A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 155

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel

Chapter 155. The Ruler of the North (1)



[A MASSIVE POWER HAS BEEN DETECTED AT LAGRIUM MEADOW]




A battle between the Allied Forces and Outsiders took place at the Lagrium Plains, in the northern kingdom of Aldeina. Although small encounters were frequent there, a massive battle on this kind of scale had never occurred before. However, as the Shadow Worlds appeared simultaneously across different countries, the Outsiders seized this opportunity to start their own invasion.




They aimed for the exact moment when the Avalon Army, which was responsible for a large portion of the central troops, left the front lines to respond to the Shadow World incursion. Thus, the Allied Forces had to fight against the Outsiders with a core part of their military strength absent. The devastation that occurred wasn’t limited to the significant casualties on both sides; from this battle, the Lagrium Plains had been so severely destroyed that the land almost needed to be remapped.




[Is this the Outsider’s secret weapon?]


On the 24th, there had been a massive battle between the Allied Forces and Outsiders. At the beginning of the battle, the Allied Forces had gained the upper hand. The situation was likely to be a landslide victory, but no one could have predicted the swift change in the tide of battle with the arrival of just one person.




This person demonstrated an invincible power and destroyed the Allied Force’s knight units easily. Thankfully, Zod Exarion was part of the Allied army and managed to stop the battle before every single knight was slain. Being one of the best wizards on the continent, Zod was something of an international treasure. That’s why, when he disappeared after the battle, the Alliance kept an iron grip on all information concerning him, and handled the situation with the utmost secrecy.




* * *




In the northern subcontinent where the Aldeina Kingdom was located, snow was all but uncommon. In the bleak terrain, snow melted within moments of falling to the ground and dissolved into grey mud, coloring the whole continent in sadness.




Apopis University Hospital in the north of Aldeina.




Zod Exarion sat on a hospital bed looking thoroughly exhausted. Physically, he didn’t look to be severely injured. Mentally, however, he was locked in a devastating battlefield. His eyes were locked on the chessboard in front of him, his face scrunched in vexation. His eyes canvassed the board, acknowledging all the pieces and their potential moves. His face finally relaxed when he got to the white knight; he lifted his left hand in response to make his move.




*Tak*




“Truly, it’s a Homunculus? … If what you said is true, that a Homunculus controls the principle of causality, then that would explain it all.”




“The Shadow World I just returned from occurred 100 years ago. Not much of the history, at least as we know it, matched with what we saw in there. Who knows what’s happened since?”




Desir Arman moved his Bishop and defended against Zod’s meticulous attacks in an almost casual manner.


“Yeah, certainly, there are some differences. Its mana for one. It had power equivalent to the Sixth-Circle.”




*Tak*




As they took turns, they discussed the situation they had found themselves in while not neglecting to progress their game of chess.




“The frontline should remain as-is to maintain our standoff.”




“With the Homunculus’s influence, the damage that our forces received puts us in an untenable situation. Though, the Outsiders have no remaining strength. Taking out the Homunculus will allow us to finally finish them off.”




Zod had a one on one battle with the Homunculus at Lagrium Plain, and was severely injured as a result. In fact, his injuries were so severe that he couldn’t even move his body. The Homunculus got bruised up brutally, too.




Zod succeeded in fending off the Homunculus, a being that could easily manipulate casualty and managed to barely drive it


off.




As a result, the Outsiders quickly retreated with the Homunculus in-tow, and the Allied Forces had to back off as well. It was a temporary lull in their battle, while both sides licked their wounds like beaten puppies.




“And as you said, the Prophet is still alive and actively fighting as an Outsider.”




The Prophet.




The one who had destroyed numerous kingdoms by deceiving countless people. He was definitely a threatening figure, looming in the shadows.




Desir discovered him as a key player in the Shadow World they had just cleared, located in the Magic Kingdom under the alias of Kuma Merilson, 130 years ago. He was also a central figure in the Shadow World based on the Artemy Kingdom, 500 years ago.




The Prophet possessed countless artifacts and Desir believed


that he was extending his longevity through the use of one of those artifacts.




‘The stamina of the Outsiders is way higher than I expected.’




Desir felt that the utility of the artifacts had been limited to making the Outsiders unite, since there had not been any significant Outsider activity in his previous life. Before he had returned, he hadn’t thought that there were many experts hiding in the woodwork with abilities as strong as Crow Mask.




However, since discovering that the Prophet was amongst the Outsiders and that they had a completed Homunculus at their disposal, Desir placed the elimination of the Outsiders as a top priority. Clearly, the Outsiders would become an obstacle when it came to the clearing of the Shadow Labyrinth.




“The Hebrion Empire has started to move in earnest against the Outsiders. Our party too, is heading to the north to complete a mission related to them.”




The Starling Party had achieved the qualification that was equivalent and as honorable as knights, by successfully clearing a Level Three Shadow World on their own. The territory of


activity for their Starling Party had consequently grown from beyond the empire and into foreign lands.




In a perfectly timed coincidence, the Emperor of Hebrion, Guiltian Zedgar F Rogfelas had assigned Desir to a specific mission.




“Completing our mission should prove valuable in overcoming this current situation.”




“I wish you the best of luck You said you were heading north, correct?”




Zod’s eyes scanned over Desir’s outfit.




“Why don’t you stop by the Magic Tower nearby? I have some gifts for you.”




* * *




The Starling Party was heading to the northern part of the continent, more specifically the most northern part of the


Aldeina Kingdom. As the train they were on continued travelling, the scenery they witnessed out their window had progressively grown whiter. Desir rested his head on his hand and watched the landscape blissfully as he lost himself in his thoughts.




After clearing that Shadow World, Desir originally intended on continuing the training regime of his party members. However, things didn’t proceed as planned.




The principal of Hebrion Academy, Justin, decided to close the school due to the extended skirmishes and all-out battle between the Allied Forces and the Outsiders. Being tied to an empire at war with a terrorist group left the academy exposed to outside attacks, and the Outsiders have already proved that they aren’t against attacking the Academy.




Desir sensed that something was up and sent out his own feelers to retrieve what brief information about the situation that he could; namely from his connection to the esteemed visitor, Hersaint-Blanc.




This was what he got from him:


The Allied Forces had to retreat, after what can only be regarded as a significant blunder in the battle of the Lagrium Plain. The Master of the Magic Tower, Zod, was also injured dreadfully.




Almost snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Allied Forces were now in the midst of recovering their military strength, and the Hebrion Empire had decided to contribute, even if that meant sending mere students, barely possessing the qualification of knighthood.




Oddly enough, the Starling Party was assigned something different than the other parties.




Desir was surprised to hear that Zod had ended up injured, but could relax when he heard that it was very minor and nothing life-threatening.




“The King has tasked you with gaining the favor of the Northern Barbarians.”




The Barbarians were huge humans in possession of monstrous power. They usually lived in cold regions, far apart from the other northern cities. Only recently had they begun to interact


with their neighboring countries, but it was never an easy task to obtain their partnership and cooperation.




However, if anyone could get their support, there was little that couldn’t be accomplished.




“It’s important to understand that the Emperor is assigning this mission as a request. If necessary, you can refuse. His Majesty was generous enough to understand what a great feat it was, defeating a Shadow World on your own.”




Like he said, from the Level Three Shadow World, Desir, Adjest, Romantica, and Pram were extraordinarily stressed and exhausted. It was dangerous to accept a mission that might have some kind of danger that they weren’t aware of, especially when they weren’t in peak condition. But Desir accepted the task without hesitation.




“No, our party will proceed with this mission.”




Desir felt this was his chance.




Successfully completing this mission would bring an excellent


opportunity to bolster the military might of the Allied Forces for the final battle against the Outsiders. And there was a secondary motive behind accepting this quest too.




The land of the Barbarians, Harrowind.




The home of Donape Aslan. One of six who survived to the end of the disastrous Shadow Labyrinth.




The strongest warrior who smashed and cleaved all enemies who blocked his path, wielding a huge axe. His brave army of Barbarians was strong enough to form the vanguard in their ill-fated expedition.




If a relationship with his army was diligently forged with trust, this time around, it would be a great opportunity to prepare not only for the immediate battle with the Outsiders, but would also serve as ground work for the eventual invasion of the Shadow Labyrinth.




‘This is a great chance.’




Desir had been working behind the scenes to set up some kind


of opportunity to connect with Donape, but frankly, it was difficult to meet the King of the Barbarian tribes as a mere student. Luckily, Desir would now be able to see him as an imperial emissary. If Desir completed this mission successfully, he could get one step closer to the successful clearing of the Shadow Labyrinth, while preserving the vital strength required to do so in the process.




Desir quickly worked through his possible options to successfully convince Donape.




‘Adjest… ’




Desir decided that Adjest would be someone who would solve this problem.




“Desir, I see a city! I think we are here!”




Desir was woken from his reverie by a delighted squeal from Pram. When he looked outside the window, he saw a beautiful city covered by snow approaching quickly.




* * *





The Starling Party finally arrived in the city. The tall walls surrounding the castle (and the obligatory moat that a castle needed to even be considered such) were laced with snow. These rugged and functional defensive structures were evidence to the city’s history of countless battles against the barbarians. The designers of this city had to consider the practicality of design and the inevitability of having to fight from this city.




The party had decided to stay here, a city famous for its beautiful scenery.




After a light dinner at the inn, Desir briefly explained the mission.




“The Barbarians live on Mt. Calcarus, which you can see out the window from here.”




Desir pointed to the range of mountains. This snowy mountain is incredibly harsh to visitors and foreigners, and is big enough that it can even be compared to other countries in terms of sheer size.


‘Approaching it from the Lagrium Plain would be far easier, if only it weren’t a battle field right now… ’




There were well-trodden paths along the mountainside, terminating in the Lagrium Plain. However, it was a large battlefield right now, making it quite impossible to take any of those paths. Therefore, the party had to take a long detour. It was the second best option that came to Desir’s mind; The route was fast, but unfortunately, never safe to use.




Mt. Calcarus was always engulfed in blizzard-like conditions near the summit, and the terrain was very steep. In order to maintain public safety, travellers were barred entry. It was an informal restriction though. Most people had no desire to get any closer to the mountain due to the unpredictable nature of its weather, and those that did were told they were crazy.




Desir was short on time. He knew that it would likely be dangerous, but he had to rush.




“People are prohibited from entering this mountain for a reason. This mountain is full of unknown danger. We need to be careful when climbing it.”


Desir tried to share as much he could about the mountain and finished this conversation with a warning.






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