The extra Is too Strong – Chapter 96

The Extra is too strong

Chapter 96: The Extra Is Too Strong

Rumble… Crash!

A thunderstorm raged over the grand duchy of Bernas.

Grand Duke Harden Bernas stood by a large window for a while, watching the thunder and lightning rage outside. Suddenly, he turned around and said,

“It’s been a while. Have you come to make excuses for your incompetence?”

In the otherwise empty grand ducal office, a figure had appeared.

It was literally a shadow of a person, a voice emanating from a bizarre entity without someone to cast it.

“May I have your permission to stand before His Grace the Grand Duke?”

“You have my permission.”

No sooner had the Grand Duke given his permission than the shadow materialized into the form of a person.

“The security of the grand ducal castle is indeed strict.”

Due to the high-quality senses of the people around the Grand Duke, including himself, even the Silver Blood couldn’t infiltrate Bernas Castle at will.

So they had been forced to use a mythic spell that only an archmage could use, one that allowed them to leap through space upon receiving an invitation.

“I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“Greetings. My name is Carian, a high-ranking member of the ‘Eight Stars,’ the second echelon of the Silver Blood.”

The elegantly greeting young man, dressed in a brown robe, was unmistakably a mage.

With flowing golden hair and fine features more beautiful than a woman’s, and spotless white skin, he was the epitome of a handsome youth.

“Good for you,”

“Excuse me?”

“It means I envy you, an ancient monster with such a young exterior.”

Silence followed the Grand Duke’s words.

Carian, the golden-haired youth, was startled.

‘To read the years I’ve lived through just at a glance, his seventh sense is indeed sharp.’

Carian was an archmage, an entity surpassing even high-level mages.

He handled the power to recreate divine strength, extending beyond the practice of the ninth circle and known as either mythic or transcendent spells.

And that was possible because, unlike his youthful appearance, he had actually lived much longer than even the Grand Duke.

The fact that the Grand Duke could read Carian’s lived years at first encounter was evidence of his seventh sense reaching a higher-dimensional realm.

‘Given his hair color, he hasn’t fully embodied the power of divine blood, but his strength is substantial. Was the divinity of Bernas this formidable?’

Carian observed the Grand Duke with a mage’s curiosity, careful not to rile him.

“State your business.”

“I’ve come to apologize for our failure.”

Carian smirked.

The Silver Blood had boasted they would present Hardon Bernas with Modru captured, but despite repeated attempts, Modru had decimated their forces and escaped to the north.

“The blind monster… I should have taken it more seriously when I heard that General Ilden treasured it. My misjudgment led to its escape.”

“It wasn’t a short period before it headed north. But you let it escape? I seem to have overestimated you.”

Despite the demeaning words, Carian kept his smile.

“I am deeply sorry for that. As a sign of my apology and for betraying your trust, I have prepared this.”

Carian extended a small metal box towards the Grand Duke. The box floated before him and came to a halt.

The Grand Duke took the box and opened it to find a glass bottle containing a strange liquid with a slight purple-silver glow.

“What is this?”

“Nectar.”

“Nectar, as in the one from myths?”

“Indeed.”

The Grand Duke was surprised at Carian’s response.

Though the duchy had many mages and alchemists, and some were affiliated with the Grand Duke’s household, none had ever suggested that nectar existed in reality.

Carian continued.

“It’s the pure essence of nectar, precisely.”

“Essence? What do you mean?”

“Nectar is quite difficult to produce. Usually, when rewarding members, we dilute the pure essence with other potions. From one bottle of this essence, you could produce over twenty bottles.”

He wanted the Grand Duke to understand the value of the gift given.

“What benefits would I gain if I drink this?”

“Your divine blood power will strengthen.”

“Just like the effects described in the myths. Although I’m unsure if it holds any significance for me…”

The Grand Duke was known as the incarnation of the fighting god, a man whose blood of the god of combat flowed more powerfully and richly than anyone else’s.

What use would drinking nectar be to him, who had ascended to the pinnacle by drawing out his power?

Of course, he wouldn’t know until he tried it. But the Grand Duke preferred to ponder whether there was a way to use such a treasure usefully, rather than test its worth in a manner unappealing to him.

“I’ll accept your apology in consideration of your sincerity. I hope you won’t disappoint me like this again in the future.”

“Thank you. And there’s one more thing I would like to ask.”

“Go ahead.”

“Please allow me to intervene in the north and deal with Modru.”

“Do you understand the implications of what you’re asking?”

“I do.”

The Silver Blood had been active in the north for some time.

They had a tacit alliance with the Grand Duke, and only Ilden’s reluctance prevented them from being openly hostile.

The Grand Duke was aware of this.

And there was a clear reason why the Silver Blood now sought his permission.

“The Gatekeeper Brigade might get entangled, and there might even be a direct clash with General Ilden.”

They were asking for permission, acknowledging that there could be damage to Bernas’ forces other than the target Modru.

“Hmm…”

The Grand Duke looked at Carian thoughtfully, then examined the nectar essence and said,

“If that’s the level of your sincerity, I’ll consider it.”

The Grand Duke’s decision was a result of thinking from a ruler’s standpoint.

Not just him, but all the previous Grand Dukes had been wary of the Gatekeeper Brigade and kept them in check.

Bernas Duchy and the Whitestorm Pass were geographically far apart, and it was necessary to even pass through the Kingdom of Rootvan, which significantly weakened their control.

If the leader of the independent Gatekeeper Brigade held strong loyalty to the Grand Duke, like Ilden and others harboring hostility, scrutiny was warranted.

The Gatekeeper Brigade could not be allowed to become too strong.

They should lack the spare capacity to handle incidents in the Whitestorm Pass. If they grew too powerful, it would threaten the political balance of the Duchy.

“I understand. I will visit you again soon.”

Carian, content with the outcome, prepared to leave with a satisfied smile.

“One thing before you go.”

The Grand Duke’s words stopped him.

“Since when?”

“It wasn’t the first time, was it? Who was it that joined forces with you before me?”

Carian gamely answered the Grand Duke’s long-held question.

“It was Ilden Bernas.”

* * *

In the northern icy wastelands.

A heavy silence hung in the deepest chambers of Antak Fortress, embraced by a bitter cold.

“At that time, I was gripped with fear. Fear that Harden could take everything I’ve built throughout my life. And they preyed on that weakness.”

In the competition for his predecessor, Ilden had been called the heir apparent of the Grand Duke.

Until Grand Duke Harden awoke to his talent, the succession was overwhelmingly in Ilden’s favor, to the point where everyone believed it was assured he would ascend to the grand ducal throne.

But when the much younger Harden’s talent blossomed, the tide drastically turned.

If Ilden was a genius, then Harden was a monster.

Harden shattered all the records Ilden, the best of his generation, had set and captured everyone’s attention.

At fourteen, Ilden had defeated an ogre one-on-one; Harden did it at twelve.

The realm of divine blood that Ilden reached at sixteen, Harden attained in just half a year post-awakening at fifteen.

The aura that Ilden mastered at eighteen, Harden mastered at sixteen…

In this way, he proved a prodigious genius, and he began to show it in combat.

He not only succeeded in numerous missions to prevent the demonizing of the world but also entered one by one the eight great labyrinths that existed on the continent, achieving remarkable success.

In the north, he also defeated the lineage of Ordas, the great rival of Bernas, several times, causing his fame to skyrocket.

“The turning point was when Harden represented in the duel between the kingdom and the empire.”

The Shavas Kingdom, which ruled the western part of the continent, and the Urfin Empire, the power of the east.

There was a chance that a great war would erupt over a bloody conflict in the grey area between the two.

But looking internally, neither side wanted a full-scale war due to various real-world circumstances.

It was only pride that stopped them from backing down.

Through the efforts of negotiators, both sides agreed to resolve the issue by spilling as little blood as necessary.

They decided to have five warriors represent each side’s stance and duel it out.

The Shavas Kingdom requested support from Bernas Duchy, and the Grand Duke’s house was eager to send warriors worthy of making history.

The catch was that these warriors were to be young, limited to a certain age bracket.

It was a mutually agreed upon result between the House of the Grand Duke of Bernas and the Ordas House to showcase their next generation.

“Harden owned that stage.”

The duel allowed the winner to continue fighting as long as they wished.

Both the Grand Duke’s house and the Ordas House attached great importance to the fight.

Unlike their usual battles, this one was publicly disclosed and would go down in history.

A victory here could determine one’s reputation for decades, if not centuries.

It didn’t take long for the Ordas House to realize they had made a catastrophic error.

Harden was the first to step forward as a representative of the Shavas Kingdom.

And he utterly demolished all five representatives from the Urfin Empire.

No one lasted more than five minutes against Harden that day.

His reputation as the incarnation of the fighting god spread across the continent following that event.

“I grew anxious.”

Ilden was also one of the representative warriors.

But he merely watched Harden’s solo performance without getting a chance to do anything.

Following that event, Harden’s stature had grown immeasurably.

“That’s when Silver Blood approached me.”

Ilden needed an opportunity, a monumental achievement surpassing Harden.

However, such chances were not easily obtained, and the succession race approached its finish line as the previous Grand Duke of Bernas aged.

Silver Blood offered Ilden a gift to earn his trust.

“They called it the pure essence of nectar.”

Astonished, Ilden drank it.

Just like the mythic records claimed—it truly strengthened his divine blood.

Modru frowned.

‘If they gave him nectar essence, they must have invested quite an effort.’

Even so, it fell far short compared to the ancient nectar Modru had given to Kael and Leon.

Nonetheless, having experienced the nectar essence, Ilden began to trust Silver Blood.

“To be frank, I didn’t find their ideals objectionable.”

Silver Blood’s ideal was a world ruled exclusively by the blood of deities, which to the true lineage of Bernas was an all too natural state, eliciting no revulsion.

Moreover, the world was strictly hierarchical; people everywhere naturally accepted the existence of a ruling class distinct from a subjugated class.

Silver Blood merely wanted to make the criteria for ruling clearer. Therefore, it was an ideal easily accepted by the people of this world.

“The problem began when I agreed to do a job for them.”

They asked Ilden for help with one task.

Grateful for the nectar essence, Ilden agreed.

“And then I saw their true colors.”



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