Distinguish to the Empire (1)
‘I never imagined I’d be infiltrating another country’s Ivory Tower.’
Most of the mages headed to The Ivory Tower. And Daniel, a Coldwalker assassin sneaked into The Ivory Tower. He was very nervous. He was inside of another country’s Ivory Tower. Although only a few of the 1st and 2nd class mages were left, he wouldn’t have a chance of surviving confronting them face to face. Even though he was a skilled assassin, he couldn’t do anything in that case.
‘Look at what we all did to make this tiny chance.’
They dared a terrorist attack on Greenriver Empire’s Royal Palace. For this mission, they had to stop all intelligence activities and recall all of their spies who infiltrated into the Greenriver by high cost. Cecelia’s failure that serious of a problem to them. There were so many suspicious things about Cecelia’s arrest. They had to figure out what happened to her so that they could decide their plan.
‘Let’s try to focus on mana traps for now.’
It was a narrow path to the dark side of Ivory Tower and mana traps were installed along the track. If possible, he wanted to stop their function by capturing the control room, but time was short. As the training guided, he had to proceed by dodging or neutralizing it. And that’s why his country chose him who was the expert on it.
‘Piece of cake for me.’
The assassin, Daniel quickly proceed by dodging or deceiving mana traps. He was a specialist in it. Mana traps couldn’t stop him unless a guard disrupted him.
The mana prison where Cecelia was kept locked away in was the lowest floor of the jail. After Daniel had arrived there, he breathed a sigh of relief, while knocking the wall of the mana prison.
Cecelia’s face was full of alert. The opponent was covering his face with masks and hood. It could be the trial of the Ivory Tower, so she had to be careful.
“It’s me, sister.”
A young man’s voice. Cecelia quickly recognized him and made an uncomfortable face.
“You guess well, still.”
The assassin lowered his mask and hood. His face was covered with makeup, like a prostitute And the makeup was melting off because of his sweat. It wasn’t a pleasant sight to see.
“Tell me; you have something to say to me, right?”
“I- I haven’t said anything!”
The first words from her were, of course, self-defense. It was true, though. She hadn’t said anything. Even that she didn’t meet a man with a mask. Whatever she said, they would ask her to explain these mana inscriptions. So, she chose to be silent. While she was earning some time by silence, her home country would make some kind of action.
“I know. But not that.”
“R- release me first! I will report straight……”
“Of course I will. But we’ll have to move separated, won’t we? And I will arrive there first, of course.”
To report as soon as he arrives, he asked her to give information to him first. That’s what Daniel wanted, and was the right decision. He had to report first, so his country could make some plans.
“T- the boy, Ian Page….. He knows everything.”
“The existence of Coldwalkers, and lists of us.”
“…… Is that right?”
The youngest Archmage was the source of this event, as expected. Not just Daniel, but everyone who knew of the existence of Coldwalkers thought the same. However, they didn’t expect this much. How did he know their lists as well?
“Furthermore, He already knew about the mana inscription, that I hadn’t known.”
“Most of us heard about it recently. Headquarter finally told us about it.”
In whatever point of view, Ian was more than they ever imagined. It was a serious issue for them.
“So, any other information?”
“That’s all. We don’t have a time for a chat, do we? Can we please leave now?”
“Hmm, so be it.”
After nodding, Daniel opened the door of mana prison. Cecelia’s face turned bright. With a few more steps, she could use magic, finally. Unlike other trained spies, she had a stronger survival desire.
Cecelia’s voice had stopped. Due to a knife penetrated her thin neck. She was still in the mana prison; she was no more than an average lady. She couldn’t have any magical reactions, nor treatment.
Cecelia laid down while holding her bleeding neck. While smiling, Daniel lowered his body to her eye level.
“Our bosses debated about you for a long time. About the fact that you are a 3rd class mage, so wouldn’t it be better to rescue you.”
While saying that, he wiped blood on his knife with Cecelia’s clothes.
“And this is the conclusion of the debate. Remember what we are, it is better to not risk our mission for you.”
Soon, the wall would close firmly, and soldiers would block every exit. Cecelia was very bad at running and sneaking, so she was no more than a burden. Even her magic couldn’t help her for this.
“So why you didn’t practice harder. You got the lowest marks among us.”
“I already knew you would end up like this when you were arrogant with your mighty magic.”
Daniel stood up. There was so much more mocking he wanted to do, but he had no time.
“So, see you later. Goodbye.”
“And you too.”
A sudden voice of the third person. With instinct, Daniel tried jumped away to cover his body.
However, it was meaningless for him to struggle. Already, frozen energy was gathered under Daniel’s foot. And its energy froze the air and stuck his foot to the ground.
A little boy, and magic. With these facts, he could guess who it was. So he is the boy. Mage Ian Page.
‘Did he arrived this fast? From the fashionable society? Wait, most of all…..’
Essential talents of assassins are erasing any trail, and catching signs of movement or trail. Daniel was one of the best among the Coldwalkers. However, he couldn’t recognize Ian’s approach.
“It’s been an older hobby of yours than I imagined. I mean, using make up like a lady. Thanks for that. It helped me to recognize you.”
“You, who are you? How do you ……?”
“So you already killed Cecelia?”
“Are you the one who escaped from us? Or…..”
“Well done. You accomplished one of my wishes.”
Daniel kept asking and questioning. However, Ian didn’t answer any of his. He came here just to accomplish his goal.
“W- wait! You better capture me alive!”
“I waited for this moment for long. Finally, I can kill you with my very hand.”
“Finally, I avenge my comrades.”
“I hadn’t killed any comrades……”
“None, yet. Of course.”
A freezing energy started to climb Daniel’s body. From his thigh, waist, abdomen, chest and to his fingers.
“It’s still ten years before it happens.”
Daniel struggled desperately. It wasn’t an instinct for survival. It was due to a regret that he wouldn’t be able to relay information to his country. He was different from Cecelia. His characteristics weren’t unmatched, but he was a perfectly trained dog by his country.
“Just think like this. In a previous time, you killed my comrades.”
Soon the ice reached to the chin, and finally his head. Daniel’s whole body was frozen.
“Now it’s your turn to be killed.”
Daniel couldn’t understand what Ian was saying. Forever.
“That’s fair, isn’t it?”
After a while, Ian tapped the ice block. Soon, it started to crack. Daniel’s body was released from the ice block. It was a glimpse of the moment that he was frozen. However, his body left no blood at all.
Ian started to check Daniel’s corpse to eradicate any dangerous items that will threaten Ian later. Such as orders to Coldwalkers, or any other articles similar. Fortunately, there were no such things.
‘And his mana inscription was…..’
Daniel’s mana inscription was located at under the right shoulder. When Ian found it, mages arrived to the prison. Other mages heard that Ian had headed to the ivory tower. Since the tower lord had to be left at the royal palace, archmage Ronan brought others as the leader.
“This…. What is going on here?”
Cecelia’s corpse which was laying down on the floor as holding her neck. A corpse of a mysterious man. Ronan Wanted Ian to explain this situation.
“Why is Cecelia…. and who is this man?”
Ian didn’t reply. A massive storm had passed the Greenriver empire. The first thing was mana inscription tests for the whole of Empire citizens. Literally, the ‘whole’ of the empire members was the target of the test. From every low-rank person to royalty. For every people in every province. It was an order of the emperor. It was a bit of late treatment, but it had to be done.
“Already two members of royal palace are missing! One maid and royal secretary! While they are manipulating this empire, what have you done? Tower Lord. Answer! You asked me to give authority of this matters to the ivory tower. You said you would find these spies, didn’t you?”
The emperor’s fury headed straight to the Ivory Tower. The ivory tower was uniquely allowed to investigate Cecelia. However, they didn’t figure out anything. Instead, they almost let these spies make contact. And it seemed other spies were manipulating around to plant bombs. The tower Lord had nothing to say about it.
“I cannot trust the Ivory Tower’s capacity anymore, so I retake all their authority of investigation from this moment. Hence, from now on, give the imperial army all information you have collected. Do you understand?”
The royalty and the Ivory Tower were supposed to be balanced as a parallel mutual relationship. However, for now, the Ivory Tower had no such power. The royalty had every reason and power. The Ivory Tower had to admit this for now.
“As you command, your highness.”
The council was filled with the emperor, the crown prince and every liege man. And in the middle of the council, the tower lord Herbert gently received the emperor’s order.
“Be gone. You must have many things to do.”
With strong face, the emperor returned the tower lord. The parallel relationship wasn’t easy to be maintained. Sometimes he had to treat them as a friend, but sometimes as a political enemy. It was a balancing game that only the emperor could do.
‘I wish he could catch what I am doing here.’
The emperor briefly looked down the seat of the crown prince, located at the right, under of the emperor’s seat. The crown prince was smiling like an innocent children. It seemed he was just excited that the Ivory Tower got some power revoked.
‘……….. Still far to go.’
After sighed, the Emperor started the next topic. The ivory tower was the most responsible for this event. However, it was also the Ivory Tower who distinguished themselves to the empire mostly. Precisely, the youngest arch mage of the ivory tower.
“Mage Ian Page, come out and bow to the emperor.”
With the voice of an inner coffin, a boy entered the council room. He wore immaculate cloth and made his hair very gently. It was the second time that Archmage Ian Page had been called.
“Good to see you again, Ian Page.”
Opposite to the tower lord, the emperor welcomed Ian warmly. The Emperor Terry Greenriver said to Ian.
“Before we start this topic, I will give you a chance to explain to everyone. As we received the report, there might be someone who wanted to hear it directly. Can you summarize what happened there?”
From fashionable society to the prison of the Ivory Tower. What had happened, and what had Ian thought and done. The emperor was asking about that. Of course, everyone in the council already knew the detail. The emperor was just giving Ian a chance to appeal himself.
“Of course, your highness.”
“Then tell me. What had happened at the night?”
Re-Edited by FlawFinder