#When I returned, my family was ruined (261)
To be honest, I didn’t think much of the shadow until I came here. Just as we investigated ordinary transcendents, Duke Ethan was also a transcendent, so he had no choice but to be included in the candidate group.
So, I planned to just continue the investigation as I had done so far. Of course, there was a housemaster for a family called Ardan. Because it was a family that blocked the steps of a great monarch.
However, the shadow was not swayed by emotions enough to apply different priorities to work based on simple antipathy.
It used to shine brilliantly, but due to the war with the monarch, it has now lost its shine and is just a fallen bird.
Even though they have been regaining their glory recently, they are not yet considered a family that can threaten them.
Actually, it was. Ardan was a place so far away from the place where shadows and disaster reigned.
Even if rumors reached that point, they were usually misrepresented or exaggerated. Even if the rumors were true, I only felt that he was a human being with excellent intelligence. It was after investigating Maren Forest that those feelings changed.
Transcendence was the last known realm that humans could reach. Even if you grow to the level of a superhuman, your growth will come to a halt once you reach this level.
Therefore, Shadow thought that Duke Ethan would be a low-level transcendental at best. However, the information provided by the traces was completely different.
His level was already far beyond his clumsy beginnings. Traces don’t lie. He had already reached the level of a seasoned swordsman who was worn out even at the level of transcendence.
It was an overwhelming growth that even felt like a threat to the ruler himself. Considering the time it took to reach the state of transcendence, this is an impossible growth rate.
I could feel it because I had witnessed so many transcendent people. The path is different from that of a normal transcendental person.
Still, it couldn’t be said to be a really big threat yet.
If you put your mind to it, it won’t be difficult to handle it even if it’s a fierce battle. Therefore, I just thought of it as a variable threat factor.
Should I say that if you leave it alone, it will become a headache?
Duke of Ethan.
It wasn’t something that needed to be dealt with as a top priority right away. Right now, the most important thing was to find the tyrant’s killer, deal with him, and complete revenge.
Therefore, I thought it would not be too late to decide on the duke’s treatment later.
‘…it was a miscalculation.’
If this is not dealt with right now, it will definitely reappear as a major obstacle. The moment I received my subordinate’s report, I was able to understand it instinctively. An article dealing with white salt.
The sight of a spiritist or wizard helping knights was a sight that could easily be seen anywhere. Starting with simple magic to sharpen weapons or harden armor, it was also quite common for spirits to inhabit the bodies of allies and give them properties.
Although it is very common.
What if the person providing the help is a spirit lord-level entity?
It was a nightmare so bad that it couldn’t even be joked about. Especially since I personally witnessed the traces of a spirit presumed to be the monarch, the fear could not help but grow. The Duke’s sword strike turned the middle of the forest into an open space.
It was probably a technique used to deal with the monarch.
‘It’s not a spirit world, it’s royalties. Yet, it is an entity that exerts such power.’
Even if such an entity became an ally of the duke, it was a very big threat.
‘…So we have to deal with it now.’
The reason is unknown, but it is clear that there has been a major conflict between the spirit lord and the duke recently. Because the monarch’s attack contained a murderous intent so sharp that it could not be hidden. If there was a conflict of that magnitude, there would be no reason to cooperate with the Duke for the time being.
Before joining forces. Now was a golden opportunity to deal with the variables. That was why, as soon as he received the news, he became determined to kill the duke.
I don’t know if Ardan is a family that cooperates with the dragon clan.
Don’t you already know? Starting with the fact that he is experiencing a terrible conflict with the Church, one of the forces of the Dragon Clan, and even the complicated relationship between supporters and supporters throughout the war.
There was never a chance that he and the dragon would join hands.
‘It is possible now.’
This is not an easy opponent.
Perhaps we should utilize the powers given to us as rulers. In other words, it meant that if you use your power, you have a good chance of winning.
The necklace of shadows glowed darkly. What soon became connected through the necklace was disaster.
-Something happened, a disaster.
-Something? Have you ever tried to find the tyrant’s killer?
-No, that’s not it. I just found a person to kill.
―…Even if it means overtaking the highest priority mission?
-okay. The target is Ethan Ardan. You probably heard the rumors too. The head of Ardan.
-…The reason is? I’m sure I’m not trying to stop the seeds of those who have the last name of Ardan by coming here now.
―It is not driven by trivial emotions such as revenge. He is a strong man who will threaten our rulers.
-You’ve already grown that much?
-The growth rate is surprisingly fast. It is said that the spiritist who was chasing him around made a contract directly with the monarch.
―…Are you sure?
―We have captured information that a large amount of mana stones were headed to Ardan. Moreover, they found traces of a fight.
The shadow calmly listed the sights it had seen. The battle between the Fire Lord and Duke Ethan. It all comes down to the amount of power that those two beings possess.
―…It’s dangerous. It’s too dangerous.
-This is why I want to handle it myself.
―…Are you okay? What happened to that spiritist?
-He is not showing his appearance. Looking at the traces of the battle, the monarch must have been forcibly repatriated to the spirit world… and it would have been difficult to deal with the aftermath. He’s probably recuperating. It will be difficult to wake up, at least for a while.
―…That’s a good thing.
-okay. It’s a good thing you know it now. If that elementalist was at the point where he could handle the monarch perfectly, I wouldn’t have thought about moving right away.
Hunting a transcendental person who cooperates with the monarch would have been something that even the ruler himself would have had to risk his life for. Naturally, he would have asked for help from other rulers, including Calamity.
Ardan’s Seed will be a great threat. If this was the case, other rulers such as Demon Dragon would not be able to remain silent. Because the justification was completely passed over to this side.
However, there was no time to present the agenda and gather other rulers. How can we know when that elemental master will wake up, call the monarch, and cooperate with the duke?
The buttocks of the rulers were generally very heavy.
At best, it will take three months for an agenda to be proposed, a meeting to be held, and two or more rulers to meet.
It was such a long time.
This was especially true considering the Duke’s frightening growth rate.
In that sense, it was a great fortune for Shadow to once again check the traces of battle left in the forest.
The aftermath of a huge battle.
Thanks to that, it was easy to predict that the Spiritualist’s body would not grow.
The current duke was actually only half-formed.
-…i get it. If you kill the duke, I would like you to contact me immediately.
-For the monarch.
-For the monarch.
Communication between the two dragons was cut off. This time, the shadow that connected communication with the subordinates through the necklace spoke.
―All of Heidern’s household, listen. Gather at the Duchy of Ardan within a day. The goal is to exterminate all life forms in the duchy. So perfect that there isn’t even a single seed left.
―I obey the orders of the ruler!
At the words of the great ruler, the people who had been collecting information throughout the kingdom immediately began to take action.
I thought I would never be a threat again. However, they survived more tenaciously than cockroaches. I was planning to use this opportunity to completely destroy them. Even if in return the dragon race is revealed to the entire world.
Soon the shadow concentrated its mind. The goal now was not to observe the duke, but to kill him. I planned to pounce right away as soon as the slightest gap was revealed. Like a wild beast snatching the neck of a mountain animal.
* * *
‘This is the beginning.’
three days ago.
Ethan, who was practicing his senses as usual, felt something strange. A strange feeling that cannot be explained in words.
It felt like a wet snake was passing over my skin.
It was from then on. Pretending to continue training as usual, I focused my mind and searched the surroundings.
A very subtle sign. It was located on top of a huge tree in the duchy.
When Ethan felt it, he was secretly impressed. This was because it was a much more refined form of hiding than Anna’s previous observation from the roof.
Even if we look at the numbers, should we say that it feels more than five times more secretive?
The use of a hollow sword and the resulting enlightenment and growth. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have felt the snake-like observation. When I felt that presence.
Ethan could tell right away.
Among the rulers, there was only one who could hide his presence so skillfully.
Why did he visit this place?
It wasn’t that difficult to guess. Which transcendental being was involved in the death of the tyrant?
They must have been searching everywhere to investigate whether that was the case. Of course, as one of the transcendental beings, he would also have been part of that surveillance network.
‘…Or they found evidence of my involvement.’
However, there were too many strange things to say that evidence was found. There were more than one loophole that had been revealed so far. Nevertheless, the shadow did not rush. It was a very strange thing, considering how much of an advantage a surprise attack gives in a battle. That’s why I was confident. He’s still not sure who was behind the tyrant’s death.
After that, Ethan thought.
If he’s going to kill me anyway, why not bury him while I’m here now? There was no sign of leaving in a day or two, and his physical condition was now close to normal.
Now he could receive the full support of the spirit lord.
That’s why I hid Isera’s whereabouts as much as possible.
If he digs into himself, he will also notice that Ysera has made a contract with the monarch, and if he sees such a spiritist hanging around nearby.
‘Because that cunning bastard will choose flight rather than battle first.’
The operation worked well.
The guy continued to observe himself. As Ethan continues to observe the shadow.
‘It strikes all at once.’
Completely, leaving no escape route so that there is absolutely no escape.
Preparation for the last three days.
The opportunity was slowly approaching.