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Chapter 135

The train that departed from Saint Mathilde stopped after three days, passing through the eastern plains.

“Sorry!! Train service has been suspended!”

The shouts of station staff echoed throughout the carriage, but unfortunately, it wasn’t a cheerful issue like a bandit attack.

Ivan frowned slightly. Despite having prepared his axe, the reason for the track blockage was rational.

“Because Dragon is still alive, they blocked the tracks?”

“Mm.”

Isabelle grumbled as she gathered her luggage. On the train platform, the travelers were stretching their bodies after sitting on the train for a long time.

The reason for the track blockade explained by the station staff was simple. Since Dragon was rampaging nearby, they stopped the train to ensure the safety of the people.

A reasonable reason. As a train that stops even for bandit attacks, it couldn’t possibly resist a dragon assault.

Dragons were inherently curious and adventurous creatures, so if they spotted a train running across the prairie, there was a high chance they would attack.

“Is it near here? The place where Dragon appeared.”

“No. If we were going to the Bernina Mountains, we would have had to go one more day by train from here.”

“Ah… by ‘train’?”

“It would take about four days on foot.”

“That’s rough.”

Isabelle grimaced.

Since this uncle wouldn’t kindly detour through villages, taking the shortest straight route meant camping was inevitable.

She wasn’t unfamiliar with camping, but this time was different. As a woman, she couldn’t afford to expose any gaps that could never be tolerated by Dragon. She certainly wouldn’t show her face without at least washing and wearing clean makeup.

As Isabelle frowned, Ecdysis smirked.

“If it takes a day with a lot of effort, wouldn’t it take only two days on horseback?”

“If you put in a lot of effort, it could even be done in a day.”

“Then how about riding a horse?”

“…Hm.”

Ivan looked at Ecdysis with renewed interest. She knows how to ride a horse?

Though often overlooked in many contents, equestrianism is a highly advanced skill. It’s not for nothing that horse riding isn’t an Olympic sport.

Riding a horse involves not only directing it in the desired direction but also regulating its speed and maintaining balance and posture firmly on the horse.

Horses are extremely sensitive and demanding animals, and they are intelligent livestock. They may not listen to someone they’ve never seen before, and due to slightly different personalities and habits, the horse one first mounts is not suitable for long-distance riding.

A kind of taming process must precede. It’s no exaggeration to say that the skill to directly control a horse without going through such a process belongs to the realm of specialized techniques.

“I’ve never ridden a horse before!”

“I, I only know the basics…”

Isabelle and Elpheira murmured softly. Just in their early twenties, and city-born students at that, it’s natural for them to find horseback riding unfamiliar.

Oscar had received education from Jil Ber, and being from the Eastern Knights, he appeared indifferent to horseback riding.

Ecdysis, being from Drovian, could understand familiar things. Drovian was too rough and vast to travel without horses.

Ivan stroked his chin and soon nodded.

“I’ll prepare the horses. It’s a good skill to learn at this opportunity.”

Thinking about the future, indeed.

Most of the places the hero party must go are deep in enemy territory, where they must organize expeditions in rugged mountains and fields, where even roads are scarce, let alone trains or carriages.

As the infiltrators of this era don’t conduct high-altitude raids from airships.

Therefore, learning equestrianism will be helpful once acquired. The traveling distance with horses is incomparable to walking.

Under the name of ‘education’, the party grimaced in response.

The journey by horse turned out to be smoother than expected. Tylesse mainly consisted of plains with little variation in elevation, and the vicinity had well-maintained roads.

Moreover, as there couldn’t be bandits or the like in the land where dragons roamed and the homeland’s border guards raised an army, there was only one obstacle in their way: the pain of riding horses.

However, it would ultimately be a valuable experience, so it was rather good. Ivan lost interest in the party complaining of pain.

Instead, he began to focus on more important matters.

“Cutting off the tracks for fear of a dragon attack….”

Ivan was lost in thought while on horseback. At that moment, the party was barely clinging to the horses with faces half-dead.

“The homeland guards mobilized part of the capital legion and even led the Eastern Knights, yet they cut off the tracks….”

It’s strange. This train track wasn’t just for the passage of the people.

Tylesse was the hub of transportation. It was not only a crucial point that diverted the northeast’s Eastern Front but also connected to the long maritime route leading to the western Kalion Kingdom and the trade routes leading to the western coalition countries. It was a trading nation where all kinds of logistics intersected.

Even though it was just one track, the amount of goods transported on this track per day was at an indispensable level.

Ivan rummaged through his mind while quieting his thoughts.

“They cut off the supply.”

Considering the interruption of the trade route, they cut off the retreat route and the supply route. Both for the troops stationed on the Eastern Front now and simultaneously for the supply route of the Eastern Knights led by Jil Ber.

Assuming that, it somewhat made sense. Even if there was no immediate concern about a shortage of military supplies, if it led to a protracted war, it would inevitably be a severe blow.

It could be anticipated that most of the tracks leading to the east were likely cut off. It’s unlikely that only the train Ivan was on happened to be stopped.

“My buttocks… hurt so much…!!”

“I feel nauseous, I feel like I’m going to vomit…”

“Please, no.”

“We can’t do this here!! This is the worst!”

“Should I sing a song for you?” (Ecdysis)

“…What?”

“A song! I’m a music student, you know?” (Ecdysis)

Ignoring the buzzing sounds in his ears, Ivan sank into deep concern.

The more he pondered it, the more intricate the plans seemed to intertwine. There was a high likelihood that the dragon’s appearance itself served as a means for an ulterior motive to target Jil Ber.

The purpose would have been to send the homeland guards and those accompanying them out of the capital. If so… if he was a ‘Count’ preparing for a rebellion, what else could he have prepared?

In Ivan’s mind now lay the military map of the entire Tylesse region, neatly folded. He unfolds it slowly.

The terrain unfolds along the borders of Tylesse. From the densely mountainous east to the central plains, and then to the wide forests returning to the north.

Between them, red lines were drawn one after another. These were the routes for transporting people and military supplies.

Numerous tracks, marching routes, supply routes, the garrisons of each division and subordinate units, fortified castles, and the strongholds of various noble estates were intricately intertwined.

Between points and lines, as dots and lines filled the spaces, all the busy and intricate shapes stopped moving.

The entire northeastern plains solidify. The movement of goods stops. The dragon flies.

Jil Ber sets out to stop this. However, just one dragon is not sufficient to eliminate him.

Hence, the ‘demon clans’ that cannot easily cross the border are now emerging on the Eastern Front. Their proximity to Jil Ber’s marching route is suspiciously close…

“All conceivable plans… are made under the assumption that Jil Ber can be killed.”

Just his presence alone can preemptively thwart all threats to the nation. Whenever his destination changes, the armies of each faction retreat.

The Eastern Knights, led by him at the forefront, are the strongest military force in Tylesse.

How to deal with such a figure?

*

“Military flag!!”

Elpheira, who had been lying on the horse’s back with saliva dripping, suddenly sat up and shouted.

In the plains below the mountainside, the fluttering of military flags could be seen along the wide fields.

Elpheira quickly weaved mana and grasped the reins. A blue spark flickered, and she rounded her hand into a circle, bringing it close to one eye.

“Military flags! There they are!”

“I see.”

“We’re almost there! Oh my… oh my… I’ll never, never ride anything like a horse again… Riding livestock is barbaric. You know? Civilized people in modern society should use magical engineering devices.”

“I see.”

“Airships! Like sky battleships and aerial transports!”

Ivan casually brushed off the behavior of the elf councilor’s daughter, who secretly thought military supplies would be personally useful, and turned the horse’s head towards the military camp.

After about thirty more minutes of travel, passing through hills, the military camp gradually became clearer.

“Wow….”

Eugene exclaimed in awe. Having lived only in the city immediately after possession, he was seeing such a proper military camp for the first time.

The banner of the Eastern Knights’ San Francesco Legion. The banner, shaped like the sun rising over the fields, was flickering throughout the entire camp in the form of flames burning demons.

Many horses and wagons were moving around the camp. Knights clad in shining armor could be seen, with soldiers moving in between.

The guards who noticed their approach waved their hands. It was a signal to stop.

“Halt!! This is a military operation zone! Identify yourselves! Where are you from?”

“Saint Mathilde.”

Ivan’s answer surprised the guard.

“My Goodness. Did our lords send reinforcement troops or something? Are you here to supervise?”

It was a faint mutter from a distance, but Ivan could clearly hear it. He understood well enough that the royal family’s reputation was on the line.

It was only natural. They had been assigned a mission and sent out on a campaign, only to cut off the supply line. Naturally, the atmosphere would be tense.

There was no need to dispel the misconception that they were sent by the royal family. Time needed to be used more wisely.

As the soldiers were about to say something, Ivan raised his hand to stop them and spoke briefly.

“Tell Jill Ber de Etarique. Ivan Petrovich has arrived.”

“How dare…!! Do you dare speak as if you were his friend? Dare you in the Eastern Knights’ camp?!”

“As a friend.”

It wasn’t a wrong statement, but it wasn’t a pleasant word.

Ivan spoke with his lips twisted slightly.

“It’s not for you to judge. If someone from Saint Mathilde has come this far, it’s not your place to handle whatever my identity might be. Go and tell your master properly. Ivan Petrovich has arrived. That’s it.”

“Martin! Block their escape! Archers! Shoot them if they move!”

The guard, his face flushed with anger, disappeared beyond the camp.

Oscar approached him and whispered softly.

“Wouldn’t it have been easier if I just said I came to find my father?”

“Hmm.”

“What?”

“That’s right.”

Ivan turned his head. Sensing some other intention, Oscar chuckled briefly and stepped back.

Eugene came close to him.

“Hehe, Mr. Oscar. Big brother seems a bit embarrassed right now. And maybe a little hopeful too!”

“What?”

“Because I can see a little bit of [current emotion] due to our closeness… Oh, wait. Ah…. Uh….”

Just lost three points.

Can’t see it now. And then Eugene laughed again, sheepishly.

Oscar failed to understand Eugene’s words but didn’t bother to ask again. Most of the people he had met from Krasilov were not normal.

Even the “Three Musketeers” that Ivan had gathered from somewhere were the epitome of this. They were widely rumored eccentric individuals on campus. Ivan seemed to have a hobby of collecting eccentrics.

“Wait, then what about me…?”

When it came down to it, Oscar might as well have been one of the students Ivan had collected…

Shaking his head at the dreadful thought, Oscar dismissed it. Normal people couldn’t understand the thought process of eccentrics.

And soon, he couldn’t help but snap out of his reverie.

“Who dares—!!!!”

A booming voice began to shake the entire camp.

A fierce energy, akin to a drawn sword, engulfed the camp and soared into the sky. The wind changed direction, violently shaking the banners.

The soldiers trembled with fear.

“It’s the first time the Duke has been so enraged….” (Soldier A)

“Should we… flee?” (Soldier B)

“If those bastards try to escape, we’ll have to face the Duke instead. Wait.” (Soldier C)

The soldiers were trembling in fear. Ivan stood erect, trying to contain the bursting energy.

“Has he… grown up?”

That guy.

“How dare!! Insulting the deceased!! Who!! Who dares to utter that name to me!!” (Jill Ber)

“Step aside!! I will go and ask them directly. Where did they hear the name, and who told them to relay it to me!!” (Jill Ber)

That’s even worse than offending Einar.

He seems to have lost much of his temperament. Well, he didn’t have a good temperament to begin with.

Ivan smiled slightly and waited for a moment. Soon, the energy poured towards him.

The crowd of soldiers, bustling around, silently parted to make way. As the banners rose, a sparkling energy slowly approached through the rigidly standing soldiers.

Behind him, a giant banner with crossed deer antlers, shields, and spears fluttered. It was the emblem of Etarique, the insignia of the Lord Protector of Tylesse, the knight of Iron Mountain, the shield of the Heroes Party.

A middle-aged man, wearing dark armor and a purple cloak like a flag, walked ahead.

With heavy steps, burning green eyes, neatly tied back blonde hair, and a completely incongruous…

A truly, truly, truly incongruous mustache.

Ivan was inwardly surprised. The Pringles-shaped comma mustache, reminiscent of Pringles, was neatly groomed.

“…Ivan Petrovich…?”

When Ivan was momentarily speechless from shock, Jill Ber stared blankly at him.

He slowly stretched out his hand, then pointed to Ivan’s chin and narrowed his eyes.

“You… You were alive…? You were alive…? Then… what about the funeral that time…? Did I… Did you deceive me…? Again?!”

“Jill Ber de Etarique.”

“Ivan… Ivan Yeremov….!!”

“Indeed.”

“What? What did you say?”

“Ivan Petrovich Yeremov. I am now a nobleman.”

“Huh… Haha!!!”

Jill Ber laughed as if coughing. After rubbing his forehead for a while, he lifted his head with a more relaxed face.

Finally, Ivan couldn’t hold back and spoke up.

“What on earth is that mustache?”

“What on earth is that mustache!!”

The two simultaneously began to criticize each other. Exactly at the same tempo, with the same words.

“Your skills have improved.”

“Have your skills improved?”

In martial arts, one can gauge the opponent’s skill level just by their momentum, breathing, posture, and gait. At their level, having served in the same area for several years, it was even easier.

Both martial artists simultaneously furrowed their brows.

“If you were born with talent, you should have put in some effort at least.”

And in one voice.

“This unlucky fellow.”

With smiles on their faces, they approached each other and extended their arms.

It wasn’t a handshake. It was a deeper form of salute, where they extended their arms further and grasped each other’s forearms.

“Nice to see you.”

“You too!”

To Ivan, Jill Ber was the most unlucky fellow in the Hero Party.

Always complaining, emphasizing noble manners, and eagerly wanting to compete with the knights despite lacking skills.

A mixture of pride, self-esteem, inferiority, and a sense of entitlement. Very human. A truly unlucky noble knight.

To Jill Ber, Ivan was the most unlucky fellow in the Hero Party.

Always complaining, claiming to be a trained agent, lecturing about this and that, and saying things like “I can do anything I’ve seen once.”

A mixture of pride, self-esteem, inferiority, and a sense of entitlement. Too human, thus even more unlucky as a soldier.

So, in the end, the two looked at each other’s faces and smiled.


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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