“This is called ‘The Horn that calls Storms’. It is a little lacking compared to the ‘Powers of the West Wind’ which gives you the ability to teleport and the ‘Powers of the South Wind’ which allows you to hear sounds distances away.”
“Why’s that? Isn’t the power to call for storms a great ability to use?”
Our teacher smiled, as if proud of his two students who were showing apt interest before continuing calmly.
“You do know that those who are able to utilise a God’s powers are called Templars. right?”
“There are three things you need to harness the power of the Gods. [ A Templar, an Artifact and a Blessed Place ]. The exact conditions may vary amongst the 24 Gods but once a Templar candidate meets the conditions set by their respective Gods, they ‘awaken’. The candidate will from then on receive the honor of becoming a Templar.”
Our teacher flipped a book open before showing us a drawing from one of the pages. It depicted something that looked like a gigantic stage but after looking closer I realised it was an artifact with many small letters inscribed in it.
“The Artifacts were something that the Gods themselves bestowed upon this land when our Empire was founded. Even all the Great Templars will never be able to make one on their own. The ‘Blessed Place’ was the land that God first stepped on or the land where they eventually settled to. Ultimately, the power of the Gods can only be manifested if two of these three things are present. Only when all three are present, can the full power of the Gods be utilised. The Power of the North Wind, Boreas, which I just mentioned still requires two things which are its Templars and its Artifacts. Sadly, such a wind no longer exists in our Empire. Its last Templar was last sighted 200 years ago.”
“So, you mean we have these Artifacts but no one can use them?”
“Yes, that is right.”
After pondering over what happened yesterday, I asked again.
“How can you feel the Power of the Gods? The conditions needed to harness each God’s powers are different and any man who satisfies the conditions becomes the Templars. So, are the Templars chosen by the Gods?”
“Hoho. I now feel like there were rewards to my teachings. That is right, Your Highness. Though they weren’t exactly ‘chosen by the Gods’, you are almost right.”
“Because the 24 Gods that descended after Jupiter a thousand of years ago were the ones who set their own standards, there are no fixed ‘conditions’ to become Templars. It is all up to God’s standards.”
I continued to ask without a beat.
“What about the power to randomly spout water?”
“You mean the River God? Hm, well, in practise, there is a kind of power that allows the descendants of the human that God loved or those that live on the God’s Blessed Lands to be blessed and utilise their powers. Like the God of Spears and Shields or the God of Rivers. As the Princess just mentioned, the most notable out of those who do this is Inachos, who is now the most powerful in Kaltanias.”
Instead of keeping my back straight, I decided to change my posture and stare at the teacher while holding my chin in my hands.
“Well, in the end, a Templar is someone who is able to meet a very special set of conditions.”
“Exactly right. There are also quite a number amongst the Imperial Family. Hohoho. The Princess is really bright today. I am really delighted to see that.”
Our teacher smiled kindly. Under the sunlight, his deep wrinkles that spread out like a fan seemed to be proportional to that of the deep wisdom he had accumulated. Wait. For a moment, I hesitated before asking slowly.
“You know, even if you’re not a Templar, could you use Their powers? So, what I mean is normal humans using the Artifacts of the North Wind. Like, can they draw on the powers of the Blessed Lands?”
“Of course not.”
“Artifacts draw on the innate power within the user. Even if the Blessed Land is a land rich with the Gods’ powers, to draw on such a power requires more than one Templar. Templars can use the powers of the Gods without using Artifacts or Blessed Lands but the opposite is not possible. There have been no exceptions.”
Our teacher who was speaking then paused.
“Though sometimes, there have been very exceptional items. One of them is in my hands. There have been no Blessed Lands that can be utilised without Templars.”
“… So, like the God of the Winds, if there are no Templars, there is no way for us to use the God’s Artifacts or their Blessed Lands?”
“That is right.”
Our teacher showed how much faith he had in his answer through his firm gaze. That was why his voice also sounded very firm.
“A thousand years have passed and the Gods’ influence has gradually dissipated. Some of their powers have been lost, leaving behind only traces. Just as one radical scholar once said, ‘This world may no longer be the world of the Gods but it is now the world of Men’.”
“The Gods are disappearing?”
“Yes. One by one, the powers of the various Gods are diminishing and gradually disappearing. Who knows the millennium we had lived under the Gods may soon disappear in the passage of history.”
“That’s a big problem.”
Our teacher grinned as he muttered about the grim day to come.
“But there is still a strong power in this empire that has firmly established itself.”
“… What kind of power?”
“The ‘Power of the Heir’ which only the Emperor and his Heirs can use.”
The old man’s refined gaze shifted to the Princes.
“That’s only because we are on the God of Winds’ Blessed Land.”
He whispered calmly. The old man who had always been intimidated by Fleon replied with a calm and low voice, sounding as if he was a wise sage.
“If you had the ‘Power of the Heirs’ that the Crown Prince and His Majesty possesses, you should use it too.”
A few seconds later, his deeply wrinkled eyes drooped downwards.
“That power, which is able to even control the Gods, is what allows them to do anything they want.”
Dane opened the glass doors for me with his own hands. Like the butlers I see in picture books, Dane placed one hand on his chest and used the other to hold my waist lightly. I smiled gently before lifting my skirt and bending my knees.
“You surprised me.”
His gentle eyes crinkled slightly before replying.
“Since when were you so enthusiastic about theology classes?”
“Don’t tease me.”
Unlike how rain was pouring outside, it was very warm inside the greenhouse.
“Did you think I only sat there without thinking about anything?”
“Oh my. Were you not?”
I whipped my head around and glared at the knight before pursing my lips.
“… Dane. Could you tell him to watch his mouth?”
What is the best way to deal with that natural-born aggro?
‘Sigh. There’s nothing I can say back.’
I ignored him and walked towards one of the flower bushes. Even if I had not done that, Fleon had already quarrelled with him before this. I swept my unkempt hair up with my hand and looked displeased. Dane gave a wry grin before covering his mouth.
“If it had been possible to do that, Fleon would have been the first to do so.”
After seeing Dane’s expression, my anger melted away.
“Could you untie this for me? Huh?’
I had come to realise why the desktops of all the female employees in my company had been overlaid with handsome celebrities. Tea and handsome men. A languid afternoon. Looking at beautiful and handsome boys with the backdrop of white pillars, not only does it feel calming but it also feels purifying.
“Alright. I’ll untie it for you.”
“What an honor.”
Soon, a nice tea set had been placed on the round table. The Prince who sat opposite me sipped his tea before smiling. The greenhouse filled with its vines and roses looked like something out of a fairytale or a classic foreign movie.
“I’m going to visit my family home tomorrow.”
The voice was calm like that of a voice actor in a dubbed foreign movie. I want to see Dane do something like an ASMR. I think he’ll do a great job at it.
Wondering where his family home was, my lips parted.
“If you’re talking about your family home, do you mean the one towards the East?”
“How long will you take?”
“About a week.”
Well, by then I might already be dead. The tea rippled. My mind was also drawing such a concentric circle.
“… I see.”
This feeling of me swallowing my bitterness reminded me of how I felt every time I had to go to work. I lowered my gaze as I endured my frustration.
‘I may not be alive then, Dane.’
Dane does not need to know that and there was no reason for me to explain it. That was because I knew too well how he would react if I were to tell him the truth. If the Assistant Manager who sat next to me at work were to suddenly tell me that he was going to die the next day, as soon as the words left his mouth, I would either think he was mentally ill or he was having a hard time recently. That was how much it would weigh on his mind as well.
It was drizzling outside the windows.
“Have a safe trip.”
The glass window dotted with transparent bubbles. Tok Tok. One after another, the tapping sounds of the rainwater continued. It was an afternoon filled with rain and headaches. Instead of having autumn and winter here as well, the weather here seemed to only have warm spring.
Dane looked at me with his chin in his hand.
He tilted his head and his fine sandy hair fell down to the tips of his nose. Instead of moving them out of his way, he let his hair run down.
“I’m talking about you, Ashley.”
The ends of Dane’s eyes remained vague, pointing neither up nor down. He looked languorous.
“You have never worn anything that’s as eye-catching as red before.”
His brilliantly beautiful eyes that were of a jewel-like scarlet gazed at me.
“Does it not suit me?”
“It’s not that.”
He looked at me with eyes filled with kindness.
“You’re as pretty as your eyes are blinding today.”
He sneakily turned his head before showing me a languid smile.
I could only blink at his unexpected attacks before my face fell apart. I quickly grabbed my cheek and pinched it.
“Rather than not suiting you, I think you look really good in it.”
“Ah… Yeah. The dress. I see.”
Dane laughed as he placed his loose fist on his lips.
“Are you being shy?”
Woah. Calm down, this heart of mine. Was Dane the one who got the beauty buff and not me? I was mesmerised by the scene I could not possibly have seen in reality.
“No. Nonono. Stop looking at me. I just wore a dress. What are you laughing at?”
“I can’t help it.”
His red eyes that look like pomegranates sparkled like jewels under the sunlight. Such a beautiful day could not be captured by my eyes alone.
This kid is trying to kill me.
Had it not been for his playful smiles, I would have mistaken this young boy for a 20-year-old blue swallow. And where had he learned such a line? His eyes drew a curve with only the ends of his eyes raised, making him look strangely erotic and dangerous. How could a child excite me this much?
“You make me want to destroy an apartment.”
I murmured blankly.
“Apartment? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
I know you don’t. If you continue tilting your head like that, I think you’ll snap your neck so I hope you could hold it back in place.
“… I’m just saying that your face is the problem.”
Those eyes. Those eyes are the problem. He placed his shawl on his chair and pouted. Don’t look at me like that. Trying to cover his eyes only elicited laughter from Dane. I could feel my hands vibrate before Dane grabbed them and pushed them down.
“Even if it was only for you?”
He kissed my fingertips lightly. Even if I couldn’t see what was tickling the tips of my fingers, I knew. It feels as if I was filling my bank account with just straw. I don’t know if he could tell what I was feeling. My face crumpled.
Yeah. I would rather I just close my eyes.
After he had murmured his last words softly, the person standing behind me burst into laughter. The knight who had turned his face away such that only half of it was visible had his shoulders rocking up and down.
“… Brother. Could you get that knight to stop laughing please.”
“This is the second time I’m saying this. If that was possible-”
“Fleon would have done it first right? Just because he’s not here, I’ve become a doll for you all. You must be very committed in trying to make the knight laugh.”
“Instead, snort, I’ll devote my body to protect you.”
“You’d better just keep your mouth shut.”
With his gaze lowered, he muttered “Because I’m going to burst out laughing.” before a bigger burst of laughter could be heard from him.
Damn I was literally about to cry out sweet home alabama.
: If I were to directly translate what was in the raws, it’d be ‘I asked without tapping my lips’. Basically, she asked immediately without musing over what he said
: Boreas is also commonly referred to as the King out of the 4 Gods in charge of their respective winds so the God of Winds (take note of the plural) refers to him.
: I didn’t know if this was necessary but Fleon was basically talking back to the teacher so this sentence was sort of a taunt. ‘You have no power here. If you had it then you can do whatever you want.’ something like that.
: I didn’t know the best way to phrase this without making it sound weird but basically Ray is really good at bringing attention to himself
: I literally have no idea what she’s trying to say here but for now, I have directly translated what she’s saying.
: Once again, I have no idea and just gave the literal translation.
: It’s a slang to describe how someone is very cute. I had to search it up because I honestly never heard anyone use it so I think it’s internet slang.
Hopefully these citations will make T/Ns a little neater! Although, on docs they show up as superscripts, here they just appear as normal text. I have no idea how to fix it. But I’ll try my best to find a way!