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Chapter 88. Prove Your Worthiness (2)
The great hall, where the high sorcerers Deckard and Ronan, as the leaders, and all the other sorcerers are gathered. Yet, it was half of the total population. Where is the other half? Everyone has been dispatched to the south west of the Morgrian territory, that is, the border of the Coldwood Empire.
“Any changes in the emperor’s conditions?”
It was the voice Deckard, the gray haired, high ranking sorcerer. Calm Deckard took charge of the meeting, rather than Ronan, who has a fiery temperament.
“They aren’t even able to determine the cause. The palace doctors, not to mention the outside doctors that were invited are in the same boat.”
“No trace of poison or magic at all?”
“Both by us, the Ivory Palace, and the palace alchemists have verified it and obtained the same result. For now, it is assumed that his health has suddenly deteriorated….”
The empire was certainly in crisis. Within, the Emperor ‘Terry Greenriver’ fell ill to deteriorating health. It was much earlier than the 6 years of lifespan that Ian had first estimated.
“What is the situation on Coldwood? Is there any new intel from the military, palace, intelligence network of the Ivory Tower, or any private organizations?”
“We do not have anything new to report at this time.”
The situation in the outside was also concerning. Not long ago, a letter was unilaterally received from the Coldwood Empire. It was a letter, informing its intention to exit the alliance operation, as promised in the three nation agreement, to subjugate the monsters that reached the great eastern prairie.
“No, that can’t be!”
Ronan, the high ranking sorcerer spoke with angry voice.
“Even in my thoughts, if I was the leading member of the Coldwood government, now would be the chance! A chance to invade the territory!”
The reason for being able to quickly execute Herbert, the former tower lord, wasn’t because there was no voice of opposition. The reason wasn’t because Herbert’s crime was just simply atrocious. It was possible because Ian Page, the great 6th class sorcerer, the sharp weapon, was there. However now, the whereabouts of Ian, the weapon, has become a mystery.
“They must have sensed it. All the situations that we have to deal with! Isn’t Coldwood the clan that bet their lives on intelligence since a long time ago?”
The emperor, the 1st in the empire, fell due to illness. The tower lord of the Ivory Tower, who is like the 2nd in charge, has disappeared. There are no longer any 5th class and the 6th class sorcerers within the Greenriver Empire. That means there is a big void in the empire’s defense. A gigantic hole.
“What’s going on with the alliance with the Ro Principality?”
“We are expecting a report from the delegation to the Principality soon. Perhaps, by the time we begin the military meeting this evening. Everything rides on that.”
Ronan and Deckard, who have been temporarily delegated the powers of the Ivory Tower, had to attend countless meetings each day. There wasn’t a moment of reprieve from the grilling schedule as they had to attend meetings, dealing with the Ivory Tower, the palace, the government, the military, and the alliance issues. That was how much crisis the growing concerns have become in and out.
“If the Principality decides to join hands with us, we would have a breather, but if not ….. Then we must aggressively prepare for the worst.”
Aggressive preparation. What would that mean? Greenriver and Coldwood. The war between two great empires. It would mean entering a wartime state.
“Ivory Tower, do not let down your guards even for a minute.”
It was when Deckard’s warning was being permeated.
“Sir, Deckard! Sir Ronan!”
A young sorcerer, the go between the Ivory Tower and the outside, came running into the meeting hall, panting. There must have been an urgent issue.
“What is it?”
“It- it broke down!”
“Broke down? Tell us the details.”
“A- a word came from the delegate to the Principality, and …..”
Without hearing the nexus, the nexus could be known. The most optimal solution at this time. The alliance between Greenriver and Principality. That’s what has broken down.
Ultimately, everyone could only imagine one thing. The only one that can resolve this issue. The name Ian Page, the tower lord of the Ivory Tower.
As the winds of war whirled over the continent.
Ian Page, the tower lord of the Greenriver Empire’s Ivory Tower, was still inside the repository of time. On top of that, he had to battle with the nameless, spiritual form of the dragon. He has not eaten, bathed, or slept. Was that the reason? As was the case for the dragon’s spiritual form, the concept of time slowly began to deteriorate for Ian.
‘For crying out loud.’
It has been ‘1 day’ since the battle to prove his worthiness had started. Unlike him, who is all bent out of shape, the dragon was in great physical shape. He realized it only after one day had passed, the fact that the battle was absolutely only from his point of view.
‘This is worse than the dragon’s undead soldier?’
That was true. Even if it was only a spiritual form that cannot use the powers, its skin and the spikes were already perfect shields. It was as strong as Spartoi, if not stronger.
‘Good thing it is not real.’
However, it seemed more realistic than trying to defeat a dragon’s undead soldier in the real world. How come? This world is not real. Everything was unreal. If one was to focus their consciousness right everything would be refilled. All the mana that had been lost, that is.
‘If there was unlimited mana there was a chance.’
So, he did not lose hope. It was still a challenge worth taking the risk. He felt that there was sufficient possibility. That was, before it reached the ‘25th day’.
(Are you giving up already?)
“I’ve run the numbers, but not yet, at least from the human’s perspective.”
The dragon’s spiritual form spoke to Ian, who was lying flat, dead tired. In this world, it was difficult to feel the time of the outside. Day or night, even worse, there was no hunger or sleep in this world.
(Just say the word. I will let you to outside.)
“I am not leaving yet, I said?”
(It’s only more pleasing for me then.)
The dragon was sincere. He was enormously enjoying the ‘meeting’ with Ian and perhaps, even this ‘cat and mouse’ game that it is playing with Ian. It must have been extremely bored as the enormous fear that he felt at the beginning was no longer there.
‘Is that the true form.’
Even if it was a spiritual form, the characteristics, voice, habits and all the aspects must have been duplicated. Just because it was a dragon does not mean it’s all solemn, feared or dignified. Wasn’t it the case based on the verbal conflicts seen by the fairy queen and Spartoi, the dragon’s undead soldier?
‘The dragon that had left the note…? No way!’
The note that was with the book that had the family’s spell, when the ancient dragon’s book was first discovered… It was similar to the face in the note in many ways.
‘Not all the dragons are of that shape…..’
As more terrible images were being drawn. Ian could not complete his thoughts. As great shadow fell over him. From below the fallen body.
(Rest ends now.)
It was the front paw of the dragon. The front paw that will even dismantle the barrier!
The result was the same this time as well. It was tough to dodge even when fully prepared to react, it was worse when being ambushed. If the barrier that was created with all his might wasn’t shielding him, he would have certainly died. Of course, although it would all be unreal, it still won’t be fun either.
(You surprise me every time. The being that cannot apply the power of the magical language of the original technique, it’s only reason for creation was for the talent in helping to catch those small creatures. It’s hard to fathom that you have advanced that little talent to this far.)
The dragon murmured, withdrawing his front paw. His eyes showed sincere admiration.
“Those words, are they even sincere at all?”
“I believe that you wouldn’t speak such things while obliterating with a single kick.”
(Think for yourself. A bug came back alive, unharmed after being punished with a deadly kick. Instead of good luck, it survived through a self advanced method. Wouldn’t that be miraculous?)
Ian has been equated to a bug instantly. He wanted to give him a good punch by any means necessary. As mankind’s greatest sorcerer, he wanted to deliver a strike to that conceited dragon’s spiritual form.
‘He even slowly began to be concerned about the happenings in the outside world.’
The stoic time passed by endlessly.
The 31st day, the concept of time has been dismantled.
The 49th day, there was still no possibility.
The 68th day, it was all the same like before.
The 82nd day, he began to feel the desire to give up.
And on the ‘90th day’ that he welcomed with the same attitude
Changes began to occur in Ian’s body.
The training with the dragon’s undead soldier. As the tickling feeling of mana heart, from the intolerable training, was being alleviated, and advancement has been finally achieved.
‘7th class. No, perhaps…..’
Ian has assessed the growth of the mana heart. He looked up upon the dragon’s spiritual form. He clearly saw transformed expression. Overflowing audaciousness and even giving smiles.
“It will be a bit different.”
“Different from up to now.”
Then exactly after 10 days. As the 10th day started.
The dragon’s spiritual form has finally fallen over. Although it could not use any powers, including the dragon’s language and it was already extremely weakened, being a spiritual form. None the less, he has succeeded in knocking it over. A dragon’s being was overcome by a mere human sorcerer.
Then a Dragon that looked exactly the same came down from the sky above. At the same time, the fallen dragon’s body disappeared as if it had been evaporated. This was a non dimensional world, everything was unreal. Also, the dragon is a spiritual form only, as such, its physical being did not exist.
(The fact that he did not give up to the end and even achieving growth while at it. Was it one thousand years? The outside world must have gone through changes for sure.)
It was the dragon’s sincere compliment. It did not make him feel too bad. It was just that he wanted to check before receiving the praise.
“Have I shown my worthiness?”
“Did you not say that to defeat you was a proof of worthiness? The right to view the memories and the worthiness of that right.”
(Yes, I did say that.)
(You need not look that way. I was only a little surprised.)
Ian was full of suspicion. Has it been overwhelmed by that look? The dragon began to explain.
(OK. As you have demonstrated your worthiness, I will grant you the power, equal to the powers of my kind’s race, or my kind’s most strong ally and teacher. Right now. From this moment forward.)
Ian just blinked his eyes although the dragon has finished speaking. He thought it would continue. For instance, maybe some form of ceremony, using the dragon’s language or some proclamation, etc.)
“….. Is it done?”
He waited endless, but it was the same. He only felt the unique silence of the repository of time.
(What more do you need?)
“No, that’s not what I meant.”
He felt as if he was being played. Yet, Ian kept his cool. Instead, he spoke of things that he needed to ask. Since I am worthy, I should know how to use it.
“How can it be used?”
“To view the memories…..”
“….. Beg your pardon?”
(If you ask, I will give you an answer.)
Ian has lost for words. Being played was not enough, have I been fooled as well?
(Do you want the spread of memories? That is not beneficial to you. You will not even be able to tolerate it. Will you be able to handle the eternal time that spreads thousands of years?)
The dragon spoke in a very serious tone. Well, it wasn’t an inappropriate explanation either. After all, wouldn’t that be the memories of the dragon? It was unknown whether he can tolerate it or not.
“….. Will you give an answer no matter what?”
(Yes. You have proven your worthiness.)
“I understand. Then first.”
The very first question to be asked. If it was a Q&A session, then there was something that he must verify, rather than the spread of memories.
“Elixir. If I was to drink that key again, will I meet you at that time as well?”
It wasn’t possible to ask all the questions in one day. So the feasibility must be learned first. That is, whether the entity is something that he can see at anytime.
(Evantus, my kind’s half breed descendant. If the key was made whole by that child’s breath then it is possible at any time. However, a key that was made complete by a descendant of another race, it would be a different story. Keep that in mind.)
That is, if there were ingredients, he can always come back here at any time.
Ian asked the next question as his anxiousness subsided a bit.
“Among the ingredients of the key, there is the eye of a gargoyle.”
(Gargoyle. Yes, I know.)
“Where can I find a gargoyle?”
The dragon tilted his long head as that question was asked.
(Isn’t it a common creature? As there were so many of them, they were the main culprits in destroying the balance of the nature. So they were used as ingredients for the key.)
“….. That is not so in the present time. I have only seen twice, I mean only once in all my life. I’ve used the key with the eyes that I’ve obtained at that time.”
(That is unexpected…. Even for me.)
There were even some things that weren’t known to him. It appeared as if he was being fooled after all.
‘It still remains.’
If there was a slight of good news from all of this, the quantity of gargoyle’s eyes needed to make the key was very small. It was possible to make several more bottles with the remaining powder of the eyes.
‘Let me go on to the next topic for now.’
Ian calmed himself. He verified what he needed to verify. Although there were other things that he needed to ask, he was more concerned with what was happening in the outside world. As a lot of time may have passed, even though he wasn’t certain.
‘I would inspect outside world first and return.’
Ian decided quickly. He looked into the eyes of the dragon. There was one thing that he wanted to find out even at the cost of saving other questions for later.
“What are you?”
(I believe I had answered that question on the first day.)
“I want to know your name, rather than simply as a spiritual form, or the repository of memory.”
The dragon couldn’t respond readily. Was it because it does not exist in the physical world. It seemed somewhat uncomfortable. That is, to say its name.
(My name is.)
Finally, its voice was heard.
The name was familiar even to Ian. The name that he had heard from the fairy queen. That name was being relayed to his head. One letter by one letter, they were clearly being inlaid.
(That is the name given to me.)
Re-edited by FlawFinder May 19th 2020