The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 43

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 43

Chapter 43: Purification Work (1)

As the new semester began at the Royal Academy, the first-year curriculum was foundational, setting the stage for the educational journey of the next six years. It focused predominantly on theoretical knowledge such as:

– The Basics of Mana Utilization,

– Introductory Magic Theories,

– Swordsmanship Textbook Style 1, etc.

These were followed by continental history, mathematics, geography, literature, and an array of tediously conventional classes.

Sigh, the mere thought of it brings a yawn.

Indeed, theory is crucial when starting anything new.

Does that mean I’m well-versed in these elementary theories?

Hardly possible, right?

It’s been over 30 years since I last delved into theoretical studies.

Would I remember all those meticulous details if I were a scholar instead of an assassin?

Theory is significant, true, but ultimately it’s about how to apply those learned theories to one’s self that matters most.

For someone like me, who has mastered the application, learning theories again would be utterly meaningless.

In my current situation, it’s not the tiny-print theoretical books that matter, but this single piece of paper.

Rare to see, the black paper is densely filled with red script.

This is an order of command.

A missive from the head, Silica, distributed to other members within the academy.

Passing it around means the organization’s next target for purification has been determined.

Normally, the rank of the purification operation divides which members are selected to execute it, but this time they have decided to involve me in a high-ranking operation from the start?

It’s so overwhelming; I hardly know what to do with myself.

The target is the empire’s beneficiary, and one of the three richest magnates on the continent, “Zickerman Albas.”

A baron by position, he’s a bigwig who currently holds sway over all commercial rights within the Ushif Empire.

To my knowledge, he’s known to be a benevolent merchant who cares little for his rank and donates most of his earnings to the poor…

Turns out it’s quite the opposite.

The decree lists all the unrighteous sins committed by Zickerman Albas.

Most notably, he’s been operating a slave market.

In the empire, where human trading is strictly forbidden under the teachings of the Light God Lumen Del…

He’s quite the audacious one.

It seems impossible that other figures within the empire are unaware of this; there must be a protective force shielding him from scrutiny.

-Clomp! Clomp!

While I was examining the order, heavy footsteps echoed from the stairs below.

Of course, I wasn’t in a classroom.

Worldwide, skipping classes on the rooftop may be a common retreat, but here at the academy, since the rooftop is occupied by the magic dueling arena, it would be a bit of a stretch.

So, where am I?

On the terrace atop Royal Hall.

A neatly arranged garden with a refreshing breeze made it an ideal place to spend time alone.

-Thud! Thud!

The footsteps that began as methodical clomps were intensifying.

Even ironclad knights wouldn’t make such a din. What were these – the footsteps of trolls or monstrous behemoths?

I hid the order and remained silent to see who was ascending the stairs.

-Bang!

The terrace door burst open from a kick.

Instinctively, my body twitched.

“…”

The intruder, seemingly startled to find someone there, was staring straight at me.

“You are…?”

The tall man approaching had a dusky complexion and shoulders sculpted like a statue’s.

I’d wager no one would mistake him for a student.

I assumed naturally he was a Royal Guard.

“Sian Vert?”

He knew my name?

Lately, it feels like too many people know who I am.

Unless they have a death wish, a Royal Guard wouldn’t dare address a noble’s child so casually, which means he must be either an academy instructor or a fellow student…

No, wait.

With that physique, if he’s a student, there must be something seriously amiss…

“…!”

The crest on his chest caught my eye.

A golden emblem resembling the scorching sun.

I’m acquainted with that symbol.

“Spanian royal family…?”

A nation in the eastern deserts of the continent, an oasis amid endless sands, under the blessing of the Sand God, Sabulon. Here, the Shahar Khan clan, who alone wield the magical attribute of ‘Sand’, govern the country.

Only one person at this Royal Academy would carry that emblem.

The Sand Prince, Seth Shahar Khan.

He was the firstborn prince of the Spania Kingdom and a leading heir to the throne.

From what I recall, even in my previous life, he hardly attended classes. Did he actually skip classes too?

Seeing him eyeing me intently hinted he wasn’t about to leave without a word…

“Do you know me?”

He readily began speaking as though waiting for permission.

“Of course. Sian Vert, the youngest son of the Vert family, the Guardians of the Continent. I’ve heard much about your exploits from the outside. Rumor has it you’ve been slaying demons on the front lines?”

What? Who said that?

True, I did… but except for the trials my father set, there should be no official record of me fighting monsters.

The rumor seems to have grown a bit out of hand.

Shaking my head, I clarified.

“I merely observed knights in battle from a distance. I’ve never faced a demon directly.”

His skeptical eyes implied he found my denial unconvincing.

Ah, this is quite uncomfortable…

“Then what brings you here?”

“Why? Perhaps for the same reason you are?”

Set smirked at the idea we were there for the same purpose.

“The same reason, huh… Interesting. So you share my sentiment?”

Without hesitation, he rolled up his sleeves and started warming up.

“I was honestly surprised. I must admit, I thought there could be no one at this Royal Academy who could surpass my physical prowess…”

That seems quite plausible, given your beast of a frame.

Now that I’m up close, you appear even more formidable than from afar.

If you applied to the Knights of Light right now, I bet they’d welcome you without question.

“Physical rating S… Even I haven’t attained such a rating, but you, Sian Vert, you did?”

Um…

Yes, I guess I’ve eaten well over the past year, earning a good rating.

While people usually emphasized magical grades or attribute levels, this fellow seemed particularly focused on my physical rating, likely very proud of his own physique.

“At this Royal Academy, most only care about a student’s magic and attribute levels. Foolish, really. True human strength arises from a strong body, honed through conditioning.”

With that, he promptly began performing push-ups on the ground, surpassing thirty reps in under ten seconds.

The more I saw, the more alien he seemed.

“You probably think the same way, don’t you? Instead of enduring boring lectures on theory and magic, you’d rather invest time strengthening your body! Unconventionally manly for sure, Sian Vert!”

No, I mean, it’s true I don’t want to attend classes, hence I’m here, but I didn’t come for intense exercise like you.

Body conditioning? Without question, it’s important.

However, if you knew how you died in your past life, you might want to hide in shame.

There was the Great Sword of the Garan Kingdom, and the Sand Prince in the Spanian Kingdom.

The Shahar Khan clan, blessed with the power of Sand attributed directly from the Sand God Sabulon, could wield the vast desert at their will.

Seth Shahar Khan perfectly inherited such power, to the point where some conjectured he was the direct chosen of the Sand God.

Especially for Spania, a country not just geographically but climatically opposed to the Empire, their unity was already strong – and with the Sand Prince, conquering the kingdom was a great challenge for the Empire.

But there’s a saying, isn’t there?

“The genius lives short lives.”

The formidable Sand Prince died in a ridiculously foolish manner.

Death by illness, due to a cold.

Obsessing over physical strength, he neglected his interior health.

His death was a loss to the kingdom’s backbone.

Shocked citizens believed the gods had forsaken Spania, and ultimately, its once unbreakable unity crumbled, leading to its demise at the hands of the Empire.

In fairness, dying from a cold does seem rather absurd.

But unaware of this, the enthusiastic prince energetically challenged me.

“Alright! I, Seth Shahar Khan, eldest prince of the mighty Spanian Kingdom, hereby challenge you, Sian Vert, to an official duel!”

A fierce wind whipped around as if his challenge were something grand.

Maintaining a calm façade, I replied.

“When?”

“Right now!”

“Then no.”

“Why not?!”

He yelled in confusion.

“Not permitted duels without the academy’s consent. If you want a duel, go to the main building’s administrative office and apply formally.”

His incredulous expression suggested he was unaware of such protocols.

“Then if I apply, whatever that is, we can duel?”

“That would seem likely.”

Assuming the academy gives permission, anyway.

“Great! Then where do I go to apply?”

“I told you. The administration office. It’s on the third floor of the main building.”

“Understood!”

Like a bear tracking prey, he dashed off towards the office.

With each hefty step, the terrace floor echoed, leaving me worried about the construction quality of this rooftop.

A duel with the Sand Prince…

It seemed like another pesky situation was unfolding.

* * *

In Brenu, a city in the southern part of the Ushif Empire, amidst the large tents lay a bizarre space filled with grimy cages.

Having finished sorting, a man urgently headed to the merchant’s quarters.

“Master Zickerman! The merchandise is ready!”

Zickerman didn’t even glance at the man.

Something wrapped in colorful cloth within a golden chest, which he fondled as if it contained the world’s most precious jewel.

“Coordinate the time and place with the clients and send the message. Especially ensure tight security this time! And do not inform those higher up in the empire!”

“Yes, understood!”

With the report concluded, the man scurried out.

Left alone, Zickerman carefully inspected the item from the chest.

“This is the finest item of my forty-year career! Surely it deserves the best, wouldn’t you say?”

Receiving no reply was expected; after all, inanimate objects can’t talk. Regardless, Zickerman laughed heartily, holding the item.

“Proper preparation is needed for the greatest show. Rest easy within the chest for now.”

He returned the item to the chest and sealed it cautiously to prevent any harm.

-Squirm

For a moment, there was a rustling movement inside the chest.

Following the initial stir, there were a few more movements, but Zickerman was too preoccupied with laughter to notice.

-Swish

Simultaneously, an invisible colorless energy began to rise from the chest like smoke.

(To be continued)

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