Chapter 1 - Part 1
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Six years ago.
That was the time when Lelia had been grieving over Uncle Carius’s departure, whom she had been close to, to the Light Dragon battlefield.
Oscar, Kalix, Griffith, and Romeo.
Four friends, excluding Lelia, reunited at the temple after three years. Unlike when they had departed, the boys had grown taller and changed beyond recognition.
But the faces of the four boys, with similar heights, were not so bright.
Because of Leo’s death.
After hearing the news from their respective home countries, they could not escape from grief and distress for some time.
Since Leo was like a Savior to them.
Fortunately, sadness didn’t last very long.
The four of them cheered up again with one goal, exchanging letters.
The feeling of sadness turned into anger and became their driving force.
And then they got back together.
“Do you have any new information?” Griffith, who had been mulling over Carlix’s words, asked.
“This is what I heard. That he was poisoned before Emperor Perseus’ rebellion.”
“On the other hand, Emperor Perseus is the most suspicious. Or the nobles who followed him.” Romeo asked Oscar three questions, who was silent, picturing Perseus’ face.
“Remember the last letter Leo sent?”
Everyone thought of a name for the question.
“I remember, but no one knew who it was.” Romeo’s words made their complexion grow paler.
“…He said he had a dream when I asked him how he knew the wolf would show up. If you look at that, he might have known the future in advance.” Kalix murmured low.
Griffith opened his mouth, “I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t know if everyone remembers…”
“I told you before! I may not go to the battle against the Dragon. I may die before then….”
“…are there any enemies after you?”
“Yes, there are those who seek the throne that I will inherit… Because I’m weak. That’s why my dad overprotects me.”
As they recalled the story, Kalix pulled his hair in agony. He regretted that he did not pay more attention back then.
“Was there any other Imperial family member that could threaten Leo’s place? It’s definitely someone like that, but we don’t know who it is.” said the frustrated Kalix.
“At that time, Emperor Perseus and the princes were known to be dead… Maybe Leo didn’t know that either.”
“We’ll find the culprit somehow and kill him.” Kalix gritted his teeth at Romeo’s answer.
The rest of the eyes shone brilliantly.
So the four boys grew up in the Dragon slaying team, and began gathering information about the one who killed Leo.
One year later.
They gathered some information about an imperial family member named Lelia.
Late night, in a barrack.
The four kids who returned from training got together and exchanged information.
“So, if I guess based on Leo’s words, there was someone who wanted the throne. Right?”
“Yes, Lelia was the only young member of the royal family except Leo at the time.”
“Because Emperor Perseus and his children were disguised as dead at that time… The person named Lelia must have thought that if they killed Leo, they might become emperor.”
“It is still too early to judge.”
“However… Leo’s last letter had that name on it.”
“The dying message is clear.”
Of course, Emperor Perseus was also suspicious, but the information they got pointed to one person.
Unfortunately, the fact that Lelia went missing did not reach here on the other side of the continent. Emperor Perseus had prevented this from spreading.
“Whether that person is the culprit or not, I’m sure they have something to do with Leo.”
“After the battle with the light dragon is over, let’s head to Auraria right away.”
“Yes, the information you can gather here is limited. Once we take a peek, we’ll know the culprit.”
“… Even if it’s not the real culprit, there must be more information that we can get.”
Another five years passed with that conclusion.
The heroes who returned to Auraria, participated in the triumphal ceremony.
The four young men who came here to avenge Leo’s death, only watched the ceremony from afar.
The people on the street all had bright faces, but the faces of the four were dark.
Perhaps because they were all tall and had a good physique, some women, who were watching the improvement triumphal ceremony, turned their heads and glanced at them.
When they felt the gazes, the boys put on their hoods.
They did not attend the ceremony, but were officially invited to a banquet at the Imperial City of Auraria.
Since the war was over, it was only right to go back to their respective countries, but they were people who had no attachment to their own countries.
Many things happened by the time they got home from the war.
The only thing that made them come this far was ‘vengeance’.
“Let’s go to the Imperial Castle.”
At Griffith’s words, the three of them stopped watching the triumphal ceremony and turned around.
They couldn’t have imagined that Leo, whom they were missing so much, was present just ten steps away.
[T/N: My heart- Lelia was so close! I wonder if they would be able to notice the similarities when they meet Lelia in person.]
In the Auraria Imperial Castle, the heroes who returned from a long way after defeating the Light Dragon were treated generously. And they paid more attention to the four heroes, who came there without returning to their home countries.
“But, why did they come to Auraria?”
“I don’t know why, but doesn’t it mean that our Auraria is the best among the five empires in many ways? Maybe they will settle here.”
“His Majesty will be pleased.”
“I was just looking into where my daughter could get married. I’m glad.”
Auraria’s ministers whispered as they watched them at the banquet.
Undoubtedly, these four men all made significant contributions to this war.
An old noble, a minister, watched them attentively.
He was looking for the whereabouts of his daughter.
He seemed worried about who would really get along with his daughter among the four.
One of them was even said to have been recognised by the Celestial Emperor for his enormous divine power and made a snow stamp.
‘He’s the one.’
The old nobleman was looking at Griffith.
[T/N: If you all remember, Griffith had a special power which he awakened when he was in the mountain mission with Lelia and Kalix.]
The chilly expression on his face was a flaw, but from the eyes of the women who participated in the banquet, it seemed more of an attractive factor.
But in the end he was the one who would become a priest of the temple. He did not want to send his daughter to the temple.
The gaze of the old minister shifted to the side.
‘He is the Crown Prince of the Hraesvelg Empire, isn’t he?’
He was amazed.
Oscar was a handsome man.
As the Crown Prince, he was even better. Because his daughter could become the Empress of the Empire.
At that moment, his eyes met Oscar.
The old nobleman turned his gaze away in surprise.
His eyes were so cold, it felt like he made eye contact with a ghost.
‘…He can’t be the one.’
He was cold enough for him to suspect that he was a demon. He instinctively felt that he was dangerous enough.
The old nobleman bowed his head for a while, then looked away again.
The next person he looked at was the man named Kalix, famous for being a mercenary.
The old noble man shook his head, thinking it was not possible.
This is because Kalix lost the sight of both eyes in the battle with the light dragon.
But he hadn’t completely lost his sight yet…
‘I can’t have a son-in-law with a flawed body.’
The nobility looked at the last man with a proper evaluation.
‘I think he would be the best.’
Although he renounced the throne, he was clearly a member of the royal family.
Besides, his appearance was also beautiful, and seeing him smile, he seemed to have a good personality.
After dinner, people freely gulped down champagne, ate dessert, and started talking.
The old man took advantage of the opportunity and approached Romeo with a glass of champagne. As he approached, Romeo greeted him first as if he had been waiting.
The old nobleman smiled happily inwardly and continued the conversation with him.
As they talked, the topic moved to a strange one.
“Lelia? Lelia… Hmm…”
The nobility seemed to think of something while thinking quietly about the name Romeo asked.
“You’re talking about that princess! The daughter of the dead Princess Iris!”
Romeo smiled softly in response to his reaction, bringing out the story.
“Do you know anything about her?”
“That princess… She probably went missing a few years ago. At first, I remember His Majesty ordered the knights to find her, but then, they gave up… She left the Imperial Castle on her own feet, so he let her live freely.”
“It seemed like she went out on her own to avoid an arranged marriage. His Majesty generously ordered the pursuit to cease. Until then, I heard she had lived in a tower at the edge of the forest.”
He was bragging about the facts he knew without realizing it.
The old aristocrat belatedly tried to raise his question to Romeo, “By the way, did anyone ask to marry you?”
But when he realised it, he couldn’t find the blonde man even after rubbing his eyes. It was as if he had been tricked by a fox.
Late at night, at the edge of the forest in Auraria.
The small and old tower had changed to such an extent that it was impossible to find its former appearance at all. It used to be the place where Lelia lived, but now it was not.
Now, it was Princess Julianna’s hideout and treasure trove.
When she was depressed, she would come here to relax or look at the stars in the night sky. Cedric and Damien had renovated the whole tower as a gift for Julianna before leaving for the battle.
Since then, it has been called the Crystal Annex.
It was truly as gorgeous as its name.
“You mean to say she ran away after staying here?”
In front of the seemingly luxurious tower, the four young men were astonished.
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