Chapter 99: Time goes by
Another week had gone by.
After Aspen killed an assassin at the library that was trying to kill Yuuki, the King revealed to him that the reason Yuuki was being targetted was that he was already too old, thus, Yuuki being his only descendant had all the right to take over the kingdom as the next ruler.
However, in case she was to die, and him too, either he managed to get himself a new heir somehow, or the family of highest status could take over the Kingdom as a substitute for them, which was, of course, the Duke of Hamilton.
He had never been a good person, and his hunger for power could be seen from kilometers away. Thus, when he discovered that his family could take over the spot of the Royal family were they die for unknown reasons, his greed exploded and his desire blew up to the skies.
The only thing that had stopped him from attempting anything until now, was because currently, the Kingdom was in grave danger due to the Swarm of Antlions at the nearby desert. Thus, he had no time to plan anything to take over the Kingdom.
However, when the famous scientist Delbere explained that he could develop a weapon that could eradicate all the Antlions at their nest in one go, the Duke of Hamilton immediately saw the opportunity of taking over the Kingdom once the war against Antlions ended.
The King, however, predicted that this could happen, and seeing such an incredible person like Aspen arrive at this place just in time, something told us that it may have been fate.
Of course, he knew that nothing was set in stone, so he studied his character very well through the months of him working as a Knight by having Jeffrey spy on his movements, personality, and abilities.
Having been living as the King for all his life, he had learned how to judge people very well. Either because of their actions when talking to him or because of what they did when no one was looking at them.
Aspen seemed to be a rather abnormal person who had incredible strength and potential to gain fame but had almost no motivation to make use of it. As if fame and connections were simply useless for him, the only thing he seemed to care about was strength.
He had yet to understand what motivated him so much to gain strength, but he still deemed him trustworthy enough to be the one to protect her daughter from the greed of the Duke of Hamilton. And of course, he seemed to have made the correct decision.
Not only had Aspen prevented Yuuki from being assassinated four times since he started working as a royal guard, but he had also done it flawlessly, without them even having the opportunity to attack.
Of course, the only flaw he had managed to find was that the poor janitors had to clean a lot of blood all those times, and blood wasn't something easy to clean.
Thus, he had unknowingly gained the praise of the King.
However, oblivious about the politics of this Kingdom, or at least completely uninterested in the subject, Aspen was now immersed in researching the newly discovered Astral magic while also keeping an eye on Yuuki from time to time just in case more assassins were trying to do their business.
"Hmm... What is it that I'm lacking...?" At the library sitting beside Yuuki, Aspen muttered in a low voice while glancing at the pages of the thick book that were still a bit covered in dust.
He had read the entire book three times since he started a week ago, and until now, he had somewhat understood most of its contents and how Astral magic could be used.
In summary, Astral magic allowed the user to fuse his consciousness with the universe's will, and bend it slightly to the user's desire. However, the degree of bending that the user can employ on the universe is proportional to the amount of mana used, and unfortunately, it can only affect certain occurrences that do not involve living beings.
The greatest user of Astral magic, and also the greatest mage that has existed in human history, Sargon Magius, reached a level of mastery on Astral magic that allowed him to move the meteorites around this planet and use them to attack his enemies. He also wrote a few words for those interested in Astral magic that explained that it had many other uses that no other person besides him knew, however, since he didn't want to ruin the surprise, he kept those secrets for himself and motivated the rest of the mages to learn them by themselves.
Unfortunately, after the Great War broke out, Sargon fought against the Evil demon Cthulhu and never came back. After that, humanity's knowledge and technology declined enormously, coupled with the mortality rate skyrocketing, made Astral mages almost extinct.
And until now, those that had tried to use it had just been able to control where will the wind will move, or move small clouds in desired directions. Though only rain clouds, as the storm clouds were too hard to control and spent too much mana for their weak human body to cope with the mana consumption.
Thus, Astral magic has been forgotten slightly by the mages of this Kingdom, as more powerful and offensive types of magic are preferred now that they are at war against the Antlions.
Aspen, on the other hand, was able to reach the mid-level of mastery of this magic in just two days while practicing everything pointed and explained in the book. However, after those two days, he had not progressed in the slightest, after all, mid-level was everything the contents of the book allowed him to reach. And right now he was trying his best to understand what other thing could Astral magic allow him to do, besides bending slightly the universe's will.
It was such a strange type of magic that he had yet to comprehend how it worked completely, which made him wonder how much of a prodigy that Sargon must have been to control magic to such a high degree and even discover new ways to use it.
'Whatever, I should continue practicing later. My head is starting to hurt already' Aspen closed the book and started looking around with a bored expression on his face, after all, Yuuki still had to study for another hour or so before she could be allowed to leave.
However, right when things were starting to get too boring, suddenly a guard entered the library and requested Yuuki's presence in the throne room, saying that the King had requested her presence there.
When they arrived there, Aspen saw the famous scientific Delbere standing in front of the King with a small smile on his face. Although they haven't really talked to each other, Aspen had noticed an interesting fact about him that immediately called his attention. Not only was his appearance slightly similar to the demolitionist from the game, except the elegant clothes and his obvious good manners, but he also had an enormous interest in explosives and explosions.
It was rather obvious at this point that those human+ were somehow related to the NPC's from the game, but in which way, it was something that he had yet to understand.
It was plain stupid to think that these people were created for him when he was born. They had their own lives, and some were even older than him (physically that is).
Also, he really doubted that there would actually be secret organizations that prepared these individuals to help him in any way he needed like in the game. Otherwise, the guide could have already appeared in front of him and gave his always unuseful advice.
But he had not appeared. And that was enough to understand that these people were not connected to him or whatsoever, but had their own life and probably could do whatever they wanted with it.
"Now that Yuuki has arrived, you can continue Delbere"
"Yes, your majesty"
Delbere, who looked slightly calm until now, sighed softly before he took out a small book from his pocket and started explaining its contents out loud.
"The AE-MD, or also called the Ant Eradicator of Massive Destruction, is a powerful bomb with the size of a regular house that has the power to destroy everything around in a radius of 13 kilometers, everything around it will be blown to smithereens and, or, burned completely until nothing but ashes remain. However, the amount of destruction makes it an incredibly dangerous weapon that can destroy its own user if not handled properly. Thus, after its construction and use, the blueprints of this weapon will be buried deep underground in a secret location. This book explains every detail on how it must be handled, and how it will be used against the Antlions, your majesty"
"Y-you mean that it's completed?"
"It should be, however, due to its power, no real tests have been done, so there's still the possibility of failing. However, the AE-MD has already been created and it's hidden and protected heavily so that it's only used when the moment comes" Delbere declared proudly as he looked at the face of the King with a serious expression.
The King, who was thinking about their situation, stood up and grabbed Delbere's shoulders before his face turned incredibly serious.
"Is it ready to be used now?"
"It is, your majesty, however, we need to prepare properly for transport and mobilization of this bomb, besides also planning how we are going to implant this bomb in their nest. All this should take a week almost, coupled with how long it will take to announce it to the public, then one and half a week since now"
"Very well, I give you permission to begin with the preparations to end this pointless war that has been going for so many years!"
"Yes, your majesty" Delbere bowed slightly before he looked momentarily at Aspen. After that, he walked out of the room and left the King, Aspen, and the princess alone in the throne room.
"Very well, with this, we will finally finish with this horrible war that has claimed so many people's life... Now the Kingdom will finally face peace, after so many centuries..." The King leaned on his chair and sighed in exhaustion and relief, Yuuki, who saw her father so exhausted for the first time in her life, widened her eyes and hugged him momentarily as she also had seen how much had the war against the Antlions taken from them, and how many people it has killed.
She was, after all, someone that had also participated in the war and helped the Nuwa Kingdom resist the invasion of Antlions. Blood and death were something that she saw a lot during her time at the battlefield, and they marked her very much when it came to taking her role of a princess of the Kingdom seriously.
Aspen, on the other hand, was now trying to remember how much money was left before he could leave the country, after all, now that he had already taken everything that he could take from this new place, everything he needed now was the money for creating a ship and he could be done.
'Hmm, last week I sold quite an enormous amount of potions, and I stored 5 Platinum coins in my inventory... It should take a few weeks more before I have the money to leave this place... Well, I might as well stay here to watch the creation of the first nuke in the world before leaving'
What Aspen did not know, was that his desire for seeing the first Nuke in the world could bring him more problems than what he thought in a beginning. After all, nothing in the world comes without a retaliation... And this time, the retaliation could be enormous.