Red energy was an innate force. It was difficult to train or grow, just like the blood-sucking ability of the vampires or the evil eyes. This was why the empire in the past simply established a person with superior red energy as the emperor. Those were the days when the strongest person was the emperor. The empire of that time was truly supreme and reigned over everyone.
Then what about now? Years passed by, and the royal family became intoxicated with power. It wasn’t the strongest but those who were good at machinations that repeatedly became emperor. At some point, the emperor was reduced to a word meaning those who were more insidious or were lucky. They merely habitually advocated the wishes of their ancestors to unify the West Continent and spread to the East Continent. They were busy enjoying a rich life. It was one of the reasons why the imperial family forgot about the commitment to the grandmaster.
The end of the world...
It was the origin. It was presumed to be a passage connecting this world and hell and was a very important place to fulfill the wishes of both Emperor Saharan and the grandmaster. Now, the grandmaster found it ridiculous because it was only treated as a prison.
“On the other hand, your son has a good side. He noticed what I wanted after visiting the Abyss once and suggested a deal. It was like the second coming of Saharan. I even felt joy.”
“What do you want in the Abyss?”
The grandmaster’s meaningful words caused Emperor Juander’s eyes to widen. The emperor knew that the Abyss was the end of the world. As a person went deeper, the concept of dimension and time disappeared, and it became an ominous place that touched hell.
“Is your purpose to break down the boundaries between this world and hell, bringing about chaos?”
“That is a poor guess. Saharan, who joined hands with me, would swear at you.”
The grandmaster tapped Saharan’s sword with his finger, and a large amount of red energy started to emerge. The blood red scenery changed into an ominous and terrible place. Edan was engulfed in great power and barely suppressed his boiling instincts. “Emperor! Make me the emperor right now! Then you won’t lose your life!”
“I can’t do that! No emperor has ever been usurped by his son!” It meant Juander alone couldn’t be humiliated.
“Do you care about that despite coming to this point?”
Saharan’s red energy and the emperor’s red energy clashed in the air. The emperor gritted his teeth. He might be accused of being incompetent and selfish by the grandmaster and Edan, but Juander was still the reigning emperor.
Juander might’ve overlooked the grandmaster—who had existed since the time of his father and grandfather—and made the mistake of not looking after his family properly, but during Juander’s reign, the empire abolished many ethnic minorities and made a stable economic development. From an external point of view, he was a ferocious villain who created a livable world for his people.
What about now? The grandmaster—who turned away from state affairs—and his son—a high profile criminal whose sins couldn’t be covered up—were criticizing him? The emperor felt resentful. He felt great hatred for both Edan and the grandmaster who were standing side by side in front of him.
Juander’s red energy was exceptional. Saharan’s red energy didn’t lose momentum and stayed strong. Yet it was only for a moment. Saharan’s red energy—the tsunami-like power and sun-like heat that bound to matter and had dominance over life—far surpassed Juander’s red energy. Saharan’s red energy devoured all of Juander’s red energy, and Edan’s red energy became stronger. It happened in an instant. The force was absorbed.
“What?” The emperor was astonished by the strange phenomenon.
Then the grandmaster murmured, “The source is irresistible.”
“You...! Zikfrector!!” The emperor’s bloody gaze returned to the grandmaster. His resentment was concentrated on the grandmaster.
Looking back, didn’t this person know everything? He had known the fact that it had been Empress Marie who killed Empress Aria and condemned Piaro. (TL Note: For those wondering, different Korean words are used for empress in regards to Marie and Aria. Aria is the official empress while Marie is like the imperial concubine and the Korean empress word used for her is one level below Empress Aria.)
If the grandmaster had given him a small hint, then he might not have lost Aria and Piaro. Yet the grandmaster hadn’t told him anything. He hadn’t warned Juander that the promise between the grandmaster and the imperial family shouldn’t be forgotten and never ended up telling him about the promise.
“You! You pushed me to this point!!” The red energy in the emperor’s sword shot at the grandmaster’s chest. The power was far beyond that of the dukes, and Zibal—who was watching from afar—was amazed.
‘As expected, the emperor’s level is above 500?’
It was common sense that an NPC in an important position would have a higher level and stats. He predicted that the emperor’s level might be the best on the continent, but it was great to actually see it. Zibal thought that the grandmaster wouldn’t be able to avoid a big injury.
Then what was this? The grandmaster stood still and blocked the emperor’s attack. The pull of gravity suddenly increased, crushing the emperor’s body and pushing the emperor’s sword to the ground. The grandmaster’s and emperor’s eyes met.
“...” The grandmaster was silent. He didn’t have to explain. His silence was a positive answer.
“...!” Crushed by gravity, the emperor, who had been distracted by the grandmaster, stepped back in amazement. Saharan’s sword flew at the place where he had just been standing. It was a narrow escape.
“Your Majesty!” The dukes watched with a sense of urgency as the emperor’s shoulder was cut. They were forced to watch. Saharan’s red energy, the origin of all the red energy, controlled the dukes who had served the imperial family for generations. The dukes couldn’t deal a single blow. They could only kneel down and watch the situation with despair. It was the crisis of the emperor they served all their lives. A berserk maniac was trying to become the new emperor.
‘Is there no one who can break through that line?’
The dukes’ eyes were aimed at the corridor beyond the audience hall. Dozens of Red Knights and magic machine riders could be seen. They were a power that could be described as the most elite of the empire. Even if the imperial guards and the dukes’ people joined forces, it would take a great deal of time to break through. The moment that the dukes began to despair...
“How long will you stay there? Escape quickly and call the army!” Bain blocked Edan’s sword. As expected of the emperor’s shadow. His attitude of defending the emperor was very desperate. They were confident he could be trusted.
“I know...! Please hold on a bit!” The dukes tried to move their heavy legs and raise their bodies.
“You have to stay here. I need someone to support the new emperor who will soon be born.” The grandmaster flicked his fingers and changed the gravity around the dukes.
The dukes, who just stood up, were forced to lay flat again. “S-Shit!”
It was a mighty magic power that went beyond that of the great demon Berith. This wasn’t in the realm of a human. Grenhal opened the power of a berserker while Morse drew on the power of a beast. In order to stand up to the transcendent, they also approached transcendence.
“Annoying,” the grandmaster muttered at the sight of the dukes overcoming gravity and took out two transparent orbs, letting them float around him. The orb was a tool that amplified magic power. It was the first time the grandmaster used magic, and the aftermath was severe.
“Kuooock...” Grenhal and Morse barely managed to stand up before being forced to sit down again. Those who opened up all their power couldn’t beat the grandmaster because the dimension of their skills was different. Then there was a disturbance in the corridor.
There was the sound of blasts from the corridor, and the Red Knights’ bodies started to float in the air. The Red Knights coughed up blood as they were thrown into the wall and became blood puddings. Grenhal and Morse’s eyes shone brilliantly. “Sir Chensler...!”
It was Armored Cavalryman Chensler—the most loyal of the Five Pillars. His arrival changed the situation dramatically. The Red Knights—apart from the single digit numbers—fell like autumn leaves, and even the single digit knights were pushed to the entrance of the audience hall.
“Your Majesty!” Chensler roared as he saw the situation inside the audience hall. Behind his back, hundreds of imperial guards could be seen.
“Shit!” Zibal and the riders tried to summon their magic machines.
“There is nothing good about a bigger turmoil.” The grandmaster stepped in and restrained the riders.
The two orbs still floated around him as he held a sword in his hand. A magician using a sword? Zibal and the riders thought it was absurd, but those who knew the reality of the grandmaster became more nervous. In the beginning, the title of grandmaster was given to those who reached the peak in all fields.
Chensler held a halberd and controlled his distance from the grandmaster. It was an attempt to create an area that was favorable to him, but he failed. The grandmaster’s Earthquake forced Chensler to dodge. Chensler avoided it by leaping into the air, and this allowed the grandmaster to break through easily.
“Kuek...!” Chensler would’ve been fatally wounded if it wasn’t for his armor. A chill went down Chensler’s spine, but he kept fighting back. During this time in the air, he drew a half-moon with the halberd and pressed the grandmaster. In the meantime, the imperial guards tried to enter the audience hall.
However, the Red Knights barred their way. The guards cried out, “Why are knights loyal to the emperor on the side of the rebels?”
“I realized how vain this loyalty was after learning of Zikfrector’s greatness.” Susan fought against the guards. Her lineage couldn’t be deceived. Like her cousin Mercedes, she had great skills. She wasn’t an easy opponent for the guards. Blood and flesh were scattered throughout the corridor, and cruel screams filled the imperial palace.
The situation inside the audience hall was reaching the worst. Bain was defeated by Edan. Edan, armed with Saharan’s sword, was stronger than anyone else here.
Edan pointed his sword at the emperor’s neck and said, “Over the past few generations, the empire has become stagnant but it will be different in my generation. I want to know. Why did our ancestors want to advance to the East Continent? I will surely cross the Red Sea.”
“You will regret it one day. A sword will be pointed to you, just like the grandmaster did to me.”
“That is possible... Still, isn’t it a hundred times better to die as the emperor than to die now?”
“Father, I will inherit the throne.” Edan no longer hesitated. He gave strength to his hand to insert his sword into the emperor’s neck.
A strange voice was heard from the corridor filled with metal colliding and screams.
A completely unexpected name popped up. The emperor who was waiting for death, the two dukes who were looking on with sorrow, the watching Bain, and Edan who had the throne in front of him… Everyone was baffled and turned their attention outside the audience room. There...
The pillar who once sustained the empire...
The hero of the past was looking around the audience hall with disinterested eyes.
The eyes of the imperial guards and the Red Knights were bloodshot. It was a reflexive reaction. All of the people here respected Piaro.
“Piaro, I’m sorry, but let’s save the emperor,” the voice of someone standing behind Piaro echoed in the silent hallway. Everyone could see the black-haired man. It was Overgeared King Grid. His authority was astounding.
Piaro, who showed killing intent when he saw the emperor, quickly became a gentle sheep. “Yes, Your Majesty.”
The peerless Piaro, one of the greatest heroes in the history of the empire, was politely receiving the Overgeared King’s order.
“Why is the traitor here?” Susan belatedly blocked the path in front of Piaro. Piaro was a great swordsman in the past, but Susan had also recently become a great swordsman. She even learned magic from the grandmaster and was confident in her skills. Her ambition was to be better than Mercedes, and she wasn’t afraid of Piaro.
“Torrent of Protection!”
A pillar of transparent light fell around Susan’s body. It was the grandmaster’s personal best buff that greatly increased all stats. The moment she tried to swing her sword at Piaro...
“I won’t allow your comfort,” the Overgeared King quietly declared. The light that surrounded Susan’s body was extinguished without a trace.
A hand plow struck the forehead of the baffled Susan. No one in the corridor was able to stop Piaro. All the agricultural tools in his hands caused everyone to harden like stone statues.