After the end of the turmoil was finished, Reina and Luke returned to the army and the Saint Guards who were searching under the orders of the Arch Duke.
Confused and scared with the assassination attempt, the men were delighted to hear that their Pope had returned safely.
If there was anyone who was more pleased, it was Victor.
Victor who managed to meet Reina after 2 long years, held her hands and shed tears.
“I am very sorry, Sir Victor. I behaved like a spoiled kid.”
“Not at all, princess. Now that I can see you are alright, I can die now.”
“Die. Never say that, please.”
Luke glanced at the reunion between the two and turned towards Arch Duke Gregory.
Gregory’s eyes on Victor didn’t seem to radiate much anger, but his eyes were as displeasing as the time Gregory looked at Luke.
Gregory noticed that Luke was eyeing him, and shot him a chilly look with a question.
“What is it?”
“Just like that… nothing specific.”
Since he had already spoken, Arch Duke Gregory asked Luke.
“The attack that you used last moment, Titan Blade was it? It doesn’t look like a Rakan’s sword skill?”
“Yes. That is a skill I developed.” Answered Luke.
How would Gregory react if Luke would have told that he made it on spot?
Luke was curious to see his reaction, but he had lost the chance.
“It was a very great blow. But it was better to have closed in the gap between before using the skill. Were you constantly looking for the chance?”
“Yes, it was definite that there would be a gap. You did say that you threw away the half Gold Sword… but in reality, you didn’t.”
At Luke’s statement, Gregory nodded.
In fact, it was true, Gregory hadn’t abandoned the Gold Sword. Honestly, he just couldn’t do it.
It surely was just half of the real skill, and he resented it, but it was a sword skill which turned him into a Sword Master.
The Gold Sword was so impressive and different.
Even after finding out that it was just half of the real one, he continuously tried to develop it.
“I knew it after a few hits. It has turned into a familiar part of your sword technique, even the cuts.” Stated Luke
“Right. It is because your eyes have seen it.”
However, Luke’s grasp of Gold Sword and Gregory’s sword skill wasn’t just because he had practiced the Gold Sword for months.
It was because, while fighting with Gregory, the memories of the past when he had crossed swords with the warrior Rakan, the creator of the sword, had flashed into Luke’s memory.
At that time, he wasn’t able to understand the traits of the sword, but he was able to have a grasp of what it was this time.
Which was why it was possible to enter Gregory’s gap.
‘I had to keep thinking about Rakan’s sword skill and his technique when fighting him. Then, would I be able to find the second part of the gold sword…’
Luke was beating himself up.
At the Pope’s barracks, a paladin had rushed into the place and looked at Arch Duke Gregory.
“There is an urgent report from the Lord Regent.” Answered the paladin.
The expression on the paladin’s face was weird.
After seeing the report, the face of Gregory too turned distorted.
At the question from Reina, Gregory tried to answer calmly.
“Suleiman of the Ranghel territory, he is invading the capital.”
“How can that… how big is their army?” Asked Reina.
“About 50,000. It will be hard for the central forces in the capital to match them.”
Reina, who thought for a moment, immediately gave out orders.
“Please get ready right away. We can’t let the capital go into the hands of the rebels.”
“Understood, your Holiness.”
Arch Duke glanced at Reina after listening to her orders.
He was worried that she would try to get him gone and follow Luke out of there, but there were no such signs.
On the contrary, she tried to show herself as a leader, much more than before.
When Gregory moved away from the barracks, Luke and Victor were still troubled.
“Do you have to go back right away?” Asked Luke.
“Right, princess. Isn’t it up to the army to take care of the revolt?” Added Victor.
They already knew that taking Reina would be a very tough task. It was because there would be a great number of men who would oppose them, even if it wasn’t Arch Duke Gregory.
However, they didn’t know how actively she would engage in the work and matters of the Holy Empire.
“I am sorry, you have come here all the way to find me… but, there are things I need to do in here.”
“Things you need to do?” Asked Luke.
It is to stabilize the Holy Arthenia Empire.”
Many people of the capital had witnessed the miracles done by Reina, so their trust in Reina was much stronger than the other parts of the Empire.
But what would happen if that only place got devastated in the hands of the rebels?
If the capital fell into the hands of the rebels, the rebellion fight backs would happen much frequently and the suffering of the common people would turn much worse.
“Why does the princess have to take responsibility for that? Didn’t they make the princess into the Pope without even asking your opinion? Don’t they have to be the one to take care of the situation?”
“Of course, Sir Victor, your words aren’t wrong. But this is a chance for Luke.”
“Chance? Don’t tell me that…you are..!” Stuttered Luke.
Reina smiled as she looked over at Luke who was shocked.
“You aim to overthrow the Baroque Imperial, right? Wouldn’t it be easier if we had the Holy Empire behind us?” Asked Reina.
“Of course it is…”
He remembered the joke Philip was saying the other day.
Whether Rudolf notices his presence or not, Philip said Luke had succeeded in taking over the Holy Empire.
The situation wasn’t an impossible one. Even Sword Sage Gregory, who was famous in the continent, would never disobey Reina.
Nevertheless, Luke wasn’t able to make such a decision.
He felt uncomfortable because his beloved woman would have to shoulder the heavy burden of an entire Holy Empire.
“I know what Sir Luke is thinking. But I can stand. I have always depended on you. So this time, let me help you.”
“I think one turns into a real companion when they are able to help each other. If you love me, please understand the reason for my decision.”
Luke just stared at Reina.
Her eyes were clear and strong, her beautiful face, full of aspiration.
Luke finally made the decision.
“Understood. Do what you feel is right.”
Luke glanced over at Victor, who was holding Reina’s hands.
“Sir Victor, please stay by the side of this stubborn princess.”
“Phew, well I don’t really want to, but I can’t go against your orders. This will be the old man’s last mission.”
Victor sighed and vowed. He was never going to lose his princess ever again.
The two of them hugged for a while, feeling the warmth of the other.
They both made a decision for the future, it was a sorry situation where they would have to walk in different paths once again.
Between Rhodesia and the Southern continents were an archipelago of islands.
And the group of islands weren’t of small size or number, however, people never glimpsed at them.
There was fog all around there, with reefs and whirlpools happening around, any ship which tried to get close to the island ended up getting wrecked.
Which was why the sailors called the nearby sea as ‘Sea of the Reaper’, and the nearby group of islands as ‘The Archipelago of Hell’.
In fact, the place was considered to be a taboo, sailors feared for their life whenever they used the close by waters.
The largest of the seven islands which made up the Archipelago of Hell was the one in the middle.
Covered by dense tropical jungle, the island was called Thanatos Island.
On the island which was referred to as that, a few wizards were residing in it, gathered around a large pyramid which was located on the north of the island.
There were two people who stood at the top of the pyramid.
Among them, was a wizard wearing a grey robe, who bowed his head and spoke.
“The great master, I have cleared all of the remnants, including the squadrons, and the newly appointed Meister of Rokid magic tower.”
At the report from his subordinate, the Lich of bones and teeth, complimented with his bizarre voice and grinding teeth.
“You. Did. Well. what about. Their. Bodies?”
“Some of them were completely shattered, but the bodies of the Meister and the few others were fully destroyed.”
“Kul. Kul. Kul. Subordinates. Will. Always. Grow.”
The man was the resurrected wizard by Arsene, Saymon.
In the Rhodesia continent which they were active on, they moved to there, to the Archipelago of Hell, tens of thousands of miles away from the continent.
It was a strange thing to do when the war with the Reforms was at the highest.
But, neither Arsene nor Saymon were worried or concerned about the Battle of Magic Tower.
“But, I did meet a weird guy when he was out.”
“He identified himself as a mercenary and was able to avoid all of my attacks. I wasn’t able to find out who he was.”
The warlock Saymon had retold the story about how he fought Luke.
Arsene, who listened to the entire explanation, looked up and asked.
“Kul? For sure. Sword. Is used by. The mercenary. But, he was. Using. Magic. As well?”
Using sword and magic together sure seemed to put the user in a higher position, but that wasn’t the reality of it.
Just to learn one of the two was a tough task, but learning both of them, and knowing more than 2 circle magic was impossible without talent and constant effort.
In addition, if the sword and mana magic were different and not in harmony, it could destroy the body.
Therefore, the Rune Knights were only a handful in history.
‘It is strange. Right now, there is no Rune knight who can be able to go against that guy?’
Recently, the rumor of the Rakan family, about Lord Luke being a Super Expert and a wizard of 4 circle magic was going around.
And if one has such ability, they could be a Sword Master.
By no means, could that man go against the power and body of the Devil King Saymon?
And it was told that Luke was staying in the Rakan territory, all the time, after completing his military service.
‘Now that I think, Emperor Rudolf did ask me to check if he was cursed or not.’
Over and over again, Arsene never felt like he had to pay much attention to Luke.
He was busy but was very confident that he could get rid of the Rakan’s descendant whenever he wanted.
“Let Albert. Know. And investigate. If that. Man. is a. mercenary. let me. Know.”
The better the man was, once dead, he could be made into a greater Undead.
He decided to kill the mercenary who managed to leave an impression in his mind and make him a subordinate of his.
“And another thing, the Holy Arthenia Royal magic tower joined the Reformers’ side in the battle.”
Arsene knew that Arthenia Royal magic tower had always been neutral, and thought that it would be the case in the current battle.
No, he just didn’t feel like he needed to concern himself over the wizards who were outside his Empire.
But those men suddenly decide to intervene!
“Kul. Do. They. Have eyes. On our. Identity?”
“I am not aware of them either. Meister Albert said that we should be careful.”
In addition to Rakan and Saymon, Arsene secretly trained warlocks were active in the battle.
However, if the Royal magic tower and the Saint Guards interrupted them, the warlocks couldn’t be used any longer.
“Even then. Since. There is. No evidence. That can. Relate to. The. Veritas Magic. Tower. Nothing. Can be. Done. Until the. Resurrection. Is done. Drag. Time.”
According to Arsene, one of the most influential variables in his dream was to occupy the Rhodesia continent with the Saint Guard involved.
It was because they were superior, and could deal with dark magic and divine power.
It wasn’t like he had provoked the Holy Empire for them to enter the forefront of the battle, but it seemed like something had happened.
‘But since the Holy Empire is under the civil war, not all of their corps will come out. Then, the Magic Federation will be able to deal with them.’
Thinking so, Arsene teleported into the pyramid after receiving all the reports.
As soon as his figure entered the large room, the wizards who were busy bowed their heads in unison.
“Forefather, have you come?”
Nestor, the father of Veritas Magic Tower’s Meister Albert, bowed upon Lich’s arrival.
Nestor was known to be dead to the world, but he was loyally fulfilling the orders of Arsene in there.
The wizards in the pyramids were the first elders or officers of the Veritas magic tower, all who had an excellent knack for dark magic.
“Kul. How is. The. Progress. going?”
Arsene asked, staring at the black coffins inside the pyramid.
The coffins contained the bodies of knights and wizards whom he had collected over the past hundreds of years.
Lower Experts or seven circle wizards, they were all being tried to be revived with the cursed dark magic.
Well, it wasn’t just about reviving them.
It was to make a stronger “Death Knight” and “Lich” than one could ever imagine.
“By now, around 60 percent of it is complete. When the resurrection is completed, they will turn into a powerful vanguard for the Veritas.”
“Kuk. Ku. Ku. They. Should.”
Arsene’s reason for being there despite the intensification of the Battle of Magic Tower was the growth of Veritas magic tower.
If both Death Knight and Lich were completed, there would be no power or being on earth who could put a stop to him.
Honestly, the reason why Arsene initiated the Battle of Magic Towers was because of a few men who accused Veritas of learning and teaching dark magic, however, there was an unknown reason.
It was to borrow the needed materials for the resurrection.
It could be done with just anybody, a 7 circle magic possessing wizard or a highest-rated Expert knights were the only ones who could be used for his experiment.
But such high leveled ones held a high position or fame in Magic towers and the kingdom, and their sudden disappearance would overturn the world.
However, if a war broke out, things could change.
It was common for men to die or disappear during the war.
So he began to make steps for the progress of the battle between the magic towers and managed to gather so many materials over for the past two years.
‘Kukk, it was a real luck for me to discover these ruins.’
Arsene smiled weirdly looking at the black tube and the Ergen cable which connected a huge dome that was above.
The Archipelago, which was accidentally heard about 100 years back, had the remains of Thanatos, a notorious Necromancer school, which was from during the time of the ancient civilization.
The condemned Thanatos school was eventually left to ruins, but right behind that institute were hidden secrets.
The black magic book, which had the Law of Resurrection written, and the pyramid—’Sonic Mana collector’, which could implement it was all intact.
The pyramid collected all the negative energies, negative emotions and the twisted thoughts of the humans on earth, and turned them into Magi.
In order to enforce the Law of Resurrection, an enormous amount of Magi was needed, which meant that the place was the answer to solve their problems.
After studying the black magic book for decades, Lich Arsene eventually managed to create all the magic circles and the equipment necessary for the resurrection and implemented it two years back.
“Just. Wait, my world! My army. Is at. The verge. Of. Completion. Will show. You. What. Hell tastes. Like! Kul. Kul. Kul!”
Arsene raised his boney hands to the sky and laughed triumphantly.