A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 195

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel



Chapter 195. The Beginning of a Plan (4)



Desir arrived at Leonhardt Palace in a carriage with Hersaint-Blanc. He got out of the carriage where he spent a few seconds taking in his surroundings before following his escort.




Leonhardt Palace wasn’t as luxurious as Edark’s Palace, where the  masquerade  ball  had  been  held,  but  it  elicited  a  sense  of nobleness that was hard to describe.




“So this is the royal palace… … ”




The  country  that  occupied  the  most  land  in  the  world,  the Hebrion Empire, and its palace made for the exclusive use of the Emperor.




Despite the lack of extravagant decoration, Leonhardt Palace overwhelmed anyone that stepped within its bounds, due to its sheer existence.




*Thump*


Desir  and  Hersaint-Blanc  stopped  in  front  of  an  enormous door.




One of the knights guarding the door challenged them.




“Are you Desir Arman?”




“Yes,  that’s  me.  I’m  here  to  answer  the  summons  of  His Majesty.”




The knight nodded and opened the door.




“Only  Mr.  Desir  Arman  is  allowed  past  here.  Mr.  Hersaint-Blanc Tistachia is to stay here and wait.”




Desir glanced at Hersaint-Blanc and walked through the door. After walking along the hallway for a while, he was faced with yet another door.




The knight guarding that place requested Desir to leave any weapons he may possess in his care. He pointed at a red line on the floor and warned Desir.





“Walking  past  this  line  while  possessing  a  weapon  will  be considered treason. Not even magic can guarantee your survival at that point.”




Desir had to go through an inspection process before getting past  this  checkpoint.  He  handed  something  to  the  guard  and mentally  prepared  himself  for  the  meeting.  The  moment  he walked  past,  he  understood  what  the  guard  meant  by  magic being useless.




The  atmospheric  mana  wasn’t  flowing,  almost  as  if  it  had been hardened into a substance similar to a rock. Not being able to concentrate mana meant that casting magic was impossible through normal means.




“An artifact… ”




The  power  to  create  this  kind  of  abnormal   phenomenon indubitably belonged to an artifact. It was obvious at this point how heavily guarded the palace was.




After  passing  two  more  doors  and  reaching  the  end  of  the


hallway, Desir could finally meet the Emperor of the Hebrion Empire, Guiltian Zedgar F. Rogfelas.




“It is an honor to meet the Emperor and the Guardian of this great empire.”




Desir conducted himself properly in front of the Emperor.




“Feel free to make yourself comfortable.”




They sat down facing each other.




The Emperor offered a cup of tea by waving at the cups on the table. The first to break the silence was Guiltian.




“Stories  about  you  have  reached  me  from  many  different sources.  I’ve  heard  that  you’re  focusing  on  training  students from the Hebrion Academy.”




The Emperor added shortly after.


“Even people from parties competing with your own.”




“It’s   because   everyone   has   to   grow   together.   I   wouldn’t exclude them just because they are fellow competitors.”




“Quite  thoughtful.  And  I’ve  heard  you  reached  the  Fourth-Circle while training them? I like your diligence.”




“Thank you for your compliments, Your Highness.”




It was a simple exchange of banter. Your run of the mill, day-to-day pleasantries.




“Every human being has their own worth.”




The atmosphere suddenly tensed when the Emperor brought up the main topic.




“In  all   honesty,  I  considered  your  worth  as  limited.   An outstanding mage from a commoner background. A medium to earn the support of the commoners. That was about the extent I considered you as being worthy of.”





It was to be expected.




The relationship between the Emperor and Desir was exactly like the Emperor described.




A temporary relationship that was only built on the mutual benefits it provided.




The Emperor offered his hand to Desir in order to earn the support of the commoners, and Desir took up the offer in order to  get  some  privileges  out  of  having  a  connection  with  the Emperor.




That was the extent of it.




“But I’ve discovered your true worth from this war. And that is why I’ve requested to meet you privately.”




On  the  carved  sandalwood  table  was  a  gigantic  lion,  in  a roaring stance. The symbol of the Hebrion Empire.


“The Royal Guard. You’ve probably heard of them.”




Sitting below the roaring lion were four weapons, supporting its weight and allowing it to stand tall and proud.




A sword, a bow, a shield, and a staff. The Emperor identified each weapon in order.




“From what I know, it is the single most powerful organization in this empire.”




“It must stand at the pinnacle.”




The Emperor continued to extol their virtue.




“They are the very apex of the millions of warriors that toil to defend this nation. The Royal Guard only has positions for those who have mastered their art.”




Traditionally,  the  Royal  Guard  had  just  four  members.  He gestured at the sword.



“The  sword,  Jean  Euremrin.  The  bow,  Swan  Katarina.  The shield,  Raphaelo  Cheringer.  All  of  them  have  achieved  such status.”




The judgement was accurate.




They survived till the very last part of the Shadow Labyrinth. They killed more enemies than anyone else and held the line right  to  the  end.  Raphaello  Cheringer,  who  was  the  current “shield,” for example, survived until  the end and served as the leader of the expedition group.




“But there hasn’t been a mage in the Empire that has achieved such mastery of their craft.”




Guiltian pointed at the painting of the staff.




“As   such,   this   position   has   been   left   vacant   since   the revolution.  There hasn’t been a single mage who could reach the Seventh-Circle.”




The  only  person  to  have  reached  the  Seventh-Circle  was


currently living at Altea, well and truly outside of the Empire’s grasp.




“I’m referring to Zod Exarion.”




The  Emperor’s  standard  for  a  peak-level  magician  was  Zod Exarion.  It was logical  that the staff had been left empty as a result.




An entity that was simply beyond the level of any Sixth-Circle magician,  of  which  there  were  less  than  ten  of  in  the  entire world.




Who would dare compare themselves with Zod Exarion?




The Emperor raised his finger.




The hand that had been pointing at the staff now pointed at Desir.




“But you defeated the homunculus, a feat not even Zod could achieve.”





Desir shook his head.




“That  was  because  there  were  many  variables  involved.  It simply doesn’t make sense to assert that I am at a higher level than Zod.”




“But you certainly aren’t at a level below him.”




Guiltian countered.




“I’ve heard that you defeated a Sixth-Circle mage, who used Blood Magic, in the battle at the port.”




“That was… ”




Dracul Labutte Elkaera, the last practitioner of Blood Magic.




She would easily be able to overwhelm any other Sixth-Circle magician in terms of sheer power.


“A mage in the royal family told me that there might be mages who are ahead in terms of circles, but there is not a single one who could stand their ground against you. If there were a single mage who could, it would be Zod Exarion.”




This meant that Desir met the Emperor’s standard.




“Does that mean Your Highness is offering me the position of a Royal Guard?”




“Indeed.”




There  was  no  other  explanation  to  what  Guiltian  had  said. What did it mean to be a Royal Guard?




It   wasn’t   just   a   simple   militant   organization.   It   was   an honorable position that had a long and distinguished history of serving right beside the Emperor.  And the Emperor wanted a commoner to take up such an honorable role.




“Desir Arman. I have a few missions of great importance that I would like you to take on in my name. And to do that, I need you to be one of the Royal Guards.”





Looking  at  Desir’s  hesitation,  Guiltian  landed  the  critical blow.




“There are three main privileges of being a Royal Guard.”




Privileges as a Royal Guard!




Desir had heard a few pieces here and there about the splendid privileges that come with the title of Royal Guard. But since he hadn’t heard much formally about it, he mindfully listened to what Guiltian would confirm for him.




“Firstly  is  the  privilege  of  using  artifacts  held  by  the  Royal Family. You are allowed to borrow any artifact that you need. If there’s something you want in particular, I will grant it.”




It was an astonishing offer.




The  Hebrion  Empire,  which  took  great  pride  in  its  long history, owned more powerful artifacts than any other country.


But there were still two privileges remaining.




“Secondly, you will be considered as my representative in this country.  You  will  receive  treatment  comparable  to  that  of  a Duke. This privilege will  be applicable in any country that has diplomatic relations with the Empire.  Of course, you will  not need  a  golden  emblem  either,  since  your  very  being  will  be proof enough of identity.”




It meant authority and power in the Empire.




“Thirdly, I will  grant you anything you desire.  If you want money, I will grant you the equivalent to the yearly budget of an entire city. If you want land, grab a map and point.”




“Hmm.”




Desir let out a sound of deep consideration.




It  really  was  an  incredibly  persuasive  offer.  It  meant  being granted authority and power that a commoner would not even dare to imagine.



He   could   immediately   think   of   dozens   of   ways   to   take advantage of these privileges.




‘But it means being officially under the Emperor.’




It   wasn’t   on   the   same   scale   of   the   simple   cooperative relationship they had maintained thus far. This was an official title   granted   by   the   Emperor. It   meant   being   officially recognized as a faithful servant of the Emperor.




‘The fact that I have to take on missions is a bit concerning, but the privileges are overwhelmingly persuasive.’




It wasn’t just that.




‘Finally… … an opportunity to meet the only one I haven’t so far… Raphaello Cheringer.’




Desir made up his mind.




“Even though I’m still lacking in many aspects, I will put my


best effort into serving Your Highness.”




The Emperor smiled gracefully.




“Good. So you accepted the offer.”




“So,  I’m  a  Royal   Guard  now?  I’m  assuming  it’s  not  that straightforward.”




“Considering the importance of the position, there are a few official procedures left for the appointment of the Royal Guard. For instance, more than half of the Royal Guard members need to agree to the appointment.”




“Hmm… … ”




It meant that the news of Desir being recruited was already known to the Royal  Guards. It made sense that Swan Katarina paid him a visit. She wanted to see the face of a potential  new member.




“With  all  the  extraneous  and  boring  steps  out  of  the  way,


there is one ceremonial procedure left.”




Ceremonial?




Desir felt some discomfort from that word for some reason.




“If it’s merely ceremonial… could we not omit it?”




“It’s an old tradition. It would be difficult to simply omit it.”




The Emperor said.




“All   new  members  of  the  Royal   Guard,  after  gaining  the Emperor’s approval, must be again approved by the leader of the Royal Guard directly. Desir Arman. You will have to face the captain of the Royal Guard, Raphaello Cheringer, in battle.”




“… … ”




“Please   get   ready   for   the   battle.   He’s   probably   already waiting.”





Raphaello Cheringer.




The man praised as the Sword Grand Master of the current age, and Desir’s partner in the past.




Desir  planned  to  approach  him  gradually  after  joining  the Royal Guard.




But  now  Desir  got  to  meet  him  right  away.  In  the  form  of battle, at that.




“Didn’t think I would get to meet him this quick.”





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