«Saint of Magic» and «King’s Sword»
「Phew… I wonder if everyone feel better now even for a little bit.」
Barnabas, the Principal of the Barbadora Magic Academy, muttered so while watching over the students cleaning up after the Academy Festival.
Due to the attack from 【Demon God Cult】, the campus ground was filled with a gloomy atmosphere. In order to dispel that atmosphere even for a little, Barnabas decided to throw the Academy Festival. The atmosphere had lightened a bit as the result, which was exactly what Barnabas had aimed for.
「 …That being said, not everyone seemed to enjoy it… 」
However, it was also the fact that there were factions that didn’t hold a good impression of the Festival.
At the top of that list were members of Class S… specifically, those who came from the 【Kaizer Empire】, as well as the Heroes. Many of them couldn’t enjoy the Festival as the others could
「I’d like to provide these youngster just a little bit more chance to rest their mind, but…」
Just when he sighed yet again and went to clean up the Festival himself, it happened.
「 ….What happened?」
Suddenly, Barnabas sensed a weird presence within his perception scope.
It was the sensation when someone used a Teleportation Magic within the campus ground. Moreover, the feedback didn’t indicate just one person, but many at once.
When the 【Demon God Cult】 intruded using the same teleportation magic, Barnabas couldn’t detect it due to the Blessing of the Demon God. However, the fact that he could clearly detect today’s intruder, he assessed that these people weren’t affiliated with the 【Demon God Cult】.
Nevertheless, the fact that they came without notice remained true, and while Barnabas was wary of them, he’d have to go to meet them. And when was about to do just that——
「What is it, what happened?」
One male teacher ran into the principal’s office.
With his breath disarrayed, the teacher then informed Barnabas.
「S-, soldiers! There are soldiers from the 【Kaizer Empire】!」
「What did you say!?」
「———Forgive me for the sudden visit.」
When Barnabas shifted his line of sight to the unexpected voice, the person who stood there was the «King’s Sword»———Zakir Gilford. He brought with him his platoon, the second army of the Kaizer Empire.
「…Oh dear me…. To think you’d bring that amount of soldiers unto this land where people of various countries and various political standings studied…. Just what is the idea here? ———«King’s Sword»-dono?」
Zakir didn’t answer Barnabas’ question right away. He nurtured the silence with his eyes closed for a while, then he eventually casted his gaze on Barnabas.
「Barnabas Ablitt, «Saint of Magic». From today onwards, Barbadora magic Academy will be under the jurisdiction of the Kaizer Empire.」
It was just a short exclamation from Barnabas, but the overwhelming sense of intimidation that overflowed from it alone made every trained member of the second army, including Orpheus Almond who stood behind Zakir, stiffened their body.
「Here I thought what words would come out… you sure said something stupid. Not only do you trespass onto our ground, you say the Kaizer Empire will take control of us? ——Are you looking down on me?」
「Regretfully speaking, it is His Majesty’s decision.」
Zakir, however, didn’t even flinch.
His reaction was unexpected even for Barnabas, making his eyebrows furrowed dimly.
Silence took over the room. Orpheus and the other soldiers couldn’t even tell how many seconds had passed.
The one who broke that silence was Barnabas.
「What will you do if I say…. no?」
「You are in no position to say so.」
Zakir’s statement made the sense of intimidation flowed even stronger from Barnabas.
Within this ridiculously stifling space, no one could blame Orpheus and his unit if they wished to leave.
「Hah… What is your king even thinking? This land is the only neutral region there is. If one country is trying to monopolize——」
「You need not to concern yourself over that. After all——practically the whole continent is already under the flag of the Empire. 」
Barnabas’ eyes peeled open.
Straing calmly into Barnabas, Zakir continued his words.
「You appear to be oblivious of it. There are only four countries left that still oppose Kaizer Empire. Varshal Empire, Winberg Kingdom, Eastern Country, and——the Demons.」
There should be more than ten other countries beside the ones Zakir just listed. However, if his words were true, then it would be safe to say that the Empire had literally taken control of the entire continent.
What’s more, the Winberg Kingdom, Varshal Empire, and the Eastern County weren’t big enough to be considered as a proper nation.
「How come such a thing….」
「There was a meeting between the Winberg Kingdom and the Demons that took hold the other day. To protect the occasion where the Winberg Kingdom invited the monarch of the demons, the Demon King’s daughter, they rounded up the scattering S rank adventurers from every other countries… Using that chance, we assassinated and took hostage of various top leaders from the various countries. With so, no countries on the continent could stand a chance against the Kaizer Empire. Just like so, most of the continent has fallen into the hand of His Majesty.」
Barnabas looked at Zakir with a look of disbelief in his eyes.
「This is impossible…. this can’t be happening. Even without the S rank adventurers, the military countries still have their soldiers and head generals! To assassinate or take hostages of those generals would take at least a 『Transcendent』——」
Before Barnabas could finish his words, he noticed it. He had regretfully noticed it.
「———『Transcendent』 Barnabas, «Saint of Magic». The title 『Transcendent』 doesn’t belong to you alone. …I have stepped into that realm myself. And that’s not limited to me alone. Those who excel at espionage and assassination, as well as those who have better battle senses than I do… Kaizer Empire has increased our war potential far surpassing what you could even imagine.」
「It can’t be…. it can’t be….! I have never heard of this! How come it happened so suddenly!?」
it wasn’t particularly surprising that the «King’s Sword», which was called the strongest in the Kaizer Empire, had become a 『Transcendent』.
However, with How Zakir worded his statement, there were many more 『Transcendent』 in the Kaizer Empire.
Not everyone could become a 『Transcendent』. It took a select few talented individuals like the «King’s Sword» Zakir and the «Saint of Magic» Barnabas to step into that realm of power.
The time to reach that realm was by no means short, as it required many years of training and a vast amount of EXP.
Many『Transcendents』 appeared in the Kaizer Empire… or perhaps a method to produce one was found, which Barnabas found to be worrisome and important, but if what Zakir had said was true, then the power balance on the continent could easily tip towards the Kaizer Empire, making them the strongest of the current era.
Barnabas, stunned, asked Zakir a question with a cramped voice.
「How about you… are you fine with this? The preceding Emperor never wished to invade the continent…. And yet how could you, the one person who swore fealty to the preceding Emperor, become a puppet for the current one? Are the people and the soldiers not questioning this decision?」
「…I, too, have tried to change His Majesty’s thought. And…. I also have considered to terminate His Majesty myself.」
Orpheus, who had seen Zakir’s struggles up close until now, looked at the latter griefly.
「Then…. why? Why didn’t you stop him….! With your power, some cur like the current Emperor wouldn’t——」
Barnabas couldn’t finish his words at such an unexpected statement.
「I couldn’t kill His Majesty. No, not just me… no one in this world can win against him. …Precisely, Barnabas. Even you….」
「Impossible! That’s… what….」
Barnabas couldn’t help but divert his eyes towards Orpheus and the members of the second unit, and they all showed a pained look.
Their expression said it all.
「What…. what happened….? Just what has happened…. to the Emperor….」
Zakir just gazed at the staggering Barnabas quietly, then turned his back.
「Barnabas. I’ll have you let me bring back the Heroes. ……..One week. I’ll give you one week. Close the Academy and send the students back to their homeland during that time, we will let it slide. This is the best I can compromise you with. If you choose to keep it up even after that…. we will trample this land down then.」
Zakir led his unit away, leaving the place.
Barnabas wanted to hold Zakir back, but the information and the shock he gave him was greater than Barnabas could manage that he couldn’t make any composed movement.
The male teacher that had been witnessing the conversation taking place in silence approached Barnabas, his voice trembled.
「 ….Urgently, gather the information about the situation around the Kaizer Empire and on the continent, and do it fast. Three days…. gather as much as possible in three days.」
The male teacher hurried out of the room.
And then, Barnabas looked up towards the heavens.
「Why must such a thing happen just when the Academy’s atmosphere has lightened up…」
Lamenting wouldn’t change anything.
What he needed to do now was… to gather information as fast as possible to see if Zakir’s words were true.
———And, a week later. Zakir brought the heroes back to the Kaizer Empire…. and Barbadora Magic Academy had been decided to be closed.