489 Three Pillars of the Realm: Time

 Chapter 489: Three Pillars of the Realm: Time

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Plop. Duke Abel couldn't kneel anymore. He sprawled onto the ground.

He didn't die and was just badly hurt. Kanorse had held back in the last moment, but he was close to death now anyway. In fact, he might be even worse off.

The Naga priestess and Katyusha had escaped, but he remained here to await judgment!

By now, the camp was already turned to ruins by the shockwaves. Link's Miracle Aura was in effect, but it could only protect 1500 feet. The shockwaves traveled past it, and Link couldn't do anything.

In the end, more than 2000 soldiers were hurt. Thankfully, they were only light injuries. A few dozen unlucky souls had died though. After falling, they'd been pierced by sharp objects.

Hapsburg's priests and the army's priests started treating the wounded.

Link walked towards Duke Abel. He picked up the sword and added Dragon Power to check it. Confirming that there were no problems with it, he tossed it to Kanorse. "It's yours."

Kanorse caught it. Brandishing it, his eyes lit up and put the sword away.

"I lost. Kill me now."

Duke Abel struggled a bit and rolled over to face the sky. Kanorse had stabbed his abdomen. There was a bloody hole, and the skin around it was charred by the lightning. However, his vitality was strong, and he just won't die.

Link didn't speak. He pointed the sword tip at Abel's chest and added in Dragon Power. Using a sealing spell, he sealed Abel's power. Then he cast a dragon healing spell to keep him alive.

"Why?" Confusion appeared in Duke Abel's bloodshot eyes.

Link shook his head. "I'm only responsible for taking your power, but I'm not the one to decide your future. That should be King Leon."

As he spoke, he retreated to the side. King Leon walked over with a woman. Her face was pale and covered in tears. It was Princess Annie.

Seeing his daughter, Duke Abel trembled and quickly looked away.

Annie walked to his side. "Are you still my father?" she asked, voice quivering.

Duke Abel shook violently. He covered his face with one hand and waved at Annie with his other. "Go away! I don't deserve to be your father! Go!"

It wasn't his wish for this to happen.

He'd taken the wrong first step and then was lured by the Agatha Nagas. He'd been easily persuaded, mostly because of his mistake at Garrason. There was no way to turn back, and so he was forced to step onto this path of destruction.

Annie's tears were like rain.

King Leon also sighed. He looked to Link and shook his head tersely. It was clear-he didn't wish to kill his own brother.

Even if he was the king, he couldn't make the decision. In the Norton Kingdom now, Link had the power of the final decision. If he said Duke Abel must die, then no one could change that fact.

Link understood this, but he knew even more clearly that though his power to determine one's fate was useful, there was a horrible side effect. Power was always a two-sided blade!

For example, if he killed Duke Abel now, King Leon would become guarded against him. Princess Annie would stay away from him too. Kanorse, who had purposely kept the duke's life, would hold a grudge too. Link would also be known for killing the duke and enter the forefront of the Norton Kingdom's political stage.

This way, Link would lose many allies while also being swept up in the political whirlpool. He'd run into many troubles.

What would he receive?

He would just get the rush of adrenaline from deciding someone else's fate. Link wasn't too interested in power. The nice feeling wasn't necessary either, so he wouldn't gain anything.

In reality, Link understood his position long ago. He was a protector, not a king, judge, or anything secular like that. This way, he definitely shouldn't take part in these secular matters.

So when King Leon asked him like this, he just bowed slightly and said, "Your Majesty, my duty is to remove the kingdom's threat. Duke Abel has been defeated now and is no longer a threat. My duty is completed."

His message was clear. He wouldn't take part in the duke's trial. If King Leon didn't want to kill his own brother, Link wouldn't interfere. As long as Duke Abel didn't commit any more crimes, he could live out the rest of his life as a wealthy man.

Once Link said that, King Leon trembled slightly. After a few seconds, he understood what Link meant.

He let out a deep sigh. Before this, he'd always thought that Link would someday replace him as the master of the North. Now, it seemed that he'd underestimated this young man.

Link didn't want to become a king in the mortal world. He wanted to become a supernatural saint!

Thinking of Link's past, he had always done this. He'd created the now-flourishing Ferde territory but gave all the authority to a group of average people. Many Ferde citizens only interacted with Lucy. As for Lord Link, he was just a Legendary figure.

He was a protector who could calm the people by just existing.

Duke Abel found this strange too. He'd always thought that Link would kill him. This was also why he'd been so scared and finally started on the path of destruction. He didn't expect this ending.

If he knew this would be so, why would he have been scared? It was just being removed from the general's position! He was tired of the damn fortress long ago.

At this time, the generals who'd retreated crowded over. When King Leon saw that everyone was present, he proclaimed his decision about General Abel.

"I, Leon Abel, patriarch of the Abel family, king of the Norton Kingdom, hereby announce that John Abel is no longer a member of the Lion family. He committed crimes of murder under the deceit of the God of Destruction rather than his own will. Thus, he is absolved of the death penalty. He will be stripped of all power and banished to the South to live his life in captivity!"

For a noble, this punishment was harsh. Though he could live, the rest of his life would be miserable.

Duke Abel exhaled loudly, and his body slumped. He felt a weakness that he'd never felt before. The chaotic energy quickly left him like a tidal wave returning to the sea.

His body changed at a speed visible to the naked eye. His face paled, skin wrinkled, hair whitened, and his powerful muscles shriveled. He aged at least a decade.

Seeing this, Annie cried out in worry.

Link looked over. He checked and said, "The God of Destruction took back his power. He's abandoned. He looks like this because of over-exerting his body and will recover after some rest."

Of course, he couldn't recover completely. After all this, Duke Abel's lifespan was reduced by at least five years.

As he spoke, Link waved at a priest beside him. The man walked over to treat Duke Abel's wounds. When the Light power shone down, his body didn't fight back at all. He'd become a regular senior.

Annie sighed. She wiped her tears and supported her frail father. To her, this was the best result.

Without the destructive power's interference, Duke Abel was completely calmed. He gazed at his daughter's pallor, feeling both guilt and fortune. Tears leaked from the corners of his eyes.

The generals kept mum at this. They'd resented the duke before but couldn't say anything now.

Link saw that King Leon was in grief too. He walked up and reminded quietly, "Your Majesty, the army needs a new general."

This brought King Leon back. He nodded. Thinking a bit, he looked to Kanorse.

Kanorse was known as the Dawn Swordsman, and his reputation in the army was second only to Duke Abel. He was skilled, loyal, and a commoner. He didn't have any family behind him and had a good relationship with Link. He was the best candidate for the new general.

"I want to choose him," King Leon murmured.

Link nodded. "I have no objections."

He could tell that Kanorse was about to enter the Legendary level. At that time, Link would make some powerful equipment for him so his combat ability would multiply. He would become the first human general with Legendary power. With his personality and power, he would definitely turn the Orida Fortress into the first iron fortress of the human race!

"When they return to the Orida Fortress, there should be a grand ceremony," King Leon said.

Link thought for a bit and said, "Yes... Let's set the date for one month later. I will create some magical equipment for the general during this time so nothing similar would happen in the future."

King Leon nodded. He obviously didn't have any objections.

With this settled, only some mundane tasks were left. Link didn't care about it at all. He circled the spot where the Naga priestess had disappeared, occasionally casting some detection spells. He wanted to find clues about their disappearance.

After half an hour, he still had nothing.

Helpless, he asked the sword spirit in his mind, "Do you have any suggestions?"

This is some powerful divine spell, but I've never seen it, and I don't know where it's from. It should belong to a god.

At this time, Celine walked over. "Did you find anything?" she asked.

Link shook his head. "Nothing at all. It's strange."

Celine couldn't do anything either. She wandered around with Link until Link gave up after another half hour.

"Whatever, I'll stop looking. They really escaped!"

If there were some clues, he could still go and kill them. Now, there were no clues at all-not even a shred.

He promised to create equipment for the new general, and so he couldn't waste time here.

"Let's go back to the camp."

The camp was actually still in ruins now, but the weather was nice. The Warriors lit a bonfire and rested under the sky. Link naturally didn't have to worry about a place to stay.

Inside the tent, Link waited for Celine to sleep before checking the mission status.

Mission Complete: Remove Military Power

Evaluation: Perfect

Player receives 200 Omni Points.

Player receives 25 Jogu.

Player receives magic book.

The first two rewards were normal, but the last one excited Link. Time, time. The Spear of Victory uses the power of time. Would the Naga priestess use a divine spell of that sort? Did she use a time spell?

Otherwise, he couldn't explain how they had disappeared without a trace.

Thinking this, Link immediately chose to exchange the rewards.

Clack. A book with a black cover appeared in his hands. A dark gold hourglass was drawn on the center of the cover. Strangely, the hourglass seemed to be real; the sand inside kept flowing.

Link flipped it open and started reading. When he saw the first sentence, he felt like a whole new world was opening up before his eyes.