Finally, it took a lot longer than I planned but it is finished
- The Master of the Ivory Tower
“Take it. This is the staff that was retrieved when Herbert was arrested.”
The staff, symbolizing the tower lord, retrieved from the tower lord.
What is the reason behind handing it over to Ian?
That was simple. It was to endow Ian with authority.
“As you may well know, it is not a simple matter when it comes to the selection process for the new tower lord. Even with a definite candidate as the successor, there are many little things that need to be done. Traditionally, it requires the tower lord to personally oversee the transition, after the selection is confirmed by the entire Ivory Tower, followed by the royal family’s approval. That’s what is called for by the customs and procedures.”
However, the current situation is different. The tower lord was abruptly executed. Of course, only was there not a transition plan prior to that, there was not even an identified heir. The process has become entangled.
“However, as the situation necessitated it, a decision was made to shorten the steps of the procedure for the better. Hence, I wish to leave this staff in your care.”
Bypassing the convoluted procedure such as obtaining the royal family’s approval, he wished to endow Ian with the authority of selecting the next tower lord, or if so wished, the power for Ian to autonomously rise to power himself.
“If you wish, you may rise to the stature of the tower lord yourself, or if you feel it to be too premature, you may appoint someone else to that position temporarily. I would gladly watch what you would do.”
Ian was astonished at the emperor’s disposition. As was with the tower lord’s personal riches, how is it that the emperor enjoys giving away all the decision making authorities.
‘Are they not such projects that are usually handed over to the princes?’
With some reservation, Ian stared at the emperor.
The emperor’s golden eyes were bright as ever.
“I beg your pardon, your highness. However, before accepting all of your commands, I dare to ask a few questions. Would you grant me such a privilege, my lord?”
“I will support a seamless succession of his highness, the crowned prince. As anyone, who is a citizen of the empire knows about the ambition of his highness, the 5th prince, his ambition will certainly become cumbersome in this process.”
Ian was discussing the future of Ragnar.
“As your highness knows, I believe he will not forego his chances just because he has lost the tower lord and his support structure. What would you do with his highness, the 5th prince?”
The complete revenge that Ian was seeking goes beyond death itself. Rather, he wanted the ‘destruction of the name’. As it was the case with Herbert, the former tower lord of the Ivory Tower, he was seeking to keep Ragnar as being the vilest name to be spoken of throughout the generations.
“…..I intend to place a tight surveillance on Ragnar, such that he will not be able to seek out any aspirations. Like a bird in a cage.”
The emperor’s speech was deliberately solemn.
“Only that he is also my son, is he not? As a prince, I wish to safeguard the least level of rights that are due him. At least, until I depart this world.”
Until he departs this world.
While his life is with him.
That part of the speech kept regurgitating in Ian’s ears.
‘There isn’t that much time left, however.’
Ian knows about the emperor’s death. That is, he knows that the time remained was not long. Since the king’s demise was 2 years prior to the emperor’s ascension of Ragnar in his former life, he would be afforded about 6 more years without a big change. For an emperor that consistently uses the top of the line elixir, it appears to be a short life time.
‘There were a lot of rumors at that time as well.’
There were many theories of conspiracies such as assassination or poisoning as it seemed that he was in too great of a health to have so quickly withered with sickness. Also, as he was taking elixir to maintain his health, it only added fire to those theories. As a result, for the first time in the history of the empire, an autopsy was performed on the emperor, which failed to uncover any problems in the end.
‘There was only blood for those that have proposed the conspiracies.’
If recalled correctly, it would be a short time. In reality, 6 years is not a short time, but it is certainly not a sufficient amount of time, either?
As long as the emperor is in good health, there is no justification for killing Ragnar. Assassination? That was possible too. And there was, of course, a high level of confidence of not leaving any trace of it. The issue was that he would forever be remembered as ‘the unfortunate prince’. The world still thinks of him as a ‘genuine candidate to be a good king’. Was that all? The crowned prince will be identified as the powers behind it.
‘Death shall come after all things have found their proper places.’
The death of the 5th prince shall come at the moment, only after everything is firmly in its place, so that no one will suspect even if he dies under some dishonorable circumstances. Until then, there was no other way than to let the emperor have it his way. Unable to do anything for the next 6 years, living as a prisoner may also become a fitting sentence for the bastard.
Perhaps, more so than death.
‘As he goes mad whenever he isn’t able to do something.’
After drawing a conclusion, Ian spoke to the emperor.
“Then, please allow me to be in charge of the surveillance.”
“Yes. The Ivory Tower will directly watch him, so that the 5th prince would not be able to plan any schemes or have any ambition.
The emperor fell in deep thoughts on the account of Ian’s proposal.
He recited as he slowly nodded his head.
“I see. I shall allow it.”
“Your grace is immeasurable, your highness.”
Having maintained his courteousness, Ian approached the eunuchs. He did so in order to receive the ‘tower lord’s staff’, which was made out of a great birch tree.
“I entrust you with this in your charge.”
The emperor spoke with a smile as Ian received the staff. He no longer spoke informally.
“Behold. Ian Page, the master of the Ivory Tower.”
* * *
Ian fell into deep thoughts over many issues.
Also, he had reached a number of decisions and conclusions.
The position of the Ivory Tower’s highest power.
He has decided to be seated as the ‘tower lord of the Ivory Tower.
‘Though as it may be a little too premature.’
Ian’s destiny in this life was pulled up early from the start. Was it not out of the ordinary to have become a high ranking sorcery at the age of 12? There was no reason to determine whether timing was right at this time. One thing that was considered a good luck was that he had turned 18 years old with the year’s passing.
‘Absolutely hold on to the power that is afforded.’
Furthermore, use the power one hundred percent to advance self interests. Although many people have high expectations of Ian, the new tower lord, Ian was not a scarifying type that many might have thought him to be.
Ian called for his mother after exiting his room. But, there was no one. Not even Douglas, Ledio and even the servant girls. It was strange as it was hardly unlikely that everyone would vacate the house.
‘It’s almost time to leave…..’
Today, Ian will become the tower lord of the Ivory Tower.
It has already been widely announced.
Where would everyone be on a day like this?
It may not be anything as even the Fairy Queen was not in sight either. She will be with them while being treated as a family’s pet cat. That powerful sorcerer of lightning.
Ian shrugged his shoulders.
Then he went out of the house.
He reached the gate after passing through the flowerbed.
And immediately, he was in shock.
It was only fitting. There were multitudes of people gathered just outside of the gate. The great number of people lined up in two rows to form a passage. The end of the passage was not visible, but it clearly led to the ‘Ivory Tower’.
In the midst, Douglas, Ledio, and Vanessa were visible. He also saw the house servant girls and the palace guards. Espel, the pink cat and the Fairy Queen, was being held in the arms of his mother, displeasingly staring at Ian.
‘Did they come to see me? All of them?’
Even with the announcement of Ian as the new Ivory Tower’s tower lord has been widely known, it was not as important a celebration event that would cause such a large gathering of the people in the city.
Ian’s walk of life, up to now, especially defeating Herbert, the former tower lord of the Ivory Tower and rescuing the people, has certainly been the performance that mattered greatly. Was he not the hero that saved people, their families and even their neighbors’ families? Ian’s influence was widely reaching beyond imagination.
‘He had not even experienced it in his former life.’
He was sure that he had never received any type of acclaim from the people. It was so, as well, when he was the vanguard leading the unification of the continent. He was far from any sort of acclaims. He has lived as the subject of people’s attention of dread and fear. The whole world knew it. How many countless lives were taken by Ian’s magic.
“Sir Ian! Here, here we are!”
As he continued his walk, he saw a group of Mado engineers, who were headed by Vance. Was that all? He saw the knights of the 2nd knights of the palace, who went through 5 years of joys and trials of training with him, as well as their leader, Oliver.
Even their lord, the crowned prince, came out to see Ian’s passage to the Ivory Tower. The princess Hailey was next to the crowned prince, lowering her head in bashfulness.
‘This is what it’s like? A pure hand that shows not even a drop of blood.’
As he walked forward, such thought engulfed him even more. He felt the same pleasure and satisfaction as when he had delayed the death of his mother and provided her with abundant life as a gift. That is, the satisfaction that came from the acknowledgement that he was served wisely by studying the golden dragon’s language, among the many dragon languages, and having reversed the time.
‘It isn’t such a bad feeling.’
What man will reject the faithful acclaim by the people? Unless one’s nature was severely entangled, one will only feel great. Buoyed by the feeling of pleasure, Ian walked one step after another through the people formed passage way, finally reaching the Ivory Tower.
“Welcome. Sir Ian.”
The Ivory Tower’s sorcerers were also gathered in formation, according to their levels. They gathered, forming a circle at the center of the room, for a simple reason. It was a formation that centered the ‘center elevator’, which was only used on a special occasion, like today.
“This way please.”
There were 3 categories of elevators at the Ivory Tower. There were purple elevator that every sorcerer can use and golden elevator that is reserved only for the high ranking sorcerers. Finally, positioned at the center of the Ivory Tower was a big, open blue light elevator, the ‘center elevator’ that can be watched by all levels of the sorcerers as it rises up.
Ushered by the sorcerers, Ian entered the great center elevator. Then the blue light elevator began to rise ever so slowly. As it rose by one level at a time, he saw the sorcerers gathered, surrounding the elevator in a round formation.
“Master of the Ivory Tower.”
At the same time, kneeling on one knee, every sorcerer on the level repeated towards Ian Page, the new master of the Ivory Tower.
“Master of the Ivory Tower.”
“Master of the Ivory Tower.”
The next level.
“Master of the Ivory Tower.”
There were 22 levels in the Ivory Tower.
He had passed countless number of sorcerers.
Finally, he reached the top of the tower.
It was the familiar room in this life as well as in his former life.
It was the ‘tower lord’s room’ on the top floor of the tower.
“Master of the Ivory Tower.”
There were the high ranking sorcerers of the Greenriver Empire. Besides the absent tower lord, who was executed, Helene, who was in confinement and Ian himself, the last 9 high ranking sorcerers lined up on two sides. Then there, at the end of the line, he saw a single chair.
‘The throne of mana.’
The authoritarian that moves all the sorcerers of the empire.
The seat that only the master of the Ivory Tower could occupy.
Ian was heading towards that seat.
It was the seat that he had previously occupied in his former life once.
He didn’t expect any emotions. So he thought.
However, that wasn’t the case.
He felt the butterflies.
‘Was it because there were a lot more things to do now?’
Ian fell in to a thought for a short time.
He was about to take his seat at the throne of mana.
“Prior to taking the seat.”
Ian’s voice dispersed throughout the room.
It was heard on every floor through the communications facilities.
That is, all the sorcerers were listening.
“There was one issue that needs to be addressed.”
When everyone was wondering, Ian extended his staff forward.
It was the staff of the tower lord that he had received from the emperor.
“This is the staff that represents the true power of the Ivory Tower from the old days, and passed down on to the tower lord. The history runs deep in this staff. I believe that there is no one that does not know this.”
Ian continued to speak.
“The lifespan of this old staff has run out as of today. It has fallen to become a tool that took countless lives and spirits by Herbert, the previous tower lord of the Ivory Tower, through his black magic.”
Then Ian wielded a spell on to the staff.
It was none other than a ‘rupture spell’.
“This signifies that this can no longer represent the master of the tower lord. How can a staff that has fallen by black magic represent the center of sorcery, the symbol of the Ivory Tower?”
Engulfed with the rupture spell, the staff of the tower master, the staff made out of the great birch tree, began to show cracks. What started with a one or two cracks have grown into tens and hundreds of long forks.
“From now on, along with the fate of this staff.”
Having grown many cracks, the staff of the tower lord fell to the ground in hundreds of pieces. The sorcerers that were in the lower levels could immediately recognize what was happening just from the sound of it.
“I also command that the Ivory Tower shall be reborn.”
Newly reborn, it was such a cliché. However, with the destruction of the ‘staff of the tower lord’, even that cliché proclamation has gained a lot of power. Every sorcerer clearly took it in to his ears, head and to his heart.
“In the name of the most pure mana.”
* * *
Ian has become the tower lord as of today.
He was seated alone at the throne of mana.
The major work has already been completed for the day at the Ivory Tower. It was free time for studying magic from now until tomorrow morning. There would not be any interruption or interference unless it was of a great urgency.
Ian slowly rose from his seat.
He took out a piece of paper from his pocket.
“Let me examine.”
There were drawings of ‘medicinal herbs’ and their names, which Ledio and Douglas had given him. They were the main ingredients of the Elixir, the ‘red dragon’s five breaths’ that was mentioned when ‘gargoyle’s eyes’ were shown to Ledio, 5 years ago.
“The warehouse of the Ivory Tower.”
The ‘warehouse of the Ivory Tower’ was personally overseen by the tower lord of the Ivory Tower throughout the generations. Even for high ranking sorcerer could only access it with an explicit approval by the tower lord. The free access to that warehouse has begun for him as of today. That is, for Ian Page, the new tower lord of the Ivory Tower.