at the time. There was also a trace of someone’s lip print on his neck. Because of some reason he could not speak off, Israel had arrived one second late. In the meantime, his late arrival had resulted in the death of all members of the Feltham Family. “What are you doing?!”
“It’s been a while since, Your Majesty.”
Standing right in the middle of the air while the black mansion behind him was slowly crumbling down, Joshua calmly greeted the Legendary-tier champion who was obviously furious by the look on his face. The screaming of the servants from the Feltham Family in terror was echoing back and forth in the sky of the north region of the Imperial City. However, the noises within the vicinity did not overshadow the soft voice of the warrior though. “As you can see, I’m retaliating.”
Some things would never change.
Just like the current situation.
It was not because Joshua was incapable of understanding the rules that one must abide while struggling with the other Noblemen. He was well aware of those rules. That was a culture that had been founded since hundreds of years ago. It seemed that Alphonso had actually prepared himself to accept his death much earlier on. His son and his assistants had also accepted the fact pretty much easily.
However, Joshua would not accept that. He had never actually set much thoughts on anything. He was Joshua. He wanted revenge. No one could have stopped him.
Israel glanced his eyes across what was remained of the mansion belonged to the Feltham Family. He only let out a cold humph before he extinguished all the scorching heat and the lava remained within the surroundings. After noticing that there was no fourth casualty except for the death of three half-dwarves, Israel’s mood gradually subsided. He turned around and looked at Joshua, then he spoke to the warrior with a cold tone. “Even though it was ruthless and unfair, this is the rule of acquiescence among all of the champions across the great continent. If everyone would behave just like you, would there even be order to maintain then? Do you think that the Extraordinary beings could just attack each other at random? Do you want Moldavia’s main city to be attacked by others as well?”
Meanwhile, Joshua replied the Emperor with a straightforward answer of his own. “Then, let them come. They can try.”
The warrior did not show even the slightest hesitation though. “Regarding business, if they want to negotiate with me, I am willing to accept their proposals. If they want to use their fame and power to pressure me, they can always come to confront me. Regardless of anything, I won’t simply kill. But if they really have the guts to make their moves on my men, I shall retaliate straight back at them without a single doubt.”
“You’re just feeling stronger than any one of them. Hence, you do not have anything to stick on. That is your rule.”
Israel was furious to the extent that he actually laughed. The Emperor was too lazy to waste his breath as well. So, he revealed a smile that was extremely familiar to Joshua and said, “Never mind that then. Haven’t you always wanted to challenge me?”
“Then let’s do this!”
Soon after that, the warrior had also revealed the same expression on his face.
On the next instant.
The two men vanished from the Imperial City.
In the early hours of the morning, mesmerizingly beautiful morning rays were rising from beneath the layer of clouds in high altitudes.