Dragon Poor - Extra 3. The Return of the Legend (9)
His heart suddenly started pounding and then, it raced like it was about to explode. Without realizing it, the 1st Prince grabbed his chest as he plopped down.
It felt like his blood was boiling. The prince lost consciousness from the feeling of his entire body burning up.
Who knows how much time passed like that before the prince finally came back to his senses.
Although his heart wasn’t pounding like it was going to explode anymore, it was still beating wildly. He couldn’t understand why.
“What on earth…”
Confused, the prince gripped his head as he tried to somehow understand the situation. However, the palpitations and the heat didn’t dissipate and continued to distract him.
It finally felt like his head was clearing after he took a deep breath. Once he came back to his senses, the prince looked at the battlefield in the distance. “Ah.”
The prince froze. The Gradus Knights and the magic mounts of the Imperial Panzer Knights had marched into the battlefield, confident of their victory, but now, they were nowhere to be seen. All he could see was the ghastly sight of scrap metals and chunks of flesh that were once human.
In the middle of all that was a monster he had never seen before.
Brilliantly shining golden scales, gleaming eyes, and a vicious snout spitting out fire – the monster was both familiar and unfamiliar.
The prince quickly realized where he had seen that strange monster before. The giant magic mount standing on the remains of the other magic mounts had a striking resemblance to the ghosts and monsters of the past.
No, only its outer appearance was similar. The monster’s presence was incomparable to that of an older model of the magic mount. The prince trembled at the overwhelming difference in power that made him feel as if he should be prostrating and worshiping the monster.
At that moment, the monster’s gaze turned towards the prince. The moment he met that terrifying gaze, the prince lost consciousness again.
Shortly after the 1st Prince passed out, the others came back to their senses.
“That, that! THAT!”
“Our magic mounts!”
Like the 1st Prince, they were astonished to see the completely destroyed magic mounts. However, there was something more important to them than the destroyed magic mounts. They had to deal with the 1st Prince who had collapsed on the floor after dirtying his pants in the presence of countless soldiers.
“It seems like my elder brother isn’t feeling too well! Quickly, escort him back to his chambers! I will be leading this battle.”
The 3rd Prince stepped forward to control the chaos, but too many people had already seen the 1st Prince’s demise.
The 3rd Prince laughed secretly. Even at a glance, he could tell that his passed-out brother wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon. Thanks to their formidable younger sister, they had been forced into an alliance thanks to their formidable younger sister, but he had always thought of his brother, the 1st Prince, as an opponent he had to overcome. But now, that opponent had unintentionally been removed.
“It seems like the enemy magic mount has self-destructed, sir.”
Always sensitive to the flow of power, the nobles approached the 3rd Prince and gave their reports. The prince struggled to contain his laughter and responded to their reports.
“I wish to give my elder brother victory by the time he wakes up.”
It was a complete lie. Seeing how his brother had been carried out, pale as a sheet, it didn’t look like he would be waking up anytime soon. And even if his brother did wake up, he had no intention of giving him victory on a plate. The only thing he would give the 1st Prince was the stigma of being a coward who had peed and dirtied his pants in the middle of a battle. It was the perfect gift for his brother who had always swaggered around as if he was already the emperor, stating that he was the one who had inherited most of the Dragon’s blood.
“Inform the aviation corps and the task flotilla. Tell them to teach the enemies the Empire’s doctrine of war – whoever controls the sky controls the battle.”
There was no reason for the 3rd Prince to give the orders harshly when he had already seized full command.
Hundreds of airships had been on standby at the fortress, but now, they flew up. The 3rd Prince was confident in his victory as he watched the majestic battleships completely covering the sky.
“Although it’s a pity I can’t see their end in person, it’s not too bad now.”
He couldn’t have been happier as he saw that the giant magic mount was motionless as if it was asleep.
“Make sure to bring back that magic mount. That and Adele will be the biggest gain from this battle.”
Truthfully, the biggest gain would be that he had unexpectedly taken control and had gotten closer to the throne, but the 3rd Prince wouldn’t dare voice his intentions. He hadn’t been able to convince the nobles who followed the 1st Prince to have a change in heart and follow him.
His sister had been looking down on them without knowing her place, so first, he had to teach her a lesson. “Your Imperial Highness!”
He was about to burst out laughing, but just as he barely managed to suppress it, an officer pointed to the sky with a pale face. “The 1st and 2nd task flotilla, as well as 12 squadrons, have left the battlefield, sir!”
What nonsense was this? The 3rd Prince frowned as he looked up at the sky.
It was just as his officer said.
Of the 250, 120 airships, nearly half of their total force, had disobeyed their orders and were retreating to the back.
“Why are they all of a sudden… Are they saying that they won’t listen if it’s not my elder brother’s command?!”
He had been ecstatic at his brother’s demise, but now, his elated feelings plummeted back to the ground.
“Gah! Doesn’t matter! 130 airships are more than enough to deal with the enemy. Have the rest of the airships advance and destroy our enemies!”
It was just as the prince said. Although 350 magic mounts had been destroyed together with the giant magic mount, the remaining magic mounts they had were still enough to overwhelm their enemy.
Now, with the help of 130 battleships, it was enough to trample on his young sister’s presumptuous army.
It wasn’t a wrong decision per se, but result-wise, it turned out to be wrong.
“Your Imperial Highness! Look at the sky over there!”
Suddenly, he saw a dragon whirling around and destroying the battleships of the aviation corps. The wind it created was more wild and ferocious than any other wind he had seen or felt in his life.
The battleships caught up in the storm were instantly swept off course and collided one after another. Countless battleships exploded endlessly when their magic engines were damaged. The storm even devoured the flames that came from the explosions.
“How?! Why?! Why now?!”
Half out of his mind, the prince screamed.
“Is the Heavens telling me they don’t want me to win this battle?!”
Wherever that strong wind swept by, nothing was left behind. 130 battleships disappeared without a trace. It was as if they had never existed in the world to begin with.
“Entire army, forward march.”
But even in the midst of such an extraordinary event, Princess Adelaide stood firm.
“Artillery, advance. Our first goal is the enemy’s artillery unit.”
As long as the enemy’s aviation corps had disappeared, there was nothing that could stop the artillery unit’s advance. The only thing that could be a threat to Princess Adelaide’s artillery unit was the intermittent check-and-fire of the enemy artillery, but from the start, the princess’s artillery force was overwhelming.
“Do not spare your magic! It’s fine if you end up using all your strength and can’t fight any longer! Protect our artillery from the enemy’s bombardment first!”
As soon as her order dropped, hundreds of layers of defensive magic were overlaid above the advancing artillery. They had been slowed down by the enemy’s firing, but fortunately, the attacks were stopped at the source.
Under the desperate protection of the mages, Iberia’s elite artillery was able to get settled. Hundreds of magic cannons aimed at the enemy artillery and fired.
The enemy mages shot defensive magic, but it wasn’t enough. The princes’ artillery was neutralized in an instant.
Princess Adelaide once again ordered the artillery to advance. The enemy magic mounts tried to frantically stop the artillery from advancing, but the princess’s army’s Owner Knights stuck to them like leeches and slowed them down.
Lightning struck the fortress. Soon after, the princes’ army’s troops began abandoning the fortress and retreating.
Even after dozens of battles, the mainland’s defense line had never been crossed, however, this was the moment those lines collapsed.
The goddess of victory raised the princess’s hand. The defense line was completely dismantled and the princes’ surviving soldiers immediately retreated to the Imperial Palace as they showed their determination to continue and fight back.
However, no one thought that the princes could completely protect the Imperial Palace.
For some unknown reason, the 1st Prince had become a fool and 130 airships had been destroyed by a sudden gust of wind.
People used this as an example and said that the princes had been punished by the Heavens. They said that the Heavens had chosen a new Emperor. They believed that none of this would have happened one after another unless it was the will of the Heavens.
However, this was not the will of the Heavens.
“If we share the truth, then the people and the nobles will know that the guardian deity of the Empire truly exists.”
Kim Seon-Hyeok shook his head at Adelaide’s unasked question.
“Now that I think about it, I believe the reason Victor deleted those videos related to me and left it as a legend was because he didn’t want to see the Empire depend on just one superhuman. It is annoying that I, as his father, was the one caught, but I’m sure that both he and his mother wanted the same thing – for the Empire to become complete and perfect.”
The princess nodded. She had clearly seen how the lack of tension had eaten away the giant known as the Empire.
“Only when I am completely forgotten will the Empire be whole.”The princess smiled softly when she heard his voice didn’t have a single ounce of greed.
“I don’t think that everyone has completely forgotten, sir.”
In the last battle, about 120 battleships had refused to obey the prince’s command and turned around.
At that time, the commander of the 120 battleships that had retreated was a descendant of the Wilhelm family. He had heard the story that had been passed down through generations about the man who had accompanied the legend 500 years ago.
“I plan to make use of him heavily when I enter the Imperial Capital in the future. If it hadn’t been for him, there wouldn’t be any airships left in the Empire at this moment.”
“I see you’re acting as if you’re the Empress already.”
The princess blushed at Kim Seon-Hyeok’s words. Even she seemed to think that she was thinking too far ahead.
His descendant was now showing the full qualities of a monarch, but when she still showed a naive side, he laughed as if delighted. However, that was only for a moment. Soon, he asked her in a serious tone.
“Did you call me because you wanted me to neutralize the Imperial Palace’s defenses?”
The princess shook her head.
“No, sir. I will take back the Imperial Palace with my own strength.”
It was a completely unexpected answer. He frowned.
“I have promised you three victories and there is still one left. If you take back the Imperial Palace on your own, then there won’t be any opportunities for me to keep my promise.”
Instead of giving him an answer, she apologized. He couldn’t understand why.
“You can’t be…”
Kim Seon-Hyeok’s face hardened.
“Just as the old Victorius the Great has done, I would like to leave one strand of connection between us and the legend.”
In the end, she meant that she wished to leave that one opportunity and promise to her descendants.
His friendly voice quickly turned cold. However, Adelaide did not waver.
“I do not want to pass this promise to my descendants.”
What on earth was she saying now? Kim Seon-Hyeok crossed his arms and waited for an explanation.
“I merely wish for the legend, for you, to remember your ties to the Empire.”
He remained silent long after she finished. And when he finally began speaking, he no longer showed the disappointment or anger he had shown in the beginning.
“I don’t know whether you’re sentimental or cunning.”
Adelaide didn’t respond. She merely bowed her head deeply.
“Fine. I will accept it.”
Kim Seon-Hyeok got up from his seat.
“But what if, contrary to your wishes, I never appear in the Empire again? Perhaps your decision will become a big punishment to your descendants.”
“Please do as you wish, sir.”
He sighed at Adelaide’s unwavering attitude.
“I will not tell you to become a great Empress or whatever.”
He strolled over and stuck his hand out. She stared at his hand for a moment before grabbing it.
By the time his simple farewell was over, he was already gone.
Left alone, Adelaide didn’t move for a long time.
“May peace be with you for a long time.”
The capital, Adenstein, was captured by Princess Adelaide and shortly thereafter, a new Empress was crowned in the Empire.
The Empress dedicated her life to healing the scars of the Empire ravaged by the civil war. Although not perfect, the Empire was restored to its former glory as a result.
Her descendants referred to her reign as the Era of Rebirth and revered her as the Empress of Rebirth.
Peace lasted for a long time.
In that long peace, the monarch’s insight was sometimes dulled and sometimes the light of the throne faded. But even in all that, the Adenstein bloodline did not forget the last words of the Empress of Rebirth.
“The throne you sit on is a brazier full of coal that can turn everything into nothing, so be wary of the day when indolence becomes the fuel and greed becomes the fire that burns the Empire.”
The Era of Rebirth had passed and the Era of Glory came again.
And when a new era came again, a shining star fell on the largest tree in the Forest of Silence.