TPCP – 30.1

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“Therefore, if my research is successful, I can develop and improve magical lamps. At this rate, I’ll be celebrated on the battlefield again. I’ll give my final product to the Lady first. Oh, by the way, I don’t always sit in the corner of my room and study. I’m good at combat too.”

“Really?” 

“There was a time when I wiped out hundreds of monsters all by myself. If Lady Elisha finds herself in danger, you can rely on me.”

It had been two months since she arrived at the mansion. Elisha procured an unexpected friendship with Lapis no less. 

‘Why is he being like this to me?’

Elisha was amazed at Lapis, who expressed excessive affection towards her. She couldn’t imagine him liking her.

‘Well, if you are civil to me, it’s enough,’ 

Elisha reflected. Lapis was only 14 years old, but he was not someone to be looked down upon.

Lapis was an accomplished wizard who spilled blood on the battlefield and an inventor who developed numerous magic tools while off the battlefield. The 97 wizards in the empire had a ranking system according to their abilities, and amongst them, Lapis ranked second. 

‘A wizard’s ability is determined by their talent.….’ 

So age was irrelevant. Regardless, it was no inconvenience to her. It was easy to listen to Lapis when he seemed to approach her for no reason and talk. Elisha wasn’t one to chat idly, so she was impressed by Lapis’ conversation skills.

‘Being young is a blessing. I wish I had a younger brother, too.’

When the thought occurred to her she couldn’t help but laugh at herself for the ridiculous notion. Already life was difficult enough for Elisha as she tried to take care of herself—if she also had to protect a younger brother…?

‘Am I even capable of protecting anyone?’

The thought made her heart ache. It was very odd. Periodically her heart felt empty and open as if she had forgotten something. 

‘It’s been like this since I received contraceptive medicine through the butler.’

What was wrong with her? Even if Lucerne hadn’t handed over contraceptives, Elisha would have asked for it first. It was crazy to even contemplate having a child in her situation now. 

‘It precisely reminded me of my standing, that you don’t want a child from a contract bride like me. There’s nothing wrong about it.’ 

She tried to think positively. Before she realized it, Lapis had been studying Elisha’s eyes and reading her countenance. 

“Madam, are you ill? Are you upset that the general hasn’t come back?” 

“What?”

Elisha looked up.

‘Why, are you watching me?’

Elisha was unfamiliar with this. side of Lapis. Lapis was a person in a position that did not have to be observant and aware of other people’s moods.

“The general and I are not like that.” 

“Then you don’t want the general to come back?” 

“…….”

Elisha changed the topic. 

“Lapis, we were talking about war earlier. You were in the middle of your story.”

“Oh, yeah—so one day, I faced and cut down 457 beasts in one night. Among the knights, I was currently No. 1 for the record of cutting down monsters. The High General couldn’t stand it.” 

Lucerne was also in this story. Elisha smiled bitterly inside, there was no avoiding him. 

“I can’t even imagine it. How could there be a stronger warrior than a man who slays 457 beasts overnight? I think Lapis is strong.”

“I can’t compare when it comes to the records,” 

Lapis grumbled. 

“How many did the general end up slaying?” 

Lapis held out two fingers. Elisha looked at Lapis with curious eyes. 

“200?”

“No?” 

Lapis clarified,

“20,045.”

“ …….” 

“That’s our High General’s record of slaying monsters in one night.”

As he spoke, Lapis’ face grew terrifyingly hostile. His expressions flickered with a variety of emotions as he recalled the awe, fear, and pride he had for Lucerne. 

Elisha studied his face as a distant spectator.

***

The enemy corpses were piled up on the floor, with blood flowing down into a stream. The work of organizing the remnants of the former Union of the Old Kingdom which gathered around the Suzu Castle ended sooner than expected. 

The problem was that the wizard of the rebels went crazy, retreated to the mountains, and began to infuse magic into the mana stones in a frenzy.

“How many beasts are on the front?” 

“About 500 monsters, this seems to be the last wave of them.” 

After two months of war, Lucerne’s fluttering black hair was covered in blood. The same was true of his cheeks. It was as if a thick shadow of death was approaching them as the man riding a black warhorse loomed near.

“Lazri, make them come and attack me all at once.” 

Lazri, who had the same face as Lapis except with darker skin and brighter cat-like eyes, came forward. He was also a wizard, like his twin brother. 

“Instruct the whole army. Step back and don’t disturb the High General.” 

“…….”

“Everything will be over in 15 minutes. I will slaughter the enemies so prepare to return back to your families.”

The sight of a divinely beautiful man covered in blood, standing before a mountain of corpses was awe-inspiring. It was as if they were seeing the god of death, inspiring loyalty, and amazement. 

A bright light exploded from Lazri’s hand. 

Krayyra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra!

The roar of trolls rang from the mountain range. Lucerne’s hand went up. A black shadow in the form of a snake appeared from his hand. The majestic snake grew bigger and began to crawl on the ground with a body growing as big as a dragon. 

Crack, crack! Whoosh! 

It was only a few seconds later that a troll’s head, which was rushing to the vanguard, exploded. Lucerne drew out his sword and his horse sprinted forward, galloping towards the beasts. The black snake wrapped around him as it was protecting him. 

***

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