Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
Stares from most of the crowd were withdrawn almost as soon as they fell on the warrior. Others who paid more attention would subconsciously turn towards 03, Brandon, and the others. At the moment, there were tens of thousands of them around the Imperial Capital, so where would they find them to be concerned about some unfamiliar passersby?
“His Majesty, the God of Might would never be late, for He always watches us.”
Brandon quickly made an even colder joke following Joshua’s own. It was fortunate that there were no zealots nearby waiting to dish out punishments, there would be a ruckus otherwise.
Then, after greeting each other, Joshua studied the couple before him. Brandon and Vale Dani were both wearing ceremonial robes, with Brandon’s being a plain white covered in black years and Vale Dani’s a dark blue gown. They appeared to be having a lover’s prattle in front of the North’s portal, and had come to them when they noticed the warrior’s arrival. There was no one else with themtheir two daughters must have stayed in their domains under the care of others.
Brandon had gained a lot of free time since he rose to Supreme in the ancient ruins within Moldova, and could even stay in Moldova for months without issues. The Kaos family was only strict towards those who had not fulfilled their demands, and with the blond swordsman himself being a genius with a great future ahead and yet never once rested on his laurels, he had gained some special rights in turn after reaching Supreme. After all, Legendary is not reached through seclusion, and the last family head was merely at the early-phase of Supreme.
Having spoken before the festival, Joshua and Brandon did not speak muchnot that there is more to say, unless they are going to admire the warrior’s consecutive ascensions again.There’s nothing much to say to a Chosen, so let’s just go.
Thus, the procession simply strolled towards the Triplet Holy City on top of the mountains without delay.
“To prevent enemy ambush, the Capital is suppressing all dimensional spells and regional dimensional anchor. Apart from the backdoor Nostradamus had made from itself, it’s now very difficult to open portals for mages hereeven after it’s open, the coordinates would be jumbled, which is why everyone must walk into Imperial Capital now.”
Due to certain reasons, Vale Dani’s facial features still resembled a girl fourteen or fifteen of age, and were more or less the same like 03 and Ying who was standing beside Joshua. The countess studied the unfamiliar and expressionless Artificial Intelligence who sat on the warrior’s shoulders with slight interest.
“You should know too,” she continued, “due to the crowds during the celebration, Master would usually create a small-scale shortcut for those who could pay for it. But now”
“both the archmage and His Majesty have mysteriously vanished,” Brandon finished for her with a rather indifferently. “Which is why we have to walk there now.”
Though they were speaking about the absence of two key figures, the couple did not have a hint of urgency in their tone.
It appeared that they have already guessed their location, and Joshua was not surprised. One of them was a genius swordsman whom the Emperor thought highly of, himself a pillar of a royal nobility and the heir of the Kaos familyhe would definitely know something. The other was quite simply Nostradamus’s students, and might have known about her teacher’s whereabouts from the start.
“So, how are things like in the Imperial Capital right now?” Joshua asked interestedly as he held Ying with one hand and kept 03 aloft. “Did those nobles make a mess, and is there any news from the Morlaix Palace?”
“Nothing at the moment. The one in charge of everything inside the palace is smart. Since Empress Edna did not do anything, the others won’t dare to make any false moves.”
Vale Dani shrugged lightly and looked up towards the mountaintop, squinting. “But with the great summit over their heads gone, those people are probably experiencing how wonderful it is having no Legendary champion pressing over their heads I’m not talking about you, of course.”
They simply chattered sporadically thus, with both Joshua and the couple rather nonchalant. It was clearly different from the nobles who stood beside the portals with a hint of nervous expression, which swiftly attracted others’ attention and their stares.
“The heir of the Kaos family and the Moldovan Countess, huh” one of those nobles mumbled. Although Brandon and Vale Dani’s relationship was not wildly publicized, it was not a secret to those who were concerned and was also why they were not surprised over their intimacy. Soon, the noble’s eyes noticed the others beside the couple and promptly had a paused in breath, cold sweat streaming all over his body.
That newborn Legendary warrior?!
When did he arrive?! Why did nobody notice?!
The noble unconsciously took a few steps back and barely calmed down. His movements, however, caught everyone else’s attention, and so more of them looked curiously towards the warrior’s direction. Now that their vision was not obstructed by Brandon, all of them shuddered at once and took an unconscious step back too. It was as if most of the nobles who had clearly been watching them noticed Joshua’s existence now, and were immeasurably astonished.
It’s Joshua van Radcliffe!
That demon human who allegedly tore apart dozens of giant dragons with his bare hands!
When did he arrive at the Capital?!
Their extraordinary reaction was not too bizarre.
In order to become inconspicuous, Joshua had constantly been training in a secret technique that the Nature’s Magister described as being able to hide one’s own presence when he was receiving envoys of different nations. Still, however he experimented, there would always be a halo-like imposing circle around him. A dozen meters within that circle of presence, even the Supreme blue dragonSocrasson1indicated that it would feel fear, not to mention other normal persons.
According to Socrasson’s analysis, the warrior’s presence was simply too formidable. It was almost the same as having a glacier that was over a hundred meters in length falling into the oceanit would not vanish in a short period of time however he assimilated into the environment.
The knowledgeable Supreme blue dragon however, provided another suggestionsince he could not assimilate into the surrounding environment, why not just directly seal it?
Joshua felt that it was quite right. Assimilating into the environment might be the Nature Magister’s path but he did not have to emulate it to the letter. As such, when Joshua constructed the ‘shell’ that seals his own body, he added a layer to conceal his presence and spiritual shielding of his being. That way, he would not create an uproar even when he walked the crowded streetsprovided nobody stared at him intently. A defect of this method was that the moment the shell which restrains presence was removed, the pent-up presence would eject out in an instant, causing a far more terrifying spiritual shock than usual.
When he tested it in the Great Ajax Mountains, every living thing within an area of a dozen kilometers was either knocked out or fleeing for life. Archbishop Artanis, who was with him at the time, exclaimed that there would not be a Dark Tide with such ability in the first placethe monsters would slaughter each other or even jump off cliffs, but would never dare to intrude on Moldavia.
Though recognized, Joshua did not pay much attention and continue chattering away with Ying, 03 and the couple as they stroll along the long stairs towards the Imperial Capital towards the top.
The nobles, slowly released from the spiritual threat, slowly regained consciousness. One of them, who appeared to have entered middle-age, shook his head and composed himself before staring at the departing shadows of the warrior and his party.
“Who is that girl on the Northern Count’s shoulder” He mumbled.
What gall? And there’s another holding his hand, are they his companions?
“That’s a little too young” Another middle-aged noble whose hair on his temples was graying mumbled beside the first noble, his friend, with a voice he could only hear himself. “Perhaps that’s Count Radcliffe’s type?”
This was not something unusual for nobles since fourteen was the marriageable age on the Mycroft Continent, and it was no scandal long as long as there was consent. With the clergies themselves an exception given their conservativeness, nobody would be hard on a noble in such aspects.
Furthermore, the two middle-aged nobles were not troubled over the matter of age.
“There’s such a difference in size Just a little over his own waist.”
“No wonder he declined our invitation. And here I was thinking that my daughter was the right age, never thought that she’s just a little too big”
When similar discussion escalated to the point where Joshua’s reputation was about to harmed, a mage in white robes stood out. He was an instructor in a mage academy for nobles in the Imperial Capital, and had accompanied Nostradamus to the North where he constructed portals. “The girl sitting on the count’s shoulders is no human,” he explained in defense of 03 whom he came across on the portal located on the top floor of the liege’s residence. “She’s an artificial soul that monitors the defensive circles within the main city of Moldavia. In other words, an existence similar to the mage tower spirits.”
The explanation was far more acceptable. Many nobles nodded agreeably since they had seen tower spirits before, with certain noble families with considerable depth owning one. Those artificial souls would also be especially intimate with those family heads since they were the key to protecting secret spots and ensured that any important magic circles would operate safely. For the Northern Count to bring it along, perhaps he’s afraid that someone would steal inside and damage in order to control the circles in Moldavia? After all, the Pentashade dragons and the cultists had never given up on their revenge over the warrior who had destroyed their key plans.
Such vigilanceas expected of a being who could ascend into Legendary at such an age,the crowd thought in awe.
While most nobles thought inwardly on whether they should select younger girls as marriage candidates, one noble who appeared to have dwarven blood, as well as several middle-aged men wearing crests of the northwestern noble families paused after seeing Joshua’s silhouette as if struck by thunder.
These nobles from the Seward and Feltham families had been discussing matters regarding a partnership but completely lost mood now. Glancing at each other once, they quickly retreated silently to find a hidden corner and tell the other family members in the Imperial Capital to hide and avoid the Northern Count.
In the first place, nobles or their kin would never to leave their territories for such an ordinary springtime festival and come to the Imperial Capital that belonged to the Emperor. They were used to their authority in their own authority, so why would they bother cowering before Israel? But this time, most of them had learned that this edition might have some surprising occurrence in store. If they missed it, they would likely be one step behind on some monumental event which would undoubtedly slow them down as time went on. To prevent that, even all the nobles who were not present would send the deuteragonist of their families or heirs to watch the festivalthe Felthams and the Sewards being no exception.
Still, the warrior’s appearance meant that the two families who once wronged Joshua were forced to change their plans. In a noble’s residence, some of their kin sensed a notification from their communicators. Their expression quickly shifted at once when they saw what it was about, and apologetically bade their leave from other nobles who were joining a small gathering and quickly left.
The entire atmosphere in the Imperial Capital shifted a little with Joshua’s presence.
At the moment, Joshua’s party had entered the city. Along the way, none of the guards apart from those stationed at the main gates came forward to check their identities. It would either be a joke or madness on their part they did inspect such important people, including the heir apparent of the Kaos family, the Countess of Moldova and the wildly famous Legendary champion.
“Let’s go straight to Morlaix Palace; we have special seats to watch the festival,” Brandon said as they strolled along. He swept a glance over the streets of the Imperial Capital and shrugged. “As you can see, the atmosphere around the city is quite depressingapart from the tourists, most locals are staying in their homes.”
Joshua definitely sensed that. The celebrations were about to begin, but Israel and Nostradamus were not returning. Though most knew that His Majesty would definitely return before the festivities commenced, the worrisome sensation still made them nervous. Those who had been scheming during his few months of absence were also panicking, unsure if the Emperor noticed their actionsif they were, things would indubitably not end well for their family.
There was nothing much to talk about over the journey. This year’s celebration was a lot duller than the lasteven tourists on the streets sensed the climate, and did not dare to chatter too loudly. Thus, the warrior’s party quickly arrived at the Morlaix Palace and then led to the central hall under the servants’ guidance.
The Spring Day Festival was a ritual that had a long history; it was said to have begun in the last era before the Seven Gods. Men of those times who carried out the celebrations as an offering to the land would carve out four flawless jades representing ‘seeds’, ‘buds’, ‘saplings’, and ‘grains’ that were placed on the four palms of a Mother Goddess statue. The Mother Goddess statue itself was given much attention tooit must be sculpted out of natural steel minerals with stone tools, while there must also be soil from different lands placed beneath the statue’s feet so that the Goddess would watch over those lands.
Now, the celebrations were not so detailed. Most of the time it would suffice only to have the Emperor walk up the stage and consecrate the earth beneath his feet, as is tradition.
Arriving at the central hall, Ying began to look around in curiosity. So did 03, despite being rather settled at first, seemingly engrossed in the unfamiliar but elegant decorations.
“Joshua, why don’t we decorate the residence in this fashion?” 03 lowered her head and complained softly beside Joshua’s ear, gesturing at the exquisitely luxurious wall sculpting and its eye-catching crystal decorations on a corner of the hall. “The decorations in our home are really too depressing. How could you even like those stuff?”
“ And why should my residence be more elegant than the palace?”
Most constructions within the Moldavian territories were designed by clergies devoted to the God of Might. The Radcliffe family head was quite friendly with the bishop of the Saint Laurent’s Cathedral then, which was why the residence had been decorated in a solemn religious style from that era. In a nutshell, it was extremely ascetic and repressive, decorated all over with stately yet unaesthetic statutes along with weapons that had an ancient impression to them.
The warrior himself had also hung quite a few heads of his prey in the hall out of personal presence, which could almost scare away any stranger with those beasts’ ferocious expressions before they died, making the atmosphere a dozen times more depressing than before. If not for the sturdy will of the servants working at the residence, their spirit would have collapsed otherwise a long time ago.
It was almost noon, every object required for the Spring Day Celebrations were already prepared.However, there was only about a dozen people in the hallall important nobles or powerful adepts and spellcasters who received special invitations. They all noticed Joshua and the others when he spoke to 03, but did not come up for a few words given the inappropriate undertones. Still, quite a few decided to approach the Legendary warrior of infinitely bright future after the ritual was over and build a good relationship.
Obviously, they could also mention the daughters in their family in passingsuch were the thoughts of a few who found the Legendary warrior not as terrifying as the rumors suggested.
Time passed. With the sound of footsteps coming from within the palace, several Imperial Family members entered the hall accordingly, with Joshua learning who each was as Brandon introduced them beside him.
The Sixth Prince and the Third Princesstwo blood-related siblings from the same mother came hand-in-hand. Soon, the blue-eyes blond Seventh Prince Arlwa and the strolling, unglamorous Second Prince Dimore followed. The air between the two was palpably different from the two harmonious siblings before, even if there were barely any distance between them, there seemed to be an invisible screen between them.
It seems that they’re not following the chronological order,Joshua thought.
Next to appear was the Fourth Prince. The strapping youth who resembled Israel’s own younger days had a somber face appeared unable to hide his inner thoughts, frequently darting looks at the empty main seatthe spot reserved for Israel. Clearly, the Emperor’s absence was not just playing tricks on noble hearts, but causing anxiety amongst the royals too.
Then, Vale Dani suddenly spoke.
“Eh, Empress Edna is joining the festival too?” she said, lowering her voice as she looked at the last person to make her appearancea lithe lady with silver hair and golden eyes. “Strange. She hasn’t joined such events for twelve years.”
“His Majesty is still not making appearance, she must have come to hold down the fort,” Brandon muttered as if talking to himself, feeling nothing out of the ordinary. “It seems that the Fifth Princess and the Eldest Prince aren’t coming this time either. Little wonder, though. April is exam time at the Skypiercing White Tower, while the movements of the duke in the Eastern Provinces must be leaving the Eldest Prince hard-pressed.”
As for Joshua, the warrior did not even consider that much. He simply remembered the royals faces and no longer paid attention.
Nevertheless, others were interested in him even if he was not interested in others. Regardless of the warrior’s largely sealing his own presence with Ying and 03 in tow, it would not stand since most of the dozen people in the hall were turning their eyes to the discreet Legendary champion.
“Did he come with his real body?” A few nobles were beginning to become unsettled. They were all perfectly aware about the threshold of the warrior’s might, and were still nervous even in the face of the warrior’s trustable control and corresponding countermeasures that Morlaix Palace was certain to have.
The few princes and princesses, along with the Empress who was the last to arrive at the hall, also noticed the warrior who stood in a corner. Empress Edna simply made a sweeping glance over Joshua, Brandon and the others before taking her seat and awaited the appointed time. Seventh Prince Arlwa and Second Prince Dimore both glimpsed at the warrior puzzledly but did not say anything, and rested with their eyes closed.
Like Empress Edna, the Fourth Prince only swept a glance at the warrior and stopped paying any further attention, albeit tacitly taking a few steps away from Joshua. The Third Princess and the Sixth Prince on the other hand whispered away about the Joshua and the others who stood in a faction of their own even amidst the surrounding nobles.
“Looks like Count Radcliffe didn’t change his clique even after his improvement in power” the Third Princess said. “He’s still sticking with the Kaos family, how peculiar.”
“Don’t gab, people who could ascend into Legendary are unfathomable for both you and me” the Sixth Prince said softly. It was as if nothing other than his lips moved, and perhaps only his sister could hear his words. “Doesn’t matter which camp he’s injust establish good relations, and nothing could go wrong. My aide and I researched him thoroughlyhe’s well-mannered as long as you don’t cross him.”
“Send more gifts, maintain a rapport, and keep your subordinates in check to prevent them from provoking him or anyone in his domain or just don’t upset any Northerners. He is ultimately a man who would slaughter the Felthams and the Sewards for his own lackeys.”
The two spoke in such hushed manner that even Supreme champions would have a hard time picking it up. To Joshua, however, it was the same as if they spoke into his ears. He glanced sideways at the two, and could even guess that they might be speaking deliberately for him to hear it.
How wonderful are tactful people? As expected of royal education.
That being said, Joshua was not here today to build relations with those youths.
He looked up towards Empress Edna. As if sensing his eyes, the Empress looked up and leveled her gaze with the warrior too.
Empress Edna. The woman herself was certainly not a simple individual. In the pre-existence, it was because of the machinations she left in place that the Seventh Prince who was completely ineligible for the throne became one of its strongest competitors, although she vanished after Israel’s death then too for reasons unknown.
Rumor had it that it was death from a broken heart, while others claim assassination. The warrior did not agree with boththe first was completely impossible, because Joshua could sense the woman’s suppressed ambitions even at this very moment.
The second deserves even less of a mention. As a Legendary warrior, he could tell that she was a Supreme championapart from Nostradamus, there is unlikely any other person in the Empire who could murder the Empress who appear so weak in appearance.
Meanwhile, time was passing by the secondnoon was arriving.
With Israel still nowhere in sight, the air began to become faintly rowdy even with the combat-hardened figures amongst those in the hall.
Be that as it may, Empress Edna, Joshua, Brandon, and the others were composed, sensing nothing wrong over it.
The real main characters should appear last in the first place.
The bell in Morlaix Palace rang.
Noon had arrived, and the hall was starting to become chaotic, not to mention the citizens and tourists waiting outside.
Even so, Joshua lifted his head.
He could sense the extremely apparent dimensional ripple that was appearing in the skies over the Triple Mountain Sacred City. The ripple was so majestic yet familiar that the warrior felt unusually affectionate towards it.
They’re here,he thought.