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Chapter 75

The Royal Guards were one of Krasilov’s elite units. While sometimes referred to as an honorary position in peacetime, during the Demon War, it was essential for the king to personally lead the front lines due to the destabilized monarchy from consecutive defeats.

In those times, the king would have taken the front lines regardless, but it was necessary for on-site command and real military strength to swiftly restore the shaken royal authority after multiple defeats.

Regardless of the reasons, the Royal Guards were always a unit forced into the forefront, requiring unwavering loyalty, patriotism, and unmatched skills for the protection of the king. As a result, they were treated as the nation’s most elite force, tasked with annihilating the most formidable enemies from the time the king went to the front lines until the hero defeated the Demon King, spanning about five years.

“Senior….” (Ivan)

Ivan muttered with a distressed expression, looking at the note. The seemingly meaningless numbers scribbled on the note represented ancient tactical symbols no longer in use, specifically the random cipher system for Royal Guards’ command and control.

The content of this cipher was as follows:

– Operation Novgorod Withdrawal.
– Warrior 00. Allied casualties total 23.
– Survivors 01, 11.
– Survivor total assembly point, Frechenkaya, University, in front of the statue of Warrior 00.

The Novgorod Withdrawal Operation refers to the overall situation where the former king refused to withdraw, opting for stronghold defense.

At that time, due to intelligence failures, Krasilov couldn’t predict the demon army’s consolidation. The Eastern Front, where the Dragon General and the Burnt Tumor were supposed to gather, directly engaged in the frontline.

The operational principle of the allied kingdoms at that time was to abandon a front when the Dragon General appeared. The strategy involved engaging in delaying actions, aiming for local victories on other fronts, and inducing the enemy’s retreat.

The Dragon General was a calamity beyond human opposition—an inevitable force. The problem arose when, at that moment, Krasilov, unaware of the Dragon General’s movements, wasn’t prepared for the withdrawal of that entire region.

Numerous villages, conscripts unprepared for withdrawal, and the preservation of national integrity compelled them to save these lives, especially in times when soldiers were becoming scarce.

The king had a capable son, a born heir, and grandchildren—meaning replaceable resources. However, if the soldiers were annihilated, the story would be different. If the Northern Front collapsed, Frechenkaya would be next.

Behind the ruins of the five kingdoms, there was a situation where Krasilov’s name could rise. So, the former king made a choice—the most rational one, smiling.

He revealed his presence, provoked the Dragon General, and voluntarily became a target deemed ‘the most enticing tactical objective’ by the demon commander.

The king’s delaying action saved thousands of citizens and soldiers that day.

The Royal Guards oxidized alongside the king. Except for Ivan and a few remaining forces, there were no survivors that day. There shouldn’t have been.

– Rustle.

Ivan pondered while fidgeting with the note. In the Guards’ random cipher, Warrior 00 was the former king’s codename. Warrior 01…

“Guardian Commander.”

Pavel Sergeyevich Olobov, the Dragon Slayer.

“Um… uncle?” (Isabelle)

Isabelle tapped his arm nervously with a pale, frightened face. As Ivan’s gaze met hers, she forced a smile, trembling.

“Are you okay?”

Only then could he look at the student squirming in his grasp. A student who didn’t know anything, who had just passed him a note, and who was enjoying the festivities.

Ivan quietly released his grip, lowering his head briefly.

“I went too far, sorry about that.” (Ivan)

“Oh, no! Uh, I, um, guess I should go, then.” (Student)
“Mm.” (Ivan)

The student fled, trembling. Isabelle, who had been watching Ivan with worried eyes, cautiously approached and asked.

“Is it something urgent?”

Strictly speaking, this could be considered a breach of duty. His sole mission was the protection of the children of hero party.

Indulging in a cryptic note left by a survivor from the presumed-dead past could, to put it bluntly, be falling prey to enemy tricks.

However… however.

Ivan remembers Pavel, the Dragon Slayer, the most loyal knight of the royal guard. Without bias regarding status and age, he surprisingly guided and led the man as a figure of this era.

He didn’t long for the wartime period. It was a dreadful time to yearn for.

But the heroes who ran together in that time, the comrades who fought side by side shedding the same blood…

Yet, he refrained from mourning. In the precarious times when they could depart at any moment, he didn’t mourn the dead on the land of the living. That lingered in a corner of his heart, like a small thorn, pricking his emotions.

Ivan bit his lips and collected his thoughts for a moment.

“Uncle, if it’s urgent, you should go.”

Ivan turned his gaze to others looking at him. Ecdysis with an anxious expression and Elpheira, who seemed to be watching him with a complex sentiment.

Protecting them was his duty.

And seeking out a presumed-dead comrade… was desire.

He had never contemplated between duty and desire before.

“What’s with that look, as if I’m holding onto your ankles right now?” (Elpheira)
“Yes, yes, it’s Elpheira. An elf, a mage, powerful. Honestly, did you really believe all those requests for protection and escort? Humans daring to protect an elf? How many elves are here to worry about such things? Honestly.” (Elpheira)

Elpheira sighed deeply. Oh, she had been pushed all morning, and now it was her turn in the afternoon.

“Fine, go. Going around with that expression will only prick my conscience. Did you really think a human could protect an elf? There are only a few elves here to be concerned about. Really.” (Elpheira)

“That’s right, Uncle. I’m okay! Oh, everyone, I enjoyed this! It’s delicious!” (Isabelle)
“It seems like you haven’t taken a bite…” (Ecdysis)
“Hehe. We promised not to care about that. Understand?” (Isabelle)

Ivan expressed gratitude with a nod to the grumbling Ecdysis and stood up from his seat.

“Resolve it well and come back. If possible, give us an explanation when you return.” (Elpheira)
“Mm.” (Ivan)

Since he neglected his security duty, explaining the reasons to the person under protection was a natural process. Ivan nodded briefly at Isabelle’s words and stood up from his seat.

Assembly point: Frechenkaya, University, in front of the statue of Warrior 00.

At Jan’s University, the statue of the former king is in the middle of the square inside the main gate, where the crowd is most concentrated.

Indeed, to hide a tree, you do it in the forest, and to hide a person, you do it in such a place. Most government agents don’t meet in secluded areas.

Ivan walked towards the square with heavy steps.


“Teach me how to make this.” (Isabelle)
“Hmm, Isabelle, really? Did you… enjoy this so much?” (Yuri)
“No. Honestly, it’s trash, but he cried after eating it. If I make it properly, he might like it.” (Isabelle)
“…I made it properly, though…” (Yuri)
“Like that could be considered food…?” (Isabelle)

Boil kimchi in water, and you get kimchi stew. (Not really.)

Having heard this simple recipe, Isabelle slightly adjusted her evaluation of the trio at this booth in her mind.


Arriving in front of the statue, Ivan could easily spot Pavel.

A suspicious figure in a thick robe was examining the statue. Since the square was filled with agents from the Counterintelligence Headquarters, it seemed unlikely for someone dressed so conspicuously to enter.

Moreover, Ivan already knew his physique and build. As a trained agent, he was adept at deducing a person’s identity based on their physique and demeanor.

Unforgettable back.

“Senior.” (Ivan)
“Ah, you came.” (Pavel)

The man’s body spun around. Only now could Ivan see the man’s face.

Untidy brown hair and brightly shining green eyes between them.

A deep scar extending from one cheek to cover one eye.

An old, black burn mark extending from the jaw to the nape, acquired during the hunt for a dragon.

“I heard you died.” (Ivan)
“Have you confirmed the body?” (Pavel)
“No. At that time, no one… but…” (Ivan)
“Kidding. You’re still stiff, and it looks like you’ve gotten worse.” (Pavel)

Pavel approached with a gentle smile, extending his hand. Resembling the hand of the deceased, Ivan stared at the gesture for a while before realizing it was a handshake.

The clasped hand was firm, as if still in its prime.

“It’s not just me who was thought to be dead. Our usefulness shines even more as fallen warriors.” (Pavel)
“Was it a royal order?” (Ivan)
“Well, who knows.” (Pavel)

Seeing Pavel’s laughter, Ivan furrowed his brows. Was the princess deceiving him? He had heard that the sole survivor of the Royal Guards was him.

It was an inexplicable issue. Even if used as an undercover agent, given the relationship between the princess and him, couldn’t she at least share such information?

Despite having observed how much she suffered since that day.

Perhaps due to the revealed complex emotions, Pavel casually spoke, patting Ivan’s shoulder.

“That beard suits you. Have you started emulating His Majesty?” (Pavel)
“Embarrassingly, yes.” (Ivan)
“Well done. Grew it quite similarly.” (Pavel)
“Yes, sir.”

This was the mindset of normal people. Ivan was deeply impressed by the situation of finally conversing with a contemporary normal person.

“I’ll bring you to a comfortable place. Let’s go.” (Pavel)
“Oh, sorry. Still on a mission.” (Ivan)
“Yes…? Oh, you’ve been active?” (Pavel)
“Since that day, continuously, up until now. You too, I presume.” (Ivan)

Ivan hesitated for a moment.

Trained agents possess the capacity to deduce numerous elements simultaneously, even within brief conversations. Comprehending ambiguous expressions and subtle implications is a foundational skill.

Unable to move due to the mission? So, why did you come when I summoned you here?

Well, it could be inferred that your presence here itself is part of the mission. (Pavel)


“Oh, my bad. Maybe I underestimated you too much. My mistake.” (Pavel)

Pavel grinned. Trained agents can perceive implications even in brief conversations. Pavel, realizing the change in Ivan’s tone, smiled and nodded.

“You’ve grown into a man over a long time. My apologies.”
“Don’t move. There are quite a few people around.”

It’s a threat with a crowd.

He probably doesn’t mean to slaughter people directly. Ivan, standing in front, has the ability to prevent that.

So, this… indicates the presence of a weapon capable of mass casualties. Moreover, it’s in the hands of a collaborator nearby.

Ivan let out a short sigh.


Choosing desire over duty is always such a foolish thing.

And doubting ‘common sense’ in academy settings is equally pathetic.

Isn’t it common sense for combat events to happen at festivals? The appearance of hometown food (not really.) and the arrival of an old comrade made him complacent.


There won’t be a second time. Ivan is a rational person and does not repeat the same mistake.

“Where does your loyalty lie, senior?”
“Haha, little Ivan. To ask that in this situation. Are you still dedicating your life to the meaningless monarchy?”

Ivan looked into Pavel’s eyes and reached behind his back.

No axe. Just a small dagger and a single handgun.

However, the lack of weaponry doesn’t provide a reason to avoid combat.

“Forever. I should have said that. Didn’t we all swear on the same day?”
“Ivan, stop these meaningless actions.”
“Come down.”

Ivan opened his briefly closed eyes and growled.

Toward Pavel, who still stood in front of the statue of the late king.

“You have no right to be here.”

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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not work with dark mode