The Imperial Hunter Chapter 59 - Light and Shadow (1)

Author: Dawn

Snow was piling up on the nameless mountainside. The white-covered trail had not a single footprint, and the branches adorned with snowflakes created a serene landscape with no signs of movement. Occasionally, the weight of the snowdrifts overcame their hold, and there was the hushing sound of snow falling, but otherwise, it was a tranquil mountain lodge where the only sound was the crackling of logs burning in the fireplace. I enjoyed the scent of pine as it burned. Sitting in a rocking chair that swayed like a cradle, gazing out of the window across from me into the quiet scenery, I soon became aware that I was dreaming.

Dreams reflect desires. This secluded tranquility was a mirror reflecting my desires. My ultimate desire, having spent a lifetime hiding, guarding, and using the organization as a fortress to protect myself. A time when no one would need to be afraid, enjoying eternal peace in a world where no one would try to harm me.

A voice resounded.

[It’s an extravagant desire.]

“It’s only a desire when it’s extravagant.”

I replied, sighing, then turned my gaze. The mountain lodge was surreal, beyond unreal, and from places untouched by the flickering firelight, a horizontal abyss opened wide. At that boundary, there was a large, sprawling, white carcass of a young crow. This was the annoying bone that I invariably saw every time I had this dream.

Since I had embarked on the London campaign in earnest, the recurring nightmare of adolescence that had tormented me like a chronic disease had decreased in frequency. On the flip side, the increase in frequency was precisely the current lucid dream. Although not normal by any means, it was a satisfying change that allowed me to sleep for longer periods compared to the days when I used to sleep for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, waking up repeatedly.

Still, I wasn’t entirely satisfied because of the presence of the increasingly eloquent crow’s bone. As it grew more eloquent, it became more annoying, returning when cleared and repeating the cycle. It was an irritating nuisance that clung to my mind.

[It’s not a nuisance.]

The voice of the skull cloaked in darkness read my thoughts and spoke.

[You too must know that I have now become more than just the remnants of Sir Crowhurst. What has taken root in the echoes of the past that were nothing more than the regrets of the deceased, allowing you to attain such wisdom.]

[It’s your shadow. It’s the common denominator that exists between you and the imperialists you so despise.]

“I know.”

I replied with annoyance.

“But that doesn’t mean you’re becoming an integral part of me.”

If I had to consider it as a part, it would be a contaminated part. I had described it as taking root, but in reality, it was more like dark spots gathering where rainwater collected. If I wished, even in this mental world, the “Eye of the Golden Age” was actively revealing its true nature.

That was nothing more than a past evil, a machine fueled by the remnants of my conflicts, worries, anger, anguish, fear, and self-loathing. Machines did not have souls.

A soulless creature spoke.

[You must accept me.]


[To fulfill your desires, you must either kill, dominate, or possess. Everything in this world, except you.]


[Every human in this world.]

I was starting to want to ignore it, but it was a stubbornly vocal opponent. Since it was my subconscious that served as fuel, it was difficult to completely ignore its content, so I thought it was better to engage in conversation and leave some logic and direction. Doing so was the only way to have some rest. If I was lucky, I could even get it to shut up entirely.

As I rubbed my chin and glared somewhat askance, the creature continued its speech.

[What you desire, eternal tranquility, is truly extravagant. No one can be free from the desires and consequences of others. Destroying The Round Table of Light and Truth, will you truly gain freedom? If you were to forsake everything when that time comes, do you truly believe that there would be nothing to bother you in the world of humans?]

Of course not. In the most extreme scenario, in the event of a nuclear war, wouldn’t the fallout be carried by the winds and fall onto the veranda in front of my house? On a smaller scale, suppose I decided to stay on a beautiful island, but what if all sorts of garbage from various countries washed up on the shores due to ocean currents and waves?

[That is correct.]

[Humanity is an animal born of desire, and human civilization is the civilization of those who desire everything in the world. Therefore, you, existing in such a world, can never truly enjoy isolated freedom.]

[Unless you become an ascendant like the beings of the Golden Age and break free from causality, if you don’t want to be taken away, you must take away first, and if you don’t want to die, you must kill first.]

[Human beings can only live like that. Only exclusive ownership and absolute power promise true freedom, so absolute freedom is ultimately granted to only one person.]

[To dream higher than gold and higher than a throne, you must eventually become an imperialist.]

[So accept me.]

Senseless talk. The words spoken by the remains of my master. The logic had a point, but it was the remains of “Sir Crowhurst” that gathered my usual concerns, worries, and contemplations and presented them in a different form. In other words, from my perspective, these were topics I had already digested. There was no reason to be shaken again, even if they were unresolved or could not be resolved.

It was probably the best I could do as a long-dead creature.

“Creature, I know how to compromise differently from you.”


“Yeah. What if the peace gained by breaking the Round Table ends up being a once-in-a-lifetime dream? I’ve never even experienced that limited peace. If that peace is shattered, you can just regain it. Breaking the Round Table won’t be as difficult as you think.”

[You won’t be satisfied there.]

“Well, if only it weren’t just the ramblings of a wretch starving in someone else’s mind. Are you trying to play the role of a prophet after not knowing your future even when you were alive?”


“If you have nothing more to say, I’d appreciate it if you shut up for today. Archmage Sir Crowhurst, who couldn’t even properly catch a single inferior yellow race.”

The remains of the master and my subconscious didn’t bother me anymore. Now, tranquility returned to the dreamy cottage. Though my mind wasn’t tired, I just wanted to enjoy the tranquility without any concerns.

I noticed that the snow piled on the window sill had thickened slightly since earlier. I turned off the “Eye of the Golden Age” and gazed at the white landscape beyond the window for a long time. Seeing an ordinary landscape with ordinary eyes was a surreal experience that was only possible in a dream like this.

A gentle shake came from my shoulder.

“Hyungnim, it’s time to wake up.”

When I opened my eyes, I saw Suyeon’s face. I was momentarily uncomfortable. It might have been the aftereffect of a dream that had been so pleasant. Suyeon let go of my shoulder. I felt exhausted and wanted to fall asleep immediately, but I forced myself to wake up and splashed some cold water on my face.

“What time is it now?”

“It’s 8:28 PM.”

“…Did I oversleep without setting an alarm?”

“Yes. I didn’t hear any vibration or sound.”

“I was too out of it. Even though there’s an important deal pending.”

“You were tired.”

Today marks the third day since the death of the Knight Commander. Probably due to the excessive use of the awakening agent, I couldn’t sleep much for the first two days. I couldn’t fall asleep properly. It felt like my memory was being interrupted every 20 minutes or so. So yesterday, I skipped meals and spent the whole day in a daze.

Then, this morning, I finally fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of such luxurious simplicity until this hour. The warmth quickly dissipated from my sweaty back.

“The kids?”

“They’ve finished preparations and are waiting.”

“I see. I’ll be out soon.”

“Do you really need to supervise it personally? You should take a little more rest. You’ve also skipped meals too much…”

“The timing is suspicious, so there’s no choice.”

The ship carrying goods for the “ Northeastern Faction [1] ” had waited another day in the nearby waters before entering the harbor. Although the city’s conflict had ended by daybreak, the port’s unease had persisted until today. “El Maestre” had been elusive, and Double A’s rebel soldiers had discreetly blended in with the impoverished people, hiding their weapons.

Nevertheless, martial law had not been imposed. Firstly, there were no more gunfights happening, and the British troops hadn’t publicly disclosed the extent of their losses. Most importantly, the Mexican government wanted to declare an end to the situation as quickly as possible.

It was the expected outcome, but still a fortunate one.

Having completed my preparations, I drove from the safe house to the harbor while listening to the concise report provided by Suyeon.

09:00 PM.

The pier had been under the control of harbor security forces for a while. It was a mere five-minute drive from our base, so arriving late would have been even more suspicious. After exchanging the agreed-upon signals, the soldiers let us pass without any hindrance. It was unimaginable that such a massive arms smuggling operation would take place right in front of the naval base, where the defending army and the FPDA+1 coalition were in control.

Furthermore, the Mexican Navy had a much better reputation than the Army. Army officers were rumored to be heavily influenced or bought by the cartels, but that wasn’t the case with the Navy. This trust had created surveillance blind spots.

However, it was a daunting task for the Navy to maintain its high standards of integrity amidst severe recession and economic stagnation. Based on intercepted communications from the Cartel del Noreste on satellite frequencies, the Admiral of the Mexican Navy Zone 8, known as “El Municionero,” showed a deep interest in negotiating with me. This was another variable resulting from this trade.

This was why Contra Almirante (Rear Admiral, a rank equivalent to a brigadier general or major general in other countries) Martínez had personally come here. Based on Suyeon’s report, the Rear Admiral’s appearance didn’t seem to be a significant event. After all, the person who temporarily found a weakness after taking Los Zetas’ money wouldn’t be a big concern.

On the dock, white waves were breaking sporadically under the sparse streetlamp lights. The Admiral, who had requested to meet with the person in charge, stood there in the dark, gazing at the horizon, seemingly waiting for me while bearing a bit of burden. When I stood beside him, he asked with a somewhat stern tone.

“Are you the person in charge?”

I looked him in the eye with the same posture and replied, 

“Yes, Admiral. It’s an honor to meet you.”

“Are you El Muni [2]  by any chance?”

That nickname of mine. I replied, “Yes.” As I nodded my head, the admiral made a strange expression.

“Unexpected. Do you personally come out like this every time for negotiations?”

“Not usually.”


“I am a person who is difficult to meet under ordinary circumstances. So, you could say that you’re lucky today, Admiral.”

A touch of humor could be the lubricant in negotiations. In reality, it was to identify and address potential risks early on. Rear Admiral Martínez chuckled and responded.

“Whether it’s really luck remains to be seen, but anyway, it’s nice to meet you. You’re the first arms dealer I’ve ever met, and the first impression isn’t bad.”

“I appreciate your kind words.”

“It seems a ship is just coming in.”

As the Admiral mentioned, a multi-purpose vessel (MPV) with a length of 220 meters, carrying a cargo capacity of 4,300 tons, was entering the narrow mouth of the bay. It was a ship that had concealed a considerable amount of weapons and ammunition among the disguised general cargo.

  • 1. TLN: Previously translated as Northeastern Group
  • 2. TLN: The sort version of El Municionero. Means Weapon dealer/ammunition dealer
Author's Thoughts

This novel is a work of fiction! While it may incorporate elements inspired by our "real" historical world, including historical events, settings, and cultures, it is important to note that the story and characters are entirely products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or deceased, or actual events is purely coincidental. This work should be enjoyed and interpreted as a work of fiction and not as a representation of historical facts or reality.
Also, if you find some error in translation please do let me know by tagging me (@_dawn24) in our Discord server. Since this series is kinda hard to translate. But I'll try my best to make it at least readable :)
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