Chapter 416: Link's Era
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
King Leon stood at the front of the group of people. Behind him was Lucy, Jacker, and a few other Magicians. Link recognized Grenzi, Ferdinand, and Weissmuller. Besides these three, there were a few other palace Magicians.
When King Leon saw Link, he asked, "Lord, how is the situation in the North?"
Everyone looked expectantly at Link. Since Link had returned, it meant that the situation was alright. Still, they wanted to hear the details from Link before they could feel at ease.
Link laughed. "Don't worry, let's sit down first."
The hall was broad, and there was a circle of seats around the hall. Once everyone had sat down, Link began to narrate what had happened in the North, beginning with the battle at Orida Fortress. He talked about the Yabbas migration and roughly described his experience in Aragu as well as his ascension to the Legendary level.
"In summary, we were victorious. The Dark Elves no longer have the strength to fight anymore," Link concluded.
Everyone exhaled slowly. They were relieved, but at the same time, they had heavy hearts.
Although the Dark Elves had suffered many casualties, so had they. The Pope had perished, and the elite Warriors were also killed; there were only 17,000 left. Orida Fortress's defenses were breached. Even though it was just a recount from Link, listening to it still made them all anxious.
No one dared to imagine what would happen had Orida Fortress fallen. At least, at the end of it all, Orida Fortress was still under the control of humans.
After hearing what Link had to say, King Leon breathed a sigh of relief. "I never expected the war in the North to be in such dire straits. I would have never sent that request for reinforcements if I knew. It nearly cost us the battle."
Link was moved when he heard this. He looked at the old king and saw self-blame in the king's expression. Yet, at the same time, he saw something else hidden in the king's eyes.
As a king and as a politician, Link knew better than to take his words at face value. Link observed his body language.
Although King Leon might blame himself on some level, exactly how he felt about the war and towards Duke Abel was not something Link could determine at the moment.
Link thought about Duke Abel.
As a commander, Duke Abel did not do poorly. Although the fellow's methods were sometimes shortsighted, he had chosen to stay at Orida Fortress. It seemed as though he was doing it to stand guard over the north, but perhaps, he might also be guarding against King Leon.
Thinking about these things, Link's head hurt. He'd rather not think about it. The politics within the Abel Family were too complicated, and both brothers were sure to have hidden cards that they had to yet reveal. Based on his current strength, no one would dare to try to take his territory. The most they would do was pull him over to their side.
All of this only took him a moment to consider. Link then decided to relax. He asked, "Orida Fortress needs troops and supplies badly. Lucy, we can't provide them with troops but can we try to support them with supplies?"
Lucy was no longer the same as before. Half a year ago, she was a capable and bright mercenary. Now, she was wearing a gorgeous dark red dress, and her fiery red hair was cut short. She wore a seal on her finger, and a silver pair of glasses hung around her neck. She was now Ferde's manager of general affairs.
Lucy took out a large book and leafed through it. She found a page and handed the book over to Link. "Lord, this is our current situation. The most we can do is provide the fortress with half a year of supplies. Any more and it will affect our own operations... So we will need the kingdom to provide us with funding if they want further supplies."
King Leon shuffled awkwardly. The reason was obvious. He had no money.
Hot Springs City was ruined, and all of its wealth was taken by the Delonga Kingdom. The rest of the city's people had moved either up north or to Ferde.
As for himself, he was a king in name only. Right now, he was seeking asylum in Ferde. He had to depend on Ferde for everything he needed. How was he going to cough up money to pay Ferde for supplies?
Link understood his considerations, but he also understood Lucy's intentions. She wanted to make use of this crisis to gain advantages for Ferde.
This was a good chance, and Link decided to cooperate with her. He looked at the numbers in the book and said, "Let's not talk about money first. That can be settled later. Right now, we need to provide enough supplies to support 30,000 people for at least a year."
"Yes, Lord, but I must remind you that we cannot give this out for free. We have a responsibility to our own people. If we give them our supplies, we must get something back in return," Lucy said, taking a no-nonsense approach to this negotiation.
King Leon couldn't stomach this. The more he heard, the angrier he got. He said coldly, "Lucy, the kingdom will definitely not forget this kindness. If you can provide us with supplies, we can waive all of Ferde's taxes from here on."
Actually, based on the current circumstances, King Leon simply had no power to force Ferde to pay their taxes. Nonetheless, Lucy was just waiting for him to make this promise. She nodded seriously. "Your Majesty, since you've said this, I am okay with this arrangement."
Now that Link was back, Ferde had a Legendary-level expert. Under these circumstances, Ferde could become independent. The only problem was that that would be bad for Ferde's reputation, especially among the Norton Kingdom. The Norton Kingdom had many people who were loyal to the kingdom, and would turn against Ferde if Ferde rebelled.
Rather than rebelling, asking King Leon for compensation for their help would help them gain points with the Norton Kingdom and reap immediate benefits as well.
This was what Lucy was planning to do.
King Leon knew what she was trying to do too. He knew that his kingdom needed Ferde's help and he no longer had any power over Ferde. It was like he had lost his position. Nonetheless, he had no bargaining chips to use.
Forget it, Link is a Legendary Magician and also a pillar of support for the kingdom. It's natural for him to get extra benefits. Anyways, he doesn't make unreasonable requests. This was how King Leon consoled himself.
Link didn't mind that the king knew their plan. These were all small matters. He said, "Your Majesty, regarding reinforcements and supplies, you can send someone to discuss this with Lucy. What do you think?"
King Leon nodded. "No problem."
Link then turned towards Magician Grenzi and asked, "What's the situation at East Cove Magic Academy?"
Grenzi laughed lightly, "It's doing fine. Andrew is dead, and the Delongans no longer pose a threat to the academy. All they can do is surround it."
Link was relieved when he heard that. "That's great. The Kingdom of Delonga went too far this time. As we were dealing with the threat in the North, they dared to backstab us!! They must be taught a lesson!"
Link's words were cold, and everyone in the hall felt a chill running down their spines. They found it hard to breathe, and many turned pale from the pressure that Link was exuding.
Link realized after a moment that his strong killing intent was making everyone uncomfortable. After he composed himself, everyone was visibly relieved.
As expected of a Legendary expert-the pressure he exerted was terrifying.
Link left the army matters for Jacker to settle.
Jacker was now a Level-6 peak expert. He wore heavy anti-magic armor that looked worn and well-loved. He reported, "Lord, our army is now clashing with the Delongans along the Ferde border. Our army is weaker than theirs by a little, but we're only managing to cope because Major Celine and Dorias are the death gods within the Girvent Forest."
It could be said that Celine single-handedly cowed the enemy into pulling back. Because of her killings of many Delongan commanders, their army was essentially paralyzed.
It was because of this that Ferde's newly formed army could stand against the Delongans.
Link nodded and said, "Alright, let me go to the frontlines."
He wanted to see Celine as soon as possible.
"I'll send you there!" Felina said. "I am free now."
Her dragon body had suffered merely small injuries, and now that she had changed back into her human body, these injuries had disappeared.
"No, no, I should be the one doing it. My airship is faster than you," Lannie argued.
"No, Lannie, I need you to stay here and discuss with Lucy the arrangements for the Yabbas. We need to prepare a place for your people, don't we?" Link reminded her.
"Ah... alright then," Lannie agreed reluctantly.
Link stood up and was about to leave when he suddenly remembered something else. "Your Majesty, there was a Lich that saved you?" Link asked.
King Leon was startled by the sudden question, but he said, "Yes, he called himself Vance. Apparently, he was just passing through. Although he is a Lich, I've pardoned him and let him travel freely. He should now be within Ferde territory. Is there a problem?"
"I've seen him before. I don't really know how to describe this lich, but he doesn't seem like he would pose a threat to us," Grenzi added.
Of course, Vance would not be a threat. Link was most clear about this. Since this was a chance for him to gain approval from people, that would be for the best.
"I can't be sure either, but once I'm free, I'll pay him a visit," Link said.
Grenzi nodded. "That would be for the best," he said.
Link then turned to Felina. "Let's go."
The two of them walked towards the balcony of the magic tower. After a while, a dragon's roar could be heard, and Link and Felina were seen flying off towards Ferde's western border.
The people watched Link and Felina fly into the distance. Long after they were gone, Grenzi sighed emotionally. "It really is a new era. The younger ones are reaching the peak already."
After 300 years, a Legendary hero had reappeared amongst the humans.
It was a tumultuous period wrought with disasters, but it was also a chance for the humans to rise!
The mood in the hall was somber. Everyone was thinking about various matters and did not converse.
After a while, Lucy broke the silence. "Alright, it's time for us to get to work. Little one, let's talk about the Yabbas, shall we?"
Lannie harrumphed in response to this. "Don't call me little one! My name is Lannie!"
Lannie made a face and placed her hands on her hips. She looked like a little bean that was going to explode.
Unfortunately for her, this did not make her look any more imposing. Instead, the hall burst into laughter. This made the atmosphere in the hall much more relaxed. After they were done laughing, Lucy said, "I'm sorry, Lannie, I didn't mean to be rude. It's just... you are just too cute, haha!"
Lannie was even more infuriated by this, but there was nothing she could do. In the end, she said helplessly, "Please stop laughing? Let's talk about proper matters."
Meanwhile, Link was riding astride Felina's back. He told her about the process by which he had obtained Dragon Power. They covered about half the distance to Ferde's western border before Link finished his tale. He laughed and said, "In the end, it was just a series of lucky coincidences."
Felina found this incredulous and didn't know what to say. After a long moment, she said, "I think our queen will be pleased with this news. Our dragon clan has one more strong expert now. Maybe she would even award you with a Duke title."
"That's not really necessary is it?" Link asked. He was stunned. According to what he knew of the dragon clan, the Red Dragon Duke title had a special meaning to it. It was the consort that the Dragon Queen had selected. Were he to accept it, wouldn't that mean a whole lot more trouble?
Felina saw Link's expression and could tell what he was thinking. She laughed. "You're overthinking this, Link. This is just a custom within the clan and used only among the dragons. In the mortal world, you would still be the Ferde Lord, and this won't affect anything."
"Oh, if that's the case, then I'm fine with it."
After flying for a bit more, they saw Ferde's border in front of them. Link also saw a fortress in front and an army stretching out of the Girvent Forest bearing the Ferde standard.
Among them was a woman riding a large, green tiger. She carried a large musket and walked imposingly at the front of the army.
She had short, deep purple hair, black eyes, and wore a dark green leather suit. It was Celine.
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