Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Starfall Year 834, the 15th of October.
In the outskirts of Moldavia, an airship fully loaded with gifts was slowly landing on a landing pad constructed by magical means. Fierce airflow, along with the sounds of wind element mana core working, scattered dust and gathered frost over the surface of the ground.
Since the arrival of the Great Mana Tide, trivialities that recurred for the Imperial Royal Technological Guild such as issues of ‘insufficient mana core pressure’ were gone with the wind. With the exponential concentration of airborne elements, even mana core made from the cheapest materials could provide enough mobility for bigger airships. That was why in half a year, steel constructs belonging to human flew freely in the sky alongside birds.
Under the ground crews’ instructions, the airship that had just touched down stopped steadily upon the landing pad. Streaks of white air were ejected from the nacelle near its core, and the sounds of delicate magical machinery could be heard even as it slowly stopped, dispelling residual mana elements. Any who knew their machines would be able to tell from the stable and noiseless venting that this small craft that was not over a hundred meters long has been built with no expenses spared on its materials, and possessed the most expensive and prestigious third-generation [Glory-class] supercharging core.
With the help of a servant, Albert Warner alighted the airship while winds billowed at his clothes, causing it to flap. The old noble whose hair was now white merely pressed over his chest where a finely crafted golden coat of arms glinted.
It was the coat of arms of the Imperial Ambassador.
Although he looked advanced in years, the ambassador stopped his servant from helping him all the way. As he walked down the stairs, Albert surveyed the vast landing area where other unique magical flying constructs were parked.
Starlight Ship of the Far Southern Elves, Flying Fortress of the dwarves and the Holy Light Halo of the Far Seas Sacred Mountain.
It seems that he was not late. After the unimportant flashed past his mind, the ambassador studied the magical constructs of the various factions with much curiosity.
Due to the Great Mana Tide, virtually all nations and their sorcery technology had broken through several technical checkpoints and bottleneck. The Empire themselves were collecting information regarding those flight constructs that were built largely on the same concepts behind airships. But before Albert could study them longer, the other envoys had finished preparing, and were heading to the nearby main city under the overseeing of the Moldavian guides.
Before they departed, a young guide in black uniform approached Albert.
“Would you be needing a carriage, honorable ambassador?” he asked respectfully. “We’ve already prepared one for you if you don’t mind.”
“No, thank you. I wish to take in the sights of Moldavia along the way.” Albert cordially declined the goodwill. He most certainly wished to witness with his own eyes what the city that stood in the heart of public opinion wasas a noble known for his thoroughness and prudence, he was perfectly aware that one could tell about a liege’s personality from the intricacies of a domain.
Joshua van Radcliffe was the objective of his visit on this occasion. But before he would meet the young Legendary champion, the ambassador desired more information about him.
A new stone avenue was built between the landing zone and the main city of Moldavia, composed of sturdy rocks that were flattened and augmented by magic as well as capable of supporting the weight of a charging Armored Mountain Dragon. As the few envoys slowly walked across the avenue leisurely, Albert could clearly observe the current state around the main city.
The city is expanding.
With just a single glance, the experienced ambassador could tell the city was in the midst of a large-scale expansion. On the empty land outside the city, quite a few workers wearing extraordinary labor attire were busy evening out the ground and digging to establish building foundations. Outlines of roads had already been carved out with magicit was the base of what would be the main road in the future, while the skeleton frame of one or two buildings that would be constructed much quicker had also been set up.
Noting Albert’s gaze, the young guide smiled. “That building is the knight faculty branch of Winter Fort Academy,” he explained. “The liege has mentioned that the city’s expansion will be completed with the academy, hospital and magical factory at its center, which is why those buildings were completed much earlier.”
Nodding in understanding, Albert could not stop himself from taking another glance at the completed steel frames.
Winter Fort Academy was an academy chaired by Nostradamus, also the chief of the Imperial Royal Mage Guildwould the old ambassador not know that? But since when did the mage academy for the peasantry have a knight faculty branch? Indeed, with the availability of the knight faculty, there should also be warrior, alchemical, and theological disciplines Perhaps not that many, but it definitely meant that the scale of this academy that never received acclaim from imperial nobles was not so limited.
Is there really enough funds, or could it be completed out of some compromise?
The ambassador narrowed his eyes, carving down the information into his mind.
Soon, he arrived at the city gates.
A sudden chill swept through the vicinity, causing Albert to shudder and unconsciously take one step back, while his attaches and aides behind him were worse offtheir legs seemed to be softening. Bewildered, the knowledgeable scanned the seemingly ordinary steel gates, observing the huge and sturdy city walls that seemed to have been refurbished recently as if sensing something.
In response, the young guide quickly called for others to help the envoys, while he apologized personally to Albert.
“Many apologies for our serious oversight, Mister Ambassador. This area was supposed to be the interior of the new main city, which was why the generous liege has used some dragon bones to construct rafters so that the engineers refurbish this part of the walls. It was something quite recent, while us locals are used to Dragon Might, so we really couldn’t keep that in mind”
“ It’s fine. I’ve made a mess of myself.”
Even after he took a snuff bottle from a helper to suppress his shock, Albert remained shaken. Although he knew early on that the young liege was famous for slaying dragons, he never imagined that the man himself would be indulgent enough to augment the city walls with dragon bones. Just how many dragons did Joshua kill to get so many?
The guide’s words were much more surprising.What on earth is ‘locals are used to Dragon Might’? Is Dragon Might something one can get used to? That is the presence emanating from the most powerful creature on top of the food chainthere is no way anyone could get used to it unless they see dragons every single day!
As one of the key figures of the Warner family who represented the Northern Empire in many factions and nations, Albert Warner had seen much. That was why Moldavia’s main city was not as awe-inspiring to him when compared to the Far Southern elves’ Mother Lifetree or the dwarves’ magma fortress. So, despite the use of dragon bones to strengthen the city walls, he would consider that Moldavia was at most luxurious.
Still, Albert knew that the city was merely a count’s domain before this. When the former Northern Count was still alive some twenty years ago, Albert had also visited Moldavia thenthough the city could not be called dilapidated, it was definitely not on the side of blossoming. That was why the elderly noble never thought that the whole city would change so dramatically in just twenty years and the era of a single count.
With a moved heart, Albert entered the city.
The boisterous sounds of the immediately struck the ears of the envoys, the sounds of multitudinous footsteps signifying that the city was bustling. Many adventurers and local citizens who had just moved here due to the coming winter made the rather dull city become filled with livedthat was also discounting the construction workers who were busy renovating old buildings everywhere.
“The main city is currently under full-scale renovations.” The guide offered on his own initiative; he appeared quite proud of the fact. “That includes our antiquated aqueduct, broken paths, pyroxene lights, and three-hundred years old building. While the priority order was not fixed, the progress is certainly swift. If you would grace us again in another few months, Mister Ambassador, the renovations would be complete.”
“It’s certainly great.” Albert nodded slightly as he sensed the enchanted ring alerted him.
The alert meant that one or perhaps multiple magic circles were monitoring him, albeit it was not something unusual for the elderly noble who had lived long within the Imperial Capital. Furthermore, it was perfectly natural for the Moldavia main city to be shrouded within magic circles as the dwelling of a Legendary champion.
“Well, show us the way.” Albert smiled. “But please slow down a littleI wish to slowly observe this City.”
“Yes, Mister Ambassador.”
While the envoys drove forward, none amongst the crowd noticed their leisurely pacing group thanks to their discreteness.
Meanwhile, Albert could not help being poignant as they walked over the granite path.
How much money was needed for the expansion of a city? It was astronomical numbers that would make even the nobles feel faintthe work would also take more than ten years or perhaps even decades unless the nobility of the city had centuries worth of reserves.
Did the Radcliffe family have such reserves? Certainly not, but their current leader Joshua was a Legendary champion.
That alone trumps everything.
Albert had already heard of the rather famous young legend earlier in the Imperial Capital. He had turned a large area of the Dark Forest around the Great Ajax Mountains into ash and relocated his family crypt upon a summit around that area, giving it an overlooking view across the entire North.
If the work had been delegated to common knights, wiping out the monsters in the Dark Forest would have taken hundreds of livesor perhaps even more, while the monetary cost in damages would be even more devastating. However, it took Joshua just ten minutes to finish all the hard labor.
With that sort of grand power, expanding a city would perhaps take a mere lift of his finger.
As he dwelled on his thoughts, Albert arrived and the others arrived outside the liege’s residence. A team of clergies was there waiting for them, seemingly informed of the envoy’s arrival.
Before Albert could ask in curiosity why they were here, hundreds of empowering divine spells such as Righteous Might, Copious Heart, Courage Blessing, Iron Will, Fearless Glory brushed his body, promptly wrapping him and the others in so many halos that they resembled lightbulbs.
The ambassador thought, baffled and at a loss at the sudden ambush.
But there was no reply.