It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (58/90), enjoy~
“Where is the cemetery of the first emperor?”
At this question, the leader of the tomb guard pasted tension on his wrinkled face. Hiro wondered at the strange reaction but finally returned his gaze to him.
“I ask you once again, where is the cemetery of the first emperor?”
No falsehoods are allowed. As he said this, his voice was filled with murderous intent.
The leader of the tomb guard bowed his head and spat out the words in a shaky voice.
“I don’t even know. It is said that the cemetery of the first emperor appears only to the one who is chosen to be the next emperor.”
He did not lie. His body trembled from extreme nervousness, and there was no sense of deception. He must have been telling the truth. If he didn’t know, there was no point in questioning him.
Then, the only thing to do would be to go and check out the strange presence he’s been feeling for a while now.
“I’m going to check for any other traces of intruders. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Y-yes, of course.”
As if sensing from Hiro’s words that he wanted to be left alone, the leader of the tomb guard stood up, took a moment to catch his breath, and then paused to think about what he was going to say.
“I-I apologize, but I must take my leave now. I have to dispose of the bodies of my unworthy disciples and establish a new security system.”
“I understand. I’ve learned the way, so I’m fine. You can go outside first.”
“If you need anything, just call out to me, and I’ll be here as soon as I can.”
The leader of the tomb guard bowed repeatedly and walked away quickly.
After watching his bent back, Hiro began to walk to investigate the identity of the gaze.
Without hesitation, he walked into the darkness ― towards the presence he had felt earlier.
Soon, a large rock appeared in front of him.
The height was probably three times Hiro’s height, and the width was so wide that he couldn’t see the edges.
“This is strange… I have not seen such a huge rock before, haven’t I?”
He looked back over his shoulder and saw that he was surrounded by darkness. He looked around, and the result was the same.
It didn’t seem like much of a walk, but… was there some kind of force at work?
“…Though it is not surprising that Altius would have some strange tricks up his sleeve.”
Hiro chuckled and held out his hand to the rock.
The moment the fingertips touched, a strange thing happened.
An erratic white light appears on the rock’s surface, flows towards the ground, falls, and pops.
It was weak like raindrops, yet it was divine, and it was repeated over and over again.
Light and dark alternately flickered across the world, striking a melancholy note in the hearts of all who saw it.
Eventually, the light began to change colors.
From black to white, from white to red, from red to gold.
The dazzling gold color covered Hiro’s vision and stained the darkness of the world with gold.
“You’re still… fancy as ever, aren’t you?”
While closing his eyes against the brightness, Hiro couldn’t help but relax his mouth in nostalgia. He felt the light converging on him. The darkness covers the world again, just as it did before.
When Hiro opened his eyes again, what appeared in front of him was a void.
Even if he looked into it, he would not be able to see beyond. But the feeling that welled up in his chest was not fear but a sense of relief that somehow put his mind at ease.
“Well… let’s see what that gaze is all about.”
Hiro stepped out without hesitation and went inside.
The view of the world changes.
No, it’s a complete change.
It was as if he had wandered into a different world, and the scene that unfolded before him was mysterious.
“…..How can you create a space like this?”
It was a field of flowers. The entire area was covered with brightly colored flowers in full bloom.
When he looked up, the sun’s rays were streaming in, enveloping the world in a dazzling array of colors.
But there was one thing in particular that drew his attention.
Buried among the flowers, it stood out in the center of the room.
――A golden coffin.
“Haha, what a bad taste. It’s just like you, though.”
As Hiro unconsciously said the words, a gentle wind blew.
As the wind dances away, caressing the body, he feels a slight sense of regret.
“…..You came, huh?”
He felt a presence and turned around to see a young man standing there, looking as if he was in peace.
Leon Werth Altius von Grantz.
He’s the first emperor of the Grantz Empire, and he’s Hiro’s brother-in-law. However, it was clear that it was not him, despite the resemblance in appearance.
His entire body emitted a faint glow. When captured by the “Heavenly Spirit Eye,” it was clear that he was a collection of spirits.
“I wonder how you found this place. It’s not a place you can find with half-hearted determination.”
Altius began to speak indifferently, his voice sounding machine-like.
“There are a lot of residual thoughts in this place. Strong feelings, no matter how many years pass, do not fade and remain forever. Therefore, by taking them into themselves, the spirits express the thoughts and wishes of the emperors and pass them on to future generations.”
The theatrical tone of voice, combined with the lack of expression on his face, made him seem somewhat ridiculous.
From Hiro’s perspective, even though he knew the person himself, he could not help but feel uncomfortable, even though he was a collection of spirits.
Without noticing Hiro’s feelings, Altius, still expressionless, spread his arms to emphasize his presence.
“You have been chosen for a severe ordeal. You have been chosen as a person who is worthy of inheriting the thoughts of the emperors of the past, of carrying on the work of the Grantz Empire, of the inevitable fate of the emperor.”
Altius pointed to a place.
When he looked over, a man was hanging his head in front of a golden coffin.
His profile reminded him of Altius. Hiro tilted his head at the familiar face, but his thoughts stopped when he noticed the tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Father… please forgive me. I’m… I’m… His Majesty Schwartz, please forgive me…”
In addition, a little farther away, a red-haired man holding four treasured swords that looked like the Five Emperors of Spirit Swords was standing proudly, staring at the golden coffin with a fearless look on his face.
“In this chaotic time, many thoughts are swirling around. It seems to be foolishly trying to consume everything else. If this is karma, then let me slay it all and lead the Grantz Empire to greater heights.”
Another man appears next to the man who made the heroic statement.
Hiro had seen him before.
How could he forget?
He was Liz’s father, the previous emperor who had been assassinated, Greyheit himself.
“Aah… why… Why…?”
He slumped back and sobbed. He exudes fragile supremacy that is unbecoming of an emperor.
In his arms, a baby with red hair was asleep.
“Liz… oh… Liz… forgive me… for not protecting your mother… please forgive your foolish father…”
He stroked the baby’s cheek lovingly, his eyes twisted with sadness. Hiro could feel the love and affection that was unimaginable when he was alive.
“His Majesty Altius, please don’t choose this child as your only choice… please give her a life free from war, please give her a life of peace and tranquility.”
It was filled with anguish, like a cry of the soul ― an outpouring of thoughts from the bottom of the heart.
“If a sacrifice is necessary for that, I will bear the brunt of it and offer my body. Please, please protect my daughter.”
There were those who spoke of repentance, those who declared their power, and those who offered prayers.
A variety of residual thoughts is gathered here. Hiro had a headache and fell to his knees on the ground.
Anger, sadness, joy, hatred, and a host of other emotions mingled, knotted together and melted away. There was an enormous amount of information in this space where the first Emperor Altius slept.
Even Hiro, who possessed the “Heavenly Spirit Eye,” could not process the number of emotions flowing into his mind.
“Those who step into this place have the right to know everything.”
Hiro held his aching eyes as he looked at Altius, who was a collection of spirits.
“It’s up to you how much you know and how much you can read, but I want you to be prepared for the coming ‘turning point.'”
They are very similar in that they say whatever they want and then try to disappear, even though it is not the person himself. Hiro didn’t know if it’s because the spirit is impatient or just because the words to say are predetermined from the start. Either way, the explanation was insufficient to understand the situation.
“I want you to take over my will, please. That’s all I want.”
With these last words, the collection of spirits dispersed.
A gust of wind erupted into the sky with a loud roar as it blew through the passage.
Hiro looked at the sky to see it off, but when he loosened his collar, he let out a deep sigh.
“Huh… but I still have to do something to get it.”
Although he was groping… he had to find the answer.
This is not fate but inevitability.
A thousand years ago, he parted ways with this world, and now he has returned, and by his presence, he must bear the responsibility of distorting the logic of this world.
Feeling his eyes tingling less than before, Hiro stood up and walked to the golden coffin. It was a plain coffin with only a few elaborate decorations to show its majesty.
“Should I open it? I don’t want to see Altius’ mummy, though.”
As Hiro struggled to decide what to do, a strange object appeared at the edge of his vision.
There was an old book on the table.
He took it in his hand, examined the contents, and found that the power of the spirits was flowing into it.
It seemed to have been incorporated into the book itself so that the paper would not decay.
“Incidentally, he was practicing his handwriting in case he wanted to leave something for the future…”
Hiro traced his finger over the masterful handwriting with a wry smile.
Altius’s handwriting ― in short, the journal of the first emperor.
At first, the contents were familiar to Hiro.
However, as he continued to read, Hiro noticed the strange timeline, and eventually, a book came to his mind. Hiro took out the “Book of White” that he had stored in the Black Princess Camellia.
“…..Two books make one book. I guess that means it’s complete. I should have kept the Book of Black with me.”
Hiro spread the two books out on the golden coffin and slowly turned the pages as if to compare them.