Chapter 942: Ten Years in the Kingdom
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The tenth year after the founding of Magick, Spring.
"...And so, they ended the final battle on the top of the world. The evil Pope was defeated and turned into flying dust, sand and earth by magic, receiving the punishment he deserved. As for the true hero, he left, going into the light, and vanished above the cloud on the other shore."
The deep and powerful monologue echoed in every ear.
Right after that, the lights were gradually switched off as the sad and gentle sound of a violin was played. After a few seconds, a thunderous applause rang through the theater.
When the applause ended, the curtains on the stage were pulled open completely, and the lights came back on as the actors and actresses took a bow. It was eight o'clock at night; yet another performance had ended at the Great Fulner Joy Theater. Very soon, the audience left through the gates. It could be seen that posters had been stuck on the two walls on either side of the gates, filling them up; the headline of the posters was "Dynasty", followed by a string of slogans. "Adapted from real historical events, the most popular play over the last ten years, a repeat performance that is not to be missed!"
Outside the door was the main road outside the city of Havenwright.
The celebrations that were going on made this district look exceedingly crowded and merry.
Strings of festive lanterns had been hung up, filling the streets; the elements within the light tubes emitted bright red and green lights. The crowds of people bustled to and fro, as the adults led little children, and couples held each other's' hands... The people of the Imperial Capital were deep in the festive-like merriment, as the neon signs along the roads lit them up colorfully.
After the audience in the theater had finished watching the performance, they excitedly poured into the streets. Most of them went along with the crowds to continue merrymaking, or walked towards the nearby taverns and restaurants. Only a few of them chose to turn around and leave.
Nina and Sandy were included in those few people.
This pair of sisters distanced themselves from the crowds, pushing the bicycle they had ridden here on. They were ready to go home.
"What a pity, it's Her Majesty the Queen's birthday today, if we miss out on today then we'd just have to wait another year if we wish to join the celebrations." Sandy could not help but turn her head to cast a glance at the bustling crowds of people, speaking in a reluctant tone. "Big sister, can't we just stay a while longer?"
"No way!" Nina hardened her face and replied without hesitation. "Let's hurry on home, you have to get up at six o'clock tomorrow, or else... If you don't make it before the time you have to report in, and the Imperial City Academy of Magic doesn't want you anymore, then what are you going to do?"
Thinking about the opportunity to attend school that had been difficult to obtain, Sandy pursed her lips. Eventually, she glanced over the crowds one more time before turning around and sitting on the back seat of the bicycle. Nina looked at her a few more times for affirmation, before stepping on the pedal. Riding the bicycle, they rode along the small path, towards the outside of the city.
Along the way, Sandy was hugging her sister's waist, but her head was lowered the entire time, and she did not say a word.
"...What's wrong? Are you still sad?" After travelling for approximately ten minutes, Nina's heart softened a little. She turned her head. "I have no solution either, you've been able to be admitted by the Imperial Capital Academy of Magic, which is an opportunity that so many people can't get even if they begged for it. There'll still be the celebration next year, but it's just too important for you to be able to enter that place and learn magic!"
Sandy came to her senses and shook her head.
"No, I'm not being upset about that."
"Then what are you thinking about?"
"I'm thinking about the plot of the play just now." Sandy rubbed her eyes, which were slightly red, and said, "I'm saying, that story... Is that really it? The Church was defeated, but then what happened after that? I just feel... I just feel a little upset, like it's not supposed to end like that."
There was a sort of unexplainable, troubled knot of emotions that she was unable to relieve herself of, for the moment.
Nina sighed again, and comforted her. "Don't let it linger in your heart, it's only an adaptation of the founding history of our country Magic. There are discrepancies in a lot of places, so don't consider it as the truth too much."
"But... A lot of it is still the same, right?" Sandy immediately said. "At least, like the monologue at the end, no one knows where on earth Benjamin Lithur has gone to, even the history books that I've read do not have any record of it. Where on earth has he gone, what do you say?"
Nina did not know how to answer as well. She could only shut her mouth and pedal the bicycle quietly. The rubber tires created friction against the bumpy surface of the road as the bicycle emitted creaking noises.
After they exited the city gates, they took a road towards the west and arrived at their destination after approximately half an hour, which was the Pagoda Tree Cemetery. This was a cemetery that had been newly constructed only after the country had been founded. Due to the rapid development of magic technology, reconstruction inside the city had been started very quickly after the new kingdom had been established.
Nina stepped down from the bicycle, pushing it instead of riding it; she pushed the bicycle and her own sister towards the inside of the cemetery.
"Wait until I become a mage, I'll definitely buy a house in the city and bring you out so that you won't have to live in such a place." Sandy cast a glance around the gloomy cemetery and suddenly spoke as such.
"Say what?" Hearing that, Nina laughed. "The cemetery still needs someone to keep watch over it. This is my job, without a job, where do we get the cash for your food, your clothes, and your studies? Moreover... Isn't the environment here rather nice? Very quiet."
Sandy shook her head dejectedly. However, she said nothing more.
By this time, it was already past nine o'clock at night. The cemetery was pitch dark; there was not a soul around, and all that could be heard was the chirping noises made by the cicadas. The government seemed to have plans to install street lights in the garden, but it was a pity that those plans had never been realized due to the lack of manpower and energy. Therefore, Nina could only take out the lantern from the backseat of the bicycle and switch it on, using the dim white light to light up the path in front.
The two of them walked forwards with the faint light; the lighting was dim. Sandy uttered a few words of complaint about how it was time to change the runic core of the lantern, but Nina merely waved her hand and casually gave heart-hearted excuses.
Just as they were chattering continuously, all of a sudden, a figure appeared at the corner in front of them.
Nina jumped in shock, but when she saw the figure clearly, she gave a sigh of relief instead.
"Good evening, mister. Have you come to lay down flowers again?"
The other person was wearing a cowboy hat and looked rather mature. It was a pitch dark night on the road, and yet he did not have any light with him. A great half of his face had been blocked by the hat so his face could not be seen clearly; however, both sister recognized this man. This man had a friend who was buried in Pagoda Tree Cemetery, so he often came by to commemorate him.
Nevertheless, the times he usually chose were very strange. Every time, he would only appear when everything was quiet, deep into the night.
Nina felt very perplexed as well, but as for the reason... She had asked him before, and the other person's answer was very simple. "Less people at night. Quiet."
She did not plan to inquire further as the other person had already said as such. Three years ago, they had moved out from the mountains and headed for the region of the Imperial Capital. She had also stayed in the Pagoda Tree Cemetery for a year and a half now, and having been a gravekeeper for a year and a half had caused her to learn not to ask too much about the stories in a cemetery.
"En, there's nothing to do and it's boring, so I came over to take a look."
The other person answered as such. He had no intention to stay and chat further; after nodding his head, he passed by them and walked towards the outside of the cemetary in a manner as though he was minding his own business.
Such a strange man...
Nina thought that in her heart, but she did not stop; she continued pushing the bicycle and Sandy forwards. After walking for another twenty meters approximately, they saw that a bouquet of white flowers had been placed in front of some tombstone not far ahead. The petals were still stained with dew, and the moisture was heavy, so it was obvious that they had just been plucked and sent before the grave.
They were not surprised, as that strange man would always put flowers here.
However, unlike the other tombstones, this tombstone was very simple. There was nothing about the dead person's life on it; they did not even know the family name. All that was written were some words. 'The Grave of Miles'.
It was truly mysterious...
The lantern in her hand flickered again. It was clear that the runic core inside had already come to the end of its lifespan. Seeing that, Nina hurriedly increased her pace and took longer strides, rushing to return to her small, gravekeeper's house before the lantern was completely extinguished.
They entered the house and switched the lights on. The radio was turned on; as she listened to the music, accompanied by the murmuring noises of the elements drifting into her ears, Nina fell limp upon the bed and gave a sigh of relief.
"Remember to go to the city tomorrow and buy a new runic core, don't delay it anymore." Sandy parked the bicycle in a corner of the room as she spoke as such.
Suddenly, she sat up from the bed and touched the magic gun and protective rune at the end of the bed, feeling a lot of peace of mind after that. Although nothing untoward had even happened in the Pagoda Tree Cemetery, and she had never really fired at anyone, these two things had become a part of her life that could not be excluded. Without them, it was difficult for her to feel at ease.
Whatever it was, she was still the guardian here at any rate!
Just as Nina was somewhat lost in her thoughts, Sandy suddenly came to her side and sat down on the bed, patting her shoulder.
Nina came back to her senses. "What's the matter?"
"Dynasty... is the name of that play, right?" Sandy hesitated for a while, and said, "Where did the important events in there come from? Did the playwright really come up with all that themselves? There aren't so many details recorded in the history books, but many parts felt exceptionally real."
Nina shrugged, saying, "I'm not sure as well, but ten years ago, it is said that there were still many bards in the kingdom. They had compiled the great events that had happened at that time into song after song. Finally, the playwright collected these songs and wrote them into the story we saw in the theater.
Hearing that, Sandy nodded and sighed again.
"What's wrong now?" Nina pressed on and asked.
"I also... can't explain it clearly." Sandy frowned. She seemed to be feeling the emotion in her heart carefully, before trying to express it in words. "It's obviously a very complete ending, all the bad guys were defeated and a new kingdom has been built. Everything is flourishing, and the people can finally live blessed and stable lives, but why... Why do I feel a little sad after watching it?"
Hearing that, the corners of Nina's lips curved up slightly. She stretched her hand out and caressed Sandy's head.
The merry sound of a guitar rang out from the radio. The tune was full of rhythm; it was the kind of melody that made people feel like dancing when they heard it. The walls in the room were somewhat discolored and yellowish; the light from the elemental lamp was also a glistening yellow, elongating the shadows of the two people on the wall.
Nina gazed gently at her own sister, and spoke.
"I'm not sure as well, but perhaps... Having written until the end, the author himself feels a little sad as well, I suppose."