Chapter 21: Red Constellation (Two)
'Taurus. Help me.'
[I am incapable.]
'I know you can do it. You are the strongest amongst all of us. I also know that this seal is not completely…'
'This is because you must help me. I need to be restored to my body immediately and return to Constellation.'
[I regret I cannot comply.]
'Taurus. You are not the will of the world nor are you one of those stupid Gods. Why do you want to be stubborn like them?'
'Please, Taurus! I met a child. He may be the only newborn Mystic in a thousand years.'
[What does that have to do with me?]
'Why can you not comprehend? We are only fourteen Mystics. With him and we would have fifteen Mystics! We are all one unified entity!'
'Believe me Taurus. We all coexist and live with one another even if our journeys are different.'
[Do you remember Blood Spike Hellen?]
'That is different. I will never admit them as one of us. They betrayed us!'
[Everyone has a choice. That's what it was.]
'We are not mankind!'
[Choices has nothing to do with race.]
'Then I have made a choice! I choose to be a Mystic! Don't you want to see us stand freely on top of the world?'
[I had a choice, that's all.]
'Taurus! That child needs guidance! Otherwise, sooner or later he would…'
[That is fate.]
'Third Grade Apprentice of Soul Tower, Taurus Mill! Do not forget! You are the one that killed the people of the mountains and ocean! You are the one that started the war! You are our first role model! If it was not because of you, everything else would not have happened!'
'Taurus. Help me.'
"Wait!" Thales raised his hand and interrupted Gilbert's slightly sorrowful words.
"The Jadestar's family bloodlines were slaughtered until almost none were left? Who did this?"
Gilbert simply gave him a sad look. Thales narrowed his eyes. There were already some problems in the earlier words.
"You said that my grandfather, Aydi II, had a long and stable rule and was known as King of Eternal Rule? Then what happened during the rebellion in the Bloody Year? Great order brought an armed rebellion? That is totally illogical."
Thales looked at Gilbert. However, Gilbert simply patted the book once with his hand and frowned slightly.
The gray-haired middle-aged noble calmly said, "There are many reasons for the Bloody Year. It is also very complicated. Some information is even limited only to high-ranking officials. You will know this in future lessons. When you become the official heir, with the right to access all these secrets, It would not be too late to know then."
"Right now, I can only tell you that His Majesty has already taken revenge on all the enemies that he could. The hidden dangers have already been basically resolved. As for the remaining enemies, revenge either cannot be carried out or is impossible."
Thales narrowed his eyes. 'Basically resolved?'
He had a hunch that the incident a dozen years ago was extremely important to him.
Gilbert continued his recounting with compassion and grief.
"During that year, the five central territories encountered a lot of natural disasters and crop failures. Six cities in southwest started an armed rebellion. The army that was supposed to stop the rebellion had a mutiny. The Barren Bone tribe also rebelled and the Eckstedt Empire started an invasion. The north was in a state of emergency. There was also a naval blockade and the supplies from the south was cut off. The rebels even surrounded the Eternal Star City for some time. The nobles in the city even united to force the King to abdicate. Everything happened very suddenly."
"Bad news was reported in the court every day such as the fall of a territory, the invasion of an enemy, the defeat of the army, allies breaking treaties, a noble was killed or there was a brutal massacre. Everyone is alarmed and prayed for a better tomorrow but received worse news the next day."
"The people in the city were in rags as they struggled to survive under the pressure of the army. Those not in the army were hardly able to get any food. Nobles below the rank of Earl were like beggars. Their previous power was as good as dung. Those that had gold were also unable to trade for food."
"Thieves, robbers, and mobs emerged endlessly. Even the army could not suppress them. The number of people in the army that died from battle, illness or starvation also increased as the day goes by. It was to the extent that the city moat was blocked with the pile-up of corpses. The people outside the kingdom had it worse. Many are reduced to refugees or mobs. They drifted with the wind and have nothing to rely on. Robbers roamed and other criminals run rampant."
"Many lords were hanged in their own fields. Some officials were even flayed in the kingdom offices. It was impossible to make a living without weapons. I heard from a messenger rider that piles of bodies lay every few steps of the road in the wild. It was impossible for a horse to gallop for half a minute. If there were less than five knights, refugees and mobs would swarm to attack."
"It was a tough year."
Gilbert looked out the window. His tone was calm but Thales could hear the desolation and resentment in his voice.
"The misfortune of the Jade Star Royal Family is amongst the biggest footnotes."
Thales did not speak. Gilbert sighed and continued.
"The King touched his white hair, worrying about the city every day. The lights from the candles in the conference room were never put out. Everyone from the Jadestar family such as the princes, the King's brothers, and others were assigned tasks like supervising the post-war work, winning over the nobles or even fight at the frontlines. That was until they were all mercilessly slaughtered."
"His Majesty, the former sovereign, was beheaded at the throne. The princesses were strangled in their sleep. The prince's concubines were burned to death in the castle, his descendants were killed by swaddling clothes. Even Her Highness the previous Empress was…"
"The heroic eldest prince took his sword and did not retreat. He died together with his Protector in front of the palace. The younger prince, Prince John, was the most unfortunate. Just as he was about to obtain victory in the Southwest Battlefield, he was killed by a shameful sneak attack from behind."
"One of the princes in the frontlines was shoved down from the highest room in the castle. Another was killed by poison during a noble's treaty banquet. One was forced into a tight siege by Eckstedt and had no support for three full hours. The whole army was annihilated and he perished in battle. It was to the extent that when His Majesty Kessel was hurrying somewhere in the wilds, he was accosted by five hundred professional soldiers. At that time only Yodel was with him."
"Deaths and bloodshed covered the entire country. The upper levels were the court, the nobles, and the influential families. At the bottom were the knights, the businessmen, the laymen. They suffered heavy casualties. This was the most difficult page in the history of the Constellation.
Thales took a deep breath. 'This country had experienced such a terrifying unrest before I transmigrated?'
Gilbert calmed down and spoke solemnly.
"This is why, please personally pursue the answer to the Bloody Year in the future. At the same time, please prepare yourself. The Bloody Year is only the tip of the iceberg. There was never any lack of bloodshed in the history of Constellation."
Thales nodded. He suppressed his curiosity and excitement, and doubts about the Bloody Year were attached with a number and filed into memory.
Gilbert looked at Thales' cautious expression and lightly nodded. He then turned around and continued speaking.
"Thales. The search for matters related to your bloodline started then. Your father, His Majesty Kessel may have survived but he had lost all of his relatives during that year. He also lost a pair of children, that is your older brother and older sister."
Among them, the one-year-old Luther Jadestar was swaddled to death. The assassin was spotted and in the chaos, he abducted the four-year-old Lydia Jadestar.
Here, Gilbert glanced at Thales with a complicated expression.
"Thales. Child." The middle-aged man slowly said, "At the beginning, that Lamp was not used to find you."
Thales lowered his head, looking at the wound on his hand.
'So, it was like this.'
"After the coronation of His Majesty, Liscia from the Sunset Temple personally performed a divine art that could find any living creature in the world that had His Majesty's bloodline. However, when we found Princess Lydia…"
"In short, His Majesty and the Jadestar Family had lost all of the legitimate successors, and the situation stayed that way for twelve years. During this period, no new bloodline was born to His Majesty. In the past twelve years, Constellation only had a supreme King. There were no princes or princesses. Even political marriages were chosen from the children of the six most influential families. This was until one day when that Bloodline Lamp lit up again."
The study room was silent for a long time.
Thales recalled the scene from the previous night. He needed to confirm one thing.
"During His Majesty's fifth or sixth year of administration…"
So, when Gilbert continued, Thales did not hesitate to interrupt the middle-aged noble.
"The plan to obliterate the Royal Family," Thales said softly. "Who was the most likely assailant?"
Gilbert closed his eyes for a moment. He then said, "It is the Charleton family and the Shadow Shield."
Thales silently sighed in his heart.
"One is a thousand-year-old inherited assassin family of the night. The other is an assassin organization that had rampaged in the darkness for a few hundred years. Together with some hidden hands, they plotted what is known as the Starfall rebellion plan. This was something the Secret Department of the kingdom later found out."
"Two secret Protectors of the former sovereign, Aydi the Second, were diverted by someone. As a result of the former sovereign's benevolence, the elite Royal Guards was dispatched along with the eldest prince to suppress the mob that had suddenly gathered in front of the palace. Although the forty guards from the city defense team were elites ranging from ordinary class to supra class masters, and there were enough to line up from the front of the gate to the palace at the back, the legendary assassin managed to kill them all along the way. They could not even hold him off for half a minute. That was how Lordan Charleton cut off the previous king's head.
'That's right,' Thales silently thought. 'I have personally seen with my own eyes that knife skill that relentlessly presses forward and is unstoppable.'
"Several of His Highness' elder brothers, including His Highness the eldest prince, were assassinated by the Shadow Shield using a different strategy.
His Majesty's had a pair of children remaining in the court. They, together with the princes' concubine and the eldest princess, were killed by Bannette Charleton."
'Bannette. This name is really familiar.'
Thales huffed. 'This was the man Jala referred to as a stranger.'
He resisted the urge to feel JC's dagger. He also resisted the urge to immediately go back to the room and inquire from Yodel.
"Please continue." Thales immediately changed his mood and nodded his head. "Please talk about my part."
Gilbert spruced up his clothes because of excitement and also because his necktie was mispositioned. He then continued.
"I know a little bit about your biological mother. According to the words of your father, His Majesty Kessel, her name should be TherrenGirana1. As for her family name… His Majesty never talked about her background. She is probably not a noble. From this name, I even suspect that she is a foreigner."
"But that is all. Nothing more. He did not tell me her age, when she met His Majesty, or even whether she is still alive."
Thales frowned. "I was sent to the Brotherhood at least seven years ago." Thales lowered his head and muttered. "That means, in the year 665, my mother met the King. Could you…"
However, at that moment, Gilbert shook his head.
"All this while, His Majesty has had many lovers, whether open or hidden. Some stayed with him for a month or two, some remained for as long as ten years. For more definite information on their situation, only Yodel who always followed His Majesty around would know."
"However, all of them had nothing?" Thales asked in suspicion. "Only my mother whom I had not seen gave birth to me all of a sudden? And then the Lamp lit up when my blood touched the floor? Isn't this too suspicious?"
"My father, His Majesty the King, is also neither cold nor warm to his illegitimate child. He also does not seem to want to discuss with me about my mother. Are you sure I am their child?"
Gilbert frowned. "I am unable to and also cannot comment on His Majesty's actions."
"As for your mother, I can only say it is fate." The middle-aged man then looked uncomfortable as he added. "Besides that, I have to warn you that those ideas just now are not favorable to your future identity. I would remind you to not mention it again."
Gilbert's gaze was so harsh that Thales, who was sitting on a leather chair, shrank back.
"After all, the Bloodline Lamp from the divine powers of the Sunset Goddess is never wrong. His Majesty also insisted that that Lady TherrenGirana is your biological mother. So, keep this in mind and bury it in your heart. Maybe one day, His Majesty would answer this question for you."
The frosty expression and unassailable majesty of Kessel V flashed in his mind. Thales turned to another direction and rolled his eyes.
"This above answers the questions about where you came from and who you are." Gilbert's face was solemn.
"So, about where you are going …"
At this moment, a person had suddenly appeared in the study. He had silently fallen in right in front of them.
Gilbert's expression changed quickly. He instantly got up and used his foot to kick up a staff from the side. When the middle-aged noble caught the staff with his hands, he had steadfastly stopped right in front of Thales.
Thales then realized that the seemingly gentle and elegant middle-aged noble had quite good martial skills.
However, the middle-aged noble soon gave a sigh of relief and relaxed again together with Thales.
This was because the person that suddenly appeared was covered in a black hooded leotard and wore a dark purple mask.
The Supreme King His Majesty's Protector, Yodel Cato, said briefly in a hoarse voice.
"Some people are approaching here at high speed. Twenty!"
At this moment, Thales recalled Gilbert's words.
'There is no lack of bloodshed in the history of Constellation.'
1 TherrenGirana – The name was exactly in this manner, in English letters and without spacing in the RAWs. There was a note stating that this surname is not known by others.