Another look at the past of the older generation. This chapter is in Claude’s POV. Enjoy!
ED: eristol (will be edited by xtostos)
That guy waved his wand and disappeared before my eyes.
Just a second too late, my sword slashed through nothing but air.
This should not be the wand of Castling.
All the tiny golems which that guy had scattered about have been shot down by stone-throwing.
It is not some kind of illusion or camouflage.
Because I have attacked him at a speed unavoidable by wizards and alchemists.
Besides, there is no smell, nor sound of his footsteps.
The sound of the air movement is drowned out by the cheers and can’t be heard, but I can sense that there is no air movement from the sensation on my skin.
He is here, but at the same time, he isn’t.
Now I see what’s going on.
I thrust my sword at the exact place where he disappeared.
He appeared in that place as expected.
When our eyes met, he seemed to be surprised.
Intending to pierce him, I slowly increased the force behind my blow through the use of body enhancement.
His wand then disappeared from his hand, replaced by a short knife.
Just as it materialized, the two blades collided and scattered sparks.
We exchanged blows for a brief moment before his body fully materialized.
He pushed my sword sideways with the blade of his knife, and at the same time he kicked the ground sideways.
The sword only tore his robe; the alchemist evaded my attack by a hair’s breadth and landed a dozen meters away.
That was a pretty good response.
Shame that he’s an alchemist.
I revised my opponent’s strength rating up one level.
I grabbed the piece of his robe that flew in the wind.
As expected, the trace of my sword is only halfway through, while the remaining section is unnaturally neat.
As if this section is something that did not exist at that time.
What he did was not a relocation between two objects, but a relocation of himself with his own self.
To think that he has the nerve to do such a thing.
Due to the deliberate time lag, he temporarily disappeared completely from this world.
So that is the trick to his impossible-to-use perfect evasion, huh.
“Good job figuring it out. Just for reference, could you tell me what was the deciding factor?”
“I wonder. Don’t think the same trick will work twice. Besides—”
Closing in the distance between us in one step, I swung my sword at his head.
“I don’t like idle chit-chat.”
He disappeared, and the tiny golem that appeared in exchange broke instead.
This time it’s actually the wand of Castling.
While receiving my blow just now, he shot a golem at the same time using that momentum, huh.
Immediately determining where he would appear, I kicked the ground.
—but my foot slipped after a few steps and I tripped over.
The opposite foot also slipped as I tried to stand, and I immediately stabbed my sword on the ground and stopped myself from falling.
“It seems you’re proud of your own speed, so how about this?”
I noticed that the stone floor of the entire arena was polished like a mirror.
Don’t tell me, this slimy liquid is Grease?
Since I can’t even move properly, I shouldn’t force myself to run.
But does he think this is going to be enough to beat me?
I ran my sword through the stone floor and pierced the surface of the stone with my left fingers.
I peeled off the stone floor by force and lifted it.
With the strength given by reinforcing my body, the several-tons stone block weighed almost nothing.
I threw the stone at that guy’s stupid wide-eyed expression.
The stone block disintegrated right in front of the alchemist.
Good response, then how about this?
I threw stone blocks one after another at him.
He avoided or disintegrated every one of them.
The evaded stone block plunged into the audience seats, and the students who were on the side panicked and began to escape.
Perhaps that guy was still able to keep his composure, the stone blocks likely to hit female students were also disintegrated in a conscientious manner.
I threw a huge stone block at him.
Hiding behind the stone, I used the hilt of my sword as a foothold and leaped.
As I appeared from behind the disintegrated stone block, that guy’s calm face was distorted in surprise.
I thrust a dagger at him at an unavoidable speed.
At that moment.
My runestone and his broke at the same time.
The referee and the audience remained silent because of the unprecedented result.
I didn’t see his last attack.
I see, so he had yet another ace up his sleeve, huh.
“…It seems you’re not a mere fool.”
“And looks like you’re not just a swindling bastard.”
When I stared at the green eyes that seemed to shoot out daggers, a gale blew violently.
A copper-colored dragon came down.
“The Lord has said: God’s forgiveness is a blessing that is given to all, but it cannot be spared from human’s law. Then, I will capture both the serpent and the raging bull at once, like the heroes of old, and I will not defeat you. For my arms are known to carry out divine punishment.”
A dark-skinned man with platinum blonde hair, who is the head of the Gold Cuffs, appeared with a loud speech.
“Ha~~? What is this guy talking about?”
“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure Charles-senpai is furious.”
“Er, I think anyone can see that.”
With a strike of its wings, the dragon rose and stood on its two feet.
It then pulled out two 20-meter-class dragon knight-sized spear forks and held them in both of its forearms.
Is this a trick that makes a dragon use human’s spearmanship to capture as if it was himself?
“No one can stop him anymore. Let’s run away.”
“Right, I agree with you for once.”
The alchemist fired the same-position Castling few times in a row, avoiding the dragon’s piercing spear fork and escaping.
I recovered my long sword that was stuck on the ground while evading at high speed with my legs’ strength.
The dragon’s spear fork missed my head by only a few millimetres.
If I receive that kind of attack without body enhancement, just the force alone will probably be enough to blow my whole body away.
“What the heck are you doing, asshole! Do you want to kill me?!”
I screamed at the head of prefects who was rampaging and ran away with all my might.
After running away for some time, I was finally able to shake off my pursuer. Since I had come to this point, I sat down at the back of the school building with peace of mind.
When I looked to the side, the alchemist who was my opponent was squatting while dripping in sweat.
“Just so you know, I wasn’t following you.”
“Whatever you say.”
Our eyes met inadvertently and we burst out laughing.
I thought he was a nasty guy, but he’s surprisingly funny.
After a good laugh, I reached my hand out to him.
“…What does this mean?”
“I’m saying I want to be friends.”
When I said so, that guy—Eduard Aurelia stared at my face in complete surprise.
“You’re the only one I can rely on.”
The smile Eduard Aurelia put on his face still looks as false as ever.
This guy came to my room from early in the morning and promptly approached me with a worthless consultation.
“Haha, so let me get this straight. You want my assistance in doing some mischief.”
“That’s correct. Brad and Elric can’t help me with this.”
With a beautiful face and innocent-sounding words, he insisted that it has to be me.
“In the first place, Brad and Elric are going to appear on stage. Compared to them, you are free, right?”
“Haah, that’s right, but—”
“You see, you’re the most suitable person for this kind of dirty work, aren’t you? Your reputation is at the lowest from the beginning because of the method you used during the duel trial, so it can’t drop any further.”
“I was just protecting my pride though.”
This is the case of the pot calling the kettle black.
If we’re talking about the method we used in the duel trial, Eduard was worse than me.
At any rate, seems like he didn’t even think I’ll refuse.
Apparently, I seem to be chosen only for this kind of good-for-nothing roles as always.
“Is there any reason you wanted to sneak into the workshop building now? Just what kind of business do you have there anyway?”
Today is All Souls Day.
It’s the time for the teachers and students in the alchemy workshop building, who usually stay up all night, to go out to manage golems.
It is certainly the best time to sneak in there.
“My aim is to grab the 500 golem cores that were confiscated.”
What is this guy talking about?!
Let’s not even talk about the amount.
But what did he do to get them confiscated?!
“It’s alright. They are very small, so they won’t be bulky or heavy.”
“No, that’s not the problem! Can’t you just ask a teacher for that?”
Because he was saying some crazy things, I ended up pointing out the obvious like a decent person.
An awkward expression appeared on Eduard’s face.
“I destroyed the workshop building in my first year. My reputation among the teachers in the workshop building is the worst.”
“Well, that’s stupid. Of course, I mean you’re stupid.”
When I poked Eduard’s forehead with just a little more force, he staggered lightly and fell onto the sofa.
Alchemists are not slow, but they are brittle.
If he has time to sneak into the workshop building, he should train more.
“Oh right, I’ve prepared this for you.”
Eduard took out unidentified furry things from his bag.
What are those things? Ears and a tail?
“These are your costume. You don’t have one, right? Disguise is essential because we have to blend into the crowd.”
“You are a wolf and I am a fox. By the way, Elric is a bear and Brad is a squirrel.”
Eduard tossed the costume at me.
“Why do I even have to—”
“You are the one who asked me to be your friend. So just be like a friend and play along.”
You’re a little too serious, Eduard laughed with a childlike innocence.
Lucanrant is located on the north of the Federal Kingdom.
In ancient times, my homeland was a country where two kings stood abreast according to their heritage.
Of the King symbolized by the golden-haired wolf and the King symbolized by the silver-haired wolf, only the silver hair lineage remains at present.
Why is one of the royal lineage now gone?
That’s because the golden-haired wolf King was completely destroyed by the bloodsucker Lunatic King.
The monstro Golden Wolf Prince, a symbol of national humiliation for Lucanrant, was one of the last remaining blood relatives of the golden-haired wolf King.
According to the rumors, some say that his corpse is hidden here in Lindis.
If I find the corpse and bring it back to my country, it will wipe out the national disgrace of the olden days.
Even if my father’s second wife gives birth to a boy in the future, he would have to choose me as his successor.
In other words, it can solidify my unstable footing.
I desperately scrambled for information in the Magic Library with such a thought, but unfortunately I am not good at fighting with materials.
During the second-year’s winter break, I felt I would be stuck in a stalemate if I kept searching on my own.
Since that guy is always hanging out in the library, he might know something.
On that day, I knocked the door of Eduard’s room, hoping against all hope.
“Hey, so, do you know about the Golden Wolf Prince?”
When I was tired of playing cards, I asked him about it while pretending to be nonchalant.
The sound of the fire crackling in the fireplace resounded in the room.
“I know. There are three variations: North, Northeast, and Northwest.”
While clearing the cards away, Eduard responded smoothly.
The northern and northeastern stories are the oldest.
They describe historical events from the perspectives of Lucanrant and Hafan.
Comparing the two provides information that is closer to the truth.
The northwestern version is a variation brought around the time the Turm family differentiated themselves from the Twr family.
In order to sell a collection of stories, it is seasoned in a love-story style that the people prefer.
It’s far from the truth, but it’s ideal for cultural studies because it has the largest change in every era, or something like that.
“So, what do you want to know?”
“Just about everything. I want to know the location where the corpse that couldn’t be recovered is.”
“A description of the place, huh. I feel like it was somewhere…no, not there…”
Eduard closed his eyes, held down his forehead, and began to think.
Is he looking for material in his head?
What a clever guy.
However, there was no response even after I waited long enough.
“Haah. So you also don’t know about it, huh. Well, can’t be helped, I guess.”
“No, wait. That doesn’t mean there is no way around it.”
Eduard slowly opened his eyes.
“But only if we’re lucky. We’ll have access to plenty of materials for folklores and mysterious stories. We may discover something if we get our hands on those materials.”
“Oh, I’m saved. Then I’ll leave it to you. It’s a deal then?”
“I’m also indebted to you for that golem matter…ah, speaking of which—”
“Speaking of what?”
Eduard thought for a while and then opened his mouth.
“There is a mysterious thing that feels similar in the school. A ghost story about the 「Morgue of the Headless Prince」.”
Eduard gave a brief overview of the ghost story.
An indestructible headless monstro.
Its identity is uncertain, but one of the hypotheses speculates that it is a product during the era of the Lunatic King.
Indeed, they are similar.
“If this headless prince is the Golden Wolf Prince, then the location of his corpse should be in this school.”
“Then, take me to that Morgue.”
“It seems nobody knows where that is. I also don’t know where it is yet.”
“Yet, huh. So there’s a possibility that you will find out about it?”
“I expect it is in the materials I told you about just now.”
“Heeh, so how do we get those materials?”
“About that, it seems my mother and her friends built an archive full of collection of books about monstro and folklores while at Lindis.”
If I remember correctly, Eduard’s mother is the infamous war hero Bort.
To think that such a ruthless woman would hand over books in the archive for her son who has weird hobbies.
“Isn’t it? Anyways, I’m looking for the key to that archive right now.”
I’ve been searching since September of this year, but I couldn’t find it, Eduard continued.
“Then, if we can find the key to the archive, all sorts of rare materials can be obtained at once.”
“Are you sure you want to charge as soon as you know where it is?”
“I suppose you would be fine if you have something made of snowsilver, but I hear the Golden Wolf Prince can’t be dispelled, it’s an indestructible and unavoidable curse, you know?”
“A curse that is impossible to evade and impossible to dispel, and transfers to the person who kills it, huh…”
I don’t think that any rumors from Hafan’s wizards are worth believing.
There is nothing in this world that is completely impossible.
I’ll see it myself how resistant the curse is.
“No matter what measure you take, one person will always be chosen and cursed. That one person will transform into the next Golden Wolf Prince.”
“It’s strange when you think about it. Although it is the curse from the same Lunatic King, isn’t it the exact opposite of the fact that the bloodsuckers are similar to an infectious disease and can increase as much as they want?”
“It’s probably one of Cain’s prototypes…you, do you really want to see such a thing?”
Eduard’s green eyes caught my eyes.
“Aa, I want to see it.”
I stared right back at him and answered.
“…Then, it can’t be helped.”
“It’s a deal.”
“Aa, but if you forget, we won’t do it, so keep it in mind.”
The smile on Eduard’s face was unreadable.
This guy only smiles like this when he’s troubled.
“You, I’ll leave Eduard to you.”
The purplish red eyes that seem wet looked up at me.
It’s the slim, doe-eyed, effeminate wizard who often hides behind Eduard.
Come to think of it, the reason Eduard and I had a duel was because I mocked this guy.
It has finally become a clear, typical spring day.
Brad summoned me to the dragon stable and approached me with a troublesome consultation.
“But, you’ve also become very strong, huh. You’re not scared of me anymore?”
“I’ve never been afraid of you.”
Brad stared at me quietly.
At that time, I fell into the illusion that the dragons in the stable looked at me all at once.
“So, what exactly do you want me to do?”
Shaking off the illusion, I glared at Brad and asked.
“Even though that incident happened, Ed is the same as ever.”
By that, he means the death of Eduard’s mother.
That guy had just received the news of her death at the end of winter.
But that guy didn’t look shocked at all.
Brad said Eduard was going about as usual, it was very concerning.
As expected, he observes his only childhood friend properly.
“In other words, you want me to take care of that guy?”
“He’s always putting up a strong front before me and Elric, but I don’t think that’s actually the case.”
Brad, who seems to have been adopted by the Earl due to having some special circumstances.
And Elric, whose close relatives are not alive and is treated as an assassination target by his surviving relatives.
That guy must be unable to bring himself to lean on them; I understand his feeling.
That is why that guy is being mindful to his friends so as not to cry nor show a sad face in front of them.
“I’m not saying that you have to keep him in check, but…”
“So you want me to share his grief?”
“Because you…you’re similar to Ed.”
Certainly, from an outsider’s perspective, one could even say that his situation is similar to mine.
But there’s actually a great difference.
My mother died when she gave birth to me.
Naturally, I don’t even remember her face.
Unfortunately, it can’t be helped that I only had a degree of sentiment for my mother.
Rather, because of my great resemblance to my mother, my father pays no heed to me—
“…Even if you say that, if that guy prefers to keep it to himself, there’s nothing I can do.”
Grief cannot be shared.
For example, even though you and Elric are carrying similar grief, it isn’t exactly the same.
After all, you guys are keeping Eduard at a distance, right?
“I see. Sorry for wasting your time.”
Brad averted his eyes apologetically.
I left the dragon stable while feeling uncomfortable.
I always do this.
Even though he specifically chose me, this kind of thing is beyond my capacity.
I can’t live up to expectations, and it only leaves bad aftertaste in my mouth.
Stepping on the muddy snow, I returned to my dormitory.
I just want to point out a couple of things:
- The fact that Eduard and Claude fought because Claude mocked Brad
- Eduard as a fox, Claude as a wolf, Elric as a bear, and Brad as a squirrel (need some fanarts ASAP)
- In case you forgot who Charles-senpai is, it’s the older stepbrother of that Louis Ode-Ignitia the mad prince from arc 2. Charles is the current governor of the Ignitian territory in Karkinos.
- Claude calling Brad effeminate in his mind (I really want to see what past!Brad looked like)
- Brad being protective of Ed
- Another proof of how the North/Lucanrant has discrimination against Hafan: Claude saying wizards instead of mages, and basically saying that the wizards of Hafan cannot be trusted
- Eduard and Erica have similar thinking habit and capability (they both close their eyes when they are searching for information in their head, and they seem to be able to store many, many information in their head). Case in point for Erica: ch 86
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