The Grand Prince Has Run Away - Chapter 25
Translator: NovelMultiverse | Editor: NovelMultiverse
I picked up Yojo and casted Aura Blade. Then I gathered my attention intensely to the glitter of light which stretched out about 10 centimeters. It meant that I reached a low rank of Master Swordsman. It’s pretty amazing given the fact that I was only a novice rank Master Swordsman not long ago. What this fact inferred was that I surely went through a huge mental change during the battle with Katrianne.
Masters were those who explored the deep stages of mana and intro to the mental world. Considering that one needed long term training to grow mana capability, my mentality certainly grew as my mana capability increased in such a short period of time. Unlike mana capability, mentality often stopped growing for decades or even hundreds of years and tended to grow rapidly in one moment.
After the Yojo’s magic was activated probably by mental power, I became one rank higher Master Swordsman thanks to my mental growth. It seemed like an inevitable coincidence.
“Whatever. I still don’t get it anyway.”
I stopped minding about it and put Yojo back on my waist. Exploration in the mental world was very profound and vague. One could never figure it out by just thinking hard. Only those who expanded their thoughts and ideas through many experiences could grow their mentality.
After mental training, I was trying to head back into the building and I found out Shura sitting in a neat posture with her eyes closed. She seemed to be in mediation for sure.
I called her. Interrupting other people in mediation was rude but I had to get one thing straight. I didn’t allow her to meditate until she found her own path for certain. Meditation was only meaningful once the path was known. Otherwise, it’s just a meaningless effort.
She opened her eyes.
“Have you found your own path?”
“Yes, I have.”
“Really? What is it?”
“It is about balance.”
I cupped my chin in my hand.
“Why did you choose balance?”
She drew Dalahan out and petted it smoothly.
“Because of the destined attraction. My father is a High Elf, the species of Light. And my mother is a Moon Elf, the species of Darkness. Then Dalahan, which has both Light and Darkness traits, chose me. So, I think I need balance to handle these two powers of different natures.”
“I see. That’s why you’ve chosen balance?”
“But you know what? There’s a trap in balance. Once you get caught in this trap, you will go through a huge trouble. A numerous number of swordsmen and women have fallen into this trap and failed to reach the Master level.”
“What is that trap?”
Once she showed her interest, I sat next to her.
“First you need to answer this question. What’s the balance?”
“It’s a concept of two or more powers or justices in coexistence while not leaning towards one side.”
I chuckled. As I expected, Shura had fallen into the trap of balance.
“Well, how are you going to let these powers and justices coexist?”
“What do you mean, Master?”
“Here’s an example. Let’s say you have some tasks to do inside the house and other tasks to do outside the house. How are you going to achieve balance when you have to do these two different tasks? You won’t be panicky and stand still at the doorstep, won’t you?”
She couldn’t answer my question at once. Actually, my question seemed very difficult for those who had fallen into the trap of balance.
“It is no brainer. You need to deal with more urgent matters first. Even a three-year-old kid knows this.”
“Then what about balance, Master?”
“You need to give up balance. All you can do is to make your decisions in accordance with your values. If you think you need to handle the tasks to be done inside the house, you should do them first. And if you think you need to handle the tasks to be done outside the house, you should do those first. You’re not the one who makes balance. It’s a law of nature worked by the collected wills of each individual like you. In fact, it’s more like harmony instead of balance. Do you get it, you idiot?”
Shura dropped her head. The path she found with a huge effort didn’t even exist so obviously, she felt disappointed.
“My apology, Master. I will try to find a different path.”
I sighed. She seemed to fall into the trap of the world beyond the trap of balance.
“Are you an idiot?”
“Why do you think I am an idiot, Master?”
“Why would you give up the path you’ve found with a huge effort?”
“But you’ve just said that there’s no path of balance.”
“Then do you think my path is all smooth sailing? What have I told you about my path before?”
“You’ve told me that your path is life.”
I nodded my head back and forth.
“Yes, you’re right. And one of the most important things in life is eating. So, here’s another question. Let’s say there are some fried meat nuggets with some sauce. Would you pour the sauce over the fried meat nuggets? Or would you dip nuggets into the sauce?”
She slightly lifted her lips up and down. You can’t say it’s right or wrong when it comes to a personal taste.
But this interpretation of the answer was more accurate than anything else. In fact, no one could explain real justice 100% accurately.
“You get it now? All justices in the world are ambiguous and obscure. They exist as if they don’t exist. They are wrong as if they are right. So, all we can do is to follow our own path. And thus, you have to go down your path of Master Swordswoman by yourself. You must bear that in mind.”
With a bright face, she thanked me. She seemed to understand what the path towards a Master level was. Perfect balance did not exist in the real world. Only with a sense of purpose to achieve balance, she must go her own path.
“Then keep up the good work. I’m tired so I am going to take a nap now.”
“Yes, Master. See you later.”
Shura went back to her mediation and I headed to the back door of the office building. At the front of the doorstep, Armida was waiting and clapping her hands with her legs crossed.
“Wow, my little bro. You are a very good teacher. You’ve definitely got some skills.”
Feeling bashful a little bit, I passed her by and entered the building.
“I also heard it from someone else.”
Armida followed me.
“There’s an old stubborn man who only talks and never listens to what other people say.”
“Who the hell is he?”
“The Grand Duke Cloud.”
Armida opened her eyes wide.
“Is he still alive? I’ve seen him for a while so I thought he’s dead. Isn’t he?”
“He’s not dead. After he became the Imperial Slayer a while ago, he felt ashamed and went off the grid.”
The Grand Duke Cloud was the great general of the Yosrahim Empire but suddenly withdrew from the front line about 60 years ago. After slaughtering then-Emperor Rotfuze who was tyrannizing over the empire, the Grand Duke Cloud left the military and politics by himself because he felt that he committed disloyalty as a vassal. That’s why he only showed up at Imperial Gatherings during holidays. Except for those holidays, he lived a reclusive life.
Of course, he took his military position back soon but now he’s living like an old reclusive man.
“Really? As a human, he lives a pretty long life. Perhaps he’s over 190 years old, isn’t he?”
Yes. He’s in his early 190s now but he would die before 200.
Six years later, he passed away at night with bitter tears in his eyes. He was frustrated because he failed to become a Soul Master and also concerned about the future of the Yosrahim Empire.
Still, he’s a very lucky man since he never had to see horrible incidents happening in the future. Right after the Grand Duke Cloud’s death, the Yosrahim Empire became chaotic due to many rebellions and conspiracies erupted in its border areas. And when the Era of Destruction came eight years later, the whole empire got totally ruined.
“Yes. He’s a very lucky man indeed.”
“Why? Because he’s lived a long life? Or he’s the strongest swordsman in the world?”
“No. That’s not the reason.”
“Then why do you think he’s a very lucky man?”
“He’s alive only during the time when the world is not in total destruction. So, I am so jealous of him.”
Life was surely a mystery. The Grand Duke Cloud would pass away with regrets and sadness but to my eyes, his last moment was glorious and happy. The only thing he could not achieve was to become a Soul Master which actually not a single human was able to become. Except that, he achieved everything a man could.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s something you don’t know. Valkyries could never understand matters in human life.”
She opened her eyes sharply.
“Are you looking down on me right now?”
“Then just give up your immortality and live a mortal life. Then without my explanation, you could still understand what I mean. How can I explain life to those who don’t even know death. Tut, tut.”
I just ignored her and went to my room. It’s a waste of time to discuss death with Valkyries who’re immortal. They might be able to understand the concept but never able to actually know how it felt. Therefore, they could not truly understand what it was.
* * *
Inside the Imperial Palace of the Yosrahim Empire. During the council in the Imperial presence, a middle-aged man sitting on the throne with anxious eyes looked down at the senior vassals gathered around below him.
He was the Emperor Bonaparo Alesar Caesar Yosrahim, the current owner of the Yosrahim Empire.
One of his senior vassals stepped forward. He’s Marquis Alfred, the minister of foreign affairs.
“Your Majesty. After the disreputable incident happened in the Great Temple of Divinum, letters of protest are pouring out across the whole continent.”
The Emperor gently opened his eyes.
“Your Majesty. I think we need to set up plans quickly and silence those complaints from the Churches and other countries.”
“So what are those plans?”
“Your Majesty. First, you must proclaim the Grand Prince Carl as the person of immorality and erase him from the Imperial Family list.”
“Yan is still my nephew.”
Marquis Alfred bent his waist forward.
“Your Majesty. The situation is grave. Every temple is denouncing our empire and our people are greatly anxious. It’s not the right time to get caught up with family and lineage. Anyways, the Grand Prince Carl was murdered by the Great Flaming Saintess. So he’s dead now.”
With a frowning face, the Emperor looked at the Grand Duke Carl. It all started with him. It’s a huge shame for a man who’s the prime minister of the empire not being able to educate his child in the right way. What a disgrace for him.
However, it was not all that bad. Rumor said Yan was a Master Swordsman. He felt as if another Grand Duke Cloud had been born.
Another swordsman like Grand Duke Cloud was born? It’s damn horrible to just imagine.
“Grand Duke Carl. What do you think?”
The Grand Duke Carl stepped forward.
“Yes, your Majesty.”
“Since he’s your son, you should proclaim him as the person of immorality. Can you do that?”
“What else can I say, your Majesty? I will follow your order.”
“And he must be expelled from the family.”
“I will do as you say, Your Majesty.”
“I appreciate that.”
As the Emperor turned his eyes, a blonde man with a red face stepped forward. He’s the Crown Prince Simon.
“What is it?”
“Your Majesty. Yan was your nephew and also my cousin. And he got murdered.”
“Your Majesty. I think you should hold someone accountable for his death.”
The Crown Prince kept a confident posture and the Emperor cupped his chin in his hand.
“The one who murdered Yan was the Great Flaming Saintess. What can we do with her?”
“Your Majesty. Of course, the Great Flaming Saintess is innocent. She just gave God’s punishment to Yan for wreaking havoc in the Holy Land.”
“Then what are you trying to say?”
The Crown Prince sneakily glanced at the Grand Duke Carl.
“Your Majesty. Isn’t it the father’s fault for raising his son as a dishonorable man? And that father is currently the prime minister of the empire. I don’t think this is right.”
“But the Grand Duke Carl has been a great prime minister throughout all those years.”
“Your Majesty. I am also aware of that. But perhaps not anymore. Because now he’s the father of the person of immorality after all.”
Actually, the logic of the Crown Prince made sense. His rivals would certainly blame him for the fact that Yan wreaked havoc in the Great Temple of Divinum.
This kind of internal disruption among those in power could become a threat to his regime. In many ways, appointing a new prime minister didn’t seem a bad choice at all.
The Emperor looked at the Crown Prince and the Grand Duke Cloud one after another.
“Then who’s the candidate for new prime minister?”
“Duke Manfred could be a good choice, your Majesty.”
As the Crown Prince recommended Duke Manfred, the Emperor chuckled.
Duke Manfred had been working at the department of domestic affairs for a long time so everyone might consider him as a good candidate for the next prime minister.
But moreover, he’s a kingmaker who played a huge role in making Simon as the Crown Prince. If he became the prime minister, the Crown Prince’s power would grow as well.
“Is there any other candidate?”
“Your Majesty. I believe Duke Manfred is the best candidate.”
“I agree. But there’s a numerous number of people in our enormous empire. How could there be only one suitable candidate for the prime minister?”
With a pale face, Duke Manfred quickly joined the conversation.
“Your Majesty. I think the Grand Duke Rufert could be a better candidate.”
The Emperor chuckled again. Duke Manfred surely felt urgent. The Grand Duke Rufert was a sick old man who could die at any moment.