Chapter 41 – The Time Traveler

 

It had been a year.

 

One year since the downfall of the Porcephone Empire and the rise of the Dark Joker.

 

Many things had changed since. The Porcephone Empire had been renamed into the Kingdom of Shadows. Its population had changed too. For one, the number of foreign species within the kingdom had increased drastically, with a major dwarf immigration but also tribes of Half-race that had been nomad in the past that came to settle down here.

 

The dwarves brought some interesting technology that allowed a new era to begin. Machinery powered via condensed magic had been developed, improving the transports as well as hygiene conditions.

 

Boats now used magic powered engines that allowed them to travel much faster and more reliably than the old versions. And with the improvement of naval transports, trading and travelling became much simpler.

 

Since the death of their leader, the Elves had started to travel outside of their continent more and more as a way to explore a part of the world that had been hidden from them because of the Fake Sage’s control on Dorua’s docks.

 

Many of them came to the Kingdom of Shadows and some Elven scholars decided to work together with Dwarves scientists to improve the healing methods and extend the average life expectancy by combining technology to healing magic. Thanks to their accumulated knowledge, more schools were opened and the level of education of the masses was raised by quite a lot.

This is due to a law that I created, forcing all children between the age of seven and fifteen years old to attend school at least 3 hours a day, no matter their status.

 

I personally always hated the fact that people can be separated into classes at birth because of where they are born. I believe one should be able to choose their fate themselves.

 

Following this technological boom, Naxus had been renovated, expanded and improved to welcome the migrants.It had become the “official” capital of the Kingdom of Shadows as it was still located at a converging spot for trade and travel and its population was still the highest in the Kingdom. Although the real capital was of course Aldenaf (but it was kept secret from rest of the world).

 

“So what’s my plan for today ?”

 

I asked Alae if I had any appointment. Things quickly became busy after I took over the Empire and Alae appointed herself as my secretary.

 

“The council of Sages from Dorua just arrived in Sill. The meeting with them about the new trade taxes with Dorua was set to be today but it looks like they had some during their trip so their arrival to Naxus will be delayed.”

“Hmm… I see. What about the case of goblin extermination next to Rougeterra ? Is the Adventurer guild still taking care of that ?”

“The head of the Adventurer Guild said they were busy with other matters so they cannot take care of it at the moment.”

“Do they not have a single free adventurer ? That sounds like a big lie to me.”

“Shall I send Burs or Armius visit him to check whether he is lying or not ?”

“Send Burs there with a squadron of Technolems. Armius already has his hands full with the assassination attempt on me from last week.”

 

The Technolems were an upgraded version of my golems that used metallic parts. During the Klug war, the Dwarves had tried to develop exoskeletons that would allow them to fight on par with the Orcs despite their lack of physical strength but the research was abandoned as the only way to power such an armor was to use Magic and it was unfortunately too demanding for the Dwarves’ poor natural magic pool. However, my magically powered Golems had just enough magical power to make the exoskeletons work so after a bit of experimentation, a fusion of the two had been made possible. This meant that the enhanced version of the Golems was about three times as powerful as normal ones.

 

“Very well. Should I also investigate the state of the Adventurer Guild to determinate whether they’re lying to us ?”

“I suspect that the Guild Master doesn’t trust me yet but I’ll sort that out on my own later. For now, just deal with the goblin extermination.”

“Yes. I will meet you later, Joker.”

 

Alae left first. I was reminiscing myself of our relationship as I watched her silhouette disappear.

During the entire year, one could say our bond had deepened and my love for her grew as she supported me in my duties as the new ruler. She had let her flowing jet black hair grow even longer and it was now reaching her waist. She also had a very seductive body, which I feasted upon whenever I was not too tired from my duties as the new leader.

 

One thing that had worried Alae was the custom of rulers to have a harem of concubines and mistresses. I, on the other hand, did not feel the need to love anyone else but her. I reassured her by telling her that I was not bounded by customs and traditions of a fallen country.

On the other side, Burs and Armius proved to be both insanely popular with women, probably due to their good looks and reputation as young generals of my army as well as Paladins.
And although it had been made known to the public that their new ruler was the Dark Joker, my real identity was still concealed and I was still wearing my old mask during all of my outside appearances.

 

***

 

As I was leaving the imperial castle, I started walking down the stairs that lead to the town centre. I was on my way to talk to that Guild Master and find a way to earn his trust. But someone was standing in front of me.

 

A person wearing ragged black robes with a hood hiding their face. They were barefoot and had shackles attached to their feet. From the figure of the person, I guessed it was a man slightly smaller than me.

 

“I’d appreciate if you could move out of the way, I am rather busy.”

 

“Don’t be so called to me… it’s been a long time, Joker.”

 

“… Do I know you ?”

 

“Oh please, we’ve met a countless amount of times ! Hmm… not in this timeline though. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll recognise this.”

 

The man lifted his hood and what he revealed shocked me. It was a mask that was exactly the same as mine, except his was broken on the side. This was a mask that was crafted exclusively for one of Aldenaf’s parades so only someone from there could have had one.

 

“The mask heh ? You’re probably wondering where I got it from. I don’t like suspense so I’ll tell you straight away, this is yours.”

 

“… Mine, huh ? Ha, ha, ha, as impossible as it sounds, could it be that… you’re a time traveler ?”

 

“Oh, you did well to figure that out so quickly. Yes, that’s right. I go by the name of Zeit.”

 

“Ever since I learnt Creative Magic, I always wondered if instead of only bending space to my will Magic was also able to alter time… Considering this is my mask and the crack on it, I’m assuming you got it by somehow killing me in another timeline…”

 

“…”

 

“So ? Did something happen and you decided you needed to get rid of me in this timeline too ? Sorry to tell you but I’m not going to go down without a fight.”

 

“Sorry to disappoint you but I am not here to kill you. As a time traveller, there are some fundamental laws that I have to abide with. One of them stops me from killing you, the man who is linked to my mission. Rather, I need you to help me with something.”


“Something… ?”

 

“Yes. I won’t hide the truth and be straightforward: the Arcadeus you believe to have killed in your shadow world was a dummy. I stopped time before you killed him and saved him.”

 

“What !? Well it is true that Ox did not come out Arcadeus’ body. That wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as I could have trapped him in my world.”

 

“You know, after time-leaping so many times, I have come to be rather tired. I want my mission to end as fast as possible. So I want to play it as safe as possible and avoid letting Ox out if possible.”

 

“Your mission… ?”

 

“Yes. To be rather straightforward, your very existence is linked to the end of this world. I have been tasked with creating a timeline where the events that break the balance of our world do not take place.”

 

“As grand as my plans are, I do not plan to destroy the world…Not anymore at least, ha, ha, ha.”

 

“You may laugh but 674 is the exact amount of times I had to time-leap because I was unable to stop the world’s destruction from happening.”

 

“So how about you tell me exactly what causes it.”

 

“As much as I would like you to, that isn’t a safe bet. Rather I will tell you something. You are free to listen to me or not but I would advise you do.”

 

“… Well let’s hear it.”

 

“Here is my advice: if you value your child’s life, do not believe in your shadow, no matter how tempting it sounds.”

 

“Eh ? My child ? What do you mean-”

 

As I was about to press Zeit for more answers, he suddenly disappeared. What a troublesome power. By my child, he surely meant the one I would have with Alae… but by my shadow… did he mean Wahnsinn ?

What event led to him discovering Wahnsinn ? And why would listening to Wahnsinn cause my child’s death ?

 

“Sigh, this complicated situation is really bothersome…”

 

Leaving these thoughts aside for the moment, I kept heading towards the Adventurer guild.

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