Chapter 1 - Part 1
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The carriage came to a stop as it entered the main street of the capital. The wagons in the front, which were at the outskirts of the capital, arrived separately to drop Lelia.
Getting off the wagon, Lelia picked her light luggage.
“Will the travel expenses be enough? It must be difficult to stay with you because you are busy with work.”
“No, uncle, thank you so much for taking me here. I’ll see you at the estate later.”
“Well, we’ll talk later then. Take care of yourself.”
“Yes, I’ll be careful.”
Her uncle was in a hurry, so he dropped off Lelia. He set off straight to where his wagon was waiting.
Lelia looked around her with a puzzled expression. The capital had changed considerably over the past nine years.
It felt strange to think that she had once been left alone in the middle of the capital. She felt scared yet confident for some reason. Her grandfather tried to send servants and knights with her, but Lelia refused. It would have interfered with her plan. When she said it was because of the ingredients of the alchemy pills, her grandfather reluctantly agreed and understood her situation.
The capital city was quite noisy.
News had come out that the warriors of the five empires would soon return from defeating the Light Dragon.
Everyone seemed busy preparing for the festival.
The faces of merchants, customers, commoners and aristocrats were all bright and hopeful.
Feeling somehow alienated, Lelia sank under the hood of her robe.
She decided to unpack at the luxury inn where nobles and merchants stayed.
She was relieved because there were guards to protect her.
In fact, her uncle and her aunt said they could not leave Lelia alone, no matter what she thought, and they tried to follow her, but they were too busy to leave the place easily.
Above all, Duke Superion had agreed upon letting Lelia go alone. He wanted them to believe in the special abilities Lelia had with her. Duke Superion believed that Lelia had some sort of mystical powers beyond her alchemy powers. Not to mention, Lelia had made a lot of alchemy pills in just one night. Even in the secret alchemy room that the Duke had made for Lelia, there were not many traces of her research. Once again, he brought an alchemist he knew.
[T/N: I think it refers to the alchemy powers Elizabeth had. Like mother, like daughter.]
He was always there to help Lelia with anything. However, Lelia did not converse much about her alchemy. Duke Superion must have noticed something roughly through the process. However, he did not pry upon Lelia’s matters much. It was just that Lelia resembled her mother in many ways and must have inherited her magical powers. So he had no worries about letting Lelia go alone.
He even ordered that she would return with her uncle Carius, who would stop by the capital. Lelia knew the trust her grandfather had on her.
[And he never asked me where I spent all the money I earned….]
[I’m sure he must be curious about it, though…]
Over the past few years, Lelia has earned a lot of money. She sold pills that worked the best, and had no side effects. Thanks to this, their credibility was quite high among his acquaintances. She gave a share of the earned money to her grandfather’s acquaintance, who helped her with the distribution and she took care of the rest of the money. Her grandfather watched her, but he didn’t ask how Lelia handled her money.
[Even if he asked me, I won’t be able to answer…]
Majority of the money earned was eaten up by ‘Alchemy Lottery’. After confirming the door of the room was locked properly, Lelis pulled the curtains by the windows and carefully looked around, and clutched her necklace.
A familiar screen appeared.
On the screen, the alchemy tool was seen sleeping.
[This money eater…]
All of her money flowed into this game.
However, it was inevitable.
Every time she did something, it asked for crystals. And even if she had a hard time achieving it, she found that the rewards did not seem like a reward.
- Congratulations on achieving your achievement!
- So we prepared a special reward! ✧٩(•́⌄•́๑)و 100,000 crystals at a 20% discount!
That was all it was about.
In addition, her rewards were limited to two hours. So she used to pay for it as if she was possessed, without even taking time to think.
[It’s not that bad though…]
Her inventory still had a lot of special alchemy pills to sell, and there were a lot of ingredients. In addition, all but one of the residents’ relationship favorability had now reached its highest level.
That day arrived soon.
All quests were unlocked, and all business achievements were obtained too. That said, Lelia had collected all the special materials she could get. Except for one thing…
Anyway, now, if she got all the ingredients and finished the special recipe, she could finally make the Philosopher’s stone.
Her newly acquired dragon was a silver dragon. A very commendable fellow who brought many ingredients in the shortest amount of time.
[It’s different from the rest of my dragons who only collect food.]
Also, her inventory had been expanded, so there was plenty of room now.
[It costs a lot of money…]
Not like her money was being siphoned off for no reason.
It was the result of her very intense life over the years.
But from now on, she needs to be a little careful.
[Now that the temple may be sensitively repressing alchemy again…]
The Dragon died. From now on, the temple’s concern would be to increase its influence over the five empires. And paganism, which has been neglected for the past few years, will also be managed with great enthusiasm.
But that doesn’t mean she was afraid.
Her grandfather believed in her and sent her to the capital alone.
Lelia quickly closed the screen, fearing the alchemy tool would wake up.
[I’ll go eat first.]
After unpacking and washing, Lelia changed into a new robe and came out.
Lelia ate and looked around the downtown area. To her surprise, there were quite a few galleries that sold portraits in the capital shopping district.
In the Aurarian Empire, the art sector was the most advanced in the capital city.
It seemed to be true.
Lelia enjoyed freedom for the first time in a long while, sweeping a glance around the streets.
She stopped when she saw a group of men chattering on one side.
From a rough guess, it looked as if the aristocrats and commoners were struggling to get in the crowd.
[What’s going on?]
As she got closer with curiosity, she saw a merchant selling something at the stand. Men around him were trying to get near.
The moment there was a slight gap in the crowd, Lelia quickly rushed towards it. The stand was empty and there was only one thing left in it.
Lelia quickly snatched it and handed the coins to the merchant, who was asking for the money.
From the surface, it looked like a newspaper.
Lelia sat on a nearby bench and opened the booklet she had purchased.
Turns out, it wasn’t a newspaper….
[What kind of an interview booklet is this?]
[Is it a profile book?]
Portraits of the heroes who were active in the war against the Light Dragon appeared on each page.
Lelia turned the pages with interest.
As she turned over strangers, a face she knew appeared.
[It’s my uncle!]
Uncle Carius. A portrait painted by someone on the battlefield. Lelia stroked her portrait fondly and looked at the profile next to him.
Her uncle’s name was written down, along with his height, favourite food, music, and so on.
Some of the content was completely different from what Lelia knew.
“The reporter seems to have written a fan novel…”
Nevertheless, their interest was clear. In particular, the emphasis on “unmarried” made her laugh.
[The ladies of the capital deserve to struggle.]
Lelia turned the page in anticipation of her friends’ faces.
Then, she came across a nostalgic name.
As soon as she saw her name, her fingertips tingled and the tip of her nose twitched.
His portrait was so blurry that his face could not be made out properly.
It didn’t matter though.
[Everyone did a great job.]
Lelia turned the page, feeling proud.
And then she saw Kalix, Griffith and Romeo.
[T/N: I’m getting emotional at this point T_T]
Lelia was able to see her friends on a piece of paper after nine years.
Unfortunately, not all portraits came out well. The content of their profile wasn’t right either.
[I’m happy though.]
Lelia returned to her quarters with the portrait booklet in her arms, feeling fortunate that all her friends were safe. She started to make scrapbooks on the booklet she had brought with her.
After cutting and pasting the contents of her friends and uncle, she remembered another name that she had seen earlier.
Lelia quickly opened the booklet and found the part she was searching for.
Julianna’s partner and the male lead.
One of the purposes of Lelia’s coming to the capital.
Lelia looked at Ruth smiling in the portrait. He had a handsome appearance; nice and sincere.
Lelia’s goal was specific in a way.
For now, she was going to wait for the ‘Triumphal Return Ceremony’ for the heroes who saved the world from the Dragon.
At that time, the capital city would be the nottest, noisy and chaotic.
“The Imperial City will be even worse. All the heroes will go to the Imperial City.”
Lelia was aiming for the banquet to be held in the Imperial Castle after the heroes arrived. The last day of the banquet and the last day of the ceremony, which is expected to be the most chaotic and noisy.
She would then invade the Imperial Castle.
Tools for intrusion were already in hand.
She was planning to stay here for a few more days, after finding the remaining special ingredients and leaving safely.
[Then, Ruth will stay in the capital. I need to aim for the moment when he loses the other half of the sacred watch.]
It wasn’t a meticulous plan that included hours, minutes, seconds, but she was confident.
It was finally the day the heroes would return.
A festival was happening outside.
Lelia shrank inside her robe and watched the triumphal march from afar.
Lelia felt deafened by the cries of the crowd. She had to peek over people’s shoulders to see.
Uncle Carius, who took the lead, looked the same as before. She was relieved to see him looking well.
Behind him were the twin princes, and Ruth also came into sight.
They smiled brightly and waved to the cheering crowd.
The procession of the warriors quickly passed through the main gate of the Imperial Castle. Despite the end of the procession, people’s faces were glowing. The festival’s enthusiasm was just around the corner.
Lelia looked at their flushed faces.
[The Imperial Palace Banquet and Festival will start tomorrow, so there are seven days left before the last day, D-Day.]
Three days before D-Day.
A lonely breeze swept the quiet street at dawn.
With that wind, a large shadow was cast in front of the inn where Lelia was staying.
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