Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Standing outside walls of the liege residence, Nick Ironfort looked up towards the grand obsidian castle. Countless leaves of frost were climbing up the distinctly diamond-shaped fort that stood amidst the raging snow, the scent of nature harmonizing with the ferocious presence wrought on by the dragon bone decorations on the other end.
Due to the costliness of teleporting, there was a private airship that provides shuttle service between Winter Fort Academy and the main city of Moldavia. The dwarf had come here with his three companions from the landing zone outside the city, and could not suppress feeling extremely astonished over how their home had changed after they saw the city expansion works that were put on hold.
The ‘New Moldavia Main City’ under construction would have five sectors, the central zone being the original old main city of Moldavia. The other sectors would be separated by city walls into the northern, eastern, southern and western zones, with four ‘crystal towers’ built between them as markers.
The Resonating Crystal Towers were a fruit of research carried out by the Seven Gods Church. Its original body was located at the Holy Light Altar situated beneath the Sacred Mountain, having the function of activating reserve energies to restore the vigor of exhausted clergies around it. Now, this technology was combined with the Imperial ‘Star Vein Core’ transport technology, and could supply energy to magical items within its area of effect.
As Joshua imagined it, to have the new main city largely using all manner of magical technology was an answer to the general state of the Mycroft continent in the near futurethe faster the renovations were finished, the earlier the city would benefit. Including one inside the old main city, there were now five crystal towers that were connected to the giant magical core beneath ground, sufficient for the original medieval town to develop into a city of magic.
Additionally, the Resonating Crystal Towers would further heighten the mana concentration that was already elevated due to the Great Mana Tide. All life would feel comfort under the increased mana environment, individuals cultivating aura would feel that their training was progressing by leaps and bounds while learners of magic would find that sensing the elements by meditation had become surprisingly simple.
At present, Nick and others certainly felt the boon. Although the crystal towers were yet to be finished, the first signs of its effect were already showing. The siblings Ivan and Amelia who possessed outstanding mana affinity had a thin, faint elemental radiance over their bodies. While the dwarf and Karin were a notch below them in that aspect, there was clear mana luster flowing amidst their skin too.
Even as they felt emotional over the shift within the main city, they were already led by their guide into the city, arriving at the main entrance of the liege’s residence.
“Please follow me inside.”
By the doors, a silver-haired girl gracefully led them inside the manor. Nick and the others knew herher name was Ying, the chief maidservant of the Radcliffe family and was always following the liege since the warrior had reclaimed the authority over the territories a few years ago.
She now cordially led them into the guest hall before biding her leave. Although she also indicated that they could sit comfortably as they wait for orders, everyone stood where they were, tensed and gulping nervously. Although they often saw the liege in Winter Fort Academy, the warrior was meeting them as a dean then.
Now, however, he could become their ‘master’.
This was absolutely different. While the academy’s excellent education policy had gradually replaced the primitive idea of ‘master-apprentice’ legacy on all levels, the instructors who teach their legacy was someone as important as one’s parents for most Mycroft people. Furthermore, the relationship between dean and students were distant and did not feel realistic. The word master, however, instantly reduces that distanceso much so that it dazed Nick and the others who felt unprepared.
Soon, the silver-haired chief of the maidservants returned.
“Ivan Makarov, you’re first,” she smiled as she uttered the order softly. “Please follow me.”
As if his thoughts had cleared now, the burly young hunter cleared away the anxiety and discomfort with a blink, showing his usual calm as he followed Ying up the stairs to the study on the upper floor.
The remaining trio also relaxed after seeing their leader’s calm demeanor. The two girls clustered together and started to chatter in whispers while Nick stared by the foot of the stairs, his eyes blank but thoughtful.
“Really just like a dream,” he mumbled, his voice soft as if it was not in reality.
The dwarf then remembered his childhood. After losing all kin in a natural disaster, he had struggled and escaped to distant relatives. Even so, he had become a dwarf who could not live underground due to his fear of a magma environment. Most of his childhood was later spent wandering the North and learning the language of beasts. At the time, his only thought for the future was to just keep on livingfriendship, kinship, and happiness were all luxury to him, one who could not even fend for himself.
At the very thought, Nick turned to Karin and Amelia. Noticing his gaze, the two girls smiled and nodded, while he looked up towards the black ceiling where Ivan was speaking to the liege.
Now, he had friends who had his back, had dozens of classmates who learned together.
Now, he had the power to protect himself and the ones he wants to keep safe.
Soon, after the liege had received and interviewed him, he would become the apprentice of a Legendary championif successful.
“Next, Karin Syndra.”
The maidservant’s voice rang again. Following a few exchanges of encouragement with Amelia, the red-haired girl walked towards Ying, giving Nick a carefree slap on the back on the way.
“Don’t make such a face, Nick,” she said without a hint of anxiety. “It’s not a bad thing whether we succeed or not!”
A normal person would have lost balance and fell under such a forceful slap on the back. But dwarves were stout from the start, with Nick’s physically strong enough to equal a knight of the same age. Therefore, not only Karin’s palm did not tumble him, it made the girl feel as if her palm landed on a piece of metal
Nick replied earnestly after a few blinks. He knew that Karin could tell that his thoughts were fluctuating, and was especially consoling him since she thought that he was being nervous. In return, the red-haired girl laughed softly once and turned elegantly to follow the maidservant up the stairs.
Neither one of the twoNick and Amelialeft in the hall were good with words. The two simply chattered blankly, guessing if the two above succeeded or failed. Then, the young huntress revealed her worries over her white dragon on whether its temporary lodgings was a suitable environment or whether the new keeper was feeding it well.
Soon, the third order came.
“Next, Amelia Makarov.”
Though her features were delicate and refined like a noble lady, Amelia was much more dashing than Karin and even her own brother. She strode, each step impressionable as she followed Ying confidently.
Hey! The liege is a Legendary warrior! Amelia, though you are gifted as a mage, why are you being so confident here!
His gaze following the girl tightly, Nick could not help complaining inwardly. But as he remembered their long training together, the dwarf found in horror that the girl who had just left almost always laughed harrowingly in a devil-may-care manner when she was slaughtering monsters.
Come to think of it, it was an unexpectedly similar wavelength to the Lord who was known as the enemy of all monsters and the dragon-slaying liege!
The flow of time seemed to always exceed expectations. Nick thought that a few minutes had passed when the silver-haired girl appeared again by the entrance of the guest hall.
“Please follow me.”She smiled. “You’re the last one, Nick Ironfort.”
Having waited until now, the dwarf could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Now he understood why Ivan, the first one to be received would suddenly calm. Each member of the First Party was the samethey might feel the occasional nerves, but they would always calm when the time comes and face the threat with utmost confidence.
Nononononono, not threat. Why would meeting the liege be a threat? A mistake, it’s about facing something important!
With that thought, the dwarf thus followed Ying up the stairs, each step weighted and steady.
As if stepping a into completely different destiny.
After a long time, Nick Ironfort jolted awake from his sudden slumber.
Me?He subconsciously bellowed once before his mind rapidly recovered.
As he looked around, he quickly found his three companions who were also awake with equally bad complexion.
At the moment, they were inside a pure-white room. Each wall was carved with exquisite sculpting that emanated a holy presence, a familiar sight for Nick who often went to church for free meals since it was a style unique to the Seven Gods Church.
And from the level of craftsmanshipif he was not mistakenthey were now all within the sick ward within Saint Laurent’s Cathedral.
“You’re up, Nick?” The boy with a short hunter braid asked with a lethargic voice from another nearby sick bed. “Still feeling groggy? Then try remembering for a bit.”
Without waiting for Ivan seemingly wanted to continue, Nick’s mind quickly flashed with that recent sight after hearing the world ‘remembering’.
Everything was chaotic and irretrievable memories. The background had probably been a plain studythe liege was sitting on an armchair, awaiting his arrival.
The warrior, their honorary president, had a solemn expression and was also the only distinct existence in the chaos. He appeared to be offering a few words of encouragement and praise of their recent hard work and progress.
Then, the topic turned serious.
Despite his splitting headache, the dwarf was determined to recall. Exactly because of that, immeasurably distinct words appeared in his mind as if it was ringing right beside his ears.
“You lot are not my apprentices yet. It’s still not enough; there’s too far a gap.” The imposing warrior had said, a mere statement of truth and not to deal a blow on the youths.
“But that does not mean all of you failed. I’m strict, but not strictnow, I would teach you a path for growth. Not just you eitherI’ve already given Ivan, Karin, and Amelia each a cultivation method before you.”
Nick could almost recall what he had said then even as his head throbbed, which was why the warrior had replied with a hint of a laugh in his voice.
“No. I’m not requesting that you give up on magic. Instead, it’s exactly because you four know magic that I would choose all of you.”
The liege’s voice grew heavier as if striking his heart, but the dwarf bit down to remember it.
“If the Truth of all things has an origin as endless as the sea, magic and aura are but winding streams amidst a wasteland. While I would not dare say that what I’m giving you surpasses the thousand years of magical legacy on the Mycroft Continent, it is closer to the ocean and certainly more difficult to grasp.
“Anyone could become a champion with a persevering heart. Nick Ironfort, remember my words. For you, eternal life is no unattainable goalas long as you don’t forget your first wish and diverge from your original path and kept walking it, like you do so determinedly now.”
At present, the warrior’s voice resembled thunder, its incredible tremors almost causing the young dwarf’s eyes to break. He could not help holding his head, biting down hard on his own lip as he tried his best to recollect.
And so, the final words also entered his mind.
“You would receive my legacy.”
The last sight was a cold silver light that resembled steel. As if a fairy light, it seeped into his body.
Then came the intense pain, and he fainted.
“Hexa-elemental Titan Kokyu-ho?” the dwarf muttered to himself doubtfully.
“Adamantium Body Refinement?” The young hunter touched his chin, his pale-white face baffled.
“True Path of Fusion Conflagration?” The red-haired girl blinked, not quite understanding.
“Multiverse Ripple Vision?” The young huntress stroked her hairaccidentally pulling out a strand as she remembered and then frowning in pain.
“Maybe our spirits are still unstable, which is why we remembered the names wrongly.”
The four looked at each other, puzzled after hearing the names of their respective legacies.
“My legacy is a way to transport energy so that body and spirit is honed to the extreme through converging elements and lifeforce,” Ivan said softly as party leader. “It feels like a combination of Kokyu-ho and mediationah, I’ll just call it Extreme Steel Kokyu-ho!”
He briskly set the keynote. Soon, the others started to consider too.
Nick appeared thoughtful. “Mine is a Kokyu-ho that emulates the body and ability of a titan by fusing the six elements. Come to think of it, titans certainly live for a long time I guess Titan Kokyu-ho is fine.”
Karin seemed gloomy. “As for me, it’s to construct a whole-new energy organ in my body by emulating the Nuclear Star It’s a little like the mana core of great mages. However, the organ could only be completed when I’m Gold tierbefore that, I would only increase a little in affinity to fire elements and gain mana vigor isn’t it just fine calling it Fusion Core?”
“A meditation that allows the vision of manano, energy pathways, huh” Amelia clapped her hands as if satisfied, before forcibly changing the legacy’s name under her brother’s request.
“Alright, alright. I know the name’s weird, so I’ll just call it Magic Web Ripple Meditation That doesn’t fly either? Well, just Ripple Meditation then.”
Leaving aside the matter that the quartet in the sick ward were changing names the warrior had come up with arbitrarily, Joshua, having just gifted insignificant ounces of Steel Strength as a legacy carrier closed his eyes inside his residence. His spirit had withdrawn deep within himself, altering his body bit by bit.
The study was silent.
And in that silence, the warrior awaited the day of the Imperial Celebration.