Book 4 Chapter 412

Magic Cannon Restoration Complete

Now that he was alone once more, it became far more convenient for him. Even though Stok was quite chaotic from the chaos caused by Dark Requiem's infiltration, Leguna was still able to remain hidden well despite the tight patrols and ubiquitous wanted posters.

Given his disguise techniques, he could perfectly hide not just his looks, but also his gender, age and identity. They'd have better luck checking if a middle-aged woman by the fruit stall was Dark Requiem.

However, he wasn't that big a fan of cross-dressing. After all, having to stuff two lumps into his chests was quite a troublesome thing. And given his personal preference, no female disguise was complete without some D-cup paddings. But that obsession to detail of his only made his disguises even more complex.

So, he disguised himself as a middle-aged traveling hunter and occasionally sold some of his game and had lots of fun on his way back.

When he finally neared the battlefield, he no longer cared as much. Given that he already had his gear in hand, he didn't even bother with the disguises any longer. He put on his black leather vest, slung Lighteater on his back and Ebony on his waist, donning his full assassin loadout.

By then, word of the bureau head's solo infiltration into the millennium capital had spread to Hocke. However, the northerners didn't seem too happy with what he did and would've liked it better if he went on a killing spree to boost their morale. Even though they were already at the top of their spirits after the Glacial Empress's display of power, why couldn't Dark Requiem do the same instead of letting the woman get all the glory?

Leguna would no doubt scold them if he heard that. They were completely treating him like a one-use product! Even if he did manage to barge into the imperial palace, would he be able to come back out in one piece?

Even though Stok didn't have any saint or myth ranks serving them on the surface, who could really be sure that was the case? The mysterious magus he encountered at Seatide was able to use the order spell on him with ease! If that person was Stokian, the next time Leguna encountered him might be the death of him.

He had been infuriated by those complaints of him ever since he got back, but apart from that, he did feel another sense of foreboding.

What could've gone wrong? he wondered.

[There haven't been any huge changes in the past month, so I doubt there's any problem,] Gahrona said. She had caught up with the times based on what Leguna told her and when she heard about Annelotte defeating Saron and an additional thousand soldiers alone, she didn't seem too surprised.

[The reason I dared to let you fall into Saron's hands in the first place was because I was confident she would come to save you,] she said.

[What if she can't beat him? What if she ends up captured too?] Leguna countered.

[Don't forget she has a father who loves her dearly! You think Marolyt will just sit there and watch after she's captured?]

Leguna couldn't even argue against her.

Yet, it still didn't shake the uneasiness he felt. He gave it some proper thought. Annelotte, Eirinn and Innilis should all be in Melindor.

Even though there was an assassination attempt back then, that was due to Leguna's own carelessness. Ever since then, he had increased the security in Melindor and even assassins would find it hard to hide out in the city. Having witnessed Annelotte's true power, he didn't think that any assassin below the saint rank would be a threat to her life. As long as she was fine, Eirinn and Innilis would be too. That was how confident he was in her.

As for the others… Could it be Kurdak and the others? Leguna hadn't been keeping in touch lately. Could something have happened there?

But it didn't seem possible. Kurdak was reliable and resourceful. Leguna didn't think he would end up being forced to any kind of predicament by the enemy. Apart from the Stokians…

Leguna furrowed his brow. He recalled One's reminder that an enemy could be in their midst.

I better look into it properly when I get back, he thought. Even though Geoffrey was busy with the opening of his own magic academy, who knew what he could up to? There was also Alfreid to consider. Leguna had felt that he wasn't able to get a grasp on that man at all, just like how he couldn't see through Wayerliss, his other teacher.

As he continued on his journey, he kept thinking about what he should do in the future. He wondered if it was within his capabilities to leave this scary cycle. Just as he was about to reach Melindor, he heard another piece of news from there: Annelotte had finally finished restoring the magic cannons!

It was something that shocked the whole continent even more than the fact that Annelotte had defeated Saron. That was nothing more than a genius taking over the top place. Only fight fanatics would find it interesting. But for the rest of the people on the continent, the magic cannons which could change the tide of war was even more important.

Due to the cultural differences between the north and the south of the continent, the Stokians' armour was more advanced than the Hockians', but that didn't put Hocke at a significant disadvantage.

After all, most of the northerners were well-acquainted with fighting and had hardier personalities than their southern counterparts. That was the advantage Hocke had in the war. The average stratum of their troops was also 1.3 times that of the Stokians', not to mention their higher levels of discipline.

That was why the war between the two empires had largely been in a stalemate for the past few years. Following the gradual decline of the Stokian ruling class, the southerners had slowly ost the advantage to the Hockians.

But just as Hocke was about to go for an all-out push, Stok brought magic cannons into the fray. Those were easily the most impressive weapon to ever be developed in the past few centuries. With a single new invention alone, they were able to stop their decline on the eastern frontlines and even launch a comeback on the western front, taking most of the western continent into their rule.

The Stokians could devote so many troops to attacking the western front because they used their cannons to defend their fortresses and cities. It freed up a lot of men for offensive operations. Leguna toppled Seatide, but it was the time when the magic cannons were just about to be put into mass production. After half a year, many of the Stokian strongholds began to be equipped with these defensive weapons. Even though Hocke had the advantage on the open field, they didn't have many options to conquer strongholds.

It wasn't like they could get the head of the bureau to constantly go on solo missions to take down one stronghold after another like he did Seatide.

But finally, Hocke got the power of magic cannons for themselves! Apart from that, the Glacial Empress was said to have added her own modifications to them, giving them some degree of mobility!

In other words, not only could they be used for defense, they could be brought along for offensive battles!

The Hockians cheered as if they finally saw a ray of hope for their victory in the war upon hearing that news, and the Stokians also understood that the old empire that held Chino for near a millennium was starting to crumble.

Nobody was certain that the empire could hold on, but nobody refused to admit that Glacial Empress Annelotte had once more proven herself to the world with flying colors. She was now considered the top genius of all of humanity.

Annelotte herself didn't care much for all that. The only reason she bothered with the magic cannon research was to cement her position as principal of the magic academy, and she did it so that Leguna would have a powerful ally to rely on. She did it because he would need it, and she could do almost anything she put her mind to.

When the research project was complete, she breathed a sigh of relief. Even though the magic academy's construction was also complete, there were still tons of things she had to personally tend to. However, they let her take a few days off to catch a breath, considering that she hadn't been sleeping at all for the whole month, only relying on meditation to recover her energy.

……

Annelotte laid down tiredly on her bed during the night. Actually, she had just finished up with the magic cannon research. Larwin had only announced it two days in advance because they were reasonably certain they could finish up within the set date.

While the time taken was a little more than the promised four months, Annelotte did add her own improvements to the cannons' mobility and Larwin was more than satisfied with that. When she handed in her report, Larwin immediately handed her the letter of appointment for the principal position of the Hockian Magic Academy.

So I'll have to busy myself with the academy from now on, huh… She massaged her temples as she thought. Even someone like her wouldn't be able to take on so many challenging assignments at once.

"Sis Annie…" Innilis carefully pushed the door to her room open. She smiled when she saw Annelotte and said, "You must be tired after finishing all your work, right? I made some medicine which is great for relieving fatigue and restoring energy. I've tried it myself and it works great, so I brought you some."

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