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The Coming of the Crown Prince (5)
The fire sphere moved through the floor of the gymnasium. Cecelia knew the spell very well. Due to its slow flight speed it normally isn’t used for duels. Instead, its power was extreme. She had to jump away to avoid it.
‘If I don’t, I will die’.
The problem was the barrier she was casting to protect herself from the ice shards. While casting the barrier, she couldn’t move. She had two choices. Choose to die, or risk her body for a small chance of survival. Cecelia chose, of course, the second choice. She didn’t want to die like this.
The barrier that was nearly wrecked collapsed. As she became free to move, she used her legs to jump as far as she could to avoid the area of effect of the fire sphere.
*Pkkkkht! Pkht! Pkkht!*
The ice shards stabbed her mercilessly. It penetrated her defenseless exposed body.
She couldn’t help screaming. From shoulder, side, arm, and thigh came not just the feeling of being stabbed, but the feeling of being penetrated. It was an extreme pain that a normal person wouldn’t be able to bear.
Nevertheless, Cecelia was sure that she made it. Ice shards didn’t stab her vital points. She avoided the area of effect of the fire sphere.
The noise of an enormous explosion shook the whole province castle. The fire sphere which Cecelia avoided had destroyed the outer wall of the province castle.
Cecelia rolled on the floor. Then she re-cast the mana barrier. Now Ice shards in the sky no longer threatened her.
“Pant! Pant! Pant……”
Her wounded body spewed out blood. It covered the whole floor where she laid. But everything was fine for her. People would come soon. They would heal Cecelia.
‘There is no proof.’
She was satisfied that she survived. There was no proof. The proof of her real identity. She had no idea how that kid knew everything, but she bet that he had no proof. She was so sure about it. She always acted thoroughly. She didn’t leave any trails.
‘And people would be more likely to believe me.’
She was a 3rd class mage of the ivory tower. She snuck into the tower and pretended to be devoted to them for 11 years. She wouldn’t be suspected because of the boy’s proofless claim.
‘After I recover from my wounds, then later I will…….’
While Cecelia was making her plan for the future,
Ian came closer to her and sat down. There was an empty bottle where he had stood.
‘It was indeed, half elixir.’
The half elixir that Ledio gave to him as a gift. Ledio said it would work as soon as he drank it, so Ian had drunk it before confronting Cecelia. The result was satisfying. Cecelia was defeated and laid on the floor with a bloody body.
‘There would be some side effect, though.’
His mana was still beating strongly.
“I would take some credit this time.”
After Ian managed to calm down his heart, he spoke quietly.
“By arresting you.”
“Haha, can you?”
“Where is the proof? I am quite sure there is nothing I left behind.”
“You are right. The previous time, you didn’t leave any clues.”
“You won’t understand.”
Previous time? Was he bluffing? Cecelia was caught in an unspeakable fear.
“The proof even you guys, Coldwalkers, don’t know.”
“Are you kidding me……!”
“Calm down. You will see it soon.”
Later on the situation went as they both expected.
“The wall, what….?”
Many crowds who were enjoying the party gathered. They were shocked twice. Once by the shattered wall of the province castle, and another time by the bleeding Cecelia.
The other two mages who had come with her ran urgently. With a single look, they saw she had severe wounds.
“What happened? This wound…. by magic?”
Suddenly two mages looked at each other. There were five mages in the Mogrian province. Including those two mages with Cecelia, and the conducted mage, Marco. And Marco was absent for tower lord’s mission. That meant..
“I did it.”
Everyone’s eyes focused on Ian. The boy admitted that he destroyed the wall, and wounded Cecelia. There was a short silence.
“Tell us the details.”
The heavy low voice ended the silence. The owner of voice was the second royal knight captain, Oliver Raywood.
“What happened here?”
“Coincidently, I saw something that the lady over there….”
Ian paused and looked at Cecelia. Cecelia made a curious face. What kind of nonsense was he about to say?
“She was talking to a masked man.”
By Ian’s word, Cecelia sneered. So he chose to speak a lie. There was no proof nor witness. There was no support. It made her sneer.
“When she saw me, she tried to kill me.”
“So you wounded her like that?”
“Otherwise, I would have died.”
It was a story that he couldn’t believe. Cecelia was the official 3rd class mage of Ivory tower. And did this boy beat her? He heard enough about the rumors of Ian. In the royal palace, and northern territory, everyone was talking about Ian. He was a genius like the First Mage. He cast magics without learning. He rescued the great landlord, and was guaranteed as Eternal Guest for the northern territory. But still, he simply couldn’t believe it.
“Can you prove it?”
The story that even captain Oliver couldn’t believe. He questioned as a formality, rather than because he sincerely believed the story.
“It seemed they were trying to check something.”
“Some kind of sign on her body….”
As Ian paused intentionally,
Captain Oliver ordered straightly. He ordered to check not a normal person, but Cecelia.
“Hey captain! Enough with the insults!”
“Did you forget we are the mages of the Ivory tower?”
Of course, the mages of the Ivory tower complained. Most of the knights would not dare to go against two 3rd class mages. However, Oliver Raywood was different.
Instead of backing down he drew his sword and pointed it at the mages. Other knights would not dare to act like that.
“Y- You dare……!”
The old mage’s word upset the captain Oliver. He spoke to them anxiously.
“Our highness is here. And such a threatening situation just happened here. And one of the mages of the Ivory tower is involved in it, so it is my duty to find out exactly what happened here. And you said ‘dare’? DID YOU JUST SAY DARE?”
“T- that is…”
These mages couldn’t reply at all. Although they were mages in high rank, they were lower than royal blood. Regardless what they think inside, It was the rule and order of the empire.
“Then let us heal her first….”
“Do it later after we finish our job here.”
Oliver reordered. Considering Cecelia’s gender, he ordered maids to search her body.
‘Here I met this scary guy again.’
While looking at face of the captain, Ian recalled his former life. The sword master of the empire, actually, ‘the sword master of the continent’, Oliver Raywood. The loyal knight who served the crown prince until his last.
‘He was killed by mages of Ragnar.’
At the final battle to protect the crown prince, it was him against the current tower lord and his mages, and he killed five men. And all of them were higher than 2nd class mages.
‘In history he was just recorded as a traitor, though.’
The man who reached to the top of the top as a knight. At least, Ian remembered him. He must already have achieved a very high level as a swordsman. Even mages couldn’t dare to go against him easily.
“Did you find anything?”
The captain asked the maids.
“S- sorry sir. we couldn’t find out anything.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“We checked her several times, but….”
“… There were no signs, nothing.”
Then the two mages raised their angry voices.
“What did I just tell you! Did you really suspect one of us?”
“We better start to heal her! Right now!”
However, Oliver didn’t listen. He just looked at Ian and asked again.
“Did you lie?”
After Ian shortly replied, he approached Cecelia. While people were wondering about his action,
Ian’s action stunned everyone in there. Men turned their head away, and women didn’t know what to do. Not just the maids but the great landlord’s wife and even Margaret. Furthermore, even Vanessa, who just came from the dinner hall, was also embarrassed.
Ian didn’t stop. Rather, he pulled Cecelia’s top cloth, around her neck, even stronger. Her breasts were revealed.
“I don’t know what you are saying.”
There was only one. Oliver looked at it firmly. He seemed to feel no emotion about it.
“Keep looking at it.”
Now Ian moved his hand to Cecelia’s body. This time, Cecelia was also embarrassed.
“Wh- what the hell are you doin…..!”
She was so sure there were no signs. It was not other’s, it was her own body. If there were some kind of signs, she should have known. At that moment,
A small amount of mana was injected to Cecelia’s upper body. Precisely, the mana disappeared after it hung around on her skin. Then suddenly a sign appeared. On the upper side of Cecelia’s right breast, where the mana had swept away, something was revealed. A mysterious pattern that lit up blue. People had no idea what that pattern meant. However, they knew what kind of phenomenon it was.
It was Cecelia who was most shocked. When was the mana inscription tattooed on her body? The tattoo which meant Coldwalkers.
‘I can’t believe it.’
She had no such memory. She never tattooed a mana inscription. When? Where? How?
“What….. did you do?
While losing her consciousness, she leered at Ian. He must have used some kind of dirty trick. Otherwise how can it be explained?
“I saw she was doing something with her hand. it seemed she was controlling mana.”
Ian started his lie without any hesitation. The lie Cecelia sneered at, now it became trustworthy.
‘Of course she didn’t know.’
Coldwalkers had grown up in a special facility. This tattoo was some kind of ‘stigma’ which was tattooed in there. A stigma which helped managers to manage their young spies. It happened when she was young, so it was natural that she didn’t remember.
‘And I heard it from one of the managers.’
The manager was quite stubborn. He was the high rank manager of the Coldwalkers. It took a lot of effort to capture him alive. He endured painful torture for a year. Eventually, he talked about it out, though.
“Do you have any idea of what this pattern is?”
Oliver asked to other mages. As if the cat got their tongue, they just shook their heads.
“What about you, Mr. Page?”
Ian shook his head, too. He would be better off pretending to know nothing more.
Oliver was caught deep in thought. He didn’t know the meaning of the stigma. However, Ian’s words got some support now. The situation led to Ian’s word being trusted. It must be inspected to a larger scale.
“Heal her first. I will interrogate her later.”
Oliver ordered to his soldiers. He looked at the two mages, and said.
“Please prepare a Mana Prison for her.”
Mana Prison was the special magical circle of mages. A magical circle was an anti magic area that interrupted the flow of mana. It was necessary to arrest a mage.
The vice captain came to Oliver after he finished his order.
“What is it?”
“Why don’t you order to search near the area?”
“You mean we need to seek the masked man?”
“It’s a waste of time.”
Oliver rejected the suggestion of the vice captain.
“We should not thin our power for meaningless searching. Rather, we should focus our manpower to protect our highness.
“Don’t forget. The reason why we came to the northern territory.”
It was a completely crown prince-centered decision. And it was a wise decision as his bodyguard. The vice captain agreed with his point, and he stepped back.
Oliver said to Ian after he sheathed his sword.
“If everything that happened today is true, I will report it to his highness clearly.”
It was an indirect expression that Ian would receive the reward. That’s what Ian wanted. According to the current emperor’s characteristics, he would ask Ian in a straightforward manner what Ian wanted. If it made sense, he would accept Ian’s request. In such a situation, Ian had some requests in his mind.
‘Many many requests.’
Re-Edited by FlawFinder May 8th 2020