Chapter 132: Who Are You?
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Every choice had its corresponding price. After expressing ruthless words like “you must listen to me” to King Nuven’s two representatives and confidently turning around to leave, the miserable-looking Thales got caught up in a dejected entanglement.
Obviously, whether it was for the continuation of the Walton Family, the simple benefit of Dragon Clouds City, the resolution of a threat before he died, or even for so-called personal “vengeance”, Nuven the Seventh was determined to find the mastermind who conspired with Lampard.
To achieve this target, all other matters, including his own life seemed negligible at this point, so much so that it could be sacrificed at any time.
Thales was almost a hundred percent certain that in Nuven’s original plan, he was just a ‘bait’. There were no other possible roles for him.
The prince gritted his teeth.
‘Even if I borrow power and make use of Constellation to intimidate others as well as take the initiative in my own hands, how do I, under the circumstance of not harming myself, find our common enemy—that person who commands the so-called “traitors” of the Tower of Eradication?
‘I don’t know what Nuven thinks of my performance, but if I can’t help him find the enemy…’ Thales recalled King Nuven’s expression.
‘Haih, welcome to Northland.’
He needed help, regardless of whether it was Putray’s advice, Wya’s sword, Ralf’s psionic ability, or Aida’s strength.
‘I must meet up with them immediately.’
Thales lifted his head and got a shock.
He realized that as he was deep in his thoughts, he had unconsciously walked a far distance.
But he did find Mirk, who was guiding him in his original position.
Thales stared awkwardly at the strange hallway and stairs before him. There were crude decorations on the wall, and stone windows on both sides…
Thales immediately turned around.
But after he imagined himself saying, “Sorry, can you tell me the directions to the way back?” to Nicholas and Shiles as well as how the both of them would look at him, he firmly removed the option of ‘returning back to where he started’.
Thales turned his head around cluelessly. ‘The problem is… the decorations and layouts around Heroic Spirit Palace are truly very similar. Every time I pass a corner, I feel like I’m back at the same place.
‘I can only move forward now. When I come across guards or servants, I can ask for directions.’
Thales sighed and walked forward with huge strides.
That was, until he walked through a tall arched door in his confusion.
It was a huge room, which unlike the other places in the Heroic Spirit Palace, did not have lit furnaces and braziers. However, the huge windows in the room were opened and from the outside, white light was casted into the room. Metal shelves hung one by one from the ceiling, and on top of them were seemingly sparkling and translucent silver gems that reflected the light from outside of the window. There were rows after rows of…
Thales was stupefied as he stared at the two rows of big, black bookshelves right in front of him.
Every row was about eight to nine metres long and the gap between them was just as wide as two people.
He furrowed his brows. ‘It seems like I have barged into a… library?
‘No wonder there are no fire baskets.’
Thales observed his surroundings. ‘Strange, there’s no one in sight.’
He took a step forward and extended his head into the gap between the two rows of bookshelves, wanting to catch a glimpse of the other side of the room, but the effort was to no avail.
Firstly, the room seemed to be extremely huge, and secondly, he discovered that the black bookshelves were arranged in a circular arc instead of a straight line—so, he could not see the other end of the room. Behind the two rows of bookshelves were still numerous bookshelves which extended continuously to the end of his vision.
‘If this is a library… there should be someone guarding it, right?’
“Is there anyone here?” Thales cautiously opened his mouth and yelled. “Can someone tell me the directions to the Hall of Heroes?”
Thales shook his head. ‘These bookshelves cut off a great amount of sound transmission.
He had no choice but to walk into the gap between the two rows of bookshelves. He walked passed row after row of black wooden bookshelves.
Each bookshelf had approximately ten rows of books, and each row was separated with a thick, black wooden board. From his feet all the way up to the ceiling, they were no less than seven of eight meters in height.
Of course, books were placed upon these bookshelves—from thin paperbacks to thick hardcovers as well as numerous scrolls, which were placed upright.
Many books were heavy, but ancient and unadorned. Some were even ancient books made of parchment. Those books had a long historical standing, but they were preserved in good condition.
The ancient language of the Empire was engraved at the side of every bookshelf, and it clearly indicated the category of every row: poems, literature, history, politics, music scores, autobiographies, and even the king’s governmental decrees… Many of them were old books that could not be seen in Mindis Hall.
‘God…’ Thales leaned against one of the bookshelves and stood on his tippy toes to look at a thick book with a brown cover. As soon as he saw it, he fell into a daze.
‘The Collected Imperial Orders of the Empire: Year 1 to Year 230.’
‘This is… If I calculate the time, it is Year 600 according to the Calendar of Eradication and Year 1500 according to the Empire Calendar.
‘A book from almost two thousand years ago?
‘No, this is a duplicated copy,’ Thales immediately realized from its degree of wear and tear.
‘But…’ An idea flashed across Thales’ mind.
‘If this book is from before the Battle of Eradication…
‘Then… regardless of whether it’s about the history of wizards, the Magic Tower or magic…
‘There must be some remaining clues!
‘At least, there should be a brief mention about it.’
For example, that book, ‘Battle of Eradication Chronicles: The World’s Destruction’, which he found in Mindis Hall. Did it not already mention the Alchemy Tower?
Thales’ eyes sparkled.
He never believed that the prohibition humans had towards magic would be completely unimpeachable.
Otherwise, why would people like Ramon still exist?
He continued to move forward, and from time to time, he would pull out a few books that he could carry. He would then flip open the first few pages and briefly glanced through them.
There were quite a number of similar books.
There were books written in the common language as well as the ancient language of the Empire. Some were even written in a strange language that he had never seen before.
Luckily, the special training Gilbert provided him came in handy. Thales’ level of the common language would help him understand the cover and the general content without any problem. As for the ancient language of the Empire, which he was not proficient in, the grammar and spelling were a lot more complicated compared to the common language, but there were plenty of root words and affixes that shared the same meaning between the language he used in his previous world and the language he used here. So, he would still be able to obtain an answer based on the given context.
Gilbert told him that after the Ancient Empire crumbled, the ancient language of the Empire used by nobles as well as officials slowly transformed into a ceremonious language of rhetoric and literature. This was when the common language began to gradually form.
Thales held his breath and suppressed the excitement in his heart. It was as if he had traveled back to the past, to a time where he was also walking in between rows of bookshelves.
‘”The Holy Decree of the Bright God”—this is a history book recording the past achievements of the Empire’s former orthodox church, the Bright God Church.
‘”The Battle Era of Thistles and Thorns”—looking at the title page, it seems like it’s about a comparatively major expedition during the Ancient Empire Era. The target was the Land of Thorns in the southwestern part of the current Western Peninsula.
‘”The Historical Biography of the Great Emperor Camelot’s Conquest”—the historical biography of the Ancient Empire’s first Great Emperor, and how the Empire was founded.
‘”Feudal Kings XXX Politics XXX”—the ancient language of the Empire in the book title is already incomprehensible. God, this is probably related to the age of the feudal kings before the Ancient Empire.
‘”The Origins of the Ancient Orc”—this seems easy to understand even though the entire book is written in the ancient language of the Empire.
‘”The Disaster of TherrenKaren”—there is another line of names on the cover. It is not written in the common language, but it is not really written in another system of the Empire’s ancient language either. I do not know what book this is.
‘”The Records of the Temple: Complete Collection of Knights”—this book seems to be narrating the history of knights during their age of glory. It starts from the age of feudal kings to the era of the Empire.
‘”The Story of the Great Dragon”—don’t know whether this is a work of fiction or a serious record.
‘”XXX: Iron Blood King and Mede…”—this is another title I cannot make out.
‘”The Directory of the Ten Knights of Past Empire Dynasties”—There seems to be more books written in the common language starting from this row of bookshelves.
‘”Dragon Kiss Academy: Commemorative Album of Year 612″—this entire book is incomprehensible to me.
‘”Males and Females”— ah, this actually has illustrations… Umm, I better put it back.
‘”Chronicles of Dragon Spear”—what the hell?’
Thales became increasingly excited and he even forgot about his original purpose to find a way out, or find any trace of magic.
It was as if he went back to his “past life” through fragments of his memory, like discovering a huge amount of excellent quality documents in a database.
This was probably the Heroic Spirit Palace Library, or the Walton Family Library.
When he was in Constellation, he constantly had no time to acquire a sufficient amount of knowledge. Also, in Constellation, relatively precious books were almost always treasured and amassed in the Jadestar Grand Library, which was established by royalty.
Thales walked past another row of bookshelves.
It seemed like a row of bookshelves had been removed from this spot and it was replaced with a row of long, metallic cabinets. The top of the cabinets were covered in transparent glass and Crystal Drop Ore that allowed light to transmit. Hence, the object conserved inside could be seen.
Borrowing the reflected light from the mysterious gem above his head, Thales stared surprisingly at an ancient scroll inside the glass cabinet. He looked at the top of the document and saw a Dragon Spear symbol as well as…
A Nine-Pointed Star symbol on either side.
Thales’ gaze could not hide his curiosity and excitement.
This ancient document was entirely written in the ancient language of the Empire and the writer had extremely profound penmanship as well as artistic attainments. The classic calligraphy characters were beautifully written and pleasant to read.
However, it was different from what Thales had learned from Gilbert in Mindis Hall. That one was ancient and awkward-sounding, with complicated wordings as well as a peculiar writing style. On this particular document, the ancient language of the Empire seemed simple and straightforward. It was easy to understand as it was mixed with grammar and words of the current common language. Thales had crammed everything in one month when he was learning the ancient language, so it was a surprise that he still managed to understand the document.
It was obviously from the era after the Ancient Empire crumbled. It was an era when the ancient language began to be influenced by the common language, which soon infiltrated and replaced it.
Thales pressed his face against the glass cabinet and he managed to identify the contents of the yellowing scroll. He took some time to get used to it at first, but it became smoother as he got towards the end.
[1,530 years after the establishment of the Empire.
Eleven years after the Year of Errol.
In the name of the great Holy Sun.
Under the witness of the Sunset Temple.
In the longhouse belonging to the Suzerain of Cold Castle, this treaty was established together by—
The Honorable King of Eckstedt, Raikaru Eckstedt, and
The Honorable King of Constellation, Tormond Jadestar; as such, they should abide by this oath.
The oath of King Raikaru: In the name of the Holy Sun, I take my oath.
I, along with every loyal Northlander who follows me; regardless of men, women, the elderly, children, nobles, commoners, suzerains, or soldiers:
Will not intervene in the war involving King Tormond and his followers in the Ancient Chauvinistic Land as well as the Great Desert; Will not investigate and hold King Tormond responsible for his behavior towards the Olsius Family. Will recognize the fair governance and rights that King Tormond as well as his followers have in the Ancient Chauvinistic Land, the Land of South Coast, the Hills of Green Heart and the lands they have already obtained. We will recognize the corresponding actions they take towards the South and the West to ensure their survival, defend their people, and protect their territory. This includes but is not limited to military actions. Will acknowledge Cold Castle as the boundary of King Tormond and his followers’ territory. The South shall belong to him, and the North shall be under my rule. Will display tolerance and sincerity towards King Tormond and his followers, instead of hatred and doubt to ensure that King Tormond and his followers find the greatest amount of fairness as well as equality on the land where the Northlanders live. These words and this oath shall be effective from the day it is established,
Until the end of my life and King Tormond’s.
II. The oath of King Tormond:
I, along with every loyal citizen of the Empire who follows me; regardless of men, women, the elderly, children, nobles, commoners, suzerains, or soldiers:
Will give up the claim and pursuit of the Northern Plains and the surrounding land of the Pine Forest. Will treat the remaining nobles in the land of the original Ancient Chauvinistic Province with leniency, retain their rights and cease investigation on the Olsius Family who are taking cover in the original Northland Province of the Empire. Will respect King Raikaru and his followers’ rights to further acquire territories, people and properties in the original territory of the Empire without going against our aspirations and benefits on the following basis: King Raikaru and his followers in the original Northland Province of the Empire as well as the original West Billow Province of the Empire have rights to the lands that they have already obtained accordingly. Acknowledge that Cold Castle located in the original Northern Province of the Empire will serve as the boundary between the two sides. Our side recognizes that, to the north, King Raikaru and his followers have corresponding handling rights to the original territories of the Empire, its people and properties. Will treat every single Northlander and Rudollian in the territory with kindness in the present, the past and the future. We will treat them like citizens of the Empire, respecting and acknowledging the presence and authority of King Raikaru as well as his followers within their borders as equal to the past nobles of the Empire.
Until the end of my life and King Raikaru’s.
Here are the witnesses present:
Head Ritual Master, Candas and Vice Ritual Master, Rutgers;
Queen Clorysis Nurman Da’alla Dorselle and the Adviser of the Soul Tower, Brianne Qualls Tabark;
Suzerain Lhasa Trentida, Suzerain Scott Stustel;
Count Leinster Covendier, Count Cooper Cullen;
Writer: Viscount Halva Karabeyan
Year 11 of the Holy Sun’s Calendar of Eradication, afternoon of 29th January.
The appendices relevant to the treaty are as follows…]
Thales was entranced as he read the document, but he was also incomparably shocked.
‘King of Renaissance, Tormond Jadestar and King of Dragon Knight, Raikaru Eckstedt…
‘The treaty… that they agreed to and signed over six hundred years ago?
Thales pondered over the main text of the treaty and in his heart, he received the confirmation he needed.
‘This is a peace treaty to a cease fire between Constellation and Eckstedt… it’s a treaty of mutual non-intervention!’
Right at this moment, he moved to the space between the second and third glass cabinet.
The light began to dim.
And in his peripheral vision, he caught a glimpse of the empty space between the two glass cabinets.
There seemed to be something black moving over there.
Thales turned his head around.
And on the ground a few meters away from him, a person suddenly appeared!
Thales was truly frightened and he slammed his back against the glass cabinet.
A pale-faced Thales took several steps back and grabbed the leg of the glass cabinet with great effort to maintain his balance.
The figure, who suddenly appeared seemed to be frightened too as he or she lay on the floor.
The other party could be seen taking a deep breath and a step backwards.
Thales patted his chest to calm his heart, which was frantically beating. After seeing that it was truly a person before him, he felt relieved.
“That—” Thales was still panting when opened his mouth to speak.
However, the other party finally decided to lift her head.
Thales was momentarily stunned by this.
The person was very petite, very short and very… tiny?
To be precise, it was a girl with curly, platinum hair. She was wearing a long, grey dress and she had frightened look on her face.
She appeared to be only about eight or nine years old.
Thales glanced to his left and right in confusion.
‘There is no one on either side…
‘But why is there a young girl here?
‘Also… why is it a young girl?’
Thales was reminded of the last ‘young girl’ he accidently saw beside a coffin and he recalled the ‘supernatural folklore’ Nicholas had told him about Heroic Spirit Palace. So, he was somewhat scared.
He gulped and stared at her intently.
The girl’s grey dress was covered in dust and she was lying flat on her stomach above a large, thick book, which was almost a meter wide.
Her elbows were propped on the pages of either side and her face was almost stuck on the book.
She was actually… reading?
The young girl lifted her head and her face was visibly covered in dust as well as stains. Her platinum hair was stuck against her forehead and her frightened face revealed a sign of confusion.
At the next second, she peered in Thales’ direction with a dazed look on her face as she squinted her eyes.
She appeared suspicious of him and vigilant, like an amphibian…
She turned full circle.
Her eyes were empty and her eyeballs seemed lifeless… They were not focused on Thales.
Under the light, she actually…
She did not see Thales!
The other party sniffed the air forcefully as though she smelled something.
A shudder ran through Thales’ heart upon seeing this.
‘Could it be?’
A weird fragment of memory surfaced in his mind.
“My model isn’t done yet… What have you dragged me out to see again today?”
“Haih, you can rest assured, Big Bookworm. You’ll definitely not be afraid of this! This fictional film is about group of people going on an underground scientific exploration!”
“Scientific exploration? What’s the title? Is it called The Descent? Or Decline? Oh, this is actually an adventure film… but what’s the matter with the girls? They’re going on an exploration as part of a psychological treatment?”
“Yes, why would I harm you… You’ll know when you continue watching!”
“Why are you turning off the light at this time. Don’t tell me you want me to look at your fluorescent wrist watch… What the hell! What on earth is this thing?! Let me go! I don’t want to watch it anymore! Ahhhh!”
The girl looked like she wanted to get a clearer picture of where Thales was. The creepy girl with squinted eyes…
“Those with squinted eyes are all monsters.”—This was a memory in his head from an unknown time.
The little girl with squinted eyes… slowly extended her neck and reached out…
She moved her leg slowly, bit by bit…
And, she crawled… towards Thales.
The creepy little girl suddenly stopped crawling and turned in his direction once again, scrutinizing the situation for a full three seconds.
Thales felt his heart thumping.
In an ancient room piled up with dust…
In an exhibition hall of antiques…
The young girl who could not see was squinting her eyes and standing on all fours.
She then crawled over like an amphibian…
Thales felt a chill going down his spine and he kept repeating the same thing in his heart. ‘Oh, this can’t be real?’
A young girl, who was actually several hundred years old crawling out from a coffin was enough.
He suddenly came to his sense and realised that he was in Dragon Clouds City. He was in a vacant room, next to the cabinet containing Raikaru’s treaty from a long time ago.
When he thought of this, he legs suddenly gave out and he bumped into the leg of the glass cabinet.
The young girl with squinted eyes was immediately alerted and she moved her head in a flash!
Her expression was sinister!
Thales could feel his heart freeze.
In the blink of an eye, she faced Thales’ direction and opened her mouth…
But the scary scene he had been imagining did not appear.
Instead, he heard the clear and crisp voice of a child.
Thales was momentarily stunned.
The little girl was clearly astonished and she kept shaking her head.
‘She’s… a living person?
‘It’s good that she’s a living person.’
Thales exhaled a puff of air and patted his chest.
‘But why can’t this living person see me?’
He would soon find out why.
The young girl extended her hand and fumbled around the area next to the opened book beneath her.
The young girl swept away the hair covering her forehead. This made her originally dirty face appear even darker. She then squinted her eyes and grabbed a pair of round… glasses with a black frame.
She wore the glasses right after that and lifted her head.
This time, her eyes were finally fully opened.
She had a pair of dark green eyes.
Thales opened his mouth, but he did not know what to say.
And so, in Heroic Spirit Palace, in the gap between thick, closely packed bookshelves, next to a glass cabinet storing the treaty between two legendary kings…
A young girl with platinum hair and a dirty face, wearing thick, black, round glasses lay foolishly on the floor as she stared blankly at Thales, who was sitting on the ground with his back against the glass cabinet.
“Who-who are you?”