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5 Years Later (1)
The most refreshing spot in the royal library. It was the area where only the Crown Prince was allowed to enter. It was the only library that contained books that were related to the imperialism, and other princes couldn’t read such books. Learning of ruling the empire was only allowed for the Crown Prince.
The Crown Prince, who just became 23 years old, ‘Hayden Greenriver’ was learning it as other former Crown Princes did. From morning, he was learning foundations of reigning the empire. Although he was supposed to finish these books when he was 15 years old, this was his best. He started this learning at a late age.
“So….. Most people don’t know how to read, so does that mean they are fools? What crap? What’s wrong about not knowing how to read? This book is so mean.”
Furthermore, he was misunderstanding what the books were saying to him. He was still the same since he was 5 years old. At least now, he read some books.
“Never mind! It is not a day for reading,”
The Crown Prince closed the book straightforwardly. Immediately, he stood up and left the library.
The high rank servant of the royal palace, ‘Teo’, and ‘Paul’, the Vice Captain of the second royal knights approached to the Crown Prince.
“Your highness, aren’t you suppose to read the book for one hour?”
“I am, but I’m not in the mood.”
“But you promised the Emperor……”
“Don’t worry, I will read more tomorrow. Actually, I will read it this afternoon.”
The servant couldn’t say anything anymore. He also knew, that it was already a miracle that the Crown Prince was voluntarily reading books. The servant had watched him for 20 years, and the servant hadn’t seen him do that.
“Vice Captain, today is the day, right?”
“What day do you mean?”
“The last duel between the Captain and Ian.”
“Ah, yes it is.”
The Duel of Ian and the Captain. They had done it for 5 years. If they didn’t have any special occasions, they dueled once per week. From early morning to morning.
“They must be in the climax.”
It was their last day of dueling. The Crown Prince didn’t want to miss such a moment. It was the last duel of his left and right arm.
“Let’s go. I haven’t seen it for months.”
They were dueling at the gymnasium of the second royal knight headquarters. With excitement, the Crown Prince was walking to the place.
“Whenever I see it, the Captain always got stomped. How about these days? Is he doing better? Or is it the same as before? If it’s same, I better go when they are about to finish. I feel sorry for him.”
The Crown Prince asked the Vice Captain, Paul. It was 1 year ago when the Crown Prince saw their last duel. At that moment, Oliver couldn’t even approach Ian Page, the mighty Archmage.
“I have no idea.”
“What, how do you not know? Aren’t you the Vice Captain?”
“The last one you saw was my last time as well.”
“…… I see.”
While dueling, Oliver couldn’t bodyguard the Crown Prince. So the Vice Captain had to bodyguard him, instead of Oliver. So, since the Crown Prince hadn’t visited the duel, the Vice Captain couldn’t see their duel as well.
“But still, anything you have heard?”
“He usually doesn’t talk much.”
“Well, that’s right.”
The Crown Prince admitted that quickly. They arrived near the second royal knight headquarter. From a distance, the Crown Prince was already able to hear a noise. The noise caused by the conflict of two mighty powers.
The second royal knight gymnasium. A man with a plate armor, Oliver, who became middle aged, breathed deeply. They had started the duel for hours already, he was preparing his last assault.
‘This is my last chance.’
Oliver was holding an iron training sword. His best swords were already destroyed, but he realized that he didn’t need a good sword to against a mage. Unless it wan an artifact level sword.
‘I won’t make a mistake.’
Oliver focused by encouraging himself. Hundreds of icicles had appeared, pointing to his head from above. It must’ve been spells that were cast by the young man with long brown hair, who was standing at the opposite side of gymnasium. Actually, it was just a small portion of his power.
With a battle cry, Oliver dashed to the side. Approaching in straight line was easily blocked by the opponent’s magic. Actually, approaching from the side didn’t change the result that much either. But Oliver did it to increase his slight chance.
*Crack! Crakckck! Craccck!*
Hundreds of icicles were falling. Many icicles that missed the target drilled down on the floor. Some icicles that landed correctly were deflected by the cheap iron sword. However, the sword didn’t get cracked nor destroyed.
Oliver suddenly twisted his body and changed his direction. Why did he do that? It was for a simple reason.
The floor where Oliver was heading to, was erupted and raised and block the path. He barely dodged it. If he didn’t change the direction, he definitely would’ve ran into the pillar and been knocked down. It was a clear instinct that was taught by dueling with Ian for 5 years.
But it wasn’t the end of young mage’s attack. It was just the beginning of it.
Oliver moved his eyes to the side where he could feel heat. There was a pair of giant hand-shaped fires that were targeting Oliver and smashing the ground.
*Smash – !*
After he dodged swiftly,
*Smash – ! Smash – !*
An additional two fire fists were generated. Not only that, it started to smash the ground randomly. Thanks to that, the floor of the gymnasium was destroyed every time.
‘Those fire fists will disappear soon.’
He already had experienced it many times. He didn’t need to care about it anymore. Before the opponent cast the next spell, Oliver had to approach him. Without hesitation, Oliver rushed towards the mage. Soon, fire fists that were chasing him burned out. As he expected, actually, as he experienced.
*Spark – !*
Electric lashes were stretched towards Oliver’s face. He easily dodged them by spinning his body. However, a strong freezing energy was already on the floor, the freezing grasps that were aiming at Oliver’s ankle were hard to dodge. If he let it catch him, it was the end of the duel.
He quickly decided to give up his iron sword. Instead of his ankle, he let the freezing grasps hold the iron sword. Oliver threw away the half frozen sword without hesitation. He drew another sword from his waist.
There were only a few steps left to reach the mage with the blue robe. Would he make it this time?
‘I can reach him.’
With a firm faith, he stepped forward. A giant fire sphere blocked his path. Actually, it tried to.
‘I can cut it.’
The swordsman who cut down the fire sphere that was formed by mana. 5 years ago, there were no such swordsmen that existed. But,
Not anymore. Such a swordsman now existed in the world. The captain of the second royal knight order, Oliver Raywood. The bodyguard of the Crown Prince was the swordsman. With a glimpse of the slashed fire sphere, Oliver could see clearly. A young mage who was standing without making a single move.
A goal he had desired since 5 years ago. Oliver shouted to achieve his goal. A shining iron sword was aiming for the heart of the mage. It was his finishing move that contained the very essence of his dueling.
The iron sword penetrated without any pauses. The attack landed successfully. A great achievement that took 5 years for Oliver.
However, Oliver didn’t smile. There was no blood on his sword. Also, Oliver couldn’t feel his sword slashing the enemy clearly.
A illusion spell that duplicated the appearance of a mage’s body. It wasn’t the main body of the mage, but the ‘Mirror Image’ that got penetrated.
“Bravo, you did very well.”
While saying that, Ian pressed Oliver’s back with his finger. It was Ian Page, a young mage who became 17 years old this year.
“In the end I couldn’t even have a single touch on your body.”
Oliver couldn’t sense Ian’s main body. If it was a real battle, Oliver would already be a dead man. Oliver could approach Ian successfully, but he couldn’t reach Ian.
“Remember that you almost killed me by penetrating my heart…..”
Ian’s voice had deepened as much as his height had grown up. He grew up taller, and his face became more mature. He had impressive long hair.
“Whenever I get injured by you, it would be my next death.”
Ian said. From since 5 years ago, dueling with Oliver was quite exciting. Although Ian didn’t use his full power, he had to use much more power than he had expected. Furthermore, Oliver became stronger day by day.
‘It is irony that I call others as monster, but..’
Oliver was definitely a monster. If he was mage, his talent and effort could’ve led him to become a great mage, as great as Ian.
“Thank you for dueling me.”
Oliver bowed to Ian politely. He received great help. By dueling, he overcame his limitation. Although he couldn’t touch Ian’s body.
“I just paid for the necklace.”
“I received more worth than that.”
“I can see that.”
Ian quickly recalled today’s duel. He recalled Oliver, who was slashing down fire. Wasn’t it something that could only be heard of in a fantasy story?
“A knight who can slash down fire. I better tell him this…..”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Nothing. I just know a man who write books.”
After Ian’s weird reply, Oliver asked.
“Can I ask you something?”
“How high of a level have you achieved?”
5 years had passed already. As Oliver had become stronger than 5 years ago, so must have Ian.
“Not as much as you’d expect.”
By Oliver’s question, Ian smiled with bitterness. Of course he grew up very fast. Ian achieved unfathomable growth.
‘5th class Master.’
Ian achieved becoming a 5th class mage. Furthermore, there were only few mages who achieved becoming a ‘Master’. Considering that he was 17 years old, his growth speed was unimaginable. In his former life, he reached the very beginning of the 5th class when he became 26 years old.
‘But still, it’s slower than I imagined.’
5 years has passed. He had aimed to reach at least 6th class Master. However, his goal was ruined by an unexpected barrier.
‘A fundamental limitation of my body.’
Although Ian was talented, Ian couldn’t enhance the growth rate of his body, and the growth speed of his mana heart. Who could have ever imagined? With an immature mana heart, 5th class Master was the limitation.
‘It was impossible to be achieved.’
Overcoming 5th class even before his body finished growing? It had never happened before in history. Of course there was no record, so there was no experience.
‘I must be the first.’
It was like sailing through an unknown ocean. It didn’t feel that bad. He just wanted his body to mature quickly.
“Bravo! Of course! Here is the best mage and swordsman of the empire!”
While Ian was thinking deeply, a handsome man with golden white hair entered with applause. A man not affected by age. It was the Crown Prince, Hayden.
“Your highness the Crown Prince.”
Ian and Oliver bowed to him shortly. He hadn’t showed himself very much for a year. What brought him here today?
“As I heard, today is the last day for the both of you.”
“Indeed. It will be busy year for me.”
By Ian’s reply, the Crown Prince clapped his hands.
“That’s right. Let’s have a morning meal together. For my right and left arm’s endless development. How boud dat?” (ED Note: Sorry…couldn’t resist…)
The Crown Prince’s eyes were only looking towards Ian. Oliver wouldn’t refuse his favor anyway.
“I am really sorry, but..”
However, Ian had a schedule. As today was the last day of dueling with Oliver, another ‘last day’ was awaiting Ian.
“It is my last day for my individual lessons from the Ivory Tower.”
“The Ivory Tower?”
“Today, I receive my first duty as an Archmage, so…”
“Ah! That’s right.”
Today was Ian’s last day of individual lessons from the Ivory Tower, that was replacing academy curriculum. From today, Ian would become an Archmage and a ‘duty holder’. Since he was ‘student’, he didn’t have to do any of his duty. However, the situation had changed.
“So that’s why you are going to be busy for this year.”
The Crown Prince nodded, as he admitted. Ian’s ‘conquering the Ivory Tower’ project finally had begun. At least, the Crown Prince thought in that way.
“Well I guess you have no choice.”
“I am really sorry for that.”
“You say sorry too much.”
As it was nothing to worry, the Crown Prince shook his hands. He had endless trust in Ian. It was a solid relationship that was built for 5 years.
“Go and do what you have to do. Let’s have a meal later.”
“I will make time as soon as possible.”
Ian bowed to the Crown Prince. He also said bye to Oliver simply.
“Excuse me then.”
Ian’s robe started to flap. Soon, he rose to the sky rapidly. When they saw it the first time, they were freaking out. Not just the Crown Prince, but Oliver as well. How could a man fly to the sky freely? However, they weren’t surprised now. They had seen it enough.
“See you soon.”
Ian disappeared quickly. It seemed as if he flew faster than before. As fast as an eagle.
“At least, that’s what I feel jealous about. I wish I could fly like that. Like a bird. Wait, isn’t he faster than bird?”
The Crown Prince murmured as he felt jealous.
“Yes my lord.”
“As I saw it briefly, you fought quite well with Ian, right? How is it now? Can you now fight against a mage?”
Hearing his question, Oliver made a slight smile.
“I can give you two answers.”
“Firstly, I concluded that I won’t have any chance to injure Sir Ian.”
It was honest, that may damage his pride. However, Oliver seemed calm. He had experienced Ian’s power for 5 years, and he admitted Ian’s power enough times.
“And I think this gap will grow larger and larger.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes it is.”
The Crown Prince had expected this kind of answer. However, he didn’t ever think that Oliver wouldn’t be able to touch Ian now and forever.
“However, for other mages.”
Oliver continued his words. And this time, his voice was full of confidence.
“Yes, I can dare to defeat them.”
Re-Edited lazily by FlawFinder