Chapter 9: The Dream of the Stars (2)
In front of the main gate of the majestic Agnes Imperial City, there was a woman with a strange expression looking at the gate. A woman with dark hair like night and red eyes like blood. It was Liusina Bloodwalker, who became Zion’s subordinate.
“Hmm— I didn’t know I’d be here.”
After dealing with the assassination organization ‘Night of Sabbath’ and tracking its background, Liusina was standing in front of the main gate of the Imperial City on Zion’s order to come into the Imperial City.
From birth until now, it was awkward because she had no connection with the permanent residency of the countryside, let alone the Imperial City. But apart from the awkwardness, Liusina felt good.
I guess the assurance he made back then wasn’t a lie.
After coming to the capital, I just followed Zion’s instructions, but I’ve killed the largest number of people in recent years. Though not yet satisfactory, Liusina was expecting things to get better because according to his master Zion, it hasn’t even started yet.
Liusina hummed, but when she was about to pass through the main gate of the Imperial City.
“Please show me your identification card or your Imperial City pass.”
The soldiers guarding the main gate stopped her and opened their mouths in clerical voices.
“I don’t have such a thing,” Liusina replied as if it is natural.
One of the soldiers, who looked at her as if he was bewildered by what she said, shook his head and said: “We can’t let you in then.”
“No. My master told me to come into the Imperial City.”
“Master? The person you serve? Can you tell me the name?”
There was a perplexity on Liusina’s face. Come to think of it, she never heard the name of her master.
“I don’t know his name, but he’s a scary man with a skinny body, and his eyes open like this—”
She even appealed by imitating Zion’s tired-looking eyes, but it didn’t work.
“Please go back.”
One of the soldiers answered in a firm voice and pushed her shoulder slightly, perhaps considering Liusina crazy. At that moment–
The soldier’s body, which touched her shoulder flew backward at an imperceptible speed and was stuck in the wall. Silence circulated for a while. Then–
“I didn’t do it. He bounced off on his own—You won’t believe me, right?”
Liusina made excuses as she pressed the head of the beast, which was trying to protrude from her shoulder where the soldier touched, but it was already late.
“It’s an attack! Line up for battle!”
Soldiers and knights started to flock toward her with a loud shout.
“If you do this, I have no choice but to break through.”
She looked at those approaching her and blood energy began to flow from Liusina’s entire body.
“—What an evil aura!”
“Stop her from entering the Imperial City!”
The knights who felt her energy expressed their hostility with startling shouts.
“I’ll try not to kill them first— But maybe some people die by mistake in a fight, right?”
There was a little expectation in the witch’s eyes as she looked at them.
* * *
Even if he’s about to die, there’s no way that his power will disappear in an instant.
Astral, the world’s strongest power can only be used by direct blood descendants of the Agnes family. Zion nodded as he looked at the eyes of Emperor Urdius, who was filled with such Astral. The old man in front of him was the monster among the monsters who had mastered the Astral to the limit when he was young and trampled all his brothers and sisters, and became the ruler of the world. No matter how old and ill he became, there was no way that his power could have disappeared in an instant. No, it would have been rather strange for it to disappear.
“—You are not Zion.”
The emperor continued to talk as he looked at Zion. It was a fact that could be known just by looking at his eyes. A ruler’s eye can only be obtained by birth. Obviously, Urdios’ son was not blessed with such eyes. However, the eyes of Zion Agnes looking at him were the eyes of a ruler like himself and one thing is even more certain—
“Zion cannot feel or accept mana. He’s born with that. That is why he cannot learn magic or swordsmanship.”
It was a fact known only to the emperor and a few others. The same goes for not being able to learn Astral. However, deep in Zion’s eyes, which the emperor now looks at, there were clearly two black stars spinning. A disparate yet eerie force, similar to and completely different from the Astral. The moment Urdios saw those eyes, he felt his whole body involuntarily shrink.
“Who are you?”
The emperor, who had pushed away those feeling, looked directly into Zion’s eyes and asked him again. Zion smiled at him and asked back.
“Who do you think?”
A body that couldn’t feel mana was a fact he knew from the moment he entered but it was no obstacle to Zion. The Astral Darkness was a completely different power from mana, the foundation of this world.
“Devil— Yes, I can only think of it as a devil. Because otherwise, you could never have such eyes and power. Did you come for me?”
It was not a figurative expression, the emperor thought that Zion might be a devil. It was certainly not wrong since it was also one of the aliases referring to Zion when he was a former emperor.
“You’re going to die soon anyway, what’s the point?”
Zion smiled coldly and answered the emperor’s question. The man in front of him was originally the father of Zion Agnes, the owner of the body, and the emperor who ruled this world. Zion did not show any respect or affection for him. It was natural that there was no respect for the emperor from the beginning, and Urdios had never shown any fatherly figure to Zion Agnes before. No, it was Urdios who put Zion Agnes in the Chimseong Palace and treated him like didn’t exist.
Well, it doesn’t matter now.
Zion had no feelings for the old man in front of him. He just wanted to get what he needed.
“There’s something I’m more curious about.”
Zion, leaning more toward the emperor, opened his mouth.
“What is it?”
“Who made you like this?”
It was a matter of course because those who reach a certain level can not only reconstruct their bodies to maintain their peak but also increase their lifespan. However, the fact that an emperor who had reached the ‘highest’ in terms of strength could only become like this was due to external factors. Zion had a rough idea of the external factors, but still thought it was more accurate to hear it directly from the emperor’s mouth.
The emperor, who stared at Zion for a while, suddenly burst into laughter as Zion looks at the emperor with a calm eye.
“Wasn’t you on the same side as them? I see, I was mistaken. It’s such a different power, but I thought it was similar. Cough!”
Urdios, who was muttering such meaningless words, coughed a few times and continued.
“Four hundred years ago, there was only one nation in the world since the first Emperor Agnes founded the empire, and with that, the age of mankind began.”
The United Empire embraced all local cultures and ushered in a glorious human era. The development that followed is also indescribable but that era did not last very long.
“On the southernmost extreme of the continent nothing existed but one day, a Demon Realm suddenly appeared in a place called the ‘end of the world’.”
The Demon Realm is a world where literally only demonic beings live. As if something was born from nothing, it appeared in an instant at the ‘end of the world’ where life cannot be found.
“I didn’t know how and for what reason the demon realm was created. The demonic beings tried to rule out all living lives and we were in a hurry to stop them.”
Numerous wars broke out and war against the demons led by the Demon King, and all other lives, united around the empire.
“Thousands of heroes have appeared and disappeared, and countless lives have been lost. That’s how we defended the empire. However, about a hundred years ago, the demons abruptly stopped all invasions and we didn’t know why. Nevertheless, mankind began to feel relieved with joy because the long history of war has finally come to an end but— we shouldn’t have—”
Along with the words, bitterness lingered in the emperor’s eyes and disappeared. Zion quietly opened his mouth as he looked at the emperor.
“Because the demons did not stop the invasion.”
The emperor, who looked at Zion for a while with his eyes wide open as if surprised by the words, replied.
“—Did you know? Yes, the demons changed their method of invasion. Instead of confronting face-to-face, they quietly and secretly infiltrated into the empire, the realm of mankind—slowly over a hundred years.”
Thus, in the present day, the demons had spread throughout the empire like a spider’s web. With such secrecy and precision that no one would notice, it was no exception to the Imperial City.
“When I found out about it, it was too late. It was after my body had reached this point due to the poison they secretly administered.”
Urdios then raised his finger and pointed to his body. The emperor’s arms tremble just by this act. His body was already broken beyond recovery.
“I couldn’t do anything, I’m just dying day by day like this and if I weeded them out, the empire would be destroyed since there was no way to identify them. Of course, I didn’t know the guys who gave me the poison either.”
Despite having the enemy enter deep into the heart of the Empire, there was nothing the emperor could do but feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness.
“Is that why you haven’t appointed a successor yet?”
Zion, who was listening to him, looked at the emperor and asked. Just because an emperor chooses a successor doesn’t mean that the successor becomes an emperor unconditionally.
By having legitimacy, it plays a role in suppressing competition and enmity to some extent. Still, this was the only reason why he did not nominate them.
“Yes, I didn’t know who was in contact with them. No, there may be someone who has already become the demon’s limbs.”
To that extent, the existence of the demons was already deep in the Imperial City and that’s how close the fall of the empire was. At least that was what Emperor Urdios thought. The eyes of the emperor, who sighed with regret for a while, now face Zion again.
“You are an unknown being wearing the mask of Zion Agnes. What are you going to do in the Imperial Palace?”
This was a question that was full of the power and dignity of the Emperor of the Great Agnes Empire.
“I’m going to swallow it.”
Zion responded to him.
“I will devour this Baekseong Palace, devour the Imperial City, and devour this empire. There are no exceptions.”
It is not necessary to even reply to a preposterous remark. But–
The emperor burst out laughing. Somehow, he thought that if it was the being in front of him, it might really be true.
“Yes, it would be better to be swallowed up by the devil than to have this empire destroyed by the demon.”
The demon that had already spread to the empire could not be stopped by humans so it would be right to leave it to the devil. The emperor, who was giggling as he muttered this, opened his mouth again to Zion.
“There is one ‘eye’ inside the castle. They are the last watchers who have been handed down from the previous generation to prepare for such a situation, and they only listen to the emperor’s orders.”
A shadow organization that exists in the darkness of the Imperial Castle and freely handles all the information in the world behind the empire. The emperor was convinced that the demons would not yet have penetrated them.
“Find the ‘eye’. Perhaps they are already aware of this situation and are preparing for it. I severed the connection from the moment I got poisoned, as I didn’t want the demons to discover their presence, but you’ll be fine.”
Zion already knew about it, the Shadow of Eternity. It was one of the best intelligence organizations in the Frosimar Chronicles, and which would later be paired with the ‘Moonlit Snow’. And it was also the place where Zion himself tried to get his hands on after entering the Baekseong Palace. Even if he knows the future because he read Chronicles, he doesn’t know everything, it was information that will fill in the missing part.
“I will do so.”
Zion, who answered briefly, turned immediately because he was going to find it anyway without having to say it. He had nothing more to gain from the emperor, and he had to head to the “The Dream of Stars,” the real purpose of coming to the Baekseong Palace today.
“Even if you find it, it may be difficult for you to handle. So I will help you a little.”
The Emperor’s low voice could be heard from behind Zion as he left the bedroom of the ailing emperor without answering.
And so the bedroom was once again left with only silence and darkness.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
There, the emperor murmured quietly and closed his eyes.
T/N: Hi guys, I was thinking to change the term “Moonlit Snow” to “Moonlit Eye”. Eye for the intelligence guild. What do you guys think or just leave it be? The better response the better chance to get double release again next week. Thanks