The Master of the Brave - Chapter 64
Chapter 64 – A Proud Nation
In the timeline, “The Traveling Swordsman”, “Rumors”, “Vacation” and “A Proud Nation” occurred on the same day.
Wynn and Leticia had lunch and filled their stomachs, and then decided to take a walk through the streets of the Imperial City. They relaxed and walked around the stalls that sold accessories and looked at the ones that sold other items. Eventually, they found a large tent in a different square than the central one. The tent was so large that even, at a quick glance, one could easily tell that a medium-sized inn would fit in there.
“What is that thing?”
“Maybe some show? Do you want to take a look?”
To which Leticia recalled that the couples sitting next to her in the store mentioned it earlier. A large number of people gathered at the entrance to the tent. Apparently, it was the tent of a traveling theater company that was performing a play.
“The play is… huh!?”
Leticia read the program on the sign in front of the entrance and spoke.
“What’s going on?”
“Let’s see, the name is: ‘The tragic love of the Captive Prince and the Beautiful Brave ~Fighting the Wicked Wizard!~’, that’s what the play is about…”
“…The tragic love between a captive prince and the beautiful Brave…?”
“In a story, it’s usually the prince rescuing the captive princess…”
“I wonder if this Beautiful Brave is Letty.”
They looked at each other in silence.
The play was apparently a great success. The popularity of Mavis, the Brave who defeated the Demon King was overwhelmingly popular even among the commoners.
“I knew there were a lot of stories being made up about me, but it’s a little embarrassing to see it in person like this…”
She whispered to Wynn, keeping her voice low so people around her wouldn’t hear.
“I can see that. I’m a little curious…”
Wynn stared at the words on the sign.
“…What do you think? I wouldn’t mind taking a look, what do you say?”
‘Onii-chan, are you worried about the “tragic love” part?’
She would be tremendously happy if Wynn thought she and the alleged prince had fallen in love and was jealous of it. However, that would never be the case.
“If you want to see it, Onii-chan, let’s see it. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a play either.”
“Good. It’s a story, isn’t it? And I’m curious to see what kind of person the Brave is seen as.”
They lined up in front of the entrance, bought their tickets and went into the tent.
Although the number of people waiting in line outside had been largely predictable, the interior of the tent was overflowing with people full of enthusiasm. The stage was in front of the entrance, and the floor was covered with a carpet in front of it. The audience could sit wherever they wanted and watch the play.
Wynn and Leticia also managed to find an empty space. Apparently, they were limiting the entrance, so they wouldn’t be crowded.
“This is great. You’re very popular.”
“I was a little surprised. I can’t wait any longer.”
The audience seats were already full. Everyone was waiting impatiently for the play to begin. The tent was filled with the warmth of the anticipation of the play.
“Onii-chan, I think it’s going to start.”
The magical light source that had illuminated the tent suddenly disappeared, and the seats were covered in darkness. At the same time, only the stage was brightly lit. Apparently, there were several magicians in this theater company. It seemed to be a fairly large theater company.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. A year has passed, Imperial City of Simurghs, welcome to Le Room Theatre Company!”
At the back of the stage, when the master of ceremonies came out of the dark curtain and bowed, the air vibrated with loud cheers and applause.
“We are here to guide you through the story of Brave Mavis, who, as everyone knows, confronted an evil wizard in a kingdom and successfully rescued the prince from his captivity, so everyone, please take the time to enjoy your journey into this world in this story!”
The audience, which had been calmed by the master of ceremonies’ opening speech, was once again filled with applause and cheers. Then the curtain rose, and the play began.
The play was about an evil magician who kidnapped the prince of a kingdom and celebrated a ritual for the resurrection of an evil god, sacrificing the prince to overthrow the royal family and take control of the kingdom, only to be rescued at the last moment by the Brave Mavis, at the king’s request.
When the prince was rescued from certain death, he fell in love at first sight with the beautiful Brave and proposed her marriage, but the Brave had to save the world, which was too heavy a destiny.
In the scene where the beautiful actress of the company played the Brave Mavis and the evil wizard (who was the master of ceremonies himself) face each other, the stage was perfectly animated with light and sound magic directed by the company’s magicians, and Wynn could not help but be dragged into the world of story. And then there was the scene where the rescued prince, played by a handsome actor, courted the Brave, who continued to struggle between love and his mission.
The hesitant hearts of both were portrayed by the passionate and emotional performances of the actors, and the audience could be heard sobbing with emotion from all corners of the seats.
It was not the typical story where the prince rescued the princess and the two promised each other their eternal love, but there was a slight difference between the Brave and the saved prince, but it was still very moving. Moreover, the fact that the two never ended up together and separated in the end, being such a tragic love story, moved the audience even more.
As the play ended and the curtain came down, the actors in the company were rewarded with a round of applause and cheers from the audience.
“Letty, is what we just saw in the play really what happened?”
As he walked along the stream of people who had just seen the play and were leaving, Wynn talked to Leticia, who was walking beside him.
“No, I think they’ve taken a lot of liberties in adapting…”
The protagonist, Brave Mavis, herself, Leticia, responded with a little nod.
“There has never been a love story about a prince. And it was Liara who was about to be sacrificed at that moment in the first place.”
“Liara Thane. The girl who used to be my partner. So, I’m not in love with her, okay, Onii-chan? Don’t worry!”
“Oh, worry about what…?”
She looked at Wynn’s slightly reddened face as he scratched his cheeks, to which Leticia laughed with a small smile, and he patted her head a little to hide his shame.
“But you know, just because it was Liara and not the prince who was about to be sacrificed, the essence of the play itself is what really happened.”
“But it is also distorted to say that he was an evil wizard. In fact, he was a very good person, but also very sad…”
Leticia’s smile disappeared, and only her eyes turned a deep color as if she were looking somewhere far away.
“May I ask how he was like?”
“…I guess so. It’s going to be a bit of a long story, so why don’t we go to a store somewhere and have a cup of tea and talk?”
They started looking for a place to have an affordable cup of tea. First, they were very excited about the play, but now they wanted to quench their thirst with a cup of tea.
“The play they just performed is actually a story that led to the birth of the Demon King.”
“The Demon King?!”
Then Leticia began to speak.
This was a true story that only the Brave, the one who lived it, would know and it would be transmitted as a legend.
…It was about forty years ago.
In the northern part of the Alfana continent, there was a small kingdom called Thane.
It was a kingdom where snow covered most of the territory almost all year round. A kingdom without industries, where crops were grown in the short spring and summer, and goats and sheep were raised, and boats were sent out to sea to fish.
A poor kingdom that fed on dried fish and meat and vegetables that could be preserved during the long, hard winters, sometimes freezing or starving, just to withstand the arrival of spring. Surrounded by sacred peaks and steep mountains, in winter the passes were frozen over, and the traffic was poor, to the point of being ignored by the ambitions of the great powers of the South.
But travelers who had gone to this kingdom had called it: “The proud Kingdom of Thane.”
To survive in the harsh natural environment, people could not even think of fighting. They had to support each other and work as one to survive.
There were no exceptions, not even for the kingdom’s royalty.
The king himself led the people to plow and graze the fields. For the people of this kingdom, the royalty was not an unreachable figure, but a pillar of the family, if you will. It was like a father figure. And so, all the people of that kingdom respected the royalty, which was very close to them.
In particular, the young king, Melvick IV, the heroic Dragon Slayer and holder of the title “Sword Sage”, was the pride of his people. In the midst of a poor financial situation, he generously invested the wealth that the kings of past generations had saved little by little for the benefit of the people. He sent a succession of promising young men to foreign schools.
“We have no resources. We have no crops. Therefore, we cannot develop our industry. We are a kingdom of nothing, but we still have an asset to be proud of. Those are our people. Our people are wise enough to withstand the harshness of nature. Learn, my people! For the moment, we are still a remote and weak kingdom, but we will be a great power with the help of our people. We will develop human resources with learning and insight!”
Politics, economics, religion, architecture, metallurgy, archaeology, history, agriculture, flood control, spiritual engineering… He sent young people to the academy, to study magic engineering, to all sorts of fields.
Then he spread the knowledge they brought back to the people.
The literacy rate improved. By borrowing the power of the spirits and using it in conjunction with magic, he managed to increase the yield of the crops to an explosive degree. In addition, using magic engineering, which was developed by importing resources from abroad, they produced a number of high-quality tools that rivaled the ancient magic tools that were excavated from the ruins. They exported their products and enriched the national treasury.
A small and poor country on the border, almost forgotten by its people, grew stronger quickly in little more than a decade.
Finally, the great bordering powers invaded by academics and engineers.
From youth to adulthood and old age, the king fought with a magic sword of his own creation. In a sparsely populated country, the king himself would have to lead the fight.
However, the opponent was a neighboring country that was considered one of the continent’s powers. The other countries expected the Kingdom of Thane to lose.
Thane’s kingdom defied expectations and won the war. Taking advantage of the rugged mountainous terrain, the king, the dragon slayer hero, led his troops and inspired them. The noble knights and soldiers of Thane’s Kingdom overwhelmed their neighbors who outnumbered them. They were also supported by those people of the Kingdom who had dispersed to other countries.
People who were at the heart of important chambers of commerce. Or those who had their own trade association. Those who had earned merit in foreign countries, risen in rank and received a noble title.
They poured the enormous amount of money they had accumulated in other countries as if it were hot water for the sake of their distant homeland. It is said that the minister in charge of finance could not spend it all and shouted for help, and with the unprecedented abundance of funds, every soldier, even the most novice, was dressed in a powerful outfit full of magic power, and trained in the harsh climate of Thane’s Kingdom army.
Undoubtedly, they had mastered the ability to be one of the strongest on the continent.
In just a few months, the neighboring country, which had been counteracted and even invaded its royal capital, surrendered.
The royal capital of Thane’s Kingdom was jubilant at the victory. The people welcomed Melvick IV, who had returned to the country before the rest, with cheers of approval.
The birth of Melvick IV’s great-grandson, the Princess, was celebrated. To be precise, Melvick IV had returned home in time for the celebration of his great-granddaughter.
Melvick IV and the queen he had taken as his second wife were smiling and waving from the balcony of the royal palace to the people who had gathered from all over the country to celebrate the victory of the war and the birth of the young princess. The newborn princess laughed in the arms of a young maid as she stretched her plump arms to the heavens.
Thane’s kingdom was at the height of its prosperity, and all its citizens, along with the revered royal family, were dreaming and cheering a happy morning, when a tremendous flash of light came out of Melvick IV’s body and struck the people.
Thane’s kingdom was destroyed. Only a few people survived.
‘I could not protect His Majesty and only I survived…’
He was only a young man when Thane’s kingdom fell, but now he was approaching old age.
At the tender age of his adolescence, a genius who graduated at the top of his class in magic from an Emerald University was unable to protect his great benefactor, Melvick IV. As a court magician, he was right next to Melvick IV and could only watch in awe as the king was transformed into something… before his eyes. An enormous amount of energy swelled up in Melvick IV himself, and he quickly put up a barrier.
He was able to place it. Because of his genius…
By the time the flashes of light went out and he came to his senses, there was nothing left but a pile of rubble around him. There was no one to be seen alive, no, the newborn princess slept peacefully wrapped in the arms of the maid who had been caring for her.
She seemed to be unconsciously defended by the maid who was holding her.
But even the maid had lost her left arm and leg.
After healing himself with a simple healing spell, he took the princess along with the few remaining survivors and left his homeland, which had become a land of death.
Later, he learned that the being who entered Melvick IV’s body was the legendary Demon King.
From then on, he dedicated himself to the destruction of the Demon King. He studied all kinds of literature from ancient and modern times, examined the weapons excavated in all kinds of ancient ruins, and even carried out research that was considered forbidden.
And more than thirty years passed…
‘Your Majesty. I am already older than you at that time. But the wait has been worthwhile, Your Majesty. I will make sure that you are released and that I can see you.’
A smile of pleasure came to the man’s mouth. The results of the investigation he had accumulated in front of him, for an ordinary person, would be insane. The extreme that the genius finally reached by resorting to the forbidden means at the end of his madness was to throw him off the right path.
He had no regrets.
What dwelt in the eyes of man was not madness, but a strong will that was clear and merciless to all intents and purposes.
To challenge the immeasurable existence of the Demon King with the finite body of a human being, he had to abandon everything.
‘Now, with all that is at stake…’
It took a long time to prepare a magic circle. He prepared a rare catalyst, and at great cost, a pre-ritual to cast the spell. And one girl was ready to be sacrificed. The girl was originally the man’s main source of inspiration, but he had to sacrifice her to achieve his goal.
Now he only had to activate the magic circle. That would allow him to destroy the Demon King and free his beloved Melvick IV.
At this point…
The only thing left to do was to cast the spell, and before he knew it, when he raised his head, a girl was standing in front of him.
“Where did you come from, girl? I thought I had some of the disciples and guards here.”
“I’m sorry, but I had to put them to sleep.”
“Who are you? You…”
With a trembling voice, the man asked the girl’s name. No, the truth is that he already knew her. He was preparing to fight the demon king. He had in his possession hidden information. In the process of investigation, it would naturally come into existence.
A frighteningly well-groomed face. Golden hair, an age when the world might still call her a child, one or two years older than ten. And the magic that overflowed from her whole body made her shine with a pale golden color.
Mavis the Brave.
“You are… you are…”
“I am here to stop you.”
“Stop me? You’re going to stop me? Me?”
The man exclaimed in an indignant voice.
“Why now? Why, right now? Why…?”
He had experienced frustration and despair many times. Although he studied to the point of vomiting blood, he could not cope with even the high-ranking demons under his command, let alone the Demon King self. He thought about it to the point of losing his mind, and finally, there he became interested in the forbidden.
He abandoned his human heart.
Such a man, in front of the Brave, threw away his pride and everything, crying and shouting without any concern in the world.
“Why?! Answer me why! Answer me!”
The truth was that he knew. There was no use in saying such things to the Brave. It was something she couldn’t do anything about either. Still, the man had no choice but to say it.
“Why couldn’t you have been born before, before…”
A sensation was emitted by the Brave. That day, the opposite of the atmosphere he felt from Melvick IV. And yet, an overwhelming power that was not even remotely comparable.
…The Brave was the counterpart of the Demon King.
At this moment, there was an existence before the man that was definitely comparable to the Demon King.
“Why? Answer me, hurry up…”
Crumbling, the man looked at his hands.
“There is no turning back now. I have already… sacrificed so much. And now… now you want it to be in vain. It will be a death for nothing…”
As she listened to the man’s monologue, the girl’s eyes, the Brave, which had previously held a sharp light, wavered slightly.
“You can go back. It is true that what you have done can never be forgiven. But you can correct your mistakes. You can atone for your sins. You do not have to follow this path.”
The Brave spoke with difficulty.
“I… even tried to sacrifice those I was supposed to protect. A sinful existence with so many lives in my hands. This is my wish… will you hear me? May I leave it to you?”
Raising his face, wet with tears, the man looked at the Brave, who was about the age of his own grandson.
“Would you please save that person… His Majesty’s soul?”
“Don’t worry. I will save everything…”
On hearing those words, the man began to cry, unworthy of his age. He shed tears of regret and then tears of joy…
Leaving the store where they were having tea, Wynn accompanied Leticia to the dormitory where she lived. Leticia had a beautiful smile on her face as she said goodbye, as if she really enjoyed it.
And Wynn did not go straight back to his room in the Knights’ School dormitory but walked back down the main street of the Imperial City. The sun had already set beyond the horizon, and the streets of the city were beginning to darken, filling with people returning home or to their temporary resting place. The stores that served food were full of customers focused on eating, with glasses of alcohol in hand to end the day.
The story Leticia told never left Wynn’s mind.
The spectacular life of a man who was there at the time of the birth of the Demon King, who lost his Lord and his country, and unfortunately survived. The past of Liara Thane, who was even called a “Saint” and supported Leticia’s journey, performing many miracles.
And Wynn could not find the words to describe the Brave Leticia Von Mavis, giving a little glimpse of what she had carried in the four years since his childhood friend had separated from him and the grueling journey she had been on.
There was probably more about Leticia as the Brave that he didn’t know yet.
Leticia smiled a bit annoyed, perhaps because she had left the atmosphere heavy with her story. But when they parted…
“That was fun, Onii-chan!”
As he watched Leticia happily say goodbye to him and return to her room in the girls’ dormitory, he hoped she would not have another opportunity to play the role of the Brave.
‘Let’s go back and see things together, both of us. I’m sure there’s still a fun side to the world that Leticia doesn’t know about.
The Kingdom of Thane’s scenario
A small nation whose territory is a barren land in the north. It is a country without natural resources, specialized in a few agricultural products, and it is thought that other countries ignore it because it would be expensive to mess with them.
However, Melvick IV set out to turn it into a nation of scholars and engineers, and as a result began creating items that rivaled the magical tools unearthed from warring civilizations.
When the great powers began their invasion, where other nations were equipped with steel knight swords, Thane was equipped with a level of equipment that even ordinary soldiers would return to the city, as it would be compared to the last dungeon in an RPG.
The birth of the Demon King happens about 40 years before the main story.
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