“I did come back in the blink of an eye.”
Seeing the appearance of his big black marbled castle in front of him, Luke mumbled under his breath.
He thought that the technique would be similar to teleport, but it was entirely different.
With the current use of magic, no one could cross over an ocean in an instant, and nor was there any use of complicated spells or teleport gates.
It wasn’t sure.
But if he climbed up to a 10th magic circle which would match with a Dragon force.
‘It could be a godly power.’
Luke already knew that the Saint was a great person seeing how he dealt with Arsene.
But with the current move, Nanda made Luke much more interested in his skills.
“Is this the permanent residence?”
Since it was the first time, Zegal Soha who had come to a strange nation, pointed at the Devil king’s castle and asked.
When she was young, she had seen books with pictures in it which had huge castles and similar structures showing the culture of the Northern continent.
“No, the mansion over there is the permanent residence.”
“Oh, that one. Then what is this castle?”
The person who answered her question was Hwang Bo-sung.
“This was the place where the Devil King lived, a long time ago. Master’s ancestor had defeated him.”
“Ah, then this must be the castle of the warlock Saymon, the one called as the Devil.”
Hwang Bo-sung’s explanation excited Soha.
She heard the story of a hero and the devil who shook the northern continent 500 years back.
However, she never imagined that she would set her foot in the very place.
Looking at Soha who seemed excited, Luke smiled.
“Go and see it later, we should get going right now.”
Soha who wanted to address him with the first name thought that a day would come, and silently followed Luke’s steps.
“Our Lord is back!”
When the news of Luke entering through the gates came, Hans, the other retainers, and Erwin who had come to the Rakan estate rushed to the gate.
Luke did inform him that he would be back soon, but they never imagined that they would come back so quickly from the Song Empire, so no one was able to hide their joy and surprise.
“Lord, do you have any idea how this old man was worried?”
“Please be sure to let us know the next time you plan something like this.”
“Lord you are the pillar of the Marquis Rakan. If something happened to the lord, many unfortunate things could happen around here. So be sure to take escorts with you the next time.”
“Understood. I will do that.”
Luke kept on nodding and saying yes to every request of the retainers which poured in like a shower.
Honestly, he had learned something from what happened.
No matter how good a person is, one was sure to fall into a trap.
Luke, who promised to be careful in the future, went close to Erwin.
He greeted her with a pleasant expression.
“You have come here too. The Green Crystal you taught me last time was very helpful for me.”
It was thanks to Erwin that Luke had saved the forest and was going to get a steady import of the Iron Core from the Zegal clan.
“I am glad that it was very helpful to you. I think it helped you a lot more than what I assumed.”
Unlike Luke who was happy to see her, Erwin seemed to answer back in a thick voice.
‘Huh? why is she acting like this?’
When he communicated over magic, Luke thought that she had changed and was much pleasant, but seeing her there, it didn’t seem like the case.
No, it seemed like she turned much colder.
While Luke was puzzled by Erwin, Hans spoke.
“Lord, and these people?”
The two people who stood behind Luke.
An old man who had grey hair on his head and a young beauty of the southern continent.
By looking at them it was clear that they were from the Southern continent.
Unlike the old man who seemed normal, the beauty had two swords dancing at her waist and seemed pretty pleasing to the eye.
“Ah, this is Saint Nanda… no, well, a priest of the Arahan. And this is Zegal Soha, a prestigious student of the Moorim of the Song Empire.”
“Oh my, nice to meet you all.”
“I am Zegal Soha. Please look after me in the future.”
Once Luke introduced them, both of them greeted the retainers.
And seeing that the Lord had brought them with him, the retainers considered them to be as precious guests of their Lord and greeted them.
However, Erwin simply nodded her head.
The reason why she was acting cold towards Luke was because of him welcoming the one called Zegal Soha.
As if Erwin wanted a special place in Luke’s heart, her eyes were open to jealousy.
‘First, you make people worried and then bring back a woman?!’
‘Oh my, this fox-like woman, who is she? A lover of the grace?’
While two women were having a cold stare, Luke moved to the conference room with his retainers.
It was important to speak with them, but there were many things which he had to discuss.
Even though he was constantly bringing in reports from the magic communication, it seemed like a lot of huge things have happened during the days.
And once Hans went into the conference room, he reported the recent events of the Baroque Empire.
“Well, the neutral nobles are claiming to have found the Libiya Kingdom once again, and the Marquis Mayers who just took over the Variand mountains might declare it too?” Asked Luke.
“That is true. Yesterday, Marquis Mayers had sent us a letter of invitation to the coronation banquet, but what are you going to do…?”
At the question of Hans, Luke thought a little and refused.
“Is attending it so necessary? Just send in a letter to congratulate them and end it there.”
“Yes, I will do that.”
There was a saying which said to keep one’s enemy closer than a friend, not just Luke, Marquis Mayers too thought that he would need to keep Luke close to stop the Baroque Empire for a while.
When Hans was done reporting, Luke looked over Rogers.
“What happened to the Albertville estates which fought with the eastern army of the Emperor?”
“With the Holy Empire’s help, we have captured around a third of the eastern estates.”
The Albertville estate and the Holy Empire troops, who fought to hold Emperor Rudolf’s movements, continued to sweep across the eastern side when Luke was in the Song Empire.
Although the eastern army of the Baroque remained, half the power the Emperor had to hold was decreased, so the troops of Luke couldn’t be stopped.
“They knew that the vanguard was Firestorm Belik, and the eastern army avoided the battles with us or made use of tactics. Accordingly, the Holy Empire too is restraining the excessive march and focused on the management of the occupied estates.”
“Hmm, that so?”
They took a good chance of the civil war in the Baroque Empire.
However, the Holy Empire too was in a tight situation, and they didn’t want to increase any more damage than what they already have.
And Luke wasn’t feeling bad about it.
The main reason for moving the Albertville estate and the Holy Empire was to contain the eastern army, the main force of Emperor Rudolf.
And as long as the goal was successful, it was only a matter of how much dominance they had on the eastern side.
“But Lord, what do you think of the mansion’s launch? The Gigant power, and the cavalry, every force of ours. Should we ready our troops to go out?”
“The atmosphere is near, but it isn’t the time yet. We need to wait for the Emperor and the rebels to fight much more and turn into rags.”
The Rakan estates had a state of force that went higher than the title, even then, going against the Emperor or his noblemen’s force was still troublesome.
Even then, it wasn’t like Rakan would lose in the battle, but they would surely suffer considerable damage.
“But it looks like the war will end with the division of the Empire. Wouldn’t it be better to aim that either the other neutrals and Marquis Mayers hurriedly declare themselves as part of the founding?”
There were many nations that held a bad relationship with the Baroque Empire.
And the most known ones are the Volga Republic and the Holy Arthenia Empire.
If the civil war ended with everyone supporting the rebels or a declaration of independence, the dogs chasing would aim their eyes at the position of Marquis Rakan.
And not surprisingly, Baron Rogers pointed it out.
“Although Emperor Rudolf is mad and angry at the rebels, he won’t stop fighting until he loses his power. He wouldn’t want to get eaten by a foreign nation which is looking for a chance and might turn on us.”
“Of course, we can never know. However, I have no intention of feeling joy over a scary victory. It is important for us to end this disgusting relation with the Baroque Imperial family, but to survive is more important. We need to survive to see a new future unfold.” Said Luke.
At the words of a new future, the retainers were filled with expectation.
Nonetheless, many heard the announcement of the founding of the kingdom by the neutrals and Marquis Mayers and thought ‘Should we too do this?’.
“No matter what happens, we need to be prepared. And for such a situation, train the estate troops more.”
Rogers sat down with a sad expression.
At the thought of soothing his emotions, Luke changed the subject of the conversation.
“The chief commander will have to train harder too. On this trip, I brought back the second half of the Gold Sword.”
“Uh? Wh, what did you just say now?”
The entire room burst into words.
None of the retainers for the Marquis Rakan never had the Gold Sword.
The Gold Sword was the ultimate weapon made by the warrior Rakan to defeat the Devil King.
Unfortunately, the second half of the sword went missing over 400 years back.
But to get that back…!
The old retainers who were in the family for a long time couldn’t stop themselves from shedding tears, and young ones clenched their fists in excitement.
The most excited ones were Rogers and the other knights.
“Lord, are you being serious right now? Did you really find the second half?”
At the question from Philip, Luke nodded and laughed.
“Thanks to Saint Nanda who is next to me, I got it. I’ll teach you guys later, so prepare yourselves.”
At Luke’s words, the knights all bowed to the man with bright faces.
The second half of the Gold Sword was like the last wish of the knights.
It was said that if one could master it, one can go beyond Sword Master to Sword Sage.
It would be weird if their heart didn’t pound for it.
“And I am going to equip a Gigant with a tuning helm.”
“Huh? but didn’t you say that you need special materials to make the tuning helm?”
At the question from Meister Mute of Katarina Magic Tower, Luke nodded.
“With the help of Zegal clan, I was able to secure the Iron core.”
Mute was very well conscious of how different a Gigant moved with and without a tuning helm.
So, he too had been persistent on getting the Iron core for each Ggigants, but the problem was that the material needed for it wasn’t available.
After knowing that the radium alloy would only put a hole through their expenses, he heard of the Iron core which wasn’t so expensive but found out that it wasn’t being sold.
But his Lord had gotten that!
“We will have to put it in the Hero class one after the other.” Said Luke.
“I will personally help you!”
The helm contained a complex magic circle. And the method of magic was unique.
And seeing it from a side might be a great opportunity for Mute to improve his magic skills, so Mute’s face wasn’t able to stop smiling.
“Okay. I’ll start working tomorrow, so be ready.”
“I will get everything prepared.”
Mute was glad.
After being done with the reports, Luke opened his lips.
“Just like Chief commander Rogers said, the Empire will soon be divided into three nations. The Old Baroque Empire on the central region, the Libiya Kingdom in the southwest, and maybe Marquis Mayers in the south.”
“How long do you think those divisions will last?”
When asked by the finance officer Bentley, Luke looked up and answered.
“Well, since there are many variables here, I can’t give out a correct answer.”
The south was flowing much differently than what Luke had predicted in the beginning.
He never thought that the Western Army would be so weak, or the matters of the neutral or Marquis Mayers who was holding Shaikan on their backs would boldly declare themselves as a nation.
“Yet, this isn’t a bad situation for us. On the other hand, it is perfectly great if they can fight harder. So, prepare everything you can by doing your roles for the day when our turn comes.”
“Yes! We will keep that in our mind!”
“For the glory of Rakan!”
The retainers shouted at the same time, it was a military salute.
And like that, Luke’s homecoming was done.