Chapter 65

Font Size :
Table of Content
           

If you enjoy this series, please give a review and rating at Novelupdates.

Your assistance is highly appreciated to boost our enthusiasm for working on this project.


Link

“Ivan, when I see a guard like you standing and dozing off, it appears that the world has indeed improved.”

“Huh…!”

Startled by the hushed voice echoing in his ears, Ivan raised his head.

His blurred vision gradually cleared, revealing the sunny interior of the familiar barracks.

Swiftly adjusting his posture as if expecting a trained agent’s arrival in an unfamiliar setting, Ivan surveyed the surroundings.

“What…?”

Scanning the barracks, Ivan momentarily lost his words and mumbled in bewilderment.

The roaring bear emblem hung on the red banner, a spacious barracks, a massive wooden table with a tactical map spread across it.

Behind the desk, a colossal silhouette stood with solid shoulders, thick arms, and even shining azure eyes.

“Oh…”

“Ivan? Are you injured somewhere?”

“Ah…”

Setting down the clattering utensils, the man slowly stood up.

A large shadow cast over the barracks, dimming the lighting. Ivan, with relaxed legs, knelt on one knee and lowered his head.

“My king… I acknowledge your presence.”

“Yes, I acknowledge you. What are you up to now?”

“I…”

Ivan looked up with confused eyes.

A warm gaze full of concern, a giant hand patting his shoulder, then withdrawing.

‘The Great One,’ ‘Brain Commander,’ ‘Krasilov’s Bear,’ ‘Conqueror,’ ‘Great King’… the man who was called by countless names by both enemies and allies.

Now, he was looking down at him. With the same gaze as in those days, with the same face.

This must be a dream.

Ivan quickly snapped back to reality.

If this is a dream from that time, he must not make a mistake. He might wake up the moment there’s a discrepancy between the dream and his memories.

Think. This situation must be a memory from his past, an extraordinary and memorable one.

He can’t wake up. Not yet.

Then, on Ivan’s desk, he saw the utensils. Ah, it was that time.

It was a time when he had recently served as the Great King’s guard. He remembers. It was the day he witnessed the King’s banquet for the first time.

The question he asked that day was undoubtedly…

“Upon Your Majesty’s arrival, I thought of providing a slightly better meal.” (Ivan)

“Hmm? Haha! Is this what you call better? Isn’t it all a mess?”

“It’s not the rations for conscripts.” (Ivan)

“True.”

The Great King chuckled as he mashed the potato with his fork. He spread it on a tough biscuit, soaked it in water, and stirred for a while before speaking.

“This is the hypocrisy of nobility.”

“Hypocrisy… you say…?” (Ivan)

“If the common folk hear that I eat such things, they would gladly praise. ‘Oh, our humble king!’ Haha, that’s ridiculous.”

The Great King splashed water and set the glass down.

“Do you know the cost for the nobles and royals, these noble beings, to eat precious food and produce precious waste? There was a time when the food consumed by ten nobles was equivalent to the rations of an entire battalion.”

“….”

“If they ate less, how much would the survival rate of soldiers increase? We could provide sturdier armor and a bit more ammunition. Now, Ivan, do you know what you need to do to tell those noble folks to eat less?”

The Great King shrugged and tapped the empty plate.

“I eat less first. If there’s a daring soul who dares to eat something more precious than the king of this country, well, I might acknowledge that boldness and send them to the forefront. So, what do you think of my hypocrisy?”

“Why that is considered hypocrisy is…”

“Well, I don’t want to eat this kind of stuff either.”

The Great King laughed heartily and patted Ivan’s shoulder.

“So, it’s not hypocrisy, right? I’m not doing this because I truly want to; I’m just putting on a show to mock those nobles who try to save a penny. How can this not be hypocrisy? Hm? Now, Ivan. Show the terrifying greed that only a king can display.”

The Great King playfully walked to the table, opened a drawer underneath, and revealed half-dried grapes, a lump of smoked ham, and a bottle of milk.

“Truly frightening, isn’t it? This is the dreadful result of the king’s greed and luxury.”

“Well… um.”

“Why? Dare you oppose my words? I, who save money and force nobles to eat tough food, indulge in such a feast behind the scenes!”

“That… I see.”

“Hehe, you seem not to understand since you’re young. How much administrative burden do you think it takes for milk not to spoil and reach the front lines? Oh, right. How old are you?”

“Eighteen, Your Majesty.”

The Great King frowned, looking at Ivan’s shoulders and arms.

“Yet, you’re so frail.”

Ivan, being a sensible person, didn’t complain to the king. However, he was a person who exceeded the average height and physique of this primitive pre-modern world.

But the man in front of him was just too massive.

The king chuckled and gestured.

“Come closer.”

“…Yes?”

“I said come closer because I need to add one more line to my hypocrisy. If the protesters who claim to represent my interests have such meager support, how can I maintain my dignity? Eat and grow more. ‘Little’ Ivan.”

The Great King laughed contentedly and pushed the plate.

Ivan was a patient person, but he couldn’t resist the temptation of fatty meat and fresh milk for a long time.

Even when he grew up as the son of a tenant farmer, milk was a luxury item he couldn’t afford to taste.

There was no way to keep it fresh, and it spoiled in an instant. The remaining milk had to be processed into cheese or butter. In this primitive world, even preservation was not an easy task.

When he came to his senses, Ivan had already hastily finished both the ham and the milk.

The Great King silently watched the scene for a while and then sighed.

“Truly, my sins are deep.”

“Yes? Oh, forgive me, Your Majesty.”

“Enough with the apologies. What is there for you to apologize for my deep sins?”

The Great King cleared the empty plate with his own hands.

“A world where a man of your age is captivated by a mere piece of cheap meat… It’s unjust. When I ascended to the throne, this country wasn’t like that. There used to be the smell of bread and meat baking every day on the Frechenkaya Street.”

The Great King shook his head after a while.

“I don’t know what to say to a little one who hasn’t even reached half my age. Enough. Don’t be disheartened. Ivan, from today, you shall be a companion in my meals.”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

“At least having a little one satisfied adds to the grandeur of my authority. Even if there’s one pitiful peasant playing with my hypocrisy, it won’t be a problem.”

The Great King chuckled and gestured, indicating that Ivan could leave.

Ivan deeply bowed and slowly stepped back, leaving the barracks.

It was a day in his sixth year of military service.

Outside the barracks, the military camp was filled with soldiers walking with faces full of despair.

Krasilov was crumbling.

No, humanity was facing extinction.

The hero would only appear two years after this point.

Therefore, Ivan occasionally had such thoughts.

If the hero had come a little earlier, the Great King might have survived.

He could have lived, and the Great King would have been able to smile while watching the smoke rising from the meat roasting oven in Frechenkaya Street.

If that had happened, perhaps Ivan could have found this world a bit more likable.

Everything he had admired, respected, or idolized, even in the 18 years of war, had crumbled away.

He craved kimchi stew.

“Is this all there is?”

Ivan stood in the middle of the military camp, looking up at the sky.

“If showing regret or lingering feelings is supposed to be enough, this alone falls short. Is this all there is?”

The times when he was tempted by dreams or the like were long gone. Ivan pondered while gazing at the sky.

The ancient ruins, powerful enough to wipe out Dwarf drilling artifacts in an instant, were now enticing him with such illusions. He couldn’t understand why, but at least if he believed that he could be swayed by such temptations, wouldn’t that be too foolish?

Ivan rummaged through his belongings. The essential weapons he always carried were now gripped in his hands.

He immediately put his thoughts into action. Drawing a dagger, he slashed his forearm and poured a healing potion over it.

*Sizzle,* accompanied by a sharp pain.

-Zzzzzip!

The dream shattered and faded away.

***

Ivan revived his senses and took a step forward.

The last scene he was witnessing was when he leaped beyond the magical threshold at the edge of a cliff.

Now, he believed that he had finally arrived at the ancient ruins.

“This is…”

His blurred vision quickly regained clarity, and the sensations that had vanished returned to his body one by one.

Ivan shrugged lightly and looked around. A well-polished corridor, a massive stone pillar, intricately carved reliefs on marble, a colossal ceiling…

It was a vast hall with enigmatic stone statues lined up.

“A temple…?”

Ivan cautiously stood up and moved forward. Along with the distant sound of the wind, he heard faint breathing from somewhere closer.

Approaching the source of the sound, he found Elphiera lying neatly on the floor with closed eyes.

“Wake up.”

Ivan lightly slapped Elphiera’s cheek. A *smack* sound accompanied Elpheira’s startled awakening.

“Wha-?! What’s all this sudden…!”

“Hush.”

We don’t know what might be here, so stay quiet for now.

Elpheira, who had closed her mouth at Ivan’s gesture and was looking around, suddenly muttered.

“Geez… It was such an amazing dream…”

“Perhaps.”

“You human. Stupid, clueless, and rude. Where did you learn to wake up a sleeping person like that, you dumbass….”

“You’re not fully awake yet.”

Ivan raised his hand, looking at Elpheira grumbling. If she hadn’t fully woken up from the dream, he was willing to wake her up again.

Elpheira, still startled, touched her cheek and shook her head.

“You should start interpreting ancient languages.” (Ivan)

“Where?” (Elpheira)

“Right here, all of this.” (Ivan)

Ivan gestured towards the reliefs filling the ceiling and marble pillars.

Elpheira raised her head absentmindedly, then slowly opened her mouth and chuckled with a disappointed expression.

“All of this…?”

“Isn’t that why we came?” (Ivan)

“I’m not very good with physical labor because I’m more of a ‘use my brain’ type.”

“Can you read it?”

“Look at me… Of course, I can. Let me see… Hmm… Hm?”

Elpheira approached the nearest marble pillar, furrowed her brows for a while, and then said.

“Didn’t you say it was an artifact from 1500 years ago?”

“Yes.”

“If that’s your interpretation, then you should have called a priest, not a mage.”

Elpheira stepped back with a bewildered expression.

“A priest?”

“Yes, in ancient Delenian… Well, the language used in the scriptures. Even though it’s an archaic language, priests learn it in their basic training.”

“Impossible for you?”

“As if. Of course, I can do that too. Human, what do you think I am?” (Elphiera)

“…”

Elpheira perked up her ears as she scanned the reliefs.

“This… is a Victory Monument, isn’t it?”

“Victory Monument.” (Ivan)

“Yes, full of praises for the god of light. A Victory Monument… What kind of formidable opponent did they fight against to create such a grand relic…”

“Hmm.”

Was there anything like ‘Ancient Demon-Sealed Era Ruins’ in the Academy’s ‘Common Knowledge’?

It would be better if there wasn’t.

Ivan checked his weapons and clicked his tongue.

Read Faloo Novels online at faloomtl.com
Table of Content Link
Advertise Now!

Please wait....
Disqus comment box is being loaded