Author: lipzoldyck

 

Within days of ordering to find out the source of the red magic stones, his competent secretary quickly sought out information.

 

As if he had sensed the change in his boss, the work was handled more quickly than usual, and soon Dante learned the full story of all the incidents.

 

How dumbfounded he was when he read the word ‘war’ in a few papers.

 

The war was only started because of the greed of a kingdom dreaming of conquering the continent. Although it was unclear that they suddenly decided to use magic, and that the Master of the Mage Tower knew that there were no magicians in the kingdom who could do such a thing… At the point of losing Ei, that fact didn’t feel very important.

 

Whatever it was, the fact that it was the kingdom that caused the war remained unchanged.

 

In that war, many villages were burnt and disappeared, and among the villages that had disappeared, the village he lived in was included, and of all things.

 

The one he loved was there.

 

If they hadn’t touched that village, he wouldn’t have cared whether they went to war or not!

 

Left alone, he belatedly vented his anger, yet no one was there to respond to his anger.

 

It was only in an instant that the grief of losing a loved one was completely overturned. The anger towards the people who killed Ei and the anger towards himself who couldn’t be by Ei’s side filled his eyes red.

 

The emotions that hit Dante like flames burned and overflowed the reason he was barely maintaining, and he, who had been delirious since losing Ei, had no energy left to quench the flames.

 

In the end, Dante, who accepted the emotions that dominated his head, committed murders in the name of revenge.

 

As it was the beginning of the war, the Kingdom Army was advancing from all sides, so Dante didn’t have to look for them in particular. He pushed them into pain without mercy.

 

If they were judged to be on the same side as the main culprit who blew up the village, he dealt with them unconditionally. No matter how many they were, even if they cried or begged, they were afraid, and even if they ran away, he killed them without mercy.

 

It was impossible for him at the time to judge that the person dying in front of him might have nothing to do with Ei’s death, that he might be killing an innocent person in a fit of rage.

 

No, he didn’t even think to judge. He was saddened and tormented every day by the afterimages of her that he could only see if he closed his eyes, and the recurring death of her if he dreamed of her…

 

He was used to despair.

 

Day by day, the corpses he trampled on, the moaning and the terrors increased.

 

He didn’t even pay attention to the fact that the blood of an unknown person stained his clothes red.

 

He got used to the smell of burning skin, and he didn’t feel terrible even in a landscape where only dying people existed.

 

Casting wide-range magic to kill people could now be done with his eyes closed.

 

That day too, he found the place where the Kingdom Army was hiding and set it on fire. It seemed like he would be happy if he gave the same pain to those who killed Ei, yet he felt cold when he saw the burnt corpse.

 

Wasn’t the saying that revenge would make you feel better just for him? Even though this would be revenge in its own way, there were no emotions that were resolved, and instead, it only made him feel more and more lonely as the days went by.

 

However, that didn’t mean that he would stop now.

 

As he thought so, he turned around when he suddenly heard a voice behind him.

 

“Did you kill them all?”

 

As he reflexively tried to cast magic, he hesitated and stopped his movement. As he slowly turned around at the familiar voice, he saw people wearing armor and riding horses. Although there were barely more than 10 knights, it seemed like only the best were gathered.

 

Among them, the person standing in the lead was catching his breath while looking directly at Dante. His hair, like molten platinum, seemed to shine in the sun.

 

“I arrived as early as possible, but the rush isn’t worth it.”

 

Even though the opponent sighed and got off the horse, Dante stood there motionless.

 

It didn’t matter to him that the person in front of him was the Crown Prince of the Empire, and that the Crown Prince was the one who finally earned the title of friend by insisting that ‘friendship doesn’t require age’.

 

However, the memories of the past days when he had disappeared from the Crown Prince’s presence because he couldn’t get in touch with Ei came to mind, so Dante looked at the Crown Prince with eyes telling him to talk only about business.

 

Of course, the person who received that gaze didn’t bring up the matter without hesitation.

 

“At first, I wondered if heaven would help because someone was killing the kingdom’s troops.”

 

The gaze of Dante looking around at the enemies he had already dealt with was somewhat relaxed.

 

“But now I see that the wizard was helping, not the heaven, though?”

 

“…If you’re going to say something nonsensical, then I’ll be going.”

 

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you, yet you’re prickly. Of course, I’m not here to say that.”

 

It was still the same as the way he spoke fluently. Right before Dante’s expression changed to annoyance, the Crown Prince smiled and opened his mouth.

 

Unlike before, when he was talking like a joke, his face became more serious.

 

“I heard you attended the memorial service.”

 

“…”

 

“Have you lost someone important to you because of this?”

 

As Dante’s silent face cracked, the smile on the Crown Prince’s face deepened. As if he was satisfied with the fact that his guess was correct.

 

“How surprised I was when a person who had been normal suddenly disappeared and only showed up at a memorial service in a rural village. In my case, well, I sent my men to commemorate the first victims of the war, but you’re not like that, are you?”

 

“…It doesn’t matter what I do.”

 

“Of course it matters. Nothing else, your actions are helping our Empire.”

 

Only after hearing those words, Dante guessed why the Crown Prince had come to visit him. If he continues to help the Empire, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he’ll probably ask for an alliance or cooperation.

 

However, the Magic Tower has maintained its neutrality for a long time. Cooperating with the Master of the Magic Tower is tantamount to mobilizing the Magic Tower to war, but it’s unacceptable for the Magic Tower to take the side of a specific person for it’s not enough to be involved in the war.

 

His head clearly thought so. However…

 

[When you come back, I’ll tell you my secret.]

 

I lost you, then does that matter?

 

Everything feels meaningless anyway, so what does it matter to him what happens to the Magic Tower?

 

While Dante blinked slowly, the Crown Prince continued to speak.

 

“I will tell you about the people who ordered the village to be blown up.”

 

You probably don’t even know the key character.

 

At that added word, the purple eyes that had been looking elsewhere slowly moved towards the Crown Prince.

 

“I know your purpose. There’s no way I don’t. Seeing as you kill everything you see, you might be curious about the culprit.”

 

A face that didn’t doubt that its goal will be achieved. Originally, he would have had to make countless efforts to obtain the Magic Tower’s power, yet the Crown Prince sought cooperation in the direction of presenting what the opponent wanted by visiting the Master of the Magic Tower. In other words, he had chosen a very easy way.

 

In a way, it was a very cheeky act, but considering that Dante didn’t receive official contact from the Imperial Family and that the Crown Prince made a proposal that accurately identified his purpose, it was an excellent choice above all else.

 

Certainly, the Crown Prince couldn’t help but be a clever and cunning leader. He seems to match what the other person wants, but in fact realizes what he wants more than anyone else.

 

Besides, he drove a wedge, as if he wanted to give Dante some room for thought.

 

“Usually, if they’re someone with enough authority to decide the first place to attack, they won’t be of a normal rank. We would have to carefully decide what to do with such people, but we will do nothing.”

 

“…”

 

“So that you can fully ‘deal with’ them.”

 

It must have been a rather generous decision. That’s how much he wanted the power of the Master of the Magic Tower.

 

Neither the fact that the position of the Magic Tower would be difficult in the future nor the fact that the Crown Prince was cunning were important to Dante. Rather, it wasn’t enough to bother to find out who the main culprit was who turned the village upside down, and it was tempting, the fact that they were leaving their treatment intact for him.

 

Because Dante was already in a state where he couldn’t handle his anger and didn’t care about anyone but himself.

 

Making eye contact with him, the Crown Prince smiled once more. The way he extended his hand toward Dante as if asking for a handshake was polite.

 

“So, please help me.”

 

Dante didn’t refuse.

 

Author's Thoughts

this chapter is sponsored by Nectarina (3/4)

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