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Masked Knight - Chapter 50

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Chapter 50: Glory and Disgrace

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translations Editor: EndlessFantasy Translations

The Imperial Palace was built in the center of the Empire, more than 400 years ago when the

Empire was founded. It was an enormous structure built using granite shipped from the north.

From the Empire's few centuries' worth of history, Rody learned that the Empire had gone

through many hardships and wars. Rody was unable to remember them all.

During the Empire's 49th year, the Empire was at war with the Northern Roland Continent and

entered a moment of crisis. The granite palace became the last military stronghold. Both sides

had about 200,000 soldiers and they fought at the fort of the palace for a total of 17 days.

Finally, the third Duke of the Tulip Family led 100,000 soldiers that helped to repel the enemy

and defend the palace.

During the Empire's 109th year, there was an internal strife. The emperor was assassinated by a

rebellious minister. The rebellious minister then put a prince there and controlled him like a

puppet. After that, the sixth Duke of Tulip Family ran away from the Imperial Capital. Fifteen

days later, he came back to the Imperial Capital with 9,000 soldiers. They took six days to break

through the city walls and later fought 20,000 rebels for two days and two nights. The duke

personally killed the rebellious leader, Davis and continued to attack the Imperial City with

thousands of soldiers. Due to that war, the river near the walls turned red with blood for a full

two weeks, before returning to its original color.

During the Empire's 209th year, after the internal strife the most outstanding emperor in the

whole of Empire's history, Abbas the Great ascended the throne. Abbas was the Empire's

greatest emperor in their 400 years of history. However, during his reign he was also the

emperor that killed the most people. Abbas had the support of the Tulip Family and killed more

than 1,000 of the ministers and kinsmen that opposed his rule. That included his younger

brother and his uncle. About 100 years later, the Empire once again experienced a bloody

baptism. On that night, the whole Empire was filled with shrilled screams and the stench of the

blood. After a heavy downpour, the whole Empire was covered in red.

During the 30 years of Abbas the Great's reign, he created the Empire's formidable cavalry. The

cavalry was well known in the mainland as the Lightning God Legion. Under Abbas'great

leadership and the Tulip Family's outstanding commands, the cavalry conquered the entire

continent. Only in the mainland at the Northwest Grasslands, was there a strong and unknown

resistance from the nomads who refused to be ruled by the Empire. Abbas the Great then

implemented firm strategies. ’’In all parts of the mainland where the sun shines, everyone must

respect the imperial law and authority! The obedient ones will be rewarded while the rebellious

ones will be mercilessly punished.’’ Finally, the marshal of the Empire massacred 60,000

foreign troops and captured their leader, Halifax. Abbas the Great then ordered for this foreign

leader to be publicly trampled by horses until he died.

At last, the whole continent finally unified and became the Empire's territory. As a result, the

Empire in the south and Roland in the north, separated by the straits, were in quite a

confrontational setup. Also in that era, the Great Sage Dandong was born. He became Abbas the

Great's most powerful assistant as he single handedly planned a series of reforms, giving the

Empire a lot of vigor. Also in that palace, Abbas the Great renamed the Empire as the Radiant

Empire1. The name of the Radiant Empire reverberated through the whole continent.

Twenty-three years ago, the Empire once again went through a historical moment. It was its

first defeat and humiliation after a few hundred years. The foreigners from the Northwest

Grasslands raised their banners and declared independence. They then formed the Great Moon

Kingdom. On top of that, the commander of the army who was Tulip Family's head died of

illness. Eventually, the Empire's Central Cavalry were defeated by the Great Moon Kingdom's

armored cavalry. As they were defeated, the Empire had to acknowledge the Great Moon

Kingdom's independence. After that, the Empire and the Great Moon Kingdom signed an

agreement in the hall constructed by Abbas the Great, agreeing to the division of their lands.

Rody sat in the carriage and occasionally gazed out of the window, looking towards the palace

in the distance. He recalled seeing the picture of the palace in history books. He did not know

what his fate would be when he arrived there.

Rody stared at the palace which was getting closer. As night drew nearer, he had a peculiar

feeling.

This is the heart of the Empire!

The palace was surrounded by about 60 miles of wall, completely constructed with huge rocks.

Its height and thickness were about the same as the wall of the Imperial Capital but its strength

was much stronger. Standing on the wall were the Imperial Guards wearing golden armors and

holding spears. There was also a brightly colored banner with a thorny flower, flapping in the

wind. This wall was originally something built in haste during the war. A few hundred years

later, an ancient emperor renovated the wall. The original castle-like wall was given a

magnificent coating to make it similar to the Imperial Palace. The original iron gate was

replaced with a golden gate, the symbol of the Imperial Family's dignity.

As the carriage passed through the gate, Rody could not help but mentally try to calculate as to

how many years of a commoner's expenses could be covered by the cost of the gate's platinum

gold coating.

Under the guidance of the Imperial Guards, the carriage stopped at the entrance of the inner

city of the Imperial Palace. At this point, Rody had to get off the carriage. Nobody except His

Majesty the Emperor was allowed to ride a carriage into the inner city.

Twelve fully armed guards led the way. Rody eventually reached the audience hall. The thick

and heavy door made of wood and iron was already open. Following Gordon's instructions,

Rody slowly walked into the audience hall alone.

The 16 huge pillars in the audience hall looked dignified. The audience hall was surrounded and

illuminated by large candles, made of cattle fat. The illumination was so bright that it seemed

as if it was daytime. When Rody stepped onto the floor, it gave out a soft sound. Rody noticed

that the floor of the audience hall was made out of gold. On both sides of the audience hall, rows

of guards in armor stood. They only revealed their eyes and they had axes in their hands. They

looked straight in front and did not glance at Rody.

’’Hmph,... gold. The Imperial Palace is really like what the legend said... like a cage.’’ Rody could

not help but think to himself.

Gordon pointed to the door at the end of the hall and whispered, ’’His Majesty is in there

waiting for you.’’ He hesitated for a moment before saying again, ’’Young Master Seth, please

give me your sword.’’

Rody knew he could not refuse. He gave the lightsaber to Gordon. Gordon nodded his head and

passed on the sword to one of the guards at the door before walking with Rody towards the

back.

The two guards, at the side of the entrance, carefully interrogated Gordon. Only when Gordon

produced the command plate did they allow Rody to enter.

The door slowly opened and Rody immediately felt a chill.

It was a side hall, which was actually the real center of the Empire. It was noted in the Empire's

history, that all the important policies and strategies were agreed and fixed here by the

emperor and his ministers.

The inside of the hall was mostly empty. He felt a strange sense of relief from the ceiling that

gave off a gentle and chilling light. Rody knew that this was an illuminating spell. There were

no decorations or furnishings in the middle of the room. There was only a huge and long table

in the wide, open hall. At the end of the table, there was a long and thin silhouette.

He wore a long white robe and had long black hair tied up behind his head. His face looked

abnormally fair as if it was devoid of color. He carefully looked at Rody with eyes which looked

like two bright gems. Although the person was just quietly standing there, Rody could feel a

tremendous kind of invisible pressure.

Rody immediately bowed his head and knelt down. He spoke loudly, ’’I am Tulip Family's Seth

Rudolph. I present myself to His Majesty the Emperor!’’

The white robed person in the distance seemed motionless. He gently nodded but he did seem

to have intention of allowing Rody to stand up.

The current Radiant Empire Emperor quietly looked at Rody. His gaze was as if he could see

through Rody. Rody did not know how long he had knelt. He could feel the cold sweat flowing

down his back. After a while, he heard a clear and resounding voice.

’’Seth! I have a difficult problem. I hope you can solve it for me!’’

Translator's Footnote

1 The original name, guāngmíng dìguómeant Light Empire or Bright Empire but it sounds

awkward as the name of a kingdom so I picked Radiant instead.



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