A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 212

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 212. Divide (1)



“… This is the compensation the Empire wants.”




In a chamber in the Divide Kingdom, two people sat facing each other between a lengthy wooden table. The person with a white moustache was the treasurer, and the young man in front of him was known as the advisor.




The advisor frowned after reading the documents placed in front of him.




“It’s terribly excessive.”




“This will hugely burden our national finances. We can’t accept this.”




The Hebrion Empire held the merchant society of the Divide Kingdom accountable for aiding their nobles’ revolt and demanded the kingdom pay compensation for damage.




And this context is enough to explain why they reacted this


way.




The advisor spoke with a calm voice.




“The Empire has always been like this. They’ve always been unreasonable in their demands, using their military force to always get their way. You shouldn’t think they’ve changed just because they helped rid the world of the Outsiders.”




“We better flat out refuse their offer. We can’t keep letting the Empire walk all over us!”




“I understand your anger, but considering the current situation, we can’t afford to turn down their proposal.”




The treasurer’s face turned stern.




“Then are you suggesting that we accept this ridiculous offer? There’s no way we’re related to their revolt. It’s just… !”




The advisor cut him off and continued what he barely finished.





“… it does seem that way in this circumstance. But looking at it from the Empire’s perspective, it’s reasonable to see why they assume we were involved. If we don’t accept their offer, we will be their enemy. That could lead to war.”




The treasurer bit his lip.




“Confiscate the property of the Merchant Association that the Empire believes aided the revolt, and prepare the compensation from that. That will solve the national finance problem.”




“… Okay.”




The treasurer understood that what the advisor said was correct in his head.




However, he was devastated by the fact that the only option they had was to yield to the Empire.




“But I will never overlook this incident.”


The treasurer lifted his head hearing the advisor’s voice.




“We’re not the only one who struggles with the Empire’s violence. I will inform the entire continent of this. It won’t be just the four countries in the Western Kingdom Union this time. A lot of small countries that have been patient all this time will side with us.”




The advisor looked as determined as possible.




“When many people desire the collapse of the evil Empire as one, the Divide Kingdom will also rise. It’s our turn to let the Hebrion Empire know what outcome the combined revival will bring.”




“You mean… ”




“Once we sort out this compensation problem, we will plan the budget again. I’ll find the funds to allow us to increase our military and let you know in a week.”




The treasurer’s face brightened.



* * *




After the treasurer left, the advisor kept rubbing his cheek as though he was in discomfort.




‘I can never get used to this, no matter how much I use it.’




The advisor’s name is Icarus Quirgo.




He was the man who led the civil war in the Hebrion Empire. He raised the banner of revolution thirteen years ago, and after his defeat, has since worked as a leader of the Outsiders, wearing a crow mask.




‘It’s you again.’




It took years for him to prepare this plan.




His thoroughly planned stratagem to bring ruin to the Hebrion Empire had completely fallen apart.


All because of one man.




‘Desir Arman… ’




Things had gotten worse too.




The nobility were the most useful tool in order to keep the Emperor of the Hebrion Empire in check. And keeping the Emperor in check meant keeping the whole Empire in check.




However, the nobility had lost all their power after Desir Arman once again stuck his unwelcome nose into Icarus’s seemingly perfect plan. He could no longer count on the nobility to mount a noteworthy resistance against the Emperor.




The result of Desir Arman’s intervention immediately reared its ugly head. The Empire had taken a hard-line policy with the Kingdom of Divide.




Normally, the Empire would not demand compensation this unreasonable. They couldn’t afford to have more external enemies while not knowing when their internal enemies would stab them in the back.





But now things have changed.




The Emperor could now focus on matters external to his empire after solidifying his internal affairs. And that would definitely interrupt their plan.




Just a single person made all this change.




‘Desir Arman, you’re the biggest obstacle to our ambitions.’




Icarus was trying to figure out the necessary actions to rid himself of this thorn in his side.




“You must be troubled due to him.”




A voice emanated from somewhere nearby; a very disconcerting voice that sounded like iron scratching down a chalkboard.




When Icarus opened his eyes, he saw someone wearing a


skeleton mask standing right before him.




Skull Mask spoke more easily, unlike a year ago. He seemed to have recovered, even though Crow Mask didn’t see him doing anything in particular.




“Desir Arman has become stronger. You knew Aaron’s strength better than most.”




Icarus frowned his eyebrows slightly as he listened to Skull Mask.




He was the one who killed Aaron after all.




Aaron, after being expelled from the capital city, noticed something suspicious afoot and attempted to investigate them.




That was why he had to be killed.




‘I wanted to let him go nicely… ’


Aaron was a great man in terms of skill and as a person. Although he was an enemy that they needed to get rid of, Icarus wanted to present him with the respectful ending that he deserved.




However, Skull Mask was different.




‘I really hate that man.’




Skull Mask had made a chimera out of the dying Aaron, resulting in a monstrous beast that was terrifyingly powerful.




Although it wasn’t as powerful as a homunculus, its skill in wielding sword aura was truly massive. This was even more so because the aura he wielded belonged to the King Class of swordsmen.




However, Desir defeated such a powerful chimera without any losses.




“According to the mirror of shadows, the magic that he performed defeating the chimera reached the Seventh-Circle.”



“… Seventh-Circle?”




Icarus asked again as if he couldn’t believe it.




It was utterly surprising.




In this day and age, there was only one person who managed to reach the Seventh-Circle, Zod Exarion.




He already knew that Desir was strong and was destined to become even stronger. He even wrote off Desir’s sudden advancement into the Fourth-Circle as a byproduct of their homunculus’s capture. But it was totally unexpected that he could display such improvement within just a year.




‘Perhaps he’s… a genius?’




After he suffered humiliation at the hands of Desir at Deltaheim, the capital of Prillecha, he had fervently plunged himself into his training while furthering the plan.


Icarus was confident that there was no magician who could catch up with him except Zod.




But out of the blue, the inferior magician that had managed to best him once already had caught up this close to him… perhaps even exceeding him.




‘In that case, we’re not strong enough yet.’




When Icarus told himself that, Skull Mask started up the conversation once again.




“We need to manufacture more chimeras.”




He was right. The Kingdom of Divide was the country with the most powerful military force amongst the Western Kingdom Union. But it still couldn’t compare to the Hebrion Empire.




‘We have to get ready for an all-out war.’




Now that Desir had discovered their existence, it was inevitable that they had to prepare for war against the Empire.





“Can you make more chimeras using Aaron?”




Although the chimera was defeated by Desir, if they could mass produce chimeras as good as that, their military strength would be more than enough.




“Getting more King Class swordsmen is impossible. We would simply be recycling the power of King Classes.”




Skull Mask shook his head and continued.




“Revolutionist, that’ll only make these very inefficient chimeras. If you want to produce something, you’d be better off making something else entirely.”




“Something else?”




“Homunculi.”




The weapon that single-handedly held the status-quo in the


war between the Outsiders and all other countries combined.




The living organism that could kill enemies with long-distance artillery fire and control the principle of causality, a power firmly in the realm of gods.




It was safe to say that the homunculus on its own had as much military force as a country.




Icarus spoke with surprise lacing his face.




“I wonder if we can mass-produce them.”




“This is why we conquered Divide. If we use the finances of Divide, it’s easily possible. The preparation has already been underway for a while now.”




“For a while now? You don’t mean…?”




Icarus pointed at the mysterious tower being built under the supervision of Skull Mask. Building the tower had required an astronomical amount of resources.





“The tower is for something else. I’ll tell you about it some other time.”




The Outsiders were an organization that was primarily made for the sake of fulfilling each individual’s desire.




Even though Skull Mask did not talk about his purpose, Icarus was not entitled to ask him directly.




‘I can never tell what he’s thinking.’




As long as they shared a mutual goal, they could work together as an association, otherwise, they would go their separate ways.




Therefore, Icarus could not ask him anymore about it.




“By the way, have you figured out how to get rid of Desir Arman?”


Skull Mask opened his mouth to change the topic.




“… He’s already figured out that we have taken over the Kingdom of Divide.”




Skull Mask agreed with him.




“In that case, he’ll try to gather information about Divide. But he won’t be able to get any decent information.”




Icarus regulated the domestic and international press and tightened all immigration processes. It was nearly impossible for him to get information from abroad about the Outsiders.




“Eventually, he will have to come to Divide himself. And he will come here regardless of any interruption.”




Icarus thought highly of Desir; it would be impossible to think of someone as your biggest threat without acknowledging their skills.




“Then it would be better to give him an excuse to come to


Divide, and use the opportunity to finish him off. It’s soon going to be time for the next Great Council.”




Skull Mask nodded.




“Hm… Will the Great Council be held in Divide?”




The Western Kingdom Union held the conference known as the Great Council every summer. And Desir, as a member of the Magic Tower, had participated in the last Great Council.




If the Great Council took place in Divide this year, Desir would definitely seize the opportunity to participate.




“If it is, then Desir Arman will participate for sure. And we must remove him on the spot.”




“That’s a good idea. I’ll help you out with a few things to make sure your plan succeeds.”






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