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Chapter 40

Emperor of Steel
     Although the Alon firm was notorious for its money-making business, in the Baroque Empire, it had been the target.

    Over the 100 years of history, there were numerous products that were handled, and the profits were comparable to the small principalities.

    As a result, quite a lot of nobles looked down on it.

    Terin, the executive officer of the firm, was asked to visit the headquarters in the Empire Capital by someone.

    The place where he was called to was the place inside the main quarters, just one candle which lit up the whole room.

    There, Terin waited for the man who had reached out to him, he was feeling like a commoner in front of the emperor.

    Gulp!

    ‘Is he the head of the commerce? What would such a person want from me…?'

    Terin had met a merchant before going there.

    And his boss, who was also his own uncle, cautioned him and said,

    "Don't make any mistakes, let it be your words or actions because he is the head of the commerce."

    Surely it was surprising to know that there was the head for the commerce, but what worried him the most was the terrified expression on his uncle's face.

    Who was he, the one who was able to scare his uncle who went head-on with the other high nobles? Was he the Emperor of the Empire?

    While he was puzzled, he heard a sullen voice from the front,

    "Are. You. That. Terin. Person?"

    Uncertainty about his age rose with the manner he spoke.

    Terin responded with a tensed tone,

    "That is right. But the reason for me to be called here?"

    "Last year, to a business owner. Asked. Devil knight. Saymon's. Castle. To get. Put down. Instructions, too. But. That. Didn't. Go out. Well. So here."

    ‘Huk? Ok!'

    He was wondering why he was asked to request such a comprise from the southern branch, but it was the actual order from the head of the branch.

    The moment he heard the question, Terin's face went stiff.

    He remembered that he hadn't completed the mission.

    Terin immediately cried by falling on the floor.

    "Pl, please let me live!"

    "Kukuk, think. I'll. Kill. You? Than that. Let. Me. Know. Why. The order. Had failed."

    Terin thought that the man could probably be lying and hesitated for a second.

    For some reason, he could feel that this man wasn't such a great person.

    "Huh, young lord. Went to. Lamer. Gigant. Arena. Got huge. Money? That too. By putting. All. On. Princess. Reina's. Side?"

    "That is right. That was what the slip had said."

    "Uhm, then. Monarch. Count. wouldn't. be. Still."

    "According to the behavior of the Count, he would surely think about retaliating against the young lord."

    "Kulkulkul, that. Greedy. Pig, like. Man."

    Making sure to not make the opposite person feel bad, Terin asked with a lot of caution,

    "But, about the Devil King's castle…?"

    "What. About it. Buy it. Did. You. Do that?"

    "Nope! Although there are many knights and servants who have celebrated the act and valor of Rakan, it is useless because of the small amount of tourist income they get from it."

    Although he followed the instructions from the higher-ups, Terin always wondered about the order.

    "Kulkulkul. That castle. And. The. Area. Around. Has. A secret. That. People. Don't know. About."

    "Secret?"

    "Yes. I. Too. Only. Knew. About. It a. Few. Years. Back. The castle. And the. Surrounding. Area. Are. located. In the. Place. Where. The. Mana Stream. Of nature. Gathers. There. Is a. Mana. Concentration. In there. If one. Is a. wizard. Or a knight. One. Will. Show. Great. Speed. In. Growth. To have. A magic. Tower. Or a workshop. Would. Do very. Well."

    ‘A mana field around the Devil King's castle?'

    The mana flow, where the mana streams gather.

    People called such areas as the mana fields and considered those places to be blessed with mana.

    Most of the continents' Magic Towers were currently on the mana fields.

    In addition, places such as the royal palaces and academies of every country were located in places with varying degrees of mana.

    "Now. Do. You. Understand. Why. I Asked. To. Get. That. Place?"

    "Yes, I understand it now… very clearly!"

    Terin who understood the reason nodded his head.

    The mana fields were areas which were frantic to occupy.

    It was very normal for tens of thousands of soldiers to die in the hands of a mana field.

    Therefore, even though they knew that their lands had mana fields, most lords never talked about it.

    But these people knew about that secret!

    "I, I, I… never heard anything about it. I will never speak about what I have heard today!"

    "Then. Should. I. Let you. Go?"

    "Yes, please let me live… euahhh!"

    Terin who met the ‘person', realized when the person was approaching him.

    And it was no surprise that he was a wizard.

    As if that wasn't more to take, the emblem carved on the robe was a lily, that symbolized the high wizards of the Veritas Magic Tower, one of the two main Magic towers in the continent.

    The primordial instincts and fears about fleeing right away had sprung up witnessing him.

    He, who was full of ominous aura emanating from his skull and had obsidian eyes, no, he was a Lich.

    An immortal being with the power of darkness.

    "Come. Here. I won't. Hurt. You."

    "Hick! No! let me live! Eauuu!"

    Terin was struggling, however, his body was getting dragged towards the Lich, regardless of his wish.

    "Don't. Be. Afraid. You. Will. Be. A.Part. Of me."

    Puak!

    With a terrifying noise, the chest of Terin got pierced and his heart was pulled out.

    Unlike the body which went limp, the Lich began to chew on the heart of Terin.

    Nom nom! Drip!

    Everytime he took a bite from Terin's heart, the drops of blood fell on the floor.

    The skull which could be seen because of the bare light the candle was giving, began to change into the body of Terin.

    And the voice too changed into Terin.

    "The Rakan viscount… it sure is annoying, but do I really have to get the work done with my own hands?"

    The Lich who smiled at his own question fluttered his robe.

    The pierced body of Terin disappeared without a trace and the dimly lit candle disappeared too.

    The being who came from the darkness once again faded into it.