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Chapter 86

Elizaveta was in a good mood. In fact, these past few days, she had maintained an unusually high level of tension.

She even occasionally hummed a tune.

“Today was the deadline for registration, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Hehe, well, let’s see how many distinguished nobles are eager for her. Fetch the list.”

Elizaveta unfolded the list handed to her by the steward and read it for a while.

Hmm, Duke Chereptov. Interesting.

Count Golovin is even participating directly? Isn’t there almost a 30-year age gap between him and her? Rather ominous.

And Count Yermokov too? I thought this person had clearly aligned with our side, but he’s like a bat-like creature.

And, uh…

Uh.

“What’s this? The list seems to have a mistake in the printing.”

“Yes?”

“There’s a strange name here.”

Elizaveta unfolded the list and pointed to a corner.

“Edelflat Cohenulf. Isn’t this person an elf?”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“No, not ‘Yes, Your Highness.’ Isn’t this peculiar?”

“I confirmed that Cohenulf herself submitted the application for participation.”

(TN: In Korean, pronouns are often used in a more gender-neutral way. So the first thing Elizaveta found strange wasn’t the person’s gender)

“What?”

The adjutant spoke with a composed expression.

“Under the official endorsement of Lady Elphiera Grykencos and Lord Veolgrin Graykencos, Cohenulf submitted the application in her own right.”

“An elf…? For her own wedding…? How in the world did she find out…?”

“Well, she is an elf, after all.”

That alone was a sufficient answer. Elves within the United Kingdom likely had a thorough understanding of local aristocratic relationships, extending even to provincial nobility.

What those ominous pointy-eared beings did was nothing more than collecting rumors like crows, wandering around, listening to gossip, recording it, and using it to their liking.

Therefore, it was extremely difficult to uncover any conspiracies the elves might be conducting secretly.

Just as the Krasilov Intelligence Headquarters excelled in domestic intelligence, perhaps even more so, the elves of the Kalion Military were experts in foreign intelligence.

“Stupid. Did they not know about the prohibition of foreign participants? In any case, their audacity is thick. Why openly meddle in internal affairs?”

“Well… Your Highness, that is…”

“What?”

“There is… no clause prohibiting foreigners.”

What…?

Never had it been considered that foreigners would know or exploit this information.

Strictly speaking, during this period, the distinction between foreign and domestic among the nobility was often blurry. Except for enemy nations, intermarriage among nobles from friendly nations was quite common.

Therefore, to outright ban foreigners, one would have to determine where the line between foreign and domestic began.

If it was regulated based on having territory in one’s own country, law-abiding nomadic nobles or those from distant regions would be excluded from participating.

If it was regulated based on swearing allegiance to the sovereign, even if more than half of one’s lineage were nobles from another country, the scope would significantly expand.

In the complex pre-modern kinship relationships, the prohibition of foreign participants seemed quite impractical.

“Uh… th-this… ugh… well, if we specify a ban on elves…!”

“Then we’ll have a diplomatic crisis.”

Permitting foreigners in the United Kingdom but specifically excluding elves? Elves might discriminate against humans, but the collective resentment of those humans who cannot tolerate discrimination against elves would erupt.

There’s a high likelihood of a simultaneous interruption of most magical engineering products, which are impossible to produce domestically, and also of various types of goods that are impossible to replace.

Elizaveta sighed and muttered.

“No, in first place, this individual… isn’t she a woman?”

“According to Lord Veolgrin, there is a precedent.”

“A precedent.”

“Yes, there was an instance where a woman served as a representative and engaged in a duel…”

“Within our country?”

“Yes. It was mentioned in the laws of the duel trial 136 years ago.”

“Why does this person seem to have such a clear understanding of foreign history and foreign legal provisions, even those unknown to herself?”

“They are elves, Your Highness.”

“Ah…”

Elizaveta covered her face and sobbed.

“Cohenulf in a duel against Vanca… is it possible?”

“Cohenulf has a record of deployment in past campaigns, similar to Ivan Petrovich. Therefore, there’s a significant possibility that Cohenulf has already mastered Petrovich’s tactics.”

“So, the likelihood?”

“…If the environment allows for ambush and withdrawal in open terrain, more than half.”

Elizaveta recalled Cohenulf’s nicknames and asked bitterly.

Condemner of Elves. Queen’s Champion. Successor. Ascendant Knight. Countless other meaningless nicknames. Meaning, a force that the arrogant elves could trust when a duel, where ‘absolute defeat should not occur,’ took place.

In the fights on the ring where they faced each other with confirmed armament, Cohenulf had never suffered defeat.

“Why, why… these pointy-eared beings. Why are they doing this to me…!”

Marriage has become incredibly challenging, and now it poses a significant risk.

The adjutant deliberately ignored the ‘unbearable sobbing’ and looked up at the ceiling.

There’s about two days left until the tournament.

Now, all she could do was wait, believing in Ivan’s victory.

Just like any lady of the aristocracy who wishes for the knight she admires to win in a regular jousting match.

***

Ivan took slow breaths, focusing on the magical energy within his body.

The sensation of magical energy flowing through the veins and muscles, vividly growing clearer. It’s a kind of ‘meditation’ that cannot be used during combat.

The operation of magical energy flows smoothly. In other words, it means that all bodily organs are functioning normally, or more precisely, ‘functionally.’

Some foolish individuals waste time with meaningless talk like making money through meditation or achieving enlightenment, but a trained operative wouldn’t engage in such nonsense.

For them, meditation is essentially a functional check. It’s a type of activity that confirms whether each organ in the body is functioning normally, akin to maintaining a piece of equipment.

A well-trained operative develops the mindset to consider their own body as a piece of equipment.

“Colonel.”

“Yes.”

As Ivan was slowly preparing for the next training schedule, an agent opened the door and spoke.

“The guest have arrived.”

“…Guest?”

“Yes, Miss Isabelle and Miss Ecdysis have come. They wish to visit the Colonel. What should we do?”

“How did civilians cross the main entrance of the headquarters?”

“Well… Um. Lieutenant Olobov personally brought them.”

“Escort them to the reception room. I’ll be there shortly.”

Ivan slowly stood up from his seat, removing the eye patch. With a ticking sound, the white magic lamps lit up brightly.

He glanced around once and let out a deep sigh.

“How long do you plan to lie down?”

“Mmm…”

“Ugh… Ugh…”

“The training condition is even more pathetic than I expected. I’ll have to instruct Dmitri to resubmit the training plan.”

This devil… Those words seemed to come from somewhere, but Ivan ignored them.

This era, where well-trained operatives have disappeared, and people have become too accustomed to peace, is truly lamentable.

Even after running just one cycle of basic indoor combat scenario adaptation training, there was no one who could keep up properly.

In this situation, it would be better to gather kids and teach them. Ivan left with a click of his tongue.

***

“Uncle!”

Ivan grinned at Isabelle, who was loudly shouting. Wasn’t her welcoming a bit too intense for seeing him after only three days?

“Why haven’t you come to my place!”

“Oh.”

Come to think of it, there was such an arrangement. Ivan now understood Isabelle’s anger, which was somewhat unfortunate.

But a soldier cannot consider a hobby heavier than duty.

Explaining this aspect, Isabelle’s expression strangely changed.

“What duel?”

“A tournament hosted by Princess.”

“No, not that. Are you saying the price for winning is to marry the princess?”

“Hmm.”

Is it difficult for them to grasp that Elizaveta’s actions are aimed at suppressing opposition factions within the nobility and asserting her authority?

It might be challenging for these young kids to grasp complicated political stories at once. Though they are foreign nobles, they won’t have an immediate impact on the upcoming event in two days. Hence, Ivan decided to provide additional explanation.

Since the initial objective of this operation was the domestic high-ranking nobles, there was little chance for foreigners like Ecdysis and Isabelle to exploit the situation.

“No, no. I mean marriage. It’s marriage!!!”

“Hmm.”

“The prize for winning is marriage!”

“Calling that a prize is lacking in dignity.”

“What’s dignity! Are you in your right mind? Uncle, wake up. Are you training so hard now because you want to try getting married?”

A logical development with a very bold omission.

It’s truly unfortunate that there’s no essay subject in the Knight Studies department.

When Ivan couldn’t find words to say, Pavel chuckled and spoke up.

“Captain, as a senior, let me say this. Marriage should be approached with caution.” (Pavel)

“What nonsense.” (Ivan)

“No, no, no. Don’t even think about it. Life’s too short, so just have fun.” (Isabelle)

“Don’t listen to her! Pavel is right. You should approach it with caution! Get permission from both families!” (Isabelle)

The last shout came from Ecdysis.

She was quite proud to be the only one among them who had received her parents’ approval.

Ivan silently nodded. After all, at that age, tales like marriage or tournaments might sound romantic.

Covering sensitive political situations and the harsh process of strategic subjugation with such a romantic wrapping, it was evident that even the common people would perceive it as a beautiful event.

Once again, Elizaveta’s delicate political skills shone through. Ivan felt proud once more.

“And why on earth are you training? No one seems to stand a chance against you!”

“Nobles are strong, Isabelle.”

Doesn’t she know such a simple thing?

That nobles are strong is ‘common sense.’

Ivan quietly clicked his tongue. People in this pre-modern fantasy world sometimes show such a lack of common sense.

It’s a challenging job to get used to.

Of course, nobles are strong. After all, this is a world where magic and supernatural beings exist.

The reason nobles could exist on Earth was not because they had been given innate dominion by the gods.

They began as military forces capable of exercising practical force. If on a smaller scale, it started from the ‘strong person in the neighborhood.’

The feudal society, where warlords protected the powerless in exchange for dominant rights, is referred to as a vassalage society. On Earth, the collapse of vassalage could occur alongside the development of societal systems due to the absence of magic. However, in this world, possessing military might means being supernatural, and the hereditary rights of nobles, inherited through the domination of magic-wielders, often led to an imbalance in power.

Therefore, nobles are strong. The higher the rank, the stronger they are, to an unimaginable extent for ordinary people. Their victory in battles signifies the history of their lineage, and the legacy accumulated through these victories further solidifies their rights.

As Ivan laid out this explanation, excluding Earth’s history, the expressions of those around him gradually twisted in confusion.

“Uncle, is it appropriate for you to say such things?”

“What?”

“If Uncle knew in advance that those ‘high-ranking nobles’ planning to participate would face you and prepare wholeheartedly, saying they must strive, like this… like this…”

Isabelle gestured wildly towards the soldiers around her, who were walking with bandages. It was an undignified act, but since these soldiers were brave agents dedicating themselves to Krasilov, they deserved respect.

Isabelle shouted recklessly, “Are you saying that you’re training so hard to face those ‘strong nobles’ who would have given up if they knew you were participating?!”

“Um.” (Ivan)

“And by defeating those strong nobles, you aim to secure the position of the husband of this country’s princess?” (Isabelle)

“In summary, yes.” (Ivan)

“Ahhh!! Essi!! Tell your father!” (Isabelle)

“Alright! I’ll write a letter right now!”

When Ecdysis and Isabelle were shouting, Dmitry appeared from behind the door and gently pushed their shoulders.

“Now, ladies, don’t worry about such things. Our commander is in big trouble now.”

“Dmitri.”

“Yes, sir. Oh, by the way, have I brought in some extraordinary information?”

Dmitry pulled out a rolled-up piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Ivan.

As Ivan unfolded the paper, Isabelle and Ecdysis rushed over to check it with him.

It was a list, presumably of the noble participants.

And at the end, a name was underlined in red as if drawn madly.

– Edelflat Cohenwulf. Kallion, Shadowhaven.

“Wow.”


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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