The Pope definitely said that Dragons had gone extinct about 300 years ago.
Cale’s gaze turned toward the direction of the conversation. Quite a lot of people were already looking at the person who mentioned Dragon.
That person pretended not to notice their gazes, or maybe he was simply enjoying the attention, as he continued to speak.
“Ahem. Ahem. You know that my nephew works at the Imperial Palace!”
“That nephew that works as a low-ranking official?”
“Yeah! I heard from him.”
The person put a lot of emphasis on his voice.
“That is what he said. He said that the first Imperial Prince is with a Dragon.”
“…Didn’t Dragons go extinct?”
Cale moved toward the direction of the conversation in a way that made it not noticeable as to what he was doing.
“No. He definitely said that it was a Dragon. My nephew said that he saw it in his Royal Highness’s palace.”
The person vigorously nodded his head and spoke with certainty as the other person asked with disbelief.
“Really! He definitely said that a cool black Dragon-nim that is overflowing with dignity is by his Royal Highness’s side!”
‘Is there really a Dragon by the first Imperial Prince’s side?’
Cale heard Raon’s confused voice as his expression stiffened.
– Hmm? A cool black Dragon overflowing with dignity? That’s me! Human, that makes no sense! I am always on your side!
Cale ignored Raon’s comments. He could feel the mood around the two conversing people change.
The person who mentioned the Dragon looked around before slowly walking out of the plaza with an awkward look on his face.
The person he was chatting with looked around as well before also leaving.
However, the things that they mentioned started to spread like wildfire once they left.
“My goodness, that’s unbelievable. A Dragon?!”
“Do you think that it is real?”
“A lot of this test is going to be public for us to see! We will be able to learn whether it is true or not when the time comes!”
Shock, astonishment, and suspicion filled the hearts of the people in the plaza.
“If an extinct Dragon really did appear, I would want the first Imperial Prince to become the Imperial Crown Prince even if he isn’t the strongest necromancer.”
“No. I heard that the first Imperial Prince’s necromancer abilities are quite great as well. Furthermore, I heard that one of the three people assisting him is the Huayans family’s first young lady.”
‘Huayans? The Black Bloods household? The first young lady of that family is going to participate with the first Imperial Prince?’
“Mm. The House of Huayans hasn’t determined an heir yet either, right?”
New information was coming at Cale from all directions.
“Anyways, if that Dragon is real, I hope that the Dragons could watch over this land again!”
“I know, right?! The start of the erosion had to do with Dragons, so a Dragon coming back would certainly return this world to its original state!”
People were starting to be filled with hope and expectations.
All sorts of conversations reached Cale’s ears. The people around him quickly started to move as well.
This information about the Dragon would probably soon spread throughout the capital and beyond.
‘The situation is turning quite odd.’
Cale heard a cold voice as he was about to get deep into thought.
It was Eruhaben.
It was then that Cale realized that the ancient Dragon’s mood seemed quite unhappy.
‘It makes sense, since the Black Bloods definitely played a role in the extinction of the Dragons.’
There was no way Eruhaben would feel good when someone from the Black Bloods household was with the first Imperial Prince while an extinct Dragon was supposedly with them as well when the Black Bloods were responsible for their deaths.
Eruhaben was a Dragon who cherished his fellow Dragons quite a bit.
“I will escort you to the notice board for now.”
The group followed Durst and soon arrived at the notice board.
< Recruitment >
The title was simple.
However, there was a lot of important information on the large notice board that it was full of text.
< Qualification: A person with a necromancer’s abilities >
The qualifications were simple.
< This test will have a total of three stages. >
< Each stage will require the use of a necromancer’s abilities as a foundation, while the different stages will focus on courage, determination, and harmony respectively. >
“They are informing people about more than I expected.”
“It does seem that way, Eruhaben-nim.”
Cale agreed with Eruhaben and recorded the contents in his mind. Someone gently pulled at Cale’s sleeve at that moment.
Cale turned his gaze.
“The moment you prove your qualifications and become a candidate, you will receive protection and authority as an Imperial heir until the end of the test.”
Mary was holding onto his sleeve while calmly speaking.
Cale had never seen Mary acting like this. She continued to speak in her GPS-like voice.
“You will live in the Imperial Palace starting from the moment you become a candidate. You will have your own palace and your helpers may accompany you.”
Cale quietly listened before asking.
“And the reason you are saying these things is?”
“There will be a lot of benefits toward our plan if I become a candidate.”
Mary was right.
They would get the authority to enter the Imperial Palace if she became a candidate and it would become much easier to investigate the Imperial Palace and the Black Blood’s household through that authority. Furthermore, they would run into people from the House of Huayans and gather information since there is at least one candidate’s helper from that family.
Mary looked at Cale after seeing no response from him. His dark brown eyes looked indifferent, but they were not cold.
“Do you want to do it?”
Cale asked just that question and Mary answered.
“I am curious. I am curious about other necromancers.”
Cale thought about it for a moment.
‘This place is not our world.’
That was why his plan was to avoid any dangerous situations for Mary and the others and return after quietly destroying the Black Bloods, but…
‘I can run away if it gets dangerous.’
– Human, it looks like Mary wants to do it! If she tries and thinks she can’t do it anymore, we can run away and smack them in the back later!
His friends, who already anticipated his response, said something else.
‘If that’s the case…’
“Okay. Let’s do that then.”
Cale spoke to the old priest.
“Where are they doing the recruiting?”
“Apparently the entrance of the Imperial Palace.”
Eruhaben answered immediately as if he had been waiting for this question. This was the first time Eruhaben acted like this, making Cale realize once again that the news about the extinction of the Dragons had made Eruhaben quite angry. Furthermore, he wanted to see this newly appeared Dragon.
Cale gave a simple explanation for what they would do from here.
“Let’s go back and ask the others about their opinions and then make our move.”
* * *
In the secret evacuation area provided by the church… This was actually a regular two-story building in the residential district.
Cale looked around at the others.
“I’m fine with it if Mary is okay with it.”
Choi Han seemed to be fine with it. Shawn had already shown a firm agreement to Mary’s plan, but…
“You have to stop right away if it becomes dangerous.”
He could not hide his concern. The Vampire Jezna did not say anything while On and Hong went to Mary’s side with Raon and cheered her on.
“Mary, I’m sure that you will be the strongest! Let’s destroy it all!”
“Our youngest is right, nya! We just have to destroy everything, nya!”
“…You just need to do all you can and give it your best, nya.”
Cale last made eye contact with Sui Khan. He nodded his head while in his Black Hawk form.
“It is a decent plan.”
“How was it?”
Sui Khan, On, Hong, and Choi Han looked at Cale after hearing his question. Sui Khan motioned with his eyes to Choi Han, who started to speak.
“The Black Bloods. We went near the House of Huayans, but… The security around it was quite thorough, as expected. There were also numerous black magic devices all around.”
“It was the same while looking at it from the sky. I tried to get close to the Estate, but there was a transparent dead mana barrier all around it.”
Sui Khan added on.
“Of course, I can infiltrate it if you want.”
“It is the same for me, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han quickly added on.
“It’ll just be a bit complicated.”
Cale nodded his head.
The important thing right now was that they could infiltrate it if they wanted to do so.
“Oh esteemed purifier. Then, are we going to go register as a candidate?”
The only outsider who had been quietly listening… The old priest Durst cautiously asked Cale.
“Tomorrow is the last day for the candidate registration, so, if you have made up your mind, I believe that it would be better to go register today and not have to rush tomorrow.”
The group looked toward Durst. Only Cale was looking up as if he was deep in thought. Cale thought for a moment before opening his mouth.
“They say that anybody with necromancer powers could register as a candidate, but…”
Durst waited for Cale to continue to speak.
“It would still be good to have an identity from this world she could use.”
“Ah! That is true, sir. You need to record basic information when registering.”
Cale smiled and stared at Durst.
Durst asked with confusion.
“Mm, good idea.”
Sui Khan and Eruhaben commented in low voices as if they had realized something.
Cale spoke to Durst, who still looked confused.
“Do you have any children?”
“I know this might be a touchy subject, but how long has it been since your kingdom perished?”
The old priest smiled as if he understood and responded.
“It has been a little more than 100 years since it perished. Furthermore, I am the last of the bloodline. In addition, neither my identity nor affiliation have never been revealed outside of the church.”
The old man looked toward Mary.
“It is fine to have a granddaughter under my name.”
Mary immediately responded.
“That sounds great, grandfather.”
Cale chuckled at Mary, who responded nonchalantly in a GPS-like voice and got up from the couch.
“Let’s go. Time to go to the Imperial Palace entrance.”
* * *
The Imperial Palace that was located at the center of the Iska Empire’s capital. There was an area next to the main entrance that was usually empty but played an important role for a short period of time every so often.
“There’s only one day left of the recruitment.”
It was the registration office for the test to determine the Imperial heir.
The pillars, roof, and floor were made of marble and this four-sided area had no walls.
“Who else would there be?”
Two administrators were seated there chatting with each other.
“Hmm. Who knows?”
The first administrator who spoke looked toward a pile of bones on one side. The other administrator also followed his gaze before opening his mouth again.
“The real deals registered early as soon as the recruitment notice went up. Most people who show up now are going to be scammers or fakes.”
“Either that or ones with the qualification but their powers being extremely weak.”
“That’s right. They’ll probably find it difficult to even control one or two of those bones. Shouldn’t you have heard about this from your father?”
“He didn’t tell me too much about it.”
The recruitment in the past to determine the current Emperor… The administrator’s father had been the one recruiting for that test in the past.
“It’s probably better not to register if they don’t have strong abilities. They only have one life after all.”
“That is true.”
He nodded his head at his friend’s comment.
‘Usually the necromancer abilities are weak if they don’t use the secret method that has been passed down through the Iska Imperial Palace for generations.’
Although everybody emphasized the fairness of this test with this open recruitment, the administrator thought that this test was quite unfair from the start.
“The sun is setting. The day will be over soon.”
The sky had turned red and the sun was setting.
The administrator looked up at the sky at his friend’s comment before starting to smile.
“I’m glad that we can see such a sky.”
“I know, right? It is difficult to tell day and night apart in the eroded areas.”
The administrator mumbled with his heart full of hope.
“I pray that this generation’s Imperial Crown Prince will also be someone who can maintain the sky above Iska.”
“I’m sure of it. You know about it too! A Dragon has appeared! I’m already looking forward to the Iska that the First Imperial Prince will create!”
The administrator scowled.
“Bad! Come on dude! You can’t come to a conclusion about the results already!”
“I know that, but… It would be great if his Royal Highness, who has a Dragon with him, wins. Furthermore, the First Imperial Prince was the only person who used all of the bones! His powers are quite strong as well.”
“But we still don’t know how the results-”
The administrator was about to respond when he stopped talking.
Four people wearing robes were walking toward them with the sunset behind them.
“Hmm. I feel like this one is going to be a fake.”
His friend hatefully mumbled, but the administrator observed the approaching people and got up to greet them.
‘…Three pretty tall people. And one short person walking as if they are protected by those three people.’
The shortest of the group, the person at the center, stepped forward as the administrator had that thought. The other three followed behind that person.
“Damn, I thought that we might get to leave early. Ah, the people who show up hiding everything about themselves like this are always scammers.”
His friend grumbled and got up.
However, the administrator didn’t hear him. For some reason, he had a different feeling about these people coming toward them under the red sunset.
He greeted them respectfully and started to speak to the person in front of him who was fully covered by a robe.
“…Are you here to register?”
The robed person reached out their hand once he asked that question.
The administrator flinched after looking at the hand. The hand was covered in black lines. The moment he realized that this candidate had more black lines compared to the others…
Black threads spread out from the hand and the marble ground started to shake.
His friend gasped as if he had blanked out, but the administrator, who was looking right at the robed person, slowly turned his head toward the pointed direction of the robed individual’s hand.
The pile of bones that were gathered to prove a candidate’s necromancer abilities…
All of those bones moved.
The white bones took the shape of a Dragon and floated up into the air.
The administrator, who seemed completely absorbed while looking at this, quickly snapped out of it and looked at the person who caused this.
Mary took off her hood.
Her face was covered in black lines. Her purple eyes were sparkling brightly through the black lines.
– Human! Good Mary is so smart that she knows how to suppress the competition before it even begins!
Cale listened to Raon’s voice in his head as he looked at Mary.
She finally opened her mouth and her mechanical, but not cold, voice flowed out.
“I am here to register as a candidate.”
Go Mary, Go Mary, Go Mary, Go Mary~
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