143 Time to Mature

 The Parliament hall of King Leon.

While Link was waiting in the lounge, King Leon, Duke Abel, Grinth, Herrera and the head of Military Intelligence, Section 3 had all arrived at the parliament hall.

Everyone had a grim look on their faces, especially the head of MI3, Duke Stan. His expression was so gloomy it looked like someone splashed ink on his face.

When Gladstone City was suddenly ambushed and almost taken by the Death Hand, he had already lost much of his reputation and prestige. This time, the Death Hand was once again a step faster than him and successfully assaulted the capital in the middle of a festival. As the military chief of MI3, he was ashamed.

"My lord, I will resign as the head of MI3 as punishment for my incompetence." He broke the silence.

King Leon was usually a reasonable and calm person. However, this time, he was infuriated and lost his usual graceful demeanor.

"Shut up! You will have to leave, but not before you settle the mess you created!"

The hall fell into silence once again. Everyone knew that the king was truly furious.

If word got out that an attack of such scale happened in the capital of the Norton Kingdom during a Magician's Fair, their reputation would go down the drain. The Norton Kingdom would then become the laughingstock of the entire Firuman Continent.

Putting the embarrassing issues aside, they started discussing steps to recover from this assault. They had to give a reasonable explanation to the people of Hot Springs City and assure them that the capital was still safe. If they failed to give the citizens assurance, their insecurities might once again be used by the enemy to plan for an attack of an even larger scale.

Fortunately, there was ample evidence pointing towards the Dark Elves as the culprits. Two Dark Elven corpses were left at the scene, justifying that hypothesis.

"This is already the second time; those red-eyed vampires are going overboard!

"At least Gladstone City was on the borders. To think that they had the courage to infiltrate all the way into the capital and deliver such a cruel blow to the human race! We have to fight back!"

"Your majesty, it is time!"

"But we are not ready."

"You can never be fully ready for a war. The Dark Elves will not wait for us."

A heated discussion ensued in the hall. After a while, they came to a conclusion that revenge against the Dark Elves had to be taken.

King Leon kept silent the entire time, listening intently to the discussion. When a conclusion was reached, he took a deep breath before instructing his assistant, "Stan, I want the Dark Elf who escaped to be captured alive. Do you understand?"

"Yes!" This incident had completely ruined Duke Stan's reputation. If he let this Dark Elf escape once again, he would not even have the face to stand in front of his ancestors

"Areve, this Dark Elf seems quite strong. We will probably need some professionals. You will work with Stan!"

"I understand!" Areve patted his chest armor. He was also embarrassed by this incident. The twenty guards that he picked were completely wiped out by the Flame Blast spell assault. They were all elite soldiers that he handpicked for this mission. To think that they were done in before they could do anything.

"We will also have to catalyze the war in the North; we will have our revenge!" King Leon said.

They desperately needed a victory. Only a victory could fully appease the people's hatred towards the Dark Elves.

It was Duke Abel's turn to speak. Abel was the King's brother and was 38 years old, 10 years younger than King Leon. He was energetic and charismatic, making him a good leader. He was also a Level-5 Warrior and currently the general of the Kingdom.

He stood up and gave a cruel smile. "Your majesty, you will attain a glorious victory."

"I hope so." King Leon nodded.

His brother was cruel and ruthless. King Leon was still able to control Abel ten years ago, however, Abel just got more ambitious every year. Just recently, Abel had begun to challenge his orders. King Leon was actually looking for a chance to weaken Abel's military authority in the kingdom but the occurrence of such a tragic incident left him no choice but to put off this plan to a later date.

They then proceeded with the discussion of other issues such as reparations to the people, appeasing Prince Phillip, stocking up enough food, the preparations for war and so on, not missing out on a single detail.

In the end, everyone was assigned a task and left to execute them immediately. King Leon turned towards Herrera only after the last person left the room and said, "I heard that your disciple Link was the reason Prince Phillip is still alive. I would like to meet him if it is possible."

The servant then went to summon Link to the parliament hall.

In the meantime, King Leon continued, "Master Moira, tell me about this disciple of yours, what kind of person is he?"

King Leon had actually already read the report on Link given to him by Duke Stan and had an understanding of Link's achievements. However, he should not judge a person merely from the information he gleaned from the report, even if it was assembled by the head of the Kingdom Intelligence Agency. It was wise to seek a second opinion.

Herrera stood up and greeted the king before saying, "Your Majesty, in my eyes, my disciple is a perfect Magician."

King Leon was slightly taken aback before smiling, "Perfect? That is an extremely high appraisal."

He spoke again after a short pause, "I always knew that he had a rare talent battling with magic, but I never expected him to be this powerful. I have plans to confer him the title of Commander of the Magicians' troop in the North. Do you think he has what it takes?"

Herrera fell silent for a moment before shaking her head, "Your Majesty, he is still young and his power still needs some time to mature. Furthermore, Magicians his age are often rebellious and dislike authority. I feel that he is still unsuitable."

King Leon mused, "Indeed, I was too impatient."

He was not making an empty promise. An incident indeed happened in the North some time ago. When the Magicians' troop fought against the Dark Elf Magicians in a minor conflict, the Kingdom's Magicians suffered a slight loss.

His niece Annie then wrote him a strength assessment report for both forces. With a total score of ten points, the Norton Kingdom Magician troop would at most score six points on the scale, while the Dark Elves scored an eight.

The strength of the Magicians' troop was often the deciding factor in a war between nations. If their Magicians' troop was indeed lacking in strength, they would likely lose in an official battle as well.

As they were still not in an official war, there was time to make amendments. Leon had been desperately trying to recruit Magicians with combat experience, so much so that he watered down the restrictions present in the Norton Kingdom Constitution. Even the vagabond Magicians who only knew a few spells were also paid royalties if they were willing to enlist.

Link's actions in Gladstone City turned the tables around and allowed the Norton Kingdom to achieve victory. His performance on Jade Street was even more amazing; he defeated three strong opponents. Furthermore, he was from the East Cove Higher Magic Academy, making him an officially recognized Magician. This was exactly the person they were looking for.

On the other hand, what Herrera said also made sense. After thinking for a moment, King Leon let go of the idea.

This man was destined to be a towering tree, a pillar of support for the human race. However, he was merely a small sapling at this moment. Although he already seemed to be tall and strong enough, he was definitely lacking in experience. He should be allowed to mature for a longer period of time.

However, he had already decided to make good use of him. It was time for him to get into his good books.

At that moment, the servant brought Link into the parliament hall.