The Duke’s Eldest Son Escaped to the Military (31)
10 Recruitment War (4)
Jaiden maintained his silence even though Caeden had already blatantly asked him. He knew that everything that he had hidden would be caught if he answered hastily.
“Fine. Everyone has their own circumstances. However… One thing is certain. You are hostile towards the Imperial Family.”
However, if he continued to remain silent, then he would be tagged as the Empire’s traitor. Left with no other choice, he opened his mouth.
“My reason is not simply because of hostility.”
“Does that mean that you have a different reason?”
Caeden quickly spoke to try and get more out of Jaiden.
“Ever since I was young, I had been thinking why the North failed to develop properly. I got curious so I began to investigate. I realized that what we have been given from the Center was not satisfactory when compared to the value of the North’s specialties.”
“So the report wasn’t just about the Northeast.”
“That’s right. I also found out that it was because of the distribution rights of the Merchant Federation.”
“Do you mean to tell me that you have noticed this at such a young age? The fact that the Center has been playing tricks?”
Jaiden remained silent. He had no choice but to let him think that he was a genius since he couldn’t explain what he had experienced in his past life.
“Interesting. Aside from that genius head of yours, this proves that you are a noble considering that you had the environment that allowed you to learn these things. If you know enough information to infer these, then you must be from a leading family in the North.”
Jaiden remained silent despite Caeden’s own assumptions. But regardless of his silence, Caeden just continued to speak. He looked like he had realized something.
“The families representing the North are Temphet, Winstell and Leonhardt… I can exclude Winstell since they believe that their hands are precious. Temphet’s two sons are now all grown-up so they’re also excluded. That leaves us with Leonhardt… Are you the eldest son that ran away from home?”
“When Leonhardt’s eldest son ran away, I heard that he was still nine years old.”
Jaiden still maintained his silence.
“Interesting. You abandoned the lions and chose steel…”
Caeden smiled in amusement as he stared at Jaiden.
“I think I’ve already shown you enough of me… so why don’t you reveal your true feelings?”
“Hoo… What do you want?”
“Your final plan. And tell me what else you know.”
Jaiden pondered for a moment after hearing Caeden’s demands.
Will he believe me if I tell him that there will be a monster wave here? Will they willingly break up with the Center if I told them this? Will the Northeast be able to withstand it?
Numerous thoughts ran rampant in his head. He turned to look at the Corps Commander that waited for his words while he was immersed in his complicated thoughts.
Only after clearing his thoughts did Jaiden open his mouth.
“The biggest reason why I came here is because this is the right environment for me.”
“Right environment… That’s true.”
Jaiden nodded when he heard the Corps Commander’s agreement.
Caeden knew that there was no better environment for someone who found their path with the basics. After all, the Corps Commander himself was one of the people who found their path with the basic swordsmanship. Caeden was someone who had turned his sword into an impregnable wall so he knew better than anyone what kind of path Jaiden had taken.
“And there’s also one thing that I wanted to check.”
Caeden tilted his head in confusion. He felt strange that Jaiden wanted to check something in the Northeast.
If he wanted to take over the Northeast Army as Leonhardt’s successor then he should not have abandoned the Lion Sword Technique. As a family that was well-known for worshipping lions, they had strong attachment to the Lion Sword Technique. To use another sword technique, he needed to at least sign a contract with a lion divine beast. But Jaiden did neither of the two.
Just as he was wondering what Jaiden wanted to check in the Northeast, Jaiden finally spoke up.
“I wanted to check if there were signs that signalled a monster wave.”
Jaiden’s words were enough to send the Corps Commander in a frenzy.
“Do you know what you’re talking about?”
The Corps Commander sighed deeply upon hearing Jaiden’s confident answer.
He knew that all of the events that happened in the Northeast during the past few years had all been unusual. Placing those pieces together, they found out that there were many events that overlapped and corresponded to the previous records about the precursor to a monster wave.
However, it was a bit too much to conclude that a monster wave would happen just because a few cases overlapped together. After all, large-scale power battles between monsters also exhibit similar phenomena to the precursor of a monster wave. It was also for this reason that the historians and monster scholars were at odds. There were thousands of papers that have detailed explanations discussing whether the current events were truly the precursor to a monster wave.
“The current phenomena that the Northeast is experiencing is similar to that of a monster wave.”
“It’s ridiculous to assume that this is a monster wave just because the monsters’ sphere of influence had changed.”
“We also need to investigate the monsters’ abnormal movements and status quo.”
“That also happens from time to time.”
“I heard that there’s an area in the Northeast where the mana fog has thinned significantly. There’s a high probability that they’re gathering somewhere.”
“The range of fluctuation is a bit too small to say that.”
Jaiden sighed when he saw the Corps Commander refuting everything that he was saying.
Just like what the Corps Commander had said, it was truly unreasonable to associate these large-scale changes between the monsters’ forces to a monster wave. However, the other phenomena listed in previous records that signalled the precursor to a monster wave was just as ridiculous.
The most reliable evidence like black mana stone, contaminated mana stone, and dimensional cracks were things that couldn’t be found right now. It would take a few more years before they would come out.
‘It probably appeared around the time when the other guys came over to this world.’
Based on his experiences in his past life, the dimensional cracks appeared simultaneously only after some time had passed. And by that time, everything was already too late. In other words, it would take at least a few more years to prove what Jaiden had said. But Jaiden still had a thing up his sleeve.
“May I have a piece of paper?”
The Corps Commander replied readily and stood up to give him a piece of paper and pen. Then, Jaiden began to draw something on the paper as he continued to speak.
“The most convincing evidence based on the previous precursors to monster waves are the monsters’ power struggle, black mana stones and contaminated mana stones.”
“The only thing that has been confirmed is the power struggle. And that evidence is definitely not enough. But there’s something we can infer from these things.”
Hearing the question of the Corps Commander, Jaiden drew the entire Northeast terrain before circling the monster forces. At the same time, he drew a triangle on the sphere of influences that had changed over the past few years. His drawing had shown the phenomenon that was currently happening in the Northeast.
“The most dangerous area in the Northeast is the crater where the dimensional crack had previously appeared.”
“This area still has a lot of lingering contaminated mana due to the aftermath of the crack closing. But from what I heard, the monsters had gone in there.”
The Corps Commander nodded his head to confirm the information that Jaiden had heard.
“That’s right. That’s something that we should definitely be suspicious about. However, mutants often go there to become stronger. And that alone is not enough to prove that a monster wave is upon us.”
“Of course. But please look over here.”
“Doesn’t it seem like they’re avoiding something? You’ve seen monsters go to the crater. But what if they’re hurriedly running away from something dangerous to the point that they would take the risk to go to such a dangerous place?”
The Corps Commander’s expression turned strange the more he looked at the topographic map that Jaiden had drawn. Looking closely at the triangles and circles that were drawn on the topographic map, he could see that there were traces of movements from the Northeast to the Southwest.
“I’ve already confirmed this.”
“…Black Drake. This guy has undergone an awful lot of mutations. Its force is assumed to be closer to that of a dragon.”
Jaiden pondered for a moment when he heard Caeden’s words. This was a situation where they could assume that the monsters had moved away because of that single drake.
It’s not a dragon but a drake? That doesn’t even make sense.
Even if it was a dragon, it was not enough to assume that the large-scale movements of the monsters from the Northeast was because of this.
“There’s no other monsters?”
“There is. We found traces of a frost giant.”
“Are there more?”
“We haven’t confirmed it yet but a manticore…”
Caeden continued to speak but his attention was already floating somewhere.
‘The monsters’ sphere of influence in the Northeast is currently changing rapidly because of the existence of high-ranked monsters like the mutated drake, frost giant and manticore.’
That was what he thought at first. This was because this usually happened in the Northeast. However, compared to before, the changes in the monsters’ sphere of influences had been very huge and urgent. This was also the first time that high-leveled monsters had moved this much. This meant that the thought ‘There must be something more dangerous and stronger that the high-leveled monsters needed to avoid so they’re moving like this!’ might be possible.
“Don’t tell me…”
Caeden looked at Jaiden with doubt flashing through his face. He had missed this part because he had been too used to the situation in the Northeast. He had also felt relieved since highly valuable evidence like black mana stones, contaminated mana stones and dimensional cracks were still not found. In addition, they had missed a lot of evidence since there were only small traces left so they felt complacent.
If he looked at these pieces of evidence one by one, he could say that they were just small unexpected variables. But if he placed them together, then it was something similar to the precursor to a monster wave.
“The black mana stones and contaminated mana stones will only appear just before a crack in the dimension opens. So it’s hard to confirm. But by the time you have confirmed it, it will be too late.”
“If that’s the case, then we have no other choice but to infer from other things. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but most of the phenomenon that happened in the current years point to a monster wave. At the very least… shouldn’t we investigate it?”
Caeden began to ponder about the possibility after hearing Jaiden’s persuasive words.
“Hoo… Right. We can definitely do some investigation. I’ll send a formal proposal to Command.”
The Corps Commander nodded when he saw Jaiden thanking him with a bow. Then, he paused before reflecting on the words that Jaiden had just said.
Caeden’s eyes widened as he looked at Jaiden after getting his senses back together.
He wants to make the Northeast independent while connecting the North, the coasts of the Northeast and the West to establish a strong line. At the same time, he’s preparing for a battle against monsters.
When he placed the monster wave in retrospect with everything Jaiden said, it looked like he was preparing to prevent a huge catastrophe from falling on them. With this in mind, the things that Jaiden wanted to convey to him were slowly getting connected one by one.
‘Did he notice?’
Jaiden smiled bitterly when he saw that Caeden had noticed his plans.
‘But these results are not that bad.’
It was a good thing if Caeden, the second strongest after the Northeast’s Commander, began his preparations to receive a monster wave.
It would also be more than enough if he would help make his plan to make the Northeast independent. If that happened, then he would probably be able to stop the collapse of the Northeast.
Jaiden smiled confidently. It seemed like he did not want to hide any of his thoughts any longer. Seeing his smile, Caeden felt confident about his assumptions. Then, he asked him in surprise.
“Are you going to turn the entirety of the continent’s Northern area into a base that will prevent monster waves?”
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